Living in the Research Triangle of North Carolina

Durham and the American Tobacco skyline at night

The Triangle Region

Ranked #1 by Forbes.com as the best place for business and careers, the Raleigh and Durham metro area, which includes Research Triangle Park, is a booming area for young professionals. Anchored by three major research universities, the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area is rich in intellectual and cultural diversity. Countless upscale restaurants, boutique shopping centers, excellent museums, the RBC Center and the Durham Performing Arts Center provide residents with all the conveniences and sophistication of an urban setting coupled with a low cost of living. While the Triangle is extremely family-friendly and has superb school systems, it also boasts excellent opportunities for singles, making  Forbes.com's list of top twenty cities for dating. Two to three hours from both the Blue Ridge Mountains and beautiful beaches, no wonder the area was ranked #4 on Money Magazine’s list of Best Places to Live!

The New York Times agrees that the Durham area is awesome!  Check out the 2010 article here and the 2013 article describing a New Yorker's visit to Durham, NC here.  Foodies delight in the many offerings in Durham, dubbed The South's Tastiest Town by Southern Living magazine!

Click here to view a video showing some of Durham's many high points.  Scroll down to find some tips about places to live, realtors, regional vacation sites, and places to shop.

Places to Live

Durham and the surrounding communities offer many affordable housing options.  The Chronicle is the Duke University newspaper; the Duke Office of Graduate Medical Education is the centralized office for post-residency training at Duke. Both have information about available housing, and it may be worth looking at their websites.

 

Real estate is relatively affordable compared to most places in the country, so you might consider the advantages of home ownership.  There are also many affordable places to rent. If you'd like to compare the cost of living near Duke to the cost of living in other parts of the USA, check out this Cost of Living Calculator Widget here on our FAQs pages.

APARTMENTS - HOME RENTAL

Prices generally range from $800 - 1200 per month; the following include workout room, swimming pool, tennis courts, security gates, parking, etc.  Most require 6-12 month leases.

 

NEIGHBORHOODS - HOME OWNERSHIP

Close to the Hospital: There are relatively few communities right next to the hospital, so most people live in the Durham area and commute by car.  All are less than 30 minutes to Duke (in general, traffic is not a large issue within Durham).  One former house officer recommends using Google maps or Mapquest to scope out the location of the communities listed below; then www.fmrealty.com can be u sed to look at houses available by MLS listings.  The 10th search field allows you to look at homes by "specific subdivision" -- just type in any of the communities listed below.

South/Southeast: Located between Durham, Chapel Hill, and Research Triangle Park.  Near Southpoint Mall and I-40.  

  • Woodcroft: Woodcroft Parkway between Hope Valley Road and Fayetteville Road.  Trails, pool (separate membership), soccer fields.  Old pine forest mostly intact.  Frequent turnover; quality homes.
  • Woodlake: East Woodcroft Parkway between Fayetteville Road and Barbee Road.  Pool (free with homeowner dues), park.
  • Hope Valley Farms: South Roxboro Street between Martin Luther King Blvd and Hope Valley Road.  Trails.  Swimming and tennis club (separate membership).
  • Eagles Pointe: Just south of I-40 between Hope Valley Road (aka Route 751) and Fayetteville Road.  Approximately 120 homes in the neighborhood.
  • Chancellors Ridge: One neighborhood south of Eagles Pointe.
  • Auburn Ridge: On East Woodcroft Parkway between Barbee Road and Highway 55.  Pool (membership free with homeowner dues).
  • Audubon Park: On Sedwick Drive just west of Highway 55 (south of I-40 near RTP).  319 homes.
  • Chadsford: On Barbee Road just north of Woodcroft.  Small development.
  • Grandale Road / Herndon Road: Between Sedwick Drive and I-40 just southeast of Southpoint Mall in RTP.  Easy access to Highway 147 and I-40.
  • Brier Creek Area: East of Highway 147, north of I-40, west of RDU International Airport, south of Highway 70.  Multiple small developments.  Slightly further out from Duke, but east to get to Duke via 147 and close to RTP and Raleigh if significant other works in that direction.

West/Hospital Area

  • American Village: West of hospital on American Drive, west of Route 15-501.  Houses range in age and construction style, with newer houses further west on American Drive.
  • Grove Park: Oak Grove Parkway off Wake Forest Parkway.  Golf courses in the community.  Close to multiple newer housing developments.

North:

  • Hillsborough: A small town to the west of Durham where you can get a lot more house for the money.
  • Croasdaile Farms: Very nice country club; beautiful 18-hold golf course, tennis courts, swimming pool, clubhouse.  Expensive.
  • Fieldstone on the Eno: Close to the Eno River State Park, about 7 miles from Duke.
  • Treyburn: Located in north Durham, quite nice, about a 30-minute commute.

 

Local Realtors/Web Sites: Typically the buyer’s real estate agent takes 3.5% of the sale and the seller’s agent takes 3.5% of the sale, so in theory there is no direct cost to the buyer of using an agent. Most house officers have used a buyer’s agent and have had good luck. Most sellers in the area pay the 7% to use a seller’s agent, but a few people try for sale by owner or alternative methods, which means you won’t see those houses through an agent, so it also helps to look yourself. All agents below come highly recommended by previous Duke house staff officers.
 
  • Fonville Morisey: Largest realty agency in Durham. Great website for looking at MLS listings. www.fmrealty.com. Also see www.welcometotrianglehomes.com. They have 3 main offices: (1) just north of hospital on US85 on Hillandale Road, 3104 Croasdaile; (2) south Durham at corner of Hope Valley Road and Hwy54, at 1304 Highway 54 West. (3) 1520 E. Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27514.
    Lisa Lundy: Croasdaile office. 1-888-574-6400 or 919-416-2212 or 919-270-6234
  • Mary McCuen: Croasdaile office, 1-888-574-6400 or 919-383-1341
  • Janet Breedlove: Croasdaile office, 919-416-2233 jbreedlove@mindspring.com
  • James Heinrich: Hwy54 office, 919-493-4434
  • Angela Bordbar:  Chapel Hill office.  919-619-5900 (cell), abordbar@fmrealty.com 
  • Ron Perera: Lyell Cash Properties, 919 451-2093, ronperera@hotmail.com
  • Kirk West (West and Baum): 919-524-5138/544-7171. kirk@kirkwest.com
  • David Bridgman (Northside Realty)- DBridgman2@aol.com; (919) 906-3010
  • Don Singer (Coldwell Banker) 919-469-6224 or 919 656 5693; da.singer@att.net
  • Margarite Cameron (Prudential): 1-800-438-0012 or 919-383-4663
  • Susan Richter (Prudential): 919-313-3470
  • Laurie Wilson (Century 21): 919-361-5752
  • Carol Ann Gitt (Howard Perry and Walston Realty): 919-490-9000
  • Lisa Yarborough (Realty Executives): 919-490-1944
  • Diana Hyland (Peak, Swirles & Cavallito): 919-419-1234
  • Wanda Guins (Marie Austin): 919-286-5611 or 919-596-5656
  • Jason Horay (Duke employee who does part time real estate): 919-681-0504, jason.horay@duke.edu
  • My Dog Tess: www.mydogtess.com. Unique website-based seller, takes only 1%, so returns portion of usual commission to seller and to buyer. 
Area
Major Roads/Landmarks
Distance from Duke
SW Durham
Apartments & Homes
·    Garrett Road
·    Hope Valley
·    University Drive
·    Hwy 15-501 à Target, Sam’s Club, TJ Maxx, etc
5-10 minutes (south) from Duke
North of Duke
(North of Duke)
·    Club Blvd are off Hillandale Road
·    Guess Road and Cole Mill Road
5 minutes from Duke
10 minutes from Duke
SE Durham
Condominiums & Apartments
·    Near Southpoint Mall: Nordstroms, Macy’s, etc.
20 minutes from Duke
Downtown Durham Condominiums
·    Brightleaf Square
5 minutes from Duke
Duke Area
·    Morreene Road
5-10 minutes from Duke

 

Things to Do


Regional Vacation Sites:

Golf: There are fewer states better suited for the pursuit of golf.  You can essentially play year-round on any number of great courses. 

  • Local private golf courses: Croasdaile, Hope Valley, Treyburn, Chapel Hill Country Club, Old Chatham, Hasentree
  • Local public golf courses: Hillandale Golf Course just down the street from the hospital; Washington Duke is open for a very reasonable fee if you are affiliated w/ Duke (also a great course); Night’s Play in Raleigh is a par-3 course that is also open at night
  • Pinehurst: #2.  Enough said if you like golf—the U.S. Open is played on #2 every few years
  • Kiawah, SC: Great gold on the ocean
  • Linville Ridge, NC: great golf in the mountains

Beaches/Coast: Many people rent a house for the week, but you can go for the weekend or even a day.

  • Outer Banks: 4 hrs, unique, great windsurfing and fishing
  • Wrightsville Beach: 2.5 hrs, near Wilmington (straight down US 40)
  • Myrtle Beach, SC: 4 hrs
  • Charleston, SC: 4.5 hrs. Highly recommended by many for a weekend getaway
  • Kiawah, SC: The Sanctuary.  AMAZING scenery, gorgeous ocean side gold courses teeming w/ wildlife like alligators, turtles, deer, etc., and the spa is top notch

 

Local Attractions:

Sarah P. Duke Gardens
426 Anderson Street
Durham, NC 27708-0001
(919) 684-3698
Sarah P. Duke Gardens provides a place where people of all backgrounds and ages come for beauty, education, horticulture, solitude, discovery, study, renewal and inspiration.”

 

Shopping

The Streets at Southpoint Mall in southwest Durham
http://www.streetsatsouthpoint.com/

Crabtree Mall in Raleigh
http://www.crabtree-valley-mall.com/

Cameron Village in Raleigh (boutiques and specialty stores)
http://www.shopcameronvillage.com/

North Hills in Raleigh (restaurants and shops)
http://www.northhillsraleigh.com/

Triangle Town Center in Northeast Raleigh
http://www.triangletowncenter.com/shop/triangle.nsf/index

Tanger Outlet Mall in Mebane (about an hour west of Duke)
http://www.tangeroutlet.com/mebane/area-information

Smithfield Outlet Mall (just over an hour southeast of Duke)
http://www.premiumoutlets.com/outlets/outlet.asp?id=48

Many Target and Walmart stores located throughout the Triangle

BJ's, Costco, and Sam's Clubs in a few locations

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