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Old 07-30-2012, 09:50 AM
Location: Carrboro and Concord, NC
964 posts, read 2,049,683 times
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I'd suggest visiting both.

Chapel Hill has a more diverse population in all ways - age, race, income - than Jupiter. It's VERY well educated (statistically, per capita, one of the most educated in the country), and the large student population (between UNC, Duke, NC State, NC Central, and several smaller colleges) is more than 100,000 in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill metro. The universities have attracted a significant, and visibly large international population as well, so the area is a bit more Latin and a lot more Asian (per capita) than most other metros in the South.

But there's also a balance - some very nice, rather affluent - retirement communities in the area south of Chapel Hill in particular - Fearrington, Brier Creek, Governor's Club - there are a number of them in NE Chatham County, so there's a great mix, and the seniors in the area tend to be very engaged in the community - some of the universities actually offer non-credit courses or discussion groups centered around interests or academic subjects that are specifically tailored towards seniors, and there's good interaction between the young and the old in the area. The universities also attract a nice mix of cultural events - the usual, expected art shows and classical music (outdoor concerts in Cary), along with the less expected - in the time I've lived in Chapel Hill, we've had Tibetan monks, an Indonesian gamelan orchestra, a Kurosawa film retrospective, and the world's largest documentary film festival (which has had the likes of Martin Scorsese, Errol Morris, and Michael Moore on their board at various points during the last 10-12 years) is an annual event 10 miles up the road in Durham.

So the area has a LOT to offer. BUT - unlike Florida - it's NOT just a retirement area - you will find that you will be interacting with a much broader and more eclectic population.

Chapel Hill, it does bear mentioning, is the most expensive non-resort in North Carolina, in terms of cost-of-living - the Chapel Hill/Carrboro school district is among the top public districts on the E Coast, and Chapel Hill has an urban growth boundary, so there is considerable upward pressure in the Chapel Hill real estate market, and along with retirees, you are competing with people moving here to get their kids into the school district, and some wealthier college kids whose parents have gobbled up in-town condos so Jr. will have a nice place to live. So the real estate market, in the immediate Chapel Hill area is pricey, very competitive, and has a limited stock - I have friends who shelled out $250K for a 900 sq foot bungalow near downtown Carrboro, and it was a fixer-upper, so should you elect this area, look carefully, be willing to move quickly should you find something you like, and broaden your search as much as possible - Cary, Apex, and NE Chatham are all reasonably close to Chapel Hill, and away from Raleigh's congestion, or Durham's relatively higher crime rates.
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Old 07-30-2012, 03:27 PM
21,228 posts, read 30,461,228 times
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Originally Posted by davidals View Post
Cary, Apex, and NE Chatham are all reasonably close to Chapel Hill, and away from Raleigh's congestion, or Durham's relatively higher crime rates.
In typical Chapel Hill fashion you managed to miss mention that Durham's higher crime rate (like many larger cities) isn't applicable to the entire city and is in fact segmented into areas that most wouldn't choose to live in. The Durham neighborhoods of Trinity Park, Hope Valley, Watts Hospital/Croasdale and Woodcroft are a few examples of good neighborhoods for the OP and are every bit as nice as comparable neighborhoods in Chapel Hill.
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Old 07-30-2012, 04:08 PM
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visit both places before you decide.
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Old 07-30-2012, 06:57 PM
Location: Coastal Northeast
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Jupiter, FL is the sunny playground for the rich and famous. It's a more laid back version of Palm Beach. Chapel Hill...not so much.
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:42 PM
Location: South Beach and DT Raleigh
11,810 posts, read 18,838,544 times
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NC has a relatively high income tax rate but very reasonable property taxes. Florida has no income tax but very high real estate taxes and, in many resort areas on the coast, high sales tax.
Hurricane insurance should also not be ignored. For single family houses along the coast of Florida, windstorm insurance can be a pretty hefty chunk of change yearly. For condos, windstorm insurance inflates HOA dues significantly. While on the insurance issue, car insurance is likely to be much higher in Florida as well.
Florida can make a lot of sense if ones income is high and ones lifestyle is relatively modest. Otherwise, I'd really look carefully at some of the more "hidden" costs of living in Florida.
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