Hey I wanted to add, if you are looking for a crunchy, more progressive place, you might consider this possibility. If your sister got her transfer to Fayetteville/Ft Bragg, she might consider living in Sanford
which is about 20/30 minutes north of Ft Bragg on hwy 87. There are lots of military associated folks who commute from there.
Sanford is not crunchy/progressive, but if she lived there you might consider living in Pittsboro
which is about 20/30 minutes north of Sanford on hwy 87. It's about 20 minutes south of Chapel Hill and has a very cool crunchy
Mayberry vibe. I would totally live in Pittsboro if I needed to (not looking to move, but I could be happy there). You'd be 30 minutes away from your sis, so you could easily get together w/o too many big plans. It wouldn't be a pop-over for a cup of coffee kind of closeness, but could easily be a quick phone call and let's have lunch kind of thing. Just a thought. There is a fair amount of construction in the triangle. Not sure about Pittsboro itself as it's a very small town, but the county it's in, Chatham
, is undergoing a lot of development so it might be worth checking out. Actually, they had a board of county commissioners that were so development-happy that the next election they all got booted out. Might mean work for your DH, though.
Not sure if your sister would dig the idea of Sanford or Fayetteville or not, but you could float it. You can certainly take an easy day trip from Fayetteville up to the triangle. I do it in reverse all the time. It's about 1.5 hrs each way. Fayetteville does have the advantage over the triangle in that it's closer to the beach! Well, at least the SE beach we go to. All of NC is much closer to the beach than Indiana, though!