As we closed out season two of "American Dream Home" on Fox Business Network last week, it was time to once again follow families as they looked for that perfect country estate.
As we've noted on Fox Business, the great migration from urban centers to rural areas has been a phenomenon that really took shape in this country at the onset of the pandemic — and continued throughout the pandemic.
The next question for the real estate industry as we see interest rates this week falling slightly to just under 6 percent for the 30-year fixed rate mortgage, the most popular mortgage in the nation, is this: Will those families and individuals who left cities decide they want to return?
Mitch Roschelle, founding partner of Macro Trends Advisors and host of "The NoPo Podcast," says American are leaving urban centers.
"The migration out of cities was a pre-existing trend that the last two years of disruption served to hyper-accelerate," he said.
"I don’t see the those folks moving back to cities. I do however, acknowledge that safe cities have a lot to offer and recent college grads continue to flock to urban centers."
As evidence of this, he said that New York City "apartment rents are back to pre-pandemic levels."
But for those heading for the hills, think of the story of Kristina and Daryl, who lived in a beautiful area of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
It's hardly a city by any stretch but still a populous and fairly expensive place to call home. The couple decided it was time to seek out more space and an easier way of living.
They searched the area of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the northern part of Georgia. A benefit of theirs was their price range, sitting at $1.5 million. That type of financial strength can go a long way in an area such as Blue Ridge.
Blue Ridge is one of the most well known towns in the North Georgia Mountains, according to Mountain Country Real Estate. This is largely thanks to the wide variety of attractions and events it offers all year long.
"Any destination where you can stand in two states at once is always a draw, right?"
With a small population of 1,263 but a consistent stream of tourists thanks to Lake Blue Ridge and the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, it’s a great option for homebuyers who want to enjoy mountain life without feeling too isolated from society.
The area received an overall livability score of 76 and has lots of local amenities, giving it an A+ rating. The average summer temperature is 71 °F and the crime rate is low, 57% lower than Georgia overall.
The cost-of-living index is 8% lower than Georgia's.
And more than 36% of in-market buyers hope to spend under $399,999, according to Vacasa’s 2021 Vacation Rental Buyer Report.
That's good news for those looking to buy in Blue Ridge. The median home price is $290,934 and there is a 6.1% cap rate.
Yearly gross rental revenue is estimated to be $38,266.
"Any destination where you can stand in two states at once is always a draw, right? Guests in Blue Ridge can do just that, with one foot in Georgia and the other just north in Tennessee," Vacasa said.
"But after that photo op is complete, guests can dive into the lush nature and all the activities Blue Ridge has to offer."
He added, "There are so many memorable experiences to have in the Peach State — like chasing one of the 16 waterfalls found along popular hiking trails, horseback riding among the rolling hills and catching some fresh trout to throw on the grill of your vacation home."
"In the Peach State, oddly enough, it’s apples that draw visitors in the fall, with a plethora of orchard festivals."
He also said, "Owning a vacation home in Blue Ridge will run you just under $300,000 — how do you like them apples?"
To learn more about the couple mentioned in this story, watch the video at the top of this article, or click here to access it.
Cheryl Casone is the host of "American Dream Home" on FOX Business Network.