Tell me about North/South Carolina - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 04-13-2009, 12:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My husband and I are considering a move south (we're currently in Indiana). We're specifically looking at the Fayetteville, NC area and the Columbia, SC area.

I'd like to hear all about both areas. Jobs (specifically construction jobs) schools, cost of living, things to do, etc.

Thank you so much!

~Sandy
mommy to Joey 11, Ian 9, Hayden 7 and Charlie 3

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#2 of 10 Old 04-13-2009, 11:14 AM
 
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Any particular reason you're looking at those areas? I can tell you a fair bit about Fayetteville. I grew up there and my parents still live there, but I haven't lived there in 20+ years. I know there are some MDC moms from both areas and they might be able to give you a more detailed lowdown. When I take the kids down we just visit with the grands and aren't getting out and about that much. I'm sure you know that Fayetteville is a military town (Ft Bragg and Pope AFB). A lot of the younger folks and young families in town are military, not all, of course, but lots. There's a lot of transferring and moving, etc. Lots of good folks, though.

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#3 of 10 Old 04-14-2009, 01:53 PM
 
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I'm personally not a big fan of Fayetteville. The schools there aren't great and the crime rate is fairly high. My best friends teaches and lives there. She has lots of problems in the school she is in (her school is on base). She lives in a nice neighborhood but she said she has a hard time with the area in general. This is somewhat common outside of military bases. Have you visited the area yet? You may like the Raleigh/Durham or Huntersville areas of NC. I don't know much about South Carolina.
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#4 of 10 Old 04-15-2009, 09:54 AM
 
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As far as which has a better outlook for construction jobs, it would probably be Fayetteville. http://www.newsobserver.com/news/story/976788.html

Columbia proper is largely built out. In the greater Columbia area, there was substantial growth peak-boom, but that has cooled considerably.

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#5 of 10 Old 04-15-2009, 11:52 AM
 
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Fayetteville has a pretty conservative and Christian base. Layered with that is an interesting blue-collar international stripe. Because of the military a lot of guys get stationed abroad and bring home international wives. Then their families come and you get a lot of asian restaurants and seamstresses and apparently there's a large contigent from Guam, if I recall correctly. There's a big International Festival every year and the Dogwood Festival (which irks my mom because it's two weeks after the peak of the dogwood bloom). There is a fair amount of stuff going on, but nothing that would rock the boat, y'know? At the Dogwood Festival next weekend the headliner is .38 Special if that helps explain.

All that said, Fayetteville has made a lot of progress in cleaning up the town in the past 20 years. The mall is still a huge draw for entertainment (yuck!), but they have cleaned up a lot of topless bars that were downtown and now really have a very nice area with a huge 82nd Airborne museum and cool little bistros and the like. I don't know if there are any topless bars still down there or not, but I'm sure they're elsewhere in town. There are also tons of pawn shops! There are tons of chain stores and chain restaurants. If you want a Chili's or Applebee's or Olive Garden — no problem. There are some funky, homegrown mom and pop places, too, though. I just never have time to check them out when I'm down there. I have read about a few interesting spots in the paper, though.

I'm in the Triangle area, specifically Chapel Hill, which is much more progressive both culturally and politically. If that's a concern for you, you might check out this area. That base expansion that the PP linked to is gonna be really big, though, so Fayetteville might be your cup of tea. Not really mine anymore, but ymmv.

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#6 of 10 Old 04-17-2009, 12:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the responses!

I'm not really liking what I'm hearing about Fayetteville. My Dh's sister lives in Columbia (her husband is military) and we wanted to be close to her. I was checking out Fayetteville because my sister was considering transferring her job there. Her company doesn't have a branch in Columbia.

This is so difficult. I have no idea where to start. I've lived in this town most of my life, it's hard enough finding a new place to live when you aren't thousands of miles away!

~Sandy
mommy to Joey 11, Ian 9, Hayden 7 and Charlie 3

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#7 of 10 Old 04-17-2009, 08:24 AM
 
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Well, rosegin, I've got my personal bias, y'know? I know other folks — plenty of folks I went to high school with — who do like it fine. They stayed there when they could have moved elsewhere. If an MDC mama is asking, though, I've got to say it's not the crunchiest or most progressive place in the state. I don't know what it's like where you are now so it might compare favorably. Fayetteville is an old town. It was founded in the 1600 or 1700s. It was one of the first capitals of NC. Ft Bragg is a relatively recent development in it's history, coming to the area in the 1940s I believe. So it's got this base of old southern town and then the military stuff is added to that. Their new slogan for the town (created in the past 5 yrs) is "History, Heroes, and a Hometown Feeling", which I guess tries to cover all the bases. Google that and you'll get some real positve takes on the town. The town has a bit of a chip on it's shoulder because it had such a bad reputation in the 70s (Vietnam era, lots of strip bars, crime) and although they've made huge strides cleaning that up there's a certain stigma that remains. I would suggest that you and your sister both go check it out and see what you think. I don't know that much about Columbia so couldn't compare the two. I do know that a lot of folks really like Fayetteville. I have a certain fondness for the town, but I wouldn't want to live there again and DH never would. (He has relatives in a small town nearby and has some unpleasant memories of hot gnatty summers.) They're doing some cool stuff along the river in Fayetteville, too, that I have not checked out, but my mom has told me about.

I think the town is worth checking out, but if you're looking for somewhere really progressive and crunchy it's probably not your place. If you're looking to be closer to your sister it might be just fine.

Good Luck!

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#8 of 10 Old 04-17-2009, 08:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosegin View Post
My husband and I are considering a move south (we're currently in Indiana). We're specifically looking at the Fayetteville, NC area and the Columbia, SC area.

I'd like to hear all about both areas. Jobs (specifically construction jobs) schools, cost of living, things to do, etc.

Thank you so much!
I'm from sw MI & we moved to Fayetteville a few years ago when I married into the military. We don't live on post at least but I have to say if I had my choice of the ghetto that is Kazoo or Fayettenam I'd take the ghetto.

Just my 2 cents, I'll toss more info if you want in a p.m. but it sounds like you already made a good choice.

Sahm to 2 girls (17 & 15)& Cody (7/09).
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#9 of 10 Old 04-17-2009, 12:04 PM
 
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I'm in Columbia. Here is a relatively recent thread with pros/cons:
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...930&highlight=

Your post reminds me of when I was getting ready to move from California to SC and one of my friends said, "What's the difference between NC and SC?"

Dunno.

"The difference between culture and agriculture."

Ha, ha.

Anyway, Columbia is not bad at all and it's close to places where there IS, TOO, culture!!

Lucky wife to DH and mom to DS (10/02) and sweet DD (7/08) and DSD (3/93) and assorted animalia
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#10 of 10 Old 04-17-2009, 12:13 PM
 
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Hey I wanted to add, if you are looking for a crunchy, more progressive place, you might consider this possibility. If your sister got her transfer to Fayetteville/Ft Bragg, she might consider living in Sanford which is about 20/30 minutes north of Ft Bragg on hwy 87. There are lots of military associated folks who commute from there.

Sanford is not crunchy/progressive, but if she lived there you might consider living in Pittsboro which is about 20/30 minutes north of Sanford on hwy 87. It's about 20 minutes south of Chapel Hill and has a very cool crunchy Mayberry vibe. I would totally live in Pittsboro if I needed to (not looking to move, but I could be happy there). You'd be 30 minutes away from your sis, so you could easily get together w/o too many big plans. It wouldn't be a pop-over for a cup of coffee kind of closeness, but could easily be a quick phone call and let's have lunch kind of thing. Just a thought. There is a fair amount of construction in the triangle. Not sure about Pittsboro itself as it's a very small town, but the county it's in, Chatham, is undergoing a lot of development so it might be worth checking out. Actually, they had a board of county commissioners that were so development-happy that the next election they all got booted out. Might mean work for your DH, though.

Not sure if your sister would dig the idea of Sanford or Fayetteville or not, but you could float it. You can certainly take an easy day trip from Fayetteville up to the triangle. I do it in reverse all the time. It's about 1.5 hrs each way. Fayetteville does have the advantage over the triangle in that it's closer to the beach! Well, at least the SE beach we go to. All of NC is much closer to the beach than Indiana, though!

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