Looking to relocate NC or SC - Please help! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 23 Old 07-30-2013, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello.  My family and I are considering relocating.  But we are having a hard time finding a place that meets our criteria.  I was wondering if any of you out there could give me some advice.  We are looking for areas with these qualities possibly in NC or SC.  (I'm considering these states because Im hoping the winters aren't as harsh as PA winters which will allow for a longer gardening season and less seasonal depression.)

 

Qualities:

 

Small town feel, big city amenities (country with a bit of city/clean/safe - don't care for a lot of that big city rush)

Family friendly

Very homeschool friendly

Progressive

Supports Natural Family living 

Nature/parks/outdoor activities/green living resources

museums/activities/arts/culture

Nice friendly communities

Decent nightlife

Not snooty or expensive

 

We would consider other areas such as VA but this is not the VA tribal area so didn't ask. :)

 

That's all I can think of at the moment.  If you have any input, feel free to elaborate.  I could use all the info I can get.  

Thank you!!!

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#2 of 23 Old 07-30-2013, 04:25 PM
 
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With that list I would look right at Fort Mill, SC. It's right across the border from Charlotte, NC so there's a lot within 20 minutes of you, but it's still a small town. SC has lower taxes too. I'm not familiar with SC homeschooling laws but I don't think they're unreasonable.

Asheville is a nice, crunchy town that probably would fit a lot of your needs too but I think the job market and cost of living are both more challenging there. It would be harder to get a job and more expensive to live there even after you have one. The wonderful thing about Asheville is that you are right in the mountains so you really experience all the seasons so nicely, and still only a three hour drive to the beach.
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#3 of 23 Old 08-01-2013, 09:18 AM
 
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My family and I just moved to NC a year ago.  We've been in Mt Holly for the past year.  You'd probably like it here.  We are moving to Waxhaw later this month.  The only reason we are leaving Mt Holly is that we were not able to find a house in our price range here.  We've been renting for the past year.  Waxhaw is an adorable and very active little town.  We have been going to the little town celebratoins this summer while we wait for our house to close.  There are some VERY expensive areas in Waxhaw, but we are moving right near the little town center and the houses are priced quite reasonably there.  There are some very (I've heard) snooty schools there as well, but the school my kids will go to are known for being mostly farm kids.  I did homeschool one in Mt Holly last year and found several very active homeschool groups.  I know there are several in Union County as well.  The other thing I like about Waxhaw, is its proximity to South Carolina where midwifery is legal.  Both towns I mention are near Charlotte.  

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#4 of 23 Old 08-08-2013, 08:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sarah, Ive thought about Ashville but I was more interested in the piedmont area (I think thats what its called). Can you conpare? And this Fort Mill SC sounds interesting

Caritasrainbow im not familiar with the places you've mentioned but I plan ob looking into them.

Thank you!
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#5 of 23 Old 08-09-2013, 04:50 AM
 
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I lived in Cary, NC from July 2009 to July 2010. It's right outside Raleigh. I don't recommend it. However, during the time we were there, I was pregnant and had DS. My doctors were at UNC Chapel Hill and I was in Chapel Hill often. Love it there. The Chapel Hill/Carrsboro/Durham area is great, and I think meets a lot of your criteria. I also have experience with coastal South Carolina. Beautiful. Speaking from my experience though the Chapel Hill area would probably meet more of your criteria than coastal South Carolina. We love the beach so for us, we'd choose the beach probably... if we ever moved back to the Carolinas. We are a somewhat AP family, homeschool, and I guess are kinda crunchy. Living in the south is less expensive than in the northern states. Me and DH are originally from New England so to us, huge difference. The winters are quick. When we lived in Cary, it actually snowed about 4-5 inches once. The whole place was shut down though because they don't have many snowplows. The roads were a mess until the snow melted, which took about a week. Kids were out of school for a whole week because of 4-5 inches of snow!! ROTFLMAO.gif


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#6 of 23 Old 08-09-2013, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Erinmattsmo 88 shutting roads down for 5 inces of snow is great, inconvenient but better than where we are where you are expected to go about your day in that kind of weather. I lost family to a snow related car accident and is one of the reason I would like to move more south where winters aren't as long and severe. Another is seasonal depression. But ive never really cared for anything than the 1st snow and cute sweaters and snow boots. Lol. Thats as far as my love for winter goes.
But anyway, Cary/Chapel Hill/Carrsboro/Raleigh is the area i 1st read about that lead to my interest in NC. I do love the beach too though. And i havent looked too much into SC. Id love to be about 45 mins to 1 hr from a family friendly beach. Any areas in SC you can recommend?
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#7 of 23 Old 08-09-2013, 03:25 PM
 
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Oh my goodness... so sorry to hear about your family. Yikes. Yeah, the thing about having a little snow in the south is that they simply don't know how to handle it. Even though it may be a few inches to us seasoned winter people, to the southern folks, it is practically the apocalypse because they don't have snow plows, salt, sand, etc. It rarely snows though down here, which is good.

 

Yeah, definitely look into Chapel Hill/Carrboro. As for SC, Charleston is gorgeous. Myrtle Beach, Pawley's Island, and Georgetown are great too. If I had to choose a place in SC, Charleston would be my first choice. In NC, my top choice would be Chapel Hill/Durham area.


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#8 of 23 Old 08-10-2013, 08:40 AM
 
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In NC you can garden all year long, using cold frames during the winter. I like the Chapel Hill area more than the Raleigh/Durham/Cary area. The state's only freestanding birthing center is in Chapel Hill, which is where I gave birth to my daughter back in 2009. I lived about 1 1/2 hours from there, and made the trip for every appointment, and the birth! I always looked forward to my appointments, because it gave me the chance to visit and explore Chapel Hill afterward.


 
 
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#9 of 23 Old 08-11-2013, 03:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Erinmattsmom88, are those cities in SC you metioned right at the beaches? I should just go google it. Lol. Do they have that small town feel with big city amenities?

BeckyBird I would be sooo happy to get my garden on all year around! The birthing center sounds nice but I think our family is complete. But What a wonderful thing to have as part of the community! Chapel Hill gaining points! Whats your favorite (and least) part about Chapel Hill and that area if you dont mind me asking?
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#10 of 23 Old 08-12-2013, 06:00 AM
 
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Charleston is a city. It has lots of towns surrounding it. Lots of southern charm, culture, great food, very picturesque, beaches. Pawley's Island is an hour north on the coast. It is definitely small town. I haven't been there, however, in well over a decade, so it has probably changed some. Myrtle Beach is north of PI, about 15-ish minutes. Myrtle Beach is touristy though, kinda cheesy, and has many shopping opportunities. There was an outlet mall nearby. Again, haven't been in that area in over a decade. I always liked it though. Very pretty. Charleston is about an hour and a half north of Savannah, GA... another beautiful coastal city. They both have smaller towns surrounding them. If you are interested in living coastal, and would be interested in living between Charleston and Savannah (IMO, best of both worlds) you should check out Bluffton, South Carolina. I was scoping it out last week (on the internet). Housing looks affordable. Weather is great... would be able to garden most of the year. You would never want to leave the area to go on vacation because you have both Charleston and Savannah at your fingertips. You mentioned decent nightlife... you'd get that in either city. I've been out in both places and always had fun. Charleston was just recently named the friendliest city in the country... Savannah was not far behind. Savannah just opened a brand new Whole Foods, Charleston has one too. As far as homeschooling, I hear that SC is easy. Check out HSLDA website for specifics, but from what I know, you have three options to homeschool. One is to consider yourself a private school. You have to affiliate yourself with some homeschool group and then that's all you have to do. They pretty much leave you alone after that. Don't quote me on it though, check the state laws to be certain.


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#11 of 23 Old 08-12-2013, 08:18 AM
 
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Quote:

Qualities:

 

Small town feel, big city amenities (country with a bit of city/clean/safe - don't care for a lot of that big city rush)

Family friendly

Very homeschool friendly

Progressive

Supports Natural Family living 

Nature/parks/outdoor activities/green living resources

museums/activities/arts/culture

Nice friendly communities

Decent nightlife

Not snooty or expensive

 

This sounds like the Triangle area of NC to me. We've recently moved within Durham County to be closer to the Waldorf school, but we're right at the Chapel Hill border now. I love this area! We would have rather actually been in Chapel Hill, but housing goes up in price quite a bit as soon as you're over the border. irked.gif

 

Another good thing about this area of NC is that you're in between the mountains and the beaches.
 


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#12 of 23 Old 08-12-2013, 10:00 AM
 
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Originally Posted by erinmattsmom88 View Post

I lived in Cary, NC from July 2009 to July 2010. It's right outside Raleigh. I don't recommend it. However, during the time we were there, I was pregnant and had DS. My doctors were at UNC Chapel Hill and I was in Chapel Hill often. Love it there. The Chapel Hill/Carrsboro/Durham area is great, and I think meets a lot of your criteria. I also have experience with coastal South Carolina. Beautiful. Speaking from my experience though the Chapel Hill area would probably meet more of your criteria than coastal South Carolina. We love the beach so for us, we'd choose the beach probably... if we ever moved back to the Carolinas. We are a somewhat AP family, homeschool, and I guess are kinda crunchy. Living in the south is less expensive than in the northern states. Me and DH are originally from New England so to us, huge difference. The winters are quick. When we lived in Cary, it actually snowed about 4-5 inches once. The whole place was shut down though because they don't have many snowplows. The roads were a mess until the snow melted, which took about a week. Kids were out of school for a whole week because of 4-5 inches of snow!! ROTFLMAO.gif

We've had school cancelled (for 4-5 days) for an inch of snow. What happens is that it warms up during the day and then refreezes at night. So, depending on the year, there can be quite a few snow closing days or delayed openings.

Quote:
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Quote:

This sounds like the Triangle area of NC to me. We've recently moved within Durham County to be closer to the Waldorf school, but we're right at the Chapel Hill border now. I love this area! We would have rather actually been in Chapel Hill, but housing goes up in price quite a bit as soon as you're over the border. irked.gif

Another good thing about this area of NC is that you're in between the mountains and the beaches.

 

I've been in Chapel Hill for almost 11 years and I love it here.
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#13 of 23 Old 08-12-2013, 06:10 PM
 
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Hey MamaKye,

 

Have you narrowed down an area yet? My family and I currently reside in CT and will be relocating to NC in five weeks. I'm originally from Cocoa Beach, FL and my husband is from EI, NC. We love the summers in New England, but they just don't last long enough! And I'm like you, love to put on some cozy winter wear and snuggly boots, but after a few weeks of snow, I'm beat! We've been here for three years and it has been an emotional roller coaster...never diagnosed, but I would venture to guess that we definitely suffer from seasonal depression.

 

We are planning to move back to Coastal NCarolina, Atlantic Beach/Morehead City/Beaufort. The area is very small town feel, surf culture type community, possesses many of the qualities you described. We are outdoorsy water based folks, so we are really looking forward to our move. NC is great in that the mountains are just a few hours away from the beach. The beaches are wide and many are quiet and much less congested than the "beaches" up here in CT/RI. I wouldn't call it progressive, but there are clusters of like-minded folks around, I've connected with some homeschool mamas and as well as some Green Living groups.

 

I do agree with Erinmattsmom88, Charleston is pretty amazing. We had our wedding in Charelston at Magnolia Plantation, it's really a magical city!

 

I'd love to hear your plans and connect with you, should you decide to relocate nearby to Carteret County!
 


 

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#14 of 23 Old 01-26-2014, 02:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow Brandy.  I'm sorry to be responding so late but I am glad to have read your reply.  I still feel soooo torn.  I have an inner calling to the Raleigh NC area or near by and I've never even been there.  But I'm wondering if the winters are going to be as mild as I would like.  Ashville NC has so many good qualities but its further away from the beaches than I would like and the same issue with winters except with windy hilly roads which scares me.  BUT THERE ARE SO MANY GOOD QUALITIES I LOVE ABOUT ASHVILLE!  According what I'm reading anyway.  

But people are saying nice things about Charleston SC too.  And its near the beach! :thumb  But I wonder if there are enough Natural Family Living lifestyle options in that area.  I am so sick of living in places where finding a good holistic friendly Dr is like looking for a needle in the haystack.  And though I could probably find crunchy clusters of families anywhere, its still hard trying to find a good  fit for friendships.  In general I would love to live in an area where healthy living is more norm than not.  

No matter, we can't move until a job opportunity presents itself.  So I'm hoping, praying, meditating, wishing and trying to build towards that for now.  :)

 

Thank you all for your great suggestions and insight.  Its greatly appreciated.

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#15 of 23 Old 01-26-2014, 05:30 PM
 
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But I'm wondering if the winters are going to be as mild as I would like.  Ashville NC has so many good qualities but its further away from the beaches than I would like and the same issue with winters except with windy hilly roads which scares me. 

Being born and raised in NC and having friends and family who have lived in the mountains... it's much colder and snowier there! We can go some years and see hardly any snow/sleet in the Triangle area. If you're looking for the mildest, it wouldn't be the Asheville area.


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#16 of 23 Old 01-28-2014, 11:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you. WednesdayO. I suspected that.
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#17 of 23 Old 01-30-2014, 04:58 PM
 
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Be sure to check out Gaston County, NC  (west of Charlotte), Lincoln County, NC (northwest of Charlotte).  As well as the Clover & York areas of SC.   All of those places are more 'farm' country and rural, as well as typical suburban neighborhoods.

 

Schools districts are by the county lines and can be very important when choosing a home, while I know you said you were homeschooling, you might want to consider the local schools if you ever plan to sell.  It matters here.

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#18 of 23 Old 01-30-2014, 05:57 PM
 
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I hope y'all don't mind a second opinion here. I moved to North Carolina in August of 2012. I moved to Gaston county and rented. While I will say that the homeschool community there was friendly, no one else was. After a year of not meeting any new friends I was happy to move.
We bought a house in Union County, just south of Charlotte, in a little town called Waxhaw. I am in love with my little town. We moved here in August of 2013 and I have made some wonderful friends, met several other like minded moms, and plan to stay here forever. It is at least worth checking out.
I will add that my experience in Mt Holly, Gaston County certainly might be solely me, but I have spoken with others who have had similar experiences in that area. Again, homeschool groups there were wonderful. I will give them that.
I do hope I haven't offended anyone.

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#19 of 23 Old 01-30-2014, 06:42 PM
 
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I hope y'all don't mind a second opinion here. I moved to North Carolina in August of 2012. I moved to Gaston county and rented. While I will say that the homeschool community there was friendly, no one else was. After a year of not meeting any new friends I was happy to move.
We bought a house in Union County, just south of Charlotte, in a little town called Waxhaw. I am in love with my little town. We moved here in August of 2013 and I have made some wonderful friends, met several other like minded moms, and plan to stay here forever. It is at least worth checking out.
I will add that my experience in Mt Holly, Gaston County certainly might be solely me, but I have spoken with others who have had similar experiences in that area. Again, homeschool groups there were wonderful. I will give them that.
I do hope I haven't offended anyone.

what is the commute time from wedding ton/cuthbertson schools area to downtown??   We are in the Mountain Island area right now and have been happy here, but we are considering moving that way possibly this spring/summer.  My husband works downtown, currently he just comes right up Brookshire to come home.  Its pretty quick commute even during rush hours.  

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#20 of 23 Old 01-31-2014, 05:22 AM
 
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That's about a twenty minute to half hour drive. Not far at all.
I live a little further south and it takes me about 45 minutes to get to downtown in traffic.
My kids are in the Parkwood district and I have to say I really like it. It is definitely different than Cuthbertson, where the incomes are much higher. Parkwood has more farm kids and less focus on fancy cars and clothes. Having gone to a school like Cuthbertson myself, I very specifically chose to steer clear. That said, the Cuthbertson schools are quite new and very pretty. Parkwood schools are definitely older.
My youngest attends Waxhaw Elementary (we tried a year of homeschool but it did not work well for us). He is a high need/ special needs kid. They have an excellent "exceptional children" program and his EC teacher is wonderful. Unfortunately his regular classroom teacher seems overwhelmed by him and simply puts him on a computer during class time. I am looking into alternatives for him but feel that my younger children will do fine at this school. He is definitely an exception to the norm.
My next two older children attend Parkwood Middle. One will stay there next year and one will move up to the high school. They are both doing well. The older one is taking two high school courses currently.

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#21 of 23 Old 01-31-2014, 06:10 AM
 
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Yes to Charleston! There is a huge community of like-minded mamas down there, and I'm sure you would fit right in! My husband is from there, and while he has no immediate plans to move back, I've got dreams in my head that we can all go to Summerville. Such a beautiful area!


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#22 of 23 Old 01-31-2014, 09:00 AM
 
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Charleston is really lovely. I've only visited, but it absolutely seems like a cool place to live.

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#23 of 23 Old 02-07-2014, 07:42 AM
 
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MamaKye, have you decided yet? I know I'm late to this but I currently live in Greenville, SC - moved from growing up in Anderson, SC and I must say, it is truly an incredible place to live. You can live 15 minutes from downtown for a reasonable price, and the "city" is full of growth and life! There are farmers markets in the summer months and we have some great local produce and farms. A MUCH more affordable area within driving distance is Piedmont. This is where a lot of the people who work & hang out in Greenville live because you can get so much more space for your money. It feels like you're living in the country, but Downtown Greenville is within 15-20 minutes.

I have friends who homeschool and Greenville is really focused on a Family-focused atmosphere. But there are a few golden spots for the adults that are so much fun.
I love this place so much that I really could go on and on.

On another note, Charleston is close enough to be one of our vacation destinations, and after seeing MANY friends move there and then move back to the upstate, I don't recommend it. I only know two people out of ten who stayed there because they loved it, and those two were both only interested in the college life or boating. I don't think it is where you'd want to raise a family unless you had a LOT of money for a nice house in a great area.

I hope you can find time to visit Greenville and see how wonderful it is for yourself! I have plenty of recommendations, as you could have guessed.
Best of luck! 

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