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Old 09-11-2013, 04:02 PM
 
Location: southern California
8 posts, read 15,228 times
Reputation: 11

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Hi all, hoping to get a grasp on reality, and not just go on my 'idealistic' way of thinking. Your input would be so appreciated!

My husband and I are preparing to sell our so cali home, and move our family to NC. the lure of her natural beauty and low cost of living has us dreaming of NC and the sweet simpler life that awaits us.

but, are we being realistic? what is life in NC really like?

hubby surfs and can't be too far from the water, or his gills will dry up and that will be no bueno. we are pretty simple. love hikes, love home, love God, love our kids and each other.

i will be happy to live in a nice little quiet neighborhood with a good school. stay at home and bake cookies. no stress type of life. we don't need fancy. don't like traffic or the city unless we choose to go to a nice dinner out.

right now our simple little life dreams are imploding with a huge mortgage, a 3 hour per day commute and the high cost of living in a beautiful, broke state. heck, our school district just claimed bk. and we pay over $6k a year in property taxes to send our kids to a school begging for pencils. (this was a recent event, we actually moved to this neighborhood for the schools....bummer for us ey?)

so here are my top 5 questions;

1. what do you pay per month for groceries (family of four)
2. utilities roughly for 1200 to 1800 sq ft home?
3. will our 7 and 9 year old girls make friends in the smaller towns? or is there a lot of 'snubbing' the new kids going on there?
4. cost of gasoline is?
5. moms and dads, what does your fun weekends out look like? what do you all do for fun with your families in NC?

thanks so much for indulging us, i eagerly await your replies

tia,
so cal mom dreaming of simpler life in nc
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:07 PM
 
Location: southern California
8 posts, read 15,228 times
Reputation: 11
Bump
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:26 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,261 posts, read 19,800,542 times
Reputation: 5088
Quote:
Originally Posted by nodramamamaoffour View Post
i will be happy to live in a nice little quiet neighborhood with a good school. stay at home and bake cookies. no stress type of life. we don't need fancy. don't like traffic or the city unless we choose to go to a nice dinner out.
You do have a view of North Carolina through rose-colored glasses. The cost of living isn't that cheap, and life is low-stress only if you decide to make it so. The caost isn't uniformly beautiful. Other posters have asked similar questions, and people went through a long exercise with one over Beaufort. Beaufort is one one of those little towns that get written up in the magazine articles. Here's the discussion: Beaufort, NC Good for a Young Family?

As a family of 2, we spend $500/month on groceries. Food is taxed at 2%, and other sales tax is 7%. Utilities wil run about $200/month. Heat and A/C are all electric, water is expensive. Gas costs about $3.63 for regular in Sneads Ferry. Costs may be lower but wages are also lower. The surfing isn't anywhere near as good as California.

Regarding whether kids would be snubbed in school, you will be much better off in a place like Sneads Ferry where everybody is a transient military family, than in an interior farm town like Beulahville. In interior towns like Beulahville, most families have lived there since the 1700's and they are all related. Thus, it would be harder for newcomers to fit in. But, as usual, your kids should join school activities, scouts, etc to fit in well.

FYI, a house in the size you mentioned will sell for $125,000 to $175,000 in Sneads Ferry, and you could be 3 miles from the beach. However, the biggest question will be where your husband can find a job. We have two major employers: tourism and the Marines.

Last edited by goldenage1; 09-11-2013 at 08:07 PM..
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Old 09-12-2013, 07:35 AM
 
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
1,256 posts, read 2,107,448 times
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I lived in San Diego for about 12.5 years, from early 80s to mid 90s. I still miss it (visited for a few days in June). But after SD, North Carolina feels most like home to me (I've also lived in New York, Nevada, Utah, and Oregon).

I should start by saying that I'm not familiar with coastal NC, except for visiting the area a few times. The closest we've lived is in Greenville, about 1.5 hr from the beach. While the surfing may not be nearly as good on the coast of NC, the water is much warmer water.

The main difference in cost of living, as I'm sure you know, is the price of homes. Gas, taxes, etc. will be less in NC, but those won't be your biggest expenses.

I imagine you'll have to prove you're not a "nut" from CA...I get the feeling that most people here assume you are until you prove otherwise, if you're from there. We didn't NC all that welcoming, at least not as much as we expected. We lived in Greenville NC from 2005-2009, outside of Raleigh from 2009-2011, and moved to the Winston-Salem area in 2011. The neighbors in Winston-Salem have been the most welcoming - several brought over plants, baked goods, etc. and went out of their way to introduce them selves and welcome us to the neighborhood. We didn't get that in Greenville. The home outside of Raleigh was more rural so we didn't have many close neighbors. Ironically (or maybe not???), our neighborhood in Winston-Salem has a much higher percentage of people from all over - west, northeast, midwest, etc., and this is where we've been welcomed the most. It can be harder to "fit in" in a small town when you're from another area - especially California...just my opinion. I will add that we aren't particularly outgoing people, so that affects how quickly we "assimilate."

The pace is certainly slower in NC - I had to adjust to that, especially at work. When I was hired, that was the biggest concern my boss had (we were living in Oregon at the time). I think I adjusted pretty well.
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Old 09-13-2013, 07:52 AM
 
569 posts, read 1,224,896 times
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I can't answer any of your questions about family life or bills but I can tell you the culture is completely different. I live in Charlotte but have close family in So Cal, I have been out there every year for weeks or sometimes months to visit.

I really would suggest visiting at least a couple of times before you move. Cost of living in So Cal is very expensive, especially if you are use to La Jolla or Del Mal, so I'm sure living expenses will be less. Like I said, the culture in NC is very different. I am not saying it is better or worse, just different than Cali.
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Old 09-13-2013, 01:56 PM
 
7 posts, read 14,739 times
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There is plenty to do for recreation on the coast. There is some good surfing, without the southern California "locals only" attitude. There is also Stand Up Paddle, Kite Boarding, Kayaking, Fishing, Hiking, Boating, name it. The cost of living IS less in most regards but coastal insurance is expensive. People are friendlier in NC hands down. FYI, i am a native Northern Californian but lived in Orange County for the last 27 years. Bought a place in Kure Beach in 2006 and will hopefully be moving there within a few years.
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Old 09-13-2013, 03:37 PM
 
1,964 posts, read 2,555,354 times
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I lived in Eastern NC, Raleigh, and for the past eight years Los Angeles. I've made another post on this topic, but I will again assure you here that the culture and lifestyles in NC and SoCal are VERY different.

The cost of living in lower in NC, but it would help to look at the average salaries of the locales you are considering. Some of them have household incomes in the low 20k per year. Northeastern NC has been contracting and is economically depressed for years. The cost of real estate in the beach areas has risen tremendously in the past few years as people from more expensive areas with more built up equity have arrived and driven up the price. I would not arrive without a job lined up!!

I knew people that surfed in NC, but it really isn't the same as in SoCal. Several who were dedicated became teachers specifically so they could have summers off to spend at the beaches elsewhere Puerta Rico, Hawaii, etc. The humidity can be sweltering in comparison to SoCal.

Lastly, people of the South do not like outsiders or their influence. They will keep their distance and most likely not include you in any of their activities. Like another poster said, many of them have been there for generations and are related.

I would definitely encourage anyone considering a move to NC (especially Eastern NC) to visit first.
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Old 09-15-2013, 06:29 PM
 
Location: southern California
8 posts, read 15,228 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoaminRebel View Post
Lastly, people of the South do not like outsiders or their influence. They will keep their distance and most likely not include you in any of their activities. Like another poster said, many of them have been there for generations and are related.

wow, really? is it that bad?
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Old 09-15-2013, 06:30 PM
 
Location: southern California
8 posts, read 15,228 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by CA-KB View Post
There is plenty to do for recreation on the coast. There is some good surfing, without the southern California "locals only" attitude. There is also Stand Up Paddle, Kite Boarding, Kayaking, Fishing, Hiking, Boating, name it. The cost of living IS less in most regards but coastal insurance is expensive. People are friendlier in NC hands down. FYI, i am a native Northern Californian but lived in Orange County for the last 27 years. Bought a place in Kure Beach in 2006 and will hopefully be moving there within a few years.
thanks for the info! how expensive is 'expensive'...my hubby and i were just talking about that today....
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Old 09-15-2013, 08:30 PM
 
7 posts, read 14,739 times
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Less in housing, less in taxes, less in food costs. I can't give you specific dollar amounts as that is a personal thing to what you spend but it will cost you less. On the flip side you will earn less depending upon your employment field.
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