West of carborro is pretty rural.
Young Family-friendly neighborhoods in Chapel Hill - Page 3
Total misconception that mostly students live in Carrboro. Probably some of the bigger apartment complexes on Hwy 54 have a lot of students, but several of those large complexes house a lot of immigrant families, too. There is a large Latino population in Carrboro as well as a sizable Burmese (Karen) population.
In houses in Carrboro I think it's mostly families, with a few housemates-older-than-students in houses, and even fewer undergrads in houses. I think you'll probably find more undergrads living in houses in Chapel Hill closer to campus.
I agree it's pretty rural west of Carrboro. What would you be looking at? Saxapahaw is a great little teeny town NW of Carrboro, but it's in Alamance county so different schools. Be aware that Chapel Hill and Carrboro share a school system w/in the two towns, but Orange county has a different school system. CHC schools are reputedly the best in the state so the school system is a big selling point for real estate.
Edited by beanma - 6/22/12 at 8:32pm
In fearrington you can walk to two restaurants, a cafe, a beer garden, a bookstore, as well as bike several other places, and there's a community pool. It's a misconception that fearrington is inaccessible. Particularly in the older sections the housing prices are very reasonable.
Well, I think the food prices are pretty spendy. That's what I meant by "accessible for the average joe". I'm not a huge fan of Southern Village either (too pre-fab for me, but a lot of people love it), but you can get to more restaurants and shops, movie theater, etc, more easily and they're less expensive. Housing is more expensive, though, but probably more sellable, too. Our friends in Fearrington really wanted to sell and move into Chapel Hill/Carrboro and they just couldn't get their house to sell even after doing work on it.
HennaJen, you said you were trying to decide between the Triangle and Charlotte. The Triangle is the Raleigh metro area (including Cary and other outlying areas), Durham, and Chapel Hill (and Carrboro). It's a pretty big area. What's your family work situation? It's hard to really recommend an area w/o knowing about where you might be working, if you have kids who would be in school, etc. You seem to be drawn to rural areas. Is that a fair assessment?
Obviously there's any number of reasons why they could've had trouble selling it. Doing work on a house is not a magic recipe for it being easy to sell. The real estate market has been a little tight the last few years everywhere, not just fearrington.
One restaurant at fearrington is very spendy, but the other is much more reasonable, and the cafe where you can get ice cream/coffee/sandwiches/salad etc is very reasonable, and the beer garden (and the bar at the midlevel restaurant) is comparable to any other bar in the area.
I guess this is getting really off topic, though, so agree to disagree, I suppose.
Whew, overload!! Spent today driving around w/my friend just to get a feel for the different areas.
Beanma, my situation is currently work from home, homeschool my kiddos. It gives me flexibility on the 'where' part. I was really thinking rural cause 5 kids need space to run off their energy (in my experience ) but my friends here live very close to NC State and love it. I was already a tiny bit concerned about moving somewhere rural while also homeschooling. My girls are very social and I wouldn't want them to feel isolated. I'm torn, I think the small town direction would be good for us but there is something to be said for close neighbors and shops within walking distance. This is turning out to be a much tougher decision than I imagined!
HennaJen, Chapel Hill and Durham have a fantastic, open and welcoming, secular homeschool community. There are a couple of overlapping big groups that get together regularly. One of them, Chapel Hill Home Schoolers has organized classes in the spring and fall.
I don't think Fearrington would give you any advantage in the plenty of room to run off energy front. It's just a neighborhood with regular sized lots. If you want plenty of room to run around there are several developments with larger lot sizes (and larger price tags) and there's land available in Chatham, Orange, and Durham counties to build your own, plus the occasional farm for sale.
I can't advise on Raleigh, but if you've got friends there that could be a big plus.
Chapel Hill and Carrboro are small towns in themselves and don't have a big urban vibe. If you're absolutely sure you'll be homeschooling all the way through high school you might want to look outside the CHC school district as the taxes are much lower. I have several homeschooling friends who chose to live in town, though. Some like to have the good district as a back-up and some like to just be able to walk around town.