Asheville, North Carolina has received a great deal of positive press over the past five years. Asheville is not just known for being a resort destination, but a fantastic place to live, work, or retire. The Asheville lifestyle emphasizes outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, birding, fishing, and kayaking, with an abundance of wilderness areas to explore in the Appalachian and Great Smoky Mountains.
In September 2004, National Geographic Adventure Magazine selected Asheville as one of “Ten Great Adventure Towns”; in 2007; Frommer’s listed Asheville as a top-ten travel destination; and Outside Magazine voted it one of “30 Best Towns in America” to live. One does not have to be an outdoorsman to experience the joy that Asheville has to offer. There are a host of reasons to sing praises of Asheville, a small American town nestled in the mountains of North Carolina with a rising international reputation.
Green Living Grows Out of Necessity in and Near Asheville
Asheville is also becoming widely known as a locus for several important movements that are gaining in popularity at the onset of the 21st Century. These include: organic farming, farm-to-table food, green building, the exploration of alternative energy sources, and sustainable living. These green living lifestyle choices are easily fueled in Asheville because of the abundance of open space, the multitude of small farmers, the Appalachian Mountain farmer’s history of independence, and the need to conserve resources in the interest of economy. These types of green living lifestyles are being demonstrated in and around Asheville and throughout the Western North Carolina region. A large percentage of Asheville residents integrate eco-friendly practices into their daily lives, making the city a leader in “going green.”
Business is Booming in Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville is becoming a well-reputed place to do business. In 2006, Forbes magazine selected Asheville as 24th on a list of the 200 “Best Places for Business and Careers.” Increased jobs and income growth, coupled with lower cost for commercial business and a reasonable cost of living are the underlying reasons why many professionals choose Asheville. The town of Asheville and surrounding areas in Western North Carolina thrive with many small-to-medium sized companies. Only three and a half hours from Raleigh-Durham, the tech industry is also growing in Asheville, as well as hospitality, restaurants, health care and more.
Asheville, North Carolina Real Estate Trends in 2007
Recently, Asheville was in the national spotlight again to highlight the fact that Asheville real estate is still gaining in appreciation as the years go by. Business Week selected Asheville as the 9th best housing market in the country thanks to a 9.45% increase in property values by the third quarter of 2007 and the 55.46% increase in property value over the last five years (www.talkrealty.com/jefflink).
In spite of the fact that larger real estate markets in Florida and California are seeing double-digit losses in home values, the Asheville real estate market is strong and noting modest gains in real estate appreciation. Even in a challenging real estate market like 2007, with uncertainty a primary concern, property and land in or near Asheville is still a sound real estate investment.
Asheville and the Cultural and Historical Revival
In 2006, the city of Asheville was dedicated as a “Preserve America Community” by Laura Bush. Asheville was given this award because it utilizes resources to create economic, educational and cultural benefits for residents and visitors by consistently reinvesting in the community. Asheville, NC is one of over 400 “Preserve America Communities” in the country. Asheville continues to build a stronger regional identity in Western North Carolina by fueling local pride and the preservation of cultural and natural heritage.
Asheville and AmericanStyle
A destination which celebrates Early American heritage — Asheville, has many historic landmarks including the Grove Arcade, the Montford Historic District, West Asheville business district, the Grove Park Inn, and Biltmore Estate, to name a few. Asheville was also chosen by AmericanStyle magazine as one of the “Top 25 Arts’ Destinations” for cities with a population under 100,000 (AmericanStyle, June 2007 Reader’s poll).
Music, ceramics, visual art, fashion, sculpture, and a whole host of mountain crafts abound in the Asheville area — a mecca for artists of all types. Visitors will find evidence of the vibrant art scene everywhere. The galleries, boutiques, and independent stores in Asheville that carry hand made, original gifts and art for sale thrive in the downtown district.
Asheville Listed in the ‘Geography of Bliss’ by Eric Weiner
On a journey to find the happiest city in America, author Eric Weiner decided on Asheville. A combination of many factors, some already mentioned, have a great deal to do with this selection. Weiner says that the strong sense of community, beautiful mountain scenery, plethora of cafes and bookstores, and artists in abundance all contribute to making Asheville one happy place.
There may be other places in the world to live, but for the now, the spotlight is on the mountain paradise of Asheville, North Carolina.