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moving to North Carolina Raliegh or Greensborough maybe??

sylvania OH
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moving to North Carolina Raliegh or Greensborough maybe??

My husband is on his way to North Carolina Friday to look at homes. We can live in either North or northern South Carolina. We have a 3rd grader and a kindergartner, so schools are number 1 on our list. Low crime rate, (no gangs) and family friendly are next on our list. Sports for the kids (soccer swimming baseball) are number 1 on their list.

If I was your cousin, where would you send us? Hubby is going to visit Raliegh Durham area, and hopefully Greensborough, before he has to come home.

We don't know anyone from North Carolina at all, so this is a tough move for us. We've never lived any farther south than northern Ohio, and have always wanted to live in a warmer prettier area.

Thanks for any help you can give us!!!

tjo
Southport, NC
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1. Re: moving to North Carolina Raliegh or Greensborough maybe??

I have lived in both Greensboro and Raleigh. Both have a lot to offer in the way of cultural events, museums, restaurants, shopping, etc. I find Raleigh to be a little too big and fast paced to consider it a typical Southern destination. Greensboro is much more laid back and more the norm of a Southern hometown. I can't advise you on schools as I did not have children when I lived in these towns. I do still visit Greensboro once a month and still feel very much at home there. I avoid even driving through Raleigh to get there because even that stresses me out. It's a great place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there again. Both are located where you can easily drive to either the mountains or the coast in a matter of a few hours. I grew up 25 miles north of Greensboro, so, maybe I'm a little more familiar with that city and that may bias my opinion. I would suggest a visit to both to decide. Even Raleigh may seem slow paced compared to where you live now. I, on the other hand, chose to slow down even more and moved to the North Carolina coast. If you get the chance, plan a visit to our part of the state and you may find yourself torn between three locations! We are the fastest growing county in North Carolina here in Brunswick county. At the rate we're growing, I'm soon going to be looking for something even more laid back than here. Good luck to you.

southcarolina
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2. Re: moving to North Carolina Raliegh or Greensborough maybe??

Hey Cous-how about looking our way. Tega Cay, SC (www.tegacaysc.org), or Fort Mill, SC. We have low crime, schools are great, and there's loads to do for families. In Tega Cay we are a peninsula town on Lake Wylie, with a golf course, swimming pool, tennis courts, walking trails, soccer fields, baseball fields and more. We are apx. 20 mins. from downtown Charlotte, about an 1 1/2 from the mountains and 3 hours from the ocean. Good Luck with your search and what ever you decide I wish you the best of luck.

NC
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3. Re: moving to North Carolina Raliegh or Greensborough maybe??

I agree that Fort Mill, SC is a good place to live. I think you'd find the taxes lower in SC than in NC also. I would avoid Raleigh. Greensboro is a better choice, but there is significant crime in any metropolitan area of NC. Also- the large school systems are impersonal and replete with problems.

sylvania OH
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4. Re: moving to North Carolina Raliegh or Greensborough maybe??

Oh my goodness, you have no idea how much you are helping us. Since my husband is in sales and works from home, we aren't limited to one town. This is a good thing, but the choices are overwhelming! This will be my daughter's 3rd school, so I'm pretty adamant that this will be our last move until my little guy is out of high school.

Thus, the reason I'm freaking out. I don't want to make a poor choice, and then discover that if we'd known someone down there, we never would have moved to town X, when town Z would have been perfect.

I spent a little time searching threads on this site, and I notice Fort Mill keeps coming up. Also I subscribed to the Raliegh Durham newspaper a couple weeks ago. I notice even in Chapel Hill they keep mentioning "police don't believe gangs were involved in the incident". EEK.... I don't want to live anywhere gangs might venture to!

I just want to raise my kids in suburbia, not farmland, but not city either.

Thanks for the tips, if anyone thinks of anything else, please let me know.

Charlotte, North...
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5. Re: moving to North Carolina Raliegh or Greensborough maybe??

Yes, it is very sad, but even mid to small size towns in both of the Carolinas are begining to see problems with gangs. Just 5-10 years ago or so we Southerners still thought that gangs were just a NYC or L.A. problem! Yes, check out Fort Mill SC,(Tega Cay is in that area) I believe I saw where Rock Hill (not too far from Fort Mill) has recently opened a large Aquatic center.(competitive swimming) Also check out the nearby small town of Belmont in Gaston county, NC. Lake Wylie and all types of water sports are very near. It's also just a 20 minute drive from Downtown Charlotte, but has that old time small town atmosphere. The town park which is on Main street is so cute and also shows family movies once a week at night in the summer months! I love it! Huntersville, on the other side of Charlotte also has a great Aquatic center and a nice baseball/soccer park, but the traffic is bad, and the schools there are good but are part of the huge Charlotte/Meck. school system. (Which if you've read many posts on the Charlotte area, you may realize that this may not be a good thing at the present time.)

Best Wishes!

sylvania OH
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6. Re: moving to North Carolina Raliegh or Greensborough maybe??

So, the news from the suburbs of Raliegh in not good. We are trying to stay in the low 200's and apparently this gets a postage stamp lot in Carey. My question of the day is, do the school districts around Charlotte (not in Charlotte) compare well to Carey?

Our number one is to be in the best school district we can afford. We have known a few people who have moved north and had to get tutors to help there kids catch up. Now I know there are poor school districts everywhere, so that doesn't mean all schools in the south aren't good, but if anyone knows of one we'd definitely want to avoid, please let me know.

Also, is there a way to compare South Carolina schools vs North Carolina?

thanks so much.

Charlotte, North...
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7. Re: moving to North Carolina Raliegh or Greensborough maybe??

As a parent of a high school student, I realize now that even with young kids you should look at the high school that your child will eventually attend. These days, College acceptance is very competitive, and the right high schools offering the most challenging course work is very important to future college admittance and success. If you look at Newsweek's list of the top 1000 high schools in the U S, you will find a number of NC schools listed within the top 200. Many of the NC schools listed are in the Charlotte area. Yes, as I've stated in previous posts, I do have some problems with the Charlotte/Mecklenburg school system, mainly with the school board and adminstration, however the high school curriculums offered in many of the Char/Meck High Schools are very competitive with top schools throughout the country. On top of that NC is always ranked at the top of the national list for best statewide school testing and accountability. South Carolina has been making good strides in the past 5-10 years, but in the not so far away past, SC public education was ranked near the bottom of all states in the US. For many years the SC school curriculum was considered very weak; several friends of mine who live in different areas of SC are realizing now that their kids are high school age, that SC still is not offering as much of the top level college prep. high school courses (AP, IB)that schools in other states do. A friend who moved to Greenville, SC (by far the most progressive/educated city in the state) a year ago, realized after enrolling her 2 high school aged kids in school there, that they did not offer a good number of the AP courses that her kids had planned to take when they were in Charlotte schools. After much research and family debates, they moved the family back to Charlotte so the kids could attend a high school with a more challenging curriculum and her husband is commuting to work in Greenville, SC.

Your kids are young and SC may be totally caught up with NC by the time your kids are in high school. Fort Mill and Greenville in SC will be areas that lead the way. Overall, at the present time, if you're comparing NC's public education to SC's; NC is still way ahead. In NC, you want to look for Elementary/Middle schools that are a "School of Excellence"; (this can be found on NC State School system websites, county school system websites, and friends have told me that some of that info.can also be found on Real Estate and Relocation websites.) You also want to look at the individual school; how many teachers are board certified? many teachers with many years of experience? active PTO? (this is very important as the state does not provide enough funding to elementary/middle schools to provide a top level of education. The best schools with the most active PTOs are able to raise funds to outfit high tech, up to date computer labs, plus extra money for the library, as well as additional funds given to their classroom teachers so that they may invest in more materials needed for a most challenging school classroom enviroment.

If it were me, I would begin my school search with the high schools (based on number of top level college prep. courses offered as well as NC accountablity scores- The Newsweek list is a good place to start) and then look at Elementary schools that feed into the best high schools.

I am very pleased to say that my child's high school is ranked in the Top 100 High Schools in the Nation! Students in this year's graduating class have been offered millions of dollars worth of full scholarships to Top Universities throughout the US.

Pretty darn good for a "Southern" education!

Best Wishes!

NC
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8. Re: moving to North Carolina Raliegh or Greensborough maybe??

RE: Belmont - I live in the area and I can tell you the explosive growth occurring is destroying the small town feel. Our traffic is becoming horrendous, our taxes are as high as Charlotte, our city government squabbles and makes poor decisions, our water plant is old and decrepit. They are building thousands of homes in the area. The new Wal-Mart and Aquatic/Whitewater center will only increase the congestion. Our local high school is packed to the gills with no money to build anything new. Traffic along road where the high school is located is backed up for miles each morning.

Sorry this sounds so negative - Belmont USED to be a lovely small town. The people here are nice and you can still know the store owners by name ( and they know you) - but after the Wal-Mart growth and such, that will leave fast. We who have been around for a while see it all hurtling away to "progress". There will be plenty of houses for you to choose from here and you are welcome to come, but I am just being honest with you about what is occurring here. Best wishes.

NC
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9. Re: moving to North Carolina Raliegh or Greensborough maybe??

Also let me reply to UNCMickey's comment about schools in the area. Not to be contentious, but just to shed some light. That Newsweek article looked solely at AP programs. Highland School of Technology in Gaston County was listed last year as one of the top high schools in the nation by the Gates Foundation. It also consistently has the top test scores in the state. It could not be included in the Newsweek story because of the entrance criteria it requires for admission. So, that article left out a number of fantastic schools in the region becuase of narrow criteria. But, the point is well-made that there were a lot of NC schools listed!

Fort Mill Schools are known in the area as an excellent system. I would venture to say they at the top for quality ( even thought I am a Gaston County Schools employee). Clover, SC school are also excellent.

Really, the only system in the CHarlotte region to avoid are CMS schools ( although some of them individually are good).

NC
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10. Re: moving to North Carolina Raliegh or Greensborough maybe??

LOL and..... I am rushing to get off to church so I apologize for the typos in the previous message! Yikes!