Originally Posted by lostinpa9973
I am looking to relocate and I have narrowed down a few places such as Beaufort,Carteret, and Swansboro. If you know anything about these areas please enlighten me. Below is a list of some information that could help me before I visit and feel free to add anything I may have forgotten.
Beach within 20 minutes?
Small town feel?
Cost of living Low? High?
We live in Cape Carteret which is in the cluster of small towns in western Carteret County/eastern Onslow County that includes Cedar Point, Emerald Isle, and Swansboro.
Swansboro has the most traditional downtown with a cluster of mostly older homes around it. There are lots of new homes close to the downtown area.
Cedar Point and Cape Carteret are both growing rapidly for this area. It is nothing like the growth you would see during Charlotte or Raleigh.
Emerald Isle is the beach town in the area, but it has a lot of fulltime residents compared to many beach towns.
We have very little traffic congestion and what we have is in the weeks just before and just after the fourth of July. Sometimes for thirty minutes on Saturday and Sunday afternoon, the bridge to Emerald Isle is clogged for a few minutes.
We left our home at 5:10 pm, the peak of traffic on July 3rd. It took us the normal five minutes to the intersection of highway 24 with highway 58. That is just before the Emerald Isle bridge. It then took us eighteen minutes to travel the 3.2 miles to the center of Emerald Isle. When we came back at 7 pm, the same trip only took 8 minutes or ten minutes less. The ten minutes difference hardly qualifies as a traffic jam but it is almost as bad as we see it. We have seen the bridge traffic take thirty minutes if there is an accident, but that doesn't happen very often.
Homes in our area
are close to the beach, usually it takes less ten minutes from home to walking on the beach. Just zoom in two or three times and you can see the location of my favorite beaches.
There are jobs, but they don't pay as well as in the larger cities. Many are service related jobs. Unemployment is low, I believe just over 4%.
We find the cost of living low here because property taxes are very reasonable and more than cover the more expensive home insurance costs.
Carteret County is growing and you read the positive news about the county in this article about the County's AA bond rating
Our utility costs are also less than in Roanoke, Va but car insurance is a little more and responds very rapidly to getting tickets. That's a NC thing.
Groceries are similar in cost to what we found in Roanoke, Va. Gasoline costs a little more, but I will take that compared to deadlock on new roads in Va.
We find Food Lion the most reasonably priced of the local grocery stores, though we also shop at Lowe's Foods and even Piggly Wiggly. There is a new Harris Teeter coming to Morehead City. Walmart is available in Jacksonville and Morehead City. There's a SAM's in Jacksonville. Walmart was scheduled to open in Cedar Point in 2008, but postponed the start of construction due to the economy.
I have written articles about my reasons for living here
, the small town feel of the area
and about why I love where I live
Here are some recent slides
that I took in the area during the week of July 3.
The first slide is Swansboro at sunset. Last year I kept a diary about my first year on the Crystal Coast
. It gives you a pretty good feel of Cape Carteret and the area events.