Home Buying in Chapel Hill>Question Details

rockingood, Home Buyer in Chapel Hill, NC

Relocating from NYC for job in Dtwn. Raleigh. How bad is the commute from Chapel Hill really? (42 min per map). Want to live in CH for the schools.

Asked by rockingood, Chapel Hill, NC Mon Feb 25, 2013

Help the community by answering this question:


Erica Rothman’s answer
My husband and I are selling our house by owner, walking distance to Eastwood Lake and an easy spot to catch I-40 to Raleigh. Haven't put our house up on Trulia yet but will be this week. Email me at erothman@mindspring.com if you want a flyer. 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 2, 2013
The commute will vary each day depending on the traffic conditions. You have to plan on at least 45 minutes to downtown Raleigh. It takes me 30 minutes to get from Chapel Hill to Cary, and then you will have 15 minutes more to get into downtown Raleigh. An alternate idea would be to look in Cary. The Wake County schools are great, and several in Cary are among the nation's best. I'd be happy to show you properties in Cary if you are curious to see what we can offer. Gail Ferri, Fonville Morisey
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 21, 2013
Good Morning,
If you are still looking, I would love to show you the homes that are available in your chosen area and price range.
Molly Keppler
Coldwell Banker, HPW
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 19, 2013
Not to seem like a 'genderist,' but are you the primary care-taker of your kids? If not, then don't worry about the commute. Be grateful that you even have the opportunity to be employed (in Raleigh) and the option to live in CH. We relocated to CH (aka Blue Town) from Baltimore last year and yes, there is traffic on I-40 and the beltline into Raleigh, but it's relative and there are back roads. I would suggest you settle into life in CH, plan to commute (for your paycheck) and think about tele-work options or eventually looking for another job/independent business opportunities closer to home. Depending upon your cultural orientation, CH/Durham is home to more of the creative class than Raleigh/Cary. If you are all about family, then perhaps you should consider Cary and private/magnet school options. Best of luck. PS there are really no bad school options in CH.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 2, 2013
Thank you all for the great responses. My current commute is 45 min by subway (I don't currently have a car) so I'm used to the duration, sounds like it wont be too painful. I was worried that it would be a harried 45 possibly stretching to much longer but it does not sound like that is the case. Will come down and make a rush hour test drive before deciding to commit to it. At least in a car I will not be standing in heals for those 45 min, back aching, computer, lunch, etc hanging off my shoulder with my nose pushed into a stranger's armpit anymore :-)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 27, 2013
My wife commuted in Manhattan for years and she will confirm that anything I40 dishes up is nothing compared to the FDR Drive!! You are right to look at the schools -- and the lifestyle in Chapel Hill. Focusing on northeast Chapel Hill might be best, you'll get easy access to I40. That being said our Nanny does a reverse commute from Raleigh and there are many "back ways" you will learn once you are here to speed your time.

My favorite quote from a relocation client is - why did I wait so long to get here? It truly is the "Southern Part of Heaven"

Call or email if you'd like more information - you are making a great move.
All the best,
Reg Morgan, Realtor, CRP, GRI
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 27, 2013
Opinions about what constitutes bad traffic can differ. I moved from the Washington D.C. area and don't think the traffic here is bad, but it will depend upon your reference point. The Department of Transportation has video cameras (see web reference below) that can give you real time shots of the traffic on I-40, which would be the road you would most likely take from Chapel Hill. You can get a feel for yourself what it looks like in the morning, evening or whenever you would be traveling.

Margaret Moore
Triangle & Coast Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 26, 2013
I moved to Chapel Hill North Carolina more than 5 years ago from the Philadelphia area. After a life time of traveling to and from New York, Washington DC and Connecticut, I can tell you that traffic here is very different.
The roads are much better maintained and are easier to navigate. Highway 540, which just opened last year, adds additional access to areas where previously you had to take roads with many traffic lights. Yes, it's a toll road, but for those coming from the Northeast, it's a familiar concept. Depending on the traffic, it just might take you 45 minutes, however, it is not a "white knuck" 45 minutes.
Chapel Hill is a wonderful town and a good choice to live with the college influence, diverse culture and very friendly atmosphere.
I would be delighted to talk with you about your move and discuss what you are looking for in order to help you determine the best areas for you to consider. From my own experiences with moving here, finding the best fit for YOUR life and family is essential.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 26, 2013
I can't believe that everyone is saying traffic isn't bad. Compared to the LI expressway, Silicon Valley, Wash DC, etc it probably isn't bad. As more people move here, traffic increases. When I drive against traffic and see bumper to bumber in the opposite direction, I am so thankful that I don't need to face that traffic regularly. My experience is that one of the reasons people move here is for a better quality of life. It is your decision as to how your commute affects your life.

There are always trade-offs to every decision. If you want to live in Chapel Hill for the schools, etc, that commute is probably worth it. If you have a great job in Raleigh, it is probably worth it. It will affect which areas you look for houses in Chapel Hill/Carrboro because some areas are closer to the interstate or have easier access, whereas other areas will add a considerable amount of time to your drive.

Now that I've been so negative, I should say that I love living here and think you will also...even with a commute.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2013
The commute will depend on what part of Chapel Hill you decide on and what time of day you will be traveling. Compared to the northeast, the traffic is relatively tame here but it can back up and slow down on I40 around the airport and RTP during rush hour. During rush hour, it will likely be an hour. There are parts of Chapel Hill that are 20 minutes from I40 so you would want to keep that in mind.

I have lived in the Chapel Hill area and now live in downtown Raleigh and if you will work downtown, I would recommend you at least consider living in Raleigh. Both places are great places to live but offer completely different lifestyles.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2013
I live in Chapel Hill and drive back and forth to Raleigh several times a week at different times of the day. Most of the time, I-40 is less than 1 minute per mile, between 8 - 9 am and 5 - 6 pm, you can run into slowdowns and if there is an accident, it can cause major delays. How far you live and work from 40 will be the variable.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2013
Depending on what time of day you travel but presuming the worst case scenario I'd suggest no more than 45 minutes to an hour, could be 30-45. I grew up in Philly, have lived in many cities on both coasts and can assure you at it's worst the traffic here is would be considered light in NYC, LA, Chicago, DC etc. A 15 minute delay is major in our area and 15 minutes on either side of the "rush hour" can make a huge difference in the amount of traffic you'll encounter.

Feel free to contact me directly through my profile here on Trulia if you've any other questions or would like to speak with me about asssiting you with finding a great home here in Chapel Hill . I specialize in buyer side brokering and will never represent both sides in a single transaction.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2013
The commute is not bad at all. My husband is working in downtown Raleighin for the past 15 years, but we live in Chapel Hill b/c of school district for children. Please feel free to contact me with questions about Chapel Hill in general or school system. I am happy to provide assistant to make this move as smooth as possible. Welcome to NC.

Faye Kamrani
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2013
Being from NY, I can understand not wanting to have a long commute. The traffic down here is not as bad as the traffic up in NYC. That being said, if you can live on the south east side of Chapel Hill and avoid 15/501 and Hwy 54, you can cut out 15 minutes of your commute. The faster you can get on to Interstate 40, the faster you can make it to Raleigh. There is typically slowdowns at 4-5 exits as you enter the RTP area. Once you pass that, the road opens back up. There are several nice neighborhoods on that side of town. If you need more information you can contact me at 919-618-1485 or email me at Meryl@Merylmalexander.com. I will be great to welcome another New Yorker down here.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2013
Chapel Hill to Dtwn Raleigh is driving against traffic, which makes it easier. The only traffic jam I experience is at 751---very brief.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2013
Hi , you should be able to do it from the east side of Chapel Hill in about 35 minutes depending on traffic on I-40.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2013
Depends on the time of day. Morning and evening commutes are probably close to your map estimate, if not a bit longer. Can be done from the east side of Chapel Hill in about 35 minutes if traffic permits.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2013
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2016 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer