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Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary The Triangle Area
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Old 02-09-2009, 07:01 AM
 
24 posts, read 106,024 times
Reputation: 15

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This forum is very informative (and it brings the lulz) so I am here for opinions. I think I've done a fair amount of researching, so now I present you with my info and background.

I grew up mostly in NC, loved being close to the beach and the mountains. But, the mostly part being Fayettenam. Yes, army brat and family never left blah blah blah. So I got the opportunity to venture out elsewhere when I decided to remarry 4 years ago. Asheville was my #1 choice, but the SO couldn't find a job in his field there. So we ended up moving to Atlanta. We lived in the city for 9 months then bought a house in the northwest burbs. Even with a job only 22 miles from my house, the traffic is absolutely insane. Some days I'm ready to slit my wrists by the time I finally make it home from work and picking up my child from school.

So fast forward a little and my marriage has dissolved. I am pretty isolated here and it's difficult for family who all have lives/jobs get down here to visit or help so I've decided rather than struggle alone and never be able to save any money that I'm moving back home to NC.

Fayetteville is just not a good area to raise children. I barely got through it however many years ago that was, and it's gotten quite worse since I left. But having lived in Atlanta this whole time, I realize I just cannot keep up with the constant go go go lifestyle. It takes 2 hours just to get to the other side of the city.

Naturally my choice is for a much slower paced lifestyle, and Chapel Hill and Carrboro really seem to fit the bill. I'm a Libertarian Christian (socially liberal but fiscally conservative) so I wouldn't have an issue for the seemingly liberal label the area gets. I like the fact that you can walk to alot of places. I am spending my whole life here commuting and it would be wonderful to spend more quality time with my child.

Now, I'm going to rent an apartment or townhome for a few years before I decide where exactly to dig my heels in and settle down (and hopefully the housing bubble will be over by then). I don't require gobs of square footage because I have too much here and it's very difficult to maintain 3300 sq. ft. if you don't have a housekeeper. I want somewhere quiet (as in no partying, but I welcome the sounds from children), safe, great public schools, again walkable and close to nature (not too rustic, just no nearby eyesores or pollutants like golf courses).

So here's what I've narrowed my list to as far as apartments (I realize I will have to continually look for private townhome rentals as my move date gets closer):

The Villages of Chapel Hill
Berkshire Manor
Booker Creek
Glen Lennox Cottages (where I really want)
Farrington Lake (although I'm hearing this is going downhill, no?)

I want moderate rent so I can put more money away for a good down payment on a house in ideally 4-5 years. I don't mind having to move at least once more before then, but ultimately it will be great if I only have to move once to the area then to a purchased home.

I work in biotech/healthcare so I'm hoping to find a job soon and to move in the summer (anytime after the first week of June). I plan on coming up again soon to check out apartments while I'm in town doing interviews.

Feedback welcome!
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Old 02-09-2009, 07:19 AM
 
Location: Durham, NC
2,583 posts, read 8,722,613 times
Reputation: 1705
There are plenty of areas in the Triangle that could work for you, but the first thing you need to figure out is where you'll be working. If you set your heart on living in Chapel Hill but can only secure employment in NE Raleigh, you'll be jumping right back into the long commutes that you're trying to escape.
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Old 02-09-2009, 07:54 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill
744 posts, read 1,191,287 times
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We lived at Berkshire in Carroboro when I came up to attend UNC grad school 1993-1996. It's a modest apartment complex but we never felt unsafe or deprived in any way. It is conveniently located across from the Carrboro shopping center where you can go for groceries, videos, drug store, and afew pizza, wings, etc. type joints. Also, a main bus stop is there so you can hop a bus ride to other parts of Carrboro or Chapel Hill with ease.
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:14 AM
 
24 posts, read 106,024 times
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Oh yes, that free fare looks like a win win!

I do have some other areas picked out depending on employment, but I'm really hoping for the CH area. I really am anti-Agrestic type places (any Weeds fans will know what I'm talking about! haha) but I am keeping an open mind as far as areas and schools around the metro area.
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:45 AM
 
24 posts, read 106,024 times
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Also, I'm adding Autumn Woods to the list. I've heard good things.
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:41 AM
 
9,196 posts, read 23,916,328 times
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There is a developer proposing major changes for Glen Lenox. Big controversy in Chapel Hill. Plus it's on top of some major redevelopoment on NC 54, including a new project known as 54 East, which is adding congestion to that area.

I love Chapel Hill. But be sure to check out what's in the works - not just the way things are right now. Best thing is to hook up with a local real estate agent.
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:54 AM
 
24 posts, read 106,024 times
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Seriously? Wow, what a buzzkill. Thanks for the heads up!
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:30 AM
 
Location: WA
4,246 posts, read 8,437,547 times
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Yeah, you should hold off getting a place until you know whether you'll be working in Chapel Hill Durham, RTP etc. Different areas of Chapel Hill would be more conducive to traveling to Durham or RTP than others. For example, living in Carrboro and commuting to North Raleigh would be no fun.

Also, walkability and the big apartment complexes that you're finding on rent.com don't really go hand in hand. A lot of the places you mention tend to be on busier roads that are more accessible to commuters.
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:53 AM
 
24 posts, read 106,024 times
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I'm not stupid, I won't be moving UNTIL I get a job and a subsequent thorough search of the area. That's not to say I can't like CH area the best!

And my version of walkability doesn't necessarily mean I want everything right outside my doorstep. Of course I don't have those expectations or desires for that matter. But I do think it's reasonable to suggest that the town in general is very walkable.
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:57 AM
 
Location: WA
4,246 posts, read 8,437,547 times
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Ok, the narrowed list of apartment complexes suggested you were about to get your heart set on something. We're just all suggesting picking a part of town first, then picking an apartment.
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