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Old 02-04-2008, 04:20 PM
 
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Thinking of moving and looking at both cities...thoughts???
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Old 02-04-2008, 04:24 PM
 
Location: Puerto Penasco, Mexico
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depends what you want. May want to provide some specific desires and folks will be better able to help you out with advice.
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Old 02-04-2008, 05:07 PM
 
Location: Arlington, VA
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Grew up in Charleston, went to school in Morgantown and the two couldnt be more different in terms of lifestyle and amenities. Will you be needing a job? where are you moving from? what do you desire in an area? how much can you afford? these are just a few of many different questions that need answered before we can give you some advice on a specific area.
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Old 02-04-2008, 09:36 PM
 
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Default More on Morgantown vs. Charleston

The reason I'm thinking of moving is due to a job that seems truly great. My spouse would need a job (in sales in food & beverage industry) and we have two young kids. I'm young (mid 30s), liberal, and enjoy cultural events and outdoor activities. We'll need decent schools and friendly people. Access "out" is also important as we'll want to visit the grandparents and will need to fly. We recently moved from a smaller city (500,000) to a mid-sized town (107,000) and have found that difficult. One of the reasons the move has been difficult is that, in our new location, people are friendly but don't necessarily want to be friends (splitting hairs but, if you think about, very important). We haven't got to salary yet on the job and, of course, the spouse's job is totally up in the air. Our past two houses have been in the 175,000 - 200,000 range.

Are there many transplants in these areas or are they closed off to those not considered "locals"? Are there good schools? Are there things to do for adults and families? I'm planning a trip next month in conjunction with the next phase of the interviews and would love to hear about what I should check out while I'm there.

Thanks for all your help.
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Old 02-04-2008, 09:47 PM
 
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Morgantown has access to the Pittsburgh airport...less than an hour away and it's international..saves us a lot on flights because of not needing the links...all new schools in Mon county...I think Morgantown is the place to be. Finding a house in that price bracket will be difficult...you will have to live out a little...new housing is running about $135 per sf.
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Old 02-04-2008, 11:56 PM
 
Location: Arlington, VA
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From your personal descriptions I would literally say it's a toss up between the two areas. The Charleston area has a larger population than Morgantown (300,000 vs. about 125,000) if size is of concern. The population stats can be deceptive however because Morgantown is within an hour of metropolitan Pittsburgh and its 2.5 million residents. If my friends and I ever got bored in Morgantown during our college years, we would simply drive up to Pittsburgh for some fun.

The housing prices you've mentioned will be doable in certain areas of both cities however Morgantown is known for being slightly more expensive than Charleston, mainly due to the university presence. If you are seeking new construction either right in Morgantown or in adjacent municipalities be prepared to shell out at least 250K, although there will probably be exceptions. Not sure about the local tax rates, I live in the DC area now but I'm sure a resident can fill you in on those.

Morgantown is a great place for young people, and believe me they come from all over, HOWEVER it is a college town and when school is in session the students rule the roost. Morgantown's permanent population is about 28,000, combine that with WVU student population of nearly 30,000 you get this: lots of loud belligerent drunk students roaming the streets around downtown bars (I love it!), insane traffic for a smaller town, very high rental rates for slum properties, high amounts of petty crime, blighted neighborhoods, etc. All in all not a very family friendly environment, at least not immediately in town. Areas such as Cheat Lake tend to be where many families in the area locate to avoid the students at all costs lol.

There are also many advantages to living in a town with a large university, namely a large number of high paying tech, research, and education jobs, a large number of great bars and restaurants, plenty of cultural opportunities, and a FAIRLY stable housing market. I say fairly because over the past several years developers have overbuilt the multifamily housing market because of the popularity with students, prices do seem to be falling somewhat because of this.

Charleston, my hometown has more of a city feel to it compared to Morgantown. As far as the job market goes there are lots of state goverment related jobs (since it's the state capital), lawyers, banks, and a few remenants of a once thriving chemical industry. The people in Charleston are definitely more southern than those in Morgantown and even though many have lived there for fairly long periods of time they are quite welcoming to newcomers. If you stay right in town or in the immediate suburbs you definitely won't be the only person on the block from somewhere else, if you head further outside of town, well we won't even go there..The population of Charleston is noticably older than that of Morgantown because many young residents (myself included) fled the city for larger metropolitan areas with better jobs. That being said it is a very beautiful small city (the largest in WV) with great people, decent cultural venues, nice restaurants and an airport that is big enough to have flight connections for the grandparents to visit.

Good luck with your decision, if you have any other questions just ask!

Last edited by NOVAmtneer82; 02-05-2008 at 12:05 AM..
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Old 02-05-2008, 08:05 AM
 
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Default Thanks for the info

Thanks for the insight! I did a bit of researching last night on the housing and was a) a bit surprised at the cost of housing in Morgantown and b) quite impressed by some property around Cheat Lake. I guess I won't really know what I can afford until I talk more about salary with the potential employer so I'm really just guessing right now.

At the moment, I'm leaning toward Morgantown, mainly because of its proximity to Pittsburgh. I've lived in a college town before so I'm not too scared by college kid antics! I like the vibrancy that many college towns have thanks in part to the students and faculty who come in from a variety of areas. I've got a trip planned next month and I'm going to visit both cities. The employer would allow me to be located out of either.

My husband continues to "fret" about being an outsider. We've never lived this far south and he worries that we won't fit in. We've found our last move a difficult fit because, as I mentioned before, people are friendly but not interested in actually befriending new people. I think the University atmosphere should help.

Thanks for the insight! I'll be back with more questions, I'm sure, after my trip!
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Old 02-05-2008, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Arlington, VA
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Tell your husband not to worry at all about fitting in, Morgantown has enjoyed fairly strong population growth over the past 10-15 years, a rarity among WV towns and cities. When I was in Morgantown a large number of my professors had moved to the area from other places across the nation and world, it is VERY diverse by West Virginia standards and was rated several years ago as one of the top small cities to live in the nation. The example I gave about Charleston holds true for Morgantown as well, as long as you are in the immediate town or nearby suburban locals, namely Cheat Lake (which has excellent schools btw) you will find you aren't the only newcomer to the area.
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