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Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary The Triangle Area
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Old 07-07-2009, 07:28 PM
 
263 posts, read 771,595 times
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My husband and I took a quick 4 night trip to Raleigh. We got a quick "taste" of the area, but of course, I don't presume it is nearly enough time to make a decision to move to Raleigh. I think it is someplace we could move to in 5-10 years depending on where our life situation is at that time. For now, we just bought a house in CA and are starting a family so we'll be staying here in the meantime. Anyway, onto the trip report...

We were able to use our airline miles for airline tickets, and decided to stay in 2 really nice places. We stayed in the Umstead in Cary for 2 nights and Cameron Park Inn in Raleigh for 2 nights...you can see my reviews for those here: StandingRoomOnly - Member Reviews - TripAdvisor.

Our first day we drove a little around Cary and down into Apex and Holly Springs, where we then stopped at Bass Lake. There were a handful of people fishing, and a family that had just rented a canoe to go out on the lake. Driving through those areas the impression was of a typical "midwest small town" (from my experiences living and traveling in the midwest - WI, MO, NE, IL, etc)--quiet, laid back, lower-mid income neighborhoods (that we drove though), chain fast food joints. We drove to look at some homes in Cary, but we didn't see much of Cary. Neither of us were impressed with what we did see in Cary, other than loving all the trees in the area (it was that way during our whole trip though). There were nice houses (in that they looked newer and were big), but found a staleness about them (at least in Cary).

We did eat at a good Italian restaurant in a shopping center on Harrison Ave off of Highway 40 in Cary. I can't remember the name, but it was very good. In fact, we ate at some great places while in the area. I used citysearch a lot to make sure we were eating at places with great reviews, but for those worried about the quality of food--we found what we ate to be very good.

Cafe Luna in downtown Raleigh was excellent too--the cheesecake there is amazing! We also ate at The Pit and got to experience some NC bbq. I really liked the vinegar based sauce. We walked around downtown one of the days while staying at the B&B. We went to the history museum and checked out the pirate exhibit (not very big but decent and some interesting info about pirates we didn't know before). We noticed a handful of eclectic stores, art galleries and restaurants on our walk downtown. I was tempted to check out the Marbles Museum even though it's for kids, but we didn't get there.

One thing that really surprised me about everywhere we went--not all Caucasian people! Now, I think mostly because in the Bay Area where we are living, there are very few African Americans, but tons of Asians and Hispanics and Caucasians. There are African Americans in the Bay Area, but tend to be in large pockets/areas like Oakland or Richmond or SF and only sporadically seen around other suburban areas. While in the Raleigh area it sometimes seemed like a 50/50 split between black and white. Positive thing is I didn't get the vibe of much racial tension or segregation. We saw more interaction among black/white than in the SF Bay Area. I don't think we were expecting that, but from first impression, I think it's a good thing. Either way, I'm sure we didn't get the full picture, but it was a surprise to us.

Overall, our impression was that people were very friendly and much more willing to strike up a conversation than those in the SF Bay Area (who mostly like to keep to themselves). This was really refreshing being able to break this barrier and talk to random people.

We drove to Durham another day to see Duke University (very beautiful!) and the beautiful gardens near the campus. The gardens were absolutely gorgeous. I recommend checking it out.

Our favorite area (that we would love to live if we move to Raleigh area) was around Park Ave in Raleigh (Cameron Park subdivision). The homes are unique, older style and neighborhoods just had a good lively (but still laid back) vibe to them. Granted, this is an expensive area, but our fave nonetheless.

One thing I will say after checking out house prices in the area and actually seeing the homes in person--IMO the area as a whole is overinflated in price. I do think prices will be coming down some (eventually)--at least in certain areas.

Overall, it was a relaxing trip and glad we got to check it out for future-potential as a place to live. We weren't head-over-heals, but by the end of the trip, it definitely felt "comfortable" and like we could be happy living there to raise our family.
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Old 07-07-2009, 08:37 PM
 
Location: Cary NC
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Thanks for posting; it's interesting to read your perspective.
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Old 07-07-2009, 09:46 PM
 
9,677 posts, read 28,057,535 times
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Interesting post. Thanks for sharing. It sounds like you saw a lot fo the area in four short days. Not sure about your comment about over inflated prices. Are you refering to Cameron Park? That is quite a unique area and commands top dollar. I wouldn't use that area as a guage for th average price of homes in Raleigh as a whole.
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Old 07-08-2009, 07:42 AM
 
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A very nice review - thanks. I would have to agree with the others on your comment about "over-inflated" house prices. I do agree this area is not "cheap" (especially compared to some other southeast cities). But for the most part, we were fortunate to escape a big "bubble" in housing prices in the past decade. Those areas that are inflated here are that way because of demand that is likely to continue, and not because of an artificial run-up in prices.
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:02 AM
 
6,234 posts, read 14,821,039 times
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I think it's fascinating that anyone in California believes the prices in the whole Triangle area are "overinflated" and think prices will be coming down. California homes have been outrageous for decades -- sellers can set high prices because they can.

For whatever reason, the Triangle is a hotspot for relocation, and the same concept applies. I don't think prices will drop (appreciably) any time soon.


Quote:
One thing I will say after checking out house prices in the area and actually seeing the homes in person--IMO the area as a whole is overinflated in price. I do think prices will be coming down some (eventually)--at least in certain areas.
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:56 AM
 
489 posts, read 936,025 times
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A friend of mine just bought a 1300 sq. ft. 30-year-old home in Sunnyvale, CA for $699k last week. For that, you can get a 4000 sq ft. 5 br, 4 ba with a large yard here in the Triangle.
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Old 07-09-2009, 09:09 PM
 
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Wow, I cant beleive someone who lives in Cali would even think to say that NC was overpriced!, ugh! california is the most overpriced area in the country, 800 sq.ft there will cost nearly half a mill!!! lol oh well back to my sandwhich, interesting post though,
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