Everything You Need to Know When Moving to the Asheville, NC Area
If you're moving to Asheville, you're going to love the easy access to urban amenities this small, mountain city has to offer. Not only does it have an artsy, eclectic vibe to its downtown and urban areas, but it feels like it is built right into the forest, giving it so much natural beauty it will take your breath away. Asheville, with its quaint charm and mountain views, might just be the relocation opportunity you've been looking for.
What makes Asheville a great place to live?
Asheville's neighborhoods offer a wide range of options for newcomers. Whether you're seeking a cozy vintage starter home or a chic downtown condo, you'll find many options in Asheville. Each neighborhood boasts a lively food scene, plenty of outdoor space, and adventure awaiting around each new city block.
North Asheville is home to well-established neighborhoods with deep historical ties. You'll find unique architecture and upscale communities in this area along with vintage homes and small parks. It has tree-lined streets close to UNC giving some of this area a college-town vibe. You can also find new construction in the architect-designed Beaver Lake area or the Lakeview Park neighborhood where you'll find larger homes near the country club.
Montford is Asheville's historic district, in fact, it's the largest collection of historic homes in the state. The area has recently undergone a lot of renovation by homeowners and a portion of Montford is on the National Register of Historic Districts. This part of town is mostly single family homes in a range of architectural styles from early Victorian to mid-century and neoclassical. This eclectic style gives the area a lot of personality. Montford is home to several popular bed and breakfasts and some great, local shopping. This neighborhood also hosts Asheville's largest street festival in the summer.
This is where you want to be if you're looking for an area with great walkability. With over 300 locally-owned restaurants, boutiques, cafés, and shops, Downtown Asheville is the perfect place to live and explore. The housing options in this area are predominately lofts and condos all with close access to the center of town and created with a mix of historical and new age architecture.
To the east of downtown, the Kenilworth Forest neighborhood is becoming a sought-after location for families, professionals, and retirees alike. The residents in this area can enjoy a 19-acre lake, a mix of older and new construction, and great walking and biking trails. Living in East Asheville will also put you in a great location for easily hopping on the Blue Ridge Parkway as well as easy access to many shopping and dining options.
Demographics & Population Information
Asheville has seen some steady population growth lately as one of the most desirable places to live in North Carolina but is still a relatively small city with a population under 100,000.
According to census reports, the racial composition of Asheville, North Carolina is:
- White: 84.03%
- Black or African American: 11.23%
- Two or more races: 1.89%
- Asian: 1.71%
- Other race: 0.45%
- Native American: 0.42%
- Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.26%
Job Market and Cost of Living in Asheville
Since Asheville is a beautiful city that offers many restaurants, hotels, historic landmarks, natural vistas, and the popular Biltmore House, it's no surprise that one of the biggest industries in the area is hospitality, with travel and tourism next on the list. Healthcare and education round out the list of industries in the area that provides the most jobs to residents. Memorial Mission Hospital is one of the biggest employers in the area, followed by the Buncombe County Board of Education.
The average income in Asheville falls below that of the national average, but not by much. The average income of an Asheville resident is $28,106 a year while the US average is $28,555 a year. The city also has a relatively low unemployment rate at 3.8% compared to the US average of 4.6%, as of September 2021.
Asheville Home Rentals & Property Value
According to Apartments.com, the average cost to rent a two-bedroom apartment in Asheville hovers around $1,527 monthly (as of November 2021), making Asheville a pretty affordable city when compared with other cities of the same size. The median list price of a home for sale in Asheville is $435,000 as of November 2021.
Greenspace, Parks, and Recreation
With the Blue Ridge Mountains as the backdrop surrounding Asheville, you'll never be lacking for a little outdoor adventure. In fact, there are more than a million acres of protected wilderness in this area providing lots of options for places to hike, bike, fish and paddle.
Sliding Rock Natural Waterslide
A can't-be-missed experience is a trip to Sliding Rock. In the middle of Pisgah National Forest, you can slide down a 60-foot natural waterslide. During the summer months, there are even lifeguards on duty to ensure that everyone has a safe experience.
Float along Hominy Creek
You can grab an inner tube and float along the seven-mile stretch from Hominy Creek to the Bywater beginning at French Broad River Park. Asheville Adventure Rentals is located there—and you can rent a tube from them, or just pay a small fee, and they will transport you back at the end of your float. You can also check out Zen Tubing who allows you to rent a tube for your picnic cooler too. You'll glide through the River Arts District and can even take a side trip to the Wedge Brewing Company to enjoy a craft beverage on your way.
The Blue Ridge Mountains surrounding Asheville have thousands of gorgeous waterfalls for your viewing pleasure. Many of them require some hiking or at least a drive into a remote area of the mountains. However, there are at least half a dozen that you can enjoy from the road which are free to visit. A leisurely drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway will bring you to the cascades of Looking Glass Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, SoCo falls and several others.
Asheville has so many things to do, it's impossible to list them all. There are electric bike tours of the city, guided kayak trips, and white water rafting. You'll find ziplines and waterfalls, bird watching and golf all within an easy drive from your new home.
Parking, Commutes, and Public Transportation
Unfortunately, public transportation in Asheville is somewhat lacking, however, the city itself is very easy to traverse. The area is bike and walking friendly but keep in mind there are lots of cars and lots of tourists, especially in the downtown areas, which can make parking a hassle. If you are traveling downtown for a meal many restaurants offer curbside valet services.
Asheville's vibrant education system is just one more reason that living in this city is so appealing. Asheville encompasses 22 public elementary, middle and high schools and also 43 private school options. Since the education sector is one of the more bustling job opportunities in the area, the teachers and staff are committed to creating an excellent learning environment. That is evident when considering how well the schools rank in national averages. Given that it is a small city it is impressive that eighteen of Asheville's high schools are currently recognized on U.S. News & World Report's Best High Schools rankings.
Asheville is also home to the University of North Carolina Asheville (UNC Asheville) which is a four-year liberal arts university. Nearby you will also find Montreat College, Warren Wilson College and Mars Hill University.
General and trade curriculums for students of all ages can be completed at A-B Tech which is Asheville's community college.
Asheville's Restaurants & Nightlife
Asheville's creative vibe lends itself to a rapidly growing restaurant scene. Asheville is most definitely a place you want to come to with an empty belly and an open mind. Market fresh ingredients from Western North Carolina farmers, help area chefs create inspired southern comfort food. You'll find whole-hog barbecue and Tennessee hot chicken mingled with flavors from Asia, South America, the Middle East, and beyond. If you decide to move to Asheville, you won't be lacking a restaurant choice at dinner time.
You won't find a better view than at Hemingway's Cuba restaurant and bar in downtown Asheville. Chefs pair traditional Cuban food with a southern Asheville flair. You'll find everything from Empanadas to Cuban Daiquiris in an ambiance that will make you want to dance. It's located on the fourth floor of Cambria Downtown Asheville, near Grove Arcade, where you will have fantastic views of both Downtown Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Rocky's Hot Chicken Shack
At Rocky's you'll find made to order, "Tennessee-style" hot chicken and southern soul food. Sourced locally, all ingredients are fresh daily, making their American recipes not only mouth-wateringly good but so fresh you can taste it. You can order your chicken as hot (or not) as you'd like.
Isa's French Bistro
Isa's French Bistro menu is created to utilize the freshness of Western North Carolina's seasonal harvests and fresh local produce. It's on the fancier side with favorite dishes to include Escargot & Bone Marrow, Steak Tartare, and Scallops Au Poivre. You'll find free valet parking available because the location is in the heart of downtown, and its covered sidewalk seating makes for excellent people watching.
Considering a Move to Asheville?
If you're looking for mountain vistas, fantastic food, and southern hospitality, Asheville is the perfect place to relocate. Moving to Asheville will allow you to enjoy all four seasons, but still have a really temperate winter. Due to its location, and being semi-protected by nearby mountains, the nearby ski resorts get most of the snow, while downtown remains sheltered from the worst winter temperatures. Summers here are warm and long, giving way to beautiful autumns, rich with color along the Blue Ridge.
Our professional team of moving experts can assist and guide you through all the details of your move to Asheville, so give College HUNKS Hauling Junk & Moving a call when you are ready for your move. We can't wait to help make the moving process easier and stress-free for you and your family.