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Moving to North Carolina
Well our family has decided to move to North Carolina. We have a five year old and a 2.5 year old. Any moving advice at all. We are thinking of driving the minivan across country in the span of a week or two and hiring a moving company for the rest. My husband and I have never done such a major move and we would welcome any advice. Moving companies, emotional help with kids dealing with move, should we sell most of our big furniture here to save on moving costs???? Any and all advice is welcomed. Also my husband and I have lived in California all of our lives so any insight into North Carolina, specifically the Raleigh/Triangle area would be great!!! Thank you! Sandra
As my family explores the possibility of relocating to another
area of the country, I would like some information on this area.
Are there neighborhoods, say in Chapel Hill, where public
schools are decent yet integrated (we have a bi-racial son and a
Chinese daughter)? We would prefer not to live in a brand new
suburban development but am open to that if it allows us access
to strong schools and neighborhood diversity. I would love to
hear any information or advice from people who are familiar with
[no replies received]
The schools and cost of living have finally forced us to consider alternatives, after 20 years in the Bay Area. My husband has never lived anywhere but here, and I am a contented transplant from New England. We are considering a move to the Raleigh/Durham/CHill area. Will my husband be miserable with the climate change? Are the public schools good? What small town would you want to live in? Any comments appreciated.
We have found the affordability argument a bit overblown, believe it or not. The higher income & mortgage deductions more than offset the tax hit out here. Certainly you can afford more house there. However, we do not miss our 2000 sf/ 0.5 acre property back east, with the recreational opportunities & 250 pleasant days/year here. The first year we moved here, we figured a family making below $105,000 pays more taxes in NC than out here.
All in all, Raleigh/Durham (they hate to be be lumped together, like SF-Oakland) is a great mid-sized community with many transplants, cultural & recreational opportunities, & an expanding local economy without going completely rural. Feel free to email with more specific questions. Casey
1) Climate change: Well the key is if you can stand hot humid summers. Spring and Fall of course are fantastic and I actually like winter here. Most winters (of course not this one since i got a sled for my birthday!) have one decent snowfall when the town shuts down.
2) Public schools: The public schools are generally excellent. Chapel Hill/Carrboro are universally good though very competitive and not very good for black kids and maybe some other minorities. Durham has very good individual schools but there are some not so good ones. They do have some great magnet schools. I think Wake County schools (Raleigh) are generally excellent as well.
3) Where to live: Chapel Hill and Carrboro are both great though I could see someone finding them very precious or at least not very diverse. Lots of volvos and such. Durham is a more ''real'' place with cheaper housing and a more urban feel. Housing is cheaper generally there then anywhere else. Problems are some racial polarization in government especially school board and lack of much of a downtown life though I am hopeful that is changing. They are developing some of the warehouses around the new Bulls park. Raleigh is nice inside the ''beltline'' but prices are rather high. I really don't like the rest of Wake County though especially the new developments of Cary, Apex and North Raleigh. Lots of transplanted Northeners who retreated here to get a way from high taxes. These are the folks that kept Jesse Helms in power. I guess if I was moving from the Bay Area, I'd live in Carrboro or Chapel Hill. Prices are not incredibly cheap--I would say a nice 3-4 bedroom house would run you between $250K and 400K depending on location. Durham would probably generally be about 25% cheaper. You could also just live outside of Carrboro/chapel hill and get cheaper housing if you were a little less concerned about being in the school systems. Housing is cheaper and I think Chatham and Orange County schools are getting better. Transplanted Tarheel
There are quite a few people from Asia and Indian who are not Christian who have come for job opportunities, but because they are in the minority culturally they tend to stick together and are not necessarily always open to making friends not from their background.
Also, its definitely a small town. The kind of culture and diverisity in the Bay Area is just not available. There is a certain small town mentality that you have to be OK with.
But there are pluses. Its a good job climate. Public schools are generally good. The weather isn't too bad...it is humid in the summer, but winters are mild, and the climate is much preferable than say New York or Boston. You will most likely be able to afford a large house with a yard (as long as you don't mind a suburban tract home). Quality of life in some ways is higher.
It can work for the right person....just be sure to visit before making any decisions! NC native
We are moving to Raleigh next summer and are hoping to buy a house before then. Having never lived in that area nor owned a house before, we are a little overwhelmed with the idea of a new place and the home- buying process. Does anyone have thoughts on nice areas, good school districts, neighborhoods/towns to avoid, etc.? We would really like to live in a place that is child-friendly but still has some character, and, if possible, within walking/biking distance to NC State. On a brief visit we thought the Oakwood district looked great, but are unsure of whether it is good for kids. Any recommendations or suggestions for information sources would be a great help. Thanks! Anna
Our family is moving to Charlotte, North Carolina in February. Any recommendations about how to meet other parents, resources for children (ours are currently 1 and 3 years), school & preschools, anything similar to this ucb electronic newsletter.... any info at all... is very welcome. thanks. Kelley
I would go on the web to see if they have a magazine in the area for Moms and families, we have one called Carolina Parent. It's at the grocery store, a freebie deal.
There is also a mother's club here, and I would bet that Charlotte has one too. They do playgroup assignments, mom's reading group, etc.
I would go to the Libraries in Charlotte, to Storytime, and sometimes Barnes and Noble or Bookstop has Storytime too. That's a good way to meet up with people, glean info. Also, signing up for Kindermusik, a weekly music class (Cameron has done it since 5 mos old) is a good way to meet people and find out the ''scene''. Kindermusik is on the web, and there are undoubtedly classes in Charlotte.
The children's secondhand clothing stores, and the boutiques will all have moms and people who know the vibe of the town. They can be resources too, just going in, shopping, asking around. ''What do people with kids do here?''
The commmunity park is the other place, figuring out the neighborhoods where people congregate and have kids - striking up conversation. Mommy Baby Yoga, that kind of thing, most likely occurs. There are resources out there, this is where I would start.
Schools and preschools will be listed with the local gov'ts and childcare agencies. Also just yahoo the phoneboook with private schools? Maybe the chamber of commerce could help, too. Trying to help :)
We are considering moving to Charlotte, NC. Any recommendations for kid friendly neighborhoods with good schools? Are we going to feel ostracized if we are Jewish? Anything you know about Charlotte would be greatly appreciated.
It's a nice city, definitely Southern with all the pluses and minuses of that culture. Okay, so people drive a lot more big gas guzzling cars and eat fried foods and have the bodies to show for it (do you know what ''fish camp'' is?), and you will undoubtedly encounter tension between blacks and whites (but we have that here too).
No doubt that the biggest plus is how much less expensive it is to live there compared to here. Also, there are little islands of familiar culture in the numerous college towns in the vicinity. Davidson College and Wake Forest are nearby, as is the much funkier NC School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, which has top- notch and inexpensive ballet, opera, and theater performances. There are lovely lakes to row in during the summer, and it's a quick trip to Asheville, a beautiful mountain spot that is also home to many liberal types. You can also get to the Outer Banks, some wild beaches that are worth a summer trip.
I hope this little bit helps. -- Carolina on my mind
In the never-ending conversation of can we-should we-will we- stay and raise our family in the Bay Area, we are once again looking at other possible communities in the U.S. Does anyone come from Ashville, North Carolina? Know anything about the life style - the educational opportunities for children - real estate? Would really appreciate a first -or even second -hand experience. Thanks so much. gia
Asheville itself is a very liberal, progressive town. There's a branch of the Univeristy of North Carolina there, and the small, alternative college, Warren Wilson, just fifteen minutes away. Accordingly, there are lots of book stores, cafes, food coops, art galleries, and some good restaurants, including one of the best vegetarian restaurants and the only completely Native American restaurant I know. It's a small town, about the size of Berkeley downtown, with a lot of residential, rural area around it. I don't know what rents or housing costs are like, but my guess is that it would seem very inexpensive after living in the Bay Area.
But Asheville is a bit of an island in the middle of the Bible Belt, and there is a very politically concervative, evangelical community everywhere you look.There are bill boards for Jesus along the freeways, and lots of businesses post a cross or born-again fish next to their logos. Your kids can even attend Billy Graham summer camp nearby.
All of the people I spent time with were affiliated with the college, so I don't know what the residents of Asheville are like, altough they seem friendly and open. Alot of them are artists, or work with the Universities.
It would be worth taking a vacation there this summer if you are really interested in moving there. There is plenty to do, from watching the night-blooming primroses around the lake at Black Mountain to white water rafting. There are even some fine golf resorts in the area if that is your thing. If you do end up going, send me an email note, and I could get you some names and phone numbers of people who are there that you could talk to. cbw
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