(NewsUSA) - Are nearby golf courses and swimming pools the stuff of an ideal vacation home? Not for a growing number of Americans.
While these amenities are still important luxuries to many vacation and second-home owners, some real estate industry experts say that there's an influx of homebuyers now purchasing properties that offer them the opportunity to live closer to nature.
According to Dan Camp, vice president of Cousins Properties, a Georgia-based real estate developer, the concept of "new ruralism" is a fast-growing trend in the United States.
A 2006 report by the National Association of Realtors found that as many as 31 percent of vacation- and second-home owners want to be close to natural attractions.
Catering to those who seek a renewed connection with nature and the simple pleasures of rural life, some developments are featuring sprawling forests in lieu of 18-hole golf courses and fish-stocked lakes instead of tennis courts.
Cousins Properties, for example, is developing a community of 399 luxury homes spread amid 3,000 wooded acres, nearly half of which are devoted to the preservation of wildlife as well as community recreational use. The development, called Blalock Lakes, is located in Newnan, Ga., about 45 minutes from Atlanta.
"Places like Blalock Lakes are a lock and leave escape, close to home, where the kids can run without supervision, adults can truly relax and families decide how much or how little they want to socialize," said Camp. "It's a getaway to the farm or plantation without the upkeep."
For decades, the land was owned by the Blalock family, which used the site as a retreat for fishing, skiing, hunting and relaxing. Today, Blalock Lakes and other such high-end communities are striving to achieve that same kind of retreat to ruralism, one filled with peace, quiet and not a single golf or tennis ball.