Investing In DTR (personally)


  1. I am not from Boston, I am from Maine, a small country town in Maine. It was an awful place to live. I would often spend time in Boston, it is where all of my family went to and is going to school, it is where my dad was born, and it is an awesome place in general. There are some cons of Boston But I like it.

  2. Raleigh is a much better investment than Boston, Raleigh has lower crime rates, and Raleigh has friendlier people.

I was given the option to select a few southern cities where I could live, and then after a few years live anywhere I wanted to (This is complicated, don’t ask) I chose Raleigh over Charlotte, ATL, Jacksonville, etc. because I thought the crime rate was lower, the traffic was better, and there was a lot of hope in the development world.

I do not care if Raleigh ever looks like Boston or ATL, I just want Raleigh’s Downtown to continue to progress. Yes the FNB tower is nice, Yes the Dillion is nice, I feel we may be on the cusp of greatness. However, there are some severe issues that worry me.

#1. Lack of public transit that has a SOLID BREAK GROUND DATE.
#2. Economic recession stopping construction that can propel Raleigh to where I and many others would be satisfied.
#3. Politics and Poor funding blocking development and public transit.

If 400h, 301, two Glenwood, Smokey hollow P3, Union Station Transit thingy, N&O site, New Bern BRT, 540 Completion, Tower 5 (32 stories North Hills), and MLS all START construction within a reasonable time I would be more than overjoyed to stay here. Also, even if only 5-8 of these even start, I would still be overjoyed.

I am just worried that these will fall through, I love Raleigh now, but I need a more urban feel that I am certain these projects can bring.

This does not include all projects because it is an example.


Define “near term”, because I would be shocked if we don’t see one in the next five years. I’d say Raleigh is probably better positioned than many cities just due to our growth and job prospects, but I’ll be curious to see what happens to some of these proposed projects when it happens and financing gets harder to come by. I assume these developers and their partners are considering that possibility, but I have my doubts, especially about banks, after the last one.


I will give Raleigh…6 years lets say. I will be out of college by then and have gotten a few years of experience. I would like to see some…Gestures of faith…within the next year. We will see that if 301 breaks ground.

Also, Raleigh has Durham on its side too. I feel it is a pretty unique situation to have a city like durham so close.

I moved here from Worcester, MA 10 years ago with the same kind of expectations. Loved Boston but definitely not going to try to live there. Unfortunately the Great Recession hit and most of the projects I had gotten excited about before moving here got stalled or cancelled or scaled back. They were digging the subterranean parking deck under the FNB Tower when I stayed at the Marriott and now 10+ years later it’s finally getting completed. I am also scared of the 3 concerns you listed. I feel like we’re about to suddenly blow up with a lot more big projects downtown and then it’s going to bust. Again.

I don’t know that I’d move somewhere else because of it, since I’m settled here. But then again maybe I would. I guess we’ll have to wait and see and hope for the best.


I am glad someone else shares my views. I have seen the uglier parts of Boston, My dad lived in Lynn and I used to hang out around Lawrence, Lawrence isn’t too bad though. I have some friends in Dorchester, now that place is exciting eh?

But your example is what I am referring to, If that happens I am gone. I love bigger cities, and I am willing to pay the price, I was just hoping Raleigh would be a way to cheat the system. I know people are going to come crawling out of the woodwork to prove me wrong in some diluted fashion, But Where I live has a huge impact on me, Especially seeing as I do not like to spend 6 hours a day watching tv.

And Fallon is legit. That guy is the Kane of Boston.


That’s really good to hear. I guess that it’s REALLY good news to hear that they set up an office and an executive to lead the Triangle projects locally.
It’s a very exciting time for you given that you are starting your adult life in the context of a renewed interest in our city centers. I wasn’t so fortunate as I came into adult life at a much different time. When I started investing my own money into downtown Raleigh in the mid 90s, people thought that I was crazy. There was almost NOTHING happening at the time and my investment was paired with a halfway house next door and a run-down public housing project not so far away. A lot has changed since then and the momentum behind downtown’s progress has only accelerated.
I wish I were 30 years younger and doing it all over again in this time!


I am extremely cautious about investing in DTR. My father is more ready to invest then me, He was thinking of going in on the “land” for sale on Saint Marys St. I feel its a bad idea. Plus it’s confusing at exactly which land is there, It looks like a house to me, and I don’t think there is any other land for sale on Saint Marys St?

I’ve been through more than my share of economic cycles.
Raleigh is never a bad investment, but I’d wait for the next recession if I really wanted to maximize my investment. Raleigh has always recovered from recession while it usually isn’t hit as hard as other cities. I’d also look at existing property before new if value was important you.


Yeah I predicted this. This might be a good thing. Maybe they will sell the property in the end to a real development company.

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I’ve seen a number of economic cycles. General pattern is things get to going good and lot’s of people start thinking, I wish I had bought/build (house, store, land, office (hslo) ) a few years ago and then think, I better get in now before to many others get in. So lot’s of HSLO projects get started. In a year or so there are lot’s of projects in the works and some that have gotten started. Then there is a down turn and there are more HSLO hitting the market than demand and most of the ones that have not gotten started are cancelled. Net result is there is a surge of development and some gets build which saturate the market, then nothing for a few years. The it starts all over again.

Do not believe people when they say this time it’s different, the results are same each cycle, just the players change.

I bought my first house in 1980 super cheap, from a builder who have been setting on it for 2 years After the S&L triggered down turn. Bought land and built current house after DotCom explosion. Picked up some great stock buys in panic after 9/11. Only time I’ve gotten hurt was in the so called “great recession” of 07/09 when company I was working for (that was my mistake, but another story) got in trouble and outsourced lot’s of jobs, including mine.

So look at history and when everyone is talking about house good things are, it’s time to get cautious and plan for when things recover. Even the Great Depression was a series of ups and downs, alot caused by politics.

JY2CW - of saying, yep some of the things talked about will not get built, but after a couple of years new owners will likely start the cycle all over again. IMHO, there is going to be a slow down starting late 2020, after election. How long it last will largely be up to politicians.

Nobody has a crystal ball about the economy

“If everybody thinks it’s a good idea to buy a house right now it is probably not”

But I agree with John, Raleigh is never a bad idea. If you want to protect your downside buy in the path of progress

Beyond the cyclical nature of real estate I am very bullish on Raleigh-Durham

The following trends helps us:

-Americans tend to relocate frequently during their lives for job or hope of a better life
-Increasing cost of living (housing) around the country has people moving to cheaper and tax friendlier places from NE and West Coast
-Comparing us to our piers you still get good value here
-Tech heavy areas will have a clear edge over less tech heavy places in the next decades.
-Tech companies need to provide employees with a second option outside of high cost places
-Weather (and traffic) drive people from north to south
-General trends of re-urbanization drive people from the country side into cities and downtowns
-As long as the big three schools are doing well here the area will do well

Do we have a couple of challenges? Of course
Politics, perception, transit

Conservatively I see the area doing well and relatively stable. Optimistically I see another Austin moment possible with a perception change maybe a couple of years from now. If you consider yourself impatient, pick tech industry not real estate :slight_smile:

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Good point - wouldn’t be a bad thing if e.g. Fallon picks this one up and goes the full 40. Similar to 400H I have little hope in Sandreuter executing


How much more can you expect a downtown to progress as far as commercial development? Clearly you have no idea what it was like 10 years ago.

Possibly not during a recession

Weather yes, but traffic is getting worse here.

*peers. But I do not know if that is true…depends on the kind of people I guess.

Austin Kind of is the pipe dream, but I still do not think Austin totally has it, I think we can improve where they haven’t

A lot more, TBH.

I do not understand this, I consider 400h to be dead in the water. I just used it as an example. No doubt I still hope it pulls through.

Bought my first place in 87 in an environment of high interest rates, but I utilized a federal program for qualifying first time home buyers (meaning modest income) that helped me mitigate it. Subsequent home purchases were never in the frenzy years, but also never at the bottom of the market either. I don’t know that I have the stomach for that! I’m pretty cautious and have usually followed my gut. It hasn’t done me wrong in over 30 years of RE transactions.
If I had to give objective detail to my “gut”, it would be something like this:

  1. Don’t buy at the top end of any project. In other words, don’t buy the biggest or most expensive home in the neighborhood or project.
  2. Don’t buy multi-family in a fully car dependent location.
  3. Don’t buy multi-family in a project that has some really bad units. Those will become a bad comp for you in the future.
  4. Don’t buy something that you don’t love for one reason or another. If you don’t love it, the next person likely won’t either.
  5. Don’t buy something that you wouldn’t be willing to keep for 7 years.
  6. Don’t buy for investment if you are going to NEED that money back soon. Don’t gamble with your immediate future if you can’t afford to gamble.

Nashville and Austin had better bones for growing into larger cities/regions. Raleigh does not have these bones in it’s infrastructure layout due to extremely bad planning. The traffic isn’t bad now, but I fear in the future it’s going to be a major problem due to the street layout. What alleviates this major problem (up until now) and has allowed for the growth was that we are multi nodal in terms of job centers, which spreads out the concentration greatly.

Personally for me, this isn’t a major problem as I value living close to work more than anything. What matters most for me in 5-10 years and the only thing that scares me into possibly leaving the area is the state wide political climate.

I know we are getting way off subject here so last post on this.

#1 is the real biggie. Never what to be biggest most expensive one in neighborhood. I did take a little bit of gamble on current house as I was first to buy into a new land development but made gamble that due to location and price would not be smaller houses built around me. That gamble has paid off, now 30 years later I am the small house lol. And the one that was build as smaller has been expanded a lot. So 30 years later house is worth 4 times what cost to build and l just put lot I own next to me on market for 10 times what I paid for it.

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I broke off this “branch” and put it here. It sounds like folks are sharing their confidence in downtown Raleigh based on development success, transit planning/improvements success, and general policy and politics.


Tysm! I appreciate this, I did not want to clog up the other pages

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