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Old 08-26-2012, 10:53 AM
 
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We are relocating to this area in a few months and of course my husband and I will take a trip to check out the area, but could anyone tell me a little bit about what these towns are like? The pros/cons? Do any of them have more of a "community vibe" than the others? Anything you could possibly say is much appreciated!

-Ann
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Old 08-26-2012, 11:26 AM
 
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Nothing wrong with Richlands in of itself, as small towns go, but as compared to your alternatives, I think it's too far from the beach and everyhting else for that matter. Would most likely be the cheapest option though.

I wouldn't say Holly Ridge is much of a community myself. Just a stop along 17. Sneads Ferry is definitely a community, a little more isolated in some ways than Hampstead. I'd say Hampstead should be your top choice, especially if you have or are planning to have children. Family/youth oriented community with good schools and just about equidistant to the major economic centers of the area in Jacksonville and Wilmington making work easier to come by.
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Old 08-26-2012, 12:32 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macjr82 View Post
I'd say Hampstead should be your top choice, especially if you have or are planning to have children.
I agree with this comments, except that it depends on where or whether you will be working. Richlands is only convenient to Jacksonville, while the others are feasible for commuting to Wilmington. Richlands has a small community center, a small museum and a nice yarn and weaving store, otherwise it is surrounded by farmlands. Holly Ridge has a small town center but not much there except service for beach-goers. Sneads Ferry has a village center with old-fashioned seafood restarants, a new boat launch and some tourist shops. As it is the home of many young Marine families, it has schools sports, and a few things for kids, but no doctors and 1 dentist. Hampstead has the best amenities overall, including stores, a health club, several doctors and dentists, good schools, etc.
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Old 08-26-2012, 06:41 PM
 
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Thank you so much for your replies! Another question- do people live in Sneads Ferry and commute to Wilmington? I know that the Marine Corps will be downsizing and I don't want to buy in an area that will soon be flooded with houses.
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Old 08-26-2012, 07:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by anniebobannie View Post
Thank you so much for your replies! Another question- do people live in Sneads Ferry and commute to Wilmington? I know that the Marine Corps will be downsizing and I don't want to buy in an area that will soon be flooded with houses.

Don't let the the downsizing stories concern you for 3 reasons.

1.) Prior to the current conflicts the Marine Corps was around 175K, due to the demands of fighting in two theaters it was authroized to plus up to 202K which it wasn't supposed to get to until 2012, but got there in 2009. The current downsizing will bring it to around 186k. Still far more than it was just half a decade ago.

2.) Despite a previous poster speaking of "young" Marines in Sneads Ferry, that is relative to your age, as Marines in general are young. Most that stay in to retirement are still shy of 40. Jacksonville in general is one of the youngest towns in the nation due to the Marine population. Most of the Marine population of Sneads Ferry may be young numerically but old in the Corps. Typically being SNCOs and Officers. The downsizing has specifically targeted E5 (NCOs) and below, so it's unlikely to affect the housing market in Sneads Ferry

3.) The Marine Corps is increasing the number of MARSOC units ( United States Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ) which are headquartered in Stone Bay ( Stone Bay - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia , ( https://maps.google.com/maps?oe=utf-...w&ved=0CH8QtgM ), increasing the demand for housing in Sneads Ferry. I think it's 3 BNs of Marines that are being stood up there.


All of that said, if you're looking to commute to Wilmington, Hampstead, or if you don't have kids, anywhere in Pender County, is a better option. Visit each place and see if you like it, but Sneads Ferry is a little to isolated for my taste. Especially, if you don't have access to the base (there's a gate at NC 172 in Sneads Ferry)


Edit: The same deal with housing, as far as it typically belonging to more senior members of the Marines and Navy applies to Holly Ridge and Richlands as well.
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:16 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macjr82 View Post
2.) Despite a previous poster speaking of "young" Marines in Sneads Ferry, that is relative to your age, as Marines in general are young. Most that stay in to retirement are still shy of 40. Jacksonville in general is one of the youngest towns in the nation due to the Marine population. Most of the Marine population of Sneads Ferry may be young numerically but old in the Corps. Typically being SNCOs and Officers. The downsizing has specifically targeted E5 (NCOs) and below, so it's unlikely to affect the housing market in Sneads Ferry
Macjr82 is correct in that most of the homeowners in my area are Senior NCO's and officers. Many would like to continue living in the area after retirement. I don't think houses would be dumped on the market.

Sneads Ferry would be a very long commute to Wilmington, about 38 to 40 miles. Most of the neighbors in civilian jobs work in Jacksonville. If you plan on working in Wilmington, then Hampstead, Topsail Beach or Surf City are better prospects.
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Old 08-27-2012, 04:04 PM
 
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Thank you! I have talked to someone else that said that Hampstead is bit run down. Is that still the case?
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Old 08-27-2012, 04:51 PM
 
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When was your frind there? 10-15 years ago, personally I'd say Pender County in general was run down, but Hampstead has become sort of a bedroom community for both Jacksonville and Wilmington. There's not a lot there, but it's enough and you're not terribly far from civilization. Things are being built there and it's continuing to grow. It's small, but I wouldn't describe it as run-down.
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Old 08-29-2012, 06:10 AM
 
Location: Swansboro, NC
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Hampstead, Sneads Ferry as well as Cape Carteret, Cedar Point to Morhead City are all great choices. Lots to do in all these places, espe ially watersports.
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:12 AM
 
291 posts, read 765,999 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anniebobannie View Post
We are relocating to this area in a few months and of course my husband and I will take a trip to check out the area, but could anyone tell me a little bit about what these towns are like? The pros/cons? Do any of them have more of a "community vibe" than the others? Anything you could possibly say is much appreciated!

-Ann
Have you gone to the "Search this Forum" feature on the Coastal North Carolina page (close to upper right hand corner)?
If you do, and go through and type in individually each of the towns you are interested in, you will find a lot more information (and then some) that you are seeking....
Hope you do get to visit each individual place as there are positives and negatives about each and only you and your hubby will know what works best for you.
Good luck with the move!

Last edited by MTNesters; 08-29-2012 at 07:13 AM.. Reason: hit wrong key for parenthesis
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