Emerald Green is a relatively large (by Sullivan standards) lake community in Rock Hill that was developed starting in the late 1970’s. The first houses built there were primarily modest ‘vacation style’ – A-frames and vacation chalets. But over 30 years, the style shifted to more ‘primary style’ houses, including ranches, bi-levels and 2 story colonials, that shifted the feel to more ‘suburban’ than ‘mountain getaway’. That more suburban aesthetic, including paved streets and street lights, seemed to limit the appeal of Emerald Green among the newer crop of younger, second home buyers — and Emerald Green could be a tough sell, even though the community is very well kept with great recreational amenities, including a swimming pool, tennis courts, community beach, clubhouse, and sport courts.
This year I’m noticing that younger second home buyers, often with young children, who would have bypassed Emerald Green in the past are giving the community a second look. In fact, right now I have 2 clients, both couples in their 30’s with young children, pursuing purchases there. I hear from other brokers who do a lot of work in Emerald Green that they, too, are seeing younger buyers.
One reason is the relative value of Emerald Green. You can find a non-lakefront house there with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths in good condition for under $250,000 to $300,000 – something that’s very difficult in other lake communities like Wolf Lake or Lake Devenoge that have a more ‘mountain lake’ feel. Emerald Green also has a good selection of houses available for sale, something in short supply in many other lake areas. Another real draw is that, due to the size of the community, there is a greater likelihood that children will find compatible playmates.
There’s a somewhat predictable turnover cycle on second homes. Families often buy them when they have young children, and then look to sell them when they near retirement or the children are grown. The other cycle apparent in Emerald Green is snowbirds buying a house in their early retirement years, particularly to spend time in the summer with their grandchildren, and many of those owners are now in their later retirement years with older granschildren. In both scanraios, the cycle can be 15, 20 or 25 years, and many of the houses in Emerald Green are now reaching that turnover point. The result could be a dramatic downward shift in the age profile at Emerald Green.