Moving to Raleigh-Durham

Apr 13th, 2004, 09:41 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
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Moving to Raleigh-Durham

My husband and I are going to Raleigh this summer to see if we would want to live there. We've only got three days and two nights. I'm looking for ways to find info on public school ratings/rankings and neighborhoods, so we can focus our time there. I'd love to find an older home in a great school district with a friendly neighborhood. Sidewalks would be a plus. Maybe a corner store or cafe in walking distance? Not sure if this exists or not. Any specific neighborhood suggestions would be great.

Also, all of the school info I can find is just school by school - I'm trying to find a more efficient way to see "the top ten high schools". Any ideas?

My husband will be working from home and I'll likely look for work once we get there so we truly are wide open on where we live.

We're moving from Oakland, CA. We live in an awesome neighborhood, in a charming 1924 small house - but the schools are very mediocre. We want great public schools (and not have to pay a million dollars for a house like here) and I'm not a big fan of new construction. For example, when I look at the MLS listings in Cary which I know has great schools I can't find anyting pre-70s. Not quite what I'm looking for.
Oaktown is offline  
Apr 14th, 2004, 06:38 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
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It sounds like you would probably like a lot of North Raleigh neightborhoods, and some of the older ones near downtown Raleigh. There are also a lot of areas that fit your needs in Cary, Apex, and Wake Forest. It might be hard to find a house older that 1970's since that is when this area really starting booming, but there are some in central Raleigh.

The schools in Wake county are all pretty good, but the best highschool is probably Enloe which is a magnet school so the neighborhood doesn't matter that much. Have you tried looking at the wake county public schools website? I don't know the address off the top of my head, but you can find it on google. The website should have accountability statistics for each school but I doubt it will have rankings.

Have you thought about contacting a realtor to get a feel for the neighborhoods and the housing market? There are dozens of neighborhoods that fit what you want, I wouldn't even know where to start.
mollyjar is offline  
Apr 14th, 2004, 07:05 AM
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Oaktown (related to O'town Traveler?):

While Cary's schools are very good and ever-improving, you're right, it's a very new community and looks it. Is there any particular reason you want to be in Raleigh? It has a couple of good high schools and some nice areas; but otherwise, you might want to consider Chapel Hill -- older, college town, with good schools. Durham has some good schools, nice areas, but it takes some learning to know what's where, and the age of your kids is relevant (elem. sch.? High school?).

One suggestion is for you to start monitoring the local newspapers online, before you even get there. The Raleigh News and Observer is the largest: It might give you the flavor of the area, and if you search the archives for "education" you might find articles about the schools.

Let me ask you, though, what you define as a good school -- academics? sports? what? There are a few schools here that always come up with some Merit Scholars, send plenty of kids to selective colleges, etc. And there are some schools with national-level sports programs (basketball, soccer, and football are biggies). But trust me when I tell you NC is not Calif., and the Raleigh-Durham area is not Berkeley-Oakland. We have some great artfilm movie theaters and decent restaurants, and things are much less expensive; but the scale is much smaller and the roots of history run deep for both better and worse.

There have actually been several threads about relocating to this area, so you might try searching on "relocate" in the NC archives. Be happy to answer any further questions.
Apr 14th, 2004, 09:00 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,647
I'm not the best with Raleigh neighborhoods, but there is historic Oakwood that might work. One thing with Raleigh/Wake County schools is since there is so many new students every year, the schools redistrict often. Cary does have some older areas (an area between the mall and Crossroads) but I don't know much about it.

Durham and Chapel Hill (my hometown) have older neighborhoods and sidewalks. Don't know if everything you want is within walkable distance though. We love cars in this area. For Durham maybe Hope Valley or in Chapel Hill something near Ephesus or Estes Hills elementary schools.

For schools, check with the NC Department of Education for their ABC ranking. It's a state test every student takes.
ncgrrl is offline  
Apr 14th, 2004, 01:04 PM
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Alot of the triangle is new with strip centers and endless roads, but the downtown and near-downtown areas do have some of what you are looking fo. For older neighborhoods with sidewalks, I would suggest Oakwood, just like ncgrrrl suggested. Also, ?5-points area? is older and near downtown. It is a great neighborhood, walkable to restaurants and a movie theater along with shopping, post office and has bus service (my motto is if you live close to downtown/urban, you should know your local bus routes). I lived in 5-points for several years and knew all my neighbors and it was great. I now live just a few miles north and I see my neighbors about once every year and half. (Of course, it could be me.) As stated, Chapel Hill and Durham have some older neighborhoods. Chapel Hill is a small college town that would remind you of Boulder, CO. Some homes are old and there is a definite urban feel of students and professionals. The closer to downtown, the more students. Just north of 9th street near Duke?s east campus in Durham is a great neighborhood with older homes. Coming from the Bay area, you will find you can buy a lot of house with ?bay area dollars?. Do a search on and for school info or even call the Wake County Public schools. The triangle is a big, spread-out area with a lot of new building/homes. Much of the areas near downtown are older and a wonderful near-urban feeling to it. Also, not sure how old your kids are but Enloe High School is considered one of the best schools in the country due to the magnet programs. It is a somewhat urban high school with all the issues of a urban high schools as it is a very diverse student body due to it draws students from all over the county. The oldest school is Broughton and is also considered a good school, (use to be the best and still carries some of the prestige) Districts do change very often but Broughton?s district which is ?inside the beltline? does not change that often due to the closeness to downtown where the school is. If I were you, I would visit all 3 areas (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill) including Cary (all new and suburban) Apex (right next to Cary) . Check out all the websites you can on ?The Triangle?, Wake County, Orange County, Durham County, Cary, Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, UNC, NC State and Duke.
Subway_Scoundrel is offline  
Jun 4th, 2004, 08:51 PM
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Durham - much more troubled than other areas and unattractive. Raleigh - it all depends on where you live. Neighborhoods are little towns, so tell your realtor CLEARLY what you do and don't like and whether or not you're happy among old-fashioned Southerners or prefer transplants.

Chapel Hill is expensive. If you're left-leaning and ;ike espresso and Birkenstocks year-round, then it may be home. If you want the Orange County public schools with more affordable housingm try Hillsborough.
independencedaybaby is offline  
Jun 7th, 2004, 10:17 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Check out Meadowmont Village and Southern Village, both in Chapel Hill. Both have apartment complexes so you can get an idea of the neighborhood before you buy. They've both got that "village feel, walk to coffee shops, swimming pools, playgrounds, etc."
Also, there are some nice developments in Durham on Woodcroft Parkway. Very cute and friendly streets, winding sidewalks, friendly neighbors, etc.
Chapel Hill is more expensive than Durham but it's also a lot prettier.
We've been here for a year and have enjoyed the southern hospitality very much!
syd1 is offline  
Jun 7th, 2004, 12:16 PM
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We just moved back home to the Northeast from Durham NC so I felt I could add a little to this topic. I think you will have some very significant culture shock going from Cali to NC. If you want old and quaint neighborhood feel, I doubt you would like Cary... most of it is all newly and antiseptically developed though there is a little old fashioned main street. Raliegh had some nice older areas that others have mentioned. Durham too has some but compared to the Northeast it seems that the nice old neighborhoods tend to get run down and seen as "bad areas". Durham is NOT a pretty city but it is not horribly dangerous so don't let that deter you. I agree with the person that Chapel Hill is pretty expensive and has students, rich ladies and the crunchy granola types.. but the little town is pretty.

Any special reason you are picking Raliegh? You probably will have lots of $ from sale of your California house and have lots of options... just curious.
ColletteRI is offline  
Jun 11th, 2004, 04:14 PM
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Thanks for in the input everyone. We're considering the move because we want our two little kids to grow up closer to extended family, most of whom live on the East Coast. Plus we have a small house and our public schools are bad. Hoping to take the wacky amount of equity in our house in Oakland and get something bigger plus a good public school.
Oaktown is offline  
Jun 11th, 2004, 04:31 PM
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Oaktown, go for North Raleigh in the Leesville School District. People are clamoring all over each other to live in this area......... (Clay Aiken is a graduate of Leesville High School!;-) ) It really is a terrific area......
Jun 11th, 2004, 08:06 PM
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Hi again, and still would like a definition of what you consider re: a good school. For what you have in Oakland, however, you can probably afford Chapel Hill, and the area you want is the north and east areas to be in East Chapel Hill high.

I don't think you're going to find what you originally envisioned, however, re: corner store and sidewalk communities anywhere in NC, or at least not where the schools are also good. So you may need to readjust your thinking about old vs. new houses, etc. But let us know your impressions once you get back.
Jun 11th, 2004, 08:08 PM
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PS: If you have $300-$500K to spend on housing -- which is almost a minimum in Oakland if I'm not mistaken -- you'll do very well indeed, even in Chapel Hill.
Jun 12th, 2004, 04:46 AM
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Get a relocation realtor.
Gretchen is online now  
Jul 13th, 2010, 07:53 AM
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Seriously Movetonc, do you really think you can advertise for FREE on somebody else's website? How truly tacky. You have been reported and soon all of your posts will be history. Go get yourself a realtor!
AustinTraveler is offline  
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