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Old 02-02-2013, 01:38 PM
 
43 posts, read 240,825 times
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Hello. Wondering how locals or folks who know the area think we'd like living in Beaufort. We're in the Pacific Northwest now and just don't know if we can tolerate the cool weather and cloudy winters much longer.

Our priorities are:

1. Safe, low crime.
2. Good schools
3. Near water/ sailing/ nautical heritage
4. Reasonably business friendly climate
5. Family Home prices $150k to $300k

We run our business from our home, so our work comes with us.

Our potential concerns about this town/region are:

A. Would the weather be shockingly TOO warm?
B. Is the town too small? Where do Beaufort residents go for shopping, larger cultural events, airports, etc?
C. Critters. We have virtually no snakes here. No bugs to speak of. Has anyone else made a move from the West Coast? How was the transition.

We're fairly liberal socially (do what you like so long as you're not hurting anyone else) but we're more centrist politically. I assume we wouldn't feel like outcasts.

Also I wonder what's new in Beaufort? I see they have some science/school facilities—are there any new programs or developments/ growth?

If we determined that Beaufort was just too small, can you suggest any larger communities that match our criteria?

Thanks for any feedback.
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Old 02-02-2013, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
13,323 posts, read 26,778,087 times
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I'll address a couple of questions with your numbers: 2. Schools get 7 and 8 ratings from Greatschools.org but I don't have personal experience with them. 5. You can certainly find a house for less than $300K, but it would not be on the water.

Your concerns: A. The weather will certainly be hot and humid in summer, and you will have to get adjusted to it. I can only suggest visiting in the summer. I'd also make contact with the sailing community, as I am not sure how good the wind is in summer. B. The town is small, and that means people have to go to Morehead City or Jacksonville for major shopping. The airports in New Bern and Jacksonville will primarily route you through Atlanta or Charlotte, but there is one flight to Washington DC. For cultural events, look to Wilmington or Raleigh. C. Critters- There are snakes mosquitoes and alligators, but it's easy to avoid them.

There was a similar discussion several months ago, and you can see a few more opinions about Beaufort: Is Beaufort Right For Us?

In summary, you would be OK if you like really small towns. If you would miss the culture and amenities of a larger city, look at Wilmington.

Last edited by goldenage1; 02-02-2013 at 02:13 PM..
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Old 02-02-2013, 02:36 PM
 
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I grew up in that area. Out of the three main cities in that area (Beaufort, Morehead City, and Newport) I'd rank it number three, but at the end of the day it's almost irrelevant. The populated area of the county is smaller than most cities. One place leads in to another. If you're focused on Carteret County, I'd recommend Morehead City and would look into the Crab Point area down Country Club rd. If you're looking at Beaufort I recommend the areas along the intracoastal waterway along NC 101, though they are more isolated. Crime is non-issue. There are poor neighborhoods, but no bad neighborhoods. Not saying drugs and crime don't exist, but crime ends to only happen to criminals and the illegal activity is easy to avoid.
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:51 AM
 
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Thank you both for the feedback. Would there be anything to recommend Beaufort over Morehead City? Sounds like Morehead City has a more activity maybe.

Any comments on the availability of health food, organic produce, farmer's markets, etc.? Is one or another towns in the region a better fit that way?
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:15 PM
 
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For your criteria I can't think of anything to reccomend Beaufort over MHC. I can't speak intelligently on waterfront home values in each area, and Beaufort is mroe rural, isolate, which seems like it would be a con for you. You'll have quicker access to the Waterfront in Beaufort living in MHC than you would living on the intracoastal waterway in Beaufort. Beaufort's waterfront area is nicers than MHC, but like I said, you can get to it easily from MHC. Plus living in MHC gives you easier access to Bogue Banks with Fort Macon, Atlantic Beach and the aquarium.

Other areas I'd suggest looking at are in New Hanover County. Look up New Hanover Schools on GreatSchools.org and dial those areas back to the neighborhoods that attend the schools. You can also look for waterfront homes along the Topsail in Pender County. That area is known for having good schools K-12.
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
13,323 posts, read 26,778,087 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidseven View Post
Any comments on the availability of health food, organic produce, farmer's markets, etc.? Is one or another towns in the region a better fit that way?
There isn't a huge demand for health food in this area, IMHO. Southern-style food like fried fish, pork barbecue and sweet desserts are still the food of choice. You can buy packaged organic products at the Food Lion Groceries. There is this market in Beaufort which has some organic products: http://www.coastalcommunitymarket.com/ There is also an organic market in Jacksonville for meat and milk, and a limited summer-time farmer's market in Jacksonville. You can also find farm stands selling collards and berries if you drive out in the country, but they probably won't be organic.

I have also been told that the Wilmington area is better for farmer's markets, organic, gluten-free or vegan foods than the rest of the coast.

Last edited by goldenage1; 02-03-2013 at 01:52 PM..
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Chapelboro
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If you want bigger look at Wilmington. Alternately you might check out some place equally small like Southport near Wilmington (similar historic sailing city like Beaufort).

You could also check out the Outer Banks, but the towns there are all small. There is some demand for health food there like around Okracoke.

In general, though, the health food scene in NC is inland near the Triangle (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill) and in the mountains near Asheville and to some extent Boone. You can also find what you need in Charlotte and the Triad (Winston-Salem, Greensboro, High Point).

You might like to check out the Charleston SC area, too. It's a great foodie town.

And yes, it's very very hot and humid in the summer. Coming from the PNW that may be too much for you. Maybe further down the West Coast or up in New England? Expect highs in the 90s and humidity 75% and above in the summer anywhere in NC except the mountains.
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:05 PM
 
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The store in Jacksonville says "market" but it's a retail store. Locally owned. It's like a smaller Trader Joes. Despite the preferred stereotypes of southern cuisine Jacksonville can support it because Marines, among other things, are a bunch of health nuts. Especially when you talk about the NCOs and higher. The physical demands of the service as you age kind of require you to be a health nut. They are opening up a satellite location in Swansboro inside a yoga studio.
New Bridge Organic Market, Jacksonville, NC <<< Website
New Bridge Organic Market - Jacksonville, NC <<< Yelp
Relative to the the rest of Eastern NC you'll find the areas immediately along the coast more health conscious in general, but relative to where you're from, maybe not so much. That said, fresh food and fresh produce are easy to come by just because that's how people have always lived around here. People sale produce and fish on the side of the road. You can find farmed local fruits and vegetable being sold at the flea market in Newport every weekend.
Welcome to the Newport Flea Mall
There's also Nature's Basket in New Bern
Nature Basket Inc - New Bern

In addition here are the farm stands for Carteret County specifically:
http://carteret.ces.ncsu.edu/files/l...une%202012.pdf

Another list of Carteret County farmers and markets:
Local Farmers
Carteret Local Food Network - News and Events
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:30 AM
 
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Personally I like the Beaufort waterfront charm over Morehead City...I like the more isolated feel of Beaufort...More head City attrack a lot more folks during the summer season. Traffic goes through part of Morehead City to get to the Atlantic Beach...some folks complain because of the military type crowd. There are bases in Havelock (about 20 minutes) and Jacksonville (about 45 minutes).

Here is a little healthfood store in Beaufort...

Coastal Community Market Beaufort NC Organic Gourmet Food Grocery Store

There is a pretty good size push to buy local in ENC, which makes a lot of sense because there are a ton of farms, fishing villages and logistics issues to get food in. Wilmington sets the standards for this, its chef scene is really pushing local and it has all the chains now in Whole Foods, Fresh Market, and Trader Joe's plus a local store in Carolina Farming. It has a riverfront farmers market every Saturday from about April to Sept. Wrightsville Beach also has a farmers market.

Carteret County schools are good. The thing to keep in mind about Carteret County is that it is a long way 2-3 hours to large cities in Raleigh, Wilmington or even Greenville. You have to want to be there.
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
10,728 posts, read 22,719,836 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidseven View Post
Thank you both for the feedback. Would there be anything to recommend Beaufort over Morehead City? Sounds like Morehead City has a more activity maybe.
Bear in mind that you're talking 5 miles max from any part of Beaufort into the "city" part of Morehead; just one bridge separates the two, so living in Beaufort wouldn't curtail "activities" in Morehead. You'd be going there all the time no matter what. Beaufort has more of a "New England fishing village" feel to it and cultivates that. Morehead City is basically a big boulevard running through the whole town with neighborhoods off to either side. The two together could effectively be though of as one "micro-metro" (along with Atlantic Beach, on an island across another bridge). I presume you've checked out a map. What I'm saying is if you find a house you like, it shouldn't matter which municiplaity it is in...but from some of your other questions, I'm not sure this is the right place for you (humidity, critters, possibly schools). VISIT, preferably in August when the humidity and the tourist traffic were at their height, to let you know the worst of what you'd be in for.


Quote:
Any comments on the availability of health food, organic produce, farmer's markets, etc.? Is one or another towns in the region a better fit that way?
Again, the "region" is very small. There might be the oddball organic place in Morehead City, but you need to realize this is the RURAL SOUTH culturally, that becomes a "tourist beach town" in the summer. It ain't Portland, in other words!
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