I am hoping I can get some opinions. I am narrowing down a relocation to NC this Fall, or Spring 2015 (don't want to move in the winter). I've managed to narrow things down to either Chapel Hill/Cary or Weaverville/Woodfin/Black Mountain outside of Asheville.
I am looking outside of Asheville, because while Asheville is vibrant and has wonderful assets, it is a little too hippie dippie for me. I like a little hippie dippie, but on a more "grown up" level, if that makes sense. I know it's easier to help if I give some points of what I'm looking for:
Good sense of community
Farmers Markets/Appreciation for organic and healthy foods
Outdoor activities (Nature trails, botanical garden, etc)
Good rental area (Will be renting an apartment or duplex for the first year)
I'd like to avoid "cookie cutter" complexes, if possible.
My wish list is simple. I would love a smallish, walkable community, with low hustle and bustle, but not too sleepy/isolated.
What do you guys think? I have been to both places, but am planning another trip this summer to look at the smaller towns around Asheville (only saw Asheville proper last time).
Which do you think is an overall better area for a "crunchy" family? I see positives to both, and it's so hard to narrow it down.
Many, many thanks!
Chapel Hill or nearby locations (Carrboro, Pittsboro, Saxapawhaw, Hillsborough) are good choices. This area has a lot of what you want. Cary where I live is good, but more cookie cutter, some neighborhoods are mostly Republicans.
Not sure about the environs around Asheville. Asheville is a liberal town in a conservative county.
Might want to look at the Boone/Blowing Rock area as well.
BUT if you're still looking...
Asheville, and even surrounding areas, are becoming increasingly expensive. Not as much as CHill, but I believe 3rd in the state. Asheville and surrounding areas, especially surrounding will lose their hippie-ness, but will also increase in Christian/Republican. Small town charm is awesome, but there's a flip-side to the country. Weaverville is still pretty awesome, although it's becoming more an extension of Asheville. Marshall has a booming artist community and lots of alternative communities. Black Mountain holds it's downtown charm, but almost impossible to find housing unless you're looking for apartment. It's just to small to accommodate housing for all those that'd like to live there.
But benefits are more than can be listed. You're in the mountains! Everything you'd want to do outdoors and unlimited access to nature/water/the parkway, etc.
If you're considering CHill, I'd look in to Pittsboro, but do it quickly. There is a 30K person development on the way, as an extended RTP community, and everything will change. If you can get in soon, there are rentals and a decent buyers market before this huge expansion. Plan in Pboro is to keep the charm of the downtown, but with a 30K influx of population.... there's really no knowing how long that'll last. But PBoro has the general store, and amazing co-op, great little downtown stores... so much you can do without going in to Raleigh/Cary or CHill/Carrboro - and even if you want to drive, it's only 10-25 minutes in every direction for basically unlimited access to Stuff/Shopping/Culture. In the Hill, you're looking at high prices, but affords great culture.
Bummer about that area is lack of Outdoorsy. Limited access to water and outdoors, except Jordan Lake which you share with everyone else wanting water. The rivers are not as accessible as in the mountains.
Personally... I'm looking at Mooresville, outside of Charlotte. Right next to Lake Norman, a bedroom community of Charlotte so you have the access, but it still feels like a small town. They've had an amazing transformation of their downtown.. uber cute. Maybe a little more suburbia than you're looking for, and definitely losing some of the charm that you'd get from outside of Asheville. But also more affordable than both Aville & CHill. But 1.5hrs to CHill and 1.5hrs to Asheville - 4hrs to the Coast. Kinda in the middle of everything. Just throwing out another place in your works.
single, WAH mom, to my only very kind & sweet lil man
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