The Southern Appalachian Mountain region - Western North Carolina, Northern Georgia, Eastern Tennessee, Northwestern South Carolina and Southwestern Virginia - has been attracting the attention of retiring Baby-boomers and entrepreneurial Gen-Xers in droves since the turn of the millennium. The vast majority of them hail from densely populated, metropolitan areas of essentially flat topography, which gives them little, if any experience to tackle the job of finding an appropriate home site on which to build their dream-home. Whether that home site is for use as a second-home, vacation-home or retirement-home, the pitfalls and obstacles to making that dream become a reality remain essentially the same. The stories of some of those dreams becoming nightmares are all too familiar... "the roads were never completed to my lot...,""there's no power or phone to my lot...," I drilled my well to 1,000 feet but there's no water...," the septic/drain field system can only accommodate a one-bedroom house...," the sub-grade is solid granite and the foundation will cost a fortune..." Most of the wide-eyed transplants that purchase property here not only have no idea what the answers are to a whole host of pertinent questions - they have no idea what the questions are either - and therein lies the danger. The combination of a lack of development regulations and ordinances in rural areas, a lack of centralized, municipal water and sewer services, a multitude of impacts and unknowns that difficult topography can present, a few shady developers and finally, a throng of unsuspecting buyers that simply don't know what they don't know - together provide for a ripe environment for potential disappointment. There is no doubt that the this region of beautiful blue mountain peaks and ridgelines, picturesque farming communities, roaring rivers and cascading waterfalls is truly one of the most scenic and naturally attractive areas in this country, if not the world. Outdoor recreation is boundless: fly-fishing, kayaking, canoeing, hiking, mountain-biking, trail-running, snow-skiing, hunting, horseback riding, skeet-shooting... the options are almost endless. Eighty percent of the Western North Carolina region alone is comprised of government-protected and maintained forests, assuring that much of the area will forever remain in an undeveloped state with its natural resources and eco-systems protected and conserved. The purpose of this book is to help those that wish to call this area home to make better and smarter decisions about the land they wish to purchase to fulfill the vision they have for themselves and their family. In so doing, it is my hope that development regulations will gain ground, development practices will improve, developers themselves will be held to a higher standard of conduct and the buying public will benefit along with the natural resources that are so precious to the area.