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Western North Carolina The Mountain Region including Asheville
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Old 06-15-2010, 07:07 PM
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I am interested in building a log home or buying a home in Boone, Banner Elk, or Blowing Rock. I live in Orlando and would like a summer home where I can avoid most of the heat and humidity of Florida. In the winter I would consider renting it to skiers while I am back in FL. Are there any other areas I should be looking at? Is the market up there saturated with rentals in the winter? Which towns are most desirable for rentals? Are there any areas I should stay away from because of road or weather conditions in the winter?

I have just started the process of narrowing down areas to consider and know I will visit plenty of times before making a decision, just would like to get some other opinions

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Old 06-16-2010, 07:02 AM
Location: Asheville
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I think if you're going to rent in winter to skiiers, then consider Banner Elk, that's where Beech Mountain (Ski Beech) is, and Sugar Mountain is just a little ways down the road. But it's a tiny town, whereas Boone is a regular town with ASU there, so easier to live there for you. Valle Crucis is an exceptionally pretty area, sort of halfway between Boone and Banner Elk. Try to avoid really steep driveways to any parcels or properties you want, otherwise most roads you can get around on even after a heavy snow, if you get used to it, of course. Other posters who live up there will have some things to tell you, too...I used to live near Boone years ago.
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Old 06-16-2010, 07:33 AM
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thanks for the advice gigimac
Which has better skiing Banner Elk area or Maggie Valley/Sapphire? Where do you think more people choose to vacation?
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Old 06-16-2010, 08:45 AM
Location: Durham, NC
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To clarify, Banner Elk is where Sugar Mtn is and Beech Mountain is just down the road and is its own town...the highest elevation town east of the Mississippi in fact. I believe more people head to the Banner Elk/Boone area for winter recreation than to Maggie Valley/Sapphire. Banner Elk is also a prime spot for summer, located at the base of Grandfather Mountain and near incredible hiking at Roan Mountain, Pisgah NF, Linville Gorge Wilderness Area, etc... Linville is another "town" which has some very nice homes...many of which are owned by folks from Florida.
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Old 06-16-2010, 10:13 AM
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We just went thru the proccess you are considering.I think a lot would depend on the route you take to WNC.We take the I75 Rt.thru Madison Ga. to Franklin NC (fairly close to Maggie Valley)( 9 hrs)(We live in Lakeland.If you take The I95 rt.To I26 to Boone I am sure it would take at least 2 hrs longer.After a couple of days searching WNC we decided to build in the Franklin/Maggie Valley/Brevard triangle.We did not research anything north of Asheville(because of the distance)I wouldn't count on to much rentall income,I did some research on VRBO and found many calendars very empty.We also wanted a log cabin but after a lot of research(I am a builder) went with a hybrid timber frame,it turned out quite nice.It's a lot of work,but you"ll have fun,good luck.
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Old 06-16-2010, 11:03 AM
Location: Mtns of Waynesville,NC & Nokomis, FL
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Imo, building a place to spend summer/fall season is one thing...building, and hoping you can rent it in winter season, is a big leap.

Buying an existing home to enjoy mtn temps & season, and maybe renting it out, is probably a cheaper ave to take, than "building".

"Winter" season really varies by altitude, winter weather variances, etc. And, renting your place means a prop mgr/agent, hoping
you find renters, and that they don't trash the place.

Some HOAs may restrict your rental, in terms of frequency, duration, etc., also. And, many counties have a tax on rentals, varying by time,
value of the property, etc.

To sum up, the rental mkt in western NC, esp in "winter", is not like renting out a condo in the "winter" season in South FL,
or even a winter season rental in the high country ski areas of CO, UT, et al, imo.
But, Good Luck, mD
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Old 06-16-2010, 11:54 AM
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Thanks so much for the advice, I am not really set on the idea of renting it out, because of the potential expense if damaged, but would like to build in an area others vacation to as well for family, friends, and resale value. I have been tracking the weather and a lot of the lower elevation towns are pretty humid and hot!

Thanks Salty Springs, I will check out those areas as well. We have 3 dogs and they would be coming with us so we will definitely be driving. When I mapquested Boone it said 9 hrs 45 min and Brevard said 9 hrs and 6 min. It says I 95 to I 26, but I thought I would be taking I 75, like we did when we went to Helen, GA and northern GA area.
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Old 06-16-2010, 12:48 PM
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Thats kinda why I brought that up,from Orlando you can go either way.If you do prefer I75(as I do)you should check out the Highlands/Cashiers area.Very upscale for the most part but not everywhere(we built 8 miles north of Cashiers off hwy 107)Lots of places for sale.Loadedwith Fl&Ga people,I think because of its closeness to both.You need to get above 3000ft to really feel the temp change.This area is very touristy in the summer and fairly slow in winter,but is beautiful year round.Am ready to go know(as the sweat trickles down my arm pit).But won't be leaving until July1
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Old 06-16-2010, 04:06 PM
Location: Blue Ridge Mountains
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I bought (what I thought would be) a summer home in Avery County. I restored an old farmhouse (that was my dream) I never considered renting it and I agree w/ the poster who suggested looking at VRBO....you will see mostly empty calendars. Considering the real estate market and the # of people who NEED to sell, I agree w/ poster who suggested buying an existing home. I fell so deeply in love w/ living here that I've rented my Fl home and enjoy all 4 seasons in the mountains. It was impossible for me to go back to Fl (even in the winter) when I YEARNED to be here Good luck! Find a good Realtor and it is beyond beautiful here!
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Old 06-17-2010, 08:25 PM
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Thanks Salty Springs for an idea of the elevation we would need for the cooler summer weather we are looking for. I made a list of the places above 3000 ft and their elevation in ft and the county they are located in so I am going to start narrowing down from this list. I know some are more just locations as opposed to towns.

Northlakes 9040 Caldwell County

Beech Mtn 4200 Avery

Seven Devils 4000 Avery

Sugar Mtn 4000 Avery

Grandfather 3920 Avery

Highlands 3835 Macon

Banner Elk 3739 Avery

Newland 3621 Avery

Cashiers 3600 Jackson

Waynesville 3600 Haywood

Blowing Rock 3579 Watauga

Lake Junaluska 3540 Haywood

Biltmore Forest 3500 Buncombe

Crossnore 3410 Avery

Boone 3266 Watauga

West Jefferson 3200 Ashe

Elk Park 3182 Avery

Maggie Valley 3020 Haywood

Jefferson 3000 Ashe
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