Wide Open Spaces – In Luxury Homes
Among the many lessons we’re learning from the pandemic is that we want—need, crave!—space. Not the outer kind, but right here at home. For both mental and physical reasons, first- and second-home buyers are ditching urban for rural where they can enjoy the quiet and savor the serenity that comes with social-distancing.
When prescription becomes choice, buyers will continue to look for elbow room in the form of wide-open spaces, a rich menu of outdoor amenities, and a family-friendly environment. Add the ability to work from home and it’s a sure-thing that communities with acreage and activities will remain in high demand.
Here are a few communities that check off all the boxes—including the ability to live comfortably in one’s own box.
Boot Ranch – Fredericksburg, Texas
The Texas Hill Country has long been a magnet for the 20 million Texas who live within a four-hour drive. The region is as wide open as the West, with picture-perfect small towns, more than 50 wineries, and a laid-back attitude. Smack in the middle sits the 2,000-acre Boot Ranch, which adds plenty to do on-site, including an award-winning golf course and flexible practice areas, pools, lakes, trails, and shooting.
Dozens of families fled Houston, Dallas, and other lone star cities back in March and are still there, enjoying chef-prepared meals and fresh groceries available for curbside pickup or doorstep delivery. As proof of the community’s appeal, since Covid commenced, they’ve sold 15 homes averaging $2 million and lots averaging $625,000.
Desert Mountain – North Scottsdale, Arizona
Six feet apart could just as easily be 60 or 600 on “The Mountain,” where residents enjoy private places and uncrowded spaces. The 8,000 acres of high-desert glory features miles of trails ideal for hiking, biking, and horseback riding, while still leaving an untouched vastness where the ears can thrill to the magic of near silence—barely perceptible breezes, the skittering of lizards among the cacti and brush, nothing louder than the calling of birds and the canter of a horse’s hooves. The proprietary Interactive Trail Guide—a touch-screen monitor at the trailhead—that directs hikers and riders off the beaten track and along edges of the Continental Mountains, among the desert’s mysteries, and through a river basin bursting with color.
Famous as the only property in the world with six Jack Nicklaus Signature golf courses, Desert Mountain also offers a full-service spa, dozens of other sports, 10 restaurants, and temperatures noticeably cooler than the Valley of the Sun it looks out upon.
Reynolds Lake Oconee – Eatonton, Georgia
Sitting on 12,000 acres equidistant from Atlanta and Augusta, Reynolds Lake Oconee is a world unto itself. Everything centers around Lake Oconee, the state’s second largest lake, which provides exceptional fishing, swimming, boating, water skiing, camping, picnicking, and more.
Four full-service marinas assure that access is always available to members and guests. On land, six golf courses from a who’s who of architects offer enjoyment to all levels of golfers along with an incomparable teaching and club-fitting facility. Miles of trails for walking and biking bring nature up-close and personal, while a choice of xxx restaurants bring a choice of flavors into residents’ homes. Proudly private with an ingenious master plan that puts the emphasis on personal space and expansiveness, RLO is a “breadth” of fresh air.
Santa Lucia Preserve – Monterey Peninsula, California
In many ways, social distancing has been part of the Santa Lucia Preserve’s culture since its founding over 25 years ago. Only 2,000 of the community’s 18,000 acres have seen any development, with the remainder a perpetually endowed natural preserve encompassing one of the most biodiverse and threatened areas in the world.
Embracing the ethos of conservation, community, and culture, residents are active and engaged, enjoying a nationally ranked top-100 golf course and club, a multi-discipline equestrian center, and a choice of dining venues that specialize in pairing local wines with home-grown, organic cuisine. An extensive network of more than 100 miles of trails goes through different ecosystems, on foot, bike, or hoof, while members and guests also enjoy boating, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and other watersports on the 18-acre lake.