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Raleigh NC... any thoughts?

Raleigh NC... any thoughts?

Old Mar 2nd 2011, 9:06 pm
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Default Raleigh NC... any thoughts?

Hi,

Been a while since I have posted anything. Turns out it gets a bit nippy in Wi in the winter so I hibernated.

Anyway, long story short... We (me and wifey) have the opportunity to move to Raleigh, NC in a few short months. I would be transferring to college down there from the one I am currently studying at.
Whilst at college I'm also working in retail and it's a nationwide company so there should be no problems getting a transfer.

From what we have seen the living costs are comparable if not a little cheaper and the weather is undoubtedly a lot nicer (ie a three month winter instead of a 6 month one!).

I don't know if it's because I have only been settled where I am for less than a year or what but I'm nervous about making the move (which seems a bit silly considering the HUGE move I made last year!)

Anyway, I know there are a lot of expats in NC (especially compared to Wi) and just wondered if I could have some honest opinions or if someone has experience of both NC and Wi that would be great

Thanks
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Old Mar 2nd 2011, 9:46 pm
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Default Re: Raleigh NC... any thoughts?

hi Chris

I spent some time in Raleigh a few years ago. As far as that area goes I prefer Chapel Hill/Carrboro, but Raleigh was not bad at all.

The weather is usually very nice there, the cost of living is quite manageable, there is quite a bit to do (between Raleigh, Chapel Hill, and Durham).

Not a bad part of the country to live in, if you ask me.

It's the south, but there are a lot of transplants there thanks to the College and the Research Triangle, so it has the good elements of the southern states together with a broader outlook on the world.
I'm generalising, of course.
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Old Mar 3rd 2011, 2:23 am
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Default Re: Raleigh NC... any thoughts?

Read these 2 threads.

http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=701437
http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=696985

Lots of useful info (you can ignore all the irrelevant nonsense that is also included when people drift away from the thread topic, which seems to happen a lot on this site).

Short answer about Raleigh from me - we're leaving.
Have no experience of WI but it looks like its turned quite lefty & extreme (same thing really), so its to be avoided I think.

Last edited by Volt61; Mar 3rd 2011 at 2:26 am.
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Old Mar 3rd 2011, 2:39 am
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Default Re: Raleigh NC... any thoughts?

Hi,

Thanks for the replies, and the thread links. I have been reading them through.

Do you mind me asking why you are leaving the area?
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Old Mar 3rd 2011, 2:48 am
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Default Re: Raleigh NC... any thoughts?

No I don't mind.

For some of the reasons I gave in my posts and I think we don't like the South.
But mainly, its to do with Raleigh being too small and a failure by the city to attract proper jobs.
You need to be earning a minimum of $45K as a single person and a minimum of $60K if you are a family, just to afford a basic/average level of living (no holidays or luxuries).

Its also very expensive here on basic things like food, rent & utilities, so don't be misled by what you have heard.

RTP is not a consideration for most people and there just aren't enough big employers to provide the kind of jobs to keep a wide range of people employed.

If I hear of someone who wants to come & who doesn't have a job to come to, I advise them not to come.
I think the universities are not bad in this area but I don't know.

Winters are brief here and not biting cold for very long (a few weeks).
Springs & Autumns are very short.

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Old Mar 3rd 2011, 3:15 am
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Default Re: Raleigh NC... any thoughts?

Thanks again for the info...

Seem to be collecting a lot of differing opinions at the moment.
Still a bit confused on a couple of points though...

You say 60k for a family to have an average quality of life with no luxuries or holidays. Where we are now in Wi we are in an income bracket that, whilst I am in college, definitely falls below that, property prices and rental prices are higher in Wi from all the ones we have seen, property taxes also. Food and utilities are around the same. Yet we have a good quality of life and have been on two holidays (one outside the US) in the last year.
I just don't get how if everything is either cheaper or about the same it is so much harder to live on more than we make now. Sorry if I'm missing the point.

Also on the jobs issue, I would be working in healthcare and there are at least four hospitals in the surrounding area as well as several other types of business that my degree will apply to, so I'm not to worried about employment from my side of things.
My wife works in finance... I was surprised to hear your comments on the RTP and lack of jobs. From the research I had so far done I understood there to be almost 40,000 workers based there in over 150 different businesses. Plus the average salaries for her line of work are also higher in the Raleigh area.

Not trying to pick holes in what you are saying or experience you have, just trying to get the best all round picture
My wife works in finance
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Old Mar 3rd 2011, 3:18 am
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Default Re: Raleigh NC... any thoughts?

Not sure why it just put that last line in twice... fat fingers probably copied and pasted it without me noticing
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Old Mar 3rd 2011, 12:56 pm
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Default Re: Raleigh NC... any thoughts?

RTP is mainly about research and so they don't have many, if any, supporting jobs that you might get if such work was done in one larger office.
Such functions are carried out in other locations/countries.

There are also hi-tech jobs there but this isn't my area.

You should also know that RTP is in the middle of nowhere and there is essentially nothing there except companies and a few hotels, geared towards people visiting the companies in RTP.
Terrible planning in my view. With no homes nearby, you will have a longish commute if you end up there

You should be fine with your work area as there seems to be a good amount of healthcare & healthcare related companies here, due to the hospitals you found out about and also, because of the universities too.

In essence, the problem here is the lack of mid-level jobs, say $15-16 PH - $25 PH.
There's plenty of $8-10 PH jobs at mickey dees, admin assistants and such.

I don't anything about the finance world so I can't comment on your wife's chances.

The cost of living here is high and also, you don't get much in return for it. Bigger cities not very far away are much cheaper than Raleigh.
The area's relative safety & good climate for raising a family is what it scores high on I believe but there's nothing or very little to do for adults who don't have children.
Its not a bad place but if you don't have a nuclear family type of life, you're left with lame choices or nothing.

Food and general non-food household items are expensive here (I can't remember when we bought any fruit for example) and we can't afford to shop at regular grocery stores.

Saw a regular sized can of soup yesterday in Food Lion for $2.70 (one of the cheaper supermarkets here).

Raleigh is not a modern, upto date place and the city is riddled with corruption, nepotism and of preventing "outsiders" from joining them.
To us, this city doesn't have the right attitude (but they think they do) and its going the wrong way. Raleigh is up its own a** if you ask me - sorry but this is our truth.

Without RTP to prop it up, this town would be little more than a little sleepy town with a few strip malls and hotels for passers by.

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Old Mar 3rd 2011, 7:38 pm
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Default Re: Raleigh NC... any thoughts?

Originally Posted by Volt61 View Post
Food and general non-food household items are expensive here (I can't remember when we bought any fruit for example) and we can't afford to shop at regular grocery stores.
Regarding this point - global food prices are hitting record highs at the moment due to the spike in crude oil. Last year a bunch of commodities shot up due to crop failures (e.g the Florida tomato harvest was decimated by 70% due to a cold snap). Sometimes it's the case that local supermarket prices are hiked due to over zealous management - e.g one of the supermarkets down the road from me is one of the most expensive in the state for no good reason as far as I can see. But more often its a case of global fluctuations in certain crops, or the oil price which impacts on pretty much everything else.

$2.70 sounds expensive for soup though - what kind is it..caviar?
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Old Mar 3rd 2011, 9:50 pm
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Default Re: Raleigh NC... any thoughts?

Food prices have been high here ever since we arrived in 2007.
They are just even higher now due to the market manipulation and the fake fears that are being created by a few very powerful & dangerous people.

The soup was Campbells cream of chicken.
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Old Mar 3rd 2011, 11:05 pm
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Default Re: Raleigh NC... any thoughts?

Originally Posted by Chris_UK2WI View Post
Hi,

Been a while since I have posted anything. Turns out it gets a bit nippy in Wi in the winter so I hibernated.

Anyway, long story short... We (me and wifey) have the opportunity to move to Raleigh, NC in a few short months. I would be transferring to college down there from the one I am currently studying at.
Whilst at college I'm also working in retail and it's a nationwide company so there should be no problems getting a transfer.

From what we have seen the living costs are comparable if not a little cheaper and the weather is undoubtedly a lot nicer (ie a three month winter instead of a 6 month one!).

I don't know if it's because I have only been settled where I am for less than a year or what but I'm nervous about making the move (which seems a bit silly considering the HUGE move I made last year!)

Anyway, I know there are a lot of expats in NC (especially compared to Wi) and just wondered if I could have some honest opinions or if someone has experience of both NC and Wi that would be great

Thanks
I am a US Citizen, born and raised in Miami. I think that if you are born and raised outside the US, Raleigh may not be what you expect from the US. However, being from the US and being raised in a big city, I LOVE RALEIGH. Considering what I believe your age is, it is a wonderful place to live, and PERFECT for raising a family. Check out CARY.

North Carolina offers a simplier way of life, embracing family values and your dollar goes a long way here vs. a bigger city.

When I first moved here, I was very homesick for Miami. Now when I go home to visit my Dad, I can't wait to get "home" to Raleigh.

Come on........you won't regret it, and the weather is lovely!
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Old Mar 4th 2011, 12:23 am
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Default Re: Raleigh NC... any thoughts?

I'm a Britexpat living in Virginia, nr DC and have spent some time in Cary, NC at the research triangle area where some business partners are located. It seems a very friendly, quieter, easier going place than the metroplex I live in. Not sure about wages and costs, seems pretty comparable but the countryside is green and lush, weather is four seasons and its not far from the beautiful outer banks coastal area. I wouldn't rule it out.
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Old Mar 4th 2011, 7:45 pm
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Default Re: Raleigh NC... any thoughts?

Pretty much anywhere can seem bright, great, nice, etc., if you have $10K a month coming in.

For most people, their enjoyment of their life depends on their income generating capacity & potential, the long term prospects of their industry and the availability of entities that are willing to meet such income expectations.

In a declining/depressive economy, few places will seem great if you are struggling and worried about being able to buy food.

This area is severely limited in job creation potential, give the attitude of the city and the area generally and it will get taken over big time by smarter cities when the next boom arrives - guaranteed.

There's no point having quality universities in an area only for people to leave it once their studies are over because there's no jobs for them.
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Old Mar 5th 2011, 1:32 pm
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Default Re: Raleigh NC... any thoughts?

Originally Posted by Chris_UK2WI View Post
Hi,

Been a while since I have posted anything. Turns out it gets a bit nippy in Wi in the winter so I hibernated.

Anyway, long story short... We (me and wifey) have the opportunity to move to Raleigh, NC in a few short months. I would be transferring to college down there from the one I am currently studying at.
Whilst at college I'm also working in retail and it's a nationwide company so there should be no problems getting a transfer.

From what we have seen the living costs are comparable if not a little cheaper and the weather is undoubtedly a lot nicer (ie a three month winter instead of a 6 month one!).

I don't know if it's because I have only been settled where I am for less than a year or what but I'm nervous about making the move (which seems a bit silly considering the HUGE move I made last year!)

Anyway, I know there are a lot of expats in NC (especially compared to Wi) and just wondered if I could have some honest opinions or if someone has experience of both NC and Wi that would be great

Thanks
I've lived in MKE for 7 years and this winter has been tame by comparison....it's also not over yet. I also have a number of customers in and around RTP and get down there a dozen or so times a year. Given the choice between the two I'd take Raleigh/Durham in a heartbeat for a variety of reasons, better economy, schools with well funded research programs (Duke, UNC) better climate, one hour closer to the UK, etc, etc.
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