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Old 06-12-2012, 10:04 PM
 
16 posts, read 27,871 times
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My husband, two small children and myself moved to Hickory, NC about 7 weeks ago from Long Island, NY. NY was way too expensive and we looked for any way out to get our kids a better life. I moved here sight unseen after my husband got a good job offer in Granite Falls. Now I'm living in Hickory, don't have any friends or family nearby, and realizing that there's a reason they call this place the "Bible Belt". I am Jewish by birth, but am non-practicing and really consider myself more of an atheist and I have very liberal political beliefs. My husband is pretty much the same way, except Catholic by birth. We arent raising our children with any religion and have no need to join any organizations with religious ties. Seeing that EVERYTHING here is religiously connected, I am feeling WAY out of place in a town like Hickory.

Looks like we are here to stay and even though we started out renting, we are going to be looking to buy a house in the next year or two. We probably will realistically have a budget of around $150-$185k to spend on a home. Can anyone recommend some places we can look to live/buy that wouldn't be overly religious/conservative? I have been looking for places possibly closer to Charlotte, but wouldn't want my husband to have to commute more than 45 minutes or so to work. We are MOST interested in being in the best possible school district for our children who are not yet of school age. And we are also interested in being near shopping/restaurants, but would travel to the next town if necessary. We want a town that is safe, friendly, accessible and not so in-your-face religious/conservative. Does such a place exist in this area?

So far I have found towns within a somewhat reasonable distance but I really know nothing about how conservative/religious they are. Looking for any type of feedback or suggestionsnote, I am already aware I should stay the heck out of Lincoln County - that place scares me!)
Gastonia, Statesville, Mooresville, Denver, Taylorsville, Morganton, Valdese, Connelly Springs, Hildebran, Conover, Newton, Claremont, Granite Falls, Hudson, Sawmills, Lenoir.

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer!
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:49 PM
 
Location: Sol System
1,494 posts, read 2,864,796 times
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Regarding towns , your best bet would be immediate suburbs of Charlotte , or the city itself. Unfortunately , religion is entrenched in society to the point where church/state demarcation is increasingly blurred with each passing second. Try Mooresville , Matthews , Mint Hill , or any of the areas on the eastside of LKN. Barring this , try Plaza Midwood , or North Davidson. Avoid S. Charlotte if you can , good luck!!
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Old 06-13-2012, 02:07 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
716 posts, read 1,906,663 times
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You might like Asheville too. They're pretty liberal.
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Old 06-13-2012, 05:11 AM
 
184 posts, read 408,690 times
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I would look at Asheville as well. Even though it's smaller than Charlotte, their downtown has more non-chain shops, restaurants than CLT. I know of lots of people - and companies like Sierra Nevada and New Belgium - who are making A'ville their new home. I would move to A'ville in a heartbeat, and I've lived in CLT for 20 years. If you had to be close to Charlotte, Davidson is a nice, college town. Mooresville is good as well. GL!
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Old 06-13-2012, 05:25 AM
Status: "On The Lookout" (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,396 posts, read 61,765,972 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 828MOM View Post
...and not so in-your-face religious/conservative.
Does such a place exist in this area?
No. Not until you get quite a distance away.
Certainly beyond practical commute distance to the job you have now.

If it were only the two adults you could probably manage just about anywhere
but with two school age children... no. Which is the real issue.

Experiences like yours are why renting for the first year (or two) in a new area is so important
When reality hits you don't also have a mortgage to complicate the decision and logistics of moving on.

If the company has branches in other NC cities you might be able to find peace
farther east in the Triangle or parts of the Triad. Good luck.
---
ETA: I like Asheville too and it has it's appeal in this one aspect... but it will miss the mark
in the other areas. Principally, you'll find the the price of houses (as a raw number) to be rather high
and certainly relative to their condition/value let alone finding good paying work there.

Last edited by MrRational; 06-13-2012 at 05:36 AM..
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Old 06-13-2012, 06:22 AM
 
2,640 posts, read 6,063,899 times
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Many of the places mentioned above are at least an hour commute, which would seem impractical. I believe the closest place that would work (based on your description) is Boone, which is around 45 minutes. But I'm curious about your assessment of Hickory. It's not such a small town, and it seems you could find a niche there. Have you had specific incidents or other factors that have shaped your impression? I don't live there so I have no first-hand knowledge, but...

--it's the home of Lenoir-Rhyne University, and although it's affiliated with the Lutheran church, it is a liberal arts university that surely has a diversity of religions represented among its faculty, staff and students. I would think there's certainly an impact to the community in terms of tolerance and acceptance. Maybe some neighborhoods near the University would be better for you?

--per its City-data page, 60% of the population claims to be a member of a church congregation (not too far from the national average of 50%). So the other 40% must be there somewhere. Perhaps it's just a matter of finding them.

Regardless, I'm sorry you feel so isolated. I'm sure Hickory has plenty of friendly people who are accepting of people who are different from them, but you are right that religion has a strong hold in most parts of NC. And unfortunately it's all too often used to marginalize others. Maybe one day the "world will live as one" (to quote a very wise songwriter), but I seriously doubt it. Good luck in your search.
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Old 06-13-2012, 06:27 AM
 
32 posts, read 56,140 times
Reputation: 71
From your post, it appears that you are looking for a place like NY, w/ its liberal politics and views, but w/ a lower cost of living and easier lifestyle and commute. You might want to think long and hard about buying a home w/ its potentially long-term commitment attached to it. The thing is (and I'm going to try to phrase this diplomatically but I know it's hard in writing where you can't hear intonation so posts can be misconstrued), NY's high cost of living is directly proportional to the liberal politics that increase gov't spending--and cause so many of us to need to relocate OUT of NY. Expecting a state to offer all the benefits of a relatively (to NY) conservative state but to not have the conservative politics that create that environment doesn't really make sense. And calling what some NC'ers call home as "scary" sure doesn't help the cause of NY'ers who hope to be accepted by the locals.
Perhaps continuing to rent is a more viable option until you really get a sense for the area and then decide if the place really matches your criteria.
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Old 06-13-2012, 06:37 AM
 
2,640 posts, read 6,063,899 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommanmia View Post
The thing is (and I'm going to try to phrase this diplomatically but I know it's hard in writing where you can't hear intonation so posts can be misconstrued), NY's high cost of living is directly proportional to the liberal politics that increase gov't spending--and cause so many of us to need to relocate OUT of NY. Expecting a state to offer all the benefits of a relatively (to NY) conservative state but to not have the conservative politics that create that environment doesn't really make sense.
No offense, but the above statement is ridiculous. Liberal politics is not the reason NY has such a high cost of living, nor are taxes/gov't spending the main driver of those costs.

And to perhaps make things even more controversial, it's a fact that liberal/conservative views are highly correlated with education levels. So I think perhaps there's hope for NC yet, assuming the idiots in Raleigh don't continue to cut our education budgets to the point that no one learns anything at all.
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Old 06-13-2012, 07:07 AM
Status: "On The Lookout" (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,396 posts, read 61,765,972 times
Reputation: 31955
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommanmia View Post
NY's high cost of living is...
...directly proportional to the density of people competing for limited housing options.
Quote:
And calling what some NC'ers call home as "scary" sure doesn't help the cause of NY'ers who hope to be accepted by the locals.
If your scary views were the limit of what attitudes and perspective on life that NC had to offer...
you can be sure that no one would be moving here ever and frankly I suspect a large part of the native population would be leaving.
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Old 06-13-2012, 07:11 AM
 
8,402 posts, read 20,278,925 times
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I'm basically agnostic ( I hate labels; none fit completely) and I've never had an issue with that in the 30+ years I've lived in Charlotte. When the topic comes up it can be a cause for discussion, but I've learned to just not go there very often. But I don't feel repressed at all. I go months at a time without religion ever coming up.

I think when people lead with particular aspects of their personality, they invite problems. The best example I have is gay men who project all the negative stereotypes of being a gay man. I know gay men who blend in to any situation, and their sexual preference doesn't come into play at all. I know gay men for whom being gay is their primary focus in life, in everything they do, down to walking and speaking. They are caricatures of every gay stereotype, to the point that it's difficult to see anything but gay. This invites problems and unwanted attention.

A person can be whatever they want to be. I'm all for that. But if that person walks into a room and always shouts (metaphorically) "Look at me, I'm (atheist/gay/Democrat/black/transgender/whatever)" then they should expect to be viewed and judged based on that single trait they are projecting.
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