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Old 09-21-2009, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Northwest Suburbs of Denver
434 posts, read 1,043,840 times
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Looks like we'll be moving to Winston-Salem in the next 6 months and we want to start neighborhood shopping. Our neighborhood is more important than any particular amenities in a house, so I thought we'd start there.

We're a professional couple - husband works full time, wife part time. Two little kids. Although we want to live in a "nice" neighborhood and have good schools, it's also really important to use that the community be friendly with some family oriented social activities. Want a neighborhood that is pedestrian friendly and people who aren't always trying to "keep up with the Joneses." It would be nice to live in an area where we could walk to the library or the playground, too. We'd also like to live in an area that has a fun, active, and vibrant Catholic church.

We're a littly bit "crunchy granola" when it comes to our kids. They only watch a little tv, eat really healthy, and we like to spend a lot of time playing outside. We don't do over the top birthday parties and our kids aren't in 5 different activities, just one or two. Of course we have all sorts of different friends, but it would be nice to live in an area that appreciates this sort of approach.

We'd like to spend between 200K-300k for a house. Yard size doesn't matter. Husband will be located in downtown W-S, ideally would have less than a 40 minue commute.

Thanks in advance for help and advice.
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:48 AM
 
Location: Northwest Suburbs of Denver
434 posts, read 1,043,840 times
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I wanted to add some clarification on what we're looking for in a school. Our oldest child will be starting kindergarten in a year. We're moving from an upper middle-class neighborhood in the middle of a large urban area, so our school's test scores are always skewed. Our teachers are great, but because we have a very diverse student body (in terms of the parents education level) there is just a great disparity of the academic support that the children get at home and that translates into the school's test scores. Primarily, I'm looking for a school that is not run-down, that has a dynamic and effective principal, and most importantly, a school where teachers like working there. Teachers who are open minded about different ways to teach is a plus. I've found that those three criteria are a better indicator of a good school than any test score could ever be!
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Old 09-24-2009, 11:59 AM
 
2,669 posts, read 6,662,056 times
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Hi Scrapper,

Okay, sorry I missed this thread somehow, but I'll help if I can. I can think of tons of options for you, so rather than try to list them all I'll give you a general overview of things. Then you can drill more into whatever sounds appealing.

First, the schools. I'd say the general consensus is that the better school districts are Clemmons, Lewisville, Mt. Tabor, and certain parts of downtown. This is not to say the other schools aren't good, because there certainly are some very good schools in other districts. But based on a number of all-around factors, that's the answer most people would give, I think. I am personally most familiar with Clemmons Elementary, Lewisville Elementary, and Southwest Elementary, and I know they are among the best in the county based on things I hear and my own experience. You wouldn't go wrong with any of them. There are also magnet schools sprinkled throughout the system for things like performing arts, international studies, math/science, gifted programs, etc.

Assuming you want to consider the west side, there are tons of great neighborhoods. Clemmons has a large Catholic Church (Holy Family Church), and I know there are several Catholic churches in Winston-Salem, but since I'm not Catholic I can't help much with that.

Good luck--I hope this helps!
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Old 09-25-2009, 06:08 AM
 
Location: Northwest Suburbs of Denver
434 posts, read 1,043,840 times
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Thanks Arbyunc - I appreciate you taking the time to weigh in. It seems like Clemmons is a safe bet on all counts, so that's good to know. What do you know about downtown? From the past reading I've been able to do I've figured out that there is Ardmore, West Salem, the West End (which may be out of our price range) and Buena Vista (near Wake?) I've also read in the archives that Ardmore has occasional car break-ins at night, but honestly, that doesn't really bother us. We're coming from a city, so it's typical. So, what "certain parts of downtown" would you say are the better school districts. I've looked at the stats online, but as I said in my OP, those stats don't really give you a "feel" for the school. I'm really trying to zero in so that our scouting trip can be productive and we might even be able to find a house in a weekend !!!

Thanks so much for your time.
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Old 09-25-2009, 07:26 AM
 
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The parts of downtown I was referring to are Buena Vista (located between Robinhood Rd. and Country Club Rd.), Sherwood Forest (also between Robinhood and Country Club, but further out around Peace Haven Rd.), and a few others--not really "downtown", but in the W-S city limit. In general it's the upper west quadrant between Bus. 40 and Reynolda Rd., including Robinhood Rd., Peace Haven Rd., and Country Club Rd. These areas feed into Mt. Tabor and Reagan High Schools, with some feeding to RJ Reynolds High. It's a large area, so of course there are some exceptions, but in general the neighborhoods are more affluent than Ardmore and, I think, more in your price range. Don't get me wrong--Ardmore is a fine neighborhood, but it's more a "starter" neighborhood. The houses are smaller, and the prices are generally lower, so many first-time home buyers and young families find it appealing.
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Old 09-27-2009, 04:05 PM
 
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
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Hello!

You might be interested in our school, Arts Based Elementary School (www.wsabes.net) -- it sounds like you'd be very like minded with many of us! Many of my "crunchy" friends live in Ardmore, which is a very pedestrian neighborhood. From what I've seen, there are very small, starter homes as well as larger, more expensive homes in Ardmore. It seems as if Hawthorne divides these sides. We live off of Peace Haven Road on the west side of town with two small children, and I find this area is not as neighborhood friendly...I moved two years ago from Ohio where we lived right downtown, knew our neighbors, walked to the park and the store, etc. This area is more the suburb that's been annexed in to the city, so larger lots and less contact with neighbors.

Good luck, let me know if I can help in any other way!

Marjorie
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Old 09-28-2009, 08:29 AM
 
20 posts, read 58,296 times
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I have lived in Winston-Salem since June 2009 and have been going through the moving and discovery process that you and your family are beginning to embark. We also moved from a friendly/vibrant area (in GA) and attended a fabulous Catholic church (Our Lady of Lourdes in Atlanta).

There are several really good schools in NC. My daughter began Kindergarten at Meadowlark Elementary this year and I absolutely love it. Her teacher is fantastic. The office staff is cheerful and the morale is high. I chose Meadowlark because of it's test scores/ranking and everyone I spoke with had nothing but good things to say about it.

We are waiting for our house in GA to sell before we purchase a new home, but we have looked at different areas and neighborhoods. We thought that Clemmons was definitely going to be the place we purchased our home, but after living in Winston-Salem for 3 months we really like the area we are currently living. I'm near a new grocery store and around the corner from my daughter's school. I'm about 8 minutes away from the mall and a new restaurant and shopping area that is currently being built and leased. This area also seems to be slightly more diverse than Clemmons. I moved from Atlanta (Smyrna), GA and diversity is something I really miss. My suggestion is to rent an apartment for 6 months to a year to get a feel for the city and surrounding areas. Clemmons is a great area, but for my family and I, there is something that does not feel right. We did not get that vibe until we moved to Winston and started spending time in different areas.

We have visited every Catholic church in Winston-Salem. One actually put me to sleep. For us, the best fit is Holy Family in Clemmons.

Hope this help,
Kim
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Old 09-28-2009, 11:52 AM
 
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^ Just curious, Kfont...where do you live now? Sounds like maybe somewhere around Country Club Rd?
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Old 10-01-2009, 10:45 PM
 
Location: Guilford Community, Greensboro
71 posts, read 268,999 times
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Ardmore, West End, Washington Park all seem like good fits for y'all.
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Old 10-05-2009, 09:23 PM
 
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I do live around Country Club Rd and really like the area.
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