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Old 02-29-2012, 06:14 AM
 
41 posts, read 78,831 times
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Hi all,
I will be taking a trip to the Wilmington area to look at neighborhoods, communities and real estate for a near term relocation.

Can you recommend a tour route for these areas: Wilmington, Southport, Ogden/Bayshore and Morehead City/Oriental/New Bern. Obviously they are very far apart. I'd like to spend a day exploring real estate in each area to get the local feel. Suggestions for neighborhoods would be greatly appreciated.

These are the things that are 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)
  • Don't think I would like to be in downtown Wilmington, but historic Southport sounds nice.
  • 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 with easy access to open water.
  • Schools are not an issue.

What particular neighborhoods would be good to see that have the above?

What is the situation with HOA's? I visited Charleston recently and almost every area has them. Not a big fan of this kind of living. No offense intended, just what I prefer.

What is the sailing community like in Wilmington and Southport. I know sailing is big up in Oriental and Morehead City. How about further south?

What is the rental situation like? Is there such a thing as a garden style condo? Meaning not high-rise, but side by side, limited # of units with backyard/common property outside your door.

What can I get for $800 - $1200 per month rent?
For purchase what is available for under $250K?
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:20 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,264 posts, read 19,810,388 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DuchessLyratheKind View Post
What is the rental situation like? Is there such a thing as a garden style condo? Meaning not high-rise, but side by side, limited # of units with backyard/common property outside your door.

What can I get for $800 - $1200 per month rent?
For purchase what is available for under $250K?
There are too many questions for one person to answer, so I'll tackle what I know. There are plenty of garden-style apartments for rent in Wilmington. Check realtor.com for what you can rent, but there will be plenty. There are plenty of houses about 2000 SF for sale for under $250K. I would not recommend communities unless I know more about whether you intended to rent or buy, your interets, etc.

There are sidewalks and big trees in downtown Southport and it is charming but small. Not sure if there is any "fine dining" in Southport. Probably few apartments for rent, but check realtor.com . Plenty of houses for sale under $250K. Very few sidewalks elsewhere in Brunswick County.

Last edited by goldenage1; 02-29-2012 at 08:45 AM..
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,264 posts, read 19,810,388 times
Reputation: 5089
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Originally Posted by DuchessLyratheKind View Post
What is the sailing community like in Wilmington and Southport. I know sailing is big up in Oriental and Morehead City. How about further south?
Sailing is probably more limited than in Oriental. You have the rivers and ICW only. While looking at the real-estate magazines, I see some sailboats at marinas in Wrightsville and Carolina Beaches, but they are greatly outnumbered by big motorized boats.

Last edited by goldenage1; 02-29-2012 at 08:44 AM..
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:59 AM
 
1 posts, read 2,324 times
Reputation: 20
We recently planned a similar "relocation tour". Started from Elizabeth City, overnighted in New Bern, went through Beaufort and Morehead City, stayed in Wilmington, and then toured Southport. We are mostly looking for a medium sized city with activities during the winter, and not too much solitude. We like music, restaurants, and a solid creative community.

Elizabeth City had it's virtues, but, being honest with myself, it's pretty small and it simply hasn't undergone the kind of revitalization we are looking for. They have a waterfront that has a lot of potential and they are doing some work, but it looks very sleepy. If I were being relocated there I could certainly make a go of it, but I'm trying to find the perfect place.

We had a pretty day in New Bern, and formed a positive opinion. It is also a fairly small town, but they are really working at the revitalization-- there are a lot of public areas and a pretty downtown area with a nice restaurant district-- it seems a bit tourist focused, but nice enough and worth a visit. The historic houses upriver from the downtown are lovely, but I imagine these houses are too rich for us. Spencer St seemed to have more houses that were in our price range, and it seemed like a nice enough neighborhood. In the end, it probably is still a little to quiet for us, but they are clearly making a go of promoting and investing in the town.

It was simply pouring when we were going through Beaufort, so we didn't give it much of a chance. I had suspected it was a very small town, and this is true enough-- pretty in places but not much doing. Crossing the bridge into Morehead City it seemed very industrial-- we didn't get too far off the main drag, but I wasn't encouraged to look around too much. We drove to Atlantic Beaches, but didn't hang around much. I don't have much to offer, but I wasn't left with the impression that this was for us.

I liked Wilmington a lot. Carolina Place and Carolina Heights meet your general requirements-- outside of the Downtown area, but close enough for convenience, big trees, sidewalks, some smaller parks for the dogs and larger parks elsewhere in the city, some houses in your price range. Look at houses above 15th St on either side of Market, and you are looking at relatively safe neighborhoods-- most lots are relatively small, but you can find some larger ones. Crime is not non-existent in Wilmington (from what I am told), but if you have some basic smarts (don't hang around bad neighborhoods late at night) it's fine. I live near DC, so nothing I've heard worries me, but if you talk to people in the gated communities you'll get a different story. It sounds like cultural activities are great compared to elsewhere in coastal Carolina, so that's encouraging. We're headed back for a second visit later in the month, and Wilmington has definitely moved up high on our list of possibilities. Jobs can be tough to find, and the pay scale is not especially high from what I'm told, but you didn't mention this as a concern.
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Old 10-16-2015, 04:08 PM
 
Location: Northern New Jersey
7 posts, read 11,363 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by gnatd View Post
We recently planned a similar "relocation tour". Started from Elizabeth City, overnighted in New Bern, went through Beaufort and Morehead City, stayed in Wilmington, and then toured Southport. We are mostly looking for a medium sized city with activities during the winter, and not too much solitude. We like music, restaurants, and a solid creative community.

Elizabeth City had it's virtues, but, being honest with myself, it's pretty small and it simply hasn't undergone the kind of revitalization we are looking for. They have a waterfront that has a lot of potential and they are doing some work, but it looks very sleepy. If I were being relocated there I could certainly make a go of it, but I'm trying to find the perfect place.

We had a pretty day in New Bern, and formed a positive opinion. It is also a fairly small town, but they are really working at the revitalization-- there are a lot of public areas and a pretty downtown area with a nice restaurant district-- it seems a bit tourist focused, but nice enough and worth a visit. The historic houses upriver from the downtown are lovely, but I imagine these houses are too rich for us. Spencer St seemed to have more houses that were in our price range, and it seemed like a nice enough neighborhood. In the end, it probably is still a little to quiet for us, but they are clearly making a go of promoting and investing in the town.

It was simply pouring when we were going through Beaufort, so we didn't give it much of a chance. I had suspected it was a very small town, and this is true enough-- pretty in places but not much doing. Crossing the bridge into Morehead City it seemed very industrial-- we didn't get too far off the main drag, but I wasn't encouraged to look around too much. We drove to Atlantic Beaches, but didn't hang around much. I don't have much to offer, but I wasn't left with the impression that this was for us.

I liked Wilmington a lot. Carolina Place and Carolina Heights meet your general requirements-- outside of the Downtown area, but close enough for convenience, big trees, sidewalks, some smaller parks for the dogs and larger parks elsewhere in the city, some houses in your price range. Look at houses above 15th St on either side of Market, and you are looking at relatively safe neighborhoods-- most lots are relatively small, but you can find some larger ones. Crime is not non-existent in Wilmington (from what I am told), but if you have some basic smarts (don't hang around bad neighborhoods late at night) it's fine. I live near DC, so nothing I've heard worries me, but if you talk to people in the gated communities you'll get a different story. It sounds like cultural activities are great compared to elsewhere in coastal Carolina, so that's encouraging. We're headed back for a second visit later in the month, and Wilmington has definitely moved up high on our list of possibilities. Jobs can be tough to find, and the pay scale is not especially high from what I'm told, but you didn't mention this as a concern.

This was very helpful to me as well. I too am going to Wilmington, not necessarily to relocate as of yet but looking at property to purchase for living in later on down the line.

Thank you.
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Old 10-16-2015, 04:12 PM
 
Location: Northern New Jersey
7 posts, read 11,363 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldenage1 View Post
Sailing is probably more limited than in Oriental. You have the rivers and ICW only. While looking at the real-estate magazines, I see some sailboats at marinas in Wrightsville and Carolina Beaches, but they are greatly outnumbered by big motorized boats.
Sailing anywhere on the east coast south of the Chesapeake Bay is tough no matter how you look at it. Shallows all over the place although unlike the northern states, hitting a rock is pretty rare. Mostly sand and mud down in those parts. The one thing I did like about Southport area is the inlet is right there so there isn't a long way to get into the Ocean.
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