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Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary The Triangle Area
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Old 03-18-2015, 02:52 PM
 
12 posts, read 11,818 times
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Hi North Carolinians!

So my husband and I are thinking potentially about relocating to the Raleigh-Durham area in the not-too-distant future. I’ve visited a couple of times for different reasons - I was considering grad programs at UNC and Duke - but it’s been several years, my memory is hazy, and school is no longer a focus for me. We’re wanting to visit again soon, this time with an eye towards moving there, but I would like to get some ideas as to what areas we should focus on during our visit.

Here’s some background on us and what we are looking for. We’re a gay couple in our mid-twenties, so definitely looking for gay-friendly areas. We’re looking to be close to shops and restaurants. We love to eat out, go to the movies, pop in to Target, etc. We would want a 3-4 bedroom house, probably around 2500 sq ft, and our price range will be somewhere in the $300-400k range. In the past we’ve liked the idea of a master planned community, where at least a few things are within walking distance. If that’s not possible, I at least would like a subdivision with sidewalks, and a neighborhood pool, and hopefully close to some parks. We’re also looking at adopting in the next couple of years, so it’s important that we have access to good schools. Job proximity isn't really an issue right now, because my husband works from home; but I may try to find a job with the local startup scene.

Any suggestions about areas such as Cary, Apex, Durham, or any specific developments that might be a good fit for us would be greatly appreciated. Also, not as big of an issue right now, my mother-in-law would probably move out after we do, and she would have a budget closer to $200k. She wouldn’t have to be in the same exact area as we are, but it would be nice if she could find something close by.

Oh, and if anyone has any suggestions of cool landmarks or places to visit while we are in town, that would be appreciated as well!
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Old 03-18-2015, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Southport
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I'd look at Chapel Hill first, although your budget may not allow everything you want there.
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Old 03-18-2015, 03:39 PM
 
Location: My House
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinadawg2 View Post
I'd look at Chapel Hill first, although your budget may not allow everything you want there.
Agreed. And if a MPC is desirable, try out Amberly out in West Cary, too. I think one can get a smaller house out there and there would be tons of kids.
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Old 03-18-2015, 04:16 PM
 
Location: Chapelboro
12,464 posts, read 14,314,144 times
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The whole Triangle is pretty LGBTQ friendly. Francois can tell you more about particulars from that angle. If he doesn't chime in here soon look up some of his old posts.

Chapel Hill is great. Very good schools and several master-planned communities. I think you can find all that in Cary and Apex, too, if you're more drawn to the big city side of the Triangle.
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Old 03-18-2015, 04:18 PM
 
Location: Baja Virginia
2,798 posts, read 2,732,264 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poppydog View Post
If he doesn't chime in here soon look up some of his old posts.
If he doesn't chime in on a "I want to move to NC" thread, someone should go check his house to make sure he's all right.
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Old 03-18-2015, 04:44 PM
 
8,583 posts, read 14,968,870 times
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I don't understand what your sexual orientation has to do with where you move..
No one cares in Raleigh ....
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Old 03-18-2015, 04:57 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
10,643 posts, read 21,341,600 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThoroughlyResearched View Post
Here’s some background on us and what we are looking for. We’re a gay couple in our mid-twenties, so definitely looking for gay-friendly areas. We’re looking to be close to shops and restaurants. We love to eat out, go to the movies, pop in to Target, etc. We would want a 3-4 bedroom house, probably around 2500 sq ft, and our price range will be somewhere in the $300-400k range. In the past we’ve liked the idea of a master planned community, where at least a few things are within walking distance. If that’s not possible, I at least would like a subdivision with sidewalks, and a neighborhood pool, and
Hi guy, I am the "Resident homo" for these questions And I grew up in Raleigh (and am 50ish, so that's a long time).

The entire Triangle area is gay-friendly; you would probably not like the "outer suburbs" such as Holly Springs, Apex, Wake Forest, or even Cary because those are "suburbia central" and very hetero-family oriented. While they would be gay-friendly, you would not be close to the "scene" for nightlife etc which is generally in downtown Raleigh or Durham. Most gay folks your age like the condos downtown or places near downtown, but since you want a bigger house, those are really hopefully close to some parks.
expensive near downtown.

Durham could be a real possibility; it's a "grittier" city than Raleigh but tends to be more "hip", as it were. Not a lot of gay-specific clubs or anything, but OTOH, almost every nightclub is a little "mixed" in Durham. The Arts and music scene is great, and you're close to Chapel Hill for their music scene as well as being just 30 mins from downtown Raleigh. The neighborhoods of Trinity Park or Old North Durham are older neighborhoods but have healthy LGBT populations (though again, nowhere is unfriendly) and a cool vibe, for examples.

Chapel Hill was mentioned but is also the most expensive area. Then again, if you're going to be going back to school, UNC is an excellent university (I'm a double alumnus) and commuting to there is no fun.

One thing you haven't said, I don't think, is what is drawing you to this area in particular, over others, if the world is your oyster? That kind of info really helps people hone in on specifics. It is also helpful to know where someone is moving FROM to know what their frame of reference is, or if they want "a city like X, without the [issue A] of city Y" or whatever. To me this is more important than many other questions, since every city will have housing that close to things people want to be near, etc. It kind of comes down to your expectations and knowledge of what a particular city has that makes you want to relocate there.

Downtown Raleigh is very "downtown"-y but kind of small for a city of 400K (MOST of Raleigh's populations is suburban). There are a few gay clubs and restaurants, a very nice LGBT Center, lots of other kinds of clubs and activities, the gay kickball league, etc etc.

You can PM me with gay-specific questions, or keep reading others' responses about general neighborhood questions. One thing you may need to know is that the politics of NC as a whole have taken a very sharp turn to the hard Right as of 2010, and although we gained Marriage Equality last year, already the Legislature is trying to create backdoor methods for discrimination, such as allowing magistrates to opt out of issuing marriage licenses altogether if it "offends their religious beliefs". While NC is a purple state and the Triangle is quite Blue, the Legislature and governor are very, very Red at the moment and have gerrymandered themselves into this situation for some time to come. Again, this may or may not be something you're used to since I don't know where you're coming FROM, but it's a damper on the otherwise very accepting climate here.

Quote:
I don't understand what your sexual orientation has to do with where you move..
No one cares in Raleigh ....
That's the kind of question someone would ask who's never been discriminated against for it. While the Raleigh area in general is accepting, there are neighborhood settings that are moreso than others. Why does it matter to you if they ask? It's not true that "No one cares in Raleigh (if you're gay)", since this state just passed an anti-same-sex marriage Amendment 3 years ago and it did get votes in Raleigh. While it's been overturned judicially, one will still encounter bigoted opinions in a state as churchy as NC.
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Old 03-18-2015, 06:04 PM
 
12 posts, read 11,818 times
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We're currently living in Knoxville, TN, where I'm from, but we're wanting to explore our options before we decide where to build / buy a house and raise a kid. Ideally we would like somewhere a bit more liberal than Tennessee (not expecting San Francisco). We have liked the Raleigh Durham area when we have visited before, I've considered jobs with a couple of startups based in Raleigh, and it's nice that it's still within driving distance of my family if I wanted to come back to visit.

A big consideration for us when choosing where to live will be convenience to daily essentials. We lived on the outskirts of Nashville, and the constant car trips of 20-25 minutes to get to shopping, restaurants, movies, etc are one of the reasons why we left. We don't have to be walkable necessarily, but if we could find a subdivision that's 5-10 mins driving distance away from that kind of stuff, that would be ideal.

I know several people have mentioned chapel hill, any specific subdivisions or developments in mind? Also, how are the schools in Durham if we were to look there?
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Old 03-18-2015, 06:33 PM
 
Location: My House
34,840 posts, read 33,395,305 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kelly237 View Post
I don't understand what your sexual orientation has to do with where you move..
No one cares in Raleigh ....
Seriously? Wow... they do, kelly.

The majority of people in the core of the Triangle are pretty accepting and/or friendly toward LBGTQ folks, but that sure doesn't mean that "no one cares."

If that were the case, we'd have had gay marriage here years ago.
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Old 03-18-2015, 07:13 PM
 
360 posts, read 478,172 times
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Originally Posted by RedZin View Post
Seriously? Wow... they do, kelly.

The majority of people in the core of the Triangle are pretty accepting and/or friendly toward LBGTQ folks, but that sure doesn't mean that "no one cares."

If that were the case, we'd have had gay marriage here years ago.
Pretty much.

No one cares!? That would be nice, but no.
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