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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: Murr on August 06, 2014, 06:43:00 PM

Title: Towns/Neighborhoods in and around Raleigh/Durham?
Post by: Murr on August 06, 2014, 06:43:00 PM
Learned yesterday that there is a pretty good chance I need to move to the RTP area for work(sales). My wife and I have 2 little boys(7 and 4) and have been starting to research the various towns/neighborhoods in the RTP area. I would be working out of a home office so being near an office is not important. Having two school age kids; decent public schools is very important. Being up to 30 mins from RDU airport would be ok. We've been reading about Cary, Morrisville, Apex, Holly Springs, and Chapel Hill but would like some feedback from folks who actually live there or have lived there recently. Any and all feedback is appreciated.
Title: Re: Towns/Neighborhoods in and around Raleigh/Durham?
Post by: bogart on August 06, 2014, 08:18:37 PM
  • Chapel Hill - home to the best public schools in the area but house prices are about 2x the surround areas. Kind of like the Boulder, CO of the area.

Carrboro shares a school district with Chapel Hill and at least as compared to Chapel Hill offers affordable housing, though it can be necessary to look around (but not into "bad" neighborhoods, just older ones).  The two towns also share a bus system that is free to ride, and good for the size of the communities (fine for getting to/from the center of town, particularly on weekdays).  Carrboro is more bikeable than Chapel Hill because it's pretty flat, which Chapel Hill is not.  Both towns are pretty bike friendly and offer many (not ubiquitous) bike lanes and some greenways (Durham too).  CH/Ca are less racially and economically diverse than Durham (but not horribly so).
Title: Re: Towns/Neighborhoods in and around Raleigh/Durham?
Post by: thedayisbrave on August 06, 2014, 08:42:58 PM
I grew up in Cary.  Loved it, but I'm one of the few - most of my peers couldn't wait to get out of here (yet I manage to run into a bunch of them cause they're still in the area 5+ years later?) Anyway, it's a great, very family oriented town - extremely low crime - etc.  But housing is pretty expensive, I guess depending on where you're coming from.  Definitely very suburban, and has been described as "cookie cutter." 

Morrisville is closer to RTP but there's still not a whole lot around yet - but its growing and it's all convenient between RTP, Morrisville and Cary.
Title: Re: Towns/Neighborhoods in and around Raleigh/Durham?
Post by: geekette on August 06, 2014, 08:51:28 PM
I don't know about schools personally, but my friends with littles seem happy enough in Cary/Apex/Raleigh schools.  Yes, Chapel Hill/Carrboro is "better" but at what price?  Wouldn't touch Durham.

I love Cary; lived here over 20 years right on Bond Lake.  Lots of green space, well educated population (well, the whole area, really), and lots of stuff for kids.  Not so much for young adults.  There are bike paths and greenways, but few ways to bike commute, since the main roads are crowded.  Lots of chain restaurants, but also lots of ethnic restaurants in some areas.

Try older neighborhoods avoid the same same look.  My parents bought in Medfield Estates in '78.  It's a "doughnut hole" between Raleigh and Cary (off Trinity Road behind the fairgrounds) that doesn't pay city taxes to either.  The houses were built in the 60's, so they're smaller houses (although many have added on) with larger yards, and younger families are moving in as the oldsters age out.  Ten - fifteen minutes to the airport, and right off I-40.  I'm sure there are other pockets, too, if you don't mind an older home and a big yard with lots of trees (great in summer - a bear in the fall!)

Title: Re: Towns/Neighborhoods in and around Raleigh/Durham?
Post by: sedura on August 06, 2014, 10:57:29 PM
I'm a real estate agent in the Triangle, so I'm very familiar with the areas. I agree with Kevin's list above, although I would rank Morrisville before Holly Springs just due to it's more central location. one thing to add about Chapel Hill is that not only is the real estate more expensive, but the property taxes are also much higher. If you like suburban areas, you can't go wrong with Cary. There are also some great neighborhoods in Raleigh, and I would also strongly consider Wake Forest. Do you know what price range you would be looking in?
Title: Re: Towns/Neighborhoods in and around Raleigh/Durham?
Post by: Murr on August 07, 2014, 05:03:05 AM
Fantastic replies! This helps us at least start to narrow things down a bit before we spend a long weekend scoping things out in person. I'm also thinking it to be a good idea to rent for a year or two to get a better feel for our ideal place should we decide to settle long term. It seems there are lots of houses for rent in the area so that is good. Keep the feed back coming!