Luxury at home: No. 3, Buford, Ga.

Fast growth. A lake. (But a long drive to the airport.)

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)

03_buford.03.jpg
Terri Jondahl at home in Buford, Ga. Her lakeside office is minutes away.

(FORTUNE Small Business) -- Terri Jondahl, 48, does not take vacations. As the owner of CAB - a manufacturer and distributor of metal components that drive wind and water turbines - she logs about 200,000 miles a year to meet clients and visit overseas operations. So when Jondahl wants to relax, she heads home to Buford, Ga.

"Once I found my house on Lake Lanier three years ago," she says, "I knew I was going to be here forever."

Last September, Jondahl decided to make Buford her corporate base as well. She moved CAB from nearby Oakwood, Ga., to an office on the 38,000-acre lake.

"My employees were stoked," says Jondahl.

With its charming downtown and great fishing, Buford has drawn residents who want to enjoy Atlanta, 30 minutes away, without its headaches. Buford has also become a startup hot spot, particularly since the Mall of Georgia opened in 1999. Some 30 new businesses (from ad agencies to restaurants) launch every month in the 16-square-mile town. Buford collects a 6% sales tax and a 2.5% property tax (compared with 8% and 4.1% in Atlanta); those in the highest income tax bracket pay the 6% state rate. That beats the 9% rate in Jondahl's native California - although it doesn't compare with 0% in Texas and New Hampshire. Driving to the airport is a hassle, she admits, but takes just 45 minutes if you avoid rush hour.

CAB's creekside office will boast hiking trails and picnic tables. Soon Jondahl will be able to host clients at Emerald Pointe, a new four-star resort with a golf course.

Buford's median home price is $195,493 (compared with $250,913 in Atlanta), so dream homes are within reach. Jondahl's pad boasts an indoor salt-water pool - a luxury to some, but a necessity for an entrepreneur who thinks staying home is the best break of all. To top of page

Features
They're hiring!These Fortune 100 employers have at least 350 openings each. What are they looking for in a new hire? More
If the Fortune 500 were a country...It would be the world's second-biggest economy. See how big companies' sales stack up against GDP over the past decade. More
Sponsored By:
5 ways retailers are tracking you If you think pesky salespeople are invading your personal space, check out these 5 technologies that are tracking your movements throughout a store. More
Moto X vs. Droid Turbo: Which Droid should you buy? Motorola has made the two best Android smartphones this year. Here's how they stack up. More
My part-time job is a dead end, but it's all I can find CNNMoney profiles 4 of America's 7 million part-time workers unable to find full-time jobs. More


Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.