House Hunters

Give up. Hahahahahahaha. We’re kidding. Kinda. If you’re moving to Raleigh having just sold your million-dollar home or with a tech salary, congrats, you just won the final rose! If you’ve got a normal salary and are searching for your mid-range starter home, welcome to Survivor.
(This is the main reason some Raleigh newcomers may not feel a warm welcome here. Fairly or not, high-income newbies and speculative investors are being blamed for pricing local house hunters out of their much-loved city. So please DO NOT brag that the $600,000 house you just paid cash for is “such a steal.” Do not be “that person” or you will forever remain an outsider, bless your heart.)
So, with all that being said, mid-range ($250,00 – $600,000) buyers are going to need patience, stamina, a good real estate agent and lots of local ice cream (Two Roosters, Goodberrys) and chocolate (Videri, Escazu) to get through your house search in this hot market. Stock up, find out what you can afford, make your Top 5 Must Haves List (ignore paint colors) and dive in without letting the bidding wars make you lose your mind. You will find your dream home eventually!
Do your research. (You’ll find some resources below.) For the love of all things acorn, do not buy a house sight-unseen in the Triangle unless you have a proxy on the ground here that you’d trust with your first-born child. Raleigh is a creative, innovative, demographically diverse, politically complex, increasingly techy city, located in the South.
Yes, there are areas where you will see Confederate flags flying. Yes, we’ve had protests – both peaceful and otherwise – downtown and on our college campuses. There are perfect-for-families neighborhoods you might find boring and perfect-for-college-students neighborhoods you might find overwhelming. There are amazingly diverse areas where multiple languages will be heard during a day and areas where variations on a southern accent is about as diverse as it gets. There are neighborhoods you will read are “an easy 20-minute commute to RTP” that are actually 45 minutes on a good day. You get the gist – do a deep dive and preferably an in-real-life viewing before you plunk down that Due Diligence money.
Sign up for Next Door and read some of the neighborhood discussions. If you want to get a sense of how neighbors talk to each other and the overall vibe of an area, Next Door can be helpful. Pick a neighborhood and see what the topics of conversation are to get a sense of trending topics.