Relocation advice

I'm relocating from Indianapolis, Indiana to Research Triangle Park—what should I know? For those who live or have lived there, what do you wish you'd known before you did?

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Who the Hell Am I?

My wife and I will be moving to RTP from Indiana in (probaby) late May, because my job is relocating me there.

We're both fairly politically-minded and pretty far to the left. Though we were both born outside the former Confederacy (myself in Oklahoma1), my wife in Indiana), we both spent our formative years growing up both in and outside the South—for my wife this meant Georgia, Arkansas, and Massachusetts, and for me, Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Indiana. At first I wasn't crazy about the idea of going back, but I quickly learned that North Carolina can't be easily painted with one broad brush.

(Since we have lived in Dan Burton's congressional district the whole time we've been in Indiana, one could make a case that we never really left the South—southern Indiana has a pretty good claim as an honorary part of Dixie, and anyone familiar with the history of the "Invisible Empire" knows just how visible it was in the state government of the 1920s.)

Which City?

Brunette:

[...] I'd avoid Cary if I were you; Chapel Hill is too expensive. Plus, it has plenty of liberals already and is all smug about it. Raleigh is wonderful, of course -- very unpretentious (we have to be, what with hosting the General Assembly -- buncha yahoos) and Durham is . . . well Durham is actually a very cool town that gets a pretty bad rap.

Commuting to Work

I like to keep my commutes short, and it would be great to have the option of riding my recumbent to work when weather permits. Anyone have some areas to recommend within a few miles of Morrisville?

NCDem:

If you'd like to keep your commutes short and will be working in Morrisville, I would not suggest moving to Chapel Hill. The rush hour commute is pretty brutal [...]

James:

I live in Chapel Hill and used to commute to Raleigh every day.

Public Transportation

NCDem:

[...] and the public transportation sytem in these parts is not the greatest.

Accessibility

My wife is in a wheelchair. How's the accessibility of the public transportation? She checked the websites of the local TAs and bus lines, and Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill all claim to have 100% accessible fleets. How's the reality? If we live in a smaller city/town like Cary or the area bounded by I-40, 751, 55, and U.S. 64, will our options be hamstrung?

Cost

I read that Chapel Hill's public bus line is free. Is that true? I have also heard that it's more expensive to live in Chapel Hill than most other places in the region. True also?

James:

Chapel Hill buses are indeed free. They cover Carrboro, too, which is one of the coolest towns on the planet. Don't move anywhere until you check it out.

Housing

We'll be renting initially, but will be looking for a realtor who can work with us to find a (starter) home that will work well for my wife. Does anyone have any recommendations for wheelchair-friendly apartments and condominiums?

NCDem:

There are a number of newer apt and condo complexes in the Morrissville area that I imagine are wheelchair friendly. (I live not far from Morrisville).

Chapel Hill rents and property sales prices are higher than Cary, Apex or Morrisville (and Raleigh). But, Chapel Hill is a terrific town,so you'd be close to a lot of amenities that you may take advantage of.

Thanks for all your help! My wife can't wait to get out of the cold...

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1 Historical trivia: It's my vague understanding that the CSA actually did claim Oklahoma (then Indian Territory), probably because at least some of the Native American tribes there embraced slavery, but unlike New Mexico, no battles took place there. Culturally, Oklahoma feels to me pretty distinguishable from the Old South. The fact that Oklahoma is the only state in the union with a pumpjack on the mall of its state capitol tells you almost everything you need to know about Sooner State politics.

Comments

Check out BlueNC Bulletins Branden

I hope you are able to find what you are looking for. I lived in Chapel Hill after I graduated from UNC. That was a loooong time ago. I wish I could help. We're glad you're heading our way.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

*blush*

Thanks, Betsy!

I've got tentative plans to come out that way in late April to reconnoiter the joint. More info once I plunk down some money for the plane tickets. :)

(My bad luck to want to do this in the midst of an economic-recession-driven belt-tightening at my company, but they did give me a relocation bonus so I can hardly complain too much.)

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relocating from Indianapolis, IN to RTP, NC soon; got any advice for me?

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

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Garner, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

Come on the 27th.

We're having a Blue Blogger Barbecue Bash at my house in Chapel Hill ... it would be great to have you (and anyone else reading this comment) join us.

Let me know!

Good Weekend to come

I believe the Jefferson/Jackson Dinner is that weekend also

"jump in where you can and hang on"
Briscoe Darling to Sheriff Andy

Where's the planning/details on that?

I've been aggregating all my feeds through the magic of the google, so maybe I missed it.

Maybe...

link it somewhere easy to find?

Will do.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Maybe Apex?

Both Apex and Cary have some older neighborhoods, some outlying neighborhoods that could be a good choice. There are also parts of Cary and Apex that will drive you crazy with the mini-me-malls and such.

Chapel Hill is very expensive, we're about to get priced out of town before too long in fact.

Durham is definitely fun, but as for the bad rap, well it does have a lot more crime/etcc. The SW Durham area (woodcroft) is pretty close to the roads you would need to get to Morrisville.

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Older neighborhoods

While my wife and I both like older neighborhoods (and houses) from an esthetic standpoint, the sad truth for us is that a lot of pre-ADA (i.e., pre-1991) residential construction just doesn't work for her.

The place we're in right now was built in 1970, and even after some modifications, the place is really only barely adequate. When we first moved to Indy we lived in an a newly-constructed apartment building that was nearly ideal, in that all the doors were 3 feet wide, the bathroom was large, and no doors were set right up against a wall at a right angle. The only thing that sucked was the kitchen, which was a standard galley type. (Imagine trying to get stuff done in your kitchen, except you cannot even turn around without leaving the room and walking backwards into it—that's what my wife has to deal with in galley kitchens.) That and the fact that it was not enough apartment for too much money, and the leasing company raised the rent like clockwork every six months.

We haven't really specced out a "dream home" yet—that will have to wait for more money and more gray hairs— but a ranch-style house, more rectangular than square, with a full basement and a big kitchen, is kinda what we had in mind. Put the access door to the basement in the right place and one could even build a ramp down there, obviating the need for an expensive chair lift.

While some husbands would no doubt relish the idea of having an unfinished basement where their wife literally could not go, my wife and I don't have that kind of relationship. Either I'm totally whipped, or she has a healthy respect for the male predilection for fortresses of solitude. ;-)
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relocating from Indianapolis, IN to RTP, NC soon; got any advice for me?

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

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Garner, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

Basements aren't as prevalent here as in the Mid-West

although there are some homes with them (usually walk-out basements)

If you want to look at some areas and see what kind of properties are available at this time as well as prices go to Allentate.com

Inside the "Property Search" box, click on Advanced Search.

Under "Select a Region", choose NC Triangle Region and then click NEXT>

Enter the areas in which you want to look, the property type (such as Single Family) the minimum bedrooms and bathrooms and the price range you want to look within. In "Additional Search Features", enter anything that makes sense to you (I suggest selecting "Don't show Under Contract listings", as there is no real need to look at homes that are for all intents and purposes off the market.

Once this is completed, click on Search and have fun!

If you have any questions or just need some information, leave me a note and I'll get back to you.

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

No basements? Bummer.

Proper full basements a rarity? That's disappointing.

How's a man supposed to build a Faraday Room?

;-)

Thanks again for your help. I had seen a couple of RTP real estate sites, but not that one.

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relocating from Indianapolis, IN to RTP, NC soon; got any advice for me?

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

--
Garner, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

not much of need

Civil engineer jumping in here: Basements are mostly a result of having to put a house foundation below the frost line. The frost line around here is not too deep so we don't have to excavate as much hence more crawl spaces. Most the basements I design around are because of building on steep slopes.

"jump in where you can and hang on"
Briscoe Darling to Sheriff Andy

Three cheers for engineers

Glad to see an engineer around here. In a former life I was an engineering student.

I then realized that I loved computer operating systems much more than I loved attempting to find closed-form solutions for non-analytic differential equations.

You have my respect for toughing that shit out. :)

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relocating from Indianapolis, IN to RTP, NC soon; got any advice for me?

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

--
Garner, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

I had no idea basements had to do with frost lines.

Does that mean people in Alaska have really deep basements? Or, are they screwed when the permafrost disappears due to global warming?

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Speaking of relocation.

In Iraq:

The International Organization for Migration reported this week that one in five of Iraq’s pre-invasion population is now either internally displaced or living as a refugee outside the country.

Shock and awe? Indeed, but for all the wrong reasons.

Add to that the 100s of K dead and the subdivision of iraq into partisan blockaded districts and no wonder the violence is ending. There isn't anyone left to kill.

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Invisible empire

I wouldn't go countin' the success of the klan in Indiana as a southern cred. Bigotry isn't unique to the South. Though the Klan originated in Tennessee, the factors that revived and reinvigorated it in the 20s in Indiana were not reflections of Southern identity so much as they were reflections of common human foibles -- fear, anger, frustration. Sometimes the target was communism, sometimes Catholicism. We never run out of scape-goats.

The so-called Christian Identity (white supremacy) folks are international, with centers of greatest recent activity in the northwest. (In fact, I *think* statistics from the Southern Poverty Law Center still show that the more active "hate groups" are more prevalent now in the northwest than in the South.)

The South has to bear the burdens of slavery's legacy and of the Civil War in certain ways that Northerners and Westerners do not; and that will continue to bind southerners (black and white) in ways not readily comprehended by people who haven't lived here and find it convenient to rely on stereotypes for what they "know" about this region.

I understand what makes it easy for outsiders to get a 'tude about the South, but find I'm still irritated by the folks who move down here with the attitude of bringing the benefit of their superior moral perspective to we poor backward folk. (I ain't pointin' at you, there Branden, just saying).

I knew a gal in graduate school from Boston who had such an attitude. She was a dear friend and remains so, but oh geez what an unreflective attitude she had about "you south-uh'nuhs" (hard to render that Boston dialect here). It was almost as though she thought that by dint of birth on the southern side of a line in the soil, a person was cursed with inferior capabilities for intelligence or moral development.

OOPS, I went on a rant. Sorry 'bout that.

But welcome just the same, to North Carolina.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
-Edmund Burke

All good points

All good points, Brunette.

Boston in particular has a less than stellar record when it comes to race relations, that's for sure.

I think what I was getting at (poorly) was that my own emotional reluctance about moving back to the South was more visceral than rational, because some of the worst things people tend to associate with the South have also left their indelible mark elsewhere in the country, including right here in my current home state of Indiana.

One thing I certainly can quantify already about North Carolina is the friendliness of my reception here at BlueNC—my humblest thanks to everyone for their help getting us settled happily!

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relocating from Indianapolis, IN to RTP, NC soon; got any advice for me?

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

--
Garner, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

and yet as we write

I've just abandoned a rock 'em sock 'em slug fest over at the "TalkingAboutPolitics.com" forum with a southern apologist of the worst stripe -- the kind who believes in the gallantry of an old South that never actually existed, who doesn't understand the difference between groups of traits and what he thinks of as "race" (he seems to think it is a scientific category, like species), who thinks that blacks were lynched during Reconstruction because they got uppity (to be fair, he didn't put it that way -- quite), and that whites have been the victims as surely as blacks when it comes down to atrocities committed during the civil war and the consequences suffered since.

Oh if I ain't gettin' riled by one side it's t'other . . .

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
-Edmund Burke

the human condition

I don't believe in original sin, but I do sometimes feel like we all suck—each of us in our own special way—and we each have a responsibility every day to ensure that we suck less.

:)

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relocating from Indianapolis, IN to RTP, NC soon; got any advice for me?

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

--
Garner, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

Too true

And I have to confess that by engaging in the quarrel, I didn't do my part to NOT suck.

As for recommendations on your move, yes, you're right about the older neighborhoods being less accomodating of the kind of construction needs you and your wife have, but that's ok, because the older neighborhoods are too damned expensive anyway. And another "anyway" is that if you're going to be working in the Research Triangle Park, you'll want to live on the outskirts of Raleigh or Durham or Chapel Hill. And there's been lots of new construction all around those areas, so you'll be fine. Plus that's where all the OTHER transplants are, except for the ones who move to Cary (but the ones who move to Cary get teased mercilessly -- so steer clear)
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
-Edmund Burke

Ha...it has taken me over a year to recover from

being told to my face by a very drunk woman that slaves were happy and didn't have it so bad and most of them didn't want to be freed.

Oh..I'm not naive. I knew they were out there, but I'd never in my life heard someone actually say that mess with my own ears in person. I still can't believe it.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

When someone says something like that

it's hard to even know how to respond.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

I was dumbfounded....completely silenced

....and you know it takes a lot to silence me.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

not going to touch that statement

I know better than that

"jump in where you can and hang on"
Briscoe Darling to Sheriff Andy

hahaha

No comment on that. :-D

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Holly Springs is just below Apex and is still slightly better

regarding your home buying dollar than Apex, Cary or Chapel Hill. It is a bedroom community, so to speak, and is close to everything without being in the middle of everything, if you know what I mean.

We currently live in Greensboro, although my wife is from Cary. We are looking to perhaps move back to the Triangle since I work in Sanford, and we have basically decided on Apex or Holly Springs. We are going this week to look at a couple more homes in Holly Springs, and then our house is going on the market.

My wife is a Real Estate Broker / Agent, so that helps us regarding finding the lastest and greatest on the market.

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

Excellent

Thanks for the tips!

I know I can consult the route raps for the public bus companies, but how does Holly Springs do for access in that respect?

The important thing about that for us is that my wife doesn't want to have to rely on me exclusively for transportation (outside of a few blocks' radius).

We don't have a lead on any real estate agents yet, so if you'd like to steer some business your wife's way, please feel free to drop me a private message.

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relocating from Indianapolis, IN to RTP, NC soon; got any advice for me?

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

--
Garner, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

Holly Springs has a park and ride area.

The Triangle Transit runs from Apex, which is the town just adjacent to Holly Springs, but does not run busses directly to Holly Springs (Route 311). This line runs between Apex and RTP.

For a schedule of the Triangle Transit Routes:

gotriangle.org/Bus/ttaMapsAndSchedules

em>North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

Triangle Transit

GoTriangle.org is a central source for transit and ridesharing information. It is a partnership of area transit agencies including Triangle Transit.

Triangle Transit is the regional transit agency. Triangle Transit is a rebranding of Triangle Transit Authority or TTA (old site) which occurred just yesterday March 17th.

Accessible Transportation Services via GoTriangle
Contact Transit Providers via Triangle Transit
Contact Individual Transit Agencies via GoTriangle

The GoTriangle Regional Call Center, which can be reached at (919) 485-RIDE, allows individuals to make one call to access transit information and ridesharing services in the Triangle.

For information about apartments

Touch base with the Alliance for Disability Advocatates/Independent Living about apartments and other resources:

Alliance of Disability Advocates
Center for Independent Living
PO Box 12988
Raleigh, NC 27605-2988
919.833.1117 V/TTY
919.833.1171 FAX
alliance@alliancecil.org
www.alliancecil.org
This is a great group of folks.

Most awesome

Thank you very much for that link.

Their knowledge could really save us some time and trouble.

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relocating from Indianapolis, IN to RTP, NC soon; got any advice for me?

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

--
Garner, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson