My SO and I are vaguely looking at buying a place near downtown, and were curious as to you alls’ opinions if there are any neighborhoods or developments that fit our criteria, and if so which you think are the most attractive.
In no hurry to have kids, maybe 5+ years from now
looking for at least 2br/1.5+ba, 1,000+ square feet
The nearer to downtown the better – looking for something walkable at least to the edges of downtown if possible, and / or convenient to a bus line
Price range $250-300k (max max we would want to consider spending is $350k, but the cheaper the better)
So, in my situation, where would you buy?
(I don’t think I’ve seen a thread where this makes sense to ask this, but please feel free to move if it seems like it should fit under an ongoing thread @dtraleigh .)
That’s great! I have a few thoughts / suggestions.
Mordecai: Nice neighborhood walking distance to person street district and in close proximity to multiple GoRaleigh routes (routes 1 and 3, route 1 runs every 15 mins or less, so very easy to use). Also walking distance to Conn Elementary and there are multiple city parks (Mordecai House, Halifax Community Center, etc)
Woodcrest: This area is over a bit north of town. Nice neighborhood features over here are the new gateway plaza redevelopment (beer garden, bakery), walking distance to parks like Lions Park and if you do stay and grow, really quick walk with kids to Conn Elementary. You can also pick up route 3 or route 1 within a few blocks walk in this neighborhood, and the crabtree greenway segment is a quick bike ride, too!
Remember - especially if the house has been sitting for a few weeks, you can offer something other than the price listed. When we bought our first house we wrote a letter saying we knew we might not be the highest offer they’d receive but we’d love to grow in the area, etc. Sometimes that’s worth doing if the house is receiving multiple bids.
I have lived in three areas in / close to downtown. Five Points, Village at Pilot Mill, and the West Condos. All three were / are great. While those three neighborhoods are going to be all but untouchable in the $300k range, here are what they had in common for me:
Didn’t buy in a “hot” market.
Didn’t get emotional about something “perfect” that popped up on the market. To @RaleighBikeLady’s point, be willing to pay a fair price but realize there are some good souls out there that care who buys their house.
Be willing to invest some sweat equity. If you aren’t handy, learn to be.
Consider not using a buyer’s agent realtor. While the seller is paying their commission, there is more room to negotiate if you don’t have two commissions at play.
Think about buying in an off season like now. Spring can be very competitive.
All three of my places have been good investments. ITB seems to stay pretty steady.
Others will have more and better advice. Keep us posted.
I’d also look at a condo in the Bishop’s Park area on the other side of Fletcher Park from Glenwood South. It’s a very central location that allows you to walk to Glenwood South, Cameron Village, and Five Points.
There isn’t much at all for sale in that area right now but I’d watch it. Across St. Mary’s, you might also consider St. Mary’s Condos. These are the older townhouse style buildings just to the east of Cameron Village. There isn’t much on the market right now, but they are usually on the lower end of your price range.
Honestly your best bet to get all those requirements would happen East of Fayetteville St.
You could get one slightly under budget and invest in sweat-equity and renovate over time, or complete renovations like this one. 3br 2ba almost 1,200 sqr ft. walking distance to all of downtown 310k
Or one a little smaller at 800 square feet but less money
Would you say the market is “hot” right now? To me it seems reasonable(ish) for the kind of employment, population and economic growth we’ve been seeing. Sure, everyone’s on about how there’s going to be a recession any day now, but I don’t see something like that impacting home values in Raleigh over the long (5-10+ year) term.
I’d guess I’m handy enough (some family/self-taught and worked briefly in construction), at least confident enough around a toolbox and a crawlspace to teach myself what I need to know, and what I should and shouldn’t tackle on my own. That said, I don’t know if I’ll have the time to do any big projects anytime soon, seeing as I work full time and will be in classes pursuing a second degree for probably the next 3 years. Should I really be considering a fixer-upper if this is the case? Probably nothing that I’d want to do major work to, I’m guessing?
You might be able to find something that meets your needs in Capital Heights which is across from St. Augs on State St. This neighborhood was built shortly after WWII, the houses are small and are constructed in a minimalist style. Many, many remodels and additions are being completed here. Several “McMansions” have also been built which is supplanting the style of the neighborhood.
College Park is also worth a look. The city owns a significant number of lots and has been strongly supporting redevelopment of the neighborhood which has proved controversial. If there ever was a posterboard neighborhood to highlight the controvery surrounding gentification this is it (with the possible exception of South Park).
Lot’s of new houses being built in CP with most in the 450K range although I have seen several come on the market (they don’t last long) in your price range.
For the money (and as mentioned by RaleighBikeLady) Woodcrest is a solid choice. As I understand it prices have escalated since the redevelopment of Gateway Plaza was announced but still a lot of bang for the ITB buck square footage wise. Many new buyers are in your age range from what I’ve heard. They are now doing an annual street party over there I believe. We used to live on Barksdale about a decade back. A nice neighborhood with Lions Park and the greenway system in close proximity.
These listings clearly layout the fact that, if you want a SFH, you’ll have to go a bit further out. I also wouldn’t say that these properties are “walking distance to all of downtown” for most people. They are still a bit of a hike (but reasonable) to get to the east side of downtown where one can pick up the RLine.
I would also look into South Park. About a mile from downtown heavily gentrified area similar to East Raleigh. Person and Blount St just got bicycle lanes and down the road will be two way traffic converted.
Really depends what area you are comfortable in and where you want to be on the scale appreciation potential versus established neighborhood. To check out what’s going on in that neighborhood:
We’re about to sell our house near Boylan Heights and move over to King Charles. You can get more bang for your buck on space but it lacks walkability. The BRT will run down New Bern eventually and it’s still bikeable to DT.
I think your best best is Capital Heights/East Mordecai/Lions Park area for what you are looking for. (seen in image). I live over there and it’s one of the best neighborhoods for the money IMO. You can walk to downtown if you really want to (~45 minute walk), bike (10 min) or bus/scooter.
You can easily walk to Person St, Brookside Market and new Gateway Plaza. With upcoming changes walking/biking to Smokey Hollow/Glenwood South and new Iron District (next to Lynwood Brewery) will also be very easy.
You also have the most inventory of houses in that 1000-1500 sq ft range of anywhere ITB. Downside is that the secret is getting out. A lot of homes in that range have basically doubled in price in the last 5 years. However, you should still be able to find something in the 300-350 range for at least another year or so.