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Thread summary:

Couple of four relocating to North Carolina; need information on Chapel Hill, housing costs, good schools, racially tolerant, low crime, 37k yearly income

 
Old 02-10-2008, 01:15 PM
 
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We are a young family of four looking to relocated from Virginia. I heard that Chapel Hill may be a place that we would be interested in. I would like to start off by telling you what we are looking for, and if you could, please let me know if these things are found in Chapel Hill or surrounding areas:

1.) Low Crime
2.) Good Schools
3.) Stuff for families to do-children's museums, botanical gardens, bike paths, museums, shopping
4.) Affordable housing--I am concerned that we can't afford to buy there. The housing looks so expensive. How is it in comparison to what you make income wise? I've heard some cities, such as Charlottesville, VA, where the incomes are low and the housing very high.

We are a liberal family and don't like to have religion or politics pushed on us. (We get along with anyone and everyone, but find the area that we are currently in to be a bit of a bible belt.)

We want to settle down in a place that is accepting, not a lot of racial problems (we are white but don't like to see racism against anyone), and that we can afford to live in. We only make around $37,000 yearly at the moment.

Lastly, are there rental homes for families, or are they mainly for students?

I would greatly appreciate a response. Any recommendations or advice would be wonderful!
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Old 02-10-2008, 01:22 PM
 
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Chapel Hill is probably out of your price range, as well as Cary. I would say maybe Pittsboro in Chatham County. Also maybe some parts of Apex, Holly Springs or Fuquay Varina. I would say all these places have a family feel depending on the community. Museums and whatnot are drivable. I guess it depends on how much you want to spend on a home.
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Old 02-10-2008, 01:37 PM
 
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Chapel Hill sounds like a good fit but for a family you'll be hard pressed to find a nice place for under 300k. Carrboro might be a better option.
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Old 02-10-2008, 02:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ukusmom View Post
We are a young family of four looking to relocated from Virginia. I heard that Chapel Hill may be a place that we would be interested in. I would like to start off by telling you what we are looking for, and if you could, please let me know if these things are found in Chapel Hill or surrounding areas:

1.) Low Crime
2.) Good Schools
3.) Stuff for families to do-children's museums, botanical gardens, bike paths, museums, shopping
4.) Affordable housing--I am concerned that we can't afford to buy there. The housing looks so expensive. How is it in comparison to what you make income wise? I've heard some cities, such as Charlottesville, VA, where the incomes are low and the housing very high.

We are a liberal family and don't like to have religion or politics pushed on us. (We get along with anyone and everyone, but find the area that we are currently in to be a bit of a bible belt.)

We want to settle down in a place that is accepting, not a lot of racial problems (we are white but don't like to see racism against anyone), and that we can afford to live in. We only make around $37,000 yearly at the moment.

Lastly, are there rental homes for families, or are they mainly for students?

I would greatly appreciate a response. Any recommendations or advice would be wonderful!
Purchase of a detached home in town will be pretty tough, the few 150K houses out there will be pretty run down. Condos and townhomes that cater to students/grad students can be found for less than 150K. There can be some good deals under 150K in the rural areas south and west of town outside the city limits but still in the school district...often you'll also get 0.5-1 acre of land with the house.

Renting a detached home might be doable, you can find 3+ bedrooms for 900-1200/month. Lots of options for 3br townhomes for a bit less (800-1000). Good places to look for rentals are carrboro, between Main/Greensboro and Fayetteville Rds. Also the area of Chapel Hill south of estes between Franklin and 15-501 (surrounding the Community Center) has some affordable rentals with a good smattering of families.

You'll be trading amenities for the way of life, but we know several couples with children in your income range living in Chapel Hill and loving it.
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Old 02-10-2008, 04:32 PM
jgb
 
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Cary is not out of your price range. If you consider the area inside the Maynard loop, as well as the area just outside the Maynard loop (look on a map) there are lots of nice neighborhoods, extremely safe, larger lots, for under $200,000. We are also a young, "progressive" family and I was interested in Chapel Hill first, but the prices are too high. As for diversity, it depends how you define it. Cary doesn't have many low-income people, but it does have ethnic diversity and a whole shopping center full of Indian shops and restaurants as well as other good ethnic food.

There may be other fits for you, like Durham, but don't write Cary off -- some people have a certain stereotype of Cary based on the Preston type areas. I live on a culdesac of 5 homes and none of the people living in here fit that (no stay-at-home moms, for example). I don't think you can do better for less than 200K.
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Old 02-11-2008, 08:18 PM
 
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Based on what you said about your family, Chapel Hill/Carrboro would be the best fit, but I agree with other posters--you'll be hard pressed to find something in your price range. Carrboro may have something, but you'll have to look hard. It's a great community, and VERY kid friendly (not that Cary, Apex, Holly Springs and Fuqua aren't, it's just a whole different atmosphere). I also agree you may find something withint the outskirts of Chapel Hill, such as in Chatham Co (which in some cases will have a Chapel Hill zip), but look north also. Hillsborough is much like Carrboro, only smaller. Very family oriented, eclectic and reasonable housing--still. Good luck!
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Old 02-11-2008, 11:16 PM
 
1,938 posts, read 5,601,730 times
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A possible resource for you is the Orange Community Housing and Land Trust. It looks like they sell 3 br homes in the chapel Hill area for 100-150K, aimed at families who make 80% of the average income for the area (which comes to around 39K). Don't know if you'd initially qualify coming from out of state, but most likely would if you rented for a year. Doesn't hurt to inquire though...Orange Community Housing and Land Trust
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