Review of Raleigh, North Carolina


Why We Said No to Raleigh and Yes to Wilmington NC
Star Rating - 12/31/2018
Better weather, great eats, funky historic neighborhoods walking distance to downtown... an artsy vibe, brew pubs and dog parks. This was what we were hoping to find in the Raleigh Durham area- we were moving from the north.

A sprawling diaspora of new construction awaited us, Truman Show type developments with 5’ between you and your neighbor. This is Minivan Metropolis. Suburbia on Steroids. Helloooo Gridlock.

2 hours east, we discovered Wilmington NC. A port city that was never destroyed during the civil war, the historic neighborhoods are walking distance to a fun and funky downtown... homes less than HALF of what you would pay for Raleigh. 15 minutes to the beach, the downtown is currently undergoing extensive development with house boat communities and luxury condos incoming. Golf courses and new developments abound as well; there’s plenty of variety for everyone.

Will prices stay low in Wilmington indefinitely? I doubt it. Since coming here I posted one review on of the city, received over 80 inquiries and ended up spending so much time answering questions that I opted to get my real estate license.

We looked at over 100 homes in New Orleans, but the violent crime was worrisome to us. Richmond VA didn’t have the charm we were hoping for. Prices in the DC metro area were more than we wanted to spend. The Burlington VT area (where we moved from) had absurdly cold winters and crazy hush property taxes. California wildfires /property prices were too risky for us to be comfortable with.

If you’re thinking of moving anywhere, my best advice is to book an airbnb and stay local. Experience weekend culture, what a neighborhood is really like. Walk a block before you make an offer.

Still longing for the world of lazy front porches where Dawson’s Creek was filmed? Where neighbors bring you cookies and brownies just because? That’s Wilmington. One Tree Hill was also filmed here. Our neighborhood (Carolina Heights) has fans who still come by to photograph homes featured in the series. We are a 20 minute walk to ice cream and fantastic culinary cuisine.

Our house was featured on the historic home tour, is almost 3000 s/f, it wasn’t a fixer upper and we paid under $400k. Bungalows in Carolina Place can still be had for under $200k. Cute cottages in up and coming areas... under $150k.

And as for the dog parks and the people parks, most of the older neighborhoods have an abundance of green spaces. It took us more than 6 months of research to find our Best Place and it was so worth it!
Samira | Grand Isle, VT
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This comment is funny to me, because I lived in Wilmington and absolutely hated it, whereas I love Raleigh. Wilmington has plenty of negatives, too, if you're wearing the right colored glasses. Examples: -Giant cockroaches everywhere. Can't go for a stroll at night wearing open-toed shoes. Seriously, roaches, roaches, roaches everywhere you look. -WAY too many people in way too small a space means traffic is ungodly. A trip to the beach that should take 15 minutes is an hour. -And when you get to the beach, it's always, always packed. Finding parking is expensive or impossible. -Crime, drugs, opiates, alcoholism. People living in the projects. I never saw poverty like I did in Wilmington. People just come here to burn out. Forever. -Very, very rednecky. Except for the people who all seem to come from New Jersey, who are a different sort of annoying. -Not enough jobs for the area. If you lose a job in Wilmington, you'll probably have to move. Lose your job in Raleigh, and there are hundreds of other marketing companies in the area. Now, does all this mean Wilmington's a bad city? Is Raleigh a bad city? Is either a good city? No. They both are good and both bad. And a lot of what makes a city good or bad (in my aged experience) is the people you're with. You can sit in a cozy waterfront historic district bungalow and be utterly miserable...or sit in your crappy little $1,000 Raleigh apartment and be totally happy. I won't say "it's up to you", because it isn't; it's up to your circumstances...good family, good job, good commute. I've lived in Boone, Greensboro, Asheville, Wilmington, and Raleigh and I finally see that now.
Avery | Greensboro, NC
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