I live in Durham and I am a Realtor, and I would not hesitate to buy another home here. It is a fantastic city with lots to do and small town charm, like any city it has areas that has crime and or drugs. Unfortunately sometimes only the bad things get highlighted.
Northgate park area nice neighborhood, most everything between Roxboro and Duke is fine, East of Roxboro (Dearborn area)... No..That neighborhood is getting worse.
Cole Mill Rd, Carver west is sweet. West Club towards Hillandale (Maryland, Oval dr area etc..) There is even a sweet qiuet neighborhood between Hillandale golf course and I85, there is a park that backs up to Sprunt close by also.
Crime stats can be found from the police department or city county websites. There are tons of great neighborhhods in Durham and every city has economically diverse neighborhoods that sit next to each other. I myself am moving down to the "revitilization" area because there is a fantastic opportunity to be a part of changing the downtown area.
Unfortunately sometimes it seems like all the media want to publish is bad news, I agree with Lizete call the Durham Police @ 919-560-4427. I live in Durham and I love it. If you provide some of your criteria I would be happy to help you find a home.
I hope you'll consider Durham, learn the facts for yourself rather than blindly believing the negative hype, and whatever you choose -- I hope you'll be happy in your new home!
If you'd like to discuss real estate in Durham further, please feel free to contact me:
Places I am not fond of, Wellons Village area, Dearborn Dr area, Bingham area, anything near WalMart on N Roxboro and Fay and Juniper area.
"Historic" typically means "used to be nice but is now overrun with poor people that commit crimes". Go ahead and be a part of the "revitalization" area. Like I said, it can be nice during the day, but we're talking about the same place where gangs are having shootouts on the courthouse steps. Have fun with that.
One, northern Durham is not safe. You're either in the ghetto or right next to the ghetto. Don't listen to anyone talking about "revitalization". The revitalization areas appear safe during the day but you can bet they are not safe at night. The only possible exception is the Hillandale area. Someone mentioned Watts which is also a decent place, but even that is pushing over into a "bad" part of town.
When I was looking for a home in Chapel Hill but couldn't find anything, I refused to even consider Durham. Raleigh was out of the question because of my commute to Chapel Hill. My realtor finally convinced me to look into SW Durham. This is the area in the 27713 zip and is right near Southpoint Mall. I found some great neighborhoods and moved right in. My house has convenient access to I-40, I-540, and is right on the Durham/RTP border.
I will be listing my house in the near future if you are interested.
Anywhere there are large federal housing left like Oxford Commons are probably a good bet, Off Dearborn Dr, Thelma etc there seems to be more crime creeping in. East Durham also has been rough in the past but is starting to be cleaned up, they have torn down many homes on Angier downtown and the prostitutes have been moved out. but Ashe, Benjamin, Bingham part of Angier is still rough. West side near Rock St has a crappy neighborhood. Crime is everywhere and the best thing to do is find a home you like and be proactive.
Trulia actually has crime stats also. If you go to the tab at the top Stats & Trends and then find the area you are interested in click on the stats you can find crime stats for that area. If you know a specfic zip code you are interested in try zipskinny.com also.
Hope this helps
REALTORS can not make statements regarding crime and you should get the facts regarding a neighborhood before you make any decisions. I recommend using the Durham police department crime mapper: http://www.ci.durham.nc.us/gis_apps/crimedata/dsp_entryform.cfm. This will allow you to search crime in a radius from the address you are considering purchasing. In addition to evaluating crime, you should make sure you are buying in an area that has good resale. Make the most of your real estate investment; use a buyer's agent who knows the Durham market to help you make a sound decision. Please contact me if I can help you, especially if you are considering SW Durham. I have a good bit of experience there.