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Old 04-29-2015, 12:56 AM
 
24 posts, read 22,704 times
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I was born and raised in california but Ive looking for several years to relocate to a place where your whole paychecks doesnt have to be used up by your rent. A room for rent where I live is $900, a one bedroom apartment is $1500, and forget about being able to afford a house. The minimum wage here is $9 and a good paying job here is $15+. If you scrape by you never have enough left over to enjoy life... Aside from the 20 min drive to great beaches which are free. In 2013 I moved to WA for the cheaper rent. I stayed about 8 months before the lack of sun made me very depressed and I had to move back to CA. So now Im searching for a better fit - a place with four seasons that is not overcast most of the year, and affordable but pays decent enough wages. Im seriously thinking NC. I would love to hear more about the weather, economy, and the safe areas to live in. Colorado would be a second choice but there is no beaches in the state which is a downside. Im a pretty simple person, I enjoy hiking and the beach or trips to the lake/river, I like a country feel without being too far away from the city, and prefer a safe family type area even though Im current divorced/single. My friend that moved to North Carolina said that only tourist really go to the beach there and its not desirable to live at the beach there like it is here. Anything you could tell me about NC would be helpful and I would be greatful!
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Old 04-29-2015, 06:00 AM
 
Location: Southport
4,639 posts, read 4,826,648 times
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Most NC beaches are situated on very narrow barrier islands that do not lend themselves to large scale development. Thus, many are primarily residential, with a small amount of retail and service businesses to serve the needs of vacationers. Some exceptions are Carolina Beach and Oak Island, which have significant year 'round populations (well, significant in NC terms, maybe 10,000 or so).

Just inland from the beaches are cities such as Wilmington, New Bern, Jacksonville, Morehead City, Elizabeth City and others. Again, most of these are small towns by CA standards; Wilmington is the largest with somewhere around 100,000 population.

Most coastal cities have economies built largely on tourism and healthcare, due to the large retiree presence. Good paying jobs can be scarce.
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Old 04-29-2015, 06:28 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,282 posts, read 19,838,964 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shellysue85 View Post
My friend that moved to North Carolina said that only tourist really go to the beach there and its not desirable to live at the beach there like it is here. Anything you could tell me about NC would be helpful and I would be greatful!
What your friend said about "undesirable" is not true. Many people do live by the beach year round and it is expensive even in winter. However, the beaches have primarily second homes used during the summer. What Carolinadawg2 said is also true, that they are thinly populated and have few jobs in the winter.

If you are seriously interested in moving to Coastal North Carolina, consider the big cities for jobs. If you have experience with the military, Jacksonville is good. Otherwise the healthcare industry is good. If you can sell real-estate to retirees, that is another source of jobs.

For weather, don't expect San Diego. It has been overcast or rainly for many days lately, but yesterday was perfection-- clear and 68 degrees. Our winter was very cold, down to 9 degrees, and several days with snow or freezing rain. Summers are much more humid and sticky that California, and the mosquitoes are abundant.

The cost of living is lower, but so are wages. Unless you have special job skills, typical pay is $9-10/hour. You could rent a small apartment or mobile home for $650-800 per month. You can buy a small new house for $170,000.

Last edited by goldenage1; 04-29-2015 at 07:23 AM..
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Old 04-29-2015, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,282 posts, read 19,838,964 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shellysue85 View Post
Wow... 9 degrees is very cold! Is the winter typical 3 months of those temperatures? How hot are your summers and how many months does it last? Like in AZ summer is about 6 months out of your year.
We had an exceptionally cold winter, especially for a few weeks. But typically, in December through February, you have to wear a coat. Typically the coldest winter temperatures in Sneads Ferry are about 15 degrees, with Wilmington being a bit warmer. Day-times highs in winter are typically in the 30-40 degree range.

June, July, August and September are hot and humid. Last year the maximum was about 98 degrees. I don't enjoy going out during the summer, but many people do run or walk in the early morning. We are about 2 miles from the ocean and get a bit of ocean breeze.
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Old 05-01-2015, 10:52 AM
 
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Well here in CA its been in the 90s, which I dont prefer but its do-able. When I lived in WA it got to about 17 degrees with snow at its coldest.. Which I didnt care for but the real problem was 1) trying to learn driving in the snow 2) how overcast and dark the sky stays. Obviously there is no perfect weather but I prefer not any crazy extreme, like below 0 or 100+
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Old 05-05-2015, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Chandler, AZ
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Wilmington, for example, has completely different weather from San Diego. In NC, you have 4 seasons. In addition, weather is more inconsistent out east; that is, it can be 70 degrees one day and then 40 the next (this happens in the fall and winter a lot). It could be sunny and warm, then cold and rainy the next day; and back to sunny and warm again. The amount of rain usually comes down in drenches, sometimes in big thunderstorms, whereas in the Pacific NW it's slower paced, more long duration rain that lasts seemingly for weeks without a break. Overall, the weather will jump around in a certain range based on whatever season it is, but no crazy extreme heat or cold. Humidity is a constant factor during the summers too.

Most people avoid the beaches from about the end of September until late May, because the water is too cold to go in (although, probably the same temperature as the Pacific in May - haha). Based on this, most people will save their money and live farther inland or just own something at the beach for use during the spring and summer. From May until Sept, the ocean is like bathwater compared to what you're used to in California.

Big cities on the coast are hard to find, unless you go towards the Tidewater area of Virginia (Virginia Beach, Norfolk, etc) or maybe Charleston, SC. Wilmington doesn't have a whole lot of industry other than service type jobs (it's been a while since I was there; someone else might give better info). Myrtle Beach, SC, is another city, but it's mostly service type jobs too.

Safe areas aren't too hard to figure out using a crime map. In general, most cities back east will have a particular side of town that many consider "bad" and the real estate prices will reflect that. You can almost draw an imaginary line through some of the cities on what parts to avoid.

You'll be in for a big culture shock if you move. Get used to Mexican food that is more like Taco Bell, despite the fact there are real Mexicans running the restaurants. People are a whole lot friendlier overall than in California. Life is a lot slower paced. As far as culture, there's no Balboa Park or anything remotely like it. If you were in Wilmington, you can go to Raleigh (the state capital), which is about an hour away. Charlotte is about 3 hours away.

Another shock will be the lack of landscape transition and mountains you're used to. The NC mountains are 5-6 hours from the coast. They are beautiful in their own right, but completely different (and a lot smaller). If you drive 5 hours in any direction from the coast the landscape looks relatively the same too.

Last edited by NCtoAZ; 05-05-2015 at 04:36 PM..
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Old 05-06-2015, 07:21 AM
 
Location: Chapelboro
10,706 posts, read 11,353,202 times
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Shellysue, I am not one to jump on the fear-mongering bandwagon, but anyone living on the NC coast runs the risk of experiencing extreme weather in the form of hurricanes and tropical storms. NC ranks 4th in hurricane landfalls behind Florida, Texas, and Louisiana. If you're serious about living at the beach you might want to do some research into storm preparedness. For folks who just come for vacation it's not really a worry, but if you're really gonna live there you need to know what to do when the next one comes, which it will.
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Old 05-06-2015, 01:02 PM
 
Location: Durm
5,879 posts, read 8,868,254 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCtoAZ View Post
Most people avoid the beaches from about the end of September until late May, because the water is too cold to go in (although, probably the same temperature as the Pacific in May - haha). Based on this, most people will save their money and live farther inland or just own something at the beach for use during the spring and summer. From May until Sept, the ocean is like bathwater compared to what you're used to in California.
Not true of locals - that's just the inland people.

The beach here is terrific much later in the year and earlier in the year - the water, however, will get chillier. I've had many nice beach days in November and sometimes even December, and in March/April. When you live there it's easy enough to look up the temp at the beach, check out the surf cam, and drive or walk over.

Having said that - Wilmington gets ice storms and the beach is not year round. January can be really cold.

Hurricane prep is definitely important (so is stocking up for power outages from strong storms).
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