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Greensboro, Winston-Salem, High Point The Triad Area
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Old 06-06-2017, 09:21 PM
 
Location: Dixon, CA
7 posts, read 7,249 times
Reputation: 10

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I'm a 29 year old single mom of a one year old little boy. I currently live near Sacramento in California and dislike it quite a bit. I grew up in Northern California, near the Bay Area, and have just about had enough. I lived in Idaho for 5 years in my early 20's (I was active duty Air Force) and loved it. Now that I'm a single mom though, it seems unrealistic to move back to the Boise area where I don't have any friends or family for support. So I am considering a move to North Carolina where I have family (grandma, uncles, aunts, and youngest brother and his wife). My family quite literally raves about this area (they all moved there over the past decade from California). I visited for the first time last December and enjoyed it. My brother hates it though, and always says he wants to come back to California (but I think maybe he just misses his immediate family). He claims it is boring in North Carolina. He lives in Lewisville, which I thought seemed like a nice enough town. My grandma lives in Elkin and my uncles and their wives live in Yadkinville.

Ideally I'm looking for a great place to raise my son. Somewhere with plenty of outdoors activities, but also lots of cultural and artistic activities like festivals, museums, art shows, farmer's markets, zoos, etc. A great non-denomination Christian church would be awesome to have nearby as well. What I don't like about California is the traffic, high cost of living, poor performing schools, high crime rate, and extremely liberal mentality (I lean conservative), so I'd like to live in a town or city with less traffic, great schools, low crime, affordable cost of living, and conservative values. Is the Winston-Salem/High Point/Greensboro area like this? Or is there a better area in North Carolina that I might like?

My biggest concern is the pay cut I'll be taking to move. I will make considerably less in NC than I do here in CA. I work in Payroll and Human Resources (entry level). I am working on my Masters in Human Resource Management and plan on getting my certifications after I graduate. Can I expect to make a good living in NC working in HR and/or Payroll? Even at entry level? Would I be able to afford a house for my son and I? I'd hate to make the move and struggle more than I already do in CA and be stuck living in an apartment long term like I am now.

I will be making another visit to NC in August to visit with family and see more of the area. I'm leaning toward moving next spring, but just want to be 100% sure it's the right place for me. My family tells me nothing but good things, but they would love for my son and I to move out there, so want to get unbiased opinions about the area I have visited once already, but I don't want to base my decision on short visits, because I think vacations are always awesome and may cloud the reality of what it's like to actually live somewhere.

Thanks in advance for your help!
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Old 06-07-2017, 05:25 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,487 posts, read 62,101,894 times
Reputation: 32153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misskayanne View Post
I'm a 29 year old single mom of a one year old little boy.
So I am considering a move to North Carolina where I have family
My family quite literally raves about this area
Having family to come to is a strong motivator.
Too many relocating people don't have that or the other strong motivator:jobs

Quote:
I visited for the first time last December and enjoyed it.
...but I don't want to base my decision on short visits
This concern is especially critical when the move is sooooo far away.

Quote:
My biggest concern is the pay cut I'll be taking to move.
I will make considerably less in NC than I do here in CA.
Poke around on here for some objective comparisons and useful numbers:
Cost of Living Calculator - Cost of Living Comparison Index Tool

The closest I found was Stockton/Lodi... where a $78K life would cost $58K in Winston.
Quote:
Would I be able to afford a house for my son and I?
To rent? That isn't hard in Winston. Buying comes later even if you can afford it.

Quote:
I will be making another visit to NC in August to visit with family and see more of the area
Focus on the schools and the commute to downtown (where most jobs still are).

Then focus on the recruiters to get an invitation.
Crossing the country without something lined up in advance? Very risky.
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Old 06-07-2017, 06:32 AM
 
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
1,255 posts, read 2,103,476 times
Reputation: 624
I lived in Southern California for 12+ years, and my wife lived in Northern California at about the same time (before we met). The biggest thing I miss is the climate - San Diego's is nearly impossible to beat. Northern Cal climate is nice but cooler than I prefer, at least on the coast.

I enjoy both the mountains and the coast, and each is about 3-4 hours from the Triad...in parts of CA, you can be in a location where you're less than an hour from either mountains or the coast.

I also lean conservative, and Winston-Salem has been a great fit. It's fairly diverse and has a great downtown for a city its size.

Pay will vary greatly depending on the specific duties and the company of course. The person that handles HR and Payroll in the small construction company where I work makes about $40k/year and has many years' experience.

The biggest factor in the cost of living will of course be housing. There are plenty of places available to rent for under $1,000. Overall, other expenses will likely be fairly similar to CA - food, transportation, entertainment, etc. - some will be higher here, some will be lower.

Quality of schools will vary widely, even within the same county. I suggest researching the schools in any area where you consider living.

We moved to northeast Davidson County (near Wallburg), with the school quality being an important in conjunction with lower property taxes. We purchased a home immediately upon moving here, but we had already found the home we wanted a year before we finalized our move so we were confident in buying right away instead of renting first. I love being in a very quiet area but being 20 minutes from downtown W-S, 15-20 minutes from High Point, and 20-30 minutes from Greensboro. The only other area with similar proximity to all 3 Triad cities would probably be Kernersville, and I didn't really want to have to deal with an area growing as fast as Kernersville when we moved here 6 years ago.
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Old 06-07-2017, 06:34 AM
 
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
1,255 posts, read 2,103,476 times
Reputation: 624
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
Crossing the country without something lined up in advance? Very risky.
This.

We did this just once (and I've lived in NY, CA, NV, UT, OR and now NC), when we packed up and moved from Utah to Oregon without a job. It worked out fine but it's definitely a risk. It's a huge move even if you have a job lined up!
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Old 06-07-2017, 07:56 AM
 
Location: Dixon, CA
7 posts, read 7,249 times
Reputation: 10
Thank you all for your helpful responses! I should mention I do have some income through the VA from when I was active duty Air Force in my early 20's, and I'll be living with family until I find a job. Still risky, but won't be too terrible.

I have been applying to jobs in the Winston-Salem area for 6 months with no luck, but I'll certainly keep trying before moving.
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Old 06-07-2017, 07:59 AM
 
Location: Dixon, CA
7 posts, read 7,249 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by emelvee View Post
The person that handles HR and Payroll in the small construction company where I work makes about $40k/year and has many years' experience.
Is $40k a comfortable living in that area?
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Old 06-07-2017, 08:04 AM
 
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
1,255 posts, read 2,103,476 times
Reputation: 624
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misskayanne View Post
I have been applying to jobs in the Winston-Salem area for 6 months with no luck, but I'll certainly keep trying before moving.
I'm guessing a lot of employers won't consider someone who has a California address.
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Old 06-07-2017, 08:11 AM
 
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
1,255 posts, read 2,103,476 times
Reputation: 624
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misskayanne View Post
Is $40k a comfortable living in that area?
It all depends on how you live - how much you pay for housing, insurance, transportation, food, etc.

To compare to Sacramento, the per capita income is about $25k in W-S vs. $38k in Sacramento.
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Old 06-07-2017, 09:53 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,487 posts, read 62,101,894 times
Reputation: 32153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misskayanne View Post
I have been applying to jobs in the Winston-Salem area for 6 months with no luck...
I'm guessing a lot of employers won't consider someone who has a California address.
As an HR pro (of some sort) you should know how difficult that is.
Even when in the same county you'll have all out of area references.

Quote:
Is $40k a comfortable living in that area?
I'll say no.

It's about the minimum required for a single HOH with those responsibilities;
but I would never describe it as 'comfortable' though. Even with EITC and the extra deductions.
And then there's the red state health insurance issues very much unlike what you have in CA.
---

As an HR pro (of some sort) you should know how to nail down these questions.
Start with recasting your last years tax returns with another 1040 and the NC state form.

How much of that $40,000 will you NET after F&S Income taxes, FICA and HI policies?
Postponing IRA's and savings for the moment... if those deductions leave 75% that $40K ($30K 52)
it only gives you $576 net per week ... which is what defines a 'comfortable' housing budget to me.

One weeks net to cover the monthlies (including utilities) and $576 just won't do it. Even in Yadkin.
How many weeks net pay do YOU think is 'comfortable' to cover housing?
---

eta:
Recast your finances to determine what your weekly net income would be.
Use that number (less $150 or so for utilities) when you shop for rent houses (or apts).
I suggest that you'll need a weekly net in the $850 range because $700/mo is about the minimum
to expect decent enough condition in a decent enough school area. LINK

Last edited by MrRational; 06-07-2017 at 10:20 AM..
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Old 06-07-2017, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
1,255 posts, read 2,103,476 times
Reputation: 624
I should add that I have no idea if $40k is typical for someone in HR. The position with our company is a non-degreed position - someone with a Master's would hopefully be able to command a higher level of pay.

In my field (accounting), from my limited research, I've found that I would earn perhaps 20% more in San Diego over what I'm making in W-S. That is nowhere near enough of an increase for me to move back to SoCal. I don't know if the salary difference would be the same for an HR position. If it is, I would think a 15% decrease in pay from a NorCal salary would still provide for a livable wage. But I don't know what a typical salary is for someone in HR in CA.
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