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Ashville NC.

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Joined: 26 Jan 2011
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:08 am    Post subject: Ashville NC. Reply with quote

I'm about six years away from retirement and am not sure what direction I want to go. Lived in Los Angeles all my life but would like to get out of city. Don't want hot sticky summers and don't want freezing winters.Could me and my wife survive the winters in Ashville NC.How practical is it to be a snow bird? My wife loves to shop, how far to nearest large mall?


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Joined: 26 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:48 pm    Post subject: Asheville Reply with quote

Asheville has 4 seasons since it is close to the mountains in western NC. Winters will be colder than rest of the state and summers cooler. It is a very cosmopolitan town with great shopping. We've had a ton of discussion about Asheville at
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Joined: 01 Jan 1970
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm moving to Ashville, NC. This is a fabulous place to live.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:42 pm    Post subject: Asheville Reply with quote

Asheville just got 9 inches of snow in one day in February so it does get quite cold during winter in Asheville. The summers are hot and get too humid for me. Asheville Mall is a nice place to shop as they have a Belk.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:53 pm    Post subject: Retire in Asheville...?? Reply with quote

We just got back from 5 days in Asheville, NC (mid-Jan 2018). A siblings & spouses family reunion. Mostly Michigan residents (Grand Rapids area), but my wife & I flew in from Laguna Beach CA, an older bother from eastern WA state, and one other brother & his partner from nearby Hayesville NC (hence the NC location we chose for our reunion). 11 of us in total (no kids).

The youngest sibling there, my sister, is age 55, a nurse mid-wife in Ann Arbor, MI who works on her feet all day is looking forward to retiring, along with her husband. I'm the next youngest sibling at 57, and all my other siblings are older - only 1 of whom is retired yet.

Almost 20 years ago my wife & lived in nearby Spartanburg, SC for 2 years for my job, so we'd long admired Asheville, and visited it a few times during summers to see the Biltmore estate when our son was only 5. Our fond memories of the Carolinas had landed Asheville on my retirement destinations "consideration set". (We visted the Biltmore again this trip; it's still as breathtaking as I remembered, but one visit every 20 years is probably enough. So not a real factor.)

We rented a beautiful 6 BR/4BA home w/ gorgeous mountain views on Home, that just sold last fall for only ~ $400K, per Zillow. Coming from CA, this HUGE home affordabilty advantage is a big part of our attraction of this area for my wife & I. (But not so much for my Grand Rapids bothers, where RE prices may be a bit cheaper than in Asheville).

Everyone in our group is very "retirement minded" at this stage of our lives, so we discussed our impressions re: the suitability of Asheville as a place to retire a lot during our visit. My brother the realtor from Hayesville NC who has lived in Atlanta and western NC for > 30 years now was a big proponent of the area as a retirement destination, as you'd expect.

I also spent a lot of time quizzing locals who worked in the downtown Asheville visitor center, as well as the Blue Ridge Pkwy NP visitor center, and the nearby Folk Art Center. I asked folks where they were from, how long they'd lived there, and was Asheville a great place to retire? (I was surprised how many were from CA, incl San Diego.) As you'd expect, everyone was pretty positive.

1. We really love the western NC area in terms of natural beauty. Especially the Blue Ridge Parkway, and Smokey Mtns Nat'l Park, and the Appalachian Trail, all areas we hiked (in the C-O-L-D!)
2. We loved the feel of downtown Asheville. A vibrant arts community, and many very cool/ hip restaurants and non-chain shoppes, just like Laguna Beach. Felt like "home"! (The restaurant prices did, too.)
3. However I seriously doubt my wife & I could every get used to the cold winters in Asheville - even through I was raised in brutal winters in Michigan until I moved to So Cal at age 18. All the bare deciduous trees in winter were also a little depressing for me, even while nostalgically reminiscent of my happy childhood. We are just so spoiled now living in OC, CA (today 1/27/18 it's sunny & will get up to 70 here in Laguna, and tomorrow 80 degrees is forecast.) It was VERY cold in Asheville (in the teens, before wind chill), and it rained all day 1 of the 2 days it did get into the 40's/50's. The gorgeous year 'round weather where we live is precisely why 35M people put up w/ all the crowds, taxes & insane political s#*t in CA. Weather is really important to our mood/ happiness. (Note that this factor is all relative; all my family visiting from Michigan thought the Asheville weather was if anything an improvement over what they left at home!!! So they had no issues w/ the weather at all!

I think my wife & I (she was raised in Orange County CA) will probably be much happier retiring in the western US, where sunny blue skies are common in many areas all winter long, w/ scenic mountains everywhere covered predominantly with colorful evergreens - so no recurring monochomatic vistas, like bare black trees on an overcast day, for months of each year every winter.

Next up on our due diligence assignment for our alternatives to So Cal retirement destinations list, w/ 4 seasons, some snow accumulation, and beautiful scenery like NC, but with a MUCH sunnier/milder winter climate &/ more colorful winter vistas: Sedona & Prescott, AZ... Question
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