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Old 09-08-2011, 03:54 PM
 
41 posts, read 78,887 times
Reputation: 27

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Hello, everyone. So glad I have found these forums. There is SO much info here I had to sign up and start asking my questions. I am finally moving and will be relocating. I am considering a move to Wilmington, NC (New Bern? Morehead City?), Charleston, SC (James or Johns Island, West Ashley, Mount Pleasant), Annapolis, MD or Wilmington, DE. Would love input if you live in any of these areas, especially if you have lived in more than one and can comment on the criteria below which are the things that are most important.

Community feel Ė want some room to breathe, but donít want to be or feel isolated (coming from a very rural area). Also prefer not to be in a cookie-cutter/clear cut development.
Tree-lined, walkable (sidewalks) streets
Proximity to services (retail, healthcare, hospital, fine dining), but in a bedroom community rather than smack in the middle of things (not a city person)
Active business community (chamber, business groups, etc.)
Very close to nature trails (ability to walk for an hour or two with my dogs)
Quick drive to the beach (what are the various beaches like?)
Nearby boating community/club on harbor or ocean (not river or intracoastal)
Schools are not an issue.

Basically Iíd like access to the above but with room to breath and enjoy a serene oasis that I'll call home.

Thanks so much for your input!
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Old 09-08-2011, 05:31 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,278 posts, read 19,833,664 times
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I have lived in Maryland and visited Annapolis often. I don't think you would like it. It is a lovely town, but the old areas are close together. I don't think there is "room to breathe". There are newer developments outside town- cookie cutter houses, and very expensive. The ocean (Ocean City) is 3-3.5 hours away. It is a good place for boating, with access to the Chesapeake.

You might like the Eastern Shore better-- towns like St. Michaels and Easton. Check the Maryland forums for them.
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Old 09-08-2011, 05:37 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,278 posts, read 19,833,664 times
Reputation: 5095
Wilmington DE is not a "quick drive" to the beach either. The ocean is maybe 2 hours away. You might like the town of Lewes, which is near Dewey Beach.

Either Wilmington, NC or Charleston, SC are probably closer to what you are looking for. There have been extensive discussions comparing the two areas on the Coastal NC forum.
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Old 09-09-2011, 06:00 AM
 
41 posts, read 78,887 times
Reputation: 27
What about outside of Annapolis, say Severna Park or other areas like that and also a little further south in the towns of Edgewater or Galesville? When you say the Ocean is so far away, do you mean access to sand beaches? Surely the bay offers lots to do on the water. Will check out other threads for more info too.
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Old 09-09-2011, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,278 posts, read 19,833,664 times
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I agree that Severna Park and Edgewater are nice- we had a weekend place in Edgewater, and enjoyed its serenity.

You did not mention a budget or size requirements. You will find Maryland a lot more expensive than North or South Carolina. There are many older houses in Severna Park for $375K and up with quarter acre lots. Waterfront will be $500K and up to the millions.

There is certainly plenty to do on the water if one has a boat- fishing, sailing etc. There is a state beach near Annapolis for swimming, but no one goes there except poor people. The Chesapeake is not good for swimming between the jellyfish and oil slicks.

I am not a dog person, but I would suggest checking Anne Arundel County Parks and Rec for hiking trails. I suspect there are some.

I don't know about the business climate, as the economy is dependant on the Navy, State government and tourism.

Last edited by goldenage1; 09-09-2011 at 10:48 AM..
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Old 09-10-2011, 03:30 AM
 
Location: Greenville, NC
2,078 posts, read 5,048,672 times
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If you have the means then somewhere in the Annapolis area would be your best pick. I was born there and lived in that area for 47 years. The down sides are that there is a God-awful lot of people in that whole area but seclusion can be had. It is very expensive to live there. The pluses are numerous. The biggest is that they have culture. Unless you are a couch potato then there is always something to do. Parks are plentiful. There is the B&A walking trail that stretches for miles. The Chesapeake Bay can provided hours upon hours of activities from swimming to the Bay Bridge walk (temporarily closed), to crabbing, sailing, fishing etc.. Anne Arundel Parks and Recreation constantly has things going on. Quiet Waters Park (in Hillsmere, at the edge of the city) is really nice and has an ice skating rink in the winter months. Annapolis has it own symphony, small playhouse and numerous higher class bars and restaurants.

I really could go on and on.
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Old 09-11-2011, 07:44 AM
 
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Default 60 years in MD; 3 part-time in NC

I was born in Maryland and will continue living here until retirement in a few years. Over the years I have had several job offers that required moving and always turned them down. There was no way I was going to leave the Chesapeake Bay region. But the Maryland where I grew up is pretty much gone; too many people, too much traffic, very liberal politics, extremely high taxes, increasingly high cost of living, ever shrinking job market other than federal government and did I mention winter? Oppressive heat in summer followed by the typical winter’s day in Maryland of 33 degrees and raining.

After an extensive search consuming several years traveling along the coast and analysis of climate data, we purchased our retirement home on the Crystal Coast. Beaufort / Morehead City have that small town feel like many on the out-skirts of Baltimore / Annapolis years ago, the ocean resort area is just a short hop over the bridge, New Bern (bigger city) and Raleigh (big city) are just 1 hour and 3 hours away, and moving east long Route 70 you can find any level of seclusion that you desire. And then there’s winter. The Core Banks host the closest approach of the Gulf Stream to the U.S coastline north of Florida keeping winters mild and summers breezy; at least along the coast.

Richard Martin’s description of Annapolis is right-on; maybe I just outgrew the place!

BTW, you mention schools are not an issue - what about employment? Job availability would likely become a dominating factor if required. All of the other attributes that you mention are available in the vicinity of Morehead City and along the Crystal Coast. Best wishes in your continuing search.

Last edited by Islandjoy; 09-11-2011 at 08:30 AM..
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Old 09-11-2011, 12:04 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,278 posts, read 19,833,664 times
Reputation: 5095
Quote:
Originally Posted by Islandjoy View Post
All of the other attributes that you mention are available in the vicinity of Morehead City and along the Crystal Coast.
Except, maybe, sidewalks. I also enjoy my new home on the North Carolina coast, except that Sneads Ferry is a bit too far from a hospital or mall stores. I don't need to return to Maryland either. It had become too congested for us.
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:37 AM
 
41 posts, read 78,887 times
Reputation: 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldenage1 View Post
You did not mention a budget or size requirements. You will find Maryland a lot more expensive than North or South Carolina. There are many older houses in Severna Park for $375K and up with quarter acre lots. Waterfront will be $500K and up to the millions.
$375 is a bit out of reach. I don't love the idea of a condo but the right kind would work.....garden style with just a few to one building. Not sure if they are available like that down there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Martin View Post
The down sides are that there is a God-awful lot of people in that whole area but seclusion can be had. It is very expensive to live there. The pluses are numerous. The biggest is that they have culture. Unless you are a couch potato then there is always something to do. Parks are plentiful. There is the B&A walking trail that stretches for miles. The Chesapeake Bay can provided hours upon hours of activities from swimming to the Bay Bridge walk (temporarily closed), to crabbing, sailing, fishing etc.. Anne Arundel Parks and Recreation constantly has things going on. Quiet Waters Park (in Hillsmere, at the edge of the city) is really nice and has an ice skating rink in the winter months. Annapolis has it own symphony, small playhouse and numerous higher class bars and restaurants.

I really could go on and on.
The area really sounds lovely....except for the density of population. Sounds like lots to do year round, and I do prefer outdoor activities....hiking, running, biking.....so it seems that I'd have lots of opportunity for that.

Someone suggested Bowie to me. I don't know a thing about the area yet. Feels a little too "interior" for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Islandjoy View Post
But the Maryland where I grew up is pretty much gone; too many people, too much traffic, very liberal politics, extremely high taxes, increasingly high cost of living, ever shrinking job market other than federal government and did I mention winter? Oppressive heat in summer followed by the typical winterís day in Maryland of 33 degrees and raining.

After an extensive search consuming several years traveling along the coast and analysis of climate data, we purchased our retirement home on the Crystal Coast. Beaufort / Morehead City have that small town feel like many on the out-skirts of Baltimore / Annapolis years ago, the ocean resort area is just a short hop over the bridge, New Bern (bigger city) and Raleigh (big city) are just 1 hour and 3 hours away, and moving east long Route 70 you can find any level of seclusion that you desire. And then thereís winter. The Core Banks host the closest approach of the Gulf Stream to the U.S coastline north of Florida keeping winters mild and summers breezy; at least along the coast.

Richard Martinís description of Annapolis is right-on; maybe I just outgrew the place!

BTW, you mention schools are not an issue - what about employment? Job availability would likely become a dominating factor if required. All of the other attributes that you mention are available in the vicinity of Morehead City and along the Crystal Coast. Best wishes in your continuing search.
I have heard this about the area and I will take 20 and snowing over 33 and raining any day of the week. My search into New Bern/Morehead city sort of halted as I started to feel that it was a little more remote/isolated than I wanted to be. I am self-employed but still enjoy being connected to a robust business/entrepreneur network. Not sure I can get that in that area. I am still a ways from retirement and don't want to be in an area that caters extensively to retirees. Not saying that is the case with NB/MDC. Just stating my preference. Is NB an hour from the coast? I didn't think it was quite that far. Years ago I sailed from CT to Hilton Head down the ICW and I remember really liking the area. That is part of what has driven me to revisit it and consider for relo.

Are you saying that the heat in NB/MHC is not as bad as in Annapolis? That is intriguing. I am a bit concerned about adjusting to the heat/humidity so far south but know that creating a lifestyle around the beach and boating will go a long way in making it lovely and enjoyable.
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