I actually think we agree! I spent the start of my career when I was a young professional commuting an hour into Dallas, TX. I rented and owned outside the metroplex before being able to afford living in Plano. I agree with you that Asheville's core has priced itself out of what most young professionals can afford. That is why I suggested North of Asheville. A $500-$750,000 home in Asheville sells for $250,000 in Weaverville (15 minute commute) and $150,000 across the Tennessee line (30 minute commute). Both reasonable and much easier commutes than I had. In these areas you can easily afford to rent and earn your way into buying a starter home outside of town. Asheville proper is quickly becoming a destination spot for retires with lots of disposable income. With Asheville's limited land I expect it to out pace many fast growing markets in appreciation. Its market prices compare more with California over the last few years because of the limited land area and absence of track building than some of the SE more economical areas with large open flat tracks of land. Jennifer has already suggest several good areas in Asheville proper that a professional should be able to afford once they progress up the career ladder a little. I also agree with you that WNC is not Austin or Redmond when it comes to the young professional job market although I think there are many opportunities for the more entrepreneurial who can market themselves at a distance and that the I-26 corridor will attract new businesses. Since I was a kid the entry level home here is still a double wide modular and can be had for $100,000. compared with my first stick built home that I bought for $79,000 two decades ago. There is definitely a premium to be paid for mountain living. I expect the I-26 corridor to attract businesses and professionals who can not afford downtown over the next 4-5 years. I-26 has much untapped potential between Asheville and Johnson City, TN. Many developers are already staking claims. I stand by my response. If as Jennifer suggested you can afford West Asheville it will be a great investment and still offers opportunities for remodels. If not the I-26 corridor is where the future is at. I think that is what Nathan originally asked. It is a great place to have a rental or remodel a entry level home. After all an investor needs the young pros as renters or buyers of starter homes. Jason with a 15 minute commute I can show you a nice stick built starter home for less than $200,000. that will pay you gains when you are ready to move into Asheville when you make VP.