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Old 01-07-2007, 06:54 AM
 
64 posts, read 254,770 times
Reputation: 26

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A little history. I'm from Long Island originally, but went to college in Ohio - lost my acent a long time ago. Husband was born Germany to an American/Canadian family; moved to NH when he was 15, went to college in TN. We met upstate NY where we lived 6 years. We've lived most of our married life in Austria, the past 10 years, have 3 kids (10,8 and 6) and are now heading back to the US. Both sets of parents moved to Florida the last few years - too expensive and unpredictable for us. Our office is out of the home, not a huge income, and I am a stay-at-home mom. We can afford max about 230K, but would rather spend more like 180K for a home - needs to be 4 bedrooms. We are looking for:
*an open-minded community where transplants are welcome
*of course, a safe community, good schools
*love the idea of a "homestead" - enjoy gardening etc., but are open to a community with a pool etc. for the kids (but would perfer at least .3 acres)
*area where people appreciate the outdoors, hunting and fishing, farmer's markets, pick your own vegetables etc. and are not so materialistic
*really hate traffic, but would like decent shopping within 10 mintues drive (right now we live in a village just 3 miles from a town of 50,000 - this is IDEAL)
*would like 4 seasons, but not really too much snow
*needs to be in an area on solid evangelical churches for my husband's work - the further he has to travel, the more likely it is he will have to overnight away from home

Our delimma is this: We like the Richmond suburbs because of family in DC (temporarily) and MD, and the history of the area, proximity to the coast and mountains, good schools etc., but the price range is a little bit of a stretch. We like the Charlotte area since it is halfway between my relatives and my husband's in Fla., the cost is much less for a home (easily 180K for big and beautiful), but are concerned it is exploding at such a rate, that we will wake up in a few years and find that it is not what we originally wanted - traffic is supposedly very bad because of the sprawl without good planning, and gee, not so much history (or?) and we really don't want our kids in a "plastic" environment where what money can buy is everything. The outskirts of the city sounds real nice, but it seems rumor has it that it will be overwhelmed with sprawl within 5 years. I wouldn't go back to Long Island because of the cost and while I relate well to those folks, if so much of NY and NJ bombard Charlotte, will it inevitably turn into a mini-metropolis with the same mentality and eventually high taxes etc. - they say it is the "new Florida".

We've missed so much about the States living over here, not to mention the distance from family all these years; this is such a hard decision. During the summer we'll be in the US and can finally be more "on the ground", but we'd like to do our homework as much as we can before then - can't afford to waste too much time on the other end trying to get settled. Anyone out there who has lived in either or both. Maybe it will just take seeing it?

Can someone tell me, other than a mortgage, is cost of living really different in either place - according to Sperlings, it seems like housing is the main difference, but with growth in Charlotte, maybe taxes will skyrocket?

Help!
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Old 01-07-2007, 09:49 AM
 
Location: El Paso, TX
5,080 posts, read 7,644,649 times
Reputation: 1105
North Carolina.. I hear its on a upswing.
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Old 01-08-2007, 04:01 AM
 
Location: Concord, NC
1,418 posts, read 6,281,403 times
Reputation: 629
I live in the Charlotte area (Concord) and love it here. Yes, the growth is high right now, but many areas around here are trying to put some control on the growth. How will it be in 10 years or so? It's hard to say. I just know right now, it's a great place to live and raise a family.
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