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Nancy MacLean Bio

Nancy MacLean

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, 31; Macy, 28 and Dilyn, 25 – 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 selling homes in the area and fell in love with the role of matching breathtaking mountain homes with homebuyers seeking the same escape that led her family to Fannin County.

Specializing in new construction, Nancy has seen a myriad of real estate trends surface during her time in Blue Ridge. For example, there was a time when master bedrooms were placed upstairs. Now, Nancy says, an increasing number of new homes feature master bedrooms on the ground floor, perhaps reflecting a burgeoning market of homebuyers who are 50 and older, just as the American population increasingly reflects those demographics. Homeowners also want to experience the majestic views from the inside as well as the outside, so more floor plans are accommodating that with vistas from living rooms, kitchens and bedrooms.

“The growth of Blue Ridge has bolstered the real estate market since it is a tourist attraction with many outdoor recreation opportunities, and popular restaurants and shops downtown,” Nancy said. “With features like the Cohutta Wilderness, Lake Blue Ridge, the Toccoa River and the proximity to Atlanta, there are substantial advantages Blue Ridge offers that other towns in the tri-state area don’t have.”
The aforementioned advantages inspire many homebuyers to eventually transform their status as a vacation home owner to a permanent resident.

“It is an evolution for a lot of people,” Nancy said. “They start with a vacation home or a vacation rental investment, and then become so enamored with the area that they decide to build or buy a permanent home, whether it is for retirement or relocating here before retirement.”

Blue Ridge and Fannin County are attractive to many visitors, longtime residents and prospective residents because it has ample recreation, pristine beauty, the shops and restaurants of Blue Ridge and a comfortable drive to Atlanta. The area also has the isolation and solitude that several other mountain resort towns cannot boast.

“Blue Ridge has more attractions and infrastructure than it did even 10 years ago, and that is a benefit for the real estate market and for prospective buyers of second homes, vacation rentals and permanent residences,” Nancy said. “Fortunately, this region has not lost its tranquility. It is a peaceful destination that is a welcomed step back in time, and that is why we live here.”


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Nancy MacLean
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers,

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Nancy MacLean, Associate Broker
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers 
2460 East 1st Street, Ste B3
Blue Ridge, GA 30513

(706) 633-9671

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