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Raleigh, NC (Possible Relocation)
Old 08-31-2007, 02:56 PM   #1
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Raleigh, NC (Possible Relocation)

I was offered a job that would pay me significantly more than what I'm making now. It would require me to move from just outside Gainesville, FL to Raleigh, NC. I'm trying to weigh the pros and cons. Here, I work from home and live in Florida where there is no state income tax. Hard to beat that. There, I'd have to work in the office and deal with traffic, etc, plus they have pretty high state income tax. However, I'm still considering the position, b/c of the salary and bonuses.

Any of you currently or ever live in Raleigh? Ever visited there? Any opinions about the city and surrounding area as far as living there?

I know nothing of the city, so I'm wondering what it's like to live there.

Any insight is helpful.
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Old 08-31-2007, 03:19 PM   #2
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I grew up here (in Cary actually). Now I live in Raleigh. Where would the job be (research triangle park, durham, downtown raleigh, cary, north raleigh, etc)? That might help with a discussion of how bad the traffic would be. If you live in Raleigh and commute to RTP, you'll hit a lot of traffic during the morning and afternoon rush hours on the interstate connecting these two places (my wife does that commute every day ). Otherwise it is your typical rush hour traffic. Bad for 2-3 hours per day during the commuting times, not too bad the rest of the time (except 1-2 hours on Saturday and around xmas at shopping centers). My commute is 3.5 miles and relatively painless (by design!).

Since you are from Gainesville, you know the benefits of living near a major university. There are a few big ones here in the Raleigh metro area.

State tax - it's bad. But property tax in MOST places in NC is very moderate compared to FL. Unless you are homesteaded or whatever little tax sneaks they have in FL. I've heard FL has other taxes they sneak on you.

Housing - never really inflated that much, still very reasonable, and one of the few places where the market isn't collapsing. Folks relocating here from FL or NY are amazed at the (relatively) low cost of housing.

I love (and frequently use) the great public libraries here and the city of raleigh has great parks and rec facilities and programs (indoor pools, parks, community ctrs, athletic facilities, etc).

Where I live in Raleigh, there are plenty of shopping opportunities, affordable restaurants, and ethnic restaurants (mexican, chinese, vietnamese, central american, italian, caribbean, mongolian, etc.). Beaches - 2-3 hrs, mountains 4 hours. Symphony, theater, museums, and all that culture stuff you'd expect in a mid-sized capital city.

Let me know if you have any specific questions.
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Raleigh
Old 08-31-2007, 03:25 PM   #3
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Raleigh

I live in Louisiana now, but I grew up about 90 miles south of Raleigh, and pretty much agree with the things justin said in his post. While I didn't live there, my in-laws did and so I spent a good bit of time in the surrounding areas. I seem to recall the Fuquay-Varina general area as not being too bad. Tough call....how big a pay increase are we talking about here?
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Old 08-31-2007, 03:25 PM   #4
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Thanks for your response. It helps a lot. One of the things that is appealing to me about Raleigh is the universities. I love living in a college town. Just a nice feel to the area...

The place where I'd be working is a place just outside of the beltway (is that what you call it? it's what we called it in DC...) in a little area called Tysonville, right near the Rex Healthcare Center. I'm not sure if you recognize those... If you do, what's the traffic like to get there?

Thanks again for your input. I appreciate it.
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Old 08-31-2007, 03:28 PM   #5
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Tough call....how big a pay increase are we talking about here?
Thank you for your response.

It's about a 25-30% increase. It would actually come with more stability, though. So I have that to consider. Plus my mom and brothers all live in Florida and there is no family in NC. Sometimes that doesn't seem like a bad thing, though.
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Old 08-31-2007, 03:53 PM   #6
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Thanks for your response. It helps a lot. One of the things that is appealing to me about Raleigh is the universities. I love living in a college town. Just a nice feel to the area...

The place where I'd be working is a place just outside of the beltway (is that what you call it? it's what we called it in DC...) in a little area called Tysonville, right near the Rex Healthcare Center. I'm not sure if you recognize those... If you do, what's the traffic like to get there?

Thanks again for your input. I appreciate it.
Tysonville - never heard of it till now, but I found it on my street atlas. Yep - right next to rex hospital complex. Must be an old village name that got absorbed by Raleigh. I know the area well. It is definitely "in town" and not far off the Interstate 440 "Beltline". Traffic - not too bad most of the time. The interstate ramp from the beltline onto Lake Boone Trail backs up in the morning.

You shouldn't have a problem finding a reasonably priced house/condo within 10-15 minutes of the office. Maybe able to save a little more if you go farther out (east raleigh off the 264 bypass near knightdale typically offers a good value w/ a little longer commute, mostly on the freeway). Just move somewhere in Raleigh or around raleigh. You don't want to commute on the stretch of Interstate 40 between Raleigh and Durham unless you like parking lot-like traffic jams for your morning commute.

I know the commute from my house wouldn't be bad (besides the long queue on the off-ramp). Maybe 15-20 minutes during rush hour (it is 8 miles away). And houses in my n'hood are $150-180k for 1400-2500 sf houses, 3-5 BR, in a 1960's neighborhood. Right off the 440 beltline.

NC State University is a couple miles from "Tysonville". There's a major shopping center - Crabtree - near there. And the state art museum. And the fairgrounds (w/ flea market on weekends). And RBC center Arena - home of Carolina Hurricanes, and hosts a bunch of singers/performing artists. Oh yeah, traffic will suck a little there two weeks/year during the fair, and ~6 saturdays/yr on NC State football game days.

Umstead state park offers nice hiking a few miles away.
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Old 08-31-2007, 04:02 PM   #7
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One more thing - if you want an idea of "cheap" housing that is available "in town" - go to realtor.com or elsewhere and look in zip code 27604. Good values for those LBYM'ers out there.
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Old 08-31-2007, 07:42 PM   #8
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Thanks, justin. That is great insight. I appreciate it.

I was actually hoping to live in a place that was sort of farther outside the beltline; I don't know, maybe 15 miles outside of it. Maybe a little in the country, if that is still possible in that area. With that mind, I was wondering if there weren't some country-ish areas north or northwest or southwest of Raleigh that might not be such a hellish commute. Ideally, we'd have a place on two or three acres. We live on ten now, so going to a typical 'burb is gonna be a lot to get used to...

Someone told me about a place called Fuqua Varina (sp?) to the south that is supposed to be nice. We're planning to home school our kids, so I don't really worry too much about the school districts. My main things are: 1) Don't want to live in a place where it's house on top of house, although I realize a lot of Raleigh is suburban sprawl, 2) not a hellish commute, 3) a place with two or more acres. I don't know if the latter is possible, but figured I'd throw it out there.

Thanks again. I appreciate you taking the time to write all that out.
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:28 PM   #9
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Fuquay-Varina. But I haven't been there in probably 10 years so would be afraid to say much about it. That whole area has grown so much in that time..... I moved 1200 miles away from all of my family in NC when I took a better job in Austin, TX in 1981. Since that time I have lived no closer than 900 miles to my family. On the up side, my kids were born & raised in Austin where I earned a much better salary than I probably would have had near my hometown. On the down-side, many relatives have passed away, including my father last year. I visited every year, but I will never forget my father almost always asking me each time I saw him whether I thought I might be able to find a job "closer to home". I never did, and now I truly wish I'd tried a little harder to make that happen. Just last week, I went back home for the funeral of my dad's last remaining sibling (brother) out of a large family. Now all my aunts & uncles are gone. My mom is still living and is almost 78 yrs old. And I'm still 915 miles away and am still 5 yrs from retirement. I do go see her more often though. Now about 3 times a year for the last couple of years and will continue to do so. What I'm saying is that everything has a value, whether it's salary, quality of life issues or family. If I could turn back the clock, I'd try to find a way to stay closer to my family. Of course, hindsight's 2020. I wish you well.
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:54 PM   #10
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I lived in Raleigh/Cary for 16 years, moved away in 2000. I still go back a couple times a year but things are changing with new roads, etc. They add a lane, or extend 540, and it really changes traffic. justin's info is pretty solid, except that I definitely wouldn't live in Knightdale and deal with a commute half way around the beltline everyday. And maybe 64 east of the beltline is better these days, but that used to be a nightmare.

There are some large lot/acreage type areas west of the beltline, though I have no idea how much they cost now, or what your price range is. I'm thinking of the Trinity road area, or older areas in east Cary, kind of near Umstead park (which I agree has great hiking). Another option is to go up north a ways along highway 70 or if you don't mind a farther drive go up by Creedmoor. There used to be a lot of open land up by highway 98 between 70 and 50. Southwest there are plenty of houses on a couple/few acres but you generally pay more.

Just inside the beltline in west Raleigh are some real nice older neighborhoods. I always liked the feel of most of the neighborhoods along Wade Ave or Ridge Road.

It probably would help to know if you are looking at paying $150K or $400K or what to give an idea of where to recommend.
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Old 08-31-2007, 10:01 PM   #11
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Marty,

Thanks for your expressing so well your experience. That is actually one of the things I'm really grappling with. My dad passed away three years ago, so I know pretty well how fleeting life/time is. I'm having a hard time leaving my family down here. I just don't know what the best thing is. I mean, I had lived in DC away from all my family for twelve years and two years in SoCarolina. These past three years near my family have been nice, but I guess I've always been the rambling type. I also think the new job might be best for our plans to have my wife not work and home school our kids as well as allow me to FIRE as quickly as possible. I don't know...you've given me a lot to think about, and I appreciate it.
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Old 08-31-2007, 10:05 PM   #12
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Thanks, RunningBum. I'll check those places out. Our budget for our house will be around 300k. We could obviously go less and would be willing to go maybe 25k more. I don't think we'll need to, though, based on what I've seen. We are sweat equity types, so whatever we get will not be palatial and will need work, etc. I'm not talking a complete dump in a crappy neighborhood, but one that needs lots of updating is what we'll look for. We look for houses that have good bones but need new muscles and skin, if that makes sense. Thanks again.
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Old 09-01-2007, 09:43 AM   #13
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15 miles out will almost guarantee you a hellish commute. Fuquay is nice, so I've heard from folks that live there. But get ready for a horrible commute and 30 minutes at least one way (unless there's a wreck).

Knightdale (east of raleigh) isn't so bad now with the recent opening of U 264 freeway. You can probably find your 2-3 acres and a decent house for under $250,000 just a few minutes from the freeway. And your commute will be mostly on the freeway.

There's a neighborhood called "Foxcroft" in the 27604 zipcode (located near Southall Rd and Buffaloe Rd) that has older "estate homes" on 3-7 acre lots. $300000 might be the starting range from a quick zillow.com search. Access to 440 beltline and newly opened 540 Outer Loop is pretty good. Probably a 20-25 minute commute to Tysonville from there.

I can't really think of any other neighborhoods with that kind of acreage close in to the beltline, and I don't know much about outlying suburbs besides Wake Forest (too far) and Knightdale. Prices generally go up in the west because you are closer to high-demand Research Triangle Park. In my experience, inside the beltline houses command a premium that doesn't always seem justified versus homes a mile or two away just outside the beltline (it's like a snob factor, IMHO).
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Old 09-02-2007, 12:17 AM   #14
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GatorBuzz-just a comment on your liking college towns. Raleigh isn't really a "college town", although it has a big Ag-Tech state university. It is a pleasant mid-sized capitol city, very sprawled-out. I live in Durham, which also has a university and a U-neigborhood. Of the three Triangle cities, I would call only Chapel Hill college town.
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Old 09-02-2007, 07:01 AM   #15
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15 miles out will almost guarantee you a hellish commute. Fuquay is nice, so I've heard from folks that live there. But get ready for a horrible commute and 30 minutes at least one way (unless there's a wreck).

Knightdale (east of raleigh) isn't so bad now with the recent opening of U 264 freeway. You can probably find your 2-3 acres and a decent house for under $250,000 just a few minutes from the freeway. And your commute will be mostly on the freeway.

There's a neighborhood called "Foxcroft" in the 27604 zipcode (located near Southall Rd and Buffaloe Rd) that has older "estate homes" on 3-7 acre lots. $300000 might be the starting range from a quick zillow.com search. Access to 440 beltline and newly opened 540 Outer Loop is pretty good. Probably a 20-25 minute commute to Tysonville from there.

I can't really think of any other neighborhoods with that kind of acreage close in to the beltline, and I don't know much about outlying suburbs besides Wake Forest (too far) and Knightdale. Prices generally go up in the west because you are closer to high-demand Research Triangle Park. In my experience, inside the beltline houses command a premium that doesn't always seem justified versus homes a mile or two away just outside the beltline (it's like a snob factor, IMHO).
Funny it must be all relative the commute. I came from NJ and a 2 hour commute 60 miles each way to work for TEN YEARS!! Now I am working part time up inside the beltline in Raleigh and live in Fuquay and when I have to be at the school at 7:30 am I leave at 6:55 for the 19 mile trip. Up johnson Pond to Yates mill to the Jones Franklin to the beltline to wade ave and bingo its an easy easy easy trip.
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Old 09-02-2007, 07:08 AM   #16
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Marty,

Thanks for your expressing so well your experience. That is actually one of the things I'm really grappling with. My dad passed away three years ago, so I know pretty well how fleeting life/time is. I'm having a hard time leaving my family down here. I just don't know what the best thing is. I mean, I had lived in DC away from all my family for twelve years and two years in SoCarolina. These past three years near my family have been nice, but I guess I've always been the rambling type. I also think the new job might be best for our plans to have my wife not work and home school our kids as well as allow me to FIRE as quickly as possible. I don't know...you've given me a lot to think about, and I appreciate it.

The schools down here really are good. Give your wife a break! Hey only kidding but really, I am a teacher and the impression I get down in wake county is really a wonderful social and academic package as good as anyplace in the country.
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Old 09-02-2007, 07:24 AM   #17
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Johnson Pond Rd....Hey! I know where that is! My BIL lived in a small house with a pond in the back yard in that area for a few years. Small world ain't it?
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Old 09-02-2007, 07:47 AM   #18
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Johnson Pond Rd....Hey! I know where that is! My BIL lived in a small house with a pond in the back yard in that area for a few years. Small world ain't it?
Yes it is, in fact Justin lives in a neighborhood my wife grew up in back in the 60s!!

And thank you for responding to one of my posts, since I have been put on so many ignore lists because of my political leanings.:confused:
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Old 09-02-2007, 08:46 AM   #19
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Funny it must be all relative the commute. I came from NJ and a 2 hour commute 60 miles each way to work for TEN YEARS!! Now I am working part time up inside the beltline in Raleigh and live in Fuquay and when I have to be at the school at 7:30 am I leave at 6:55 for the 19 mile trip. Up johnson Pond to Yates mill to the Jones Franklin to the beltline to wade ave and bingo its an easy easy easy trip.
Yeah - it's all relative. If a 30-45 minute commute isn't a big deal, then you can really live out of town in Raleigh and commute in to destinations near the beltline. Most places aren't that bad traffic-wise, even during rush hour. It's usually a couple of intersections that are really bad, or segments of freeways. I'm thinking I-40 between RTP/durham and Raleigh, Millbrook Rd and Capital in the afternoon rush hour (going east on Millbrook). Tenten Road and US 401 in Garner at McCuller's Crossing (especially the westbound direction of Tenten in the morning. it can back up for a mile or more). Southbound Capital Blvd from Wake Forest to Raleigh in the AM. Wake Forest Rd/Beltline interchange.

But if you're used to a 60 mile NJ-NYC commute - Raleigh's traffic is child's play!
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