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Newbie moving to NC in 1 month!

Newbie moving to NC in 1 month!

Old Jan 19th 2011, 7:29 pm
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Cool Newbie moving to NC in 1 month!

Hi All,

Thought I better start doing some serious research as hope to fly 18-20th Feb! Our company has offices in Raleigh, NC but we have not confirmed/decided where we are going to live yet.

My L1B visa was approved New Year weekend just days after the petition was filed. Hubby is still waiting for decision on his, so flights are not booked yet

I have 3 children, so middle school is next thing on the list to sort out. Along with childcare for my 22mth old.

House sold last week the viewer came the day the sign went up, and offered full asking price so a bit of extra stress with more things to sort out, but at least we will travel with the equity from the house in the bank!

So much to do - so little time! Sorry in advance if I spam the forums with questions!
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Old Jan 19th 2011, 7:36 pm
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Default Re: Newbie moving to NC in 1 month!

Well you've come to the right place, and you are welcome to ask as many questions as you want. That's why BE was created so we could all connect with each other and share experiences and tips. I'm in NC but don't know Raleigh at all as I am down south in Charlotte and I don't get that way often.

I hope you enjoy being part of our community and if you ever have any site questions please feel free to give myself, the Moderators or Concierges a shout anytime, and you can also post in our Site Feedback forum.

Welcome again and the best of luck with your move.

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Old Jan 20th 2011, 4:42 pm
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Default Re: Newbie moving to NC in 1 month!

Originally Posted by MrsHawkini View Post
Hi All,

Thought I better start doing some serious research as hope to fly 18-20th Feb! Our company has offices in Raleigh, NC but we have not confirmed/decided where we are going to live yet.

My L1B visa was approved New Year weekend just days after the petition was filed. Hubby is still waiting for decision on his, so flights are not booked yet

I have 3 children, so middle school is next thing on the list to sort out. Along with childcare for my 22mth old.

House sold last week the viewer came the day the sign went up, and offered full asking price so a bit of extra stress with more things to sort out, but at least we will travel with the equity from the house in the bank!

So much to do - so little time! Sorry in advance if I spam the forums with questions!
We arrived in Raleigh from West Sussex in early November. we have a three year old so can't help much on the school front but may be able to make a few suggestions on daycare. We are still finding our feet but could probably help answer some of your questions so fire away. Would be happy to explore the area with you too...either through sharing on here or in person if you want someone to meet up with. best of luck with the move.
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Old Jan 20th 2011, 6:53 pm
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Default Re: Newbie moving to NC in 1 month!

Thank you for the welcome Sue!

KH2010 - Daycare advice would be greatly appreciated. Are you glad you made the move? My task tonight is to try and find somewhere to live! Did you find it easy to find a property?
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Old Jan 20th 2011, 8:14 pm
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Default Re: Newbie moving to NC in 1 month!

Originally Posted by MrsHawkini View Post
Thank you for the welcome Sue!

KH2010 - Daycare advice would be greatly appreciated. Are you glad you made the move? My task tonight is to try and find somewhere to live! Did you find it easy to find a property?
I think you may have sent me a private message but I haven't made enough posts to be able to access it yet?! I'll keep trying though and when it works I will send you some stuff on daycare.

We have just moved into a house after being in an apartment paid for by my husband's employer within our relocation package... we didn't have long to find somewhere and saw several in a short space of time before choosing this one. We missed out on one but when it came to putting in a rental offer on this one we had two on our shortlist and others lined up for viewings if neither had come off...and all at an apparently quiet time of year! I suppose it all depends on how specific your brief is. It was all quite straightforward once we found an agent to help us. I can give you his details actually. He'll happily communicate via email if the time difference is tricky for you. He was a fantastic help to us. Do you have something temporary lined up for your arrival through your employer?

I'll keep attempting to private message you...
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Old Jan 25th 2011, 4:23 am
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Default Re: Newbie moving to NC in 1 month!

Hi,

I moved to Cary from London just under a month ago with wife and 4 children. None of them are middle school age yet but we did quite a lot of research on schools so I might be able to help out.

We started with maximum acceptable commute time and then looked at areas within that radius. We honed it down by a combination of places we liked the look of and how good the local school appeared, using sites like this and the realty sites e.g. realtor, which have a local schools rating at the bottom of each property listing.

One thing to be aware of is the diversity policy, in which children are reassigned to out of area schools. Thoroughly commendable in principle but much easier to support when it's other people's children...

I'm aware I might be too late on this so will stop now. I can probably answer other questions if you need but realise I'm a relative newbie.

Good luck.
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Old Jan 25th 2011, 4:05 pm
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Default Re: Newbie moving to NC in 1 month!

Originally Posted by That James View Post
Hi,

I moved to Cary from London just under a month ago with wife and 4 children. None of them are middle school age yet but we did quite a lot of research on schools so I might be able to help out.

We started with maximum acceptable commute time and then looked at areas within that radius. We honed it down by a combination of places we liked the look of and how good the local school appeared, using sites like this and the realty sites e.g. realtor, which have a local schools rating at the bottom of each property listing.

One thing to be aware of is the diversity policy, in which children are reassigned to out of area schools. Thoroughly commendable in principle but much easier to support when it's other people's children...

I'm aware I might be too late on this so will stop now. I can probably answer other questions if you need but realise I'm a relative newbie.

Good luck.
Thanks for this. You are not too late, I am still searching inbetween working full time and sorting out the house sale and of course looking after children!

I have my visa interview at the Embassy tomorrow 9.30am; so as soon as that is over and hopefully it will just be a formality! I will be able to make firm plans. Can I ask if you rented straight away or did you stay somewhere for a few weeks and looked once you were there?
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Old Jan 27th 2011, 9:19 pm
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Default Re: Newbie moving to NC in 1 month!

Hi again,

I hope the visa interview went well.

Sorry for the delay, work has been pretty full on and I have been wrestling with trying to buy a car. Definitely worth doing your research on that one (although you definitely have to do your research on getting a social security number first!).

Anyway, we sorted out our house about a month before we moved. We got in touch with a relocation agent and, having done some guided internet viewing, my wife came out about a month before we were due to move and did a whistle stop tour of about 20 houses in a day with a realtor, got down to a shortlist of four (all with good school options), discussed with me, went back the next day, chose one and signed a day later. Phew.

We also arranged for our relocation agent to have rental furniture and all utilities in place when we arrived. Not necessarily the cheapest approach but we were very happy to have done it following our rather trying journey out here.

I'm not sure what the options are for short term rental. I guess it depends on how quickly you can move in anywhere in terms of buying/renting furniture etc. I don't see why the actual time from seeing a house, signing a lease and moving in should be more than a couple of days if you organise yourself properly.
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Old Jan 27th 2011, 9:24 pm
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Default Re: Newbie moving to NC in 1 month!

i just wanted to say - keep the equity in the bank for a while and rent first. I was very annoyed that I had to rent when we arrived here in the US as i wanted to buy - but in reality it was a huge learning curve and the rental gave us time to try things on for ourselves and make a far better informed choice.
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Old Jan 28th 2011, 1:26 am
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Default Re: Newbie moving to NC in 1 month!

Originally Posted by MrsHawkini View Post
Hi All,

Thought I better start doing some serious research as hope to fly 18-20th Feb! Our company has offices in Raleigh, NC but we have not confirmed/decided where we are going to live yet.

My L1B visa was approved New Year weekend just days after the petition was filed. Hubby is still waiting for decision on his, so flights are not booked yet

I have 3 children, so middle school is next thing on the list to sort out. Along with childcare for my 22mth old.

House sold last week the viewer came the day the sign went up, and offered full asking price so a bit of extra stress with more things to sort out, but at least we will travel with the equity from the house in the bank!

So much to do - so little time! Sorry in advance if I spam the forums with questions!
I have lived in Raleigh for over 3 years.
I can't help you with "family" stuff as I have no kids.
But what I can offer you as a general tip on this area is to tell you that Raleigh & the Triangle generally, is not as modern and update as you may have read/been told/be expecting.

Adding "International" to the airport name here is about as international as it gets (almost)

On the surface, things seem OK and nothing out of the ordinary, but people here aren't really "worldly wise" and many people lack the type of engagement Brits often get by being close to a lot of other countries & cultures and having a lot of international elements brought into their lives, via TV, visitors and events.

Part of the reason for this is that the cost to travel from the USA to Europe or other continents is much higher for Americans than it is for Europeans.
There's very little to zero on the TV or in newspapers about UK/European stuff and so locals will only learn about the UK if they're really keen to know, or there's some major story/disaster (which isn't very useful).
The UK is obsessed with the USA, but the USA doesn't feel the same way towards the UK or Europe.
Bogey-picking-and-eating Gordon Brown came over here last year and he was featured at the end of a news cast for a 10-second sound bite.
The USA is also very big place and people have enough on their plate traveling internally first.

So, I would be more patient when speaking with local people as many of them have not left this state or even this city and may not know what you are talking about.

Raleigh is essentially a non-descript big town that likes to think its a city but that without RTP, it would be very little beyond a provincial town like Coventry/Ipswich/Hereford, etc.
You will probably find that you get involved with other families/kids activities as your main time consuming activity outside of work.

There's not much to mention/going on about Raleigh but there's nothing really bad either.
It has always felt quite safe especially in North Raleigh & some parts of the western areas. Cary is also very safe and used to be the No.1 safest town in the USA.
Its a bit more expensive there and people who live there seem to exude a little aloofness sometimes. Housing rules are stricter there too which has its + & - points.

There's a snobby thing too in Raleigh about living "inside the beltline" (a much smaller version of the M25) but if you can choose, North Raleigh (between Glenwood Ave & Capital Blvd) and various places around the I-540 & Cary are the best areas to live, IMO.

I don't know what you are intending to do about a home, but if you can, I would recommend that you rent for a while until you get your bearings and know where you want to buy, if you want to buy.
There's lots of districts/neighborhoods that all look nice on the surface but may not be as nice once you're living there.
Also, unless you get above the >$1200 rent level, there's very little in private homes available for rent, that aren't in a disgraceful condition.
People here have very strange ideas about what constitutes "good condition" such as 25-30 year old kitchens (including the appliances - oh yes) poor quality fittings, doors, flooring etc.
It took us 6 months to find a home last time and we ended up taking something that we wouldn't have taken if we had a choice.
Don't expect to be treated like you might be in the UK if you are looking to rent - you have to do all the work, chasing, emailing, chasing, emailing as agents here are not really geared around tenants.
There's also a HUGE amount of new homes/developments put up over the past 5-6 years and some of these are unfinished leading to "middle of nowhere" places where people are trapped until the market improves (2014 the earliest, I think).

There's lots of choice in apartments and they're always crying out for tenants, but most are poorly managed and maintained and most have social problems.
Get a house if at all possible.

The further past the I-540 you go, it becomes more and more remote/rural and far from amenities, doctors, dentists, schools, shopping, etc.
You need a car here for everything and you may need 2 cars too.
There's not a huge amount of traffic in Raleigh, but there are hot spots and roads that seem busy 14 hours a day (such as Capital Blvd, I-40 <always on traffic reports).

South of the city and the beltine (and around it) it becomes sparse, run down and some areas are quite dodgy.
I would not recommend living in East or South Raleigh, hence these areas are cheaper.

Many things in The Triangle are also more spread out than they are in typical UK towns and cities.
There's not as many people walking around as you might be used to and its rare that you will find somewhere to live where you "pop down to...".
So make sure you have enough food & drink at home for a day/weekend if you're not planning to go out as it would be a 20-min drive there and back for a carton of milk.

If you want to get value in your grocery shopping, I would recommend joining the warehouse clubs - Costco, BJs & Sam's Club.
We have never been able to afford to shop in the traditional type of supermarkets that are here and TBH, you will need at least $60K to be able to afford to shop regularly at those shops.

There's also a myriad of small strip malls, containing a dozen or less small shops where you can get more variety and sometimes better service.
I don't know how these places make a profit though as they're always open and whenever I've gone to any of these shops, there's hardly anyone in them.

Foodwise - we've only found one place for decent pizza here and only one good Chinese (they call it Asian here).
There's not much good international cuisine here but you might find a place here and there.
You also might be surprised at the quality for what you pay and also, what some restaurant/take-away places think foreign food is supposed to be.

Budget for much higher car insurance (can be crippling) electric/gas/internet/mobile phone bills.

Its an OK place but for us, there's no future here as jobs are hard to come by and so we are actively looking to leave asap.

Send me a PM if you want any more info.

Last edited by Volt61; Jan 28th 2011 at 1:59 am.
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Old Jan 28th 2011, 4:13 am
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Default Re: Newbie moving to NC in 1 month!

Originally Posted by MrsHawkini View Post
Hi All,

Thought I better start doing some serious research as hope to fly 18-20th Feb! Our company has offices in Raleigh, NC but we have not confirmed/decided where we are going to live yet.

My L1B visa was approved New Year weekend just days after the petition was filed. Hubby is still waiting for decision on his, so flights are not booked yet

I have 3 children, so middle school is next thing on the list to sort out. Along with childcare for my 22mth old.

House sold last week the viewer came the day the sign went up, and offered full asking price so a bit of extra stress with more things to sort out, but at least we will travel with the equity from the house in the bank!

So much to do - so little time! Sorry in advance if I spam the forums with questions!
My family moved to Raleigh from the UK 15 years ago, I agree with Volt61 it is definitely a culture shock. I was 14 when we moved so my ideas of America were that it was all either like LA or New York, I didn't know much about "The South". Raleigh is a very family friendly place, but be ready to drive the kids to everything, they're not going to get anywhere by themselves. This was the most difficult part of moving here for me. I think US kids don't really grow up as quickly. By 14, I was already in high school in the UK, able to take the bus into town, go shopping by myself, walk to school, shops, wherever. You have way less independence as a child in Raleigh as you're pretty much tethered to your parents until you're 16 and can drive. It was a very difficult adjustment for me. I don't know how old your two older children are, if they're on the younger side of middle school age they might have a much easier transition.
Raleigh is more or less a good place to grow up though, the schools are better than a lot of other cities (I went to Leesville High School which was one of the better schools when I was there, '96-'00) My parents moved into the Leesville school district specifically for this reason.
I moved to Chicago after university to live in a "big city" setting, but my sister still lives in Raleigh and my parents on the NC coast. NC has a lot going for it scenery-wise, the outer banks and beaches are lovely and are about 2 1/2 hours from Raleigh. The mountains are a little further in the opposite direction but Asheville is a really great city and a nice get away from the sometimes plastic-y feel of Raleigh.
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Old Jan 28th 2011, 5:23 am
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Default Re: Newbie moving to NC in 1 month!

take it from me...very nice place to live
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Old Jan 28th 2011, 5:25 am
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Default Re: Newbie moving to NC in 1 month!

Raleigh is awesome
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Old Jan 28th 2011, 8:09 am
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Default Re: Newbie moving to NC in 1 month!

Raleigh is really a beautiful place and very family friendly. If you are expecting someplace similar to towns you will find in Blighty then do not move there as it is full of Southern charm, decent people and unique to say the least.
Cary is definitely your best option, but some areas of the town are very pricey. Here's what I would recommend..... A) Wake Forest-New area, young professionals, very nice homes, close to everything, great schools. B) Six Forks/Crabtree areas-Home prices are on the rise, so much to do there, younger people. C) Morrison- Boring but quiet, nice neighborhoods IMO...
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Old Jan 28th 2011, 11:27 am
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Default Re: Newbie moving to NC in 1 month!

Originally Posted by Oregon4now View Post
Raleigh is really a beautiful place
ahem...Beautiful?
Its not ugly, but I wouldn't describe it as beautiful.

The area is also quite green and you'll find trees in most people's living environment, much less so in south and east Raleigh.

The more shady it is surrounding your home, the lower your A/C bills will be and you'll appreciate that over time.
If you have little to no shade around your home, your A/C bills could easily be $250 a month or more.
You'll also have to get used to the noise of the A/C and we couldn't sleep for weeks.

Originally Posted by Oregon4now View Post
A) Wake Forest-New area
What area is this please?

Wake Forest is nice/green etc, but remote and sparsely populated & not very practical.

Originally Posted by Oregon4now View Post
C) Morrison- Boring but quiet, nice neighborhoods IMO...
I think you mean Morrisville. I agree with the description.

A lot of the towns surrounding Raleigh are small, new-ish or newly expanded and so they don't have all that you might want in an area.
That's why its better to rent first and I would stay in one of those long term hotel/stays until you find the place to rent, unless you are happy to move every 6 months.

Also I forgot to mention before.

People's ideas about driving here can be an eye watering experience, so be prepared to slam on the brakes at short/no notice.
Be extra patient on the road and give everyone a wide birth for the first few months of moving here and then you'll get to know things better - remember, people carry guns here (although they don't have them in holsters walking around the shopping malls and they don't have the string of bullets in an X shape across they're chests as you will have seen Mexicans in old western films).

The style of driving here is best described, as "I'm the only one on the road/I need to get to...so get out of my way/I'm not willing to let that person in, even though there's no-one behind me.

However and strangely, when you meet people face to face, they're generally as nice as you can find and they will break into conversation at the drop of hat to anyone, especially so if you from another country - exotica.

There's also a fair amount of people in the South who are still fighting the cival war and the Southern "chippyness" is quite evident in the people I have met so far.

Last edited by Volt61; Jan 28th 2011 at 11:30 am.
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