Located in the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains where the Swannanoa and the French Broad Rivers meet, Asheville is a gorgeous city in western North Carolina. Over the past decade, Asheville has become a haven for millennials looking for culture and natural beauty as well as a safe and quiet space to settle down and start families. Though the city has a small-town feel, there are plenty of different neighborhoods with decidedly different atmospheres and amenities. Thus, before you invest in Asheville real estate, you need to get to know all the best places to live — and this ranked list should help.
One of the oldest and most magnificent neighborhoods in Asheville, the historic Montford district is home to some of the city’s most diverse architecture, yet the area manages to maintain a quaint and community-minded feel. The culture in Montford tends toward the classical, with an annual Shakespeare in the Park event and the city’s largest arts and music festival. The large and historic homes of this neighborhood tend to be among the most expensive in the city, but if you can afford real estate in this neighborhood, you will almost certainly fall deeply in love with your surroundings.
On the other hand, if you want your home to be in the middle of the action, downtown Asheville (often abbreviated to DTAVL) is likely where you will thrive. Home to some of the best restaurants and eateries in the city — perhaps the state or even the entire southeast — you will never run out of outstanding food options. Living spaces are largely limited to condos and lofts, and the price per square foot tends to be especially high in this dense neighborhood. Still, you will be in the beating heart of Asheville, and you will be able to walk to all the best places in the city.
Many newcomers to Asheville overlook the quiet and scenic North Asheville neighborhoods, which include Beaverdam, Lakeview Park and Grove Park. North Asheville can feel like a well-appointed small town since it is nestled more deeply in the natural environment than the rest of the city. If you consider yourself outdoorsy, you will appreciate the abundance of outdoor activities in this area. Some parts of North Asheville are filled with mansions, but there are many starter home options in a variety of styles to suit your architectural taste.
With a reputation for being the youngest and hippest of Asheville’s neighborhoods, West Asheville is not to be ignored. The neighborhood has long been a refuge for younger and marginalized groups in Asheville, especially the LGBT+ community, and an abundance of fixer-uppers in this area makes it appealing to those with limited real estate budgets. However, development companies are moving in to add more housing options, driving up the cost of living in this area.
River Arts District
The River Arts District (RAD) is a beautiful and bustling artist community that can probably assume responsibility for building Asheville into the vibrant and exciting city it is today. There is a wide range of real estate options in this neighborhood, from new-construction condos to older apartment buildings and homes. Like any art district, half of the RAD is lively and attractive, and the other half is undeveloped and dominated by warehouses and train tracks. Yet, if you are looking for a place to live that will boost your inspiration, the RAD in Asheville might be it.
Undeniably the most luxurious neighborhood in Asheville, South Asheville is where you will find enormous, old and sprawling properties of the wealthiest Asheville residents. The locale of the Biltmore Estate, the famous country home of the Vanderbilt family, South Asheville has long attracted old money, but lately, younger families have been moving into the area in greater numbers. There is exceedingly high demand for homes in the Biltmore Park and Biltmore Forest neighborhoods, so you should expect to pay a premium if you have your heart set on this side of town.
Some consider East Asheville to be the rural side of town, while others see it as another attractive suburban space on the outskirts of the city. Certainly, East Asheville is closer to the mountain communities outside the urban environment of Asheville, but neighborhoods like Beverly Hills and Parkway Forest are as developed as areas of North Asheville. If you enjoy outstanding views of nature and old, affordable properties, you might appreciate East Asheville more than most.
Asheville is growing, which means competition for real estate will be stiff no matter which neighborhood you like. The sooner you can get involved in seeing and bidding on homes, the sooner you can move into your dream Asheville residence.