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Thread summary:

Seeking positive comments about Hickory, pros of living in Hickory, reasonable weather, not overcrowded, nice parks, family friendly area, forty minutes from Charlotte

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Old 05-13-2007, 06:19 PM
 
Location: Concord, NC
1,418 posts, read 6,375,130 times
Reputation: 635

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Back2NC View Post
To be honest, the job market in that part of the state has been weak. However, with so much increasing interest in Hickory for out-of-staters, that could change things. My guess is that the hospitality industry would stay strong. People come to Hickory from other nearby towns to shop and eat. One thing you want to keep in mind in that area are the liquor laws, as they vary from county to county. Some areas are dryer than others.

Best wishes.
Google is building a large data center in the area (Caldwell Co.) and it was just announced in the Charlotte Observer that an aerospace company is building a facility in the area as well (Burke Co.).
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Old 05-13-2007, 08:05 PM
 
55 posts, read 144,367 times
Reputation: 26
I am very well aware of Google, though the aerospace potential is new, and hopefully more promising. The truth about Google, as I understand it, is that it is a few hundred jobs, maybe not even, and some will possibly include transplants relocating to that area. Also, most of the jobs will most likely not be high paying. I believe they are getting all sorts of tax cuts to come in, which is the last thing that town needs, as 1,000's of furniture jobs have left, with nothing replacing them. Even KMart closed up shop in that town (not Hickory) a few years back.

Hopefully, Google will start a sort of revitalization, but I am wary. Add to this scores if illegal aliens in that town draining resources already strained.

I don't mean to sound like such a pessimist, but I am very, very familiar with that particular area, and things have not looked good for some time.

I really, truly hope I am wrong on this one.
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Old 05-13-2007, 09:14 PM
 
25 posts, read 103,030 times
Reputation: 17
I live off of Grace Chapel Road just outside of Hickory and love the area. Unfortunately we are moving back to FL for my husbands job. You can not beat the weather here, we are an hour tops to the Blue Ridge Parkway and tons of hiking that is just beautiful, plus the town of Blowing Rock we have visited several times and like very much. There are many day trips to make here in all directions really.
I like living in a somewhat rural area, although it is growing, and yet being close to Hickory and it's restaurants and pretty much whatever you need as far as shopping goes. Can't beat the traffic here and everyone is nice.

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Old 05-14-2007, 05:28 AM
 
Location: Indianapolis Indiana
1,111 posts, read 3,229,854 times
Reputation: 856
firefly,
I have mentioned the Grace Chapel area many time in my posts. Although it has a Hickory address it is in Caldwell County with lower taxes. We just returned from Florida after a week's visit. Cheez! What a mess! Rising taxes, insurance cancellations and rising premiums, water supply problems and, oh yeah....fires.
I wish you the best of luck. It is a shame you can't be here one more year. Things are looking to pick up.
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Old 05-14-2007, 07:48 AM
 
25 posts, read 103,030 times
Reputation: 17
hapaleeretired - yes, I have read your posts about the Grace Chapel area many times and am proud to know this is where we bought.

We are sad to be leaving in many ways, but unfortunately jobs/money have to be the priority right now. Not looking forward to going back to Florida, but hopefully all of this housing market woes, and the property tax issues will get figured out in the near future and it won't be so bad...time will tell.

Yes, I do believe this area is going to grow tremendously in the coming years. My husband just said the other day, that in 10 years we'll probably not recognize the place.

I will forever be envious to all of you who live here in this awesome locale. You just can't beat the weather and natural surroundings...just beautiful.
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Old 05-14-2007, 10:11 AM
 
18 posts, read 65,997 times
Reputation: 30
Unhappy Truth about Hickory from family who relocated for a job

We have been in western NC the last 8 years living in Asheville 6 1/2 years and currently in Hickory. Getting to know many local people and business owners from being in a former consulting business I have come to realize factors of the area that people generally do not tell outsiders when they come here.

First, if you are retired and have made monies elsewhere and have a pension and decent monthly income to live your days on, sure, there is a lot of affordable housing in this area especially over the Asheville market. But, if you need a local job to support your family (as we did), you will find some of the lowest wages around and if you do not know someone locally with pull, you will be competing with a huge population of unemployed people here for many of the $6-$10.00/hour jobs that prevail here today.

Hickory has seen a major loss of thousands of former "soft manufacturing" jobs that used to be here and many lower wage retail/convenience type jobs sprouting up because of the few wealthy developers who have or are building up such plazas and retail centers to get what is left of the retiring baby boomers who had incomes & investments from years of high wages and retirements mostly from the North and West regions coming to this area. That will all be over soon in my opinion as those monies are about all reallocated over the last 10 years....

Though Hickory is not Charlotte, many from Charlotte have come here to save monies verses driving up to 2 hours each way for jobs and dealing with that massive urban sprawl that has occurred there. Anyone who tell you Charlotte is only 40 miles is lying too. Depending where you need to be in Charlotte, the time of day and weather conditions, expect to waste much of your day on the road to get from point A to point B. Remember fellow northerners, this region is not accustomed to wintertime driving as we are, so any hint of possible snow or sleet, etc. you will see everything stop and close up at a moment's notice and major accidents everywhere to contend with on the highways. A huge influx of Floridians too (like in Asheville) have forced real estate prices up heavy in certain better areas of Hickory too. Hickory has 2 major parks basically too (Glenn Hilton & Geitner). One along Lake Hickory with paved bike trail and some grills and public boat launch, and another with nature trail along a small creek and grassy picnic areas and playground.

Hickory is a small town with a small quiet dowtown and ample real estate available for a specific reason. There not only is a lot of residential property for sale and reduced listed just sitting, but I am noticing a large increase of commercial and office property going on the market too including several developed retail plazes even.. It does not have an "active dowtown" lifestyle if that is what you seek and you will have to go to Charlotte, Asheville or even Morganton actually for such active downtown areas.. You are not told about the huge foreclosures as one part and loss of higher paying jobs verses the current environment of low wage jobs making it difficult to even live here unless you have some bankroll behind you as anywehere else. I cannot tell you how many locals have told me they are tired of "working poor" because of the labor market in this area keeping everyone at bay and little hope to "work hard" to get out of here for better lifestyle elsewhere; and fact that many working jobs still qualify for federal/state welfare benefits because they still fall under the NC state poverty guidelines established.

Most companies utilize temp agencies and will NOT direct hire and this hurts an employee seeking a decent job, as everything is controlled in this region and the concensus of the locals I have gotten to know, is "this is just the way it is and we have become accustomed to taking what little we are told we are to expect for a wage and not say anything". If you work for a temp agency, a bank/lender will not like you for financing purposes either as they see that as "not a real job or income"..

Sure there is pretty rural areas here of old family farmlands and you are closer to go to the Blue Ridge mountains than driving to Charlotte, but you have to ask yourself- "Do I have money to buy and live here without working or will I be forced to rent like many?", or "Will I need a decent job to allow me to meet my bills monthly if I move here?". Other areas 30 monutes from here like Boone or others are pretty, but very expensive as they are bought and lived in by mainly wealthy people from elsewhere who purchased many areas of the blue ridge like that so again, you NEED "real" money to afford to live in such places..

Because of what happened to me and my family, I will tell you NEVER trust the Chamber of Commerce or real estate professionals or marketeers out there. Visit and research the area first before you trust anyone's words or promises- especially when it comes to your family or a job prospect like we did last summer and got stuck here.

You have to consider many other factors like quality medical care, family needs, etc. and other information as to what it means to actually live here- especially if you are not born here as me and my family have been reminded so many times. The school system is NOT equal so you really need to know where your child is to go and research that school and its curriculum independently (Viewmont is best school for elementary in our opinion). Medical and related businesses are greater here as in Asheville, again, to go after the retiring baby boomers who have afforded to come here and live. But even these jobs pay very little what one would expect from most other parts of the country again, because there are so many looking for a decent job, and so few openings available; so employers dicate outrageous requirements and pay very little as someone will always be desperate enought to take anything.

In our experience, coming here for the job I was supposed to have, we have found it is very hard to get a job if you have no connections. Like my friends at the ESC office say, "call them to get the real statistics of the region" if you need to know as the lines are long and deep at the ESC on any given day because so many are out of jobs, or try to find one paying them better than minimum wage regardless you may have a bachelors or masters degree even and years of experience... My wife has been so frustrated and she has a strong background. Myself, each time I get what seems a long term job, it ends in a couple months, and then I am back out there trying to find anything to make a dollar. There also is concerns in the whole western NC region to drugs (meth mainly) which sadly accompanies an area of huge unemployment, low wage jobs and loss of industry as this region has seen, and another sad truth, is I have found many admit to me is the only way they can afford to live is being involved in such illegal activty.
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Old 05-15-2007, 04:18 PM
 
Location: Harwington CT
240 posts, read 1,191,191 times
Reputation: 207
Now thats an eye opener, and exactly the kind of information I am looking for. Kind of of similar situation to Torrington Ct....a town where all the small bearing plants packed up and left. Not much opportunity for employment locally, especialy a GOOD paying job with benifits and retirement. Im sure some will disagree with the above post but this I feel is a very honest, personal experience put in writing.
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Old 05-15-2007, 06:00 PM
 
Location: Lake Norman Area
1,472 posts, read 3,660,050 times
Reputation: 1233
Quote:
Originally Posted by tom62 View Post
Now thats an eye opener, and exactly the kind of information I am looking for. Kind of of similar situation to Torrington Ct....a town where all the small bearing plants packed up and left. Not much opportunity for employment locally, especialy a GOOD paying job with benifits and retirement. Im sure some will disagree with the above post but this I feel is a very honest, personal experience put in writing.
While I believe the other posters comments to be genuine, whats good for one person may not be good for the other, and vice versa. He also seems to be writing off of a bad business experience in this area.

Has the economy in Hickory been through hard times? Yes. Is it recovering? Yes.
Target, Google, and a aerospace parts company announced in this year alone they are coming to the Hickory area.

Being in Hickory quite a bit, I have seen new businesses sprout up all last year.

Housing is cheaper in Hickory, compared to many other growing places in NC.

Drugs are a problem everywhere, and are no prevalent in Hickory than Cary, Mooresville, or other bedroom communities of Charlotte or Raleigh.

I do not foresee doom and gloom for Hickory, but the opposite. Hickory is very attractive for retirees and new business, and for good reason.

The medical care in Hickory is excellent.

I dont know who said Hickory is 40 miles from Charlotte, but a quick look at the map and you can see thats not true.
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Old 05-16-2007, 04:41 PM
 
44 posts, read 86,270 times
Reputation: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Investrman View Post
We have been in western NC the last 8 years living in Asheville 6 1/2 years and currently in Hickory. Getting to know many local people and business owners from being in a former consulting business I have come to realize factors of the area that people generally do not tell outsiders when they come here.

First, if you are retired and have made monies elsewhere and have a pension and decent monthly income to live your days on, sure, there is a lot of affordable housing in this area especially over the Asheville market. But, if you need a local job to support your family (as we did), you will find some of the lowest wages around and if you do not know someone locally with pull, you will be competing with a huge population of unemployed people here for many of the $6-$10.00/hour jobs that prevail here today.

Hickory has seen a major loss of thousands of former "soft manufacturing" jobs that used to be here and many lower wage retail/convenience type jobs sprouting up because of the few wealthy developers who have or are building up such plazas and retail centers to get what is left of the retiring baby boomers who had incomes & investments from years of high wages and retirements mostly from the North and West regions coming to this area. That will all be over soon in my opinion as those monies are about all reallocated over the last 10 years....

Though Hickory is not Charlotte, many from Charlotte have come here to save monies verses driving up to 2 hours each way for jobs and dealing with that massive urban sprawl that has occurred there. Anyone who tell you Charlotte is only 40 miles is lying too. Depending where you need to be in Charlotte, the time of day and weather conditions, expect to waste much of your day on the road to get from point A to point B. Remember fellow northerners, this region is not accustomed to wintertime driving as we are, so any hint of possible snow or sleet, etc. you will see everything stop and close up at a moment's notice and major accidents everywhere to contend with on the highways. A huge influx of Floridians too (like in Asheville) have forced real estate prices up heavy in certain better areas of Hickory too. Hickory has 2 major parks basically too (Glenn Hilton & Geitner). One along Lake Hickory with paved bike trail and some grills and public boat launch, and another with nature trail along a small creek and grassy picnic areas and playground.

Hickory is a small town with a small quiet dowtown and ample real estate available for a specific reason. There not only is a lot of residential property for sale and reduced listed just sitting, but I am noticing a large increase of commercial and office property going on the market too including several developed retail plazes even.. It does not have an "active dowtown" lifestyle if that is what you seek and you will have to go to Charlotte, Asheville or even Morganton actually for such active downtown areas.. You are not told about the huge foreclosures as one part and loss of higher paying jobs verses the current environment of low wage jobs making it difficult to even live here unless you have some bankroll behind you as anywehere else. I cannot tell you how many locals have told me they are tired of "working poor" because of the labor market in this area keeping everyone at bay and little hope to "work hard" to get out of here for better lifestyle elsewhere; and fact that many working jobs still qualify for federal/state welfare benefits because they still fall under the NC state poverty guidelines established.

Most companies utilize temp agencies and will NOT direct hire and this hurts an employee seeking a decent job, as everything is controlled in this region and the concensus of the locals I have gotten to know, is "this is just the way it is and we have become accustomed to taking what little we are told we are to expect for a wage and not say anything". If you work for a temp agency, a bank/lender will not like you for financing purposes either as they see that as "not a real job or income"..

Sure there is pretty rural areas here of old family farmlands and you are closer to go to the Blue Ridge mountains than driving to Charlotte, but you have to ask yourself- "Do I have money to buy and live here without working or will I be forced to rent like many?", or "Will I need a decent job to allow me to meet my bills monthly if I move here?". Other areas 30 monutes from here like Boone or others are pretty, but very expensive as they are bought and lived in by mainly wealthy people from elsewhere who purchased many areas of the blue ridge like that so again, you NEED "real" money to afford to live in such places..

Because of what happened to me and my family, I will tell you NEVER trust the Chamber of Commerce or real estate professionals or marketeers out there. Visit and research the area first before you trust anyone's words or promises- especially when it comes to your family or a job prospect like we did last summer and got stuck here.

You have to consider many other factors like quality medical care, family needs, etc. and other information as to what it means to actually live here- especially if you are not born here as me and my family have been reminded so many times. The school system is NOT equal so you really need to know where your child is to go and research that school and its curriculum independently (Viewmont is best school for elementary in our opinion). Medical and related businesses are greater here as in Asheville, again, to go after the retiring baby boomers who have afforded to come here and live. But even these jobs pay very little what one would expect from most other parts of the country again, because there are so many looking for a decent job, and so few openings available; so employers dicate outrageous requirements and pay very little as someone will always be desperate enought to take anything.

In our experience, coming here for the job I was supposed to have, we have found it is very hard to get a job if you have no connections. Like my friends at the ESC office say, "call them to get the real statistics of the region" if you need to know as the lines are long and deep at the ESC on any given day because so many are out of jobs, or try to find one paying them better than minimum wage regardless you may have a bachelors or masters degree even and years of experience... My wife has been so frustrated and she has a strong background. Myself, each time I get what seems a long term job, it ends in a couple months, and then I am back out there trying to find anything to make a dollar. There also is concerns in the whole western NC region to drugs (meth mainly) which sadly accompanies an area of huge unemployment, low wage jobs and loss of industry as this region has seen, and another sad truth, is I have found many admit to me is the only way they can afford to live is being involved in such illegal activty.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tom62 View Post
Now thats an eye opener, and exactly the kind of information I am looking for. Kind of of similar situation to Torrington Ct....a town where all the small bearing plants packed up and left. Not much opportunity for employment locally, especialy a GOOD paying job with benifits and retirement. Im sure some will disagree with the above post but this I feel is a very honest, personal experience put in writing.

i too am from Torrington, and was looking at hickory for relocation... thank you for your honest post to your experiences...it speaks volumes investrman!
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Old 05-16-2007, 05:41 PM
 
Location: Now in Oregon!
378 posts, read 1,101,044 times
Reputation: 308
My partner and I are thinking seriously of moving to Hickory. It seems ideal from weather standpoint, living costs, etc. Would enyone classify this as "redneck" country????
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