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Old 08-25-2009, 12:44 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,137 times
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There are lots of snakes around swampy areas and the normal places where they congregate--wood piles, etc. The worst are cottonmouths, found in watery (fresh) places. I have worked around my yard, standing in pine straw and have yet to see a copperhead, although my co-workers see them often. Most snakes are non-poisonous. I wouldn't worry about the dogs unless they like to root around in the weekds.
Gators are a growing problem vis a vis pets. We have plenty of them and they are especially active in the spring mating season, going from pond to pond. A woman in my town lost her dog to an alligator last year. This is only a problem is you are around fresh or mostly fresh water, like on a swamp or a pond or retention pond.
Bugs: Lots of skeeters in the summer, but the worst are fire ants, found everywhere south of Virginia. They sting badly and hurt like, well, fire.
On the good side of things, people live with these things all the time and most never gripe about anything but mosquitoes. They are gone after the first freeze, which is usually around Thanksgiving.
Winter weather: High 55, low 35 in January. We had a very bad winter last year, though. It snowed less than an inch twice. My oleander was frozen, but it came back.
Wilmington has a good bar scene for 30-somethings -- especially downtown. There is a 30-something professional group that meets at various watering holes for networking. The arts scene is active and movie productions keep the people interesting. Arts and theater are OK, but are less than I would have thought for this city. Wrightsville Beach and Carolina Beach have fun entertainment spots.
Schools in general are good in New Hanover County. Schools in Brunswick County I think are not as good, but not bad. Private schools here usually have something to do with religion.
Hope this helps.
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Old 08-25-2009, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Sarasota, FL
151 posts, read 508,274 times
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Wayne, thank you for the honest post. To be truthful I have been a bit leary of Wilmington because in all the posts I have submitted I have not been getting great comments. I almost ruled it out all together but I have decided to give it a chance and come down this winter to check it out for myself. If anyone has suggestions of things not to miss while down there that would be helpful. And I don't mean touristy stuff but anything that a local would consider a perk in the area.
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Old 08-27-2009, 01:49 PM
 
Location: wilmington
70 posts, read 161,884 times
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Just noticed your profile said Washington state. We just got my 25 year old daughter back form Seattle last Christmas and she is SO happy to be home but frustrated with the lack of jobs. Our power bill in the summer for a home over 2000 square ft is around $220.00/month but we do like our home cool at night. The mountains are far away but doable for an overnight trip. My family(but not me:-) likes to camp on an island nearby. You should come for a visit but Jan. and Feb. can be very cold (we do get the beautiful spring like days early sometimes)
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Old 08-29-2009, 11:00 AM
 
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Nc is not that bad on snakes geez dont believe all you read...i have lived in this one spot for 6 yrs now and only seen ONE DEAD snake as it got run over and i live in the country....closest store is a mile a way wilmington is nice place lived there for just a bit but liked it...so come on to Nc like everyone else
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Old 08-31-2009, 07:56 PM
 
Location: jacksonville,fl
12 posts, read 53,544 times
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i left st. pete, fl because there are no jobs in florida, especially the west coast of fl, which includes sarasota. sarasota is old folks paradise. you can find lots of thing to do in tampa which is roughly a hour and a half drive, or orlando, which is 3hrs away, or miami which is 3hrs away. wilmington and charleston are simular as far as the job market, housing and things to do.
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Old 09-01-2009, 01:55 AM
 
Location: zippidy doo dah
895 posts, read 1,331,326 times
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1. We are looking at three areas: Wilmington area, Charleston, SC and Sarasota, FL--mainly a decent sized town on the water/beaches. If anyone has been to or lived in those areas, how do they compare?
all three have nice things - have lived in sarasota/visited the other two. For charm, I would say Charleston cannot be beat if you are in the historic city itself - some rough areas obviously there and on the outskirts but the historic district/to die for. Wilmington is charming - have eaten at great restaurants and it's a nice place to stroll. Sarasota is the least charming, but that's Florida if you're looking for beautiful architecture and southern charm. Sarasota is somewhat like a lot of Florida - for charm, St. Augustine is the beauty of the sunshine state. obviously, i like old historic buildings.
2. What is the real lowdown on snakes? Bugs I can handle, but last night I started looking up snakes in the NC area and was overwhelmed by what I found. How often, in reality, do you run across snakes and how large are they? I don't plan on gardening myself and have 2 large dogs so the yard will be kept really low, etc...of course the usual deflections but please, PLEASE give me the real low down on the snake issue. Would my cat be safe? We don't have large snakes here so I am still learning how to deal with them, etc. Snakes are pretty much everywhere but having lived in NC for a few years, I've been bitten by fireants (as in Sarasota) but never a snake. Snakes are just there - i've never in all my life in the south lost a pet or myself to a snake. They seem to be more bent on avoiding me than i am on avoiding them. With that said, my spouse did get bitten by a snake in Sarasota/and with the reactioni he had, it was apparently not a good one to get bitten by. So, I guess there are bitey snakes in Sarasota.
3. How cold and bad does the weather get in the winter? I come from a place where it sucks almost 7 months of the year and can't handle it anymore. 50-60's is ok but less than that and I get grumpy.
The carolinas do get cold - spring and fall are lovely - the change of seasons is great but there are cold snaps. Sarasota stays pretty much up there, particularly in the day. Not sure that I had a day in 4 years that dropped below the fifties and i don't recall many of those. If anything, the searing sun and the constant lack of change can be tough. Nights can drop down there but again, so seldom - but I have seen frost and had to cover plants - maybe once in the four year period.
4. How is the job market really doing in the area other than what I see on Craigs List? We will have some money already coming in each month and I might have a job that is transferrable for myself but what type of jobs are people seeing out there? Job situation seems tough all over - Sarasota seriously impacted by the housing market crash. Lot of layoffs/downsizing and many people competing for low paying jobs.
5. How is the actual cost of living? Such as power/heat/air conditioning/water/sewer, etc? Averages? Do you use the heat much in the winter? I would guess A/C would be a must in the summer. Cheapest place I have lived in over the past few years for utilities was greensboro nc so by comparison, everywhere else seems high. If you move to Sarasota and are buying a house, be sure to check on the issue of water pipes. There have been serious pin hole leaks for some reason and the replacement runs as high as 10,000.00 - be sure you research before purchasing so you don't get a house that has the old pipes and hasn't been repiped - i believe the problem existed even with houses built as late as 2000/maybe later. Not totally sure on that but RESEARCH IT!! Also double check Sarasota on insurance costs with hurricane coverage and your property tax. Insurance was more than triple what I have paid anywhere and I was not waterfront - much of the area is rated for wind issues - was fortunate to not end up in the insurance pool and able to get a private underwriter - even that was high - property tax/real estate tax was outrageous and newcomers bore the brunt of it. Again, falling property values have likely alleiviated that but check and check again.
6. Are there dog parks/beaches in the area that allow off-leash options? Sorry, I just recently discovered dog parks since I have never lived with a dog and not a large amount of property--so that may sound like a silly question. Venice Beach in Sarasota has a doggie park with off leash - most beaches do not but there are a few - I found the beaches south of Wilmington and maybe the Wilmington area may as well allow dogs on the beach before memorial day and after labor day and in the evenings i believe during the season. Have not seen doggie beaches in either carolina but wasn't looking since i didn't live in either.
7. What do people do for fun in the area other than hitting the beach? Are there good martini bars or night clubs for early 30-something aged individuals? Examples: where I live now we camp in the mountains, river/lake/ocean fishing, movies in the park, hiking, biking, etc...
8. What is the school schedule? Is it year round with summers off or three on/three off like California? What is there to do for teens and pre-teens? Someone else will have to weigh in on schools and what it is like for 30 somethings. I find something to do most anywhere but Sarasota/Southwest florida is pretty weighed down in the age category. Some parts of Sarasota are beyond description for the number of retirees and you need to be aware of that when locating yourself or you might find yourself living in what feels like an assisted living facility.

I am sure I will think of more but thank you to all who answer. p It's a tough decision trying to figure out where to live on the other side of the country.[/quote]
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Old 09-01-2009, 02:26 AM
 
Location: Sol System
1,494 posts, read 2,873,378 times
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I can't tell you much about Wilmington , only went there at night in Feb. Never been to Charleston , at least yet , but I will tell you as far as jobs , utilize www.indeed.com. It's how I landed my current job. Pays less than some , but exponentially more than others with room for advancement!! As far as snakes , don't try to pick them up or personify them!! Also don't just 'snap' and go on a rampage - it will only result in serious injury and or death. There are some beneficial species to have around that eat poisonous snakes , rats , moles , and other pests. Visit www.ncwildlife.org or google Deadly Dozen for more detailed descriptions. Hope this helps!! Good Luck in your endeavours!!
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