Moving to Asheville - how did you get here?

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Unix Brat in Asheville, North Carolina

57 months ago

There is a lot of the Big Fish in a Small Pond mentality around here. Not to mention blatant political corruption. The good things about this area are being quickly destroyed by developers. Some are locals but most are outsiders.

Unless you land a cushy job at UNC-A or WCU, the wages are horrible.

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SRWinNC in Asheville, North Carolina

57 months ago

Sue, you'll probably get jumped on for writing what you did, mostly by the folks on the Asheville bandwagon who've moved here and drunk the Kool-Aid like you noted and think it's the best, most enlightened place on earth, but I've found there's an awful lot of truth to what you have written and it's kind of a circle jerk by a group of people who think they are the most liberal and enlightened people on the planet that like to pat themselves on the back and if you have different socio/political views then it's best not to discuss politics and keep those views hidden for the privacy of the voting booth. I've enjoyed living here for the most part but you can't find a living wage job without connections and it takes a lot of time to develop those, years in many cases, if you come from out of town so it will be a struggle to get by on what most employers pay until then. Starting you own business as others suggest is a good idea from what I have seen otherwise it's largely seasonal temp jobs and bartender/waitress jobs like any resort town. There's been a loss of over 6,000 manufacturing jobs in the last decade according to a Citizen Times article a few months back when the President was in town touting the 150 new jobs created by a company that moved into the old Volvo plant that took more and better paying jobs with it when it moved to PA. If you look at the two big areas about an hour away, Charlotte and Greenville, their economies are based on engineering/manufacturing/finance/IT and there is a "middle class" I call it, instead of the "haves/have nots" here in Asheville. Those jobs pay 5 to 10 dollars an hour more than what people are making at jobs here with similar stress and responsibility while their homes cost the same or maybe even less in some areas. Bringing those types of industries to Asheville should be Job One for the "powers that be" around here but many of them wouldn't like that as it would drive up the wages they would have to pay their employees too

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charger2 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

57 months ago

good luck to you - we moved to asheville in 1979 from miami beach - BIG change - however my mom loved it and I adapted - after finighing high school in 1981- a few yrs later I moved back to miami - asheville is a BEAUTIFUL place no doubt - but I will agree that for the most part the people that grow up there are slow to change and accepting anybody different then them-wages were low then and they are still low 35 yrs ago- it is a certain place for certain people - not growing much just the medical family-still alot of prejudice and very antisemetic-if u like the life there better to go with money and retire- great for outdoor people- winters are rough - money wise nothing! if you work in the service industry -small town small mind execpt it or leave - good luck with your ventures

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Silvergracefe in Asheville, North Carolina

57 months ago

I am just going to share my experience for whom ever considers coming here or is/was already living here.
my biggest concern with Asheville is employment maybe its just me, I have been here for about a 10 months now(been here twice just to visit my family) and I have the hardest time finding a job. I think by now I wrote over 60-70 jobs(not excruciating) got a few interviews but never got the job it's starting to be a little depressing. I am not trying to offend anyone who is a 100% Asheville person but the people here are extremely slow workers and just talk about ridiculous stuff but that is just my opinion maybe because I came from a fast pace work. at first when I came here I thought people were extremely nice, I think their still are but as I got to know the place a little more I def noticed for some reason a lot have an attitude even men which is extremely rare but I can not speak for all of course.

I am Jewish-Israeli, 23 year old girl and lived in Miami for about 9 years, I do have an accent so I can not hide that I am a jew, does anyone know if being a jew can effect finding a job? I am nice, I got a good resume, I give them answers that they need but I feel like they just don't like me I got once looked at up and down In a bad way without a bye by the wife of the guy who interviewed me and I said pretty loud thank you and bye, it sucked and it hurt and did not get the job lol and as bad as it sounds my brother who is already 32 with 2 kids and a wife is also having an issue finding a job and he got let go from his job that he was only working at for about 3 weeks for no reason.

other then employment = I am still not tired of the mountains, nature and downtown. I think it's a good place to come and relax for the weekend it is a beautiful place but we should live it for the people who already live here.

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SRWinNC in Asheville, North Carolina

57 months ago

I've been visitng AVl since the late 70's. I lived in nearby Johnson City from 2007 until 2012 before i relocated here from Baltimore area. As an outsider, i think i have a pretty good handle on life in the mountain south from an outsider's perspective. AVL is not Utopia, BUT, that doesn't exist. It IS a very fun place to live and people are very engaging and i have made a lot of friends in the last 14 months. That said, we are still in the biggest recession of most of our lifespans. Things are tough all over. Not just here. I am just now finally starting to get the kind of networking that I'm sure will eventually land me a 'living wage' job. If you want to move here you CAN break in, just know, it will take a LOT of work and networking effort. Don't expect results in weeks. More like months or even years.
I personally connect better with locals who have lived here all their lives than the other transplants. I'm a bit more to the 'right' politically, as are many of the locals. The newer Ashevillans, living in the city limits tend to lean more to the left. i'm getting much better network results from the folks who are natives.
As to wondering if prejudice may be what's thwarting your attempts my personal experience has not found that to be something that seems to be much of an issue. i'm a middle aged, white male and have met many 'locals'. Albeit, educated, upper middle class locals, not the bluer collar types. My experience in life, in different places i have lived has been after people get to know you, if they suffer from prejudice, you'll start to hear it in their talk. I personally have not, in conversation over the last year, heard anyone drop the 'N' word or even mention anything about Jewish people. The trick here, as in other places these days, seems to be to ingratiate yourself to people who are succesfully employed in fields you have experience in or that you wish to get in to. Network with the natives who work in your field. it takes a lot of time.

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charger2 in Savannah, Georgia

57 months ago

we moved to asheville in 1978 from miami bch- mym mom said don't tell anyone you are jewish-and i never mentioned it - I may have met one jewish person in high school but that was it - i came back to miami in mid 80's cause the town got alot of snow and I realized it was too slow for me - having grown up in mb I was always think much faster than most -my momm passed last yr but we always talked about there being very few jews and the ones that were there never had a presense - i would hope they are not disciminating against you - you just might be too far advance for the place - great place but it does tend to stand still in such a way - Maybe you will understand I have many friends there and I love asheville but can not live there year round -too slowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

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Julie in Atlantic Beach, Florida

57 months ago

I am also seriously considering moving to the asheville area. I am a massage therapist with a successful business. I fell in love asheville when i went to a wedding in black mountain when i was 7 and I visited 2 years ago for continuing education. I feel my 12 year old artistic daughter would benefit from the positivity and acceptance of open minded people which she doesn't get in the jacksonville beach area. She is awkward so she is bullied! So if anyone knows of a good area to live that has a great middle school please let me know. The market of retired people can be great for my field tho I feel like I would need to raffle a monthly free massage to some of the people on this website. Not being able to find work or get ahead is VERY stressful. Hence the negativity in a downward spiral. In my situation, I know there is work for me there but I hear the market for massage therapists is flooded in asheville and even tho its flooded here in jax beach area I do very well. Can anyone tell me about waynesville or Hendersonville or black mountain or pisgah or any town close to asheville that has potential for good schools and any information about the healing arts in your community.

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SRWinNC in Asheville, North Carolina

57 months ago

Julie,
Good schools in Arden/Fletcher area. the south side of town. Massage therapy may be a flooded field here, just a guess.
Hendersonville appears to be a bit cheaper, close to AVL, and lots of retirees and retirement communities. You may wish to check Hville.

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charger2 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

57 months ago

in comparison to jax I would say Asheville- but I am a native florida girl that moved with my mom to Asheville in 1979 - finished high school and came back to mia- I luv Asheville as we have a home thee but not enough to do - it is a great place to raise kids as you do get that small town welcome feel - many areas are still good old boy areas- truth - gay friendly as long as you are in town I am stating the truth - there is a lot of homeless there- more so in the last 6-8 years then I have seen - I was thee last month and seem a bit overwhelming downtown because it is a small area- living in ft.lauderdale we have a lot of homeless but we have more shelters here and more space allowing them to spread - as far as massage - honestly I am also a lmt for 12 yrs- Asheville at one time had 3 or 4 schools and pumped out more therapists than any other town -there are ALOT ALOT of great therapists and it is a struggle - the average charge for massage is $45- many therapists work part time at grove park inn for supplemental income as they are usually busy with weddings, tourists etc.. they have oponed one massage envy and are scheduled to open another- you might find your niche there but I would rent for 6- 12 months before moving permanantely - low pay and high unemployment there-

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JM in Quincy, Massachusetts

55 months ago

Silvergracefe in Asheville, North Carolina said: I am just going to share my experience for whom ever considers coming here or is/was already living here.
my biggest concern with Asheville is employment maybe its just me, I have been here for about a 10 months now(been here twice just to visit my family) and I have the hardest time finding a job. I think by now I wrote over 60-70 jobs(not excruciating) got a few interviews but never got the job it's starting to be a little depressing. I am not trying to offend anyone who is a 100% Asheville person but the people here are extremely slow workers and just talk about ridiculous stuff but that is just my opinion maybe because I came from a fast pace work. at first when I came here I thought people were extremely nice, I think their still are but as I got to know the place a little more I def noticed for some reason a lot have an attitude even men which is extremely rare but I can not speak for all of course.

I am Jewish-Israeli, 23 year old girl and lived in Miami for about 9 years, I do have an accent so I can not hide that I am a jew, does anyone know if being a jew can effect finding a job? I am nice, I got a good resume, I give them answers that they need but I feel like they just don't like me I got once looked at up and down In a bad way without a bye by the wife of the guy who interviewed me and I said pretty loud thank you and bye, it sucked and it hurt and did not get the job lol and as bad as it sounds my brother who is already 32 with 2 kids and a wife is also having an issue finding a job and he got let go from his job that he was only working at for about 3 weeks for no reason.

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JM in Quincy, Massachusetts

55 months ago

Nice to hear from another Jew. I was born in the US, but know understand the tepid areas of anti-semitism that are in places when you leave the metropolis. In the Northeast, I don't feel this since I'm with a variety of people.
In Asheville, I remember having to explain to the lady watching the dogs that being Jewish wasn't that I'm a traitor...that Jesus was a Jew, etc. Unemployment was a problem for me there too! It's not only your Israeli accent, but any accent which is not Southern based turns the boys off. Back in the Northeast now, enjoying that I don't have to fit into a mold, I'm much happier. I do miss much of Asheville, including my Israeli friend who helped me understand various grammar points that most Israelis don't know.

Good luck in Asheville!! You're young, and nothing is holding you back. America is big, and rich in various places to visit.

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NC_native in Boone, North Carolina

55 months ago

Wow...I Googled "why can't I find a rental in Asheville" and this forum came up. I've been trying for nearly two months to find a house share or decent 1BR rental in Asheville. I am a fully funded, mature graduate student in my 40s. I just finished a certificate at Appalachian here in Boone and I am supposed to be attending Montreat's Asheville campus in August. I've responded daily to CraigsList postings, around 80 so far, and had maybe 5 replies. Some of those were from bizarre, passive-aggressive people who can't afford their mortgage. Some were for falling-down rental houses on the edge of a gully, going for $950.

I was born in North Carolina and raised in Iredell County. I escaped some of the ignorance and fundamentalism there by moving to Charlotte in the early '90s. I spent nearly 20 years working in Charlotte until I became weary of living in the soulless "buckle of the Bible belt". However, in just two months I have experienced more discrimination against educated persons in Asheville than any sort of problem I had in Charlotte. I thought Asheville was supposed to be this liberal, tolerant place where folks intentionally moved to get away from the banking, insurance, and hospital cartels' grip on Charlotte. NOT SO, ASHEVILLE!

Instead, taking in Asheville on my trips down, I have experienced hippies who care more about ecology than humanity, a loud, drunk downtown scene full of sports bars disguised as "breweries", and a lot of broke artists and non-degreed con people teaching "meditation". The same part-time job I had at $11/hr in Charlotte as an undergrad at UNCC pays...yep, "$8/hr Asheville", IF YOU KNOW SOMEBODY. I do have two wonderful friends in Asheville, one a broke artist supported by a trust fund baby, and the other half of a dual income family that is struggling with two kids. What do I have to do to find an educated, liberal city in NC, move to sizzling RTP?

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NC_native in Boone, North Carolina

55 months ago

RTP means the Research Triangle Park in the Chapel Hill/Raleigh/Durham area, which is educated and liberal, with wonderful universities, but hotter than hell. I don't want to leave NC because my elderly parents are here and I can't afford out-of-state tuition. As an aside, UNC-Asheville is a JOKE which will probably be closed soon if evil Gov. Pat McCrory has anything to do with it. UNCA only has 3-4 thousand students and ONE higher degree, an MLA. Lot of good that will do you anywhere.

Now I learn from this forum that people in Asheville have bumper stickers reading "DON'T MOVE HERE"? Nice. Can you say redneck? Keep in mind, I've lived in NC my whole life and never been treated so shabbily by rental properties, even in Boone, where locals are desperate for money and rich Floridians build their McMansions on top of the mountains.

If Asheville wants to be anything more than a tourist destination, it has to get those fat white good 'ol boys to build some damn decent rentals and become a real city with real responsibilities to its lower income residents! Instead the tiny "upper crust" of the town seems satisfied plugging stale old Biltmore House and building pricey stores where no one can afford to shop but rich tourists. I'm so disappointed in you, Asheville. Stick a pin in your PR balloon and pfft! the real place is revealed. Even a mature student with full funding can't find a decent place to live when she is accepted to college, oh, but remember, "Altitude Affects Attitude!" I've never seen a place so full of its own BS.

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SRWinNC in Asheville, North Carolina

55 months ago

Hmmm, I know better than to 'feed the trolls' but I've been out tonight in AVL visiting some very nice folks, having a good time, and enjoying some of beer city's beer so...I'm feeling sporty. So here goes...
"JM in Quincy Massachusetts" who I guess has recently moved here to look for work so...Please don't take it so personally here in AVL. It's not because you are an Israeli Jew with an accent that is why you aren't finding a job in Asheville. It's because there are NO jobs in Asheville other than waitressing or bartending and the country's unemployment figures remain abysmal in spite of what the gov't/media tells us. There are few jobs anywhere and hundreds of people applying for each of them. If you aren't applying for entry level jobs then...you won't find work. I sympathize with you that you might think it's something about yourself folks here don't like. Probably not the case though. I too think I should 'dumb down' my resume and remove my Master's degree or other experience but that won't make a difference. If you really want to work in AVL you need to 'schmooz' and network your way into an entry level job, [like I am doing], and do your time at that level while you kiss ass to worm your way up to a better position or transfer to another company.
"NC-Native in Boone." I don't know what to suggest to you. I can only suspect you will be miserable anywhere in NC, or maybe other states too as you seem to have multiple "axes to grind".
Asheville is a resort town. Period. like the beach or a ski resort. If you want to accept that powerful local companies and landowners take advantage of the fact that lots of people want to live here and are willing to work for 8 dollars an hour [supply and demand] then come live here. If that isn't what you're interested in then...go somewhere else. Asheville apparently has no shortage of people willing to come here to work for the wages that are offered. The bitter move on, the creative/entrepreneurial move up.

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thevoltman2000 in Shelby, North Carolina

53 months ago

Listen folks I moved here from Connecticut 7 years ago when the economy was still good. I started the day after I arrived on a 9 dollar an HR. job then after 3 months I was making 10. way ahead of the 8 dollar an hour game. then I went into my field as an electrician after 6 months in Asheville. I worked another 15 months receiving a total of $1.50 in raises. I was smitten. as a Conn. Yankee in the Good O'le Boys court. Then things really hit the fan& I found myself without a job. Laid off I collected for 99 weeks and just at that time the government where investing in bigger companies thus big electrical projects came up and then ended I was a valuable part of the commercial boom here and found several temp positions paying upwards of 19 bucks an hour. I was also creative in between looking for my own side work and utilizing unemployment. as it was needed. Now 5 years later I am unemployed no side work and no unemployment. checks thanks to the new governor and his bills to cut austerity. here in the great state of North Carolina. Oh well he cut lots of things in order to pay back the feds. I'm below the poverty line now and selling off my personal possessions. I know that I am a opinionated smart ass yankee as my homegrown native wife addresses me as but evenvthe difference of culture and the way we speak get our message across we are all just people trying to get through life.It is the economy. and it has been my frustration holding me back. So today is a new day and tomorrow isfilled

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looking towards avl in Rockford, Illinois

53 months ago

Wow should I just cancel my interview and die in Rockford IL? Rough board here. I'm sure that there are employment issues as stated but it can't be that AVL in the "hell hole" many of you say it is. I have been there before and had friends that lived there.

Where I am living now has the third highest murder rate in the state.13% unemployment in the third largest city in the state. Taxes are in excess of 5k a year and the school district is a train wreck. Sales tax is 9% and gas is 3.75 a gallon. The last two Governors are now convicts and the current one gets booed and heckled everywhere he goes .The majority of the manufacturing jobs are gone but we keep building empty strip malls.

This is the real world and some places are better based on what you get out of it and what you put into it to reap the benefits.I see a better life for me in AVL then RFD.

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hemingwaykitten in Asheville, North Carolina

53 months ago

looking towards avl in Rockford, Illinois said: Wow should I just cancel my interview and die in Rockford IL? Rough board here. I'm sure that there are employment issues as stated but it can't be that AVL in the "hell hole" many of you say it is. I have been there before and had friends that lived there.

Where I am living now has the third highest murder rate in the state.13% unemployment in the third largest city in the state. Taxes are in excess of 5k a year and the school district is a train wreck. Sales tax is 9% and gas is 3.75 a gallon. The last two Governors are now convicts and the current one gets booed and heckled everywhere he goes .The majority of the manufacturing jobs are gone but we keep building empty strip malls.

This is the real world and some places are better based on what you get out of it and what you put into it to reap the benefits.I see a better life for me in AVL then RFD.

I've been here two months. The boarding house (not bad) where I live is $550 per month including utilities. 8 people have lived in this room in the past 12 months. The place is rife with alcoholism and pot, for good reason. We don't call it "$8/hr Asheville" for nothing. Just sayin', be prepared for a drop in the quality of housing you can afford, and don't expect to find many professional jobs (i.e., non-restaurant or non-retail).

P.S. And have ya seen our politicians lately? We're the laughing stock of the US.

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SRWinNC in Asheville, North Carolina

53 months ago

Coming here to retire with your money from somewhere else. You'll love it here!!! Thinking of coming here because it's Beer City and you want to open a brewery? Hah!!! Well good luck with that. Asheville is pretty much at total saturation level with microbreweries. Know that you will be up against some other people who inherited millions of dollars and they got that idea a few years before you did and they don't really have to make any money brewing their beer. They're brewing beer for fun. Think you can compete with that??? Those guys will brew better beer than you can and don't care if they make a profit per barrel. Go for it Scooter. Pick another town where there aren't any breweries and go there and be the big dog. Don't come here to brew beer.

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E in Norcross, Georgia

48 months ago

carol in Bakersville, North Carolina said: How does anyone get hired at Mission? I have 30 years experience, and have applied for multiple RN positions, and all I get is an email saying they chose someone else-and I am fully qualified for these jobs. They don't even let you talk to a real nurse recruiter-it's all done over the internet. I have always been hired immediatly at every nursing interview I have ever had, and I am totally amazed at the difficulty trying to get hired when jobs are posted! I was told it was such a great place to work. Anybody have a clue?

Got to get past HR. HR often times full of idiots who often give more weight to things that should cary less weight. Network, find nurses who work there, ask them what it takes to get past HR.

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JP in Quincy, Massachusetts

48 months ago

Don't forget age discrimination--something very COVERT, but why hire a very qualified individual when they can hire someone with 4-5 years experience at a much lower wage. Trust me, any wage at Mission is very low compared with the rest of US.

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AVL NATIVE in Greenville, South Carolina

47 months ago

JP in Quincy, Massachusetts said: Don't forget age discrimination--something very COVERT, but why hire a very qualified individual when they can hire someone with 4-5 years experience at a much lower wage. Trust me, any wage at Mission is very low compared with the rest of US.

If you cant take the heat get out of the kitchen...

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Ken in New York, New York

45 months ago

I'm heading down to Asheville at the end of the month to check it out as a potential new home. I'll be spending 17 days both working and living the Asheville scene. I've read through this entire thread and now I"m feeling somewhat deflated. I've never lived in the south and as a liberal elite NYC Jew (but vehemently atheist) - am i going to be starved to death? I've lived in rural massachusetts and vermont and did just fine outside of the urban centers and in the mountains/woods. The feeling I'm getting is that Asheville is economically depressed other than those who've actually come down with $$ to burn. I personally have my own business and can work from anywhere, so I won't need to find a job - believe me, cost of living no matter how high won't hold a candle to the east village, NYC. But my thoughts are, if there are no interesting jobs or industries, are there actually interesting people? (my belief was that you're filled with awesome people) This is crazy. I'd love some elaboration if someone out there would care to chime in. I'm coming down anyway so no turning back -- flights booked and airbnb all set...., but I'm now pretty curious as to what I'll actually find. Just know beforehand, everyone I've ever spoken with told me Asheville was meant for me.

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SRWinNC in Asheville, North Carolina

45 months ago

Ken in New York, New York said: I'm heading down to Asheville at the end of the month to check it out as a potential new home. I'll be spending 17 days both working and living the Asheville scene. I've read through this entire thread and now I"m feeling somewhat deflated. I've never lived in the south and as a liberal elite NYC Jew (but vehemently atheist) - am i going to be starved to death? I've lived in rural massachusetts and vermont and did just fine outside of the urban centers and in the mountains/woods. The feeling I'm getting is that Asheville is economically depressed other than those who've actually come down with $$ to burn. I personally have my own business and can work from anywhere, so I won't need to find a job - believe me, cost of living no matter how high won't hold a candle to the east village, NYC. But my thoughts are, if there are no interesting jobs or industries, are there actually interesting people? (my belief was that you're filled with awesome people) This is crazy. I'd love some elaboration if someone out there would care to chime in. I'm coming down anyway so no turning back -- flights booked and airbnb all set...., but I'm now pretty curious as to what I'll actually find. Just know beforehand, everyone I've ever spoken with told me Asheville was meant for me.

You're bringing along your own good paying job that you can do from home and used to making enough scratch to survive in NYC??? You'll make plenty of money here. don't worry about not meeting "interesting people" one thing AVL is loaded with is "interesting people". Come on down and check it out.

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movingon in Clinton, Massachusetts

45 months ago

Hello all,
I am originally from KY, am a licensed therapist, and my husband is a Plasterer and is from Ireland. We have four children, so good schools are important. I would say that culturally we would have more in common with folks in Asheville than we do with folks in MA. We are thinking of relocating to a small to mid-sized Southern city/town due to the MA weather, fast-paced (stressed out) lifestyle, and the cost of living here.

I'm hearing so many scary opinions here...we definitely would not move until we have sold our home here, have a decent amount of money saved, and at least one of us has a good job waiting on the other end. No rush, we will take our time with this. I have a nice job here working in the school system and have a small private practice on the side. My husband has his own plastering business. We both work very hard and make decent money, but can't seem to get ahead financially and don't love it here culturally.

What do people think? Are we crazy to consider this?

Thanks for any feedback:)

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movingon in Clinton, Massachusetts

45 months ago

Hello all,
I am originally from KY, am a licensed therapist, and my husband is a Plasterer and is from Ireland. We have four children, so good schools are important. I would say that culturally we would have more in common with folks in Asheville than we do with folks in MA. We are thinking of relocating to a small to mid-sized Southern city/town due to the MA weather, fast-paced (stressed out) lifestyle, and the cost of living here.

I'm hearing so many scary opinions here...we definitely would not move until we have sold our home here, have a decent amount of money saved, and at least one of us has a good job waiting on the other end. No rush, we will take our time with this. I have a nice job here working in the school system and have a small private practice on the side. My husband has his own plastering business. We both work very hard and make decent money, but can't seem to get ahead financially and don't love it here culturally.

What do people think? Are we crazy to consider this?

Thanks for any feedback:)

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Bandini in Black Mountain, North Carolina

44 months ago

re-"movingon in Clinton, Massachusetts

Had to reply being from MA and being Plasterer/Const. person in Asheville - you might be Crazy!
NC State is one of the least progressive/idiotic in the country. They cut education funding, refused Federal Dollars for the Affordable Care Act(in a State with abysmal Health Care), against Gay/Lesbian Rights.
NC can be a disappointing place for a person who's well traveled and accepting. A teacher friend here from the mid-west is appalled at her salary and the ignorance of her co-workers
A couple from Long Island- him Italian her Columbian worked 45 min N. of here and were run out of the school system - blaming him for the Civil War and calling her a "Dirty Mexican".
As far as your husband- he probably has a lot more in common with workers in the North. They have retained traditions like his there- passing them down. (This Old House is from Boston eg.) Italian, Greek, Irish plasterers are commonplace there. The trades have been lost here. Immigrants seem to be the ones working construction. Try competing at $8-10hr. Yet- the old houses here are Plaster but NOBODY knows what it is, how to repair it or install it new (?). They still use "knockdown texture" here because it's quick and easier (went out of style in the 80's everywhere else). The money here lives in boring cookie cutter new housing In S. Asheville.
Newer arrivals with style are fixing up the old stock hire me. Some of the locals hate them and me for improving things.
He will work circles around the guys here if he can develop a clientelle. I have been told by both native and transplants- they shy away from hiring people from the South bc of bad experiences w people not showing up, drunk, bad workmanship, etc.
Asheville is improving thanks to an influx of liberalness, work/business ethic and the decent people who already lived here.
Didn't come with a grudge at all. Hypocrisy and hostility reared it's head.

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stayintruetosoul in Asheville, North Carolina

42 months ago

I stay true to my comment posted almost two years ago. I just finally finished my degree at UNCA, and in those six years of attending, I've watched this town transform into what reminds me of a massive cruiseship. The city w*ores itself for tourist dollars, exploits it's workers, and the new elite (big fish small pond) think they've really created something vibrant and unique, when in fact, it is a bit like Disneyland, a simulacrum. This place has a lot of issues, and most of them are further and further being swept under the rug. Every night I get off work in downtown, I work my way through a sea of drunk kids and partiers. During the day, you will contend with crowds and crowds or lost tourists and terrible traffic. There ARE excellent musicians around here, not all of them getting much notice or gigs. Art … I'm not sure what to say. That's all too subjective. Diversity? Don't believe that. Who ever said earlier that there's diversity if we're talking about "goths, punks, hippies, hipsters, stoners," is right. Add tourists and retirees. The city is still very segregated, given that throughout most of its history, the African American community has been pushed out, or around, or totally removed from certain areas. All one has to do is read about it all in the archives in the UNCA library. It's obviously not the only city like that in the U.S.A. but natives have told me that they remember just how racist and segregated Asheville openly was in the late 80s. The late 80s!

The scenery is gorgeous, the climate is pretty swell. There are plenty of friendly faces around here, no doubt. The mountains are wonderful to escape in, and the nights are filled with crickets and fireflies. There is a quality of life here that can be found if you appreciate such simple things as that, as I do. The rents are higher here than in other parts of the state, but overall they are not terrible, depending on what you are looking for. They are increasing, however.

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stayintruetosoul in Asheville, North Carolina

42 months ago

… continued

I've lived here for 10 years, all said and done. I grew and I learned, I met some exquisite people here, most of them transplants too. The city had more of an identity, and different kinds of change for the better seemed possible 8 years ago, and the scent of progress and grassroots hopes were in the air and all around.

That's done.

It's basically a tourist mecca now, with mediocre shops and congested traffic. The restaurant scene is booming right now, and a bar seems to open up every other week here. Beer tours are everywhere, and drinking is hugely promoted in this city, more than I've ever seen anywhere in my living around the states. (Except maybe spring break time/destinations - and I lived in Key West!) It's hyper tourism now. It's all about the image.

The local independent zine is nothing more than an ad rag. It used to have edge, but that is long gone.

If you plan on making good money here AND buying a house here … beware. It costs quite a lot to get a reasonably decent home in this area, and the jobs pay well under (in most sectors) what other places like Raleigh would pay.

If you like van dwelling, or living with other people, or fixing up an old house in the country, this might be a good place for you!

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stayintruetosoul in Asheville, North Carolina

42 months ago

And whoever said crime is way under-reported here … is correct.

There is a lot of crime here. But the town aims to keep it's squeaky vibrant image more than ever … so while some stuff is reported .. it is vague and forgotten. And the cops will ignore serious stuff for more petty issues most of the time. Very strange.
You do need to be careful, but not paranoid in certain areas.

BTW, I'm leaving at the end of the year. What I foresee for the future here is not positive, and this place is no longer for me, sadly.

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SRWinNC in Asheville, North Carolina

42 months ago

"Staytrue" you shared some relevant observations. Especially about the high cost of housing compared to the salaries you can earn here. The apartment rental industry is booming and outside corporations are throwing new apartment complexes up or moving in and buying and renovating old complexes like crazy now. They say there aren't enough rentals which to my way of thinking means not enough affordable homes to buy.
You note Asheville being a tourist industry town like that's a new development. I mean it may not be as blatant and tacky as Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge but it's always been the main industry which I would like to see change/diversify myself but encouraging other industries to move to the area doesn't seem to be a priority. The paper today said a recent Thumbtack study ranked Asheville a "D+" for being friendly to new small businesses. I wonder if they interviewed any microbrewers. Seems like a new one of those opens every 3-4 months. The beer scene has a been a huge shot in the arm of, you guessed it, the tourist industry so...there you go. I think they are afraid that encouraging other industries might tarnish their healthy mountain air reputation or worse, drive worker's salaries up when people have a choice to work at other jobs besides waitressing and bar tending for a couple of bucks an hour plus tips. They love to protest things here in AVL, I wonder how long before some local environmental group starts to complain about the carbon footprint of all those brewers' fermentation tanks puffing out CO2 [laugh]. It seems like there's more industry just over the county line in Hendersonville area than around Asheville and another article I read in the Times stated in the last decade AVL had lost over 2/3rds of its industry jobs. A pretty huge number.

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AVL NATIVE in Greenville, South Carolina

42 months ago

Why are you here? If you don't like it, leave. Go back home. Stop complaining and go back home because it was probably better there too... right!

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SRWinNC in Asheville, North Carolina

42 months ago

"AVL NATIVE in Greenville, South Carolina" That pretty much says it all. You moved to a town with better salaries, and cheaper housing, cheaper, gasoline, cheaper alcohol taxes. A wise move I'd say. I've been applying for work in Greenville from time to time myself. It's a nice town.

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Ken in New York, New York

42 months ago

I think I sparked this conversation back to life before I visited late April. Net-net, I'm relocating August 1st so Asheville gets yet another transplant and yes, my 2 1/2 week trip really moved me. I'm very grateful for ALL of your opinions b/c everyone comes into the discussion from their own unique perspective. Quite honestly, I wish I had opted to move down 10 years ago b/c now I'm getting the feeling as if I may have just missed out on AVL in the way it "used" to be. But then again, every place morphs and changes and in 10 years I'll be wishing for the good ole' days, myself.

All I can say is, the whole area is gorgeous, the people super friendly and approachable, the music is everywhere and it's got the best damn beer whichever rock you look under... and the hills are ripe for cycling. Can barely concentrate so excited.

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SRWinNC in Asheville, North Carolina

42 months ago

Ken in New York, New York said: Quite honestly, I wish I had opted to move down 10 years ago b/c now I'm getting the feeling as if I may have just missed out on AVL in the way it "used" to be. But then again, every place morphs and changes and in 10 years I'll be wishing for the good ole' days, myself.

All I can say is, the whole area is gorgeous, the people super friendly and approachable, the music is everywhere and it's got the best damn beer whichever rock you look under... and the hills are ripe for cycling. Can barely concentrate so excited.

The things you mentioned are definitely here Ken and you will love them. If you moved here 10 years earlier the 'beer scene' wasn't like it is now though. There were only two or three brewers and not the availability of awesome beer everywhere, even grocery and convenience stores. I remember when I first visted family here in the late 70's and the beer selection was limited to Bud, Miller, Heinekin...it's come a long way.
I hope you have a job lined up or work for yourself or are retired. As others have said, AVL is a great place to visit or retire but a difficult place to find a good paying career type job coming in off the street. Good luck with your move!

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Ken in New York, New York

42 months ago

Thanks for the good wishes, SRWinNC! I feel super-blessed b/c I'm bringing my work down with me. And, I'm hoping I can actually grow my business in AVL and become one of those "job creators" the politicians like to talk about. So what a win-win. Now, the big question is, how does the town feel about the two massive breweries coming to town? other than the jobs created, are they perceived as being too mega-factory? I surely love both Fat Tire (even though we can't get it in NYC) and Sierra Nevada (which has been my go to beer for a decade now), I think that those may represent the big corporate names.

The first thing I told my friends and family back home was, "they have no franchises there - all mom and pop it's amazing!"

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charger2 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

42 months ago

Ken in New York, New York said: Thanks for the good wishes, SRWinNC! I feel super-blessed b/c I'm bringing my work down with me. And, I'm hoping I can actually grow my business in AVL and become one of those "job creators" the politicians like to talk about. So what a win-win. Now, the big question is, how does the town feel about the two massive breweries coming to town? other than the jobs created, are they perceived as being too mega-factory? I surely love both Fat Tire (even though we can't get it in NYC) and Sierra Nevada (which has been my go to beer for a decade now), I think that those may represent the big corporate names.

The first thing I told my friends and family back home was, "they have no franchises there - all mom and pop it's amazing!"


If you feel comfortable you will love it -we have a home there for 35 yrs - I come and go to fla but I did go to high school there- This town has friendly ppl great scenery and outdoor life is amazing- (ashe in Greenville) seems angry anyway- LOL- enjoy it for what it worth - If you make a living you will have the major issue out of the way - Growing up in MBfla. used to paying fair amount for rent & living a bit faster than most - But different lifestyle for sure- there is a lot of unemployment etc.. but I still think its everywhere you just see it more because it is smaller so it may be in your face- ENJOY !!

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SRWinNC in Asheville, North Carolina

42 months ago

Now, the big question is, how does the town feel about the two massive breweries coming to town? other than the jobs created, are they perceived as being too mega-factory? I surely love both Fat Tire (even though we can't get it in NYC) and Sierra Nevada (which has been my go to beer for a decade now), I think that those may represent the big corporate names.

Ken, the two new big breweries, Sierra Nevada and Fat Tire's beers [and you are forgetting Oskar Blues who arrived a year ago and has blended in seamlessly with the local scene],have been available here in stores for a long time so as to taking away the market from the local microbrewers....not an issue. They've already been here in stores and have been for a long time. From what I have heard from the local brewers the new "big boys" have already made alliances with the local brewers that will be beneficial to all parties concerned and having those brewers in AVl just makes this zipcode more of a beer lovers destination. It likely will be good for all parties concerned.

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curious about asheville in Concord, New Hampshire

42 months ago

I'd like to connect with you and see if you moved to Asheville!!

NC_native in Boone, North Carolina said: RTP means the Research Triangle Park in the Chapel Hill/Raleigh/Durham area, which is educated and liberal, with wonderful universities, but hotter than hell. I don't want to leave NC because my elderly parents are here and I can't afford out-of-state tuition. As an aside, UNC-Asheville is a JOKE which will probably be closed soon if evil Gov. Pat McCrory has anything to do with it. UNCA only has 3-4 thousand students and ONE higher degree, an MLA. Lot of good that will do you anywhere.

Now I learn from this forum that people in Asheville have bumper stickers reading "DON'T MOVE HERE"? Nice. Can you say redneck? Keep in mind, I've lived in NC my whole life and never been treated so shabbily by rental properties, even in Boone, where locals are desperate for money and rich Floridians build their McMansions on top of the mountains.

If Asheville wants to be anything more than a tourist destination, it has to get those fat white good 'ol boys to build some damn decent rentals and become a real city with real responsibilities to its lower income residents! Instead the tiny "upper crust" of the town seems satisfied plugging stale old Biltmore House and building pricey stores where no one can afford to shop but rich tourists. I'm so disappointed in you, Asheville. Stick a pin in your PR balloon and pfft! the real place is revealed. Even a mature student with full funding can't find a decent place to live when she is accepted to college , oh, but remember, "Altitude Affects Attitude!" I've never seen a place so full of its own BS.

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curious about asheville in Concord, New Hampshire

42 months ago

Ken and SRWinNC... I'd like to connect with you too!

SRWinNC in Asheville, North Carolina said: Now, the big question is, how does the town feel about the two massive breweries coming to town? other than the jobs created, are they perceived as being too mega- factory ? I surely love both Fat Tire (even though we can't get it in NYC) and Sierra Nevada (which has been my go to beer for a decade now), I think that those may represent the big corporate names.

Ken, the two new big breweries, Sierra Nevada and Fat Tire's beers [and you are forgetting Oskar Blues who arrived a year ago and has blended in seamlessly with the local scene],have been available here in stores for a long time so as to taking away the market from the local microbrewers....not an issue. They've already been here in stores and have been for a long time. From what I have heard from the local brewers the new "big boys" have already made alliances with the local brewers that will be beneficial to all parties concerned and having those brewers in AVl just makes this zipcode more of a beer lovers destination. It likely will be good for all parties concerned.

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Importantfacts in Cary, North Carolina

42 months ago

AVL NATIVE in Greenville, South Carolina said: Why are you here? If you don't like it, leave. Go back home. Stop complaining and go back home because it was probably better there too... right!

Ya know, I haven't been on this site since my first post. But I feel compelled to reply to your rude remarks to someone who, like many, struggle in Asheville. YOU live in Greenville, SC, which is reflected in your post. Greenville is BOOMING economically with good paying jobs that support a lifestyle - everything that Asheville is NOT. Nobody calls Greenville $8-an-hour-Greenville. People in Greenville-Spartanburg can easily find a job. Greenville isn't full of selfish trust funders and hipsters who look down their noses at locals and spend their time getting drunk in cute little breweries every night. And by the way, I'll give you Greenville (smirk) and raise you my home of Cary. So STFU...people have true challenges in Asheville, as it is a mirage, created by a marketing monster. And we are doing the right thing by warning people that they had better have a plan before arbitrarily moving into Asheville. Because without a plan, they will end up financially destroyed and STUCK in $8-an-hour-Asheville.

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Importantfacts in Cary, North Carolina

42 months ago

Furthermore, to people who are unfamiliar with the SOUTH and consider the Asheville region to be SOUTHERN, think again. Asheville is NOT the south that you may wax eloquently in your minds as a genteel, historic place of mannerly ladies and gentlemen. Asheville and Western NC is a true culture shock even to those of us who grew up in the REAL south. The culture of native WNC residents, including Asheville can be better described as Southern HIGHLANDS. The Southern Highlands region is MUCH more akin to East TN, West Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Eastern Kentucky, Southwest Pennsylvania, Northern Alabama and Georgia. This is APPALACHIA. Even Charlotte is MUCH more genteel than what you will find in WNC. So if you want a southern town, you're not going to find it here - you can even hear it in the accents and taste it in the food (potatoes here vs rice in the south, if you will) - mountain is not southern in the way you may imagine.

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Ken in New York, New York

42 months ago

On my first full day in Asheville I sat next to a woman who was in for Moogfest and found her way to a Q&A Town Hall sort of session with the new mayer. She said city leadership is making a real effort to draw certain industries like the graphic arts, media and tech who can live/work without much overhead or infrastructure support. Naturally I was hearing all of this third hand but she seemed to have been genuinely intrigued by the direction. I only mention it b/c it is a shame to see so many otherwise capable people working for said $8/hour when in other cities they'd have a career. To me, though, that seems like a choice. I personally would never move anywhere without a plan - i don't care where it is. I guess I care about eating a little too much.

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rachih in Asheville, North Carolina

41 months ago

I am originally from Hickory, NC just a little over an hour away. I have lived in Detroit/Ann Arbor and Miami. I was transferred to Asheville through work (retail) and have lived here for two years. I used to visit Asheville a lot before I moved here and fell in love with it. Now that I live here it's a completely different story. I keep wanting to root for Avl and to love it but my experience here has been pretty depressing. I am so thankful to read these postings. Not because misery loves company but because I am realizing that it's not just me, I'm not crazy! It feels great to have some validation for the negative things I have experienced living here.

Asheville IS beautiful, that can't be denied. I live in apartments with an amazing view of the city and mountains and that alone can't be beat. All the outdoors things to do, walking around downtown, trying new restaurants and bars... Are all great things in Asheville. But for me, what really makes a place are the people. I originally perceived Avl as being an open minded, friendly place but have absolutely experienced otherwise. It's true that Ashevillians tend to not like outsiders which means that it's really hard to make friends and to do so, you befriend other "outsiders." Avl is listed as top ten friendliest cities. What I have found that means is that people are friendly on the surface when passing by on the sidewalk. Complete strangers will smile at you and say hello but when you actually try to form a connection or hang out there is little to no follow through. People tend to be pretty content in their little bubbles that they have already created and they do not want anyone permeating their bubble. Of the great friends I have made, all but three have moved away because of the cost of living and job situation which has been described

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rachih in Asheville, North Carolina

41 months ago

...continuously in this forum. The dating scene is rated top ten worst in the US. This is absolutely true in my case. I do not consider myself better than anyone else and I love being around alllll different types of people but oh my goodness, I have never been around so many unhygienic people! Also even though Avl is liberal, it still has southern culture so being a single, independent female in my late 20s I have yet to meet a decent male in my age range. Most men who are my age or older already seem to be married and settled down so I'm just left meeting guys in their low to mid 20s who still want to date/sleep around and don't want anything serious.
I just visited friends in Charlotte for the weekend and in that short time I met so many young professionals who want to meet other people. Such a stark contrast to my experience in Avl!

Again, I so badly want to like Avl. It has such potential to being an amazing place to live. I have never felt like such an outcast. There are so many people here who claim to be so open minded and so unique but really all I see are a bunch of people who end up being a part of this big club who thinks they are cooler than everyone else. Unless you are a prominent part of the community, own a small business, have a trust fund or are a drifter/hippie type you won't really be accepted here. It sucks.

For the people who love it here, good for you! Don't be unwilling to hear the people who haven't had your good experience though. How can this many people have such bad experiences living here and it not have truth to it? You're probably right when saying people should do more research before moving because Avl doesn't live up to its hype.

For anyone else who is here and doesn't feel accepted, please email me and let's hang out! I am always open to meeting new people!

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rachih in Asheville, North Carolina

41 months ago

Ok, I forgot to mention this part- I think where I'm at in my life has a big affect on how I feel living in Avl. I absolutely could see it as a place to settle down later in life after I've saved up a bit and have a life partner/kids. Just wanted to add that for anyone thinking of moving here!

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nc_native in Asheville, North Carolina

41 months ago

curious about asheville in Concord, New Hampshire said: I'd like to connect with you and see if you moved to Asheville!!

Yes, I moved to Asheville one year ago, 8/1/13. I am moving back to Boone to finish my Master's degree this month 9/1/14 after increasing depression and anxiety due to lack of opportunity in Asheville to make a living wage. THERE ARE NO DECENT JOBS HERE!!!

Like others on this board have said, bring your own well-paying job, IN ADVANCE, or be sure you have retired well-off to realize the dream of taking advantage of the expensive housing Asheville has to offer. The good old boy network still runs Asheville. Our District Attorney was recently indicted on charges of manufacturing evidence in three drug cases. The city council has no intentions of pursuing better paying manufacturing jobs, for fear the town will lose the "cachet" it has for wealthy retirees.

Asheville breaks down like this: 35% wealthy retirees (of every age) who are trying to live well and hold on to every dollar they can, 15% strained professionals and semi-professionals working within a broken economy and government, and 50% kids and adults struggling to make it on $8-9 an hour. It's not pretty, it's not responsible, and it IS NOT LIBERAL. Don't believe the hype.

I lived in Charlotte for 20 years. I can go back there, even without finishing my degree in Boone, and make a living wage. I can afford a decent apartment in Charlotte where the landlords paint between tenants and replace broken appliances, something that seems to be optional in Asheville, where 97% of the available rentals are taken with 48 hours due to desperation.

Asheville is a great place to live if you're rich and can afford what little arts and entertainment is available here. If you're looking for a cool artistic vibe, forget it. The city just this month condemned 9 gallery spaces in the "River Arts District," to make room for a developer who is putting up $1267 1BR apts.

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Dying Breed

41 months ago

I've been born and raised in this cesspool/hell hole my entire life. It's been nothing but miserable and agonizing. I find it funny how Asheville is labeled the bible belt, yet, since it is a small town, everyone talks smack about everyone else every chance they get.
I've visited Charlotte and various other places. Its waaaay better there than it ever will be here. I guess that's life in the city for you. Those people are way more accepting than small town folk.

Charlotte has asians, Hispanics, Europeans, mostly
African-Americans. Its a very diverse culture, but, again, you need money saved up in order to make a permanent transplant there.
People seem to be a lot more kind and compassionate there.
Whereas Asheville is so damn stagnant and close minded. People hide behind their lies and religion while putting on a facade that their just good ole, kind hearted country folk.

We have a huge drug problem here. The violence is a bit unnerving at night, and if you're not a sociopathic and narcissistic redneck, everyone WILL hate you and make it their mission to ruin your life every chance they get.

It's a town full of hypocrisy, bladphemy, 2 faced, dirty rotten mongrels, who, above all else, love fabricating lies to create ad much drama as possible.
Id love to leave this place and never return, however, the joke of a job market we have here has left me inevitabley stranded.

If you have any sort of free will, integrity, hopes, dreams, compassion or any sort of personality/lifestyle that differs from the social norm, you'll never belong here. This places truly tears at my soul.

Where our tax dollars go is beyond me. Certainly not to fix our broken sidewalks or pothole filled roads. People love to sit on their ass and takk about change, but nobody here seems to actually do anything about the problems we face every day.

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Dying Breed

41 months ago

Our schools keep getting budget cuts, college grads and high school grads cant find work. People scrape by on minimum wage and gov assistance.

What little friends I had sold out and just gave in. People either freeload of food stamps, social security, any disability, etc and ride the system or they accept the fact things will never change and get used to their horrible jobs.

Coming home from poor work conditions, cold hearted bosses, and coworkers who could care less about the rumors they spread for a good laugh. They live defeated lives and expect their kids to do the same.

Maybe its society in general, things have been getting progressively worse as of late. But ive never seen SO MUCH hate and violence in one place such as this.

I openly accept everyone, and, if I have an issue with anyone, I simply keep my distance. I try to stay positive and be happy. Quite hard to do when everyone gives you the stink eye. Ive never touched drugs and live my life the best I can. Though, being a guy with long hair, not a day goes by where im not sterotyped or ridiculed for everything I am.

The amount of prejudice and social stigma in this town is unbelievable...hating others because of what you think, rather than what you know, then claiming to be a born again christian to boot...

My god this town makes my blood boil and my stomach churn in disgust. Im in my early 20's, yet it seems no matter how mature you are or polite you try to be, as a young adult here, you have no voice.

If you're not getting drunk at a local bar every night, people look at you as though you're up to no good.

Asheville is so backwards, nothing makes any sense here. Theres a few kind and sane people here, but with so maby crazys its hard to know who's faking it and who is truly genuine.

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charger2 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

41 months ago

RachiH in Asheville, North Carolina said: Ok, I forgot to mention this part- I think where I'm at in my life has a big affect on how I feel living in Avl. I absolutely could see it as a place to settle down later in life after I've saved up a bit and have a life partner/kids. Just wanted to add that for anyone thinking of moving here!

the dating scene has always been minimal- I moved there with my family in the late 70's and finish high school - I came back to Miami beach as I could not stand the small town attitude and sheer BOREDOM - flash forward- we still have a place there and I do enjoy going back and forth every few months - but living year round not for me - jobs in general are very limited and the winter sometimes things do come to a halt - good luck in your ventures!!

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SRWinNC in Asheville, North Carolina

41 months ago

Hmm, I've been in AVL for about 3 years now and in nearby Johnson City for 4 years prior to that and visiting AVL that whole time and I've not come in any contact with the born again Christian hypocrits "Dying Breed" speaks of. There were more right wing christian types in Johnson City than around here in my experience and they weren't all that bad to deal with in J.C. I HAVE found the far left wing "I'm better than you because I drive a Prius and my carbon footprint is smaller than yours" mentality a bit hard to talk to though.
As noted, crime is pretty bad in a few areas but don't live in or near those areas and I don't think you'll find it unsafe.
I do agree that finding the type of jobs and salaries most people will be used to, especially coming from northern cities will be a bit of a culture shock. You'll find salaries like what you worked for 20 years ago yet mortgage payments are quite up to date. I am working part time at Biltmore on their event work crew setting up for weddings and concerts etc. It's more of a diversion for me because I'm older, don't work every day, just when they really need me, and have no mortgage/car payments but for 10 bucks an hour it's very heavy labor, long hours and no benefits. Just last Thursday we worked 18 hours straight cleaning up tents loading heavy equipment boxes on the band's semi trucks at 2 a.m. from the last concert and setting up a tent for another event. I worked four days last week and had 51 hours in. I'm getting a bit too old to go to work one day, work heavy lifting all through the night and go home finally the next day but these young fellows I work with do it 6 and 7 days a week. Some guys work one 8 hour job then come to the estate and work another 6-8 hours then go home splash water on their faces and work another full day at their main job. I've seen it. It's was some of these hard working fellows have to do to pay their family's rent and bills. Some also drive in 40 minutes or more from Haywood Co. etc.

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