Much of the western portion of North Carolina is covered by the Blue Ridge Mountains, making the state an ideal place for mountain lovers to call home. Although this mountain range extends from Georgia to Pennsylvania, it’s North Carolina’s additional access to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Appalachian Trail, and spectacular scenery that makes it a great place to live.
North Carolina mountain real estate also gives residents an escape from the busy city life while being close enough to drive into town, should the need arise. Although such a retreat provides a way of life that is incomparable, home buyers should be aware of a few things when planning the move.
Be ready for a change in environment
When you live in the mountains, you’re sharing the woods with other wildlife. Therefore, expect eventual encounters with predators such as bobcats, black bears, and coyotes native to North Carolina. New residents will also experience other non-threatening animals like deer and raccoons. Be keenly aware of the environment and prepare for this change, but there’s no need to be afraid. Many people share the idyllic values of living in the mountains, and they understand that doing so is a matter of respecting nature and co-existing.
Although it’s not necessary to prepare for extreme cases of surviving in the wilderness and living off the grid, building survival skills for enduring winter conditions and learning how to react to wildlife is useful. You’ll need basic knowledge of what supplies you need in case of emergencies, the types of dangerous animals that live in the area, and how to reach emergency services should a situation warrant it.
Consider the utilities
The move also involves adapting to changing conditions. For example, power outages are much more common out in the mountains, and it’s even worse during winter. Therefore, new mountain homeowners should prepare for these events by stocking up on batteries, flashlights, and candles. Also, have extra water and a propane tank for cooking. Ideally, the home should have a backup power generator to provide electricity to essential appliances during a blackout, such as a refrigerator and heating source.
Although some people who live in the Blue Ridge Mountains choose to live off the grid with fully built solar panel systems, this is an extreme option. You can build a simple, solar power system as a backup power source that complements your home’s utilities. This is a great way to save on electricity while also having an alternative for addressing outages.
Consider work and arrangements
Commuting will be different when living in the mountains. If you work in the city, this involves a longer drive and it may take some time to reach a main road. Simple tasks that many people take for granted will be complicated with distance. For example, a mountain getaway may be a 40 minute drive to a grocery store or gas station, so forgetting the milk and eggs will not be a quick stop. In the winter, this drive may be even more difficult with snow or blocked roads. People will be trapped in their homes for a few days and should account for such events.
Still, some jobs that involve telecommuting are perfectly adapted for this type of living, given that employees can work from anywhere. If this is the case, make sure that you do have a backup communication system for internet services. Currently, several providers serve rural areas throughout North Carolina, and these are great alternatives because they’ll still function if the phone system is down.