Author Topic: Raleigh, NC House Rental Questions  (Read 2574 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Raleigh, NC House Rental Questions
« on: November 28, 2016, 02:23:56 PM »
Hi all,

There are lots of threads about the Raleigh, NC area already, but I have a couple of specific questions beyond which neighborhoods or parts of the research triangle to look at. The neighborhood/town question is something my wife and I can research on our own, and we plan on visiting in a couple of weeks to get a feel for things on the ground.

A little background first: my wife and I will be moving from Seattle to the Raleigh area soon. I have a job lined up at $80k/yr gross, and my wife will find a job when she gets there (she works in local politics here in Seattle and has some connections who can probably help), but to be conservative, let's assume that we just live off of my salary when we're there.

Currently, I make about 11% more than $80k in Seattle, but the cost of living difference should more than make up for the difference. We're looking at renting a home in the Raleigh area for at least the first year. Our rental budget is capped at $1400/mo, so roughly 30% of my estimated take home pay, and we're looking for at least a 2BR/2BA, if possible. One thing we love is that we can rent an entire house in Raleigh for a little cheaper than we pay to rent a small 1BR apartment here in Seattle. It's amazing to think that we can actually have more than one room. And grass. And a driveway.

A few of specific questions:
  • We're looking to rent anywhere near Raleigh at this point (though we'll likely narrow things down more once we visit). One thing we're noticing that stands out to us is how many homes we're seeing for rent that have carpet everywhere... Seems to be a regional thing, maybe? In a perfect world, we'd ideally love to find a home that has hardwood floors throughout. In your experience of the area, is that something that even exists? Or is it so uncommon that we'll likely need to make a concession about that? It's slim pickings on Zillow so far.
  • Are there any recommended local websites besides Zillow and Craigslist that locals use to list/find house rentals?
  • Is it common in the Raleigh area to use a broker/realtor to find a house rental?
  • This is a long shot, but do any of you happen to have rental properties in the Raleigh area that fit the bill?

Thank you, please let me know if you have any questions!


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Raleigh, NC House Rental Questions
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2016, 02:48:13 PM »
We used to live in a different part of the triangle but had several friends who lived over towards Raleigh, Apex, Cary, etc.

- Carpet is very common if you are talking about the newbuild type neighborhoods that have all gone up since the 90s. If you want hardwood I'd look in some historic neighborhoods:   or towards Durham.
- The rental market in my part of the triangle (between CH and Durham) actually moved really fast so the easiest way to find a house rental was to contact property managers directly.

Good luck - and enjoy! It is a such a wonderful area. Oh- and pro-tip, I recommend Allen and Sons BBQ (CH/Hillsborough Location) for some awesome pig and Brunswick stew!


  • Bristles
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Re: Raleigh, NC House Rental Questions
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2016, 03:30:34 PM »
I used to live in Raleigh for a while, now in Greensboro, but I still own a home there that I rent out (currently rented already, sorry).

First off, depending on what part of Raleigh you are looking for, with a 2BR/2BA at $1,400 a month you should have PLENTLY of options. I'm preferable to the South/West or West part of Raleigh. Less expensive housing, but still great properties. I've never been a fan of the cost of North Raleigh, and South Raleigh might be a little too country for what you're used to. But I digress. I've never been able to get for rent what Zillow suggests. When Zillow said I should get $1,100, the most I could get was $950. Right now Zillow says I should get $1,300 for my 3BR/2.5BA house on a .25 Ac lot. I wish I could get that. Keep that in mind. I have had a long term tenant though, so things may have changed in the last 4 years.

Anyway, to answer your questions:
- Older homes tend to have hardwood floors. Newer homes too. But rentals in NC typically try to avoid hardwoods, unless it comes with the house. Easier to take a stain out of a carpet than a scratch out of hardwood (especially if it's old hardwood). My guess is you'll find a healthy mix.
- Craigslist is probably the go-to website, other than through property managers. There are a few companies that will dominate in different markets in Raleigh. The Preiss Company controls alot of the NC State market (although they are a horrible company to rent from). Different areas have different "go to" management companies. Just look around online.
- Some people will go through a broker/realtor to find a house rental, but it isn't too common. Realtors won't turn away from a commission (don't blame them) but their dollars are in selling, and that's what they spend time on.

I hope that helps.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2016, 03:33:03 PM by specialkayme »

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Re: Raleigh, NC House Rental Questions
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2016, 06:23:12 PM »
I think the most important thing you should be considering in where to live is where your job is.  I live in NW Raleigh and moved here only because although I work from home, my employer is in RTP so when I do go in, it's a 10 minute commute.  And if they ever disallow me from working from home, I'm set.  My spouse travels for work so we also wanted easy access to 540 and 40 for his convenience.  It also helped that I really like the high school in NW Raleigh, similar scores and ratings as the good high schools in Cary, but her school is diverse and isn't just affluent white kids. 

Carpet is very common unless you are looking in new properties.  If you are looking at older homes you probably will get a mix of carpet and older oak floors.  I have those and love them although I know a lot of people are not fans of the thin, short strip look.  I'd go with Craigslist, it can be tough since sometimes the listings list schools, sometimes zip, sometimes neighborhood.  When we were considering renting it took a lot of digging.  I agree with the previous poster, realtors are unlikely.  The Raleigh market is still really hot and it's unlikely that realtors will mess with rentals.   

TONS of things to do here, lots of people watching, outdoor activities and our fav take out spot, Rise.  We don't go out much, but we love Rise.  The lines are out the door during the weekends, worth the wait.  Good luck!


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Raleigh, NC House Rental Questions
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2016, 07:11:15 PM »
Where will you all be working? If in the RTP, look at Durham also. There are some nice areas there now (has improved a lot in the last decade). Traffic is pretty bad for NC but nothing like a major metropolis.

Carpet - no one's spending good money on a rental to have wood floors. Someone's dog or cat is going to mess them up.

Rental companies - most in the area suck. Better go with Craigslist, or talk to your company about whom they recommend. A lot of them are used to relocating people and have resources lined up. I used to rent a house through one supposedly reputable company and it was a PTA. The problem is a lot of them are near-monopolies and have no incentive to take care of the house, the tenants or the owner. We had to deal with most problems ourselves.

I sold our properties in the area a few years ago because of above-mentioned hassle and moving out of state. My parents have a rental but it's leased for the next three years. 


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Raleigh, NC House Rental Questions
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2016, 07:01:22 AM »
I would start in Cary if I were you.  Cary is boring, has lots of chain restaurants and big box stores, and the road system is impossible to navigate.  However, it is close to everything, the schools are good, and the crime rate is low--there's really no "bad areas" that you could end up in, so its fairly safe to rent something sight-unseen.  Its also pretty affordable compared to "ITB" Raleigh. 

Once you live there for a while, you can explore the area, and figure out what the nice neighborhoods are, where you can save some money, etc.  I love my neighborhood in downtown Raleigh (near NC State), but its gotten really expensive and I couldn't afford to live there if I was moving there now. 

I would absolutely not recommend moving straight to Durham.  Durham is a really really cool city, but there are some extremely bad pockets spread throughout the city, and they're right next to really nice areas.  I'd explore a bit and figure out where the good parts are AND THEN move if you like it. 

As for BBQ, its been a long long time since I've been to Allen and Sons, they're pretty far from where I live.  With that said, Hillsboro BBQ company in the town of Hillsboro is awesome, as is Brew and 'Que in Cary.  The Pit is a bit disappointing and expensive, I don't recommend them anymore.