Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The High Country of North Carolina – Finding Your Way Around

If you are thinking of buying property in the Boone and Blowing Rock areas of Watauga County but are confused about all the different areas, and their relationship to one another …. you are not alone. The High Country and the greater Boone area is broken down into many smaller unique communities that can be confusing to anyone not familiar with the area. I spent the better part of my first year here just trying to get a real feel for the lay of the land. WataugaNC2_500
This is just an overview describing a little bit about each pocket. Let me also issue a disclaimer...this is not scientific data, just my personal take of what I know from living and working in real estate in the area. Elevations definitely vary as you could imagine. If you have any further questions please feel free to contact me directly.
Deep Gap - Referring to the area along 421 going from Boone towards Wilkesboro roughly from the light at Old 421 to the Parkway Bridge. Deep Gap I believe is mostly in the Parkway School District. Approximate elevation is 3200’.
Fleetwood - Borders Deep gap and refers to the area between Boone and Ashe County on Hwy 221. As a general rule, home prices drop some once you start going out that way but Boone is still 15-25 minutes away depending on where you are. West Jefferson is within 20-30 minutes as well. Elevation drops a little below 3000’ in most places. Primarily in the Ashe County school district.
Green Valley - Is the general area from Boone out 194 to Todd. (Meat Camp is another community about half way in between the two towns.) Pretty pastoral views and lots of open spaces. Green Valley has it's own school district. Elevation varies but is usually over 3000’.
55 Valle Crucis - Switching to the other side of town, Valle Crucis is the area tucked in Between 105 on the far side of Boone towards Banner Elk. Really really pretty pastoral setting, lots of creeks and rivers, sort of joins with the Vilas area as you get closer to the 421 side. Valle Crucis is definitely prime real estate and the home prices reflect that. Lower elevation than most of the areas because (as if you can't tell by the name) it's in the Valley. Valle Crucis has it's own school district. Side Note - Schools in Watauga County are K-8th Grade and then everyone goes to Watauga High School. The new school was just finished this year!
sidebar Vilas - This one is a real grey area. If your going out 421 towards Tennessee, Vilas loosely refers to the area from the edge of Boone to where 321 and 421 split off at Skateworld. It also follows 194 out and blends with Valle Crucis. School districts include Valle Crucis and Cove Creek. Elevation varies.
Sugar Grove - At the Skateworld (it's a weird landmark I know) 321 and 421 split off. Take 321 and the Sugar Grove area is the last stop before you get to Tennessee. Bethel is another community out that way. Lots of wide open spaces. Elevation is generally higher than Boone, 3500’ and above. Bethel and Cove Creek School Districts depending on where your at. 35-45 minutes from Boone.
Zionville - Take the 421 split at Skateworld to get to Zionville and it's the last stop before you get to Tennessee. Mabel is another community out there and is also the name of the School District. It is a beautiful, beautiful area, one of my favorites, and there are some great buys there because its remoteness. The same can also be said for Sugar Grove and Bethel, all 35-45 minutes from Boone and average of 3500’ in elevation.
I hope this helps demystify the "High Country" a little for those of you who are looking at buying property or just vacationing in the area.
Feel free to check out my Blowing Rock NC page on Facebook for lots of pictures and fun things to do when you come to visit!