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Old 03-21-2018, 11:26 AM
 
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Hi All,

My husband and I recently relocated from Chicago to Alpharetta, GA (ATL suburb), and we're planning another relocation to NC in the next 3 years.

We think we've narrowed down our desired areas, but want some more insights, based on our preferences. We plan on visiting sometime this year as well, so I want to take some good notes in preparation for the research trip.

Here are some specifics, in order of importance to us:

1) Schools / Crime. Our daughter will be 6 yrs. old at the time of the move. We don't have to live in the best public school district, as private schooling is an option. However, if the other factors on the list line up we'd definitely prefer the public school option. We definitely want a low crime area.

2) Jobs / Commute. I'm in real estate management and my husband is in tech. Honestly, I'll probably be in tech. (Project Management) by the time we relocate as well. He doesn't mind a commute, but I do. I enjoy working a short distance from home, with quick accessibility to the kid in case of emergencies.

3) Weather. We both love the heat, but HATE tornadoes. I hear that living closer to the mountain area, maybe suburban Charlotte, would be a better option. We really hate tornadoes.

4) Housing / Diversity. We'll rent to start, with a budget of around $1,700 / month. When we purchase, our budget will probably be in the $300k - $325k range. We'd like a basement. Do homes in NC have basements? LOL. We'd also like some diversity.

5) Night life isn't really important to us at the phase in life. We're more focused on having family oriented activities. Think soccer mom, hahaha. I want to be able to take the kid to various activities that are in close proximity to home. Not really concerned about restaurants either. We cook all the time.

6) Shopping. Here in suburban ATL, I'm really enjoying having the grocery store, Target, shopping centers, etc. in very close proximity...like 10 minutes away. However, this is last on the list of "must haves".

So far, we like suburban Raleigh and also suburban Charlotte. Durham seems to be more "gritty" and possibly more crime.

Any suggestions? Thanks in advance

 
Old 03-21-2018, 01:26 PM
Status: "I'm feeling MUCH better now, Dave." (set 9 days ago)
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
2,172 posts, read 3,357,482 times
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I may be able to provide you with some insight, as I grew up north of Chicago, and lived in NE Atlanta for 15 or so years before moving to Charlotte for 2 years and then Raleigh for 8 years.

Check out the 'sticky' thread at the top, "Triangle Area Relocation Index". It includes information specifically for in-bound relocates, and will address several of your questions, including Cost of Living, Crime, Schools, Shopping, Traffic, Weather, and has links to several threads of other families moving into the Triangle.
My notes will be my own specific experiences.

1) Schools / Crime. Crime is just like Atlanta. There are places in R, or in Durham where you don't want to get a flat tire, and places where if you did, there's be several folk who'd probably offer to help. Use the sticky to find the Crime Maps to see if neighborhoods you're considering are better or worse.

2) Jobs / Commute
. WAY better than Atlanta. 20 min is pretty typical. Like most places, it depends on where you work and live. Most traffic commuting funnels to/from RTP (Research Triangle Park, one of the top research clusters in the country) via I-40, or downtown Raleigh, Durham, or Chapel Hill. The hugely expanding housing areas are Cary, into Morrisville (west of Cary), Apex (SW of Cary), and Wake Forest (N of Raleigh).

3) Weather. Nearly identical to Atlanta. Maybe 5% colder in the winter, hotter in the summer.

4) Housing / Diversity. See the sticky. Housing is probably very similar to Atlanta. Costs appear to be a tad less from Cost of Living Internet sights, but I suspect they are behind the times. Cary has been chosen high on many Best City in the US to Live lists and the housing market is pretty hot.

5) Social. Atlanta vs Charlotte vs Raleigh. All quite similar. They appear to be "southern cities" but have such high turnover of 'foreigners' that they aren't Mayberry RFD. They are proper metropolitan cities with an accepting blend of all types. (Drive an hour out into the country, and that changes).
Atlanta had more things going socially but it's traffic became unbearable.
Charlotte was more businesslike but also more impersonal.
Raleigh more folksy, (proper southern collage feel in CH, more old south in Durham, but RTP has a huge number of professionals and PhD types, likewise Duke university and hospitals and the other high-tech firms here.

6) Shopping
. See the sticky. There are fewer major shopping malls, and all are bairly hanging on, due to folks moving to on-line for even groceries. Downtown Cary and Durham have nice window shopping areas, and Downtown R has a thriving artist community. (See Raleigh First Friday Art Crawl).

One last word. I'd not want to live in Durham 10 years ago, (not based on info, just feelings), but also I have the feeling that they are about half way through a big turn-around. There are several areas that are gentrifying, and craft-brews are opening up all over the place. Downtown R and D are much more social than they were a while back.

Hope this helps
 
Old 03-21-2018, 02:36 PM
 
9,568 posts, read 27,038,241 times
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Charlotte or the Triangle could both easily meet your needs. Honestly I would visit both areas and see if one just feels better to you. Ultimately I would go to the location with the best job offer for you both - You can make a great life for yourself in both areas. Good Luck!
 
Old 03-21-2018, 03:10 PM
 
1,266 posts, read 745,973 times
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Raleigh overall feels more kid friendly than Charlotte, at least to me. The only thing that will probably annoy you is how everything is so spread out here. You can forget about being able to walk to anywhere unless you live in one of the trendy downtown neighborhoods. Houses here don't typically have basements from what I've seen. $325K can get you practically brand new place over in Cary or even Morrisville if you look hard enough. Normally those two cities have great school districts. A lot of people who work in tech at RTP live in Morrisville.
 
Old 03-21-2018, 03:26 PM
 
343 posts, read 229,314 times
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Probably Charlotte will fit you better IF you liked your Alpharetta experience. I lived in Atlanta during college and a few years after. Charlotte always feels like Atlanta light when I go (in a good way). Raleigh-Durham reminds me more of the tech hub cities like Austin and San Jose than say a Nashville, Charlotte, Atlanta, or Jacksonville
 
Old 03-22-2018, 07:28 AM
 
Location: Apex, NC
3,036 posts, read 7,397,847 times
Reputation: 2494
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrJones17 View Post
$325K can get you practically brand new place over in Cary or even Morrisville if you look hard enough. Normally those two cities have great school districts. A lot of people who work in tech at RTP live in Morrisville.
This might have been true 5-6 years ago, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a brand new (or nearly) house in Holly Springs for $325k, let alone Cary or Morrisville. I just checked the MLS and there are 0 single family homes in Cary for under $325k that were built within the last 2 years. If I expand the search to Cary, Apex, Morrisville and Holly Springs there are 10 single family homes 2 years old or less for under $325k. If you go back to homes built in 2011 or newer there are 17 homes that meet these search criteria in these 4 towns. Half of them are on the Durham side in Morrisville and the other ones are essentially free-standing townhomes that don't share exterior walls on .08 acre lots. As you can see, it's nearly impossible to get a new or newer single family home anywhere in Western Wake County for $325k or less.

When you include townhomes and condos, the list grows to 191 within that search criteria, but still not a whole lot.
 
Old 03-22-2018, 07:52 AM
 
2,866 posts, read 5,027,050 times
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I'm not trying to be a jerk, but have you searched existing posts in this subforum? Everything you're asking has been answered and discussed numerous times, and you will find a wealth of information hiding in plain site.
 
Old 03-22-2018, 08:00 AM
 
Location: River's Edge Inn, Todd NC
1,435 posts, read 1,832,965 times
Reputation: 2099
Quote:
Originally Posted by skaternum View Post
I'm not trying to be a jerk, but have you searched existing posts in this subforum? Everything you're asking has been answered and discussed numerous times, and you will find a wealth of information hiding in plain site.
People always like the idea of having fresh, personal information that answers their specific questions.
Nothing bad about that.
 
Old 03-22-2018, 08:01 AM
 
656 posts, read 460,233 times
Reputation: 850
https://local.theonion.com/horrified...ots-1819576060
 
Old 03-22-2018, 08:07 AM
 
656 posts, read 460,233 times
Reputation: 850
Raleigh vs Charlotte
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