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Old 09-07-2007, 07:24 AM
 
Location: Cape Carteret, NC
713 posts, read 3,471,139 times
Reputation: 543

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Lots of people on the forums are thinking about moving to a new place. Many are also looking to vacation someplace enjoyable.

There are people that want to take a trip, have a vacation, and scope out an area as a potential retirement spot or a place for a new life.

I will get my biases out of the way quickly. I am not at all certain that a new location can fix problems which have nothing to do with the location. You'll likely have the same problems in a new location.

That said, figuring out if a new place is the right spot to move is a lot of hard work and really eats into vacation time. I am not certain the two goals are compatible.

Things which you tolerate for a few days on a vacation, are often intolerable if you have to endure them all the time.

While you might not need to go to a building supply store on vacation, the odds are that you might want to if you are living in an area. Having to get on a ferry to buy a pack of screws is a different way of life that is only right for a select few of us.

A long time ago I wrote some posts about our search to find a home that really met our needs. One which might be useful to folks is Narrowing the Search (http://coastalnc.org/narrowingsearch - broken link).

The other thing that is challenging is getting the mental picture of an area to match the reality you face when you show up for an actual visit.

I call that the tourist brochure effect. It usually takes two to three days to wear off but other events can hasten it. A bad experience takes the gloss off the brochures quickly.

In this day of the Internet, it is pretty easy to get some ratings on places, but no rating or recommendation from someone else is going to match your own personal experience. There is too much room for human error and differences of opinion.

People are different, what is a disaster for some is just a grin for others. You have to take that into consideration when choosing a place to rent or even buy.

Where we live, the vast majority of the rental business is made up of people who have been coming to the area for many years. They often rent the same home or one in the same area year after year. I know of a couple of loose knits groups who come, and other than trips to the grocery store and seafood markets, never leave the beach. After all it is their vacation.

If you don't have a lot of experience renting in a particular area, interview the rental companies and check out some of the regional surveys of customers. Most of these folks do a great job, but I know it is a huge challenge to get people checked out and the hundreds of properties prepped for the next visitors all in a matter of a few hours.

All of the large rental companies depend on repeat business so they want people to have a good time and will often go to great lengths to make things right. I have rented properties over the years, and we have even seen the air conditioning die. Yet the agency got it fixed as quickly as humanly possible.

If you do come to an area with the hopes of evaluating it as a potential second home just for vacations, a place to retire, or a place for the next stage of your life, try to take the rosy colored glasses off, but remember what you see in a few hours snatched from your vacation is probably not the complete picture of the area.

Try to talk to some locals which can be hard since many locals often even stay out of their favorite restaurants during tourist seasons.

Besides talking to locals do some Internet research besides visiting a forum.

The resources at City Data are incredible.

If you come down to an area and expect a quiet town of 1,200 of mostly retired souls to be Myrtle Beach, you are going to be disappointed, and it is likely your own fault because no one is trying to the hide the fact. Actually people are kind of proud of it.

The last thing that locals in an area want to do is attract someone to an area who will be unhappy. There is nothing worse than someone who moves into an area and continually compares it negatively to the last place they lived.

People just don't want to hear about how great the area is where you used to live. If it is so great why not just get the moving van packed and head back there?

Also try to take in the macro view of the area. I am continually surprised by the people who think NC's Crystal Coast is going to turn into a huge urban environment. Few of those people take the time to realize that the Croatan National Forest (http://www.cs.unca.edu/nfsnc/recreation/recreate.htm - broken link) and continually tightening rules from CAMA will likely prevent that from happening.

Just because something happened in one area doesn't mean that it will inevitably happen in another area. People do learn from their mistakes, and there are a fair number of people in the world who have something other than money as their main goal in life.

So to wrap up, if you want to come and vacation in our area, we would love to have you come. Many people love it and come year after year. The only way to know if you will be one of those people is to come and give it a try.

If you are considering our area as a place to retire, we hope you make multiple visits so that you can see us on our good days and on our bad days.

If you can fall in love with the area on a rainy coastal day, this might be a spot you can call home.

Also remember you cannot learn about an area in a few days or even a year.

I am continually asking questions of people who have been here all their lives. Most days I still learn something new about the area.

So far I haven't found anything to make me doubt my decision to move to the Southern Outer Banks, but that does not mean that the area will be perfect for you.

I lived for ten years in northern New Brunswick where it was still close enough to wilderness that we didn't have fences for cattle at the back of our property. There was no place for them to go.

I also worked for nearly twenty years in northern Virginia so I had all the urban sprawl and traffic that I ever want to see.

The area that I have found on North Carolina's Southern Outer Banks fits me perfectly but then my idea of a great day is being in a boat fishing. A perfect evening to me is a stroll on the beach. I also have patience for getting things done on coastal time which is basically whenever it happens.

Just keep those things in mind when you read something that I write. I don't need a lot of entertainment. The only television I watch is usually a few college football games.

If you are looking for the next Myrtle Beach or the current Myrtle Beach, these are the directions from here. You can probably make it in under three hours if you hurry.

That big bump on the map is Camp Lejeune which is also a big part of life around here. It would be hard to live in our area without having a great deal of respect for the people who live and work on board Camp Lejeune.

Last edited by Yac; 09-13-2007 at 05:13 AM.. Reason: corrected a phrase
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Old 09-07-2007, 12:06 PM
 
6 posts, read 32,466 times
Reputation: 24
Default vacationing and relocating

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsobotta View Post
If you do come to an area with the hopes of evaluating it as a potential second home just for vacations, a place to retire, or a place for the next stage of your life, try to take the rosy colored glasses off, but remember what you see in a few hours snatched from your vacation is probably not the complete picture of the area.
A few weathered locals from the southeastern coast of NC (Brunswick Islands & Wilmington Beaches) put it this way: People relocate to the NC beaches, get sand in their feet for a few years, become board, get into politics, and motion to close the bridge for all others at the town meetings. Certainly this is a joke. For retirees and relocatees, living along the coast is not something one would want to jump in based on found memories of yearly vacations. Shelling, walking the beach, crabbing, and the likes for one or two weeks doesn't provide an education for living on the coast year round.

Be sure of this: Once you relocate, your entire family (down to 4th cousins) will be vacationing .
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Old 09-08-2007, 04:06 AM
 
Location: Morehead City, NC
1,676 posts, read 5,354,974 times
Reputation: 1244
ncbeaches said, "People relocate to the NC beaches, get sand in their feet for a few years, become board, get into politics, and motion to close the bridge for all others at the town meetings."
Too funny!! And true! The most common complaint of indigenous folks is that "you move down here becasue you like it so much then the first thing you want to do is change everything!!"
Coastal NC has been a series of small towns and communities. Big city folk find it quite easy to have an influence quickly in local politics and government.
Bill
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Old 09-08-2007, 11:38 AM
 
4,610 posts, read 10,202,022 times
Reputation: 6764
Thanks for that post dsobotta,

It's also really hard trying to relocate when you don't live that close to the area you are considering. You can't just go check it out whenever you want.
But this site is very helpful. I wish I found it 3 years ago!!!
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Old 09-08-2007, 02:04 PM
 
Location: The 12th State
22,974 posts, read 58,581,142 times
Reputation: 14925
Very good post.

I thought about this when I was at Avon NC this past May. I thought how cute mom and pop grocery stores, clothing stores etc I like the small town feel and I talked to my partner wow I could live here I love all the nature options.

As I look into it further it probably would be a bad idea. I would probably only be able to find work around Kill Devil Hills and that commute would wear thin after awhile.
I dont think I could deal with the cold winter ocean wind in the winter.
Isolation from metro areas would be great for first month but I would be scared I may become bored of the location.

I dont want to hate the place I love to vacation. Thanks for excellent post.
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Old 09-08-2007, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Suburban Buffalo, NY
928 posts, read 3,534,796 times
Reputation: 214
This is so true.

DS is a great poster and an invaluable resource for me. Thanks for this post. As I encompass my growing pains with sand in my shoes.
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