Possible Relocation - Gulf Coast (Gulfport, Biloxi: for sale, waterpark, insurance)
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There is a good possibility that I will be relocating (well me and my entire family lol) to the gulf coast in MS. I am currrently in California (orange county due to employment) and not a big fan of it here. I am an original southern girl - born and bred Texan, grew up in Arkansas and returned to Texas and live most of my adult life. When my job had a position come open in MS, I jumped at the opportunity to get out of California and get back to the south. I have read numerous threads on the board here about the good and bad - I am not real concerned. My real questions are these:
1. After some research, I have determined that our probable place to live would be Ocean Springs. Would love any opinions on that factor and the city itself.
2. My husbands concern involves our 3 kids, their adjustment and of course schools. My son is in little league and neither of them want to give that up. Any info on that would be great as well!
3. I couldn't find any real useful data on crime and certain places to not live in that area. I know here in Cali - every city has its issues and there are just some places that noone wants to live.
4. Another of hubby's concerns is entertainment (haha!) besides the casinos (which I looked up already). We don't get to go out often with the children but is nice when we get to!
5. Are the beaches nice? Is the water warm?
6. I couldn't find any information on how much to register a car (did NOT go on DMV) or anything in general as I am essentially trying to compare.
I think that is it for now lol Hopefully I didn't bombard you! I know the cost of living isn't an issue considering what I pay right now and will keep my same salary structure going out there. We pay out the nose here for stupid things like registering a car (they just raised AGAIN), driving in general (toll roads), and life in general. I am tired of it and tired of spending my life searching for a house under 400K that would have a yard that isn't listed in square footage *sigh*.
I am hoping I get the transfer and I am really excited. Any input is greatly appreciated!
Did some more research on my own so found out some of my own answers lol
I am looking a Saucier, MS right now - what I could find said this wasn't as high of a risk for flooding. Is this true? Is it easy to get from there to Biloxi? (I looked on mapquest; however, being in California it is hard to correlate the drive times since here going 32 miles is like suicide on the freeway taking over 2 hours)
You didn't say specifically where the job was, but here goes. My family recently moved here from Wisconsin (suburban Chicago). Hoses cost WAY less, there are almost no toll roads, and people are friendly. But there are some cons. We, like you, have a child to think about. Ocean Springs has the only blue-ribbon rated schools in that area (and in most of Mississippi). I love the folks in MS, but the place is still really kind of a wreck after Katrina. I live in Covington, LA now, but go to Gulfport/Biloxi about 2-3 times a week for my job. It's not a great place to live (compared to what many of us are used to). A lot of people who work over there live in Slidell, LA (about 35 minutes away from Gulfport). There is nothing in Saucier, Vancleave, Gautier, D'Iberville to do for much fun. Again, I don't want to bash them, as they're all great people, but I don't want you to be misled. Pass Christian, Waveland, and Bay St. Louis are all nice, but you'd have to bear with them as they're still recovering from Katrina.
BTW, the beaches are beautiful, and never crowded! And I think today the water temp was 83 degrees; anyway, me and my son have been swimming in the Gulf for over a month now. Anywhere on the Gulf Coast is nice, but there are also some concessions to be made (Slidell is in St. Tammany Parish - best school districts in Louisiana). If there's any other help I can give, just let me know.
Here's my advice....find somewhere else...especially with children. But seriously, there really is not much for children or you and the spouse to do anywhere with out going to the casino. You may catch some good concerts and every now and then they will have some cool stuff going on at the Coliseum, which is a small venue area.
There is Little League obviously, but not much in the way of entertainment. Very few nice parks and playgrounds. There is a waterpark in Gulfprt, but it's overpriced and not that much to really do. D'Iberville is actually building a lot of new stores, resturants, it's a really nice up and coming area.
Stay north of I-10 when looking from homes because insurance is either impossible to get or very expensive. Saucier is quiet, some nice areas, depending on what you want. The best schools (i believe in the state) are Woolmarket. Not sure if all or just their elementary but my little nephew goes there.
Ocean Springs is a nice area, they have built a lot of new things, really clean but also a little more expensive. In fact all houses on the entire coast are over priced if you ask me, considering what you get and where they are. But if around 400K is your price range then you can get a nice place there...lol
Beaches are ok...the water is pretty gross. The barrier islands prevent any real water flow from getting to the mainland, so there are no waves and things kind of linger in there. If you go out to the islands, Ship Island is a hot spot, the water is clean and there are some waves. It's an hour boat ride out. Also an old pre civil war fort on there.
Ocean Springs or Bay St. Louis are both beautiful, and both have little downtowns with cafes, antiques shops, restaurants, that sort of thing. Ocean Springs is a little more 'hippie' while Bay St. Louis is a little more family-oriented. I'm not sure about Ocean Springs, but I was in Bay St. Louis last weekend, and saw tons of homes for sale an easy walk or bike ride from the beach.
There is NOTHING in Saucier, trust me. My family had to move out there for cheaper rents, and there's nothing out there but churches, woods, and skunks. It's a long drive out to the beaches or anything to do. Hell, the only library is a tiny little building with only kid's books.
well i lived in diamondhead, waveland, gulfport and now i live just outside ocean springs. so i know a lil about all these areas. to get your car registered you have to go to the court house, where ever you get your DL is where you get your tags. in mississippi you have 7DAYS wether you just purchased a car or already have one and are relocating and need to transfer your tags. you only are given 7 days to do it after becoming a resident which is getting your drivers lic transferred. my car isn't paid off so every year when i go to re new my tags it cost almost $300.00. if my car was paid off it would only cost me like $40.00 so taxes are pretty high. and since the hurricaine katrina hit the coast all property taxes have gone up. as well as home owners ins. many people here cannot afford these new outrages prices and have been forced to forclose on their homes b/c of the new ins policy's one reason the property taxes has had a rise is b/c no people +no money +damage to city and county businesses+ messed up economy= rise in taxes. and as for my family we cannot afford to buy the homes or land b/c of these prices and changes in the ins policy. the prices for housing has been slowly dropping b/c of the natural disaster as well as the change in economy. but there are programs that are being developed to help us out. one in particular is gulf coast renassince corp. which is online, the my home my coast program is trying to help people with decent credit and employment history afford homes. and if you are from out of state they will help you to as long as you try to reside in one of these counties: Hancock, harrison, jackson, stone, george. which makes up the gulf coast. we are currently engaged in this program. we want to live just above the interstate , like woolmarket or saucier that way if another hurricaine hits we won't be forced to evac every single time. yet still live close to everything where it won't cost a fortune in gas to get there. oceansprings is pretty pricey and beautiful.they have a tier 5 public school called St.Martin that everyone wants there kids to go to because the education is so good. the main cmplaint i hear about is that the kids who's parents with money have an easier time and get red carpet treatment then the poor kids who goes to the school b/c they lucked out and live in the school district. put the education is the best of all public schools on the coast. i have heard some good things about D'iberville which is part of biloxi/woolmarket too. i do not and will not live in gulfport, there are too much gang related activity and such nonsense mixed up with their public schools. but gulfport is huge compared to biloxi/oceansprings we do most of our shopping there and is not far from ocean springs 20 minute communte from where we live. they are building up the diberville area which is north of biloxi and south of woolmarket. they are building a strip mall and we already have a huge nice movie theather called the grand theatre. and all this is stilll about 15 minutes north from the beach and casino. they just built a kangaroo zone in diberville its like a chuck e cheese, or fun factory for kids. we already have other recreatinoal things for kids like a nice huge water park off the interstate. theres the ship island excursion, cat island excursion.skating rings bowling alley's, there is also theaters in gulfport a few big ones and then one or two casinos has theaters.
the colliseum hosts job fairs, carnivals with rides year around, concerts, ice hockey and much more that i can't even think of, also we have nice mardi gras parades year round for kids.
we have crusing the coast which is a very big event that is every oct.
and scrapping the coast.
there is too much to list alot for families to do with their kids all year round. that you don't have to be rich in order to enjoy it.
and its not a far drive. we also have a navy see bee base in gulfport. airforce base in biloxi,regular navy base in moss point there are some links to some attractions:
Mississippi Gulf Coast Attractions (http://www.aparx.org/MississippiGulfCoastAttractions.htm - broken link)
I have lived in New Orleans La will never go back or consider raising my children there, Camden arkansas i will never go back nor bring a family up there, and lake charles la will never go back nor raise a family there. But i like it here and so does my husband we agree that we want our children brought up here it is a good environment. not to city not to country it is a mixture of both yet neither of both.
hope everyone else enjoys it as we do. have any more questions be happy to help.
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