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Relocating to Durham, Durham real estate market, Durham North Carolina houses under 400k, walkable neighborhoods, homes close to parks

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Old 02-17-2009, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
1,048 posts, read 2,284,274 times
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Vicki... yes, definitely. I love advice and opinions. Agents know the area SO much better than everyone else. But here's the thing that rubbed me the wrong way: I honestly never asked about any of that demographic information. Coming from Detroit, I never thought once about demographics... I'm obviously comfortable living in the heart of a city. And in my price range, I'd assume that any area I bought in would just have people in similar financial situations... so I never even would have thought to ask those questions. But I'd be more happy if someone give me their opinion of the area in those tangible terms... rather than in a very vague "hint hint, I'm not supposed to say this, but I'm sure you can figure out what I mean" sort of way I'd assume the way she put things would seem improper to another real estate agent. It sounds like you had the right kind of answer for those kinds of questions (if someone had asked them).

That is odd Sen... I'm sure your friend was right.

 
Old 02-17-2009, 10:32 AM
 
225 posts, read 428,964 times
Reputation: 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by skaternum View Post
Uh, what?? Hardly any bike lanes. Sidewalks that end abruptly, if they even exist at all. WTH are you talking about??
Agreed, durham is terrible for cyclists. Very few bike lanes, many roads with no shoulder, not even a sidewalk, abrupt drop offs on each side. This is definately *not* a good bikeable area. Maybe Cary is, idk, but Durham is not.
 
Old 02-17-2009, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
2,460 posts, read 5,356,070 times
Reputation: 1464
Quote:
Originally Posted by gibbie99 View Post
Agreed, durham is terrible for cyclists. Very few bike lanes, many roads with no shoulder, not even a sidewalk, abrupt drop offs on each side. This is definately *not* a good bikeable area. Maybe Cary is, idk, but Durham is not.
As a cyclist and bike commuter, I find Durham to be the most bike-friendly community in the Triangle, and the second-most bike-friendly place I've lived after Fort Collins, CO.

There are miles of greenways, including of course the American Tobacco Trail, which provide great alternatives to riding on the roads. As for sidewalks, they are not intended for cyclcing (hence the name sidewalk) and should be left out of consideration, unless they are intended as multi-use sidewalks as part of a greenway. Durham also has a growing network of bike lanes and designated bike routes, and grassroots efforts recently have even influenced the city to require bike lanes as part of a development project.

FWIW, the 9-mile bike commute from my son's school near East Campus to my office in northern RTP (i.e. - still Durham) includes about 2 miles of city streets, 3.5 miles on the ATT, 2.5 miles of dedicated bike lane along Corwallis Rd. and about a mile of greenway in RTP.
 
Old 02-17-2009, 11:44 AM
 
225 posts, read 428,964 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdp_az View Post
As a cyclist and bike commuter, I find Durham to be the most bike-friendly community in the Triangle, and the second-most bike-friendly place I've lived after Fort Collins, CO.

There are miles of greenways, including of course the American Tobacco Trail, which provide great alternatives to riding on the roads. As for sidewalks, they are not intended for cyclcing (hence the name sidewalk) and should be left out of consideration, unless they are intended as multi-use sidewalks as part of a greenway. Durham also has a growing network of bike lanes and designated bike routes, and grassroots efforts recently have even influenced the city to require bike lanes as part of a development project.

FWIW, the 9-mile bike commute from my son's school near East Campus to my office in northern RTP (i.e. - still Durham) includes about 2 miles of city streets, 3.5 miles on the ATT, 2.5 miles of dedicated bike lane along Corwallis Rd. and about a mile of greenway in RTP.
Perhaps we're just in different areas? I'm a cyclist and bike commuter too, the only route from my house to UNC where I work is through 751 (no shoulder, narrow lanes) to 54 (same, with dropoffs on each side of the road) to 15/501 (a major highway). I couldn't even ride from the park and ride from southern village (Columbus Rd on a bike is what I'd term suicidal).

That coupled with negative attitudes from drivers and police (not to mention abysmal driving skills), I really don't think this area has much going for it. It has much room for improvement for the area I need to commute in.
 
Old 02-17-2009, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
2,460 posts, read 5,356,070 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gibbie99 View Post
Perhaps we're just in different areas? I'm a cyclist and bike commuter too, the only route from my house to UNC where I work is through 751 (no shoulder, narrow lanes) to 54 (same, with dropoffs on each side of the road) to 15/501 (a major highway). I couldn't even ride from the park and ride from southern village (Columbus Rd on a bike is what I'd term suicidal).

That coupled with negative attitudes from drivers and police (not to mention abysmal driving skills), I really don't think this area has much going for it. It has much room for improvement for the area I need to commute in.
I agree that east/west is worse on a bike than north/south, but I still think its possible, depending on your tolerance for traffic, etc... When biking all the way from home to the office, I add some shoulderless roads, and also Hillsborough Road (Bus 70), which I'd argue is far worse than Columbia. I've only had a couple of encounters with rude drivers, and none in which I felt at risk. For your route, one thing you could consider is using Stage Coach/Farrington/Barbee Chapel to get from 751 to 54. Also, if you haven't already, you should check out the RTP bike commute list serve for additional information.
 
Old 02-17-2009, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Parkwood!
121 posts, read 248,011 times
Reputation: 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by gibbie99 View Post
Perhaps we're just in different areas? I'm a cyclist and bike commuter too, the only route from my house to UNC where I work is through 751 (no shoulder, narrow lanes) to 54 (same, with dropoffs on each side of the road) to 15/501 (a major highway). I couldn't even ride from the park and ride from southern village (Columbus Rd on a bike is what I'd term suicidal).
751 and 54 are on Durham's bikeplan as having proposed bike lanes.
It appears that 15/501 is a high priority road to get a sidepath.

More to the topic, I agree with what has been said. Find a realtor that knows Durham. In my experience, the realtors around here know their base city well and little about other areas. Which is fine, I don't expect them to know every neighborhood over a multi-county area. I don't know the rules here about recommending realtors, so I'll refrain from doing that - but look online for the small offices based in Durham.
 
Old 02-17-2009, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Durham, NC
2,460 posts, read 5,356,070 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by layyze View Post
Find a realtor that knows Durham. In my experience, the realtors around here know their base city well and little about other areas. Which is fine, I don't expect them to know every neighborhood over a multi-county area. I don't know the rules here about recommending realtors, so I'll refrain from doing that - but look online for the small offices based in Durham.
This is great advice. We had different buyers agents working with us in Durham/Orange and Wake Counties at the same time since each specialized in their "local" market. Our contract with each of them specified that if we bought in their area, we would use them. We have done this twice now and both times it worked out great.
 
Old 02-18-2009, 05:07 AM
 
24 posts, read 50,215 times
Reputation: 37
Durham schools are not made up very well demographically. Most are made up of Hispanics and African-Americans. I know that may not sound too PC, but I think an honest opinion is always more helpful. I moved from Durham to Cary when my kids turned school age.

Chapel Hill schools are great because we used my sister's address for a couple of years to attend those schools, but the housing prices (the similar home costs $80-100k more) made me move to Cary instead.

Good luck with your decision.
 
Old 02-18-2009, 05:15 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
1,625 posts, read 3,325,722 times
Reputation: 2392
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnkim575 View Post
Durham schools are not made up very well demographically. Most are made up of Hispanics and African-Americans. I know that may not sound too PC, but I think an honest opinion is always more helpful. I moved from Durham to Cary when my kids turned school age.

Chapel Hill schools are great because we used my sister's address for a couple of years to attend those schools, but the housing prices (the similar home costs $80-100k more) made me move to Cary instead.

Good luck with your decision.
Wow. Just wow. The mind boggles. Can't say I'm sorry not to have you as a neighbor!

Let me guess: you moved to the Triangle from outside the area, right?
 
Old 02-18-2009, 06:21 AM
 
763 posts, read 1,480,724 times
Reputation: 442
Quote:
Originally Posted by zitsky View Post
I'm flying out for an interview on Tuesday with a company in north Durham. I've been researching neighborhoods in case they make an offer and we decide to move. I talked to a real estate agent today who is basically trying to discourage us from looking at Durham. She said the usual, "schools aren't good", "bad resale value" blah blah blah. I will admit, there are some nice older houses in downtown Raleigh, but it doesn't seem practical to live there.

I've looked at a lot of houses in Durham, but can't find a lot of things that excite me. I either find (1) overpriced houses in popular neighborhoods (2) derelict houses in "urban pioneer" areas or (3) nice and cheap houses that aren't really walking distance to anything. I have started to think that I won't be able to find something in Durham that is under $400K, has decent resale value and is in a walkable neighborhood. Maybe I just not looking in the right places. I've looked at Watts-Hillandale, but there aren't too many houses that I like. I've found a lot of new development in Durham priced under $300K, but there is so much on the market that I wonder if we'll be able to resell the house in a few years.

My partner says he wants to be close to a park (or walking/hiking trail). I think he's listening to the agent too much and we'll end up living in God knows where. How do I convince him that Durham will be the best area for us to be?
Kitsky,

I will take odds on a bet that your realtor not only does NOT know Durham well, but does not even live here ... silly me I think that is kind of obvious . I agree with some of the posters on the forum that you need to find a new realtor, but not only do you need a new realtor, you need to suggest to him/her to get re-educated and re-aquainted with their field of choice. I love this Forum ..... Gooood morning family!! Have a great NC day y'all
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