Photo courtesy Visit Athens

Editor’s Note: Recently, MoneyWise revealed its list of the 40 most frugal and friendly places to retire. In a bid to provide an idea of what housing inventory is available in these cities and towns, we’re taking a look at listings in each of the cities on the list.

Not everyone can spend $1 million or more on a second home, even if it’s with the idea that eventually you’ll retire there. So when MoneyWise’s list of 40 places to retire that are more budget-friendly came out, we were curious — what kind of homes could you find in these towns?

Last week, we looked at the 20th city on the list — Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. This week, we look at Athens, Georgia, and found three great homes — all for less than $300,000.

“For a healthy dose of Southern charm and affordable living, you can retire in picturesque Athens, Georgia,” MoneyWise said. “With just 120,000 residents, this friendly college town offers a warm climate without being stuffed to the gills with retirees like Florida.”

“Although multiple neighborhoods have made it into the National Register of Historic Places, Athens maintains a youthful atmosphere and is known for its low cost of living, internationally famous music scene, and great golf, hiking, and other active pursuits in nearby state parks.”

Want to see what we found in Athens? Let’s jump! (more…)

Father’s Day was last weekend, but this spread would have made a great gift of second home real estate for Anthony Weiner: Beaver Dam Farms. The 973-acre private estate is tucked away in the rolling foothills of Athens, Georgia. It was built from the root up and designed by country music legend Kenny Rogers – betcha didn’t know he was a designer as well as a  crooner and, in fact, had an interior design firm partnership in Atlanta. He sold the spread to wealthy rancher Wes Adams  in 2003, who died in February. And now,  Beaver Dam has just been listed privately for
$20 million.

The  estate comes fully furnished and is located on the original site of one of Georgia’s grandest plantations. It features so much I might as well create a list:  12,000-square-foot main house complete with two gyms, a movie theater, a billiards room, and an Italian marble wraparound porch.  Bring on the visitors, just as Kenny did and they can have their choice of  a 4,000 square foot six bedroom guest house, a four bedroom, 2600 square foot guest cottage, and four one-bedroom villas 1,000 square foot little villas larger than most New York City apartments.

If you think this list is exhaustive – the best is yet to come.  Beaver Dam Farms has a  private, 6,285-yard, 18-hole executive championship golf course that Rogers personally designed and is on par with world-renowned Augusta National. Here are some of the top names who have played there: Payne Stewart, Lanny Wadkins and Ray Floyd,  plus Rogers and his celeb friends.

Oh but we do not stop with the golf. The estate sports  a 6000 square foot golf clubhouse, a 9,000-square-foot state-of-the-art  equestrian and multi-use center , two barns, two swimming pools, clay tennis courts, a spa, conference center, various outdoor entertaining venues and three fish-stocked lakes. There is even a 1022 square foot guest lake house in proximity of those three lakes. I mean, you might get tired after a day of fishing and not be able to walk up those singing hills. If you think this sounds a bit commercial, well, the last owner did run it as a retreat, which is another huge possibility for this property.  Adams turned Beaver Dam it into an inclusive
resort with spa services and event rentals, running it kind of like a dude ranch: Adams also owns  The Motherwell, a dude ranch
in Colorado.