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Old 09-24-2009, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Fort Polk, LA
2 posts, read 8,504 times
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My husband and I are planning on moving to North Carolina after we finish our degrees. Mine will be in the healthcare industry and his will be in law enforcement. We would really like to move to more of an older, historical town. We are definitely looking to buy an older home, possibly to renovate it - no new construction for us. Tourists don't seem like they'd bother us too much, but we've never lived in a town with tourists so I can't say for sure.

No children yet, but there will be in the future so we'd like a safe town to live in. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.
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Old 09-24-2009, 11:21 AM
 
693 posts, read 1,407,664 times
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You both have professions where you can likely find jobs in the the East, which is lucky for you. New Bern and Beaufort both have nice historic districts, though you have a better chance at finding a reno opportunity in New Bern I think (someone correct me if I'm wrong). New Bern is more affordable than Beaufort but not right on the coast.

Have you ever owned or renovated a historic home before? It's quite the task, and upkeep is expensive, and they are inefficient from an energy point of view. I love so many aspects of living in an old house, but my next home I am designing and building myself, using as much glass, concrete and steel as possible.
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Old 09-24-2009, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Fort Polk, LA
2 posts, read 8,504 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by melbern View Post
You both have professions where you can likely find jobs in the the East, which is lucky for you. New Bern and Beaufort both have nice historic districts, though you have a better chance at finding a reno opportunity in New Bern I think (someone correct me if I'm wrong). New Bern is more affordable than Beaufort but not right on the coast.

Have you ever owned or renovated a historic home before? It's quite the task, and upkeep is expensive, and they are inefficient from an energy point of view. I love so many aspects of living in an old house, but my next home I am designing and building myself, using as much glass, concrete and steel as possible.

Thank you very much for your reply! I'll definitely check out those areas. No, we have never renovated or owned a historic home before. Perhaps renovating an older home isn't the best idea we've ever come up with haha so we'll definitely have to keep that in mind. Plus we'll have to look into the cost of maintaining an older home...hellooo intense homeowner's inspection!
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Old 09-24-2009, 12:12 PM
 
214 posts, read 736,688 times
Reputation: 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by TLC2988 View Post
My husband and I are planning on moving to North Carolina after we finish our degrees. Mine will be in the healthcare industry and his will be in law enforcement. We would really like to move to more of an older, historical town. We are definitely looking to buy an older home, possibly to renovate it - no new construction for us. Tourists don't seem like they'd bother us too much, but we've never lived in a town with tourists so I can't say for sure.

No children yet, but there will be in the future so we'd like a safe town to live in. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.
Southport, NC would be perfect, as well as the historic district in Wilmington. The first home I ever lived in as a child was 100 years old, solid walls, no need for A/C, actually it was probably the best built home I have lived in since. love your spirit and adventure. I think there are grants out there from the Historical Society, best research first. I am not an expert in that arena.
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Old 09-24-2009, 12:54 PM
 
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It's really hard to get a grant nowadays unless you buy a listed home. If your home was brick I can imagine it was nice and cool! Sadly most of the historic homes in this area are wood and NOT so efficient!

TLC, the one positive about doing your own renovation is if you take it down to the studs there are no hidden problems lurking that you can't see and fix before the finishing work. But unless you are capable of doing a lot of work yourself (wiring, plumbing, sheetrock, woodwork) it will cost you a lot due to labor. And you will be living in a construction zone for a year or more!

If you buy a livable house that doesn't need renovation, expect to put a minimum of $3k a year into maintenance (I'm speaking of wood houses, don't know about other kinds), and you'll need to paint the house at least every 5 years because of the weather. After buying my house (which is 220 years old), I have ended up having to replace most of the window sills (rotten through and new ones must be custom cut), a door, two foundation sills (the wood between the brick foundation and the house structure, which requires jacking up the house! And now one more needs doing...), replacing more than 1000 linear feet of exterior cladding (and I can see where I am sitting right now about 100 feet more that needs replacing), replacing subfloor in a bathroom, and, well, much more. My house received a very positive inspection when I bought it, if you can believe it. The good thing is that the frame of old houses are generally much better than new. My support beams are extremely big and rock hard - can't even get a nail into them.

I still have to replace the HVAC, which I don't use at all right now due to $500 utility bills if I keep air set at a mere 82 (and I just have over 1000 sq ft). I'm hoping a new system will help with efficiency, but it still won't be fantastic due to lots of gaps and things that is standard in an old house.

That said the house is now in great shape for the most part and I envy the new owners when I sell. I've probably put $25 - 30k into it with bathroom renovations, kitchen renovations, and all the other repairs. This is over 6 years.

They are fun but they are WORK.
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Old 09-24-2009, 03:15 PM
 
8 posts, read 29,021 times
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New Bern is nice, but the utilities are high. Law enforcement includes from the county sherrif , New Bern police ( Proud to Wear The Bear!) to the local less than 5 men small departments in the surrounding communities that make up the county. The only hospital in Craven is Craven, now known as Carolina East Medical center. Nurse morale is low there. I encourage you to make a visit and find out for yourself. Lots of developments on highway 70 from New Ber to Havelock, but also a lot of sewer breaks and over flows from too rapid developments. A quick search of the Sun Journal , the local news paper, will bear this out. Vanceboro , which is north Craven county is small, friendly and easily accessable to Greenville, Washington and New Bern. West Craven taxes are lower, schools are better, and utilities are less expensive. It really is Craven county's best kept secret. Best of luck in your search. Try searching the 28586 zip code on the real estate sales pages on the net. You may be pleasantly surprised at the big bang for your buck.
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Old 09-25-2009, 09:10 AM
 
10 posts, read 190,739 times
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If you are looking at New Bern, you will have no problem finding a job as a nurse. Most of the employment in the area is in healthcare.

There are sections of New Bern that have post 1900 homes. One of the issues with the homes in the downtown area are that they are really old by american standards. 1860's (maybe earlier) and beyond.

The Ghent and Degraffenreid areas have older post 1900's homes that will offer less of a renovation challenge, but still give you the big front porch, tree lined streets and sidewalks.
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Old 09-25-2009, 09:48 AM
 
693 posts, read 1,407,664 times
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Ghent is really nice, and more family oriented - at least there seem to be a heck of a lot more kids there than downtown!
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Old 09-25-2009, 05:25 PM
LLN
 
Location: Upstairs closet
4,981 posts, read 8,748,091 times
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The Riverside area, the oldest historic district I am told, though not the oldest homes, provides a variety of less expensive historical options in New Bern.

We walked the dogs downtown and back, yesterday morning, a little over a mile. There are some sketchy areas near Riverside, but that, unfortunately, is true in a lot of New Bern.

Can't imagine living in New Bern without a front porch (very light blue ceiling is de rigueur, of course) to sit on and talk to folks passing on sidewalk as we sip on a cool mint julip or beer or wine or margarita, or well, you should get the picture.

Both my wife and I have had 3 - 4 day stints in the New Bern Hospital. We have lived all over and it was fine.
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