Bill Logan grew up in the North Georgia area, so it was only fitting that he purchased a vacation home in Ellijay’s Rainbow Mountain community 10 years ago. Logan, 59, who is retired from the East Point Police Department, chatted about his community, which has 39 traditional and octagon-shaped homes. There are lots and some homes for sale.
Why Rainbow Mountain: "It's just beautiful," he said. "We have a 180-degree view of the Cartecay Valley. We have an unobstructed view for probably 30-plus miles."
Their home: A three-bedroom, two-bath home built in 1996 on about 3 acres with porches and decks to soak in the view. He was attracted to what he describes as the "gentle and rolling" wooded property and the community's small size. When they purchased the home, it was 3 years old. The home had other features he desired, such as sheetrock walls and central heating and air conditioning. They've updated it with a metal roof, granite countertops, new kitchen appliances and travertine tile in one bathroom. They're working on a second bathroom remodel.
How far from home: About 110 miles from Fayetteville.
How often they're there: Every other week.
What they do when they're there: The gated community is down the road from a 2,000-acre Wildlife Management Area for hunting. They also enjoy riding ATVs in the neighborhood and on trails. They fish for trout on Owltown Creek (less than 1 mile away) and go tubing on the Cartecay River (less than 3 miles away). Ellijay's Whitepath Golf Club is about 15 miles away. During the fall, apple houses are open along Ga. 52, less than 4 miles away (the Georgia Apple Festival is set for Oct. 9-10 and Oct. 16-17 in Ellijay). One of the couple's three daughters recently purchased a home across the street from them in Ellijay.
What he loves about it: The activities and abundance of wildlife, including deer, turkeys, black bears, foxes and rabbits. "There's many people from Atlanta and Florida relocating up there just for a laid-back atmosphere," he said. "It's not fast-paced. It's friendly and beautiful." Bill and his wife, Monica, plan to make it their full-time residence after they both retire.
Tips for folks buying a vacation home: Check out whether the neighborhood has an association, and what the dues will cover, such as road paving, maintenance or amenities. Also, look for a community with covenants and restrictions that will keep the neighborhood free of mobile homes, chicken houses and junky cars, he said.
At a glance
Bill and Monica Logan’s home in Rainbow Mountain has three bedrooms, two baths and about 1,650 square feet of livable space. They purchased it 10 years ago.
Rainbow Mountain is a gated community in Gilmer County, about 7 miles east of Ellijay. The community has 39 property owners, and a unique feature is its 23 octagon-style homes, which people began building in the 1980s. Houses for sale range from $92,000-$189,000 for homes on the bottom to halfway up the mountain (a maximum 30-mile view) to $220,000-$289,000 on the top of the mountain (a 50-mile view). “You’re paying for both the larger size, larger lots and great views up there,” said real estate agent Judy Aselton with Century 21 in the Mountains, a property owner in Rainbow Mountain. She added that it’s about a 30-minute drive from Ga. 400, which is another route metro Atlantans take to reach Ellijay. Lots range from $38,000 for 1 acre to $86,000 for two lots.
The community is 10 miles to Amicalola Falls State Park, 15 miles to Carter’s Lake, 16 miles to Fort Mountain State Park, and 18 miles to Blue Ridge and Lake Blue Ridge.
About 15 of the residents live in Rainbow Mountain full time; about eight have primary residences in Florida, and others are from states such as New Jersey and California, Logan said. About six people own lots that have no homes at this point. As a POA (Property Owners Association) community, dues for residents are $300 a year. The community has two paved streets -- Rainbow Mountain Drive and Beauregards Knob.
Gilmer County Chamber of Commerce
Georgia Apple Festival
Gilmer County Government
Judy Aselton, Century 21 in the Mountains
$130,000: 30 Beauregards Knob, Ellijay 30540. A three-bedroom, two-bath home with a full finished basement and two decks on 1.5 acres.
$175,000: 417 Rainbow Mountain Drive, Ellijay 30540. A two-bedroom, two-bath octagon-shaped home built in 1995 with a new metal roof on 1.49 acres.
$199,000: 746 Rainbow Mountain Drive, Ellijay 30536. A two-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath home built in 2007 with a full basement and a porch on more than 1 acre.
Take I-75 north to I-575 north until it turns into Ga. 515. Take Ga. 515 to East Ellijay. Turn left on First Street (look for the Hardee's sign) and travel across the bridge to Ga. 52. Turn right (east) toward Amicalola Falls State Park. Travel about 5 miles out Ga. 52 to Big Creek Road and turn left (Dollar General Store at the intersection). Travel a quarter of a mile to Mount Zion Road and turn left. Follow Mount Zion Road to Owltown Road and turn right. Stay on Owltown Road three-quarters of a mile until you reach Rainbow Mountain Drive. Turn right into the neighborhood.
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Credit: Nathan Posner for the AJC