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Old 04-15-2007, 12:34 PM
 
2 posts, read 9,352 times
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Hi

My husband and I live in the Hudson River Valley of NY (about 2 hours from NYC) and are considering a move to the Mount Airy/Pilot Mountain/King area of North Carolina.

We visited recently and loved the countryside as it very much resembles where we are now but with better weather.

We are in our 50s and looking to "semi-retire" to this area and would be interested to hear how current residents find the weather....number of sunny and rainy days per year? snow/winter weather?....property taxes....average tax bill for a home worth 200-300k?....hunting and fishing in the area?...part time employment/business opportunities(I am a CPA/CFO in privately owned health care/multispecialty physician group he is a self employed part time farmer)....community/neighbors?, etc.

Any insights would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
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Old 07-31-2007, 09:56 PM
 
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Just took a trip to that area myself. We had put off going up to the Mt. Airy area due to the fact that we imagined it all being rather hokey due to the Mayberry connection. As it turns out, it was far from hokey and was, rather, quite pleasant. Pilot Mountain was also a nice treat for a hike and great view. The folks in town over there in Mt. Airy certainly seemed nice, as I don't believe we have ever had that many strangers greeting us as we strolled the main street.

Of course, this isn't an insider's insight, but I thought I would throw in my two cents.
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Old 08-01-2007, 06:34 AM
 
Location: North Carolina
2,657 posts, read 7,007,168 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melcpa View Post
We visited recently and loved the countryside as it very much resembles where we are now but with better weather.
Mt. Airy gets snow and ice when points farther south are sunny and more moderate. Bad weather coming in from across the Virginia mountains seems to dip down around that area. Still, winters there don't compare to the north.

As far as taxes and employment opportunities, check the town's site
City of Mount Airy, North Carolina

That area is becoming known more for retirement among people who can't afford the more expensive western NC. The younger people tend to stick closer to Winston-Salem because the best jobs are there.

It is a friendly town, promoting itself with a number of festivals every year. A lot of traffic comes through in the fall since the main road (52) takes you up to the Blue Ridge Parkway (another asset to the area and a reason why a number of retirees are choosing the town).

As always, comments are helpful but it's best to visit the area to see for yourself. Fall would be the best time, IMO, to truly get a taste of the beauty. Check mayberry rfd in mount airy, north carolina - the andy griffith show for festivals held at that time. If you plan to visit though, I would recommend hotel reservations well in advance if you plan to stay in town. It IS a small town and amenities of that sort are limited.
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Old 08-01-2007, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Blue Ridge Mtns of NC
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Cloud cover for Mt. Airy at bottom of page:

State Climate Office of North Carolina

Additional historical climate data:

MOUNT AIRY, NORTH CAROLINA - Climate Summary
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Old 08-01-2007, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Cape Carteret, NC
713 posts, read 3,391,789 times
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Smile From someone who lived in Mt. Airy

Quote:
Originally Posted by melcpa View Post
Hi

My husband and I live in the Hudson River Valley of NY (about 2 hours from NYC) and are considering a move to the Mount Airy/Pilot Mountain/King area of North Carolina.

We visited recently and loved the countryside as it very much resembles where we are now but with better weather.

We are in our 50s and looking to "semi-retire" to this area and would be interested to hear how current residents find the weather....number of sunny and rainy days per year? snow/winter weather?....property taxes....average tax bill for a home worth 200-300k?....hunting and fishing in the area?...part time employment/business opportunities(I am a CPA/CFO in privately owned health care/multispecialty physician group he is a self employed part time farmer)....community/neighbors?, etc.

Any insights would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
My father came to Mount Airy around 1900 and my mother moved there in the 1920s. My wife's family came to the area even earlier. Our home place which we sold in 2004 is now the Sobotta Manor B&B.

Until two weekends ago, we had not spent any time in Mt. Airy since we sold the house in 2004.

We got to stay at our old home place and were pleased that the town remains lively, though I find there is some growing concern that the Mayberry tourist boom might not last forever.

The positives are that there are friendly people in Mt. Airy. The problem is that it is sometimes hard for newcomers to get introduced without a local sponsor.

Moderator cut: removed.

In NC if you are in a city, you pay city and county taxes. Our home there in the city which sold for under $250K had total taxes of slightly over $2,000 when we last paid them in 2004. If would be half that if you lived in the county. You should check for current rates.

I used to fish a lot in the Va. mountains. I also went up and down the Blue Ridge Parkway. Many people in Mount Airy used to go to Claytor Lake near Radford, Va. It is far less crowded than Lake Norman and at the time had better fishing. Fishing is better at the coast, but I am little biased on that.

Hunting can be done but you need to know someone with land or head for one of the National Forest Hunting areas.

We still have four acres of land near town and might well build our away from the coast home there in a few years so we think the area has long term potential.

You can find plenty of shopping in Winston-Salem, and I am guessing that you might have a better than average opportunity for employment with your skill set.

We always enjoy eating at Goobers though inside can be a little noisy.

I have a number of posts about Mt. Airy, including More backroads and Mayberry Christmas.

Our experience of living in Mt. Airy, being away for years, coming back, and leaving once again lets us be fairly objective.

Mount Airy has more positives than negatives. The farther north you have lived and the less you need to have a full time job, the greater the positives are as long as you like small town living.

I wouldn't worry too much about the climate. There is relatively little snow and it rarely stays for more than a few days.

It is a relatively small town and has some wonderful people. Getting involved in church and other community activities can really help in making friends.

Mount Airy no longer has an industry like furniture or textiles to keep it going. Time will tell if retirees flocking to the area can keep the wheels turning. I certainly hope so.

There are not many small towns where you can always count on people being out and about on Main Street and having fun. Mount Airy is one of them.

Of course there is a feud going on in the newspaper community in Mt. Airy, but my old friend and companion RJ Berrier would be pleased at the turn of events. He worked in newspapers in Mt. Airy for 50 years, and he always had great respect for the printed word. I certainly miss his perspective on Mt. Airy, its history, and its inhabitants.

Last edited by Miker2069; 08-02-2007 at 01:29 AM.. Reason: soliciting removed
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Old 08-26-2008, 10:57 AM
 
9 posts, read 30,367 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ralston View Post
Just took a trip to that area myself. We had put off going up to the Mt. Airy area due to the fact that we imagined it all being rather hokey due to the Mayberry connection. As it turns out, it was far from hokey and was, rather, quite pleasant. Pilot Mountain was also a nice treat for a hike and great view. The folks in town over there in Mt. Airy certainly seemed nice, as I don't believe we have ever had that many strangers greeting us as we strolled the main street.

Of course, this isn't an insider's insight, but I thought I would throw in my two cents.

As someone who lives in Mt. Airy I can tell you that the Mayberry generated tourism is IMO very hokey. It's become even worse recently with the closing of most of the plants and factories. A lot of the people here think that our "tourism industry" will become our savior and have put of lot of faith into it. If you can get past things like locals dressing up like characters from The Andy Griffith Show such as Otis the town drunk and Deputy Barney Fife and walking around downtown in character, church groups crowding our very small downtown with very large tour buses in an effort to get in line for a pork chop sandwhich at Snappy Lunch, and "Barney's Police Car Tours" slowing traffic down to show people points of interest. What exactly is of interest here I don't know but they have tours built around it. But then again, this kind of thing appeals to a lot of people and far be it for me to judge someone for that. However, be aware that because the tourists view Mt. Airy as such a friendly, simple "Gee, Shucks" kind of town, they will not hesistate to take up as much space and time as they see fit, because they know that we're such "friendly folk" who come from such a slower pace of life that we don't have places to be or things to do. Local businesses are also a major issue IMO. They keep very limited hours of operation, and service can be poor, seeing as how there are not many major retailers for them to compete with within the immediate area. My outlook on Mt. Airy is very biased but seeing as I'm younger there is absolutley nothing here for me. I'm a semester away from completing my Bachelor's Degree, and once finished I plan on moving. Now, my parents are older and have retired here and looking at it from thier perspective I could possibly see it's appeal. Obviously, alot of people like this kind of tourism or it wouldn't go on. Maybe it's the kind of thing you enjoy and if it is then Mt. Airy is for you. I would suggest if you come to the area again to look into taking a trip 30 minutes north of here to Galax, VA. You could compare it to Mt. Airy, but without the Mayberry fueled tourism.
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Old 06-24-2009, 12:51 PM
 
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Economy based solely on tourism and retirement pensions is not going to work. I appreciate your straightforward report. Perhaps after you graduate you, and others, could work towards restoring the mills and factories so that the town and its people can survive? And, everything cannot exist only for tourism or the internet.
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Old 06-25-2009, 06:01 PM
 
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I say visit in the fall. Summers are almost as hot as farther south so be prepared for that. I think if you are looking for small town, friendly feel with beautiful scenery then you will love Pilot Mtn or Mt Airy. ( King not so much a retirement community.)

West Jefferson (Ashe Co) is awesome and is the new "cool" retirement place now that Boone is so saturated. Maybe you could come down and visit both cities? I want to retire to Ashe Co myself one day. The mountains in the backdrop are breathtaking...
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