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Old 11-18-2013, 06:54 PM
 
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We are a married couple in our mid 30's with two kids ages 8 (daughter) and 3 (son). It won't be until the end of this school year that we intend to move to the Wilmington area, but we wouldn't mind some ideas of what to look forward to or to avoid. So far, we talked with a few Realtors from Wilmington and Hampstead. It seems as though Hampstead has a lot of what we are familiar with as far as where we live now in PA. The Topsail school district has been said to be a great school district and the town seems to have a great variety of places to shop for daily needs. Wilmington is easy to get to and would be easy for us to make a living in that part of NC. We are not sure where exactly we would like to live as of yet, but the suburbs of Wilmington all seem like nice places from what we have seen on our visit. I guess we just have concerns about crime, schools, and maybe any unknown to us issues with living there. Are there any other good options for school districts in that general area? Any surprises we should be aware of for living near Wilmington?
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Old 11-18-2013, 08:10 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
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Originally Posted by RyanBA View Post
Wilmington is easy to get to and would be easy for us to make a living in that part of NC. We are not sure where exactly we would like to live as of yet, but the suburbs of Wilmington all seem like nice places from what we have seen on our visit..... Are there any other good options for school districts in that general area? Any surprises we should be aware of for living near Wilmington?
There are some good suggestions about school districts in the thread, especially from HP91: Job transfer to Wilmington NC

I like Hampstead because it is less congested than Wilmington. However, others prefer Wilmington for the variety of stores and restaurants.

As for surprises, unless you are working from home or have your own business, I can't say that it would be "easy" to find work. The unemployment rate is around 9%.

Another surprise is how nasty the mosquitoes are in the summer. Other common issues are the high cost of bring a car into the state. There is an initial tax, which you can research on this forum. Then, getting your car to pass the inspection can get costly if you have any error lights coming on. There is also a limit on window tints, which causes some to have to replace the tint film.

Last edited by goldenage1; 11-18-2013 at 08:51 PM..
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by goldenage1 View Post
T
As for surprises, unless you are working from home or have your own business, I can't say that it would be "easy" to find work. The unemployment rate is around 9%.

Another surprise is how nasty the mosquitoes are in the summer. Other common issues are the high cost of bring a car into the state. There is an initial tax, which you can research on this forum. Then, getting your car to pass the inspection can get costly if you have any error lights coming on. There is also a limit on window tints, which causes some to have to replace the tint film.
Two very good suggestions.

The job market in Wilmington generally tends to be low paying service oriented jobs. I believe someone just posted recently about some impending layoffs in the manufacturing sector there recently.

As far as car inspection goes, unlike some other states, NC does not have businesses which are deemed "test only". Therefore, the inspector has an incentive to "find" things wrong with your car. I am pretty mechanical, they knew it, and still tried to rip me off..
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Old 11-19-2013, 10:38 AM
 
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Where are you coming from in PA?
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Old 11-19-2013, 02:29 PM
 
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We are moving from the Wilkes-barre/Scranton area. As for jobs, both my wife and I have found equal or better paying jobs in the Wilmington area. We are both in good places with our careers and don't feel the weak job market would be much different than here in PA. We have already done that research and we are happy with what we found. We own new cars with no issues, so I really don't think we have much to worry about with inspections. Basically, it is what it is when it comes to cars. You pay one way or another.
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Old 11-19-2013, 02:35 PM
 
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Wilmington does offer more amenities, but we like our privacy. Hampstead may not be for us if we can't find a property with a couple acres that is not in a planned community. We prefer to leave the planned community we live in now and never return to one. I guess we can live in a more rural town, but then schools seem to be the draw back.
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Old 11-19-2013, 02:49 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
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Originally Posted by RyanBA View Post
I guess we can live in a more rural town, but then schools seem to be the draw back.
Agreed. Rocky Point and Burgaw are more rural, but the schools are unimpressive. Leland schools are probably OK, but it will be one planned community after the other.
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Old 11-20-2013, 05:39 AM
 
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Thanks for replying...I am fairly familiar with the Scranton/Wilkes Barre area.

This is going to sound like a broken record for those that have seen some of my posts, but you have to understand that being in the City is not bad. Many folks who come from the north automatically start looking at suburbs. Wilmington is set up differently. Its suburbs moved toward Wrightsville Beach over the years. Pine Valley was once a suburb, until it was annexed in 1983 or so...The areas off Greenville Loop Rd and Masonboro Loop Rd were annexed in the mid 90's. No one lived in Hampstead or Leland.

Leland has planned communities and very little children (baby boomers seem to love it). Hampstead is a daily haul, and lacks a real community feel. It works well if you work up that way or in Jacksonville and want to be closer to Wilmington.

I would start with the Parsley school district (you have elementary age kids), move towards Holly Tree, and then into Pine Valley. Price ranges will vary and the all three school districts are in safe areas.
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Old 11-20-2013, 06:34 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
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You can sometimes find properties on the north side of Wilmington or the Ogden section with an acre or two. Hampstead does not have a lot of planned communities, but it does have older developments (eg Sloop Pointe) where the houses are all different. Older homes may have a half acre, especially if they are on a septic tank. Then there is the Whitebridge community featuring 2+ acre lots. But I will agree with HP91 that it would be a long haul to drive every day from Hampstead into downtown Wilmington or the College Road or 17th St area.

Last edited by goldenage1; 11-20-2013 at 06:53 AM..
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Old 11-20-2013, 04:02 PM
 
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I don't doubt there are nice parts of Wilmington to live in. We actually fell in love with the area because of what the city has to offer. I have seen a few homes that were very nice when my wife and I took the last trip in August to Wilmington. Where we live now, I own 1 acre. It is too small for our needs. And we prefer to have at least 2 acres or larger. I can already see from our research that we will end up looking for property that is the right size so we can build a home and have the kids go to private schools. If the public schools are good where we decide to plant our feet, then great. Our daughter already goes to a private school and would continue if we stayed in PA. Our son would do the same. I was just hoping to find a location that offers a great school system and a place that suits our needs for a home also.
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