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Old 08-25-2007, 02:25 PM
 
11 posts, read 35,203 times
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I am looking to move to NC, from NJ, and I'm at a loss as to where to go. Originally I thought I wanted the Raleigh-Durham area, however, I know that I would like to be near the beach (at least within 1-1 1/2 hours drive). I'm vacationing in Nags Head currently and we took a drive out west through Columbia and Elizabeth City and was disappointed. I know I want someplace that has good schools (i have 3 kids) and is somewhat modern. Does anyone have any suggestions? I know I don't want to be stuck "in the sticks" and it's important that I don't have to drive hours for the nearest supermarket. What's Wilmington like? Any thoughts on town near the VA border?
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Old 08-25-2007, 03:46 PM
 
Location: Raleigh
88 posts, read 291,791 times
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Go visit Wilmington that seems to fit the description of what you are looking for in terms of setting, amenities, and atmosphere.
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Old 08-25-2007, 06:00 PM
 
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I was just reading another thread from someone looking into New Bern. It seems as though it's "up and coming". It certainly looks beautiful and has that old town charm I love. Does anyone know about schools? I have one in elementary, one in middle school and one starting high school next year.
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Old 08-26-2007, 12:32 PM
 
Location: Cape Carteret, NC
713 posts, read 3,474,018 times
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Smile Does small town modern appeal to you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elizakehs View Post
I am looking to move to NC, from NJ, and I'm at a loss as to where to go. Originally I thought I wanted the Raleigh-Durham area, however, I know that I would like to be near the beach (at least within 1-1 1/2 hours drive). I'm vacationing in Nags Head currently and we took a drive out west through Columbia and Elizabeth City and was disappointed. I know I want someplace that has good schools (i have 3 kids) and is somewhat modern. Does anyone have any suggestions? I know I don't want to be stuck "in the sticks" and it's important that I don't have to drive hours for the nearest supermarket. What's Wilmington like? Any thoughts on town near the VA border?
While I hesitate to recommend an area without hearing a little more from you on jobs and other preferences, I am pretty comfortable in saying that if you like small town life with modern conveniences near the beaches you should give Carteret County a look.

Wilmington has job opportunities, but more crowding and everything that goes with a rapidly growing metropolitan area.

This is what I have read about the Carteret County Schools.

Quote:
Providing a rigorous and relevant curriculum delivered by a professional faculty and staff in caring relationships with students €" that is the key to a quality education.

And that is the focus of the Carteret County Public School System. Students across the grades continue to achieve top scores and, of the state's 115 public school systems, Carteret County ranks in the upper 10 percent.
While there are no large cities in Carteret County, you will find a rather unique collection of small towns strung together along and behind the Southern Outer Banks.

Together they create a very nice place to live never far from the water. Finding a job that meets your needs is often the biggest challenge.

We found a substantial decrease in total recurring home costs when we moved to Carteret Country from Roanoke County, VA.

While insurance costs, including flood, since our home is on the water, are greater, property taxes are a fraction of what we were paying in Virginia. Total property tax & insurance costs are 35% less than they were in Virginia.

We haven't had a full year of energy costs, but I am betting that we come out ahead of the game there also. Every time we have been back to Roanoke this summer Roanoke has been significantly warmer than we have been on the coast.

At our home on the western edge of Carteret County, there were only 19 hours in the whole month of January that were below freezing. There were also 11 days in January when the temperature got above 70 degrees.

As a result we found winter heating costs to be very minimal even with a cold snap in February.

If I had to pick one thing that I love about Carteret County compared to other places that I have lived which include Piedmont North Carolina, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick (Canada), Chattanooga, Tennessee, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Columbia, Maryland, and Reston, Virginia, it has to be the way that the Carteret County out of doors sucks you right out of your home.

I can get on my bike and have a wonderful ride without every putting it on the back of my car and driving. Using my kayak is as easy as sliding it into the water. I can walk to the neighborhood pool (http://coastalnc.org/bluewaterpool - broken link). With our skiff on a lift (http://coastalnc.org/boatlift - broken link) behind the house, we can be to the Intracoastal Waterway in 10-15 minutes. While doing that we ride through over one of the least crowded and most beautiful rivers that I have ever seen, the White Oak. We have been by boat as far as Shackleford Banks.

The White Oak is full of fish. We can stand on our dock at night and the waters seem alive.

Yet in spite of being in an area full of natural wonders, it takes us less than ten minutes to get to a modern Lowe's grocery store. Next door to it is a Lowe's Home Improvement Center. In front of the two of those, they are building a new Walgreens.

This map (http://coastalnc.org/generalarea - broken link) will orient you a little. There are also two Food Lions and a Piggly Wiggly, a CVS, four hardware stores, two car dealerships and another Walgreens all within ten minutes. We do have more boat dealerships than car dealerships. We have far more places to buy fishing tackle than we have to buy video games, but that is a good thing in my book.

We have a number of really nice YEAR ROUND restaurants within 5 to 15 minutes of our home. None of them are chain restaurants. The seafood is as fresh as it gets.

We are blessed with the Croatan National Forest to protect us from complete over development. There are some wonderful trails in the area.

It takes us under twenty minutes to be in Morehead City at the area mall which has Belks, Walmart, Best Buy, Staples and other stores. There is a TJ Maxx planned for Morehead and a Walmart planned for Cedar Point.

Jacksonville which is 25 minutes away has a Target, Circuit City, Walmart, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, SAMs, Books A Million and lots of other stores. A Barnes and Noble is coming there.

There are hospitals in New Bern (45 minutes away), Morehead City, and Jacksonville.

All of this lets us have a small town environment (good for raising kids) with almost all modern conveniences without the challenges of a rapidly growing metro area.

From the bike trails of Emerald Isle and the history of Beaufort, to the commerce of Morehead City and the friendliness of Cape Carteret & Cedar Point, it is a really nice area to put down roots if you can find that all important employment.

There are plenty of hard working people in the area, and a lot of things which I would have loved to do when I was a kid. I was surprised how much my 28 years old son recently enjoyed the Maritime Museum in Beaufort and the Aquarium in Pine Knoll Shores.

If you are worried about hurricanes, there is a good article in today's Raleigh paper (http://www.newsobserver.com/front/story/682999.html - broken link). The online version doesn't have the very helpful graphic on hurricanes, but I would be glad to scan it and send it to you if you send me an email address.

You can read about my experiences the first year at this link.

There are Swansboro and Beaufort travel guides along with more information including local festivals at this site David Sobotta Homepage

Housing costs are reasonable as long as you don't want to be oceanfront.

I would be glad to answer any questions if our somewhat rural environment appeals to you.

-David Sobotta

Last edited by dsobotta; 08-26-2007 at 12:53 PM.. Reason: Extraneous word
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Old 08-26-2007, 09:20 PM
 
11 posts, read 35,203 times
Reputation: 22
Do you work for the County? If not you should! I had never even considered that area but I will surely look into it now! The photos are great and the area looks promising. I am a nurse so being close to a hospital is a must and my husband is a machinist and looking to go back to school for his teaching degree.
We just returned from a week in the Outer Banks and I'm miserable - again. When I'm in NC I feel so at home and love everything about it. Then I come home to "Jerzee" and I long to go back. We are looking to move by next summer so with all your information I am certainly on the right track. Thanks so much and I'll keep you posted.
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Old 08-27-2007, 05:22 AM
 
Location: Cape Carteret, NC
713 posts, read 3,474,018 times
Reputation: 543
Smile When it feels like home...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elizakehs View Post
Do you work for the County? If not you should! I had never even considered that area but I will surely look into it now! The photos are great and the area looks promising. I am a nurse so being close to a hospital is a must and my husband is a machinist and looking to go back to school for his teaching degree.
We just returned from a week in the Outer Banks and I'm miserable - again. When I'm in NC I feel so at home and love everything about it. Then I come home to "Jerzee" and I long to go back. We are looking to move by next summer so with all your information I am certainly on the right track. Thanks so much and I'll keep you posted.
My wife and I were both born in NC but wandered north. Our kids were all born in Canada but spent a good part of their school years in Roanoke, Va.

Over the last six years, we had one of our daughters go to school in Charlotte and eventually settle on the shores of Lake Norman. We also ended up cleaning out the family home in Mount Airy, NC.

Every time we were back in NC, it felt like we were home.

We visited the Crystal Coast for our 30th anniversary. As we were enjoying a meal outside along the water in Beaufort, NC, I knew we had to find a spot.

It is a little bit of a time warp, but in a good way like the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia was when we lived there in the seventies.

Though I'm sure there are others, the Crystal Coast and the Annapolis Valley both have some produce stands operating under the honor code where you can have your produce by dropping some money in a box.

It is nice that you can still find that in our modern world.

Good luck finding your spot.

-David Sobotta
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Old 08-27-2007, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Southern, NJ
5,417 posts, read 5,404,432 times
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Default Relocating to NC

6 years ago when my husband and I decided it was time to leave So. NJ, we took out a map closed our eyes and pointed to NC, we than took out a NC map and did the same thing and wound up just outside of Greenville, NC-(Winterville). We are 1 1/2 hrs. from Atlantic Beach, the same distance to Raleigh, 5 miles from all shopping and our college is ECU. The people are great and we just love our town. Go on line and check out the different parts of NC. Good luck in your move. kelsie
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