Who doesn't love a good list? Here's a link to Liveability.com's 2014 Best Places to Live and my home city Durham NC ranks #4 and ten minutes away where my real estate office is located; Chapel Hill NC ranked #71. It's nice to live, work and play in such a highly desirable location and easy to understand why.

Here's just some of the things I love about the area:

UNC and Duke University:

You can't beat having two world class Universities within 15 minutes of one another that attract some of the smartest minds both teaching and students to the area is a huge plus. It creates a highly educated, well traveled, open minded environment at large and offers so many opportunities to meet, interact and learn from an amazing group of people. UNC and Duke…

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Hillandale, Durham NCLots of people are in love with the area near the NC School of Math and Science. The Watts Hospital / Hillandale neighborhood in Durham is a community of homes built from the early 1900's to the 1980's.

The homes are an interesting mix of traditional Cape Cods, Bungalow, and you will also find contemporary and colonial styles that have been nurtured into the wooded area that is Duke Forest. Home prices can range from under $200,000 to $600,000 some of the homes have been completely renovated with the latest energy efficient building codes, appliances and structural needs while others are sold as they were built.

The Watts Hospital / Hillandale neighborhood homes sit on lots that vary from .14 to over .50 acres. For the most part, they are heavily…

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Durham NeighborhoodsHow to Find The Perfect Neighborhood

You're out looking to buy a home in an area you're not truly familiar with. How can you know whether it's a good match for what you are ideally looking for? There’s an art to knowing if a neighborhood is a great one, and it goes far beyond tree-lined streets or summer block parties.

Let’s assume you stumble upon what appears to be your ideal neighborhood in. It’s close to the things that matter to you and it’s filled with the things you love. Fantastic. But even if it seems to tick all your boxes, there are 7 important things you really need to do before allowing yourself to fall head over heels with any particular location:

1. Get A Bird's Eye View

Type the address in Google Maps. Then zoom out. And zoom…

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Seller Pays Closing Costs One of the most common terms I see negotiated in contracts for a home in Durham today is for the seller to contribute money to the Buyer to cover all, or part of the Buyer’s Closing Costs. Seller paid closing costs can, with certain limits, be paid by the seller to the buyer without any problems…if you know the rules. Ignorance of the Underwriting Guidelines for the program and Bank that the Buyer is applying for a mortgage from, can turn a seller contribution of closing costs into a real problem!

 

It can be the difference between getting a loan – or getting denied! Yikes!

Seller contribution is really just another way of saying a part or all of the closing costs are paid by the seller. For example, a contract could read that the seller will…

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If you are purchasing a home in Durham, you will need cash to cover your portion of the services it will take to close your mortgage loan. If you are a First Time Home Buyer – you might not know what those costs would be!

Those services and fees will include fees to the lender, the appraiser, the attorney, the court house, inspection fees, taxes insurance – and MORE! There costs are generally broken down into two different “buckets…” One Time Fees (like the Attorney and Appraisal Fees) and Pre-Paid Items (which are generally considered to be part of your on going payment like Insurance and Taxes.

Total Closing Costs For Chapel Hill Homes

The TOTAL closing costs for most Chapel Hill home buyers, purchasing an average home are generally about 3 to…

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HOA PlaygroundsSome homes in Durham and Chapel Hill are in Communities that have Home Owner Associations, and those dues could be charged on a monthly, annual or quarterly basis – depending on the Association and the Amenities that Community has.

Makes sense – especially if you are moving to an area that has a playground, a large entryway or Swimming Pool. Townhouse Communities and Condos generally have Association costs that cover part or all of the exterior maintenance of your home or landscaping around your property. But, there’s more to Home Owner’s Associations than just paying dues for maintenance.

Dues generally pay for the association insurance policies, landscaping services by a professional landscaper, management of the association by a professional…

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Duke Forest in Durham is a neighborhood of homes built from the 1930s to the 1980s and all of the decades in between. The homes are an eclectic mix of traditional, modern, contemporary and colonial styles most just carved out of the wooded area that is Duke Forest. 2015 YTD data (11/15/2015) shows home prices can range from under $200,000 to $850,000 some of the homes have been completely renovated with the latest energy efficient building codes, appliances and structural needs while others are sold as they were built.

About The Duke Forest In Durham, NC

The average sale price of homes sold in Duke Forest from Oct 2011 through Oct 2012 was $318,000 which is an average of $121 a square foot. The average days on market for homes in Duke Forest was 150…

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Chancellor’s Ridge in Durham, NC consists largely of single family homes with about fifty townhouses. Amenities include sidewalks, a pool, and lots of community events such as egg hunts, Halloween celebrations, a book club, wine nights, and movies on the lawn. The great walking, nature trail system connects the Chancellor's Ridge community to The Streets at Southpoint, one of Durham's best shopping areas.

Chancellor Ridge is also just a few minutes away from Jordan Lake, so if you have a boat - this might be the in Durham, NC neighborhood for you! Year to date 2015 (11/15/2015) shows that there have been no distressed sales in the Chancellor’s Ridge neighborhood. The average price per square foot for a single family home has been $112 with some homes…

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This weekend the NY Times Travel section featured an article 36 Hours in Durham Why am I not surprised that they realized what those of us living here already knew; Durham Rocks!

Check out the link to see some of what their writers thought was note worthy here in Durham; then post your own comments on what they missed (a heck of a lot)...

I admit it, I’m prejudiced. My wife and I moved here from Vermont approximately 7 years ago for no particular reason. We were fortunate enough when we arrived to be able to afford to live anywhere we choose and after looking around a good bit we choose to live not far from Duke University in Durham, and we love our adopted home.

Unlike the other areas I work in as a Realtor, Durham is a true city; it’s colorful,…

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