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Old 03-08-2015, 06:34 PM
 
Location: Northwest Arkansas
37 posts, read 52,367 times
Reputation: 43

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So I'm seeing this is a great forum for my questions and believe me, I have 'em! My family will be relocating from Bentonville, AR to NC (or SC if we want). We have the choice of where we want to live, but I am very selective. I don't want to make this big of a move without doing some research (and I do lots of it). So here's the lowdown: my husband's job is taken care of. I am in residential real estate. We have 3 teens, ages 17, 15, and 14. And our fur babies. So here's my questions and/or requirements in regards to the best possible place for us to relocate...

1. Good weather. I hate the cold, but if we must have it, I prefer it in small quantities. Although, don't like scorching heat either.
2. Is there an area that's better for residential real estate? I've read that some areas don't have much growth. Where we live now is constantly growing, so that's important for my career.
3. We need good schools. 2 of my kids are in advanced classes (called AP & pre-AP, advanced placement here). And good colleges. I've got a future nurse, realtor, and possible engineer in the making.
4. Good air quality. Unfortunately, some of us have allergies.
5. Low crime.
6. Plenty of shopping, entertainment, and family friendly activities. Comic book shops would be a plus. We like to get our geek on.
7. Decent cost of living. Here, you can get a nice home starting btw $160-200k. Obviously, there's more and less, but the average price of a home sold here is $181k.
8. Would like to be close to the beach if possible.
9. If there's still any towns in the running at this point, then let me also add that I'd like a good downtown district. I love antique shops, farmers markets, town events, etc.
10. I don't think I have anything else to add, but I couldn't leave it at 9.

So if anyone has any insight, facts, info, or just want to throw in your 2 cents, by all means.. GO!

Thanks
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Old 03-08-2015, 06:44 PM
 
Location: Southport
4,639 posts, read 4,808,414 times
Reputation: 3417
First, I'd recommend you ask the moderators to move your thread the North Carolina board, rather than the Coastal NC board.

After reading your list, My rec is one of the smaller towns around the Raleigh/Durham area. If you go to the Triangle NC board, you can read through the many similar post and/or do a search for the towns of Cary, Wake Forest, Clayton, Apex and Morrisville.

The Raleigh/Durham area (aka The Triangle) is very fast growing, has lots of safe neighborhoods, good schools, is about 2 hours from the beach. You'll have to spend a good bit more than $180,000.
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Old 03-08-2015, 07:34 PM
 
Location: Northwest Arkansas
37 posts, read 52,367 times
Reputation: 43
Thanks for the info. I had thought about posting it somewhere else, however, since we are wanting to be fairly close to the coast, I thought it better to just put my post here.

I'll look into the Raleigh/Durham areas, thanks!
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Old 03-08-2015, 07:40 PM
 
Location: Southport
4,639 posts, read 4,808,414 times
Reputation: 3417
The only city on/near the coast that would come close to meeting your requirements is Wilmington. Its not that big (100,000 or so) and is growing, but not that rapidly. I probably should have mentioned it in my previous post...check out the existing posts for it on here and see what you think.
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Old 03-09-2015, 06:54 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,250 posts, read 19,773,666 times
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The problem with the coast is that it is still fairly rural except for the larger cities: Wilmington, Greenville, and Jacksonville.

I can't say that the schools are exceptional, except for the Newport and Hampstead. Others in Wilmington are acceptable. You might look at what's available in Advance Placement there. Your kids would probably look at the colleges in the Raleigh and Chapel Hill areas, anyway. NC State is very good for engineering.

The air quality will have some of the same issues you see in Arkansas: lots of pollen. We also allow open burning, so there are summer days when the air is filled with smoke.

Shopping and entertainment options are not abundant except in Wilmington. The economy is seasonal, and thrives only in the summer in many small towns.
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Old 03-09-2015, 10:14 AM
 
2,399 posts, read 3,355,005 times
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Wilmington fits all of your criteria except 1, IMO.

That's the cost of housing.

Anything east of College Rd in New Hanover County is in a good school district, with lots of shopping options, etc...and the real estate moves in the area. Wilmington is more like a city of 200K than 100K because a lot of Wilmington folks live right outside the city limits.

With kids that age, you are going to want over 2,000 square feet at least...and that will run at least 300K. Keep in mind you are moving from Arkansas to NC, so values will be higher in NC (kind of funny because most from the Northeast think property values in NC are cheap).

You could move to Hampstead and probably get by on a 225 or 250K house, but you will be further from town, so consider that.

If you can swing the house I would definitely recommend Wilmington for you and your kids...real estate is really picking back up in the area, and it was going gangbusters before the national downturn, which made it so people couldn't sell their places back home.
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Old 03-09-2015, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
10,396 posts, read 19,414,647 times
Reputation: 11278
Quote:
Originally Posted by chaz1178 View Post
Thanks for the info. I had thought about posting it somewhere else, however, since we are wanting to be fairly close to the coast, I thought it better to just put my post here.

I'll look into the Raleigh/Durham areas, thanks!
The Raleigh area is going to be a lot more expensive than Coastal areas. Your budget is on the low end here.

If you're looking for the "best possible place" (your words), nobody can give that answer, as there is not ONE answer. What matters is the best place for YOU, but we can't tell you that. Best is to get a handful pf places in mind, research them independently, then came back with more detailed questions, and ideally visit the places on your "short list".

If there were one "best possible place to live", everybody would live there.
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Old 03-09-2015, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Northwest Arkansas
37 posts, read 52,367 times
Reputation: 43
Thanks to all of you for the info! I will definitely look into those towns mentioned. We haven't really thought about the price of a home quite yet. As I mentioned, the 181k is the avg here, not necessarily our budget. I think once we find a few towns, then we'll discuss home prices; that way we can see what is avg based on the towns we choose. This is just such a task to undertake and a bit overwhelming!

Thanks again!
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Old 03-09-2015, 03:14 PM
 
45 posts, read 155,123 times
Reputation: 45
As some folks have mentioned, though the NC coast is an absolute treasure, I'm not sure you're going to get all the items on your list. In fact, I'm not sure you're going to get them anywhere in the Carolinas, but I wonder if the Triangle gets you the most (though most likely at a higher cost of living)? I guess it depends on how you weight your priority for these. Check out Cary, NC and it's surrounding towns and I think you'll find some options. Here are some thoughts:



1. Good weather. I hate the cold, but if we must have it, I prefer it in small quantities. Although, don't like scorching heat either. In NC, I think Jan/Feb are our toughest months for cold. Feb was especially tough this year with only a handful of days above 50 degrees. In the Triangle, we're just now starting to hit 60 degrees on a routine basis. The Coast is a bit warmer than the Triangle, but it can still be cold (usually only about a 5 degree difference). The Coast will also be cooler in the summer due to the ocean breeze, but expect 90 degree days often in the summer and some days that approach 100 in late July and early August (and they can be humid as well)
2. Is there an area that's better for residential real estate? I've read that some areas don't have much growth. Where we live now is constantly growing, so that's important for my career. Both NC coast and Triangle are growing. For jobs, you're much better off in Triangle area (biotech, technology, etc). Research Triangle Park is a hot bed of job opportunities. Residential real estate is starting to spike again in the Triangle though. Not as familiar with Coastal trends, but I imagine they're looking up as well.
3. We need good schools. 2 of my kids are in advanced classes (called AP & pre-AP, advanced placement here). And good colleges. I've got a future nurse, realtor, and possible engineer in the making. Triangle has fantastic schools from public school system (both traditional and year-round) to lots of alternative private options. It's a great place for solid education. For colleges, you've also got UNC-CH, NC State, and Duke within 15 minutes of each other. Coast has UNCW, ECU, Coastal Carolina (I'm sure I'm leaving out some) which are also good schools.
4. Good air quality. Unfortunately, some of us have allergies. Pollen is plain awful in the spring anywhere in the Carolinas. Everything will be coated in yellow for about a 6 week period. After that, air quality isn't so bad until temps start pushing temps in the mid 90s.
5. Low crime. Check out Cary, NC. Consistently on the top list of low crime areas in the Country.
6. Plenty of shopping, entertainment, and family friendly activities. Comic book shops would be a plus. We like to get our geek on. Plenty of entertainment in Triangle and in the larger Coastal cities. Triangle has Pro Hockey team and College sports galore (plus lots of cultural events, minor league baseball, etc). You can definitely find Comic Book shops in most of the major cities. There's not one in Cary specifically (closest is about 10 minutes away), but if you want to talk comics, I'm your man . I'm not as much a modern collector as I am a Golden/Silver/Bronze age though. There are 3-4 comic conventions in the Triangle each year (Wizard World is in Raleigh this weekend).
7. Decent cost of living. Here, you can get a nice home starting btw $160-200k. Obviously, there's more and less, but the average price of a home sold here is $181k. Cary is pretty expensive. I'd estimate a 2,000 square foot home will cost you as much as $300k. Probably cheaper as you go to Apex, Morrisville, etc. Coastal living is probably a bit cheaper unless you're looking to buy right on the water.
8. Would like to be close to the beach if possible. Approx. 2 hour drive to the beach from Triangle. Best larger coastal towns that might fit your needs (above) are Wilmington, Charleston SC, (North) Myrtle Beach, and maybe New Bern or Greenville. There's also Jacksonville, NC, but it's primarily a military town.
9. If there's still any towns in the running at this point, then let me also add that I'd like a good downtown district. I love antique shops, farmers markets, town events, etc. Wilmington has a really nice historic downtown area (as long as you don't stray too far). Charleston SC is a great historic town. Myrtle Beach isn't historic, but the activities to do there are limitless. For the Triangle, Durham has also done wonders with it's downtown, and Raleigh has plenty to visit. Cary has much less in the downtown category, though there are some nice shops and a few restaurants. It's got a nice small town atmosphere.
10. I don't think I have anything else to add, but I couldn't leave it at 9.


You'd probably want to visit and spend a few days getting to know the areas better. NC is a great place to live, but nothing's perfect
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Old 03-10-2015, 05:41 PM
 
Location: NC
1,985 posts, read 2,650,323 times
Reputation: 3090
Cary is ideal for the OP, but you won't get a NICE home between 160-200k. You'd have to double (if not triple) your budget to afford Cary, unless willing to live in a very small, outdated 30+ year single family home (without a garage) or a small town home (also without a garage).

Also, summers are brutal in central/coastal NC. The humidity is awful.............
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