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Old 09-06-2013, 12:48 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
65 posts, read 82,688 times
Reputation: 40

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Hello all, and thank you ahead of time for reading and answering, if you choose to!

Prior to starting, let me say that I have thoroughly researched many of the relocation threads regarding Greensboro, Winston Salem, Charlotte and surrounding neighborhoods, as well as other areas such as Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill (where I've posted this question as well). I've gotten much information from those threads and I'm thankful that they are there. However, I still would like to get as much input as I can for our particular situation.

We live in New Jersey and have given ourselves a "time budget" of one to two years prior to moving to research, visit, and find a job/make necessary arrangements. We are moving because New Jersey has become financially impossible for us to live in anymore- we cannot afford heating bills, especially, and rentals are outrageously expensive for not much. Also, unfortunately, we are getting tired of the lack of respect and manners in the area where we live. We know that you can find jerks everywhere, but it just seems that there is an alarming rate of disrespect and disregard for your neighbor around here.

We looked at Florida and said no thanks, mainly because of lack of job opportunity and the intense humidity that my husband would have to work in- yuck - and the feedback we received. We have been focusing lately on North Carolina, specifically the areas mentioned above ( however we are not opposed to suggestions in other areas or even other states, if you are so inclined ).

-First, my husband is an automotive technician, more specifically, an ASE certified master automotive technician. I work part-time as an environmental report editor, (essentially proofreader/editor). In the past I have worked as a legal secretary, as well.

-We have one toddler son who will be starting preschool/kindergarten around the time we would be moving. So good schools are important.

-We would be looking for a 2-4 bedroom home to rent in the price range of $700 up to $1300 at most. Affordability is key. We would love to have a backyard for our son to play in, and a garage for my husband to keep his tools and work on vehicles.

-We would enjoy an area that has a lot of outdoor activities, culture (i.e. museums, concerts, good BBQ and foodie restaurants, etc.), diversity, and a welcoming vibe.

We're really not hipsters or political or any of that- I guess we lean left politically- we're just regular people looking for a better life where we can worry less about money and give our son a good education and upbringing around people concerned with values and hospitality, compassion and education.

What is the area for us, do you think?

Again, thank you for reading, and thank you very much for replying It is much appreciated!
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Old 09-06-2013, 01:28 PM
 
Location: DTWS
32 posts, read 52,656 times
Reputation: 25
While you have many criteria one of the first negative concerns you mention about relocating in "the south" is humidity. You can find a great neighborhood, great jobs, great schools, great amenities just about anywhere in our fair state. One thing you will not be able to avoid is high humidity, especially during the summer months. May I suggest you concentrate your search in the High County of NC? The elevation helps with the heat and humidity and the winters may be more familiar to you being from NJ.

Besides Asheville (a great city IMO) there are few "big" towns so your job search may take a bit more persistence. I imagine your husband would be able to find a good job in his field relatively easily. I am not sure about reporters, but a good legal secretary would seem in demand just about anywhere.

A possible downside for you relocating from "up there" to the High Country (or anywhere else for that matter) may be some unfortunate prejudice towards outsiders, particularly in the smaller towns. It is not that people aren't friendly, but it will take time to find acceptance simply because "you ain't from around here", if you know what I mean. I do not say this to be mean spirited, only to give you my impressions.

I am very partial to Winston-Salem and the surrounding area. Being born and raised here may have a little something to do with that of course. I think Winston-Salem offers a great balance between big-city amenities and small-town appeal. Our downtown revitalization is well underway and there are many entertainment options to be explored. I believe your family would easily be able to find appropriate housing within your budget, especially if you explore some of the "bed room" communities such as Lewisville, Walkertown, Rural Hall, Pfafftown etc.

These are just a few observations I can offer. I am sure other forum members will add their opinions too. Good luck to you, no matter where you end up.
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Old 09-06-2013, 06:17 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
65 posts, read 82,688 times
Reputation: 40
rmhpmi:
Thank you very much for your honest and informative response. I appreciate it very much.

High humidity may be a concern, but it's not really something that's at the top of our list. We live in the Northeast and are beyond tired of the northeast winters and heating bills. Putting up with some humidity would be a small price after the past few winters we've had, to be honest.

I'm not sure about the High Country...I'm a little disappointed about the prejudice you mentioned. I completely understand it's not meant mean-spirited, and in fact I appreciate your honesty. I guess it's just a bit disappointing because I have the stereotypical view of Southern hospitality in my brain, where manners and politeness is the norm rather than the exception as it is around here.

Asheville, I think, is relatively pricey, as is Chapel Hill and Raleigh, for our price range, but perhaps not impossible.

Winston Salem does seem to fall right in our price range, though. So it's a definite possibility.
I'd like to know more about Winston Salem, specifically regarding education, culture, diversity, etc. Can you speak to any of those things? As a native, your insight would be much appreciated.

Again, thank you very much for your thoughtful response.
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Old 09-07-2013, 12:49 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
65 posts, read 82,688 times
Reputation: 40
Actually, I'd like to ask any other posters-
Is the "you ain't from around here" vibe very present in the areas being discussed? Can any lifelong residents OR transplants give opinions on this, please?

Thank you in advance!
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Old 09-07-2013, 07:01 PM
 
4 posts, read 7,969 times
Reputation: 11
The "you ain't from around here" vibe isn't very prevelant in your larger areas such as in the city of Greensboro. That's more of a local thing when you get out in the smaller communities like Reidsville and surrounding outskirt towns. I currently live in Greensboro, relocated back here for work last year from central Pennsylvania, although I had lived south of here in Salisbury as well previously. I will say that I loved living in Salisbury and like the High Point/Lexington/Thomasville areas but you're going to run into a little more of that stranger vibe there than you would in the city. When I came back down I settled here in the Greensboro city limits and I have to say I'm ready to go again. It wasn't the way I remembered it being 6 years ago when I lived/frequented here. Granted, I work and live on the east side of town and that tends to be the sketchier side. The northeast side of town is more expensive but definitely a different class of folks. The people on the east and south/east tend to be low income and ignorant. I don't know how to say it nicely. Greensboro is a nice city, affordable to live in, definitely more affordable than Jersey and I don't think you would run into any issues in the city area with being from out of the area but I would suggest staying on the Northwest/West side of the area. The best schools in the area are on the North/Northwest side of Guilford county as well.
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Old 09-08-2013, 07:35 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
65 posts, read 82,688 times
Reputation: 40
FortAholic:
Thank you very much for your response. I appreciate the information on the best areas of Greensboro, as well. What is it, specifically, that you like or used to like about Greensboro? And what, other than the sketchy-ness, do you now dislike? I would appreciate your opinions. And again, thank you!
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Old 09-08-2013, 08:38 PM
 
7,278 posts, read 13,525,158 times
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The high country is a little more closed-off, in terms of overt displays of hospitality, in part because of the social development of the mountain region vs the piedmont and coastal areas. The south isn't a homogenous area in terms of its history or its social norms. For generations, people in the mountains were more insular and more leery of strangers, and elements of that have persisted even today. The attitude is far less prevalent in other parts of the state, including Winston Salem or Greensboro. While neither is as transplant heavy as Raleigh, there are still thousands and thousands of transplants in both, and in the surrounding suburbs. I've lived and worked in both and have met people from all over, and few seem to find it hard to fit in.

To your questions on Winston: it's a great spot for the arts. The NC School Of the Arts is there (top notch conservatory), along with art museums and galleries, live music, a creat community art center (Sawtooth) where you can take classes in all kinds of arts and crafts, etc. etc.

Not as sure on schools. There is a modicum of school choice (zones plus magnet schools) and most of the better schools are on west side of the city and in some of the suburbs.
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:32 PM
 
676 posts, read 2,802,355 times
Reputation: 771
I definitely did not like living in Lexington as a transplant. I felt like a complete outsider. I do not get the "you aren't from around here" in Winston-Salem. However, I am frequently asked where I am from. I think it's my accent and the fact I am not a "Yankee" like most transplants. I don't feel like I am being treated rudely because of it, but I have noticed I tend to socialize the most with transplants. I sometimes feel like the southerners who are conservative and religious don't understand me. But, it doesn't bother me because I really don't understand them. Again, I am never treated rudely, just not getting invited over. I have grown very close to many of my local neighbors and rarely feel like people aren't accepting of me. I feel very out of place in the small towns and in the outskirts of Winston-Salem. I am much happier in an urban setting around a more diverse group of people.
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Old 09-13-2013, 07:50 AM
 
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
1,255 posts, read 2,104,766 times
Reputation: 624
I grew up in NY State, though I haven't lived there for 30 years. We moved to North Carolina in 2005 (after NY, I lived in CA, NV, UT, and OR). We love it hear. We lived in Greenville from 2005-2009, outside of Raleigh from 2009-2011, and moved to the Winston-Salem area in 2011.

The summer humidity definitely took some getting used to. But I remember hating the summers growing up in NY - of course, we didn't have A/C (at home or in our cars) back then. I really don't mind the summers now, especially in the Triad - further east towards the coast is more humid.

Raleigh is my favorite city in NC. But I'm happy I found a job in Winston-Salem, as the housing is less expensive in the Triad than in the Triangle. I was concerned about the turmoil with the Wake County schools (I haven't been following it of late, don't know where they stand now). We love being in the northeast corner of Davidson County - convenient to all of the Triad, but lower property taxes (about $2k/year for a home valued around $340k).

The neighbors in our subdivision here in the Triad have been the most friendly of the three areas we've lived. It also happens to have a lot of transplants.
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Old 09-14-2013, 04:45 PM
 
Location: The Emerald City
1,486 posts, read 1,695,431 times
Reputation: 2109
The distrust of transplants goes way back before my great granddaddy was born, and it is more prevalent in small towns.

That said, Greensboro is a very nice place to live and raise children. I grew up in Green Vally, and my sister and dear friends have raised well-adjusted children in Greensboro. There are plenty of neighborhoods that aren't sketchy. I live in Garden Homes and it's a great neighborhood. With that budget you could find a nice smaller home in a neighborhood with good schools.
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