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<p>What are the pros and cons to living in the Chapel Hill/Carrboro area?<br><br>
I would love to live in an area that's actually walkable. Websites will say that Fredericksburg is walkable, but it's really not. Only the area around the college is walkable. Unfortunately, we live in an apartment that's on the opposite side of a busy four-lane highway. There are no crosswalks and no pedestrian lights. I've crossed over the highway, but I would not do it with a kidlet in tow. I would love to be in walking distance (bus service is also fine) of grocery stores, libraries, bookstores, etc. We do have a bus system around here, but it's really limited. I would also like to ride a bike around town without the fear of death or serious injury. There are no bike lanes or trails around here and cars tend to (unintentionally) mow down bicyclists.<br><br>
How is the COL there? Is the CH/Carrboro area kid-friendly and family-friendly as far as HS/US, babywearing, and socializing?<br><br><br><br>
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I grew up outside of Chapel Hill/Carrboro in Hillsborough and live in Chapel Hill (close to the university) now. I love it and also can't say enough good stuff about the area - especially for raising a family.<br><br>
There is a great co-op (Weaver Street Market), quite a few great farmers markets (carrboro farmers market is probably the best), good options for natural (and home) - birth. There's a birth center as well as a number or homebirth midwives in the area. There are definitely lots of close to town areas to get in the woods - nature preserves, duke forest, arboretum, botanical gardens, and lots of trails for hiking and biking nearby. It's a very bike friendly place and you'll see lots of families. The locavore movement is pretty strong around here too - tons of CSA's and good restaurants.<br><br>
There are a lot of good family organizations that are active in this area - an AP group, many homeschool groups, active LLL chapters, babywearing groups, moms groups, lots of cool stuff.<br><br>
I'm not sure how much COL info I can provide since I have done most of my living in this area as a kid/dependent. One of my favorite things about the area is that you can live in the country/woods and still be close to town. I feel like a lot of young families in the area live about 10 minutes out of town where costs are even cheaper.
 

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<b>CONS:</b><br>
COL is higher than the surrounding areas. Might be a little less than NoVa, but not much.<br><br>
There's a great Library Science school at UNC so there are plenty of folks with their MLSes in the area. That may make the job hunt difficult.<br><br>
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That's all I've got for cons, unless you're politcally conservative. If you're conservative CH/C is very liberal so you might feel pretty outnumbered.<br><br>
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For <b>PROS</b>:<br><br>
Very liberal<br>
Great school options including great homeschooling community<br>
Supportive natural living community<br>
Great local coop<br>
Weather is much like Fredricksburg<br>
Great free bus system<br>
Carrboro in particular is very walkable<br>
Great food!<br>
Free wireless connections downtown<br>
bike friendly<br><br><br>
hth<br><br>
I think you will find all the things you're looking for here, but the housing costs and the job situation could be stumbling blocks for you. For cheaper housing you might also consider Durham. Jobs would be the same, though. I can think of three people I know right off the bat with an MLS.
 

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I'm just going to second everything Carhootel and Beanma said. Cost of living and jobs will be your biggest obstacles. Luckily you can vet that sort of thing before you move here. I'd absolutely live in Chapel Hill/Carrboro if my DH didn't work in Raleigh and if the cost of living was cheaper there.<br><br>
But I will say that I do love some areas of Durham, too. The only issue you might have here in Durham would be finding a neighborhood that is both walkable AND has amenities that are walkable. For instance, in my neighborhood I could go for walks, go to the park, go to the museum of life and science, etc, but I couldn't really walk to any good stores. I could probably take the bus, though, but I haven't looked into that. But some of the neighborhoods closer to downtown might have the best of both worlds, though you do want to make sure you choose neighborhoods carefully in Durham (can go from beautiful to scary in a short distance)
 

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As far as becoming a midwife, the laws here are very midwifery <i>un</i>-friendly, sadly. CPMs are illegal, though threre is a push going on to change that. Best case scenario at this point is a licensing bill for the CPMs in 2011. Also, this is one of the few states left where CNMs are still under physician supervision and can't practice without a friendly doctor. Again, legislation to change that is in the works.<br><br>
That doesn't mean there are no midwives, just that the laws right now are definitely not friendly.
 

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Hello! It's funny, but you and your husband sound a lot like me and my husband! We lived in Locust Grove (outside of Fredericksburg) and he commuted to Quantico. He's a computer geek and I'm an early childhood professional that's postpartum doula trained.<br><br>
Anyway, I grew up in the Rocky Mount/Wilson area of NC, and now we live in Morrisville just inside the Durham border and are not far from CH/Carrboro at all. I love this area!! I miss the semi-rural feel of Locust Grove, but I get my fix in Hillsborough and other natural areas that are all around. I'd say there's everything you're looking for here.<br><br>
We left NoVA when houses were still outrageous, so I'm not sure how the cost of living compares now. Back in 2007, I would have said it was WAY cheaper here. Our house in Locust Grove was $242k when we bought it and is now fair market valued at $130k. It was only 1600 sqft, and the house we're leasing here is about 2200 I think, and these houses are listed for the same price as we paid for 1600 sqft in VA. BUT Then again, it all depends on which city you actually live in. Certain areas like Cary, which is just across the county border from us, is higher for no real reason. The same house there comparable to ours is at least $50-100k more, no joke.<br><br>
If weather is a concern, I'd say the weather here is pretty similar to Fredericksburg but with less snow. We were a Navy family, so we've lived in GA as well. There were not really seasons down south and it was awful.<br><br>
Let me know if you have any specific questions. Since I've lived there and am now here, I might be able to help.
 

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Great thread for me! You all are convincing me to want to move. DH and I live in Berkeley, CA. We love it here but the cost of living is outrageous (600k for a 3 bedroom house with a postage stamp yard!). DH lived in Carborro for 5 years before moving out here. We talk about the possibility of moving there often. I'm scared off by the heat, HUMIDITY and mosquitos. That would be a hard change after the mild weather here. But everything else there sounds good. So nice to know there are active AP groups, etc. Finding playgroups and moms groups would be so important to me since I SAHM with our 15 month old.<br><br>
Cindy
 

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I have met several families who have moved to this area from NC, and they all seem to love it. I can imagine the humidity is a big change though. I have a terrible time with mosquitoes some years, but there was ways to help lessen the problem!
 

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Well, we've lived in the Bay Area, CA (southbay but I worked in SF and Berkeley for a while so know that area well too), Austin, TX, and DH grew up in Maryland/NOVA area. We've lived in this area now for 7 years--4.5 in Cary and 2.5 now in Chapel Hill. We like Chapel Hill so much more than Cary, and we are so happy living in NC. So, if you want any specific comparisons with any of those places, let me know.<br><br>
Holli
 

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We've been here for 3 years and absoutely love, love it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy"> here. We also know a lot of transplants from the Bay Area driven away by the cost of living and the public school situation in CA.<br><br>
This is the ideal place to raise a family.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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Hmmmm, interesting to hear that there are a number of former Bay Area peeps out there!<br><br>
The more and more we look at houses here, the better living there sounds to me! I'm not in a hurry to leave this area that I love so much but sort of feel anxious to get settled somewhere for good.<br><br>
Cindy
 
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