The Changing Face of the NC High Country

In a series entitled The Changing Face of NC, Spectrum News covers why North Carolina has become one of the fastest growing states.

828 Real Estate agent, Susan Stelling, was recently featured in their article on The Boom in Boone. The article and video, produced by Rose Eiklor, discusses the pressure of keeping old and new traditions, in a rapidly evolving state.

With all the people moving in, the real estate market in Boone is seeing a big boom. Currently the demand is greatly outweighing the inventory.

Why Has Boone Grown in Popularity?

The town of Boone and the surrounding areas of the High Country of North Carolina have changed considerably over the last ten years.

Not only has the population increased, but the number of full time residents has also grown. What once was a small town is now home to people from all over the world!

Here’s some of the reasons Susan believes Boone, has grown in popularity, as a local Boon-ie and North Carolina Realtor.

Increased Enrollment at Appalachian State University

A major force behind the rise in population stems from the increasing popularity and enrollment of Appalachian State University. Fall 2020 was a record breaking student enrollment of 20,023 students, making Boone popular for investment property seekers.

Appalachian State was featured in the September 2001 edition of Time’s Colleges of the Year and in the 2021 US News Best Colleges Rankings, AppState was ranked #6 in the South. Boone was featured in the 2015 edition of Outside Magazine Best Towns in America, and has been reviewed by the New York Times in 2019.

The most recent spotlight was a shocking 2021 Super Bowl Ad that featured Stephen Colbert, Tom Hanks and Sam Elliot in an effort to showcase a local bookstore, Foggy Pine Books!

The Economy is Booming

With more people moving and visiting the High Country of North Carolina, the economy continues to boom. As the population grows, so does the development of infrastructure.

Increased public transportation, apartment buildings, shopping centers, hotels, tourist attractions, sporting events, restaurants, boutiques – just about every aspect of our economy has experienced some type of change.

Don’t forget about the winter sports destinations that bring in seasonal tourism income too!

Line graph of historic sales by year of home in the High Country of North Carolina.

Time frame is from Jan 2011 to Apr 2021 Property Type is ‘Residential’ Property Sub Type is one of ‘Single Family’, ‘Condo/Townhouse’ County Or Parish is one of ‘Alleghany’, ‘Ashe’, ‘Avery’ Results calculated from 9,213 listings

People Want to Buy Real Estate in the Mountains

Since the pandemic, the mountains have become more of a destination and a place people want to move. Real estate housing trends for 2021 show our market has been heavily influenced by buyers looking for a place to escape the heat of summer or the crowded city. There is something that draws people to the fresh air of the high country atmosphere, that gains attention on a national scale.

For the real estate market the increase in total volume in sales is astounding. In 2011 the gross sales volume was just over $98 million, compared to the gross sales volume in 2020 of just under $500 million! That is quite the booming market.

The Urban Flight Outdoors

“It’s almost like people’s preferences have changed and what they really want to be happy is to go outside with their kids. Hike, fish, snowboard, ski, tube,” Stelling explains.

At the time Susan was featured in the article, she had one home receive 28 offers in the first 48 hours! A lot of buyers are in the market for a vacation home and rely on a resort and second property specialist to aid them through this buying process.

Living in Modern Day Boone

It seems that everyone is captivated by the quaint, yet exciting mountain town that is Boone. The High Country of North Carolina poses boundless opportunity for the modern day.

If you’re ready to make a step towards living in Boone, we’re here to match you with the right Realtor that works for you.

About the Author

Susan is proud to be a native Tarheel, but as a military brat she also spent many years growing up in Kodiak, Alaska. Her father was a helicopter pilot in the Marines and then the U.S. Coast Guard, which allowed her to experience and appreciate both the South East and the Pacific NorthWest. After spending most of her High School years in Kodiak, her family was stationed back to Elizabeth City, NC. When the time came to choose a college to attend, Susan longed for something that reminded her a bit of the beautiful mossy forests of Alaska and the mountain culture that she had grown to love. Upon arrival in Boone in 2002 she immediately felt like she had come home. Although Susan is not a “true Wataugan,” she now considers the High Country of North Carolina her home. Susan loves to travel and even spent a semester abroad in County Cork, Ireland. Susan graduated from Appalachian State University in 2006 with a Bachelors degree in History, Secondary Education. Susan met her husband, David Stelling, while attending ASU. David is originally from Georgia and is a Professional Fly Fishing Guide and Outfitter in North Carolina, Tennessee and Alaska. Susan has dedicated the past 10 years of her life teaching at risk youth in western North Carolina in the award winning Blue Ridge Academy. Located in Avery County, it is a progressive and holistic approach to public education on a secondary level. Susan and David had their first child in 2015. Sophronia Woods Stelling is the light of their lives and both are grateful to have the awesome experience of parenthood. Susan and David feel fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful places and supportive communities on earth. The High Country is a wonderful place to not only vacation, but also to raise a family. Susann decided to expand her career portfolio and became a licensed real estate broker in North Carolina this past year. Susan is eager to begin this new journey and excited to bring the joy of living in the High Country to her future clients.