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Old 08-24-2008, 06:47 AM
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Default Wilmington vs Outer Banks for year-round living

I have the opportunity to move to either area next spring after I get out of the military. I can get a job in either place. The OBX gig pays more, but the cost of living is higher also.

I'm more concerned about school quality, neighborhoods, quality of life, etc.

I have seen some nice houses at Carolina Beach in my price range, but I'm inclined to stay off the beach and get something with some elbow room. (Leland, Bolivia?)
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Old 08-24-2008, 07:10 AM
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Default Re: Wilmington vs Outer Banks for year-round living

NOOO... lol... don't move to "LA" or Bolivia...

This is MY OPINION ( my husband and I are from Wilmington so I speak from experience.. ) -> stay in Wilmington... look into the Monkey Junction area or over towards Wrighstville Beach (Bradley Creek, Mayfaire Town Center area, etc...). Stay out of the W side of town towards downtown WILM, aka "Ghettoville" - their schools are tougher over there too (sunset park - i hated teaching there). Most neighborhoods are nice, you can tell the good ones from the bad.. The New Hanover County School System is pretty good (I was an elem teacher all around the county & did some work in the high schools too...). As far as quality of life, there is ALWAYS something to do around Wilmington & the beaches. If you have any questions you want to ask, PM me or whatever... I could go on about Wilmington (I miss it deeeeeeply!! lol)
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Old 08-24-2008, 01:51 PM
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Default Re: Wilmington vs Outer Banks for year-round living

What area of the outer banks are you asking about?
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Old 08-24-2008, 04:00 PM
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Default Re: Wilmington vs Outer Banks for year-round living

Thanks for the replies.

I will need to be within an easy commute to Dare County Regional on the Outer Banks.


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Old 08-24-2008, 05:55 PM
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Default Re: Wilmington vs Outer Banks for year-round living

If fishing is in the equation, I think that Dare County would be a better choice for offshore (bluewater), and Wilmington / Wrightsville Beach has good inshore fishing.
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Old 08-25-2008, 03:26 AM
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Default Re: Wilmington vs Outer Banks for year-round living

If fishing is in the equation......

Of course it is!
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Old 08-25-2008, 03:36 AM
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Default RE: Wilmington vs Outer Banks for year-round living

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rit.05 - 8/24/2008 7:47 AM

I have the opportunity to move to either area next spring after I get out of the military. I can get a job in either place. The OBX gig pays more, but the cost of living is higher also.

I'm more concerned about school quality, neighborhoods, quality of life, etc.

I have seen some nice houses at Carolina Beach in my price range, but I'm inclined to stay off the beach and get something with some elbow room. (Leland, Bolivia?)
You say you have a job lined up so I will not get into the poor job market, and the low pay scales here in Dare County. If you are looking for a fantastic family area close to the airport you might want to check out Manteo. The schools are fantastic and have the best of everything. The community offers many things to do as a family, great beaches, okay inshore fishing, and fantastic offshore fishing. House prices are going to run you 300K+ for something in a nice neighborhood. Taxes are low although I am hearing rumors of an increase coming soon. If you have any questions pm me.
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Old 08-31-2008, 07:45 PM
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Default Re: Wilmington vs Outer Banks for year-round living

Although we own a home in Manteo, I must say that Wilmington has advantaqges for full time living. The main one is that the Outer Banks has rather brutal winters. The winds of January and February have inspired many a retiree resident to move on within a year or two. Many long time residents avoid living on the water for this reason. Wimington is semi-tropical, the Outer Banks is definitely not. I don't think either has a significant advantage over the other as far as fishing goes. OBX has unfortunately become quite expensive in the last 5-10 years. The up side is that once your are out of the June-August tourist season, things settle down and the small town atmosphere of Manteo is quite enjoyable. You won't find that in Wilmington. So which to you prefer, a very nice semi-tropical city or Mayberry with 4 seasons?
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Old 08-31-2008, 08:47 PM
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Default Re: Wilmington vs Outer Banks for year-round living

Quote:
rit.05 - 8/24/2008 3:00 PM

Thanks for the replies.

I will need to be within an easy commute to Dare County Regional on the Outer Banks.

Ok,

By meaning you need to be within commute range of the hospital, means you're in the medical field, and are prolly well paid, with a guaranteed check.

SO,

I'd vote for where I live. Search out First Street (First Flight Village) in Kill Devil Hills, NC. We're 2 miles from a public boat ramp on the sound and 15 miles by trailer from Oregon Inlet, NC. 35 miles to the gulf stream by boat. You're' commute from my house would be about 7 minutes each way, unless you stop for some coffee.

Schools are all brand new and top notch, my wife teaches 5Th grade and has a 3 year old school.

Manteo is nice in some neighborhoods, but the traffic can be bad even in the off season. Sorry (Newmoon) Don
He lives in Manteo.

Taxes, Insurance, etc. yeah, they are up there, but just as much as any other coastal town. The winters are not as bad as IT suggests. It may blow for a few hours, but it will change the next day. We have no need to winterize the boat here, it doesn't get that cold.

There are many sub 200K houses in my neighborhood right now for sale, I think the market is starting to bottom around here. Might be a good time to get in.

Plus, there's one THT'r on the local commissioner's board, and I can count 7 local THT'rs with boats that fish around here.
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Old 08-31-2008, 10:09 PM
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Default Re: Wilmington vs Outer Banks for year-round living

I've lived in Wilmington and on the OBX. OBX is home so I may be a little biased. Wilmington is a medium sized city with really heavy traffic and violent crime. The OBX is a sleepy coastal village for most of the year and a busy resort for 3 months. Wilmington has everything you need within a few miles and 20 minutes worth of sitting in traffic. OBX requires an hour and 15 minute drive to get to the closest Sams Club.

I would have to say the fishing is better on the OBX because we are closer to the gulf stream and have big inshore sounds to play in.

The cost of living on the OBX is a little higher but not terribly unreasonable. Like Blueh20pc (who lives a few miles away from me) said, you can get a pretty decent house for around 300 and even a deepwater access house on a canal in Colington for just a little more.

(Hey BlueH20, I'm on a local commission too!)

If you have any questions feel free to PM me.
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Old 09-01-2008, 12:40 PM
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Default Re: Wilmington vs Outer Banks for year-round living

JRS - I've noticed a lot of very reasonable listings in Colington. The prices and taxes were very reasonable compared to Wilmington. All the listings I've seen were on the canal and priced between 275 and 450K. Any reason for so many being on the market or is it just the weak market? Thanks
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Old 09-01-2008, 01:33 PM
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Default Re: Wilmington vs Outer Banks for year-round living

I was raised in Wilmington but left in 1960. I go back at least once a year because I have a rental house there in Sunset Park. I dearly love the area especially Carolina Beach and Topsail Beach. Wrightsville is just to crowded but it was in the 50's. Aside for the traffic it's a great city only draw back to me is it's hard to get to. No North to South Interstate and the airline service isn't that good but then again your other choice isn't that accessible either. I think either place you choose is a great area especilly Manteo.
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Old 09-01-2008, 01:57 PM
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Default Re: Wilmington vs Outer Banks for year-round living

blueh20 - medical field, no...pilot and hopefully well paid if I get the job I am aiming for.

I have seen the First Flight area and Colington as well. Very nice and reasonably priced.

Thanks again for all the info. I am really leaning towards the OBX due to the nature of the area and its residents fitting me and my family a little better. We are into the sleepy town atmosphere and don't really need Walmart or Sam's(especially in our backyard). My wife is a photographer and likes the idea of the OBX as well. Time will tell.
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Old 09-01-2008, 04:30 PM
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Default Re: Wilmington vs Outer Banks for year-round living

Having vacationed in both I'd have to say OBX (Manteo). But it all depends on what your are looking for. We just spent 2 weeks down their and loved every minute, except the last 3 days when it rained. We looked at a home that was listed for 1.1 mil, $3400.00 in taxes. I almost fell over. The same home in PA where we live would have a yearly tax bill of 50K-60K.
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Old 09-01-2008, 05:52 PM
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Default Re: Wilmington vs Outer Banks for year-round living

Quote:
Libra - 9/1/2008 3:40 PM

JRS - I've noticed a lot of very reasonable listings in Colington. The prices and taxes were very reasonable compared to Wilmington. All the listings I've seen were on the canal and priced between 275 and 450K. Any reason for so many being on the market or is it just the weak market? Thanks
Colington has always had prices that are a little lower than other areas. The reason is that Colington is accessed by a long windy road that is about 3 miles or so. The road is low at some points and floods from time to time. Also, the local police regularly set up a road block near the entrance to Colington road which gets to be a hassle. Some properties along the road are a little on the trashy side with old half burnt mobile homes and just a fair amount of junk in general.

Now keep in mind, I am not trashing Colington, just giving my opinion as to why the prices are lower there. Generally, the further you get from the ocean, the lower the prices. There are some very nice houses in Colington.

Also the weak market absolutely has something to do with it. I am a real estate appraiser by trade. I recently appraised a fairly nice house in Colington. This house was around 2000 SF and had plenty of upgraded features. The only comparable sales I could find were bank sales. These are the houses that have already been foreclosed and the bank is trying to unload it. This type of sale usually isn't a good indicator of value, but if all of the comparable houses that are currently listed are bank sales offered for low prices, that becomes your market. Colington is an area that has been hit pretty hard in that respect.

If you want any more info, feel free to PM me and I'll let you pick my brain.
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Old 09-01-2008, 07:47 PM
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Default Re: Wilmington vs Outer Banks for year-round living

Thanks - Had a friend thats somewhat familar with OBX tell me just about the same thing. Some really nice places and lots of older and less expensive stuff. Also, he told me of the LE setting up DWI checkpoints at the entrance. I'd thought the gates were out at the main road, but sounds like ya gotta get off it for about 3 miles to get to Colington. Dang, I should be able to place it but can't.
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Old 09-01-2008, 08:29 PM
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Default Re: Wilmington vs Outer Banks for year-round living

Colington road is the road just south of the Wright Brothers Memorial. They usually set up the roadblock just behind the Memorial near the airstrip.
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Old 09-02-2008, 05:34 AM
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Default Re: Wilmington vs Outer Banks for year-round living

I recently moved to Wilmington 5 months ago, and my father has owned a vacation home in Corolla for the last 6 years, so I have a little experience with both areas.

I love the OBX, and can see why people would like to retire or vacation there. I think it is a great place to visit, but I personally would not enjoy living there year round. To me Wilmington has more to offer in regards to everyday living, more stores, more events, more parks etc. Plus after spending one summer hear, the tourist crowd does not seem to have as large of an impact in Wilmington as it does in the OBX. What I mean is that while there are tourists, its still relatively easy on a Saturday morning to get around town and go to the grocery store.

However, Wilmington does have some drawbacks, which do concern me. Several people have mentioned the traffic. I am originally from NJ, and to me the traffic is very minimal. There are some “delays” at the traffic lights during the morning and evening commute times but not what I would consider traffic jams.

What has concerned me so far is crime, and the quality of the school systems in New Hanover county. As I mentioned I am from NJ and I would have expected less crime here in Wilmington than compared to NJ. Unfortunately, the opposite seems true. To me the amount of violent crime seems to be very high for being a relatively small town. My wife is also a high school teacher and has recently started working in NHCS district So far, the district as a whole has been somewhat disappointing. If you have any specific questions, please PM me.

Wilmington is a nice town for us right now, but when I have children I might consider leaving it for another town, such as Hampstead. You also might want to consider looking into Southport which is another nice sleepy coastal town in the area. Best of luck.
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Old 09-02-2008, 06:14 AM
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Default Re: Wilmington vs Outer Banks for year-round living

Funny you should mention Hampstead, that is where I am looking (I just used Wilmington because it is more known). I have 3 kids and schools are going to be a deal breaker if the public system isn't up to par. I grew up with great schools in PA and my kids are currently in a great VA school just outside DC. I don't want to hurt their education and would rather not send them to private unless I have to.
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Old 09-04-2008, 04:57 PM
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Default Re: Wilmington vs Outer Banks for year-round living

Quote:
beber - 9/2/2008 7:34 AM

However, Wilmington does have some drawbacks, which do concern me. Several people have mentioned the traffic. I am originally from NJ, and to me the traffic is very minimal. There are some “delays” at the traffic lights during the morning and evening commute times but not what I would consider traffic jams.

What has concerned me so far is crime, and the quality of the school systems in New Hanover county. As I mentioned I am from NJ and I would have expected less crime here in Wilmington than compared to NJ. Unfortunately, the opposite seems true. To me the amount of violent crime seems to be very high for being a relatively small town. My wife is also a high school teacher and has recently started working in NHCS district So far, the district as a whole has been somewhat disappointing. If you have any specific questions, please PM me.
You don't have to answer this if you don't want to but what school is she at? Laney? I would never teach there again. lol.

Crime & traffic really are not THAT bad. IMO. Traffic gets backed up at certain times of the day like any city.. crime is in your stereotypical areas (Creekside, downtown at night, etc...). There are many nice neighborhoods in Wilm where you can live away from the hustle & bustle and also where you can still leave your doors open at night - we always did. =)

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