By LISA KLEIN Nestled high in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina are three small towns with big views and laidback living. From the peaceful Grandfather Mountain, the highest peak in the area, to local festivals and community businesses, Blowing Rock, Boone and Banner Elk offer the perfect combination of quiet and culture. “Right now, the luxury buyer is looking for peace, calm and giving back,” said Scott MacIntosh, broker in charge and leader at Allen Tate Realtors in Blowing Rock.
By LISA KLEIN There has been a surge in interest in sustainability in recent years, finally making its way to the heart of it all – the home. The construction industry uses many materials that are destructive to the environment and human health, but eco-friendly alternatives are cropping up for nearly every need to replace them. “All predictions point to a continued surge in building worldwide, and it is imperative that we do so in a manner that moves towards regeneration versus extraction,” said Sheridan Foster, founder/CEO of Elemental Green, an online resource for sustainable building.
By LISA KLEIN The Maldives, a nation made up of clusters of mostly uninhabited, tiny islands scattered in the Indian Ocean, is a quintessential tropical paradise. Known for picture-perfect white sand, stands of green palms and turquoise waters, the islands are home to luxurious, private retreats and over-water bungalows amidst a stunning natural backdrop. “The Maldives is a country like no other,” said Sanjee Solanga, assistant director of sales for Raffles Maldives Meradhoo Resort.
By LISA KLEIN Who among us has not thought of hopping aboard a boat and cruising out into the sunset in search of fun and thrills? Doing so is not as farfetched as it may seem, and those who take up sailing gain the skills to embark on any number of coastal trips in destinations far and wide, seeing them from a new perspective on the water. “Sailing offers adventure, freedom and the thrill of exploration and discovery,” said Tim Geisler, lead sailing instructor at Nautilus Sailing School, which offers weeklong beginners’ sailing courses against a backdrop of several gorgeous locales. “Most of our students yearn for the sense of adventure, escape and unforgettable moments with loved ones,” he says of the decision to sail.
The luxury real estate business saw two years of intense growth during the COVID-19 pandemic as affluent buyers sought safe and spacious locations, with paying above asking price, multiple offers and purchasing sight unseen becoming the norm. These trends seem to have slowed with worldwide inflation and rising interest rates. The housing market may be normalizing to pre-pandemic levels, although housing inventory in many markets remains low.
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