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Old 02-19-2014, 09:11 AM
 
1 posts, read 2,736 times
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We have three young children and we are looking to move to coastal NC. We're coming from Northern Virginia, where traffic is bad, govt. is big, and people are rude. We're looking for more of a down-home place near the beach. The kids are homeschooled, so schools do not make or break the location. Here's what we want:
1) low key
2) close to beach
3) not overrun with tourists in the summer
4) Target, shopping centers, and some fun stuff to do nearby.

Does this place exist in coastal NC? Where do you suggest we begin looking?
Thank you in advance.
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:57 AM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
12,258 posts, read 22,905,399 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sroman1002 View Post
Does this place exist in coastal NC? Where do you suggest we begin looking?
Wilmington and Jacksonville come to mind. In Wilmington, as long as you stay away from the routes to the beach, the summer traffic isn't much worse than winter traffic. In my town (Sneads Ferry) near Jacksonville, the traffic is bad only between noon and 4 PM on Saturday when the rental periods turn over. Otherwise the town is low-key and quiet. We move here for retirement after working in Silver Spring Maryland. So I understand DC traffic.

The more important consideration is where the wage-earner can find a job. The unemployment rate is higher than in Northern Virginia, so please develop a plan to find a job before getting your heart set on a place to live.

Last edited by goldenage1; 02-19-2014 at 10:16 AM..
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:46 AM
 
2,740 posts, read 4,000,760 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sroman1002 View Post
We have three young children and we are looking to move to coastal NC. We're coming from Northern Virginia, where traffic is bad, govt. is big, and people are rude. We're looking for more of a down-home place near the beach. The kids are homeschooled, so schools do not make or break the location. Here's what we want:
1) low key
2) close to beach
3) not overrun with tourists in the summer
4) Target, shopping centers, and some fun stuff to do nearby.

Does this place exist in coastal NC? Where do you suggest we begin looking?
Thank you in advance.
I also think Wilmington fits that bill...you are going to have to pay something for property close to the water. I assume you are able to work from home as well....I know a number of people that moved to Wilmington with that in mind and home school their kids.

Great place to raise a family...and keep in mind that the beach can be utilized in Wilmington from April to early November as recreation (you don't want to swim in April) and there are days in the winter when its nice as well. The next couple of days you are able to go to the beach. I wouldn't worry too much about resort traffic, there are about 8 beach communities that flank Wilmington...so it stays pretty spread out. Wrightsville Beach gets the busiest, but it has more cultural amenities because of that as well.

I'm not sure if there is a Target in Morehead City...but that area is nice as well.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:15 AM
 
Location: NC
2,011 posts, read 2,939,713 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sroman1002 View Post
We have three young children and we are looking to move to coastal NC. We're coming from Northern Virginia, where traffic is bad, govt. is big, and people are rude. We're looking for more of a down-home place near the beach. The kids are homeschooled, so schools do not make or break the location. Here's what we want:
1) low key
2) close to beach
3) not overrun with tourists in the summer
4) Target, shopping centers, and some fun stuff to do nearby.

Does this place exist in coastal NC? Where do you suggest we begin looking?
Thank you in advance.
Not sure how you'll avoid number three since all of NC's beaches are overrun by tourists during the summer. Sure, some beaches are less touristy than others but all of them will have tourists. This is not Florida. The water here is too cold during the winter, therefore the beaches will be busy during the summer.

If you want amenities such as shopping centers, Target, etc. than Wilmington is your best bet. But it is NOT low key by any means! It gets very busy during the summer.


To the person who asked: Morehead City does not have a Target nor does it offer a Sam's Club or a Costco. It lacks the shopping that Wilmington offers.
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:27 PM
 
38 posts, read 68,129 times
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I've lived in Wilmington for 11 years and love it here! Once you realize that most coastal cities depend on tourism as their main source of income, it helps you accept that any extra traffic during the summer is a necessary evil you have to deal with in order to live near the beach year-round. The traffic around Wilmington is rarely like the traffic jam you deal with at Myrtle Beach if you've ever been there. Yes you should get to the beach or boat ramp before 10 am on the summer weekends or it's hard to find a spot, but generally speaking, the daily traffic around Wilmington isn't usually bumper to bumper during the summer. Some people also drive close to Wrightsville Beach and park at shopping centers, then have a taxi drop them off at the beach, and then later pick them up. It's really not much more than paying $1.50/hr for a parking spot for a few hours and you don't waste any time looking for parking. There are also fairly inexpensive ways to enjoy the beach such as kayaking that will provide you opportunities to get to the beach and avoid the big crowds as well as give you a fun way to exercise. Good Luck!

Scott
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Old 02-19-2014, 02:15 PM
 
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Myrtle Beach is a good comparison that I was thinking of when the OP listed #3...or even the Kill Devil Hills area. They are like night and day when tourism season is upon them.

Wilmington is busy year round and honestly everything is fairly convenient. So even though there is traffic, you can be anywhere in New Hanover County in about 30 minutes or less.
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Old 02-24-2014, 07:30 AM
 
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I personally would suggest Wilmington over Jacksonville. Jacksonville on military pay week is insane and very very busy I currently live in Sneads Ferry where I am 5 minutes from the beach but we don't have many shops here and tend to have to drive to Wilmington or Jacksonville. We are also very close to TopSail beach which gets busy during the summer periods. I agree with the other posts that Wilmington is still busy year round as both Jacksonville & Wilmington are main hubs in North Carolina. Where we live is more peaceful but in most of Sneads Ferry you can hear the military training bombs and their huge helicopters wich are pretty cool to see. I personally would suggest renting some where befor buying as I have owned my house for under a year after moving from CT and are now looking at moving further down near Litchfield in SC
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:33 AM
 
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Should be noted that New Bern also has a Target (Morehead City does not). If 45 minutes from the beach is close enough for you, then you could add New Bern to the list. Some really nice neighborhoods, some great waterfront properties as well. And there is stuff to do there as well (Tryon Palace, Historic District, and of course....the water). Since you are homeschooling, you don't have to worry about the schools.

If you want waterfront (dock, boat, etc...), New Bern may be more affordable than Wilmington. And it doesn't really have a tourist season. My list would of possibilities would be...

1) Wilmington
2) Hampstead
3) Swansboro
4) New Bern
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Old 02-25-2014, 07:28 PM
 
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I lived in Morehead City near Beaufort and we liked it. I was in the USMC so AVOID Jacksonville.
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Old 02-25-2014, 10:42 PM
 
274 posts, read 383,255 times
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I'm thinking Swansboro. Not so big on the shopping part but it's right between Jacksonville and MHC.
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