“Champion Hills is probably one of the most welcoming places that I have ever lived,” effuses longtime resident Mary Kay Buhrke. Whether looking for a second home in the mountains or are hoping to find the best place to retire in western North Carolina, you will find what you’re looking for at Champion Hills. As Mary Kay says, “there's something for everybody here.”Mary Kay and her husband, Pat, moved to Champion Hills from the Chicago area in 1998 for business reasons. “We had an industrial family business,” Mary Kay says. “We were looking just to expand the business.” They needed a place with easy access to major expressways and airports. What they found was a new home that was the perfect balance of a high-end community with a casual lifestyle.
Why Live in a Golf Community?
Not knowing anyone in Hendersonville, Pat decided to start researching golf communities. “He rarely played golf,” Mary Kay recalls. “I rarely play golf. I asked, ‘Why are we looking for golf course communities?’ He said, ’Well, I think that's the way to go when we get to a new town. We're not going to know anybody’” – so joining an existing group of like-minded people was a great way to become part of a community.
Mary Kay and Pat looked at several golf communities in the area before deciding to buy at Champion Hills. “Sure enough,” Mary Kay says, “that was the best thing to do. That was the best choice we ever made.” She says proximity to town and conveniences were factors in their decision, but the lifestyle is ultimately what drove them to buy here.
“Social life is important to a lot of people that are looking for a new home,” Mary Kay explains. “You want to know that you're gonna be easily able to fit in with everyone. And that was our case as well. We loved the laid-back atmosphere. It just appealed to our personalities.”
Turning One Great Choice into a Rewarding Lifestyle
Having moved across the country offers Mary Kay great perspective for the clients she now works with as the Champion Hills on-site real estate agent with Beverly-Hanks. She says that there’s “a lot of uncertainty” for people considering a big move, “I think that since I've gone through the same thing, it makes them feel better about what they're doing.”
“Whatever your interests are, it exists at Champion Hills,” Mary Kay says as she lists the amazing activities that are organized at the club. Weekly hikes and day trips to nearby destinations; classes in the wellness center; organized activities in the clubhouse, like cards, mahjong, trivia and special dinner nights. Not to mention the golf: there are so many options for men’s and women’s leagues and casual groups playing year-round. “It is so easy to get a game here,” she says. “We’ve worked all that out because we know what it’s like at other clubs.”
The proximity to downtown Hendersonville and the town’s amenities are also a great selling point for people moving to the area. Hendersonville is the seat of Henderson County – “so it's got a lot more going for it than most small towns,” Mary Kay says. There’s a thriving downtown with great restaurants, shops, galleries, and two hospitals. Plus amazing entertainment at nearby venues like the Flat Rock Playhouse and Brevard Music Center.
In addition to being a resident and the resident real estate agent, Mary Kay has served on the Property Owners Association as the treasurer and president. She’s been selling real estate exclusively in Champion Hills since 2004. In that time she’s consistently ranked in the top tier of agents in the Western North Carolina area.
Working with her teammate, Amber Saxton, Mary Kay has helped dozens of people move into and out of the Champion Hills community over the years. She says that one of her main selling points is helping new buyers see the unique Champion Hills lifestyle.
“You can find a house anywhere,” she says. “You have to find people that you're going to connect with; a clubhouse that's going to be your second home. That's all an important part of this transaction.”