In general terms you will probably find that the Triangle area offers a nice quality of life, but not the quantity you might be used to. There are several places to live where you can be in a more urban, walkable area and the housing values will be a fraction of the bay area also.
However, if school quality is important and one were to assume that you are more progressive in your thoughts and politics you might find the downtown Chapel Hill to be a nice starting point, like Berkely without the crime issues of Oakland. Housing will range from older historic properties to more recent construction and any commute to Durham will likely be half the 45 minutes you asked for. Downtown housing prices will range from approximately $250-400+ per sq ft and you can be reasonably walkable for well under $200/sf.
On the south end of town is another development called Southern Village, which has a broad range of newer construction (~1990-2000s), a neighborhood commercial center, and an active lifestyle for families. Elementary and middle schools are also walkable and community events include a farmer's market, restaurants and a neighborhood movie theater, including outdoor movies in the summer and Sunday free music events. Prices will range from under $200/sf to just over and options will range from $400k to over $1MM.
This is a wonderfully international area and cultural diversity is common, with public schools that are considered among the best in the country. Welcome to the southern part of heaven and most of the other respondents, I will be happy to consult with you further at your convenience. If you want an experienced, knowledgeable, and more proactive Realtor working for you, please contact me at your earliest convenience.
919-960-6332 firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.TarHeelHomes.com
I would suggest that you visit, rent a car and spend time driving around the various areas to see what feels good to you. If you own in SF, your money will go very far in NC. Good idea to find some houses that you like and check out the areas to get a sense of whether you'll like it. This is very exciting for you, there is a lot to explore, and many great things about this area though you will miss much from CA. Here is a key thing: when I visit my family in CA (I love visiting them) I'm not sad when I touch down at RDU. Life is good here and much less expensive.
If you want to talk, give me a call anytime. I turn my cell phone off when I go to sleep so don't worry about waking me.
Vivian Olkin, aka CrazyViv
I am a Real Estate Broker and Interior Designer - The two work well together ;-)
I can picture the lifestyle you are interested in. I would probably recommend Chapel Hill, or Cary for you and your family. Pittsborro may also be a good choice. If you need any further help, please call me, I would love to help you. Keve Butterfield . 919-625-0774
the zipcode is 27617.
If I can help answer any other questions feel free to email me
Many cities in Triangle area, like Chapel Hill, Apex, Cary, and Raleigh, have been consistently ranked among the top places to live,. Each city has its own characters. The real estate market is little different as well.
Whether you are looking to buy or rent, please work with an agent who knows this area well and also has a good knowledge about our local market.
If you want to talk, please give me a call or drop me an email. I would be glad to share my knowledge with you and assist you to locate a RIGHT house.
I've read your question very carefully. Both my wife, Erin and I are Realtors/Brokers and we believe that we can help you. One of the chief reasons is that, in former circumstances, both she and I lived in the Bay area. I in Pacific Heights and she in Oakland. Because of this we can relate to the area in which you have lived in San Francisco. I gotta' tell you that the day I left San Francisco there were slight tears in my eyes. I just assumed that I would never, never again find such a place to live---ever.
I was wrong. I and we have indeed found an area which we deeply love.
This is our suggestion: We are extremely open to spending a couple of days with you to just tour neighborhoods. Perhaps we can arrange to see a home or two in each just to show you what is available.
How does that sound?
Please email us at email@example.com or call us at (919) 624-6726. You might also take a peek at our website : http://www.HomesInRaleigh.org This website is Erin's pride and joy.
For the time being, welcome to the Greater Raleigh area! It's a lovely place to live with a slower pace and unbelievably lower costs than that of the Bay area.
Not knowing what price range you are in, but knowing what a former colleague paid for a simple 2 bedroom flat in SF when he was transferred there, you are going to be amazed at what you can purchase here. A popular area that describes to me what you are looking for is the Brier Creek area which is just to the east of Durham off Rt. 70 if you look at a map. Lots of shopping, parks and nice neighborhoods. My oldest son & daughter in law recently purchased in the general area and love it.
EZ to get to Raleigh, Durham or Chapel Hill.
May I suggest you visit my website at http://www.RaleighHomeSite.com. You can not only search for homes but the search engine will also allow you to see proximity to schools, shopping, parks, entertainment, pretty much any category important to you If I can be of any persoanl assistant, please don't hesitate to ask.
Good Luck and best wishes,