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Old 05-31-2013, 05:14 AM
43 posts, read 84,474 times
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My wife and I (both early 30s w/ a 2 year old) are relocating to Wilmington from the midwest for her job. If you are currently a transplant in Wilmington I'd love to hear your thoughts on how you like Wilmington. Are you glad you made the move? Will you stay long? Favorite and least favorite things about living in the area?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-31-2013, 07:12 AM
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Just note that there are a lot of transplants in Wilmington, although you always have to remember that the Town existed long before they came in and most locals really like it and don't want it messed up. There is a lot of progress still to be made and you need a good job or a healthy retirement to come...too many working class folks come down and find they struggle to keep up with the Jones' so to speak because there are folks with waterfront homes, boats, club memberships, etc...many of the richest people in NC have places in Wilmington or live there.

We have a running joke in Wilmington about how sorry we feel for those that have to move from Wilmington to Raleigh or wherever for their jobs because it just isn't the same. Another running joke is that in Wilmington you eat out by the real water and real boats and in Raleigh the restaurants have pictures of water and boats.

Wilmington really does have it all, its not perfect....but it has nightlife, historic district, good education system, boating, beaches, more and more commercial outlets....it does not have overpriced pro or college sports or the need for long commutes. Its biggest issue is getting adequate transportation dollars from the state to deal with its summer economy and upgrade its road system. The Housing Authority has done a great job in the last 15 years upgrading some of the worst complexes in the state and there is still, amazingly enough, a lot of potential redevelopment that needs to be done. The State isn't doing Wilmington any favors by restricting their ability to annex and upgrade those areas outside the city to city standards. Wilmington also had to be one of the leaders in the fight to ban smoking in restaurants to the State, which they finally caved on...of course now the State is against Wrightsville Beaches ban on smoking on the beach.
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Old 05-31-2013, 08:15 AM
43 posts, read 84,474 times
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Thanks for the info HP91. I would really appreciate locals opinions as well. It's funny you mention Raleigh because we are looking there as well. Obviously they are very different areas but we have to try and compare the two when we go out for her job interviews in a few weeks. Our biggest focus would be schools, neighborhoods with other young professionals with children, crime and amenities. I'll be posting new threads about these topics with questions but if you would like to expand on anything I'd really appreciate your opinion.
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:18 PM
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I thought I would chime in as I was a Midwest transplant, and I have lived in both Raleigh and Wilmington (currently living in Florida). Both cities can offer a great quality of life, albeit quite different lifestyles. The city you will be most happy in depends on your priorities and the kind of lifestyle you want. Raleigh will remind you more of whatever city you are coming from in the Midwest. It offers diverse job opportunities, great access to healthcare and higher education, upscale shopping, and cultural activities you may be used to (museums, theater, etc.). I also think your housing dollars will go a little further in Raleigh vs. Wilmington. Wilmington will offer a more laid-back lifestyle, largely focused around the water/outside activities. Although it is a smaller city, it does offer quite a bit of variety. For example, the downtown vibe is completely different from the beach scene, etc. It is truly the most picturesque place I have lived. If you really enjoy the water and may be looking for a slower pace, Wilmington would be preferential. Some of the drawbacks for Wilmington might be that if you are looking for a specific type of amenity that doesn't happen to be in Wilmington, you have a long way to go in any direction to get it. Also, the availability of jobs is a concern. If you are trying to build upon your careers, options are limited. I would live in Wilmington again if I was self-employed/could work remotely. I would not be as concerned about the job market in Raleigh. I have found that people are generally friendly in both cities. The bottom line is that you could potentially have an enjoyable life in either city. Where you will be most happy depends on your personal interests/likes and the type of lifestyle you wish to lead. Feel free to send me any specific questions you have, and I will do my best to answer. Good luck!
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:39 PM
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Thanks for the detailed info. This is exactly what I was looking for. I know it's tough to compare the two cities but that is really what we are facing at this point. Both have great job opportunities for my wife and I am self employed so my work isn't in play. I'm a big believer that you can be happy anywhere.. a grass isn't greener on other side.. kinda person. If you surround yourself with people you enjoy and care about and have access to amenities that keep life interesting then you can really be happy anywhere. All that being said, these are two totally different cities and we are trying to gather as much info as possible.

It's great to hear from a midwesterner who knows for the most part what we will be expecting when we arrive. I hope more midwestern transplants are able to chime in. I, for no real reason, just imagine Wilmington is a transient city where people come for a few years and leave. I picture Raleigh/Durham to be a place where people stay and plant their roots more often. Is this accurate?
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Old 05-31-2013, 05:39 PM
1,958 posts, read 2,633,103 times
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having never lived in Raleigh [ keep that in mind] I don't think this is true.I do visit often and have friends there.
Wilmington has the vibe and attraction of the water ways, the ocean etc. and once
people who love that part of life come here they dont leave.
I would say that unless you love the water, beach , bright sun , not a whole lot of shade from trees , Wilmington area
is your spot.
Does your family love anything water related? or even just love sitting on the beach?
the whole ocean culture is such a huge part of this place
that I just cannot imagine what it would be like if you did not. That would be the biggest answer to where I would relocate. Raleigh is but 2 1/2 hours from Wilmington so an easy week end visit.

Raleigh/Durham/Chapel hill is , imo, a very attractive area to live in so you can't go wrong with either
place. A happening kind of place .
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Old 05-31-2013, 06:29 PM
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,251 posts, read 19,777,911 times
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Originally Posted by royals82 View Post
I, for no real reason, just imagine Wilmington is a transient city where people come for a few years and leave. I picture Raleigh/Durham to be a place where people stay and plant their roots more often. Is this accurate?
I don't have they facts either, but I don't believe Wilmington is a transient place. It is too nice to leave if you have a stable job. The fact that it is growing rapidly and people want to retire here argues that it is not just a transient city.
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:52 PM
Location: Raleigh, NC
10,401 posts, read 19,417,510 times
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Originally Posted by royals82 View Post
I picture Raleigh/Durham to be a place where people stay and plant their roots more often. Is this accurate?
I would not say that, no. Plenty of transients in the Triangle and plenty of "rooters" in Wilmington.

You originally said you were moving because of your wife's job and then you mentioned having job interviews in two places. Are you certain she'll get either job? There is a LOT of competition for every job in NC right now (largely due to so many moving here).
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Old 06-01-2013, 06:57 AM
43 posts, read 84,474 times
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There is no guarantee she'll get either job but my wife is in high demand and she is very specialized. I think there is a good chance she will end up with multiple offers. Either way, I'm trying to prepare ahead of time like she will.

I didn't mean anything bad by "transient". That was just the picture I had in my mind after reading numerous threads about the area. I'm glad to hear a lot of people plant roots here. I still haven't heard from very many midwestern transplants. Hopefully more will chime in with their thoughts on relocating and the pros and cons of the area.
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Old 06-01-2013, 07:40 AM
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Regarding the job situation and the question of whether Wilmington is a "transient" location, in my opinion most people that leave Wilmington have to do so because of job issues, and not because they simply didn't like it. Not sure the industry your wife is in, however Wilmington can pose a problem if 5 years down the road she isn't happy with the position she took or simply wants to advance, chances are there are not more companies in her industry to provide opportunities in Wilmington. This would be much less of a concern in Raleigh. That being said, I know plenty of people who make do with their current jobs due to the fact that they do not want to leave Wilmington. They like it that much...movedtothecoast makes a great point of if you are interested in water activities/beach life Wilmington will be preferential. I touched on this before, but if your wife (or yourself) are the types that enjoy shopping at Nordstrom or attending major cultural events on a regular basis, you may find Wilmington to be lacking. Also, another thing worth mentioning not sure how much of an issue this will be for you, but I found travelling out of Wilmington to be a hassle. The airport is small of course with a handful of flights to a few Midwestern cities. If the city you are moving from isn't one of them, you will find yourself paying more and always having to take flights with connections...or you drive 2.5 hours to fly out of Raleigh/Durham. Again, Raleigh provides you with the conveniences of city life, and probably is more like the city you are coming from. Wilmington provides more of a small town/city feel heavily influenced by the beach (in most cases anyway), also with a slower paced lifestyle and more of a southern influence.
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