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Greensboro, Winston-Salem, High Point The Triad Area
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Old 04-26-2006, 12:39 AM
gmb gmb started this thread
 
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What is up with the Winston-Salem area?? I have gone through all of these message threads and it is rarely ever discussed. It seems like it is all about the Raleigh and Charlotte area. Is it not a desirable place to relocate? I noticed on some internet searches it has been noted as one of "America's Most Livable" cities, but I don't know what kind of merit that holds since these message boards actually seem to be more informational about NC than any google search!! Any feedback would be great since my husband has a job interview there this week. We are torn on being part of the crazy bunch of people relocating without jobs lined up....We may do it or just go where the first job lands us in NC. I can't decide which is scarier - going without a job or not knowing much about the Winston-Salem area. From what I can see by these threads Cary/Raleigh isn't stepping too far out of the box with the safety in numbers with other transplants. We can only afford one, 3-4 day trip out before we make the decision. As others have mentioned, we aren't left with much choice but to fall in love with NC since we have been forced/priced out of where we know.
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Old 04-26-2006, 03:39 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids
284 posts, read 925,451 times
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Hi, I can't give you much information, just chiming in because I know just where you're coming from. My husband and I are from Michigan and trying to decide which is the best place for us (between Wilmington, NC and Myrtle Beach, SC) and if we should just take a plunge with no job or wait to see where the job shows up first. It's all very scary but I have faith we will know what to do when the time is right.

By the way, looks like we may get to come down for a few days to scout out areas at the end of May. We were concerned about spending too much on hotels and such so we've decide to just camp, which makes it all the more adventurous. We just don't want to be in a position where we are walking blindly and it's one way to visit affordably. Good luck with your move!
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Old 04-26-2006, 05:23 AM
 
Location: North Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmb
What is up with the Winston-Salem area?? I have gone through all of these message threads and it is rarely ever discussed.
Because those of us who live/work there want to keep the gem hidden

Seriously, it is a nice place, and we are able to make the comparison to Charlotte because we worked there (lived in Concord) for four years. Hated Charlotte. It sucks like a Hoover We've been in the W-S area since 1997.

Charlotte/Raleigh are more the happenin' areas. More businesses have set up there, creating a more diverse workforce, while W-S has had to depend on Wachovia, Reynolds tobacco, and Krispy Kreme for economic security. And KK has recently almost gone toes up. A major reorg is happening with that company. Dell computers has recently built a manufacturing plant here, at the cost of millions in incentives from the city. Because of these conditions, W-S has been able (so far) to avoid the horrific sprawl and traffic problems that make Charlotte/Raleigh an anethema to people who want a slower paced city to live. They are strong in preservation (Old Salem and Bethabara), are turning the old mills and downtown buildings into condos, rather than tearing them down for slick office buildings (look up The Brookstown Inn. that would be a spiffy place for your husband to stay while being interviewed), while also having a decent shopping area. Hanes Mall Blvd is where all the big shopping stores are. There are two very good hospitals: Forsyth and Baptist are constantly competing to see who can add more wings, so I guess they are thriving. As far as nightlife and restaurants, W-S isn't as hopping as the other cities, but you can typically find a decent place to spend Friday/Saturday.

Don't be asking me about schools. We are childfree, with 0 interest in that area. I know that new schools are being built to accomodate the growing kid population.

W-S is closer to the mountains. Just head up Hwy 52 and that will take you thru Mt. Airy (Andy Griffith's Mayberry) and into VA, passing the Blue Ridge Parkway (anyone moving to NC has to make that road their first day trip. I love that drive ). Asheboro, with a fine zoo, isn't that far away and Yadkin county, to the northwest, is trying to develop itself into a major wine region - if we can get past the fundies who think liquor is EVIL

If you want to do more investigating, check the Winston-Salem Journal http://www.journalnow.com/

3-4 days might not be enough to make up your mind, but if you are set on moving to NC, Winston-Salem would be a good place to light and see if you like the area. At least it isn't as rush-rush and crazy as the other two cities. You should be able to keep your bearings and take a good look around without being knocked off your feet by insane traffic or the blizzard of subdivisions. Good luck on your trip
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Old 04-26-2006, 07:30 AM
JAS
 
Location: Metro Atlanta
569 posts, read 1,774,809 times
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Default Shhhh

Hey, keep quiet!

GSO and W-S are hardly mentioned because the Triad (GSO/W-S/High Point) isn't a "hot" market like Charlotte or the Triangle.

I've lived in a few areas of NC and have travelled extensively throughout the state, and I decided by choice to live here in the Triad (I live in NW Guilford County, about equal distance from downtown W-S and downtown GSO, with my main business located in High Point).

I'll talk about the area in summary here...
Good things, at least compared to CLT and RDU:
- Traffic isn't nearly as bad in the Triad as it is in CLT/RDU. The Triad is a transportation hub with many major highways - backups on the roads only occur on a handful of places. Trust me ... compared to CLT/RDU, you can zoom from one area of the Triad to another.
- Housing is more affordable, with options ranging from in-town neighborhoods to suburbs, to very rural areas in surrounding counties (Davidson, Randolph, Ydkin, even within Forsyth or Guilford counties themselves).
- The people are extremely friendly. More of a "community" feeling. A very family-friendly place.
- This may sound silly to some, but the terrain and trees are nicer here. More rolling hills since we are closer to the mountains, more hardwood trees.
- Very close to the mountains of NC and VA. I can be on the Blue Ridge Parkway in VA from my house in about an hour.

Bad or less-desirable things, at least compared to CLT/RDU:
- Although there are jobs here in the Triad, the economies of CLT and RDU are more diverse than in the Triad. There is an increasing presence in white-collar jobs, especially in biotech and pharma, but this area has traditionally been blue-collar.
- The schools in many areas of the Triad are good, but there are also some bad schools. These are generally limited, however, to the inner-cities of GSO, W-S, and HP. I idon't know if that's any different than CLT or RDU, though.
- Although the people are very friendly, there is a much stronger "old money" element here than in the other places. It doesn't bother me, though, since I don't really care to be part of their little world anyway.
- CLT and RDU probably have better cultural opportunities, but I don't think the options here are necessarily horrible compared to those places. Besides, both CLT and RDU are a short drive from here - you can go see a specific show, concert, art/museum exhibit there if you really want to.
- There is a much greater university presence in RDU if that is a necessity or concern. Wake Forest Univ is a prestigious university in the Triad, and there are also other universities, but they aren't a large part of the social or economic landscape as in RDU (although WF has a large, well-respected hospital in W-S).

I actually prefer GSO to W-S, but you can commute from one or the other if you buy a place between the two. For that matter I know some people who live in GSO and work in W-S, or vice-versa.

I think the Triad gets a knock sometimes for the crappy parts of its cities (there are definitely some scary parts of W-S, GSO, and HP), but to be honest - you can live in the Triad and never go to those parts of town for any reason. Some people may take that statement the wrong way, but it's the truth. That's why the crime statistics can be misleading in the Triad - GSO and W-S have high crime statistics looking at the raw numbers, but much of the violent or serious crime takes place on the "bad side" of town. I have never felt unsafe in most parts of GSO (I don't spend too much time in W-S, so I can't give an honest assessment).
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Old 04-26-2006, 12:31 PM
 
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the Triad area is what I'm focusing in on, during my real estate search....we are retired with no kids so don't need to worry about jobs or schools. We want a rural setting with land (horse farm type property) with reasonable access to larger towns/cities, a good medical center, shopping, etc. It appears that all those counties you mentioned (Randolph, Davidson, even up to Surry, Stokes or Yadkin) will meet our needs.

Is the Triad area a little less humid than CLT or RDU, that would be a plus for us...
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Old 04-26-2006, 01:40 PM
JAS
 
Location: Metro Atlanta
569 posts, read 1,774,809 times
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Default Humidity

The Triad is probably slightly less humid than RDU or CLT. Greensboro, for example, is probably around 300-500 feet higher elevation than Raleigh. The further east you go in NC, the more humid it is. In the grand scheme of it, however, the humidity difference is probably minimal.

I'm a native Floridian and grew up in sticky weather, so this still seems very mild to me. The humidity in the Triad is generally limited to the summer months (let's say from June - mid/late September).

The overall air quality in the Triad should be more of a concern than the humidity. There are often ozone alert days during the summer.

By the way, if you're looking for rural land and schools/jobs aren't a factor about where to live, you will do well in the Triad as you have already figured out.
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Old 04-26-2006, 01:46 PM
gmb gmb started this thread
 
45 posts, read 269,844 times
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Thanks for the feedback! Why is the air quality poorer in the Triad? It sounds like the crime is isolated to certain areas? The crime stats sure look high when you compare them to the Raleigh/Cary areas.
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Old 04-26-2006, 02:07 PM
 
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LOL, we're in Maine currently, so I'm sure the heat/humidity will be an adjustment...but I figure that's why central air conditioning was invented .

Thanks for the info....
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Old 04-26-2006, 03:16 PM
JAS
 
Location: Metro Atlanta
569 posts, read 1,774,809 times
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Default gmb

gmb - air quality isn't the greatest around here due to the industry and highways in the area. It's probably no different than most other metro areas with industry, and probably nothing at all like LA. But there is a distinct haze around here that you don't see in some of the less populated areas.

The crime statistics are indeed high in the Triad, but I think they are misleading. There are some very poor areas of GSO, W-S, and High Point. Much of what I would call the "serious crime" - violent crimes and robberies - are located in these areas. This type of crime generally doesn't spill out into the rest of the city. For example, I've never been concerned about being car-jacked or mugged whenever I go somewhere. Nor do people have bars on their windows for fear of criminals breaking in.

Based on my personal observations, a very high percentage of the serious crime takes place in east GSO, east W-S, or High Point (i.e., in the areas with the worst neighborhoods). We could get into an hour-long discussion about society and race, but some parts of the Triad are still very segregated and the areas with the large minority populations tend to be the poorest and the ones with the crime.
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Old 04-29-2006, 05:12 PM
 
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I noticed the high crime rate on the internet too! Especially compared to Raleigh which is a lot bigger. Is it a bad place to raise a family? How are the schools? We have been thinking about the Triad area, but the crime rate seems high in all three cities. Does anyone know of neighboring small towns that are nice?
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