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Wilmington Relocator


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My first post; this looks like a great forum after looking around, particulary those of you that have posted pictures of Wilmington, NC. I am San Diego, CA native and within a year and half will be relocating with my wife and 4 year old son.

After an exhaustive time spent researching possible areas, we have set out sites on Wilmington, NC. The decision is based a variety of factors: weather, economy, housing, proximity to my wifes parents, education, coastal...

I could go on. My wife is from Memphis, as is where her parents reside. She wanst to be closer to them (and bring my son closer to the grandparents!) and I need the coast (being a san diego native I cannot leave the ocean).

Everything so far (in my books and internet searching) looks exactly like what we are after. A growing community that has yet to reach the over-populated category. San Diego has over 2 1/2 Million in the county and no one can afford a home; it's over-rated, disconnected and increasingly growing crowded.

I have spent some time in the South (GA and FL) and my wife was born and raised in TN and one thing we both want is a community feeling and a feeling of polite and respectful persons that have a grounding in family values. Southern California is the antithesis of all that.

I guess what I am saying is; hello, and what insight about the area can you give me?

Thank you!

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Welcome to the forum Outland!!

First, I visited San Diego once for about six days and I thought it was a beautiful place. However, I can certainly relate to the cost of housing issue.

Frankly, Memphis is still quite some distance from the East coast. By plane, you might as well be coming from San Diego IMO. The distance is shorter but the cost will probably be similiar. Driving of course would be quicker, but that's a long drive to me.

I lived in Wilmington for four months back in '87. I visited about a year ago, for an afternoon, just to see what had changed. Not too much to be frank, but that sounds like what you might like.

I grew up in a city about the size of Wilmington (Florence SC), so I was use to living in a city of that size. I love historic architecture, which Wilmington has a nice supply of.

The people were friendly enough, and the area is definitely not being overrun with growth. The traffic is a little bad though (on certain roads) given the city itself isn't huge. Be aware that like most of the South, the mentality is pretty conservative. Governor Arrhnold would be viewed as a liberal in these parts. But, again maybe that is want you are looking for.

Coming from a big city, you will have some adjustments to make in terms of shopping choices, etc. There is one, one-story mall and if you or the Mrs. are looking for a Cheesecake Factory, P.F. Chang's, Williams-Sonoma, Ruth's Chris, Nordstrom's, Neiman Marcus, etc. you will have to drive at least to Raleigh.

You may also want to consider Savannah or Brunswick in GA, Charleston or Beaufort (close to Hilton Head, but a small town)SC, Pensacola or Panama City FL. Jacksonville FL also would be a consideration, but it might be bigger than what you are looking for (1.2million metro).

Lastly, give some consideration to Mobile AL. Alabama isn't my favorite state, but I visited there once, and it seemed pretty nice. It seems like a good size city for what you have in mind too. Plus the distance to Memphis would be shorter than any of those others. Gulf beach don't have much surf though, if that matters to you.

If you have any specific questions on Wilmington, I'll be glad to try to answer them.

Good luck with your decision!!

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Thank you for the insightful reply.

Part of the choice of Wilmington is lying in ti's relative proximity to Memphis, TN. Yes, still not a stones throw but I do not fly and am used to the road trip. I have the Wilmington Memphis drive clocked at about 13.50 hours (I am used to driving from San Diego to San Fran at 9 to 10 hours). My wife flies however, and it will be an easier HOP for her and her mother.

The other locations I have looked into (Savannah being widely considered at one point due to my living in Augusta and being somewhat familiar with GA). ONe thing we have realized is that we want to be closer to the MID ATLANTIC than down SOUTH (I lived In FL for a spell as well) and that of course goes back to the MEMPHIS connection.

One MAJOR MAJOR element is I have to be on the coast. No exceptions. I surf, I sail, I love fishing (Ocean) and the whole mentality that sorrounds the Coastal living.

Interesting note on the shopping! That, I admit, might take alittle getting used to; thank god for Amazon and the ONLINE SHOPPING choices.

We are definatley looking for a slower, uncongested, yet progressive city. Not to big and not exactly 'Bum Flip Egypt' if you know what I mean.

I am in love with architectural design and historic sites. San Diego has no sense of this concept. I look forward to being on the EAST COAST as I have never been to VA, DC, BOSTON, NY etc etc etc. I did goto Boot Camp in Cape May, NJ and loved the town.

My favorite hobby is filmmaking (wannabe indiependent dv filmmaker) and a surprise for me was seeing the film activity in Wilmington. That was a sales point.

I am a San Diego native that has realized my roots are no longer ground here. I want simpler, less congested, less stressful, mellower. I want a place my child can grow up that has some sense of peace to it while still having the option of the bigger cities, skiing, sailing, and other lifestyle choices.

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^^ You certainly seem to know what you want in a new location, which is great. Has Charleston been on your radar? Can't beat the historic architecture there. Folly Beach is a great beach and so is Edisto (real mellow and residential). I haven't spent any time at the other beaches there, like Sullivan's Island and Isle of Palms, but they are mostly pricey residential beaches. Downtown Charleston does have some upscale shopping (Saks, Gucci, etc.) that can't be found elsewhere on the coast. Charleston housing is expensive by SC standards, but certainly cheap by SD standards.

Because of the local architecture, a fair number of films and TV shows have been filmed there, but I don't know much about the indy film scene there.

The only other place that comes to mind is Va Beach/Norfolk/Newport News Va. I don't know anything about them though.

P.S. In defense of SD, I think the Gaslight district is very nice. I know the locals think it is a convention-tourist trap, but the buildings are beautiful IMO.

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I was born and rise near Wilmington. The town has grown way beyond I ever expected. Shopping is getting good there and you can find many good places to eat. There is UNC-Wilmington, which is a very good University. I do not know much about the public schools.

I40 will get you to Raleigh fast and Raleigh has many good shopping areas. To Charlotte about 4 hours by US 74.

To get to Memphis just take I40 out of Wilmington to Memphis.

The weather will be colder than coastal San Diego in the winter time.

I love my visits to San Diego.

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