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Old 03-12-2008, 11:20 AM
Location: 27609
525 posts, read 1,212,973 times
Reputation: 545


I have seen a lot of posts regarding Asheville vs. Wilmington, and considering that I grew up in Wilmington (and still visit all the time, I have family and friends there), and I currently live in Asheville, I thought I could offer some insight..

As for weather, Asheville is obviously not as hot or humid in the summer, but I absolutely hate winter!! It has seemed to last forever, and it's very "gray." The sky is gray, the mountains are brown, there is no green anywhere besides the pine trees, which there aren't as many of as in other parts of NC. Meanwhile, although it can be brutally hot at times, it seems to be bright and sunny year round in Wilmington - I love that!!

As for beauty, everyone says "Asheville is beautiful" - well, it's not. The mountains surrounding Asheville are unbelievably gorgeous, but the town itself is for the most part, ugly. There are lots and lots of buildings and homes in disrepair. The area is very industrial. While Wilmington has its less than desirable areas, I find the town itself to be much more aesthetically pleasing overall.

Jobs are about the same. Neither town has many, and the ones you do find are mainly service related and don't pay very well. Wilmington may have a slight upper hand here given the fact that PPD has just opened its new office, and Verizon Wireless has a big center there..I believe Quintiles just opened some type of office there, as well. You don't find many large corporations in Asheville.

Housing prices - I think the average cost of a home is higher in New Hanover County, but only because that includes the beach properties. My best friend bought a house in Wilmington last year, and I bought one in Asheville at the same time, and we actually paid exactly the same amount - 242k. She ended up with a 1700+ square foot newly constructed house with hardwood floors, tile, stainless appliances, upgraded cabinets, etc. (She's off Gordon Rd). We ended up with a 1400 square foot house about 5 years old (although it was in absolutely perfect shape), but we have carpet, vinyl floors, standard cabinets and appliances, etc. So, she definitely got the better deal there.

Honestly Asheville makes me miss Wilmington A LOT...and we are currently thinking about moving back there. I work from home, and my husband wants to go to school full time for a couple of years, so a job isn't much of an issue for us, thankfully. I really hope to be back at the beach soon!!
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Old 03-12-2008, 11:51 AM
Location: Wilmington, NC
8,575 posts, read 6,795,202 times
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I have never lived in asheville but have visited. as for the downtowns, I wouldn't say one is better than the other. they are both pretty typical NC medium sized towns. the one thing that really needs to be addressed in both areas are the homeless. it really does depend on what you want. both places have advantages and disadvantages. the biggest plus for me in moving back to wilmington was to be back at the beach. I lived here in the late 90's. then when I got back, I realized that going to the beach is really no longer an option. it is just a chore that isn't worth it. if I ever do go, I always go to topsail, so if I am going to drive 40 minutes to the beach, it really doesn't feel like you live at the beach. I am sure that you get sick of either place though. right now, what I wouldn't give to just see a HILL! forget a mountain, how about just a hill!
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Old 03-12-2008, 01:15 PM
Location: Uptown CLT (4th Ward)
2,560 posts, read 7,924,591 times
Reputation: 424
Asheville cost of living is probably almost time and 1/2 Wilmington. BOTH are great cities!

Total opposite from each other. Asheville is closer to more action. Charlotte - 2hrs away & Atlanta 3hrs away. No large cities near Wilmington. Raleigh would be the closest but not a big city at all and 2hrs away.

Wilmington has the beautiful beaches and Asheville has the beautiful mountains. Alot of outdoor activities in both.


PS - Asheville is NOT ugly. Downtown has become quite hip & trendy & quite expensive!!!

Last edited by the 7 oh 4; 03-12-2008 at 01:35 PM..
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