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As the real estate market continues to improve, America’s well-known vacation home locations have become increasingly more popular. ERA Real Estate has identified less well-known—and just as impressive—“hidden gem” markets for prospective buyers to take advantage of right now.

Kingsland, Ga. – A Natural Beauty
Located on the Georgia coast only three miles from the Florida state line, Kingsland, Ga., is an attractive destination for businesses, families and tourists alike. In close proximity to larger cities like Jacksonville, Fla., and Savannah, Ga., this quaint coastal town provides locals with access to both the busy streets of a metropolis and the white sandy beaches of an untouched natural beauty. With its very mild climate, local residents can enjoy both the indoor and outdoor activities the town offers all year long.

“Being minutes from the Jacksonville airport, Kingsland and nearby St. Mary’s and Woodbine have easy access to all the shopping and entertainment that can be desired,” explains ERA Kings Bay Realty broker Nancy Stasinis. “With prices averaging around $134,700 for a single-family home, the area is hard to pass up. But most importantly, the friendly residents are the most valued asset to our area, and have created a welcoming environment for any newcomer.”

Kennewick, Wash. – The Sunshine City
With more than 300 days of sunshine each year, it’s no wonder Kennewick, Wash., has quietly become not only one of the hottest tourist attractions on the west coast, but an up-and-coming residential area as well. As one of the state’s famous Tri-Cities, Kennewick is located in the heart of Washington’s wine country alongside the monumental Columbia River and Lewis and Clark Trail.

“Kennewick’s natural attractions and exceptional sunshine provide a variety of recreational activities for local families,” explains ERA Sun River broker Kris Houston. “Whether you’re looking for active days filled with biking, fishing and hiking, or more leisurely days spent exploring a vineyard, Kennewick has vacationers covered to the fullest. And with average home prices currently around $215,000, it’s an affordable option for many.”

Nashville, Tenn. – Big City in a Small Town Body
Known for its rich music history and old-school southern charm, Nashville, Tenn., has recently earned honors for its nightlife, restaurants, economic health, barbecue and even its friendly people. With 2,700 acres of walking and bike trails and 21 undergraduate and post-graduate colleges and universities, it’s no wonder the Music City area has quietly entered into the spotlight as a second-home option.

According to Casey Brown, a broker with Reliant Realty ERA Powered, “Some like the modern city center while others are drawn to the nearby countryside. From music to sports teams and so much more – and median single-family home prices around $235,000 – it’s easy to see why so many people from around the country and world choose to make Nashville and Middle Tennessee their new home. And if you’re looking to bring your business with you to your second home, Nashville’s favorable business taxes are high on everyone’s list.”

Amelia Island, Fla. – A Coastal Treasure
Part of the famous Sea Islands chain in the Southeastern Atlantic, Amelia Island boasts 13 miles of pristine, quiet beaches that are easy to reach and hard to forget. The barrier island was one of Florida’s first luxury tourist destinations, attracting wealthy vacationers and socialites for more than a century. But its beautiful scenery, native wildlife and crystal clear waters have since enticed a more permanent community of local residents. At only 30 miles from Jacksonville, Fla., Amelia Island provides both the comradery of a quaint town with the accessibility of a larger city.

“Amelia Island is truly a precious gem, referred to by locals simply as ‘Amelia,’” says Steve Simmons, broker at ERA Fernandina Beach Realty. “The island’s beauty is enhanced by its natural boundaries, which provide a perfect setting for two upscale resort communities that coexist with our historical downtown waterfront community of Fernandina Beach. With average prices just under $314,800 for a single-family home, Amelia Island offers attainable luxury for many and is quickly flourishing.”

Lake Norman, N.C. – A City-Side Oasis
Want to go between lake and city but don’t feel like driving more than an hour? Lake Norman, N.C., a 34-mile long man-made lake constructed only 15 miles from bustling downtown Charlotte, N.C., is the way to go. Whether checking out native reptiles at the Latta Plantation Nature Center or taking jet skis out for a spin from Kings Point Morningstar Marina, Lake Norman has the perfect secret destination for people of all ages.

Scott Wilkinson, a broker at ERA Wilkinson, believes adventure opportunities are endless in the area. “Lake Norman boasts more than 520 miles of stunning shorelines that provide local residents with the opportunity to improve their water sport skills or to simple relax with family. With an average price of about $446,300 for a single-family home, Lake Norman is a perfect place to make memories for generations to come.”

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