Asheville, North Carolina

Land Of The Sky

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What's it like to live in Asheville?

Thoughts on Asheville moving and living?

I will comment on a few items:

Job Market: It is pretty abysmal here. There is no real industry, it is all tourism. Mission Health is the biggest employer, and The Biltmore Estate is the 2nd largest. There are some who would like to bring the Tech scene into Asheville, but it just isn't hear yet. Even if you do find a job as a dev, you won't be making nearly as much as you could somewhere else. Most of the Developers I know work remote jobs.

Cost of Living: Problem isn't so much cost of living, but that housing pricing don't match the Job Market. Property owners are renting to tourism, driving up the cost of rentals. If you want your own place for two people, ballpark is $1000 a month. On $120-$160k a year that should be fine, but I wouldn't count on making that much here, unless you bring your job with you.

Local Culture: Unfortunately, the local population is struggling to keep up because of the Job Market and Cost of Living. Tourism is making this more difficult, and you will meet a lot of people that are new in town.

Diversity: Downtown is white-washed.

If this all sounds pretty negative…it kinda is. I love Asheville, but my wife and I are struggling. We lived in Atlanta, but I took a job here through a connection while I was unemployed. I am college educated, and used to make about $70-$75k a year. Now I make $38k. Almost wish I risked remaining unemployed in Atlanta because of the job market. We are considering moving to Raleigh or Charlotte because thats where all the recruiters are contacting me from.

Thoughts on Asheville moving and living?

I grew up near Asheville, went to college there, and lived there as an adult for about 10 years. The high cost of living, gentrification, and poor job market issues there have been problems for at least 20 years. When I'm there now visiting family, I read pretty much the exact same articles and letters to the editor in local publications about those things as I was when I lived there. I don't foresee it changing at all, and it just seems to worsen with each passing year.

When I left Asheville for a better job a few hours away, it was with a very heavy heart, because I loved (and still love) that town and felt at home there. There is a certain level of acceptance required to stay there a long time. There are sacrifices involved with living in a place where the emotional benefits can outweigh the financial detriments.

I think many people who stay do so because they feel that the intangible things Asheville and its culture has to offer are more important than money. I'm a totally nonmaterialistic person, and even I came to realize there's a big difference between greed and comfort. I felt like I was barely surviving. For ten years. It's hard to go out and take advantage of the many things that make Asheville awesome when you can barely afford basic needs.

As a note on the diversity (or lack thereof): when I moved away, I felt a huge sense of rejoining the real world. That can be positive and negative at different times, but when I go back now I still feel like I'm entering and exiting a kind of fantasy land.

Also, it depends on what kind of diversity we're talking about. Racial/ethnic diversity - not much. But so many people move there from other places that there's always someone around you who's had diverse experiences, and that's good.

All that said, I think living in Asheville at least for a little while is something anyone who feels drawn to the area should absolutely do. It will change your perspective on life in general, mostly in positive ways. You may luck into a great job, or you may move on to somewhere else after a time. But either way, it is a place worth experiencing, as much as you are able to. Can't wait til my next trip to NC to "visit family" (AKA have a reason to go to Asheville). 😁

Thoughts on Asheville moving and living?

Late, but here goes:

Diversity: This area is mostly caucasian with some other groups mixed in. (link)[]

Markets: There are a few here, they're OK. I shop at Lee's in South Asheville every few weeks. Couldn't feed the fam out of there but they have decent stuff. We don't have anything like Super G Mart (an Asian market that is the size of a normal supermarket).

Family: Ours was in a private school until 6th grade. Most of her friends she met in public school. If I had to do it over again, I'd keep her in a public school. They're not great but they're not bad, either. A few kids in our area when she was growing up, we did a lot of play dates that involved driving.

Arts: This is where asheville shines IMO.

Local Culture: There are a lot of transplants here. I've seen my neighborhood go from quiet middle of the road to louder and more "in your face".

Job market: Medical is big. Tech is out there but not as big. If you can work remotely, great. Competition is really high and people will work for less to live here. I talked with someone a year or so ago who was ready to take a cut from 150k to 60k just to live here.

Cost of living: We're in the upper end of that range, which makes it easy for the most part. Home prices are high for what you get, esp in comparison to salaries, which are lower than other areas I've been looking at relocating to. I live in a popular part of town, homes are now breaking 500k. Gas and groceries aren't too bad. Taxes in the city are high IMO (I'm up to paying nearly 5k/yr now).

I like it here but it is getting expensive. Strongly considering a move in a few years, prob to Raleigh.

What is it like to live in Asheville, NC?

Expensive! That’s how it is here. With all, it’s little shops and what not it is the most expensive place to live. If you go outside of the city rent is cheaper. It is mostly due to people from California, New York, Florida, and other places who move here. They then buy up the land and rent to people at prices that are comparable to big cities. Asheville is a small town or was until all the movers and shakers got here.

Don’t expect to find reasonable rent. And by reasonable I mean working a job and renting an apartment or house. If you don’t own your own business or aren’t someone living on an inheritance consider your options to live in Asheville very limited. Many friends of mine have several roommates who pay 300 a piece for a room in a house. This means 4 people paying 1200 rent each month, and that is being the low end. If you want to rent a house with 4 bedrooms expect to pay 2k to 3k for a house. Condominiums are just renovated apartment buildings here and people pay outrageous prices for them because they want to live in this “artsy town”…

Think of Boulder with more mountains.

I’m not knocking it but it is expensive and people from other places ask me if there are bartender openings. In a word… No. Unless you know someone or open your own brewery it is very hard to get a job. Mostly the only jobs in Asheville for people without Doctorates or Masters are fast food, hospitality, nurses, lawn care, Walmart, and working for cable companies or phone companies. You can try putting an app in at Duke Energy but even then you need a degree. So, there are more people than jobs here in Asheville.

People move here because they fall in love with the mountains, the hippy type atmosphere, and the food. No one will talk about the blatant homeless problem Asheville suffers. Many homeless people live in the woods in shanty towns or set up tents off the Blue Ridge Parkway or along the french broad river. It is very disheartening to see them and know if they stay in this town they’ll never have enough to get home because the rent prices are outrageous. We have a few outreach groups like Homeward Bound and places that help, but help can only go so far when there are no jobs for anyone, and those jobs that do exist usually get snapped up very quickly. Without phones, there’s no real way for employers to call these folks back.

We have vast numbers of galleries and before COVID there were more bars than people. (A joke… Lighten up.)

The blatant bear problem no one likes to talk about is that the bears actually do outnumber the people. The city is more inclined to give the mayor, police chief, and everyone else a raise instead of buying bear-proof trash cans. We need them. Bears have learned that green cans mean food and will tip them over and spread trash everywhere. When I go down some streets I’ll see what I call “bear garbage” everywhere. Some residents and out of towners feed the bears and that also causes dangerous situations and behaviors, because a bear that becomes reliant on people for food and then someone doesn’t give it food… That makes for one angry bear and one running person. We need people to just take pictures and not try to bait the bears in order to get close to them. It’s dangerous and people think that because they’re smaller than grizzly bears that they are less dangerous. So, a word of warning… Keep your pets inside at night here. Bears are dangerous.

Other than that the festivals are full of fun and music. Some great music downtown, and most areas it’s safe to walk at night, but don’t be stupid about it and go looking for trouble. We do have our share of problems but all in all, it’s a great place and a lot of fun, but if you want to live here it’s better to visit and live outside of town than inside of town. It’s cheaper although bears might be your next-door neighbors you learn to live with them.

5 Pros and Cons of living in Asheville NC

Yes, there are pros AND cons of living in Asheville NC. Although it’s a beautiful place, It’s not for everyone! Some pros might outweigh the cons, you just gonna have to decide for yourself. As for me, I look at it this way: just like trying to find a perfect house- it’s nearly impossible. You gotta decide for yourself what items on your list are non negotiable.