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Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary The Triangle Area
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:38 PM
 
10 posts, read 14,981 times
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Hi All,

Really happy to have found this forum.

I'm middle-aged, not married, no kids, with many cultural and intellectual interests and just wondering where I might check out buying a home in or near Durham. Really looking forward to putting some roots down after living in MA, CA, and the UK just in the past 10 years...

I don't need a good school system, and probably would rather not live among predominately young families - prefer the quiet (and not so much into block parties or HOAs). Multi cultural, multi ethnic is great, too.

My price range is around 250K, and a detached home rather than a condo.

Any suggestions on areas to consider near or within downtown areas, stores, libraries, etc in Durham? I love to walk and bicycle. What are the pluses on living in Durham v. Raleigh? Any down sides to living in Durham?? I'm hearing some folks not enthusiastic on Durham and wondering why. Still sorting it all out.

Thanks so much!
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Old 10-25-2010, 10:52 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
10,323 posts, read 18,656,394 times
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Look around Northgate Mall--some of the streets are Englewood, Club Blvd, etc. It might be Old North Durham or Trinity Park?
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Old 10-26-2010, 07:15 AM
 
2,800 posts, read 4,737,162 times
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Default Relocating from?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LeafLight View Post
Hi All,

Really happy to have found this forum.

I'm middle-aged, not married, no kids, with many cultural and intellectual interests and just wondering where I might check out buying a home in or near Durham. Really looking forward to putting some roots down after living in MA, CA, and the UK just in the past 10 years...

I don't need a good school system, and probably would rather not live among predominately young families - prefer the quiet (and not so much into block parties or HOAs). Multi cultural, multi ethnic is great, too.

My price range is around 250K, and a detached home rather than a condo.

Any suggestions on areas to consider near or within downtown areas, stores, libraries, etc in Durham? I love to walk and bicycle. What are the pluses on living in Durham v. Raleigh? Any down sides to living in Durham?? I'm hearing some folks not enthusiastic on Durham and wondering why. Still sorting it all out.

Thanks so much!
Where are you relocating from?
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Old 10-26-2010, 07:27 AM
 
Location: Raleigh
1,533 posts, read 5,018,905 times
Reputation: 777
Are you planning a visit to the area. That in my opinion is the best place to start. The area has so much to offer you should come see for yourself and have some fun.
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Old 10-26-2010, 07:30 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
520 posts, read 852,756 times
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Where in MA were you? We moved here in May from western MA.
So far we are really enjoying Durham. It does seem to get a bad rap at times, not sure why?

First advice I'd share is look at where your job is and let that help direct your house hunting. While traffic around Durham & N. Durham isn't bad, I've heard that certain roads (40 comes to mind) can be just awful to commute, so try to avoid a home that would put you there for the job commute.

Best bet, if you can swing it, before buying would be to visit the areas. That will give you a good feel for the neighborhood. Maybe do a short term rental while you house hunt? That is how we did it. Hubby was here 3 months settling into the new job & house hunting before we bought the new home. That gave him time to know we were getting in where we really wanted to be.

We ended up just north of downtown Durham & like how close things feel to us. Of course, where we moved from everything was at least a 30 - 60 minute drive so being able to drive 20 minutes to get where we want is a nice change.

Durham has a main library w/several branches & an active friends group. One card gets you access to all the branches. They have some events going on. For example during Banned Book Week they did a show of readings from banned books that was pretty good. And the used book sale a few weeks ago was great --> I got some good deals!

Eno Park is nice. It has a couple hiking trails, kayak (sp?) rentals, picnic tables, etc. They do offer nature walks & other occassional events. There are a few other parks in the area too but we've not made it over to them yet to see how they are.

There are gobs of restaurants in the area! If you are foodie Durham is where you want to be. I don't think in 10 years we could make it to all the different restaurants around us. And they are very diverse; all types of cuisine & $$ levels depending on your mood.

Sign up w/Groupon and Social Living to get their deals of the day (we just did segway tours of Raliegh courtesy of a great Groupon) and sign up for e-newsletters (or facebook or twitter or whatever) from things that interest you. Durham Bulls, any/all of the local colleges events & programs (we just saw "As You Like It" @ NC State & I'm now on the Duke Gardens mailing list), theaters (DPAC, Carolina Theatre), Tours (Tobacco Road Tours or Triangle Segway), etc. Hit the Vistors' bureau website too. They list a lot of local events & businesses. You'll find there is more to do than there are hours in a week.

For shopping Chapel Hill seems to have the cutest shops I've run into. But there are several shopping malls in the area, and in November an outlet center is opening not too far from Durham. And all over the area are strip malls with anything/everything you could want or need. If it isn't in one, then it will be in the next strip mall.

Meetups is another idea too. That will get you in touch w/other like-minded folks. I think I've seen hiking groups on there & a mall walkers group. We've joined a few groups & been to a couple events. It is a nice way to get out & try things/meet people.

Sorry this is a bit long, can you tell I really like our new home town?
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Old 10-26-2010, 12:11 PM
 
Location: California
4,445 posts, read 5,168,213 times
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I would like to add another related question to this post-- health care and taxes in Durham & N. C.? We are looking for a place to retire so those are big items for us. The OP has many similar interests but I do differ with her on 47 being older. Any good Farmers Markets?
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Old 10-26-2010, 12:21 PM
 
1,840 posts, read 5,125,454 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heidi60 View Post
I would like to add another related question to this post-- health care and taxes in Durham & N. C.? We are looking for a place to retire so those are big items for us. The OP has many similar interests but I do differ with her on 47 being older. Any good Farmers Markets?
Are you asking about the availability or the cost of health care. If it's the availability, you have two of the premier health centers in the country in town (Duke and UNC). Duke has its warts as a primary health care provider, but is pretty unmatched when you actually have a problem. We like the UNC system for primary care.

Two terrific farmers markets in downtown durham and in carrboro (next to chapel hill).
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Old 10-26-2010, 01:30 PM
 
Location: California
4,445 posts, read 5,168,213 times
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Both cost and availability of health care are important. I heard that employer based insurance is going up about 40% next year which is a pretty big bite and who knows what will happen to individual or Medicare, but that is another post. We have Kaiser and I have difficulty communicating with my doctor but they are available.
Currently, we do volunteer work at our local library through Friends and would like to be able to continue that work. We are also vegetarian so good produce to buy/grow is really important. I noticed a Trader Joe in Cary which is good as we shop at T.J.'s in San Jose. We also like to take the train to San Francisco for the day and want an active city life as, although we have our aches and pains, we don't want to spend our day dwelling on them.

I spoke to a realtor closer to the Chapel Hill area and she said that the homeowners voted to build the new library, but instead of funding books for the new library, they spent the money on baseball. I decided to move on from there.

I have read some posts where local residents are being hit with very high property taxes starting this year and that concerns me when we get to the "fixed income" part of our life. Any good information about property taxes and in general how Durham is managing the resident's money? Hopefully, this information will also be of interest to the OP. Thanks for time.
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Old 10-26-2010, 02:03 PM
 
1,752 posts, read 3,148,459 times
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I am 42 and planning to move to the Triangle soon...and I am shocked to learn that you think of 47 as OLDER! Middle aged, I'll buy, but OLDER---I just didn't know.

Tell you what, leaflight, you get settled and I'll give you a call when I get there!
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Old 10-26-2010, 02:46 PM
 
Location: Durham, NC
524 posts, read 1,096,770 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heidi60 View Post
I noticed a Trader Joe in Cary which is good as we shop at T.J.'s in San Jose.
There is a T.J.'s in Chapel Hill, too, and it's much closer to Durham the one in Cary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heidi60 View Post
I spoke to a realtor closer to the Chapel Hill area and she said that the homeowners voted to build the new library, but instead of funding books for the new library, they spent the money on baseball. I decided to move on from there.
That... doesn't sound right. Read here about the library's expansion plans. There was a lot of discussion about Orange County chipping in more than it already does to fund the library, but I don't remember any discussion about books vs. baseball. Maybe someone else on this forum has information about that, but I'm skeptical.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heidi60 View Post
I have read some posts where local residents are being hit with very high property taxes starting this year and that concerns me when we get to the "fixed income" part of our life. Any good information about property taxes and in general how Durham is managing the resident's money? Hopefully, this information will also be of interest to the OP. Thanks for time.
The property tax rates for all areas of Durham County can be found here. The current tax rate in the City of Durham is $1.298 for every $100 of assessed value, and that applies to real estate and cars. As far as I can tell, that's comparable to tax rates in the San Jose area. Unlike California, though, real estate reassessments here are done regular intervals (every 8 years) and not when the property is sold. Also, property values here are typically much lower.
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