Shopping for a vacation home? Consider bypassing the Southeast’s go-to destinations for a more affordable hidden gem, says Heyward Young, real estate agent at Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty.
If you’re thinking about Seaside, Florida, consider
Cape San Blas, Florida
Part of a 17-mile-long cape 48 miles south of Panama City, Cape San Blas offers access to the St. Joseph Bay in addition to the Gulf beaches that you’ll find along 30A—but at a dramatically lower price. The quaint town has views of a 101-foot-tall lighthouse, and nearby St. Joseph Peninsula State Park offers hiking and birding. “The area is still underdeveloped, but that’s beginning to change,” says Young. Find inland townhomes for as little as $200,000.
If you’re thinking about Asheville, North Carolina, consider
Blue Ridge, Georgia
Less than two hours north of Atlanta, picturesque Blue Ridge is booming with new restaurants and breweries since Fannin County shed its “dry” status in 2008. “The nearby casino in Murphy, North Carolina, also means it’s a four-season resort town, allowing for maximum return if buyers want to gain some rental income,” says Young. You can find a single-family home for less than $200,000, though expect to pay quite a bit more for a lot on Lake Blue Ridge, which offers a full-service marina.
If you’re thinking about Serenbe, consider
For outdoorsy buyers, Blalock Lakes, set on 3,000 acres of woodlands in Coweta County, offers a tucked-away, family-friendly vibe within easy driving distance of Atlanta. Formerly the private retreat of the Blalock family (of Clayton County–based Blalock Machinery & Equipment Co.), the development offers access to two lakes, as well as a club with annual memberships for hiking, fishing, and hunting. Construction is currently underway for custom homes (landowners have access to on-site architects and house builders), and plots start at $70,000.
This article originally appeared in our March 2016 issue.