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Old 08-17-2009, 08:24 PM
 
37 posts, read 179,086 times
Reputation: 21

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Hello everyone - PLEASE don't be put off by my screen name - I am not your "typical" NJ loudmouth - - I spent the first part of my life in Tallahassee and was teased plenty in Jersey schools for my southern accent! Also, my wife is from rural Pennsylvania. So those are my open-minded/non-condescending-northerner "credentials."

Anyway, we (with 3 little ones - aged 3, 2 and 3 months - I know we're crazy!) are looking to relocate; while NJ doesn't deserve the joke of a national reputation it has, it's still got a lot of legitimate concerns for us as parents (crowded, taxes, home prices, often materialistic values) .

From a distance, it seems as if Wilmington has it all - history, beautiful scenery, boatloads of activities, friendliness, a true community vibe (at least online), an art scene (with the movie studio), affordable housing, and of course, the ocean!! (with great seafood - hooray!)

We will be visiting next week (actually Wilmington and Raleigh, plus any other suggestions you might have).

My question is - are there any drawbacks (besides storms)? I honestly can't seem to find any online. Is it a good, healthy place to raise a family?

We're looking for a charming, family-oriented neighborhood, in which to plant ROOTS. Where neighbors interact. Where kid are safe, with plenty to do outdoors.

WE own a home in NJ and would sell; I can work from home. One other matter, if it matters - I am caucasian, my wife is Vietnamese (American born and raised) - an issue?

Thanks in advance for any insider feedback you provide - I am really, really curious about the reality behind my computer screen!
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Old 08-18-2009, 06:55 AM
 
Location: Fayetteville, NC
1,490 posts, read 5,238,058 times
Reputation: 1601
I think jobs would be the hardest part of the equation.

I doubt people would lift an eyebrow about your ethnic backgrounds. You also would be close enough to Jacksonville or even Fayetteville to stock up on Vietnamese food products if desired.
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Old 08-18-2009, 08:42 AM
 
92 posts, read 202,222 times
Reputation: 23
Wilmington is indeed a good place to raise a family! There are lots of things to do: Children's Museum, Cape Fear museum, art museum, parks, (the beach, of course!), the battleship, good schools, a wonderful live theater, excellent library system. I would look at the area near Monkey Junction - easy to get to all parts of the city and county in several different ways, family-oriented neighborhoods - Beacon Woods, Woods Edge, and more.
Good luck
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Old 08-18-2009, 09:06 AM
 
22,769 posts, read 26,236,494 times
Reputation: 14558
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew in Jersey View Post
Hello everyone - PLEASE don't be put off by my screen name - I am not your "typical" NJ loudmouth - - I spent the first part of my life in Tallahassee and was teased plenty in Jersey schools for my southern accent! Also, my wife is from rural Pennsylvania. So those are my open-minded/non-condescending-northerner "credentials."

Anyway, we (with 3 little ones - aged 3, 2 and 3 months - I know we're crazy!) are looking to relocate; while NJ doesn't deserve the joke of a national reputation it has, it's still got a lot of legitimate concerns for us as parents (crowded, taxes, home prices, often materialistic values) .
From my perspective - as someone who has grown up in the Carolinas, further inland - Folks have already brought those specific concerns you mention. Compared to other places around here, Wilmington has high taxes, high home prices, is crowded, and is very materialistic.

It may be that you're acclimated to that Jersey lifestyle, though, and Wilmington might seem like a break. I don't know, but it is difficult for me to agree that you'd be escaping those problems by moving here. I know that they intensified greatly when I moved here.

Quote:
My question is - are there any drawbacks (besides storms)? I honestly can't seem to find any online. Is it a good, healthy place to raise a family?
Personally, I would not raise children in any tourist environment like Wilmington.

Plenty of people raise kids here, though; schools aren't bad, and there are plenty of activities for kids here.

Quote:
We're looking for a charming, family-oriented neighborhood, in which to plant ROOTS. Where neighbors interact. Where kid are safe, with plenty to do outdoors.
What neighborhood you choose will dictate how this goes for you, I think.

Quote:
WE own a home in NJ and would sell; I can work from home. One other matter, if it matters - I am caucasian, my wife is Vietnamese (American born and raised) - an issue?
I doubt this will be an issue.
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Old 08-18-2009, 09:40 AM
 
1,972 posts, read 2,638,091 times
Reputation: 1915
i think you will love wilmington ,
i don't participate in the materialistic side of wilmington, one can always choose [ no matter where one lives] to NOT participate in that game.
we have several friends that are mixed , american/oriental , don't ever hear them have a problem.

i do not agree that home prices are thru the roof here , not knowing at which price point you are looking.
home insurance is another matter though , it is expensive.

wilmington is not crowded , try a real big city , and to us traffic is a breeze. all relative to where one relocated from.
good luck
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Old 08-18-2009, 10:38 AM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
25,087 posts, read 23,968,623 times
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"My question is - are there any drawbacks (besides storms)?"

City Crime Rankings by Population Group
CITIES OF 75,000 TO 99,999 POPULATION, Most Dangerous 10:
#8 Wilmington, NC
Wilmington NC crime and court news, arrest records, most wanted | StarNewsOnline.com | Wilmington Star News
I think this a situation where you need to learn which parts of town (the historic district, beach...) are safe and which areas to avoid.

Traffic can be a nightmare. People travel into Wilmington to dine and visit other attractions, but all of the people, cars on the way to the beaches inundate the roads from spring until fall. The GPS crowd has probably started driving through residential areas to get away from the jams on the major roads.

Storms. I know you already mentioned that. You'd be living close to the ocean backed by a river so flooding will be an issue.

Ash Tree: Wilmington, NC
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Old 08-18-2009, 11:04 AM
 
37 posts, read 179,086 times
Reputation: 21
Default Wow - you guys (and gals) are good!

Talk about fast service! Thanks for the replies so far - very balanced ... we should be in W this time next week - so if any you see a couple with 3 little ones on the verge of a meltdown and a blue Sienna with Jersey plates, feel free to say hi!
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Old 08-19-2009, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Jacksonville
160 posts, read 700,096 times
Reputation: 105
I've lived in Wilmington for about 20 years now and I love it. I would definately raise a family in this City. Yes Wilmington has a large population of "materialistics" which I ignore and occasionally laugh at. Traffic is pretty bad during rush hour but Wilmington is fairly small and even under the worst traffic conditions you can drive from one side of Wilmington to the other in about 30 minutes. Housing prices here are not that bad. You can find a nice home in a descent neighborhood for $200,000-$250,000. I just recently bought a new construction upper end condo inside the city limits for less than $150,000.
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Old 08-19-2009, 02:44 PM
 
22,769 posts, read 26,236,494 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCGT View Post
Housing prices here are not that bad. You can find a nice home in a descent neighborhood for $200,000-$250,000. I just recently bought a new construction upper end condo inside the city limits for less than $150,000.
The important thing to remember is that the average household income in Wilmington is $45,900, compared to $70,400 in Raleigh - yet the two areas have similar home prices.

Wilmington has the ingredients for a steady, healthy growth, like what we saw in the 1990's, 3% or 4% per year. However, my opinion is that this area's insane price appreciation of 50% in 2004-2006 is not sustainable over the long term, and will eventually revert back to 1990's prices, plus inflation.

Last edited by le roi; 08-19-2009 at 02:52 PM..
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Old 08-19-2009, 03:32 PM
 
3,071 posts, read 7,827,012 times
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housing wise, Wilmington is second only to Charlotte. I'd say that's it biggest drawback. The avg household income is misleadingm though due to the large number of retirees and people who own 2nd and vacation homes in wilmington.
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