Best Suburbs for YOU near Raleigh NC

If you're planning a move to the Raleigh, North Carolina area, or maybe you're in a rental here already, and can't decide which town is the best fit for you, today you're in luck. Today is all about giving you an idea of what cities in the Raleigh area are absolutely the best places for you based on your personality.

This afternoon I ran into a viewer of our channel who stopped me and asked me what city I recommended for him and his family. After I went through a lot of the details and gave him some options of good places, it got me thinking that this is probably a topic that a lot of people are curious about. Where do I think you would best fit in in the Raleigh triangle area? Well, I've really broken it down into three different categories of cities. Those would be the established cities, the emerging cities, and the up and comers. We're going to quickly go through what all these different categories are, some great examples of cities that fall in these categories, and then that will help you think about which of these categories sound more like you.

First off, let's start off with the established cities. In the established cities, there's not a lot of change going on. Pretty much any new construction that's happening in the established cities is the result of something else that's been torn down. For example, a one or two-story building has been taken down and a high-rise building is now in its place. And this is the same thing with housing. By and large, in these established cities, the only way you're going to have new construction happen is if some builder or you buy a current existing house, tears it down to the ground, and then builds a brand-new house on that lot. Examples of established cities are Raleigh, Cary, Durham, and Chapel Hill, the four biggest cities in the Triangle. These cities are still seeing new construction happening, but again, you're seeing that new construction happen because something else has been torn down. A great example of this would be the North Hills district redevelopment that's happening where they tore down the JC Penny that was there and they're putting high-rise buildings in its place. Or University Mall in Chapel Hill that's been demolished in parts and they're building different high-rise buildings and apartments around University Mall. Housing appreciation in these cities is steady, not a lot of rapid jumps, but also not a lot of rapid declines either.

The positives of these established cities are you know what you're getting. It's an established city. As well, the landscaping and the trees are, and those are established as well. Another positive, there's less construction noise going on because there's less construction going on in the established cities. On the other hand, the negatives of the established cities include the cost of construction, especially for housing, is higher than in some of the other newer cities because, again, to get a new construction home in one of the established cities, you're likely having to buy an existing home, tear it down, and put your home on that lot.  Another negative, there's just not a lot of exciting changes going on in the established cities. If you're a big fan of the coming soon signs, you're not going to see very many of those in the established cities.

Bottom line, the established cities are perfect for you if you don't like a lot of surprises. You want to go to the bagel shop that you've been going to for many years, and that's bagel shop has been there for 20, 25 years, and it's going to be there for 25 more years, and you're just not really looking to experiment. You have what you like, and you like what you have, and you're happy with it.

The next category of cities is the emerging cities. The emerging cities are sort of right there in the middle. They're not established and nothing much going on, and there isn’t the growth that you see in those cities on the rise. The emerging cities have arrived in that lots of people live there. It's a safe bet it's going to continue thriving and continue moving on and growing, but there's still some growth and change to come. These cities are seeing new growth and new development, so they're not exactly the steady Eddies of the established cities, but they're moving towards becoming established cities.

Again, these are proven places that people want to live. Housing appreciation is increasing in these cities, again, not as slowly as you're seeing in those established cities, but also not as crazy as the cities on the rise. Examples of these emerging cities include Apex, Wake Forest, Rolesville, Clayton, and Fuquay-Varina. These cities are still seeing new development happen, such as the Wegman that opened in Wake Forest and the new shopping center across the street from Wegman's with the Cava and the Torchy’s Tacos. There's still a lot of new construction happening in Wake Forest, as well as all of the emerging cities.

The positive of the emerging cities includes it's a sure thing. Lots of people have been moving to these emerging cities. You're not rolling the dice and risking things by moving here. It's pretty much a proven commodity. Another positive, lots of new and exciting things are popping up in these cities all the time. Expect exciting opportunities for dining out, shopping, and in general just having a good time in the emerging cities. The negatives of the emerging cities include construction is still going on in these cities, so expect delays on the road. Another negative, change can be stressful if you're not really expecting it. That's really what's been happening in these emerging cities. Lots of people lived there for many, many years when they were small towns and now are getting bigger and bigger. I'm thinking about Fuquay-Varina and Wake Forest for that matter. The locals who've been there a long time really aren't used to all of the activity that's going on in these emerging cities.

The bottom line, the emerging cities are perfect for you if you're sort of in the middle of the road. You don't like to take big risks with your money, your finances, or your housing, but you like new things. You like seeing those coming soon signs that pop up here and there in the emerging cities. It's sort of the best of both worlds, not too hot, not too cold, just kind of perfectly in the middle.

The next group of cities to tell you about are also the most exciting cities to tell you about. We call these the cities on the rise. These are the cities where home buyers go by the motto nothing ventured, nothing gained. Rapid growth, lots of new construction, lots of shops, lots of new restaurants are popping up in the cities on the rise practically every single day. These are the kind of places where you would grow up in these towns, go away to college, come back, and have no clue how to get around the town because it's grown up into becoming a city.

Lots of new residential neighborhoods are popping up in these cities on the rise. People who want a ground floor opportunity and to take advantage of relatively lower prices would flock to the cities on the rise. The positive of all this, again, is that you could buy into a ground floor opportunity where prices are relatively low and be able to afford a much larger, nicer house than you could possibly buy in one of the established cities. The negative flip side of that is you may be buying into a neighborhood that maybe falls out of favor in the resale market. Maybe it didn't really go off as well as the developer thought it was going to. But that's not something you would ever know if you got in as one of the first few houses in a neighborhood. It's sort of a roll the dice situation. Now, does this happen very often? Honestly, no, it does not. By and large, most neighborhoods are successful in our area. Worst case scenario, some new developer comes in and fixes the mistakes that the original developer came up with, and things go along smoothly, but it's still a risk. It's still something you've got to prepare yourself for that are you a true risk-taker or do you want to be more of one of those steady eddies?

Cities on the rise include Wendell, Garner, Pittsboro, Knightdale, and Garner. Wendell is a great example of a city on the rise in that there's explosive growth going on around the Wendell Falls community area. You're seeing residential pop-up, you're seeing commercial pop-up around there, and it's really having a great impact on the city of Wendell. Also, another great example would be Pittsboro. Pittsboro started off as a relatively small little town, but now Chatham Park, this mega neighborhood with commercial inside and Disney's even coming to it, has really exploded and its rapidly transforming Pittsboro into a much larger city than it was just a few years ago.

Housing appreciation for cities is on the rise is rapidly increasing because people that move there are moving to a ground floor opportunity often further out from the city center than you would find in the more established cities. And because of that, they're getting in at a lower rate, but because things are growing, the people that come in a year or so after them are likely to see prices much higher than what they paid when they got in early on. The positives of the cities on the rise include paying less money for your house than someone next year or the year after that is going to have to pay. Another positive of the cities on the rise, lots of exciting things are happening all the time. Businesses are popping up, restaurants are popping up almost overnight, you're seeing growth and change happening in the cities on the rise.

The negatives of the cities on the rise include possibly your neighborhood that you've moved into may not be the hottest place until some of that growth happens. And growth could take a while to happen. Along those same lines, another negative is you may wait a while before all those conveniences that you're used to in your past city, like the Starbucks, the Chipotle, etc., it may take a while for them to get to one of the cities on the rise. You may have to either do without or drive into a more established city. A great example of this is Wendell. For a very long time, people in Wendell didn't even have a grocery store in the Wendell Falls area. They had to either go into town into one of the smaller grocery stores, or they had to drive about 10 to 15 minutes into Knightdale to go to those grocery stores. Super inconvenient, but it was something that you just sort of dealt with because you were getting in on a ground floor opportunity.

Now, Publix is in Wendell, Starbucks is in Wendell, and on and on. The downtown is getting massively renovated and restructured and new growth is happening there all the time as well. So again, people had to put up with not having anything and having to drive to get to things. Now, eventually, after a few years, it's finally all starting to come, and they're not having to drive as far. Another big negative of the cities on the rise is road construction and building construction is something you're going to have to live with for a while.

The bottom line, the cities on the rise are perfect for you if you're a risk-taker. Again, if your favorite motto is nothing ventured, nothing gained, cities on the rise may be what you are looking for. And of course, if you love seeing coming soon signs all over your city, cities on the rise are very likely to be the place for you.

If you're considering a move either into or out of the Triangle area, our real estate team and I would be honored to be your agents of choice. You can email us at [email protected], give us a call, 919-964-0474.  We'll be happy to help you.

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