There is no doubt North Carolina is one of the most beautiful places in the country. We have the tallest mountains on the east of the Mississippi River and pristine beaches and shoreline on our coast. In the middle are the rolling hills and big lakes of the Piedmont and foothills.
If you are preparing to construct your custom luxury home, it can be difficult to narrow down your choices of where to build it. Here we will break down some of our favorite places to build a dream home in North Carolina.
These are by no means the only places to build in the state, and you might find somewhere better suited for your needs and wants. The criteria for what areas make our list include:
- Proximity: Proximity to larger urban areas and amenities.
- Age: This list includes areas that work well for young entrepreneurs, Millennials, retirees, and everyone in between.
- Nature: All of these areas are beautiful and have access to outdoor activities.
- Healthcare: You don’t necessarily have to expect poor healthcare in exchange for living somewhere beautiful.
- X-Factor: To make this list, these incredible locations have to have something that puts them over the top.
Here are some of the best places to build your dream home in North Carolina.
1) The North Carolina High Country | Boone, Blowing Rock, and West Jefferson, NC
Quick facts about the High Country of North Carolina:
- Population: 110,000 people
- Land Price Per Acre: $10,000 to $40,000
- Average Temperatures: Summer highs 70-80-degrees; Winter highs 40-50-degrees
- Average Snowfall: 15-40 inches
- Average Age: 22-43
- Median Income: $25,000-55,000
When it comes to views, outdoor activities, great food, and amenities, it is hard to beat the North Carolina High Country. This area is primarily made up of Watauga, Ashe, and Avery counties; however, you could also include Allegheny and part of Wilkes County. Characterized by tall mountains, fast-flowing rivers, waterfalls, and vast valleys, it is the perfect place for your dream house or luxury vacation home.
Location and Proximity of The High Country to Other Areas
The High Country is one of the few places in North Carolina with access to skiing and snowboarding. You’re never more than an hour from three of the only slopes in North Carolina. The largest city in the area is Boone. The region is home to Beech Mountain, the highest town on the East Coast. From Boone, you can be in Charlotte, Asheville, or Winston-Salme in two hours.
The nearest significant airports are located in Johnson City, Asheville, Charlotte, and the Triad.
How the High Country Caters to All Ages
Throughout the High Country, parents and students of all ages enjoy excellent education, including public and private schools and institutes of higher learning like Appalachian State University and Lees Mccrae College.
There are amenities for every age beyond school, including:
- Parks and playgrounds in Boone, Blowing Rock, Banner Elk, and Beech Mountain
- The Alpine Coaster in Banner Elk
- Retirement communities
- Premier golf clubs
- Outdoor activities
- Great food and the arts
- Shopping and nightlife
Nature and Outdoor Activities in the High Country
No region has as much to do outdoors as the High Country:
- Some of the state’s only skiing, snowboarding, and tubing
- Hundreds of miles of hiking trails
- Mountain biking trail systems and parks: Rocky Knob, Beech Mountain, Sugar Mountain, and the Emerald Outback Trails
- Incredible views to be enjoyed from your property
- Several local and state parks
- Greenways in Boone, West Jefferson, and Banner Elk
- Grandfather Mountain’s trails and nature center
- Waterfalls, rivers, creeks, and fly fishing
Healthcare in the High Country
Boone and West Jefferson have excellent hospital systems, especially for an area with a relatively limited population. There is a number of great doctors, specialist, and healthcare professionals. Residents and visitors have high regard for health and wellness. The town of Boone recently opened a state-of-the-art aquatics center.
The High Country’s X-Factors
The unparalleled beauty is easily the High Country’s most apparent X-Factor. Additional factors that set the region apart include the relatively affordable cost of living and property values for a mountainous area and the unparalleled access to natural beauty.
2) The Lake Norman Area | Mooresville, Davidson, Statesville, and Troutman, NC
Quick facts about the Lake Norman Area:
- Population: 100,000 to 200,000
- Land Price Per Acre: $80,000 to $200,000
- Average Temperatures: Summer highs 80-90-degrees; Winter highs 50-50-degrees
- Average Snowfall: 1-5 inches
- Average Age: 30-40
- Median Income: $120,000
Lake Norman is the largest man-made lake in North Carolina, touching four counties in the northern Charlotte metropolitan area. Boating, fishing, and watersports are popular on the lake. From beautiful, peaceful views to exiting lakefront communities, Lake Norman has it all.
Location and Proximity of The Lake Norman Area to Other Areas
The Catawba River flows from western North Carolina into South Carolina, passing through the eastern portion of the Charlotte area. There are two lakes that essentially make the northeastern and southeastern borders of North Carolina’s largest metropolitan region, Lake Norman and Lake Wylie, respectively. Lake Norman is the largest of the two and is close to several towns and communities.
Troutman, Denver, and Sherrils Ford are within forty-five minutes to an hour from Charlotte. Mooresville is less than forty-five minutes from Uptown, while Davidson and Cornelius are within about thirty minutes of the Queen City. The area is within about two hours of western North Carolina towns and cities like Asheville, Boone, and Blowing Rock.
How The Lake Norman Area Caters to All Ages
While there are plenty of areas to get away from it all in and around the lake, there is also an exciting blend of nightlife, arts, culture, and music. Davidson College is located just minutes from the lake in Davidson, and there are several excellent public and private institutions. There are pristine parks, playgrounds, science centers, and other fun activities for kids.
Nature and Outdoor Activities in The Lake Norman Area
Lake Norman presents a plethora of outdoor activities for individuals and families, including:
- There are over thirty miles of hiking and mountain biking trails at Lake Norman State Park.
- In addition to hiking and mountain biking, the Whitewater Center provides a number of exciting watersports.
- Kayaking, canoeing, tubing, kneeboarding, skiing, and fishing are all part of life on the lake.
- There are several of the country’s best disc golf courses located in and around Lake Norman.
- There’s no shortage of pickleball, tennis, and racquetball.
- You can find climbing, ziplining, and other exhilarating sports throughout the area.
Healthcare in The Lake Norman Area
The towns and cities around Lake Norman have fantastic healthcare options. Lake Norman Regional Medical Center serves Mooresville, Davidson, Cornelius, and a significant portion of the area’s population. Novant, Piedmont, and other top-tier medical entities are present throughout the region.
The Lake Norman Area’s X-Factors
Lake Norman represents the epitome of Lake Life. There are few other places in North Carolina that are as fun and exciting to navigate by boat as any other vehicle. Whether you want to watch a quiet, serene sunset over the water or dance to a concert in your boat, you can do it at Lake Norman.
3) Forsyth County | Winston-Salem, Lewisville, Clemmons, and West Bend, NC
Quick facts about the Forsyth County and the Triad:
- Population: 400,000
- Land Price Per Acre: $12,000 to $15,000
- Average Temperatures: Summer highs 78-90-degrees; Winter highs 48-58-degrees
- Average Snowfall: Six inches
- Average Age: 30-40
- Median Income: $40,000 to $50,000
Forsyth County has grown rapidly in the last few decades as millennials and families have gravitated toward the idea of living in a medium-sized city. The Triad area’s geography is appealing as well, with residents benefiting from being only a few hours from the beach or mountains.
Location and Proximity of Forsyth County to Other Areas
Forsyth County has the benefit of being both urban and rural. Whether you envision your dream home being the centerpiece of a working farm with rolling hills and views of the Sauratown Mountains or in the midst of an exciting city full of arts and culture, you can have it in Forsyth County.
From Winston-Salem, Lewisville, or Clemmons, you are never more than three to four hours from the coast. The Triad is less than two hours from Charlotte and Raleigh and even closer to the mountain towns of Boone and Blowing Rock.
How Forsyth County and The Triad Caters to All Ages
Forsyth County is truly an area that caters to all ages. From pristine parks and fun playgrounds to restaurants and nightlife, families and individuals can find plenty to do in and around the Winston-Salem. Education is a high priority in the area, with excellent public and private institutions, in addition to Wake Forest University and Forsyth Technical Community College.
You never have to be stuck inside with the kids on a rainy day. The Kaladium’s downtown and north locations provide endless hours of fun for kids and adults alike. Furthermore, the city is a hub for technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
Nature and Outdoor Activities in Forsyth County and The Triad
Forsyth Count residents enjoy access to bountiful opportunities to get out and enjoy nature. Within and near the Triad, you can find:
- Lengthy greenways at Salem Lake in Winston-Salem, downtown Elkin, and Greensboro
- Mountain biking trail systems in Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Elkin, Hanging Rock State Park, and just a short distance away in Wilkes County
- Hiking and horseback riding at Hanging Rock State Park and Pilot Mountain State Park
- Disc golf courses and pickleball courts
- Charming parks like Bailey Park near downtown Winston-Salem
- Historical tours in Old Salem
You can enjoy the great outdoors year-round in Forsyth County.
Healthcare in Forsyth County and The Triad
Winston-Salem area residents are treated to some of the best healthcare options in the state. Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist is a nationally recognized hospital, employing the highest quality doctors, specialists, and healthcare workers in the region.
Forsyth County and The Triad’s X-Factors
For a combination of big-city amenities and small-town charm, you cannot beat Winston-Salem and the Forsyth County area. On the same day, you can spend the morning and afternoon on bikes or hiking with kids, then drop them off with a highly qualified, well-educated sitter or nanny and enjoy an evening on the town.
4) The Kerr Scott Lake Area | North Wilkesboro, Wilkesboro, Boomer, Fergusen, and Purlear, NC
Quick facts about The Kerr Scott Lake Area:
- Population: 20,000 to 30,000
- Land Price Per Acre: $15,000 to $30,000
- Average Temperatures: Summer highs 76-88-degrees; Winter highs 45-55-degrees
- Average Snowfall: Six to nine inches
- Average Age: 40 to 50
- Median Income: $35,000 to $45,000
Located in the foothills of Wilkes County, NC, Kerr Scott Lake provides lake life with mountain views that are luxurious and affordable for families and retirees. With a place on Kerr Scott, you can have your dream retreat just minutes from towns, hospitals, schools, and fun.
Location and Proximity of The Kerr Scott Lake Area to Other Areas
Kerr Scott Lake is on the Yadkin River. The full name of the lake is the W. Kerr Scott Dam and Reservoir, and it spans from Wilkesboro to Boomer in Wilkes County. Even the farthest reaches of the lake are within twenty-five minutes of downtown Wilkesboro and North Wilkesboro. Most properties are only a fifteen-minute drive from restaurants, grocery stores, and shopping.
Boone, Blowing Rock, Lenoir, and West Jefferson are all within forty-five minutes to an hour from Kerr Scott. Larger cities like Winston-Salem and Charlotte are between an hour and two hours from Wilkes County.
How The Kerr Scott Lake Area Caters to All Ages
Wilkes County is home to Wilkes Community College, as well as excellent public and private schools. North Wilkesboro and Wilkesboro, separated by the Yadkin River, are home to several excellent restaurants. Anchor Coffee provides the Kerr Scott area with the kind of specialty coffee and craft beer options you would expect to find in a much larger city.
There are multiple parks, outdoor activities, and even a trampoline park to keep kids busy throughout the year. Outdoor festivals and concerts like Merlefest, Carolina in the Fall, Applefest, and more provide entertainment for adults and children alike.
Nature and Outdoor Activities in The Kerr Scott Lake Area
Outdoor activities abound in Wilkes County.
- Mountain Biking: Kerr Scott is home to one of the top-rated mountain bike trail systems in North Carolina. Warrior Creek has national fame as a must-ride destination for mountain bikers.
- Road Cycling: Many professional and amateur cyclists train on the rolling terrain roads of Wilkes County.
- Blue Ridge Parkway: The famous Blue Ridge Parkway provides scenic views and access to hiking in Wilkes County.
- Stone Mountain: Stone Mountain State Park is a hub for hikers and mountain climbers alike.
- Water Sports: Kerr Scott Lake, the Yadkin and Roaring Rivers, and other waterways provide residents with boating, canoeing, kayaking, and even whitewater rafting.
- Other Sports and Outdoor Activities: From being a prime location for fly fishing to pickleball, tennis, and disc golf, if you want to get outdoors, you can find your sport or hobby in Wilkes.
Healthcare in The Kerr Scott Lake Area
Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist provides hospital care and medical resources for residents in Wilkes County. For a small, relatively rural area, Kerr Scott Lake residents can count on high-quality healthcare.
Wilkes County and The Kerr Scott Lake Area’s X-Factors
Access to nature and the great outdoors in Wilkes County is certainly one x-factor for the area. The affordability of lakefront property with mountain views has to be one of the primary reasons you must consider building your luxury dream house in the area.
Who Should Build Your Custom Luxury Home?
From Lake Norman to the High Country, Forsyth County to Kerr Scott, if you are building your luxury dream house, you need to trust an experienced design – build team. ExCo Design – Build has you covered. We provide a luxury experience from consultation to delivery and every step along the way. Even after we hand you the keys, you can count on us to take care of your home’s needs.
Contact us to sign up for your free consultation, so we can help make your dream house a reality.