Moving to Asheville NC
Affordability 4 out of 5
Safety 4 out of 5
Healthcare 3 out of 5
Traffic Flow 5 out of 5
Property affordability 5 out of 5
Climate 5 out of 5
Environment quality 5 out of 5
If the blurb is to be believed, moving to Asheville, NC will see you moving to the happiest city in America. From the moment you arrive in this mountainous enclave in North Carolina, the happy vibe is tangible and diversity of the community is clearly evident.
Everyone is Asheville is made to feel like a member of a very large diverse family which is just one of the reasons why so many have chosen to make this extremely pretty city their home.
Apart from the aforementioned happy vibe it is hard to put your finger on exactly what makes Asheville so special. It's more an eclectic mix of things which make it appeal to so many that is the secret to its success. The landscape surrounding this city which is town like in stature is awe inspiring. It acts as some kind of magnet to great artists from past and present and despite being rightly proud of its history and heritage is a very progressive city.
This culture is the very essence which courses through the veins of Asheville with colourful festivals, concerts, operas and one of the finest orchestras in the areas being very much par for the course.
The mountain location makes outdoor pursuits a must and an altogether healthier way of living is on offer for all who reside here. If you are looking for a multi faceted city to call home which offers the best of both worlds in terms of city living in a country location Asheville could well be your utopia.
The job market in Asheville is not as buoyant as other cities due to both its location and the industry which exists here. Healthcare is a biggie and if you have the qualifications in this field there are more jobs to come by.
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That said, industrial manufacturing is the biggest growth area in Asheville and job opportunities in this sector are very much on the rise. Tourism and hospitality are the other main sources of employment in Asheville and are increasing in numbers due to the growth the city is enjoying.
Unemployment in Asheville currently stands at 5.8%, below the national average of 6.0% and the state average of 6.6%.
The cost of living in Asheville is highly favourable next to other cities with comparable salaries. Even though the average salary after tax in Asheville is higher than New Orleans, at $2,396 to $2,312 respectively some items are significantly cheaper.
For example, the price of a 3 course meal for 2 at a mid range restaurant will set you back $40 in Asheville but $55 in the Big Easy. On the other hand your staples such as milk, bread etc come in slightly higher due to the cost of transportation.
The cost of your basic utilities have been averaged out by using an 85sqm apartment as the example. The monthly cost of these basics is around $177 a month which includes your water, heating, electricity and garbage removal. 10Mbps Internet with unlimited data comes in a very affordable $41 a month, one of the lowest around and 41.76% lower than those browsing the web in New Orleans will pay.
If you’re looking for a southern feel to your new US city, moving to Asheville means you’ll pay less rent on average when compared to southern belles Charleston, SC or New Orleans. A typical one bedroom city centre apartment here in Asheville will save you anywhere from $50-150 a month compared to New Orleans, while the same unit in the suburbs will save you a bit more. The same difference in price also goes for those deciding whether or not to move to Charlotte over Asheville.
There is a good mix of properties within Asheville and its outlying neighbourhoods to suit both prospective buyers and renters. Property prices in Asheville are rising faster than in the rest of North Carolina which has actually seen an overall slump in sales of 11% in the past year.
There are still bargains to be had for both buyers and renters and the city is pretty evenly split with 52.5% of property being owner occupied and 47.5% being rented. The current average price of a property in Asheville is $195,000. This is higher than both the state average of $153,000 and the national average of $181,400.
Family Friendly: While South Asheville is undoubtedly way more commercialized than North or West Asheville it has become the leader in terms of family friendly living. Younger, working class families make up the majority of the residents here who are making full use of the abundance of family friendly dining and shopping option. The biggest development in South Asheville is Biltmore Ave on the border of Highway 25. It's central location, close proximity to the airport and selection of highly regarded education establishments make this the current number one neighbourhood of choice for families in Asheville.
Upmarket: North Asheville has established itself as the most upmarket community in the city and carries the highest real estate prices. Large, old houses, the established landscaping and some wonderful views over the city and beyond have made this the neighbourhood of choice for the affluent home buyers. There are few enclaves of affordable housing within North Asheville however, especially in the Woodfin community, but how long this will remain so is anyone's guess thanks to several celebrities choosing North Asheville for their country bolt holes.
Hip and Trendy: Downtown Asheville rocks in terms of offering everything the hip and trendy crowd demands. Cool hangouts, great lofts and a multitude of shopping and dining options make this the neighbourhood of choice for young singles and couples. New condos are arriving almost daily which invariably carry a higher price tag than the old buildings which have been converted into apartments and loft and carry that look great from the outside as well as in.
Up and Coming: West Asheville is the last area of the city to undergo major rejuvenation. This is still taking place in some areas which offer the best bargains in properties. The Haywood Rd area in particular has only really seen improvements being made in the past few years but those changes have been both exciting and aesthetically pleasing. Beyond Haywood Rd the landscape becomes increasingly more rural giving those who choose to make West Asheville their home on the cusp of city and country.
Cost of moving
You don't need us to tell you that upping sticks and moving to Asheville depends on both where you are coming from and what you intend bringing with you. We have based our prices on a 20sqft shipping container which is the most popular for those relocating to this mountain city.
Schools and education
There are two public school systems available to students in Asheville; the Asheville City School Sytem and the Buncombe County School System. The Buncombe County system is the 8th largest in North Carolina and serves around 25,000 students across approximately 42 school programmes. This system also includes the east and west campuses of the Buncombe Community School, the Career Education Centre and the Progressive Education programme.
There are also many options available to those who wish their children to receive a private education.
The Community School is an alternative education programme for those students who are somewhat at odds with the district curriculum. The career Education Centre is essentially an extension of the standard high school curriculum and offers classes not available in the mainstream schools. These include the likes of computer and network engineering, cosmetology, masonry, welding and graphic communications alongside the usual academic courses. The Progressive Education Programme offers a special education curriculum for those who struggle academically.
Universities in Asheville
The Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College and the University of North Carolina Asheville are available options for those students moving to Asheville for university.
UNC Asheville ranks 148 in the latest official rankings whilst the UNC Chapel Hill ranks 30th. The Asheville campus is the only designated Liberal Arts university in the UNC system and one of only 6 such public universities in America.
Ranking against the world
Aside from named as the Happiest City in America, Asheville has earned several other accolades including being named as the Best Beer City. With a mix of rural and economic employment on offer the city fares well in the cost of living stakes and ranks highly in terms of quality of life due to its mountain location.
The crime rate is very low and it scores the maximum for residents feeling safe walking alone at night.
Excellent healthcare is another plus for Asheville, and overall it is ranked as the 12th best city to live in the USA.
A day in the life
A typical day in Asheville is extremely difficult to describe as, quite simply, there isn't one! There are many guides to be found online which pertain to being the ultimate guide to 24 hours in the city but if you actually study them closely the travel involved comes closer to 48 hours than 24. Galleries, museums, beautiful parks and vibrant squares, those unique shops you pop into and end up spending an hour in, this is life in Asheville.
One thing it is easy to do is let you know the best place to eat, or at least some of them. Lovers of a hearty breakfast should head to the Early Girl Eatery. Offering a wide choice of both carnivorous and vegetarian options this is one of the most popular place to start the day for both residents and visitors. When lunchtime rolls around why not treat yourself to some of the best sushi around at the Heiwa Shokudo restaurant? Their salmon katsu and noodle bowls are also big favourites.
When the sun goes down in Asheville venues come to life you never noticed through the day. Intimate bars and clubs appear from nowhere, but you don't even have to enter them to enjoy great music. Street entertainers are a way of life in downtown Asheville and with the ever changing programme you will never get tired of it.