We thought about retiring to Asheville, NC ... just before the yuppies/boomers discovered it. Rents went up about 50% in a couple of years, and the people coming it wanted to bring their own background into politics. That always beats the shit out of me - if you like this better, why do you bring the culture you didn't like with you? It's like all the people in the 50's and 60's with chronic allergies who moved to the southwest ... and brought the same mulberry trees with them that caused their allergies in New England.
Originally Posted by Hippieinthewoods
But lately, there's been a hard (and predictable) backlash from rural NC, and they've just passed a state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. They already had a law against it, apparently that wasn't enough, now they have a constitutional amendment which will probably stand a year at most while the first case wends its way through federal courts, and will likely take down the pre-existant statute with it, as it should. It's not rational, it's just angry backlash. Virginia is getting a bit nutty since the governorship and one house of congress are conservative, and the other house evenly split. I'm not picking on Republicans, any time that either of the big-two parties get the upper hand they tend to go nutso.
I lived near the TN/NC border for years, and went into western NC fairly often. The countryside is gorgeous, the majority of the people are gracious and nice, and even the backwoods-sounding folks have and use manners that would make any resident or any state proud. They aren't faking it, they are genuinely nice people. But with all this influx of, let's just call them "less cordial people with more money than sense", people are getting a bit short-tempered. They don't mind at all sharing their countryside, but they'll be damned before they'll let anyone buy it or take it, and they especially resent the influx of NYC/CT money into an area that's budgeted around NC money. I figure that a NC dollar is worth maybe a quarter in NYC, as far as buying power is concerned. My son lives in NJ near NYC, and last we talked about it he had found a "great deal" on an apartment, only $1,500 for a tiny one-bedroom. In this area (outside of the burgeoning new "yuppie/boomer refuges"), $1,500/month will get you a 4BR, 3 bath "executive home", or a monstrous condo with pool, sauna, gym, and good tennis courts, probably next to a nice golf course, and that inclusive of condo fees.
Don't let that completely discourage you, I think a lot of the new swarming horde have given up during the housing bubble-burst as many are underwater on the mortgage on their northern homes. If you can get a good deal on buying in a place you like I'd go for it, I doubt the time will be any better in our lifetimes. If you're counting on renting, though, just understand that in time that rent could jump up drastically and unexpectedly. That's fine for some, but I don't think I'd want to retire there on fixed income as a renter without a nice nest-egg for when it's time to move on.
Still, it's gorgeous country and the weather is moderate considering the altitudes of most of it, that's pretty high up for the Appalachians (and the Westerners immediately start laughing) but the winters are pretty and mild for the most part. I just didn't want to see one of us commit to something that might not work out as planned because they based it on what conditions were decades ago. Notice that I didn't even mention fracking, so figure that in as well if it's a hot-button issue for you. I'm not as nervous about it as most here seem to be, because having worked for years in an extractive industry (in my case, coal) I know that the media loves to hype up "dangers" that don't even exist - hell, we work here and live here with our families, too. I caution others to pay attention to real dangers, but don't let the sensationalists in the media lead you around by the nose. Anyone ever see one of those polls on whether "dihydrogen monoxide" should be allowed in their rivers and streams? It's just a technically incorrect but still discernible name for ... water. The results for almost every one of the Internet polls I've seen poll heavily in favor of banning it. It's like the folks who are against "chemicals" ... hell, everything in this universe and the others we can see that isn't energy is made of "chemicals", which ones frighten you?
I don't intend to demean anyone, but please, pretty please ... get your facts from reliable sources and actual data before you get bent out of shape. Yes, there are things that are wrong, but not everything that sounds bad is bad.
"But I am filled with contradictions- I don't trust anybody who isn't." (Sean Garrison, frontman for KingHorse)