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Old 12-14-2009, 05:50 AM
 
16 posts, read 65,312 times
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So, I think we have settled on Elizabeth City or New Bern, Elizabeth City just sounds prettier. Is it cost affective to live inland and travel occasionally if I am truly in love with living near the ocean? Making the trip from Northern New England to North Carolina will surely be life changing, and from the sounds of things, a good change, but I don't want to move a hundred times when we get there. Can you please help me with the pros and cons of living in Eastern North Carolina?
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Old 12-14-2009, 06:51 AM
 
Location: Cape Carteret, NC
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Smile On living near the water

Quote:
Originally Posted by marthamanson View Post
So, I think we have settled on Elizabeth City or New Bern, Elizabeth City just sounds prettier. Is it cost affective to live inland and travel occasionally if I am truly in love with living near the ocean? Making the trip from Northern New England to North Carolina will surely be life changing, and from the sounds of things, a good change, but I don't want to move a hundred times when we get there. Can you please help me with the pros and cons of living in Eastern North Carolina?
We decided long ago that if you want to live near the ocean you need to be near the ocean. Living an hour and one half or even forty-five minutes from the beach when the beach is what you want is like kissing your girlfriend through a screen door.

If a job is the reason you are living in a particular place, that is one thing, but it is another thing if you think that it is too dangerous to live within a few miles of the coast. While hurricanes are always a risk, if you evaluate what has happened in the past, you will see that much of the damage from storms has happened inland.

There are plenty of places like where we live near Emerald Isle that are ten minutes to beach and yet have very little risk of damage because they are just a few miles inland.

Lots of people love New Bern, but we find people from there that come over our way to hike the trails and visit the beach. It is a forty-five minute drive for them. You have to weigh the benefits that attracted you to New Bern with the distance you have added to being at the beach.

We have recently had the most rain that anyone can remember in years. It is on the order of 30 inches of rain in the last 90 days. Aside from some minor flooding on a few roads over on the beach, the water quickly disappeared. Ida even brought us 11.5 inches of rain at one time and even that much rain only created only a few minor problems.

My point is that if you are going to go through the agony of a move to be close to the beach, do not short change yourself or you will likely be unhappy.

Some of our best times on the beach are those spontaneous moments when we head over late in the afternoon to enjoy 30-45 minutes of beach walking.

If we had to drive 45 minutes instead of 10 minutes, we would not do it. Sometimes we ride over and just spend 15 minutes on the beach smelling the salt water.

The only other points that I would make about living in Elizabeth City and heading to the Outer Banks for beach access is that you will see some serious summer traffic at times. You will also likely end up with the Norfolk and Chesapeake area as your large city. There is a serious amount of traffic up there.

If you end up in New Bern, Raleigh will be your large city, and while it has its traffic jams they are not on the scale of Norfolk's. Raleigh is what we consider our large city, though we have not see a reason to take advantage of it since we can access all the services we need here.

Homes are not that expensive close to the beach, and there are some real benefits for beach lovers to live closer rather than farther away.
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Old 12-14-2009, 08:29 AM
 
16 posts, read 65,312 times
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thank you so much for that advice! I am truly in love with the ocean, everything about it. And living two hours away, we NEVER take the time to go there. His job would be a factor, but we don't mind a commute to work and closer living to the ocean. Is there a better area to look into that is close to Elizabeth City, somewhere in between?
ps-I'm really bad at geography!
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Old 12-14-2009, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Cape Carteret, NC
713 posts, read 3,471,139 times
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Smile Areas to look at

I am not an expert for the Elizabeth City area. Someone who knows that area better than me will have to answer your question. I believe the best beaches there are on the Outer Banks which is a very different experience from living on the mainland.

However, if you are also considering New Bern, I would suggest investigating the area from Morehead City to Swansboro. That is an area of easy beach access.

My personal opinion is that I would rather have Bogue Sound as my body of water instead of the Neuse River.

The town of Emerald Isle has two large beach accesses with lots of parking. Fort Macon Beach down at the other end by Atlantic Beach also has lots of parking. In addition there are a number of smaller beach accesses scattered up and down the island.

You will also find that many locals frequent beaches which are only accessible by boat. Those are some of the best ones.

Last edited by dsobotta; 12-14-2009 at 11:26 AM.. Reason: wrong word
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Old 12-14-2009, 12:58 PM
 
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Thank you for that. I have been investigating Morehead City. I don't think it would be that much different climate between elizabeth city and morehead city coming from northern new england. Also, the communities seem more what i'm looking for. I don't need the college life/night life but I don't want to retire yet either. Job opportunities is more of an issue. Traffic is also another issue we are considering. I know NC can be touristy, but is there smaller towns that is less touristy that doesn't rely on it's tourism traffic?
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Old 12-14-2009, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
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Ocean-or bay-based waterfront towns in NC--and other places--tend to draw lots of tourists...just the way it is. Many folks are drawn to pretty beaches, fishing and water sports...
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Old 12-14-2009, 04:32 PM
 
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Yes, that makes total sense... That's why I'm doing it too. So, Morehead City area.. any pros and cons?
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Old 12-14-2009, 08:36 PM
 
Location: Cape Carteret, NC
713 posts, read 3,471,139 times
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Smile Traffic is not really a serious issue on the Crystal Coast

While the roads might be somewhat crowded for a week before the fourth of July and a few weeks afterward, the area from Morehead City to Swansboro does not suffer from serious traffic problems.

The Emerald Isle bridge is only two lanes and backs up a few times a year. It is nothing to the traffic that one experiences on a daily basis in Northern Virginia, Tidewater Virginia, or practically any large city.

If the backup lasts thirty minutes, it is a long time. Last fourth of July we went across the the bridge from Cape Carteret to Emerald Isle administrative offices just before 5 PM. On a normal day that might take 8-10 minutes depending on the number of stop lights you hit. That day it took eighteen minutes.

There are fifty two weeks in a year, we might get slow traffic four check-in weekends or a total of eight days. That traffic would be bad around 2 PM for an hour and again around 5 PM for an hour.

Absolute worst case you would be talking about slow traffic for 16 hrs out of the year. Last time I checked someone was predicting that Washington, DC would have traffic jams close to 24 hours per day in the next ten years.

Do not let rumors of traffic problems scare you away from the Crystal Coast, the volume of traffic is nowhere near what crosses the bridges to the Outer Banks.

If you miss the two or three weeks around July 4, you will be wondering what traffic.

Morehead City is a nice area. Which of our small towns you pick ends up being a matter of personal preference. If you have kids who will eventually going to high school, I would recommend considering areas feeding Croatan High School. You would have to go west of Morehead to get that.
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Old 12-19-2009, 07:05 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
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I lived for 25 years in Currituck county, just over the sound bridge from The Outer Banks. We liked on the sound, a boat dock in the back yard. Friendly people, Good fishing if you like to fish, or where ever you live in Currituck, drive 5 - 20 miles to the ocean. Living is Currituck is great, nice country living, not too much traffic and the ocean down the road a ways. But I would NOT recommend living on the Outer Banks. Summer time traffic is a killer.Toursit being tourist just slow up everything. Elizabeth City is nice, I have been there a hundred times, my parents and my sister and her family live there. Not too many good jobs to be had in E. City though. I have been looking. I live about 40 miles from there and will move there when I do find a decent job.

Last edited by RcHydro; 12-19-2009 at 07:17 PM..
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Old 12-19-2009, 07:24 PM
LLN
 
Location: Upstairs closet
4,981 posts, read 8,742,906 times
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It depends what you really want. Elizabeth City routinely takes a bashing on these boards. I have never been there and do not know if it is justified, but I am a native North Carolinian and have never met anyone who thinks much of it. It is near VA BEACH, which could be a good thing if you are much of a consumer.

New Bern, if you can afford the historic district downtown, is pretty awesome. The new mayor and aldermen appear willing to reverse an incredible series of terrible decisions by the buffoons that were in office for a long time. I believe we have turned the corner.

Contrary to what one of the realtors posted, we find the trip to MHC/Beaufort pretty painless from New Bern. I fish out of Beaufort routinely in the summer and it is just not that bad. We ate supper in Beaufort last Tuesday and was at the Best Buy in MHC on Thursday.. So..two mid week trips without a thought!

New Bern is more of a town. MCH is a strip, basically, and Beaufort is small, but awesome, but Beaufort "proper" is expensive.

There are a lot of trade offs between living at the beach and living a bit farther inland. Consider health care and other services. MHC is growing like crazy and has better shopping than New Bern, IMHO, so I don't think there is an easy answer. Just give it a lot of thought and see which area meets most of your needs. I think health care is much better in New Bern. And you are closer to the rest of the state by the same 45 minutes!

Somedays I think I would rather be in MHC, other days I am happy we came to NB. I think we got a lot more house for the $ in NB.

Good Luck.
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