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York and Lancaster Counties Rock Hill - Fort Mill - York - Tega Cay - Lancaster
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Old 01-02-2019, 02:32 PM
 
2 posts, read 4,097 times
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Hello Everyone

My husband and I are looking to relocate south in the coming year. We are from NJ and Southeastern PA, currently living in Philadelphia, PA.

My husband is a personal trainer looking to start his own business or franchise a fitness studio, and I am in marketing. We are millennial's who are looking to move somewhere that's less chaotic than the Northeast, more affordable, and family (and pet) friendly. No children yet but we do have two dogs. Right now, we're looking at Fort Mill, SC, Matthews, NC, and Charlotte, NC.

As far as what we're looking for, I'd say our primary concerns are:

Job Market: I know Charlotte is booming, I know a few people who have moved down there in the last few years. But can anyone tell me anything else about the job market in areas outside of Charlotte? We're open to exploring other locations within both NC and SC. Please keep in mind my husband and my professions! We're still at the point in our lives where saving money is everything, so we need to be in an area where our costs can be kept down and we can make money in our careers. It should also be noted that we're looking to buy, not rent.

Entertainment: Obviously, coming from a big city and moving to the south is going to be a culture shock for us. But, that's kind of the point. We just want to ensure that there is enough to do. We will be coming down knowing virtually no one, so we'd like to live in an area that has a lot to do. While we definitely don't want our lives to be as fast-paced as they are now, we also don't want to be bored. We truly have no idea what to expect down south in this regard so any insight is greatly appreciated.

We're planning on visiting these locations as well as a few others in the coming months. However, if we could narrow them down a bit before booking any trips, that would be ideal.

We are very excited to take this leap of faith but also nervous! We appreciate any advice you all could give us!

Thank you so much.
Jo-B
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Old 01-02-2019, 02:46 PM
 
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Depending on what affordable means, I don't think FM is as cheap as google leads it to be, and is a bit overrated to be honest. We relocated here a little over 2 years ago.
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Old 01-03-2019, 06:12 AM
 
Location: Over yonder a piece
4,270 posts, read 6,293,626 times
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As Familyman6 said, the Charlotte metro is not as cheap as some think - and it may end up being comparable to your area of SoNJ/PA (although likely a tad cheaper than Philly (but not much)). Twelve years ago (when I moved here) it was definitely a cheaper place to move into, but prices have definitely increased in that time.

Charlotte is not NYC. It's not Philly. But it does have plenty to offer. As much as NYC/Philly? Absolutely not. But there is plenty to explore and we benefit from being close to mountains for skiing and beach for sunning.

Fort Mill, Matthews and Charlotte are all near each other, so there's not much to "narrow down" in that regard. You can visit all three in 1-2 days and get a decent feel for them. Other areas in the Charlotte metro you can consider - Belmont, NC; Waxhaw/Weddington, NC; Davidson/Huntersville, NC.

* Taxes in NC are higher than SC.
* Schools in Fort Mill are better than Charlotte.
* Real estate is comparable all throughout the area, depending on your price point.
* Commute times all around the metro area are about the same - it can take anywhere from 30-60 minutes to get to uptown Charlotte if that's where you end up working.

Don't worry about moving down and not knowing anyone. 80% of this area (stat is completely made up) is made up of transplants from other states - a lot of whom seem to be from the NE. You'll fit right in. It's very hard to find a true local nowadays.
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Old 01-03-2019, 06:40 AM
 
686 posts, read 804,768 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Girl View Post
As Familyman6 said, the Charlotte metro is not as cheap as some think - and it may end up being comparable to your area of SoNJ/PA (although likely a tad cheaper than Philly (but not much)). Twelve years ago (when I moved here) it was definitely a cheaper place to move into, but prices have definitely increased in that time.

Charlotte is not NYC. It's not Philly. But it does have plenty to offer. As much as NYC/Philly? Absolutely not. But there is plenty to explore and we benefit from being close to mountains for skiing and beach for sunning.

Fort Mill, Matthews and Charlotte are all near each other, so there's not much to "narrow down" in that regard. You can visit all three in 1-2 days and get a decent feel for them. Other areas in the Charlotte metro you can consider - Belmont, NC; Waxhaw/Weddington, NC; Davidson/Huntersville, NC.

* Taxes in NC are higher than SC.
* Schools in Fort Mill are better than Charlotte.
* Real estate is comparable all throughout the area, depending on your price point.
* Commute times all around the metro area are about the same - it can take anywhere from 30-60 minutes to get to uptown Charlotte if that's where you end up working.

Don't worry about moving down and not knowing anyone. 80% of this area (stat is completely made up) is made up of transplants from other states - a lot of whom seem to be from the NE. You'll fit right in. It's very hard to find a true local nowadays.
This is a really great post and should give the OP some things to chew on. I will say from recent experience that while I don’t know much about CLT schools, the FM school system isn’t any diff than other public schools we have been a part of. There are a lot new schools here but they are still crowded and use the same school curriculum as others. They may just call some of the programs by different names. School rankings are all relative anyhow and SC is one of the worst in the country. My two oldest ( 6 and 8th grade) were so bored we pulled them because they were working on math and English they had completed 2 years prior while at the charter school in our previous state. I honestly think the schools are just being used to raise taxes every single year. Schools make up for well over half of your property taxes. Personally I feel that schools should be privatized, but that is another thread. lol

Property taxes in FM are ridiculous to me for these new subdivisions. I just wrote a check for $8k. Granted some areas in the NE will be more but it’s still salty. Property tax on vehicles was new to us as well. That’s another 1100 a year in property tax. More if you own a boat, rv, ATL, etc.... we moved from the west coast and our property tax has doubled( home in SC is only about $100k more)

All in all I’m happy we made the move but I am still working through the unrealistic expectations I had about cost of living here. Expectations set by myself from “researching” everything I could. I would have been better off moving blind.

Last edited by Familyman6; 01-03-2019 at 07:27 AM..
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Old 01-03-2019, 07:58 AM
 
16 posts, read 29,065 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Familyman6 View Post
This is a really great post and should give the OP some things to chew on. I will say from recent experience that while I don’t know much about CLT schools, the FM school system isn’t any diff than other public schools we have been a part of. There are a lot new schools here but they are still crowded and use the same school curriculum as others. They may just call some of the programs by different names. School rankings are all relative anyhow and SC is one of the worst in the country. My two oldest ( 6 and 8th grade) were so bored we pulled them because they were working on math and English they had completed 2 years prior while at the charter school in our previous state. I honestly think the schools are just being used to raise taxes every single year. Schools make up for well over half of your property taxes. Personally I feel that schools should be privatized, but that is another thread. lol

Property taxes in FM are ridiculous to me for these new subdivisions. I just wrote a check for $8k. Granted some areas in the NE will be more but it’s still salty. Property tax on vehicles was new to us as well. That’s another 1100 a year in property tax. More if you own a boat, rv, ATL, etc.... we moved from the west coast and our property tax has doubled( home in SC is only about $100k more)

All in all I’m happy we made the move but I am still working through the unrealistic expectations I had about cost of living here. Expectations set by myself from “researching” everything I could. I would have been better off moving blind.
That's a great point about vehicle taxes in SC. A lot of people make the blanket statement "taxes are cheaper in SC than NC (ie lower in Fort Mill than Charlotte)." That is not true for all cases. If you own one house and a couple of older/cheaper cars then yes that will be true for you. In that case your car taxes might be $50-150/each per year and your home tax will probably be lower than anywhere in Charlotte. However, if you drive a brand new expensive car every year or have multiple properties in SC then taxes in Charlotte would be much cheaper than Fort Mill. I moved from NC to SC and the taxes on my new Camaro went from $250 in Charlotte to $750 in Fort Mill. This was a Camaro, not a Benz or some sort of luxury car...can't imagine what I would have paid in those cases. Property taxes go off value of the car so they will go down each year as your car deprecates. Also if you own property in SC that is not your primary residence, your bill about triples. I have a neighbor whose home is appraised by the county at 300k, their tax bill would normally be around $2700 however they did not declare this as their primary residence and their bill was over $8000! A 300k house in Charlotte/Meck that is county only would carry a tax bill of around $3500.
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Old 01-03-2019, 08:14 AM
 
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Job market is booming in Charlotte
It won’t be cheaper, Fort Mill might also be more expensive as it is desirable, depends how much you want for 500k
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Old 01-03-2019, 09:40 AM
 
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Sorry to add another question to this thread, but how do real estate taxes work in SC? They show as super low on Zillow and I'm guessing might be incorrect? We currently pay $4400 on a house values at $220k and already pay high vehicle tax. Just trying to estimate accurately.

Thanks!
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Old 01-03-2019, 10:55 AM
 
16 posts, read 29,065 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spedteach17 View Post
Sorry to add another question to this thread, but how do real estate taxes work in SC? They show as super low on Zillow and I'm guessing might be incorrect? We currently pay $4400 on a house values at $220k and already pay high vehicle tax. Just trying to estimate accurately.

Thanks!
This site will give you the exact rates for each area of York County: https://www.yorkcountygov.com/Docume...tate-Taxes-PDF

From my example if you live in Fort Mill but not part of the city (Unicorp York County) in Flint Hill district on a 300,000 appraised property value and it is your primary residence then you would be looking at: 300,000 * 0.04 = $12,000 (assessed value) * 0.2208 (millage rate) = $2649.60 tax bill. One thing to note also...with Act 388, in SC they can't increase the appraised value of your house by more than 15% (I believe it's 15% but not totally sure) on a normal assessment year (I think those are every 5 years) BUT anytime the house is sold they can adjust by however much they deem necessary to match the sales price. So you might see some property tax bills that are really low for the price of a house but that tax bill might be based on the last sale....say in 2011 when things were a lot cheaper. When you purchase they don't always adjust the appraised value either. My house was valued by the county around $295k when I purchased in 2015. I paid $345k but the tax office didn't adjust the value. A neighbor bought a house with the exact same floorplan as mine 6 months later and paid $355k and his tax appraised value went from around $290k up to $350k due to teh sale that year. So he pays around $440 more in property taxes a year than me but we live in the same neighborhood in the same floorplan/sq ft, bought around the same time and paid close to the same amount. Zillow also seems to have inaccurate info on a lot of property tax history. You can check directly from the county by putting in the street address here: https://onlinetaxes.yorkcountygov.co...WildfireSearch

Last edited by goldhill4ever; 01-03-2019 at 11:37 AM..
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Old 01-03-2019, 10:58 AM
 
2 posts, read 4,097 times
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Thank you all for your responses! I will likely be back with more questions in the coming days but just wanted to thank you guys so far. This is all so new to us (and admittedly very scary) so I'm glad that things we may not have even thought about yet are being brought up, there's so much to consider.
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Old 01-03-2019, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Over yonder a piece
4,270 posts, read 6,293,626 times
Reputation: 7144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Familyman6 View Post
This is a really great post and should give the OP some things to chew on. I will say from recent experience that while I don’t know much about CLT schools, the FM school system isn’t any diff than other public schools we have been a part of. There are a lot new schools here but they are still crowded and use the same school curriculum as others. They may just call some of the programs by different names. School rankings are all relative anyhow and SC is one of the worst in the country. My two oldest ( 6 and 8th grade) were so bored we pulled them because they were working on math and English they had completed 2 years prior while at the charter school in our previous state. I honestly think the schools are just being used to raise taxes every single year. Schools make up for well over half of your property taxes. Personally I feel that schools should be privatized, but that is another thread. lol

Property taxes in FM are ridiculous to me for these new subdivisions. I just wrote a check for $8k. Granted some areas in the NE will be more but it’s still salty. Property tax on vehicles was new to us as well. That’s another 1100 a year in property tax. More if you own a boat, rv, ATL, etc.... we moved from the west coast and our property tax has doubled( home in SC is only about $100k more)

All in all I’m happy we made the move but I am still working through the unrealistic expectations I had about cost of living here. Expectations set by myself from “researching” everything I could. I would have been better off moving blind.
Conversely, my kids are benefiting from a good education compared to where we lived. Yes, SC schools statewide are not good at all, but FM/TC has consistently ranked top in the state and I know my kids are getting a great education compared to what they would have gotten where we lived in NoNJ.

As for property taxes, we average $2K a year and live in a 30-year-old, 3,000 sq ft home. Not sure what kind of house you are living in that your taxes are $8K - it must either be listed as a 2nd home, or it's a brand new, million dollar plus home.

I also did copious amounts of research for 1-2 years before we moved, so we did move blind, but nearly all of my expectations were met when we arrived. But then again, we moved here in 2006, not 2016. A lot changed in those 10 years.

Last edited by Girl; 01-03-2019 at 12:31 PM..
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