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Old 01-04-2018, 01:50 PM
 
Location: Ft Myers, FL
3 posts, read 2,412 times
Reputation: 10

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I've tried my best to read the multitude of posts on the EC and coastal area, so hopefully my questions aren't serving to be a source of annoyance for the residents that tirelessly provide advice. My gratitude is extended in advance for any and all assistance. I'll attempt to be brief - likely won't happen.

Situation:
Lifelong Florida residents moving to NC, we currently live in SWFL. Please do not hold that against us, we really don't identify with this part of FL. Was looking at the mountains to relocate as I have a lot family in the Greenville SC area, wanted to be close to help with an aging yet able grandma who enjoys her space and solitude. I was eyeballing Greenville/Spartanburg up to Asheville and surrounding areas. HOWEVER, wrench tossed in the gears by the hubby's next job being in EC. Yep. So. Game plan changed.

Background:
I have a 13 and 15 year old, so schools are an issue, but only high schools. (Coming from Florida, any school system will be better, but I'm still a parent and want decent opportunities for the chitlins.) We love the outdoors and solitude - hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, skeet shooting, etc. Looking for acreage, single digits are fine, lived on 5 aces a good majority of the years. We don't require a big city, we shop online for a lot of things, a small movie theater is about all the recreation we need. Love farmers markets and whatnot, flea markets, hole-in-the-wall gems. I do love to run/jog but can do that anywhere. We have no problem driving a couple hours to find museums, historical districts, culture, etc. It's a rare desire. No need for the beach. At all. Really. Been there, done that. Tired of the FL humidity and heat which apparently is quite similar in coastal NC, however at least it's limited to summer up there. We're also quite burnt out on the crime and foreign influx, especially with this past hurricane season doing so much damage to the island areas. Obviously the tourist season is reversed with winters being slower, summer being busier. That'll be a change. I'm a nurse so I'm not overly concerned with where I will find employment... my license will cross lines into SC, NC,and VA if need be, but I need a closer commute so I can be available more for the kids. Typical median family income (think 85-105k, range accommodates possible salary changes with the move across state lines) with modest/frugal habits as we grew up dirt poor "rednecks" but can appreciate quality.

Assessment and questions:
1. I've noted that the better schools are in Dare Co/Manteo, but that's..on an island. Camden and Edenton seem to be the favorable places with families if you are working in EC, yes? Is that still the case? Is housing still tough due to CG families filling up the more desirable places to live? Anywhere within a 1 hour commute of EC that would be a decent fit other than Camden/Edenton?

2. It's not a huge issue for hubs to rent a small place close/in town (company kicks in for that), and the rest of us actually live a few hours out. He can commute home on weekends. So something like outskirts of Raleigh might be better? This would only put me about 4 hours from the gramma in SC, a better option. I also have cousins in Wilkesboro and Winston Salem, and a brother-type figure in Charlotte area, and step-family at Ft Bragg (at least for the time being.) So, closer to a support system if we move further inland. Any other place about 2-3 hours from EC that would be recommended for a country-living family?

3. Is it worth looking further south on the coast, considering the job in EC and family further west and in SC? I really don't feel all drawn to the coastal areas at all, but most of the suggestions for the coast are New Bern, Wilmington, Jacksonville, etc so I don't want to dismiss it completely.

4. YES, we are planning a trip in the spring to visit the gramma and then check out areas, so I'm trying to narrow it down as we need to move over the summer and need to get things rolling ASAP. Any areas or ideas are welcome. We'll rent if we have to, buy if we have to, both if we have to. Also, if I need a different forum for the inland areas, please let me know. I realize this is the coastal forum.

Many, many thanks in advance for any input, sorry for the info overload.
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Old 01-04-2018, 06:00 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,258 posts, read 19,791,183 times
Reputation: 5087
Quote:
Originally Posted by swompangel View Post
HOWEVER, wrench tossed in the gears by the hubby's next job being in EC. Yep. So. Game plan changed.
Your question would be greatly simplified if you told us exactly which town in Eastern Carolina that the husband's job would be in. Or did you mean "Elizabeth City"? If it is in Greenville, there is not much point in looking in Edenton. There are good high schools to be found in the Greenville area.

If it is in another very small town with poor schools, then it might be worth considering the Raleigh suburbs. But it is very difficult for anyone to answer without knowing the real options.
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Old 01-04-2018, 06:02 PM
 
6,800 posts, read 4,443,919 times
Reputation: 5345
What do you mean by "EC"? Elizabeth City? Its small, somewhat charming little town in the middle of nowhere with terrible schools. Yes the schools in Camden County are better, but its even less populated.

Frankly your plan of splitting the family and living hours away from your husband would be a complete non-starter for me, but I suppose Greenville would be the best place to look for that, or perhaps Chesapeake, VA.
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Old 01-04-2018, 06:45 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,258 posts, read 19,791,183 times
Reputation: 5087
Quote:
Originally Posted by swompangel View Post
...

1. I've noted that the better schools are in Dare Co/Manteo, but that's..on an island. Camden and Edenton seem to be the favorable places with families if you are working in EC, yes? Is that still the case? Is housing still tough due to CG families filling up the more desirable places to live? Anywhere within a 1 hour commute of EC that would be a decent fit other than Camden/Edenton?.......
Assuming the husband's job is actually in Elizabeth City, I agree with looking for a town with better schools.

The family needs to discuss priorities among themselves. Some examples are the following:

- How far are both husband and wife willing to commute?
- Would the budget cover private schools for two kids if local schools are not good enough?
- Would the family survive with a weekend father living several hours away?

This is just my opinion, but I think that living in Chesapeake Virginia is feasible. There are excellent middle and high schools. There are good employment prospects for the wife. In the southern part of Chesapeake, one could find acreage that is a 35-45 minute commute for the husband.
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Old 01-04-2018, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Ft Myers, FL
3 posts, read 2,412 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldenage1 View Post
Your question would be greatly simplified if you told us exactly which town in Eastern Carolina that the husband's job would be in. Or did you mean "Elizabeth City"? If it is in Greenville, there is not much point in looking in Edenton. There are good high schools to be found in the Greenville area.

If it is in another very small town with poor schools, then it might be worth considering the Raleigh suburbs. But it is very difficult for anyone to answer without knowing the real options.

My apologies, I saw Elizabeth City abbreviated "EC" in other posts and thought it was rather common, didn't realize I never actually spelled it out. That would have been helpful.
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Old 01-04-2018, 07:11 PM
 
Location: Ft Myers, FL
3 posts, read 2,412 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by BC1960 View Post
What do you mean by "EC"? Elizabeth City? Its small, somewhat charming little town in the middle of nowhere with terrible schools. Yes the schools in Camden County are better, but its even less populated.

Frankly your plan of splitting the family and living hours away from your husband would be a complete non-starter for me, but I suppose Greenville would be the best place to look for that, or perhaps Chesapeake, VA.
Yes, I meant Elizabeth City, I overused the abbreviation found in other posts and caused confusion. My apologies.

I understand the splitting being a deal breaker. It's nothing we haven't done before, so it wouldn't be new to us, and we manage it well although it's not the best-case scenario.

Thank you for the input! I hadn't really thought much of Chesapeake for living but I'll look into it.
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Old 01-05-2018, 03:29 AM
 
Location: Southport, NC
3,802 posts, read 9,731,355 times
Reputation: 4322
I have to stay I did not find Elizabeth City charming at all. Many boarded up businesses downtown. I actually found it depressing. An old friend of mine from high school owns a store downtown but lives in Camden. I would also point out that the area is VERY conservative. My last visit was just before the election. I couldn't live there.

Edenton is a sweet town, very pretty and historic but I found it way too quiet, almost desolate, and we visited in the summer. Also very conservative. Both Edenton and EC are located on the Inner Banks/Pamlico river which I found a stagnant muddy body of water.

We recently bought a home in Southport, and plan to retire next year. It's a picturesque small town, loaded with charm with a great waterfront and only a few minutes from the beach. It's quiet in the winter but not dead and bustling in the summer.
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Old 01-05-2018, 05:34 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,258 posts, read 19,791,183 times
Reputation: 5087
I recommended Chesapeake mainly because of better school ratings on GreatSchools.org . The high school in Camden is average, the one in Edenton is poor. OTOH, the ratings in Chesapeake include a 9 school, as well as lower-rated ones.

I think the family should search for specific properties in Camden and Chesapeake, then compare the specific school to which they are assigned.

I see no good reason to look at New Bern, Wilmington or elsewhere when the main job is in Elizabeth City. The family is outdoorsy, and were looking for 5+ acres. Other people recommend those towns because they are retiring or have flexible jobs.
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Old 01-05-2018, 06:38 AM
 
1,020 posts, read 1,003,344 times
Reputation: 367
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldenage1 View Post
I recommended Chesapeake mainly because of better school ratings on GreatSchools.org . The high school in Camden is average, the one in Edenton is poor. OTOH, the ratings in Chesapeake include a 9 school, as well as lower-rated ones.

I think the family should search for specific properties in Camden and Chesapeake, then compare the specific school to which they are assigned.

I see no good reason to look at New Bern, Wilmington or elsewhere when the main job is in Elizabeth City. The family is outdoorsy, and were looking for 5+ acres. Other people recommend those towns because they are retiring or have flexible jobs.
Agree. Elizabeth City, Camden, Chesapeake, VA areas seem like the areas to look. EC is trying to redevelop their downtown area, but it's a slow process. Most "culture" that you will need/want to find will be in the Chesapeake/Norfolk/VA Beach area (45-70 minute drive) anyway, but living in or around the EC area will be cheaper . There is a very small theater (literally 2 screens) in EC. Northeastern NC is filled with lots of outdoor space, and you should be able to find a large plot of land to build on there.

Worst case scenario. Your family could rent in EC for a few months and make a move to southeastern VA if you decide EC is not a good fit for you. Maybe until the summer so it would be easier to move the kids without disrupting their school schedule, if necessary.
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Old 01-05-2018, 08:23 AM
 
1,673 posts, read 2,040,411 times
Reputation: 1074
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljd1010 View Post
I have to stay I did not find Elizabeth City charming at all. Many boarded up businesses downtown. I actually found it depressing. An old friend of mine from high school owns a store downtown but lives in Camden. I would also point out that the area is VERY conservative. My last visit was just before the election. I couldn't live there.

Edenton is a sweet town, very pretty and historic but I found it way too quiet, almost desolate, and we visited in the summer. Also very conservative. Both Edenton and EC are located on the Inner Banks/Pamlico river which I found a stagnant muddy body of water.

We recently bought a home in Southport, and plan to retire next year. It's a picturesque small town, loaded with charm with a great waterfront and only a few minutes from the beach. It's quiet in the winter but not dead and bustling in the summer.
That's is not the Pamlico River. Pamlico is from Washington on eastward into the Pamlico Sound. Elizabeth City has the Pasquatank and Edenton has the Chowan, both of which run into the Albemarle Sound.
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