Salisbury, NC??

Old Jun 27th, 2006, 06:30 PM
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Take a look at Asheville and Hendersonville. Really.

I asked about the Jan Karon books. Those books were based on an idyllic small town = Banner Elk was the model. It may be too small. Cashiers and Highlands are picturesque - but probably too small too.

Look at Asheville and H'ville. Based on everything you have said I think you would adore living in Asheville.
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Old Jun 27th, 2006, 06:37 PM
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Actually not Banner Elk but Blowing Rock.
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Old Jun 27th, 2006, 06:40 PM
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Who knows if you are "fishing in the wrong pond". I don't really think that Raleigh or Durham is it--Chapel Hill might be. Winston might be. Asheville might be although I don't think the latter are walkable cities. Why not look at Charleston?
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Old Jun 27th, 2006, 06:49 PM
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You're right Gretchen. Sorry for the goof!
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Old Jun 27th, 2006, 06:53 PM
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Just a heads up on Charleston/.... I don't know how much humidity or heat you can tolerate, but from May to Oct, if you go outside and have on eyeglasses , it is a virtual fog and the heat is oppresive....

The rest of the time, the weather is ideal..As for crime, same as all the others--it depends on where in town you live and a good realtor can tell you that...

By the way, I used to live in Charlotte, and to hear Salisbury called Paris of the Piedmont , really cracked me is a sleepy little mill town ----if I had to retire there, I think I would take a gun to my it is too slow for me..

Asheville is gorgeous with a lot more going on--but I am partial to the RDU area for it's theater, symphony, foreign films etc...

As far as a place similar to Healdsburg,CA in NC?............... the closest that comes to mind to me is either Hendersonville or Asheville...very villagey in feeling.

Happy Hunting as you did pick the best state!! I envy your retirement search!
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Old Jun 28th, 2006, 02:15 AM
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Althought we loved Charleston and Savannah - TOO hot and humid! and also too expensive for the nicer parts of town...

We had considered Wilmington but think weather will be the same, and it is very large and we heard not so safe - who knows.

Obviously we like CA alot, (Northern) but WAY too expensive for us.

We're not looking to spend more than 375K or so on a modest place.

Friends of ours just got back from Hendersonville and liked it alot. We're looking forward to planning a trip to there and Asheville.
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Old Jun 28th, 2006, 04:16 PM
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p.s. Gretchen - Which did you think were not "walkable" cities?
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Old Jun 28th, 2006, 04:55 PM
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I began skimming near the end of this thread, and I've spent considerable time in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Charlottesville, Cary and Winston-Salem (though I have not lived in Winston).

You asked about Cary. Cary is still an affluent suburb of Raleigh and the Research Triangle. In that regard (as the housing communities in Cary keep spreading south and east, though into the towns of Apex, Holly Springs, etc.), it can be said that it is part of sprawl. Of course, it's nice sprawl, but sprawl nonetheless. Public transportation, if that's important, is lacking. However, public transportation is lacking throughout NC. The pictures you saw of Cary were probably just a snapshot of downtown or a couple housing communities. I love Cary, but it is a suburb - no other way around it.

If you found Charlottesville too big, you will NOT like Winston Salem. Chapel Hill itself is smaller, though the core of it (Franklin Street between Durham and Carrboro) can be said to be bustling. Because of its proximity to Raleigh, Durham, RTP and Cary, it can feel like part of a larger town (which is good, because there you have a decent airport, and options beyond the individual town - outside Charlottesville, you have to go to Richmond or DC - there's NOTHING really until those places).

Winston is a small city (not town) - it does not have the same feel as Chapel Hill or Charlottesville - or Cary for that matter (of course it depends on where in Winston you were considering).

Your crime statistics do not indicate that crime in any of those areas is generally localized in certain areas of town where you would not be living. Chapel Hill was a safe town, and I suspect that Carrboro and the student population somewhat skew the statistics. You wouldn't consider any of the towns you mentioned to be bad from a crime-standpoint (large parts of Durham, however, are a different story).

However, if you want to be more central to a town center - $375k may not do it in Chapel Hill. Too many grads love it so much that the prices drive way up.

I haven't heard Roanoke VA thrown out as a suggestion. My sister-in-law lives there, and the home prices are right. There is a downtown area, and it is smaller than Charlottesville. I'm not sure that it captures the compactness you desire.

There's also Boone, NC, which has a darling downtown, and is scenic (in the mountains, northeast of Asheville).
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Old Jun 29th, 2006, 02:43 AM
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Thanks kghhm - REALLY helpful comments.

I looked at pictures of WS and thought it looked way too big for us.

As for Roanoke, my husband's friend lives there, and my husband didn't like it. I don't know if it was the size, lack of charm - whatever.

It is really hard to describe the "it" factor and it is different in each place. Where I live now is smallish - 22K, but very vibrant. Part of that is because it is a waterfront community, and part because it is very historic and revitalized, I think. There's really only one main street downtown, with a couple of off-shoots but ALL of the surrounding area is beautiful old historic homes, very walkable. There's a Starbucks, library, live theatre on the water, restaurants, bookstores, little tiny old movie theatre, artist galleries - all very liveable.

When we were in Charlottesville, we drove to Staunton, Culpepper, and Lexington, thinking they might be what we wanted, but they weren't. Again, I can't say why, except that same feel of vibrancy wasn't there as in the places I mentioned we've visited and really like (but can't afford to live!!).

Two others that come to mind we really like are Portsmouth, NH and Newport, RI.

Right now we live in Newburyport, MA.

Appreciate the comparisons.
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Old Jun 29th, 2006, 05:15 AM
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Besides ASheville some small communities that you might look into if you come to this area would be: Waynesville, Black Mountain, Hendersonville (as mentioned earlier), Weaverville. Just thinking of small towns within reach of a city or at least a small city. I would say that all of these have at least a small downtown area - Weaverville the smallest.
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Old Jun 29th, 2006, 05:19 AM
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Since we are wandering all over I'll suggest Wilmington, NC & Amelia Island. Seems like you're looking for really smaller places. I am also partial to Black Mt. myself, but that may be edging towards 'too small'.
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Old Jun 29th, 2006, 04:31 PM
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We don't want to be in the "boonies" and don't want a really small place with nothing going on.

I'd say ideal is 22K - 50K with bigger places 1/2 hour or so away.
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Old Jun 29th, 2006, 07:15 PM
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You want Asheville - or Hendersonville, smaller with Asheville 1/2 hour or so away.
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Old Jun 29th, 2006, 07:16 PM
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Heck! I'll meet you during Labor Day weekend and give you a walking tour if you need it. I really wish you could "talk" to Wildflower. She made a very similar move to Asheville and loved the move. I'll see if I can top one of her old threads.
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Old Jun 29th, 2006, 07:30 PM
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Here's a couple of cut and pastes from old Wildflower threads -

Author: Wildflower
Date: 09/14/2004, 06:50 am
It has been one month since we safely arrived in North Carolina. We are staying in a small apartment while our house is being built. I just want you to know how much I appreciated all your suggestions and recommendations.

Thank you also for recommendations regarding Asheville. We now live south of Asheville and moving to our new house in Flat Rock in February. Meanwhile, we are getting acquainted with this lovely area. We feel fortunate as we moved form gorgeous Adirondacks to such beautiful part of North Carolina.

Author: Wildflower
Date: 09/14/2004, 03:14 pm
Scarlett, thanks. How long it took you to make new friends and feel as you belong in this new place?

Author: Wildflower
Date: 09/15/2004, 08:48 am
Scarlett, I hope this new hurricane won't do any damage to your area. We too got some flooding fom the last huricane and now all apples, vegetables and flowers growers worry what is going to happen in the end of this week. We had many roads closed and rivers are still very high.

It is another beautiful sunny day today. I could see the mountains from my balcony. All people, except one guy, around here are really wonderful. My husband already feels this is where he belongs. Our cat spends a lots of time on the balcony and we already attracted hummingbirds so it is almost as we are home. You are right about plenty to do around Asheville. We do keep busy.

Wildflower was one of those "friends" I never had the chance to meet but enjoyed via this board. One reason I like GTG's so much. She died a year after moving to Asheville (wreck with drunk driver) but absolutely loved living in the Asheville area. I forgot that she actually moved to Flat Rock.

Good luck house (and city) hunting!
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Old Jun 30th, 2006, 04:38 AM
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Since you started with Salisbury and say you want small with big nearby you might look at Davidson, NC, just north of Charlotte. Pretty little college town.
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Old Jun 30th, 2006, 04:20 PM
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starrsville -

I had tears in my eyes as I read about Wildflower - how very, very sad to have found "her place" and then be taken away from it so soon.

I hope her husband is doing OK and can find solice in the beauty of the area that she so loved. Life is so short sometimes....

Appreciate everyone's help on this board - you've all been great and provided much needed insight to help us narrow our choices.

I think Wildflower would be pleased to know she was remembered so fondly. She seems like she was a great lady.
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