Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate in the Mountains

    Tucked in the Blue Ridge Mountains of southern Appalachia amid vibrant colors and a postcard-perfect setting, the town of Blue Ridge is a treasured enclave for outdoor recreation enthusiasts, full-time residents, vacationers and bigger city dwellers who flock here for a tranquil escape in their second homes.

    Nancy MacLean understands the appeal. Years before she established herself as one of the leading Realtors in the north Georgia mountains, she was one of those dreamers longing for a place where she and her husband could raise their three daughters in a town where residents are neighbors and friends, and much of the landscape is unspoiled considering that 42 percent of the area is composed of forest land and a 30,000-acre National Wildlife Preserve known as the Cohutta Wilderness.

    Licensed in Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee, Nancy is based in an office at Better Homes and Gardens Realestate in the Mountains, nestled in Blue Ridge. Here, in a spacious cabin that even executives who work from lavish urban high-rises would envy, prospective buyers seek her guidance for permanent homes and vacation properties where they can bask in the view of natural treasures like the mountains, Lake Blue Ridge, the Toccoa River and rippling creeks and streams that teem with trout and seem to sing as harmonious as a Whippoorwill.

    Though she was born and raised in rural northern New Jersey before earning a bachelor¿s degree in advertising and marketing from Montclair State University, Nancy has a cordial and welcoming personality and spirit that is more reflective of a native of the north Georgia mountains. She will gladly share the story of how she arrived here if you ask. It is a tale that mirrors why Blue Ridge attracts adults of all ages looking for an inviting lifestyle adjustment.

    The mother of three daughters ¿ Carly, Macy and Dilyn, ¿ Nancy first learned about Blue Ridge in 1990 when she answered a magazine advertisement to receive a brochure advertising 5 ½ acres for $12,000. She missed the change of seasons, and so did her husband, who she met in Dunedin but hails from New Jersey. At the time, the couple lived in Brooksville, a small town north of Tampa, where Nancy helped her husband operate a drywall company.

    A year later, on the way to a family reunion in northern New Jersey, they decided to take the scenic route on the then new Highway 575 corridor and stopped for lunch in Blue Ridge. and amazingly saw a sign for Dyer Realty, the same company that sent the brochure. They stopped in, asked an agent where the property was located, drove for a look and then made an offer and left. Days later, they learned the offer was accepted.

    ¿We both yearned to return to a mountain lifestyle with a change of seasons like we both had growing up, but we didn¿t plan on driving through Blue Ridge and we were astonished when we looked out the restaurant window and saw a sign of the same real estate company that mailed us the brochure,¿ Nancy said with a smile. ¿We considered that a sign that this is where we needed to be.¿

    Their journey from Florida to Blue Ridge took a long road before they relocated here full time. They made numerous trips to the area over the next few years, renting cabins and envisioning the day when they would build a home and remain in the mountains for good. In 1994, they listed their home in Brooksville, and to their amazement it sold three days later.

    ¿Our daughters were 5, 8 and 11 at the time, and we felt that Blue Ridge was a perfect place to raise them and spend the next chapter of our lives together,¿ Nancy said. ¿We officially relocated here on July 4, 1994.¿

    Nancy made her debut in the real estate field in 1998. Her husband moved his drywall business here, and they built a spec home on a creek. Enthralled with the real estate field, she pursued a license, started se