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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We're planning a move to raleigh or chapel hill next spring from rural georgia - prior to this, we were in manhattan. So, we've picked the triangle area because it seems to have a nice mix of city living with southern charm, excellent schools, organic food available, attachment parenting groups, great weather, shopping, wonderful universities. We'll probably focus on moving to raleigh because real estate is less expensive than chapel hill. We are planning our first trip there in november, and a second in december. Everything i can find on the internet, newspapers makes raleigh seem like the ideal location for our family - everything i'm looking for is there. So now I know there is no perfect city, and i'm wondering what's not so perfect about raleigh?<br><br>
and, one other question, I see enloe is a magnet school, but yet i see houses listed as having enloe as their high school. i thought you had to test into magnet schools. Can you get in simply by your address?<br><br>
thank you,<br><br>
Celine
 

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It's not as crunchy as Chapel Hill or Carrboro, if you're looking for that type city. We live in Durham, which gets a bad rep for high crime (it's about the same in Raleigh as in Durham, people just blow it out of proportion), but we chose to live here because we could get more land and more house for the money.<br><br>
Raleigh is nice, since you lived in NYC, you probably won't think it's too sprawl-y and it will be a good fit for you. It's just a wee bit too big for me, personally. But I go there a lot, 'cause the shopping is great. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
Chapel Hill is expensive as crap to live there, but a nice place and very very VERY crunchy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yup, chapel hill seemed perfect - but the housing is just too much for us now - but at least i'll have access to crunchy. Here in GA, crunchy does not exist. My husband ruled out durham, but i'm not sure why.... I think he wanted to be closer to the university in raleigh. What do you mean by sprawl-y - is it necessary to drive everywhere? I was kind of hoping to live inside the beltline in a neighborhood where i could walk to everything. Is that possible? (Where i live now has a main street, but it's not really the kind of place you go walking) I don't mind big, or crowded (I did live in manhattan for 10 years after all!) but i do want sidewalks which are used, and lots of stores close together - not lots of strip malls.
 

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Ehhhhhhhh.....Raleigh really is a car-necessary area. Honestly. There is one area I can think of that's new called Briar Creek which has a huge neighborhood that is right next to a huge shopping area that has restaurants, a Sam's warehouse, BJ's wearhouse, grocery stores, Target, etc.. So that's a possibility, but even that's a stretch, because it honestly is a strip mall type place.<br><br>
Your husband rejecting Durham but considering Chapel Hill is odd...Chapel Hill is further from NC State (I assume that's the university you're talking about) than Durham. Duke is in Durham, UNC Chapel Hill is in Chapel Hill. So all three have colleges in them. But whatever floats your boat, really do look into that Briar Creek area.<br><br>
As for the magnet school question, I honestly have no clue about that stuff. My son is a toddler, and has special needs, so I'm really not familiar with magnet schools.<br><br>
Chapel Hill does have some more affordable areas, several of the mamas here live there, I think Pinky is one of them. You could pm her and ask her about neighborhoods. We also used a Chapel Hill real estate agent when we bought our house (we live on the Durham/Chapel Hill line), her name was Jenny Crittendon, she was with Prudential. She was very knowledgable about CH.<br><br>
Try pming Pinky, I think she'd be a good mama to ask. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Okay, now i'm confused! First, i keep mixing up which university is in which city. Now, i know he picked raleigh because of nc state being there. But since you mentioned duke is in durham, i looked up his program and they offer it at duke as well. of course, he knows better than i do what exactly he's looking for, but now i'll have to ask him why durham was ruled out. chapel hill is only really on the map because i would LOVE to live there, but it's pretty unlikely. Plus both their high schools are really good, which is the original reason we decided to move - I want my kids to go to a GOOD public school system, which of course, raleigh has also.<br><br>
Thanks for the tip on briar creek, i will check that out. We will have cars - and i'll drive for groceries, target, warehouse, but i would also like the convenience of being able to walk a few blocks for fresh fruits and veggies, restaurants, coffeeshop, bookstore, etc.<br><br>
My hubby is off in the hurricane rita zone for two weeks, but i'll have to ask him why he ruled out durham. maybe he just forgot to check into duke....<br><br>
thanks for your help.
 

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I would really suggest you pming Pinky and asking her about CH. She apparently has found decently affordable housing there, and really and truly, it's what you're looking for. Crunchy, things withing walking/biking distance, good schools. Yeah, Raleigh is fine. But from what you've said here, you really should give CH a good long look before you totally rule it out.
 

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I'd love if you'd post what you find out, celine - I've got my eye on NC and am curious to know if there any down-sides or any other info!
 

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I live in Carrboro, which is probably the crunchiest area in North Carolina. It is essentially a part of Chapel Hill - all the buses are frequent and FREE, great bike lanes on most roads, 4 area organic type markets, and the public schools are some of the best in the country. If you afford to live here at all, this is ideal. And I commute to Raleigh to work (40 minutes when there isn't any traffic). The schools in Durham have gone through a major overhaul in the last 10 years and they are doing some very innovative and interesting things for their kids there. The older neighborhoods near Duke's east campus and 9th Street are beautiful and still affordable as they rehabilitate. Downtown is getting cooler every year. And it is much cheaper to buy a home there. There is a nice cultural diversity, and there are interesting things to do. Raleigh is the capital - and it is the least crunchy and most car needy of the 3. Living inside the beltline is just as expensive as living in Chapel Hill and some of the neighborhoods are just on the verge of being rehabilitated so safety can be an issue if you find something that is in your price range. Of the 3 cities, Raleigh has the lowest property taxes, but education is hit and miss. There are some fabulous schools in Raleigh, but they are forever changing their districting, so the schools you may be slated for this year may change next year. They have a policy that you can go to school anywhere but the school you are supposed to go to HAS TO RELEASE you. Meaning if you are white and middle class in a more racially diverse school with lower test scores and more discipline problems, the chances that you can get the school to release you to go to that lovely magnet year round school are slim. And all the schools have some kids that are in their district - Enloe is in one of the harshest neighborhoods in Raleigh - and there are plenty of kids that go there not for the opportunity to take Chinese. By making it a magnet school (many, many years ago) they were able to attract and bring the white suburbanites into the inner city. Still a great school. But every parent I know with kids in Wake County (Raleigh) has had issues with the schools - mostly problems with a school and an inability to change schools without going private.<br><br>
Sorry for the novel! Hope this helps! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue">
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:
 

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I live outside of Raleigh and really like living here. I went to NCSU and used public transportation while there. You could live near downtown and walk places. Off of Wade Ave. would be a nice location, IMO. Raleigh can be pricey but you could find an inexpensive house if you are willing to fix up a house or live in a "mixed-community" like Boylan Heights. The mayor lives there but so do people who deal drugs. (I am a social worker in addiction recovery if you are wondering how i know where drug dealers hang out.) :LOL I do not like the North Raleigh-Brier Creek area though b/c it's basically sprawling suburbia and commercial development like Wal-Fart.<br><br>
Carrboro is awesome. Pittsboro is very nice if you are into the organic farm thing like I saw in your post. The town does a lot to support organic farming and good live music.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Gunter</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I do not like the North Raleigh-Brier Creek area though b/c it's basically sprawling suburbia and commercial development like Wal-Fart.</div>
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LMAO Yep. I'm telling you, just from what you've posted here (Celine), really give CH another look. You all could find something there, I'd bet.
 

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I moved to Raleigh about 6 years ago to attend a graduate program at NCSU (in Raleigh). We lived at the far south edge of town, in a townhouse, you absolutely needed a car to go anywhere unless you didn't mind walking along a busy 2 lane road w/o sidewalks to get to a bus stop 3/4 mile away. But we could afford to buy a townhouse and that was much nicer than renting IMO.<br><br>
We moved to Chapel Hill this summer (DH is still in a graduate program now at UNC, in Chapel Hill), and we love it here. The bus system is great and FREE but yes, the housing is quite a bit more pricey. We found a decent place in Durham County but still in Chapel Hill city, so we're close to everything but housing is cheaper, weird but true.<br><br>
I can't think of any reasons NOT to move to this area, Chapel Hill, Raleigh, and Durham all have some nice areas and lots of fun things to do, whole foods grocery stores, etc.<br><br>
If you don't mind renting, you may find many more options than buying, especially in Chapel Hill or Carrboro -- I can't remember what you said in your original post. Good luck and if you have any specific questions about the area, feel free to PM me and I"ll do my best to answer (I don't visit this forum very regularly so it might take me a while to reply here).<br><br>
-lizabird <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I think there are several options for you in Raleigh where you would need a car minimally. I lived behind Cameron Village (inside the beltline area) for several years. You can walk to NCSU as well as to just about any store you would need. There are also CAT bus stops (the Raleigh city bus) as well as TTA (the triangle area bus- serves Raleigh, Durham & Chapel hill).<br><br>
When we decided to buy a house, we ended up in North East Raleigh - I NEVER thought we'd end up living out there! However, we were able to get a 2,000 sqft house with a decent sized yard (great for our dogs) AND in a neighborhood where we can walk to the grocery store, fish market, hardware store, dollar store, and Hospital (and lots more)!<br>
Edited to add: for the price that we bought our house in N. Ral, we could have gotten an ~800-900sqft house with 0.1 acres for a yard! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
As for the Magnet schools in Wake County: I believe that most (all?) of the magnet schools have a "Base." So people can live in areas where the magnet school is their base school. Then, if you want your child to attend that school but are not in that district, you apply. I'm not exactly sure how students are selected. Here's a website that might help: <a href="http://www.wcpss.net/" target="_blank">http://www.wcpss.net/</a>
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I really need to visit in person!!! (which we're doing nov 20th - yay!)<br><br>
Thank you for all the help and replies, i'm sure i'm going to have more questions for everybody!<br><br>
hannahnc - just one quick question, when you moved to ne raleigh, does that mean you are now outside the beltline?<br><br>
i'd love to hear more about the area from everyone, but right now i have to go keep the three girls occupied!
 

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Hi Celine and everyone!<br><br>
I would love to hear more about Chapel Hill as well. We are planning to move to the area early 2006, from California. We are planning to rent for a year while looking to buy a place. I would love to hear about good areas to rent. Probably a 2-3 bedroom townhouse. I would really like to be in an area with other families. Our little boy is 18 months. We would also like to be in a fairly central location, so we can quickly get a feel for the area.<br><br>
Thanks,<br>
Debra
 

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Celine - we are actually just outside the 'outer' beltline. There is the original beltline (440) and now they're building the 'outer' beltline (540).<br><br>
'inside the beltline' refers to 440.
 

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If you like Chapel Hill, but can't afford the housing there, you may consider the "North Chatham" area. This is Northern Chatham Co. (the county right under Orange county where Chapel Hill is located). You can still get some good deals on houses there, the schools are good, and they just built a local park and ride for the Chapel Hill buses. It is an easy commute to Chapel Hill, Durham and Cary/Apex. Pittsboro is also in Chatham Co. (maybe 20 minutes south of the park and ride?). It has a cute little downtown and a new natural food co-op opening soon. There are lots of crunchy people in the area, but the schools aren't spectacular.<br><br>
If you do end up in Raleigh, you may want to take a look at this school. It's private, but not as expensive as most.<br><br><a href="http://www.atlaselementary.com/Home.html" target="_blank">http://www.atlaselementary.com/Home.html</a><br><br>
There are also some "multi-use" subdivisions in the area that have housing and a small retail area with shops etc that you could walk to. Brier Chapel (different from Brier Creek) is just getting started in North Chatham, Powell Place in Pittsboro (a little north of downtown), Southern Village (<a href="http://www.southernvillage.com/" target="_blank">http://www.southernvillage.com/</a>) is nice, but pricey. I think the same group built a similar neighborhood in Holly Springs (a little south of Raleigh) with bigger lots and cheaper prices.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
thanks for the atlas link! the school looks great, i love that they have language immersion for very young children.
 

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Just wanted to post to let you know, you can find the kind of neighborhood you are looking for in all three cities. CH is the easiest fit but the most expensive.<br><br>
But Durham (which is where I live) certainly has a great downtown with lots of older homes within walking distance to Ninth Street. Oh, and Pinky is a Durham resident in one of those nice walking distance neighborhoods. I personally love Durham. Yes, we have a bad rep for crime. Yes, you have to really research your school choice and have a bit of luck. But it's a hip place man. I'm telling ya....it's cheaper than elsewhere in the triangle and it is up and coming imo.<br><br>
I lived in Boylan Heights in Raleigh for a while and it's a cool neighborhood. Yes, there a drug dealers living there. But there are also some really cool people living there, it's walking distance to downtown, it has hip funky old houses, it has a thriving neighborhood program and is slowly gentrifying.<br><br>
I think you have to come visit and spend some time canvasing neighborhoods. You have to figure out what is a good fit for you...if you are willing to deal with an older house and a small yard, you can find that walking distance neighborhood you are looking for. You can do it the cheapest in Durham.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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Just wanting to throw in my quick 2 cents. I also live in Durham and find it quite crunchy. (ironically, I lived for 3 long years <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> in rural south GA- where are you??).<br><br>
Anyway, in my experience/opinion, Raleigh is nice, but by far the most conservative of the 3 Triangle cities. It seems much more 'old boy' network, politically and socially conservative than Durham or certainly, CH. It is also bigger, and therefore, more car dependent. It has a much less 'funky' flavor than Durham or CH. (I'm sure there are lots of cool crunchy mamas there, I'm just talking about the overall 'feel' of the city)<br><br>
In Durham, there are some really neat older neighborhoods near Ninth Street and Duke's East Campus that are very walkable to businesses and have a lot of activism/community involvement. I would definitely check those out. You would also be able to afford much more house in Durham than in CH, as others have pointed out.<br><br>
Good luck! It's a great idea to come visit and spend some time- hopefully you can get a feel for what would be a good fit for you.<br><br>
Happy hunting!
 
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