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Questions Regarding VA, NC, and SC

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I am really setting my sights to the future, about 5-10 years, depending on where I end up getting offers after college in a few years. I'd really like to work somewhere in these three states. One place I'd love to work is NASA, and they have a location on the coast in VA. I've just got some questions to ask before I 100% commit myself to saying "Yeah, I want to find set my sites on finding a job and living there in a few years."

Climate:

So far I know that they all have a pretty darn good climate. However, how severe are the hurricanes that hit there? Do they get tornadoes and a lot of severe weather?

Economy:

What are their economies like? I can't imagine they'd be anywhere close to as bad as Michigan.

Money:

What is the cost of living like compared to other states? Does insurance (home owner's, vehicle, etc.) tend to be more/less expensive than most other states?

Vehicles:

As of right now, VA and NC require emissions testing whereas SC doesn't. Anything special I should know? Are cops real bad in these states?

Anything else?

I'm going to do some of the research myself, but I figured I'd ask you guys for some feedback. Right now I'm seriously thinking about trying to get into the Kennedy Space Center (Florida) co-op program in a year or two which might help set me up for a bigger, better NASA career in the future.

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I would disagree with the climate part. They have a lot of freezing rain, increasing incidences of hurricanes moving farther north into the Atlantic and hitting the region, lots (and lots and lots) of snow.

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I would disagree with the climate part. They have a lot of freezing rain, increasing incidences of hurricanes moving farther north into the Atlantic and hitting the region, lots (and lots and lots) of snow.

:stupid:

If by lots and lots of snow, you mean a slight chance of snow every few years, maybe. Freezing rain is more common than snow, but not a major problem, and as long as you don't live in the coastal/flood plain region, hurricanes aren't that big of a deal.

Edited by Enzora
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haha I live in Michigan, their weather is no worse. I'm just going to ignore that post, jcgable. :lol:

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haha I live in Michigan, their weather is no worse. I'm just going to ignore that post, jcgable. :lol:

True...most anywhere south of Michigan is good compared to Michigan...though having lived in NE Illinois, SE Michigan and NE Ohio, I found Ohio to have the worst winters of the three... VA and Carolinas would be pretty mild by comparison, I would think...

Edited by moltar
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I grew up in Newport News, VA, near the NASA center at Langley which is in Hampton.

Hurricanes aren't usually a problem for Hampton Roads... Floyd and Isabel were the worst hurricanes I can remember coming through the area in recent years. Also, summers are more often humid than hot. Winters usually don't bring snow.

The area has really started growing more in recent years, and because of that, the cost of living has gone up slightly. It's nowhere near as bad as where I live now though (Baltimore-Washington area).

Yearly vehicle inspections are mandated, but inexpensive ($10 or so). Registration and tags aren't expensive either. They only require emissions inspections near DC. Oh, and in various parts of VA they have what are called Highway Safety Corridors, where they monitor speeding more closely and charge higher for tickets.

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I have lived in SC (Greenville, Columbia, Fort Mill) pretty much all my life. I now live in Fort Mill which is a suburb of Charlotte, NC. No body here worries about hurricanes. The worst we had in SC was Hugo back in 1980 something. I'm sure if you total up the damage done by that hurricane and all other hurricanes since them the $ lost would be less than the damages from winter storms, flooding, drought, or other natural disasters that hit other areas of the country.

People complain about HP in SC, but in all my driving I have received 1 ticket (knock on wood). And that was from an unmarked Camaro at 5:00am in the morning on the way to crew practice in Columbia, SC. Taxes are lower in SC than NC, but auto insurance is higher in SC than NC, making it a wash. Property taxes are lower in SC.

I have a biased opinion, but I'd say generally SC is better than NC. Greenville is a big automotive hub (more auto related companies with in a 500 mile radius in Greenville than Detroit). Of course the BMW plant is in Greer, and ICAR is progressing nicely.

If I had to order the states from best to worse it would be: SC, NC, VA

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i live in anderson, sc. weather is pretty stable, hot humid summers, usually pretty dry. winters can be cold to mild as well, its in the 50-low 60's today. freezing rain is about the biggest inclimate weather we have, hurricanes dont reach but the severe weather as far as thunderstomes go can be a little rough, usually we only get the rain bands. police, state likes to hide on the highways but you get that everywhere, its the local boys in blue that take the biggest advantage of speed zones. sales tax in my county is 7%, property taxes vary according to the school district. dont really know about cost of living and insurance tho.

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I have lived in SC (Greenville, Columbia, Fort Mill) pretty much all my life. I now live in Fort Mill which is a suburb of Charlotte, NC. No body here worries about hurricanes. The worst we had in SC was Hugo back in 1980 something. I'm sure if you total up the damage done by that hurricane and all other hurricanes since them the $ lost would be less than the damages from winter storms, flooding, drought, or other natural disasters that hit other areas of the country.

People complain about HP in SC, but in all my driving I have received 1 ticket (knock on wood). And that was from an unmarked Camaro at 5:00am in the morning on the way to crew practice in Columbia, SC. Taxes are lower in SC than NC, but auto insurance is higher in SC than NC, making it a wash. Property taxes are lower in SC.

I have a biased opinion, but I'd say generally SC is better than NC. Greenville is a big automotive hub (more auto related companies with in a 500 mile radius in Greenville than Detroit). Of course the BMW plant is in Greer, and ICAR is progressing nicely.

If I had to order the states from best to worse it would be: SC, NC, VA

well that pretty much neutralized my post... i guess i should have typed faster. greenville is about the best all around place in the upstate.

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In the mid '90s, before I moved to Colorado, I looked at moving to the RTP (Research Triangle Park--Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill) area in NC...it's a very cool area, lots of interesting technology companies and the mountains and beaches are within a reasonable drive.

I have friends in Charlotte, lots of banking jobs there...

As far as VA, I'm familiar with Charlottesville (a friend of mine is a prof at U of Va)---neat college town, and Tyson's Corner/McLean (used to go there for company meetings for a previous employer).

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Climate:

So far I know that they all have a pretty darn good climate. However, how severe are the hurricanes that hit there? Do they get tornadoes and a lot of severe weather?

I can speak broadly for all three but mostly for NC. Hurricanes are pretty rare and don't seem to have much strength when they do hit (And by that I mean, Katrina and Andrew strength) Tornadoes are pretty rare in the flat land, but we do have them, and nonexistant in the mountains. We had a tornado in the mountains a few years ago, but a guy stood in the middle of it and filmed it because it was so weak. Seriously... The mountains get a lot of lightning in the summer and it always seems to be VERY windy there in the winter. We don't get a lot of snow currently (last 10 years or so) but we do get a fair amount of sleet, freezing rain and ice which is pretty but dangerous. Of course, here in NC we're on the line, so usually VA gets hit pretty hard with snow. Winter in the flat lands is VERY mild with little to no winter precipitation and tolerable temperatures almost year round. Summers in the mountains consist of tons of rain, so if your a depressed person, don't move there.

Economy:

What are their economies like? I can't imagine they'd be anywhere close to as bad as Michigan.

Money:

What is the cost of living like compared to other states? Does insurance (home owner's, vehicle, etc.) tend to be more/less expensive than most other states?

What's currently happening in Michigan happened here about 10 years ago. In NC, the economy splits with the terrain just like the cost of living. Where I'm at now, in the piedmont, the economy is booming (Housing is even still up) and the cities have done a good job of replacing lost industry with new jobs. However, in the mountains the job market sucks and everything is mostly retirees and small businesses that are barely profittable. The mountainous areas have done a horrible job at replacing the industry we lost. It's also a lot cheaper to live here in the piedmont compared to the mountains. Gas, groceries, services, everything is cheaper. And even more so in SC to the point that a lot of people live there and commute here to work (It's about a 20 minute drive) I think NC is one of the more expensive states to live in IIRC.

Vehicles:

As of right now, VA and NC require emissions testing whereas SC doesn't. Anything special I should know? Are cops real bad in these states?

The emissions tests amount to plugging into your cars OBD sytem to see if you're flashing a code. As long as you don't have a light on, you're fine. The bad thing is that now they can track your inspection via computer and mail you a ticket, but they'll send warnings for 6 months before they act. Oh, and it only applies to '97 and newer. 35 years and older are exempt from inspection period.

Gas is cheaper in SC and inspections/insurance isn't required in the state (I'm 95% sure on the insurance) Both states have quite a reputation for tough highway cops, but NC keeps cutting the budget so there is less and less of them on the road (It's a shame, really) Small town cops and speed traps are a nice scam that seems to play well here too.

Anything else?

I'm going to do some of the research myself, but I figured I'd ask you guys for some feedback. Right now I'm seriously thinking about trying to get into the Kennedy Space Center (Florida) co-op program in a year or two which might help set me up for a bigger, better NASA career in the future.

I'd recommend SC, TN, and VA before I would recommend NC. Eastern NC is nice but Western NC (where I'm from) has A LOT of issues now with culture clash and drugs. It used to be perfect, but certainly isn't anymore.

Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM
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Apparently, Virginians are some percentage (I forget the exact number) to default on their mortgages than residents of other states (something I heard on the news radio on the way to school this morning). They are also becoming very strict on the highways, what with their new safety corridors (basically stretches of highway with an extra police presence). Also, radar detectors are illegal in the state, even for those just passing through. Northern Virginia will be much more expensive and traffic-plagued than anywhere else in the state. If weather is important, it's better in the Hampton Roads area than in NoVa or the mountains. It's also very easy to go from an urban setting to a rural one.

Also, VA only requires emissions testing around DC, but they do require front-mounted license plates state-wide. Something else to consider.

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haha I live in Michigan, their weather is no worse. I'm just going to ignore that post, jcgable. :lol:

There are times I forget that I'm from Tucson and therefore a spoiled brat when it comes to weather. Whoops.

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Eastern NC is nice but Western NC (where I'm from) has A LOT of issues now with culture clash and drugs. It used to be perfect, but certainly isn't anymore.

my g'parents just sold their place up in NC, they had some land and a weekend trailer up in spruce pines, in mitchell county for about 10 years. that was a nice little town. 10 min from little switzerland and just a hop away from boone.

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my g'parents just sold their place up in NC, they had some land and a weekend trailer up in spruce pines, in mitchell county for about 10 years. that was a nice little town. 10 min from little switzerland and just a hop away from boone.

I haven't been to Spruce Pine in a few years but i do remember it being nice. Hopefully it isn't suffering the same fate as Asheville.

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There are times I forget that I'm from Tucson and therefore a spoiled brat when it comes to weather. Whoops.

My parents are in Tampa, Florida (similar summers to NC/SC I would assume) and the biggest challenge I have in dealing with the weather is the oppressive humidity. You walk outside your house and you have sweated through your shirt before you make it into your drivers seat of your car.

Even at night, it's not really that comfortable going outside or spending time outside.

That being said....I can only imagine weather or economy-wise, any of the three states would have to be a step up from Michigan.

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My parents are in Tampa, Florida (similar summers to NC/SC I would assume) and the biggest challenge I have in dealing with the weather is the oppressive humidity. You walk outside your house and you have sweated through your shirt before you make it into your drivers seat of your car.

Even at night, it's not really that comfortable going outside or spending time outside.

That being said....I can only imagine weather or economy-wise, any of the three states would have to be a step up from Michigan.

Very true....

And I wouldn't want to move to Florida...

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All I know about NC lately is that my license is suspended there and there is a bench warrant for me. Or so the Michigan Secretary of State tells me. :P

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Very true....

And I wouldn't want to move to Florida...

Florida's nice when you are coming from a cold-weather region.....but those of us in CA (and the west in general) see Florida weather as a real step back from what we have. Hot, humid, sticky summers AND winters, and lots of rain showers during the summers (you can go 9 months and never see a cloudy sky, or so much as a drop of water in SoCal....)

I grew up in Texas....and that's some pretty bad weather all around. Texas is like Florida in the summer.....hot, humid, sticky.....but in the winter, it's no paradise. Even if Texas doesn't get snow hardly ever....it's still freezing ass cold.....with temps in the winter getting into the 20's and 30's too often for comfort. At least in Florida, in the winter, it still stays quite warm....especially if you are down in south Florida.

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I haven't been to Spruce Pine in a few years but i do remember it being nice. Hopefully it isn't suffering the same fate as Asheville.

I know Asheville has developed a reputation as a hippie/artsy college town in recent years, but I don't know much else about it. What negatives have developed that have you saying that it's suffered a bad fate?

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Also in VA you can't have radar detectors and aren't they the state that is trying to pass the $1500 speeding ticket rule, or something like that?

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I know Asheville has developed a reputation as a hippie/artsy college town in recent years, but I don't know much else about it. What negatives have developed that have you saying that it's suffered a bad fate?

On the surface, Asheville is still appealing, but at it's core things are going downhill very quickly.

The three majors are; 1) Culture clash. There is an increasingly desperate former middle class that is sliding into poverty as a result of local governments lack of concern about our HUGE job losses around the area. These people are being forced out because a higher class of retirees, the people the local government is catering to - often "outsiders" are moving in. These retirees are moving in because of the natural beauty that the area has (had) but the are ruining it by building up the sides of the mountains like wildfire. And I'm talking straight logging the mountains clear and building out-of-place huge houses. This has created a very tense environment with some violence and A LOT of vandalism of new houses and larceny. The cost of living continues to go up, yet we have no substantial jobs. 2) Violence. Not only violence, but brutal violence. The major gangs are forming rapidly and until about a month ago we didn't even have one gang specialist. After a lady threw a birthday party for her daughter and 2 14 year olds got shot through the head by other 14 year old gang members, we decided to hire one. Combine that with the traditional people, and their 'bad ass redneck' attitudes and the two don't mix well. When I was home for Christmas we had several murders just in that time period. And the number of murders isn't the most alarming part, it's the manner in which they're committed that's scary. I mean, we have murders here in the city, but they're nothing like the sick sh*t that happens up there. Some examples: One guy murdered his neighbor by beating his head in with a claw hammer. Another guy shot some 'associates' of his "execution style" (blindfold and all) One guy was critically injured when a random person followed him home and pulled an AK on him. Come to find out, the owner of the AK was pissed at this guys roommate, but decided to shoot him instead since he couldn't find the roommate. A prostitute went missing and they found pieces of her body dismembered and scattered in "burning piles" around the city. 2 kids beat an elderly lady and her handicapped son to death with a baseball bat in their own home, then stole her car and drove to the beach like nothing had happened. An elderly couple was hiking in the woods and a guy beat them to death with a stick, then scattered the bodies. One guy was out of town for a week, came home and noticed his yard was a bit different and upon further investigation, found the body of a murder victim that had been stashed there while he was away; I could go on forever. One guy poured the remnants of a meth lab down his girlfriends throat and almost killed her, which brings me to 3) Drugs. Drugs are absolutely OUT OF CONTROL in Asheville. EVERYONE is on something it seems. Crystal Meth is HUGE and in fact Meth is much easier to find up there than in this large city. My cousin lives in Alabama and can't believe the difference between there and Asheville as far as availability. Even a local Pizza Hut had a meth lab in the parking lot and trailer parks sometimes have MULTIPLE labs. I'm no drug addict; it's just so prominent there that no one tries to hide anything. The same dealer has had a 'monopoly' over my area for many years. We all know he deals it, the cops know too, but they won't lift a finger. Crack is also big and Cocaine is the drug of choice for high schoolers. When I was in school, weed was the big thing at parties (I never smoked, hell, I've never even had a cigarette) but now it's coke. The kids aren't kids anymore IMO, they have guns and 'colors'. The only thing to do on a friday night is drink/get high and go to the bar to get in a fight with people you don't like. I was in an uptown bar over Christmas and watched a guy do a line of coke off of the bar, right out in the open like it was nothing.

It's just a whole different world from how it was when I grew up there and it's so hard to describe the literal tension that is in the air. Even with a sociology/psychology background, it's extremely hard for me to pinpoint what exactly is causing things to happen the way they are. The "live free, drugs are cool" mentality that the city has promoted for so long is finally coming home to roost and that, when combined with the alienation and desperation felt by the former middle class is producing lives existing in badly altered states that are willing to do anything to not feel even more emasculated.

Here in the city, I sleep with my door locked and I sleep well... In Asheville, I sleep with my door locked, watch dogs around and a gun close by just in case. If that doesn't sum things up, I don't know what will.

Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM
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I have a friend/classmate from Asheville. I'm gonna ask her about it next chance I get.

It sounds like an area that isolated is going through its copycat phase, where kids are acting like they're hard when they're just imitating what they may have seen somewhere else.

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I have a friend/classmate from Asheville. I'm gonna ask her about it next chance I get.

It sounds like an area that isolated is going through its copycat phase, where kids are acting like they're hard when they're just imitating what they may have seen somewhere else.

I dunno... It floors me though. Just the difference in people from here (Charlotte) to there. My neighborhood here is considered "the ghetto" by a lot of people because it is a transition area. But the people around here are much nicer and less 'angry' (not to sound cliche) than anyone I encounter in Asheville these days. I truly think economic conditions have a devastating effect on crime and homicide, something that I wouldn't have thought true before I moved here and witnessed the difference.

Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM
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