Highlands : North carolina

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What it's Like to Retire in Highlands

Highlands is located in extreme southwestern North Carolina. It is in the southern Appalachian Mountains, within the Nantahala National Forest. The permanent population was 924 at the 2010 census. The population can swell up to 20,000 during spring to fall. The town got its name from its high elevation (4,118').  In the 1930s the town became a center for golf when Bobby Jones of Atlanta and some of his golfing buddies founded the Highlands Country Club. That club remains as  one of seven successful residential country club communities in the area.

According to Wikipedia, Highlands is becoming more and more a two-season community; a summer-season community and an ever growing winter-season community. The summer season attracts large numbers of Southerners from the oppressive summertime heat and humidity found throughout much of the region to enjoy the beautiful mountains, cool days, fine dining, and hometown Main Street experience. The town is increasing its winter season draw through its offering of arts, culinary, holiday and romantic events.

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Where to Retire in Highlands and Home Prices

Highlands tends to attract a well off group of residents so real estate is expensive. City-Data.com estimated that the median 2013 value of a home was over $400,000.  Zillow had the 2016 value at $345,000. There are apparently 7 residential golf  communities in the area.

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What is special about Highlands

It's location in the mountains of western NC is pretty special. The link to golf great Bobby Jones is part of the appeal.  The town is dotted with many shops, antique dealers, a well-known auction house, and restaurants. The Old Edwards Inn is a charming old hotel. The outdoor lifestyle is a big attraction with hiking, waterfalls, and fishing in Harris Lake and others.

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What is not special about Highlands

It is very small (population under 1,000) and very remote. During the winter it is even smaller.

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Who will like retirement in Highlands

The average age is 64 so it does cater to a retirement age crowd. Golfers, hikers, and fishermen like it here.  It also attracts folks getting away from the heat of the city in summer.

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Local economy is driven by

Tourism and real estate.

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Climate and Physical Environment

Highlands is located along the South Carolina border in the extreme western end of the state. The mountains and elevation of 4100' give this town a cool winter climate (average in the 30s during January) and cool summers as well (averages in the 70s). The area averages about a foot of snow a year.

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Restaurants & Cultural Scene

There are four theaters: The Highlands Playhouse the Instant Theatre Company, the Highlands Community Players, and the Martin-Lipscomb Performing Arts Center, which hosts touring groups.  The Bascom is a nonprofit visual arts center that is housed on a six-building, six-acre campus, and offers exhibitions and educational programs.

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Crime

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Medical facilities

Highlands-Cashiers Hospital serves the town.

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Transportation

Highlands is hard to get to. The nearest municipal airport is Macon County Airport. There is no public transportation.

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Valuable Links

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What people are saying about Highlands

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Facts about HIGHLANDS
  • State: NC
  • Environment: Mountain,Small Town,Golf Community,
  • City Population: Less than 10,000
  • Median age of Population: 45-64
  • Avg Jan Temperature: 21-40
  • Avg July Temperature: 60-80
  • Median HH Income: 41,001-60,000
  • Average Home Price (MLS): $300,001-$500,000
  • Annual Property Tax on a $200,000 house: Less than 2000
  • Total Crime Index: <80 (Very low)
  • Cost of Living Index: 111-120 (high)
  • Culture Index: 81-90 (low)
  • State Sales Tax: Yes
  • State Income Tax: Yes
  • Name of the Guide: boomer1

Can you add to or correct these Facts? Or do you have a photo of this community we could use? If so, please click on Edit these facts

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