Murphy : North carolina

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What it's Like to Retire in Murphy

Murphy and the surrounding area in extreme southwestern North Carolina is a great place for a second home or retirement, particularly if you are interested in a quiet and rural environment. This very small town (about 1600 people) is the county seat of Cherokee County. There are some restaurants and shops.   Downtown is small with tree lined streets and many historic buildings restored to their original state. The climate is mild and the scenery is breathtaking with mountains, lakes (several large ones like Lake Hiwassee), and streams. Nearby towns are reported to be quite nice: Sylva and Waynesville. The people are very friendly and the community is small and tight-knit.  Asheville is located to the northeast. Photo of Courthouse courtesy of Wikipedia and Hi540.


Where to Retire in Murphy and Home Prices

More retirees continue to move to Murphy. Topretirements has not been able to find any active adult or 55+ communities in the Murphy area.

Real Estate Values
Median home prices were about $124,000 in mid-2016 according to


What is special about Murphy

The people and the landscape (mountains, streams, farms, pastures). Very close to John C. Campbell Folk School. Murphy is in a unique location in southwestern North Carolina. Thanks to NC's strange shape, Murphy is is closer to the capitals of six other states (Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, Kentucky, and West Virginia) than it is to Raleigh, the capital of North Carolina. Nantahala National Forest is right on the edge of Murphy.

What is not special about Murphy

Murphy is a small town in a rural area. For any kind of serious shopping you will need to drive a few hours to Asheville or Chattanooga. Fort Butler on this site was one of the main collection points for Indians on what would become their Trail of Tears.

Who will like retirement in Murphy

Everyone is very friendly (they all wave to you). The atmosphere is relaxed and outdoors oriented. To be happy here you have to like living in a quiet and small town.

Local economy is driven by

Construction and serving the non-resident community.

Climate and Physical Environment

Rolling hills and mountains up to 3,500 feet. Lots of streams and creeks and several large lakes such as Persimmon Lake) nearby. The average July high temperature is 86 and the average January low is 26. The wettest month is March (6")


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Murphy holds several festivals during the year, such as the Mountain Song Festival and the annual Spring Festival. For more serious culture you will need to drive elsewhere, such as the Harrah's Casino in Cherokee.



For a small town, Murphy has a high crime rate. Theft accounts for most of the crimes. 


Medical facilities

Murphy Medical Center is a local hospital.


Chattanooga is the nearest large airport for domestic flights and is about 80 miles away.  The closet international airport is in Atlanta about 130 miles away.


Valuable Links

Folk School
Custom Homes
Cherokee NC County Gov
Cherokee County Chamber
Retire in North Carolina
Practical articles about retirement

What people are saying about Murphy

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Facts about MURPHY
  • State: NC
  • Environment: Rural,Mountain,Lake,Small Town,
  • City Population: Less than 10,000
  • Median age of Population: 25-44
  • Avg Jan Temperature: 21-40
  • Avg July Temperature: 60-80
  • Median HH Income: 20,001-40,000
  • Average Home Price (MLS): $100,000-$200,000
  • Annual Property Tax on a $200,000 house: Less than 2000
  • Total Crime Index: 101-110 (slightly above average)
  • Cost of Living Index: 81-90 (low)
  • Culture Index: 101-110 (slightly above average)
  • State Sales Tax: Yes
  • State Income Tax: Yes
  • Name of the Guide: Bill Berg

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

Murphy retirement communities
Vote on the Ratings for Murphy
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1. Overall Retirement Ratings Discuss

1. Rating: 3.4/5 ( 10 votes cast)

2. Expense:
Inexpensive to Luxury Discuss

2. Rating: 2.8/5 ( 6 votes cast)

3. Taxes:
Inexpensive to Expensive Discuss

3. Rating: 2.5/5 ( 6 votes cast)

4. Culture:
None to Cosmopolitan Discuss

4. Rating: 2.8/5 ( 4 votes cast)

None to Summer camp Discuss

5. Rating: 5.0/5 ( 6 votes cast)

6. Transportation:
Boondocks to World Hub Discuss

6. Rating: 1.3/5 ( 4 votes cast)

7. Security:
Dangerous to Ft. Knox Discuss

7. Rating: 3.2/5 ( 14 votes cast)

8. Medical Facilities:
None to Excellent Discuss

8. Rating: 4.0/5 ( 6 votes cast)

9. Political Situation:
Conservative to Liberal Discuss

9. Rating: 1.7/5 ( 9 votes cast)

10. Environmental:
Oblivious to Ultra-Green Discuss

10. Rating: 3.6/5 ( 7 votes cast)


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