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Old 02-15-2017, 12:56 PM
 
21 posts, read 41,866 times
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My husband and I currently live in Alaska, I've been here all my life. We are going to be retiring soon and are looking to move somewhere with a lower cost of living and no snow. Initially we would be looking to rent and could pay up to $1500 a month. We have three small dogs which will make renting difficult. We would be looking to buy a house in the $250,000 range. Neither my husband nor I will need employment. Our children are adults.

Right now we live in a rural area of about 8000 people, ten miles from a town of 20,000 people, and 30 miles from Anchorage which has a population of 300,000. We enjoy the rural lifestyle but need access to medical care. I'm terrified of Atlanta. We want to live in the mountains. We have been looking at the Blue Ridge, Ellijay, and Jasper areas. The closest medical specialists that take our insurance are in Canton. So far we really like the looks of Blue Ridge but I am concerned it is too remote. I don't understand how a town that small can have so many amenities. How often do you need to go to a larger town? Would Canton or Dalton have everything you need or do you have to go to Atlanta on occasion? I understand that Blue Ridge is a tourist destination. How bad is the traffic, how crowded does it get? Ellijay also seems nice but doesn't have a lot of the neat things Blue Ridge has. Is it noticeably less expensive to live there? I read that Ellijay has been over run with illegal immigrants, is that true? It's just a larger town and closer to more urban areas. Does it have a lot more amenities than Blue Ridge? Jasper also seems nice and is closer to Canton, I'm concerned it wouldn't be rural enough. How are the roads in these mountain towns? How is the cell phone coverage and the internet service? Are there any bad neighborhoods we should avoid? Do you know of any skeet shooting ranges in the area?

We will be visiting soon to scope things out for ourselves but I would love insight from people who have lived there long enough to know these towns inside and out. Also, I need to know, do you have fireflies?
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Old 02-15-2017, 01:41 PM
 
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Check out Big Canoe. NOt too far from Canton.
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Old 02-15-2017, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Ono Island, Orange Beach, AL
10,211 posts, read 9,870,458 times
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Hi, tundratess! My wife and I live part time in Blue Ridge. It is truly a great town and gorgeous area. I know you are concerned about healthcare - I've had to use the local hospital on an occasion and was very pleased with their services. You are still close enough to Atlanta that you could reach a major hospital with an hour and-a-half or two.

To answer a few of your other questions:

- The roads around Blue Ridge are paved and in good condition. Have never had a problem in the ten years I've been there.

- Blue Ridge is blessed with a wonderful little downtown that is chock full of boutiques, great eateries, etc. There are also a Home Depot, Walmart and terrific grocery stores. They have the major auto dealers (have purchased two Fords in Blue Ridge - the service dept. is as good or better than at the larger Atlanta dealerships).

- We have never been there when we needed to head to the big city to purchase a service or product we couldn't find in Blue Ridge. Besides, UPS and FedEx are happy to deliver your Amazon order to you!

- Ellijay is a bit larger than Blue Ridge. Saying nothing bad about Ellijay, but we prefer Blue Ridge by a long shot.

- With only a couple of exceptions, everyone we know and encounter in the area has been very friendly and helpful. Nice folks there.

Finally, to make it even better, Lake Blue Ridge is very beautiful. Nothing I like better than taking the boat out with my wife and pup for the day. There are also a plethora of other outdoor activities, too. Take up fly fishing. Great place to catch trout!

Check out this website: Welcome to Georgia's Blue Ridge Experience - Fannin County Chamber of Commerce - Blue Ridge, Georgia

Blue Ridge (as is the case with all of north Georgia) does have its winter days. We had a few inches of snowfall earlier in the year. Our house is up towards the top of a mountain so we did have to use 4WD to get down the mountain. But, it usually only snows a couple of times during the winter and hardly ever more than 4 - 6 inches during any one time. So, it does get cold, but I imagine you Alaskans would think it was rather balmy!

Best of luck to you and perhaps we'll run into each other one of these days in downtown Blue Ridge!
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Old 02-15-2017, 02:34 PM
 
21 posts, read 41,866 times
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Thanks for the reply AUGnative. I have looked at the Big Canoe area, it seems very nice and there are a lot of affordable houses for sale. What about the area do you think would make it ideal for us other than the proximity to Canton?
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Old 02-15-2017, 02:44 PM
 
21 posts, read 41,866 times
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Thanks for the reply AnsleyPark. You gave me lots of great information. Can you tell me more about why Blue Ridge is so much better than Ellijay? Also, what is it like to live in an area where so many of the homes are either vacation homes or rentals? Is Blue Ridge crowded during the peak tourist times?
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Old 02-15-2017, 05:06 PM
 
Location: St Simons Island, GA
23,125 posts, read 36,362,431 times
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A lot of Atlanta doctors maintain satellite offices in the Blue Ridge/Young Harris/Hiawassee area. My uncles' cardiologist did thisn years ago, and that really was what pushed them to relocate onto Lake Chatuge.
AP is 100% right about Blue Ridge. It and Dahlonega have my favorite downtowns in north Georgia.
Unfortunately, it is wildly popular during the tourist season.
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Old 02-16-2017, 08:58 PM
 
73 posts, read 84,129 times
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Take a look at Hiawassee GA...we moved here from the coast of SC. It's beautiful! Just got here in Oct so I can't speak about the traffic yet....but I really don't think it'll come close to beach traffic in Charleston SC. There is an ingles grocery store with a pharmacy and gas station. There's a huge hardware store.....and Amazon delivers! The town is surrounded by lake chatuge. Everywhere you look is beautiful. Haven't had much chance to explore yet but what I have found is great!
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Old 02-17-2017, 05:58 AM
 
Location: Ono Island, Orange Beach, AL
10,211 posts, read 9,870,458 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tundratess View Post
Thanks for the reply AnsleyPark. You gave me lots of great information. Can you tell me more about why Blue Ridge is so much better than Ellijay? Also, what is it like to live in an area where so many of the homes are either vacation homes or rentals? Is Blue Ridge crowded during the peak tourist times?
It's not that BR is better than Ellijay - it's just what we prefer. We love downtown BR and our vicinity to the lake. Just a bit more relaxed pace, I'd say.

Not a problem with rentals and tourists. It's fairly quiet here. Downtown does get busy on weekends but not overly so. Tourists aren't really a problem either. Have never been bothered or inconvenienced by them. Besides, those very tourists greatly aid the local economy.
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Old 02-17-2017, 06:38 PM
 
Location: N. Ga
3,771 posts, read 3,430,636 times
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I don't know if Ansley thinks the same way as me or not, but I find each of the little towns in the mountains of N. Ga., have their own distinct "feel." I think that Ellijay is more weekend tourist....Blue Ridge...vacation tourist, Blairsville - retirement community. Jasper to me doesn't "feel" like the mountains.
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Old 02-17-2017, 07:15 PM
 
Location: Ono Island, Orange Beach, AL
10,211 posts, read 9,870,458 times
Reputation: 5897
Quote:
Originally Posted by aus10 View Post
I don't know if Ansley thinks the same way as me or not, but I find each of the little towns in the mountains of N. Ga., have their own distinct "feel." I think that Ellijay is more weekend tourist....Blue Ridge...vacation tourist, Blairsville - retirement community. Jasper to me doesn't "feel" like the mountains.
Absolutely think as you, aus10. It's pretty fun to visit the different towns to experience those differing feels.
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