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Old 11-11-2015, 10:33 AM
15 posts, read 13,004 times
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Hi everyone! Sorry for the huge list of areas but we are really trying to narrow it down to select areas. I know this will be long but I want to give you a full picture.

Here is our "story". Right now our house is in Chesterfield, VA (2.5ish hours north of Raleigh). We live on a dead end road where everyone has at least 1 acre (we have just over 1). There are no streetlights and we are surrounded by woods although you can see each house from the street, it is set back. It looks like we live in the middle of nowhere but 5 miles away, is civilization as we like to call it. We LOVE it here. However, hubby was offered a transfer to Durham which we jumped on (he was working in DC for a year with this company and living in NoVA during the week and home on weekends). He is currently living in Brier Creek and we plan to visit often on weekends to look at areas but now that it's getting colder, we might not be able to as much as we hope (snow, etc).

We would love to find something similar to what we have now, if possible. We are not limited to area since hubby doesn't have set office hours and can work from home thankfully. So if he goes in once or twice a week and it's a bit of travel (an hour or just over), that's isn't a problem.

Our biggest concern is schools. Our son is a high functioning autistic and we do need a school that has great special needs. The district we are in now is fantastic and I've seen such improvements with him. Now as I state that, I must say that the school he was in for Kindy and 1st was a title one school where most of the parents only spoke spanish. Since they were the only school in our county that had the program, he was bused there each day. While I wouldn't have lived on that end of the county (more crime sadly, very poor, welfare housing, etc), the school was A+ for him. The program then opened up into a closer school and he was sent there for 2nd and 3rd. While the school itself was rated great, the program was horrible there and I hated it (we even talked about driving him back to the other ourselves). Thankfully, this year they transferred it to another school which is rated great and we are in love with the program again. My point being, while schools ARE important, the autism program is more. I also realize he might not go to the home school where we live so we could buy in a top school and he is still sent across county.

We have narrowed it down to a few areas. We ruled out Cary, Apex, FV and HS since we don't want a fast growing area. Great for resale but hubby is a country boy and wants to remain that. We read that Wake Forest is growing too and ruled that out. So now we are down to Clayton and Garner to the east and the rest on the west side of Durham - Hillsborough, Rougemont, Cedar Grove, Mebane, etc. When I state the west side, I'm counting Orange County, not the Alamaince area (or however it is spelled). I'm aware of that from this forum, thank you!

I guess, could you tell me what you think of each of the areas? I know someone did a post that was incredible about the immediate Raleigh/Durham areas that described them each (it was so funny) but not on the outlying areas. Maybe like if I was to describe where I live, I'd say, "country-like living, 5 miles from civilization, quiet, great neighbors, great schools, feels like a retreat".

Sorry this is so long but I'm trying to reign areas in so when we do go down, we don't have to look at 100 towns with a million neighborhoods. We are looking to spend max $450k (I'd rather be $300-$350 but if the ONE comes along...), 3 bedrooms, 2 bath, etc.
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Old 11-11-2015, 11:37 AM
1,840 posts, read 5,125,454 times
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I can't answer as to services for autistic kids in either the Orange County or Chapel Hill/Carrboro schools. However if you find one of those systems is a good fit for your child, there are a number neighborhoods in the rural buffer zone around Chapel Hill that are similar to the one you live in now. This area is all well/septic, so there are large lots (1+ acre). Neighborhoods built in the 1970s-1990s are heavily wooded and have houses in your price range, with ones in the CHCS district having some houses at the high end of your price range and ones in the Orange district being mostly in your range and towards the low end.

Some CHCS neighborhoods include Stoneridge, Sedgefield, Laurel Springs and Oxbow Crossing.
A couple Orange neighborhoods in the buffer are Blackwood Mountain and Falls of New Hope.
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Old 11-11-2015, 12:07 PM
Location: Raleigh, NC
10,323 posts, read 18,656,394 times
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You might start with researching (if nobody here knows the answer) the school systems in the areas and what they have for your son's needs, since as you have experienced, the programs can vary even when they have them. Alamance (you were almost right ), Orange, Durham, and Wake--and I might add Chatham to your list, it's mostly rural (just avoid the South-of-Chapel Hill corridor that's growing like crazy) County School websites. There are still plenty of rural pockets in the area, but yes, an area growing this fast may swallow them up in 10 or even 5 years. The farther you are off a main road is probably better in that regard.

Hopefully, someone here will have firsthand dealings with a school in the areas you describe.
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Old 11-11-2015, 06:36 PM
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Clayton to Durham daily is a recipe for being unhappy on any job. Unless you have a helicopter to go with your 1+ acre property.
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Old 11-11-2015, 06:53 PM
Location: Southport
4,642 posts, read 4,457,127 times
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Originally Posted by bluecomet View Post
Clayton to Durham daily is a recipe for being unhappy on any job. Unless you have a helicopter to go with your 1+ acre property.
From the OP:

"We are not limited to area since hubby doesn't have set office hours and can work from home thankfully. So if he goes in once or twice a week and it's a bit of travel (an hour or just over), that's isn't a problem."
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Old 11-11-2015, 06:54 PM
Location: Research Triangle Area, NC
3,059 posts, read 2,074,866 times
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You would not want to commute to Durham from Garner or Clayton....plus both of those towns while still a little "country"....are growing probably more rapidly than you'd like.

Sounds like you'd be happiest in rural orange county. Your pricerange could get you into the rural buffer around Chapel Hill that is still within CHCCS district but you'll have higher property taxes.
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Old 11-11-2015, 07:14 PM
15 posts, read 13,004 times
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Thank you all! TarHeelNick, that seems to be where we keep coming back to.

I don't know the differences between Rougemont, Cedar Grove, Mebane and Hillsborough directly though yet. We fell in love with a house in Rougemont when we went looking a few weeks ago but not knowing anything about the area, we walked away from it.

We thought about CHCCS but heard that the special needs program there is pretty lacking as it focuses more on the gifted aspect. Something about Hillsborough keeps me coming back to the area. Plus with his office by the stadium, if he does have to go in, it's an easy commute.
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Old 11-11-2015, 07:22 PM
Location: Durham, N.C.
138 posts, read 114,361 times
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Northern Durham County and Hillsborough area would be the two I'd focus on based on your specs.
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Old 11-11-2015, 08:00 PM
18 posts, read 14,563 times
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Hi! As you can tell from my user name I am in Cedar Grove - total expert I have lived here most all of my life with the exception of living in Raleigh when attending NC State, and one year living in Rougemont/Caldwell area.

I and my teenage sons both graduated from Orange High School which we loved, but I am sorry I do not know much about what they offer for Autistic children. We love OHS - great school with very strong athletic teams, a very active Agriculture/Future Farmers of America Program, great arts programs, etc. I can give you principal's or a guidance counselor's contact info if you wish. The counselors at OHS are awesome!

I will say that when you say you want to be within 5 miles of civilization, the only things within 5 miles of me in northern Cedar Grove are: the dump (great new facilities - best in NC I hear lol......the Farm and Garden/convenience store/gas station.......and a Dollar General just across the Caswell County line. It takes me about 15 minutes to get to Hillsborough to Food Lion on one side of town or to get to downtown Hillsborough.

I love Cedar Grove, but I also would recommend Rougemont/Bahama/Caldwell area. Are you looking for a neighborhood like you described or just a house/lot outside of a subdivision? What size house are you looking for? I have done some research as I was thinking of downsizing and moving closer to my job in north Durham. I take the back roads from Cedar Grove to my job near Guess Road, so that is the area I have been looking at.

Anyway, any questions you have on Cedar Grove/Hillsborough/Rougemont I can probably help you with.

Good luck!
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Old 11-11-2015, 11:05 PM
Location: Chapelboro
9,945 posts, read 10,229,360 times
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Plenty of houses like you describe just outside of Chapel Hill. Some even w/in the CHCCS district. I don't know much at all about CHCCS and high functioning autistic kids, but it would be worth checking out.

There's another new/old school in Chapel Hill/Carrboro that might be of interest. It's called Carolina Academy and is a private school, but was formerly Pace Academy and was a charter school serving mainly developmentally different kids. The state didn't renew the charter (bunch of families were very upset) so they have reformed as a private school. http://www.carolinaacademy.org/#!mee...founders/ko66l

There are some other small charters in the area that do well with high functioning/Aspergery kids, too. And a quirky, but smart kid might do well in CHCCS, too. So many different places on the spectrum. How old is your child?

Last edited by poppydog; 11-11-2015 at 11:21 PM..
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