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10 Reasons You Should Move to Chapel Hill

10 Reasons You Should Move to Chapel Hill

North Carolina is at the top of many people’s relocation destination list. Though we probably don’t have to explain why North Carolina is a fantastic place to call home, there are a few motivating factors for relocation to this state in particular. There’s a lower cost of living, especially if you’re coming from another area of the country. Lower housing costs and lower taxes are also pull factors. Not to mention, North Carolina’s temperate and mild four-season climate which can be withstood in the mountains, Piedmont, or coastal regions.

Chapel HillThe Triangle, located in the Piedmont, has so much to offer new residents. From incredible eats and higher education to plentiful jobs and convenience, the Triangle draws in so many new residents every year. It’s not hard to see why, though. Especially when you look at Chapel Hill.

This small town, frequently referred to as the “Southern Part of Heaven”, will charm you into packing your bags and heading south. Here are 10 reasons why you should move to Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

The Food is Incredible

Just this past March, Chapel Hill hosted her first food truck rodeo! A dozen local food trucks gathered on Rosemary; if you’re not familiar with the town, this street links to down town Chapel Hill. There, you’ll find tasty eats to satisfy anyone’s appetite. With over 95 resutarants and bars, most locally owned, Chapel Hill has one of the finest dining scenes in the country.

These resutarants are a must-try:

Music and Arts

We won’t argue, culture is important! That’s why it’s wonderful to know Chapel Hill boasts a thriving cultural scene. From the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center to the Ackland Art Museam, there’s an exhibit for everyone. Learn about galaxies and the Mercury program, or take a yoga class in the galleries at Ackland.

The historic Varsity Theatre always has the latest movie releases, while the Carolina Performing Arts hosts incredible musicians, performances, and productions like “Beyond Sacred: Voices of Muslim Identity”.

K-12 Education is Strong

Great Schools, a non-profit organization, works to educate parents on the educational opportunities within school districts. Their rankings and rates provide information that helps families choose the best schools for their children. On a scale of 1-10, Great Schools ranked Chapel Hill schools an 8. This scale is based on student growth, achievement, and college readiness.

Chapel Hill and Carrboro schools pride themselves on their emphasis on student growth as well as achievement. Hear it from former Superintendent Dr. Tom Forcella here.

Discover Orange County’s schools here.

Home of the Tar Heels

Chapel Hill

Campus of UNC Chapel Hill, Courtesy of UNC

UNC Chapel Hill was founded in 1789, making it one of the oldest public universities in the United States. Out of the top 100 Best National Universities, UNC ranks number 30 in 2017. Often noted as a public “ivy” school, UNC is reputably one of the best universities in not only the country, but in the world. Programs at this school range from the highly ranked Kenan-Flagler Business School to the School of Medicine.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is much more than a college. In Chapel Hill, residents bleed Carolina blue for their Tar Heels. If you’re a fan of baseball, basketball, and football there are sporting events year round to appease sport-loving residents.

Catch a Tar Heel game here. Or, wait to see the ACC Champions in spring of 2018.

Small Town Feel

Want the benefits of a big city nestled into a small town atmosphere? Look no further. Chapel Hill’s connection to UNC brings everyone together under a brilliant shade of Carolina blue.

Not only does the town feel like home, but Chapel Hill provides locals with family friendly events. With trails leading to Bolin Creek nearby, there’s wildlife to investigate. Don’t forget about Live & Local, Chapel Hill’s weekly music and arts show. Or, catch a movie under the stars at Wallace parking deck!

Employment Opportunities are Plenty

Located in the Triangle, Chapel Hill is a stone’s throw away from RTP. Which is to say, Chapel Hill has many opportunities for employment in a variety of industries.  Research Triangle Park has been known to lure in new residents thanks to plentiful jobs associated with the research and technology roots of the region. Top employers include IMB, WakeMed Health & Hospitals, SAS, Biogen Idec Inc. and GlaxoSmithKline.

Job opportunities also come in the form of employment within the universities in the area. North Carolina State University, Duke University, and UNC Chapel Hill all act as major employers in Chapel Hill. Thanks to these factors, Chapel Hill has a low unemployment rate and a strong job market.

Don’t forget about local gems, like the Sun Magazine. Check them out here.


Living in Chapel Hill means proximity to natural attractions like the Blue Ridge and Appalachian Mountains. Head three or so hours in the other direction, and you’ll hit Carolina or Wrightsville Beaches.

Downtown Raleigh is only 28 miles away from Chapel Hill, whereas Durham is a shorter 14 miles away. Both cities provide incredible entertainment, dining, and experiences unparalleled anywhere else.

Raleigh Durham International Airport is less than a half hour away from Chapel Hill.



Living in Chapel Hill isn’t Too Expensive

It’s easy to think that if you want a safe, pleasant, and overall good place to live, it’ll have to be expensive. If cost of living is indicated, on average, by 100 let’s look at where Chapel Hill comes in.

Overall, Chapel Hill is an affordable area. Regional costs of living are low in the south east, but cost of living in this town is high; only in comparison with other cities in the region. Thanks to upscale shops, fine dining, and an upscale feel, Chapel Hill prices are driven higher, but only fractionally so.

Not to mention public university tuition. As a resident of North Carolina for the 2015-16 school year in-state tuition at UNC Chapel Hill was $24,320. Compare this to out of state tuition at $50,360.

The biggest difference between Chapel Hill and other cities is the price of housing, however Best Places broke that down, too.

Try comparing your current cost of living to cost of living in Chapel Hill here.

Healthcare in Chapel Hill

UNC Healthcare was created in 1998, bringing together the healthcare system of North Carolina as well as the hospitals and programs of the UNC School of Medicine. By 2013, the U.S. News & World Report ranked UNC School of Medicine as the 1st school in primary care, and 22nd in research.

Now, UNC Healthcare consists of numerous hospitals (5), healthcare centers, physicians networks, and community-based practices. In 2015, construction of a new office and hospital complex in Hillsborough finished. The Hillsborough campus includes an ER and general surgery.

Convinced? Come Check Out Chapel Hill!

Are you falling in love with Chapel Hill? There are a number of neighborhoods, communities, and subdivisions located in Chapel Hill and Carrboro.  Bolin Creek

If you are interested in learning about the neighborhoods surrounding downtown Chapel Hill and other properties in the greater Triangle area, visit us online.  Call us today at 919-813-6449 or e-mail us at
[email protected] for additional information.  We can’t wait to welcome you to your new home.


Check Out Chapel Hill’s First Food Truck Rodeo

Check Out Chapel Hill’s First Food Truck Rodeo

The rumors are true: Chapel Hill will host the first Food Truck Rodeo in city history. The Food Truck Rodeo is on the schedule for Sunday, March 26, from noon until 5 PM hosted on Rosemary Street. Not familiar with Chapel Hill? Rosemary Street is hugged between Henderson and North Columbia Streets.

Chapel Hill Food Truck RodeoChapel Hill Parks and Recreation in collaboration with the Downtown Partnership and the Raleigh Durham Mobile Food Association are excited to host this event. We are too! Their first ever food truck rodeo will feature 13 of the most popular food trucks in the Triangle area.

The participating food trucks:

  • Cousin’s Maine Lobster
    • Try an authentic taste of Maine brought to you by Cousins Jim and Sabin.
  • Tacotopia
    • Bandido’s Mexican knows what they’re doing. Bandidio’s, off East Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, has won competitions for their incredible food. Come try their prize winning salsa.
  • Pie Pushers
    • What more could you want: incredible pizza, or a roving truck that carries incredible pizza? Pie Pushers offers pizza by the slice or pies whole.
  • Chirba Chirba Dumplings
    • These dumplings are widely renowned for the flavorful punch they deliver time and time again. You’ll have to taste their unique pineapple curry sauce.
  • Hibachi Xpress
    • Japanese Hibachi almost always yields great recipes, but Hibachi Xpress stands in a class all its own. With home made yum-yum sauce and a secret teryaki recipe, you couldn’t go wrong trying Hibachi Xpress.
  • Baguettaboutit
    • Talk about a North Carolina necessity. Baguettaboutit features NC-made sausage and home-made sauces served snug in a French baguette.
  • Gussys
    • Want to try Greek food influenced by the Chef’s time in Greece? Look no further. Gussy’s Greek Street Food will be at the Rodeo on Rosemary. The home-made tzaziki sauce will be the best you’ll taste in the Triangle.
  • JAM Soft Serve Ice Cream
    • Get your ice cream fix here. Jam Soft Serve has lots of options both for parents and kids. Their chocolate malted milkshakes are uncomparable.
  • CockaDoodleMoo
    • Southern, sassy, and full of local history, CockaDoodleMoo is your one-stop shop for all things barbecue. The malt vinegar fresh pork rinds are a definite must-try on their menu.
  • Sweet Traditions
    • If you like Gigi’s Cupcakes, you’ll love Sweet Traditions. Their cupcakes are mouthwateringly delicious. Imagine anything you’d like for dessert, and Sweet Traditions creates a cupcake for it. Banana pudding, chai tea, and Kentucky bourbon are just some of their incredible flavors.
  • Only Burger
    • Try one of Only Burger’s all-American burgers. Their Famous Green Fried Tomato Burger is slathered in pimento cheese and topped with a grilled egg. Budget friendly and delicious, Only Burger will satisfy the whole family.
  • Morfa Empanadas
    • Argentinian food is under represented everywhere, so let Morfa Empanadas give you the best first impression.
  • Caffe Belleza
    • Is there anything better than a mobile coffee bar? Their Southern Charm Latte is delicious with a hint of spicy undertones. For every Southern Charm Latte bought, Caffe Belleza will donate $1.00 to the American Civil Liberties Union.

After you’ve grabbed your array of food, head to the top of the Wallace Parking deck. There, you can eat and enjoy beautiful views of the skyline of downtown Chapel Hill.

Bring the whole family to enjoy Chapel Hill’s first food truck rodeo. There will be games for the kids on The Plaza, and a DJ playing some local favorites. Free parking will be available in downtown Chapel Hill on Sundays, but there will also be special event parking at the Wallace Parking deck.

Consider donating to the food drive, hosted on site by the Feed Hearts Fill Plates organization. Bring a few food items with you to donate to local refugees. Any donations will end up on the tables of local families and refugees by the Refugee Community Partnership. Here are some foods they’re looking for: pita bread, pasta, rice, dried chick peas, lentils, dried fava beans, olive oil, and ghee.

If you are interested in learning about the neighborhoods surrounding downtown Chapel Hill and around Rosemary Street as well as  other properties in the greater Triangle area, visit us online.  There’s no shortage of fun, family-
friendly events in the area. Call us today at 919-813-6449 or e-mail us at [email protected] for additional information.  



North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival 2017

North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival 2017

The North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival is almost here, and #NCCAF has become one of the premiere comedy festivals in the United States. Acts from New York, LA, Chicago, DC, Boston, Philadelphia, and every city in between, flock here to perform, network and develop as the next generation of comedy talent.  This years line-up includes The Josh and Tamra Show , Emo Philips , and Mo Collins just to name a few, so come get your laugh on at #NCCAF  2017.

North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival


Every February #NCCAF presents one of the largest independent comedy events in the country, showcasing improv, sketch and stand-up comedy acts from all across North America in the heart of North Carolina (Chapel Hill and Carrboro). Produced by DSI Comedy and Zach Ward; NCCAF was created in 2001 to showcase Chicago-style improvisation and educate Carolina audiences. This is an experience you will not want to miss, as this show has something for everyone.

Headliners for the Show

Emo Philips will headline his own standup show at DSI COMEDY on Wednesday Feb 15 to kick off the 17th annual festival. He will be improvising with founder Zach Ward on Thursday, a special All-star cast on Friday and (as he has for the last 5 years) Emo will be dropping in on as many workshops as possible while in Chapel Hill. Emo Philips is one of the recent standards of American comedy, an incredible entertainer born in the suburbs of Chicago. His work influenced Jim Carrey, Demetri Martin, Patton Oswalt, Mitch Hedberg and Bo Burnham.

The Josh and Tamra Show returns to headline #NCCAF 2017. The first comedy duo to tour Muppet-style Puppet Improvisation. They are offering a Master Class in improv and puppetry, on camera. The Josh & Tamra Show are pioneers of puppet improv comedy. For the past 17 years, Josh Cohen, Tamra Malaga, and a cast of amazing Muppet style puppets create a feature length montage of scenes. This show may contain adult situations and language.

Mo Collins (MADtv 1998-2004) has confirmed as a headliner for #NCCAF 2017. Mo will also teach a Master Class in creating sketch comedy characters and will improvise with our festival All-Stars. Mo has been a part of MadTv for some time now and should bring the area top notch comedy skits.

Details about #NCCAF 2017

This year’s Festival will last from Feb. 15th – Feb 26th 2017. We have a lot of great acts and we are so happy to have everyone involved. #NCCAF tickets can be bought here. Information on shows and dates can be found here.  If you are in need of lodging for the show, see these nearby Hotels. Maybe you would like a list of amazing restaurants in the area. Whatever your needs are Chapel Hill can fill them, so come on down to Tarheel country and have a few laughs.

At Real Estate experts we like to have a good time, and get out and live a little. Here is a great chance for you and your family to do the same, a chance to try something new, an opportunity to start the year off with a little laughter. If you are new to the area and have any questions about Chapel Hill Real Estate, or Durham Real Estate please do not hesitate to reach out to me. The Triangle area has much to offer and I would love to give you the tour.

NC School Report Cards, Part 1: Chapel Hill-Carrboro District

NC School Report Cards, Part 1: Chapel Hill-Carrboro District


North Carolina schools have received their 2015-2016 School Report Cards, which provide school performance grades and data on student achievement, school safety and technology, teacher quality, and more.

This is the first in a series of blog posts Real Estate Experts will publish covering School Report Card results for school districts throughout Triangle.

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro district operates three high schools, four middle schools, ten elementary schools.  These schools serve more than 12,000 students.  According to the Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools’ Report Card data, 76.6 percent of students tested proficient in grade-level work last year, compared with 77 percent in 2014-15. The four-year graduation rate held steady this year at 90.1 percent, and around 70 percent were reported to be college and career-ready in 2015-2016.

According to Interim Superintendent Jim Causby, the district is satisfied with the results. “This is a wonderful testament to the great work of our teachers and the tremendous support of our parents and community,” he said. “However, the data shows that we still have plenty of room for improvement. We will come back to work tomorrow, and the next day, striving to help every student reach maximum potential.”

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The state also assigned each school a letter grade, A through F, based upon its overall achievement score and for a year of student academic growth. A score of 85 or better is an A (see chart). Just two Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools–East Chapel Hill High and Glenwood Elementary–earned an A+, down from three schools in 2014-15. What this means is that they earned an A and did not have significant achievement nor graduation gaps between student groups.

Carrboro High School fell from an A+ to a B this year, joining 13 other city schools. Carrboro Elementary rose from a C in 2014-15, joining 10 other district schools with a B last year.

Northside and Frank Porter Graham Elementary were the only two schools to earn a grade of C last year, and Northside was also among three schools (including Seawell and Estes Hills Elementary Schools), that did not meet their goals for student growth. Also reported for 2015-16, slightly more than 65 percent of Northside students tested proficient for their grade level, while 73.5 percent of Estes Hills students tested proficient for their grade level.

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro district reported higher proficiency for white and economically disadvantaged students taking end-of-grade and end-of-course exams. Almost 90 percent of white Chapel Hill-Carrboro students were proficient in grade level work this year, compared with 40.9 percent of black students and 40.2 percent of economically disadvantaged students.

Stay tuned for our next post in this series, which will cover the Orange County School District School Report Cards.

You can also search the comprehensive database provided on our website to see the grades schools received over the last three years and whether the school exceeded, met or did not meet its expected academic growth.

Finally: A Target is Coming to Chapel Hill!

Finally: A Target is Coming to Chapel Hill!


Photo courtesy of Veronica Burkhart, The Daily Tar Heel.

You may have heard rumors, but it was confirmed last week: Chapel Hill’s central downtown will be getting a new metro-style Target, possibly as early as July 15, 2017. The new Target outlet with grocery, household, and other goods, will anchor the Carolina Square development, now under construction where University Square once stood at 123 W. Franklin Street. The 21,000- square-foot Target will offer a classic urban market feel.

Construction of Carolina Square’s one 11-story and two 5-story buildings is approximately 40 percent complete, according to developer Jeff Furman. Ample parking will be available, with more than 800 spaces in both surface lots and a parking deck. According to Furman, “All the retail and office parking is in the (Building) C deck. The deck has about 650 spaces in it, and we are striping off 30 spaces with a red bull’s eye in there” (referencing Target’s retail logo). Furman said some parking will be free to the public on evenings and weekends.


Rendering of Carolina Square.

In addition to Target, the development will feature 246 high-end studio apartments ranging in monthly rent price from $1,000 to 3,000. Residents will enjoy a flexible social space, dog area, full fitness gym, yoga room, and pool, complete with a courtyard and skydeck. There is even an option to select a studio with an elevated terrace along Franklin Street, which includes an outdoor living space with fireplace.

Other buildings will be used for retail and office space, and a small lawn will be used for public events. A couple of restaurants have already signed leases. The restaurant b.good is a farm-to-table fast food chain featuring items such as kale and grain bowls, seasonal salads, all-natural burgers, smoothies, and more. Pieology pizza restaurant features house-made crusts, signature sauces, and dozens of fresh toppings.  Most of their custom pizzas are expected to cost less than $8. Eight additional storefront leases are also in the works.

Cousins Properties Incorporated and Northwood Ravin are developing the location.  In a release, Jeff Furman, vice president of Northwood Ravin, said, “The addition of Target, Pieology and b.good to the project provides our residents and customers, as well as the surrounding neighborhoods and our UNC community, a unique and highly sought-after offering.”

For more information about this development or other information about living in Chapel Hill, contact Real Estate Experts at 919-813-6449 or [email protected]. Visit us online at

Neighborhood Spotlight: Legacy at Jordan Lake

Neighborhood Spotlight: Legacy at Jordan Lake


If you are on the hunt for a luxurious home in Chatham County that includes thoughtful architecture, green living, a clubhouse, and a short-iron golf course, you will want to check out Legacy at Jordan Lake! This gated community is located just west of Jordan Lake off Big Woods Road, only 25 minutes from Raleigh. Legacy was designed to be secluded in a rural setting, yet connected, just 10 minutes from shopping and great schools.


Freehold Communities developed Legacy at Jordan Lake as they do all their communities, with a combination of five key elements: healthy living, engagement, connectivity, stewardship, and distinctive home design.

If you are looking for a community with an emphasis on fitness and outdoor recreation, you have found one!  Legacy’s amenities include ample open spaces, play fields, a beautiful waterfall, more than 4 miles of trails, tennis courts, a playground, and a resort-style pool. There is even a short-iron golf course to improve your game!


In addition, Legacy includes a clubhouse that is just a short walk from anywhere in the community. Neighbors can meet up for drinks at the outdoor pavilion or the large covered porch warmed by a stone fireplace. It’s a perfect place for a get-together, fostering relationships within the community.


You won’t find cookie-cutter homes at Legacy; rather, simple elegance and architectural diversity that create a classic neighborhood feel with an emphasis is on timeless architectural styles, such as Federal, Colonial Revival, Georgian, and Craftsman. Builders include Meritage Homes, Ryan Homes, and Integrity Homes.

“We are excited to partner with some of the top builders in the country to create Legacy,” said Suzanne Maddalon , vice president of marketing for Freehold Communities. “The emphasis will be on regionally-correct architectural styles that integrate homes with the surrounding neighborhood. Our builders will help us create a community with authenticity, individuality, and lasting character.” Design guidelines for Legacy specify colors, materials, and details that will create a unique sense of place, according to Maddalon.

Meritage homes range from around 3,400 to 4,800 square feet and are built on 1/2-3/4-acre wooded homesites. Features include two-car garages, gourmet kitchens, first floor master suites, and hardwood flooring. In addition, every Meritage home is 100 percent ENERGY STAR certified, and includes money-saving features such as spray-foam insulation and energy-efficient windows, which can cut heating and cooling costs by as much as 50 percent. These homes range from $392,000 to $449,990.


Ryan homes range in size from around 2,700 to 4,000 square feet and include amenities such as three-car garages, first floor master suites, granite kitchen countertops, and hardwood flooring. Homesites are available with options that back to a wooded area or the golf course. Ryan homes range from the $360s to the $410s.

Integrity homes range from around 2,000 to 3,000 square feet and include flexibility in terms of space and design. Integrity takes a hands-on approach to every home built. Amenities include first floor master suites and gourmet chef’s kitchens. Integrity homes range from $439,990 to $449,990.

Click here to view homes for sale in Legacy at Jordan Lake.

To find out more about Legacy at Jordan Lake or to take a look at some of the model homes, contact us today at  919-813-6449 or [email protected]. Visit us online at


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