When I talk to real estate buyers about relocating to the Triangle, one of the first things we have to figure out is which town checks the most boxes on their wish list for their next home.
“The Triangle” is actually a pretty wide geographic area that is made up of a wide variety of mid-size cities and small-town charm, including most notably, Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, but also smaller suburbs like Cary, Wake Forest, Holly Springs, Apex, Morrisville, Garner, and Clayton.
Here is a quick sixty-second take on each locale, but if you want to talk more in-depth about what it’s like to call any of these areas home, give me a call at 919-868-4384 or email me at Renee@HREGSells.com!
Nearly 440,000 people call this North Carolina state capital city home. According to VisitRaleigh.com, the “city’s founding fathers called Raleigh the ‘City of Oaks’ and dedicated themselves to maintaining the area’s wooded tracts and grassy parks.” Downtown, you’ll find a wide variety of properties – from condos to single-family homes – and the trend continues, with an emphasis on apartments, townhomes, and single-family homes, as you move out from the city’s center. Wake County Public School System is the school district for this town and you’ll find lots of colleges here, too, including NC State University, Meredith College, Wake Technical Community College, Shaw University, William Peace University, and more. Several private schools serve the Raleigh area, including Wake Christian Academy, Cardinal Gibbons High School, Ravenscroft, and others.
Almost 250,000 people call the “City of Medicine” home, as does Duke University and NC Central University. Durham is known for its creative workforce, arts and cultural influences, and a well-known foodie scene. Single-family homes, townhomes, and apartments are the most common types of homes you’ll find here, but there are some condominiums in the Downtown footprint, as well. Schools are operated by Durham Public Schools and many private options exist for elementary through high school, as well.
Well known as the headquarters for tech business giant SAS, Cary maintains a population of just over 150,000 and is known for its suburban living amenities: spacious single-family homes, townhomes, and apartments are the most common, often located near shopping centers and conveniences of nearby grocery stores, movie theaters, great schools, and more. Cary is served by the Wake County Public School System, but also offers private schools including Cary Academy.
Home to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as UNC Health Care, this quintessential “college town” packs in the southern charm, while having a smart focus on health-related careers and quality of life. The town’s population count sits at just below 60,000 residents. Here you’ll find lots of local art, independent retailers, and farm-to-fork dining options. Public schools are operated by Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools.
Regularly featured in national publications, Apex is known affectionately as the “Peak of Good Living” by its nearly 45,000 residents – and there are plenty of reasons to support that claim. In the historic downtown district, you’ll find lots of shops, award-winning restaurants, and locally-owned and operated service providers. Festivals and special events take place here year-round for residents who opt not to drive into nearby Raleigh, although it’s close enough to not be inconvenient for regular visits or daytime commuters. In Apex you’ll find lots of single-family home planned neighborhoods, townhome neighborhoods, and some apartment developments, too. (Check out our profile of a few popular neighborhoods here!) This is another Wake County Public School System area.
Homes in Wake Forest may be located in Wake County or Franklin County based on the neighborhood or street address. The charming town located just north of Raleigh is home to nearly 35,000 residents and has grown tremendously in the last ten years. Its historic downtown district hosts numerous events and is great for enjoying small restaurants and independent retailers and recently renovated and repurposed “The Factory” is home shopping, restaurants, and lots of community recreation, as well. In Wake Forest, you’ll find a traditional mix of single-family homes, townhomes, and more apartment complexes as the area continues to grow. Homes here may fall in either the Wake County Public School System or Franklin County Schools.
Nearly 30,000 residents call this popular Wake County suburb home! Holly Springs has become a popular destination for families and working professionals because of its close proximity to US-1, which connects drivers to other major Triangle roadways for workday commutes. You’ll find lots of community-organized cultural events, recreation programs, and even an occasional farmers’ market event. Here you’ll find mostly single-family homes, as well as townhomes developments and some apartment complexes. Homes in Holly Springs are in the Wake County Public School System.
Just shy of 30,000 residents have made their home in Garner, located just south of Downtown Raleigh and the first suburb of the city that you’ll meet on your way east on Highway 70 before you get to Clayton (the next town featured on this list). While Garner isn’t known as some of its suburban counterparts for a vibrant historic downtown district with shopping and restaurants, you will still find lots of modern comforts here including various shopping centers, an active parks and recreation program, and medical outposts by both UNC Rex Healthcare and WakeMed. Single-family homes are the dominant real estate listings here, with some townhomes/duplexes available and a few apartment complexes, especially closer to newer shopping centers. You’ll find listings in both Wake and Johnston counties here. Garner neighborhoods are included in the Wake County Public School System. Nearby, you’ll find Wake Christian Academy as a private school option.
Almost 22,000 people call Morrisville home – and it’s easy to see why. This Wake County suburb has super quick access to the Research Triangle Park, Durham, and Chapel Hill via the local highway infrastructure and its growth in the last decade has made way for lots of new home developments, shopping centers, and all the amenities you’d expect in a modern town. Homes in this area are also served by the Wake County Public School System.
With close access via Highway 70 to Interstate 40, Clayton continues to be an increasingly popular destination for those who desire close access to Raleigh and the greater Triangle area, with more room to grow and the acreage to support it. Close to 20,000 residents are in this area within both mature and brand new builder neighborhoods. Clayton has a bit more of a rural vibe than other nearby suburbs because of its close proximity to counties where manufacturing and farming is more prevalent. Real estate listings here are in Johnston County. Homes here are within the Johnston County Schools system.
If you’re thinking about moving to any of these areas or have friends or family moving this way, my team of local market experts would love to help. Give us a call or email us anytime to set up a time to see just what this market has to offer!