It says you are from Clayton NC, is this true? Can you tell me if you are wanting to stay on the east side of Raleigh to remain closer to family or friends? If so I would strongly recommend looking at Knightdale. I have sold quite a few homes in Knightdale the past year to good friends and they have been extremely happy. Close to shopping 440 and 540 beltline and just a 8-10 minute commute to downtown Raleigh with very little traffic in the morning or evening commutes. Also you get a much larger bang for your buck especially in the price range you have mentioned (at least my clients did).
Also I would look into some of the smaller older neighborhoods in and around downtown such as Oakwood or Mordecai. They would be in your price range as well and I can testify I trust the schools as my kids are attendees. Do let me know if I can be of any service to you and good luck with baby number two on the way!
Blue Skye Realty
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Realtor/Broker at REMAX One Realty
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If you take the time to visit my website at http://www.RaleighHomeSite.com, there are links to all of these areas plus links to the public school system which in this area is county wide. In your price range, there is a good selection of homes to look at , both new construction and resale, and it will come down to how much of a commute you want for work and any other amenities like YMCA's, recreational activities, etc. Most of the neighborhoods here are PUD's ( Planned Unit Developments) some with many amenities and some with few. Just depends upon what you want.
Please contact me if I can be of any personal assistance to you!!
Also, don't rule out Durham based on past bad press (which a lot of people do); the area near Southpoint Mall also has easy access to I-40.
You can check out shcool report cards at http://www.ncschoolreportcard.org/src.
I would check out Renaissance Park. That is a Raleigh jewel, lots of young families walking around on all their sidewalks, and right in your price range. New build too. I have sold a couple houses in there and can help you with that process. Hope to speak with you soon!
I think the Triangle would be wonderful for a growing family like yours. Many of my current clients are in same situation as you are; young family, and relocating to the area. I have a few communities in mind as well as some points to consider. Please give me a call at (919) 627.8087 to discuss further. I would love to be the first to welcome you to the Triangle!