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Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary The Triangle Area
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Old 01-16-2010, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Cary, North Carolina
2 posts, read 8,936 times
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Hi!

I would like to know... from locals in the areas referenced above... what the pros and cons are of living in these areas. My family and I (me, fiance, 2-year-old daughter and one on the way) are currently living in Cary. We moved here almost 8 months ago (living in an apt) and really don't like it here. It's very safe, but too cookie cutter and expensive for us. Although the cost of living in NC overall is much less expensive than in the northeast, which is a big plus. We moved here from RI. Prior to that, we lived in Atlanta for 12 years (that's where we met). Anyway, we definitely want to leave where we are when our lease is up (Oct. 1) and were thinking of moving back to Georgia. I personally do not want to move again, well at least, no more than an hour away. We have been back and forth, north then south then north and south again, so moving more than an hour away is too overwhelming for me to even think about. Lately we have been thinking we should give NC more of a chance and explore more of it. Since we've been here, we have not ventured further than Cary and Raleigh... for several reasons. We don't really feel a connection to these areas as far as our lifestyle goes. I have read alot about Carrboro/CH, Durham and Hillsborough, and like what I have read so far. We do plan on taking the time to visit these places, but I would like to know from people who actually live there what is good and bad, and if we seem like a good fit in one of these places. Some info on us... we are in our mid to late thirties. We enjoy unique and local places to eat, an adult friendly and kid friendly community, coffee places, cool bars, parks, anything outdoors, hockey, outdoor festivals, farmers markets, arts/crafts fairs, stuff like that. We are not religious at all. We consider our political views independent/libertarian, however, this is not something we would consider a prerequisite in choosing a place to live, nor would our religious/non-religious beliefs. We are on the 3-5 year plan to buy a house so we plan on renting until then (apartments or homes, doesn't matter). We love older neighborhoods and aren't afraid to eventually buy something that needs work. As far as work goes, I am a stay-at-home-mom. My fiance is a carpenter/home remodeler. We also need to be in a place where my fiance can find work (we've been doing ok so far). We plan on homeschooling our kids and hope there will be resources to make this easier for us to accomplish where we end up living... basically a homeschool friendly kind of community. From what I have read, it seems like Carrboro/CH and Durham are places we should consider strongly. However, I have read that Carrboro/CH is very expensive to buy a home and that there isn't much that is less than 300K. This is way more than we will be able to spend down the road. But again, we aren't afraid of buying something that needs work. We've been down that road before.

Thanks for reading my long post! I look forward to hearing from all the locals out there!!
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Old 01-16-2010, 10:31 AM
jgb
 
480 posts, read 1,049,292 times
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Take your kids over to the Weaver Street Market on a nice sunny day this week. You can sit outside on the lawn and get a feel for Carrborro that way.
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Old 01-16-2010, 11:41 AM
 
1 posts, read 4,427 times
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Chapel Hill/ Carrboro is very expensive for housing. Orange county schools have a great reputation. We've been renting here (CH) and just bought in Hillsborough - a lovely place to be. We both work in CH and were looking for a place in 20-30 minute commute distance. We also love the social activities available in Durham and Hillsborough, so we looked in both places. Hillsborough and Durham both have thriving arts communities and are easy commutes to CH/Carrboro. You sound like a better fit for these communities. Call or email Weaver Street Realty to talk with one of their people about life here. We have had a very positive experience w/ Gail Crider there. Good luck!
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Old 01-16-2010, 01:22 PM
 
9,198 posts, read 21,151,892 times
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Here's a snapshot of housing averages in Chapel Hill:

Chapel Hill, NC real estate overview

and Carrboro:

Carrboro, NC real estate overview
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Old 01-16-2010, 01:33 PM
 
1,956 posts, read 4,676,386 times
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Well, all of these places are much more interesting than Cary. Chapel Hill and Carrboro will be more expensive than Cary in terms of housing, but if you are willing to sacrifice on living space a bit, you should be able to find something reasonable.

Durham is less expensive, and while the schools there get a worse reputation than they deserve, it is something to be considered, especially if you're not planning to live in SW Durham (not as cookie-cutter as Cary, but still somewhat cookie-cutter).

I echo everything else that Alliecnm wrote. You do sound like you'd be happier in all of these places. Still, I'd drive around quite a bit, eat at restaurants here, talk to people, etc. before you make up your mind.
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Old 01-16-2010, 04:22 PM
 
72 posts, read 177,854 times
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I too moved here from RI. I keep hearing good things about the cities you mentioned. I plan to visit soon!
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Old 01-16-2010, 08:43 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,434 posts, read 41,608,566 times
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To us the uniqueness and location(proximity to UNC medical facilities) and schools in Chapel Hill Carrboro are well worth the premium price.
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Old 01-16-2010, 08:49 PM
 
472 posts, read 769,679 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StoneOne View Post
Well, all of these places are much more interesting than Cary. <snip>
Unless you like foreign stuff. I think the only really decent Indian and East Asian stuff in the triangle is mostly concentrated in Cary, along with (in Raleigh) Irish pubs that actually resemble something you might find in Ireland.

chwboy
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:19 AM
 
Location: Cary, North Carolina
2 posts, read 8,936 times
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Well, I really can't wait to go visit. Sounds like its where we want to be. Thanks for the info!
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:01 AM
 
1,956 posts, read 4,676,386 times
Reputation: 1101
Quote:
Originally Posted by CHwboy View Post
Unless you like foreign stuff. I think the only really decent Indian and East Asian stuff in the triangle is mostly concentrated in Cary, along with (in Raleigh) Irish pubs that actually resemble something you might find in Ireland.

chwboy
I will give you that. While Cary has lots of interesting people and business establishments, it's the rigid and self-imposed aesthetic conformity that I find rather annoying. Still, it is a city of 100k+ and has quite a bit to offer. Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Hillsborough and most of Durham seem more unique through and through to me, though.
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