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North Carolina?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by matt spinniken, Oct 15, 2006.

  1. matt spinniken

    matt spinniken LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 298

    I am sure the guys that really know the answer to this question will be somewhat biased, but I am considering moving to coastal North Carolina with my equipment and re-starting a maintenance company. Its too cold in michigan! So do you think this area is good...growing ....a good option?
  2. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,426

    Beautiful area, highly educated, high standard of living compared to most of the South. It would be hard to beat as far a a nice place to live. I would think the lawn care industry would flourish here but have no fist hand knowledge. Envy should have some knowledge about this part of the state even though he lives in the Western part. I remember the triangle area of North Carolina was booming a few years ago and I think this would spill over to coastal Carolina. That with the retirement community should give you a good client base. I'm thinking about going to NC and holding up a "WILL MOW FOR FOOD" sign at a busy intersection...at least till Warmer weather arrives.
  3. john_incircuit

    john_incircuit LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Posts: 309

    We live in the Piedmont area of NC, close to Raleigh - Durham. I traveled the world when I was younger and it really is not all that bad here.

    Except for a few counties, the schools are not the greatest, but the universities sure make up for this.

    Approx 50% of our customers are PhDs or MDs. Pick the right neighborhood, deliver a good product with great customer service and things will work out OK.

    We primarily do ΒΌ acres and smaller lots and charge around $40 to $55 for cut / trim and clean.

  4. lawnspecialties

    lawnspecialties LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,513

    The past couple of years or so, the coastal area is booming here. Not just population wise but cost wise as well. A huge part of it is exactly what you're doing. Northern folks whose property values already went up sell up there and then move down here. What you get (certainly not always) is people buying $500,000 homes but still only make five figure incomes. Not that that's a problem except they sure are tight when they want lawn care. You definitely have to be able to just tell them "no".

    Certainly there are plenty who are willing to pay for quality work, but be aware that just because tons of folks are moving down here, it doesn't necessarily mean a proportionate amount of opportunites follow along. :)
  5. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,563

    we are in atlantic beach.
    we cover the island, morehead, and beaufort...
    business is good here....

    BUT i would STRONGLY advise not jumping into business here... almost every aspect of the business here is MUCH different than where you are from...

    we can ONLY grow warm season grasses... bermuda, bahia, centipede, st. Augistine, and zoysia... that's about it... NO fescue or bluegrass...

    also we have big salinity issues here, sand for soils ( we plant plants a little deep, and irrigation is almost a requirement)

    our soils are very alkiline, so NO lime is needed.. but lots of sulphur and iron are required...

    i would come on down, and work for someone else for at least a season to get samiliar with the area.....

    plants are a little different here, we are subtropical... oleaners, and palms do well..... zone 8 no problems...
  6. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Posts: 1,943

    I'm not in NC, but for what it's worth...

    I taught special education the last 10 years and cut lawns the last three seasons in PA, and convinced my family to head south (coastal SC). I get horribly depressed every winter. So, we sold the house, had one built. I trailered my equipment 800 miles.

    I was scared that maybe my mower wouldn't cut the grass down here (not really, but I had no idea how things might be different). My first cut was in fifth gear, no blow outs, no clumping, no need for another pass. I love it here. Yards are flat, no boulders, ditches, and trees are mostly inside landscape beds. There is even a Lesco in my town. Bonus: I swam in the ocean on my birthday (Oct. 1).

    Downside: a lot of competition, and the teaching: I'm clearing 600/mo less then I was up North, and my workload is triple. I hope to build up my business and expand services and then quit teaching, if possible.

  7. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,426

    One problem with the the South is there aren't any Southerners. Thankfully Kentucky and Tennessee and many parts of the rural South have been spared so far. I think we can safely say we've lost Florida.
  8. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,563

    lol, that is especially true here... lots of retired northerners.
  9. lawnspecialties

    lawnspecialties LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,513

    Man! You said a mouthful! I was born and raised in Raleigh and I swear it's almost impossible to find a Raleigh native. Where are ya'll putting us?
  10. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,563

    moncure, pittsboro, etc.....

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