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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone!

I'm fairly new to the boards here and have seen it's a great resource for info to families on the move to unknown areas, so I've decided to jump in...I'm wondering if anyone can give me the scoop on Cary/Raleigh, we're considering a move there mid-summer 2005. I've checked a lot of the local websites and the area looks great...not as cool as Asheville where I was also really interested in going to (Cary seems more traditional suburban-ish), but we need to be where my DH can more earily find technician-type work in a production/mfg company.

We're a family with 3 girls 15, 7 and a 4-month old (at that time) and two dogs. Can anyone tell me about the schools? Safety? Where are the best neighborhoods? Is it pretty diverse? Natural living tolerant or more conservative? I'd appreciate any info I can get!!


Candace
 

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Holli said just about everything I would have said!

I will just add that Durham gets a bad rap quite often for having more crime and lower city services than the other cities/towns here, that I think is really undeserved. And somewhat racist, actually. There are some wonderful, very diverse, very community-oriented neighborhoods in Durham and we had the pleasure of living there for about 8 years (recently moved away). A nice thing about Durham is that it is very centrally located, and the housing prices are significantly lower than in the surrounding areas.

IMO though, if you really like Asheville, want to be in an outstanding school district and cost is not a huge factor, you would probably be happiest in Carrboro--specifically in the Weaver Street area where there's a co-op market and a farmer's market and lots of community activities happening all the time, and very walkable. Another cool thing about Carrboro is the bus system that serves Carrboro/Chapel Hill which is clean, convenient, and FREE. It is partially subsidized by UNC-Chapel Hill and otherwise paid for by taxes of Carrboro and Chapel Hill. It's really convenient for teenagers to get around and not have to keep up with coins or tokens or passes. And it's not sketchy the way public bus transportation in some towns can be--most of the university students and many other professionals use the bus system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, Holli and Mama, for the responses...great information! You both touched on everything I had questions about and I appreciate that. I've been doing more research over the past week and had started leaning kind of towards Chapel Hill and Carrboro because I'm already in suburbia hell here and was hoping to go somewhere a little less so...co-ops, farmer's markets and a sense of community sounds like heaven to me! I also like college towns (my oldest DD will love the bus system set-up!).

Durham sounds great too and you're right, Mama, I had heard a lot about the crime situation. It's nice to know that particular thing is possibly overstated. Chatham County sounds interesting too.

Holli, it's nice to know you are originally from California. I was born here and while it's tough in some ways to leave, I can't wait to go somewhere new! My family is from the South and it's where I want us to be now at this time in our lives. NC appeals to me greatly, and I just have a good feeling that we will love it there. Out of curiousity, where do you plan to move after your little one arrives? Good luck with the adoption, by the way. A good friend of mine just completed the process with her little girl earlier this summer and they are so very happy.

Thanks again to you both!
 

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Holli and WakeUpMama summed up this area pretty well! I live in Raleigh, and just within Raleigh there are a diverse bunch of communities. I hate to generalize because there are cool people everywhere, but if money weren't a factor (which, unfortunately, it is), I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to move to Carrboro or Chapel Hill. Cary is okay too, good central location, lots of family-ish neighborhoods (of course you can find good neighborhoods everywhere too, but not the good central location). There are very cool neighborhoods in Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh, Hillsborough, and even in Chatham County and other surrounding counties. There are big universities in Durham, Chapel Hill, and Raleigh, so there's lots to do wherever you are in the area. There is a Whole Foods Market in Durham, Chapel Hill, Raleigh, and Cary, plus independent Co-op markets in Durham and Carrboro. I don't know anything about the schools (DS is only 1 and we're planning to homeschool).
Good luck! If you have any specific questions about Raleigh, feel free to PM me and I'll tell youwhat I can.
Happy moving,
-lizabird
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, Lizabird! One thing I forgot to ask about...what about traffic in the area, is the congestion bad? Of course, for us, anything less than 2 hour commute each day would seem fabulous.
 

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My prior experience with traffic was in DC, and compared to that, the traffic here is NOTHING. I do hear quite a bit of complaint about the Chapel Hill-to-RTP haul, but it's no 2 hours. And the weekends are pretty much fine. I mean in Northern Virginia and the DC 'burbs of Maryland, you sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic on a Saturday afternoon, for crying out loud. It's not like that in the Triangle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I was hoping that was the case! You're right, Holli, I don't think anyone knows really what traffic is like until they've sat on one of the LA freeways on a Friday afternoon. Although that Saturday afternoon traffic in DC that Mama mentioned sounds pretty dang close.

I've also read threads about smog in NC but I just smile at that...compared to here...my kids were shocked to see what a real blue sky looked like when we visited Virginia a couple of months ago.


Thanks again, everyone, for the help! We're going to be putting our house on the market in about 3 weeks, please send good thoughts our way...I'm hoping to be an NC mama soon!!!!!
 

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hey, i'm in chapel hill and can answer any specifics you have about our neck of the woods. i've lived here off and on for 20 yrs though most of that as a college student/single person/married w/ no kids. my oldest will be 4 in feb so we haven't broached the schools yet, but we're well versed in baby and preschool lore. we love it here and i would not want to move to durham or raleigh mainly because i like the smaller town. there's a real sense of the whole community as a community here because it's really a small town(s). does that make sense? :LOL

i don't think you'll find cheaper housing in carrboro, though. i believe carrboro taxes are actually a tad higher than chapel hill's, too. it's totally a great town, though. not trying to dis. i love it. really, chapel hill and carrboro are virtually the same town. the school systems are merged, but the gov'ts are separate. carrboro has i think the first openly gay mayor in NC. we're all about tolerance and very very liberal here. there's a few conservatives and you'll find plenty of those elsewhere in NC, but not so many here. if we were to move anyplace else it would be asheville or maybe boone or someplace completely rural in the mts.

traffic is not as bad as LA (lived there in the early 90s for about a year), but it's not smooth sailing to get from one point of the triangle (raleigh, durham, chapel hill) at rush hour. they've been doing a lot of construction on 40 (or THE 40 in LA parlance) recently and we were almost late getting to the airport recently because of it. in chapel hill, though, there are no traffic issues. we live and work here. dh takes the bus or walks to work. it's great!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks, beanma for the info. I know exactly what you mean about the whole community thing, I'm really hoping we can find something in our price range in Chapel Hill/Carrboro because I'm all about that right now. And that's so cool to know about the mayor there!

Now I've got one more question, hope some of you see this and can help. Since most of you who responded have little ones, or are expecting little ones...any recommendations on a good pediatrician? My first choice would be a doc who supports bf-ding and immunizing according to the schedule we choose (IF we choose).

Again...many thanks to everyone. This really has been great.

Hope you all have a wonderful New Year!

Edited to add: Beanma, what a crack up you are...the whole "LA Parlance" as you said...too true!! :LOL
 

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We are very, very happy with Dr. Wendy Edds of Avalon Medical Group in Chapel Hill. She is a family practice doc, not a ped, but she is all about AP--slinging, family bed, extended breastfeeding, etc. Her own kids are selectively/delayed vaxed and she is totally cool about our non-vaxing. Takes a lot of time with us during visits and is so warm and concerned. We love her!
 

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glad to help candace. our ped is fine, too. dd1 is delayed/selectively vaxed and dd2 has had 1 single shot (hib). i haven't done all the well baby visits either. our ped is not as AP sounding as wakeupmama's, but he's fine w/ us.

hey here's part of a PM i sent somebody who was asking about chapel hill recently. i removed the personal identifying stuff and what's left is pretty informative with some good links...

chapel hill and carrboro aren't too much like the rest of NC in terms of politics at least. we're the little island of blue in a sea of red for the rest of the state. chapel hill (and when i say chapel hill i mean carrboro, too -- it all runs together) is an expensive area in NC. not sure how it compares with the rest of the country, but it would be a struggle to find a house for less than $150,000 in chapel hill though i'm sure it could be done in outlying areas which are also cool. durham has some pretty inexpensive areas and is a pretty cool city, too, though bigger (chapel hill is pretty small) and a bit more city like. the public schools here are very highly rated and people often move to town just for the schools. there is a waldorf school in town, too, and a couple of montessori preschools. there are a ton of preschools in town and many on an "alternative" track. there's also a large secular homeschooling group here.

there aren't too many "bad" neighborhoods in chapel hill/carrboro. there are some that are a little lower income, but nothing too bad. durham does have some "bad" areas, but i couldn't tell you which specific areas.

hth some!

here are some links for you:

http://www.chapel-hill.nc.us/apioa/ (our API group)
http://www.chapel-hill.nc.us/apioa/funstuff.htm
http://www.northcarolinatravels.com...ntroduction.htm (this one hits the nail on the head for me about a lot of things, though not kid/parenting centric)
http://www.northcarolinatravels.com/carrboro/index.htm
http://www.carrboro.com/
http://www.chapel-hill-north-carolina.com/
http://www.chccs.k12.nc.us/
http://www.chapelhillparks.org/
http://www.weaverstreetmarket.com/ (the heart and soul of carrboro if you ask me)
http://www.chapelhillmothersclub.org/
 

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Hi, I don't have time to write much, but just wanted to say that Durham gets a bad rap a lot of the time, but we live there and love it. We live in a wonderful, older, very safe neighborhood. And it's much more affordable than Chapel Hill and certainly Carrboro (though I do love Carrboro and certainly understand wanting to live there!). Feel free to PM me if you'd like more info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the great links, beanma, and to you Pinky for the info on Durham. My husband is going out to the area in 3 weeks to look around and meet with a realtor, so I'm giving him lots of info to take with him! I'm really hoping that when we get out there, I get to meet you all in person!
 

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I think everyone else said it all, but I thought I'd pipe up with a ped recommendation. We see Dr. Morris at Chapel Children's Clinic, who has been great so far. She didn't bat an eyelash at the vax issue and when I told her that Jackson preferred sleeping on his belly, her response was, " Of course he does. He's a mammal!"

We moved down here 2.5 years ago and
it here!
 
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