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Thread summary:

Moving to North Carolina: cost of living, Charlotte, hiking, horse property, great schools, housing.

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Old 02-17-2009, 08:55 AM
 
21 posts, read 51,187 times
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We have lived in Houston 18 years and made a temporary move to Avon Colorado. We are interested in something with 4 seasons and less snow. I am interested in cost of living costs. In Houston, we are very comfortable with the prices of housekeeping, childcare etc. We have found Avon to be 50-100% more in those types of costs. We have two children and would like to send them to public school.
Please send information on schools, cost of living, housing costs and rental costs as we would rent until we sell our house in Houston.
I have also heard that gangs and drugs have moved into the area, what do you know about these topics? As Houston had gangs and drugs, but being a large city we didn't see much of it. There were lots of safe areas in Houston.
Are the hiking areas safe? Is it congested driving to beach areas or mountains, and what is the best beach. Is it expensive to have horses? Is the town horse friendly?

My husband works from home so we have flexibility on where we live. Other ideas on areas in the Carolinas much appreciated. Proximity to regional airport important.

Thanks in advance for your answers.
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Old 02-17-2009, 10:01 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,883 posts, read 70,117,185 times
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Hi, Rachel! Charlotte doesn't compare as much to Houston as it does to Dallas, IMO. And altho I see some comparisons w/ Plano, I would say that would be true only in very limited areas of Mecklenburg Co. Mecklenburg county is very spread out. There would be some comparison perhaps to some burbs around Houston . . . but Houston doesn't remind me much of Charlotte at all.

It all depends on your price range as to what your choices are. You mentioned housekeepers - Charlotte's rates are over-inflated. I find it pretty crazy that housekeepers here basically get $25 and up an hour, wh/ is $50,000 + a year annualized.

When discussing housing here as compared to Houston . . . I dunno. Houston has a lot of extra taxes (MUD) etc added on . . . I found some of the outlying towns around Houston to be more comparable to Charlotte. You might like being close to water - wh/ would mean either Lake Norman (n. of CLT) or Tega Cay (s. of CLT)

As far as horses . . . do you mean boarding them or buying acreage w/ barn and ring, etc? I really am not sure about how that would compare. Acreage in outlying areas is something I really know little about. I wouldn't say "Charlotte is particularly horse-friendly" but I would say many communities outside Meck are horse-friendly. My neighbor's daughter is an equestrienne and boards her horse in between traveling to competitions. I should note: their goal is to move to the Houston area so they can have horses, LOL.

Charlotte and surrounding communities are not gang or crime ridden but as w/ all major cities in this country, there is crime and there are gangs.

Schools vary here. Some are excellent, some are not. That will all depend on where you choose to live. If you want acreage, you may end up buying in a different county.

There is nothing here that begins to compare to congestion in the Houston metro area, lol!! You just have to see this to understand what I mean. The huge interchanges all around Houston dont even exist here. Sure, there are traffic slowdowns, but our main problem is very different from Houston's - we simply lack the highway infrastructure that Houston has.

Depending on what area you choose to live in, mountains are 2 hours, give or take 30 mins, away. The closest beach is Myrtle, at about 3.25 hours (depending where you live). I prefer Florida beaches but there are plenty of beaches w/in 4 hours or so - including Hilton Head.

The airport is a snap from most locations, especially when comparing to IAH.

If you love the density and "bigness" of Houston, Charlotte is gonna seem pretty small town. At least, it does to me. You really just have to come here and see it for yourself. This is a family friendly city. Texans seem to adjust fairly well here . . . it all just depends what you are looking for how it is gonna feel. I prefer a big city so I like the vibe of Houston - and like Dallas even more, LOL.
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Old 02-17-2009, 11:32 AM
 
94 posts, read 225,921 times
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Hi, We just moved from Houston! Good Luck on your decision. It is very nice here and we are very happy that we moved. We weren't sure when we were making the decision, DH had a few options, and right now looking back it was the right thing to do for us so no regrets....

Ani gave you a great summary. I will add by giving you a comparison where we lived and bought which doesn't reflect all of Houston or Charlotte, but should give you an idea:

We lived in Kings Point in Kingwood. We bought in the Point at Lake Norman in Moorseville. The neighborhood look and feel is very similiar. The cost of housing is about 15% higher here. Groceries are a little higher. The schools in Iredell are ranked top in the state. But, I don't think they have the 10% rule for college here taking a lot of the academic pressure off the students. The parents and students don't seem as stressed, but my children are younger so I haven't looked at the college requirements. Services are a lot more expenseive. No "cheap labor" here. There is state tax here, but property tax is much lower so the higher housing costs are comparable. Lake Norman is gorgeous and seems clean. No comparison to Lake Houston. Shopping up here is better then Humble county, similar to the Woodlands. The mall is about a 20 minute drive, but all of the chain stores are right in Mooresville, about 10 minutes away. Traffic is considered the worst on Brawley School Rd where we bought, but the commute for DH is the same as driving to Allen Parkway from Kingwood. During the day it is not worse then driving down Kingwood drive. So for us, the traffic has been no big deal.

Charlotte is a lot smaller then Houston. It has it's own cosmopolitan feel. There is not as large of a museum or theater district. It is the cleanest city I have ever been in. Really quite beautiful. I felt very safe walking downtown, the few times we went to the Discovery Center. There was a lot of homeless people though hanging around. I didn't see that in Houston. They didn't bother or solicit. It just seemed like a lot block after block.

I would bet the gang and violence problems are similar to what Houston experienced after Katrina. That element that mostly is drug related. We go out to dinner often, and I have never felt uncomfortable walking to my car or shopping after dark etc... We never experienced problems in Houston and don't forsee them with where we live and where we go here.

You won't see anyone riding their horses along the highways here. I kind of miss that. I don't know if there are horse trails around here or people just ride on their property. There is a stable that gives lesson on Brawley school road that I pass. There is a lot of rural country that I have seen horse stables. 4 seasons here. It has been a cold winter, but it probably wouldn't bother you if you lived in CO.

Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.
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Old 02-17-2009, 03:51 PM
 
Location: NC
4 posts, read 7,592 times
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Default Charlotte is like any big city with crime.

i moved here from DC and the crime is not quite as bad, infact, I'm not bothered by the crime because I feel that criminals only prey on weak victims that they feel they can take advantage of, but if you conduct yourself like you are fully aware of your surroundings, then criminals tend to leave you alone, but you can't walk around any city looking like a tourist, because you are a standout for a crime, so just always be aware of your surrondings and think safety.




Quote:
Originally Posted by rachel711 View Post
We have lived in Houston 18 years and made a temporary move to Avon Colorado. We are interested in something with 4 seasons and less snow. I am interested in cost of living costs. In Houston, we are very comfortable with the prices of housekeeping, childcare etc. We have found Avon to be 50-100% more in those types of costs. We have two children and would like to send them to public school.
Please send information on schools, cost of living, housing costs and rental costs as we would rent until we sell our house in Houston.
I have also heard that gangs and drugs have moved into the area, what do you know about these topics? As Houston had gangs and drugs, but being a large city we didn't see much of it. There were lots of safe areas in Houston.
Are the hiking areas safe? Is it congested driving to beach areas or mountains, and what is the best beach. Is it expensive to have horses? Is the town horse friendly?

My husband works from home so we have flexibility on where we live. Other ideas on areas in the Carolinas much appreciated. Proximity to regional airport important.

Thanks in advance for your answers.
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Old 02-17-2009, 05:55 PM
 
Location: Marvin
10 posts, read 20,649 times
Reputation: 16
Smile Reply to moving to nc

We love the Union County area....see info in CAPS inside your original message...
Quote:
Originally Posted by rachel711 View Post
We have lived in Houston 18 years and made a temporary move to Avon Colorado. We are interested in something with 4 seasons and less snow. I am interested in cost of living costs. In Houston, we are very comfortable with the prices of housekeeping, childcare etc. We have found Avon to be 50-100% more in those types of costs. We have two children and would like to send them to public school. THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN OUR AREA (MARVIN RIDGE & WEDDINGTON) COMPARE TO PRIVATE SCHOOLS...THE MAIN REASON WE MOVED OUT TO THIS AREA. THE WEBSITE IS WWW.UCPS.K12.NC.US
Please send information on schools, cost of living, housing costs and rental costs as we would rent until we sell our house in Houston. A LITTLE MORE EXPENSIVE TO RENT IN THIS AREA, BUT WORTH IT!
I have also heard that gangs and drugs have moved into the area, what do you know about these topics? As Houston had gangs and drugs, but being a large city we didn't see much of it. There were lots of safe areas in Houston. NOT TRUE...USUAL NEWS STORIES...THEY HAD TO TRAVEL TO L.A. TO REPORT ON IT! THERE ARE SOME AREAS THAT ARE NOT NICE TO LIVE IN...SO IF OYU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, FEEL FREE TO ASK (I HAVE BEEN HERE SINCE 2000.)
Are the hiking areas safe? YES, THERE IS CROWDERS MOUNTAIN WHICH IS ONLY ABOUT 30-45 MINS FROM TOWN...AND IT IS REALLY NICE. Is it congested driving to beach areas or mountains, and what is the best beach. ...NOT REALLY, BUT IF YOU ARE GOING TO LAKE NORMAN IT CAN BE SLOW TRAVELING NORTH ON I-77. IT IS ABOUT 3 1/2 HRS TO THE BEACH AND ABOUT 1 1/2 TO THE MOUNTAINS. Is it expensive to have horses? Is the town horse friendly? THE HORSE FRIENDLY AREAS ARE NEAR US...IN UNION COUNTY OR FAR NORTH OF CHARLOTTE. (WHERE I LIVE IS ONLY 20-30 MINS TO DOWNTOWN.)

My husband works from home so we have flexibility on where we live. Other ideas on areas in the Carolinas much appreciated. Proximity to regional airport important. (WE ARE ONLY 20 MINS FROM THE AIRPORT)

Thanks in advance for your answers.
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Old 02-20-2009, 07:36 AM
 
Location: Asheville
343 posts, read 610,197 times
Reputation: 285
Charlotte is great as these people have discribed. If you can afford the higher end of Charlotte that is. If you move to the West or East sides then you will be around crime. The North and South sides of Charlotte have less crime and are the yuppie areas. Of course the cost of housing are a lot higher in these areas but worth it if you can afford it. Also the tax for things like roads or schools goes to higher end areas here. You can see that as you drive around and see the roads. I know with the Light Rail being built they do not want it to go to the west or east side to keep out the crime on the train.
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Old 02-20-2009, 08:53 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,883 posts, read 70,117,185 times
Reputation: 22567
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrharris View Post
Charlotte is great as these people have discribed. If you can afford the higher end of Charlotte that is. If you move to the West or East sides then you will be around crime. The North and South sides of Charlotte have less crime and are the yuppie areas. Of course the cost of housing are a lot higher in these areas but worth it if you can afford it. Also the tax for things like roads or schools goes to higher end areas here. You can see that as you drive around and see the roads. I know with the Light Rail being built they do not want it to go to the west or east side to keep out the crime on the train.
Okay. Not true. I don't even know where to start w/ the misconceptions in this post. Not trying to be rude, Harris, but this is simply inaccurate.
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Old 02-20-2009, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,246 posts, read 92,357,022 times
Reputation: 40032
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrharris View Post
Charlotte is great as these people have discribed. If you can afford the higher end of Charlotte that is. If you move to the West or East sides then you will be around crime. The North and South sides of Charlotte have less crime and are the yuppie areas. Of course the cost of housing are a lot higher in these areas but worth it if you can afford it. Also the tax for things like roads or schools goes to higher end areas here. You can see that as you drive around and see the roads. I know with the Light Rail being built they do not want it to go to the west or east side to keep out the crime on the train.
I have never heard anything so ridiculous said about the light rail.

Do you not realize that while the light rail may run north to south, it borders west Charlotte that entire length (until it gets inside the 277 loop)? In addition, the Transportation Center is in the heart of uptown, more accessible to west Charlotte than any other section of town. Placement of light rail lines is simply all about availability of EXISTING rail that could be converted for light rail use, population numbers and limited money to get it all done.

And if you don't consider Plaza Midwood and NoDa, IN EAST CHARLOTTE, "yuppie", you've obviously never been there
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Old 02-20-2009, 12:04 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,883 posts, read 70,117,185 times
Reputation: 22567
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovesMountains View Post
I have never heard anything so ridiculous said about the light rail.

Do you not realize that while the light rail may run north to south, it borders west Charlotte that entire length (until it gets inside the 277 loop)? In addition, the Transportation Center is in the heart of uptown, more accessible to west Charlotte than any other section of town. Placement of light rail lines is simply all about availability of EXISTING rail that could be converted for light rail use, population numbers and limited money to get it all done.

And if you don't consider Plaza Midwood and NoDa, IN EAST CHARLOTTE, "yuppie", you've obviously never been there
Thank you, Loves, for addressing the misperceptions in that post. Honestly, I was so taken back that I couldn't even think where to begin in order to correct so many inaccuracies. You did a great job.
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Old 02-20-2009, 04:44 PM
 
Location: metro ATL
8,190 posts, read 13,074,324 times
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As far as horses are concerned, the two most horse friendly towns in the Carolinas that I know of are both in South Carolina: Camden (just outside of Columbia) and Aiken (just outside of Augusta, GA).
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