Interviews - Dan Tranter
Myrtle Grove from Rochester, New York
Can you tell me what brought you to Wilmington?
I have a friend who moved here last year and I came a number of times to visit and I decided I liked the area. So I started looking at houses and researching the area. That’s kind of how I landed here. I moved here less than a year ago.
How did you go about choosing where to live?
I just started researching the neighborhoods pricewise and I wanted something that was in a nice area that was close to everything. This area here is not in the middle of town but it’s real close to the beaches, which is nice. Since I have a job where I work from home, traffic was not a factor. I wanted something I could fix up. This home was a foreclosure and it has some good work I can do myself and I got in for a good price.
What made you choose this neighborhood over your other options?
This neighborhood seemed very well kept and this house that I purchased, it needed a little bit of repairs. Because of that I got a good price. Price was the number one thing for me. This price was affordable and reasonable. It was a foreclosure and it was sitting there for 6 months by the time I put the offer in and I knew the bank was going to let it go for a good price.
What other areas were you drawn to?
I looked at a house in Pine Valley. That’s on the outskirts of what’s considered the city. It’s still a very nice area with large yards. I looked at some areas close to downtown and some other houses in Monkey Junction. I did a lot of my research from out of town and a lot of what I looked at was everywhere, since I was looking online.
If you had it to do over again, where would you live?
I’m pretty happy where I am. I would pick here or another house similar to mine. I don’t think I would do too much different. The only thing I might prefer would be a little bit bigger driveway in case I ever have a boat in the future.
What do you like about living in Wilmington that was a surprise to you?
I don’t know if anything came as a surprise. I think everything was what I expected. The weather is nice here compared to what I’m used to. There’s a lot of sunshine. The utilities here are a lot less than what I was paying up north, so that surprised me in a good way.
What sort of people would like living in your neighborhood?
It’s a mix of young families and retired people and there are some other single people like me. It’s a pretty good mix of everybody. Some people have families with a couple kids, but if they have more than two kids they tend to upgrade to bigger houses than what’s offered here A couple of my immediate neighbors are retired or close to it.
What is your favorite way to spend a weekend here?
I like to spend my weekends at the beach. I go down there and take a long walk on the beach. Sometimes I go downtown and enjoy the stuff there. I like to be outdoors, mainly. A lot of that is because I was deprived of that previously living somewhere where winter is 5 months long.
Is it a good area to live if you are single? Is there a night life?
I’m not too much into nightlife, But there’s a lot of activities to do. There’s concerts and stuff. I’ve gone downtown to a concert recently. There’s plenty of stuff to do. I like just getting together with my friends and hanging out. I like walking around, enjoying the scenery. There are a lot of waterways around here. I don’t have a boat but in the future that might be an activity I take up.
If you could, what would you change about Wilmington?
I would put a better grocery store here. We had a nice grocery store called Wegman’s up north, I would put one of those here. A lot of my friends say the same thing. I’d also like a better farmer’s market. The one here is not very affordable. The only way to find fresh stuff is you have to drive away to rural areas. It’d be nice if they’d bring some of that here. I think there’s a market for that.
What advice would you give someone considering a move to the Wilmington area?
If it someone who doesn’t have a job, I’d say find one first. The economic climate here is not like you’d find in large cities. Anyone else, I’d say take your time looking and don’t buy a house fast. There’s a lot of choices out there. Find something you like first. Don’t rush into it.
Do you think your area offers a good quality of life?
I think it does. There’s a lot of stuff to do here. There’s a lot of beaches, a lot of parks and outdoor activities and stuff to do in the city. For a city of this size it seems there are quite a number of activities and people who get together to do certain events. I’ve discovered a running meet up group that runs several times a week and I’ve been running with them and that’s great.
What’s your favorite local attraction/restaurant/event?
Restaurant: I found a small restaurant, The Sunset Bistro and it’s my favorite. It’s a small place and I know the couple who runs it and they have good food and it’s affordable in a nice environment. I prefer smaller places over chain places. There are a lot of chain places around here. I can always go into Sunset Bistro and I’ll get seated right away and always get good food.
Are you worried about hurricanes?
I have not been through a hurricane yet. It’s something that concerns me. The wind and hail insurance that’s required here if you own a property makes the housing cost a little higher than different areas.
How is the cost of living, compared with other areas you have lived?
In general the COL is less than where I lived before because the taxes in upstate New York are among the highest in the country. This area is a lot more affordable, even with the extra insurance. In general what you pay per square foot for a house is a little more here but it’s not too much, considering what you get as far as quality of life.
What’s your favorite thing about living in a beach town during the winter?
My favorite thing is free parking at all the area beaches during the winter months. During the summer months you have to pay to park during the week but in the winter months they take the parking meters down. It’s nice to walk on the beach during the winter and a lot of days it’s not too cold to really hang out.