Author Topic: Most Mustachian Corner of the Research Triangle?  (Read 4324 times)

E_Ransom

  • Guest
Most Mustachian Corner of the Research Triangle?
« on: October 29, 2014, 08:26:28 PM »
I'm looking for good library work. The Research Triangle is high on my list of places I'd like to start my career in. However, I don't have a Mustachian's view of the Durham/Chapel Hill/Raleigh area, so I was hoping some more experience 'Stachers could help me out.

Where, in the Triangle, would be the best place for a young Mustachian to start his career? Is it a toss up between the three burgs or does one have an advantage? Is one more bikeable or has better public transport or better opportunities for local bartering and food growing or some other important issue?

I'm particularly interested in the Universities (dem benefits). Has anyone found one of the schools to be better for supporting a Stash than the other's?

Finally, are there any dangers or hazards, Mustachian or just plain social, that an outsider might not know about? Bad public transport, high pollution or traffic problems, crime?

I'd like any Mustachian's opinion on the Research Triangle area. Not just for the help to my financial planning, but for career planning too. The better I know a community, the better I can serve it.

mlipps

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1085
Re: Most Mustachian Corner of the Research Triangle?
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2014, 08:42:36 PM »
Following because the RT is high on my list of areas after finishing grad school!

southernhippie

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 71
Re: Most Mustachian Corner of the Research Triangle?
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2014, 03:42:01 AM »
I would go with Durham. Even though their crime rate is the highest.  Raleigh and Chapel Hill are extremely expensive to live in.  Durham has the cheapest housing.  But all in all it shouldn't matter much.  Just depends on where your work is and how much distance you are allowing to commute.

E_Ransom

  • Guest
Re: Most Mustachian Corner of the Research Triangle?
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2014, 05:17:58 AM »
Thanks southernhippie!

You wouldn't happen to know how much more expensive the others are to Durham would you? Numbeo has incomplete numbers on Durham.

I'm wanting Durham currently (a VERY nice job at Duke), but if I could obtain a job in Raleigh that was proportionally higher to the standard I have set for Durham, then I would come out roughly the same. So long as I know that proportion.

thedayisbrave

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 700
  • Location: Raleigh, NC
  • CFO @ My Life
Re: Most Mustachian Corner of the Research Triangle?
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2014, 08:04:33 AM »
I hail from the Research Triangle and have grown up here.  Durham will probably be the cheapest area, but it's gotten a bad rap because of the higher crime rates -- however there are measures being taken to revitalize the downtown area and other parts, and honestly it's turning into a pretty cool, hip place.  I think there's still a little more work to be done and it of course depends on what area of Durham you're talking about.  The places around Duke are generally pretty nice.  I am least familiar with Durham but have spent some time there visiting friends.

As for Raleigh, it also depends.  The North Raleigh area is expensive - called "Inside the Beltline".  Wouldn't aim for that part.  Raleigh as a whole is not that expensive to me, but I grew up in Cary which is a somewhat ritzy suburb outside Raleigh so it's all relative.  There's been a ton of growth in Raleigh, lots of business growth which brings job growth along with it.  If you're in tech or something similar, it could be a great move for you - lots of opportunity.  As irony would have it, I'm moving away from the area because I found a finance job in Charlotte - I job hunted aggressively for 6 months only to hit dead ends because I don't have a technical background (social sciences and business graduate degree).  I am most familiar with Southwest Raleigh, which kind of borders Cary - good area, and you can find decent townhomes for the like for not an exorbitant amount of money.

Chapel Hill is a university town.  It's nice, but housing there is notoriously expensive.  Unless you find a position with UNC, I wouldn't think you'd want to live there.  It's not very conducive to Mustachianism but that's my personal opinion.  Neighboring Carrboro might be (they're known to be more 'hippy') but housing is so limited there because it's small that I remember reading articles about the real estate just climbing in price.   

Feel free to ask if you have any specific questions. 

HappyIntrovert

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 16
Re: Most Mustachian Corner of the Research Triangle?
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2014, 05:43:31 AM »
I moved to the area soon after college graduation and have been living here for several decades. Lived in various locations - rural, suburban, and metro. I think each community has areas that will qualify as Mustachian. Each has housing ranging from subsidized, trailer parks, condos and apartments, homes from centuries old to new, and mansions. The key is living where you work and finding the community to support what you need. With many colleges in the area, there is good public transportation and progressive offerings surrounding those areas.
 
Generalizations: all of the suburbs tend to require cars and have fewer public transportation options, but there are "city" centers and other neighborhoods that might support a living like you want. Most have small farmer's markets scheduled on some days although that doesn't necessarily mean better priced produce. A co-op with a farm might work best. Because of the reliance on cars, cycling can be challenging in these areas. Carrboro comes to mind as the most supportive, but my daughter lives in Chapel Hill and rides a bike. I imagine all of the college areas have more awareness of cyclists and pedestrians. (I too am not familiar with Durham other than to visit.) There are also express buses from one city to another, which makes it very easy to move around without a car.
 
I currently live in downtown Raleigh and certainly everything you want is available here. There's a huge variety of housing. There are homes in neighborhoods that have gardens in their front yards, goats, and chickens. I don't see a lot of bikes because you can have really walkable neighborhoods and there's fairly good public transportation. You just have to research where you want to live. But the good news here is the area is booming so there's little reason to leave the city.
 
I don't see pollution as a problem here and crime isn't bad if you avoid the worst areas. In most areas, it's just a matter of locking your doors. I've never been a victim of crime yet.
 

southernhippie

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 71
Re: Most Mustachian Corner of the Research Triangle?
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2014, 06:05:32 AM »
Friends of mine own homes in Durham.  All are fixer upper houses that were built in the 1930-40s.  But very nice homes though.  I would definitely live in the city you work.  Traffic in that whole area is awful at rush hour and is not worth the headache.  I know around the Duke University area it is very bike friendly.  Neighborhoods are all around the school.

bogart

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1052
Re: Most Mustachian Corner of the Research Triangle?
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2014, 07:36:57 AM »
Unless you end up working in Raleigh, you probably don't want to live there -- traffic in/out of the city is a hassle.  I can't really speak to the city itself though have been to some nice events there lately.  There are nice old neighborhoods near (and very bikeable) to NCSU, but I have no idea of cost.

Durham is definitely least expensive overall, housing-wise, also highest crime and most diverse (race, economics, types of careers).  Honestly if I were young and hip, I'd probably want to live there -- the downtown has really been revitalized and there is LOTS of cool stuff going on.  The city as a whole is reasonably bikeable, though with considerable variation.

Chapel Hill is lovely, but expensive.  Carrboro offers pretty much all the same amenities (except one:  it is easy to get from Chapel Hill to Durham by bus, but hard to coordinate the schedules coming from Carrboro.  I know of what I speak) and is much lower cost.  It also sits on the ridge of the hill that is the top of Chapel Hill where the university is, so biking into downtown Carrboro/Chapel Hill from Carrboro neighborhoods is easy; biking from Chapel Hill neighborhoods into Chapel Hill downtown involves noticeable hills.  Both towns are pretty bike friendly and reasonably well served by a free-to-the-ridership public bus system; UNC does not provide parking for all its faculty (let alone students), so lots of people bike or bus.

IMHO Duke is without question the best university at the area in which to work -- beats the state schools hands-down on pay and benefits.  Among those benefits, a bus pass that you can use for all RTP buses (TTA, Data, etc.) that costs $25 for the year and gives you unlimited rides.  UNC and/or NCSU may offer some employees the same pass (it's called a GoPass); I'm not sure.  I don't think they make it available to everyone.

Hope this helps!

Tetsuya Hondo

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 503
  • Location: 1960's Tokyo on the Bad Side of Town
Re: Most Mustachian Corner of the Research Triangle?
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2014, 08:52:07 AM »
Unless you end up working in Raleigh, you probably don't want to live there -- traffic in/out of the city is a hassle.  I can't really speak to the city itself though have been to some nice events there lately.  There are nice old neighborhoods near (and very bikeable) to NCSU, but I have no idea of cost.

I beg to differ. I love Raleigh and what's been happening in and around downtown in recent years. For Mustachian areas, I would look to the areas just west of the downtown and a bit south-ish. There's tons of homes that need a little love but have great potential if that appeals to you. I also like the feel of these neighborhoods and I think that they're going to be really really cool in a few years. There's the small market on the weekends at Rebus Works, a nice brewpub, a really great bakery, Boulted Bread, that just moved in and other new things popping up all the time. The area also has a DIY vibe to it. You'll find people raising chickens in their backyard and growing veggies. I find most of the downtown and surrounding areas to be very bikeable. You may also find relatively inexpensive housing around the Cameron Village area, although you're abutting student housing/rentals in the area for better or worse. You might also find affordable housing near Mordicai/Person Street areas, which has also seen the recent arrival of new stores, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and a promising looking bakery.

As you move north of downtown, things get very expensive (for the area). The Inside the Beltline (from just north of downtown up to 440) is notorious for being old money and insular. (There's a parody Twitter, the ITB Insider, with its fictional author William Needham Finley IV, that captures the vibe of these neighborhoods well.) Beyond that is North Hills, which is young family central. Beyond that is suburbia and it's not so great for walking or biking, unless you're near greenway trails (another great Raleigh feature).

Durham is probably the most Mustachian and some really cool things are happening in Durham. There's a strong and growing creative class there (which you'll also found in the pockets of Raleigh I mentioned and in Carrboro, but on a small scale). It's amazing to see the change in that city. Chapel Hill/Carrboro is nice, but small, which drives prices up outside of student housing areas. Still, I prefer Raleigh. With the arrival of Red Hat's headquarters and Citrix in downtown, it's developing rapidly. I think that the fixer uppers not far from downtown could be a really excellent investment.

Cary, stuck in the middle of all three, is suburbia in all it's splendor - big box stores, chain restaurants, neighborhood islands surrounded by busy roads, etc. Blah.

aneel

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 180
Re: Most Mustachian Corner of the Research Triangle?
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2014, 09:54:11 AM »
I have lived in both Durham and Raleigh.  I lived in both areas without a car (however I was a student, so daily running around wasn't high on my list).  I currently live in Boston, but am desperately trying to get back to RTP.  I too would focus on Durham for living as a mustachian.  I'm not very informed of Durham's transport system (DATA I believe), but I know that Raleigh's bus system (CAT) is awful.  The buses that go throughout the RTP area are pretty reliable.
I could give you more info / things to watch out for if I knew the places you'd already lived.

bogart

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1052
Re: Most Mustachian Corner of the Research Triangle?
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2014, 08:45:46 PM »

I beg to differ. I love Raleigh and what's been happening in and around downtown in recent years.


Sure, but for someone not working in Raleigh (that is, for someone working in Durham or Chapel Hill), would it really be worth the commute?  Not in my book, no offense -- that was my only point.  I have a co-worker who does this and I think she's nuts (except that her DH works in Raleigh; she works in Durham).  Still a fun place to visit (Raleigh) from time to time, even if one settles in a different community in the area.

begood

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 971
Re: Most Mustachian Corner of the Research Triangle?
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2014, 07:51:28 AM »
Native Chapel Hillian here. I've been transplanted elsewhere for the past twenty years, but I still bleed Carolina blue.

My dad now lives in Durham, I lived in Durham for four years, and my mister worked in Raleigh for awhile.

If your dream job is at Duke, then you'd want to live in Durham. There's good sections and bad sections, and you'd need to pick and choose, but you could probably live within biking distance or short commute (in other words, not having to get on I-40 or the Durham Expressway to get to work). Draw concentric circles on a map around the building where you'd work, going out one mile, two miles, three miles. See what you can find. Durham has a ton of teeny-tiny mill houses that were once lived in by tobacco factory workers. Many of them are rented out now, like southernhippie said.

I definitely recommend getting the job first, then looking for a place to live nearby. I personally would not choose to live in Chapel Hill or Carrboro if my job was in Durham or Raleigh. You can get to those other cities easily enough for social outings, but for the daily grind? Forget about it. Live where you work.

Gerard

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1400
  • Location: eastern canada
Re: Most Mustachian Corner of the Research Triangle?
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2014, 08:03:47 AM »
If you got a job at a uni and chose to live very close to it, would you be into renting part of your house to students? That could change the equation a bit.

(fwiw, I find the pollution in the triangle pretty bad, but that's because I'm from the deep woods of canada and I'm not used to what happens when southern humidity meets american car culture!)