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Old 02-18-2008, 10:50 AM
Location: Sanford, NC
635 posts, read 3,050,547 times
Reputation: 504


Originally Posted by kristine View Post
Run far from Sanford!!!!..We just moved from there to Ohio..The town can be deceiving from first glance..Looks like it is so nice and has the small town charm...The crime is high...Unless you don't particularly like your valuables-then it may not seem so bad....Almost every day, the newspaper is filled with arrests and court records....Schools suck and the heat and humidity is awful!!...Winter consists of ice storms....Rarely snow...Forgot to mention hurricanes...Yes, you can get lots of hurricane damage that far inland..We know from Hurricane Fran...July and August are so hot..In the 90's (once in a while it hits 99 or 100)with 1,000,000,000% humidity...heat index can get up to 105 or so....Our air conditioning could never keep up with it and we still had the almost $200/month electric bills....Most people there are uppity (whether they have money or a trailer!)..Gangs and drugs-crack and crystal meth- are unbelievable..Not to mention the tons of illegal immigrants....and, hookers in downtown ....Most jobs require fluent Spanish... Trust me when I say, "do not be fooled"....IF I HAD to move back to NC-I would recommend Wilmington on the coast or Sylva (a small town in the mountains)....Carolina Trace, referred to above, is a gated community of mostly older retirees from the North.....Some people really seem to love Sanford...It's just not the environment I want to live in or raise my kids ....Goodluck in whatever you choose!!....
To balance this response a little...

Sanford has all the problems you describe above, although I'm not sure in the quantity suggested. After all, all cities have the same or similar problems, some more, some less.

Although it is true that the "Police Beat" in the paper does list around 5 events a day, they are often just the run-of-the-mill police calls any city has. Given that Sanford has a population of just under 30,000, this really isn't a high number. And as far as court/legal postings, just pick up any city's newspaper, and you'll see similar volume, probably more.

I think one factor that may make it seem like more volume than it is, is that our local paper is so small

I suppose "it is all relative" depending upon where someone comes from, but I've lived across the breadth of the US in large and small cities, and Sanford is far from being "crime ridden".

And opinions on weather is again very subjective. Sanford is in the South, what can I say. I am from Louisiana, lived in Houston and Florida for years as well, and can attest that the humidity here in Sanford, while high(although no higher than similar areas throughout the area) is nothing compared to my former states of residence. We've had very mild winters these last two years, and the last two weekends were in the 60s with bright clear skies, in February.

If one is unsure of your "comfort zone", check out weather statistics for areas you prefer or can stand, and then look at the statistics for the Piedmont of NC to see if it is for you.

It is true that at the extremes we can get ice in the Winter(haven't for 2 years now) and 100+ in the Summer. But both are extremes, and the median is far more mild. And hurricanes are rare, although it is fair to point out that they can hit NC and come inland. But that is true of the entire SE and Gulf Coasts. Fran was an extreme example, and was indeed damaging this far inland. However Hurricane Fran hit in 1996, was the strongest hurricane to make a direct hit on North Carolina since Hazel in 1954, and the first to brush the coast at the time since 1993.

Here is NC specific hurricane and tropical storm data:

State Climate Office of North Carolina: NC Hurricanes (http://www.nc-climate.ncsu.edu/climate/hurricane.php - broken link)

And again, Sanford is about 2-3 hours inland, so even if a hurricane come inland or up through SC, the odds rapidly decrease that the storm will have much impact to the Raleigh area.

So I wouldn't characterize the weather specific to Sanford as extreme or unusual. It is typical of the general area's weather characteristics. If that sort of weather isn't for you, that's OK of course, but is very desirable for millions of Americans.

We do have a relatively large Hispanic population here in Sanford, which for many is considered a benefit, as it lends to cultural diversity. This community is a direct result of NC's agricultural legacy as many migrant workers came to NC to work the tobacco fields, etc. And many stayed to settle. But the comment that fluent Spanish is required for many jobs is just not accurate. I suppose it might be beneficial for some occupations, but Spanish isn't a daily requirement in Sanford like in some areas of California, Texas, or Florida. And even if it were more commonly encountered in Sanford, I have to be frank and offer that's more often the reality worldwide, not the exception. We do have some "mercados", and some signs in Spanish, and some businesses do advertise "habla espanol" but again, it's all relative...

And finally, I really haven't found anyone to be "uppity" in Sanford. In the brief two years we've lived here, we've made more friends than all other places we've lived, we've gotten involved in a number of community groups, and have never felt so personally empowered to have the ear of local government. Where else does your Mayor wave at you as she drives by your house(and knows your name), and your City Councilman personally calls you every so often to see how things are going?

We asked for a community stop-sign, and within a few days, it was installed!

As far as schools, that is readily researched. Sanford(Lee County) schools do have some challenges, but then again, look at Wake County's issues, which consistently rank among the country's best. At least at the elementary and junior high level(where our kids are), we've found the schools to be fine.

Also, if you do an advanced search on all of the North Carolina City Data forums for "Sanford", you will find quite a few threads that reference Sanford. This may help you find some additional and helpful information.

A fairly recent thread is:

Can anyone tell me about Sanford?

Sanford isn't perfect, but is a nice mid-sized town, well placed, and showing lots of potential.

Wilmington and Slyva are indeed nice recommendations, but represent entirely different parts of the state, geographically speaking. If you like mountains(and the weather associated), then moving to the West of the state is the place to look. If one likes the coastal areas(and also associated weather), then head East. However, Sanford is in the Piedmont of NC, almost dead-center of the state(which BTW, is an advantage) and shares its weather, geography, and other characteristics with its peers.

To your question about Lillington, it is about 15 minutes from Sanford, and is quite a bit smaller. I don't know much about the local government or schools unfortunately. The downtown area is pretty abbreviated, and doesn't have a lot of shopping and other resources.

Perhaps someone who knows Lillington better will offer their feedback.

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Old 02-26-2008, 12:25 PM
3 posts, read 22,017 times
Reputation: 12
Originally Posted by Roundtruck View Post
I am considering a job offer in Sanford, NC. Is that a good place to live, or where else should I consider? I don't mind some commute.
Sanford is a great place to live. There are nice housing areas and also there are some nice apartments available. I have lived here all of my life and I would not consider moving somewhere else. We are in the heart of NC.
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Old 06-14-2013, 10:29 AM
3 posts, read 31,165 times
Reputation: 12
I am white (from SC) . My wife is Mexican-American (7th generation Texan). She is brown-skinned. Will she be comfortable in Sanford? Is everyone there resentful of the farmworkers that live there (and take the crap jobs so they don't have to) and likely to be bigoted towards my family. I am about to start work in Sanford in a month and we are not going to be able to visit before then and are trying to decide between living in Cary or Sanford for the first year. She is fine with living in Sanford for a year so I will have a very short commute, but I am worried about whether or not most people there are ok with non whites.
Thank you for any impressions/info you can give me about this.
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Old 06-14-2013, 11:03 AM
Location: Fayetteville, NC
1,490 posts, read 5,896,733 times
Reputation: 1620
I don't think you will have much trouble. Sanford does have a lot of military folks in the area. They and their families come in all shades of the rainbow. NC does have a huge illegal alien population. That can be problematic, in terms of drugs, crime, and DUIs. I doubt a 7th generation Texan would have much trouble.

There are a lot of new neighborhoods between Sanford and Fayetteville in Harnett County. I'd look in the Overhills School District.

Plus if she is a Spanish speaker it might be a benefit in the local job market.
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Old 06-14-2013, 11:14 AM
Location: Chapelboro
12,786 posts, read 15,821,506 times
Reputation: 11163
John, Siler City, which is about 30 min nw of Sanford has a large Hispanic population. Most are first or second generation. You might take a look there if you think that would be more comfortable for your wife. I think that Sanford would probably be okay, though. I would prefer living in Cary myself since it's closer to more amenities and cultural offerings in the Triangle. I also really like Pittsboro if you like small funky towns. It's about 15-20 min north of Sanford.

ETA: John, just looking up some info on Siler City and came across these stats that the Hispanic population in Sanford is now also above 20% so I think your wife would be able to find plenty of other Hispanics in Sanford as well. http://ui.uncc.edu/story/hispanic-la...-cities-census The Siler City Hispanic population is almost 50%. The Hispanics in the area are not all Mexican — many are Salvadoran, Guatemalan, Honduran, etc.

Also, Apex would be closer than Cary to Sanford and offers many of the same benefits.

Last edited by poppydog; 06-14-2013 at 11:29 AM..
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Old 06-14-2013, 11:22 AM
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
13,155 posts, read 25,972,614 times
Reputation: 6775
Originally Posted by Johnfrommtpleasant View Post
but I am worried about whether or not most people there are ok with non whites.Thank you for any impressions/info you can give me about this.
My mother-in-law belonged to a church group which was doing outreach and education with Latino immigrants. She was the older generation of Sanford, so I would say that some folks are trying to be understanding.

As faabala says, the younger folks will be OK with your wife, especially those with military connections.
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Old 06-14-2013, 11:02 PM
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
3,596 posts, read 4,317,801 times
Reputation: 5764
Sanford is a terrible city - it is small but there is a huge "gangsta" type mentality there witht ons of crime and drugs. NOT just weed, like most small towns...no, it is probably easier to get heroin crack or meth in Sanford than it is to get weed cigs or booze. Tons of people are proud to live on the "west side" or whatever, whereever the low income housing projects are. IIRC the projects are right off the main road in Sanford. Downtown is very bricky and old and ugly looking. It's kinda in the middle of nowhere, in the shadow of Fayetteville and Raleigh. Right in the middle, 30-45 mins to either. Traffic is miserable. Weather is miserable (whether is be the summertime heat/humidity, though that is anywhere in NC during these months, whether it be the tornadoes that hit the area, or the hurricanes, or flash flooding, straightline winds, ice storms, doesnt matter horrible weather). I can't get over the gangsta mentality that tiny city has. People are PROUD to be ghetto in Sanford (and Fayetteville, and Southern Pines/Aberdeen). I would live closer to Raleigh if it were up to me.

IMO the entire Sandhills of NC, though aesthetically beautiful/pleasing, are terrible places to raise a family. If you are 50 years+ and love golf, or a gangbanger looking for easy money, come to the Sandhills. This is coming from a father of 4.
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Old 06-18-2013, 08:44 AM
3 posts, read 31,165 times
Reputation: 12
Thanks for all the replies. She doesn't speak Spanish. We dont care what color the people we live near are, just want to make sure we dont move to some kkk stronghold. My main concern is that if people there think anyone with brown skin is illegal then they might harass her and our baby while she is out with him. Of course she had an idiot at her old job in Atlanta say something racist to her, so I know that stuff can happen anywhere. We do hope to live somewhere with a bit of walkability and some cultural offerings as well as things to do with a toddler. But being close to work that first year would be nice, too. We are looking into Carolina Trace if we live in Sanford--at least for the first year, but are still looking in Cary and anywhere else that is within a 35 minute commute to my new job in Sanford.

Thanks again for all the responses.

Last edited by Johnfrommtpleasant; 06-18-2013 at 09:08 AM..
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:32 AM
3 posts, read 31,165 times
Reputation: 12
And good to know there is a lot of military around the area. We both come from generations of military service, so are comfortable in that environment and appreciate that military families generally know how to get along with anyone decent.
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Old 06-18-2013, 01:07 PM
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
13,155 posts, read 25,972,614 times
Reputation: 6775
Originally Posted by Johnfrommtpleasant View Post
We do hope to live somewhere with a bit of walkability and some cultural offerings as well as things to do with a toddler. But being close to work that first year would be nice, too. We are looking into Carolina Trace if we live in Sanford--at least for the first year, but are still looking in Cary and anywhere else that is within a 35 minute commute to my new job in Sanford.
Sanford isn't a perfect place, but it is nowhere as bad a LordHelmit writes about. My in-laws live there in a very nice residential area of West Sanford on a lake. You could certainly walk around the neighborhood with a toddler. Carolina Trace is also fine, but you might make a point of introducing yourselves to the neighbors so they don't assume your wife is an illegal.

Downtown may be walkable, but you probably don't want to walk there, as I admit it looks run-down. It has the potential of being revived and renovated, but don't expect much in terms of cultural offerings. There has been a pottery festival there, and a sheep and wool festival last spring. There are also some nice historic churches you might look into joining if that's your belief.
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