yuri.petteng…, Renter in Durham, NC

Relocating from the San Francisco Bay Area, CA to the Raleigh Durham Area. Where should we move?

Asked by yuri.pettengill, Durham, NC Fri Oct 11, 2013

My family and I are moving to the Raleigh area for my husbands new job in Durham. I'm not familiar with the area and would like suggestions on where to live. We're looking for a 3-4 bdrm in a safe, family oriented location with great parks, cafes, bright, clean, and if possible somewhat diverse. I'm coming from the San Francisco area, so being somewhere I can walk to a shopping area would be great too. Museums, parks, etc would be icing. If you're familiar with SF, we lived by pacific heights with TONS of restaurants, cafes, shopping, awesome parks, and tons to do. Ideas? Oh and if possible not a huge commute more than 45 min each way.

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Mark Civiok, Agent, Chapel Hill, NC
Mon Oct 14, 2013
Hi Yuri:

In general terms you will probably find that the Triangle area offers a nice quality of life, but not the quantity you might be used to. There are several places to live where you can be in a more urban, walkable area and the housing values will be a fraction of the bay area also.

However, if school quality is important and one were to assume that you are more progressive in your thoughts and politics you might find the downtown Chapel Hill to be a nice starting point, like Berkely without the crime issues of Oakland. Housing will range from older historic properties to more recent construction and any commute to Durham will likely be half the 45 minutes you asked for. Downtown housing prices will range from approximately $250-400+ per sq ft and you can be reasonably walkable for well under $200/sf.

On the south end of town is another development called Southern Village, which has a broad range of newer construction (~1990-2000s), a neighborhood commercial center, and an active lifestyle for families. Elementary and middle schools are also walkable and community events include a farmer's market, restaurants and a neighborhood movie theater, including outdoor movies in the summer and Sunday free music events. Prices will range from under $200/sf to just over and options will range from $400k to over $1MM.

This is a wonderfully international area and cultural diversity is common, with public schools that are considered among the best in the country. Welcome to the southern part of heaven and most of the other respondents, I will be happy to consult with you further at your convenience. If you want an experienced, knowledgeable, and more proactive Realtor working for you, please contact me at your earliest convenience.
919-960-6332 civiokm@hpw.com http://www.TarHeelHomes.com
1 vote
Vivian Olkin, Agent, Carrboro, NC
Fri Oct 11, 2013
OMG I love Pacific Heights! You won't find anything like SF here. I'm from Stanford/Palo Alto, go back 3-4 times a year and just returned from a visit to SF--ate my way through the city. For example, there is nothing as good as Slanted Door. That said, there are a lot of good areas in the Triangle to live. How many in your household? Are you concerned about schools or is that not an issue? I live in Chapel Hill which we chose for the schools. My husband teaches at Duke which is in Durham. Durham is the hot area right now. Lot of people like Cary and various areas of Raleigh. It is beautiful here, very green, very different from CA.

I would suggest that you visit, rent a car and spend time driving around the various areas to see what feels good to you. If you own in SF, your money will go very far in NC. Good idea to find some houses that you like and check out the areas to get a sense of whether you'll like it. This is very exciting for you, there is a lot to explore, and many great things about this area though you will miss much from CA. Here is a key thing: when I visit my family in CA (I love visiting them) I'm not sad when I touch down at RDU. Life is good here and much less expensive.

If you want to talk, give me a call anytime. I turn my cell phone off when I go to sleep so don't worry about waking me.

Vivian Olkin, aka CrazyViv
Web Reference:  http://www.crazyvivhomes.com
1 vote
James Howard, Agent, Raleigh, NC
Fri Oct 11, 2013
I used to live in Los Angeles. I spent a lot of time up in Santa Rosa. Please call me at your convenience.

Jim Howard
1 vote
Keve Butterf…, Agent, Vandora, NC
Mon Dec 23, 2013
Hi Yuri in Pacific Heights! I moved here from California almost 10 years ago, I love it here and so glad to hear you are making the move too! I went to design school South of Market, Western Design Institute, JFK University and also lived in Napa Valley for a long time. And I grew up in Newport Beach (SoCa).
I am a Real Estate Broker and Interior Designer - The two work well together ;-)
I can picture the lifestyle you are interested in. I would probably recommend Chapel Hill, or Cary for you and your family. Pittsborro may also be a good choice. If you need any further help, please call me, I would love to help you. Keve Butterfield . 919-625-0774
0 votes
Pam Minore, Agent, Cary, NC
Thu Dec 19, 2013
I think you will like Morrisville, Cary, Apex and the Brier Creek area. If I can help e-mail me at
0 votes
Vandan Gandhi…, Agent, Raleigh, NC
Wed Dec 18, 2013
For what your looking for I would highly recommend, Morrisville, Cary, APEX, Wake Forest, and Knightdale, NC as great places to live. Also the Brier Creek area would be great to live in because it is central to all the activities and events you would like to attend. Brier Creek is in Raleigh and
the zipcode is 27617.
If I can help answer any other questions feel free to email me
at vansellshomes@gmail.com

Thank you.

0 votes
Diving Butte…, Both Buyer And Seller, San Francisco, CA
Wed Dec 18, 2013
Did you take the plunge yet Yuri? My husband and I are on the brink of taking the plunge into that area as well. We currently live in the bay area CA.
0 votes
Hi Diving Butterfly! I wrote a response (below) to Yuri earlier and the same would apply to anyone who is relocating to the triangle (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill) area. There is a big difference among the various towns and certainly with the public schools (check out http://www.ncreportcards.com). You can find high-rise condos to farmland in the county and everything in between, but your personal lifestyle will determine what fits best for you. If you want to discuss the characteristics of the towns please call or email me directly and I will be happy to discuss with you. Mark 919-960-6332 civiokm@HPW.com
Flag Mon Dec 23, 2013
Awesome Diving Butterfly!! We need more Californians!
Flag Mon Dec 23, 2013
Janice Woych…, Agent, Chapel Hill, NC
Thu Nov 21, 2013
I used to live in the San Francisco area (Orinda) and love living in Chapel Hill. We have an active but small downtown with lots of ethic restaurants (and the diverse community that supports them) and an art museum connected to the university. The University is also downtown (UNC) . This provides lectures, concerts and plays within walking distance of downtown. There are free buses to take you all over including connections to Durham and Raleigh. Our schools are tops in the state. Durham is about 20 minutes away. We have community centers with indoor pools, programming and tennis courts. The town is a historic community started around the university. There are a number of communities within walking distance of downtown which are also close to schools. I can tell you about the local lakes (with boats to rent), shopping, walking or biking trails and unique stores. You will find a so much to do in this area, whether you live in Chapel Hill or Durham. I would be glad to show you around in Chapel or Durham. Best of luck in your move!
0 votes
Raparli, Home Buyer, Raleigh, NC
Wed Oct 23, 2013
My children life in San Francisco and enjoy the area around Hayes Barton and Budleigh. We are close to Five Points and Cameron Village. It is 10 minutes to Crab Tree Mall. Although we do not have as good of restaurants, you can walk to Mandolin and various spots. You can walk to the Rialto Theater and banking and parks. We have great greenways for hiking and bike riding. We are close to a good YMCA (alexander YMCA. Check it out. My kids look right over the bay and have a place in Sonoma. They too love all that there is in San Francisco. Actually both my daughter and her husband can walk to work. Yikes. You will miss it but love all that Raleigh has to offer. We have a good Independent bookstore right by Whole Foods. We have a good ballet, symphony, NC State University, UNC, Duke. Good place to be.
0 votes
Vandan Gandhi…, Agent, Raleigh, NC
Thu Oct 17, 2013
I would recommend Cary, Morrisville, North Raleigh, and South Durham. These are areas are still growing and offer all the attractions you are seeking. It will not be as congested as San Francisco but at least you will save time in traffic to relax and squeeze in an extra activity.
0 votes
Tina Hilker, Agent, Raleigh, NC
Tue Oct 15, 2013
Welcome to NC, I think you will find the Triangle a great place to live. There are a lot of great communities, I'm sure that one will meet your needs. I would start by looking at the schools and try and decide which schools you would want your children to go to. It could make all the difference in the world. Everything is very close here, so know matter where you live you will be close to the parks, museums. If you need someone to help you with your process I would love to show you what the Triangle has to offer.

Tina Hilker
0 votes
Jean (Zhihon…, Agent, Cary, NC
Sat Oct 12, 2013
Welcome to North Carlina! This is the place where I have called "home" for almost 30 years now.

Many cities in Triangle area, like Chapel Hill, Apex, Cary, and Raleigh, have been consistently ranked among the top places to live,. Each city has its own characters. The real estate market is little different as well.

Whether you are looking to buy or rent, please work with an agent who knows this area well and also has a good knowledge about our local market.

If you want to talk, please give me a call or drop me an email. I would be glad to share my knowledge with you and assist you to locate a RIGHT house.


Re/Max integrity
0 votes
Erin Bohner, Agent, Raleigh, NC
Sat Oct 12, 2013
Good Afternoon,

I've read your question very carefully. Both my wife, Erin and I are Realtors/Brokers and we believe that we can help you. One of the chief reasons is that, in former circumstances, both she and I lived in the Bay area. I in Pacific Heights and she in Oakland. Because of this we can relate to the area in which you have lived in San Francisco. I gotta' tell you that the day I left San Francisco there were slight tears in my eyes. I just assumed that I would never, never again find such a place to live---ever.

I was wrong. I and we have indeed found an area which we deeply love.

This is our suggestion: We are extremely open to spending a couple of days with you to just tour neighborhoods. Perhaps we can arrange to see a home or two in each just to show you what is available.

How does that sound?

Please email us at edanderin@edanderin.com or call us at (919) 624-6726. You might also take a peek at our website : http://www.HomesInRaleigh.org This website is Erin's pride and joy.

For the time being, welcome to the Greater Raleigh area! It's a lovely place to live with a slower pace and unbelievably lower costs than that of the Bay area.


Ed Williams
0 votes
Ernie Behrle, Agent, Raleigh, NC
Sat Oct 12, 2013
I'm not from California but have been to SF a couple of times when I was with IBM..and have also lived in 6 different states when I was with them so have a fair appreciation of what the country is like. Can tell you, if I could of picked a state to be laid of in, I couldn't have asked for a better place to live and raise my kids. My baby is 25 now and all 3 still choose to live in the area.

Not knowing what price range you are in, but knowing what a former colleague paid for a simple 2 bedroom flat in SF when he was transferred there, you are going to be amazed at what you can purchase here. A popular area that describes to me what you are looking for is the Brier Creek area which is just to the east of Durham off Rt. 70 if you look at a map. Lots of shopping, parks and nice neighborhoods. My oldest son & daughter in law recently purchased in the general area and love it.
EZ to get to Raleigh, Durham or Chapel Hill.

May I suggest you visit my website at http://www.RaleighHomeSite.com. You can not only search for homes but the search engine will also allow you to see proximity to schools, shopping, parks, entertainment, pretty much any category important to you If I can be of any persoanl assistant, please don't hesitate to ask.

Good Luck and best wishes,

Northside Realty
0 votes
Pam Minore, Agent, Cary, NC
Sat Oct 12, 2013
You have lots of options. Morisville, Cary and North Raleigh are great! You can go on wcpss.net to find information about the schools in Wake county where these areas are located. If you need any help just e-mail me at pminore@fmrealty.com.
0 votes
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