General Area in Durham>Question Details

Christine Se…, Real Estate Pro in Cary, NC

What Durham neighborhoods are walkable, good for kids, and are in good school zones?

Asked by Christine Seed, Cary, NC Thu Mar 29, 2012

We are already considering the neighborhoods close to 9th Street and downtown (Old West Durham, Watts Hospital, and Trinity Park) - now we are looking for advice on neighborhoods a little further our - perhaps so we can get more house/land for our money. The neighborhood must be walkable (have sidewalks, trails, etc) and be safe. Also must be close to good schools. Would be even better if it were close to some stores/restaurants and also would be great if it were NOT new construction. We prefer older houses with character. Am I asking too much??! Does such a neighborhood exist? Thanks!

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I love our house in Parkwood! We have our own lake, a pond, and two playgrounds. We have a Great school in the neighborhood you can walk to and both a restaurant and a little store to walk to and the american tobacco trail is accessible from our neigborhood. Also we are a mixed neigborhood with different cultures.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 4, 2015
We have lived in Fairfield for 18 years. It is a great neighborhood. A bit upscale in the newer section but reasonably priced homes in the older section . It's close to shopping and easy drive to work.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 22, 2014
We're in the Jordan High school district , as well, the best school district in Durham.
Flag Sat Mar 22, 2014
Hi Christine
If you could provide more info, ie beds and baths, price range etc I would be happy to make recomendations, i am very familiar with Durham as well as North Durham. Schools , I would recomend visiting schools as the scores do not always tell the story, its nice to meet the teaches and they are happy to give you a tour, what age range are you most concerned about?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 29, 2012
Good questions! A real estate agent can only direct you to the schools websites that usually offer as a min. the test scores and free lunches handed out. I would encourage visiting the schools during lunch as the schools are usually welcoming to prospective students and their parents.
I have a lot of ideas but I need to know your buying power so I don't waste you time in presenting neighborhoods that might not be of interest. Picking a neighborhood / town is very comprehensive and leaks to lot's of questions and answers before centering your focus on a home.
Let me know how I might be able to help.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 29, 2012
Woodcroft and Hope Valley Farms are both good neighborhoods, though you may want to do some research on your own regarding the highschools as depending on the exact location within these neighborhoods you might be in Jordan or in Hillside.

The neighborhoods you've mentioned, Old West Durham, Trinity Park and Watts Hillendale are all good choices.

I live in the Duke Forest neighborhood and love it, but it doens't have sidewalks through most of it, but the streets aren't that busy and you can easily access the Duke Trails from most of it. You might also want to consider the Rockwood or Forrest Hills neighborhoods.

Feel free to contact me through my profile here on Trulai if I can be of any assistance.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 29, 2012
Hi Christine,

From what I understand, the best school districts are Githens middle and Jordan high school. Look for neighborhoods that feed into those schools. At different levels there are magnet schools that are very desirable. If you are in the walk zone for those schools, you are automatically in. Otherwise you participate in the lottery system. Within a particular school district, there will be only 1 magnet at one level so you can't go all the way through in magnet schools.

I've come to love neighborhoods that don't have sidewalks. It is just a feeling because they often feel more open and welcoming. Kids run all over and across yards. My son and his friends did that all the time. Sidewalks are safer and also seem to keep the neighborhood more at a distance.

Durham has some lovely neighborhoods that have no sidewalks. With sidewalks, have you checked out SW Durham? Woodcroft, Hope Valley, etc. What about the area called Tuscaloosa, near Guglhupft, Fosters, Q-Shack, etc? Everything depends on your price range.

From where are you moving? One of the things about NC weather is that people don't walk much during the day in the summer, and are out in the evening.

I also love older homes with character. You ought to be able to find plenty in Durham as it is a fairly old city.

Have fun with your search because you are starting a new process that is so exciting. If you need a lender, I work with someone who is absolutely superb, because, as he says, it isn't about the money, it's about the relationship.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 29, 2012
Not a lot of sidewalks in the suburban areas of town. But those neighborhoods are small and slow enough that people and kids are always in the streets.
Which level of schools are you referring to? I'd say Jordon and Riverside are the top 2 high schools.
Asking for walking to stores and wanting more land/house for your money are working against each other. You've already mentioned the ones that people commonly do walk to services.
Because you are looking for character...that might mean as old at 1950 and before. If you do like a are lucky, there are a ton of well built ones in the NW. If you like the older...I'd suggest the outskirts of Forest Hills and either side of business 15/501.

I am here to help!

Pat Radack
Go Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 29, 2012
There are many great areas that are in the Durham area that fit what you are looking for I have been help people find these homes for over 17 years. I can guide you and help you find the right home for your needs. Give me a call and I would be glad to help you. Thank you
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 29, 2012
As Realtors, our code of ethics do not allow us to give advice on which schools are or are not "good." But I can tell you that many neighborhoods in south Durham are very walkable, including walking to stores and schools, such as Hope Valley Farms, Bay Pointe, Woodcroft, Heritage Hills, and Crooked Creek. These homes are newer, particularly HVF and BP. I would be happy to meet with you and come up with a buying plan to find your perfect home in a great location.

Anne Aylin, Prudential York Simpson Underwood
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 29, 2012
I would definitely check out Woodcroft and Hope Valley Farms area near Southpoint Mall on the Southwest part of Durham. I'd be glad to help if you're not already working with someone!

Jeremy Pierce
Keller Williams Realty Cary
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 29, 2012
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