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Old 02-24-2012, 05:18 PM
 
Location: Cold MA
75 posts, read 79,222 times
Reputation: 13
Default ease my mind pls..

We've been doing research on a few other states not knowing exactly where we'd be going but we're now focused on Greenville and hoping I can get your opinions (since you're all so giving that way ) on what we are looking for and how well Greenville would fit us and if even more specifically any areas/neighborhoods.

we need to be within 20 mins or so of North Academy Street

We're a homeschooling family and I've already found a Co-op and another HS grp in the area but ANY more guidance on grps is appreciated

can anyone tell me the major electrical companies in the area ie: utilities i just haven't looked that up yet but it would be helpful

I need some reasurrance that the winters are NOTHING like here in New England, please tell me how less extreme they really are. It is dark gray gloomy and usually with LOTS of snow (minus this very odd hardly ever happened before winter we are currently in) for at least 6 months out of the yr and temps are 30-40's during the day and lower in evening. SOOOO cold. is it mild enough for outdoor walks and playground yr round?

martial arts schools in the area, any info?

where is the best place to search for rental homes? are there homes available to rent there? Some states there are plenty some there are hardly any. if not any guidance on apartments to rent budget would be max $1700/mo

I know there is a Whold Foods there which is great for us, how about farmers markets and or any other organic food stores? we're a vegan and very earth friendly family, not true hippies but we're on that line i guess you could say. would we fit in?

we are an outdoor kind of family so hikes walks biking etc..greenways there? trails? how are the bugs in the summer months anything like in Fl?

thank you in advance for your input it is truly appreciated.
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:56 PM
 
205 posts, read 237,488 times
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A few things I can help with:
-Duke is the major electrical company, although some parts use Laurens Electric as well (I think the Eastside of Greenville...I live near Five Forks and I'm with Laurens).

-Homeschooling: Lots of activities and groups here. Family Touch is a big group, they are not a co-op, just activity based. Upstate State HomeSchool Co-op meets in Taylors and is quite large, although pricey IMHO..$200 per high school class. HOPE co-op is more of a true co-op, not so pricey and parents teaching and volunteering. HRC Vanguard is another co-op style place, although it's not co-op, because you pay, and parents do not work/volunteer (it's a drop and go program). FCHome is a Yahoo based group, activities, parties, park day, etc. There's a few others that are smaller. Artios Academy is a homeschooling arts school, and adding an Academic school portion next year. Greenville Classical Academy is a small university-model campus (ie 3 days at school, 2 days at home). Shannon Forest Christian School allows high school students to take classes for a fee (also has a elementary after school band that HSers can participate in), as does the Southside Christian School. Hmm, what else....libraries offer HS book clubs, YMCA offers Homeschool P.E., there's art classes, Archery Team, Bowling team, a athletic organization offering basketball, soccer, baseball and this fall, tackle football for high school age homeschoolers, and a million other things to do for homeschoolers. PM me if you need any more info.

-Rental homes: You can actually find a really nice house for $1700....under $1200 and it's mostly well, junk, for my tastes (ie old carpet, old wallpaper, just outdated, and sometimes run down). In the $1200-1400 range, and you get the 2000 sq foot, cookie cutter, ever third house is the same, but newer, and nice HOA subdivisions. Over $1400 and you start to get into the high end housing, which is available now and then. I've had the best luck on Craigslist..you have to look everyday and every now and then, a good one pops up. Trulia.com is getting more rentals, I've found, too.

-Yes, Whole Foods, if you want to be a "mainstream" organic person....but for real, try EarthFare, which is a S.E. based small chain, but focuses on much more local products, and everything there is organic (unlike Whole Foods where you have to pay attention to their produce as it's not all organic). We also have a Trader Joes', which is not all organic, but still a great store. Haven't been to any Farmer's Markets myself yet, but perhaps someone else can pop up with some information. But I do buy local, raw milk straight from the farmer's truck, which is legal in SC (and there's a line so apparently lots of us like the milk!), and farm fresh free range eggs straight from the farmer much cheaper than eggs from the store...so there's definately a "healthy organic culture" kicking around here. Not like it's hippie central though like you felt in Asheville NC or perhaps SanFran,, it's more like smart, educated shoppers who want to know what they are eating. You sound like you will fit in perfectly.
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Old 02-25-2012, 03:32 AM
 
Location: Travelers Rest SC
655 posts, read 1,241,276 times
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Having lived in New England, FL, and now (part time) in SC, I can answer about weather. It is pretty much right in between the two extremes. Winters are mild for the most part. We were just visiting, and they made a pretty big deal about 'bitter cold'. It was in the high teens/ low 20's. Snow is fairly rare, and usually gone by noon. When a typical winter front comes through, in FL it's over in a matter of hours, in SC, a day or two, in New England, it can be gloomy for a week or better. I've been to SC several times in February, and the daffodils are out. 70 degrees on a warm winter day doesn't seem all that uncommon.

Summer is hot and humid. Not as bad as FL, but it'll get your attention coming from New England. There are plenty of bugs, but not as bad as FL. I don't see nearly as many mosquitos as I did in my native CT, though. Our place is about 15 miles north of Greenville, very rural, and there are lots of spiders and wasps. Since I was camping all summer while building, I got a lot of one-on-one time with Mother Nature, LOL! In the fall, there was a brief crop of scorpions, evidently looking for a warm winter hang-out. They are tiny, and sting about like a wasp. They might not be a problem in the more 'civilized' areas. Bear in mind I was camping in undisturbed (except for me) woods.

In addition to Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, there is a Fresh Market. There is a big Farmer's Market on Main Street in the summer months (They block off all of Main St.) as well as a number of small rural markets scattered around. Travelers Rest has a nice small one on Saturdays. Roadside stands are numerous, as well as folks just selling a few tomatoes from their back yard.
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Old 02-25-2012, 05:21 AM
 
Location: Cold MA
75 posts, read 79,222 times
Reputation: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by samiis View Post
A few things I can help with:
Samiis, I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time it took to think about and type this info for me, ALL of it is so very helpful I'm sure you know just how much.

flgargoyle, interesting perspective, I got the feeling it was 'inbetween' the winters here are extreme to me having lived here for 27 yrs i've always hated them. a few years in FL and summers in greece I think have given me a good foundation for the heat - which i LOVE.

I get the impression it's not dark and gloomy all the time, sounds like the sun makes a frequent appearance. This is important for me as I get very unmotivated and maybe a bit of winter blues on the dark days.

love TJ's and Freshmarket, all that sounds perfect.

any input on the area i mentioned? I have to look up a county map but is North Academy st in a particularly named neighborhood or area? here we have towns cities parts of town with names counties the list goes on on and on but it helps break down the 'parts of town'. speaking of any 'shady' areas I should know about nearby? are there any real 'ghetto' areas (drugs, gangs etc)?

breifly cking out some rentals it seems as PP said the rent is very reasonable for a house and that COL is lower than here, as is the pay i'm sure. wondering what the state tax is..again yes i can look all this up too just haven't yet.

keep the info coming pls and thank you!
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Old 02-25-2012, 05:23 AM
 
Location: Cold MA
75 posts, read 79,222 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flgargoyle View Post
Since I was camping all summer.
oh and we are big campers any info on family camping sites?
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Old 02-25-2012, 06:18 AM
 
Location: Easley
774 posts, read 762,584 times
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I don't think you will have a problem with the camping! You do have to get your spot a little early on holidays. There are State Parks, campgrounds at Lake Hartwell, Lake Keowee & in the mountains. We are only approximately 3 to 3.5 hours from Charleston if you prefer the beach. Drive a little longer to get to Myrtle.
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Old 02-25-2012, 06:30 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
5,399 posts, read 5,676,525 times
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You can even camp at Paris Mountain State Park, which abuts the city itself!
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Old 02-25-2012, 07:49 AM
 
Location: Cumberland Valley, PA, & Greenville, SC, USA
5,409 posts, read 9,063,032 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aerkick79 View Post
We've been doing research on a few other states not knowing exactly where we'd be going but we're now focused on Greenville and hoping I can get your opinions (since you're all so giving that way ) on what we are looking for and how well Greenville would fit us and if even more specifically any areas/neighborhoods.
Glad to offer advice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by aerkick79 View Post
we need to be within 20 mins or so of North Academy Street
By "North Academy Street," I assume you are referring to the portion in downtown, correct? I recommend looking east and of that area, unless you can find something within the Hampton-Pinkney Historic District. The large "North Main" area is a decent place to live near downtown. Also check out the areas around East North Street and Edwards Road. They are generally quiet and well established neighborhoods.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aerkick79 View Post
We're a homeschooling family and I've already found a Co-op and another HS grp in the area but ANY more guidance on grps is appreciated
A Google search using "south carolina home educators resource" (minus the "") reveals a significant amount of useful information. Use that to expand your search by contacting relevant group leaders.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aerkick79 View Post
can anyone tell me the major electrical companies in the area ie: utilities i just haven't looked that up yet but it would be helpful
Duke Power is the major electric company in the Greenville area. Other smaller companies include Laurens Electric Co-op and Blue Ridge Electric Co-op. Greer CPW provides electricity via Duke Energy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aerkick79 View Post
I need some reasurrance that the winters are NOTHING like here in New England, please tell me how less extreme they really are. It is dark gray gloomy and usually with LOTS of snow (minus this very odd hardly ever happened before winter we are currently in) for at least 6 months out of the yr and temps are 30-40's during the day and lower in evening. SOOOO cold. is it mild enough for outdoor walks and playground yr round?
Upstate winters are nothing like a typical New England winter. You can annually expect approximately two or three storms (give or take a couple) involving frozen precipitation. As mentioned earlier, snow and jice melt fairly quickly here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aerkick79 View Post
martial arts schools in the area, any info?
The options are too numerous to list here. Ray Thompson's Upstate Karate seems to be well regarded locally.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aerkick79 View Post
where is the best place to search for rental homes? are there homes available to rent there? Some states there are plenty some there are hardly any. if not any guidance on apartments to rent budget would be max $1700/mo
Quote:
Originally Posted by aerkick79 View Post
I know there is a Whole Foods there which is great for us, how about farmers markets and or any other organic food stores? we're a vegan and very earth friendly family, not true hippies but we're on that line i guess you could say. would we fit in?
A state farmers market is open year-round on Rutherford Street. The Tomato Vine is another farmers market on Old Buncombe Road. I'll post additional information when I have more time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aerkick79 View Post
we are an outdoor kind of family so hikes walks biking etc..greenways there? trails? how are the bugs in the summer months anything like in Fl?
Bugs can be a nuisance during the summer months. We prefer camping and hiking in the nearby mountains that time of year. Otherwise, the Upstate is loaded with great outdoor options.
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Travelers Rest SC
655 posts, read 1,241,276 times
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As said, there are a lot of options for camping. The first 3 weeks, I stayed at Pleasant Ridge while waiting to get temporary power at our place. It was virtually empty most of the time I was there (August) and surprisingly, the evenings were quite comfortable. About half the time I didn't run the A/C at night. If you're close enough to the mountains, there is a phenomena in the evening where cool air seems to slide down into the valleys. I've noticed it at our place, too, but the further from the mountains, the less the effect.

Within 20 minutes of N. Academy, there are a number of areas to look at. Travelers Rest, to the north, has a decidedly country feel, and is closer to the mountains. At 10 miles from down town Greenville, 20 minutes would be about right, possibly a little longer at rush hour. On the other side is Mauldin and Simpsonville, more typically suburban. Traffic is worse that way, so the ride would be longer and less enjoyable, IMO. Parts of Greer and Easley are also within 20 minutes. Even as far out as we are, it usually takes less than a half hour to get downtown, off-peak.
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Old 02-26-2012, 01:18 AM
 
19 posts, read 35,078 times
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We just moved here after doing lots of research and we've been camping in an RV through the winter months while looking for a house to buy.

Weather: my husband is from New Hampshire (really cold) and I'm from Texas (really hot) -- we picked here because it's a happy medium. You get regular rain, which keeps things green, but also 200+ days of sun per year. In the last 2 months, I've needed glove 3 or 4 times, and mainly for doing outside activity like walking and cycling. Winters are laughably MILD compared to New England, and the hottest summers are nothing like Dallas, Texas. Summers are very humid compared to New England, but not bad compared to Texas/Florida. My husband is a cyclist, and he likes that you can bike year-round here. Snow is light to nonexistent, but downhill skiing is 1 hour away in Asheville, NC.

Every strip mall seems to have a martial arts place, and I've seen magazine ads for adult classes, as well as kids.

Rental homes are pricy -- we planned to rent for a year while getting to know the area, and chose to buy instead. The housing crash left lots of people with bad credit and others afraid to buy, so the high number of people looking to rent has driven prices up. We found that rental prices are about twice what a mortgage on the same house would cost. After finding that a nice, relatively new (2009+), 3 bedroom with 2000+ sq. ft. would run $1200-$1400 or more, we decided to buy. Got a house for $155K that is MUCH nicer than any rental we saw, and it should be easy to sell in a year or so if we want to move. Even a small loss would cost us less than renting would have. For $1700 a month, you can rent a very nice house. At $1600/mo, we started to find houses that I would consider "upper-middle-class": 2500-3000 sq. ft., nice landscaping, wood and tile floors, upgraded fixtures and appliances, some 3-car garages -- homes that would sell for $250-$300K.

Earthy food: Another thing we liked about this area is that in addition to Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Earth Fare, and trendy yoga-type places, there is a strong local farm network in the area. You can pick up a farm brochure referring you to about 20 local farms where you can buy or pick your own produce -- one is known for peaches, another specializes in fresh berries (rasp, black, straw...), some do veggies, and so on. I love the fresh organic produce you can get in Oregon where there are lots of "pick-your-own" farms, and this area has the closest I've seen in this part of the country.

Outdoors: Another reason we moved here! Cycling is huge; the Swamp Rabbit Trail greenway runs 20+ miles from downtown Greenville up to Travelers rest (I'm going on a casual 24-mile ride tomorrow with a group that stops halfway at the local ice cream shop); the Greenville Spinners cycling org has organized rides for all levels; Asheville and the Appalachian mountains are an hour away for skiing in the winter and cool mountain retreats in the hot summers; Paris Mountain State Park is 15 minutes outside Greenville and awesome for hiking and biking; the beautiful Furman university campus has loads of paved and unpaved trails (open to the public); and there is a whole lake network north-east of the metroplex. Our only disappointment has been a lack of nice city parks -- plenty are set up for organized sports, but not so many natury walking areas. We also haven't found any nice dog parks.

Bugs are much less bothersome than Florida, Texas, Arkansas, or most other buggy states. Some mosquitoes in summer, and our RV has attracted a recurrance of small, harmless flying beatle-like critters trying to get our of the cold. But no tick or chigger infestations, minimal gnat clouds while cycling, no spider bites, and we haven't seen anything venomous (like scorpions).

Good luck!
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