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Old 10-20-2013, 04:08 PM
Location: Mount Pleasant
2,042 posts, read 2,503,176 times
Reputation: 675


My husband and I are searching for a potential area for future retirement. On our list so far is Charleston, SC (Mount Pleasant) as we live in a coastal area in MA right now, but prices are higher than we would like for RE.

Been to Raleigh once, and remember liking it, but it was a "drive-through". Would prefer a smaller town, so looking at Apex and Cary. Have been to Chapel Hill also - wasn't impressed. Seemed to be all about the school. The downtown was all t-shirt and pizza shops it seemed. Not our style, and Chapel Hill has an issue with crime.

Primary needs/wants for us - great healthcare, great vet care plus a 24 hr vet (I know Cary has one), and of course world class healthcare at Duke. We live in the smalles city in MA now, great vibrant "city" that feels like a town - farmers market, independent shops and restaurants, a few chains - Starbucks and Talbots - always something going on, strong art culture.

We tend to gravitate toward smaller towns/cities (under 50K) but one of the issues we have now is we have to drive 30 min to get to the mall or doctor or dentist - and as we age, want to be doing less of that. Also, small and vibrant is OK, small and nothing going on is not. So we are open to a larger community (Cary) vs smaller (Apex).

Our life is pretty simple. We love spending time with our dog, walking downtown to wander the shops, getting a bite to eat, going to hear Irish music at the local pub, browsing in the bookstore. We don't care about nightlife, rarely go to Boston, so would love to be in a place with everything close at hand. Our speed is walking downtown for a free waterfront concert, or seeing a movie at the old independent movie theatre that seats 30.

Our community of 18K is extremely safe, and that is of primary importance. Our budget will be @250K, and we would like @1,600-2,200 sf house with a smallish yard. We love the idea of a "planned" community. We definitely don't want a 55+ community, but don't want to be dodging kids all the time either - we'd like a mix. We'd love some green space, and sidewalks to walk our dog. I walk the dog often late at night, so need a place we feel safe.

We need to be near - 5-10 min max - necessities - grocery, pharmacy, hardware store, vet, etc.

We will be planning a trip soon, but our time will be limited due to work. Wondering if Cary or Apex fit the bill - one more than the other? Also, can anyone comment on the heat and humidity? I looked at averages today, and it seems Cary/Apex are even hotter than Charleston!! Oh Lord!

I may also be looking for work - depends on house we buy. I have a health care background in Admin, and have been in financial services for the last 13 years, although would like to get back into health care.

We love "Southern Style" homes but again are open to anything, though we lean heavily to traditional. Can anyone recommend specific subdivisions to drive through? We are not quite ready to meet with a realtor yet. Just trying to get a feel for the area.

On our list also is the Huntersville/Matthews area, but for some reason I am less enthused about Charlotte than Raleigh. Maybe because we like history and have heard Charlotte demolished a lot of their historic buildings, and maybe because I read crime is more of an issue in Charlotte.

Or... maybe because I remember on our visit to Raleigh not being able to figure out the parking meters and some nice man came and not only helped us out, but paid for us. Unbelievable! Raleigh felt comfortable and homey to me.

Hope you all can give us some direction!
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Old 10-20-2013, 04:48 PM
Location: Mount Pleasant
2,042 posts, read 2,503,176 times
Reputation: 675
p.s. Intensely dislike "cookie cutter" subdivisions - houses all lined up in a row, all looking the same, no yard...
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Old 10-20-2013, 05:07 PM
Location: River's Edge Inn, Todd NC
1,347 posts, read 1,677,862 times
Reputation: 1864
Cary: Yes for healthcare, vets and retail.
No for most everything else on your list.
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Old 10-20-2013, 05:10 PM
Location: Mount Pleasant
2,042 posts, read 2,503,176 times
Reputation: 675
What about Apex?

Do you mean no, not vibrant, or no, not safe for Cary?
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Old 10-20-2013, 05:12 PM
Location: Cary, NC
1,032 posts, read 1,492,690 times
Reputation: 1613
Cary -- check out Oxxford Hunt.
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Old 10-20-2013, 05:25 PM
Location: under the beautiful Carolina blue
15,737 posts, read 23,977,253 times
Reputation: 11690
Yikes, I'd read one sentence and think of a place, and then your next sentence and think of another, and the next and think of yet another.

Your budget is in line with either the area closest to downtown Cary (which is undergoing a revitalization) or downtown Apex. Everything you want will be close at hand no matter where you choose, no worries there. I'd say I'm probably leaning toward the area near downtown Apex for you. But if you live in a non-55+ planned community you're going to have to deal with kids underfoot, that's just the way it is. People are attracted to this area for those communities for their kids.
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Old 10-20-2013, 05:40 PM
Location: Mount Pleasant
2,042 posts, read 2,503,176 times
Reputation: 675
By revitalization, do you mean downtown Cary is "sketchy"? Or just not a vibrant downtown?

We're thinking Apex as well. My husband said he'd rather live in a smaller, quieter, place and drive (not far) to the 24 hr vet, etc.

We didn't mean we want no kids around, just a mix of ages. We are 64 and 56, no kids, and would like some people around our age.

Can anyone explain the "vibe" or Cary vs the "vibe" of Apex?

Can anyone mention a few subdivisions to check out for Apex?
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Old 10-20-2013, 05:53 PM
Location: under the beautiful Carolina blue
15,737 posts, read 23,977,253 times
Reputation: 11690
LOL, no where in Cary is sketchy. Random petty crime like having kids open your cars for change is about the extent of it. We moved here from a very small village with its own police dept and the police here are as responsive as they were in a town four times smaller.

I wouldn't say there is much difference between the vibe of Cary and Apex.

One thing I find very different around here as opposed to where we're from (Long Island) - people don't stick around in their houses once their kids are grown . People really look to downsize ASAP, at least where I am in Cary. OTOH, we do have plenty of people in their 50s here in our subdivision.

Weather - you're going to find it hot, probably very hot, here in the southeastern US. My mom is from NH, but with 50 intervening years on Long Island, she doesn't find the summers here too bad. If she came here directly, she probably would. But I bet if you're looking for that kind of change in retirement, you'll adjust. As the saying goes, "you can't shovel sunshine".

You really need to come here and check it out. Since you're not going to be commuting, the difference between Cary and Apex is going to be insignificant to you most likely. Really more a question of finding the neighborhood that checks as many of your boxes as possible.

Are you looking for a single family home?
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Old 10-20-2013, 06:14 PM
138 posts, read 208,222 times
Reputation: 140
I think it would be easier to find a location with everything you need in under 10 minutes in Cary (more options) although I'd say it's definitely possible in Apex.

After visiting we realized there are only minor differences in the day to day of any particular community between Cary & Apex, so we looked for homes in both and made our decision from there. I think the housing market when you start looking could help you make the decision.
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Old 10-20-2013, 06:29 PM
Location: Containment Area for Relocated Yankees
1,040 posts, read 1,635,080 times
Reputation: 1082
Is there a reason you ruled out Durham? I think Cary and Apex may be a little too "cookie cutter" and full of young families for you (and I say that as a resident of Cary). I'd look in some of the neighborhoods around Duke and downtown. Also, you mentioned that you didn't really like Chapel Hill, but did you look at Carrboro? It could be a good option too.
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