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Old 01-08-2008, 11:22 PM
 
102 posts, read 343,064 times
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I've been up since 4am reading and searching the forums looking for a new place to install my family. I'm very interested in North Carolina. Last year we drove through Raleigh and Charlotte during our vacation but we only had a few days in each so we really didn't get to see much. So all of my research is online.

I'm really debating between these two cities. Partly cause I'm from Kentucky and my wife is from Paris. So we have different tastes. But we can't afford to buy a house here in Paris or any of the big cities in the northeast so something has to give!

I work in IT so I'm thinking the RTP area would have more opportunities for me. But Charlotte seems to be #2 in banking after NYC (so I read today on this site) so there should be IT jobs in the banking industry in Charlotte. My wife works in sales administration so she could work anywhere but it seems jobs are scarce in Charlotte.

Home prices seem to be about the same. Cary seems more rural, which I like. But in the Charlotte area Fort Mills seems rural too. So I'm really torn.

One advantage to Raleigh is it's a lot closer to the ocean and we love the beach.

Has anyone compared the two and then made a decision? I plan for us to come spend a couple weeks in NC in the spring, but until then I can't stop thinking about it and researching it.

Also, we were considering Tampa but the Florida heat scares me. Is Florida really that much hotter than North Carolina??

Thanks for any info & advice.
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Old 01-09-2008, 01:00 AM
 
102 posts, read 343,064 times
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Also, which would be more international? My wife is 1/2 Chinese and we enjoy ethnic restaurants especially indian & asian (vietnamese, thai, etc.).
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Old 01-09-2008, 05:52 AM
 
Location: Apex, NC
3,031 posts, read 7,377,808 times
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I think either would be a good choice. You would have to do a lot more reserch and visit both areas again to get a better feel. I'm not too sure about Ft. Mill, but Cary is not rural...it's nice newer suburb with over 100,000 people...some people absolutely love it and some people hate it. If you wanted more rural, there are plenty of nice towns close to Raleigh that would fit the bills. Fuquay Varina, Clayton, Holly Springs just to name a few.
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Old 01-09-2008, 12:36 PM
 
Location: Uptown CLT (4th Ward)
2,560 posts, read 7,708,366 times
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Both are good cities.

I actually moved from Raleigh to Charlotte 15 years ago and have NEVER regretted the move.

Charlotte is more cosmopolitan and has a whole lot more going on. Also better shopping, restaurants etc. Traffic is much worse than Raleigh, but we have Light Rail and they don't.

If you are looking for a slower pace with not alot to do, move to Raleigh. Very nice place to raise a family.

If you are looking for a larger city with more going on, Professional Sports, etc then move to Charlotte, also a good place to raise a family.

Fort Mill, SC has the highest rated school district in the state of SC for many years running! And in Fort Mill you can be in Uptown Charlotte in 20 minutes and 30 minutes rush hour. Can't beat it.

GOOD LUCK!
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Old 01-10-2008, 02:29 AM
 
102 posts, read 343,064 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the 7 oh 4 View Post
Both are good cities.

Charlotte is more cosmopolitan and has a whole lot more going on. Also better shopping, restaurants etc. Traffic is much worse than Raleigh, but we have Light Rail and they don't.

...
That was the best summary of Raleigh vs. Charlotte that I've seen. And it also confirms our perceptions. Being from Kentucky I like the idea of Raleigh (Cary actually). My wife is impressed with the downtown of Charlotte. I say it's mostly bars, clubs, and sports and that with 2 kids we'd rarely go downtown. But there is just something about living near a "big" city.

Thanks for confirming on Fort Mills. The home prices are not so expensive so I'm very interested. I haven't been there, but it sounds like where I lived in KY. We were only 20 minutes from Cincinnati OH but yet we were in a very rural area with farmland. I loved the combination. maybe we won't have cows in our backyard in Fort Mills but it seems a bit more rural than living in Charlotte itself.

Thanks for your insights. We're planning a 2-3 week trip to Charlotte to visit homes and areas. We already spent a few days in Charlotte but that wasn't enough to get to know the area.


PS: People complain about the humidity and heat in Florida. Is it a lot better in Charlotte? We were there in April/May and it was wonderful, but I don't know how the summers are..
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Old 01-10-2008, 07:14 AM
 
Location: Apex, NC
3,031 posts, read 7,377,808 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the 7 oh 4 View Post
Both are good cities.

I actually moved from Raleigh to Charlotte 15 years ago and have NEVER regretted the move.

Charlotte is more cosmopolitan and has a whole lot more going on. Also better shopping, restaurants etc. Traffic is much worse than Raleigh, but we have Light Rail and they don't.

If you are looking for a slower pace with not alot to do, move to Raleigh. Very nice place to raise a family.

If you are looking for a larger city with more going on, Professional Sports, etc then move to Charlotte, also a good place to raise a family.

Fort Mill, SC has the highest rated school district in the state of SC for many years running! And in Fort Mill you can be in Uptown Charlotte in 20 minutes and 30 minutes rush hour. Can't beat it.

GOOD LUCK!
We all know Raleigh is smaller than Charlotte, but Raleigh has a higher population density than Charlotte. It's not like we're a small town. Charlotte reminds me a lot of Raleigh, but only more spread out. Charlotte does have some bigger buildings downtown, but most of Charlotte also reminds me of Northern VA (which much more crime than Nova)...which is sprawled out, but not cosmopolitan. If you left Raleigh 15 years ago, then you might not realize how much this area has changed. I've been to Charlotte and really liked uptown and there are some more things to do I guess, but Raleigh has a lot of nice downtown areas to hang out. Raleigh is not as far behind Charlotte as you make it out to be.

Cunparis, if you have 2-3 weeks I would recommend visiting both areas. FYI, Cary is nice, but North Raleigh also might interest you if you like Cary.
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Old 01-10-2008, 07:31 AM
 
82 posts, read 376,985 times
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My family and I are going thru the same dilemma. I am also in IT and think Raleigh offers more career choices but what scares us about Raleigh is the issue with their school system based on what I've read on their forum. It seems that schools are constantly switching boundries (IMO) which is a major factor for us as well as issues with the school calendar between schools. If you have kids, you may want to look at the school issues. Just my 2 cents worth. Good Luck.
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Old 01-10-2008, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Uptown CLT (4th Ward)
2,560 posts, read 7,708,366 times
Reputation: 423
Quote:
Originally Posted by cunparis View Post
That was the best summary of Raleigh vs. Charlotte that I've seen. And it also confirms our perceptions. Being from Kentucky I like the idea of Raleigh (Cary actually). My wife is impressed with the downtown of Charlotte. I say it's mostly bars, clubs, and sports and that with 2 kids we'd rarely go downtown. But there is just something about living near a "big" city.

Thanks for confirming on Fort Mills. The home prices are not so expensive so I'm very interested. I haven't been there, but it sounds like where I lived in KY. We were only 20 minutes from Cincinnati OH but yet we were in a very rural area with farmland. I loved the combination. maybe we won't have cows in our backyard in Fort Mills but it seems a bit more rural than living in Charlotte itself.

Thanks for your insights. We're planning a 2-3 week trip to Charlotte to visit homes and areas. We already spent a few days in Charlotte but that wasn't enough to get to know the area.


PS: People complain about the humidity and heat in Florida. Is it a lot better in Charlotte? We were there in April/May and it was wonderful, but I don't know how the summers are..
You can NOT go wrong with Fort Mill, SC and you will LOVE Charlotte.

Charlotte is also the Queen City (like your neighboring Cincinnati).

GOOD LUCK!
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Old 01-10-2008, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Uptown CLT (4th Ward)
2,560 posts, read 7,708,366 times
Reputation: 423
Quote:
Originally Posted by Waterboy526 View Post
We all know Raleigh is smaller than Charlotte, but Raleigh has a higher population density than Charlotte. It's not like we're a small town. Charlotte reminds me a lot of Raleigh, but only more spread out. Charlotte does have some bigger buildings downtown, but most of Charlotte also reminds me of Northern VA (which much more crime than Nova)...which is sprawled out, but not cosmopolitan. If you left Raleigh 15 years ago, then you might not realize how much this area has changed. I've been to Charlotte and really liked uptown and there are some more things to do I guess, but Raleigh has a lot of nice downtown areas to hang out. Raleigh is not as far behind Charlotte as you make it out to be.

Cunparis, if you have 2-3 weeks I would recommend visiting both areas. FYI, Cary is nice, but North Raleigh also might interest you if you like Cary.
I come to Raleigh often to visit friends and can't wait to get back to Charlotte (personally).

Raleigh is a nice town. Charlotte is a nice city.

Raleigh is probably at least 10-15 years behind Charlotte.

Charlotte is the 20th largest city in the US.

Raleigh is 51st. Big difference.
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Old 01-10-2008, 12:21 PM
 
Location: Apex, NC
3,031 posts, read 7,377,808 times
Reputation: 2494
Quote:
Originally Posted by the 7 oh 4 View Post
I come to Raleigh often to visit friends and can't wait to get back to Charlotte (personally).

Raleigh is a nice town. Charlotte is a nice city.

Raleigh is probably at least 10-15 years behind Charlotte.

Charlotte is the 20th largest city in the US.

Raleigh is 51st. Big difference.
I understand what you're getting at, but Charlotte has TWICE as much land as Raleigh. Raleigh has a slightly higher population density. If Raleigh gobbled up all the towns next to it then it would be very close in Population to Charlotte.

I think the Raleigh "area" is pretty similar to Charlotte overall, although you guys do have more traffic. From the numbers I can find, the Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord MSA is 1,521,278 (2005), while Raleigh-Durham-Cary MSA is 1,506,841 (2005). I haven't figured out the square miliage of those MSA's, but by looking at the Maps they look very similar. So again, outside of Charlotte's bigger downtown or "uptown", I really don't see much difference...?? I've been to Charlotte a few times already and I don't see how the shopping is much better...maybe you can enlighten me?

I'm not saying Charlotte is not a bigger city and a nice city at that, but you are putting much more distance between the two than actually exists IMO. You seem to be painting a picture of Raleigh that is not exactly the Raleigh of 2008.
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