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Old 03-14-2009, 12:43 PM
 
10 posts, read 24,996 times
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Hello,

I live in a small southeast Michigan suburb (15K people). My husband received a job offer in Wilmington. We are MI born and raised, and are sad to consider leaving our town, but with MI's economy the way it is we are heavily considering this job offer. We have 2 children. Our oldest will be starting Kindergarten this fall. For anyone that has relocated their family, I don't need to tell you the roller coaster of emotions we are struggling with right now.

I would like information on Wilmington and the surrounding areas. Safe family neighborhoods, good schools, fun things to do. Ideally, we would like to find a home in the $200K-$240K range that isn't identical to the house next door and has a bigger than postage stamp size yard. We don't want to end up in the middle of nowhere either. Looking on-line I'm seeing a lot of neighborhoods with beautiful websites, but what is it like in real life? I'm also finding disheartening information about the crime levels in Wilmington. I know absolutely nothing about the area so I am trying to find as much information as I can. My husband would be willing to commute up to 45 mins to work if there are better options outside of the area.

Anything you can add would be so appreciated!

Thank you!
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Old 03-14-2009, 01:13 PM
 
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$200k-$250k will get you a 2,000 square foot ranch home on a half-acre in the best, or at least one of the better, school districts around here. As far as the new homes go, I don't know. They seem to build most of them cookie-cutter on tiny lots around here.

I personally don't see any advantage to raising your kids 30+ minutes away from Wilmington. New Hanover County has some good options.
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Old 03-14-2009, 01:40 PM
 
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Thank you rubber_factory. What are property taxes like in the area? Also, I've noticed other posts mentioning "northerners" not being welcomed too kindly. Do you have any experience with that or heard anything?
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Old 03-14-2009, 04:47 PM
 
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I hope you will take a look at Hampstead also... it's a nice area! And the crime in Wilmington for the most part is in specific areas - have lots of friends that live there and they are not living in fear. Good luck with your move! And ps....most of us around here consider Michigan folks to be Midwestern, not Northern! There are so many folks from so many different areas around here, I don't see that as a problem...
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Old 03-14-2009, 05:36 PM
 
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We moved to Wilmington 3 years ago, not knowing anything about it. I can honestly say it is one of the nicest and most beautiful places we have ever lived. You can certainly find a lovely home in that price range. Are you looking for private or public schools? The crime stats. are only in certain areas. Down town, late at night things. I doubt with two kids you'll be partying it up down there. Wilmington has a lot of new, young families here. We love it here! Good Luck!
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Old 03-14-2009, 05:50 PM
 
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yup, i moved here also on a blind gamble. I had pretty moderate expectations, and things have been fine. I'm from SC, so i had to deal with the culture shock of people from the north it has been a good experience though. Crime is moderate. You have good areas and bad areas scattered all about.

Last edited by le roi; 03-14-2009 at 06:42 PM..
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Old 03-14-2009, 06:12 PM
 
Location: Wilmington, NC
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My advice is to look in the Rocky Point and even up to Burgaw area. If you come from a small 15k size town you can handle it. I'd stay out of New Hanover county, they have been trying to consolidate the city of Wilmington with the county for years now and about all that will do for the county people is raise taxes. Wilmington's cost of living is one of the highest in the state but if you can afford 200 to 250K that shouldn't be that big of a problem. Frankly, I think all the schools in the south stink and I can say that as I am a product of the south. Born and raised here and my wife is a Mass yankee and when I hear all the cool things she got to do as a kid it just ticks me off. I've put three of my own children through school in this county and I was not impressed. If you have conservative leanings regarding sex education, you may even want to home school your kids. The average to slightly above average kids should fair well in this system. Other kids at the poles may not do so well. Yes, your kids will get picked on a bit because they will talk funny but they will be starting early enough that it shouldn't be too traumatic. They will make friends and they will adjust to being a little bit different and frankly, in my mind, that is a good thing for them to experience. As for you and your husband, we will know you are from the north but Michigan ain't New York City and you will be accpeted, even in Burgaw.

As for crime, I wouldn't worry about it. We do have our share of wackos but no more than anywhere else and the rednecks are just goodol' boys that would rather fish, hunt and drink than really cause anyone any special trouble. There are of course some places you simply don't want to walk into the door of but they are SOOOO obvious, you'd have to be blind not to notice. But don't let that turn you off from the places that can give you the real taste of the south. There is a place off 53 heading away from Burgaw called Holland's Fish Camp. Go there and eat a good southern fried fish dinner for less than $10 each. The sweet tea was a bit gamey the last time I had it but the food is true blue and the atmosphere is about as country as you can get these days.

Hey, I'll tell you what for $250, I'll pile your whole family in the Lexus RX 300 and give you a tour.

doc
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Old 03-15-2009, 09:17 AM
 
10 posts, read 24,996 times
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Default Updated Questions

Thank you so much for the replies. I appreciate the good and the not so good.

To answer a question someone asked, we would be looking at public schools. We are coming from a town with an outstanding school system (people move here for that reason alone). It's important to me to find a good system down there.

It makes me sad to think that kids would make fun of my children for "talking funny". I would never dream of letting my kids think it is okay to do something like that. It's one thing to notice an accent, but to make fun of someone...(sigh) something else to worry about.

Someone else mentioned Hampstead. I've seen that town mentioned on another thread. Tell me about that area!!

Thanks again.
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Old 03-15-2009, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Wilmington, NC
412 posts, read 1,108,670 times
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Here is a website with good information about the school systems:
NC School Report Cards
Just search for New Hanover County schools. It's not a pretty picture, especially if you are coming from top-notch schools in Michigan. Good luck and keep an open mind when it comes to private schools. There are some great private schools in the area (unfortunately I can't afford them).

Don't worry too much about crime. As long as you live out of the 28401 (downtown) zip code you shouldn't have any problems.

I don't think your kids will be made fun of in school. I moved here from NW Ohio in high school and never had any issues. A few people commented about my accent, but no one ever made fun of me. I made tons of friends very quickly because people are so friendly here.

Taxes are cheap if you live outside city limits. Expect taxes of $900 - $1100 if you live outside city limits for a $200K house. I don't know exact amounts though. Just keep in mind that eventually you will probably be annexed into the city (as the previous poster mentioned) and your taxes will go up.
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Old 03-15-2009, 05:19 PM
 
Location: Wilmington, NC
412 posts, read 1,108,670 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by so much to think about View Post
Someone else mentioned Hampstead. I've seen that town mentioned on another thread. Tell me about that area!!
FYI Any areas outside of Wilmington are going to be very "country" and might be a huge culture shock to you. Hampstead is a small town and you might prefer to be closer to the shopping, activities, etc. that Wilmington offers.
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