When we wrote about Southeastern North Carolina's Brunswick County in 2011, it was the 37th fastest growing county in the U.S. and the 2nd fastest growing county in North Carolina. Because of its wide sandy beaches, one-of-kind beach towns, championship ...


The Continued Growth of Brunswick County, North Carolina and more...

The Continued Growth of Brunswick County, North Carolina

Brunswick County NC Growth

When we wrote about Southeastern North Carolina's Brunswick County in 2011, it was the 37th fastest growing county in the U.S. and the 2nd fastest growing county in North Carolina. Because of its wide sandy beaches, one-of-kind beach towns, championship golf courses, Southern charm, and laid-back lifestyle - the area continues to be a magnet for vacationers, retirees and second-home buyers alike.

And along with the influx of so many new residents over the years, comes additional commercial growth and new businesses, the expansion of current master-planned developments, the construction of new communities, lots more traffic, and the need to ensure infrastructure that can accommodate the growth this area of coastal North Carolina is experiencing.

Traffic and Infrastructure
A recent editorial from January 2017 published by the Star-News in Wilmington, NC, noted that with all the growth and development in the area, "Brunswick should stay ahead of transportation needs."  The editorial congratulated Leland, a thriving town in north Brunswick County just across the river from the port city of Wilmington, NC, for commissioning a traffic study in the Brunswick Forest community after a road is built to connect the community of Mallory Creek Plantation, off NC 133, with Brunswick Forest, which is off US 74-76.

This will serve residents of the area as it will allow those living in Mallory Creek to access the busy retail area around the Leland Walmart without having to drive through Belville, NC - making the area more accessible to emergency responders.  The downside is, it will increase traffic at the intersection of Low Country Boulevard and Brunswick Forest Parkway.  Other intersections nearby will also be included in the traffic study.

In other recent traffic and infrastructure developments, the remaining 7.5 miles of the I-140 bypass, "which is expected to relieve traffic and contribute to economic development in Brunswick County," according to a November 11, 2016 Wilmington Star-News article, is nearing completion.  The bypass will provide drivers with a faster route around Wilmington, and is slated to open to traffic in November 2017.  The bypass will not only relieve summer traffic and daily commuter congestion, but will benefit the area economically, as it will serve as an amenity to draw more development to the area.

Real Estate Growth and Development
Brunswick Forest NC Community's Residential Community Growth The communities of Brunswick Forest, Mallory Creek and Compass Pointe in the Leland area of Brunswick County will all continue to grow, and Leland will see its retail boom continue.  A $42 million mixed-use development called Harrington Village will be under construction in 2017, and will include 30,000 square feet of commercial and retail space and 300 rental apartments.

A new development on 63 acres along the US 17 corridor between Ocean Gate Plaza and Ploof Road near the Leland Walmart is planned for 2017, and Weingarten Realty plans construction of two 10,000-square-foot retail buildings nearby in the Waterford commercial area.

A Wilmington Star-News article from late November 2016 stated that home prices in Brunswick County are showing growth as well.  According to statistics from the Brunswick County Association of Realtors (BCAR), the average price of homes rose in October 2016.

BCAR President Cynthia Walsh stated at the time that the county's real estate market "remains strong and steady," and that "our sales prices and units sold are showing steady growth while inventory is selling faster than last year.  All signs point to continued growth in the market as we head into winter."  The average sales price for a home in the area increased 4.4 percent from $236,765 to $247,136 in October 2016.

Both real estate experts in Brunswick County and just over the river in Wilmington, NC - in New Hanover County, expect the real estate market in the area to continue to grow and are optimistic about the future.

Brunswick Forest Homes For Sale While growth and development in Brunswick County is a plus, and certainly an improvement over the "zombie developments" in years past where developers sold lots, then abandoned them with no roads or other infrastructure in place to serve them - this 'real and substantial' growth "brings challenges to planners who must ensure that the infrastructure exists to accommodate that growth," as the January editorial the Star-News points out.  Quality developments like Brunswick Forest are responsible for much of this incredible growth.

Southeast Discovery sees Brunswick County in coastal North Carolina as an area in the Southeast region which will continue to attract new residents and experience population growth.  Here are the reasons why:

1.  Brunswick County offers a lower cost of living to retirees - low property taxes and housing costs.

2.  Brunswick County is in a geographically desirable area.  It is the 40-mile stretch between Wilmington, NC and Myrtle Beach, SC.  For those relocating from the Northeastern states, Brunswick County is within a day's drive to getting back to friends and family.

3.  This area of coastal North Carolina is far enough south to escape inclement winter weather yet still experiences a gentle four-season climate.

4.  Brunswick County, North Carolina is known for its beautiful beaches; Holden Beach, Sunset Beach, Ocean Isle Beach and for boating enthusiasts, the intracoastal waterway runs along the county's coastline.

If you'd like more information on Brunswick County real estate, Wilmington NC area homes and home sites for sale, contact us at info@southeastdiscovery.com or call 877.886.8388.  We have excellent resources on the ground we are happy to share with you.


Retirees Are On The Move – Migrating To Desirable Areas

Baby Boomers Relocating

Tom Sightings, blogger and author of "You Only Retire Once" shared his thoughts with US News, about a year ago, on "Why Retirees are Moving Again."  According to Sightings, "During the recession of 2008 and for a long time afterward, moving dropped off the map, especially for people who were retiring."

Drawing from our experience here at Southeast Discovery, we'd claim retirees choosing to relocate during the recession definitely slowed down from 2008 to 2012, but did not stop entirely.

For some years after the recession began, according to the Brookings Institution, both Florida and Nevada actually suffered out-migration.  Not because so many people were moving out of these states, but because fewer people were moving in.

"For half a decade, retirees stayed close to home.  They couldn't sell their house, so they couldn't move.  Many people were forced to retire early, which meant their finances were even more stressed.  Many baby boomers also still had kids in school, and so they didn't want to move anyway.

"But now things have changed.  Moving is back in style.  In addition to new retirees, there is a backlog of people who retired a few years ago, who now want to move out of big expensive states and into warmer, less expensive states."

Tom Sightings noted five reasons retirees are once again on the move:

  • Retirees can finally sell their current homes. Real estate is finally rebounding from the Great Recession and sales and prices have returned to levels prior to the recession in many areas of the country.  The rise in home prices means fewer people are under water on their mortgage, giving them more equity and more options.
  • Stock portfolios have recovered. Many retirees and/or those planning on retiring, suffered loses in their retirement savings accounts during the recession and the market downturn.  With the stock market making all time highs, baby boomers now feel much more confident with their investment portfolios.
  • It's expensive to live in many northern states. Retirees are motivated to move to avoid high taxes and the high cost of living.
  • Seeking a more moderate climate. Retirees are younger and healthier compared to previous generations - and more active as well, so they are seeking climates that coincide with a healthier lifestyle; where they can enjoy the outdoors and stay active year-round.
  • Even boomers who aren't retiring are leaving the cold expensive North. Some have been downsized by their employers but others are downsizing themselves.  They are hoping to leverage their work experience and knowledge and find work where they choose to relocate to.  They may accept lower paying but less stressful jobs - or part time work with the goal of gaining more leisure time in a lower cost of living area.

One aspect that wasn't mentioned in the US News piece was crime rate. But a 2016 report by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies noted that a "low crime rate" was given as reason for selecting a retirement destination by 37% of respondents.  A 2016 article in the Chicago Tribune noted that in 2015, the Chicago metropolitan area experienced its first population decline since 1990 and noted that reasons for the decline "include high taxes, the state budget stalemate, crime, the unemployment rate and the weather."

United Van Lines and Allied Van Lines, two of the nation's largest movers, annually report on trends in moving.  Looking at their reports for 2016, one can see where people are migrating from - and which destinations they are choosing:

  • New Jersey - 63% outbound, 37% inbound.
  • Illinois - 63% outbound, 37% inbound.
  • New York - 63% outbound, 37% inbound.
  • Connecticut - 60% outbound, 40% inbound.

Conversely in the Southeast one finds:

  • North Carolina - 58% inbound, 42% outbound.
  • South Carolina - 60% inbound, 40% outbound.
  • Florida - 57% inbound, 43% outbound.
  • Tennessee - 55% inbound, 45% outbound.
  • Georgia - 52% inbound, 48% outbound.

Some of the attributes people find inviting about the Southeast:

Hendersonville, North Carolina North Carolina - Coastal living, mountain living and anything in-between from urban Raleigh and Charlotte to more rural Wilmington, Boone and Asheville.  Four distinct seasons - mostly mild winters, but the mountains offer the opportunity for snow skiing and winter hiking.  Outdoors adventure mecca; hiking, biking, fishing, whitewater rafting, zip lining and more.

  • Average home value in North Carolina is $144,600 - but that can vary from area to area of the state.  For instance, the median home value in Asheville, NC is $242,700.
  • Cost of living in North Carolina is about 5% below average.

South Carolina - Coastal living and the nonpareil style of the Low Country.  Mild year round climate.  You can just begin to taste the mountains in the northwest corner of the state.  A golfer's mecca plus outstanding outdoor adventures in the Upstate.

  • Average home value in South Carolina is around $130,000 - but once again, this varies greatly by locale as Charleston, SC comes in at an average home value of $226,500.
  • South Carolina ranks about 7% below average cost of living.

Knoxville, Tennessee Tennessee - Beautiful Smoky Mountains to the eastern side of the state, the Cumberland Mountains near the central part of the state and a plethora of lakeside-living opportunities and a mild year round climate.

  • Average home value in Tennessee is around $120,000, but if you're looking at Knoxville, expect $164,900 and $245,000 in Nashville.
  • Cost of living in Tennessee also depends on the locale - with Knoxville coming in about 4% below the national average and Nashville is about 3% above.

Georgia - Another southern destination that stretches from the Atlantic to the Appalachians with mild year-round living.

  • Median home price in Georgia is around $142,000 - ranging from $270,000 in Atlanta to $116,000 in Columbus.
  • Cost of living in Georgia averages around 7% lower than national average but only 2% lower in Atlanta and around 3% lower in Savannah.

Florida - An ocean lover's dream with hundreds of miles of beaches on the Gulf and Atlantic sides.  And besides beaches, freshwater and saltwater fishing - there are more than 1,300 golf courses.  Florida can get a little hot during those summer months - but you'll likely never have a frigid February.

  • As you might expect, median home prices can vary quite a bit from Miami Beach ($400,000) to Tallahassee ($167,000) - so each city/town center can vary greatly.  Typically, the coastal areas are more expensive than the inland areas of the state.  The closer properties are to the water, the loftier their prices are.
  • Cost of living for Florida in general, is right at the national average.

As one might expect, with people from northern states fleeing cold temperatures, higher costs of living and craving a more relaxed year-round atmosphere the sunny South draws a lot of retirees.  Retirees make up:

  • About 19% of new residents in North Carolina.
  • About 32% in South Carolina.
  • About 18% in Tennessee.
  • About 34% in Florida.
  • About 14% in Georgia.

Crystal Coast, North Carolina So, if you are ready to retire, or ready to move, or both --- you'll find yourself in good company as there are plenty like you, doing the same thing.  Relocating from other states - drawn to the Southeast - and in search for the right area and community to call home.  The 2016 real estate markets in the Southeast region were the strongest we've seen since before the recession.  We are conservatively optimistic about 2017's real estate market as we continue to have a steady stream of buyers migrating to the region.

We're happy to help.  Feel free to fill out our online Questionnaire.  This is a great tool to help you get on your way.  We'll review your feedback - then send you an email with links to specific areas and communities in line with what you describe you're looking for.  You are also welcome to call our office and speak with us directly at 877.886.8388


Big Canoe – 10 Reasons To Consider This GA Mountain Community

Big Canoe Northern Georgia Community

Frequently, we have inquiries from our readers who are looking for Northern Georgia communities to consider.  We wanted to highlight Big Canoe, located one hour north of Atlanta in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  There are very few many master-planned communities who have four decades of history to point to, like Big Canoe.

This Georgia development appeals to a wide range of buyers - retirees relocating from all over the country, second home and vacation property buyers who like the idea of Big Canoe being accessible to a major international airport such as Atlanta, as well as full-time families who desire to raise their children outside of the urban and suburban sprawl.

Here are ten attributes we'd like to share about Big Canoe, especially for those who are searching for a mountain community with a strong focus on conservation, offering resort-style amenities and an active outdoor lifestyle.

#1: Great location and convenient living.

Big Canoe enjoys a convenient-yet-secluded location, one hour north of Atlanta.  The community is situated on 8,000 acres, including seven mountain tops, thousands of acres of seasonally changing mountain foliage, mountain lakes and streams, and miles of trails - yet GA 400 and other major highways provide easy access to the community's gates.  Big Canoe's resident make-up is 60% full-time residents, many of which commute to Atlanta for work, and the North Georgia towns of Dawsonville, Dahlonega and Blue Ridge are all nearby.

#2: Abundant resort-style amenities to choose from, with à la carte memberships available.

Big Canoe offers a robust suite of amenities, including 27 holes of championship golf and a driving range, a lake-front clubhouse, fitness center and spa, indoor and outdoor swimming, onsite dining and shopping, walking, biking and hiking trails, a racquet club with tennis and pickle ball, three dog parks, a marina and three lakes for fishing and boating, bocce ball, playgrounds, and more.  Whereas some master-planned communities have mandatory membership fees for property owners, residents of Big Canoe can tailor an amenity package based on their usage and interest level - thereby paying only for the amenities they'll use.  Consequently, there are a variety of membership levels available, as well as the option to pay daily or weekly rates.

#3: A socially active, welcoming community.

Big Canoe Pickleball and Tennis Courts Big Canoe offers more than 50 social clubs and volunteer organizations, and plenty of activities for all the residents, of different age groups, to enjoy.  Social gatherings and community events, many of which are complimentary, include annual events like the Easter Egg Hunt, Summer Concert Series at The Terraces, Fourth of July Fireworks Show, Oktoberfest, Trunk or Treat, and Brunch with Santa.  Social clubs include the Wildflower Bunch Garden Club, Canoe Cubs, Photography Club, Acoustic Jam, Dinner for 8, Artists Club, Trails Committee, Men's Golf Association, and many more.

#4: Wide variety of home styles, home sites, sizes and pricing to appeal to today’s real estate buyer.

One of the attributes that has made Big Canoe a success over the last four decades is this Georgia community's assortment of distinctive neighborhoods and various home types that appeal to a wide range of buyers and their desired price ranges.  These real estate choices include lakefront property, wooded home sites that offer privacy with mountain views, and homes and home sites offering long-range views of the Atlanta skyline.  Home styles blend in well with this mountain region and buyers are able to choose from golf course view homes, as well as homes that look on to the forests, streams, wildflower meadows, lakes, and walking trails.  In addition to resale homes, Big Canoe has home sites available that range from $40,000 to $300,000+, and new homes from $400,000 to $3,000,000+.  Architectural guidelines are in place to help protect property values and preserve the beauty and integrity of the community.

#5: The beauty of the land and a commitment to conservation - so it stays intact.

Big Canoe encompasses 8,000 acres; 2,000 of the acres are preserved green space.  Development is exercised with a commitment to sound land stewardship to preserve nature, with minimal disruption to wildlife.  Big Canoe homes are situated in their own forest and blend into the natural environment with minimal disturbance to the larger forest.

#6: Mild, all-season climate.

Big Canoe enjoys a mild four season climate allowing outdoor activities to be enjoyed year-round.  Given its higher mountain elevation, humidity levels are lower - yet severe winter weather is rare.

#7: Dog and pet friendly.

If you cherish your four legged family members, you'll be in good company because Big Canoe is very dog friendly.  Big Canoe offers three, fenced, well-maintained dog parks, which serve as a great place for residents to begin their day, with their pets - and meet up with fellow neighbors, who are also pet owners.  In addition, there is also a no-kill animal rescue shelter called Big Canoe Animal Rescue (BCAR) in the community that cares for homeless strays until they are adopted.

#8: Reasonable Property Owners Association (POA) fees.

Big-Canoe-Homes-For-Sale Big Canoe's annual dues are about $3,000 for homes/condos, and just under $1,970 annually for lot owners.  Given the array of amenities and social infrastructure along with Big Canoe being a seasoned community - their dues structure is reasonable.  The community is well-maintained, it is a gated, and Big Canoe has its own fire and public safety department, postal facility, clubhouse, 20 miles of trails, and many other compelling amenities.

#9: Wildlife is respected and preserved.

Big Canoe is registered with the Atlanta Audubon Society as an official Wildlife Sanctuary, and is home to many species of birds, including bald eagles, quail and wild turkeys, and black bear, deer, rabbits and squirrels as well.  For those who are nature lovers, enjoy the outdoors and appreciate authentic looking communities that have maintained their natural setting, Big Canoe should be on your radar to visit and see firsthand.

#10: Quality development and collaborative management.

The developer of Big Canoe, Big Canoe Company, invests in the community through its financial commitment to infrastructure, neighborhood development, home construction, marketing and real estate sales programs directed toward supporting both the resale and new real estate offerings being developed through Big Canoe.  Big Canoe Company also works with the Big Canoe Property Owners Association (POA), to create value for owners and visitors through its management of amenities and delivery of customer service.  The POA has $40 million in assets with which to maintain the community's facilities and infrastructure.

If you are considering relocating to the Southeast but aren't sure where to begin your search, we can help.  Fill out our online Questionnaire - and we'll take a look at your feedback and send you links to areas and communities in line with what you're looking for.  We've specialized in this market in the Southeast region for over a decade.  Southeast Discovery has been a trusted resource for providing candid information and firsthand insight on communities, developments, and general real estate throughout the Southeast on behalf of our readers.  We would be happy to help you with your search - and there is no cost to working with our firm, as we are paid by the selling side of all real estate transactions.  Call 877.886.8388 or email info@southeastdiscovery.com.


Illinois Top Outbound State In 2016 – The Land of Lincoln Is Losing Residents

Illinois Out Migration

It's known as the "Land of Lincoln"... it's home to the largest building in North America... it's where the first McDonald's opened... it's home to five professional sports teams -- baseball's White Sox and Cubs, football's Chicago Bears, hockey's Chicago Blackhawks, and basketball's Chicago Bulls...

It's on Lake Michigan and its western border is the famed Mississippi River... it's home to endless acres of farmland, forests, rolling hills and wetlands... it's even home to Metropolis, where a reporter "for a great metropolitan newspaper" sheds his outer clothes and saves the world as Superman...

It, of course, is Illinois.  And Illinois has a problem: It's losing residents.  The latest data from the U.S Census Bureau shows that, of eight states that lost population between July 1, 2015 and July 1, 2016, Illinois lost the most -- 37,508.  That's a net figure -- the number of people born or moving there, compared to the number who've died or packed their bags for good.  And the 2016 statistics weren't an aberration; the Census Bureau shows that, between July 2014 and July 2015, approximately 105,200 more people left Illinois than arrived.  United Van Lines, which has tracked migration patterns annually since 1977, released its latest analysis in January 2017, and it showed that Illinois moved up to No. 2 on its list of "Top Outbound States for 2016" -- and has been in the top five for the last eight years.  And it may not improve for the foreseeable future.

Why are people leaving?

The most recent statewide poll, conducted in October 2016 by the Simon Public Policy Institute, showed that 47 percent of respondents would like to leave Illinois -- and taxes, weather, government and jobs were cited as the main reasons.  The NBC affiliate station in Chicago quoted David Yepsen, director of the institute, as saying, "There are lots of reasons why people want to leave... Not much can be done about the weather but policy makers can do something about perceptions of the quality of services, tax competitiveness, tax fairness and educational and job opportunities."  Matthew Notowidigdo, associate professor of economics at Northwestern University, told the Chicago Sun-Times that "The reason why people are moving between states tends to reflect longer-run demographic trends."  Pennsylvania, New York and Connecticut - all with colder weather climates - also lost residents.  He added that many older people move to warmer climates.

But isn't it the same in other states?

In other Midwest and Northeast states, yes - to a degree.  But what makes Illinois unique - and causing residents to leave rather than live with it - is the state's long-term financial mess.  Once teetering on bankruptcy, Illinois lawmakers have been at an 18-month budget impasse, mostly due to partisan bickering.  The Illinois legislature is largely controlled by Democrats, while Gov. Bruce Rauner is a Republican.

What's being done to end the stalemate and migration?
Since late last year, Senate leaders have been burning the midnight oil in an attempt to craft a budget plan that will be palatable to state House members and the governor.  But their latest proposal might not sit well with residents.  According to the Chicago Tribune, it calls for a hike in the income tax rate from 3.75 percent to 4.99 percent, building more casinos, and limiting pension benefits and freeze property tax rates for two years.

What's been the reaction?
Not too favorable.  "We think it’s a terrible notion," Andrew Nelms of Americans for Prosperity told the Illinois News Service in late January.  What residents are seeing, he said, is that, "in exchange for a massive, 32 percent to 40 percent hike in the state income tax... they'll receive a temporary property tax freeze."  Gov. Rauner's spokeswoman Catherine Kelly told the Chicago Sun-Times, "In order to reverse this trend, we need structural reforms to create more jobs, lower property taxes, improve our schools, and enact term limits to fix our broken political system... The longer the majority party stalls and refuses to compromise, backing the status quo, trends like this will continue."

Are there other financial issues residents are concerned about?
Yes - cost of living.  While Illinois, as a whole, is at least in the ballpark when state-by-state comparisons are done, within the state there are wide gaps.  Back in April 2016, the Pew Research Center compared each state's cost-of-living figures - within each state, not just statewide (something it dubbed RPP, or "regional price parities").  It found that Chicago's cost-of-living was 34.6 percent higher than Danville's, a city just 140 miles to its south.

What other factors are contributing to the migration elsewhere?
One of the biggest is crime.  In Chicago, in 2016, 783 people were killed - the most since 1996, according to the Chicago Tribune, making it the deadliest year in Chicago in nearly two decades.   And, by Jan. 23, 2017, 228 people had been shot, compared to 216 shot at the start of 2016, the Tribune reported.  On Jan. 24, President Trump tweeted, "If Chicago doesn't fix the horrible 'carnage' that's going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016), I will send in the Feds!"

What happens if crime isn't reduced and the budget impasse is not resolved?
The Sun-Times reported that, if Illinois "continues to shrink in population when the official census is taken in 2020, the state could lose a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives" (Illinois currently has 18 House members).

So, where's everyone going?

While no scientific study's available showing where Illinois folks are heading to, Census Bureau stats offer a clue:  Among the "Top 10 States in Numeric Growth: 2015 to 2016," four were in the Southeast - Florida, North Carolina, Georgia and South Carolina.  The United Van Lines report said "Retirees are continuing to move to the Mountain and Pacific West... The Southern states also saw a high number of people moving in with 53 percent of total moves being inbound.  United Van Lines found the top reasons for moving south included company transfer/new job, retirement and proximity to family."  The University of North Carolina's Carolina Population Center reported in August 2016 that Georgia and North Carolina enjoyed the largest population growth in the "Baby Boomers/Retirees" category - 26 percent and 23 percent, respectively, from 2010 to 2015, which was faster than the national average.

If you are looking to relocate, from Illinois, or any other state to the Southeast region, Southeast Discovery would be happy to give you a hand.  Since 2004, we've been helping folks with this life endeavor - successfully finding the right area, community and home in Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina and Tennessee.  Fill out our online Questionnaire - and we'll send you back a reply with relevant information to your search - after we've reviewed your input.   There is no fee for our services.  We are paid by the selling side of all real estate transactions.


Benefits To Heading Southward – Live Longer, Happier, In Warmer Weather

Baby Boomers Sunshine Health Benefits

Yes, icky winter weather and its resulting crummy conditions are definitely good mood busters.  But are they also bad for your health?

There are some obvious reasons why living in locations with predominance of good weather can improve one's longevity:  more opportunity for Vitamin D and exercise, better mood / not depressed.

People are more motivated to exercise, walk or just go outside when it's sunny.  Watching TV or indoor activity is far less appealing when the sun is shining - and research backs this up.  But did you know warm weather also improves your memory?

Overall alertness and mental performance directly correlates with body temperature and are at their peak when one's body temperature is high according to research by Kenneth P. Wright Jr., Joseph T. Hull, Charles A. Czeisler published in the American Journal of Physiology as far back as 2002.  Yes, warmth can be achieved in any location with layers and heating, but isn't it preferable to shed the clothing, walk on the beach and soak up the negative ions and Vitamin D, too?

But, there's more.  Studies across 89 countries and presented at Stanford University have also shown that death rates are higher in cold climates / weather.  Not only is access to proper heat and housing an issue, but cold weather can also have a negative impact on health, especially the heart and respiratory system.

Laughter, relaxation and regular exercise, which are more possible with sunny weather, are proven to be as good for your heart as eating healthy and not smoking.  But, you may not know that people with hypertension alone, or in combination with another cardiovascular disease, experience cold-related cardio-respiratory symptoms more commonly than those without hypertension.  Reason?  The body over-working to regulate body temperature can increase blood pressure to unhealthy levels and cause long-term damage.

The importance of sunshine and being outdoors cannot be stressed enough.  There is a lot of evidence that Vitamin D, the real deal, not the supplement, and "earth-centered therapy" is extremely important to one's health.

In a nutshell, Vitamin D is the catalyst for many biochemical processes and helps nutrients perform properly.  It is proven that when a person has more exposure to the sun, the increases in Vitamin D provides higher levels of energy which makes bones stronger and, also, can help prevent cancer.

Earth-centered therapy, sometimes called green therapy or nature therapy, can have regenerative powers, improving mood and easing anxiety, stress, and depression.  More and more health care providers are giving "nature prescriptions" to help treat a variety of medical conditions such as post-partum blues, cancer fatigue, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and more.

Bottom line:  a sunnier climate is good for your health.  And, a sunny walk along the beach or a pleasant trail with friends rather than a solitary stint on a stationary bike in a room with recycled air is likely more preferable, too.

Here's a snapshot of average annual sunshine in various areas in several cities in the U.S., by comparison;

CITY/STATE                     % OF SUNSHINE           HOURS OF SUNSHINE         # OF CLEAR DAYS

Pittsburgh, PA                                  45                                       2,021                                        59/365

Indianapolis, IN                               55                                      2,440                                        88/365

Lansing, MI                                       51                                      2,392                                         71/365

Buffalo, NY                                       48                                      2,207                                         54/365

Columbus, OH                                 50                                      2,183                                         72/365

Miami, FL                                         70                                      3,154                                         74/365

Macon, GA                                       66                                      2,986                                        112/365

Greensboro, NC                              60                                      2,651                                        109/365

Columbia, SC                                  64                                      2,826                                        115/365

Nashville, TN                                  56                                      2,510                                        102/365

If you are in search of sunnier days going forward, perhaps to enjoy your "Golden Years" or a second home in a more palatable climate, let Southeast Discovery be your guide.  Fill out our online Questionnaire - we'll review what you're looking for and your feedback.  We'll then send you links to specific areas and communities located in the Southeast that are in line with your interests.  Feel free to email us at info@southeastdiscovery.com or call 877.886.8388.


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