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Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary The Triangle Area
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Old 01-10-2010, 05:34 PM
 
25 posts, read 62,817 times
Reputation: 14

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Hey,

First off, I want to thank everyone for all of the great information in this forum! I have read a LOT of posts regarding the Raleigh area and have learned a lot from the very helpful individuals and their informative answers in this forum.

My wife and I moved our family from Hawaii, where we lived for 7 years, to the central California coast about a year and a half ago. We moved to the central California coast area because we have two young children now and we wanted to be by my wife's family so our children could have a relationship with their grandparents. Unfortunately, my wife's family have some relationship problems and aren't in a state where they can establish that relationship. We (naively) thought that if we moved close to them and made a tremendous effort the problems would be resolved, but the move has turned out to be more negative than positive.

In addition to the family issues we have found that the central California coast is plagued with a lot of the same problems that caused us to leave Hawaii. Specifically, a high cost of living, high housing costs, crime, poor schools and very little in the way of available jobs. We loved living in Hawaii before we had kids, but once we added two little ones to our family we realized that the job stability was too low, the cost of living too high and the schools were terrible. At this point we aren't interested in staying in California because of the high cost of living, crime and general attitude in the areas with a lot of tech jobs (San Fran, L.A., San Deigo.)

So, we have a clean slate at this point and are looking for a location in the US that will fit our personalities, priorities and want list.

With that in mind, here is what we are looking for:
- Safe, family oriented area
- Good schools & education
- Decent number of software engineering jobs (I am a software engineer by trade)
- Reasonable cost of living
- Reasonable housing prices
- Outdoor activities and decent weather
- Good church and friendly people

We have had a lot of people recommend the Raleigh area as a great place that matches what we are looking for. Also, based on the research we have done, Best Places lists, etc. it seems like a good fit.

As far as work goes, I have been blessed with a successful career and have a very specific skillset in software engineering that is in demand. If we decide to relocate, I will either work from home for my current company or get a job locally in Raleigh. I have contacted a recruiter in the area and he believes that I can get a position locally even in this market (which I will do before we come if we decide to relocate.)

Raleigh has what we would consider to be a reasonable cost of living and low housing prices as well. After renting for a while, we would be looking for a home in the $325K arena probably in the Cary area.

As for the outdoors, we aren't mall people and would rather spend our time riding bikes, taking the kids to the park or enjoying a bbq. I surf a lot, and while I would have to cut back on my surf trips, I would be able to make a day trip to the coast whenever I need a surf fix. Plus the area is close enough to the mountains that we could take up snow boarding. Also, since neither of us have lived on the East Coast there is lots to explore and learn about the local culture.

We are also very committed Christians and are seeking an area that is more family oriented.

The other nice thing is we have Ohana (extended family) that live in Virginia and Tennessee, so we would be able to get together with them every once and a while.

If you have read this entire post, I am impressed and I thank you. Basically I am hoping to get some local feedback on whether or not Raleigh seems to fit what we are looking for as well as it seems to.

I am visiting Raleigh in early February to check out the area for myself and do some reconnaissance. We will come back in the spring as a family for a week or so if things continue to work out further. If we eventually decide to relocate we would probably look at a late spring / early summertime move.

If you have any suggestions on what I should check out while I am there I would appreciate it.

Thanks again and God Bless!
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Old 01-10-2010, 05:58 PM
 
Location: Poway, CA
2,698 posts, read 9,527,131 times
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the one thing that may make a big hesitation for you is the proximity to the coast. while the Triangle is just a few hours away from the beach, it's still not right in your backyard like you had in central CA (i'm assuming you're on the coast and not inland. SLO?) or HI.

all other aspects of your search would seem to make the Triangle a great fit for you, although i have no experience on job availabilities in your area of expertise.

Mike
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Old 01-10-2010, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
11,791 posts, read 27,450,680 times
Reputation: 8114
Sounds to me like you are looking for a great family type area and I'd say that this area fits your needs.

From North Raleigh to Wilmington (coast) is about 2 hours. It takes about 3 hours to get to the mountains but you won't find skiing in the summer, like you do in parts of Calif.

Vicki
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Old 01-10-2010, 06:46 PM
 
3,778 posts, read 7,169,582 times
Reputation: 4134
If you have the option of continuing with your current company, then yes. Everything else on your list can be found in the Triangle (and in other parts of NC, too).

I've never surfed but I think Atlantic surfing is very different from Pacific surfing.
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Old 01-10-2010, 07:17 PM
 
25 posts, read 62,817 times
Reputation: 14
Thank you for the replies so far.

As far as the surfing goes I know that I am going to have to make a sacrifice there. We live near SLO right now, really close to the beach, so the 2 hour drive will force me to cut back on my surf time a lot. I am not expecting as nice as waves either. However, if I can provide a better standard of living for my family it is worth it. It is just too crazy expensive to live close to really good surf.

Glad to hear that our expectations and understanding of the area seem on track.

Keep the feedback coming and let me know of any suggestions on things I should be sure to check out when I visit next month.

Thanks again!
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Old 01-10-2010, 08:04 PM
 
3 posts, read 4,900 times
Reputation: 12
NC would welcome you with open arms as we have a lot of Californians here. Cary is an excellent place for you to start your search as it is extremely family oriented. Most homes in both Cary and Raleigh include nieghborhood pools that are part of the development. Provides a great way for you and the family to meet a lot of people. Because so many people in the Cary area are not from NC everyone is very friendly. We also have wonderful schools - both private and public. I have kids at both private and public. Lastly you are near RTP where there are many software engineering jobs--my husband has been in this field for 20 years. Good luck!
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Old 01-11-2010, 05:39 PM
 
25 posts, read 62,817 times
Reputation: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by carvey04 View Post
NC would welcome you with open arms as we have a lot of Californians here. Cary is an excellent place for you to start your search as it is extremely family oriented. Most homes in both Cary and Raleigh include nieghborhood pools that are part of the development. Provides a great way for you and the family to meet a lot of people. Because so many people in the Cary area are not from NC everyone is very friendly. We also have wonderful schools - both private and public. I have kids at both private and public. Lastly you are near RTP where there are many software engineering jobs--my husband has been in this field for 20 years. Good luck!
Excellent, thanks carvey04! RTP looks like it would definitely fill my need for work, there are a lot of higher level software engineering positions open even at a time like this.

Also good to know there are so many other California transplants. Part of the reason we enjoyed Hawaii so much was the melting pot of cultures and people from so many different areas. Cary sounds like it has aspects of that as well, although on a much smaller scale.
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