Anyone know anything about Oxford, NC? - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 18 Old 10-30-2009, 01:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We are contemplating a move to NC and I have fallen in love with a house in Oxford. I know, I know. Ridiculous to fall in love with a house several states away months before I could even move, but, such is realtor.com browsing!

We are going down to SC with a couple days in the Raleigh-Durham area and I'm going to make an appointment to look at the house. Anyone know anything about Oxford they'd like to share?

We are on Long Island in NY now. I grew up here but went to college, had my babies, got married and lived in central and Northern VA for 10 years. I miss the south. We'll be moving with my mother, who will be buying the house with the proceeds of her condo sale so we won't have a mortgage (or a very small one). Ideally, we want a main home with a smaller home on the property but we could probably deal with an in-law suite as long as it's separate living areas.

I work for the federal government, so I am confident I could find something pretty much anywhere, as long as I have time to look and can be flexible with department. Dp got his MBA last year and we are hoping he can find something he feels good about. My mama is pretty sold on Durham but we'll be checking out Wilmington as well.

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#2 of 18 Old 10-30-2009, 01:49 AM
 
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I'm not intimately famlliar with Oxford, but as you look do you have an idea of where you will be/want to work? Oxford is rural compared to Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill. Being right off of 1-85 definitely has its benefits though. You are 45 minutes during rush hour from Durham and over an hour from Raleigh. There are several federal offices in Raleigh and some in Durham as well.

Is there anything in particular you are looking for in a community?

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#3 of 18 Old 10-30-2009, 10:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, thanks! I didn't realize Oxford would be considered rural. The literature on the house says 30 minutes from RTP. An hour is too far. I assume we'd both be working in Raleigh.

Our list:
easy commute to work, colleges, airports
ethnically diverse area
walk to shops/library would be great
liberal/crunchy community would also be great (I hear Carrboro fits that)

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#4 of 18 Old 10-30-2009, 10:37 AM
 
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I don't want to taint your "dream house", but I don't think that Oxford has any of the things on your list. The commute isn't bad, but Oxford is definitely rural, in setting and in mindset, from my experience.

If you're looking for something in the RDU area, there are better options. Chapel Hill and Wake Forest are a bit more progressive, sometimes crunchy, but really lack diversity; and the walkable neighborhoods are quite pricey. Durham is very much a college town: more crunchiness, more diversity, though crime rates are higher, but house values are more affordable. Hillsborough is sorta between Durham and Chapel Hill, both in location and description, though it's also a bit more rural. All of these places are more centrally located than Oxford, with great commutes to work, universities, and RDU airport. Of course, walkability and diversity differs by neighborhood, so there are pockets of Raleigh that would suit the bill nicely as well.

FWIW, I lived in Morrisville and Raleigh and now live in Durham.

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#5 of 18 Old 10-30-2009, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the information! Durham is defnitely in the lead.

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#6 of 18 Old 10-30-2009, 11:10 AM
 
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I haven't been there in many years, but I lived in Raleigh and my dad worked in Oxford for a bit. I agree with the PP - Oxford is very rural and I can't imagine it's very crunchy or liberal at all!

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#7 of 18 Old 10-30-2009, 09:47 PM
 
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Also bubble bursting-- my experience visiting family in Oxford is that it is very very southern-- not the good, laid back southern, but extremely conservative, racist Southern... Where the minister at the church actually says bigoted anti-Muslim things (i.e. all Muslims want to kill all Christians) during the service and no one besides us seems uncomfortable. That said, there is a cute community feel, some "Oxford pride"--we went to a little Oxford festival while we were there and people were very friendly to us and our little one. I just could never imagine raising kids, particularly in the public schools somewhere so closed minded... I am sure there are exceptions and that you might find them but you probably would have to work very very hard to find them. THat said, you can get land for cheap so if you are interested in having more for your money than you can closer to the cities it might be worth considering...
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#8 of 18 Old 10-30-2009, 09:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I'd surely rather have my bubble burst now than after becoming attached! Thanks for the info. The more I read and hear, the more I think Durham is much more suited to what we are looking for. I'm really excited to go look around!

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#9 of 18 Old 10-30-2009, 10:04 PM
 
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We live in Durham and love it. Although if you're both going to live in Raleigh, I would personally give serious thought to living there; I think you could find places around downtown that would fit the bill. Others who actually live there could speak more to that. But I certainly have a lot of crunchy friends who happily live in Raleigh.

Durham is a great place to commute from, though; the traffic is much worse between Chapel Hill and Raleigh.

Because there are so many different places to live in the area, you might consider renting for a year so you can get the lay of the land and then figure out where you want to settle more permanently.

good luck!
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#10 of 18 Old 10-30-2009, 10:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, Durham-ites! Anyone have a realtor they just love? My mother was down earlier this year and drove around with a couple of different realtors to get the feel of neighborhoods and houses but I'd like to get a different perspective (we are looking for a lot of the same thing, but have different priorities).

Also, pinky, do you homeschool? I feel like I recall your name from the LAHB forums. We curreny homeschool. I'm open to public school, and my kids talk about wanting to go to high school and if I have to work we may need to use public school. However, in a perfect world we'd still be able to homeschool for at least a couple more years. Is there a good secular hs community in Durham? I saw some stuff online but it's hard to judge how active a group is if you aren't *in* it, yk?

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#11 of 18 Old 10-30-2009, 11:31 PM
 
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I am from Roxboro, which is in the next county over from Oxford. Based on what you want, I would def. think bigger town for y'all. You mentioned Wilmington- which is a great place to live. We are currently 30 minutes south of Wilmington. There's UNC-Wilmington, lots of homeschoolers, lots of crunchiness around.
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#12 of 18 Old 10-31-2009, 12:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, mama2grace. We are definitely still considering Wilmington. We haven't even started teh job search and that will pretty much determine area, but Wilmington is on the list. I would probably prefer Wilmington, as I grew up in a beach town and lived most of my life on this island. I don't like to be too far from the water.

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#13 of 18 Old 10-31-2009, 09:38 AM
 
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You might consider Pittsboro, too. It is 4 miles from a very large recreational lake (Jordan Lake) and a 35-minute commute to Raleigh. It is MUCH more progressive than Oxford. (Though Oxford DOES have very lovely old homes--my father was raised in one of them!)

To get a little background feel of the culture in Oxford, I highly recommend that you read the book "Blood done sign my name" by Timothy Tyson, which is a recounting of events experienced by the author while he lived in Oxford in the late 60's/early 70's. I know that is 40 years ago, but the present day culture is evolving from that point. While it is a personal account, I found it to be very realistic to my own experiences visiting Oxford regularly. (We still have extended family members living there.) You will need an understanding of this community's history before buying an Oxford house. (Or the history of any community, for that matter.)

Best wishes and welcome to N.C.!
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#14 of 18 Old 10-31-2009, 11:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks! Adding Pittsboro to the "check it out" list!

This researching is fun. We do have time to look but I am not sure we'll have time to rent. We'll have to see.

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#15 of 18 Old 10-31-2009, 02:55 PM
 
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Hi there! We moved to NC over 3 years ago, and I love it! We live near Warrenton, which is not far from Oxford. I have been there several times too, and it is definitely rural. I am not a fan of Oxford either, nor of Henderson, the town very close to Oxford. Henderson has more stores than Oxford, but it is a place I do try to avoid!! Every time I go there, I always ask myself on the way home, "Why did I go to Henderson?" Lol!

I am familiar with other areas near Raleigh, Durham, etc. (about a 30 min drive) They are:
Zebulon, Wake Forest, Rolesville, Youngsville, Louisburg. When I have to go shopping, I drive to one of these towns, although Oxford and Henderson are just as close. These are some of the nicer areas, while still rural on the outskirts. In town, there are good stores, and right outside of these little towns are farms, and homes with lots of land. The best of both worlds!!

As for "crunchy", Chapel Hill is very cool indeed! I am planning to have my baby at the birth center in Chapel Hill. It is the only free standing birth center in the entire state! It is a nice place, if you like the city/town life.

If you have any more questions, let us know! North Carolina can be a great place to live!!

 
 
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#16 of 18 Old 10-31-2009, 03:04 PM
 
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Lol, I just looked up some homes for sale on www.realtor.com

Look at this....just one of many nice, affordable places. There is even a pond next door.
On realtor.com, when you type in the town you want to search, you can expand the search to find homes in the surrounding areas. That way, you can find homes that are outside of town, but still in driving distance.

Here's one home
http://www.realtor.com/realestateand...597_1113269759

And here is a search, of Zebulon and the surrounding areas...
http://www.realtor.com/realestateand...=2&pgsz=2&ml=3

At the bottom of each home listing, there is a map. You can look at the satellite view of each home, to see what the land looks like.
Well, have fun looking! The site is addictive!

 
 
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#17 of 18 Old 10-31-2009, 03:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, realtor.com has been my joy and homebase these last several months. I am not concerned with birth centers or anythign as that part of our family life is over and done with. My youngest is 7.

We need a larger home, with an in-law suite or separate house for my mama.

Thanks for the ideas!

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#18 of 18 Old 10-31-2009, 08:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawningmama View Post
Ok, Durham-ites! Anyone have a realtor they just love? My mother was down earlier this year and drove around with a couple of different realtors to get the feel of neighborhoods and houses but I'd like to get a different perspective (we are looking for a lot of the same thing, but have different priorities).

Also, pinky, do you homeschool? I feel like I recall your name from the LAHB forums. We curreny homeschool. I'm open to public school, and my kids talk about wanting to go to high school and if I have to work we may need to use public school. However, in a perfect world we'd still be able to homeschool for at least a couple more years. Is there a good secular hs community in Durham? I saw some stuff online but it's hard to judge how active a group is if you aren't *in* it, yk?
Bethany--If you're interested in an older home in an older neighborhood (i.e. right in town), I'd definitely recommend Marie Austin Realty. They really know the market well. We worked with Joan Austin.

We live in Watts-Hillandale neighborhood and love it.

And yes, we homeschool--there is a very big, active secular homeschooling group in Durham. I'm not personally that active with them, but they do have well-attended park play days each week. There's also a listserv that is friendly, helpful, and active.

Feel free to pm me if you have more questions--

good luck with your move!
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