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Old 07-30-2007, 11:21 AM
 
285 posts, read 1,000,075 times
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Warning- long drawn out post ahead....

I currently live about 10 minutes west of Chapel Hill/Carrboro, not far from Maple View Dairy, off Dodsons Crossroads. We managed to snag a lovely home on 2 wooded acres for just under 200K a few years ago and love where we live.

Our problem is this- since purchasing our home, we have become first time parents, and our neighborhood is pretty remote and is lacking small children. We're thinking of relocating inside the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school district in the next couple of years, but are probably limited to 350K (at the extreme upper limit) and under.

Where can one find a fairly decent home (at least 3 bedrooms and 2 baths) for this price range? We'd love to live along the bus line, but are not sure there's anything we can afford. I'm open to older neighborhoods- even brick ranches or split levels would be fine. We just are hoping to find a neighborhood with other children. We've occasionally seen a house or two in Barrington Hills in Carrboro that we could afford, but other than that area, I'm not sure where to look.

Alternatively, we might consider staying in our area if we can find a nice neighborhood with other children, but would need to know more about the school district. Does anyone know anything about Grady Brown Elementary, AL Stanback Middle School and Cedar Ridge High School? We know we'd do much better, housewise, to stay in Orange County and look for a neighborhood with kids out here, but my husband works in the Chapel Hill/Carrboro school district and we know the schools there are excellent. We can actually send our daughter to Chapel Hill/Carrboro schools and stay where we live and pay tuition, but I did something similar as a child and had some social difficulties in both my school and home setting as a result of this.
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Old 07-30-2007, 01:38 PM
 
1,489 posts, read 5,466,554 times
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Best thing to do is get yourself a good buyer's agent, and have them send you listings as they come up. If you're not sure about the neighborhood, drive through at dusk when most people are outside taking walks, etc., and at night to see how lit up and safe it feels.
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Old 07-30-2007, 01:55 PM
 
Location: Wake Forest
2,834 posts, read 11,580,777 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IdaClaire View Post
Warning- long drawn out post ahead....

I currently live about 10 minutes west of Chapel Hill/Carrboro, not far from Maple View Dairy, off Dodsons Crossroads. We managed to snag a lovely home on 2 wooded acres for just under 200K a few years ago and love where we live.

Our problem is this- since purchasing our home, we have become first time parents, and our neighborhood is pretty remote and is lacking small children. We're thinking of relocating inside the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school district in the next couple of years, but are probably limited to 350K (at the extreme upper limit) and under.

Where can one find a fairly decent home (at least 3 bedrooms and 2 baths) for this price range? We'd love to live along the bus line, but are not sure there's anything we can afford. I'm open to older neighborhoods- even brick ranches or split levels would be fine. We just are hoping to find a neighborhood with other children. We've occasionally seen a house or two in Barrington Hills in Carrboro that we could afford, but other than that area, I'm not sure where to look.

Alternatively, we might consider staying in our area if we can find a nice neighborhood with other children, but would need to know more about the school district. Does anyone know anything about Grady Brown Elementary, AL Stanback Middle School and Cedar Ridge High School? We know we'd do much better, housewise, to stay in Orange County and look for a neighborhood with kids out here, but my husband works in the Chapel Hill/Carrboro school district and we know the schools there are excellent. We can actually send our daughter to Chapel Hill/Carrboro schools and stay where we live and pay tuition, but I did something similar as a child and had some social difficulties in both my school and home setting as a result of this.
You live in my old neck of the woods. I used to live on meadow view, just before maple view farms. My dad built our house there in 1974.......I completely get what you are saying about the area (think about it when I was there!) it is beautiful but not quite as "subdivisiony" if that makes sense. When I was there we were actually able to pay to go to the chapel hill city schools (when I was in high school) I am sure they probably don't let people do that any longer, but I understand why you are thinking about it. Another option you may want to think about is getting into the part of orange county that is near 86, new hope road, as I have heard good things about those elementary schools (from friends who have kids there).

Anyhow, pm or email me and I can give you some additional information! I would love to hear about where you are living now.,

Leigh
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Old 07-30-2007, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Blacksburg, VA
823 posts, read 3,780,403 times
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Not all of Chapel Hill is very "neighborhoody," not in terms of friendliness, just in terms of layout, sidewalks, house spacing, etc. We are still hunting for some children within walking distance for our child to play with.
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Old 07-30-2007, 04:58 PM
 
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I've been researching high schools in anticipation of a move and have narrowed it down to ECHHS or Cedar Ridge. I like ECHHS better than CHHS and Cedar Ridge better than Orange for a number of reasons.
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Old 07-30-2007, 07:07 PM
 
1,955 posts, read 5,680,150 times
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We just moved from out in your neighborhood for the same reasons. We had a great little 3 bed/2bath house on a wooded one acre lot in a cool little neighborhood off 54 close to Dodson's Crossing. We have a 2 year old, and although we loved our house, decided to start looking for something new, as that section of Orange County really gets screwed with the elementary assignment (15 miles to Grady Brown, and probably a 1 hour bus ride). We started passively looking around about a year and a half ago, and had a similar budget (prefer to stay under 300K, could stretch to 400K). Our main goals were a neighborhood with kids, and either walking distance to elementary/middle school or a short bus ride. Followed by that, we wanted 3 beds and an office/2 baths, and a mature neighborhood (full grown trees), and walking access to trails and/or parks. Finally, we wanted either a big lot (1+ acre), or to be in town within walking distance (1 mile) of restaurants and the bus lines, and be a little better commute for me into durham.

Our favorite area was the region north of I-40 bordering Duke Forest, bracketed by NC86 and Erwin Rd. Several neighborhoods in the Chapel Hill school district with big lots, off of Sunrise, Whitfield, Turkey Farm Rd. Prices were barely in our range to way out of it. There's also some neighborhoods in the Orange county school district off of Mt Sinai, which feed into New Hope/AL Stanback, which are 3 miles up NC86. These also had big wooded lots, and prices starting solidly in our range.

Another areas we liked were around Eastwood Lake (particularly the Lake Forest area, which gives you access to the lake) and neighborhoods off of Estes Rd between Franklin and Airport. Walking distance to the elementary school, and to whole foods and the restaurants across franklin, and we could take the bolin creek trail to the community center park. Alot of properties came and went in our price range while we were looking, but nothing ever got us excited enough to go inside for a look.

We also love Carrboro. We would have wanted to be within walking distance of Weaver Street Market and wilson park. We didn't look that hard, as it would have about as long a commute for me to Durham, but I still think that the neighborhoods in this part of carrboro are awesome, smaller house for the money but a great place to live.

I think the key is to drive around and look at a bunch of neighborhoods to get a feel for what you want, and then just watch and wait for a cool house to come up in your price range and go for it. The chapel Hill area is a tough place to buy a house if you only have a short window of opportunity to make an offer, as there just isn't a huge inventory, but if you give yourself a year or two to look, a ton of interesting stuff will come up.

Good luck.
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Old 06-01-2008, 01:05 PM
 
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You may want to do a bit more research on the schools before you decide to move. A good friend of mine works at Grady Brown and has worked for the Chapel Hill School District for 10 plus years. She strongly believes that Grady Brown is a jewel of a school. The teachers there are good and there has been very little turnover. Teachers stay 25 and 30 years. The school community is terrific! The PTA is very active. You may want to contact them and ask them for a tour. Perhaps they'll let you speak to someone from the PTA as well and you can get a parent's perspective.

My experience is that if you find an elementary school that you really like stay there and move when your child is in middle school. From the educator's I've talked to Cedar Ridge is a good school but Chapel Hill is excellent in preparing your child for college.

None of the kids there have hour long bus rides. The longest I know of is 25 minutes for kids who live in the White Cross area. Still that would add up to an hour a day.

From what I've learned, kids in Chapel Hill High Schools need to know how to handle the rigors of keen competition, so they need a strong sense of self. Cedar Ridge will give your child a good education, but if you want your child to have more opportunities to go to selective schools and do well there, Chapel Hill will offer more preparation, advanced placement classes and less behavioral problems (resulting in more time for the teacher to actually teach). Also, there simply is a lot less money for Orange County schools, so there are cuts for personnel. Kids who aren't very smart can sometimes have problems when they are surrounded by children with high IQs. Again, they need a strong sense of self esteem. The kids I've talked to that were in that range were surprised to find out how they compared with other kids at state colleges.

Good luck with your decision.
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Old 06-01-2008, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill
148 posts, read 265,811 times
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toot68 - "Another areas we liked were around Eastwood Lake (particularly the Lake Forest area, which gives you access to the lake) and neighborhoods off of Estes Rd between Franklin and Airport."

I love this part of town, and we're closing on a house in this area on Monday <g>
I'd recommend, a look around here, zip 27514, as things do come on in your price range and above, which bodes well for doing any home improvements I think/hope ;0)
My kid goes to Estes Hills and she's very excited to be moving in walking or biking distance to three or four of her best friends houses.
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Old 06-01-2008, 03:56 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill
1,246 posts, read 4,209,155 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommapudding View Post
toot68 - "Another areas we liked were around Eastwood Lake (particularly the Lake Forest area, which gives you access to the lake) and neighborhoods off of Estes Rd between Franklin and Airport."

I love this part of town, and we're closing on a house in this area on Monday <g>
I'd recommend, a look around here, zip 27514, as things do come on in your price range and above, which bodes well for doing any home improvements I think/hope ;0)
My kid goes to Estes Hills and she's very excited to be moving in walking or biking distance to three or four of her best friends houses.
Congratulations on your new home! I love that part of town too. We didn't see any houses in our price range that we liked when we were househunting but I am hoping to move there once our daughters finish high school.
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Old 06-01-2008, 05:44 PM
 
1,627 posts, read 6,251,480 times
Reputation: 1260
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommapudding View Post
toot68 - "Another areas we liked were around Eastwood Lake (particularly the Lake Forest area, which gives you access to the lake) and neighborhoods off of Estes Rd between Franklin and Airport."

I love this part of town, and we're closing on a house in this area on Monday <g>
I'd recommend, a look around here, zip 27514, as things do come on in your price range and above, which bodes well for doing any home improvements I think/hope ;0)
My kid goes to Estes Hills and she's very excited to be moving in walking or biking distance to three or four of her best friends houses.
You can't go wrong investment-wise in Lake Forest either. There are some really old, badly in need of repair, houses in there for $350K+, but the houses in there go up to over $3.5 Million. It's a very unusual neighborhood that way, but some houses have been torn down and rebuilt, others have been extensively renovated, and of course the ones directly on the lake bring a premium. It's good for a long-term move b/c you can put as much money as you want into a "starter" house there and be able to get it back out. The neighborhood was originally built in the late 60s/early 70s and some of the original owners are still there. As those houses turn over, there are some bargains to be found (as long as you don't mind a "fixer upper"!).

Also, next to Lake Forest is Booker Creek. This is less expensive than LF and more homogenous. You won't find anything over probably $700K in there, but you will find a lot of high 300s/400s in there. No lake access of course.
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