Jump to content

Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill NC


Recommended Posts

So tell me everything about "the triangle." Is it a cool place to live?

I'm a beer snob, will I be satisfied or confined to small beer menues at most places?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 294
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Here's some of my suggestions about the Triangle. I have lived here for about 12 years now and have lived in several parts of the area and went to undergrad in UNC-CH. Housing: Chapel Hill: Un

Most places around the triangle that a typical grad would WANT to live do not do pre-leasing. The places that do pre-leasing are usually more geared for undergraduates moving off campus. In chapel h

I loooove the Chapel Hill area. Did my undergrad there, moved away, then moved back. There's lots of very expensive good food, and some cheap food too. Good bars, and great coffee shops. It's a c

I loooove the Chapel Hill area. Did my undergrad there, moved away, then moved back.

There's lots of very expensive good food, and some cheap food too. Good bars, and great coffee shops. It's a chain of small towns, so everything's easy to find. Having a car is helpful, but the bus line is FREE and really CLEAN. Not sketchy at all. If you choose to live far out (to save $$, which a lot of people do, rent can be 1/2 as much if you go 5 rural miles away), there are park and ride lots with bus service every 15 minutes. Also great hiking, canoeing, bike trails, etc, etc.

For the liberals, hippies, queers, anarchists, hipsters, environmentalists, artists, coffee snobs, foodies- your haven is Carrboro (which is abou 1/2 mile from UNC). Welcome.

You will like: Weaver St Market, Cosmic Cantina (which is the great uniter of everyone who wants a great $3 burrito), Cafe Driade, Orange County Social Club (bar for older hipsters), the SpeakEasy, Padgett Station (coffee), Open Eye (coffee), Queen of Sheba's (Ethiopian), and now I'm tired of listing things. Hope that helped a little.

Link to post
Share on other sites

"Cool"? Depends upon where you're coming from. There are nice things about the area but if you're coming from a major city (Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, etc.) you might find it lacking culturally or otherwise. Public transportations outside of Chapel Hill (UNC vicinity) tends to be a joke. You'll definitely need a car if you want to experience anything besides the quaint/typical college town life around UNC (i.e. experiencing more than school and a handful of bars, coffee shops, and used bookstores, etc.).

Perhaps if you explain what you consider cool or what you hope to find in an area people can provide more specific feedback.

And, yes, you will crave Cosmic burritos like they're made of pure crack....

Link to post
Share on other sites

I see that I have very good chances of getting into Duke. Can someone tell me how is Durham with respect to crime rate? Which areas near Duke are safe to live? I also read elsewhere that places near Duke are comparitively not so safe. Some people advise me to stay at Cary or chapel Hill and comute to Durham. Is that possible? Thanks for your time! :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
Anonymous said:
I see that I have very good chances of getting into Duke. Can someone tell me how is Durham with respect to crime rate? Which areas near Duke are safe to live? I also read elsewhere that places near Duke are comparitively not so safe. Some people advise me to stay at Cary or chapel Hill and comute to Durham. Is that possible? Thanks for your time! :)

I've lived in Durham for six years. Everyone we talked to before moving down advised us not to live in Durham. Yes, Durham has its problems but the most common issues you may be concerned with are prevelant throught the area (mostly petty theft, car break ins, etc.). Complacency and a general lack of common sense seems to be the biggest issue. The very bad parts of Durham are off the beaten path: unless you're looking for the proverbial trouble you'll likely have no reason to go there. That being said, Durham can be a bit block by block. I once lived in an apartment where there was extreme poverty in one direction and million dollar homes in the other direction, each literally about two blocks away.

Some advice:

As was passed on to me when I first visited the area, don't live in any apartment complex with the words "Duke" or "Chapel" in the name. These complexes are poorly run and tend to have crime issues.

"Suburban" Durham is quite a different place than the grittier places I described above. I would recommend the South Point area about 15 minutes drive south of Duke (booming residential area with high-end shopping, etc.); it is centrally located to Durham, Raleigh, and Chapel Hill. Also consider the South Square area which lies about half way between Duke and Chapel Hill on the 15-501 Highway. You can get to Duke in 5-10 minutes depending upon which campus you're on.

Living close to campus/downtown gets more problematic. There are great places but its generally easier to find them once you know the town a bit. There are some new and rather upscale apartment/loft complexes that recently opened. If you have the money you cannot go wrong there.

Avoid the University housing. Overpriced and slated for demolition in the coming years.

Although not on the scale of "real" metropolitan areas, the Triangle has its fair share of commuting headaches. Chapel Hill can be fun if you want to be very close to the bar scene. It's more expensive than Durham. Also, the commute can take a while depending upon the time of day and from where in CH you'd be coming.

Don't live in Cary. You'll have a long commute and be totally (and I do mean totally) isolated from any social scene that might interest you in Durham/Chapel Hill. Cary is the land of homogenous surbaban subdivisions. Very little character. Plus you have to drive through RTP to get to Duke which gurantees you rush hour frustrations.

North Durham gets rather pokey and rural very quickly. There's not much up there of note. And I don't mean quanit, bucolic rural.

The aforementioned areas, South Point and South Square, are in southwestern and western Durham respectively.

Eastern Durham is the area with the most crime.

Parking at Duke sucks. One motivating factor for living close by since you might not feel like driving for 40 minutes to have to park in an overflow lot several miles from campus and wait for a shuttle bus to get to campus.

Post more specific question as you get them and I will try to respond. I think Durham has the most character - good and bad - of the cities in the area and much prefer living here than the other towns.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Schmink

Wow, such great tips. I'll be going to Duke this Fall and your tips have really come in handy. I have a family and my spouse will be studying in Wake Forest. We though about living in WF - I would then drive to Durham. Is that crazy or doable?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Guest
Wow, such great tips. I'll be going to Duke this Fall and your tips have really come in handy. I have a family and my spouse will be studying in Wake Forest. We though about living in WF - I would then drive to Durham. Is that crazy or doable?

Studying in Wake Forest the town northeast of Raleigh or Wake Forest the university located in Winston-Salem, NC? As for the former, it is a bedroom suburb for the Triangle area. I would expect about a 45 minute drive to Duke during rush hour, maybe more, mostly on smaller state highways. That part of the area is fast becoming a sprawling nightmare, especially taking Capital Blvd/Rte. 1 into Raleigh from Wake Forrest. The half way point between these two would either be neighborhoods in Eastern Durham or North Raleigh. Although there are some ok areas on Highway 98 headed away from Durham you'll still be rather proximate to some of the rougher parts of town. North Raleigh off of Highway 70, such as the booming Brier Creek area or anything off of Millbrook, etc., would be a much better choice if you want to split the distance. Plus you'd be pretty centrally located to easily get to Durham or Raleigh attractions. Schools are generally better in Wake County then Durham County, especially if you live in the eastern part of Durham.

The later, Winston-Salem, is roughly an hour away by Interstate 85/40 west of Durham. The commute from W-S is a crap shoot. The Triad area (Greensboro, W-S, etc.) can also get congested, especially since North Carolina communities are of the sprawling sort and most everyone most commute to get anywhere. I have known people who have done this drive but no one has much enjoyed it. From my own experience I've made it to W-S in an hour from Durham but have also hit the inevitable contruction and congestions related messes on the interstate that turned the trip into two hours. Winston-Salem is a quaint little city with (seemingly) nice areas around Downtown. I know people who have enjoyed it a lot though I don't have much personal experience with it. There are some areas popular for couples who commute both to the Triangle and the Triad. Hillsborough is a small town about 15-20 minutes west of Durham. It's historic in that it was the first capital of NC and there are lots of old colonial style homes in the town. Hillsborough is county seat of Orange County; Chapel Hill is about 15 minutes drive to the south and east. Some people also live in another small town, Mebane, which is a bit further west from Hillsborough. I am a city boy (and feel that all of NC are boondocks relatively) so gauge for yourself how you'd enjoy living in small town North Carolina.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Guest
Can anybody comment on how good 13K would be for Raleigh, I got into NC State and am considering it.

Thanks

That might be a bit low but you should be alright. I would probably consider living with roomates to make it stretch farther (and into a more comfortable amount). I'm not sure about right around NC State but 1BRs generally rent for the $600-$700 range in the Triangle depending on the area and amenities. Go to Rent.net or someplace similar and see what's the advertised rates are. And plan on having a car in the Triangle. Public transportation here is among the worst of any place I've lived in the country.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Schmink

Thanks for taking the time to respond. I'll be at Duke and my partner at South Eastern Theological (Wake Forest). The accommodation at South Eastern seems very attractive and reasonable, so we are opting for that and I'm hoping to commute. That's why I was asking how relistic that is. I'm thinking we'll save more that way (2br hse for about $550.- and then the better schools for the kids). We're coming in with my funding of 16K and savings of 20K. What do you think of our survival rate? :?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Guest
Thanks for taking the time to respond. I'll be at Duke and my partner at South Eastern Theological (Wake Forest). The accommodation at South Eastern seems very attractive and reasonable, so we are opting for that and I'm hoping to commute. That's why I was asking how relistic that is. I'm thinking we'll save more that way (2br hse for about $550.- and then the better schools for the kids). We're coming in with my funding of 16K and savings of 20K. What do you think of our survival rate? :?

I think that's all dependent upon what standard of living you have now/expect and what situation your partner will be in. For instance, will you be paying tuition to SET that will deplete your savings? Also, I believe Duke finally will begin covering health insurance for incoming students next year but the family options are very expensive to add on and the coverage not that great for either to begin with. Kids are expensive. ;) Your rent sounds nice. Remember you'll need to keep reliable transportation and be prepared for sometimes long(ish) commutes to Duke and then the fun search for parking (another expense) and walk/shuttle ride to campus proper depending upon where you are going. That's the biggest detriment for me. If you're supporting a family of 4 on $16k it will be really rough. Hopefully you can make money in the summer or your partner will be able to gnerate some income.

I'm sure you've done this yourself but lay out something like this below and see how you'll do. My survival guestimate puts expenses at $17k a year without books, clothes, entertainment, cable/internet, etc..

Rent: $7000

Elec: $ 600

Gas: $ 400

Water: $ 240

phone: $ 600

Food: $4000

Medical: $2000 (insurance, co-pays, etc.)

Car: $2000 (insurance, gas, upkeep per car)

What program are you entering (which campus will you be on if you know)?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Schmink

Great information! Thanks.

My parter will is on a tuition scholarship at SET, so the 20K savings are just for living expenses. Add that to the 16K stipend and looking at your rough budget, it seems we might just scrape by :D . Of course I had a look at the insurance premiums for family and it costs a whooping 3800$!

I've also been looking at housing around Duke and came up with: Forest Glen, Spring Ridge, The Atrium, Colonial... rent looks reasonable, what are your thoughts.

BTW I am in at Duke for Econ.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Guest
Great information! Thanks.

My parter will is on a tuition scholarship at SET, so the 20K savings are just for living expenses. Add that to the 16K stipend and looking at your rough budget, it seems we might just scrape by :D . Of course I had a look at the insurance premiums for family and it costs a whooping 3800$!

I've also been looking at housing around Duke and came up with: Forest Glen, Spring Ridge, The Atrium, Colonial... rent looks reasonable, what are your thoughts.

BTW I am in at Duke for Econ.

To be honest, you'll have a tough time beating that rent price in WF assuming its a decent place in a decent neighborgood. Of the places you mention, I know that the Forest Glen is a section 8 community, the Atrium might be, also. I looked at an apartment there once. I didn't mind that a housing project was across the street but the place was dirty and disorganized so the overall impression was very poor. I've heard negative things about the Colonial but have no personal experience. I have never heard of Spring Ridge.

I would try http://communityhousing.duke.edu/index.php to get more information of the areas around Duke. Econ would be on the West Campus. Sometimes you can get away with parking in the local neighborhood around East Campus without getting ticketed but there's not so much luck on West so you cannot really avoid shelling out for a parking pass.

Try this link:

http://communityhousing.duke.edu/proper ... p?id=39877

If it doesn't work it's for the Rockwood Apartments. These are small duplex bungalows in a quiet residential area pretty close to west campus. They are cheap and the few people I've known who have lived there liked their place a lot.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Schmink

Great! We'll probably stick to WF and see how it goes. I'm just having a look at the DCH website. There do seem to be a number of options but we would have to budget a bit more - $800.-. It also seems doable and might be cheaper in the end considering the longer commute from WF +parking fees. Thanks again. I hope you will stick around for more questions :D

 

Ah, one more maybe silly question for those who live in the US. Where I live our homes have really high concrete walls around the houses and large steel gates and security detail. All the houses I see on the DCH website seem to be so open with no hedges or walls around them. Is this common? It really makes me quite nervos considering that I have kids. If it's a silly question just laugh out loud and let me know :oops:

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest waiting234

it's not at all a silly question (my parents lived out of the country for a bit and all the houses where the lived were "gated" in some sense) - but in the us this would be rare. you should make sure, of course, that the neighborhood you're looking at is safe (seems people on this website havea good idea of that, but you could also call the housing office at the school i'm sure). also, a lot of houses/duplexes are open in th front but have fenced back yards - something you'd really want with kids.

Link to post
Share on other sites

So life in Cary is no good because it's suburbia... anyone know anything about living in Carrborro? I'm just looking for a reasonably-priced 1 bdr that's not too far from campus (preferably the south part where all the health sciences are)...

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Guest
So life in Cary is no good because it's suburbia... anyone know anything about living in Carrborro? I'm just looking for a reasonably-priced 1 bdr that's not too far from campus (preferably the south part where all the health sciences are)...

Carrboro is a fun little town that share's its north border with Chapel Hll. A lot of UNC faculty live there. It's definitely a hipster/aging hippy type of area with the communal grocery store (Weaver Steet Market), lots of independent businesses, etc.. At one they were even using an alternate currency there though I don't know if anyone still does. If you're close to "downtown" Carrboro it's an easy walk to Franklin Street and the UNC campus. I think Carrboro is also on Chapel Hill's transit system which is free and is how most people get to and from campus.

You might pay a small premium to live in Carrboro just because of the sheer number of students that go to UNC but I am not certain.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Quinnn

Anyone know much out there about renting a house in the Triangle area? My boyfriend might be going to UNC for PhD and I'll be moving along with him. We have a dog and would love to have a yard and a bigger space than we have now in our apartment. Also, I will be looking for jobs there and wondered if anyone out there knows what the job market is like there, what sorts of companies/organizations are there, how difficult it will be to find work? Right now I am working at a private school as Asst. Director of Admissions but I am looking to make a new start in a new field...just not sure yet! Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Guest
Quinnn said:
Anyone know much out there about renting a house in the Triangle area? My boyfriend might be going to UNC for PhD and I'll be moving along with him. We have a dog and would love to have a yard and a bigger space than we have now in our apartment. Also, I will be looking for jobs there and wondered if anyone out there knows what the job market is like there, what sorts of companies/organizations are there, how difficult it will be to find work? Right now I am working at a private school as Asst. Director of Admissions but I am looking to make a new start in a new field...just not sure yet! Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Check some of the links above or Craiglist. There are a fair number of houses for rent around the local universities.

Telecom and biotech are big industries here. Start your search by looking into Research Triangle Park.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest weakknees

Wow, so much helpful info on here already! Does anyone know anything about living near Duke's East Campus? I want to be within walking distance of one of the two campuses and I've been told that living near the East Campus is best. Does that ring true with people who know the area?

Also, when is the best time to fly in to rent a place, and how much time in Durham should I allow for this?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Guest
Wow, so much helpful info on here already! Does anyone know anything about living near Duke's East Campus? I want to be within walking distance of one of the two campuses and I've been told that living near the East Campus is best. Does that ring true with people who know the area?

Also, when is the best time to fly in to rent a place, and how much time in Durham should I allow for this?

Well, there are more options around East Campus than West, mostly in the form of single family houses or large, older houses that have been divied up into apartments. Some neighborhoods to consider are Trinity Park (to the immediate east of East Campus) and Old West Durham which is on the other side of Broad St. (immediate west side of campus). The little Ninth Street commercial area is part of this neighborhood and home to restaurants, bars, coffee shops, book stores, etc.: the normal college town stuff. As you go directly north from East Campus after a few blocks you enter the Walltown area, roughly bordered by Buchanan to the east and Broad to the west. This area is much more block by block. It's traditionally been rather poverty striken but a lot of people have moved in and with owner occupancy dramatic changes have occured on certain blocks. A bit farther off of East Campus to the east is "downtown" Durham. There are presently some loft condos/apartments in this area with more on the horizon. To the north of downtown is Old North Durham. A lot of people live here but it can be a bit far to walk/bike and depending on which road you take you may need to travel through a few sketchy areas. But that's Durham for you (block by block).

To the south of East Campus is the Burch Avenue neighborhood and then the West End/Morehead Hill/Lakewood areas. These neighborhoods are not for everyone though I lived there for a while and truly enjoyed it. I did not feel comfortable walking to/from campus after dark, though. South of Lakewood is the Forest Hills neighborhood which is very beautiful with some stately homes and high prices. Did I mention Durham is block by block?

Around West Campus you mostly find single family homes to the south. Rentals are not as common in these areas since a lot of faculty live there and home prices are a bit higher. This area is sometimes called Duke Forrest and is generally bordered by Anderson Street to the east and Academy Road/751 to the west. To the north of West Campus are a variety of apartment complexes. These complexes vary drastically their desirability and price despite being next to one another (you'll immediately recognize the good from the not so good from the ghetto). A new loft complex opened immiately across Erwin Road from West this past fall. It's likely very pricey but you cannot get a better location if that's the campus you'll be on most.

I would start casually looking soon since some of the smaller landlords may have more notice than is typical in the larger complexes. Otherwise, most complexes in the area only require 30 days notice (I never saw one that required sixty days notice) so I would plan on being in town on July 1 if you want an early August move-in date.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest adrienne

haha i knew it! it's the crack that makes the cosmic burritos so damn good. i'm from the triangle, went to UNC-CH for my undergrad and am contemplating on a MA in Science Ed from either UNC-CH or Columbia in NYC. either way i have a cosmic close by!!

but to give some general advice. chapel hill is quite the bubble. although the campus is pretty "diverse", the town definitely is not. but you do have raleigh & durham as your neighbors. try to venture outside of ch-hill or else you'll be stuck in its black hole. carrboro is pretty dope, although it's quite a bubble itself. a great community though with a lot of neat initiatives & programs to spark local businesses, etc.

basically, i pretty much loved every minute of my four years at chapel hill. although i think it's time to move on for me....

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Bwahaha

Aaargh! I am so nervous! Where does an international student stay while looking for housing? Are there any Youth Hostels in Durham? I would not want to chose a house ove the internet :?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Warelin changed the title to Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill NC

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.