I think you could ask 20 different agents this question and get 25 different answers. I will say that you really can't go wrong in the majority of areas you have to select from in the Triangle. As far as worrying about being from NY and getting funny looks, you should not fret because the Triangle has seen much implants from the Northeast over the past few years. In fact, some people have even referred to Cary as little NY or New Jersey just because of the amount of Northerners you can find in that community, All in all you I would be surprised if you did not really find the majority of the Triangle area communities quite pleasant and enjoyable. People here are friendly, welcoming, and down right hospitable. I want to be the first to welcoming you to our area and know you will be happy with the decision you've made of calling the Triangle home. Please let me know if I can be of any more assistance to you in your home search needs.
Just for some info about how real estate works here. The NC the Real Estate Commission does say if you are under a written agreement with an agent to act as your "buyer's agent", you are not supposed to work with another agent as long as that agreement is in effect. Of course you can end such an agreement any time, and change agents.But a real estate agent is not supposed to "encourage" you to do so, or say anything against the agent you are working with. That just isn't an ethical way to do business. I would think on this site, asking for advice would not come under those "rules". One would assume if you were working with an agent, you'd ask them these questions!
Of course mostly real estate agents are answering, Trulia sends these questions to real estate agents, and an agent would at least offer their help. But it is also the real estate agents who can best help you know where in town is best for you, that's what we do every day, learn about neighborhoods and show and sell homes. A person who has lived here for awhile, no matter where they came from, will probably be somewhat limited in their experience as to what neighborhoods would fit your needs, they'd probably just tell you how much they love or dislike where they live! It is not their job to learn about the area. Obviously some people are more aware than others, but most people I know who have lived here less than ten years are relatively clueless about areas not near where they live or work. They don't have time to "study" the area. So you can listen too "neighborly" advice, but it may not be the most "informed" advice.
And by the way, having an agreement with a buyer's agent in NC does not cost you a penny. We are paid by the seller if and when you do buy a house. If you don't buy one, we don't get paid. So often we are just giving advice! As self-employed individuals, we have do to our job well to get paid!
You have a Saint Bernard? That is a big dog. I had one myself growing up in Texas and my poor dog got really HOT! Most neighborhoods allow dogs, even big ones like a Sant Bernard.
There are a number of areas that have plenty of "action" for a single 28 year old. It's best to connect with an experienced agent that will listen to your requirements to find you the perfect home!
Fell free to contact me either through my profile here on Trulia or my website with any questions you might have.
My wife and I relocated here 8 years ago from Southern Vermont, for absolutely no reason and couldn't be happier. This is an awesome place to live.
As to more specifically your question, I asked some followup questions because it matters. I can find you a $500,000 house that meets every single one of your criteria. But if your budget isn't that high, then we need to find the right house for you in that budget. For some people, a decent commute is 15 minutes, for others it's less than 1 hour. If you own a home, nobody is going to say you can't have a dog. What do you think is a high monthly HOA fee? If you were in such a subdivision, what amenities (pool, etc) would you want? the list goes on an on, and pretty soon after your agent listens to you, the 1-4 right neighborhoods to find a home in become obvious to us.
I understand where you are coming. I lived in NYC for a while before settling in Raleigh. Gen Y buyers especially those relocating often face the same difficulties that you are facing. I was one of the Top 30 under 30 in REALTOR magazine and have also been in Entrepreneur Magazine for working with Gen Y & Gen X buyers and agents. I understand that your desires when buying a home are often different than that of other buyers. I have been selling here in the Raleigh area for the past 17 years and have been an agent since shortly out of high school. I have sold over 1500 homes in the area and know the market very well and would be more than happy to discuss your relocation with you. As Bo said, if you are currently contracted with a buyers agent we are all limited in what we can assist you with. If you are not contracted with a buyers agent feel free to contact any of us for help.
Congrats on your move. It is a great area and the winters are not as rough :)
2. As others have noted, you will find the Triangle homogenous enough that what we think of as YOUR funny accent will not be a problem :)
3. The geographic location of your work is important. WIth this, a Realtor should be able to get you a commute you seek. However, if you are working in downtown Raleigh, you should be able to find a 20 minute commute or less, depending on ...
4. What is your pre-qualified or desired price range? It looks like Schenectady has a very wide range of prices, so understanding what you EXPECT a home to cost is important.
I'm an upstate New Yorker myself and have been down south for quite a while so I can empathize with your transition. Sounds like you need a tour of some of our neighborhoods, before making a decision. Knowing where you will be working, to avoid a long commute, will also be important if you don't like traffic. When would you like to get started with your search? Email me: email@example.com or call me Toll Free: 1-800-225-5947 x8554, and I will be happy to show you around.
You also may like Lennar's new community, Inside Wade, but they are just getting started and the homes are a little larger than you indicated:
Westborough is just a bit further out, but has homes of the size you asked about:
Welcome to NC! You will love it here! I was born in Raleigh but live in Cary. Raleigh is more expensive - especially if you are looking for something near downtown. Raleigh's downtown has been quite a gathering place for the 20 - 30 age group. Lots of bars/restaurants and a free bus that travels the 4 districts of downtown Raleigh on the weekends.
Cary is great too, but more subdued. More affordable and still great resale value. Not that far from downtown Raleigh or downtown Apex which is pretty hopping too. Would love to show you around! I've helped lots of yankees move to the area. Call me at 919-218-8973 or email me at LindaMorris@KW.com.
Morrisville would be a longer commute and most of Morrisville is under the flight paths of RDU airport. Garner is a good option, south of downtown, but you'd find more to do in Cary and just as easy a commute to "Glenwood" south, the restaurant/bar area that is "the" gathering place for the 20-30 set!
I've lived here for almost 40 years, I am a relocated Yankee, and moved 8 times since I've been here, and lived in just about every area. Be glad to help you relocate!
This area has such a remarkable mix of people from all over the world. You will find just the right place for you and your family. This is a sophisticated area with lots of parks, shopping, medical, universities, cultural activities and so much more.
I relocated here from the northeast and love it. Give me a call at 919-434-7308 or firstname.lastname@example.org and I can fill you in more.
You may have heard that Cary stands for "Containment Area for Relocated Yankees" so this would be my first suggestion. However, a more hyper local analysis will be needed to determine if you want the backyard b-b-que culture or prefer a neighborhood with history and character. Be happy to give you additional pointers in a more frank format.
Happy house hunting!
Relocated Yankee (via South Florida)