AVOID These Raleigh Area Cities and Suburbs

If you're planning a move to the Raleigh, North Carolina area you need to know there's certain areas you might need to avoid. We're going to break down all the details on most all of the towns and cities around Raleigh so you can help yourself make an informed decision. 

The first city you need to know about right near Raleigh is Cary North Carolina. Do not under any circumstances move to Cary if you want the quiet Southern lifestyle, that’s not what Cary is about. The majority of the people that live and Cary are transplants from out of state. Cary does not have that culture of an old southern town that has slowly grown up like some of the other towns around Raleigh. In fact, locally Cary has the nickname containment area for relocated Yankees, C-A-R-Y. Get it? If you're looking for that southern lifestyle Cary is probably not for you.

Next up we have Apex, North Carolina. Avoid Apex under any circumstances if you're on a tight budget. Apex has always been considered a less expensive alternative to Cary but lately that is not the case. Generally people move to Apex which is a little further out when they really couldn't afford the prices that we saw in Cary and Cary is quite expensive. Now Apex is pretty much caught up to Cary in price range. It's still not quite as bad as Cary but know that if you are on a budget Apex is probably not a good town for you. 

Next, we have Wake Forest, North Carolina. You need to avoid Wake Forest if you are one of those people who want that small town experience. Most people think if they're looking on a map or they've just heard about the Raleigh area, that Wake Forest is just a tiny little town and really quaint. It is not that way anymore, it's really grown up, it’s got a cosmopolitan feel to it. Although yes, you still have a little bit of that southern vibe left and especially in the charming downtown. Wake Forest is an up-and-coming or already arrived town and maybe not the place if you want like a one-stop light.

 Next up, Durham, North Carolina. You want to avoid Durham if you are looking for a quiet lifestyle. Durham is the second largest city in the Raleigh-Triangle area. Durham comes with a lot of traffic, restaurants and Broadway shows. If you're looking for that one stop light, small town feel Durham is not going to be for you.

Next, we have Holly Springs, North Carolina. You want to avoid Holly Springs if you're looking for a quirky, cool downtown city vibe. Holly Springs has not ever really had a downtown until just recently. The sort of organic, gritty feel you get from a lot of really cool downtowns like Wake Forest, Fuquay-Varina, Chapel Hill and to a lesser extent Raleigh. Holly Springs doesn't have that up and coming, as far as the downtown goes. Now there's still lots of really nice places to live in Holly Springs. Another reason to avoid Holly Springs is if you're concerned about the landfill for the county or the Sharon Harris nuclear plant, now this is not typically been a concern for the residents of Holly Springs but if that is something that worries you then Holly Springs may be somewhere that you might want to not consider moving too.

Next up, we have Chapel Hill, North Carolina. You want to avoid Chapel Hill if you do not want to live in a university town that's dominated by a college. Chapel Hill has the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The oldest state university in the country and my alma mater. This comes with some negatives. Is very difficult to find parking when school is in session. If you are looking for parking downtown and especially if you are there during either a football game or a basketball game because Carolina is so well known for those sports. There is such a large fan base, it gets crowded and lots of people are in the restaurants. It’s practically impossible to get into a restaurant in downtown Chapel Hill during one of those ball games.

Next, we have Morrisville, North Carolina. You will want to avoid Morrisville if air traffic noise is a concern for you. Morrisville is the city where the Raleigh - Durham International Airport is located and it's pretty much right beside it. If air traffic noise is a problem, you may want to second guess a move to Morrisville. There is an air traffic noise map that we can provide you. It will make this decision a little bit easier for you because there are some parts of Morrisville that are not affected by that noise but fully educate yourself. The other thing about Morrisville that you need to know and may make you second guess your options is if you're looking for a larger house on a larger lot likely you're not going to find that in Morrisville. Morrisville is dominated by a lot of smaller homes on smaller lots. Mostly apartments, condos and townhomes. There are some luxury properties sprouting up in Morrisville but it's not as common. 

Next up, we have Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina. You want to avoid Fuquay-Varina if you do not want to feel closed off from the rest of the Triangle. Fuquay-Varina is quite a bit south from the rest of the area so you pretty much live in Fuquay and that's where you live. It is kind of difficult to have the spur of the moment jump in your car and drive to Chapel Hill or Durham. It is possible to get to some of the other towns around Fuquay- Varina but it is not that easy to get to all parts of the Triangle. It is really great to live in Fuquay Varina and commute into Raleigh, Cary, Durham, Chapel-Hill for fun not as hard as if you're commuting on a daily basis for a job.

Next up we have Youngsville, North Carolina. You want to avoid Youngsville if you don't want to live in a tiny small town. There's not a lot of shops, not a lot of restaurants. Residents of Youngsville have to drive into Wake Forest which is the closest big town for their groceries and shopping. There are grocery stores in Youngsville, you can get your staple products but if you need some sort of esoteric spice for a recipe you're probably going to have to go to Wake Forest unfortunately.  Again, Wake Forest is big and there's lots of traffic. There is something for people who want that sort of privacy, big house or lot, kind of atmosphere and peace and quiet. They need to be aware that to do a lot of your shopping and to do a lot of anything you're going to have to go to Wake Forest.

Next up, we have Knightdale, North Carolina. You want to avoid Knightdale if you want to live in a town that has sort of a cute and charming downtown. It is kind of similar to Holly Springs in that the downtown really hasn't kind of sprouted up yet. There is some older buildings down there and they're renovating them. Knightdale will slowly have a downtown but if you're wanting that charming downtown atmosphere Knightdale is probably not for you. You will want to avoid Knightdale though if you work in Chapel Hill or Durham, the western part of the Triangle because it's rather difficult right now until Interstate 540 gets completed. It is rather difficult to get from Knightdale on the eastern side of the Triangle all the way to Chapel Hill on the western side of the Triangle. 

Next, we have Wendell, North Carolina. You want to avoid Wendell if you're not prepared for rapid growth. Wendell is one of the fastest growing cities in the Triangle area. It has got Wendell Falls subdivision we rave about all the time. They have a really great downtown but there's been a ton of growth that's resulted from all of those people moving into that area. Another knock on Wendell, although you can get to most any part of Raleigh fairly easily using that new interstate I-87. Unfortunately it's very difficult and very similar to Knightdale. It is difficult to get to Durham, Chapel Hill etc. from Wendell. This will still be the case until Interstate 540 is finally completed and it's a full loop around the entire Triangle.

Next up, we have Zebulon, North Carolina. You want to avoid Zebulon if you are not looking for a semi-rural, small town feel. Zebulon does not have a whole lot going on right now. It is very charming, very southern, with a very small town feel. If you're looking for the hustle and bustle of say Raleigh or Durham, Zebulon is probably not for you. Zebulon is the furthest city to the east in the whole entire area and it may make you feel very isolated because you've got to basically drive anywhere to get to anything. If you want to go out with friends to have dinner and say downtown Raleigh it's going to be a bit of a drive for you versus other parts of the Raleigh- Triangle area, so bear that in mind if you are considering a move to Zebulon.

Next, we have Hillsborough, North Carolina. You want to avoid Hillsborough if you are working anywhere in the southern part of the Raleigh-Triangle area. Hillsborough is the city that is furthest to the north in theTriangle. It is exactly opposite of Zebulon. If you have anywhere else around you plan to get to. It is definitely a great option for people that work in Chapel Hill or Durham or Research Triangle Park. If you work in Knightdale, Wendell, Zebulon, Garner or Clayton that area of the Raleigh- Triangle area it's probably not a good place for you to consider moving to. You want to avoid Hillsborough if you are not a big fan of snow because it's so far north. There is a section of the Raleigh- Triangle area that usually gets snow. If snow is on the agenda from the weather people and that is definitely one of the areas that gets it. If you’re an anti-snow person, you probably want to avoid Hillsborough. 

Next up we have Rolesville, North Carolina. You want to avoid Rolesville if you are looking for a city with a lot of character. Rolesville basically feels like a suburb of Wake Forest. It is pretty much attached to Wake Forest. Many people live and work in the two different towns and go back and forth but it definitely has a less charming downtown and a lot less really going on than even towns that are smaller than in the Triangle area. It is basically similar to Holly Springs and there’s really not been like an older downtown that's grown organically over time. It’s an area that is up and coming but is doing so very slowly.

Next, we have Garner, North Carolina. You want to avoid Garner if you are not prepared to live in a city that is going to rapidly transform during the time you live there. Right now Garner has a very small town, rural feel to it but that’s going to change very much so in the next couple of years. There will continue to be growth out in Garner and you need to be prepared for that growth. Garner is positioned just south of Raleigh, which means a lot of that growth that we're talking about is headed that way. It is just a natural extension of where people are going to be moving to that cannot afford the ever increasing prices that you're seeing in Raleigh. With I-540 getting completed very soon it will bring even more growth to Garner so be prepared. If Garner is on your list of towns to check out it may transform before you.

Next up, we have Pittsboro, North Carolina. You want to avoid Pittsboro if you work in Raleigh or anywhere on the eastern side of the Triangle. Pittsboro is the city that is the furthest to the west of the Triangle-Raleigh area. This is something you need to be prepared for if you’re planning a move to Pittsboro. If you work in Chapel Hill or Research Triangle Park then Pittsboro would be a good fit for you. If you work on that eastern side of the Raleigh-Triangle area it's going to be quite a commute at this point to live in Pittsboro and work on that eastern side. Pittsboro is so far to the west. It can feel a little bit disconnected from the rest of the Triangle area. You have Pittsboro and parts of Chapel Hill, Carrboro and that's about all as far as the area. A drive from Pittsboro to Cary, Raleigh is quite a halt. Every area in the Triangle has its good sides and its bad sides.

Our team would love to give you some advice on any of these areas and see if they're a good fit for you. You can email us at [email protected]. Give us a call at 919-964-0474 or click here to fill out the contact request form from our website. 

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