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Old 09-29-2013, 10:27 AM
 
44 posts, read 76,935 times
Reputation: 26

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Hello everybody from the forum, first I would like to say thank you to anybody reading this and helping provide information, and thank you to the forum operators for providing such a helpful place.

So moving forward.. my wife and I (early 30's) are beginning our family soon and we have lived in NY/NJ area all of our lives. I'm a self employed mechanical engineer, run my own small engineering business and my wife is a nurse. Once my wife gives birth she will no longer be working for at least a year (we think it is extremely important to be home to raise our children instead of put them in daycare). We are both very family orientated people and mainly conservative in our views (although we do share some liberal opinions as well). We have been discussing making a move to a new place for a number of reasons.

- The NY/NJ area has just become so expensive to live and raise a family. The property taxes, the insurances, everything is just so expensive. With starting a family and only having one income, yes we will get by, but things will be a lot more tight and it always feels like you are just trying to stay ahead of the never ending higher bills up here.
- We do not see much new economic development happening here. In fact I have read that NJ is losing more people than it is gaining because folks just can't make ends meet up here anymore. Add to this that the high taxes and regulation are leading to a number of businesses leaving the state and heading down south or out west for more business friendly areas.
- We do not see much in the way of quality of life here anymore, almost always both parents need to work full time just to make ends meet, our public school systems do not seem to be so great and this is after accounting for $6,000 plus of our yearly homeowners taxes going to the local school district. Chances are we will send our kids to private schools or charter schools.
- Our property taxes on a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house, half an acre of property is close to $9k per year. Our car insurance is high, health insurance is high (lord only knows what will happen soon with this new healthcare bill going into effect). Our heating and electricity bills are very expensive, averaging almost $500 per month.
- Running a small business, the taxes and red-tape is never ending. Every year taxes seem to go up, more regulations and red tape. I want to grow my business, hire folks and build a better life for my family and for those who work for me. We need a business friendly state that is putting money into economic development and helping small companies to grow and prosper.
- The housing market in our area is just not going anywhere. As we hear most other parts of the country are stabilizing and some places going up in house values, we continue to stay flat-lined and actually still are dropping in prices. Why? well people can't afford the ridiculous property taxes and all the other bills, so our foreclosure rates and distressed properties are still so high, it's sad, people can't make the bills work anymore because they have either lost their jobs, got put into part-time or had their wages reduced, hence they eventually have no choice but to move to lower cost of living areas out of state.

So given all of the above reasons (plus more), we have began to look at places south of us. We really want a family friendly place, with a country feel but still within close proximity to shopping, family entertainment, etc. It's very important to be someplace that has a good economy, with job opportunities in the nursing/health care segment. We also would like a place that has some manufacturing industry, with high-tech workers in the fields of engineering and machining. It's important to find young folks out of colleges/technical schools who possess these skills, have a hard working attitude and are not of the mindset that they are entitled to everything for free. We grew up poor and worked our butts off to get where we are today, and we wish to be surrounded by like-minded people.
We are very fortunate because I can run my business from almost anywhere we move, and I should be able to maintain 80 - 90k in salary. So we figure if I can maintain my business income but yet live in a less expensive place, my wife does not have to return to work, although she would eventually work part time because she likes working and helping people. This would allow us to raise our children and not have to rely on day-care (not to mention that daycare is so expensive near us)

My questions at this point are more general..
- how is the quality of life in the area? family life? are people nice, friendly, low-crime? how are schools?
- how is the tax situation for folks making around 90k per year? income tax? property tax?
- is there a good pool of educated engineering/manufacturing talent? I would need to hire mechanical engineering talent and some machinists, etc.
- how is the unemployment rate? are there economic development initiatives happening to bring more business, etc. to the area?

Any information, anything at all you can share is very much appreciated!
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:12 PM
 
Location: Inactive Account
1,508 posts, read 2,483,153 times
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Sometimes it's better to ask a few focused questions than plop out a whole page of what-ifs.

Is there any reason you want to be in northwestern NC specifically? Most of the major metros of NC are in the piedmont (middle of the state). But you can probably find a pool of people with machinist skills any any city of reasonable size.

People gripe about unemployment levels in both the NC and TN forums. A new business anywhere would probably be welcomed.
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:02 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,271 posts, read 19,823,307 times
Reputation: 5091
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean_CLT View Post
Sometimes it's better to ask a few focused questions than plop out a whole page of what-ifs.
Agreed, nobody wants to read editorials about what's wrong with New Jersey. They won't bother to answer if the questions are at the bottom of the page.
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Old 10-02-2013, 10:13 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,271 posts, read 19,823,307 times
Reputation: 5091
Quote:
Originally Posted by hardworkpaysoff View Post
My questions at this point are more general..
- how is the quality of life in the area? family life? are people nice, friendly, low-crime? how are schools?
- how is the tax situation for folks making around 90k per year? income tax? property tax?
- is there a good pool of educated engineering/manufacturing talent? I would need to hire mechanical engineering talent and some machinists, etc.
- how is the unemployment rate? are there economic development initiatives happening to bring more business, etc. to the area?
I apologize for my previous reply. Your detailed questions about the availability of engineering and manufacturing talent is probably better addressed to the state and local small business development people. Here, for example: NC Business Development > Home and here: NC SBTDC | Your Business. Better.

The taxes are in a state of change. Income tax is relatively high, but the current Republican administration is attempting to lower that. Property taxes are relative low, except in some urban areas. Depending on which survey you read, North Carolina is in the middle of the pack on tax friendliness to business. Other states are more friendly.

As this is a general forum rather than a business forum, you will probably get answers on the quality of life issues from searching the forum. My two cents worth is that Winston-Salem is a nice, family-friendly town. You would "probably" be able to afford living there without your wife having to work. Nowhere is free of crime, but you can check crime statistics on the main C-D pages for each town. Winston-Salem is here: http://www.city-data.com/city/Winsto...-Carolina.html
As you can see, it is a bit higher than the national average, but it is a city of 235,000 people. if you want to live in a very low-crime area, move to a very small town like Bethania. However, I suggest you not be naive, as there will still be many drug-related crimes in the small towns.
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Old 10-02-2013, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,271 posts, read 19,823,307 times
Reputation: 5091
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldenage1 View Post
As this is a general forum rather than a business forum, you will probably get answers on the quality of life issues from searching the forum.
For example, this thread: looking to move to greendboro, any advice?

And this: Is NC the place for me & my husband and son?
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:25 PM
 
44 posts, read 76,935 times
Reputation: 26
Thank you both very much for your responses, it's greatly appreciated!
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