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Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary The Triangle Area
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Old 05-12-2007, 10:30 PM
 
95 posts, read 269,707 times
Reputation: 36

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My family and I returned from our 10 day trip to the Triangle area yesterday. We had a lot of time to look in several areas and get lots of impressions.

First of all, let me say this is our experience and not meant to be a guide for anyone else, although you might take some of it into consideration.

Jobs - Before visiting this last time, my family and I were considering moving without a job. Now, we would NEVER do that. I honestly do not think it is easy in any way to find a job in the Triangle area. My impression is that the Triangle is a great area for those in the tech field. For the most part it seems that someone in the tech field from another area of the country can move and find a job with a comparable salary in the Triangle area. For my husband's job (facilities maintenance tech), no such luck. He went on two interviews and talked to a few more employers and all said he can expect to take a 35-50 % cut in pay. He has been at his place of employment for almost 10 years, has decent pay, good benefits, is almost fully vested for retirement, and has 35 + days off (vacation, sick and holidays) per year. It is hard to contemplate starting all over at his age (40 +). I think the Triangle area is great for those people with young families and starting their careers. Also good for retirees. For those in mid-career, not as good.

Housing - We found a house we LOVED. I could see myself on the huge deck in the summer sipping sweet tea. The problem is, with the cut in pay, it would be difficult to buy a house. If you had a house with a lot of equity you are selling before you move and can put a good amount down on a house, it would make it doable. We are not in that situation.
The house was in Clayton. My husband's job possibilities are in Cary. That is a drive. Not sure we could or would want to do that. We are used to the 12 minute commutes. We share the responsibility of getting our son back and forth to school, appts, etc. With my job (teaching) it is not so easy to take time off. Now, my husband's job is flexible in that way.

Driving - I am freeway weary...LOL. Is there a way to get around without being on a freeway? We got lost so much I am hearing Darla (our GPS system) in my sleep saying "Recalculating...recalculating"

The People - Honestly, I think many people in the Triangle are getting tired of people coming to the area. My husband said he definitely got that impression from employers. We overheard talk a couple of times at restaurants about how natives are unhappy about growth in the area. I can totally understand where they are coming from. The area we live in now we've had a slew of folks coming in from San Francisco and Los Angeles buying up real estate and causing housing to go up 165 % in the last 6 years. As a result we can't buy a house here. Maybe we just didn't come across a situation to experience the "warm and friendlies" in NC.

I don't mean to sound as if the whole experience was negative. It is beautiful in the area. There are a lot of nice aspects to the Triangle area. I think we just need to be realistic about it and take everything into consideration. My husband is still waiting to hear from one employer about a job. Maybe it will work out. Maybe not. We will just have to wait and see.
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Old 05-13-2007, 04:29 AM
 
133 posts, read 679,559 times
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Thanks for sharing the experience. Very insightful. We loved the homes there too. But there were also some less desirable things for us to consider.

My wife also looked at possible employment while we there for our visit last month. She would take a drastic pay cut (about 40%) as an RN for the VA hospital. She didn't like that very much.
If we sold our home here in HI and moved to NC, we could probably buy a house outright with all the equity we've got built up. But really having a tough time selling the wife on the pay cut.

I'm a teacher myself, and could *probably* easily find a job there since the school system is so large, plus the influx of relocators. Although I am looking at a career change into the tech field. What better place to try my luck than the Triangle?

Now if only she could find a *comparable* position at the Duke facilities so that we could cash out on the tuition incentive program that they have. Maybe she'll be able to overlook the paycut thing...that might be worth it. Hmmm...

Good luck w/ your decision. Hope things work out for your family. Would love to hear updates!
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Old 05-13-2007, 05:09 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
847 posts, read 3,319,786 times
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Wanted to chime in about the freeways... We often drive all over the Triangle (Durham, Raleigh, Chapel Hill) without ever getting on the highway. I guess I remember doing that before there was a highway (or maybe my dad didn't like highways either). If we go to wider areas of NC, we do get on 40 or 85/95 for speed but you don't have to.
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Old 05-13-2007, 05:14 AM
 
Location: Blacksburg, VA
823 posts, read 3,705,966 times
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3B's,

I think your assessment of the local economy is realistic and think that your point that the area is a desireable destination for retirees, tech types, and people early in their careers. The emphasis on retirees definitely favors those who work in healthcare, although the difference in pay is substantial. Education jobs are available but, again, pay less than elsewhere. I guess it's "pick your poison" or "choose what you will and pay for it."
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Old 05-13-2007, 06:51 AM
 
5,644 posts, read 12,006,000 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alice_61 View Post
3B's,

I think your assessment of the local economy is realistic and think that your point that the area is a desireable destination for retirees, tech types, and people early in their careers. The emphasis on retirees definitely favors those who work in healthcare, although the difference in pay is substantial. Education jobs are available but, again, pay less than elsewhere. I guess it's "pick your poison" or "choose what you will and pay for it."
I don't find either yours or Three B's generalizations to be any more accurate than any other sweeping generalization based on limited data.....

That is to say...baseless

"Healthcare jobs" covers an incredibly wide spectrum and it is not necessarily true that one will take a substantial cut in pay to work here, if we are going to make conclusions based on anecdotal evidence, I work in healthcare and took a substantial pay raise coming here from MA...

Teaching jobs may pay less here than someplaces but will pay more than other areas.....

Jobs in the Triangle are not limited to Tech workers and "younger" workers, I have plenty of friends working in Law, Finance, CPA's, Traders, Professors, Consultants and other white collar professionals that have moved here mid-career without sacrificing in terms of salary.

I am not dismissing the OP opinion of the Triangle, this place is not for everyone and unfortunately, not everyone will have success finding a job.

My brother in law, who is an IT professional, very much wants to move down here but has had no luck finding a position.

Every person that moves here is an experience/experiment of one, not everyone will like the area, not everyone will find a job readily. Making sweeping generalizations based on one person's experience is not likely to be the most accurate method of fact finding.
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Old 05-13-2007, 08:14 AM
 
95 posts, read 269,707 times
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Bluedevilz, I am talking about blue collar workers finding jobs in the area. My husband is a facilities technician. He is in mid-career at a very stable government job here. He was offered a job while we were on our trip to NC. The pay was substantially below what he is making now. That is the point I am making. Only young people early in their careers can take that kind of cut and not feel it. Us "older" folks can't do that as easily. Tech workers are not going to have the same experience. I didn't say that other white collar workers wouldn't have it as easy.

My whole point of the post is to point out to folks not to mistake the Triangle area for a kind of Shangri-La. There are some things to consider.

__________________________________________________ ___________

Welovedurham, thanks for sharing about getting around without the freeway. I thought there might be a way, but because we were focusing on finding an area to live in and my husband a job we just didn't take the time to find out. If we do indeed move there I will have to flip the switch on Darla the GPS and have her avoid highways.
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Old 05-13-2007, 08:27 AM
 
161 posts, read 535,032 times
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ThreeBs, your assessment of the area is spot on! It is exactly the same as mine, and I have been here for several months. The cost of living benefits do not justify such a significant pay cut, and jobs are not so plentiful outside of IT.
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Old 05-13-2007, 08:35 AM
 
Location: Wake Forest - New Light
1,259 posts, read 4,564,212 times
Reputation: 970
[quote=TheThreeBs;708994]My family and I returned from our 10 day trip to the Triangle area yesterday. We had a lot of time to look in several areas and get lots of impressions.

First of all, let me say this is our experience and not meant to be a guide for anyone else, although you might take some of it into consideration.


I am happy how you started your posting "this is our experience", I know your posting was not to discourage anyone from checking into this area. I think if anyone is considering this area, it is best to make a trip(s) to find out if the Triangle would be a good fit. This site is a wealth of information and everyone is so helpful, but an actual trip to the area would be best. It was great that you took a trip to find all this out now, instead of moving here not experiencing anything. Many people do not want change, as far as the natives not wanting growth and development, I am finding the opposite, many natives I work with at my office, talk to in stores, welcome the growth. I am not saying every native in the Triangle area is happy about the growth or the rate at which it is happening. I am happy you made the trip and sharing your experience with everyone.
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Old 05-13-2007, 08:38 AM
 
Location: Clayton, NC
850 posts, read 3,459,397 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheThreeBs View Post
That is the point I am making. Only young people early in their careers can take that kind of cut and not feel it. Us "older" folks can't do that as easily.
ThreeB's,
I'm sorry your trip didn't bring you a more positive end result. I'm sure you were expecting a different outcome.

As you know, we relocated last year from NJ and my husband is an HVAC tech. In NJ, he was called a maintenance mechanic or stationary engineer. He has only had 2 jobs in his 16+ year career and also was at the top of the payscale in NJ. We are 44 (me) and 40 (dh), definately not young people.

We did take a 30% cut in pay based on salary alone. BUT we also did have a chunk of money from selling our NJ home to put down on a home here. I suppose that most of those moving here that I've met have had this same chunk.

The difference in pay is mostly due to the very substantial union presence up North. There is a "fake" union as my dh calls it here. And it seems to be the last trace of unions that you'll find in the south.

And of course, house prices are rising rapidly here and have risen considerably since we started looking online 3 years ago. The boom that hit the rest of the nation is finally coming here.

Anyhow, we're probably not too far off from the situation we were in in NJ, living paycheck to paycheck (though I'll be contributing to the household finances soon with both kids in school). Its just we like it better here and we have more comfort pleasures (nice house, yard, deck, porch, family neighborhood, etc).

Anyhow, whatever you decide, I wish you the best and feel free to pm if you have any questions.
Lauren
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Old 05-13-2007, 08:50 AM
 
460 posts, read 2,306,110 times
Reputation: 184
You have given food for thought for people who are not taking into consideration all the facts and I am glad to see you have done your homework. You are correct when you say it is not for everyone. Since I have already done this 16 years ago I understand. When I came to the area in the early 90's I took a huge pay cut. My ex husband had a job in the area and he did not. We lived just fine with what he made my salary was gravy.
If you do not have a good chunk of equity in your home it would not benefit you to move anywhere yet. If your husband has a good employer and good benefits and does not want the pay cut then it's a no go either.
As for the locals who you heard say they did not like the influx of people, that goes on everywhere and did 16 years ago when I was there.
People go slowly to change. Even where I am here for over 5 years in PA, I hear the locals still calling the people in my neighborhood, "those people who moved here and built them big homes..." like we are foreign and did not contribute to their tax base. If that bothered you I understand. Now I am going to say something else. Making your life easier is like weeding a flower bed. Sometimes you got to get in and tear it all apart to have good growth later. Reconstructing the lives of your whole family, new area, new house, new job, new people is very life altering. I have done it three times. Once I recall I got depressed because I changed jobs, moved and got married all in a month. No one ever said this was going to be easy, to think it would be is just naive. In the final analysis it is your decision and I wish you the best of luck.
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