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Old 09-24-2015, 07:59 PM
 
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I have been offered a federal position in Onslow County, not with the DOD or at Camp Lejeune. My wife and I have been living near Charlotte for the last 15 years, and are used to a larger city. I know that things are a lot quieter on the coast, but I was wondering if anyone who lives (or has lived out there) has any advice about living in Onslow or Carteret Counties. We are simply wanting to know where to live and what life is like on the coast. Is it similar to a ghost town during the winter? Are there things to do? Is there shopping? Should we consider living closer to Wilimington? We just want to get some of your opinions. I have heard people say "Steer clear of Jacksonville", but any honest advice is welcome. Thanks.
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Old 09-24-2015, 08:15 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,283 posts, read 19,843,777 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfpackdane View Post
...My wife and I have been living near Charlotte for the last 15 years, and are used to a larger city. I know that things are a lot quieter on the coast, but I was wondering if anyone who lives (or has lived out there) has any advice about living in Onslow or Carteret Counties.
I live in Sneads Ferry, and yes, it is very quiet in the winter. However, naturally, there are things to do and shopping.

If you are expecting the amenties of Charlotte, you will be disappointed. However, If you want the beauty of the coast and like being outdoors, you can find plenty. There are clubs, churches, country clubs for golf, marinas, etc.

The small towns like Swansboro and Sneads Ferry have the essentials: Food Lion, CVS, auto parts and dollar stores. For department stores, we head to Jacksonville for Sears, Belk, Kohls or Wal-Mart. Occasionally, I go to Wilmington for medical specialists.

There is nothing wrong with Jacksonville, but it is lacking in charm and beauty. If the military were not there, it would be a small town. Personally, I do not think it is beneficial to live closer to Wilmington, as you will get tired of driving very quickly. I will be happy to answer other specific questions. If you have a budget for buying a house, I can suggest neighborhoods.

Last edited by goldenage1; 09-24-2015 at 08:23 PM..
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Old 09-25-2015, 07:14 AM
 
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Thanks Goldenage1. I really appreciate your reply. As this is a new move/adventure there are always adjustments to be made. We will have a budget for housing, but were considering renting for just a little while as we want to find a good spot. We are looking for a neighborhood that is not 100% military population. I think the other concern for us was that we would feel isolated. Both of us have lived in or around larger cities throughout the country, and this is the first time in nearly 2 decades that we would be in an area that was not near a major airport, etc. I have lived in small towns, so I know what to expect, but it may be a bigger adjustment for my wife. She said that a place with a "town center" would be great. Do some of the areas around the coast have this? By that I mean a town that you can walk around in? She was looking at Hampstead, I am unfamiliar with that town but would like to hear your view. Thanks again goldenage1, your view is really important.
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Old 09-25-2015, 07:25 AM
 
Location: Southport
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Have you ever visited the Jacksonville area? It sounds like you've never been there? I'd strongly recommend you do so before committing to the move.

Nothing walkable about Hampstead, there is no town center. Morehead City is probably more what you're looking for, but its also probably too long of a commute.
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Old 09-25-2015, 07:36 AM
 
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Hi Carolinadawg2,

We did visit Jacksonville area, but did so in the late summer (August). We only had one day in the area before we had to return to Charlotte. Morehead City is about 45 minutes to an hour from the main office, so it is a longer commute. Sounds like you are suggesting a trip in the fall to get a real feel for the area. That maybe what we have to do.
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Old 09-25-2015, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Southport
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If I had the hesitations you have about an area, I wouldn't move there without an extended personal visit, for sure.
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Old 09-25-2015, 08:03 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,283 posts, read 19,843,777 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfpackdane View Post
She said that a place with a "town center" would be great. Do some of the areas around the coast have this? By that I mean a town that you can walk around in? She was looking at Hampstead, I am unfamiliar with that town but would like to hear your view.
None of the coastal areas are really walkable because it all used to be farmland and farmers need to spread out. Jacksonville has an improving area near the courthouse and the old city. It has restaurants near the courthouse, a bike shop, and organic food store, etc. Swansboro has a cute downtown with restaurants, a yarn store and gift shops. Richlands is another propect if you would work near the airport. Richlands has the county museum and library and another yarn store that does weaving instruction. Beaufort is another place with a cute waterfront area, but not sure the commute would be workable for you.

Hampstead is a fairly affluent area, but it has only strip malls stretched along Highway 17, nothing walkable. I agree with the suggestion to rent for a while. I'd suggest the Northwoods area of Jacksonville. I know people there, and they include lawyers and teachers. Swansboro, Cape Carteret, etc have doctors, nurses, engineers, not all military.

Where I live in Mimosa Bay, we always have houses for rent, typically $1800-2100/month. We have business people, doctors, nurses, retired people in addition to military officers. Rentals are often listed on MilitaryByOwner. com. An example here: http://www.militarybyowner.com/homes...pe2=For%20Rent

Last edited by goldenage1; 09-25-2015 at 09:01 AM..
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Old 09-25-2015, 09:06 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,283 posts, read 19,843,777 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldenage1 View Post
Rentals are often listed on MilitaryByOwner. com. An example here: Camp Lejeune Homes for Sale or Rent | MilitaryByOwner
Out of these listings, I'd suggest looking into ones on Dockside Drive or Drayton Hall in Jacksonville, and Bluewater Cove or Raven Ridge Court in Swansboro. Maybe the house on Cove Side Lane in Hampstead, if $2300/month is in your budget, and the commute would work.

I think the best way not to be isolated is to live in a community with an HOA and amenities such as a dock or pool. You will find people with common interests when you get involved in the amenities or social committees in the HOA's.

To get established in a community, it also helps to have hobbies or join clubs or churches or volunteer with an interest group.
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Old 09-25-2015, 09:18 AM
 
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Carolinadawg2 and goldenage1 I really appreciate your perspectives. This is a good career opportunity, but more important to me is life balance and happiness. Where we live now is west of Charlotte, so we are in a bedroom community of the city. It is not really a walkable town, as we drive to nearly everything, but the area does have a lot to offer. But I think looking at an area where there are both natives and transplants is appealing. The biggest apprehension, as is the case when being in one place for so long, is getting out of our comfort zone. Having some people who live in the area, with an opinion about the area is very valuable. Thank you again.
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Old 09-25-2015, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,283 posts, read 19,843,777 times
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Mayfaire in Wilmington is a nice new "town center". I'd suggest visiting it, but the commute to Jacksonville is 40-45 miles. I think Swansboro or Jacksonvill are really your best prospects.
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