Last Christmas, I went to Charlotte for some holiday cheer and to see some friends who had relocated to the Queen City. 2017 had been a great year for real estate and with all the articles in Forbes
Aug 28 2017 Which Wake County Town Is Right For You
Which Wake County Town is Right For You?
There are 12 unique cities in rapidly growing Wake County. Each have their own individual character and quality of life to consider before you make the investment of purchasing a home.
The City of Oaks and State Capital Raleigh is centrally located to the county and is home to about 44% of the county’s population of more than 1 million people. It is repeatedly ranked as one of the best places to live and work. The capital offers top notch entertainment, food, sports and work opportunities. Home to the North Carolina Museum of Art, it hosts an excellent permanent exhibit as well as bringing many diverse traveling exhibitions to the area. Do you like sports? Raleigh is the home to the Carolina Hurricanes of the NHL, right in the middle of college rivalries with home town NC State, just down the road to Duke and UNC. Raleigh boasts the world’s largest beer garden with 366 beers on tap along with micro-breweries like Trophy, Crank Arm, Raleigh Brewing, Big Boss and so many more. That is just what’s in town – two hours to the coast, four hours to the mountains – easy to explore all of North Carolina.
“The Peak of Good Living” is in Apex with an estimated 25% population increase since 2010 according to the US Census Bureau. Time/Money Magazine declared it the Number 1 Best Place to Live in the US (August 2015) saying “Apex has all the things you’d expect in the No. 1 place to live: a charming downtown, top-notch schools, and the kind of community spirit that draws 15,000 people, or more than a third of the population, to the annual PeakFest street fair. It also has something else: high-paying tech-industry jobs that help make the quality of life here second to none. And unlike that other technology hub on the West Coast, Apex is still affordable. A three-bedroom home costs an average of $265,000, vs. more than $1 million for a comparable house in Silicon Valley.”
With close proximity to the Research Triangle and the areas major universities, Cary offers a diverse population with high quality of life, boasting an extensive list of accolades. Cultural and entertainment options are abundant with Koka Booth Amphitheatre hosting an array of concerts and festivals. Over 30 parks are available to residents with access to many outdoor activities including tennis, soccer, paddle boats, pickle ball and much more. More than 20 miles of greenway paths connect the town for walking, running or biking. Home to USA Baseball's National Training Complex and the US National Team, Wake Med Soccer Park with the North Carolina Football Club and Cary Tennis Park hosting multiple tournaments and USTA events, you get easy access to quality sporting events.
The southernmost located town in Wake County is Fuquay-Varina, a town of around 25,000 and growing. Boasting over 300 acres of parks, a quaint downtown with shopping, abundant micro-breweries like Aviator and Fainting Goat, and a 6000 square foot splash pad. While it is a little farther out than most towns from Raleigh and Research Triangle Park, you will find more moderate home prices.
Situated just to the south of the capital you will find Garner and home to 28,000 residents. Cost of living is reported to be 3.5% lower than the national average by bestplaces.net. One of the most affordable towns to purchase a home in Wake County you will find a community with a home town feel. Boating and fishing at Lake Benson or picnicking at White Deer Park, there are many options to explore the outdoors.
Exploding to over 30,000 residents, Holly Springs has been able to maintain a small town feel with great neighborhoods, schools and events. Start Saturdays at the Farmer’s Market across the street from Town Hall with fresh produce, local honey, free-range eggs and more. Boasting more and more local businesses both large and small, you will also find easy access to I540 and the rest of the Triangle region is within commuting distance. Watching summer league baseball’s Holly Springs Salamanders is just one way to enjoy the $25million park at the center of the city.
Just to the east of the capital is Knightdale with a nine-mile commute to downtown. Their new campaign to “Start Something” the city is encouraging growth and opportunity for the 14,000 and whopping 91% increase since the 2000 census. An area with history dating back to the 1700’s but evolving into the future with small town feel and easy access to the greater Triangle area from I540.
In the western most part of the county in the heart of RTP is Morrisville with an estimate 33% growth in the last seven years, it was named the Number One place to live in North Carolina by niche.com based on quality of public schools, job availability and diversity. With a diverse population from many countries and cultures, you will find an array of food options from around the world. Growing access to shopping at Park West Village and Grace Park keep every day amenities accessible. The business climate is robust with excellent office and industrial parks.
Nestled in the northeast corner of Wake County is the second oldest town in Wake County, Roseville and its 7000 or so residents. The quaint, small town atmosphere is everywhere you look. Poised for growth and easy accessibility to the entire area, it is still a small town with pride in its community.
Booming to over 40,000 residents in the north of the county is Wake Forest. Featuring a vibrant downtown with activities for everyone including art galleries and specialty shops, coffee and breweries, and a full schedule of activities to keep you coming back. Home to multiple golf courses including TPC Wakefield, easy access to Falls Lake and surrounding recreation areas, access to Falls River Trails you will never be bored with the options to be outside and active. It is home to the only ice rink facility with two sheets of ice in the county along with other youth sports facilities throughout town.
In the eastern part of the county lies Wendell about 25 minutes outside the capital. With less than 7000 residents it is very much a small town with a lot of charm. Incorporated in 1903, several downtown buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places. The annual Harvest Festival in October can’t be missed.
Last but not least is Zebulon. With the lowest US Census population estimate of any Wake County town at 5100 or so there is a lot to like about the eastern most town. Acres of parks, home to the Carolina Mudcats baseball team. Ranked as the most affordable Raleigh suburb by movoto.com you will get small town charm at an affordable price.
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