Asheville, NC has long been one of the most popular places in the East to retire, both for its mild climate and low cost of living. It has charming, thriving downtown core and at about 100,000 residents, it's the perfect size -- enough a city to be cosmopolitan, but small enough to get around without a hassle.
Those attractions -- and the gorgeous setting in the Blue Ridge Mountains -- were going to make The Cliffs group of residential golf developments hot properties. Tom Fazio, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player all designed courses within the chain of eight developments, and in 2007 Tiger Woods was signed to produce his first American course design there.
But the real estate downturn came at the wrong time for the original owners, and they sold the developments through bankruptcy in 2013.
Two years later, things have turned around at The Cliffs. Woods' course is on permanent hold, but if you buy property in one of the developments and chip in $50,000 for a membership, you get access to all seven private clubs - including Fazio's Keowee Springs and Keowee Vineyards, Nicklaus' Walnut Cove and Keowee Falls and Gary Player's Mountain Park. [#image: /photos/55ad7dd0add713143b42d7c0]|||loop-ashevillehouse-520.jpg|||
Even in the worst of times, they weren't exactly putting up mobile homes on the breathtaking mountainside and lakeside plots. If you have $4.25 million to spare, you can get into this custom home adjacent to Nicklaus' Walnut Cove layout, a 7300-yard, par-71 challenge routed through an old farm and old-growth trees.
At 7,000 square feet, five bedrooms and five baths, it has plenty of room for extended family in for a golf weekend—all of whom play free on the Family Legacy membership. In addition to its own elevator, the home has 2,000 square feet of outside decking, five fireplaces, a home theater and a dedicated kid room with built-in bunks and storage lockers.
The best part is that's five minutes from Asheville's regional airport, and 15 miles from downtown Asheville proper. Guests can tee it up in the morning, visit the Biltmore Estate and have lunch at the circa-1913 Grove Park Inn.