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Old 07-10-2009, 05:30 PM
 
Location: Sarasota, FL
151 posts, read 508,501 times
Reputation: 47

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Hello all,
I have read many of the threads and some are helpful, some are not. Basically here is the lowdown: we are considering a relocation next year sometime and before treking across the country (since we are in Northern Washington) I would like honest feeback. We want to be within 30-45 minutes to the beach (closer is better but we are flexible) and would like an area that has opportunities for jobs and decent housing below the $300's. Are the beaches safe and swimmable in the summertime? How is the crime in the area? Any suggestions on areas? We are coming down in December/January to see how cold it gets in the winter (I am tired of super cold winters). How is the weather, humidity, etc? Anybody have comments on the school systems and if the area is a good place to raise a family? We are in our early 30's so looking for a place that isn't loaded with retiree's. North/South Carolina or Georgia....thanks!
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Old 07-11-2009, 04:36 AM
 
551 posts, read 1,699,793 times
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This might not be exactly what you are asking, but are you from this area? As one who is from Northern Washington state and has lived for many many years on the east coast, the areas are very different. Have you visited? You are looking at a very broad range of places (North/South Carolina or Georgia) that are quite different from each other. Please be careful.
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Old 07-11-2009, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Southeastern North Carolina
1,814 posts, read 3,285,871 times
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There aren't a lot of great job opportunities in coastal NC, especially these days. There is decent housing for under $300K and it's a buyer's market now.

Crime varies depending on the area. Wilmington has quite a bit of crime in certain areas, downtown mostly.

The beaches are safe & swimmable in the spring, summer and fall. The surf can be quite rough at most of the NC beaches, except for Brunswick County.

The southeast is mostly hot & humid in summertime. You'll need AC. Winters are usually mild.
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Old 07-15-2009, 05:04 PM
 
Location: Sarasota, FL
151 posts, read 508,501 times
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We are visiting in Nov, Dec sometime to check out the area and see how things are in the winter since that is my main concern with relocating (I am trying to get away from the cold weather as much as I can without extreme heat all year round). Different is what I am looking for, having lived in Northern WA all my life I want to experience an entirely new perspective. Basically I am looking for any input on any of the "beachy" states on the East Coast so that when we visit we know where we may want to spend a few days to get an idea of the area.
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Old 07-15-2009, 07:45 PM
 
Location: Cape Carteret, NC
713 posts, read 3,474,372 times
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Smile A lot depends on what kind of jobs you want

Quote:
Originally Posted by angelagardner View Post
We are visiting in Nov, Dec sometime to check out the area and see how things are in the winter since that is my main concern with relocating (I am trying to get away from the cold weather as much as I can without extreme heat all year round). Different is what I am looking for, having lived in Northern WA all my life I want to experience an entirely new perspective. Basically I am looking for any input on any of the "beachy" states on the East Coast so that when we visit we know where we may want to spend a few days to get an idea of the area.
We live in Carteret County which is heavily dependent on people working at military bases. We have a strong tourism industry and a strong and growing retail economy. There seems to be a continuous demand for medical people in the jobs section.

The schools are very good. The property taxes are the lowest in the state, but we have expensive insurance to make up for that. However, even with that it is cheaper to live here than in Roanoke, Va where we last lived. There is almost no crime. The beaches are fantastic, especially the ones which are reachable only by boat.

We do not have serious winters. Last year's was the coldest in six years. We had about one half of an inch of snow on the grass. It never stuck on the driveways or roads. We are right on the water so places a few miles inland did have some snow but it was gone quickly.

We saw the temperature get in the low twenties a couple of times this year. It rarely stays there for more than a few hours. We have palm trees and they got through the winter fine. This past winter, we saw winter days in the fifties, some in the forties, and maybe one or two only in the upper thirties.

In January 2007 I tracked the temperatures, it was a milder winter, and we only had 19 hours of below freezing temperatures. We also had eleven days when the temperatures got into the seventies.

Most of the time the water moderates our temperatures. We had a couple of days last week when we opened the windows and slept with the air conditioners off. April, May, and June are often times when we need little or no heating or cooling. Falls are spectacular with warm waters and very pleasant temperatures.

The couple of dozen cooler days we have in the winter, we turn on our gas fireplace for a few minutes to take the chill off. I only had a coat on a couple of times last winter.

We usually change to wearing shorts at our real estate office on or before April 1. The beach areas stay cooler a little longer in the spring and maintain their warm a little longer in the fall.

I have a friend in Beaufort, SC. They usually run about six to eight degrees warmer than we are in the summer. We are mostly in the mid to upper eighties most of the summer with a few weeks of hotter weather. This summer I got my first ripe tomato on June 5. Last summer it was June 1. In the winter of 2007, I picked my last tomato on December 19. Strawberries are usually ripe starting sometime between the last of March and the middle of April.

Just inland from us, temperatures are often eight to ten degrees warmer in the summer and similarly cooler in the winter.

Check my blog for more area info or this link for area pictures and information.

This is a very friendly area with great seafood, plenty to do as long as you are looking for an active lifestyle. We are lucky to have both the Cape Lookout National Seashore and the 158,000 acres of the Crotan National Forest.

We looked from Virginia's Eastern Shore to Oak Island south of Wilmington and this is where we picked. Previous visits to South Carolina & Georgia were too hot for us, but that might just be our years in Canada showing.

This post has the ten ways Carteret County met our needs.

Here is an interactive map of the area.

This is a picture of one of our beaches that I snapped today.


Last edited by dsobotta; 07-15-2009 at 07:59 PM.. Reason: misspelled word
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Old 07-15-2009, 10:23 PM
 
Location: Sarasota, FL
151 posts, read 508,501 times
Reputation: 47
dsobotta---thank you for the feedback. I will check out your area as well. We are not in the medical profession, actually we are both realtors as well but I have a background in banking and finance and my b-friend in tech support. Not sure what we will be looking for as far as work but I am sure we can find something. What can you tell me about Carteret County? I am not too familiar with Counties yet, is that close to a larger town? We don't mind smaller towns as long as we are close to the beach and within a somewhat short drive to a town similar to ours (Bellingham, WA around 70K people). Oh yeah, I read that South Carolina has a lot of snakes....I can't do snakes....how is the snake population in North Carolina?

Last edited by angelagardner; 07-15-2009 at 10:51 PM..
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Old 07-15-2009, 11:04 PM
 
Location: Wilmington
116 posts, read 376,275 times
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We have lots of snakes in North Carolina, poisonous and harmless, big and small! You really have to be careful where you walk and if your out gardening always wear leather gloves! Also lots of nasty spiders too, I keep getting black widow spiders in my garage and they scare the heck out of me!
And we also have gators, my friend has one that visits her in her garden, I won't even go over to visit her anymore!
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Old 07-16-2009, 05:52 AM
 
Location: Cape Carteret, NC
713 posts, read 3,474,372 times
Reputation: 543
Smile Carteret County

Quote:
Originally Posted by angelagardner View Post
dsobotta---thank you for the feedback. I will check out your area as well. We are not in the medical profession, actually we are both realtors as well but I have a background in banking and finance and my b-friend in tech support. Not sure what we will be looking for as far as work but I am sure we can find something. What can you tell me about Carteret County? I am not too familiar with Counties yet, is that close to a larger town? We don't mind smaller towns as long as we are close to the beach and within a somewhat short drive to a town similar to ours (Bellingham, WA around 70K people). Oh yeah, I read that South Carolina has a lot of snakes....I can't do snakes....how is the snake population in North Carolina?
We live in the western part of the county, and we are 25-30 minutes from Jacksonville which has 65K of people, and most of the stores that Morehead City does not have. We are an hour and one half from Wilmington which has 95K, and a little over two hours from Raleigh which has more people than I care to count.

Carteret County itself has 65,000 year round residents and more water than land. We have something over double that population in the summer months which gives us services that most areas of our population would not have. Even in the summer the area is uncrowded compared to the Northern Outer Banks and places like Myrtle Beach in SC.

NC in general has very good public beach access. We have no trouble finding free parking to walk the beaches. Our friends who live in Murrell's Inlet, SC often have to feed a meter to get to the beach.

In the last couple of years, Morehead City which is twenty minutes from us has gotten Best Buy, Bed, Bath, & Beyond, Panera, Star Bucks, Harris Teeter (fancy grocery store) and more importantly a TJ Maxx. My wife tells me the only things we are really missing are Target and SAMs. Both of those are in Jacksonville. We also don't have a Barnes & Noble, but again there is one in Jacksonville. There is a Costco in Wilmington.

I was born in NC, and have lived about 25 of my sixty years here. I have seen about a dozen snakes in that time. I have only seen two or three in Carteret County, and all were harmless. One was on a boat ramp in National Forest.

We have another home in the Virginia mountains. We have seen far more nasty snakes there, but even there we have never had a problem with a snake.

We did live in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in Canada. There were no snakes there, so you could plunge into any thicket that you wanted. Of course you would turn blue if you plunged into the ocean waters up there.

We live in a nice subdivision with about 40 homes and a few lots that regularly get mowed. If you live in the middle of the woods with no other homes around, you will likely see more wildlife of all types.

Our biggest pests would be the fiddler crabs that sometimes climb on our tomato plants and damage the fruit. Other than that we have blue, white, and green herons, shrimp, and lots of tiny fish. Because we have a breeze almost all of the time, we have almost no mosquitoes. In fact my mother's place 250 miles from the coast had far more mosquitoes. However, you can end up with mosquitoes so you should watch where you buy and talk to neighbors. It depends on your micro-climate.

I have only seen one deer since we moved here which is a real blessing since at our Virginia place, we had to give up on gardening because the deer would eat everything.

There are a number of small deer on Emerald Isle, but many people choose to make their home on the mainland like us.

We have all the modern conveniences in a very scenic area with very clean water, almost no crime, and an exceptionally temperate climate with friendly people, great schools, and almost no traffic. It is a combination we were unable to find in other areas.

Boating is a big part of the life here. Our house is on the water just off the White Oak River just ten minutes from the Intracoastal Waterway and another ten minutes from the ocean. This is a slide show of us heading out to fish one morning.

Walking the beaches also is an important part of life here. This is a slide show of a late spring beach walk in Emerald Isle near The Point.

You might be interested in my travel guide to Emerald Isle (http://coastalnc.org/emeraldislenctravelguidecd - broken link) and my travel guide to Beaufort (http://coastalnc.org/beaufortnctravelguidecd - broken link) which is one of my favorite places to visit.

Kayaking, biking and local festivals also play a big part in life on the Crystal Coast. The festival season usually kicks off in February or March. My favorites in the spring are the Swansboro Oyster Roast and Emerald Isle Saint Patrick's Day Festival. I am also partial to the Episcopal Church Lobster Dinners which come in the fall along with the Mullet Festival.

Last edited by dsobotta; 07-16-2009 at 06:23 AM.. Reason: extraneous word
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Old 07-16-2009, 08:05 AM
 
22,769 posts, read 26,236,494 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angelagardner View Post
We are coming down in December/January to see how cold it gets in the winter (I am tired of super cold winters). How is the weather, humidity, etc?
I looked up Bellingham, WA and Wilmington, NC for you.

The 2 months y'all have "summer", would be more like 6 months here, topping out in the 90's for a few months.

The the 6 months y'all have "winter" would be more like 3 months here, Dec, Jan, and Feb, and ours is subject to swings between fronts of 30 degree lows and 75-80 degree highs.

I understand your desire to avoid cold winters, but if I was in your shoes I'd be more concerned about the summer heat than the winter cold.

Last edited by le roi; 07-16-2009 at 08:14 AM..
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Old 07-17-2009, 12:10 PM
 
Location: in a house
3,574 posts, read 13,124,540 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angelagardner View Post
dsobotta---.......actually we are both realtors as well but I have a background in banking and finance and my b-friend in tech support. Not sure what we will be looking for as far as work but I am sure we can find something. .....
Unless you "find something" before you get here, you may wish to postpone your relo. Or consider some of the other states that are just as warm and near water (Atlantic or Gulf) and have a lower unemployment rate than we do. My son is in Wilmington and while his job for now (works for the state) is ok, he has had little luck in finding a second position and would be SOL if his position is eliminated. Plus what Sundaze and Ellise says - sorry....
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