Gated Mountain Communities in Western North Carolina

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Western North Carolina is a vast mountainous region, and is blessed with lovely gentle valleys, crystal clear lakes and streams, blue green peaks soaring to nearly 7,000 feet above sea level, a vast matrix of state and national forests, and over 50 vibrant small cities and towns. This combination of extraordinary natural beauty, diverse and culturally rich cities and towns, and moderate four seasons climate all make the mountains of North Carolina extremely desirable both as a vacation destination and as a place to live.

Western NC offers a Wide Selection of Gated and Golf Communities

One of the options available to those people who do choose to relocate to the mountains, especially those who wish to live outside the cities and towns, are the many planned gated mountain communities. The size of the communities available range from less than 100 to over 4,000 acres and vary widely in overall quality, setting and amenities offered. Some are located within city limits, but the majority of these communities are located in the countryside surrounding the cities and towns, and some are in extremely remote locations.

Gated Golf Communities

A limited number have golf courses as their community centerpiece, including some designed by renowned golf professionals (Jack Nicklaus, Tom Fazio, Arnold Palmer, and Tiger Woods among others) and a small number also have large mountain lakes. The majority however, while not crowned with an onsite golf course, do offer spectacular unspoiled, and protected natural mountain settings in which to live. Smaller lakes and ponds and pristine mountain trout streams are common, and large areas are commonly set aside as communal green space. Hiking trails, swimming pools, tennis courts, fitness centers and club houses are typical of the amenities offered.

Price Ranges for Homes and Land in Gated Communities

Home prices in these communities vary widely as one would expect, depending on location, setting, view, house construction details, and community amenities. The usual price range for a 1,500-2,500 sq. ft. home on a small lot is between $200,000 and $500,000, with homes for sale at $2,000,000 or more common in others. The same price spread is true for lots, with the price for a ½ acre lot ranging from $50,000 to over $1,000,000, once again depending on the location, setting, view, and community amenities. Typically also most communities will offer a mix of housing types to choose from, from new and previously owned homes to condominiums and villas. Many also offer land-home packages in which a lot is purchased and a home built within a year, from a selection offered by the community sales center.

Membership Fees and Dues

Membership fees in gated mountain communities also vary widely, from less than a $1,000 to over $125,000 for a full golf membership. Typically these are a one-time fee paid when residence is established. In addition, each community also charges its residents annual dues to cover road and common area maintenance, security, and similar functional services. The range here is from less than $200/year to over $10,000/year.

Lifestyle Considerations

A major consideration in choosing a gated community is the amount of time one plans to spend in the mountains each year, either year round or only part time. Year round residents tend to choose communities nearer the larger cities and towns, especially Asheville, the largest city. Proximity within 30 minutes of a city such as Asheville affords easier and more access not only to stores, restaurants and entertainment, but also better schools and other essential services, especially medical.

Seasonal residents, who are interested in having a second or third home in the mountains, and who plan to visit only for a season, or for frequent short visits, are not as limited by such considerations. Here more emphasis is placed on living in an unspoiled mountain setting with “getting to town” a secondary consideration. In these situations, since the homeowners will be away for much of the year, the fact that the home is situated in a gated community, with its in-house array of security services, is a major plus.

Enlist a Real Estate Agent Who has Experience with Gated and Golf Communities

Because of the large number of choices, finding the right mountain community can be a daunting task. It can be made much easier by working with a real estate agent who specializes in them, and who can offer impartial and objective advice. If living in such a setting is your goal, finding an agent who is knowledgeable about what is available is a prerequisite for success. This is true no matter what part of the country one is considering moving to. In Western North Carolina, most of the larger real estate companies usually have an agent who has done his or her homework and is qualified to help you in your search. One of these is Lee Pantas, author of the best selling regional guidebook "The Ultimate Guide to Asheville & The Western North Carolina Mountains". A recognized authority on the mountains, Mr. Pantas works primarily with clients looking for gated mountain communities, and is associated with Appalachian Realty Associates (828-779-1569).

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