Monday, February 23, 2009


Ok, so I'm thinking rather seriously about relocating. I love Norfolk, but I've spent my time here (8 years!!!) and think I'd like to try somewhere new, somewhere I can make my home and buy something. I love Ghent, but it's impossible to buy a place to live here unless you're pooping out money. I'm pretty limited in my search because I want to be at the very most, 6 hours away from everyone in my immediate family (not to mention friends in Hampton Roads and Northern VA/DC). So far, I haven't really found anywhere in Virginia that's attracted me. I think Occoquan is a really cute area, but houses are all like starting at half a million $. This is what I'm looking for in a nut shell: A smallish town, close to a bigger city, that offers a downtown historic atmosphere (like ghent) where you can ride your bike or walk anywhere you go in town. Also a place that has a community feel, like a farmer's market, flea market etc... I don't care much for big cities or making lots of money or having a fancy anything. I want to be able to afford to buy a house on my own, and to eventually start my own business. Hopefully a store selling crafts and paintings / clothes and crap i make, and also other things from local artists etc... I'd reeeeeeeeally love to live in a beach town, but it's dangerous to live ther year round with the bazillion hurricanes that have been flyin through all over the coast lately. Plus totally dead in the off-season. I don't want to be in some totally prepster southern town, where there are no artsy fartsy people with tattoos and laid back attitudes like i'm used to. I know that places like Philly and certain areas of New York are still pretty close to VA, but I'm really scared of being freezing cold. Here are some places that have stood out to me so far. They're all in NC, and surprise they're basically all close to the research triangle. Charlotte and Asheville both look amazing, but they are probably too far away from everyone. I wanna be around for Aimee's new baby's life and not miss out on so much of her being a baby, like i did with Cody. Anyway, please take a look at these places i've outlined below and cast your vote. If you have any further suggestions I would appreciate them too. Thank you! :)

Chapel Hill, NC
Population: 51,519
Median Income: $88,000
Median Home Price: $342,000
Median Age: 30
Distance from Aimee / her fam: 45 mins
Distance from rest of fam: 4 hrs 20 mins
Plus: Lots of artsy crap around, many bike paths

Apex, NC
Population: 34,791
Median Income: $78,700
Median Home Price:
Median Age: 31
Distance from Aimee / her fam: 30 mins
Distance from rest of fam: 4.5 hrs
Plus: Fast growing, lots of job opportunities (really close to Aimee)

Wake Forest, NC
Population: 15,000
Median Income: $52,307
Median Home Price:$143,500
Median Age: 31
Distance from Aimee / her fam: 40 mins
Distance from rest of fam: 4 hrs
Plus: Inexpensive Housing, super close to Raleigh, opportunities for opening small business

Wilmington, NC
Population: 75,800
Median Income: $31,100
Median Home Price:$128,000
Median Age: 34
Distance from Aimee / her fam: 2 hrs
Distance from rest of fam:6 hrs
Plus: Close to the beach, inexpensive housing, lotsa bang for your buck

Durham, NC
Population: 217,000
Median Income: $46,000
Median Home Price:$175,000
Median Age: 31
Distance from Aimee / her fam: 45 mins
Distance from rest of fam: 4 hrs
Plus: Many local art festivals, great shopping, supports fast startup for small business

Honorable Mention:
Holly Springs, NC (don't know much about it)
Population: 12,000?
Median Income: $69,550
Median Home Price:$173,000
Median Age: 30
Distance from Aimee / her fam: 40 mins
Distance from rest of fam: 4 hrs 45 mins
Plus: I saw an article that made me want to consider this place and now i can't find it!


b rendan said...

chapel hill. go.

Juge said...

Haha THANK you, Brendan.

Truly said...

i think it should be the one closest to your sister and rest of your family. If you are able to make the choice to be in a place where you want and be and to be close to them THEN DO IT!

Jeff Jacobs said...

Live some where with a low median home price, and low average age, with high percentage of college degrees. Those communities will be where you want to live. Age and college degrees are the best signifiers of the "creative class" who will be a much better set of neighbors for someone like you.

Also, don't neglect the city size. A larger base population also gives you more opportunities to find interesting activities, as well as forming a larger consumer base for any potential business you might do. Research Triangle's Metropolitan Statistical Area is about 1.3 million and Norfolk's MSA is about 1.7 Million.

Since most of these are in the same areas, don't worry about your home location for where you'll run a business. You can easily travel 45 minutes or an hour to get to an arts festival, if you're so motivated. If you're getting into crafts, you can sell on consignment across the entire metropolitan area.

You've probably seen these links but:
Money 2008 Top 100 Places to Live:
#16 Cary:

#65: Chapel Hill:

Money 2007 Top 100 Places to Live:
#14 Apex:

#22 Holly Springs:

#65 Mooresville:

luey holland said...

I will not suggest you move anywhere except for back into my arms.

but Charlottesville, Wilmington, or Chapel Hill are all great places. I however, would suggest Charlottesville because it is more metropolitan and your business will be more successful there. Wilmington may be to seasonal and Chapel Hill would be a parallel move since you already live in a college town and you know college kids don't have money to spend on crafts.

luey holland said...

FYI I know Charlottesville wasn't a choice but it was my own personal suggestion.

I would take a serious look at all of these town's local economies. See what is the top employer of the area and if it's sustainable enough to last through these time. You don't want to move to a place where most of the people work in factories that are on the verge of closing or being bailed out.

luey holland said...

I meant Charlotte that whole time. i know you know what i meant. fuck.

Juge said...

hahaha i thought you meant charlotte but i had to think about it. Some people go on and on about charlottesville, whatever's there i have no idea except UVA. Chapel Hill and Apex are my 2 choices because they're not as "factory driven" as you pointed out. I am going to visit these places soon with Aimee. I'm hoping Chapel Hill has some random "old money" type people like the ones in norfolk that live in these $1 to $2M houses in ghent, the old weirdo ladies that spend hundred of dollars on trinkets at texture. We shall see. thanks for the input :)