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Western North Carolina The Mountain Region including Asheville
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Old 08-27-2010, 04:55 PM
1 posts, read 7,695 times
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Hello, we am looking to move to the Waynesville area for many reasons, but the #1 is a fresh start and to enjoy life. I love the mountains, having the seasons, skiing, taking my two minpins for a hike. I am looking for small town living (coming from FL with over 100,000 people) in a slow pace place environment. I am looking for any pros or cons that would help my decision making or get my motivation going so I dont get stuck in the same routine here. My husband is a contractor and I am in insurance.

--How is the economy there?
--How is the population?
--What is the average age?
--Do most people leave Waynesville in the winter?
--How is the job market there? What types of jobs or workers are needed?
--Are the ski resorts worthwhile and is there alot of snow every season?
--Is there potential for starting a business?
--What parts are the best places to live? Best area of town? What is average rent? I need a pet friendly house.

I am sure I can think many others, but that is a start. If you have any info that may help, please get in touch. I will be visiting Waynesville either way, the area looks amazing.
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Old 08-27-2010, 07:16 PM
Location: Mtns of Waynesville,NC & Nokomis, FL
4,113 posts, read 7,599,227 times
Reputation: 5050
I've lived here for 9 years, but we moved here as Retired Bums: bought land, designed a house, had it built and, thoroughly enjoy the Waynesville area. So, probably not a direct comparo. However, to try and answer the term paper request, ;>)...

-The "economy" is not much different than the rest of the country, imo. The only differential is that other than construction and the "medical industry", there were few well paying jobs here to start with. The construction biz is stumbling along, the local hospital and its satellite biz is going strong, the service industries and tourist related biz, local shops, et al, are still going, but it wasn't that this was boom town and now, that's all gone; was never here, in the past several years.

-I don't have stats on "employment", but there are not a lot of want ad type jobs listed that pay more than min wage to maybe $13/$15 an hour, unless you have some specialty that might be in demand, (frankly, which I have not heard of lately.) There are several contractors, (a couple are good friends building high end), but most have cut back and are no different than any "contractor" situ in the US, imo. There are several insurance agencies, but no idea if anyone is looking, though there are several in area; see yellow pages.

-demographics: great site from this site, City Data:

However, that's Waynesville, the town, not greater Waynesville or Haywood County. The town is a fairly thriving collection of shops, restaurants, pubs, commercial, and artsy type galleries. All but 2 store fronts in town are full and doing good to ok. Walmart, Lowes, Staples and Best Buy are in fringe strips outside of downtown. Greater Waynesville is probably 25-30,000+ of the ~59,000 residents of Haywood County, a decent sized piece of geography. While that 59,000 pop makes for non-crowded conditions, Haywood is the most populated county of the western NC border counties,
but there is a lot of open space, mtns, and non-populated areas. I live at 5,000 ft and it is not "crowded" up here...

-"Most people" don't leave in the winter. Some do; we do now, too, after getting the 5 year award for living at 5,000 feet, though we remain NC residents, legally. There is a several hundred to few thousand seasonal residents group. I can only say they pay lots of real estate taxes, and use little to none of the "services" that the town and/or county offers via those tax collections. If you are wondering if it's the "reverse" of many FL towns, winter to summer, it is not, imo.

-Local skiing is a bunny hill at best, really made for tubing. There is some skiing north toward Boone, etc. The elevations provide for some snow/colder temps but this is not VT, NH, MI, etc.

-Starting a biz? Impossible to offer more than a slight opin: via the local paper, 14 new "businesses" were started in Waynesville since Jan 1st; no idea if they are thriving, surviving or just hanging on.
Most of the biz people I am friends with either have long standing operations, or galleries or, a shop for one spouse to play with. If you are looking for specific recommendations on what biz to start, this isn't the Board, I guarantee. You may get a few wild eyed ideas, but having run a large biz, I know it takes a great idea, a solid flexible biz plan, lots of dough, great people, and more dough, and then lots of luck, and then more dough.

-Where to live/Rent: zero idea on rent. Pick up a copy of the local paper, The Mountaineer, at your local library; it's also on line, but a slim version. There are no "bad" places in the entire town, imo; there are some very small, old homes that have been here since the 1800s. The town is surrounded by 2 walls of mountains, reaching 6200'+, that are generally sprinkled with medium to very large homes, on very large lots. The "town" has several areas, but I can't name them and there is no real "ghetto", imo...some lower income stuff, but no ghettos, little crime, no hard stuff. Many people don't lock doors, cars, etc. Not nirvana, but not a very tough place, imo.

More Waynesville info sites, which you could have easily grabbed off the net:


Downtown Waynesville Merchant Asso.:

-Wiki on Waynesville, fwiw:
Waynesville, North Carolina - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

That's my 50Cts, for now...
Hope the opins and research links help.
GL, mD
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Old 08-27-2010, 07:29 PM
147 posts, read 283,313 times
Reputation: 77
I just left Waynesville a year ago for personal reasons, otherwise, I would not have left. I liked it very much. I think that I can answer some of your questions and I could be wrong about a few things (been known to have that happen before) and in that case maybe others will come on and help out.

--How is the economy there? like everywhere not so good, but there are still some jobs to be had.
--How is the population? I think it is a pretty good population with the majority in Waynesville itself. Maggie Valley might be next. In my opinion, there is a good population in Haywood county , but it is spread out quite a bit.
--What is the average age? All of these so far you can find online by going into counties of NC, then Haywood and it will give you more acurate info.
--Do most people leave Waynesville in the winter? some people do leave in the winter, but I think that more and more are staying. Except for last winter, we never really have a bad winter. But mind you, if you live in the higher elavations, it can be a different story. Also, it seems that not all of Haywood county is created equal. One part will look like a disaster area and five miles down the road, there is no snow. Winters aren't long.
Are the ski resorts worthwhile and is there alot of snow every season? maybe someone else can answer this one, but I do know that we have Catalochee (I'm not sure that I spelled it right) and it does have snow.
How is the job market there? What types of jobs or workers are needed? there is a lot of construction when things are good. A lot of people come here and buy land and want someone to build their house. There is also a lot of remodeling going on. But your best bet is to talk with the realtors in the Waynesville area.

You have to remember that you are close to Asheville, TN border 45 min away to Newport and 1 hour to JC. You are also close to Sylva 20 min, Franklin about 45 min and the Georgia border another hour. Not to leave out Asheville about 20 min, Hendersonville about 45 min. Expect to travel in any direction for work.

As far as medical goes, Asheville would be the best place. We do have a nice college Haywood Community College in Clyde (7 min from Waynesville) Sylva has a nice one and Cullowee about another hour, Asheville has a couple of good ones as well. I went to Haywood CC for my refresher degrees and I had instructors who traveled from as far away as Hendersonville (45min), some were local, but many were from surrounding areas. If you are in the educational field, those would be good selections. Like I said, expect to travel up to an hour in any direction for work. If you're not too picky and don't mind the travel, you can probably find work.

Potential for starting a business depends on what you have in mind? B & B, maybe; restuarant I think so.

Best places to live this is just my opinon, now and I don't mean for others that live in these areas to get offended. For one thing, Haywood county has a low crime rate and I personally feel that the police dept does all they can to keep it that way. I am not aware of any gangs. That said most of Hazelwood is a little lower socially, but yet you have no reason to feel afraid, they are good people, just don't have a whole lot of money. Clyde is good. Canton, near the mill, you will get the smell. go as far away as you can. Highway 110 is far enough and nice area. There really are not any "bad" areas in Haywood county (or that I would call bad.) The better areas are in Waynesville, Maggie, Lk Junaluska, Fines Creek is very country, but your quite a ways from a store. Sylva and Franklin areas are very nice as well. Asheville has it spots, Get the Asheville paper, comes out every day and read it. You'll soon learn where to stay away from.

The nice thing for me was that I was almost always minutes from I 40

Housing in the better areas . : $600 -$1500 around Hazelwood $400. seldom will you get water included in the rent. Trash is picked up right in front of your place in the city area and even parts of Maggie.

We have a nice mix of locals and transplants. You won't have trouble finding friends if your from up north.

We have a new Walmart supercenter in Hazelwood. In Waynesville: Lowes, no HD that is in Asheville, Belks, Ingles, Food lion, Bilo stores, no Aldis. No JC Penney or Sears they are in Asheville.

We have two wonderful Farmers Markets within 1/2 miles of each other in Waynesville and one in Canton two or three days a week. We have a nice library in Waynesville, Canton, Maggi is kinda small.

Our Waynesville downtown is one of the best I've seen. It is truly a delight to walk downtown.

I think the schools are good all over, but , my kids were grown when we got here, so I don't know.

If you like to walk or jog, run, we have a wonderful 2 1/2 mile area along a beautiful lake in Lk Junaluska.

I don't know how much help this is, but, like everyone will tell you about other places, you need to come down and scout the place out.
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