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Old 12-06-2011, 08:16 PM
 
5 posts, read 24,121 times
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Good evening,

I ha e lots of questions, because much is weighing on my mind. Please help me out wherever you can:

My husband is adamant about moving from the Northeast to Wilmington (specifically, Landfall) in a few years where he can continue to work from home and eventually consult/retire. He is tired of NE winters, and loves the beach.

I do NOT want to do this at all. All of our family is in the north east, and our young adult children have not yet settled. I have elderly parents. I have lived in several places throughout my life, including rural, suburban and urban; but always from DC north. Spouse has lived within 3 miles of his birthplace his entire life, excluding college, which was still in the same state. He travels internationally often, so it's not like he is unworldly, but he is antsy to live somewhere else. Our kids aren't included in "his" plans, although we would build a place big enough for visiting kids and their eventual families. One child indicated he would never move to the south anyway, the other likes the area, but is still floundering academically/career-wise. LIke me, he enjoys real season changes. Spouse is primary breadwinner, but I have recently changed careers into a field that requires licensure, which I am currently in the process of obtaining in my home state. Despite my feeling that this decision is being made for me (be with me or not - I'm going anyway...), I really am not comfortable with such a big move. Our home state is very expensive and property taxes are crazy, so something HAS to give, but I would consider doing a part time thing - maybe a condo in the north and a small house or condo in more temporate climes - but again, spouse says he "doesn't live in apartments." He's really quite angry with me for returning to school just before the economy tanked, leaving me as a mininal contributor financially and without a 401K payment for several years. He did support my career change initally.

THIS is the very same man who really makes all major decisions for out family, and never likes being told what to do. He thinks he will be comfortable in Landfall, the super controlling HOA in Wilmington. He thinks he can pick any old architect or builder, but who else but one "connected" can interpret stuff like,dormers must be 14 inches below the nearest roof line, driveways must include parking spaces for two guests, owners cars must be hidden in the garage at all times, unless the drive is circular, and all homes must have 3 inches of black mulch around each plant (which has to be blah, blah inches tall and wide at planting...???) Gardening projects even have to be approved by the council something like a week and a half before you want to plant so that the grand Poobahs can approve/disapprove.

I will be the first to admit that the homes in Landfall are very pretty, and mostly not ostentatious, which I like. There are no "McMansions"," like the vinyl-sided, oversized homes that builders prefer to build up here. It is, undeniably, tasteful. My beef is that I feel that I have good taste, and that local zoning ordinances and neighborhood style should influence adherence to tasteful standards. I don't live in a "gated community," but I think my neighborhood is lovely. There is diversity of architecture, landscape, etc. Some of us keep up our homes better than others. No one is anywhere approaching awful. No HOA is on us. We do have sidewalks, cars on the streets, regular contact with mail and fedex, kids walking to and from school, and one-another just out and about. I am totally bothered by the lack of public access to places like Landfall, and even the fact that mail is not permitted to be delivered to one's home.

I am really afraid of moving to the south as DECIDED northerners, but also because of all these HOA rules. I am a very traditional, rule-following, law-abiding citizen, but this seems nuts - Stepford Wives of homeownership!

I would also like an honest appraisal of (1) How Northerners (NJ, NY, and New Englanders) are perceived and welcomed and (2) How do relocated folks manage if one of the spouses gets sick while living away from all family? and (3) how do people get around in an area that has minimal public transportation at best, if they don't like highway/high traffic driving?

By the way - I do like Wrightsville Beach , even though we lost an entire vacation to a hurricaine because the small print on the rental agreement said we'd get no reimbursement unless we boght extra insurance unless there was an official evacuation, and Wrightwville Beach was - the ONLY place on the east coast that didn't officially evacuate...

Someone, please help me feel better about this. I am not a stubborn person. I am just unhappy.
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Old 12-06-2011, 08:47 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,250 posts, read 19,773,666 times
Reputation: 5082
Quote:
Originally Posted by jobsmom View Post
I would also like an honest appraisal of (1) How Northerners (NJ, NY, and New Englanders) are perceived and welcomed and (2) How do relocated folks manage if one of the spouses gets sick while living away from all family? and (3) how do people get around in an area that has minimal public transportation at best, if they don't like highway/high traffic driving?....
Someone, please help me feel better about this....
I suggest offering your husband some good options besides Landfall. Frankly, I could not stand such a controlling HOA.

For your questions: 1. There is general friendliness toward newcomers, but be prepared to slow down and wave at people. 2. You have to rely on friends, and I expect most folks in a retiree-oriented area could help in a medical emergency. Or invited one relative to visit to help out, or hire a home-health aide. 3. You have to be able to drive on highways, but the traffic really is not bad compared to the North-east and you won't see road-rage.

I think you should calmly sit down with your husband and discuss your concerns, especially how you would handle a medical emergency.

Last edited by goldenage1; 12-06-2011 at 09:01 PM..
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Old 12-06-2011, 10:16 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
15,068 posts, read 18,997,066 times
Reputation: 24167
I read your post with a great deal of sympathy. I'm not saying this to be hurtful or nasty. But it doesn't sound like moving is the problem ; certainly, moving into a HOA community is NOT the biggest problem in this story.

With all due respect, may I suggest you read your post like you were a stranger. The most honest suggestion is marriage counseling. If your husband refuses, go without him.

(and don't expect your kids to relocate just because mom and/or dad decide to move out of state.)
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Old 12-07-2011, 07:44 AM
 
3,458 posts, read 3,110,773 times
Reputation: 1532
Quote:
Originally Posted by jobsmom View Post
I would also like an honest appraisal of (1) How Northerners (NJ, NY, and New Englanders) are perceived and welcomed.
younger 'northerners' are well-received. they are often open-minded, and eager to move to the south and experience something different or new. And besides, Wilmington is not really he most southern place to begin with, since it has many generations of transplants... so it isn't like moving to Alabama. We're chock full of refugees from DC, Baltimore, Philly, New York, etc.

it is the older folks who tend to be extremely difficult to deal with, especially if they have some money. I cannot figure out what's going on in some people's heads. Many of them act like they're living in a resort in Costa Rica, and that everyone around them exists just to serve them. Many of these folks have money but lack class. They are "Well Received" by builders, real estate agents, waitresses, bartenders.... people looking to make some $$.


Quote:
and (2) How do relocated folks manage if one of the spouses gets sick while living away from all family?
I guess it depends on your family. Healthcare is pretty good, here, especially for the elderly.

Quote:
(3) how do people get around in an area that has minimal public transportation at best, if they don't like highway/high traffic driving?
there is no good option besides driving. there's been some concerted effort to make wilmington more bike-friendly. However, we are not amsterdam or copenhagen, and you cannot get around town safely on a bicycle.

Quote:
Someone, please help me feel better about this. I am not a stubborn person. I am just unhappy.
Yes, that's obvious!

Last edited by Cletus Awreetus-Awrightus; 12-07-2011 at 07:58 AM..
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Old 12-07-2011, 10:07 AM
 
1,958 posts, read 2,632,373 times
Reputation: 1905
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jkgourmet View Post
I read your post with a great deal of sympathy. I'm not saying this to be hurtful or nasty. But it doesn't sound like moving is the problem ; certainly, moving into a HOA community is NOT the biggest problem in this story.

With all due respect, may I suggest you read your post like you were a stranger. The most honest suggestion is marriage counseling. If your husband refuses, go without him.

(and don't expect your kids to relocate just because mom and/or dad decide to move out of state.)
I agree with this!
first solve your marital issues
then find a place to settle.

Should you end up in Wilmington
there are a couple other great neighborhoods
for you to check out, without hoa.
forest hills, glenn meade,
also look on Harbour island.
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Old 12-07-2011, 10:32 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,250 posts, read 19,773,666 times
Reputation: 5082
As I read the OP's post, the husband seems like a very controlling Type-A personality who will never change and never listen. If the OP wants to preserve the marriage, she will have to adapt.

Moving to Landfall is hardly the worst thing that can happen, and airplanes do fly to Wilmington. So I offered suggestions to help her deal with it. Now the hubby may have to learn for himself that he can't build anything he wants in Landfall. I think the wife should offer constructive suggestions in a way that lets the hubby take credit for them. Show him some examples of nice homes outside Landfall that they both might like, or research architects who build in Landfall.

I was in a similar situation, in that I did not really want to move to NC and was afraid of being isolated among people different from myself. However, I have come to enjoy my new life and realize I can make friends among the neighbors.
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Old 12-07-2011, 10:37 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,250 posts, read 19,773,666 times
Reputation: 5082
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cletus Awreetus-Awrightus View Post
Many of them act like they're living in a resort in Costa Rica, and that everyone around them exists just to serve them. Many of these folks have money but lack class.
Well said, Cletus. The secret to getting accepted in NC is to show politeness to everyone, regardless of their income. Learn to pass the time of day with people and show interest in their lives before you launch into your real request or demand.
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Old 12-07-2011, 08:44 PM
 
5 posts, read 24,121 times
Reputation: 26
Thank you to all who replied, both publicly and through direct message. I do not really know how to navigate this forum, but have read your replies to my post. I agree with all that has been said, and have always understood this problem to be way larger than moving.
I had to laugh at the poster who suggested I convince husband that a different neighborhood was his idea; that is about the ONLY way I've gotten him to see my point of view over the last 25 years!

The medical concerns/being widowed away from family concern me a great deal - not because we are sick, but because I am dealing with those issues with my own parents (who remain in their own home). I really don't want to be too far from family, and hope to be a part of any eventual grandkids' lives. By the way, we are really several years away from any sort of retirement, and were told that Landfall is NOT a "retirement community." I would love to hear from someone who lives in Landfall about the pros and cons of the whole gated community concept. I just can't grasp the concept of private roads. Help me out. Thanks.
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Old 12-07-2011, 09:44 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,250 posts, read 19,773,666 times
Reputation: 5082
Quote:
Originally Posted by jobsmom View Post
I would love to hear from someone who lives in Landfall about the pros and cons of the whole gated community concept. I just can't grasp the concept of private roads.
While I am not in Landfall, I live in a gated community about 40 miles north. With a gated community, the HOA owns the roads. That means the county does not do maintenance, and the HOA has to pay for maintenance. That also means that some public service vehicles cannot get in. But I think some communities have agreements which allow some vehicles in. For example, in Mimosa Bay, where we live, the post office, FedEx and UPS can enter, but the school buses do not. We do not get county service like leaf collection because the roads are private. We can pay for trash collection from WMI, and their trucks can enter.

Apparently some places like Landfall have different agreements, like not letting the post office vehicles thru. A central mailbox system is supposed to promote community, but I think it is a pain.

The major advantage of a gated community is that it deters door-to-door salesmen, and is a slight deterrent to break-ins. Around here, the gate is a farce, as it has to be open during daylight hours to allow the construction workers thru. A burglar could easily walk in thru the woods if he wanted to get in. I do feel safe walking around the neighborhood, but it is a fairly low crime area anyway.

Besides that, the gated community is a status symbol that mostly gives the illusion of security. I hope you get some more ideas from gated community residents. This board has an extensive discussion of St. James which is comparable in house prices to Landfall.
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Old 12-08-2011, 12:25 PM
 
3,155 posts, read 9,787,367 times
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Yikes. Let me say I have met you before. Not you specifically but my mom has neighbors like you. My parents live in a coastal region North of Wilmington. The wife gets talked into moving South by the husband's pie in the sky dream. The wife is unhappy about the move before the for sale sign goes in the yard of the current house. I have not seen this story end happily for the wife. And usually this unhappiness affects how much the wife can accept all the inconveniences of some where new... being far from family, making new friends, hating the heat and bugs, feeling like no one likes Northern transplants (which isn't true... but it's hard for unhappy people to make friends regardless of where they are).

I highly recommend marriage counseling prior to any big life changes. Good luck to you.
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