Making the mountains or coast decision

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Snowy sunrise viewed from a deck overlooking RoanokeMy wife and I are both native North Carolinians.  We both spent much of our early years in the Mount Airy, NC area.  The Blue Ridge Mountains were just a few miles away.  A trip up to the Parkway was a normal thing to do on a hot summer day.  The temperature was often ten to fifteen degrees cooler.  Taking a picnic up to the Parkway was a great summer activity.  Then there was the trip to Mount Mitchell with it spruce forests which were like another world.

Living on the side of the mountain was a dream for many of us in the Piedmont of North Carolina.  Still North Carolina is a state with many treasures and its beaches are among the best. Each summer from the time I was only two, we were off to beaches.  I think salt water ran in my veins from early in my life.

For years, we ran a cattle ranch in Canada near Fredericton, New Brunswick.  Though the hills were not mountains, we had a wonderful view.  At the back of the farm there was a stream filled with native brook trout.  Much of the vegetation was reminiscent of the Blue Ridge mountains and Mt. Mitchell.  Both before and after our time on the farm we lived along the shore of Nova Scotia, one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Now after nearly eighteen years enjoying the view to the left, we find ourselves on the coast much of the time.

Before we made the decision, we looked long and hard through the mountains of North Carolina and Virginia.  We also traveled up and down the Virginia and North Carolina coasts.

We haven't given up our mountainside home yet so in certain respects we have the best of both worlds. Still the beaches are slowly winning us over.

 Perhaps we did not look hard enough in the mountains, but what we found in Carteret County turned out to be just what we were looking for in a new home.  We found a year around community with lots to do, pleasant weather, and most of all friendly people. 

I think almost all of the beautiful mountain homes we looked at were isolated.  Having lived n some fairly remote spots we were looking for neighbors, we found them in Bluewater Cove, a small subdivision near Cape Carteret and Swansboro.  I am sure there are mountain communities that have the same feeling, we just didn't find them.  Maybe living on a steep hill where you had to load your bike on the back of the car before you could go for a bike ride was the final straw. 

Living in Roanoke, I had gotten to the point of rarely using my bike. Now living in Cape Carteret, I just open the garage door and go for a ride anytime that I have a few minutes.  Going kayaking isn't too much more trouble.  A walk on the beach only take a few minutes drive.

We were lucky when we lived in Roanoke to have a wonderful mountain trail that I maintained behind our house.  Now development has encroached on it.

Finding a place where you are going to be happy means figuring out what will make you happy.  For some people it is sitting on a deck and enjoying a view like the one in this post.  For others like me, it is being able to hop on a bicycle or walk on a beach.  It is not so much the place that makes you happy, it is what you can find in a place that will make it right for you.

There have been lots of people who moved to twenty acres in the country only to find out that it wasn't the place for them.  I suspect the same thing has happened to people who get a home at the beach.

That means understanding your own needs and wants is the most important part of the equation.   If you don't figure that out first, you likely won't be happy in the mountains or on the beach.  You can check out my CoastalNC site to see more about how we went out finding the right spot.  I have lots of mountain pictures of the Roanoke, Va. area posted on my site.  

If you are ready to start talking to a Realtor® visit my real estate site.



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