Location is one of the largest factors impacting your home’s real and perceived value, future appreciation, and ability to resell. Neighborhood, safety, proximity to high quality schools, surrounding infrastructure/jobs, and nearby amenities are critical location elements to consider when buying a new home.
Once you have decided to move to the Raleigh area or even move across the Triangle, finding the perfect location to satisfy your personal top priorities while maximizing your home value requires a deeper understanding of the area and its surroundings.
The Raleigh-Cary Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), comprised of over 1 million residents, is made up of the large municipalities of the city of Raleigh and the vast suburb of Cary along with a number of emerging smaller towns including Apex, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Fuquay-Varina and Garner. Raleigh and the neighborhoods closest to the city have the most character and history, while the more suburban areas tend to be slightly more cookie cutter and shopping center focused.
When looking for your new dream home in the Raleigh-Cary area, be sure to carefully consider each of the following points in order to get the most for your money today – and for that time in the future when you may want to put your home back on the market.
1. Inside the Beltine vs. Outside the Beltline
One of the most important issues a homebuyer in Raleigh has to consider about location is whether they want to buy inside or outside the beltline. NC Hwy 440, known as “The Beltline”, forms a circle around downtown Raleigh and the city’s oldest, most established neighborhoods are referred to as being “Inside the Beltline”. Residents of these areas enjoy numerous benefits, including access to some of the area’s top schools, walkability to many of the city’s amazing amenities, and the significantly higher home and land values than their counterparts “outside the beltline”. Scarcity of land is a huge factor that drives these home values skyward as more businesses are following the urbanization trend and looking to relocate to areas where people can live, work and play.
For those who are looking for more affordable options or would prefer a more suburban atmosphere, surrounding areas such as North Raleigh, Cary, and Morrisville are ideal options.
2. East and Southeast Raleigh have higher crime rates
The areas to the east and southeast of downtown Raleigh have among the highest crime rates in the area and the lowest property values. However, as land inside the beltline becomes scarcer, home builders and developers are turning to these areas for infill projects. Southeastern Raleigh presents prospective buyers with the opportunity to buy a more affordable, or possibly even a new home, in a neighborhood that is still considered “up and coming”.
3. Raleigh has top-notch schools, but they’re not all great.
One of the most critical factors that families consider when purchasing a home is the surrounding schools and assigned district. Wake County has many top-notch public schools and has received national recognition, including having the most nationally certified teachers of any school district in the country for 9 consecutive years! Raleigh Charter High School was recently named the #1 High School in the state and both Cary High School and Green Hope High School also received top rankings. Broughton High School located in downtown Raleigh also has a great reputation in the area for its excellent support of the arts, nationally recognized international baccalaureate program, and high quality staff.
4. Raleigh traffic can be a bear but also can be avoided with the right home location.
The majority of Raleigh residents work in downtown Raleigh, Research Triangle Park, or downtown Durham. Along with total drive time, easy access to area highways and roads that connect residential areas to these job hubs impact home values.
Many would argue that the worst commuter traffic in the morning can be found on I-40W moving from Raleigh towards RTP and Durham. At the end of the day, the reverse would be true. If you are relocating to Raleigh for a job, pay particular attention to the relationship among the home, workplace, and rush hour traffic flow. Daily heavy traffic can be avoided with some careful attention to where and when you must commute.
5. Raleigh has many pockets of great amenities
High quality nearby amenities and activities are essential in choosing a home’s location. The premier retail locations in Raleigh, with a combination of local boutiques and national chain stores, are Cameron Village, North Hills, and Crabtree Mall.
Located within one mile of NC State University, the open-air Cameron Village Shopping Center stretches over six blocks and has over 100 distinct stores and national retailers. The shopping center also has the world’s only two-story Chick-fil-A. New residential, retail, and office construction projects continue to expand the boundaries of Cameron Village. If this area interests you, check out homes in Cameron Park neighborhood.
North Hills is an urban mixed-use development located in Raleigh’s “Midtown” area. The shopping center is conveniently located adjacent to the I-440 Beltline and Six Forks Road and attracted over 8.4 million visitors in 2013. The development includes a four-star Marriott hotel, Class A office space, green and park space, entertainment venues, premier restaurants, high-end boutiques and national retail, coffee shops, and a state-of-the-art 65,000 square foot gym. Here’s why home buyers flock to North Hills.
Crabtree Valley Mall is the largest enclosed mall in the entire Triangle market. Located on Glenwood Ave, Crabtree Valley is a 1,326,000 SF regional mall and contains over 220 stores. The mall has many big name anchor tenants including Belk, Sears, and Macy’s with high–end restaurants such as The Cheesecake Factory, P. F. Chang’s China Bistro, Kanki, Brio, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, and McCormick & Schmick’s. There are many great neighborhoods nearby Crabtree, including the often overlooked Brookhaven.