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Old 12-30-2008, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Wilmington, NC
431 posts, read 1,012,832 times
Reputation: 143

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My Mom and I are planning on starting over our lives in upstate NY and re-locating to North Carolina. I've looked into different areas, and based on everything I've read, Wilmington seems like a perfect fit. I work for Starbucks, so I'd plan on transferring to one down there. My Mom is a pharmacy technician for a large grocery store up here and would be looking to transfer as well. I've read that the cost of living in Wilmington is high, but I compared it to our area and its a little lower. We want to just rent an apartment and I've looked into that as well and found a few great possibilities. I've been taking time off from college, but at some point I want to go back. I looked at the website for Cape Fear Community College and it seems to be a good fit. Now for my questions...

What areas should be avoided when looking for an apartment?
Is CFCC a decent school? Some community colleges are better than others.
Will we have problems because we're "yankees"?
Just how bad is the traffic? How long is an average commute?
Is May a good month to visit?

I'm sorry if it seems like a lot. I would love to have as much information as possible. Thanks.
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Old 12-31-2008, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Wilmington, NC
412 posts, read 1,109,641 times
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CFCC is a great community college with a lot to offer. They have 2 campuses and a lot of programs. There is also UNC-Wilmington if you decide to get a 4 yr degree. You could do your first 2 yrs in the college transfer program @ CFCC to save money, then transfer to UNCW.

Traffic sucks....it's not that there is a huge volume of traffic, but the traffic just doesn't flow well. They'll pull right in front of you and then go slow, they'll drive significantly slower than the speed limit IN THE LEFT LANE w/out the common courtesy to use the right lane designated for slower moving traffic, they'll pull out right beside you (which is technically wrong b/c what if I change lanes at the same time you are pulling out from a side street?). It is extremely frustrating to be out on the roads. Luckily getting from one end of Wilmington to another doesn't usually take more than 20 or 30 minutes though, so it's not too bad.

When looking for an apartment just avoid some of the downtown areas. But for the most part I'm sure the apartment complexes are filled with college students. Not necessarily a bad thing, but just a forwarning. I really can't think of any particularly bad complexes though.

You shouldn't have too many problems being a yankee, as there are a lot of others in your same situation. We get a huge influx of NY/NJ ppl. But if you start saying "back home we did things this way......." you will get some attitudes. Remember you chose to come here, we don't care how you did it upstate.

May is a perfect month to visit, as long as you don't pick Memorial Day weekend.

P.S. wages are a lot lower in Wilmington than NY. Also job competition is high.
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Old 12-31-2008, 11:22 AM
 
Location: Wilmington, NC
431 posts, read 1,012,832 times
Reputation: 143
Thanks for the info. It was really helpful. I have to commute 45 minutes to work now, so it will definitely be a perk. As for traffic, well New Yorkers are supposed to be the most aggressive, so I'm sure it won't be as bad as some might think. Is there anyway to find a rough estimate of how much I would get for the same job in Wilmington? Until we visit, my Mom and I don't want to let people know of our plans to leave, so I can't ask my manager.

I also think I'll appreciate how things are done down south. I'm choosing to escape this place for a reason.
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Old 01-01-2009, 06:21 AM
 
22,769 posts, read 26,248,228 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coffeebean330 View Post
What areas should be avoided when looking for an apartment?
Downtown is a patchwork of expensive or run down, and should be avoided unless you are familiar with the area.. I wouldn't move here sight unseen. The areas just north of UNCW have high crime, and anywhere immediately north of Market St will be a gamble, until you get out eastward toward Ogden.

Wilmington has a glut of new-ish condos throughout midtown. You should be able to rent one cheaply.

Quote:
Will we have problems because we're "yankees"?
No, there are many who have come before you.

Quote:
Just how bad is the traffic? How long is an average commute?
Wilmington is a textbook example of how not to design a road network. My advice is to live close to where you work.
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Old 01-01-2009, 06:54 AM
LLN
 
Location: Upstairs closet
4,981 posts, read 8,760,854 times
Reputation: 6451
Don't bet that because you drive in NY that driving will not be an issue. It will be.

It is a mixture of many new people that do not know where they are going, roads designed for a whole lot less people, unplanned sprawl that sometimes makes it too hard to get from a to b due to concentrations of high volume shopping areas clustered, and what I believe to be a road system that was NOT designed to get people to the beach.

Do not underestimate the difficulties and resultant frustrations of driving in Wilmington. Good Luck.

lln
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Old 01-01-2009, 08:29 AM
 
Location: Wilmington, NC
412 posts, read 1,109,641 times
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Actually I disagree with others that say you have driven in NY traffic so driving here will not be an issue. You will be used to aggressive driving, and it is hard to transition to the total opposite style of driving. It's extremely frustrating.
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Old 01-01-2009, 02:44 PM
 
Location: Wilmington, NC
431 posts, read 1,012,832 times
Reputation: 143
I guess the only way to know anything for sure is to visit. I got stuck in a snow bank yesterday, so it gives me more reason to want to go south.
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Old 01-02-2009, 05:06 PM
 
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
424 posts, read 1,112,778 times
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I moved to Wilmington from Ohio. Transferring down with Starbucks is VERY smart. You shouldn't make too much less then you did up there, but I would discuss it with HR and see if they can guarantee you the same wage.

In terms of Neighborhoods to avoid
Greenfield Street (or anything just north or just east of Greenfield Lake)

Red Cross (just north of downtown)

30th St. North of Market

These are all just about as ghetto as Wilmington gets. Keep in mind, that isn't really that ghetto. However, those are the places where crack is sold, so still not super desirable.

You could always live at the beach! Carolina Beach is a 25-30 minute drive and right now I pay $700 a month for a two bedroom apartment with w/d hookup and private parking three blocks from the water. Carolina Beach has better prices then Wrightsville Beach.

And, contrary to popular belief, Carolina Beach still has a few hillbilly bars but is no longer the "red neck" beach that it was even when I first arrived in 2006.
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Old 01-03-2009, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
424 posts, read 1,112,778 times
Reputation: 147
And traffic is kinda bad, but nothing someone from the North would notice really.
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Old 01-03-2009, 05:28 PM
 
Location: Wilmington, NC
431 posts, read 1,012,832 times
Reputation: 143
Thanks for all the info.
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