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Old 10-13-2008, 10:14 AM
 
Location: N. Coast of Cali
7 posts, read 22,036 times
Reputation: 12

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Hi, I am a 22 yr old stay at home mom of a two year old and have lived in the same small town almost all my life. I have no idea why, but I have always felt drawn to NC... I've never been anywhere on the East Coast. After looking around the net, I came upon Wilmington and really liked what I saw. Good size, good food (obviously very important), beachy-vibe, etc. I've read a lot about the crime, but nothing about gangs... are there even any there? We live in a very small town of about 7,000, and basically the only crime we have here is caused by "gangs." I use the word lightly because they are a bunch of punk, high school-aged, latinos who have been tagging all over our beautiful community. Anyway, what's the gang activity like there?
Also wanted to find out about preschools. Average costs, are they any good, etc.
We like to shop mostly organic, would that be a problem there?
Something funny I might add, is that my fiance wants to become a cop, and I've heard that might be a pretty laughable career choice there...? And I am considering becoming a Real Estate Agent (yes, I know, not the best career choice move in this day and age), and was wondering ppl's oppinion on that, since I'm not from there. And what are wages like for these professions?
And one last comment I had was about everyone saying the cost of living is so high. I really laughed out loud when I read that, because of all the wonderful looking, 4 bedroom houses, sometimes even on acres, selling for $450K. That seems so cheap! I understand the wages are not the best, but same goes from where I am from, and a crappy, old, run-down house in a "bad" part of town here goes for at least half a million.
Thanks for reading, sorry it's so long...
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Old 10-13-2008, 10:22 AM
 
Location: N. Coast of Cali
7 posts, read 22,036 times
Reputation: 12
Default Playdates, young families...

Sorry, one more thing-
We are obviously a young couple with a child and I'm wondering how "normal" that is there? Here the young ppl that have a child(ren) are not exactly the same kind of ppl we'd like to make friends with or set up playdates with. Is there a very big population of together, 20-something yr old parents there? And is there organizations that set up playdates? Baby gyms and classes that kind of things?
Thanks
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Old 10-14-2008, 10:14 AM
 
Location: San Francisco, CA
181 posts, read 440,162 times
Reputation: 134
I can't help with the kids' stuff. But I can tell you that Wilmington does not have a Whole Foods, nor anything coming close. There is the Tidal Creek Co-op, which is a 'healthy' grocery store, but it is small, with limited selection & most prices on the high side.

I was overjoyed to leave Wilmington for Raleigh-Durham a few years ago, because up here we have several Whole Foods, Earth Fare (not as good, but not horrible), & even Trader Joe's. I shop primarily at Whole Foods now, & wish Wilmington would get one for my friends who still live there!

There are probably some young families in the Wilmington area, since it's an hour away from a huge Marine base (Camp Lejeune). Some Marines & their families prefer to live in Wilmington so they can feel more 'off base' when they're not at work.

My overall impression of Wilmington, after living there one year... downtown is adorable, the beach is nice, & there are some ok neighborhoods. But mostly, it's strip mall after strip mall on the main drags, & traffic is horrible. The place is growing faster than the streets can really handle, & traffic was a pain even at times you wouldn't expect. I moved as soon as my lease was up, & am much happier in Raleigh-Durham.
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Old 10-14-2008, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Wilmington, NC
8,575 posts, read 6,362,414 times
Reputation: 835
I agree with most of what you said, except they did get a fresh market here. it's a lot like whole foods and WAY bigger than tidal creek.

The Fresh Market - Experience the Food!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProdigalLobster View Post
I can't help with the kids' stuff. But I can tell you that Wilmington does not have a Whole Foods, nor anything coming close. There is the Tidal Creek Co-op, which is a 'healthy' grocery store, but it is small, with limited selection & most prices on the high side.

I was overjoyed to leave Wilmington for Raleigh-Durham a few years ago, because up here we have several Whole Foods, Earth Fare (not as good, but not horrible), & even Trader Joe's. I shop primarily at Whole Foods now, & wish Wilmington would get one for my friends who still live there!

There are probably some young families in the Wilmington area, since it's an hour away from a huge Marine base (Camp Lejeune). Some Marines & their families prefer to live in Wilmington so they can feel more 'off base' when they're not at work.

My overall impression of Wilmington, after living there one year... downtown is adorable, the beach is nice, & there are some ok neighborhoods. But mostly, it's strip mall after strip mall on the main drags, & traffic is horrible. The place is growing faster than the streets can really handle, & traffic was a pain even at times you wouldn't expect. I moved as soon as my lease was up, & am much happier in Raleigh-Durham.
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Old 10-14-2008, 08:08 PM
 
Location: Wilmington, NC
412 posts, read 1,109,571 times
Reputation: 297
Wilmington is in the top 100 list of high crime per capita, so yes crime is an issue here. There's plenty of gang activity. If you live in the suburbs you aren't affected that much, but nonetheless it is there. I think it has increased a lot in recent years. When I was in high school 15 yrs ago and lived in the inner-city I really didn't hear of any gang activity. Make sure you buy a house in a good school district....and not inner city. Even then it's not totally safe. I live by Ashley High School (outside city limits) and I just saw in the newspaper that a 17 yr old kid stabbed a 14 yr old kid several times outside of a football game (my son was at that football game....talk about scary!)

There are plenty of normal ppl here that you could have playdates with, enjoy activities with, etc. There's LOTS to do for young families - parks, children's museum, etc. Preschool prices vary, but I checked about 4 yrs ago it was a little over $100/month for a 2 mornings per week at a church. Most church preschool programs start out with 3 yr olds. Daycares are abundant here though. I'm not up to date on pricing since my youngest is 7, but I would guess full-time daycare is $125 or so per week.

The ppl that live here complain about the cost of living b/c wages are horrible. It's next to impossible to get a good benefit package with health care. I think the median family income is around $46,000....notice that is "family" not "per adult". Housing is cheap compared to other areas of the U.S., but it is unaffordable to many ppl who have lived here & worked here all of our lives.

"And I am considering becoming a Real Estate Agent"
The housing market is very slow right now in this area, so I think starting a real estate career would be very difficult, especially considering you would be new to the area and wouldn't know anybody. The real estate market was booming for a few yrs, and now that it is contracting back to normal levels yet there are still tons of agents out there not getting much business. You only get paid when you sell a house (or help a buyer buy a house). If you don't NEED the money, then I guess you could go for it. People are attracted to Wilmington and we get a lot of newcomers.
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Old 10-15-2008, 09:36 AM
 
Location: N. Coast of Cali
7 posts, read 22,036 times
Reputation: 12
Thank you guys for the replies. I've been reading a lot about bugs lately. Cockroaches mostly, but I hear there's lots of different kinds. I've never seen a cockroach, are they as gross as they're made out to be? And when ppl are talking about them, do they mean they're like in their houses, or restraunts, or on the streets...? We do have a very disgusting thing here called termites. They look like red ants and they fly...ew.
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Old 10-15-2008, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Wilmington, NC
8,575 posts, read 6,362,414 times
Reputation: 835
cockroaches are EVERYWHERE here. on a humid night during the summer downtown, the sidewalk moves with them. they try to disguise the fact that they are cockroaches by giving them clever names, like palmetto bugs. they are cockroaches, and they are disgusting. termites? we got those here, along with fire ants which are horrible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kate.bell View Post
Thank you guys for the replies. I've been reading a lot about bugs lately. Cockroaches mostly, but I hear there's lots of different kinds. I've never seen a cockroach, are they as gross as they're made out to be? And when ppl are talking about them, do they mean they're like in their houses, or restraunts, or on the streets...? We do have a very disgusting thing here called termites. They look like red ants and they fly...ew.
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Old 10-15-2008, 11:36 AM
 
Location: N. Coast of Cali
7 posts, read 22,036 times
Reputation: 12
I guess Wilmington is out! Are the bugs everywhere in NC? We'd like to stay on the coast since that is what we love the most about where we live now...
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Old 10-16-2008, 11:25 AM
 
Location: San Francisco, CA
181 posts, read 440,162 times
Reputation: 134
I disagree... I wouldn't say there are cockroaches *everywhere*. I have lived (briefly, long ago) in a run-down house that was indeed infested with roaches. BLECH... I was in a constant state of freaked-out!!! I'm from Maine, where it's too cold for many creepy things or bugs, so I was very UNcool with that situation!!!

But in new construction, in decent, clean neighborhoods, roaches have not been a problem for me since. I've lived in my current apartment in Raleigh for 4 & 1/2 years, & have not seen one roach in this place. But I am very clean, too, which I believe helps... also be conscious that keeping paper or boxes around (clutter) can supposedly make bugs happy. Ugh.. my skin is crawling just typing this post, LOL!

I have a small dog that has to be walked often, & I am a salsa dancer who goes out to dance, so I am outside frequently at night (& my apartment complex is quite well lit). I only occasionally see the big palmetto bugs outside... it's not like they are swarming around, & I usually see only 1 or 2 at a time. If they flew around in packs like blackflies or mosquitos, I absolutely could not live here.

I have had ants a few times, but Borax (cleaning & laundry powder) is a quick fix for that. I sprinkle it around & also go outside, look for the trail of ants, & sprinkle Borax all around. That works very well, & is better for people & earth than toxic bug sprays or bombs. I have also used cayenne pepper the same way, with excellent results (just be careful to wash hands after handling... you don't want cayenne residue on your hands if you touch your eye or your baby).

I'm not sure, but I believe bugs become a bit less of a problem as one moves away from the coast. Seriously though, I am very creeped out by insects... & I do just fine. It is not a daily issue by any means, or something I even think that much about.

Just make sure to keep your place clean, especially the kitchen, & you should be alright. Don't let that be the thing that keeps you away!
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Old 10-16-2008, 01:54 PM
 
Location: Wilmington, NC
8,575 posts, read 6,362,414 times
Reputation: 835
raleigh is a lot different than wilmington. we have those cockroaches they have nicknamed "waterbugs." I think we have a bigger problem here because of the cape fear river. I am not kidding when I say that downtown crawls with them on summer nights.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProdigalLobster View Post
I disagree... I wouldn't say there are cockroaches *everywhere*. I have lived (briefly, long ago) in a run-down house that was indeed infested with roaches. BLECH... I was in a constant state of freaked-out!!! I'm from Maine, where it's too cold for many creepy things or bugs, so I was very UNcool with that situation!!!

But in new construction, in decent, clean neighborhoods, roaches have not been a problem for me since. I've lived in my current apartment in Raleigh for 4 & 1/2 years, & have not seen one roach in this place. But I am very clean, too, which I believe helps... also be conscious that keeping paper or boxes around (clutter) can supposedly make bugs happy. Ugh.. my skin is crawling just typing this post, LOL!

I have a small dog that has to be walked often, & I am a salsa dancer who goes out to dance, so I am outside frequently at night (& my apartment complex is quite well lit). I only occasionally see the big palmetto bugs outside... it's not like they are swarming around, & I usually see only 1 or 2 at a time. If they flew around in packs like blackflies or mosquitos, I absolutely could not live here.

I have had ants a few times, but Borax (cleaning & laundry powder) is a quick fix for that. I sprinkle it around & also go outside, look for the trail of ants, & sprinkle Borax all around. That works very well, & is better for people & earth than toxic bug sprays or bombs. I have also used cayenne pepper the same way, with excellent results (just be careful to wash hands after handling... you don't want cayenne residue on your hands if you touch your eye or your baby).

I'm not sure, but I believe bugs become a bit less of a problem as one moves away from the coast. Seriously though, I am very creeped out by insects... & I do just fine. It is not a daily issue by any means, or something I even think that much about.

Just make sure to keep your place clean, especially the kitchen, & you should be alright. Don't let that be the thing that keeps you away!
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