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Old 10-24-2018, 03:07 PM
 
Location: Southern California
3 posts, read 2,485 times
Reputation: 20

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Long time occasional lurker here, finally decided to make an account so i could ask a few questions.

Me and my newish family of two little ones are currently living in southern california. I am a housewife and for the most part, socal does not support this lifestyle. What i mean is, its next to impossible to afford a decent sized home with one income. Socal has become incredibly overpriced, even the ugly areas have just gotten crazy expensive. Its no longer enough to stay out of LA OC and the coast. After some research, North Carolina has really started appealing to me. Seasons without the snow, close to the coast, lots of green, more affordable housing. My husband also thinks its beautiful there and its only a 12hr drive to his family in MA so its nice we'd have the option to do a road trip to see his family for the holidays.

Anyways here is my list of questions and concerns. Thank you in advance to anyone who takes the time to read and help us find a better home!

1. How conservative is NC compared to SOCAL? My family and I are conservative/libertarian for the most part but we are both used to a more liberal, multicultural state. Is NC super conservative? I have blue hair, i dress in a lot of black... I dont stick out in Cali but when i visited Montana i felt like everyone was staring at me, it was weird. Everyone had this legalistic christian cult vibe going on lol (We were visting a very legalistic conservative family so maybe i was seeing things). I swear people dressed like it was little house in the prairie up there though ha. I am a christian myself and i think my family would thrive in a more conservative state as long as its not super judgmental and legalistic...Cali is pretty anti religion so it'd be nice to get a little bit away from that. NC seems like a nice in betweeny but maybe its a lot more conservative than i'm imagining. Thoughts, anyone?

2. Is there anywhere near the coast that isnt a high risk flood zone? Our biggest concern is the hurricanes and storms. We would really love to be near the coast. I dont need to be within walking distance but id love to live in an area where i get to pass by the view of the ocean or have it right at my home. The idea of losing everything to floods and wind anywhere down the line though...is scary. Is this just a reality that you all are used to? Is flood insurance crazy expensive? We'd probably be getting a house in the 200k range. 250k at the most. If the coast really is super risky, is there an area with a beautiful lake and affordable housing that you'd recommend? honestly id feel so lucky to live anywhere near a body of water. Being in socal, i just have no experience with anything besides sun and more sun. So, hurricanes and crazy thunderstorms sound pretty intimidating to me.

So with all that said, any recommendations for areas to look at? We arent city people but we arent in the middle of nowhere people either xD I like my favorite chain stores to be no more than 10mins away. My husband also will be looking for full time psychology instructor or research positions at universities and community colleges up there. I want to have a list of places in NC to visit before deciding if we want to move out there and try the state out for reals :3

Thanks again for the help^^
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Old 10-24-2018, 04:53 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
748 posts, read 457,825 times
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Welcome to C-D. If you want to be near water, your best bet would probably be the Wilmington area.

For the most part, everyone is super chill around Wilmington. The larger cities around NC lean slightly more liberal, while the rural areas are much more conservative, but generally people just mind their own business and don't really care what you do. The General Assembly is pretty red though.

Yes, some hurricanes do blow through once in a while, but as long as you're not right along the ocean or Cape Fear river, you'll likely be fine as far as flooding goes. Because it's the largest coastal city in NC, housing will be a little higher than other areas along the coast, but you can definitely find a decent number of nice houses scattered around the city for well under $250k.

UNC Wilmington and Cape Fear Community College are both located within the city limits. North of Charlotte (Huntersville/Cornelius/Davidson) might also be worth a look because of Lake Norman, although water access is much more limited due to all the private developments around the lake.
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Old 10-24-2018, 05:49 PM
 
Location: Southern California
3 posts, read 2,485 times
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Ive got my eye on Wilmington! It honestly seems perfect. I just keep seeing others say it's a high risk flooding and/or hurricane area. :/

How's the traffic? Coastal and city sounds like a bad combination for getting around with ease but maybe it's totally different out there?
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Old 10-24-2018, 06:20 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
6,957 posts, read 7,678,734 times
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Where you live may ultimately depend on where your husband can secure a job. I hope he's a PhD in Clinical Psych, since that is usually in demand. Most of the bigger schools are located inland, around the Charlotte and Raleigh metro areas. Remember too, that salaries are lower here and there are many college instructors who end up working as "adjuncts" at salaries that can barely support a graduate student on Ramen noodles.

You're not going to be getting beachfront or near beachfront property for your housing budget. It's equivalent to asking "what can I get for $250,000 in the Hollywood Hills or Laurel Canyon area of LA. The short answer ...a dog house!

You may see palm trees in the areas you are interested in, but those palm trees occasionally see a bit of snow as well! Winters are colder than SoCal.

Your best bet is to visit an area like Wilmington during the colder months and check prices on some of the real estate sites ...Zillow and Realtor.com and use google street maps to scope out any neighborhood. You can find some bargains in your price range, but they may be a bit more inland than you were hoping for!

Assuming your husband finds a job he likes, in an area that you like, you might want to rent for a year before you buy, to give you a good "lay of the land" and an insight into the social scene. Best of luck!
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Old 10-24-2018, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Southern California
3 posts, read 2,485 times
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Thats the plan! Rent for a year and see how it goes. It will ultimately be where my husband can secure a job for sure. He doesnt have a phd although I know hed love to work towards one. Zillow has a lot of beautiful and affordable houses showing all around Wilmington. I understand the pay will be less compared to Cali. Id actually like to avoid beachfront houses because of the possible flooding .

Thank you guys so much for the help!
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Old 10-25-2018, 08:33 AM
 
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
1,266 posts, read 2,368,821 times
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Another vote for the Wilmington area. Traffic will be NOTHING like you're probably used to in SoCal. Storms are definitely a factor - but at least you have some advance warning, unlike earthquakes!

I consider myself either a conservative-leaning libertarian, or libertarian-leaning conservative, and find NC an overall good fit.

I went to college in San Diego and stayed after - was in SoCal from 1983-1995. As much as I love it, I can't justify the absurdly high cost of living. In NC, my wife does not have to work and we can still maintain a nice lifestyle.

In NC, I've lived in Greenville; northeast of Raleigh; now suburbs of Winston-Salem. We also have a vacation condo in North Topsail Beach, about an hour from Wilmington.
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Old 10-25-2018, 08:57 AM
 
2,760 posts, read 2,447,538 times
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you would be ok in any of the NC cities but I don't think you're really equipped to find meaningful employment. Wilmington especially has no jobs.

Way too many Californians moving past few years so you'll find company.
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Old 10-25-2018, 09:26 AM
 
Location: Charlotte
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We moved from California and live in Charlotte. We really love it here and consider it home now and have gotten plugged in with friends and have family that followed. Charlotte is constantly growing and becoming a more dynamic city.

Wilmington is a great town and the beach will be different than SoCal, but still very pretty.

My biggest concern on Wilmington would be finding a job as a lecturer or researcher without a PhD, especially depending on the field. Wilmington has limited community college and university options for employment. If you search "Lecturer" on a job board within 50 miles of Wilmington there is literally only one job opening currently (at UNC Wilmington). If you were looking to retire, I'd say it was an easy choice, but since you need employment, it might be challenging.
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Old 10-25-2018, 02:50 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
6,957 posts, read 7,678,734 times
Reputation: 6775
Quote:
Originally Posted by CLT4 View Post
We moved from California and live in Charlotte. We really love it here and consider it home now and have gotten plugged in with friends and have family that followed. Charlotte is constantly growing and becoming a more dynamic city.

Wilmington is a great town and the beach will be different than SoCal, but still very pretty.

My biggest concern on Wilmington would be finding a job as a lecturer or researcher without a PhD, especially depending on the field. Wilmington has limited community college and university options for employment. If you search "Lecturer" on a job board within 50 miles of Wilmington there is literally only one job opening currently (at UNC Wilmington). If you were looking to retire, I'd say it was an easy choice, but since you need employment, it might be challenging.
I have to second many of CLT4's points. Wilmington has limited job opportunities in college teaching and research. You might be better off exploring Charlotte, Raleigh, Durham, Greensboro and Winston-Salem for your husband's teaching and research job requirements.

Many of the areas around Wilmington and the smaller beach towns south of it, tend to cater to the "young elderly" and there are more than a few housing developments set up primarily for those people. Go 20-30 miles inland and you'll start to see "impoverished areas" which encompass a large swath of southeastern NC. You're more likely to see Check Ca$hing signs and pawn shops in these towns and fast food as the "fine dining" option. Orange county it ain't!

Schools should also be an important consideration in any move. The housing may be affordable, but the schools may be mediocre, so check school ratings for any area you consider!
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Old 10-26-2018, 09:34 PM
 
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
12,264 posts, read 22,923,180 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilblueSiren View Post
My husband also will be looking for full time psychology instructor or research positions at universities and community colleges up there.
As mentioned, Wilmington only has UNC and CFCC. In eastern NC, he might also try the schools which run extension programs for the military, like Campbell and Mount Olive. He might also check East Carolina University which has been improving recently.

Otherwise, I think the Greensboro and Winston-Salem areas are much more promising for college teaching positions.
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