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Old 03-13-2017, 09:59 AM
 
44 posts, read 47,865 times
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We are relocating from MN. We have two kids (small) and two big dogs. I already have a job but my husband will need employment (banking/finance) and we need a 3-4br home with 1/3 acre or more. Trying to stay under $230k! Also want a good school district. Prefer not insanely conservative as we are liberal/non religious and "live and let live" people. We want to make friends obviously and will work hard to be part of any community we end up in, but easier to start with people who are more like minded.

Here's what I'd like to know, in your opinion, does Western NC or Northern GA best satisfy our needs? Also please tell me your opinions on these two areas on the subjects below. When I say North GA I'm referring to Dahlonega, Cartersville, Ellijay, Cleveland, Helen etc and when I say Western NC I'm referring to Asheville, Hendersonville, Boone.

Best weather? (we like seasons but not MN winters and not FL summers)

Most diverse?

Most employment opportunities?

Easiest to commute to a larger city from?

Most amenities close by (20min) ? (YMCA, Dog Parks, Community Pools, Hospitals/Clinics, Shopping)

Least conservative/religious influence?

Better quality of life?

More expensive (in terms of taxes/groceries/utilities/gas)


Thanks everyone for your input!
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Old 03-13-2017, 10:14 AM
 
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I would say Asheville, NC probably best fits your stated criteria. Asheville is a pretty progressive/liberal town which is unusual for Appalachia. It is a great launching pad for some the most stunning scenery of the entire Appalachian chain. Asheville is also home to Biltmore estate...The largest private home in America and easily recognizable from film and TV. Asheville has a large artists colony and many artists call Asheville home. The city has a great restaurant scene and a vibrant downtown. The closest "Big City" will be Charlotte.. Knoxville and Greenville, SC are an easy drive from Asheville. Cartersville and Dahlonega will put you closer to Atlanta but are smaller and probably going to be more politically conservative than Asheville. But another thing to consider is that Asheville will be more expensive than the other options you listed.
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Old 03-13-2017, 10:28 AM
 
Location: St Simons Island, GA
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Not a dime's worth of difference between them IMO.
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Old 03-13-2017, 10:29 AM
 
Location: St Simons Island, GA
23,125 posts, read 36,367,127 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AUGnative View Post
I would say Asheville, NC probably best fits your stated criteria. Asheville is a pretty progressive/liberal town which is unusual for Appalachia. It is a great launching pad for some the most stunning scenery of the entire Appalachian chain. Asheville is also home to Biltmore estate...The largest private home in America and easily recognizable from film and TV. Asheville has a large artists colony and many artists call Asheville home. The city has a great restaurant scene and a vibrant downtown. The closest "Big City" will be Charlotte.. Knoxville and Greenville, SC are an easy drive from Asheville. Cartersville and Dahlonega will put you closer to Atlanta but are smaller and probably going to be more politically conservative than Asheville. But another thing to consider is that Asheville will be more expensive than the other options you listed.
Yes, well, good luck securing a 3/4 BR home for 230K in Asheville.
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Old 03-13-2017, 11:39 AM
 
Location: ATL -> HOU -> DAL -> ATL
4,561 posts, read 3,832,270 times
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The mountains are more extensive in western NC whereas north GA gets the southern edge. GA also doesn't really have large towns like Asheville in the mountains. They're much smaller but there are plenty of small towns to choose from and since you are at the edge, it's a quick drive down to the foothills and piedmont where you can find your typical suburban amenities.
You can start to notice how much cooler the mountains are once you get above 2,000 feet or in elevation. Some places above 4,000 (like Highlands, NC) are almost like different climates entirely.
Asheville would be great but it is pricey and is very popular (for good reason). It's also very busy downtown.
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Old 03-13-2017, 11:58 AM
 
1,497 posts, read 979,839 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LovinDecatur View Post
Yes, well, good luck securing a 3/4 BR home for 230K in Asheville.
Like I said.. it will be more expensive. But Asheville certainly meets more of the OP list of criteria than any of the others. BUt if price is the most important factor then I would probably recommend Cartersville. Probably not as liberal as Asheville but it is also much closer to Atlanta.. also an easy drive to Chattanooga. I guess it all depends on what is most important to the OP.. if its is home prices then that might exclude Asheville.
Another option worth considering is Greenville, SC. It's actually larger than Asheville and only a 45 min drive away.. It has a very nice downtown and is about a 90min drive from Charlotte and a 2.5 hour drive from Atlanta. However, Greenville is known to be a conservative town. It is the home of Bob Jones UNiversity. But a lot of people have moved to Greenville from all over so I am sure you will find like-minded neighbors there.
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Old 03-13-2017, 09:16 PM
 
Location: N. Ga
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Definitely not Dahlonega or Ellijay. (And add Blue Ridge, Blairsville and Hiawassee) to that list. All are very conservative. Not sure about Cleveland, so I agree that Cartersville might be the best bet in Georgia. And while I like Helen, you couldn't get me to live in all the tourist mess. If you can live with the conservative attitude though, 230K will buy you a VERY nice home in the N. Ga. Mountains.
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Old 03-14-2017, 05:21 AM
 
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Throughout north Georgia you will find some liberal individuals and groups in nearly every town. They are in the minority though. Most of my more liberal friends, who live here, just say it's something that they have gotten used to and they choose to just accept it for what it is.
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Old 03-14-2017, 10:35 AM
 
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It also sounds like you want a bigger town with more organizations and amenities.. so really Asheville is the only one that meets all of your criteria (well except maybe for price). However with some searching and compromising you probably could find something within your price range that would meet your needs in Asheville. Asheville is just big enough but not too big. It really does have an ideal location in the blue ridge mountains where you would have abundant activites in almost any direction.
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Old 03-14-2017, 04:02 PM
 
Location: Lake Spivey, Georgia
1,989 posts, read 1,595,166 times
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Asheville is a liberal island in a vast ocean of conservative western North Carolina. You will find the unincorporated county around the City of Asheville to be quite religiously oriented. I know this because I have taught in a Baptist Bible College here in Georgia for many years and many/most of my current and former students were from Buncombe County, North Carolina where Asheville is the county seat. They have told me of this interesting bipolar nature of western North Carolina. While I know this is not the case in every congregation, my preacher told me that being a Christian and having the Holy Spirit and Jesus living within you should make you sweeter, which I would think would make you a wonderful neighbor to have. just some food for thought. Best of luck to you and your family.
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