My thoughts as a 36 year resident
My post is a review of Henderson County in general. First off, the teenage girl who said there's absolutely nothing for kids to do here is absolutely spot-on. If you're interested in stomping through the woods for fun, visiting DuPont and Hooker Falls 37 times a summer, or driving at least 2 hours for any real entertainment, than this place is for you!
I've lived in Henderson County for 36 years (minus 4 years in the Air Force). Back in the '80s and '90s, this was such a popular spot for retirees (mainly from NY and FL) that it earned the moniker "Geriatric County". As time went on the the infestation (and I do mean infestation) got worse, with transplants from farther reaches moving in, as well as working-age people with small kids.
Now this county is an overcrowded melting pot of illegal Mexicans, white trash and transplants that, if they're not outright rude and self-centered they are in-your-face santimonious. When they abandon their overcrowded meccas they come here, and continue the "traditions" that made their original homes so intolerable they felt they had to move (and inflict their BS on a whole new town).
Nobody knows anybody anymore. Everybody is a stranger. Nobody makes eye contact. The most agressive/rude/obnoxious driving habits from all over the country are on display here every day. When you let someone in traffic, they don't wave; they view it as an entitlement. Nobody don't say thank you, and they all act as if they were raised in a barn.
You can't drive around the "back roads" to and from home without being held up by herds of bicyclists plugging your lane - at ANY hours between sunup and sundown. The roads are windy and the DOT never thought to build drivable roads; the lanes are only wide enough for two cars to pass and passing the throngs of bikers, stretching out around the next curve, is out of the question. These bicyclers are the epitome of selfish d-bags.
Long time natives got greedy and sold family land to developers. The mountains, once nice to look at are now covered with ugly, over-priced subdivisions full of drafty, shoddily-built houses. Thanks to the slovenly habits of local contractors, your new house will become a money pit in short order. Older houses, well, that's a crapshoot, may get a good one may get a bad one, but ALL housing here is overpriced due to transplants with money coming in and sending the housing market through the roof.
If you're unemployed and looking for a job, look elsewhere. Service and tourism jobs dominate here and pay minimum wage.
Henderson County is a nice mix of rich retirees, young families who like people to think they're rich, young families who are visibly struggling, white trash and Mexicans, most here illegally. The "middle class" here is being squeezed into non-existance; this place is becoming a microcosm or "the haves and the have nots". The good thing is, the "posers" don't last long - foreclosures in this county average about 35 per month.
The school system is acceptable, you won't find the problems you here about in other areas - at least not yet. As the onslught of transplants continues unabated, expect the problems to rise - after all, these people don't leave their troubles behind when they come here - they bring that crap, too.
Drugs aren't an overt problem here, but I know they exist.
So...if you have money (or a trust fund), you can make it here (although if I had money I could think of all kinds of other places I'd live besides here!). If you're unemployed or a college graduate with a worthless degree, prepare to start out at minimum wage and top out at around $12/hr. Don't think about becoming a handy-man, a building contractor or landscaper - we've only got a few thousand of them here already. The few big-name employers here (Borg Warner, Continental, Raflatac) all import their talent and rarely hire local (in fact EVERYBODY I've ever met that worked at one of those places followed their job here). The brewery craze has just about fizzled, and none of them are hiring, either.
I haven't even addressed the climate...
The people that say they love it here are either part-timers or have only visited. Henderson County is over-crowded with hateful/delusional/rude transplants, is very expensive and exceedingly boring. Go someplace else.
Harry | Horse Shoe, NC