It seems like for many families in upstate New York, there is a North Carolina connection, or connections, of some sort. NC maybe a favorite vacation spot(we like Hatteras), many military personnel are stationed in the state, or your family members moved to the state. While the hard data maybe sparse, we all know that Allegany county residents have been moving south for a long time. But that is changing!
Yesterday I met “Bob and Terry”, a young couple who are having a hard time finding a place to live in the Wellsville/Alfred area due to the shortage of available housing. They are looking forward to moving to ‘upstate’ and escaping the “humidity and sprawl” of places like Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham. Right, you read that correctly: This couple is choosing to move from North Carolina to Allegany County NY.
What? Why? I thought everyone was leaving for greener grass? What about the cheap taxes and the warmer weather in North Carolina?
Cheap taxes and warm weather maybe not all they are cracked up to be. The housing market near any major NC city is bonkers: 2 bedroom, 1 bath bungalow in Allegany County might fetch $60,000 if on a nice street. In Charlotte, try $250,000, if you are lucky.
“Bob and Terry”, being young and reasonable, don’t care if the taxes are high in Wellsville: The price of homes is still very low compared to say Hillsboro, NC. They are doing the math and saying; sure I will pay three times the taxes if I can buy the property for a quarter of the comparable in NC. No hurricanes, no sprawl, no fire ants. Sold.
The duo may also have noticed that in Allegany County, taxes are becoming less of an issue. Government has reacted to the harsh reality of poverty-inducing property taxes and in many places, taxes/tax rates are slowly falling. They also noticed that Allegany County is a last bastian of independent business, where franchise operations are minimal and hometown places like The Texas Hot are community trademarks. No super centers, but lots of great retailers like Fassett Lane Lumber and Giant Food Mart. That is becoming more and more valuable.
The pandemic surely had an impact, but the same situation existed prior to Covid-19: Allegany County is on the map and you can already see the benefits of the, “Western New York Wilds” branding campaign bearing fruit. “Bob an Terry” want to move to Allegany County from North Carolina and they are not alone. Is the pendulum swinging back this way?