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Old 01-26-2007, 04:46 PM
 
105 posts, read 492,466 times
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We live in Southern California and I've been researching moving to Atlanta, Raleigh-Durham or Charlotte areas (suburbs). My husband is a teacher, so all three of these areas shouldn't be a problem with job opportunities. We do have two younger children, so school systems are a factor for us.

I just noticed an article on CNN Money that Wilmington, NC is one of the places that are a "good investment" for buying in the upcoming years. Atlanta was also on that list, but surprisingly, Raleigh-Durham was not (nor was Charlotte).

I searched through this site to see if there were any posts about Wilmington to learn about the area, and I haven't seen much! Why not? What's wrong with the area?

The LAST thing I need is to add another potential destination for us (my head is spinning even with just the three that are currently on our list)...but I guess I'm just looking for some general info about the area....

Thanks!
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Old 01-26-2007, 05:19 PM
 
2,356 posts, read 2,645,467 times
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there is a very good chance I'll be taking a job in Wilmington in the next month or so. First off, I think it's a desirable place to live. I wouldn't be considering moving there if I didn't think that. Keep in mind I've only been there once; but I've been doing some research, reading the local newspaper, looking at real estate/apartments/jobs. But from what I can tell, here are the negatives, at least relative to my situation:

1. It's just 'out there', not close to anything. Except for I-40, it seems like all the roads leading in/out are slow and winding. It's roughly 4 hours to Charlotte, 4 to Greensboro, 2 hours to Raleigh, 3 hours to Columbia, 3 hours to Charleston.

2. The economy sucks. Let's say I get this job; If I lose it, I will be forced to move. There's no way I can find something else in Wilmington. Everything seems to be based off tourism and shipping. There aren't many jobs, and the ones there are don't pay well.

3. It's a bullseye for hurricanes. It sticks out on a point that would get hit hard, and get hit often. I wouldn't be surprised if flooding is a problem as well.

4. The traffic sucks. I visited in the off-season and I thought it seemed really crowded and difficult to get around. I can only imagine what it's like in July. You're from SoCal, so I'm sure you're used to it. (No need to tell us all how awful the traffic is there, we've heard )

5. Tourists. I haven't dealt firsthand with Wilmington's tourists, but I've spent time in Myrtle Beach and Charleston in the summertime, and it's something you really have to learn to deal with.

6. Expensive housing and cost-of-living. It's not outrageous (yet), but I have a feeling it will continue to get more and more expensive. People from all over the country are reading these silly articles: "Invest here!" "Move here!", etc. I wouldn't listen to those articles, all they tell you is "Where is everyone moving?". If you specifically want to deal with the hassles of a growing city, then maybe those lists would be a good thing to listen to. Personally, I think this is a negative; I want to move to Wilmington in spite of the growth, not because of it.


That's my opinion so far. The reason I want to live there is because of the cool downtown area, the beaches, and the opportunity to do some saltwater fishing. We'll see how it works out for me. Good luck to you.

Last edited by anonymous; 01-26-2007 at 05:27 PM..
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Old 01-26-2007, 07:25 PM
 
Location: Summerville
890 posts, read 3,968,784 times
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Well anonymous you pretty much nailed it, except it is 4 hours to Charleston. (I drove it for 6 months while looking for a house in Charleston.) I lived in Wilmington from 1992 to 2003. As far as the traffic and the tourists...there were times where all I wanted to do was get home alive! Holiday weekends were impossible, I would just stay home it wasn't worth the aggravation. Home appreciation took a hard hit after all the hurricanes, it just started to pick up the last couple of years there. I just read that home sales are down 15 percent there though, so if you are buying a house that will be to your advantage.
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Old 01-28-2007, 06:05 AM
 
31 posts, read 127,561 times
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I, too, was wondering why there wasnt much about Wilmington. As I am considering a move there for a possible job offer, I was wondering - exactly what is the Hurricane situation like? As an Ohio resident - I havent had to ever worry about that, except for being caught in one during vacation in Florida once...and I was amazed at the damage and mess. How often do Wilmingotn residents have to deal with these situations?
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Old 01-28-2007, 06:38 AM
 
Location: Upstate SC
915 posts, read 2,313,841 times
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I lived in Wilmington from 1997-2002, much of that time in Carolina Beach. We had five hurricanes in that time period, 3 of which forced me to have to evacuate. Cleanup was always a big mess. We would have debris in our yard from homes way down the road. Since then, hurricane activity has cooled off, but it's all random. The previous posters are right, traffic is a nightmare there with the lack of freeways, plus increased beach traffic in the summer. I remember times when it would take me half an hour to get home once I got into Carolina Beach, when normally it was about a three minute trip. That would mainly happen on holiday weekends in the summer. The job situation there is lousy too, unless you're in the service/tourism/medical fields. Pay is below average. Anonymous was dead on. I left Wilmington before the software company I worked for started further layoffs, because I knew if I was in the next batch, I'd end up having to leave anyway. It's kind of the same story here in Asheville, unfortunately. Wilmington is a nice place, but a difficult place to make a decent living.
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Old 01-28-2007, 06:50 AM
 
Location: Concord, NC
1,418 posts, read 6,386,284 times
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anonymous got it right. I don't need to add anything. About the CNN/Money ranking. I dabble in the area of demographics/geography and rank the nation's 235 metros about every 5 years or so. It's not a good idea to ever go solely on one or two ranking publications. Numbers/stats can be manipulated to come up with a desired outcome. Trust me, it happens. Not often, but it happens. Money Magazine is a good example. Most of their readers are in a high income bracket, and their rankings don't, IMO, give enough weight to the area of cost of living. Home ownership is very important to the average American. The best thing to do is to look at metros that come up over and over in different ranking systems. Charlotte and Raleigh/Durham are two that come up a lot. You're right, it can be confusing. Just hang in there and I'm sure you'll find your place!!
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Old 01-29-2007, 06:42 PM
 
21 posts, read 71,775 times
Reputation: 14
I must say that I disagree with all of this negative Wilmington info. I've been an investor and part-time, now full-time resident for years. There are too many points to make in rebuttal. If you would like honest, positive feedback, send me an email.
Good luck.
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Old 01-29-2007, 07:47 PM
 
2,356 posts, read 2,645,467 times
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Well give it a shot, tiger. I made it clear that these were all just opinions, and fairly undeveloped ones at that. I'm interested to hear what I'm off-base about.
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Old 01-29-2007, 08:17 PM
 
1 posts, read 3,986 times
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There is nothing wrong with the wilmington area. In fact it is a beautiful historic city. Even so; however, I would suggest you check out a little town and its surroundings named Calabash NC. It is about half- way between Wilmington NC and Myrtle Beach SC----adjacent to the Little River Inlet into the Atlantic Ocean. Calabash is a small fishing village, with many seafood eateries----think Jimmy Durante and his sign-off "good night Mrs Calabash, where ever you are" Calabash now is home to several really nice golf course communities and other really nice places to live. It is very close to all the recreational attractions in Myrtle Beach and over 100 1st rate golf courses. This area is worth checking out
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Old 01-29-2007, 08:46 PM
 
Location: Upstate SC
915 posts, read 2,313,841 times
Reputation: 890
Quote:
Originally Posted by NChomes View Post
I must say that I disagree with all of this negative Wilmington info. I've been an investor and part-time, now full-time resident for years. There are too many points to make in rebuttal. If you would like honest, positive feedback, send me an email.
Good luck.

yes, I'd really like to know how I'm wrong on the traffic, hurricane or job front. Explain away.
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