Looks like you are getting some good responses. I haved lived here a dozen years and I still consider it the best place I have owned and sailed a boat for year-round sailing. There are some caveats. First, get used to the idea of shallow water all of the time. It really is not a problem but requires a different mindset and skill set than Great Lakes sailing. Pamlico Sound almost always has wind, sometimes too much, and when the wind really comes up the short seas are darned uncomfortable. I find Washington and New Bern just too far from real sailing. By the time you get out of your slip and get down the respective rivers, you have wasted too much time. It is always better to drive the distance to get better sailing and on the Neuse you need to be at least as far down river as Northwest Creek marina.
You really need to answer the question as to where you want to live when you are not sailing. For example, Oriental is a great LITTLE town. But, it has nothing in the way of creature comforts including medical. If you like and are able to live in an isolated, rural environment you have lots of choices here. But, if you need real groceries, shopping, medical facilities and so on then you need New Bern or Washington. Perhaps Morehead City. Which takes me to the ocean. If you want easy access to the ocean you need to be in one of the marinas near Morehead City. You won't have as many sailing days on the ocean, but the water is deep, blue, and full of fish. Morehead City and Beaufort are great places; some of us on the Sound motor down there a couple of times a year and it is a few hours down the ICW.
If you are going to live with your relatives and don't mind driving to your boat then you should get down near Oriental. Pecan Grove, IMHO, is the nicest, most protected and accessible marina down there. Send me an e-mail at LSBRODSKY@earthlink.net