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Old 03-06-2020, 10:46 AM
Status: "Finally in Durham!" (set 10 days ago)
 
Location: Durham, NC
24,913 posts, read 35,574,256 times
Reputation: 35143

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Some of y’all may remember me a good 10+ years ago. I’ve thought about North Carolina in the past. I moved on from the idea after a few life events. Now I’m with a company that is moving my business unit down to the Graham/Mebane area near the end of the year. I’m over DC and I’m 65% sure I want to move with them.

If I’m working in Graham/Mebane, which area would be the best fit for housing? A bit about me; early 30s, loves food and restaurants, don’t need much nightlife but loves museums, historical areas, and natural sights. I do have a car and would prefer closer to an airport for quick trips to the Ohio Valley to look in on mom.

Price range is up to $1100 for rent but prefer to stay at $700-800 and looking for a 1 bed apartment. Newer if possible.
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Old 03-06-2020, 11:38 AM
 
2,064 posts, read 993,258 times
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$700 - $800 will be tough (impossible?) in Chapel Hill or Durham and difficult in G'boro. Plus G'boro would be a long commute. If you can find something for $1,100 in Durham i'd do that. It has the things you're looking for. If you could find a place to live on the northwest side of Durham near I-85 your commute would be reasonable.
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Old 03-06-2020, 12:43 PM
 
Location: Chapelboro
11,561 posts, read 12,654,518 times
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If you don't mind a funky, tiny village, check out Saxapahaw. It's just a few minutes (like 5-15 from Graham and Mebane) and a bucolic 20 minutes from Carrboro, 25 min from Chapel Hill.

https://www.ourstate.com/downtown-saxapahaw/
https://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/t...es-a-draw.html

There are two very good restaurants there, a brewery, a butcher, a few other funky shops (including a coffee shop) and a fabulous music/event venue, the Haw River Ballroom, that gets some great performers. The village is a mix of hippies, hipsters, and country folk. Somehow Bernie supporters and Trump supporters manage to coexist side by side.

I don't know anything about the rents there. It is a former mill village and there are some nice condos and apartments in the converted mill. There are also lots of funky little mill houses. Not sure how much they go for. http://www.rivermillvillage.com/
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Old 03-06-2020, 01:26 PM
 
Location: Get off my lawn?
1,042 posts, read 422,735 times
Reputation: 1455
I would suggest Hillsborough. You can find 1br in relatively new complexes in the $900+ range. A historic town in a beautiful setting w/ a number of great restaurants and pubs, on the Eno River with lots of walking trails. It’s the county seat for Orange County so it has great services. 10 miles to Mebane, 19 to Graham by interstate w/o too much bad traffic. 14 miles to Durham by interstate for a huge variety of activities, with a huge state park in between, and only 12 miles to Chapel Hill.
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Old 03-06-2020, 06:41 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
4,216 posts, read 2,686,740 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poppydog View Post
I don't know anything about the rents there. It is a former mill village and there are some nice condos and apartments in the converted mill. There are also lots of funky little mill houses. Not sure how much they go for. Saxapahaw Rivermill
Regarding the apartments as Saxapahaw Rivermill there is a price list at the bottom of the web page that can be downloaded. According to that list (as ofSeptember, 2019), the least expensive unit is $870 for 567 square feet. Going to the upper end of the OPs budget, an 1100 SF 1 BR unit is $1065. It does say that water and trash disposal/recycling is included. Electric, phone and cable are not included.
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Old 03-08-2020, 07:50 AM
 
Location: South Raleigh areas
4,996 posts, read 3,571,481 times
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Ha, my children have daycare in Graham since their mother works in Mebane and she'll be relocating to the are come June/July. I thought if moving there, had to cancel it. Alamance County (Burlington) was the easiest to cross off, absolute boredom but you'd find the cheap living you're looking for...

I considered Greensboro, I really don't like it. Its okay and if I really liked it I would do the commute (it's the longest commute), but nah. Durham is slightly closer and while I'm not the biggest fan of Durham, it is a more exciting place to live than Greensboro. So I'd say go Durham, you'd be slightly closer...

You can find studios and one beds in Durham at that price and have access to all the nature and attractions you like, plus be closer to a better airport...
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Old 03-08-2020, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
8,975 posts, read 13,467,571 times
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Hi Dissenter,

I remember you from the Northern Virginia board. #1. Durham for you. It is the place that comes closest to everything you want on your list. There is an urban vibe with history, museums, close to airport and natural areas without being big and crazy like DC. #2. Greensboro would also work but is a bit more spread out and has less character (imho). It may be cheaper, though, so look into it.

While Hillsborough and Sax are right for certain people, they are a small town and a tiny village, respectively, and would not be what you are looking for. Chapel Hill is an expensive college town.

To do a Northern Virginia/DC area comparison as best I can:

Durham is Arlington
Greensboro is Silver Spring but bigger
Hillsborough is like Warrenton or Purcellville
Saxapahaw is like Occoquan or Waterford
Chapel Hill is probably closest to Charlottesville (although not in NoVA, you are probably familiar with it)
Burlington is kind of like Manassas

Traffic around here is nothing like DC, so do not get too scared by people who say it is bad (not that anyone did, but it often comes up). I realize it is bad compared to what it used to be, but it is still nothing like DC. And the worst of the traffic would be closer to Raleigh. Going from Durham to Graham/Mebane would be easy. My husband works in Burlington which is close to Graham and he commutes from Chapel Hill where we live. We picked it for the schools and diversity, but it is expensive. It is a 32-mile commute and takes 45 minutes. (As a refresher, in case you don't remember me, I lived in Town of Vienna and was one of its biggest fans before moving here.)

ETA: As an FYI: Burlington and Alamance County are politically conservative. The vast majority of people in my husband's office are huge Trump supporters. I think it would be hard to be a die-hard liberal there. Durham and Chapel Hill are highly liberal and I think people would find it hard to be a conservative there. Hillsborough is more liberal than conservative, with the older more rural locals being more conservative, I belive. Greensboro is a decent mix of both and big enough to fit in no matter your persuasion. However, politics are not at the forefront of living compared to living in DC, in general.

Last edited by michgc; 03-08-2020 at 11:40 AM..
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Old 03-08-2020, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
3,096 posts, read 3,355,815 times
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I think Burlington would make most sense for you. It's cheap, has decent enough choice of restaurants and a mall and is close to Graham. Easy drive to Greensboro and not as easy but still not bad drive to the Triangle.
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Old 03-09-2020, 07:32 AM
Status: "Finally in Durham!" (set 10 days ago)
 
Location: Durham, NC
24,913 posts, read 35,574,256 times
Reputation: 35143
Quote:
Originally Posted by michgc View Post
Hi Dissenter,

I remember you from the Northern Virginia board. #1. Durham for you. It is the place that comes closest to everything you want on your list. There is an urban vibe with history, museums, close to airport and natural areas without being big and crazy like DC. #2. Greensboro would also work but is a bit more spread out and has less character (imho). It may be cheaper, though, so look into it.

While Hillsborough and Sax are right for certain people, they are a small town and a tiny village, respectively, and would not be what you are looking for. Chapel Hill is an expensive college town.

To do a Northern Virginia/DC area comparison as best I can:

Durham is Arlington
Greensboro is Silver Spring but bigger
Hillsborough is like Warrenton or Purcellville
Saxapahaw is like Occoquan or Waterford
Chapel Hill is probably closest to Charlottesville (although not in NoVA, you are probably familiar with it)
Burlington is kind of like Manassas

Traffic around here is nothing like DC, so do not get too scared by people who say it is bad (not that anyone did, but it often comes up). I realize it is bad compared to what it used to be, but it is still nothing like DC. And the worst of the traffic would be closer to Raleigh. Going from Durham to Graham/Mebane would be easy. My husband works in Burlington which is close to Graham and he commutes from Chapel Hill where we live. We picked it for the schools and diversity, but it is expensive. It is a 32-mile commute and takes 45 minutes. (As a refresher, in case you don't remember me, I lived in Town of Vienna and was one of its biggest fans before moving here.)

ETA: As an FYI: Burlington and Alamance County are politically conservative. The vast majority of people in my husband's office are huge Trump supporters. I think it would be hard to be a die-hard liberal there. Durham and Chapel Hill are highly liberal and I think people would find it hard to be a conservative there. Hillsborough is more liberal than conservative, with the older more rural locals being more conservative, I belive. Greensboro is a decent mix of both and big enough to fit in no matter your persuasion. However, politics are not at the forefront of living compared to living in DC, in general.
Hey nice to run into you here!

I am leaning towards Durham since I actually talked to people who have moved there or lived there. I know Durham has its problems with crime but I’m not too concerned.

Does anyone have specific knowledge on areas I should avoid on the West Side of Durham. I’d definitely favor areas close to I-40 and I-85.
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Old 03-09-2020, 07:58 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
8,975 posts, read 13,467,571 times
Reputation: 8899
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dissenter View Post
Hey nice to run into you here!

I am leaning towards Durham since I actually talked to people who have moved there or lived there. I know Durham has its problems with crime but I’m not too concerned.

Does anyone have specific knowledge on areas I should avoid on the West Side of Durham. I’d definitely favor areas close to I-40 and I-85.
I think there are parts of Durham to avoid just like in many other cities. I will let other people give you recommendations on best places to live as I'm not familiar enough with neighborhoods there. You might want to ask on the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill/Cary board.
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