Whether chased north by heat, hurricanes, or rising property-tax and flood insurance costs, Floridians continue to flock to the mountains of western North Carolina for permanent or second homes.

Here are some reasons why Floridians continue to seek out that perfect piece of Asheville North Carolina real estate.

Mountain Real Estate Provides Health Benefits

Florida’s connection to the mountains of North Carolina dates back to the late 19th century. Health records show that people who could afford it began to leave coastal Florida each summer to escape the deadly yellow fever. Others came here for the coveted mountain climate and to battle tuberculosis. The mountains of western North Carolina have long been sought out for their restorative properties.

There was a real estate boom happening in south Florida in the 20s in towns like Palm Beach and Miami. As a result, Asheville city officials persuaded federal officials to route the Blue Ridge Parkway through North Carolina.

Throughout the 20th century, Asheville’s real estate fortunes were tied closely to Florida’s. Many people moving to the area were affectionately called “half-backs.” This term refers to people who came from the north or Midwest, moved to Florida, and then only made it “half-way back.”

The Appalachian mountain climate plays a big role in luring our southern friends to the area. Average summer temperatures are 15 degrees cooler than Florida and there are also much more distinctive seasons – none of which are too harsh.

Asheville Real Estate Market Continues to Hold its Own

It is nearly impossible to pick up a paper or turn on the news without hearing about the slumping housing market or excessive foreclosures. However, the good news is that Asheville continues to chug along.

An article in the Asheville Citizen-Times interviewed co-owner of Preferred Properties, Terry Horner, who reported that, “We’ve held our own.” Horner is also the president of the Asheville Board of Realtors. “We’ve not seen the big depression and dip in prices when the market slowed down.”

The article goes on to say that, “once the economy starts to improve in other parts of the country, home buyers will return to Asheville.”

Save Money and Gain Peace of Mind with Asheville NC Real Estate

Last year, 2007, Florida was fairly lucky when it came to hurricanes, but people get tired of playing Russian roulette with their lives and their homes. In the past several years, Florida has been hard hit by hurricanes and the average home insurance premium for a non-coastal home has risen 26.3 percent. And, coastal properties are averaging a premium insurance increase of 42.1 percent. Community assessments have also risen by as much as $2,000 per year to make up for increased insurance costs.

The high insurance rate coupled with higher property taxes is making it more difficult for retirees and families to live. And, while North Carolina may experience the occasional remnant of a tropical storm, the impact is not nearly what it’s like in Florida.

The dollar also stretches more when buying a house in North Carolina compared to Florida. Both property and home insurance are very affordable in North Carolina.

Location and Quality of Life are Everything

Many people have family and friends spread out. On the east coast, in particular, it is not uncommon for people to have family in New York and Florida. North Carolina sits conveniently halfway. So, whether headed north or south, an 8-11 hour drive will get you to either state.

“There is also a quality of life that Asheville gave us that no other city in America has ever given us before,” Bob Wilton of Marshall, NC said. “And we have lived in many cities, including Miami, Memphis, Sacramento and Houston.”

Wilton explains that, “this beautiful area is really growing and planning for a great future. There are so many charming small towns, communities, and developments in and around the Asheville area that include towns like Hot Springs, Marshall and Weaverville. There is just so much potential in this area.”

Wilton says that he recently talked to some investors and they kept saying, “I wish I had come to Asheville 10 years ago. However, I know that in 10 more years, people will be saying that same thing about today. So, don’t waste time living in an uncomfortable, overextended place you used to call home. Make your next move to Asheville, North Carolina, the next ‘Greatest City in America.'”

Charlie and Troy Ball, owners of Whisper Mountain, right outside of Asheville, are sixth-generation Texans and also have accolades for the area. They have lived in Austin, Singapore, Canada, Houston and Phoenix. They visited once and fell in love.