Nestled between the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and the Pisgah national forest, Asheville is a city of 90,000 and is a creative oasis. Surrounded by some of the most majestic scenery on the East Coast and home to a campus of the University of North Carolina, Asheville has a thriving arts scene and a vibrant downtown. With a strong economy, a very high quality of life, and a moderate cost of living, Asheville consistently ranks near the top in nationwide polls of the best places to live.
In a city with this much to offer, it can be hard to pick just five best neighborhoods, but we’ve surveyed the options and made some hard choices. Here are our picks for Asheville’s five very best neighborhoods to live in 2019.
River Arts District
This former industrial area has been home to Asheville’s thriving arts scene since artists took over the abandoned buildings in the 1970s. Over the years, the former warehouses have been converted to galleries, restaurants, and artist spaces. Since the neighborhood’s on the banks of the French Broad River, there are also great views.
RAD, as it’s known locally, is also home to the New Belgium Brewing Company, one of the biggest craft breweries in the world. As you might expect from an arts district, there are bike lanes on most of the streets and wide sidewalks to encourage pedestrian access. The housing stock here is a mixture of historic bungalows, newer condos, and apartment buildings.
According to data from Zillow, the median home value in RAD is $344,600 and has increased 2.9% over the past year. They’re forecast to increase an additional 1.4% in the next year.
Downtown Asheville is oriented around a dense strip of museums, restaurants, shops, and live music venues. Because of the presence of the UNC Asheville campus, the area has a distinct college town feel to it, with a vibrant street energy at any time of day or night. This neighborhood is the most walkable in all of Asheville and contains South Slope, Asheville’s brewery district.
The housing stock here consists mainly of large loft-style units in historic buildings or apartments in newer buildings.
In Downtown Asheville, the median home value is $285,700, which has increased by 5.1% over the past year. Home values here are forecast to go up by 2.7% in the next twelve months.
Grove Park is one of Asheville’s priciest neighborhoods, but also one of the most elegant. Named after the historic Grove Park Inn, the historic homes here reflect the Inn’s style with mostly Tudor and Colonial style homes, as well as a few Craftsman bungalows. The sidewalks here are generously proportioned and since Grove Park’s just north of downtown, many residents walk to dine or shop there.
Lots here are typically large, averaging a half-acre or more, and heavily wooded. The north end of the neighborhood is dominated by the Grove Park Inn and Country Club, one of the finest resorts in the country.
But again, this is an expensive part of town. Data from realtor.com reports the median list price in Grove Park is $607,500.
West Asheville is an up-and-coming neighborhood centered around the main commercial avenue of Haywood Road. Nearly all the neighborhood’s retail, dining, and nightlife is packed along Haywood, forming a walkable, dense strip like no other in Asheville. There are bike lanes and pedestrian crossings to encourage people to leave their cars behind, and the neighborhood features several parks, a yoga studio, and bookstores.
The housing stock here is on side streets off of Haywood, and are mostly mid-century ranch style homes, with a few historic bungalows. There are also some newer homes, built in a contemporary, environmentally-friendly style.
The median home value here is $261,000 and has increased 6.5% in the past year. Home values are forecast to rise by 4.5% over the next twelve months.
Just northwest of downtown is Montford, one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in the city. Montford is a National Register Historic District, and it’s easy to see why. The homes along the main commercial strip of Montford Avenue are wonderfully maintained Victorian mansions, shaded by towering trees hundreds of years old. Some of the homes have been converted to bed-and-breakfasts, but most are still occupied.
One of the neighborhood’s main draws for tourists is Riverside Cemetery, where writers Thomas Wolfe and O. Henry are buried. The neighborhood also features a park, tennis courts, and a wooded amphitheater.
Even given the historic nature of the neighborhood, it’s still fairly affordable. The median home sale price in Montford is $495,000.
If you’ve settled on your dream neighborhood in Asheville, your best course of action is to partner up with a great local real estate agent. An experienced agent is intimately familiar with the local market and can get you the best possible deal.
Clever Partner Agents are elite performers in their respective markets and come from top brands and brokerages. Whether you’re looking to buy a Victorian in Montford or a Craftsman bungalow in Grove Park, a Clever Partner Agent will help you settle on your ideal property and guide you through the long buying process.