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Old 12-11-2007, 04:20 PM
12 posts, read 125,022 times
Reputation: 31


There' seems to be a lot written about Wilmington and carteret county/Swansboro. What about SNEADS FERRY??
My husband and I just returned from a week in Surf City on Topsail Island. We loved it. We're looking to buy a home and relocate. We can't afford the beach but there are nice, affordable homes just over the bridge in Sneads Ferry. My husband would be working at Lejeune.
Seems to me that it's close to the beach/base and not too far to Wilmington. So why is nobody talking about SF? Is it a well kept secret? Or too horrible to mention?
What problems might we encounter if we buy a home there?
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Old 12-11-2007, 11:04 PM
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Reputation: 22
What's not wrong with Sneads Ferry would be more appropriate. I could understand a visitor falling in love with the secluded coast, especially the beach in North Topsail. However, to live here is entirely a different story. When you actually have to function in this place it's disappointing to say the least.

For starters Sneads Ferry isn't even an incorporated town/city or even a village. The emergency services are greatly lacking because of this. There is one volunteer ambulance which uses the hospital in Jacksonville, about 30 minutes away. A neighbor had to call 911 once and one thing they did was a cardiogram. Well their machine which looked ancient didn't even work so they were unable to even get a reading. That is horrible! There is one old volunteer firestation and I've yet to see anyone there when I drive by. I've been here for a year and I only know of the one policeman assigned here, I think he's from the county. The people here don't want to incorporate the town because they can't afford the tax increase so they would rather live in the dark ages and without the more secured services.

Now I'm not sure if the lack of incorporation has anything to do with businesses not moving in, but that's my theory on it. I wouldn't want to own a house here with the lacking services let alone open a business. Like I said, not sure if it has anything to do with it but you'd think a big company would want better protection of their assets. I'm not only talking a Target or Walmart, even a Subway can't stay in business here. And you know what they do with places like that that go out? No not bulldoze it, they just leave the empty buildings as an eyesore. The poor roads and empty burned-out trailers decorate the half-assed backwoods scenery too.

There is one grocery store here. It is disgusting!!!!! It smells. There are bugs- you smell them and one was stuck to the bottom of a glass jar I bought. Where there once was a floor is now black gunk from I'm guessing the 70's, no clue as to the original color. The children running the store appear to be high school dropouts. The few times I've had to go in there for something I've yet to see anyone over age 21. Everyone that works there is rude. Most grocery clerks at any store I've ever been to are accommodating and friendly-these punks don't see the point when they figure most customers don't have a choice in where they shop so there's no reason to better the service if they don't have to fight for your business...that and they're kids that don't care. The store won't pay for any adults to work there, not when cheap uneducated labor is so readily available.

Mind you this gross shopping strip is my least favorite place in SF. At the end of the shopping strip is a laundromat with a bar in it! When we were forced to relocate here due to military orders we stayed at the Holiday Inn and had to find a laundromat. Our clothes smelled more after being in the laundromat for 2 minutes than they did before we went in. Being in a laundromat made our clothes dirty, does that make any sence? Am I on another planet? We found a place out of town to go instead but actually had to change our clothes from being in a laundromat and then washed those too. This place is the twilightzone.

The stores (the only two being Moderator cut: NO STORE NAMES close at 9, earlier on Sundays). If a child gets sick and needs meds you have to drive to a 24 hour drugstore 45 min away....or keep the house fully stocked as we do with every imaginable necessity like a flood is coming.

Speaking of children being sick this reminds me. It is impossible to find a doctor here that has standard vaccinations. The "urgent care" places claim to do well baby visits yet no one has vaccinations. They want you to go to some state health board for shots. Maybe they can go to the vet next time with my animals. This is also to go without say that I have yet to find a good doctor for just routine things here. One place the doctor had his huge horse-sized dog walking around the whole place, that's sterile! Another place the doctor smelled like smoke so bad that I wanted to leave the room... also the unsolicited parenting advice was very country bumpkin...completely out of touch with the medical world. I actually felt bad for the children who have parents listening too such poor judgement. I can't even imagine how many children are under vaccinate here, there would be a sad statistic I'm sure. Well that would fit well with the neighboring slum of Jacksonville. Their hospital is said to see a high number of child abuse cases. This being the hospital SF goes to. This place is pathetic. It sometimes doesn't even feel like the US here. Wilmington has a decent community in certain locations, at least you can meet normal people there. A conversation with someone at a local park will only leave me frustrated for being forced to live in this society.

Where do we do our shopping you might wonder...We go to Wilmington and even do our grocery shopping there every weekend at either a Fresh Market or Herris Teeter, real grocery stores with actual produce. We have to trek two coolers along with baby gear every weekend to Wilmington over 45 minutes away. Does any of this sound insane yet?!

The education system is horrible. Thankfully my children aren't of age to be in school yet. I would homeschool if they were. The schools here are horrible. The child/teacher ratios are horrible too. I'm glad my husband is retiring soon and we'll be able to send our children to a better school. We'll move back to civilization where we actually have a choice of good private schools to choose from.

Lets talk bugs and humidity! The lizzards are SO bad that a screened in porch will get at least 5 new lizzards a day, that's with cats on the hunt. Mosquitoes-you cannot leave the house for a single second, not to even get your mail or to answer the door-you will get bit! To play outside for any small length of time I have to cover my children with bug spray. Infants aren't even suppose to have bug spray on them. We had to stay inside till he was old enough to wear it. Even then my 3 year old counted one day that he had over 20 bites on his body that had added up, that's with wearing bug spray all the time, every day. I think January and maybe February were the only months we didn't wear bug spray. It's impossible to imagine how bad it really is. Whatever you're imaging now, times that by 100. Humidity- I'd take my CA heat back anyday, humidity is gross and is much more uncomfortable than heat.

Any positives about SF? Housing is cheap.... there's a reason!!! The beach-enjoy it, it's all you've got! A beach is beautiful, but you don't live there. And even if you do, you still have to trek to town for supplies eventually. Don't be fooled by the beauty of the beach, this place is a dump!!!

We're counting down till we can get out of this place!!!! Meanwhile we do enjoy the beach and find our own inner happiness as we have a great family and make the best of everything since we're all together. Our situation is a bit differnt as we can't choose where to get stationed. So our living here has nothing to do with choice. If you have a choice I would not recommend it here at all!! I don't know if anyone is even reading all that I wrote but I feel so passionate about how much I'm disgusted by this place that it's been great to vent. If anyone is considering moving here, think twice! It's the worst place I've ever lived.

Last edited by SunnyKayak; 01-08-2008 at 07:12 PM..
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Old 12-12-2007, 01:49 AM
12 posts, read 125,022 times
Reputation: 31
WOW SD2000,
I don't know whether to laugh or cry! It's obvious that you are miserable there and I'm SO sorry. I know the day in, day out drudgery of a bad situation. I was deeply moved reading your post. I truly feel BAD for you.

The reason I'm laughing though, is that you just described where I live!!!!!
Okay, now I'm laughing AND crying!

THAT IS MY LIFE except for the kids. What we lack in kids, we more than make up for in lizards and bugs. Fortunately, it's just the two of us. I must say that makes it a whole lot easier....that, and my stellar sense of humor....and the occasional stiff drink.

Thanks for the vent... and some great info. I didn't know anything about the emergency/medical services, or lack of.
I DID however experience that laundromat! Have to admit I was a bit taken aback by that. I'm an adventurous girl though and thought I'd make the best of it. I sauntered up to the bar and asked for a Bloody Mary. It was Sunday morning...BLUE LAWS! What the heck is that??!!
Okay, now I'm just laughing.....good sense of humor? or insanity?

I wish you all the best. I hope you find a happier place soon.
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Old 12-12-2007, 10:25 PM
1 posts, read 20,819 times
Reputation: 26
Well in fact the are two (paid) county EMS stations in the area with up to date equipment. One across from the elementary school and one on the island...five minutes to the bridge. The fire dept. IS a "volunteer" dept and a very capable dept. Sorry there not there at all times for the publics viewing pleasure. I personally know a few who "volunteer" there. They do a great job and don't have to. I know for a fact that the county sheriffs dept keeps 5-9 officers in the area at all times and that doesn't include the state troopers. And not to be left out is a "volunteer" rescue squad.

As for incorporation/taxes...the property values are high in the area. Most people here are lifelong locals (many retired) who make a modest living and because of the tourism and military, their once humbled value of land has tripled in the past 5 years. Not everyone has the military pay for their housing...not everyone wants to pay even more taxes.

Can't really argue the grocery store...except the the store hours...got me there. The grocery store is open 24-hours from May-August and open til 11 thereafter. If that's not enough...a Wal-mart is opening in Jan. about 20 minutes away.

And yes my favorite...the laundry/bar. Beats watching the clothes go round and round for an hour.

Lizards and Mosquitoes??? you think thats only in Sneads Ferry?...try the whole southeastern United States...as well as the heat.

In conlusion...Sneads Ferry is what you make it...if you liked the Surf City area, I'm confident you would like Sneads Ferry. It is a quiet, hassle-free area with great seafood and water activities. It is a old fishing community trying to keep its history while being taking over by beach tourist and military. Generally speaking, the people here are really friendly and down home. It will not offer the all things as larger cities will...but it's definately not as bad a described above. I have lived here about 6 years and I plan on calling it home for many years to come.
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Old 12-13-2007, 03:24 AM
12 posts, read 125,022 times
Reputation: 31
Thanks Fireman!

I'm an old retired fireman myself. Ahem...firefighter. That's PC for a female. LOL.
Really appreciate all you guys do. Especially the volunteers.

I'm currently on Okinawa. Not a lot of produce here, so that Food Lion actually looked pretty good to me.

As for Humidity, bugs and lizards(we call them geckos)...Have we got you guys beat!!
And did I mention the spiders? They're the size of your hand! Yeek.....
Oh well, they eat the cockroaches, geckos eat the spiders, cat eats the geckos...it all works out. Now if only we could do something about the mosquitos. They are swarming at my door waiting for me to come out.

BTW...didn't get a bloody mary at the laundromat but they did have a nice sunday breakfast!
Life is what you make of it.

SD, I hope you like your next assignment better. I DO know some of what you're going through and it can SUCK. It's even worse when you don't have a choice.
As for us, we are not military. So yes, we are choosing Sneads Ferry.

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Old 01-08-2008, 06:46 PM
1 posts, read 20,710 times
Reputation: 14
Thumbs up Sneads Ferry Is Great

I have lived here all my life. The guy that said all that crap about bugs in the store. Yeah okay let me tell you [mod] No store names send it via DM [/MOD] like they would allow that. Actually the are currently remodeling it and upgrading it. There are correction 2-3 sheriffs in the area and a couple ems stations and a couple fire departments and most of the time they get to the area pretty quick. Sneads Ferry is fine dont let anyone scare you out of it. The town people can be just a little grouchy but there are more nice people then grouchy. Nothing is wrong with Sneads Ferry I live here so it is fine. We have a radio shack a food lion a dominos a few banks a mcdonalds a walmart 15min away rougly. CVS friendly neighborhood stores like I said nothing is wrong here it is just a little town that like most little towns are not mentioned often. There are about 1-2 State Troopers that come in the area. There will always be a cop when needed!

Last edited by SunnyKayak; 01-08-2008 at 07:09 PM..
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Old 01-09-2008, 06:03 PM
12 posts, read 125,022 times
Reputation: 31
Thanks! I'm not worried and I wasn't frightened away. We are in the process of buying a very beautiful, affordable house and hope to relocate there ASAP. Wish us luck.

There are lots of posts about people wanting to relocate to the area (understandably). Everyone wants to be near Wilmington. I've seen so many recommendations for Hampstead, but honestly, I found SF to be closer to the water, more affordable and had more of a small town "quaint fishing village" feel to it.
I didn't notice any grouchy people. Actually, everyone was quite nice. Sure. there's not a ton to do but it's great if you like the beach/outdoors. And everything you NEED is there. Plus, it's really not THAT far from Wilmington. Seems to me that it actually has a lot to offer and will no doubt be growing in the years to come. I'm the world's pickiest eater and I ate like a king on my last visit. I especially loved the italian deli on Topsail Island!
So unless I'm really missing something, I don't understand why more people aren't talking about it as an alternative to the high priced beach areas or the cities of Wilmington and Jacksonville. Guess I shouldn't complain though!
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Old 01-25-2008, 06:19 PM
Location: Jacksonville NC
10 posts, read 63,651 times
Reputation: 22
Default WOW, I Love The Ferry

Sounds like somone needs to relocate, not gonna say who.......
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Old 01-27-2008, 04:25 PM
103 posts, read 851,959 times
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Is that Golds strip club still there in Sneeds Fairy? I used to drive by the marine base, and I always saw that coming toward 17.
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Old 02-04-2008, 06:57 PM
2 posts, read 22,985 times
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I've been living here in Sneads Ferry for a few months now. Just as any other place there are pro's and con's. I have no children and thankfully have not been in need of any emergency services! As silly as it might sound, I do have one thing that really bothers me here... The name of this place?! Sneads Ferry?! I hate saying the name and always get laughs from from friends and family back home when I say where I live. Is it possible to say "Sneads" without sounding like you're congested. Whenever I hear someone say it, I always reply with "Bless you!" I've learned quickly and just say that I live in Topsail. It's actually the Stump Sound Township, which is a little better but I'm still uncomfortable with that! This place definitely has the opportunity to grow, and hopefully it does. I'm not a fan of the local restaurants here in this area, so we tend to make dinner more often than I'd like. Nearly all of the people I've met here (local and military) that live in this area have been very nice.

As for SD2000... I definitely understand. Thankfully I have a great group of friends here to keep our mind of the negative things about living here. I enjoyed your post and know exactly what you're talking about (to some extent).

Much Respect...
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