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Old 02-02-2010, 12:22 AM
 
91 posts, read 311,846 times
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My husband just accepted a new position in Biloxi. We will be staying with my in-laws in Ocean Springs (they just retired there, so know very little about Biloxi and the surrounding areas) for a few weeks until we can locate what we are looking for in a house. We have decided to rent/lease for six months to a year to get to know the area before committing to a purchase. We would love to be on the water...Gulf, Bay or Bayou. We love the "feel" of the older stately neighborhoods we've seen like just over the bridge in St. Martin at the golf course and at the far end of Pointe Aux Chenes. These would be good areas for our "final" move, when we purchase...but we need a decent rental for now.

We've only been to two areas in Biloxi...the one my husband will be working in - poverty-ridden and high crime, for he's there to help rebuild the area post-Katrina and then there's the strip where the casinos are. We are not into the casinos or nightlife. We love good restaurants and convenient locations to grocery stores, craft shops, shopping, hair salons, etc.

I also have numerous health issues and need good specialists, like those you would find at a university teaching hospital. I know I'm going to have to drive, but don't know whether to look East of Biloxi and look for doctors in Mobile or West of Biloxi and look for doctors in New Orleans.

We are looking in the $1000-$1200 per month price range to rent a single family house. We want to keep the cost on the conservative side if we are just renting. We would be willing to consider a lease with purchase option for the right house.

Our biggest issues right now are finding a neighborhood we like that is no more than a 30 minute drive to my husband's work (on the southern spit of Biloxi) and I need to be no more than about an hour (or so) to any specialists I will see. Any thoughts on the best heathcare in the area (and I'm willing to go to New Orleans?) We are overwhelmed, especially with him having to report to work in exactly two weeks, we have to move from South Florida and get settled and we don't know much of anything about this area. If we see something we like, there's not much for shopping, no prominent doctors, etc. What are we missing? Where are some good location alternatives, not necessarily in Biloxi? My in-laws are really pushing something in their neighborhood, but that would not be a good option for more than a month...as nice as they are, we are too old to be living with them...ha! Any help will be greatly appreciated!
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Old 02-02-2010, 09:20 AM
 
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Regarding healthcare, I'm sure there are good hospitals on the Coast but you are right that New Orleans is likely to have the most specialized medical care. That's about an hour away.
Regarding neighborhoods, based on your description you might still consider Ocean Springs, just not exactly in your family's neighborhood. Gautier is not as established. Possibly the nicest area in Gautier is around Shell Landing Golf Course, which is a very high-end course for actual golfers. But as an overall area it's not as pretty or established as Ocean Springs.
If you go on mapquest and look at Ocean Springs, you'll see many neighborhoods that are either near the gulf or backing up to a river or bayou. You really can't go wrong in any part of Ocean Springs. One area is Gulf Hills which afronts Biloxi Bay off Highway 69. Another is called Gulf Park Estates closer to the gulf south of Hwy 90, and as you will see on realtor.com, depending on your price points there are several upscale new subdivisions in that general vicinty (east of downtown Ocean Springs and south of Highway 90). There are also very nice neighborhoods along the bayou near the intersection of highway 90 and Ocean Springs Rd on either side of Ocean Springs Rd.
In Biloxi and Gulfport, check realtor.com for neighborhoods along Popps Ferry just south of Biloxi Bay and also across the bridge just north of Biloxi Bay including what I believe is called the Sunkist Country Club. In Gulfport, on mapquest you'll see streets roughly between the airport and Lorraine Rd on either side of Bernard Bayou. On the south/west side of the Bayou are Gulfport's well established neighborhoods (trees etc) with homes built in the 60 and 70s and north/east of the Bayou in the Bayou Oaks area with very upscale homes built in the 90s but with mature trees.
A bit further down the beach, the area just north of the beach in Long Beach near the border with Pass Christian, and in Pass Christian itself, is not nearly as developed and thus has a more charming feel to it. There is a small Episcopal School in that area (Coast Episcopal) and a variety of small subvisions strewn around there, just blocks from the beach. For my money, it's worth the 30-minute drive to Biloxi for such a lovely place to live. You can locate this area by going to realtor.com and looking for houses in Pass Christian and Long Beach. You could also consider Diamondhead, which although proabably a 40 minute drive to Biloxi is all interstate with basically no traffic. Diamondhead is new but very nice.
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Old 02-05-2010, 02:36 PM
 
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brickpatio, thank you again for your helpful information. My in-laws live in Gulf Park Estates. We love the neighborhood...their house looks right out on the Gulf, but my husband and I think it's a not-so-good idea to live too close to them on a permanent basis. We did check out Pass Christian and Bay St. Louis on your recommendation and just loved it there, especially Pass Christian. But, my husband decided he really needed to live closer to work...we drove it just to see how long it would take and it's just too far of a drive. We would move to Pass Christian in an heartbeat, if it was just a little further in. We drove from Pass Christian to his new workplace via Beach Blvd. Is there a faster, better route that would cut down the drive time? We went that way because it was so scenic and it really was beautiful!

I have been researching the healthcare and am very disappointed with what I've found so far. I am just so used to large healthcare systems of which all of my doctors are a part...currently it is Cleveland Clinic...one of the top five in the country, so I'm going to have to just "get over it" that I am not going to be able to replace them in that area. I am really going to hate to leave my doctors and the level of healthcare I get, but I know there's something out there, I just have to keep looking. If I should have to go to a hospital locally, which hospitals are good and which do I need to stay away from? I can drive to the specialists in New Orleans if it's for something for which I can prepare...but for emergencies where you have get to a hospital as quickly as possible, where are the good ones in the Ocean Springs/Biloxi area?

Something I did notice that I would like to ask you about...where are the grocery stores? I'm used to Harris Teeter, Publix, Earth Fare and Krogers being every few blocks and I couldn't find a large chain grocery store in Ocean Springs at all. I even went onto the websites of the grocery stores I mentioned and didn't find a single one in the whole area (or in the whole state!) Where does one buy international and specialty foods? Also, I was expecting Walmart to be cost-effective and found it to be even more expensive than South Florida (and I didn't think that was possible...LOL!) My husband said he believes they can "up" their prices that much because they have a monopoly on the area. By comparison, a bottle of contact lens cleaning solution is normally around $6.49 - $6.99...the same brand at Walmart in Ocean Springs was over $10!

Several people told us to stay away from Gulfport. I'm not saying anything bad about it...I'm just telling you what I was told...crime, gangs, racial issues, etc. We are very peace-loving people with friends from just about every culture, so we don't have a problem with people. We just don't want to move to where there are large pockets of people who have problems with other people. Correct me if I have been given some skewed information.

Because my husband has to be there so soon and all of this has happened so fast, we are going to stay with his family for a couple of weeks. We are going to take every opportunity we can to get out, drive around and check out some of the areas you mentioned. When we find something, I would love to come back to this site and get your opinion on the areas we are considering, just so we make sure there are no hidden concerns that might surface after we move.

We have been so fortunate in our other moves to go into the cities we've lived and end up in some of the best areas with the best schools and the lowest crime rates of that particular city. I want to do my homework so we get the best experience we can when moving to coastal Mississippi. We are very excited about my husband's new position and the opportunity to help rebuild the Katrina-torn coastal area around Biloxi. We are also excited to be back in the true South with all its charm and neighborliness.

We will be there in just over a week and will begin our search when we get there while living with my in-laws. Our goals are to make wise decisions and get into our own home as quickly as possible, without jumping into something out of desperation. We want to be proactive, not reactive, when making our choices! Thanks again for your help.
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Old 02-06-2010, 07:23 AM
 
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Before you rule out Ocean Springs, you should consider some of the other neighborhoods in the area since there are many nice ones, which can easily be located through realtor.com. Gulf Hills is one of them. There is downtown Ocean Springs and others just north of Highway 90 near Ocean Springs Rd.
Beyond that, there are nice neighborhoods dotting the entire area. As I mentioned in an earlier post (so as not to be repetitive etc), in Biloxi there are nice neighborhoods around Popps Ferry Rd just south and north of Biloxi Bay. Regarding Gulfport, yes there are some lower income areas but to say one should stay away from Gulfport is an overstatement. Gulfport has the most professionals, the most shopping, etc. (e.g. outlet mall at intersection of I-10 and Hwy 49).
The area just east of the airport along Courthouse Rd and across Bayou Bernad in the Bayou Oaks area are very nice neighborhoods. Long Beach has some nice homes north of the beach highway, although it's about 18 miles west of Biloxi so perhaps too far for you. North of I-10 and east of Hwy 49 in Gulfport in the O'Neal Rd area some nice newer neighborhoods including Florence Gardens which is beautiful, with the traditional architecture.
I can't help you much with medical care info. Regarding grocery stores besides Wal-Mart there are Winn Dixie and Rouses, a Louisiana based chain that has won awards as best grocery store in New Orleans. You can google "gulfport grocery stores" or "biloxi grocery stores" and they will be displayed on a map.
Lastly, you shouldn't rule out Diamondhead. Even though it's in the same vicinity as Pass Christian, it's on I-10 so the drive to Biloxi would be a straight shot without any lights or real traffic. This is a thriving community with golf courses, a marina, and new homes. It's convenient to New Orleans which perhaps would suit your medical care needs. It's close to NASA at the Stennis Space Center which means it attracts people from all over the country.
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Old 02-08-2010, 07:14 AM
 
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Default Moving to Gulfport/Biloxi, MS

Hi So Belle and Brickpatio,

My husband just accepted a new position in Gulfport and we will be moving that direction within the next 45 days. I haven't been able to find out very much about the area and have been looking at the forums for information. Right now, he is finishing up his notice period and is positively slammed 12-15 hours a day so I'm wrapping up everything else and getting ready for the move...but we don't know where around Gulfport we'll be. Right now, we're in an area that has mixed housing and a small town area that has really neat restaurants, stores, bistros, and a farmer's market every Saturday morning. Golf is a huge priority for him...it is his stress release. Schools aren't an issue since we're empty nesters but we do have my father with us who will need assisted living. Any suggestions concerning neighborhoods and assisted living communities, would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-08-2010, 09:41 PM
 
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For small town charm, Ocean Springs, Pass Christian, or Bay St. Louis. Or consider Diamondhead, a thriving golf course community that was originally (decades ago) planned for retirees.
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Old 02-09-2010, 06:42 PM
 
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Thank you! Any suggestions on assisted living communities? We're trying to schedule a weekend over in Gulfport for the last of the month so we'll check out those towns. Any other suggestions for us?
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Old 02-10-2010, 01:18 PM
 
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Hi, CeCee! We will be moving tomorrow! My husband accepted a position that was a very unexpected blessing that came up suddenly, so things have been moving FAST! Normally, I am the family researcher and secretary (LOL!) but because I've had little time and have been frantically packing my treasures I don't want the movers to break or mar, I've had very little time for research! My husband will work in Biloxi, but we are considering any community to our liking within a reasonable driving distance. brickpatio has a wealth of knowledge of the area. After leaving tomorrow and arriving in Ocean Springs to stay with my in-laws, we will begin a serious search for a home. We plan to drive to the areas brickpatio suggested and check them out. We've seen numerous properties online, a few of which we went to check out when he was there for the interview for his job, and I will have to say that you cannot go by the online pictures, you have to go see the neighborhood and its amenities (or not!) to really know what to consider. We were disappointed on several occasions when taking in the whole neighborhood. Having said that, we are SO excited to be moving to coastal Mississippi. We can't wait to find "our" house. Good luck with your relocation and, thanks again, brickpatio! I will be checking back!
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Old 02-23-2010, 09:47 AM
 
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We are still searching for "our" house. We found one we really liked but someone else beat us to it by a day. It was in St. Andrews on the Gulf. There was a view of a bayou and the ocean, but there were seven houses across the street that Katrina blew completely away...maybe it wasn't such a good idea to move there, after all. We will continue our search and I will keep you posted.
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Old 06-16-2012, 08:12 AM
 
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SoBelle! I am finding myself in a similar situation to yours, but now you have lived in Biloxi for a few years so maybe you can help me
My husband, 1 year old daughter, and I may be coming to Biloxi in December to live for a little over a year while he completes a physical therapy clinical on Keesler air force base. (I say may be because the assignments aren't final yet but I'm already trying to find out as much as I can in case this is where we will be moving) I am very curious what neighborhoods you would recommend now that you've been there for a little while, and with your husbands job I'm sure you have seen things changing. Ideally we would love to live within a reasonable distance from the base for my husband to be able to bike to work. We would just be looking to rent.
A school friend and his family may be coming their as well, and they have a child who is close to the same age as mine, and then another a few years older, so I'm also curious about what kinds of things there are to do in a community for young children, parks etc. to keep us all busy while the dads are at work.
I feel similar how you did before, any information I can gather at all is great. We are living in Utah now so it will be a cross country move into a place "site-unseen" beforehand. Thanks!
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