For wealthy homebuyers, factors such as location, amenities, views, spaciousness and overall community often outweigh cost. In many cases, those who are truly affluent also want locations that offer seclusion or are not as well-known — something that can be difficult to find when everyone’s flocking to the same places.
GOBankingRates spoke with several real estate professionals to get their thoughts on some lesser-known locations that attract the wealthy and still have everything to offer. Here are their thoughts.
A mid-sized town in Arizona, Peoria has a lot to offer for affluent individuals and homeowners.
“Luxury homes in Peoria, northwest of Phoenix, are seeing a boom in wealthy real estate investors. It costs $3 million to purchase a high-end luxury home, with $5 million in the upper range,” said David Newcombe, co-founder of Launch Real Estate Powered by Compass and Cahal, MacLean, Newcombe & Associates, real estate firms in Phoenix.
“The wealthy like this area because it has everything that metro Phoenix has. Mountains, great school districts, and shopping. These three things are key to attracting high-net-worth real estate owners.”
North Central Phoenix and North Scottsdale, Arizona
Two other areas in Arizona where the rich like to buy property are North Central Phoenix and North Scottsdale. While neither Phoenix nor Scottsdale is unknown, both locations are up and coming.
“North Central Phoenix is an older and established community. The original luxury community in the Valley has seen a huge resurgence due to its close proximity to Scottsdale, Arizona,” Newcombe said. “It is becoming popular because typically high-end wealthy areas in Arcadia and the Biltmore are becoming more expensive. Entry for high-end real estate in this area is $2 million for entry and $4 million plus on the high end.”
On the more expensive end is North Scottsdale.
“North Scottsdale, Arizona, is also a resurging community. Great schools, desert living, amazing shopping, and excellent golf have contributed to a huge rise in high-net-worth buyers,” Newcombe added. “North Scottsdale real estate can go from $4 million to $20 million on the high end.”
Blue Ridge, Georgia
Blue Ridge, as well as other small towns in North Georgia, may be lesser-known, but they’re still great places to buy property for those who can afford it. Lucy Small, a seasoned real estate agent and founder of State and Season, called Blue Ridge a “Hallmark town.”
“With close proximity to Atlanta, the small towns of North Georgia, including Blue Ridge, are often the backdrops to Hallmark movies,” Small said. “Their quintessential small-town feel comes from walkable main streets, cute boutiques, farm-to-table restaurants, fresh mountain air and scenic vistas.
“Blue Ridge’s town parades, gazebos and public spaces draw crowds to dine and shop. Beyond the town’s borders, you’ll discover countless trails, picturesque waterfalls, serene lakes and pristine beaches, making Blue Ridge the ideal year-round destination for those seeking adventure and relaxation alike.”
The median listing price for a home in Blue Ridge is $723,000 with some homes going for around $6 million.
Lee County (Southwest Florida)
George Mato, a seasoned real estate agent and current sales director for The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Estero Bay at London Bay Development Group, brought up Lee County as a lesser-known destination for the affluent.
“Southwest Florida’s Lee County — home to Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, Captiva, Sanibel and other popular cities — is emerging as a highly coveted location by wealthy buyers,” Mato said. “Home to Florida’s oldest aquatic preserve and coveted for its miles of coastline, including 50 miles of beaches, Lee County is drawing more well-heeled buyers than ever before.”
Among these prospering communities, Bonita Springs in particular stands out.
“While more crowded areas in Florida have traditionally enjoyed a reputation as hotspots among this demographic,” Mato said, “Bonita Springs is growing in popularity because of its abundance of nature and respite it provides from the bustling cities.”
For those who want to venture beyond the United States, Spain is another destination that has become more popular in recent years.
“We are seeing a lot of our higher-end clientele buying abroad. The most popular destination we’ve recently seen is Spain,” said Melissa Zimbelman, property manager with LUXE International Realty & Property Management. “Offering stunning coastal destinations, with high-end retail, celebrity-owned and Michelin-star restaurants, amazing entertainment options and countless historical sites to visit, it is very appealing to those ready for an upgrade/change.”
Like many other European countries, Spain also now has more direct flights to and from major cities within the continental United States, making it more convenient and accessible than before.
“We hear from many of our clients that the more relaxed pace in Europe is a welcome reprieve from the hustle and stress in the U.S.,” Zimbelman added. “For our celebrity clients, being able to live freely without the concern of being recognized is also a big part of that choice.”
Five More Lesser-Known Locations
Mendy Katz, a real estate professional and president at Monarch Estate Services LLC, had five more locations to add to this list:
- Lake Tahoe, Nevada
- Woodstock, Vermont
- Cape Cod, Massachusetts
- Bloomfield, Michigan
“What makes these locations popular is usually two things,” Katz said.
One is the privacy that comes with buying property with more land and affords “a serene and nature-filled environment. The second reason is they are close enough to major cities, usually about an hour’s drive, which affords the ability to dine out, shop, and experience the city, which is not too far away.”
In addition, Katz said, “All these locations have waterfront access, which is important for boat access and a means to explore the shoreline.”
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