Cost of Living Forum

AshevilleNative @ashevillenative
Joined: 5 months ago

Cost of Living in Asheville for a Long-Term Resident

Hi everyone, I’m a long-time resident of Asheville, and I’m curious to hear about your experiences with the cost of living here. As someone who’s lived here for years, I’ve seen prices steadily rise, especially for housing and certain amenities. However, some costs like groceries and utilities have remained relatively affordable compared to other cities. I’d love to hear your thoughts and get a sense of how Asheville’s expenses compare to other areas you’ve lived in or are familiar with. What’s your take on the major costs like housing, food, transportation, healthcare, and entertainment? I’m particularly interested in hearing from people with different family situations, income levels, and lifestyles. Let me know your perspectives!

Posts: 14

10 Replies

AvilleGirl92 @avillegirl92
Joined: 7 months ago

As someone who’s rented in Asheville for the past 5 years, I’ve definitely felt the housing crunch. Rent for a decent 1-bedroom apartment can easily run you $1,200-$1,500 in the city center, and even places a bit further out are getting pricey. Groceries are pretty average, maybe a tad higher than some other cities, but the local produce and craft beer scenes make it worth it in my opinion. Utilities have been manageable, and I love that we have a decent public transit system to get around without crazy gas and parking costs. Entertainment is definitely on the pricier side though, with a lot of the cool restaurants, breweries, and music venues charging premium prices. Healthcare has been my biggest struggle – the costs for insurance premiums and out-of-pocket expenses can really add up if you don’t have great employer coverage. Overall, Asheville is getting increasingly expensive for a single young professional like me, but the quality of life and amenities make it worth it (for now!).
Posts: 19
FamilyGuyAvl @familyguyavl
Joined: 10 months ago

As a family of 4 with 2 young kids, our costs in Asheville have definitely been a mixed bag. On the plus side, we’ve found the public schools to be great and haven’t had to pay for private education. Childcare costs for preschool/daycare were pretty steep though – easily $1,500+ per month for one kid. Housing has been our biggest expense by far – we bought a modest 3-bedroom house just outside the city center a few years ago, and the mortgage/taxes are over $2,000 per month. Groceries for a family of 4 easily run $800-$1,000 per month if we want to buy decent quality food. Utilities like electricity, water, internet have been reasonable. Entertainment is where we try to save by taking advantage of the parks, hiking trails, and free community events. My employer covers a decent chunk of our healthcare costs, but the premiums and out-of-pocket portions can still add up quickly. Overall, Asheville isn’t a cheap place to raise a family, but the quality of life and outdoorsy vibe make it worthwhile for us.
Posts: 23
AvlRetireeCT @avlretireect
Joined: 2 years ago

My wife and I retired to Asheville a few years ago after spending most of our working lives in Connecticut. Coming from the NYC metro area, Asheville has been a welcome respite in terms of costs, despite it being a bit pricier than we expected. Our biggest savings have been on housing – we were able to buy a nice 2-bedroom condo downtown for under $400k, whereas that would’ve been impossible in CT. Property taxes are also very reasonable. Healthcare costs have been about on par with what we paid in the Northeast once you factor in Medicare plus supplemental insurance. We spend a good chunk on entertainment and dining out, taking advantage of Asheville’s brewery scene and great restaurants, but it’s still cheaper than eating out in NYC/Boston. Utilities and other basics like groceries have been very affordable compared to our previous locale. My only gripe is that the cost of some services and home maintenance is higher than I expected for a smaller city. But all in all, our dollar goes much further here in our retirement than it would have up North.
Posts: 11
MtnLover828 @mtnlover828
Joined: 11 months ago

As an outdoorsy single guy, I’ve been able to keep my costs pretty reasonable in Asheville by embracing a minimalist lifestyle. I rent a cheap but decent studio apartment just outside downtown for $800 a month all-in with utilities. I mostly prepare simple meals at home, so my grocery costs are under $300 a month. Don’t really drink or go out to restaurants much, which saves a ton. My biggest expense is probably my outdoor hobbies and equipment for hiking, climbing, etc. But even then, all the amazing free recreation in the area helps offset those costs. I buy a used 4WD vehicle for cash to keep transportation costs low. Healthcare is manageable with a decent individual plan. All in all, I can live a pretty active lifestyle in this awesome outdoor paradise for under $2k per month, which would never be possible in most major cities.
Posts: 2
WhatsUpAVL @whatsupavl
Joined: 2 years ago

I’ve lived in Asheville for about 15 years now, and it’s wild to see how much costs have gone up, especially for housing and certain services. My husband and I bought our 3-bed, 2-bath house near downtown back in 2010 for around $275k. That same house would easily fetch $600k or more now – the property values have just skyrocketed. Back then, we could go out for nice dinners all the time without breaking the bank, but now it feels like every new restaurant caters more to tourists willing to pay premium prices. Don’t get me wrong, I love the amenities and new businesses, but it definitely prices out some locals. Groceries, gas, and utilities have stayed more reasonable at least. My biggest gripe is probably the rising costs for things like home repairs, landscaping, childcare, etc. It’s getting harder to find affordable services. We’re glad we locked in a low mortgage rate when we did – not sure we could afford to buy our house at today’s prices!
Posts: 24
AVLMedStudent @avlmedstudent
Joined: 2 years ago

As a medical student here, the cost of living in Asheville has definitely been a challenge. Housing is my biggest expense – I pay around $1,100 for a studio apartment reasonably close to the medical district and campus. Groceries and basics seem decently priced, but eating out is very pricey compared to what I was used to in undergrad. The healthcare itself has been expensive too, even with the university’s insurance plan. I pay around $400 per month for premiums and hefty deductibles/co-pays. Most of my income goes towards housing, healthcare, groceries, and textbook costs. I try to take advantage of discounted student rates whenever possible for entertainment, but it’s not cheap to explore Asheville’s food/beer/music scenes on a student budget. I think once I’m earning a real salary, the costs will feel more manageable, but it’s definitely a struggle in my current situation.
Posts: 19
AppalachianHiker @appalachianhiker
Joined: 2 years ago

For me, living in Asheville has been all about embracing an affordable outdoor lifestyle. My housing costs are very low – I split a modest 2-bedroom rental house with a friend for only $600 per month including utilities. I drive an old used car and my insurance/gas costs are minimal. Food is pretty cheap if you buy basic ingredients and cook simple meals at home. I grow some of my own veggies too which helps a lot. Healthcare is probably my biggest recurring cost, even with a decent insurance plan through my employer. But most of my income goes towards my passion – hiking, camping, climbing gear and adventure trips in the beautiful Appalachian mountains that surround Asheville. The access to world-class outdoor recreation in every direction is honestly priceless and the reason I can tolerate the increasing costs elsewhere. As long as I can afford my bare necessities and hiking hobbies, I’m perfectly content with the simple, low-cost lifestyle Asheville affords me.
Posts: 24
BeerCityBudgeteer @beercitybudgeteer
Joined: 2 years ago

Can’t lie, being really into Asheville’s amazing beer scene makes living here a bit pricey for my modest income! I spend way too much money checking out all the new craft breweries and beer bars around town. But even with that expenditure, I’ve found Asheville to be relatively affordable for a mid-sized city with such great amenities. My spouse and I split a cheap older 2-bed rental house out in West Asheville for $1200 a month. Groceries are manageable if you shop smart. We each have older used cars to avoid huge payments/insurance costs. Healthcare is probably our biggest strain – we’re too “wealthy” for big subsidies but pay around $800 per month for a decent family plan. Eating out and entertainment is pricey if you don’t stick to the cheaper local joints. But we make it work with smart budgeting so we can still indulge in the beer/foodie scene a few times per month. Asheville may get you with vices, but the overall bang for your buck is still pretty good compared to bigger cities.
Posts: 22
AshleyFromAVL @ashleyfromavl
Joined: 4 months ago

I’ve lived in Asheville for about 8 years now, and I’ve definitely seen the cost of living creep up over time. Housing has been the biggest increase for sure – it felt way more affordable when I first moved here. I rent a decent 1-bedroom apartment near downtown for around $1400 now, which is getting pretty tough on my $50k salary. Eating out has also gotten very expensive if you want to try the trendier new spots. I probably spend close to $300-400 per month just going out to restaurants/breweries with friends. Fortunately, I keep my grocery and gas costs pretty low by meal prepping at home and not having to commute much. Healthcare is also an issue – I pay around $200 per month for a high-deductible individual plan, and doctor visits really add up with the out-of-pocket costs. I think the amenities and quality of life are still worth it for me as a single professional for now, but future raises will definitely be needed to keep up with rising costs.
Posts: 22
BizTravelerBud @biztravelerbud
Joined: 10 months ago

As someone who travels frequently to Asheville for work, I’ve gained a decent sense of the costs from an outsider’s perspective. Hotel rates can be very expensive if you’re staying downtown or during peak seasons/events – $200+ per night is very common for decent hotels. But you can find more affordable options if you’re willing to stay a bit further out. Eating out gets pricey too if you want to hit the nicer restaurants. $25-30 per entree seems standard for the good places. But street food, breweries, and more casual joints can be reasonable. Car rental rates are typical for the region, maybe $50-60 per day. Overall, it feels like costs for visitors are towards the higher end, especially for lodging, dining, and entertainment in the trendier parts of town. But there are still some affordable options if you know where to look. As a visitor, I try to mix it up between some splurges and some cheaper local experiences.
Posts: 18

Detailed Price Insights of Abilene, TX

  • Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant – 22.00 $
  • Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course – 100.00 $
  • McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) – 11.00 $
  • Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) – 8.00 $
  • Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) – 10.00 $
  • Cappuccino (regular) – 5.20 $
  • Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle) – 2.45 $
  • Water (0.33 liter bottle) – 2.00 $
  • Milk (regular), (1 liter) – 1.02 $
  • Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) – 4.22 $
  • Rice (white), (1kg) – 4.31 $
  • Eggs (regular) (12) – 2.79 $
  • Local Cheese (1kg) – 12.67 $
  • Chicken Fillets (1kg) – 11.95 $
  • Beef Round (1kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) – 17.62 $
  • Apples (1kg) – 5.69 $
  • Banana (1kg) – 1.85 $
  • Oranges (1kg) – 4.35 $
  • Tomato (1kg) – 4.52 $
  • Potato (1kg) – 3.26 $
  • Onion (1kg) – 4.27 $
  • Lettuce (1 head) – 2.27 $
  • Water (1.5 liter bottle) – 2.25 $
  • Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) – 13.50 $
  • Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) – 1.78 $
  • Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) – 3.41 $
  • Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro) – 7.25 $
  • One-way Ticket (Local Transport) – 1.25 $
  • Monthly Pass (Regular Price) – 20.00 $
  • Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) – 5.00 $
  • Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) – 3.11 $
  • Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) – 50.00 $
  • Gasoline (1 liter) – 0.86 $
  • Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) – 34,689.37 $
  • Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) – 24,975.64 $
  • Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment – 215.33 $
  • Mobile Phone Monthly Plan with Calls and 10GB+ Data – 64.86 $
  • Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) – 89.00 $
  • Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult – 43.00 $
  • Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) – 28.33 $
  • Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat – 12.92 $
  • Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child – 1,802.11 $
  • International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child – 25,965.00 $
  • 1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) – 59.25 $
  • 1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, …) – 58.50 $
  • 1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) – 161.25 $
  • 1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes – 143.33 $
  • Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre – 2,211.11 $
  • Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre – 1,581.25 $
  • Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre – 3,875.00 $
  • Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre – 2,833.33 $
  • Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment in City Centre – 3,704.38 $
  • Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre – 3,159.15 $
  • Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) – 3,840.92 $
  • Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate – 6.66
Please Login or Register to reply to this topic.
Join Us!