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Old 11-17-2009, 11:02 AM   #21
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FUEGO: I should have mentioned....UNC Tarheels , through and through. I hate PUKE. My fav bball player ever is a tarheel (can you guess?), as well as my 2nd fav. (a little tougher guess) Met Dean Smith and got an autograph back about 10 years ago....very awesome for a big fan.
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Old 11-17-2009, 11:57 AM   #22
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FUEGO: I should have mentioned....UNC Tarheels , through and through. I hate PUKE. My fav bball player ever is a tarheel (can you guess?), as well as my 2nd fav. (a little tougher guess) Met Dean Smith and got an autograph back about 10 years ago....very awesome for a big fan.
Oh, another tarhole! I'm a NCSU wolfpack fan at least in name. I actually had my UNC graduation ceremony in the Dean Dome. MJ would be my #1 guess for your fav player?
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Old 11-17-2009, 12:21 PM   #23
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Oh boy, this is bringing back fun memories... Working in RTP during March Madness and lots of people talking smack around the water cooler.
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Old 11-17-2009, 12:23 PM   #24
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Just to back up a bit--are you sure you want/need to go as far south as NC? I understand you don't like the weather where you're at, but you are in Akron, fer crisesake! We live near Dayton and the weather is considerably more mild than where you are. You might find affordable property in southern OH, KY, or Tennessee, too (there are lots of nice spots in TN). Just consider all the alternatives. Moving to a higher cost area can set back ER by a lot. Every $1 in monthly expenses requires about $300-$400 in nest egg size to produce it (depending on tax rates and assumed rate of return).

If you haven't lived in Dixie, I recommend you try it for awhile before making any commitments. I like a lot of things about the south, but 9 months of steamy hot weather ain't among them.
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Old 11-17-2009, 12:32 PM   #25
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Moving to a higher cost area can set back ER by a lot. Every $1 in monthly expenses requires about $300-$400 in nest egg size to produce it (depending on tax rates and assumed rate of return)...
I'd guess NC isn't a whole lot more expensive on most things. Housing to a certain extent if you really want to live in a certain part of a metro area. But I'd wager that an $80000 house in OH could be had for no more than $110000-120,000 in Raleigh/Durham (not familiar w/ OH however). And if it is paid off, you are just losing the opportunity cost of the difference in house value.


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I like a lot of things about the south, but 9 months of steamy hot weather ain't among them.
It's more like 2 months of steamy weather (July and August). June can be hot and steamy too sometimes. March-May and September-November are fairly moderate with some heat and some cold mixed in.
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Old 11-17-2009, 12:57 PM   #26
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Just to back up a bit--are you sure you want/need to go as far south as NC? I understand you don't like the weather where you're at, but you are in Akron, fer crisesake! We live near Dayton and the weather is considerably more mild than where you are. You might find affordable property in southern OH, KY, or Tennessee, too (there are lots of nice spots in TN). Just consider all the alternatives. Moving to a higher cost area can set back ER by a lot. Every $1 in monthly expenses requires about $300-$400 in nest egg size to produce it (depending on tax rates and assumed rate of return).

If you haven't lived in Dixie, I recommend you try it for awhile before making any commitments. I like a lot of things about the south, but 9 months of steamy hot weather ain't among them.
The weather in Raleigh is really not that bad. It is definitely hot and humid at the height of the summer, but it is quite good otherwise. Winters are mild and Springs/Falls are very comfortable.

Our cost of living in NC was comparable to our current cost of living in Alabama (i.e. it was fairly cheap) except in one area: Taxes. Property and income taxes were much higher in NC, and they required those pesky annual car inspections. But those taxes remain much lower than what you can find in many other states and since I don't know anything about the tax situation in OH, you might actually see your tax burden drop.
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Old 11-17-2009, 01:19 PM   #27
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Our cost of living in NC was comparable to our current cost of living in Alabama (i.e. it was fairly cheap) except in one area: Taxes. Property and income taxes were much higher in NC, and they required those pesky annual car inspections. But those taxes remain much lower than what you can find in many other states and since I don't know anything about the tax situation in OH, you might actually see your tax burden drop.
I thought property tax was moderate here? I pay roughly $1600 a year for two cars and a house that costs a bit more than the $120k thefed is looking to spend. Dunno how that compares to other state's property tax. The nitpicky inspection fees, tag fee, etc are annoying but don't set us back more than $150 or so a year for 2 cars.

Income tax is where we get hit hard. 7-8% for middle income earners with smaller standard deductions and exemptions vs. fed income tax. I typically pay about the same or a little more in state tax than I do in fed tax since there are so many deductions and credits at the fed level (this is with 2 kids). And on top of the income tax is a hefty sales tax (close to 8%).

But public college tuition is dirt cheap (or free for some) at two very good public universities ($5000 a year roughly) that offer almost every degree you can think of. I figure we'll save tens of thousands on college costs for 2 kids, even though we'll pay for it a little each year. If the kids decide to pursue post baccalaureate education in state, then the college savings may enter the six digits in today's dollars.
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:17 PM   #28
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I thought property tax was moderate here? I pay roughly $1600 a year for two cars and a house that costs a bit more than the $120k thefed is looking to spend. Dunno how that compares to other state's property tax. The nitpicky inspection fees, tag fee, etc are annoying but don't set us back more than $150 or so a year for 2 cars.

Income tax is where we get hit hard. 7-8% for middle income earners with smaller standard deductions and exemptions vs. fed income tax. I typically pay about the same or a little more in state tax than I do in fed tax since there are so many deductions and credits at the fed level (this is with 2 kids). And on top of the income tax is a hefty sales tax (close to 8%).

But public college tuition is dirt cheap (or free for some) at two very good public universities ($5000 a year roughly) that offer almost every degree you can think of. I figure we'll save tens of thousands on college costs for 2 kids, even though we'll pay for it a little each year. If the kids decide to pursue post baccalaureate education in state, then the college savings may enter the six digits in today's dollars.
I think your perspective will vary based on your previous experiences. If you come from the North-East or CA, NC is a bargain. But I think that taxes are on the high side if you compare it to other southern states.

Property taxes: they seemed moderate in NC until I moved to AL. Our property taxes went down 30-40% despite the fact that our house in AL is larger and more expensive. I am afraid I have become spoiled.

Car inspections: When I had an older car, the inspection fee was just the beginning. Most years I had repairs to perform to pass inspection. It can add hundreds of $$$. If you have newer cars, it should not be a big deal though.

Income taxes: again, we have seen a big drop when we moved to AL. AL has almost a flat tax system while NC has a pretty progressive tax system. So the more money you make, the larger the difference.
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:28 PM   #29
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I think your perspective will vary based on your previous experiences. If you come from the North-East or CA, NC is a bargain. But I think that taxes are on the high side if you compare it to other southern states.

Property taxes: they seemed moderate in NC until I moved to AL. Our property taxes went down 30-40% despite the fact that our house in AL is larger and more expensive. I am afraid I have become spoiled.

Car inspections: When I had an older car, the inspection fee was just the beginning. Most years I had repairs to perform to pass inspection. It can add hundreds of $$$. If you have newer cars, it should not be a big deal though.

Income taxes: again, we have seen a big drop when we moved to AL. AL has almost a flat tax system while NC has a pretty progressive tax system. So the more money you make, the larger the difference.
Don't get me wrong - definitely not arguing NC is a low tax state. Probably the highest of the Southeast states I am familiar with. My buddy from TN that works here always gets pissed because the sales and property taxes are roughly the same as TN, but the income tax costs him thousands extra every year (single guy w/o kids).

But some of the low/no income tax states get you on other hidden fees/taxes.

It also depends on where you live, since property tax rates can vary greatly. My house in an unincorporated rural area would have a tax bill of $600 or so. In a high tax area like Chapel Hill it would be $3000-4000 probably. That differential roughly equals my typical state income tax bill. Then again $4000 a year in taxes for great schools vs $600 for mediocre schools may be penny wise and pound foolish.

Regarding highly progessive income taxes - I strongly disagree! They start at an extremely high rate and only move up a little as your income goes up!
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Old 11-17-2009, 09:39 PM   #30
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But public college tuition is dirt cheap (or free for some) at two very good public universities ($5000 a year roughly) that offer almost every degree you can think of.
Auburn and Alabama?

Ha
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Old 11-17-2009, 09:50 PM   #31
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Just to back up a bit--are you sure you want/need to go as far south as NC? I understand you don't like the weather where you're at, but you are in Akron, fer crisesake! We live near Dayton and the weather is considerably more mild than where you are. You might find affordable property in southern OH, KY, or Tennessee, too (there are lots of nice spots in TN). Just consider all the alternatives. Moving to a higher cost area can set back ER by a lot. Every $1 in monthly expenses requires about $300-$400 in nest egg size to produce it (depending on tax rates and assumed rate of return).

If you haven't lived in Dixie, I recommend you try it for awhile before making any commitments. I like a lot of things about the south, but 9 months of steamy hot weather ain't among them.
This is why am tossing the idea around. I've thought of TN and KY as well...we actually talked about it today. If you have specific locations in mind, please share. These areas need to meet our requirements of population first and foremost, weather a close 2nd, affordability, school system....but the part that seems to kick NC to the top is the ocean....we LOVE the beach, ocean-town atmosphere etc and would love to be close enough for day trips.
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Old 11-18-2009, 09:38 AM   #32
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This is why am tossing the idea around. I've thought of TN and KY as well...we actually talked about it today. If you have specific locations in mind, please share. These areas need to meet our requirements of population first and foremost, weather a close 2nd, affordability, school system....but the part that seems to kick NC to the top is the ocean....we LOVE the beach, ocean-town atmosphere etc and would love to be close enough for day trips.
You should just go straight to Wilmington!
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Old 11-18-2009, 09:51 AM   #33
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Auburn and Alabama?
I was referring to UNC Chapel Hill and NC State University in Raleigh, but those two in Alabama are solid schools in their own right as well, and affordable for in state students.
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Old 11-18-2009, 09:55 AM   #34
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4k/year RE taxes? Where do I sign?
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Old 11-18-2009, 10:00 AM   #35
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4k/year RE taxes? Where do I sign?
Again it is all relative. Chapel Hill is the place to go for $4k/yr. And single family starter homes there can be had for just under $300,000. Or go virtually anywhere else in the state and pay 2/3 the price for a home, and 1/2 the taxes.
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Old 11-18-2009, 11:20 AM   #36
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You should just go straight to Wilmington!
One thought we had was that being inland a hundred miles should help lessen the blow of a hurricane....any truth to that? We've got no hurricane experience up here!

Plus, I cant find a beach town with a population large enough for us!
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Old 11-18-2009, 11:33 AM   #37
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I don't worry too much about hurricanes. The last one that effected me was Fran (96') and I can't say that it was THAT much worse in Wilmington than here. I am at exit 312 on I-40 (if you want to look at a map). We got hit hard here but that was about 15 years ago. Floyd was bad around New Bern about 10 years ago. What worries me more are tornadoes! They scare the daylights out of me because you don't get 3 or more days warning and they don't flatten everything in their path!

If you are a fixer-upper kind of person you can get a nice older farm house on a bit of land for $120,000 if you are willing to get outside of Raleigh a bit.
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Old 11-18-2009, 11:40 AM   #38
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If you are looking at TN, the logical choice (IMHO) would be Nashville.

Hurricane-wise, it usually helps to be inland... but it doesn't guarantee you are not going to be hit hard some time to time. Raleigh was hit by Fran in 1996 and Charlotte was hit by Hugo in 1989. By the time they hit both cities, the two hurricanes had already lost some strength, but they still packed enough punch to make considerable damage. Of course, they did even more damage on the coast.

But I agree with JustMeUC, tornadoes are much scarier! Being awaken in the middle of the night by blaring tornado sirens is a very unsettling experience!
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Old 11-18-2009, 11:46 AM   #39
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One thought we had was that being inland a hundred miles should help lessen the blow of a hurricane....any truth to that? We've got no hurricane experience up here!

Plus, I cant find a beach town with a population large enough for us!
Wilmington is a pretty decent size city and it is growing (as are the surrounding communities).

Regarding hurricanes, there is a lower amount of risk further inland due to 1) weakening of the intensity of storm as it crosses land to reach you and 2) lower probability of getting hit since hurricanes tend to hit coastal areas more (they thrive over the ocean).

Even over 100 miles inland in Raleigh we have been hit pretty hard in the last 10-15 years. And even Charlotte (further inland) was hit bad by Hugo in 1989. I think if you were a little inland in Wilmington (ie not living at the beach) and your house elevation was above 20-25 ft and not otherwise in a 100 year flood plain, you should be safe from any probable storm surges. Wind and uprooted trees could still get you though.

From some house hunting a couple years ago, Wilmington seems to cost just a little more (maybe 5-10%) vs. Raleigh. Still in the "affordable" range given that you are relatively close to the ocean.
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Old 11-18-2009, 12:11 PM   #40
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Richmond would be another good sized city in the south that's inland, but fairly convenient to the beach (if you call battling Va Beach traffic convenient). It's an old tobacco town like Durham, but also the state capital like Raleigh. I don't know too much about it, except to say that I know there are nice parts and not-so-nice parts of Richmond.
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