Post # 17
The Triangle is full of transplants – NC has one of the highest net migration rates in the US with lots of people coming in. We’re from Canada and just get the generic American comments about Canadian accents, cold weather, etc, but nothing rude specifically about being from elsewhere.
The economy isn’t great, although depending on your skillsets, the number of universities and research institutions, especially in the Triangle, mean that there are a lot of places hiring. Cost of living is really quite low; rent/housing prices are low, groceries and utilities are quite low, and I don’t find taxes too high (although we rent so we don’t pay property taxes – other bees can fill you in on those details).
The weather is lovely. It was over 70 degrees here the other day. A little dusting of snow once or twice a winter… Much nicer than the winters up north. On the flipside, the summers can be pretty awful, both high temps and serious humidity. Pretty much everyone just cranks up the AC though which makes it more bearable.
Post # 18
@bleusteel: thanks for your input. It’s super exciting to hear only $1800 a year in property taxes. Currently, we are paying near $8000 🙁
@MRSsrm85: We are actually looking to get away from the “northern” feel. We’ve never cared for it, and find it to be pretty stressful. Getting used to people moving slowly would certainly be a challenge b/c by nature here, we are ALWAYS rushing even if we have nowhere to go!
I’m glad to hear someone elses opinion of the area. It’s so difficult to decide on this. Jobs would be a major factor so if the unemployment rate was high, we’d probably avoid the area. What about south carolina besides the weather did you specifically dislike if you don’t mind my asking?
Post # 19
I lived in the Charlotte area for 5 years. I was not a huge fan of the area. I grew up in the south and that area never felt truly southern to me at all. Maybe because there were so many northern transplants…to the point that people I worked with made fun of my southern accent. I finally left not only because I didn’t like it and the weather in the summer was atrocious but also because I couldn’t find a decent paying professional job. If you want to work for a large bank it’s the place for you but commuting into the city is no picnic. I was ultimately able to get a much higher paying job in a much better field in Maryland. I’m happy where I am now. 🙂
Post # 20
@Pixie26: Generally, South Carolina has even less professional jobs than North Carolina but the cost of living is lower as long as you’re not in Charleston or Hilton Head Island or places like that. Also, just from my interactions with the people, they are a little bit more “backwoods” than North Carolina and I don’t mean that in an insulting way at all.
Also, I forgot to mention that NC is a right to work state. At first you hear that and think, “Well, that’s cool,” and then you realize that it basically means you have the right to get fired for no reason.
Like I said, just from personal experience, I love it here but I would not move here as an adult though.
Post # 21
We live in Raleigh-Durham after living in CA and AZ. Almost nobody we have met is from this area and you absoultely will not be judged for being from another state. This area is very liberal and there are a lot of opportunities in IT/Biotech. Cost of living is very low, but the public schools in a lot of areas are not great so that’s something to consider if you have school-age kids. The weather is lovely; even the humid summer that everyone freaks out about is not bad. We love it here; the only problem is that it’s far from our families!
Post # 22
@Pixie26: Um just do it… just move. Leave NJ, Just go!.
LoL No in all seriousness, my husband and I were both born and raised in NJ (northern NJ) and we moved to the Raleigh, NC area 3 years ago and have not looked back. Its SOO much more relaxed here, I can’t even explain. I feel like I can actually breath now. The job market here is very good – depending what field you are in i’m sure but we didn’t have a problem finding jobs. The IT field and medical field are big around here so if your one of those you’ll have plenty of options.
And “southerners will hate us b/c we are from New Jersey” is the biggest load of crap i’ve ever heard and SOOO far from the truth. Southerners are the nicest people you’ll ever meet… theyll strike up a friendly conversation with you, ask you when you moved, if you like it down here, that kind of thing – but they would NOT judge you.
Cost of living…. um seriously….
Our mortgage is 850 including taxes and insurance on a 10 year old 3 bedroom, 2 bath house on an acre lot about 30 min. north of raleigh. the property are 1200 a year and the house only cost us 130k.
My sister in NJ however paid double the price for the same size house, on a smaller lot, thats 30 years older, and with property taxes and insurance. well the costs don’t even begin to compare. Not to mention electricity and costs to heat and cool your house… are EXTREMELY lower here. In NJ you’d go broke. The highest monthly bill we have is like 140 during the heat of the summer…. My sister told me she paid like over 400 dollars for one month of just gas to heat her home. I nearly died.
Income wise – at a job where you might earn 60k in NJ – you’d probably earn closer to 50k down here… but the 500 dollar a month difference? youll make more then that up in property taxes alone. So don’t buy the excuse that “oh you don’t make as much money down there” yea its true… but your expenses are also HALF of what they are in NJ.
The Raleigh Area is actually made up of alot of transplants…. people leaving NJ or NY for NC is not a new thing… most of the people we know around here are not from here. Everyone i talk to just LOVES it here. Seriously its amazing…. you will love it. I will never leave NC. I love this state.
Post # 23
@Pixie26: i live in columbia, sc. the cost of living is very low here and home prices are really good. we are near mountains, beaches, charlotte, a huge lake. it’s a great place. people will not hate you because you are from jersey. i’ve lived in nyc and have close friends from jersey. it’s like how people think all people from up north are “rude”. people that don’t like you because you are from jersey aren’t worth friending anyways…
charlotte is great, too. i love visiting there. (it’s 1.5 hours away) i’ve never lived there, though.
Post # 24
@RunnerBride13: I’m just wondering, but how long have you been here? This past summer was amazing, very few days in the 90s and the humidity wasn’t so bad, but the one before was absolutely terrible. We did not go outside unless we had to because the the heat and humidity was so bad. I’ve experience over twenty North Carolina summers so I know that the last summer was an exception.
Anyway, OP, keep in mind that although Raleigh is liberal, North Carolina as a whole is not. Examples: Amendment One and the new Voter ID Law.
If you find a job here though, you should try it out and see if you like it. Raleigh is a really good area. The traffic is not that bad and there’s much more to do here for cheap or free than Charlotte.
Post # 25
Also please do not mistate a place having northern transplants for a place that has a northern feel. While I would never live in Cary (in the Raleigh-Durham area)because its just too cramped for my liking – even Cary does not have a Northern Feel – its just more cramped then most other areas around here.
Trust me i HATE that northern feel, I HATE NJ – if this area felt even remotely similar – i wouldn’t live here. And I LOVE it here. There is not a single place in north carolina that will give you that “northern feel” People that want a northern feel, don’t live in the south.
Post # 26
@MRSsrm85: Actually I don’t find Raleigh to be all that Liberal at all… I’m sure downtown cities are but the suburbs are very conservative. and just about and “downtown major city” will be liberal. Just don’t live downtown if you don’t like it. I know i don’t. Wake Forest for example is very Conservative and that borders raleigh. Morrisville, downtown durham, downtown raleigh, Cary, etc are Liberal areas – hence why i don’t live there. But not ALL of the raleigh area is Liberal – it just depends where you go.
OP if you do decide to consider the Raleigh-Durham area then I’d be happy to tell you more about the specific areas.
Post # 27
@MRSsrm85: Ugh, can we not ever discuss the summer of 2012? That was my first really long exposure to NC summer and it made the most miserable human being ever. This past summer was a delight in comparison.
Post # 28
@MRSsrm85: I believe NJ has some type of “at will” employment clause as well, meaning you can be fired with no reason or notice. I’m not sure if they are related.
@Kate0558: that’s exactly what we are after. some relaxation! I’m so stressed just going to the grocery store. I saw an accident involving about 5 cars a few weeks ago at the walmart parking lot..yes the parking lot!! The cost of living really gets me too. I’m seriously fed up with being ripped off here. As of now for sure, we cannot afford a home here unless it is a falling down shack. And even then I’m sure we’d struggle on payments lol I’m curious about something else though. NJ relies heavily on having a college degree etc for employment, which I do not have. Is it any different down there?
@amandasouthcarolina: I totally agree. If someone didn’t like b/c of the way I spoke or where I was from, I wouldn’t want them as a friend anyway. I’m glad to hear however that this pretty much isn’t an issue.
Post # 29
@Kate0558: I was totally thinking that!! If so many people from NY/NJ are moving there, wouldn’t it feel the same??? I’m so glad to hear that’s not the case. Thanks very much! I think Darling Husband and I willl consider visiting that are. We don’t have any kids, so we aren’t really worried about school systems.
I really appreciate everyone’s opinions on the area. It’s a pretty difficult decision, seeing how we don’t have any kids and really could easily move anywhere (ok not easily but it’s possible)
Post # 30
@kittyface: That summer was awful!!! The 105 degree temperatures started in May. I’m so glad we had a mild summer this year.
@Kate0558: Oh, I agree. I read in another thread that someone considered Raleigh to be liberal. It’s not but it’s more liberal than the rest of North Carolina. If someone is looking for liberal, they shouldn’t come here!
@Pixie26: About your college degree question – I find that a lot of people I know are underemployed. I am currently an office assistant. I have a BS in History and graduated magna cum laude, I taught high school for two years, and I was a bookkeeper for a CPA firm for three years. The position that I am in does not require a college degree though. I don’t know if it will hinder you. I know though that in the small town I used to live in, the receptionist pay started at $10/hr no matter what and we had at least three receptionist with college degrees.
I feel like I’m trying to scare you off. I’m not. I’m just trying to answer your questions as truthfully as I can.
Post # 31
@Pixie26: I live in NC and love it. And no, we don’t hate people from New Jersey, at least I don’t and don’t know anyone who does.