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Old 02-28-2012, 06:54 AM
 
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I'm really new to the south so have no real knowledge of whether Richmond, VA is "better" area than Durham.

We're a family of four with two 8 year old boys. We homeschool. Love live theater, pools, dogs, pizza, Busch Garden-like places, parks and the beach.

Would live in a suburb. Hope to get a four bedroom home.

Does anyone happen to know if homeschooling is on the radar in Durham?

Of the two areas which one is more expensive to live in?

Thanks for your help!

Alley

Last edited by Alicia64; 02-28-2012 at 06:54 AM.. Reason: Can't spell
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Old 02-28-2012, 07:03 AM
 
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I grew up in Richmond. City, not burbs. I live in Morrisville now, which borders on Durham county. I would say either one could probably meet your needs, though I don't know about homeschooling in VA. I homeschool my 6th grader and there's a very active, thriving homeschooling community in the area. Durham is less expensive than other surrounding towns and you could find a 4-BR house if your budget suits--I'm not sure what exactly you're looking for.

My daughter takes classes at UNC's Carolina Center for Excellence in Education; they have classes specifically for home schooled kids and they're reasonably priced and wonderful. She takes chemistry now. They have some very cool outdoor science classes your kids might like.

I think you can find comparably priced homes in Richmond vs Durham, depending on where you live. Richmond is a HUGE area, Durham not so much (do you mean Glen Allen in the Richmond area? Richmond proper? Chesterfield?). Richmond city has a much more walkable area if you'd be living a city lifestyle. If you're a suburbanite, the Durham area has a great performing arts center, green spaces and parks, and the like. You can easily find a nice subdivision with a big community pool with a swim team.
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Old 02-28-2012, 07:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by annesg View Post
I grew up in Richmond. City, not burbs. I live in Morrisville now, which borders on Durham county. I would say either one could probably meet your needs, though I don't know about homeschooling in VA. I homeschool my 6th grader and there's a very active, thriving homeschooling community in the area. Durham is less expensive than other surrounding towns and you could find a 4-BR house if your budget suits--I'm not sure what exactly you're looking for.

My daughter takes classes at UNC's Carolina Center for Excellence in Education; they have classes specifically for home schooled kids and they're reasonably priced and wonderful. She takes chemistry now. They have some very cool outdoor science classes your kids might like.

I think you can find comparably priced homes in Richmond vs Durham, depending on where you live. Richmond is a HUGE area, Durham not so much (do you mean Glen Allen in the Richmond area? Richmond proper? Chesterfield?). Richmond city has a much more walkable area if you'd be living a city lifestyle. If you're a suburbanite, the Durham area has a great performing arts center, green spaces and parks, and the like. You can easily find a nice subdivision with a big community pool with a swim team.
Thanks for this! We're in Glen Allen and like it here. The homeschooling community is so-so. Not great. Not terrible. I'm pretty outgoing so I've made it work, but it would be great to be in a really homeschool-friendly area.

Our home price point would be about $250 to $285.

My boys still love parks. Does Durham have fun climbing parks? Are there fun indoor pools?

Thanks for your help!

Alley
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:34 AM
 
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This area is really well known for its green spaces, trails, and parks. Not too far from Durham is Umstead state park--a fun place my kids and I love to hike and explore (little streams are pretty cool there). Durham Parks and Rec. also has a cool "Discovery Day" once a month that you could sign up for Durham, NC - City of Medicine (http://www.durhamnc.gov/departments/parks/adventure.cfm - broken link).

My mom lives in Glen Allen now. It's okay...nice area...but I much prefer it here. It's just greener, more laid back, more community-minded. I really think you'll find the homeschooling community to be pretty active and involved. And with Wake schools being so crazy now, more people are looking at homeschooling as an option. There are both religious and secular groups active.

There's a pretty big water park in Greensboro open in the summer. Morrisville's Aquatic and Fitness center has an indoor pool in the winter that they open up in the summer, and it's just a couple of dollars for non-residents to drop in. It would be a great place to take your homeschoolers during the day when others are in school.

We also have roller skating, ice skating, and good athletics programs here. Soccer is solid, and you can go with the Y, CASL, or a town's organization. Have you all gone geocaching yet? That's something fun you can try. There are also plenty of farms around for berry picking in season and farmer's market for local food if that interests you.

You won't find the walkable downtown experience like you might in an older urban area, but otherwise I think you'll have no problem finding a nice 4-bedroom home in your price range.
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Old 02-28-2012, 10:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by annesg View Post
My mom lives in Glen Allen now. It's okay...nice area...but I much prefer it here. It's just greener, more laid back, more community-minded.
i'm a 'burbs of richmond native (midlothian) & agree with this. glen allen vs. durham is not much of a comparison in terms of lifestyle. if i were to select between the two, durham would win in my book, too. it's definitely greener, more laidback, & more community-minded as annesg stated.i will say that the triangle area offers much diversity in terms of lifestyle like the richmond-area, but on a smaller scale.

as for the home-schooling, i have no knowledge of that other than that i believe there is a decent home-schooling community in the triangle areas. try searching this forum for info on home-schooling because i'm pretty sure there are various threads on the topic.
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Old 03-11-2012, 07:53 PM
 
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I left atl moved to Durham 2 yrs ago. Transition was very hard . There is nothing to do here. If u like hiking and riding bikes and fishing. Or driving miles and miles just to get to walmart thisbisbthe place for you. My husband accepted a job in short pump area in Va and so ready to move to civilization.
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Old 03-11-2012, 08:07 PM
 
Location: Durham, NC
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Originally Posted by Marie12 View Post
I left atl moved to Durham 2 yrs ago. Transition was very hard . There is nothing to do here. If u like hiking and riding bikes and fishing. Or driving miles and miles just to get to walmart thisbisbthe place for you. My husband accepted a job in short pump area in Va and so ready to move to civilization.
Different strokes for different folks. I lived in Glen Allen, Va. right next to Short Pump for a year while doing consulting for Capital One and absolutely despised the place.

I was there when the big debate in town was, "why are black Richmonders so mad that we're painting a multi-story mural of Robert E. Lee in front of his plantation along a major new city river walk park?" Oh, and to say nothing of the constant drumbeat of Jeff Davis crap in the Richmond suburbs. Then again, this was also when you could smoke inside some of the malls (!) -- I am sure that is gone....

Richmond/Glen Allen felt staid, conservative, and very suburban to me. Definitely think Durham is much more diverse, in terms of race and SES... also much more politically progressive/liberal here in Durham.

Durham can be more rural, outdoorsy in the county. Then again, you can be in the city too. Today the wife and I walked to downtown for a Food Truck Rodeo with what looked like a few thousand people and about thirty food trucks... walked down again this evening to work out at the Y... last night we walked to a great Italian restaurant and then stopped in at a new coffee house for dessert. You can find more urban/urbane things to do here. It's no ATL -- but neither is RVA!
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Old 03-11-2012, 08:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Marie12 View Post
I left atl moved to Durham 2 yrs ago. Transition was very hard . There is nothing to do here. If u like hiking and riding bikes and fishing. Or driving miles and miles just to get to walmart thisbisbthe place for you. My husband accepted a job in short pump area in Va and so ready to move to civilization.
Thanks Marie. This is very scary. Ironically, I'm in Short Pump. So you see why your post is so scary to me.

Just wondering, not arguing. Are you sure that it's not that someone coming from Atlanta is coming from a large metropolitan area w/ tons to do?? Wouldn't the Durham area naturally be very, very slow for someone moving from a fast-paced place?

I came from a rather slow paced, yet sprawling community in CA -- definitely NOT San Fran, San Diego or LA where a lot is happening. I think to go from San Fran to Richmond would be a bit of a letdown.

So, isn't it expectations? As you can probably tell. . . you've scared me here! I'm joking. I'm taking what you're saying seriously, but I guess I need to visit and check it out.

I've been in Short Pump for two years -- pm me if you'd like the great referrals it took me almost two years to accumulate: hair stylist, vet, car repair (awesome guy), pediatrician.

Thanks for your feedback!

Alley
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Old 03-11-2012, 08:30 PM
 
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Alicia,

I wouldn't trust anybody who tells you there is nothing to do in Durham. I lived in Richmond from 1999-2004. Both in "West End" area and down in "The Fan". I live in Raleigh now (where I work) but love driving over to Durham for great restaurants, music, plays, breweries, parks, shopping, ect.

I think you should visit but think you will find Durham is a great place to live.
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:30 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Alicia64 View Post

My boys still love parks. Does Durham have fun climbing parks? Are there fun indoor pools?
I don't recall any parks with large rock climbing walls. But we have quite a few parks with climbing structures. My kids call them the "spiderman structures"... because they are large spider web shaped things and the kids climb on the ropes. I know Piney Wood Park & Old Chapel Hill Rd park has these. But Duke park is sort of the premier park in Durham and I don't recall if Duke Park has one of these or not. It would surprise me if they did not.

Durham also has a rope climbing course which is pretty cool.
Durham, NC - City of Medicine (http://www.durhamnc.gov/departments/parks/adventure.cfm - broken link)

Indoor pools: Durham parks and rec has 2 Campus Hills & Edison Johnson. Both are well maintained and good pools for lap swimming. They are not very good in my opinion for really young (under 5) children, unless they are taking lessons. The pools are more fitness inclined than play focused. I've heard the YMCA indoor pool is great for families. There are several subdivisions that have neighborhood pools (outdoors) that are great in the summer. And there are also some subdivisions that allow memberships to outside families. Woodcroft pool is an area favorite. They have a water slide, high dive board, separate kiddie pool that is covered.

Woodcroft Club, Durham, NC

Hope Valley Farms also allows outside memberships. And Parkwood Pool does as well. Parkwood is an older pool built in the 60s. But it's a great family atmosphere for kids of all ages. I love that the teenagers and life guards are the sort of role models I want for my kids. There are also a lot of homeschool families at Parkwood. (Parkwood Swim Club)

In Cary there is the TAC (Triangle Aquatic Center (TAC): Public aquatic facilities in Wake County) which is a huge indoor pool with a couple of swim teams. And if your kids are interested in a homeschool swim team let me know. I know a really good coach w/ a team. She's great with all levels of kids littles all the way up to high school competitors. Her team practices at Campus Hills in Durham.

There are tons of opportunities for plays, live performances, etc. Durham has DPAC (performing arts center), plus there are many local children's groups that perform at both the Carolina Theater & on the campus of local universities.

And my friends that homeschool never seem to have a shortage of local homeschooling activities for their kids.
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