Moving to Wilmington doesn’t necessarily mean Wilmington proper. Here are the most commonly referred to areas and the vibe for each.
Wilmington – Wilmington is composed of the following areas, Forest Hills, Downtown, Mayfaire, Market Street, Monkey Junction and Mid-town. These are all terms to refer to zip codes 28401 – 28409.
Downtown – Obviously on the river side. These are typically older and/or historic homes. The downtown area has several vibes. You have the student rental group that comes out looking adorable on the weekends and you have the historic homeowners who have a lot of opinion on everything from Air B N B rentals to noise and more. You also have a fair amount of same sex partners refurbing houses downtown and throwing fabulous parties. Downtown offers convenient walking to bars and restaurants, Riverwalk, Weekend concert series and more. Twice a year downtown is virtually shut down for Azalea Festival and Riverfest. Be sure to check and see where you potential property falls on that list. Flooding for first several blocks during hurricanes and sometimes just high tides and full moons. They don’t call it Water Street because it’s near the water…
Mayfaire – sometimes called Yankee Stadium. It’s probably the first upscale gated community within Wilmington. Then a bunch of New Yorkers moved in. Once you get inside the gates, it’s another 15 minutes to your house. The Spectrum cable lines run in a marsh and are decades old. They are leaking. Lot’s of internet issues here. This community also is private. Therefore hurricane debris removal is currently at the kindness of the elected officials. Complaints from this group after hurricanes about debris. The town for example clears all roads to a safe condition as fast as they can after a storm. But not in Mayfaire.
Market Street area – Heading north on Market street most housing to the West is NOT in the city limits. This is important as the laws are different in the “County” vs the “City”. Off market street you can have all the chickens you want with as many roosters as you want too. Not so in the “city limits”. Your garbage collection is optional and your taxes are lower. If you are “in the city limits” you must use the city trash service or be billed anyway. You will also have city water and septic which must be paid for as well. Septic is a result of water usage even if you have an irrigation system. Some older homes have wells and you can hook up your irrigation system to them. Huge win that!
Hampstead – For the past decade Hampstead has been growing by leaps and bounds. The traffic in that area can be a challenge. People moved 30 minutes out of town for the prices. It was cheaper. A lot cheaper. There is only one route to Wilmington from Hampstead. No one that lives there likes to drive it. They all complain about “going to Wilmington.” If you move to Hampstead consider it an Island and don’t ever leave it for true happiness. It’s now 45 minutes or more to downtown Wilmington from Hampstead. OK you have a bypass, that helps some. Depending on where you are going.
Monkey Junction – Reportedly, back in the day, there was a monkey in a gas station near Carolina Beach Road and College intersections. The Home Depot zone. Locals still call this area Monkey Junction which can be from Krispy Kreme to the Zoo.
Mid Town – considered from Wrightsville Beach to Forest Hills area.
Forest Hills – that rich white older neighborhood near Oleander and Independence. Centrally located the homes have real personality in this area. Homes in this area are frequently used by the film industry. The neighborhood is pretty tight. Issues of gun violence in this area when gangs get going as it is a cut through from Market to Oleander. Drive by issues have occurred here.