I'm new to Bigger Pockets and I'm still learning more aboult real estate investment and discovering my niche. However, I have a personal real estate question. I am relocating from Baltimore, MD to work at UNC-Chapel Hill. My husband and I are looking to rent for 12-months until we understand the specifics of the area and the school districts before we purchase a home. I have to live within a 30min drive of UNC's hospital and my husband is still in the job search process, but Duke is is promising. He will have no location restrictions.
From past visits, we really like the Wake County area and would prefer to rent in the area to see if it fits our family and work commute before moving to make a home purchase. I understand that this is far off, but I have found that the 27519 zip code in Cary and 27560 area in Morrisville to be appealing. What is the school district like in those areas? Also, what about traffic pattern? (I only need to be able to get to UNC hospital within 30mins when I'm on call -- so late at night and weekends -- I assume there is no traffic at that time. But I would like to know what the workday traffic pattern is like). Are there any other areas you would recommend looking at? (We have found rentals in Chapel Hill itself to be overpriced. Durham may work, but I understand the school district is not best).
Hi @Martha Kenney - Welcome to BP! I just sent you an PM, perhaps we should connect offline.
Hi Martha, welcome to the area! Chapel Hill is my hometown. Traffic these days really backs up on I-40 during rush hour so I would encourage you to rent at close to town as you can. A commute from Wake County can be a real grind, and as the area's population continues to grow, the delays will get worse. If you have the chance, I would encourage you to do the drive during rush hour to see what that feels like.
Yes Chapel Hill rentals are on the higher side, but the trade off is less time in the car, and you get to live in a nice town with great amenities. Do you have kids who would be attending public schools? Schools are very good here, another plus for being in Chapel Hill (note you'll want to be in the Orange County part of Chapel Hill). The rental cycle here is very much oriented around the academic year, with most start dates in July and August, so if you can avoid that cycle you might find some opportunities.
If you want Wake County, I would look at Apex, Morrisville and Cary, all suburbs on the Chapel Hill side of Raleigh. Any further out you may be more than 30 minutes from your employer. I think Wake County schools may be on a year round schedule and the kids can be bussed long distances - look into that and see if that works for your family.
The good news is anywhere you rent in the area will give you a hands on overview of the area so you'll learn a lot once you are down here.
I can’t give you specific zip codes but I live in cary and work in Morrisville. Both areas are nice. I prefer cary more myself but that’s mainly because it’s so quiet and closer to downtown Raleigh.