The Cashiers-Highlands Plateau home market is gaining appeal with non-retirees. The old-growth Nantahala National Forest and the Blue Ridge Mountains, combined with lakes, streams, and waterfalls, have long provided a high-altitude escape for lovers of the outdoors with amenities appealing to aficionados of upscale lifestyles. The 2008 housing crisis left the area with hundreds of expensive homes for sale in what remains a buyers’ market. Now, a major trend shows pre-retirees from Atlanta purchasing second homes in the mountains, where taxes and insurance are not as costly as they would be for beachfront getaways. Several come to the mountains to visit, fall in love with the area, and are able to arrange their work schedules around telecommuting or spending weekends in the mountains. Also trending: younger homebuyers interested in living in a walkable town near outdoor amenities. So townhomes in Cashiers can sell for more than double the price of comparables out in the country. With some houses on the market for almost a decade, Cashiers is within reach of more modest incomes. Units have sold for as low as $43,500, and interest in rentals is high. With hundreds of annual closings, sales in the last two years have increased around 10-20 percent in terms of both units and dollars.