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Old 04-29-2017, 05:41 PM
 
Location: Scotch Plains, NJ
10 posts, read 6,280 times
Reputation: 15

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My father and his wife built a house in Brunswick Forest (Leland) two years ago when they retired. My husband's parents have their eyes on Winding River Plantation and have spent the last few years trying to persuade us to move with them, citing cheaper cost of living and better quality of life. We're all New Jersey born-and-bred, but NJ is getting harder and harder to live in.

My husband (executive chef, maybe looking to open his own place) and I (former office manager, current SAHM) are in our thirties with a 6 year old and a 4 year old- we've still got a lot of active living to do. We've visited my father a few times and liked the area but noticed that outside of the planned communities, there seemed to be...nothing. And we saw almost no families like ours; mostly older couples entering retirement.

We've looked into Charlotte and Raleigh primarily for the schools, and figured more populated areas might mean better job opportunities, but my FIL insists the schools in the Wilmington area are excellent as well. I haven't found data totally backing that up. (I've been trolling these forums for years trying to gather information to help us make a solid decision and we're still so unsure.)

So can someone in that area enlighten me? Is the Wilmington area a good spot for a young family to move or is it better for people looking to retire? How are the schools? How is the community feel? Are there better areas surrounding Wilmington for us than where our parents want to be? Or are we better off looking into Charlotte or Raleigh?

Any input would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 05-01-2017, 06:09 AM
 
6,800 posts, read 4,435,590 times
Reputation: 5345
Wilmington is a great place for young families and there are plenty of them. There are fine schools in Wilmington (for example, the Parsley Elementary, Roland-Grise Middle and Hoggard High progression are all excellent schools). Hampstead, an area north of Wilmington in Pender County has good schools as well. The Brunswick County schools aren't as good.

Raleigh and Charlotte would be good choices too. Lots of family friendly neighborhoods and job opportunities. Housing costs would be higher, and they're not on the coast, lol.
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Old 05-01-2017, 08:46 PM
 
379 posts, read 483,238 times
Reputation: 243
Very trendy downtown and quiet in the suburbs. Other than the traffic, I think it's paradise. Live north of the city or out in Leland if want to avoid the tourist season May-Sept.
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Old 05-22-2017, 07:27 AM
 
32 posts, read 36,268 times
Reputation: 10
Really depends on you. Moved here in October from New England and we have three teenagers. My Wife loves it here, my oldest daughter likes it, my youngest daughter loves it, and my son dislikes it. Schools (we only have one school to judge, a high school) are not as good as where we come from.
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Old 06-02-2017, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Scotch Plains, NJ
10 posts, read 6,280 times
Reputation: 15
Thank you for the replies- we'll look into Pender County. Anyone know anything about Ogden or Myrtle Grove? They seemed to be popular in the forums.

I didn't notice much traffic except when driving to Myrtle Beach one afternoon. Is traffic a big problem?
Lightening/rain storms while we visited were sudden and terrifying; is storm insurance a requirement around Wilmington? I think my father was required in Leland.

Can anyone offer some financial perspective? My husband is the only one working right now and we're living off his salary of $78k. We're currently spending $2200/month on our mortgage for a small 3-bedroom ranch on a quarter acre, with $10,000/year in property taxes, plus about $3000/month in basic utilities, groceries etc... for a family of 4 (one child in preschool, one in kindergarten.) Are property and utilities really that much cheaper? (We expect a cut in pay, but are trying to figure out how much would be appropriate to live on before I can work again. Things are tight now- we don't want too much of a lateral move.)

Thanks again!
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Old 06-02-2017, 08:51 AM
 
6,800 posts, read 4,435,590 times
Reputation: 5345
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackBeret View Post
Thank you for the replies- we'll look into Pender County. Anyone know anything about Ogden or Myrtle Grove? They seemed to be popular in the forums.

I didn't notice much traffic except when driving to Myrtle Beach one afternoon. Is traffic a big problem?
Lightening/rain storms while we visited were sudden and terrifying; is storm insurance a requirement around Wilmington? I think my father was required in Leland.

Can anyone offer some financial perspective? My husband is the only one working right now and we're living off his salary of $78k. We're currently spending $2200/month on our mortgage for a small 3-bedroom ranch on a quarter acre, with $10,000/year in property taxes, plus about $3000/month in basic utilities, groceries etc... for a family of 4 (one child in preschool, one in kindergarten.) Are property and utilities really that much cheaper? (We expect a cut in pay, but are trying to figure out how much would be appropriate to live on before I can work again. Things are tight now- we don't want too much of a lateral move.)

Thanks again!
Traffic is an issue when trying to get across town during rush hour, or at other busy times. Or trying to drive out to Wrightsville Beach on a summer Saturday morning. Compared to NJ I doubt you'll find it to be much of an issue.

Property taxes on a $200,000 house in the city limits of Wilmington will be about $2,200 per year. I have no way to compare utilities. I would think it would be about the same. Most people from the northeast say food is more expensive in NC, plus there is a 2% food tax. $3,000 for food and utilities for a family of 4 sounds very high to me.
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Old 06-02-2017, 07:53 PM
 
Location: Wilmington, NC.
98 posts, read 77,659 times
Reputation: 71
Traffic on market st by ogden is an issue in the evening between 4 and 6. It moves so it's not terrible, but it is if you're in a hurry. There are ways to avoid market though if you try. We've made it to wrightsville beach in 10 mins from ogden if you catch the lights right. It usually takes 20-25. On his salary you'd have to watch how much you spend on the house. 3000 a month for food and utilities is high. Electric here is cheap, but groceries add up but not near that much. You wouldn't spend that much here.
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