24 answers

Possibly Relocating to Raleigh Area

Hi Moms,
My husband, 3 y/o daughter & I are considering relocating to the Raleigh area. Does anyone have any suggestions in regard to safe, family oriented neighborhood w/ good schools. We were told good things about Cary & the Prestonwood club.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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We just relocated here from Kansas, and love it! Northwest Raleigh is really nice in the Brier Creek area. The school is great, people are very friendly. We love it so far. :)

North Raleigh is usually a safe bet however you do still have pockets of neighborhoods that aren't the best. Those other two areas are great however, depending on what you all do for work you may have to still travel into Raleigh. We could always hook you up with great realtors if you should need that.

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I moved here about 2 1/2 yrs ago and I live off of Leesville Road, one of the best school systems in Wake County as well as Millbrook, I have an Aunt who lives in Cary, she is a retired School teacher and it is a beautiful area with great schools as well.

Best wishes!

I grew up in this area and am currently raising two young girls here. In my opinion, the best neighborhoods are Falls River/Bedford, Quail Hollow, and Summerfield North. Wake Forest is growing quickly and has some good neighborhoods as well (my favorite is the Heritage). I hope this helps.

I have to agree with Elizabeth. I live in the 27603 zip code (South Raleigh) and love it. I am literally 5 minutes from downtown Raleigh on one side, and 5 minutes from the countryside and cows on the other. The location is fantastic. My only suggestion is move to an area where you do not have to commute down I-40/440 to get to work. I ride over I-40 everyday and thank god I don't have to sit in that miserable traffic.
I grew up in a Raleigh where Cary and Apex were both small country "bumpkin" towns. It makes me laugh now to see how "elitist" the towns has become, esp with the kind of restrictions they place on citizens now for just about everything (not to mention how pricey those areas have become). It's insane...
Wake County has wonderful schools, so you have it covered there.
Good luck with your decision and move!

Hi there!

I actually live right in the Preston area (but not in Preston) and have since '92. I have 2 children, an 8 year-old and an 11 year-old (getting ready for middle school). I personally love this area and feel very safe living here.

I am not sure where you are moving from and how schools are handled there, but here your children may be "re-assigned" to a different school every year. Luckily, my children have attended a school where we have escaped the re-assignment, but I do have friends whose children have gone to a different school 4-years in a row, only to end up at the school they started at! My purpose in saying this is not against the schools (which seem great in this area) but that it is difficult, to say the least, on the children to be shifted around so much.

We just relocated here from Kansas, and love it! Northwest Raleigh is really nice in the Brier Creek area. The school is great, people are very friendly. We love it so far. :)

Cary is a great area (used to live there) and so is North Raleigh which is where I currently live. The Wakefield, Bedford areas are very nice, family oriented communities. There is a high school, middle school and elementary school all next to one another in addition to a YMCA as well. I have a little girl (16 months) and we specifically moved to the Wakefield area to take advantage of these resources.

I wouldn't move here. We are on major water restrictions here due to a severe drought and can't keep up with the growth that we currently have including overun schools, etc.

Preston is beautiful! pricy, but the houses on the golf course are worth it! We live in Cary Park. We first picked a house in Bedford and thank goodness we didn't buy there. The word is it can take about 20 minutes just to get out of the development! My husband works in RTP and West Cary is very convenient. Lot sizes are about .25 acre, not so big. I feel in this part of the triangle your best bet is Apex for price and land. I have to say I am from Jersey and have lived here for a year and a half. So far so good. It is getting more congested especially the past few months but is nothing compared to the NJ/NY area.

We have been here for a total 5 months from California (talk about moving to a warmer climate). We absolutely love it. Definitely recommend the Northern part of Raleigh (eg Wakefield, Wake Forest) due to the amount of traffic now accumulated in the Cary area. E

I recommend the Wake Forest area. My 3 y/o goes to a daycare called Kids r Kids in town in an area called Heritage. I love it!! We are natives here and both working parents. Good Luck on your move, NC is such a wonderful place to raise a family.

L K,

We just moved to Raleigh this past summer from Greensboro. It's a great place to live, with great parks, things to do, etc. We found it a challenge to find the right place to live, taking all the school choices into consideration. Many schools are on year-round schedules, which was surprising to me, but I really like it. The re-assignment issues are a little scarey to me too. Cary would definitely be a great area to live in, with great schools and nice neighborhoods, if you have the money. They are in the middle of a big re-assignment issue right now though, which isn't pleasant. Wake Forest is also a really great area. It's more affordable and has great schools too. You'll get more for your money in that area. It's on the opposite side of Raleigh, so it really depends on where the job is.

Best of luck to you!


Cary and Prestonwood are very nice but a bit pricey. Not sure where you're moving from but you should know that traffic is getting really bad in the Triangle, we're in a serious drought situation and we're having a lot of issues with schools in Wake County - over crowding, year round schools, busing, etc. When choosing a neighborhood, I suggest you consider your commutes (if any) first and also take a look at the more countrylike areas that are now easily accessible with the construction of I-540 around the city. The housing market is booming and you can get a nice size house with a good size yard for about $200k

Hello, we moved here about 2 years ago. We started looking for homes in Apex and Cary, but found that they were too expensive or the land size was WAY too little. It is a nice area, and I wish I could live there! We found north Raleigh to be expensive as well. Cary also has higher property taxes; and if you live within city limits anywhere, you'll be looking at water restrictions. We ended up in south Raleigh in the 27603 zip code. It's not as populated, but is growing, and you can get a bigger house and more land for cheaper than Cary, Apex, etc, and not have water restrictions because we're on well water. (Not that anyone wastes water here because we don't have limitations, we still need to be careful like anyone else, but we're free to water our lawn whenever we want within reason.) My daughter is assigned to Timber Drive Elementary (year round), and we love that school! It's not the closest school for us, but it's fine with us since it's one of the better schools in the south Raleigh/Garner area. And we actually enjoy the year round way of doing it, and getting more frequent breaks. Rand and Vance are also good. . .I think all the better schools are on the year round schedule down here. I don't know if I'd want to live in Garner though, but anywhere the zip code is mine, is really nice and country-like. Just depends on what you're looking for and can afford. Not sure what your financial situation is, but if you're well off, then Cary and Apex or North Raleigh would work for you if you don't mind being told when you can water your grass. Just thought I'd throw it out there that south Raleigh is also really nice and what the pros/cons are since no one has mentioned it yet! :)


I'm a mom in the area and a Realtor as well. There are many great neighborhoods to choose from, it just depends on what you are looking for. When I moved here 12 years ago, I wanted good schools at least an acre of land and close to my husband's job--north Raleigh was where I ended up. If you would like I can set up a personalized website for you to get samples of homes on the market so that you can see what you can get for your money.
Let me know. C. Horrocks ###-###-#### www.movetoraleighnorthcarolina.com

Cary is a very nice area so is Holly Springs and Apex. We moved here a little over a year ago from IN. It does take a little getting used to but you will love it. There are so many things you can do. The museums are great, it's really nice being able to go to the beach one weekend and the mountains the next. I hope you and your family will enjoy being here.



I am relocating out of the Raleigh area but have resided in the West Park Lake School District in Holly Springs/Cary. Will let you research the school district. If have questions, send a response.

North Raleigh is usually a safe bet however you do still have pockets of neighborhoods that aren't the best. Those other two areas are great however, depending on what you all do for work you may have to still travel into Raleigh. We could always hook you up with great realtors if you should need that.

Cary is a great place to live for a family, also Apex and Morrisiville have great neighborhoods as well.I dont know where u are moving from but the climate is great and u still have your seasons just not as dramatic as I used to have,I moved from VA.If u do move here I have a great hair salon ,that I own it is located in Cary,The Ri'kkel Studio,so just let me know and I will give more advice about other things as well. Thanks

I actually live in Durham and for school district purposes, would not recommend it. Southwest Durham is great however, so don't be scared of it! Lots of culture here and Durham is packed with historic/refurbished charm.

Cary is a great residential area. Everything is new in Cary and very well-planned. Here is a link to one newish neighborhood which includes school info:

North Raleigh is a very good area. Check out these links as well:

Don't forget about Chapel Hill - a wonderful, small, liberal/college town with a great downtown walk. Chapel Hill is in Orange County - excellent school system.

A little further southeast is Chatham County which also covers the city of Apex (falls on both Wake & Chatham Counties.) All great up and coming residential areas.

There's a wealth of things to do in the Triangle. From UNC & NCSU football, Duke basketball, Durham Bulls baseball to Carolina Hurricanes hockey. Don't forget weekend trips to the Blue Ridge and the Crystal Coast (both 3 hrs). I'm sure you will enjoy it if you decide to move here!

The Wake Forest area is really nice too, and there are tons of really good schools there.

Hey! D. here. We lived in Cary for 10 yrs and just recently moved to Wake Forest, NC, which is the other side of town. Cary is a great place, good schools, nice. The main thing you need to consider is where your husband is going to work. Traffic is getting bad here due to lots of new people moving to the area. i will be glad to send you some stuff from here if you need anything else. Preston is also on the higher end of the housing market price wise and there are many other nice and nicer areas depending on your budget. Good luck and feel free to contact me if I can help.

I moved to RDU from California a few yars ago and most people recommend Cary. I first moved to Cary but didn't prefer the secondary road type of traffic patterns. I HIGHLY recommend a neighborhood in North Raleigh called Bedford. A outerloop beltline has opened up (540) and this location is really great for shops, parks etc. Bedford at Falls River is fabulous with only 2 main enterence and exits. 28 miles of sidewalks, a huge child pool and separate adult pool for those sunbathing. There are a few builders in the neighborhood which I love. Preservation Homes, Drees, McNeil Burbank and Bedford Group. Here's the website. Oh yeah, the community center is great monthly wine tasting clubs, weekly yoga and mother stoller groups. Link is below: http://www.bedfordtradition.com/index.php?&c=1

Most of the neighborhoods are safe and family-oriented, except maybe some of the ones which are mostly students at NC State. It really depends on what you want and what you can afford (or want to spend). There are older, historic neighborhoods (like Oakwood); newer developments further from town (like Falls River, which you really might want to consider if Prestonwood is to your liking); well-established, planned neighborhoods (like Prestonwood); newer golf communities (like Hedingham); and everything else. I personally wouldn't want to live in Prestonwood because I'm not into the country club scene or even in Cary because it's too far from my work (for my commuting taste). Instead, I live in an historic neighborhood near downtown because I can get everywhere I want to go within 5-10 minutes and can walk to lots of amenities.

The Triangle is great, and Wake County schools are terrific. The biggest thing that concerns me about WCPSS is the size of the elementary schools; I think 1000 kids per school (which is the size of the newer schools) is too big. So my little ones go to an older school downtown which has a smaller population and a magnet program. Also, the school board doesn't really listen to people, which is terribly frustrating. None of the schools qualify as poor or even fair. I'd say they are all good to exceptional. You may want to check with WCPSS- they have to redistrict kids every year because of new schools opening. So if you move into one of the newer developments, you may be changing. Once new development slows down (although there's not much sign of that), attendance zones will become more established and less likely to move. The schools will still be good, but some kids don't do well with change.

Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools are also terrific.

Best part about the Triangle- you're only a 3.5 hour drive from the outer banks and 2.5 hours from the Brunswick beaches. Oh, and 3 hours from the mountains (no skiing there, though). It's really an ideal location. Just make sure you watch your water usage- we're in an exceptional drought. Good luck on your decision!

North Raleigh Is awesome, Lots of us "transplants"
Depends on the type of neighborhood you like & your $$$ range. Bedford & Falls river are very nice neighborhoods w/ lots of amenities/sidewalks/playgrounds families etc. Homes range from $180K to over $800k, for 1600 - 4000+ sf. Durant Trails & Durant Trace are really nice, but (as with most places in Raleigh) the schools keep getting re-assigned... so, watch out for that.


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