A big city that still manages to retain its small-town feel, located in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Add to it the fact that people here are inclusive and of course, the many breweries across the span makes Asheville, North Carolina, a fascinating place to live.
It’s not just that, the city still exudes an old world charm with colonial-style neighborhoods that may make for a perfect place for you to move into. But moving to Asheville NC would require you to check a lot more factors. Is this city for you? Let’s find out!
What Should I Know Before Moving To Asheville NC?
Asheville covers an area of about 46 square miles and is the biggest city in North Carolina. But at the same time, it’s not the most populous – with 93,758 residents here and a density of 2,057 people per square mile. However, there’s no denying the rising population in Asheville, with about a growth rate of over 0.7% per year.
What you won’t miss when in Asheville, particularly in the downtown area, is the quirky culture that’s also very inclusive of people of all orientations and backgrounds. The pride flag flies high here! Asheville NC is among the most LGBTQIA friendly cities in the US, with the annual Blue Ridge Pride Festival celebrating them.
Reiterating the inclusiveness of Asheville’s residents, there are also many eateries and restaurants that offer vegan and gluten free food. If you’re a fan of beer, there are so many breweries here that you’d be spoilt for choice. There’s a reason why Asheville is called Beer City – there are more local craft breweries per capita than any city in the US except for Portland, Maine. On the other hand, a connoisseur of wine can visit the Biltmore Estate, which is the largest privately owned house in the US.
Particularly amazing about Asheville is its location – in the Blue Ridge Mountains. This means that if you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you won’t lack for scenic hiking trails and driving routes around the city.
Crime Rate in Asheville
However, one major concern regarding moving to Asheville would be its high rate of crime, according to Neighborhood Scout. In Asheville, there’s a 1 in 17 chances for a resident to become a victim of a violent or property crime. This is higher than most towns and cities in the US. Property crime, which includes burglary, larceny, arson and motor vehicle theft, is the most common offence here with a 1 in 19 chance of one to be the victim.
This may seem like the most boring icebreaker when on a date. But if you’re planning on moving to Asheville, the kind of weather you’ll experience there can make or break your decision. Asheville is located at an altitude of 2200 feet above sea level and surrounded by mountains that can go as high as 6000 feet. So, the city is spared from the biting cold winters and blessed with four distinct seasons.
Spring arrives in Asheville by mid-March till around the end of May. It’s easily the most comfortable time of the year, with temperatures in the 40-70° F range. Now is the time when you can see the wildflowers in full bloom!
Summer in Asheville is in between the months of June to September. Despite the altitude, it can get quite hot and humid, with the mercury ranging between 80° F and 60° F. But it’s only rarely that the temperature exceeds 90° F. You can expect afternoon showers in summers, but they don’t last too long. Just remember to get an umbrella or a rain jacket if you’re going to be outdoors.
Fall is probably the best season in Asheville, which comes between September to November, when the countryside is covered in hues of golden and brown. The air gets crisper and the temperatures are in a pleasant 50-70° F range.
Winter obviously is the coldest time of the year, which is from November to early March. There isn’t much snowfall here in Asheville, however. The temperatures won’t exceed 50° F. But it can get quite windy in the later winter months. If you want to experience proper snowfall, you can always visit the nearby mountains!
Is Asheville Expensive To Live?
There isn’t a reason for you to move to Asheville if you can’t afford it, right? So it’s time for you to check if you can move here and live comfortably, and not struggle to make ends meet. When it comes to taxes, there are two main property taxes that you’re to pay: the Buncombe County Tax and the Asheville City Tax. These are calculated at a rate per $100 of the value of your house. Let’s check what other factors decide the city’s affordability.
Cost Of Living In Asheville NC
If you’ve fallen for this city and want to move in, we’ve to tell you something: Asheville isn’t cheap. According to BestPlaces, the cost of living index of Asheville is 106 compared to the national average of 100. This means that the city will be relatively more expensive. Numbeo estimates that you’ll spend an average of $3,557 on monthly expenses if you’re a family of four and $1,002 if you live alone. These estimates are excluding rent, which we will get to shortly.
The cost of groceries is 4% less than the average respectively. You should be able to live comfortably in Asheville, but that of course depends on your job and choice of neighborhood. For example, a loaf of bread will be $3.20 here, with $1.86 being the cost for a gallon of milk and slightly lower for a carton of eggs, which would be $1.74. A bunch of bananas aren’t particularly expensive, with $3.23 being the cost.
In terms of the cost of healthcare in Asheville, be prepared to keep $109.27 aside every time you have to visit a doctor. Just marginally lower, the cost to visit an optometrist would be $102.39. Similarly, the fee associated with a visit to the dentist would be $93.87. Fortunately, visiting a vet with your furry or feathered friend won’t cost you a lot compared to many other cities, as the price is just $51.16.
Renting A House
The average rent in Asheville is $1,243 per month, according to RENTCafé. While it did increase by 3% from the previous year, it’s still lesser than the national average. So renting a house won’t put a huge hole in your pocket. Depending on your budget, you can rent a house in the affordable neighborhood of Azalea (approximately $1,086 per month) or the more expensive Wecan or Windswept Acres (approximately $1,419 per month).
Buying A House
According to Zillow, the median home value in Asheville is $323,462. The real estate value of Asheville has definitely seen an increasing trend, as it spiked from 7.1% in the previous year and is predicted to go up by 10.4% the next year.
If you’ve been lamenting the high cost of living in Asheville, we’ll give you something to cheer about: the expenses pertaining to utilities are lower in Asheville. You’ll be shelling out $157 for energy and $167 for your phone bills per month. Also, as gas is cheap at $2.48 per gallon, it means that transportation also gets more affordable. It is believed that the average monthly water bill, however, is on the higher side, with the cost being approximately $30 or so.
Asheville Economy And Employment Opportunities
Now you need to know what kind of jobs are available in Asheville and give you the highest value. After all, you can’t be moving to Asheville and not have a job that would keep the cash flowing, right? Best Places estimates the unemployment rate at 3.3%, which is slightly lower than the US average of 3.7%. Asheville isn’t a place where you can get a job that pays extremely well, however. The average salary here is $53k.
Depending on your qualifications, you can land jobs in the medical and educational fields. The Mission Hospital, for instance, is the biggest employer in Asheville. Here, the salary can go as high as $155k per year! The many prestigious educational institutions in Asheville are the next biggest employers.
What makes Asheville stand out in terms of the economy is the flourishing small businesses. After all, Asheville also has a reputation as a tourist destination. In this sector, the Biltmore Estate is the biggest employer. There are also many restaurants and breweries that have come up here. If you’re planning to set up a business in Asheville, the city can provide you with the resources you require.
If you have kids or want in the future, there’ll be one question in your mind: does Asheville NC have good schools? To that, we say yes! There are 22 public and 43 private schools here. And some of the best high schools in the US are in Asheville itself. Buncombe County Schools is the place you must check out for the best schools in Asheville.
Thanks to the quality of education in Asheville, the average SAT scores of the K12 students are higher than that of North Carolina and the US. Those seeking higher education can enroll themselves at UNC Asheville, which is a highly-reputed liberal arts institution. Also, those wishing to get a continuing education can attend the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.
Getting Around In Asheville NC
There’s no denying that the population increase and development has resulted in considerable traffic in Asheville. But that’s relative to where you’re moving from. What the locals consider heavy traffic might be nothing compared to that in a Los Angeles or a Boston. So how do you get around in Asheville?
You can walk! For two reasons: it’s healthy and leaves no carbon footprint, and that Asheville is the second most walkable city in North Carolina! Particularly, if you’re living in Downtown Asheville, you’ll find that everything you’ll possibly need is within walking distance. But we understand that it’s not possible to walk everywhere. So it’s great to have your own car. The roads, particularly those away from Downtown Asheville, are windy and complement the terrain on which they’re built. You needn’t worry about parking as there are enough metered parking spaces as well as 4 garages where you can leave your car for a longer period of time.
If you’re enthusiastic about biking, pedaling along the many roads that snake along the Blue Ridge Mountains make for a lot of fun! Also, the city has also developed greenways where you can either bike or hike to get in touch with nature. On the other hand, you can avail yourself of public transportation as well:
Asheville Rides Transit
For a quick commute, the Asheville Rides Transit (ART) can be ideal. These buses have 17 routes which run from Downtown Asheville to the nearby areas and are very easy on the wallet – starting from $1 per ride and $20 for a month. But keep in mind to not depend on ART if you’re out late, because the services are only from 5:30 am to 10:30 am from Monday to Saturday, and from 8:30 am to 6:30 pm on Sundays and public holidays.
Taxis are a more expensive way of getting around Asheville, especially if you’re traveling outside the city. You can either book an AVL cab or an Uber or a Lyft.
Gray Line Trolley Tours
If you’re out sightseeing in Asheville, you can hop aboard a bus of Gray Line Trolley Tours. In this tour, you’ll be visiting many of the popular attractions of Asheville along with a guide who’ll be talking about these locations.
Best Neighborhoods In Asheville NC
If you’re one of the more social kinds who loves a closely-knit neighborhood, consider getting a house in Oakley. It’s located between the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway and the iconic Biltmore Village. Oakley is also well connected to Interstate 240 and Interstate 20, and getting around Asheville gets quite simple.
This neighborhood was built in the early 20th century and you’ll come across classic brick cottages, though now newer houses have also sprung up here. As the Oakley Elementary School is in this neighborhood, it makes for an ideal neighborhood for families to move into. The median price of homes in Oakley is $619,989, according to Zillow, and the average rent here is $1275 for a 2-bedroom apartment.
The ones who have a penchant for 1920s architecture and want a bigger yard in front of their houses should look at Kenilworth. It’s only about a 20-minute walk from Downtown Asheville, so you don’t need to be totally isolated as well! Given its proximity to Mission Hospital, this neighborhood is also coveted by families.What’s particularly notable about Kenilworth is its scenic location: it’s surrounded by hills and ravines and lined with trees.
As per Realtor, Kenilworth is believed to have a median listing price of $314,000. The average rent in this neighborhood is about $1434 for a one-bedroom apartment.
3. Haywood Road
Located in West Asheville, Haywood Road is a perfect place for the young and is buzzing with art and creativity. Many of the classic buildings and bungalows have been renovated and turned into cafes and quirky shops. And keep in mind that most of them are refurbished using eco-friendly methods. So your neighbors would typically be the environmentally conscious and free-spirited souls!
This neighborhood is suitable for pedestrians, so you can either walk or bicycle your way around. While Haywood Road used to be among the more affordable neighborhoods in Asheville, it’s starting to get more pricey. For instance, the average rent here is $1175 approximately. On the other hand, the median listing price of a home here can be give or take $300,000.
Is Asheville NC A Good Place To Live In?
The natural beauty and quirky culture of Asheville makes it something that would definitely attract those who want a breath of fresh air and the hip young crowd. But Asheville isn’t without its problems. The biggest among them is its high cost of living and low paying jobs – this doesn’t make for a great combination.
On the other hand, you may find it difficult to find a city that’s as liberal and inclusive of people of different origins and orientations as Asheville. The residents greatly patronize local shops and businesses. The young and wild at heart would totally be at home in Asheville.
You can go biking, kayaking or even climb Mount Pisgah. Adventure is just around the corner when you’re in Asheville. Weigh your options, and if you think moving to Asheville NC works for you, check out our website for some suggestions of moving companies and start planning the move of your life!