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Submitted by Engel & Völkers

Residential brokerage firm Engel & Völkers bills itself as “a trusted adviser to homebuyers from Miami to Majorca, Boston to Belize.” But even a global real estate company of its remarkable success and stature didn’t set out to redefine the definition of “High Country.”

“It’s actually a bit of an inside joke with how popular fly-in communities have become,” says Tricia Ward Holloway, a licensed partner with the newly established Engel & Völkers office in Banner Elk, North Carolina. “My father and I like to say the new meaning of ‘High Country’ comes from the surge in private pilots and their families moving to the region because of the fly-in convenience of communities like that of the Elk River Club.”

Holloway’s father, James Ward, fell in love with the High Country over a decade ago, made it his home and opened a residential real estate office in Banner Elk where his daughter joined him in the business. It didn’t take long for the Engel & Völkers Banner Elk location to become one of the leading residential real estate authorities in the region, and what consensus says is the best option for buying and selling properties in the area. According to MLS, within two years after opening in Banner Elk, Engel & Völkers ascended to No. 6 of the Top 100 Agencies in Sales in Avery County, North Carolina. 

“When you do what you love it’s not hard to accomplish great things like specializing and becoming the experts in the Banner Elk area and its aviation community,” Ward said. “And what’s not to love about the High Country? We live, work, and play in what has to be the most beautiful and authentic locales on planet Earth.”

While the million-year-old lushness of the Blue Ridge Mountains serves as a backdrop unmatched anywhere in the world, the community of Banner Elk in and of itself has certainly helped Engel & Völkers become the go-to agency for local homebuyers and sellers, Ward said.

“It’s all right here. Everything you could possibly want, and with an airport equipped for private and corporate planes, living in the mountains no longer requires driving for days to get here,” he said.

Elk River residences include conveniently located cottages, multi-bedroom condominiums, custom estate homes, and ready-to-build lots. The community offers virtually every kind of residential property to fit the unique needs of every homebuyer type, Holloway said.

“Whether seasonal residents, professional couples, retirees, families, or buyers in search of a second home in the mountains to return to vacation after vacation, it’s all here in Banner Elk,” she said. “Plus, it’s not a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all sort of community. From sprawling estates to cottages, and even lots for designing and building your own ideal custom mountain retreat, we’ve got you covered.” 

Homes offer breathtaking views of cascading streams, peaceful lakes, and the exalted beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. At the Elk River Club, residents are provided access to unique private amenities including an airport, Jack Nicklaus designed golf course, tennis courts, equestrian center, swimming pool, fitness center, river fishing, hiking, biking, and an array of concierge services.

According to Holloway, for most people who end up taking the plunge and making the High Country their seasonal or forever home, it begins with a rhetorical question after having vacationed in the mountains — something to the effect of: “Wouldn’t it be amazing to live here?”

But it’s only a select few who then go the next step of actually looking into what living in the High Country entails. “For those folks, we can help make what is essentially only a dream a reality,” Holloway said. “And, sure, there’s a lot of information online, but nothing substitutes for consulting with an expert, someone who actually lives and works here, and knows the ins and outs of what life in the High Country is all about. At Engel & Völkers, we call ourselves ‘trusted advisors,’ and that’s not some puffy marketing rhetoric. We help people realize their dreams, and we live it every day.”

According to Holloway, her agency can make sense of what can seem overwhelming to someone considering a move of such magnitude. “If you just dive in without any guidance to the abundance of information online, for example, from who knows what sources, it’s difficult to determine what’s important, practical or even a real issue. That’s what we’re here for,” she said.

Holloway says, typically, items like the following are what’s discussed initially with her clients.

So why Elk River in the first place?

“Elk River sits at an elevation of 5,000 feet. The summers are cool and comfortable. July averages 77 degrees during the day and 57 degrees at night. It’s perfect for trout fishing, hiking, biking, tennis, and other exciting outdoor activities. It’s an easy drive to Blowing Rock and Boone for year-round shopping and dining. Appalachian State University and Lees McRae College offer a variety of cultural experiences. It’s also one of the most beautiful spots in the world in which to live or visit.”

Where does one begin their search for a home?

“At Engel & Völkers, we handle real estate in the entire Banner Elk area. The Elk River Club is one of the communities we work in, largely because it is so unique. It’s the quintessential mountain community located just around the bend from the Town of Banner Elk and near the Blue Ridge Parkway, Asheville Regional Airport, medical facilities, and more. The Elk River Club is home to Jack Nicklaus’ first signature golf course in North Carolina, among the state’s Top 10 Courses. There are 40 acres of fenced pasture and paddocks in the club’s 22-stall Equestrian Center and an adjacent 140 acres of riding preserve and riding trails. The center attracts an array of casual to serious riders and even owners. There’s also trout fishing on a stretch of the Elk River, tennis courts, a swimming pool, fitness room, and more.”

What types of homes are available at the Banner Elk area?

”An array of homes in varying sizes, architectural styles, and elevations are available to please any homebuyer with his or her unique needs and lifestyle. Cottages and condominiums to estate homes with up to six bedrooms range from below $500,000 to more than $5 million. Single-acre lots to 5 acres or more are also available for custom building and are priced from below $100,000 to over $500,000.”

What about fly-in accommodations?

“At the Elk River Club, pilots enjoy a private on-site airport equipped with a 4,600-foot airstrip. The runway and private hangers are scrupulously maintained and can accommodate both private and corporate aircraft. A manned security gate controls access, with landing, usage, and parking fees billed annually or per landing. Elevation is 3,468 feet.”

Where do I start?

“Why not start with a call or email to Engel & Völkers? We can answer any initial questions you might have, or we can suggest some websites to visit, or both. You can also find current home and lot listings on our website. Just visit Engel & Völkers Banner Elk online at bannerelk.evrealestate.com.

“However you choose to begin your journey, we encourage you to just please start somewhere. Take that first step and turn ‘Wouldn’t it be amazing to live here?’ into ‘It sure is nice to be home.’ At Engel & Völkers, we’d love nothing more than to help you turn your dream into reality.”

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