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Old 11-13-2009, 05:30 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
1,023 posts, read 1,873,006 times
Reputation: 1086

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I want to relocate from NY, and one of the places I am considering is the Wilmington, NC area. Wilmington first came to my attention as it was suggested to me by a customer while we were having a conversation about my desire to leave NY. I visited Wilmington about a year ago, and liked what I saw. I have seen a specific job opening that I am interested in and may be qualified for. I would not come to the area without first having secured employment.
I do have some concerns, though, after reading threads in this forum. My main concerns are the following (in no particular order):
  • Crime: How bad is it, really? Wilmington does not rank favorably in that area in the most recent "Places Rated Almanac", for example. It is ranked more poorly, in fact, than many larger cities. In this forum, I've read about the police chasing suspects through backyards, people having cars stolen in gated communities, and a housewife viewing an attempted burglary of a neighbor's home from her front window in broad daylight. I also remember an older post about an elderly woman being attacked on her front porch.
  • Cost of living: I've seen posts where people have said that the cost of living in Wilmington is high compared to the wages being paid there. How can I figure out if the wages being offered at a particular job will be enough to cover my housing costs (I will probably rent at first) and other expenses there?
  • Weather: By one account, Wilmington gets between 50-55 inches of rain per year. That seems like a LOT of rain to me (I realize that you get very little, if any, snow there). How concerned should I be about hurricanes there? How frequent are they, and do they do much damage?
Finally, am I crazy for considering this area as a single person in his 40s? Is it mostly retirees who relocate to this area, or would I be able to find other single or divorced people in their 30s and 40s?

Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 11-13-2009, 08:52 PM
 
Location: Jacksonville
160 posts, read 700,487 times
Reputation: 105
I'm single, in my 40's and I love Wilmington. If you can afford a 150K condo or a 250K house you'll likely never see a crime happen where you live. The cost of living here is the same as the rest of the state except for housing. Home prices are more because we are on the coast. We probably average about 25% more than comparable properties in cities like Fayettevile and Jacksonville but are right in line with Charlotte and Raleigh. The weather here is 100 times better than NY. More rain but zero snow and much better temps. Yea there are lots of retirees in Pender and Brunswick Counties but not many inside the city limits. This city is much more defined by the university and summer tourists than by retirees.
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Old 11-13-2009, 09:12 PM
 
33 posts, read 90,944 times
Reputation: 31
I just moved here from NY 2 months ago and I'm in my 30's (though I'm married with a preschooler). We moved from Albany but I grew up in Westchester. Cost of living is much, much cheaper than Westchester. We are renting a 1950 sq. ft. 4 bed/ 2 bath house for $1250 a month. Real estate taxes are nothing here compared to what you're used too which means mortgages for the same amount are a lot less a month. Check online for rental rates as well as home prices and that should give you an idea of whether the job will cover the costs. Food costs about the same. Gas is less and you lose that huge winter heating bill (we haven't been through a winter yet but my parents moved down a few years ago so I'm going by their bill).

I have not noticed the crime at all. Seems like an average place as far as crime goes compared to what I'm used to (lived pretty much everywhere between Westchester and Albany in my life). The news reports seem about the same as they were in Albany and we never had any problems there either. I live in a very suburban neighborhood though and there are areas I wouldn't to live in but that's true anywhere.

The weather is awesome. We've had plenty of gorgeous sunny days in the short time we've been here. Definitely won't miss the upstate NY winters. Can't speak to hurricanes since we just got here.

Wilmington is not filled with retirees.
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Old 11-13-2009, 10:22 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
311 posts, read 812,634 times
Reputation: 93
I have to say, on the weather, it does rain here and there, but there are a lot of sunny beautiful days ..more than rain I would say, where sometimes it feels like Florida because the sunny days come one after the other and I love it.

Be smart, and I don't think crime will be an issue. as an article just said, most of the crime happens late late into the night (clearly don't walk around by yourself, or not at all late late at night), and around the drunk crowds. Otherwise, I don;t think you'll really notice, no more than any other place.
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Old 11-14-2009, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
1,023 posts, read 1,873,006 times
Reputation: 1086
I won't miss NY winters, either, even though we don't get as much snow here in Westchester as up in Albany.
NCGT and HomeSweetHomeNY, have you had any experience with hurricanes while living in Wilmington, or do you know anyone who's been through them? I would expect that the area's vulnerability to them would make your homeowner's insurance higher in that area, than say, Raleigh or Charlotte.
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Old 11-14-2009, 01:18 PM
 
Location: Jacksonville
160 posts, read 700,487 times
Reputation: 105
Insurance rates are only slightly higher than inland. My guess would be 10-15% more which probably equates to an extra $20 per month on a $1,000 mortage. Buying a property in a flood zone is a whole different story though (primarily island properties) in which case you can expect to pay double. As for hurricanes, I've been here since 1989 and stayed in the city during Fran and Bertha (both category 3 storms) which hit Wilmington directly and I survived just fine. Unless a category 5 storm approaches, I'll never evacuate for a hurricane unless I'm forced to.
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