Whether it’s a primary residence or a vacation getaway, the past two years have undoubtedly changed the way we think about home. With many still working remotely, the need to remain within driving distance of the office is no longer necessary, allowing more people the opportunity to venture out of town while continuing to keep up with their jobs. This shift, along with record low interest rates, encouraged a massive spike in the purchase of second homes as they became a more viable option for those seeking a better work-life balance. A recent report from the National Association of REALTORS® showed that from January to April 2021, second home sales increased 57.2% year-over-year, outpacing the overall 20% year-over-year growth of total existing-home sales. With remote and hybrid workers no longer tethered to their workplace, many buyers have begun searching for more than just a place to frequent on weekends and holidays, and are instead seeking move-in ready homes that offer all the features of their primary residence.
What To Look for in a Second Home
A second home should serve as an oasis from daily life, a getaway from the grind and an escape from the everyday routine that comes with it. While the beach life provides that experience for some, many have found solace in the mountains, enjoying the peace and privacy that Mother Nature provides.
For any home investment, location is always a critical factor when seeking out somewhere to settle into. Last year, Realtor.com listed Blue Ridge, Georgia as one of the Top 10 vacation home locations to purchase a property due to its vast mountain terrain and pristinely preserved forests. When on vacation, outdoor areas are often just as important as indoors, which is why it’s key to find a home that embraces both. Homes designed with grand, open floorplans that connect directly to wrap-around decks with outdoor fireplaces and fire pits, like this rustic retreat tucked away in the Blue Ridge mountains, makes for a great place to hold large family gatherings and entertain outside even in the colder months.
As important as it is for the outdoor spaces to be an extension of the interior, mountain homes that celebrate their scenic surroundings and bring the outdoors in are equally sought after. Using NanaWall folding windows in the kitchen and walls of glass, homes like the Blue Mountain Oyster Homestead in Blue Ridge, GA have beautifully blended the lines between being inside and out, taking full advantage of its stunning, long-range mountain views and privacy provided by its remote location.
Transforming Your Second Home into a Welcoming Retreat
Décor plays a significant role in creating the feeling of being pleasantly removed from civilization. A second home is the ideal spot to abandon convention and to get adventurous by letting the location influence your interior design. Incorporating rustic features and furnishings with warm colors that are harmonious with the surrounding area is perfect for log cabins and remote, winter homes. This luxurious, Craftsman-style home in Hayesville, NC did just that, placing an emphasis on it’s use of natural materials throughout the home with its stone fireplaces, intricate woodwork and earth-toned color palettes.
As homebuyers hunt for their own haven in the woods, a number of unique features that were once considered gratuitous have now become necessities. Home offices are now a must for many, and cabins fit for entertaining the family are now especially attractive for those seeking to spend extended periods of time away from the bustle of their busy city lives. “A second home starts as a basecamp for the many activities a family can share together,” said Texas-based designer, Donna Figg, in a recent, virtual conference about trends in building a second home. "Second homes should be a place to rejuvenate and should serve as a landing pad.”
Spacious properties that boast separate living spaces, second kitchens, and extra bedrooms like this 6 bedroom home in Big Canoe, GA, serve as an excellent gathering place for multi-generational families to cohabit while still maintaining enough independence from each other.
In the market for a second home? Contact a Harry Norman, REALTOR® to ask about the homebuying process.
- 937 Richards Branch, listed by Logan Fitts of Harry Norman, REALTORS® Blue Ridge Office | MLS ID: 6966434
- 230 Wolf Branch, listed by Rachel Callihan of Harry Norman, REALTORS® Blue Ridge Office | MLS ID: 6960473
- 257 Ash Branch, listed by Karyn Woody of Harry Norman, REALTORS® Blairsville Office | MLS ID: 309007
- 776 Black Bear Trail, listed by Doug Hosmer of Harry Norman, REALTORS® Big Canoe Office | MLS ID: 6950318