Asheville remains a popular destination for people relocating out of California, at least according to the US Census.
Each year, California ranks among the top sources of transplants in Asheville, together with Charlotte, NC, Florida, and the North East.
As I’ve mentioned before, COVID hasn’t dramatically changed this, at least not yet. In fact, it seems to have done the opposite.
Here are some recent comments I’ve heard from folks who have made the move from California to Asheville:
“We escaped from Los Angeles to the area and couldn’t be happier. Clean air, seasons, normal people, clean cities.”
and this transplant who retired in Asheville…
“Moved here in June from Sf Bay Area (Alameda) after retiring. Chose AVL for the beauty, mild seasons, outdoor activities, music, beer, less crowded, slower pace, closer to family in N.C. and Florida, less expensive… loving it so far!”
and finally, this former Californian who was done with the stress of fires
“Escaped the stress of fire season”
If you’re thinking of relocating to Asheville from California, you might enjoy this list of Asheville pros:
Lower cost of living
If you make $100,000 in the Bay Area (San Francisco), you will need to make only $50,675 in Asheville to enjoy the same lifestyle, according to CNN Money’s cost of living calculator. Housing is 70 percent cheaper, transportation costs 31 percent less and groceries are about 26 percent cheaper.
Depending on the neighborhood, a $350k-$450k budget in San Francisco can buy a one-bedroom, one-bath condo while the same amount will purchase a nicely upgraded or new construction 3-bedroom and 3-bathroom single-family home in some of Asheville’s most popular areas. San Francisco’s property taxes can significantly up your monthly mortgage payment, according to Movoto.
Salary.com also has a neat Asheville cost-of-living calculator that can be helpful in making city-to-city cost comparisons.
If you’re considering a condo in Asheville, check out our guide to buying a condo.
Easy access to nature
Once you get into Asheville, it’s not hard to find the perfect spot to get out into nature. Choose from a wide-range of activities including hot-air balloon rides, ziplining, nature trails, birding, or simply enjoying the views from one of the dozens of mountain-side overlooks on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Climate and air quality
Due to the elevation of 2400 to 3000 feet, Asheville summers are cooler and milder than you might think. Expect to see some flurries and a few inches of snow, though.
A recent study cited a 15.3% improvement in air quality in Asheville over the period from 2015-19 compared with 2005-09. According to the American Lung Association, the San Francisco Bay area scored “F” for the number of “High Ozone Days” and “24-Hour Particle Pollution”, whereas Asheville scored moderately better with grades of “C” and “D” respectively. To compare air pollution between Asheville and other cities, visit the ALA website.
Arts, culture, and food
- New York Times: 36 Hours in Asheville
- Food and Wine: 48 Hours in Asheville
- Bon Appetit: Where to Eat and Drink in Asheville
- Southern Living: Why You Need to Visit Asheville, NC
If you fly frequently, you’ll appreciate that the Asheville airport is just 15 minutes south of Downtown. The airport offers daily flights on Delta, Allegiant, United, American to major metros across the US. In other words, you don’t have to give up ease of travel for life in Asheville.
More Asheville Articles
- The Great Migration: Relocation to Asheville
- 7 Reasons Why Asheville NC Is The Best Place To Live
- North Carolina vs Florida Real Estate: 3 differences