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Buying A New Home - Narrowing the Search

Friday, February 25, 2011

by Kristy Yule

In my last blog post I shared how my family prioritized the areas we would search for our new home. We had narrowed our location to Southern Orange, SW Wake and North Chatham County. After months of research we eliminated Orange County from consideration (to see our thought process click here). We began our search on SW Wake.  This area had a lot going for it. Great shopping and restaurants, access to nearby Jordan Lake, plenty of trails for exploring, and the school system is reputable.

We were still committed to purchasing a new home. There was more to choose from in SW Wake than there had been in Orange County, and the taxes are also less. When we began researching the area we found out that Wake County has a year-round school program.  Since my husband and I both work, we thought that would be wonderful.  As we dug a little deeper, we found out that not all schools in Wake are year round. And then of course we learned about the neighborhood schools versus out-of-neighborhood schools situation. The issue with the schools was somewhat troubling but not enough for us to eliminate the area.

We started touring some of the newer home communities. We found a few that seemed to match our criteria for outdoor activities and community involvement. However, we did notice a different feel in Wake than in Orange County. At first we couldn’t put our finger on it. As I stated earlier, there are TONS of shopping, retail and restaurants in Wake. The location was more centralized for mine and my husband’s commutes. But still. Something was missing. When we talked about it on the weekends, we discussed things we loved in the Chapel Hill area: quaint shopping, lovely locally owned restaurants and a slower pace of living. What we concluded is that while there were some communities in Wake that matched some of our needs, there wasn’t a community that really felt like “us”.

That left Chatham County. I have shared some of my thoughts about the uniqueness of this area, but would love to hear from you about what makes Chatham County so special.