My daughter just graduated from Cary Academy in 2009. She was there from 6th grade through graduation and had a wondeful experience. I can't say enough about the quality education. Please feel free to PM me if you'd like more details on the school and my daughter's experience there.
Welcome to Cary from a true Cary native - that's right I grew up with the Town! I've spent the last 13 plus years helping families relocate to my wonderful hometown and would love to help you as well - regardless of who you pick I can't emphasize enough the importance of having a Realtor represent you as your buyers agent in this process!
Below is a link for homes in Cary with 4 or more bedrooms and a basement - all in the 300-500k range - I know you said 400 as the cap - only letting you know the options if you were to increase your price range. The homes are not within a 2 mile radius of Cary Academy but thats going to be quite a challenge as Cary Academy closely borders the edge of Cary with I-40 and the very large Umstead State park - which leaves limited housing in that area that would match what you are looking for.
Based on my prior post, This cuts the number of homes down from 53 to 16 with only two under $400,000. Neither home has a basement. You may find better value in the short and long term by considering a home with a bonus room above ground if the purpose of a basement is to have that "added, flexible space" Nonetheless, we can always open up the search parameters by extending the radius to Cary Academy or adding a year or two to the desired age of the home. If you want me to tweak the search to find additional possibilities or answer any other questions, please feel free to contact me!
Being a Cary resident I feel that it has much to offer with great parks, community centers and convenient shopping. Bond Park is near the Cary Acafemy area and is a super for a family outing. We have many neighborhoods in your range. Having a buyer's agent will help you find the right home with the least stress. Let me know if I can be of help.
Speaking as someone who lives in Cary, this is a GREAT town with many amenities that people of all ages can use!!! I LOVE it!!
You are right this is a great area to relocate to. As Tracy stated there are a lot of great neighborhoods in Cary especially in the price range you are looking at. There are not as many "great deals" in the Cary area because the area has been good about holding value since it has been ranked the top place to live in US by many national surveys. However let me point out that "familial status" is a protected class and we as agents can not recommend neighborhoods based on "family oriented" I would recommend researching the wake county public school website as looking at the information they provide. If activities for the family are important I would look at neighborhoods that have things like a pool, park, tennis courts, etc. There are always lots of great activities in and around Cary as well. If you would like a relocation package with tons of information about the area feel free to contact me and I will mail one.