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I have an opportunity to relocate the family to Raleigh, NC and am looking to learn some more about it, what are the biggest positives, besides the obvious (and great) ones i keep hearing : Great climate, close to ocean, close to mountains. Any big negatives?
What are the best neighborhoods in the Raleigh/Morrisville area? Are all the top execs clearly in one area, or are there multiple areas? How is the school system, from your experience?
Starting a thread a 12:18am EST might not be the wisest move, but...
some clarifications: not looking for comparisons, but we are in Austin, TX now. I would expect a house to be in 3500 sq ft+ range, preferably around a 1/2 acre, not in the country or anything, but an established neighborhood with a good school system.
And to save 6 of the next 10 posts: F Duke!, F UNC!...... F NASCAR!
Been here 10 years, used up all the good things about Austin years ago. I don't care about live music. I and my kids had the allergies caused by Cedar in Central Texas. OH, and money. Those are the reasons.
Positives: Raleigh is great. Fun city, relatively cheap cost of living, clean area, close to the mountains, close to the ocean, lots of young people. Been great for me so far. Decent Spartan presence too. NC State football is a fun show with great tailgating: come back out at the half for a few beers, keep your buzz going, and head back in.
Negatives: As blanch32 says, allergies can suck, summer gets hoootttt, NC BBQ is overrated, Dukiies and Tarheels everywhere who "respect" Tom Izzo (which is what we say about any coach Izzo dominates [see Minny w/Tubby Smith]).
Raleigh is a great area. Glenwood area has some great neighborhoods while be located very close to downtown. You can be in the heart of downtown but be to some really nice neighborhoods in minutes. Any area going north of downtown wthin the beltline is very nice, but expensive. Areas NW of downtown are really nice and obviously cheaper the further yet get away from the city. NC State sporting events are a good time, along with Hurricane hockey games. The Time Warner music pavilion gets great concerts all the time.
The summers are hot and humid, but overall great climate. Like you already stated, awesome location. 2 hours from the beach, 2 hours from the mountains. Lots of outdoor things to do within a very short drive. If you're looking for a change from Texas, I would highly recommend Raleigh.
Amazingly, that is factually correct.
2 hours from the mountains?! They're 4 hours from Raleigh.
OP: Been in the Triangle almost ten years...
Great weather 9 months of the year
Lots of northern transplants including many Spartans
Cheap cost of living
Proximity to beach and mountains
Good schools in Chapel Hill and parts of Raleigh
Very family-friendly area with a lot of parks, trails, museums
Easily accessible, smallish airport (RDU) - may not seem like a big deal, but it's nice if you travel a lot. Lot of airlines/options, but also very easy to get to, short security lines, etc.
Within driving distance of EL (11-12 hours)
Hot and effing humid in the summer (although you're prob used to that in Austin)
Lots of old Southern money douchebags
Lots of old Southern rednecks in the surrounding rural areas
Southern frat boys with long feathered bangs who wear suits and ties to football games
Coach K and Roy Williams slurpers
Republican governor and republican-held state general assembly
I don't have allergies, but this place is a bitch if you do. Just wait until pine pollen season.
I moved from DC area to Raleigh last year and can vouch for a lot of things previously stated. Cheaper cost of living, not much traffic, enough nightlife and food choices to keep your interest level.
I bought some batteries, but they weren't included... so I had to buy them again. What do batteries run on?
I recommend looking elsewhere than just Cary, too easy of a choice and sort of a bubble world.
This. Cary = suburbia
Kind of surprised at everyone mentioning allergies. My allergies were always 1000 times worse when I lived in Michigan. Whenever I go back to Michigan, they come back like a bitch too. Raleigh has been very good for my sinuses.
depends what you're allergic to...
And its at least 3 hours to the 'mountains'
but thats better than the wide open nothingness of Texas...
And someone said all the southern douches and republicans would be downside... well he's living in TX now so.
I'd say go for it. I'm not the kind of person who wants to stick in one place for too long. Change is good
OP, you're thinking of going to Raleigh, I'm for sure moving to Greensboro in the summer (wife got a prof job at UNCG). I'll just be happy I can afford to buy a house there, instead of seeing the ridiculous prices on the north shore of Chicago.
If you like beer, there are a TON of NC breweries (red oak, aviator, full steam, foot hills) Asheville is about 4 hours away, and New Belgium is opening a brewery there in a couple years. So there's a lot of good beer.
Lived in Raleigh/Durham area since 99. Love the area. Great for college sports, cost of living, easy to navigate and get around, great weather 9 months of the year, 2 hours to the beach, 3.5 hours to the mountains, 3.5 hours to DC, 3 hours to Charlotte, easy access to airport and great beer scene. The negatives are the Jun-August months (ridiculous heat and humidity) and allergies come April when everything you own is covered in yellow pollen. We're relocating to a bigger place in the next 6-8 month and looking for basically the same thing as you. Currently looking in the North Raleigh (Bedford) area where homes are roughly $125 sq ft with new construction on .25/.5 acre. Also just southeast of Raleigh in the Morrisville/Cary area is new construction that's roughly the same price. The good news is no matter how far you are from Raleigh the traffic is never gonna add much time to your drive unless it's (800-830 in the am or 5-545 at night on weekdays). I live by the airport now and I can be downtown in under 20 minutes, in Chapel Hill in 20 minutes, Duke/Durham in 20 minutes as well. If you like hockey the Hurricanes are here (I know, it's no Redwings but tickets are cheap), baseball the Durham Bulls have a great stadium and tickets are $5/ea and of course great college hoops. Lots of breweries are popping up and great craft beer scene.
Regarding allergies, you do have to shutter your house for about 4-6 weeks in March/April due to the massive amounts of pollen in the air, but other than that, it wasn't too bad for me.
This post was edited by Steven Wright 15 months ago
Cary is a great place to live when you don't want it to seem like you actually live in NC.
My family moved to Raleigh in 1994 and this is my 10th year of full-time living down here. Overall it's a good (not great) place to live in my opinion. Here is my +/- list:
- Weather is great overall: Hot as #$%& in the summer but if you can handle Austin then you'll be fine here.
- Cost of living: Pretty reasonable prices. Higher than it used to be but still good.
- Proximity: As discussed before 4 hours from the mountains, 2 hours from the beach, and reasonable driving distance to Washington, Baltimore, Philly, Atlanta, Charlotte, etc. Two more awesome smaller cities to visit are Savannah and Charleston.
- Overall things are "nice" here and well kept. Raleigh has strict signage/billboard laws so the city is very "pretty" with lots of trees all over. This can also make it hard to find things at first because you can't see the store you're looking for through the trees.
- Neighborhoods: Lots of good options for places to live. Execs are spread out all over. North Raleigh and Cary are thought to be the higher-end areas, but there are some good areas in Morrisville and Apex, too. Watch out for neighborhoods near RDU airport, though. There are some in NW Raleigh where the plane noise can be very loud. Live as close to work as you can - that would be my advice.
- Things to do: This is not a vibrant city for nightlife but there is plenty to do (especially outdoors) to keep busy.
- Colleges: Of course you know UNC, Duke and NC State are here but college tuition is also cheap compared to Michigan. (But I think Texas is cheap, too, right?)
- Wake County Schools: While the education your kid will get is good, the system management is a complete cluster#$%&. It's too big for its own good. School assignments get changed all the time and they have a huge busing system because they try to make every school's diversity profile the same. There are many instances where a kid will not goto the schools a mile down the road but get bused to a school 5-10 miles away instead. Home schooling and private schools are much more popular here than what I was used to in Michigan. Before you buy a house make darn sure you know where your kids are going to school. It might not be the logical choice.
- Infrastructure: Road system is a mess and not logicially laid-out at all. Now we have tolls, too, right near Morrisville. While traffic is not horrid overall there are some bad spots. The main roads don't move well, either, because lights are not timed and they have long cycles for straight ahead traffic and left turns. This is also not a good walking city. Sidewalk coverage is spotty and many major roads do not have sidewalks or wide shoulders. Kids generally cannot walk or ride a bike to school because of this.
- City Personality: It has none. Pretty much a giant suburb that keeps sprawling out. Not much history here. Downtown Raleigh is okay but not great. Downtown Durham is even worse. Chapel Hill is okay but a little tamer than East Lansing IMO.
- Lot Sizes for Homes: Many good neighborhoods as I mentioned above but they cram the homes together. My house is 3,000 square feet and we had a really hard time finding a place with a lot like ours. (We have a 0.56 acre lot on a cul-de-sac that backs up to the woods.) This will be a challenge for you. You might have to spend more than you'd like or move further out than you make like.
This post was edited by iamweasel 15 months ago
Thank you to all of you that have chimed in, I appreciate the detail.
To answer some of the questions and/or clarify:
A couple random internet lists show Raleigh as bad for allergies, but not as bad as Austin. Cedar kills me and my daughter here, I have no idea if pine will, but i don't think so.
Texas schools are also dirt cheap compared to Michigan ( I grew up in Florida, which is also dirt cheap when compared to MIchigan), but I can deal with that.
I prefer generic suburbia, it generally means a great & safe place for kids. I just want access to 'culture' when I want it, which I think I get in NC (ocean, mountains, eastern seaboard).
I can use zillow for home prices I might expect to pay, but it seems like their are lots of options for areas around 500-800k (in Austin, I feel there would be 2 distinct areas to get that). So i'm curious if there are one or two areas that are "this is the place to be"... although I'm not sure that exists.
One Night! One team! Kill blue! Bleed Green!
Good points here.
Infrastructure - Many of the roads are very winding, and while I get it isn't as flat as the midwest (and thus not easily allowing for a grid road system), the civil engineers almost didn't think about traffic flow. Intersections are often at sharp bends in roads, which is extremely dangerous. Parking lots are designed to be "pretty to look at," but terrible to drive around. Huge rose bushes and other tall shrubs frequently adorn the ends of each parking aisle, and guess what happens, you cannot see around them when pulling out into traffic. I quickly noticed everyone walks with flashlights at night, it is largely because the neighborhoods don't have proper sidewalks. Was there not enough $ for this? Or were the civil engineers lazy or short sighted?
Personality - Agreed there isn't an overall personality of the city, possibly because it is a fairly transient town (a la DC) with RTP. I'd give the nightlife a 6.5/10, not terrible, but not great. You make it what it is I suppose.
I've lived in Raleigh since 1993 and have always lived in the Cameron Village/Five Points area. You can get a large house or a small house in the this neighborhood. You can bike to downtown and Glenwood South. Lots of good restaurants and shopping and close to the NC State campus. We have friends that lived in Morrisville (Kitts Creek) and hated it. They lived in a nice subdivision but found it difficult to get to know neighbors despite the fact that there was a huge neighborhood pool and playground. They moved to Historic Oakwood (downtown) and love it there. I haven't spent much time in North Raleigh but I know that's where a lot of relocated Yankees and hockey players live. Lots of huge homes on huge lots. I like the Falls Lake area - we kayak there almost every weekend - so I know there are a lot of nice big homes out that way. If you choose one of the outer parts of town, you can still jump on 540 or 440 and get to 40 quickly and go east to the beach or west to the mountains. So if you want a big house in suburbia, I'd start with North Raleigh. Leesville Crest is a nice neighborhood. Barton's Creek seems nice as well. Lots of that in Cary too.
I grew up in Raleigh but haven't lived there for 10+ years so I probably can't help you with specifics.
I will say that I loved it there though. Nice weather, friendly people, good food. Your money will go pretty far on a house. One of the best aspects to me was that you could be at the ocean in about 2 hours and the mountains in under 4. Great for nice weekend getaways.
I would prefer to live in Austin personally but Raleigh is a nice area too
This plus. Research triangle offers a number of high tech companies in one area with an intelligent and sophisticated population. NC, Duke and NC st. all within 30 minutes of each other. Campuses are nice. Beautiful area, moderate climate, nice out door living, great golfing. Nice people.
Would Charlotte be a better location the the research triangle?
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