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Starter homes/townhome in Raleigh Durham area

West Palm Beach, FL
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Starter homes/townhome in Raleigh Durham area

In for the night, due to yet another hurricane down here. Its time to move inland and further north!!

Hope someone out there can help me. I ve been reading the posts for the past 2-3 weeks and have gotten a lot of good info and insight into the area. Boy, NC is getting the boom that has saturated Florida for the past 15 years...and it all seems to be in fast forward now.

However, most everyone is looking in the 300-400K range for a home and neighborhood.

Can anyone help me with neighborhoods or areas in the 125-150K range. I am looking for a starter home or townhouse. Are there any out there in a safe neighborhood, around or in the not-too-far-out outskirts of Durham, Chapel Hill, Raleigh. Out there, but still close enough to work and shopping.....say 30 mins.

Also, is there anything in particular to be aware of as far as zoning, or city/county taxes, water, oddities, etc. that you would only know about after one has lived there for years??

Any favorite local restaurants, of any type, with character, reasonably priced...

Durham, North...
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1. Re: Starter homes/townhome in Raleigh Durham area

I don't have specifics on your first two questions, but concerning favorite local restaurants, I can tell you that the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau surveys Durham residents annually about their favorites. The results of the most recent survey are listed here:


The Bureau also provides a customizable search of all Durham restaurants by cuisine, dining style, etc.:


Durham, NC
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2. Re: Starter homes/townhome in Raleigh Durham area

You might want to try the Auburn/Woodlake subdivisions near Southpoint Mall (exit 276 off I-40) for affordable townhomes in the $150,000 range.

Favorite restaurants with a reasonable price range:

Italian--Daniel's Pizza and Pasta (Hwy 55 near Apex), 411 in Chapel Hill (or its sister restaurant 518 West in Raleigh), Maggiano's (at Southpoint Mall)

Country cookin'/soul food--Mama Dip's (in Chapel Hill)

Mexican--Carrburritos (in Carrboro), La Hacienda (in Durham), Fiesta Grill (west of Chapel Hill)

Pizza--Brixx (in Meadowmont in Chapel Hill), Randy's (locations throughout Durham), Lily's (near downtown Raleigh), Pepper's (in Chapel Hill)

Barbecue--Allen & Sons (Chapel Hill)

Burgers--Char-Grill (locations throughout Raleigh), Sutton's Drug Store (Chapel Hill)

Breakfast--Brigg's (Durham), Elmo's (Carrboro and Durham), Breadmen's (Chapel Hill)

West Palm Beach, FL
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3. Re: Starter homes/townhome in Raleigh Durham area

Great! Thanks for your feedback. I'll be leaving Sept 20 on an exploratory venture.

Durham, North...
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4. Re: Starter homes/townhome in Raleigh Durham area

As far as restaurants with loads of character and not too pricey, don't forget Lantern, Flying Burrito and Margaret's Cantina in Chapel Hill, and Symposium, Tylers, Bakus (for incredible tapas), Chai's and Grasshopper in Durham. All have great food and offer ambience.

As far as where to buy, Durham's tough - the housing market has really taken off in the past few years. We bought an older home in the Rockwood area, near Nana's Restaurant ($$$$ and delicious!), the Q-Shack (inexpensive, tasty barbecue) and Foster's Market (awesome gourmet deli) for not much at all. It's the perfect starter home in a great neighborhood of older homes and cottages, some stately, some simple. Of course, it needed a lot of work but the "bones" are good. I think it would be easier to help you answer you question on location if you could identify more specifically what kind of neighborhood or house you are interested in.

There are many areas in Durham that might fit your budget, but some you might like better than others. Also, there are some problems with gangs in Durham, like everywhere... It seems that no matter where I've lived (and I grew up in an incredibly ritzy area here), a few blocks over are some rough areas... Only one time have I ever lived in a house that's been broken into (knock on wood) and that was my parent's house about 25 years ago, before they installed a security system. We don't have one now, and we haven't had a problem.