Welcome to our “Moving To Asheville” series for the Asheville & WNC Real Estate section on the AskAsheville website. Have you moved here from another State or Country? Contact Us so we can interview you. You can tell your story anonymously, or tell everywhere who you are. Meet Alan Rosenthal, who moved from the Trenton New Jersey area, to Asheville North Carolina:
I’m from New Jersey, about 45 minutes from the shore and the mountains. Yes, that area where the sand meets the ocean is called a shore. Our mountains are the top of the same range as where Asheville is situated. So the terrain of Northwest New Jersey is much like here. Up north, I was a private investigator, process server and litigation support specialist as well as a business consultant.
I limited my relocation search to east of the Mississippi and south of New England, except for Colorado where I traveled and researched thoroughly. I almost pulled the trigger in Tallahassee and St. Pete Beach. I looked at Pittsburgh, couldn’t afford gorgeous Telluride and the Four Corners region. There are many beautiful areas in the country.
Asheville wasn’t the best place for me but it is a very nice area that was geographically midway in a market I was serving. I was traveling a lot so the loss of amenities was compensated for on my trips. Beautiful scenery. Easy to get everywhere. On the worst traffic day, it is nothing compared to New York City where I drove as adeptly as a taxi driver. Temperate climate though I do miss the scent of an impending heavy snowfall.
I looked at Asheville first since some friends mentioned it when they heard I was considering a move. I visited for a few days, checked out some living scenarios but wasn’t sure. Over the next 10 months, I traveled extensively. When I came back to Asheville to visit a client, I was told of a condo that was up for rent. By this time, I was tired of traveling so I rented the condo, finished my trip, packed a truck and became a damn yankee.
I organize the Asheville Welcomes Transplants Group and get calls and emails from folks considering moving from all over the U.S. so I try to be a cheerleader for all that is terrific about the area and there are many terrific attributes. But I do need to give them an honest assessment. Really, we owe them that. People are uprooting their lives and making substantial investments. We owe them realistic information with which they can make their life-changing decisions.
The oft-heard ‘bring your own job’, ‘bring your money because you won’t make any here’ and ‘bring your own girlfriend/boyfriend’ are all true. This is a nice place for financially stable people in relationships and people who simply want to enjoy nature and art. One has to be willing to downsize and minimize their standard of living, which is slightly less than anathema to me and many of my friends and colleagues. A lot of people I know have moved back or onto somewhere else. The bottom line is that you can’t just like the place. The Asheville area is a completely different standard of living, for better or worse. A move here requires great consideration.
I’ve met a lot of wonderful people. It is a beautiful area. Asheville is not a cohesive community. It is a collection of numerous little communities of people doing their own things. Inclusivity is not the hallmark. Still, you’re sure to find people to hang out with. If you are financially stable, you can enjoy your hobbies and your home. Most people have to wear more than one hat to get by. Asheville is a beautiful area definitely worth researching and will probably end up on your short list.