When you begin planning, never cut those pastimes short. “Your interests should dictate 90 percent of your decision,” says John Ricketson, a project manager with Hearthstone, Inc. “You want to be in a region close to the activities you like, whether it’s skiing, fishing, hunting or hiking.” With your hobbies as your compass, seek out conducive pieces of land in the mountains, at the lake or along the shore.
When it comes to sought-after property, the Southeast — particularly North Carolina and north Georgia — are at the top of the post-recession list. These areas have loads of available and diverse land and are close to national forests and large lakes and boast world-class golf courses, hunting and fishing. These locations, along with the always-popular Catskills in New York and the Colorado Rockies have another advantage going for them: They are close to metropolitan areas, offering a dose of urban life when you want it.