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Old 04-19-2012, 05:31 AM
 
32 posts, read 56,358 times
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We live in a modest town in Suffolk County (one of the few relatively affordable areas here that also have good schools). After years of trying to relocate out of state, we are finally both employed at home offices so that we finally have the opportunity to move (Him: advertising/web developer. Me: Healthcare/Insurance). We're looking in the Wilmington and surrounding towns at first. We live 3 blocks from the beach now and an hour drive to the beach just doesn't seem to work for us. We have two kids in elementary school and are fact-finding to see if there will truly be a big difference in amount saved each month by relocating. We estimate we'd save approx. $300-$400/month in housing/taxes alone (for a bigger, easier to maintain house than we have here), and a search revealed gas to be $ .25- .30/gal cheaper. But what about other costs of living across the board?

Does anyone have any input about cost of living from North Shore Suffolk County, LI compared to coastal NC?

Also, what areas are best if you have kids and really value being part of the school community/social life for my kids?

Any info related would be greatly appreciated as this move is supposed to enable us to save for retirement (which we will not be able to do if we stay).
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Old 04-19-2012, 05:44 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,548 posts, read 62,287,227 times
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Assuming you want more than just anecdotes...
plug in your details and you'll get as close to an accurate answer as is available:

Cost of Living comparison calculator
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Old 04-19-2012, 05:52 AM
 
32 posts, read 56,358 times
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I was wondering about those, as a realtor sent me a link, and I searched others. There were pretty big differences between some of the reports. I wondered if one was biased (?) as it is a "tool" that someone can purchase for use in business (as in real estate). Not a dumb idea, from a marketing perspective, but makes me wonder...

That said, I'm all for looking at everything I can in order to make an educated decision. Anecdotal information is helpful as well as statistical.

Thanks for your prompt reply! :0)
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Old 04-19-2012, 06:05 AM
 
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If you're looking at Wilmington and surrounding towns then Hampstead should be top of your list for a family with young kids.
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:42 AM
 
Location: New England
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Thanks MrRational, thats the first cost of living index that I have seen that includes a consideration of taxes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
Assuming you want more than just anecdotes...
plug in your details and you'll get as close to an accurate answer as is available:

Cost of Living comparison calculator
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Old 04-22-2012, 08:13 AM
 
32 posts, read 56,358 times
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Some of the feedback I'm getting is that food prices USED to be much lower in NC as compared to LI,but that the gap has closed more or less. Is it true that the difference in expenses is found only in housing and property tax costs?
Any info anyone has would be helpful as this move is largely motivated by finances.
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Old 04-22-2012, 08:54 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,270 posts, read 19,818,967 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommanmia View Post
Is it true that the difference in expenses is found only in housing and property tax costs?
Any info anyone has would be helpful as this move is largely motivated by finances.
Well, saving $300-400 on housing and taxes is probably the most significant difference you will see. If you both work at home, the gas price difference won't be significant. The food difference would be less significant.

The other major area to look at would be health care costs, and that depends if you are on an individual policy, or your employers group. I expect heathcare insurance premiums are somewhat lower in NC, but our Medicare drug premium was $1 higher in NC.

When you consider what it would cost to move and sell your house, it would take a some time to be cost effective. For example, we spent $15,000 to move our household from Maryland to NC. But, our $300,000 house in NC would be worth about $550,000 in Maryland.
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Old 04-22-2012, 04:36 PM
LLN
 
Location: Upstairs closet
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I think you are making a HUGE mistake if you are considering moving to the NC Coast as a means of getting a better cost of living. Huge.

Not a lot of food is grown here, it is brought in and it costs more to do so since we are a long way from big distribution centers. Food is not cheap.

Dare I say, Property Insurance. Flood Insurance.

There are also a lot of no load, losers that live in and around NC coastal communities. A lot. You pay their freight too, whether in electric bills, hospital costs, or whatever.

Good luck, but this is not the land of the inexpensive, high quality, lifesytle. Too many folks have had this misconception.
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Old 04-22-2012, 05:33 PM
 
3,071 posts, read 7,828,052 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LLN View Post
I think you are making a HUGE mistake if you are considering moving to the NC Coast as a means of getting a better cost of living. Huge.

Not a lot of food is grown here, it is brought in and it costs more to do so since we are a long way from big distribution centers. Food is not cheap.

Dare I say, Property Insurance. Flood Insurance.

There are also a lot of no load, losers that live in and around NC coastal communities. A lot. You pay their freight too, whether in electric bills, hospital costs, or whatever.

Good luck, but this is not the land of the inexpensive, high quality, lifesytle. Too many folks have had this misconception.
I think this depends on the specific area a lot. There's a difference from having city electric in Wilson, and Progressive in New Bern, and an electric cooperative in Newport. There's even a big difference living in the county of Craven versus the city of New Bern or elsewhere in the county. Granted, I do agree the cost of living in general in Coastal NC than most realize. It is cheaper to live in Raleigh than Wilmington. Also agree with Goldenage that the greatest savings come from housing. In most places on the coast it's cheaper to buy than to rent. Coming from the NE most other things are a wash, and it's more expensive than most other places.
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:05 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,270 posts, read 19,818,967 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LLN View Post
There are also a lot of no load, losers that live in and around NC coastal communities. A lot. You pay their freight too, whether in electric bills, hospital costs, or whatever.

Good luck, but this is not the land of the inexpensive, high quality, lifesytle. Too many folks have had this misconception.
Adding to this, I have not found medical expenses any different than in Maryland. A doctor's office visit is at least $150, and dental visit at least $95 for cleaning. Optician about the same $600 or so for glasses.

We had to pay a security deposit of $250 to get water service in Onslow. I attribute that to the number of transients who would leave bad debts. We also pay more in water, but we have a larger lot and a sprinkler system with a separate meter. The summer electric costs are naturally higher. We paid a max. of about $240 for electric in the summer, and we have a 3400SF house. Most 2-story new homes need a second heat pump to keep up with the heat. Of course the winters are less costly than in Maryland.

Last edited by goldenage1; 04-22-2012 at 07:15 PM..
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