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Old 08-19-2014, 10:46 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
4 posts, read 10,533 times
Reputation: 16

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Hi all! I just joined City Data in hopes of getting feedback from some locals. I've done my preliminary homework and need some help to pinpoint down best area to further research where to relocate my family to (looking at/scouting out Eastern NC or N. FL (St Augustine vicinity). We are in PA, and not sure how far south we are headed (health reasons). Our son is in 8th grade so decent schools as well as a safe area matter,and would like to be relatively close (30 mins max) to beaches. Looking to rent to start out. Any input on best places to look for rentals? Hubby on disability and I work/have worked in retail, MR/MH group homes for the elderly, as well as home health care (not certified) so need to be able to find work. Don't wanna be isolated, or super far from stores (as long as there are the basics, and big box stores within 30 mins or less, we are okay), dont want to not be able to find work, and have no one for my son to hang out with. Topsail School District and Broad Creek M.S./Croatan H.S. all look good, just not sure what towns to live in to get to those schools? Three areas of interest: First area: Pine Knoll Shores (what schools? too far from stores?), Peletier, Swansboro (curious about it, any input?), Hubert (what schools for Hubert and how is Hubert as I do see quite a bit of rentals there), Beaufort (NC)-cute town, not sure how it is to live there or schools, Second area: Sneads Ferry (a little sleepy, not a whole lot there, but seems to be growing and was enough for us for vacation, not sure about living there, and Dixon schools seemed so so at best in reviews online - just returned from there for vacation, limited time and people with us so not much time for scouting out areas), N. Topsail and Surf City - thoroughly enjoyed the beaches there. Third area: Southport, Bolivia, Boiling Spring Lakes (not sure nearest area for work?). Is there much of a difference weather wise between Pine Knoll Shores vs Southport area (looks nice, but a little pricey to me, tourist area so I get it)? I realize I'm being a bit broad in my search which is why I'm looking for input to help narrow down the list! If an area more prone to flooding than others, or more susceptible to hurricane damage due to location, feel free to mention that too, although I think I have a pretty good idea/handle on that! I do realize they can go inland quite a bit as well. How are winters there, temp wise/snow wise? Avg heating costs anyone willing to share? To relocate to NC, do you have to pay (sales?) tax on vehicles to bring vehicles into state? Heard something about that but can't recall if it was NC or SC. Sorry for lengthy post. Any input/opinions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
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Old 08-19-2014, 11:08 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,090 posts, read 18,613,184 times
Reputation: 4991
Quote:
Originally Posted by fun2bme View Post
I work/have worked in retail, MR/MH group homes for the elderly, as well as home health care (not certified) so need to be able to find work....... Topsail School District and Broad Creek M.S./Croatan H.S. all look good, just not sure what towns to live in to get to those schools?
Punctuation and paragraphs would help. I'd suggest concentrating on scoping out jobs first, and determining how much they would pay, then figure what your budget for rent would be.

The Topsail school district serves Hampstead and Topsail Beach in Pender County. Broad Creek MS and Croatan HS serve Newport in Carteret County. Hampstead and Topsail Beach are a bit more expensive than other areas.

Peletier, Swansboro, Hubert and Sneads Ferry have more average rated schools. They are all OK and decent family areas. Each is a suburb of Jacksonville and has many transient military families. That accounts for the number of rentals available. Pine Knoll Shores is nice also, and you can use Google maps to determine where the grocery stores are. I can't tell you how far is "too far".

Southport, Bolivia, etc are getting very popular with retirees, and they are probably more expensive. The schools are not bad, but not as well rated as your first choices. OTOH, the job prospects for personal care attendants may be good because of the greater elderly population. Brunswick is also growing and adding retail stores rapidly.

The Brunswick County weather may be a degree or two warmer in the winter than Carteret County, but I don't think it is significant. For heat, it is all electric, and we paid about $240 for January last year. We have a big house, so you mileage may vary.

Yes, you do have to pay a Highway Use Tax on your car when you bring it into the state. It is 3% of the Blue Book Value. You also pay a 2% sales tax on food in the grocery store, and 7% sales tax on other things. We also now pay 7% sales tax (rather than 3%) on the electric bill, so expect them to be higher.

Good luck with your search.

Last edited by goldenage1; 08-19-2014 at 11:54 AM..
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Old 08-19-2014, 07:34 PM
 
2,215 posts, read 3,060,820 times
Reputation: 1321
My concern with all the areas you mention is your job. I don't see a problem with moving into any of those areas...except they are not large areas that have a ton of job options.

I would try and get the best job I could and then move close to that.
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Old 08-19-2014, 07:40 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,090 posts, read 18,613,184 times
Reputation: 4991
Quote:
Originally Posted by HP91 View Post
My concern with all the areas you mention is your job. I don't see a problem with moving into any of those areas...except they are not large areas that have a ton of job options.

I would try and get the best job I could and then move close to that.
I was also concerned that the family would not have a large budget with one disability income and one retail or caregiver job. I would also vote for finding the best paying job for the wage-earner and locate accordingly.

School ratings don't matter whether they are 5 or 8 if the parents give the kids good support.
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Old 08-21-2014, 05:21 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
4 posts, read 10,533 times
Reputation: 16
@goldenage1 - I wholeheartedly agree regarding punctuation and paragraphs would have helped and I apologize. By no means is it an excuse, but I was a bit rushed the day I decided to post on city data. Haste makes waste, as the saying goes. I have seen much worse posts however.

Thank you goldenage1 and HP91 for the advice. I was trying to narrow down my search and determine what areas were decent/safe to live in so as to avoid being all over the map for employment searches. Regarding schools, I agree a child can excel given proper support from family but also want the support of a decent school. Your NC electric bill of $240 for heat in January is far better than paying around $380 for oil every 3-4 weeks in the winter PLUS utilities bill (sewer, water, trash and electric) of $225-250. There were quite a few rentals I saw in the above mentioned areas that I feel are doable, depending of course, upon finding employment. Presently, I work in a group home, as a church sexton and also do home health care for an agency. I usually manage to bring in the needed income - where there's a will, there's a way! Last winter was very long and brutal. We would love nothing more than to be out of here and into a more milder climate.

Last edited by fun2bme; 08-21-2014 at 05:37 PM..
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Old 08-22-2014, 04:56 AM
 
22 posts, read 42,038 times
Reputation: 21
Carolina Forest South Carolina

I am also relocating from PA to NC (or SC) I drove the coast last week from North Myrtle Beach to Elizabeth City. I have a 10 year old daughter, schools and safety are a priority. Jobs are important, of course, but I have lived on minimum wage for so long I wouldn't know how to act if I made much more. I was born and raised in a dead end county in NW PA. It snows 7 months a year and rains the other 5. Heating bills average $300 to $400 a month December thru March.
I felt like I could live just about Anywhere on that coast. However, I really felt something in Beaufort, NC. After a ton of research and more to come, I'm sure, I am setting my sights on Carterat County, Beaufort in particular, and Carolina Forest in SC.
Best of Luck to you. I know where you are coming from.

Last edited by eathealthy; 08-22-2014 at 05:10 AM..
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Old 01-15-2015, 06:38 PM
 
Location: Northern Central Mass.
47 posts, read 110,013 times
Reputation: 19
Beaufort sounds great according to the posts but I worry about Hurricanes.. Seems Beaufort is quite a target area, I cant relocate just to rebuild, move etc because i lost everything in a storm- im not "that" person. I too do not make much higher than minimum wage- I drive a school van for special needs children. I'd love to find a decent job along the coast, I just dont know where specifically to look on the NC coast. My son will be in high school when we move, so I just would prefer a decent school for him to finish in.. And I dont want a boring town- we want to do stuff! We love art, culture, diversity is def preferred as we are a bi-racial family. I would love any feedback, ideas..
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