What About Cost?

How do prices run for property?

Most people discover it’s more expensive to purchase property here than they expected. Generally speaking, the Blowing Rock area is the most expensive for existing homes and for lots/land. Some developments are as expensive. Also generally speaking, the further away from Blowing Rock you’re willing to be, the less expensive will be property.

Do You Prefer to Build?


It’s difficult to find a good building lot for less than $30,000. Lots priced lower often end up costing as much, or more, due to the excavation costs of our mountainous terrain. Expect to spend $50,000 for a lot in an established neighborhood relatively near town, and, if you want the most fashionable neighborhoods, such as with long-range views or near Blowing Rock, lots begin at around $75,000. As in the case of tracts of land, lots can be purchased for less, if it suits your needs to drive 30-40 minutes outside the Boone/Blowing Rock area.


Land prices vary considerably. It’s highly unlikely you will find land for as little as $5,000 per acre anywhere in Watauga, Avery, or Ashe. Land near that price will probably be steep, wooded hillside in a 10-acre parcel suitable for only one building site, and located 30-40 minutes from Boone/Blowing Rock. 10-acre tracts are fairly common due to a complicated state law that allows division of land into tracts no smaller than 10 acres to be exempt from subdivision regulations. If you purchase a 10-acre tract, you’ll need to take this state law into consideration before selling a part of the 10 acres. If you’re thinking of purchasing a few acres, expect to spend upwards from $10000 per acre. As mentioned elsewhere, because our counties have no zoning outside cities, you’ll want to protect yourself by thinking what might be built next to you in the future.

Building costs

Keep in mind that contractors now find it necessary to build what we in the industry term a ‘plain Jane’ house for about $150/square foot. Extras such as cathedral ceilings, tile countertops, picture windows, hard-wood floors push up the price. Even if you plan on doing a lot of the construction yourself, keep in mind that prices for materials are more expensive here — due to the necessity to truck them in — than even 30 miles away, ‘down the mountain,’ as we say. Also, due to the expansion in building here, contractors are often backed up for starting new construction. And, sub-contractors are, as well.

Existing Housing

What’s available, in general? As an index, consider that single-wide trailers range from $60,000 to $90,000. Doublewides in good condition range from $80,000 to $160,000. Why am I telling you that? Because it means houses on a lot begin over $100,000. A few houses are available under $130,000. Quite a few are on the market in the $130,000 to $200,000 range. A fair number exist in the $200,000 to $300,000, and some exquisite, very expensive homes above $300,000 on up to homes over $1,000,000.

The less expensive homes will be fixer-uppers or homes further from the Boone/ Blowing Rock area. A typical price for a fixer-upper near Boone would be up to $200,000 for about 1,000 square feet on a lot. Houses under $100,000 are rare. Almost all will be fixer-uppers about 800 square feet or less, on a lot, and they don’t stay on the market very long. These houses are in high demand for investment, i.e., as rentals to students or tourists. If a ‘plain Jane’ house plus some acreage suits your needs, think in terms of spending at least around $150/ square foot, even for existing construction, plus at least $10,000 per acre. Prices in the Blowing Rock area would exceed that; prices a 30-40 minute drive outside the Boone/Blowing Rock area might be less.

Log cabins

Expect to spend at the very least over $230,000 for a log cabin on a lot. These don’t usually stay on the market long and typically will have about 1,200 square feet [two bedrooms with a loft sleeping area]. For a quaint or larger log cabin on acreage or a cabin with a view, expect to spend over $350,000.

Condos and townhouses

These tend to fall into two categories: those preferred by students and those preferred by non-students. ASU’s expanding student population outgrew dorm space years ago. Parents of ASU students realized the nature of the local real estate market makes it very advantageous to purchase a condo for their student and rent out the extra bedrooms to help pay the mortgage, then sell at a profit when their child graduates. Students live in most of the condos in Boone. A few, rather pricey, and mostly new condos/townhouses are available for those who desire a quieter, more settled experience. Condos in the Blowing Rock area are all quite expensive [a two-bedroom condo for $150,000 would be a great deal there]. For a two-bedroom condo under $125,000 non-students will probably do best in the Foscoe area, or in Banner Elk. Condos characteristically do not stay on the market as long as homes.



Serving the High Country

of North Carolina

Contact Info

Email: hThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: 828-264-1434