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Anyone in North Carolina?
Old 03-08-2015, 01:31 AM   #1
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Anyone in North Carolina?

DW and I are slowly digging out where (and if) we move after FIRE (probably 2016-2018).

Currently live in socal. 1.2m house (owe 680) which is slightly above average... Decent schools... Nice neighbourhood.

Why we want to move: DW LOVES privacy, gardening, trees, rural areas and were in stereotype suburbia.

The catch: two young kids (3 and 1), DW hates bugs... Likely will home school but not 100%.

So... NC near the coast seems very nice, much cheaper, more land, but not sure about bugs and schools.

I used to live in NJ and remember liking it there a lot.

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Old 03-08-2015, 06:12 AM   #2
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Hi Petershk, greetings from Charlotte NC. I've lived in NC for about 35 years and love it as a home base. We get a taste of all four seasons (okay, sometimes a little more winter than I would like...), we have beautiful mountains and a gorgeous coastline. There are lots of places to hike and play outside, although July and August can be a little brutal from a heat and humidity perspective.

I currently live in a suburb outside Charlotte, but also own a beach house on an island right off the coast that is halfway between Wilmington and Myrtle Beach. Sorry to say that there are bugs aplenty down at the shore, we keep an annual contract and a hot line to our exterminator, as does every other house owner in that area, I'd bet! Ants, roaches, Mosquitos, gnats, no-see-ums, fleas, ticks, and termites are probably the biggest pests. We also get either a threat or an actual hurricane about once every 3-4 years, so that is something to consider when being near the coast.

From the data I've gathered off, the schools down at my beach aren't nearly as good as where I've currently got my middle schoolers enrolled, so we have no plans to leave while they are still in public school. But it would probably be worth your time to investigate greatschools further to explore Wilmington, or Southport or Manteo or whatever area you have your eye on. I think the Zillow app also incorporates their school data into the maps so you can see various real estate info and see school ratings in combination.

Good luck on your search!

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Old 03-08-2015, 07:01 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by petershk View Post
I used to live in NJ and remember liking it there a lot.
Wow! You meet the most interesting people here.
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Old 03-08-2015, 07:31 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
Wow! You meet the most interesting people here.
Hehe. I meant when I lived in NJ we vacationed to NC and I liked it.. though I lived in west jersey which is quite pretty

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Old 03-08-2015, 04:25 PM   #5
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Newbern and that part of eastern NC is pretty and very quaint. We've gone up there a few times to look at boats.

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Old 03-08-2015, 05:48 PM   #6
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I'm in Raleigh but I've spent a lot of time along the NC coast. Areas around Wilmington are nice and not too expensive, plus you're 2 hours from Raleigh by interstate.

With that $500k equity in your house, you could get a pretty decent place just about anywhere in NC, even at the beach. Maybe not a decent place on the front row, but 2nd row could be an option at that price (though flooding and hurricanes would make me very hesitant unless I had to live on the beach).

Back in 2009 or so, we stayed at a pretty awesome 4BR duplex oceanfront at Surf City/Topsail Island and both sides were for sale for around $350k each.

Although there are plenty of more inland housing that's much more affordable (and cheaper or much larger for your money). And they might still be offering really good deals since there was a big boom and bust in 08-09.

Regarding bugs, mosquitoes are common in most places in the summer months, though where we live on a lake we rarely have any (thanks, bats!). Not so much right on the beach, where the worst thing I've seen is sand fleas and tiny biting flies (maybe 10% of the beach trips).

For indoor bug concern, we used a $2 packet of "Demon WP" off of ebay and it's still keeping bugs away almost 2 years later. Serious stuff the pros use, but $2 and maybe 15-20 minutes of time (package says apply 2x a year I think). You can pay exterminators and some people get into contracts for that service. It's generally not that bad, and it isn't like we have scorpions...

For the $500k, you can probably find some nice acreage if you don't mind being in a rural area. I imagine that amount of money could get you 10-40 acres and a 2000-ish sf house 15 minutes from the nearest grocery store.
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Old 03-15-2015, 06:50 PM   #7
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We live in Lexington, SC that is known for its great schools. We're about two hours to the beach and to Charleston...also, not that far from Asheville...less than two hours to Charlotte. The summers are not too pleasant with high heat and humidity, so we attempt to leave and visit family in NJ or travel to another country. Cost of living is not that bad.

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Old 03-15-2015, 07:28 PM   #8
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North Carolina is my home state. Most of my family is there, except for a couple of kids & grandkids that near us here in Louisiana. I am retired in NW Louisiana. I make several trips a year back to NC, especially now since my mom is 85 with dementia. I love NC, but after a life of living and working mostly in Texas and Louisiana, this is where we call home.

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Old 03-15-2015, 07:39 PM   #9
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Like FUEGO, I'm in the Triangle area. I'm more of a mountain than beach guy, but being in the center of the state I visit both. Works for me. I have a lot of friends who live down by the beach (Wilmington and the surrounds) and love it. But they are past the age of having school age kids.

Here's the biggest gripe I hear from our California expats: HUMIDITY.

Yep, we have it!

You know NJ, so you probably know humidity. Try to remember. But you know what? It isn't that bad once you get used to it. And as someone said above, July and August are the tough months. It is our 'winter' of sorts. Just enjoy the A/C. And it isn't like it is impossible to enjoy the outdoors. It is just sweaty.

I've lived in the midwest and Florida. I have spent a lot of time in California. In the end, this is where I belong. I have no desire to retire anywhere else.

Finally, you mention RURAL and private. You can get that in NC if you drive just a bit inland.

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