Agent: Rachel Callihan, Georgia Mountain & Lake Properties, 706-258-8067, email@example.com
Budget Line: A retreat in Blue Ridge where the family can get away and enjoy mountain life
ONLY WHAT'S BELOW HERE PRINTS:
By C. W. Cameron For the Journal-Constitution
Who: Al Vega, 48, is a senior vice president of a healthcare services company. He enjoys his vacation home with his three daughters: Madi, 20, Rachael, 19 and Lana, 13.
What: Al describes his house as a two-story cabin that looks like a lodge. The main floor is clad in logs, and the roof is copper. There are two bedrooms, a living room, eating area and kitchen on the main level and upstairs is a loft and master bedroom. The ground level is a walk-out basement with a bedroom, bathroom and game room. The house features two stone fireplaces and is completely wooden inside - wood floors, wood ceiling, wood walls. A wrap-around porch encircles the cabin. "Depending on the season, we have a variety of views from just about anywhere you look," he says.
How long does it take to get there? Al lives in Alpharetta, about 80 miles away. "It takes us an hour and twenty minutes to get there and we typically go at least one weekend a month year ‘round. In the summer, we spend every other weekend up there and we do a lot of the holidays there like Thanksgiving and Christmas."
Vega tells us more about his mountain home.
Boating is a big factor: "We had been going up there for probably the last two years before I bought this house. We started looking using Blue Ridge as the center of our search because we didn't want to be too far from ‘civilization'. We wanted to be able to put a boat up on the lake, and Lake Blue Ridge is right next to town. The cabin is literally ten minutes to the marina.
The differences between lakes: "I keep a boat at Lake Lanier but it's gotten too crowded. When we want to have big open water, we come to Lake Blue Ridge. On any given weekend over the summer there are no more than maybe a couple hundred boats. It's surrounded by the mountains, so it's also very picturesque. There's really a tremendous contrast between Lanier and Blue Ridge. One's a party lake and the other is a place to hang out. You can jet ski on Lake Blue Ridge without hitting someone.
A great place for family: "Many weekends Lana brings friends up so we've got air hockey and a pool table and a hot tub. It's a fun place for kids. In the summer there are lots of other activities. The kids like to go horseback riding and you can go tubing on the Toccoa which is not too far away.
Blue ridge is charming: "The town has a lot of neat shops including a little coffee house in the middle of town in used to be an old bank building. We take the train a couple of times a year, too. It's like a completely different world when you're up here. The most wonderful thing is that it's so close and yet so far away in atmosphere. It's very retreat-like. That's why we're up here."
Sidebar on Mineral Bluff:
Vega's home has a mailing address of Mineral Bluff. Although he says that's primarily a function of which side of Hwy. 60 you're on, Mineral Bluff was once a thriving tourist town where people came to enjoy the waters from the mineral springs. Rachel Callihan, Realtor with Georgia Mountain & Lake Properties, says Mineral Bluff is a quaint little town that predates Blue Ridge, and adds, "There's not much more than a crossroads there now, but the Toccoa River runs through the area and subdivisions are being built that have 50-mile views of the surrounding mountains."
Callihan says, "The area is reasonably priced and centrally located to Atlanta, Chattanooga and Murphy, North Carolina. There's a new golf and river community being built in the area as well."
- 531 Pine Path Circle; two-bedroom two-bath older cabin; 2.23 acres; sold for $150,000.
- 1 Hardscrabble Road; three-bedroom three-bath on over 2 acres, approximately 4,000 square feet; mountain views; $360,000.
- Bluebird Lane, tract of 4.76 wooded acres, mountain view; $79,000.