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Etowah, Mills River good places to start

A financial website has ranked Etowah and Mills River tops in the state for first-time homebuyers.

North Carolina’s 2013 median home value of $153,600 was substantially higher than neighboring South Carolina and Tennessee. “And buying a house can be especially challenging for first-time homebuyers, who in North Carolina might have to plan on saving over a dozen years for the median down payment of $30,120,” said.
Etowah ranked No. 1 and Mills River No. 2 in the website’s analysis of how much buyers would spend for their first home and how much it would appreciate.
“Located 23 miles south of Asheville, Etowah is a great option for those who value proximity to outdoor recreation at places such as the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Dupont State Forest,” the website said. “While homeowners will have to pay more for Etowah’s location, the median home value is $180,200, almost $30,000 above the state median, residents will benefit from a low property tax rate of 0.54 percent as well as monthly owner costs below the recommended $1,173.”
“Etowah’s neighbor to the north, Mills River, makes our list for first-time homebuyers largely due to its 2010-2013 home value growth of 13.4 percent, which is the fourth highest on our list. Proximity to state and national parks, good schools and a low property tax rate of 0.49 percent are among the many reasons why Mills River is a desirable place to live. While buying a house in Mills River is likely a smart investment, the town’s higher median home value of $224,700 may be out of reach for some.”