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Old 08-18-2018, 11:31 AM
 
12 posts, read 18,060 times
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So my wife and I have narrowed our search down to either New Bern or Charlotte NC to move sometime the beginning of next year. After tons of research and visiting several areas around Raleigh and Southeastern coastal areas of NC we have decided on these two areas to move to. We have never been to New Bern but are visiting in a couple of weeks. We are moving from Indiana. We were living there because her family was close by. I am from Charleston SC and that is where my wife and I met. We will have a 2 year old when we move.

We are pretty familiar with Charlotte as we have been there many times. I am a huge Panther’s fan. Obviously Charlotte would be an easier move for us, but my wife wants to be closer to the coast so I am trying to do everything I can to make that work for us. We don’t mind a smaller town setting. I will be 40 and have worked in Hospitality most of my life. My wife is a Paralegal, and we are open to different types of jobs. Any info on New Bern and the surrounding areas for when we visit would be helpful to us. At this point in our lives we are looking for a family friendly area to settle down. Not sure if we would rent or buy first. Open to both, but looking for a nice house for under $200,000. Doesn’t have to be too big. At least 3 bedrooms and two bathrooms. Thanks!
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Old 08-19-2018, 03:50 PM
 
Location: Coastal North Carolina
171 posts, read 139,796 times
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New Bern vs Charlotte are so completely different that you should have a very clear choice once you decide what you and your wife prefer. I am not familiar with either of your job fields in the New Bern area, so hopefully others can comment on that.

You should be able to find a nice 3 bed, 2 bath house in the $200K and under price range. You will have much lower housing costs (renting or buying) than in Charlotte area.

New Bern offers small town charm, lower traffic, an historic downtown, and lovely waterfront. There are a surprisingly large variety and amount of cultural and entertainment choices for New Bern's small size. If you enjoy water activities (swimming, boating, fishing, etc) then New Bern will score high for you. As for beaches, depending on which you choose to visit you would have an average 45-60 minute drive.

Best of luck in your search.
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Old 08-19-2018, 05:20 PM
 
56 posts, read 47,382 times
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wow- 2 very different cities, pretty much night and day different. Can't really comment on living in Charlotte, but had a second home in New Bern for about 8 years. It is a charming, but very small town. If you enjoy boating it is a wonderful place to live, however, not too many good restaurants, rather abysmal shopping, and not sure how good the school system is if that matters to you. If you decide to look at New Bern , maybe look at Trent Woods area for housing- I always felt it was family friendly. I loved our house in New Bern- we lived on Northwest Creek and the wildlife and sunsets were truly beautiful. But it is mainly retirement age out that way. We decided to simplify our life and just have one house. Although we loved New Bern as a part time place, we ultimately decided it didn't have enough variety for us as our only home, so we sold our house. We decided to stay in the Raleigh area, but may still buy a sailboat to keep down in New Bern!
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Old 08-20-2018, 08:21 AM
 
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Thanks for the replies! We are definitely very aware that both of these places are completely different. We would be happy in Charlotte, but my wife can’t shake still being that far from the coast. My wife and I are pretty simple people. We do enjoy nice things though. I’m sure once we see New Bern for ourselves we will be able to make a good assessment if it is a good choice for us. I am definitely not asking if we should move there because only we can make that decision if it is a good fit for us.

We both love Southport but finally realized that it was too far away for jobs and other convenient necessities. After that I finally came to the conclusion that since we knew that we wanted to live in North Carolina as close to the coast as possible New Bern was the only other possible choice for us. We didn’t like Wilmington enough to move there and there are not any other cities really in NC. Jacksonville didn’t seem like a good fit for us too after much research. We want to live closer to my family in Charleston but not too close and NC provides that for us. My wife isn’t open to any other area south of Charleston so this leaves us with Charlotte or New Bern. We are hoping to like New Bern but if we don’t like it enough we will be happy in the Charlotte areas. There are a lot good ones.

Trent Woods looked like a definite possibility for us if we like New Bern. Not sure if James City is a possibility for us. River Bend seemed nice but not sure if that is more of a retirement area then for families. I don’t know if any the other towns closer to the beach from New Bern would be a good possibility for us.

Any other responses would be much appreciated. We will be in New Bern in about a week and a half.

Thanks!
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Old 08-20-2018, 08:51 AM
 
12 posts, read 18,060 times
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*Cities close to the coast
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Old 08-20-2018, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Coastal North Carolina
171 posts, read 139,796 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewNC78 View Post
Trent Woods looked like a definite possibility for us if we like New Bern. Not sure if James City is a possibility for us. River Bend seemed nice but not sure if that is more of a retirement area then for families. I don’t know if any the other towns closer to the beach from New Bern would be a good possibility for us.

Any other responses would be much appreciated. We will be in New Bern in about a week and a half.

Thanks!
Trent Woods and River Bend should be good areas for you to check. I believe you will find homes in your price range in both. River Bend does have a good number of retirees, but there are also younger singles, young families, and middle aged folks in the mix. I personally would skip James City simply because of the traffic I experience whenever I am in that area, which is not something I would want to deal with every time I leave my home.

You might also explore Morehead City (just across the sound from the beaches). I am not sure if your housing budget will yield as many options there, but you would certainly be much closer to the ocean.
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Old 08-20-2018, 09:59 AM
LLN
 
Location: Upstairs closet
5,038 posts, read 8,992,011 times
Reputation: 6530
I wasn’t going to reply, but..... I chose New Bern over every other town in NC, when I returned to NC to pursue my 3d career, teaching math/science. We have been here 11 years.

In the interest of full disclosure, I now wish I had chosen the mountains, or if still coastal, then Morehead City.

But New Bern is not bad.

What I consider positives are (NOT IN ORDER)
- Access to coast (this will get MUCH better over time as a long awaited series of bypasses come to fruition) We also have lived on Oak Island and the ocean at Emerald Isle is MUCH better (cleaner/bluer) water than the waters off Oak Island)
- Water Sports Neuse/Trent rivers (very active kayak club) (Fishing out of New Bern has gone downhill since we have been there. The fishing/water quality better closer to coast)
- The art scene (for a town of its size)
- Restaurants (I see a previous poster did not like the restaurants) but for a small town, of less than 30,000 the restaurants are exceptional. The Bay Leaf is WORLD CLASS Indian food. The Chelsea, Morgan’s and Persimmon are right up there, too. Yes, Charlotte is, oh, 50 times bigger, but it doesn’t have 50 times more great restaurants. Supposedly both a Lone Star and Olive Garden are coming
- Access to Raleigh (with bypasses it is now 2 1/4 EZ hours)
- Medical (hospital is highly ranked, and growing)
- Amazon Prime
- New Bern Farmers Market
- Various historic districts (we were drawn to old homes with sidewalks and porches, rather than ranch styles or McMansions, but that is strictly personal preference)
- Downtown
- Our Church (Christ Episcopal)

Negatives
- Local government (ugh)
- Streets (terrible — hard to understand)
- Proximity to crime. (Like many small towns “good sections” are not that far from “not good sections” of town. Not so much a factor in Trent Woods or River Bend) *** Crime is localized, we have minimal concerns ***
- Retail. Though not bad, New Bern is roughly 45 minutes from Greenville, Jacksonville, and Morehead City. All of those have relatively strong retail and it seems there is lack of interest in putting a bit more upscale stores so close to retail existing centers. (I’d be remiss if I did not mention our two wonderful bicycle shops - active cycling scene)
- Downtown parking
- Drawbridge and trains (seem to “get you” more than they should!)

Other:
- Schools, overall, are not great, but if you and your child embrace education, there are enough good teachers and programs to get a Great Education. If you or your child are content to sit back, there is no magic here. My oldest finished near the top of her class, applied to five colleges, got in all, had her choice. Youngest daughter was more on the social track, struggled to get in to decent,but not great college, and had trouble there. In other words, there is a solid “academic track” if your child chooses to pursue that route.
- Retirees. I am now one, and there are a lot.
- New Bern’s small airport is very convenient. About a dozen or so flights a day to either Charlotte or Atlanta. However, I normally drive to RDU... the trip has become pretty painless.
- Electricity. You may have heard how expensive electricity is in New Bern. That’s a bit of old news. Rates have decreased significantly in the last several years. I no longer hear anything about the rates.

Good luck.
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Old 08-20-2018, 11:10 AM
 
12 posts, read 18,060 times
Reputation: 32
Awesome...thanks for all of the info! Morehead City just seemed like it was probably too small of a town for jobs to consider, but maybe we will make the drive to check out even though we are only in town for a weekend. What you said about the electricity rates does give me some peace of mind as I did have some concern about that.
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Old 08-20-2018, 12:58 PM
 
56 posts, read 47,382 times
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I never found the utility bills to be out of line, so I wouldn't worry about that. I think you're also right that job possibilities are probably better in New Bern than Morehead City- especially paralegal jobs. There are a fair amount of attorneys in New Bern.

And, the restaurants that LLN mentioned were our "go to" restaurants. They are good, but there are so many more in the Raleigh area, I was just saying that your choices were limited in New Bern. Besides Trent Woods that I mentioned, I also agree that Riverbend is probably a good place to look at as well, but I think it has more retirees than Trent Woods.

Good Luck and please let us know what you think of New Bern after your visit.
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Old 09-01-2018, 02:33 PM
LLN
 
Location: Upstairs closet
5,038 posts, read 8,992,011 times
Reputation: 6530
So, how did the visit go?
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