Hello. We are headed to Raleigh for 2 days at the end of January and are looking for advice on touring the area for a possible relocation.

Asked by sophiaann1718, Raleigh, NC Sat Dec 28, 2013

Hello, we are headed to Raleigh for the weekend and are interested in checking out Raleigh and Cary on Saturday and Chapel Hill, Carborro and Hillsborough on Sunday. We are travelling without our sons but their ages are 3 and 4 and the oldest will be entering Kindergarten in 2015. Schools are very important to us. We are moving from NJ and looking for a slower pace of life, friendlier people, a smaller mortgage, and lower taxes. I am a physical therapist and my husband will most likely be working from home. Our ideal neighborhood would be one that can offer a small yard, but close to parks and a main street (coffe/ice cream shop...) Can anyone offer suggestions on how we should approach the weekend to see the most with our time?

We do intend to rent for the first year to make sure we are in the right spot. Hopefully something around $1500/monthly and when we look to buy we are thinking 250-300,000. Thanks so much for any help offered:)

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Bonnie Eaddy, Agent, Raleigh, NC
Thu Jan 2, 2014

I just wanted to encourage you to take it all in. The Triangle is a fabulous and remarkable place to call home. Raleigh is a wonderful city, always growing and offering such a multitude of resources and oppurtunities. Apex has a quiant small town feel with the benefits of the larger towns and cities. Chapel Hill is a higher price point, college town and has some really fun places to walk to, if you are blessed enough to live that close. Carboro is small and quaint and blends right into Chapel Hill. Hillsborough is a charming town with a sweet main street.

I believe you should do as much study about the schools as possible before getting your trip together. Know the schools you like...then find the home most suited for your family. Also, it is wise to rent before you know an area.

Create a relationship with one of the knowledgeable Realtors that have reached out to you. We will be able to set up proper searches for you and guide you to homeownership.

Bonnie Eaddy 919.225.2013
Many blessings to you.
1 vote
I agree with you totally Bonnie! Great answer!
Flag Fri Jan 3, 2014
Sarah Willia…, Home Owner, Raleigh, NC
Mon Dec 30, 2013
Hi Sophia -

I moved down here from the tri-state area 4 years ago. My job at the time was based in Wake Forest, so we rented for a year in Wake Forest (Heritage) which was great - but also helped us realize where we wanted to live. My husband teaches at a school my son attends in Raleigh so we moved here. Chapel Hill is super great - maybe more expensive - great schools. I agree that I would focus on the schools first before the area, make sure you are comfortable with them. You'll hear all kinds of things about all the areas. Cary is full of relocated Yankees (aka Containment Area for Relocated Yankees) and people seem to like the schools. Raleigh has a blend of year round and traditional calendar schools to balance the school population. If you really want to walk to parks and coffee shops (which I miss) make that really clear when you are looking at properties - if you don't want to drive to everything. There are amazing parks (Umstead State Park is great for hiking etc). If you live "below the beltline" in 5 points area, you can walk to everything but prices go up.

Renting for a year is really a great idea; I know its a pain to move twice but it's worse to try and sell a house once you've figured out where you really want to be.

1 vote
No matter what - you'll still pay half of what you pay in NJ and the property taxes are almost zero compared to the NY tri state area
Flag Mon Dec 30, 2013
sophiaann1718, Home Buyer, Raleigh, NC
Sat Dec 28, 2013
Maybe my search is too big and I am over estimating what I can see in one day. I am really trying to get a FEEL for the area and NOT to find my actual home or rental. I am hoping to move down in the summer, we are putting our house on the market, priced to sell, in March. I want to find a Neighborhood that I like and try to find a job in that area. As a PT, generally, I have options...Can any of you point me in the direction fo some neighboorhoods/zipcodes in Raleigh or Cary that I can research prior to coming to the area. Areas with good schools, racial and religious diversity, close (doesn't have to be walkable) to a down town, close to greenways/parks.
1 vote
If you're interested in Raleigh, you might want to check out 27606. It's a neighborhood in Southwest Raleigh, near NC State. We lived in the neighborhood for several years and it has a great elementary school (Combs), is affordable, has amazing neighbors, and tons of diversity in age, race, religion, etc. It's near Lake Johnson, which also has a public pool, and the local high school also houses a branch of the public library. It's such a sweet neighborhood, and somewhat "undiscovered" for being inside the beltline (ITB).
Flag Mon Jan 6, 2014
Concentrate on the zip codes using the homes I sent you that you liked the most. Again will depend upon whether you choose the smaller lots or larger ones.
Flag Mon Dec 30, 2013
27513, and 27511, includes downtown Cary
27519, very suburban in Cary.
27502, In and around downtown Apex.
Apex has a cuter town center, but Cary is investing greatly in downtown improvements, and will have more parks and rec than Apex.
Neither town is a bad choice for you.
Flag Sat Dec 28, 2013
Ernie Behrle, Agent, Raleigh, NC
Sat Dec 28, 2013
Hello Sophia!! Mike had some excellent points ...one of which was my first thought. You are looking to cover a lot of area in a single weekend and it will be really hard to get a good idea of where you want to be in that short of time. I do like your idea of doing it on your own though as you won't be directed in any one direction. When my wife & I relocated here in 1993 with IBM, we had 5 days to look at homes and were directed to focus on Cary. By chance, we had a day to drive around on our own and found another whole world in NE Raleigh that our assigned Realtor refused to show us. We have lived in this area ever since.
A little info about the area.... what you'll find, using Chapel Hill as the western extreme... as you head east you'll find more home for the money on average. Wake County offers the lowest tax base. There are hundreds of home communities to look at throughout the Triangle and besides price range, you will want to focus on what you want in a neighborhood. Pools that have swim teams for the kids? Golf course? Athletic Centers? Self enclosed shops & dining? All of these can be had well within your price range.

Please feel free to take a look at my personal website http://www.RaleighHomeSite.com I tried very hard to include as many links as possible to help people learn about the area plus I'm very happy with the new home search tool on the main page. It is similar to the one found on Trulia however because it is linked directly to the MLS, all listings are active and current. You can also look and search areas based upon demographics including schools, shopping, parks etc. You can also search for available rentals!!

Best wishes for a safe visit to our area!!! ..and a potential move.

1 vote
Mike Jaquish, Agent, Cary, NC
Sat Dec 28, 2013
Hi, Sophia Ann,

Raleigh and Cary in one day?
Plan to travel light and move quickly to see neighborhoods and available services and parks.
Involvement in long meals to test restaurants will consume too much time, so plan on a quick sandwich or snack.
Likewise with other attractions and parks. You will have time to do drive-bys, but not to really visit.
If you want to see prospective rental homes, plan ahead for quick visits. Many rental homes require notice of 24-48 hours to be seen.
And spending a few hours in 3 or 4 houses may be a significant distraction and poor use of the brief time available to tour the area.

GPS will get you around, but many people on quick tours get confused as to locations of places they see. I suggest you get a fairly simple local map and mark the location of places you see and like to put them in perspective.

When I work with relocating folks, I plan my routes carefully to show them as much as possible, as efficiently as possible.
Web Reference:  http://RealtyArts.com
1 vote
Scott Cox, , Raleigh, NC
Tue Jan 14, 2014
Raleigh is a great area. I moved from the DC area years ago and love it.

If you do decide to buy I can help.

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0 votes
Debbie Rodri…, Agent, Cary, NC
Thu Jan 2, 2014
Hi Sophia
I'm also a transplant in the Triangle Area. Originally from Queens NY I moved here 9 yrs ago. So I totally understand what the transition is like. Schools were also very important to me and we rented in Apex and then in Morrisville just to get acclimated to the area before buying our home. We ended up buying in Holly Springs (southern wake county) where we got the most "bang for our buck".
I'd be happy to help you. Feel free to call, text or email me 919-753-7746 / rodriguezd@hpw.com
or visit my website http://www.hpwagents.rodriguezd.com
0 votes
JoAnn Knorr, Agent, Raleigh NC 27609, NC
Tue Dec 31, 2013
Please call me and let me tell you about North Hills.

JoAnn Knorr, Agent
Coldwell Bankers, Howard Perry and Walston
0 votes
James Howard, Agent, Raleigh, NC
Sun Dec 29, 2013
Good afternoon,

Just give me a call. My partner and I are both Licensed Realtors and would look forward to helping you out.


Jim Howard and Jet Paris
0 votes
Pam Minore, Agent, Cary, NC
Sat Dec 28, 2013
I would recommend Cary, Apex and Morrisville. These are great areas to live with very good schools. If you have any questions just e-mail me at pminore@fmrealty.com.
0 votes
JoAnn Knorr, Agent, Raleigh NC 27609, NC
Sat Dec 28, 2013
Call me I am available to help you. 919-607-4869.

JoAnn Knorr, Agent

Coldwell Bankers, Howard Perry & Walston

5000 Falls of the Neuse, Ste 100

Raleigh, NC 27609

cell 919-607-4869

office 919-926-3239

e-fax 919-794-7255

Alt. email: TheRaleighTenantFinder@yahoo.com

facebook: TheRaleigh TenantFinder

Website: http://www.raleigh-property.com

0 votes
Farrah Akhtar…, , Raleigh, NC
Sat Dec 28, 2013
Hello Sophia,

Raleigh and surrounding areas have a lot to offer in terms of what you are looking for. You have the right idea by coming to visit and getting a good feel for where you may want to be. It's fairly sprawled out, however for the greater part using Raleigh as a central point, you should be able to find something that will fit your needs and desires within a 15 to 30 mile radius. It sounds as though you are still hoping for a good mix between suburbia and city life. Brier Creek, Raleigh springs to mind. It's a great little popular area.

I would be happy to show you around during your visit.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at 919 671 2725 or farrahclark@kw.com

I can also provide you with a list of rentals should you need them prior to your visit.

Happy Holidays

Farrah A-Clark
Keller Williams Realty
919 671 2725
0 votes
Dawn Anderson, Agent, Clayton, NC
Sat Dec 28, 2013
Good morning Sophia!

What a wonderful choice to make- I made the move from NYC to North Carolina, first renting a wonderful apartment in Cary, NC and then having our home built out in Clayton NC- lots of space for the money- a real change from NYC. And I just helped another couple with two children ages 3 and 2 move from NJ to North Carolina for the same reasons school was extremely important and they purchased a brand new home built to their specifications out in lovely Holly Springs, NC. They came down in August and closed on Dec. 19th. They are very happy with their choice.

I would be more than happy to provide you with details of that area as well- especially noting you are looking for a slower pace of life. As for lower taxes - you will find that in most of North Carolina, Wake County (Raleigh, Cary, Durham, Chapel Hill) will be higher than Johnston County. And in almost all areas you will be able to find a small yard, parks near by and many recreational things to do.

For further information on both Johnston County please view their website(s) http://www.johnstoncountync.org I do really enjoy the slow pace of Clayton and surrounding areas and their school district (http://www.greatschools.org/north-carolina/smithfield/Johnst…) is still traditional, versus year round as many of the Wake County schools are (http://www.greatschools.org/north-carolina/raleigh/).

It will be a huge task to view all those area you listed during the two days perhaps it would be best to narrow it down or even search some city data sites for some ideas of where to start. Cary will definitely give you the feel of Long Island with things in easy grasp and I know of quite a few apartment sites that have wonderful amenities and allow you to rent for shorter periods of time a good place to start when making a transition. Theres also a lovely complex in Brier Creek that just recently opened. The weather here is awesome (in case you haven't already realized that) :)

I would also encourage you to view my website to search further http://www.advantagecb.com/danderson. And if you would like for me to have any of my recent clients reach out to you with their thoughts on where to start I am happy to do so. And of course if you have any questions feel free to call or text me 919-452-9379 or email me danderson @advantagecb.com.

Best of luck and welcome to lovely North Carolina!

Warm Regards,
Dawn Anderson
0 votes
Vicki Kennedy, Agent, Garner, NC
Sat Dec 28, 2013
With such a short timeframe, my suggestion would be to send you rental listings now and we narrow down before you come to the area. If you will contact me directly, we can discuss your options. Depending on when you move, the rental houses we view would most likely not be available as they move fairly quickly. I would love to talk to you to get more information. You can reach me at 919-201-4117 or vicki.kennedy@hpwnc.com.

Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.

Vicki Kennedy
Coldwell Banker/HPW
0 votes
Sam Calvert, Agent, Raleigh, NC
Sat Dec 28, 2013
I moved here from the Northeast 26 years ago. You won't have much trouble finding a good home in a good neighborhood close to great coffee shops and shopping in general.

When we moved here we localized our home search close to RTP because that is where my wife wanted to work and she did not want a long commute.

Since you are working as a PT (Husband works from home) and SCHOOLS are important, what I would recommend is to do the due diligence on schools and come here and look at schools. Once you narrow that search down approximate where you'd like to work for the commute to work.

From there go out looking at homes. Once you get the commute to/from work localized with the schools you're looking for I have no doubt you'll have any trouble finding a home that fits your needs and close to shops and shopping.

Here's a link to begin searching schools:


If there is anything I can do to help feel free to contact me at 919-870-2999. Good luck.
0 votes
Is it true that in Wake County, just because your home is close to a school doesn't neccesarily mean that your child will attend that school?
Flag Sat Dec 28, 2013
Carla Freund, Agent, Raleigh, NC
Sat Dec 28, 2013
Hi Sophia,

I work with a lot of people from NJ. There are a few things to consider. If you're being relocated by your husband's company, you may want to ask if you're required to work with a particular Real Estate Company. Either way, I recommend you find an agent you'd like to work with who can help you narrow your search. You should most definitely schedule with someone now because our area will pick up with buyers looking for homes come mid-January. Some agents were busy with out of town buyers in December.

Seeing all those areas in two days could be done but, it would be challenging and you wouldn't get to see very much. I highly recommend you start working with someone now who can listen to what you're seeking and help you narrow. Our area is a spread out.

I've found many people I work with from up North are surprised at what you get for the price point which is another reason to start working with someone now. You can certainly find a home for the price you mentioned but, what do you want in that home? For example, unless you purchase an older home or go further out, you will probably find a home with a small yard (.24 acre or much less). That seems to be a big surprise to people moving from the North.

What you will find is the lifestyle you mentioned (good schools, slower pace, friendly people, lower taxes, and don't forget... not a lot of snow to shovel). All the areas you mentioned are great. There seems to be something or everyone here. You just need to find the place you feel you can call home. A couple towns you may want to also conider are Apex, NC and Holly Springs NC. They are close to Cary and still convenient to Raleigh.

You may want to have a rental search and a home search set up so you can start to get a feel for what is available. Feel free to contact me or any other agent you feel would represent your interest best.
0 votes
Aimee Anders…, Agent, Raleigh, NC
Sat Dec 28, 2013
These areas are much bigger than what they appear on a map. In reality, Raleigh would take one full day, Cary one full day and it would be stretching it to see Chapel Hill Carborro and Hillsborough in a day. If you are trying to see all of these areas in a weekend - I would leave your children with someone - they will be a car for an extremely long period of time. Warning - finding a rental is going to be very challenging if you are trying to rent a home - an apartment won't be too hard but finding a house to rent will be hard - Realtors, unless it is their own rental - typically do not show rentals. My advise is to research which area would be that best for your job and then concentrate in that area - all of our schools are great!
0 votes
R B Bob, , Raleigh, NC
Sat Dec 28, 2013
Hi, my wife and I relocated here right at two years ago from the Midwest via the west coast.

We ended up buying a home in Cary, but found that you don't get quite as much house for the money in Cary than in Raleigh are a bit further out in Apex.

North Raleigh and out from there is nice too. Some of the small towns just east of Raleigh have a nice small town feel, but are still within commuting distance.

I also like some cool urban neighborhoods in Raleigh.

Anyway, I'm a lender so I can't help you in the rental, but when you're ready to buy, give me a shout out. If you have any questions in the mean time, feel free to reach out to me.

0 votes
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