Carolinas sweet to Calgarians
Couple enjoy life at The Cliffs project near Blue Ridge Mountains in U.S.
When Calgary residents seek a sunny, golf-centric second home in the U.S., they turn to the desert states.
But for a lake cottage, they look elsewhere. Mike Mazar found the best of both worlds at a diverse project that spans the states of South and North Carolina.
The Cliffs is a development consisting of seven residential communities along three regions of the Carolinas. They are located between Greenville, S.C., and Asheville, N.C.
Homes range in price from $500,000 to $4 million US.
Mazar and his wife, Leigh Kelln, enjoy teeing off at a scenic 18-hole golf course as much as the next person, but the Calgary couple wanted more to do during their down time.
“We wanted year-round golf and the Carolinas certainly have that,” says Mazar. “But we wanted other convenientlylocated activities — in particular, where our place is out there, it’s right on a lake.”
The Cliffs’ regions are called the mountain communities, which include subdivisions surrounded by the famous Blue Ridge Mountains; the Asheville community is a small town bordered by mountains and forest; and the lake communities are near Lake Keowee. Lake communities sit along the 7,486-hectare Lake Keowee and also offer a view of the mountains.
The Calgary couple bought their home about five years ago.
“We’ll play golf in the morning and be on the boat 15 minutes after our round is over,” says Mazar, who works as an equity research analyst for a bank.
The couple lives only a few minutes drive from one of seven golf courses at the Cliffs — and if you’re a member of one, you have access to them all.
“I’ve played a lot of golf in my life and I am 41 now,” says Mazar. “I’ve been playing since I was 10 years old — and literally, the courses we have access to are world class.”
The courses come in a variety of skill levels, he says, describing their “world-class conditions and a world-class design.”
For lakeside homes, there’s
C MVisit our website under the heading, ‘Rec Properties,’ for more photos and stories. the convenience of a dock. The couple has a boat and uses it to go fishing, water-skiing and wake boarding. “It’s convenient to fit a bunch of activities into one day,” says Mazar.
Beyond the fun and games, The Cliffs comes with a slate of amenities, including multiple restaurants, fitness centres, a market for groceries, hiking trails and an equestrian centre.
“That’s actually pretty important,” says Mazar, adding it’s otherwise about a 15-minute drive to the nearest town — “so it’s nice to have it all self-contained like that.”
Each community also has a “tremendous amount of arts,” says Brett Johnston, CEO of The Cliffs Communities.
“The golf is kind of a hook, but it’s not the only reason people stay or even buy,” he says. “I would say 25 per cent of our people are buying for golf only.”
Along with their home in The Cliffs, the Calgary couple has a home in Arizona.
“The problem with Phoenix is that nobody wants to be there in June, July and August because it’s simply too hot,” says Mazar.
“It’s a bit more of a moderate climate in the Carolinas, which was appealing to us as well. Looking out longer-term, and I’m not retiring any time soon, we wanted a place we could really live year-round.”
The couple heads to The Cliffs about seven times per year, he says.
“The way my job is, it takes me out east a fair amount anyways,” says Mazar.
“I’ll often pop down there if I am in New York or Toronto. I’m fairly lucky that I get to go down there quite a bit.”
The home the couple bought is about 3,700 square feet on about a hectare of land. It has three bedrooms and a patio, with what Mazar calls a “cottage type of look.”
Most of the buyers in The Cliffs range from their late 30s to mid-60s. “We are getting a lot of people who are looking to build generational memories,” says Johnston. Mazar is a research analyst for a Canadian bank. His job often takes him to eastern states and provinces. While he’s there, he visits the Carolinas, where he has a second home with his wife at a development called The Cliffs. He’s able to enjoy a variety of activities, with a cottage within walking distance from what he calls a “world-class” golf course and a dock on the lake. He and his wife like spending afternoons on the water, fishing and wake boarding.
One of the custom homes in a collection of communities called The Cliffs, which is located in North and South Carolina. The project offers year-round golf.