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Soulive

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SWMBO and I have been looking into the area for relocation. I've spoken to several HBT'ers in the area and we're thinking Cary or Chapel Hill is our best bet. I'm hoping to get everyone's opinions into this thread for our education. Our primary concerns are good schools, safety, and recreation. Can anyone recommend the best neighborhoods? We appreciate any comments. Cheers!
 

Ryan_PA

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Come to SE PA. I know of a real brewer friendly townhome that is hitting the market the end of this month ;)
 
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Soulive

Soulive

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Ryan_PA said:
Come to SE PA. I know of a real brewer friendly townhome that is hitting the market the end of this month ;)
I remember you mentioning that, but we're looking to go a little farther south :)
 

Beerthoven

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Ok, I'll start.

I have lived in Cary since moving to the Triangle area in 1999. My wife and I like it here, and we have no plans to move anytime soon.

Some things I like about Cary:
1. Its an easy commute to my job in RTP. There are several routes I can take back and forth to work if one gets jammed up, and its easy to switch between them mid-trip.

2. Cary is centrally located in the Triangle region, so its very easy to get to Raleigh, Durham, or Chapel Hill.

3. Cary consistently ranks as one of the safest cities in the country and the schools are generally good despite a very fast rate of growth in the system (see comment below).

4. Cary has a very well developed park and greenway system.

5. While growth has been phenomenal in the past 25 years, it has by and large been well controlled and planned.

6. Property values have continued to increase in Cary despite the problems in the rest of the country. Cary is also more affordable than some of the trendier cities like Raleigh and (especially) Chapel Hill.

Some thinks I don't like about Cary:
1. It has a quaint downtown, but really lacks an urban core. While my neighborhood is friendly and walkable, its not really feasible to walk to the nearest grocery store or cafe every day.

2. Growth controls and rigorous planning have resulted in a pleasing, clean, and well-maintained built environment, but it suffers from a certain "sameness" that I often find boring.

3. The school system is the unified Wake County school system, which has 160,000 students and is growing at about 7,500 students a year. This tremendous growth rate means that new schools are opening all the time, resulting in school reassignments for up to 10% of the student body every year. There is also a high rate of teacher turnover and some overcrowding. Many schools are going to a year-round calendar (which I approve of, actually). The upside is that many of the school buildings and other facilities are new, and there is a high degree of parental involvement in the school system.

Maybe I'll think of more stuff to add later, or respond to others comments.
 
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Soulive

Soulive

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Thanks for the honesty Beerthoven. I just spoke to someone in Wilmington who recommended Chapel Hill for us, although didn't have anything bad to say about Cary. His only warning was to stay away from Winston-Salem...
 

9/9

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If you decide to consider Durham (which I do prefer over the rest of the Triangle), I would be happy to give you plenty of thoughts.

On the two areas you listed, we prefer Chapel Hill, though it is mostly just a matter of personal preference. I would just point out that, if you are considering Chapel Hill and are concerned with schools, you need to pay attention whether specific locations are zoned for Chapel Hill City Schools or Orange County Schools.
 

Beerthoven

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Soulive said:
Thanks for the honesty Beerthoven. I just spoke to someone in Wilmington who recommended Chapel Hill for us, although didn't have anything bad to say about Cary. His only warning was to stay away from Winston-Salem...
Its hard to go wrong with Chapel Hill. Affordability may be an issue, especially if you want to live close to the University or downtown. Carrborro is a little town adjacent to Chapel Hill that you might want to check out, too. Carrboro has a great little club called Cats Cradle where a lot of bands play. Don't know much about Winston-Salem excpect that it is a tobacco industry town.

Cary is named after Samuel Fenton Cary, who was a nationally-known leader of the Temperance Movement. So everytime I brew I batch of beer its like giving the finger to the Prohibitionists! :rockin:
 
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Soulive

Soulive

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9/9 said:
If you decide to consider Durham (which I do prefer over the rest of the Triangle), I would be happy to give you plenty of thoughts.

On the two areas you listed, we prefer Chapel Hill, though it is mostly just a matter of personal preference. I would just point out that, if you are considering Chapel Hill and are concerned with schools, you need to pay attention whether specific locations are zoned for Chapel Hill City Schools or Orange County Schools.
Yeah I realized through the listings online that there are different school zones. I'm assuimg we'd want to be zone for CHC schools?

Beerthoven said:
Its hard to go wrong with Chapel Hill. Affordability may be an issue, especially if you want to live close to the University or downtown. Carrborro is a little town adjacent to Chapel Hill that you might want to check out, too. Carrboro has a great little club called Cats Cradle where a lot of bands play. Don't know much about Winston-Salem excpect that it is a tobacco industry town.

Cary is named after Samuel Fenton Cary, who was a nationally-known leader of the Temperance Movement. So everytime I brew I batch of beer its like giving the finger to the Prohibitionists!
I will look into Carrboro as well. I did notice the prices seem to be higher in CH than in other areas. That's interesting about the town's namesake!
 

Professor Frink

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You do want to be in CHC schools. The two public high schools are top 100 in the nation. Carrboro is also nice, VERY liberal, think San Francisco. The prices in Carrboro are about the same as Chapel Hill. I agree though, you can never go wrong with Chapel Hill. It's a little more pricey than some of the other options, but it is a buyer's market right now.

Winston-Salem is a sleepy little tobacco town that is nice to visit (the Foothills brewery is awesome), but I wouldn't want to live there.
 

Bruscar

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I'd LOVE to live in Cary. An ex-workmate lived there and loved it also.
'Course, for you being in Joisey & my being in L.A., ANYTHING'S an improvement!!


Just make sure I get the new address for S.S. I'd hate for the dirtbag who gets your old place to get....well....you know!
 

9/9

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Soulive said:
Yeah I realized through the listings online that there are different school zones. I'm assuimg we'd want to be zone for CHC schools?
Well, I am not going to go so far as to tell you which school system you want to be in (as a teacher in Durham Public Schools, I could go on a long rant about my thoughts on how to best evaluate schools and the relationships between the repuation of a distict and the quality of education that can be served through a district, but I will spare you). I will just say that CHC schools and Orange schools serve different populations, with CHC schools being smaller and having a much higher percentage of students from middle/upper class (UNC profs/employee families), whereas Orange serve a much more rural and widespread population. Test scores are certainly higher for CHC schools (in fact, they have some of the highest in the state), if that is a standard you value. I will let you decide which system serves a population best matching what you are looking for.
 
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Soulive

Soulive

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9/9 said:
Well, I am not going to go so far as to tell you which school system you want to be in (as a teacher in Durham Public Schools, I could go on a long rant about my thoughts on how to best evaluate schools and the relationships between the repuation of a distict and the quality of education that can be served through a district, but I will spare you). I will just say that CHC schools and Orange schools serve different populations, with CHC schools being smaller and having a much higher percentage of students from middle/upper class (UNC profs/employee families), whereas Orange serve a much more rural and widespread population. Test scores are certainly higher for CHC schools (in fact, they have some of the highest in the state), if that is a standard you value. I will let you decide which system serves a population best matching what you are looking for.
Thanks for that info. I'd say we would be shooting for the CHC school district. Test scores aren't the only factor but definitely important...
 

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Soulive said:
Thanks for that info. I'd say we would be shooting for the CHC school district. Test scores aren't the only factor but definitely important...
My suggestion when looking at schools (be it for CHC schools or anywhere) is to get the test scores broken down by subgroup. You may have to request it from the district, but it should be available. I am not a big proponent of evaluating schools by overall test scores, but they are more useful if you compare the scores of the subgroups that you fit in. So, you may see a school that has really high overall scores, but realize that the scores for whatever subgroup your child would fit into (low income, hispanic, ESL, BED, AIG, etc.) are lower than average. The reverse may be true for a school with low overall scores, but does a better than average job of serving particular subgroups.
 

skeeordye11

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I live right off I-40 pretty much in between CH & Durham. I really like where I'm at, as both places are an easy 10 min. commute and being right off the highway a mere 30 min to Raleigh. I don't have kids, so I can't comment on schools, but as far as recreation, I'm a huge sports fan so I will focus there. Obviously we have UNC and Duke sports close by with NC State right down ther road across from the RBC Center (Hurricanes Hockey). The Durham Bulls are right there and a great time in the summer, as well as the Mudcats baseball and the Railhawks (professional soccer) if that's you thing. All these things would be close no matter where you picked around these parts. We've got 2 microbreweries, and 2 brewpubs in CH that I can think of off the top of my head. Plenty of other places to go out in Raleigh and CH if you're into that. There's my input. Not sure if it helps?
 

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skeeordye11 said:
We've got 2 microbreweries, and 2 brewpubs in CH that I can think of off the top of my head.
Which places are you thinking of, just out of curiosity? I know of Carolina Brewery in CH, but I don't know of others. There is Triangle Brewing in Durham and Big Boss in Raleigh as well.
 
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Soulive

Soulive

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skeeordye11 said:
I live right off I-40 pretty much in between CH & Durham. I really like where I'm at, as both places are an easy 10 min. commute and being right off the highway a mere 30 min to Raleigh. I don't have kids, so I can't comment on schools, but as far as recreation, I'm a huge sports fan so I will focus there. Obviously we have UNC and Duke sports close by with NC State right down ther road across from the RBC Center (Hurricanes Hockey). The Durham Bulls are right there and a great time in the summer, as well as the Mudcats baseball and the Railhawks (professional soccer) if that's you thing. All these things would be close no matter where you picked around these parts. We've got 2 microbreweries, and 2 brewpubs in CH that I can think of off the top of my head. Plenty of other places to go out in Raleigh and CH if you're into that. There's my input. Not sure if it helps?
Yeah thats great. I didnt realize there are 4 craft brewers in the area :)
 
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Soulive

Soulive

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Beerthoven said:
Where else are you considering? Other parts of the country?
Just the east coast, south of where we are now. I'd say anywhere from MD down to SC. We just started thinking about it last week. After visiting GA, we feel we're better suited away from the NYC area for now...
 

skeeordye11

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9/9 said:
Which places are you thinking of, just out of curiosity? I know of Carolina Brewery in CH, but I don't know of others. There is Triangle Brewing in Durham and Big Boss in Raleigh as well.
I was talking about Carolina and Big Boss even though they are in Holy Springs and Raleigh respectively. I totally forgot about Triangle brewing in Durham. Haven't been there yet actually. As far as brewpubs, I was talking about Top of the Hill and Carolina Brewery in CH. I guess if you expand the search we've got Red Oak in Greensboro and Foothills in Winston-Salem. Ahhh, I love beer! :mug:
 

9/9

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skeeordye11 said:
I was talking about Carolina and Big Boss even though they are in Holy Springs and Raleigh respectively. I totally forgot about Triangle brewing in Durham. Haven't been there yet actually. As far as brewpubs, I was talking about Top of the Hill and Carolina Brewery in CH. I guess if you expand the search we've got Red Oak in Greensboro and Foothills in Winston-Salem. Ahhh, I love beer! :mug:
I totally forgot about Top of the Hill.

Don't forget Duck Rabbit. :)

(Ashville is probably too far away to include Highland)
 

Professor Frink

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skeeordye11 said:
I live right off I-40 pretty much in between CH & Durham. I really like where I'm at, as both places are an easy 10 min. commute and being right off the highway a mere 30 min to Raleigh. I don't have kids, so I can't comment on schools, but as far as recreation, I'm a huge sports fan so I will focus there. Obviously we have UNC and Duke sports close by with NC State right down ther road across from the RBC Center (Hurricanes Hockey). The Durham Bulls are right there and a great time in the summer, as well as the Mudcats baseball and the Railhawks (professional soccer) if that's you thing. All these things would be close no matter where you picked around these parts. We've got 2 microbreweries, and 2 brewpubs in CH that I can think of off the top of my head. Plenty of other places to go out in Raleigh and CH if you're into that. There's my input. Not sure if it helps?
I-40 between CH and Durham? That's down the street from me. Where do you live, I'm in Finley Forest across from Meadowmont.
 

9/9

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Soulive said:
More importantly, will I be able to get Direct TV down there? :D
Are we assuming that you are buying a home? When we first moved down here the apartment complex we rented before we bought a place had a deal with Time Warner that pretty much made getting Direct TV impossible.
 

Professor Frink

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Soulive said:
Yes we'd be buying a home. No NASCAR for us, just NFL/MLB total access!
I'm not sure about DirectTV, I think you can get it, but Time Warner Digital Cable does offer MLB Total Access.
 
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Soulive

Soulive

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Professor Frink said:
I'm not sure about DirectTV, I think you can get it, but Time Warner Digital Cable does offer MLB Total Access.
Good, is that what you have to watch the Mets build up to collapsing? :cross:
 

skeeordye11

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Professor Frink said:
I-40 between CH and Durham? That's down the street from me. Where do you live, I'm in Finley Forest across from Meadowmont.
It is indeed right down the street. I live in the Copper Mill apartment complex on 54 between 40 and 751.
 

Chad

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We moved to NC about two years ago and love it. As Beerthoven said, the Wake school district is growing so fast they're having a hard time keeping up. The quality of schools available is generally very high, though.

Here's a link you'll need: North Carolina School Report Cards. It's a good way to check how schools compare. As 9/9 said, don't just look at the overall score, look at the subgroup breakouts. But if you get down to a couple of locations, being able to compare the schools side by side helps a lot.

Let me put my two bits in for Apex & Holly Springs. We're in Apex, just south of Cary. It's not as generic as much of Cary is, and housing is still reasonably affordable. Apex (and a little farther down the road, Holly Springs) is sleepier than Raleigh or even Cary, but if you don't mind driving a couple of minutes you can get more house for your money. I can be in downtown Raleigh in 15 minutes, at the Raleigh farmer's market in 10 and at Carolina Brewing Company in less than 10 :D . On the downside, development is moving fast so Apex is losing some of its historic charm to townhouses and strip malls. We were lucky to find a great place in an older established neighborhood, so we're somewhat insulated, but there's stuff going up all around us.

Chad

Oh, and if you need a good real estate agent, PM me. Ours was spectacular.
 
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Soulive

Soulive

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Chad said:
We moved to NC about two years ago and love it. As Beerthoven said, the Wake school district is growing so fast they're having a hard time keeping up. The quality of schools available is generally very high, though.

Here's a link you'll need: North Carolina School Report Cards. It's a good way to check how schools compare. As 9/9 said, don't just look at the overall score, look at the subgroup breakouts. But if you get down to a couple of locations, being able to compare the schools side by side helps a lot.

Let me put my two bits in for Apex & Holly Springs. We're in Apex, just south of Cary. It's not as generic as much of Cary is, and housing is still reasonably affordable. Apex (and a little farther down the road, Holly Springs) is sleepier than Raleigh or even Cary, but if you don't mind driving a couple of minutes you can get more house for your money. I can be in downtown Raleigh in 15 minutes, at the Raleigh farmer's market in 10 and at Carolina Brewing Company in less than 10 :D . On the downside, development is moving fast so Apex is losing some of its historic charm to townhouses and strip malls. We were lucky to find a great place in an older established neighborhood, so we're somewhat insulated, but there's stuff going up all around us.

Chad

Oh, and if you need a good real estate agent, PM me. Ours was spectacular.
Thanks, that page is very helpful. It seems like all the areas are fairly close to each other. Hopefully we can come down in April to check things out :mug:
 
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