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Which neighborhoods in Chapel Hill, Raleigh and Durham?

Which neighborhoods in Chapel Hill, Raleigh and Durham?

Apr 20th, 2007, 04:41 PM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 15
We live in N. Raleigh, north of 540 but south of Wakefield (19 years) and
are familar with the CH and Durham areas.
Traffic is very congested in this area (Capital and Falls during the rush hour and even on weekends it can be busy). North Raleigh is very suburban and if you are looking for a smaller town feel you may want to look at Pittsboro.
I'll put this out to see what you think. If you are looking for smaller town feel and if you are in the area you can check out Washington,Bath and Edenton for example. Nice towns that attract people looking to retire.

The Raleigh downtown area is improving regarding restaurants and nightclubs so I think you will find some variety. Housing is condos or some expensive single familar homes (Pilot Mill). You can get some homes that need to be rehabbed near town town also if you are into that.

Having said that, some long time friends in the neighborhood have retiresd, sold their and moved near Clayton in Johnston county, about 35-40 minutes away from downtown Raleigh. They got much more home for the $ there then in N. Raleigh, and are still close enough to get into Raleigh.
But like many parts of the TRiangle traffic is getting bad.
kennc is offline  
Apr 20th, 2007, 08:24 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
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While it's been a few (8) years since I lived there, my parents live there and I visit often, and I can give you a general feel for the areas (I lived in Wake Forest, went to Raleigh schools, grandparents lived in Durham, and I went to UNC.)

There are some areas of Durham that are fine, and it would be easy to meet your budget. But if you want to be close to "town", then your run the risk of being nearer a less desirable neighborhood. My grandmother lived near Duke in Durham off a nice street in a house that would meet your requirements. Everyone would have said the neighborhood was fine - but her neighbor (also an elderly lady) was robbed and beaten to death in her home by a young teenager. Which is not to put you off of Durham altogether, it's just to indicate that crime in Durham is higher, and even if you're in a better neighborhood, there can be problems.

Chapel Hill is wonderful, but expensive. Being close in to the town will be more expensive, and you will be affected by the students to a far greater degree. UNC is a wonderful place, but I have to imagine that living next to the university is a bit easier if you happen to love the university (and you're willing to tolerate the thousands of students during the school year). Chapel Hill is also wonderful when school wasn't in session - summers in Chapel Hill were the best.

Raleigh has lots of different areas. They are building more condos and townhomes in the downtown area - when I was growing up, unless you lived over towards Broughton H.S., you would not want to live near downtown. It's much nicer now. But I would guess that that housing is geared towards professional 30-somethings and not a retired couple.

North Raleigh is nice and where I grew up. There are some really nice neighborhoods - some about 20 years old, and some about 2-5 years old. I think you might be able to find something to meet your budget and size needs easily. There are some Yankees in North Raleigh (esp. Wakefield), but mostly in the huge homes. It's a lovely place, and you shouldn't be dissuaded. But it is suburban. And the roads can't currently handle all the new homes and residents.

Wake Forest might be an option. I haven't visited the town in a while, but it is a smaller town feel, in the outer suburbs of Raleigh.

I had a lot of friends in Cary, and it is full of nice homes, but not really a small town feel. And lots of Yankees! Holly Springs used to be considered VERY far out - then the developers started putting nice small (and some not-so-small) affordable homes out there, and the roads were expanded to improve the commute to the RTP. But it seems, to me, to be largely suburban and strip malls in between the new communities. Also, I'd bet that a real estate downturn would hit it hard because it is on the outer limits of town.
kgh8m is offline  
Apr 21st, 2007, 06:47 AM
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Posts: 1,017
Great info! Thank you so much.

Yes, to whoever mentioned Washington and Edenton. Had not heard of Washington, but plan on a visit to the Coastal part of NC sometime in the near future. Even if it's not suitable for retirement, it looks beautiful, and we have never see the NC Coast.

Should we consider this area for retirement (I'm hesitant due to the heat and humidity - although someone told me Chapel Hill is just as hot and humid - and also the possibility of hurricanes), what areas should we look at and can anyone compare? My husband would like nothing more than to be near the water, and he is an avid boater and fisherman.

Our short list for the coast includes:

New Bern

Edenton and Washington might be too small for us, and we've heard wildly differing things about Wilmington - from "Charleston-like" (we really like Charleston) to seedy and run-down. I know the crime rate (according to city_data.com) is off the charts, so it's questionable for us.

Are the coastal places we listed doable in one trip (not this trip to Chapel Hill, but another trip just to see the coast) and where would be a good midway point to stay? Where would we fly into from Boston?
wanderer is offline  
Apr 21st, 2007, 10:49 AM
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Yes, wanderer, all those cities are doable in one long weekend trip. It's true ... the shore is hot and humid BUT you have the breezes, which we sure don't have in The Triangle. You will, however, pay more for a comparable house near the Coast than you will in the Triangle.

I've never heard that the *violent* crime rate is that high in Wilmington ...
elsiemoo is offline  
Apr 21st, 2007, 12:45 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 447
I am in New Bern 7 times a year on
business. It is charming with Tryon Palace, a reproduction of the state's first Governor's Mansion.They pride themselves on being the birthplace of Pepsi Cola and even have the little
pharmacy counter intact where it was invented. The have a
lovely civic center and welcome
touring ensembles frequently (see ncsymphony.org for one example).

The views of the harbor make it very attractive. I don't know about real estate prices, but know that many new
subdivisions for seniors are going up.
pilgrim is offline  
Apr 21st, 2007, 02:29 PM
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Don't know the breakdown offhand, but the crime index listed for Wilington was 859, with the National Average 325.

Yes, I suspected prices would be higher near the coast, but Edenton seems very reasonable. Lower than Chapel Hill.

However, just saw some pictures of hurricane damage in Edenton, which brings to life one of the problems of living in that area....

There is no perfect place, we know.
wanderer is offline  
Apr 21st, 2007, 03:19 PM
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Wanderer is doing a good job of exploring possibilities. When they came for their initial visit they stayed at the Fearington which is fine, but it sets a different bar, in my opinion.
I'm in Charlotte, so can't and won't comment on RE in the Triangle.
Yes, Pittsboro and Hillsborough ARE remote seeming--wanderer comes from a small artsy seeming town in MA. Everyone was trying to fit the template of their "needs".
Gretchen is offline  
Apr 21st, 2007, 09:48 PM
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Pittsboro is getting less remote; it's grown a lot, and Fearrington is very close to Chapel Hill. It's hard to find that "village" feel in the Triangle area, and it sounds like that's what wanderer is looking for.

On hurricanes, yes, obviously the coast usually gets more wind damage. But I wouldn't rule it out for that reason alone. Flooding inland can cause just as much damage (see Floyd in NC, Isabel in VA). I'm not trying to scare you at all - major hurricanes that hit the Carolinas are isolated events, and you always have plenty of time to prepare. (We only had Isabel in the three years I was there, and believe me, they were telling us about it on the news for days if not weeks.) It's just that as you said, nowhere is perfect, and if you have a hurricane that's big enough to inflict major damage on the coast, it's likely going to affect you inland too. Just be prepared. Plus my understanding is that most of the damage on the coast is with the houses built right on the beach; even just a little inland is much better.
jent103 is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2007, 02:54 AM
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We didn't find Pittsboro remote at all, in fact we found it quite convenient to Chapel Hill, and I liked being outside of Chapel Hill - only because Fearrington has that little village so I didn't feel isolated - plenty to do there.

I was pleasantly surprised to see all the shops and restaurants on a web site for Pittsboro. For a small town, it also has some things going on. We didn't stop there out last trip - this time we will to explore.

Size isn't really that big an issue - that's why we included Wilmington for next trip - and yes, we will still go to the coast and check it out. Places we have loved (all too expensive for us) were all different sizes, but each was unique and special in their own way - Charleston, Savannah, Beaufort, SC, Nantucket, Newport RI, St. Helena CA.

So far, Chapel Hill area has the best of everything we are looking for so it is at the top of our list. We are not retiring for a few years, so we still have some time, and of course things change.

In the meantime it is fun exploring and discovering new places and meeting nice people!
wanderer is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2007, 12:54 PM
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I think many people feel that the crime statistic you quoted is not an accurate measure. It has been discussed here before (or maybe on AOL for the same relo reasons) and it has been brought up in our papers. I can't remember the reason it is discounted, but I don't think it is considered to be a valid measure. It may have been types of crimes being lumped or something like that.
Gretchen is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2007, 01:08 PM
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Gretchen, you are so right about that crime statistic not being *kosher.* I can't remember the whole discussion about it either, but to say Wilmington crime is *off the charts* is not at all true.
elsiemoo is offline  
May 8th, 2007, 07:27 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 90

It looks like you have narrowed your search to North Carolina, but I was wondering if you have ever considered Greenville, South Carolina? My sister-in-law moved there last year and loves it. I have not been there yet, but am planning a visit in the fall. It seems to have most, if not everything you are looking for - beautiful countryside with lots of lakes for fishing and boating. The city itself is bigger than you want, but they do have a fantastic downtown with wonderful shops, restaurants, theater, ballet, jazz concerts in the park, etc. I would personally live in a suburb of Greenville - Simpsonville looks nice. The market is still very affordable. For $375K you can get a VERY nice home.
peggy01 is offline  

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