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Old 11-29-2008, 02:51 PM
 
109 posts, read 145,108 times
Reputation: 28

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Hello!

We are considering moving from New England to another state -- to a place with a milder climate than we have. A few people recommended that we look into SC.

My husband recently lost his job as a data analyst and a database administrator. He's been looking locally, and he'd even begun to look for short-term contract jobs around the country. We figured that would be a good way to bring in money and check out a few areas before deciding where to move.

I am an elementary teacher, and I work in a great school district. I'd hate to leave my job but I would if a great opportunity came along.

We'd love some help. We'd love recommendations of places to search and areas to focus on. Here's what we're looking for (in no particular order):

-- mild climate (frigid temps during the winter here in New England aren't fun anymore)

-- good job opportunities (there has to be SOMETHING, even now, with the economy the way it is)

-- good schools (for my job mainly, and although we have no kids, it's in our future plans)

-- lots to see and do (culture -- museums, parks, shopping, good restaurants, movies, theater...)

-- we're looking for a small to medium sized town or city. If we move to a larger town or city, that's okay too, but we're not looking for the big city feel. We would not like to see skyscrapers outside our window.

--ideally, we'd love to live near water of some sort -- a lake or the ocean (preferably). We're close to water now (well, within 30-60 minutes), and it would be hard to give that up.

If anyone could please help, we'd greatly appreciate it.

Thank you so much!
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Old 11-30-2008, 12:03 AM
 
Location: Pawleys Island, SC
1,693 posts, read 6,075,131 times
Reputation: 643
You could probably pick any of the three major metro areas in SC (Charleston, Greenville & Columbia) and you would be able to fulfill most of the criteria, with Charleston being the only one with proximity to the ocean. They all have good & bad suburbs with equally good or bad school districts you would just need to do some research. The climate is certainly milder than NE but you can still get some below freezing temps at night during the winter but most days will get above 50, especially if it is not overcast. Hot, hot, hot during July/August.

Another alternative is the Myrtle Beach area where you could find a decent teaching job but finding work for your hubby may be more difficult. There are many nice communities along the Grand Strand where young people are raising families. MB would leave off the museum/fancy culture criterion, though.

You could also look around the Fort Mill area which is a suburb of Charlotte, NC & within a few miles of Lake Norman.

Be forwarned that salaries are much lower than up north... teachers make about $30-40k a year with basic benefits.
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Old 11-30-2008, 07:10 AM
 
109 posts, read 145,108 times
Reputation: 28
Thank you for replying, Baylovers! I appreciate your input. We're considering NC as well as SC, and Charlotte is definitely on our list. I'll begin doing research on the Charleston, Greenville, and Coumbia areas.

I had a feeling that the teaching salaries would be somewhat lower than they are up here. That's disappointing to hear, but I'll consider looking at school districts down there and see what I find. Just out of curiosity, are you a teacher?
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Old 11-30-2008, 04:31 PM
 
161 posts, read 401,553 times
Reputation: 85
I would suggest you check out Summerville, SC (outside Charleston). I've heard really good things about the Dorchester 2 school district there. In the Charleston sub-forum on this site, you can learn a lot more. I know there are some public school teachers who regularly post there. Summerville would put you relatively close to the ocean and within a reasonable drive to the Santee lakes area. It's a growing town (but far from a metropolis) with plenty of folks from the Northeast.
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Old 11-30-2008, 07:16 PM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
1,858 posts, read 3,036,290 times
Reputation: 749
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZoeBartlett View Post
Thank you for replying, Baylovers! I appreciate your input. We're considering NC as well as SC, and Charlotte is definitely on our list. I'll begin doing research on the Charleston, Greenville, and Coumbia areas.

I had a feeling that the teaching salaries would be somewhat lower than they are up here. That's disappointing to hear, but I'll consider looking at school districts down there and see what I find. Just out of curiosity, are you a teacher?
School districts in the Columbia area that are rated pretty highly by most are Lexington 5 & Richland 2.

We have Lake Murray to the west of the city and 3 rivers that converge downtown. 90 minutes from Charlotte; 1 hr. 45 min. to Charleston; 2 hours to Greenville; 2 1/2 hrs. to Asheville, Savannah or Myrtle Beach; and 3 hrs. 15 min. to Atlanta.

As others have said, you probably won't go wrong in any of SC's major 3 metros, all have unique and neat characteristics from one another. Charlotte's a nice city too, however, it is much bigger than any city in SC and you will have high sky-rises there (highest building in Columbia is 25 stories - Charlotte has buildings more than twice that size) and there is a lot of uncertainty there right now w/Wachovia's demise the past few months as it is/was headquartered there.
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Old 12-01-2008, 09:53 AM
 
Location: Aiken, SC
3 posts, read 6,975 times
Reputation: 10
I may be partial to this area, but Aiken is a wonderful place to live. We have some of the best elementary schools in South Carolina and there are plenty of jobs going around. We have lots of history and a small-town feel with beautiful landscaping and scenery. 95% of the shopping and activities you would want to do are right here, but in case you need something more, Augusta is only 20-30 minutes away with really nice movie theaters and whatnot. North Augusta, SC also has a similar feel to Aiken, but it a bit smaller with Augusta even closer. Water is about 45 minutes away at Lake Murray in Columbia or at Clark Hills Lake on the other side of Augusta. We have one of the lowest crime rates and best economies in South Carolina (housing is still doing rather well considering the US average), so this is a wonderful place to raise a family.

I also lived in Charleston (Summerville, Dorchester, etc are all around Charleston), and while there scenery is AMAZING and there’s plenty of water and history, I found it to be too expensive and the mosquitoes and traffic drove me insane!

Anyway, just my 2 cents.
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Old 12-02-2008, 12:26 AM
 
Location: Pickens County
282 posts, read 485,156 times
Reputation: 70
Be sure to look in the Upstate of South Carolina. We have several school districts that are well thought of, as well as several popular lakes.
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Old 12-02-2008, 07:01 AM
 
Location: New England
8,156 posts, read 12,930,841 times
Reputation: 3170
I lived in Charlotte for several years at a younger age and moved back to New England for the last 10 years. I had a brain cramp and thought perhaps SC was different than what I could not live with in Charlotte based on the posts and pictures.

Well, let me tell you I would RATHER live in Charlotte with all of it's congestion, no proximity to mountains (I don't consider a 1.5 hour drive to get to a bump "close".), ocean etc etc then live in SC.

My wife and I just left Greenville early we were so disappointed.

You will be a fish out of water coming from New England and I don't mean people will be mean to you. I have finally come to he conclusion that there is no place else in this country like New England in regard to culture, topography, proximity, seasons, history and international presence all contained in a 2-3 hour drive. New England is what it is.

You can leave and be happy - I didnt' totally hate Charlotte, but expect to make sacrifices to do so.

The locals who are telling you it's the same and you'll find XY and Z in SC have no clue about your reference point. I don't say that to be mean or start a fight...they simply do not understand the perspective of a New Englander.

1. Yes you can expect a warmer climate. Just wait to see HOW warm in June July August as a trade off.

2. Expect much lower pay.

3. Is a crap shoot. There is a reason private schools are so common in SC and I don't think it's just the "religous" factor.

4. Not happening by NE standards. Accept it and your fine.

5. It's not like New England where you can have a "rural" feel without the tin roofed shacks, quick built steel buildings and transmission shops next to neighborhoods. Greenville has a downtown the size of any run of the mill New England city of pop 30-50K...but that's it. Outside of that, it's poor South IMO.

6. Upstate SC aside, if you enjoy muddy lakes...yea you can have "water". Expect a 3 hour drive to the Ocean.
Don't expect the same countryside, proximity to things, ANY kind of New England vibe.

You may love it...but I would HIGHLY recomend a visit first. Understand what you see online is NOT what you will see in person.

Feel free to post or DM me your current location in NE and I'd more than happy to give you an honest perspective.

Good luck!
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Old 12-02-2008, 07:57 AM
 
Location: SC
543 posts, read 1,585,833 times
Reputation: 216
Socastee is a smaller town outside of Myrtle Beach. It's very close to the mall and other attractions and also just a short drive to the beach in the summer. You can check into Horry County Schools for a position in teaching. Forestbrook Elementary, Forestbrook Middle and Socastee High are all good schools.

For your husband, I suggest looking into Horry Telephone for a position. They have some of the best benefits and pay 100 % of medical, dental and vision insurance for your family. They also have a good retirement package as well as other benefits.

Good luck with your move.
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Old 12-02-2008, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Maine!
467 posts, read 1,081,817 times
Reputation: 309
Quote:
Originally Posted by JViello View Post
I lived in Charlotte for several years at a younger age and moved back to New England for the last 10 years. I had a brain cramp and thought perhaps SC was different than what I could not live with in Charlotte based on the posts and pictures.

Well, let me tell you I would RATHER live in Charlotte with all of it's congestion, no proximity to mountains (I don't consider a 1.5 hour drive to get to a bump "close".), ocean etc etc then live in SC.

My wife and I just left Greenville early we were so disappointed.

You will be a fish out of water coming from New England and I don't mean people will be mean to you. I have finally come to he conclusion that there is no place else in this country like New England in regard to culture, topography, proximity, seasons, history and international presence all contained in a 2-3 hour drive. New England is what it is.

You can leave and be happy - I didnt' totally hate Charlotte, but expect to make sacrifices to do so.

The locals who are telling you it's the same and you'll find XY and Z in SC have no clue about your reference point. I don't say that to be mean or start a fight...they simply do not understand the perspective of a New Englander.

1. Yes you can expect a warmer climate. Just wait to see HOW warm in June July August as a trade off.

2. Expect much lower pay.

3. Is a crap shoot. There is a reason private schools are so common in SC and I don't think it's just the "religous" factor.

4. Not happening by NE standards. Accept it and your fine.

5. It's not like New England where you can have a "rural" feel without the tin roofed shacks, quick built steel buildings and transmission shops next to neighborhoods. Greenville has a downtown the size of any run of the mill New England city of pop 30-50K...but that's it. Outside of that, it's poor South IMO.

6. Upstate SC aside, if you enjoy muddy lakes...yea you can have "water". Expect a 3 hour drive to the Ocean.
Don't expect the same countryside, proximity to things, ANY kind of New England vibe.

You may love it...but I would HIGHLY recomend a visit first. Understand what you see online is NOT what you will see in person.

Feel free to post or DM me your current location in NE and I'd more than happy to give you an honest perspective.

Good luck!
JViello, are you basing your entire SC/south experience on greenville? if so, i find your opinions pretty harsh and unfounded. it seems to me that you never stepped foot out of greenville and when you did, you expected to find "new england" and you didn't. hello! you were living in the south!

we just moved here (lexington, sc) from MA (coincidentally, lexington) in august. although we do miss NE (definitely not the winters) we really love it here. as far as ". . .culture, topography, proximity, seasons, history (are you serious?!?)and international presence all contained in a 2-3 hour drive. . ." you will find all of those here. it may not be 'in your face' but if you just stop and take a look around, they've been there all along. JViello, seriously, it breaks my heart that you can really give new englanders a bad name. yes, your "honest" opinion is your own and it is a good thing you moved back because your attitude is not needed here. there are plenty of new englanders here (and a good representation of the red sox nation ) and none of us have felt like fish out of water. we learned to adapt and make the best of it.

OP, where ever you decide to move, you'll be fine. don't expect "new england" and embrace the change. it'll do you better in the long run. and if this part of the country doesn't do it for you, well, that's okay, too. i'm sure you'll find a place. good luck in your search.
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