U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > North Carolina > Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary
 [Register]
Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary The Triangle Area
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
 
Old 03-11-2015, 02:13 AM
 
8 posts, read 7,831 times
Reputation: 15

Advertisements

My family and I live just outside of Ann Arbor Michigan, in a city of growth yet still farms and dirt roads.

My mother is retired and selling her home in the Chicago area to come live with us this spring/summer. Wife and I are mid 40's and have 2 daughters 6 and 14 and ALL of us are ready to give up the sub zero cold winters.

My mom has spent some time traveling and said she really enjoyed the Triangle area, she wants us to drive down and get a feel for things, at the same time just have a mini get away, visit the mall, schools, library, grocery stores whatever just go stay 4-5 days and get a good feel for the surrounding cities like Cary, Apex, Wake Forest, Garner to see where we are the most comfortable.

I would say we are somewhere in the middle class range not poor but certainly not rich, we are not pushy, we are respectful and courteous, actually that is one thing I don't like about Michigan people here are generally RUDE! We help where and how we can, volunteer, read, learn, like to be involved we prefer less vs more when it comes to crowds or traffic yet not so remote it takes 10 mins between neighbors houses.

I am kind of a geek so I spent a lot of time researching stats, education, housing, crime, population density, weather you name it I was looking into it online for surrounding cities, but you can't really get a "feel" for somewhere without just going down and seeing it

Job wise it shouldn't be a problem we have 3 businesses, two are online and the other is completely mobile other than getting new business cards. My Mom retired from teaching but still tutors H.S. and College English so that would adapt smoothly too I imagine.

Wife has 20+ yrs property management/home sales, I've always been Mr. Mom and worked our 3 businesses - so after the sale of both our homes combined I think we will land on our feet ok even if we ease into living there, maybe renting a house or townhome first then looking for the right neighborhood to buy down the road, I'd guess our price range to be 200-250's comfortably once we are ready to buy, rent wise at first maybe under $1400 month range?

The big things on the list for us are education, safety, crime, milder winter, good health care, and having a smaller town feel yet close enough to hit a mall or movie without a 20+ minute drive.

I saw beer, historic homes or art tours (not so much into those things) we are geared more towards a blues/rock club, a movie, steak dinner, a simple bingo night would make my wife happy. Our typical weekends are pretty simple we hang out at home a lot actually.

We do enjoy our local church too which I can't even quite classify since it's so different than what I have experienced previously, it's a casual cafe style grab a bagel or doughnut and coffee upbeat music, questions and conversations happen at any moment, just really open to be yourself - small groups, volunteering in community, great teen groups - we really will miss it and hope to find "something" like it as it's the most unique thing we have found.

So if you're still with me reading and have any suggestions once we make it out mid April we would love to hear where YOU think we should go, see or do to get a true feel for the area.

Last edited by FTLOSM; 03-11-2015 at 02:24 AM..
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message

 
Old 03-11-2015, 07:11 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
9,145 posts, read 13,710,384 times
Reputation: 9273
A lot of what you asked for can be found in many parts of the Triangle, so I think you are mostly going to be dictated by your budget. You didn't say what type of home you are looking for with a $200k-$250K budget, but I'm assuming with a family your size that you want a 3-4 bedroom. Is your mother moving in with you when you move or will she require a separate residence? In either case, your budget is on the lower end, and I think you will be looking at one of the more distant suburbs like Wake Forest, Holly Springs, Fuquay Varina, or Clayton or perhaps Garner or Knightdale. Generally, around here, like most places, the farther out you go and the more rural you go, the cheaper it is.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-11-2015, 08:03 AM
 
682 posts, read 638,832 times
Reputation: 1183
As a fairly recent transplant, I do think the idea to rent first is a good one. There is no substitute for visiting and spending a lot of time looking around. My only advice is to budget more time than you think you'll need to explore. It's a bigger geographical area than most would tend to think, and it does take a good deal of time to travel from place to place in the car. I'd strongly recommend one day looking around in Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Garner areas. One day to look at the Wake Forest, Knightdale, and North Raleigh areas, and one day to look at the Chapel Hill and Durham areas.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-11-2015, 09:53 AM
 
8 posts, read 7,831 times
Reputation: 15
Thanks for the replies, yes Mom with combine homes with us she's barely bringing anything really we can make a 3 bedroom townhome work as a rental for say 6-12 months that was my idea at least.

Ideally I'd like to find us a 3 bedroom home with at least a garage maybe a place with room to bump something out later if possible, our budget might bump a bit depending on what she gets and what we get for our homes and what taxes there run (rolled Into our mortgage the taxes here at over $6000 per year really increases our payment).
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-11-2015, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
10,522 posts, read 20,584,366 times
Reputation: 11599
Are you asking more about "fun things" to see on a visit, or strictly things you should see with the aim of eventually moving here?

April is one of the prettiest times to be here; don't be lulled into thinking it's this nice all the time You won't get the overwhelming snow of MI but wait until August for the summer heat & humidity...

So many think "I'm transferring to Central NC, I must move to Cary" and there are many other options, so don't get stuck on Cary, which has less "character" than many other places just because it IS so very "suburban". That's what a lot of people want, maybe you, but if not, look into Chapel Hill, Hillsboro, Pittsboro, Mebane, etc. for more "Southern small town character".

You've done a lot of research, more than most who post here, and you also are aware that nothing replaces an actual visit. Just not sure if you wanted to see the "cultural" side of the area to help make up your mind, or if you've already (mostly) made up your mind and this is a "scouting" trip for somewhere to live.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-11-2015, 12:27 PM
 
8 posts, read 7,831 times
Reputation: 15
I think a mix of both when we visit I do want to have fun yet also make sure we are experiencing the pulse of the areas too, The culture and whatnot less important than the day to day things we use or do, schools, lower crime, access to the basics of things like target costco, doctors, mall without having to drive 30+ mins. I just didn't want to get home and read someone say "Oh you should have visited here or did this" to get more of a feel for things.

Here we are involved deeply with our community volunteer opportunities thru our library, church and food/clothing shelter. If we are lucky enough to be able to sort which cities out to focus on during our 4-5 days I want to try and visit the chamber of commerce too.

Weather yeah, I see the variances I can deal with a bit more humid/warm in summer to bypass the next 18-22 inch downfall of snow and ice, in fact I am hoping to sell my snowblower before moving but I realize it's not 70 and sunny everyday either, I have been watching temps vs here for a while thru winter and of course (that geek in me) looking at graphs of averages of our city vs say Raleigh as a general base zipcode.

I am actually doing comparison data on a few other outskirt areas of Raleigh, I figure at least that gives us a rough idea where to focus time and consideration, nothing so far is just screaming ME ME ME but I did like the general info on Cary that I found online at least so far and the schools seemed good too so that was going to be my base city to start with if nothing else as a possible place to rent a house or townhome for a year and really settle in to make a longterm choice on home buying if we decided to take root so to speak.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-11-2015, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Chapelboro
11,915 posts, read 13,080,366 times
Reputation: 9867
In general I think Chapel Hill gets compared with Ann Arbor the most, but it does have that liberal artsy college town feel so may not be what you're looking for.

Apex and Cary both might be good for you. That area is a little more built up. I can drive 10 minutes or less from at least 3 directions (west, south, north) from my house in Chapel Hill and be in the country (east is Durham), but there's more development in Wake County. The Raleigh suburbs are all super family-friendly.

We've had our typical North Carolina March. Cold one week, and then warm the next. It's been great the past few days w/ temps in the 70s, but last Friday it didn't get out of the 30s all day and we had a crazy Feb with multiple snowstorms (unusually high amount of snow for us).
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-11-2015, 04:29 PM
 
8 posts, read 7,831 times
Reputation: 15
Sat down today and made up about 10 different city main demographic sheets highlights from city-data.com to present to my mom and wife to review, I have my picks but I am curious what theirs will be, then focus on 4-5 on this trip down maybe even a 2nd trip in fall if we hadn't already made up our minds.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-12-2015, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
10,522 posts, read 20,584,366 times
Reputation: 11599
Quote:
Originally Posted by poppydog View Post
We've had our typical North Carolina March. Cold one week, and then warm the next. It's been great the past few days w/ temps in the 70s, but last Friday it didn't get out of the 30s all day and we had a crazy Feb with multiple snowstorms (unusually high amount of snow for us).
Yeah, we could have used snowblowers this winter! But that is unusual. Definitely don't get rid of your snow SHOVEL, as I hear many do.

Snow is generally not the problem here so much as ICE is; the Triangle seems to be in a weather band where many times there is snow to our north and rain to our south, and we get (lucky us) ICE, which even experienced Northern drivers don't do well on. Get used to everything completely shutting down here for 3 inches of snow (and please don't make fun of the locals for doing so--we don't have the need for the snow plows you do, part of the reason our taxes are lower) and the grocery stores running out of bread and milk if there is one flake in the forecast

Summer will be the challenge for you, but at least it doesn't debilitate you and keep you from leaving the house.

It's been in the 60s/70s this week but there are still big piles of snow next to the parking lots from what we got 2-3 weeks ago.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-12-2015, 09:03 PM
 
6,235 posts, read 14,826,098 times
Reputation: 4568
It's really, really, hot here in the summer -- hotter and more uncomfortable than you might think. (I grew up in Rochester, NY.) Air-conditioning bills replace heating bills.
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > North Carolina > Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2021, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top