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Your search is unique to YOUR wants and needs. Set goals that meet YOUR specific wants and needs, NOT what your friends, co-workers or parents think you are supposed to have. There is no right or wrong answer when you are setting goals. You can adjust your goals as you learn more about the Raleigh area and what it has to offer.
Don't buy the house, buy the neighborhood. Think of it like this, where do you generally want to live? Consider how long you are willing to commute AND how much your commute will wind up costing you. If you have children then you are probably paying attention to schools, after school activities and maybe even local sports programs. For example, consider using the satellite view in Google Maps when you are looking at an area so you can see where the baseball field is.
Raleigh is like the hub of a wheel. There are 11 towns surrounding Raleigh in Wake County and numerous others when you add in the surrounding counties. If you don't know the Raleigh area at all, check out our map on the front page that breaks Raleigh into North, South, East and West to help you get started. By clicking an area and randomly exploring neighborhoods and houses you can begin to get an idea of what to expect.
After you have an idea of the area you prefer then check out the Raleigh Zip Code Map we provide. It will help you see which zip codes are in a specific area so you can begin to narrow your search. Search zip codes that interest you for neighborhoods and homes you like.
Do you want a detached single family home? Do you want a yard? How about a townhouse or a condo? Do you know the difference between a townhouse and a condo? The difference is that a townhouse includes the land on which it sits. A condo just includes the walls and rooms you live in, the rest is considered community property. Think about the number of rooms you need and how you will use them.
Time to get real. Can you afford the house you want in a given area? You might have to consider trade offs on the kind of house you want to stay in a given area. If that won't work, then expand your search to other zip codes.
Wake County Schools are run by a county system and school assignment is subject change. Raleigh is growing quickly and sometimes schools become overcrowded so the county is forced to make changes to student assignment. Wake County Public Schools have a great website at www.WCPSS.net. Here you can research a specific address to determine the assigned schools and view test scores specific to each school. Be careful relying on national sites like GreatSchools.org for detailed information because they are not always reliable. They are great in that they can help you get started, but lack the specifics you will need to make a god decision. Last of all, meet the principal. They will welcome a chance to show you around and discuss their school with you.