Triangle Moves: There’s Something for Everyone

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This is part of an ongoing series: What is Making the Triangle Area so Desirable?

Erica Jevons Sizemore

Photos Courtesy of Homes By Dickerson

Everyday internet search engines receive thousands of queries about home buying and top real estate locations.  Whether on the hunt for a future dream home or exploring what it’s like living in another market, a move may be in order, and for many, that may be to an unfamiliar town or metro.  Moves centered around family or better job opportunities top the list of reasons many consider the daunting task of relocating miles away; and for those considering what could be a tough decision, top rankings by numerous and notable sources make deciding to make the Triangle home a bit easier.

There’s a reason the Triangle is consistently recognized among the top U.S. cities to live.  According to the Moving Migration Report, quality of life was the top concern for those who moved in 2022.  And U.S. News placed Raleigh and Durham at #3 on their national list of best places to live in America for 2023-2024, citing quality of life, a robust job market, value and housing affordability, and cost of living, as well as people’s desire to live there.  With more than 70 people per day relocating to the Triangle, there is no shortage of desire to live here, and it’s not surprising.  Driving fewer commute miles, breathing cleaner air, having access to the outdoors and recreation, and being in connection and community with others is ubiquitous with Raleigh-Durham and all things that go hand and hand with one’s quality of life.  In fact, in 2022, the region was ranked fourth for the fastest-growing U.S. cities by the American Growth Project. 

With an average year-round temperature of 70 degrees, safe neighborhoods, a booming local economy, and a healthy housing market, deciding to live in the Triangle may appear straightforward, but once arrived, there’s incredible diversity across the region and every style of living to choose from – numerous communities with everything from modern townhomes and urban apartments to suburban tract homes and luxury residences, and rural homes to enjoy plenty of breathing room.  When you move here, there is a house and lifestyle for you.

Within minutes of the Triangle’s anchor cities, Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, you can enjoy a variety of the laid-back suburbs and small towns while still having access to a bit of what a larger metro might have to offer and not drive more than an hour to enjoy it.

North Carolina native, Brant Chesson, President of Homes by Dickerson, explains, “One of the beauties of the area is that you could live 40 minutes outside the city but easily get somewhere and be part of what’s going on.  Many people coming to the area may be okay with a longer commute to have what they are looking for but never fathomed what it could look like.  As such, there’s a lot more development and infrastructure coming to the areas of the Triangle, including Southern Wake, Harnett, Chatham, and Johnston Counties, just to name a few.” 

Homes by Dickerson is a private, local builder which has been helping residents put down roots all across the Triangle for the past 47 years and has experience at all price levels – from $400,000 and up to $4 million.  Meeting the demands of homeowners in various locations has required that Chesson and his team scale their business strategically and purposely, and today, they build about 250 properties per year in areas across the Triangle, Pinehurst, and Charleston, South Carolina.

During and following the Covid pandemic, it was common to find residents flocking to smaller suburban and even rural communities, as many traded off proximity to jobs for larger, more affordable homes while engaging in remote work.  With a cost of living much less than many U.S. cities, and affordability in all housing types from first-time buyer new construction to luxury properties, buyers frequently sought more space, and some of the fastest-growing locations across the region have been in places like Rolesville, which saw a 125 percent growth, and communities including Zebulon, Fuquay-Varina, Franklinton, and Youngsville. 

As Chesson recounts, “Raleigh was a ‘town’ and has evolved to a metro area with layers as we have expanded our geography; this has meant more areas and more home styles and neighborhoods with various densities.  You didn’t see downtown where it is today nor the same towns being considered part of the Triangle. In the next 3-4 years, we will see places like Sanford incorporated into Southern Wake County.”

When the Homes by Dickerson leadership team starts dreaming of future communities and areas of expansion, they focus on ‘A’ locations or those locations they believe will become an ‘A’ location.  As Chesson notes, “We have to have the belief that the partnership with the developer will create that future location and understand why people are going to want to move there, when they are going to move there, and what are they going to want there.  There is a vision and path forward.”

To meet area demands, the breadth of housing we have has and continues to evolve.  Amidst a wave of growth and expansion, industry leaders, builders, and residents are focusing on affordable housing options.  As such, the City of Raleigh and Home Builders Association of Raleigh-Wake County are working toward solutions and ordinances that support tiny homes and missing middle housing within residential neighborhoods. 

If you are in the market to downsize to a smaller residence or one with less maintenance and upkeep, you will find some great choices at one of the many active adult 55+ communities in the Triangle.  A recent study of U.S. cities by online rental resource, Zumper, ranked Raleigh #7 for older residents with area wide access to excellent healthcare, activities and pleasant weather.

Although many active adult and master-planned communities require builders like Chesson, to follow certain exterior architectural themes and styles, for custom buyers, he notes, “We bring the details and focus inside when planning and designing their homes… incorporated in a way that brings continuity and timelessness.”

Home styles and design elements in the Triangle vary as much as the towns themselves.  “Many don’t know what they are looking for other than to move here,” Chesson reports, but with the variety of homes available, there is something for everyone no matter what price point or architectural style.  Relocation has fueled the demand for dynamic and diverse housing options with roof top decks, Instagram-worthy English Arts & Crafts homes or contemporary construction in both urban and suburban communities.

A look at the styles you will find across the Triangle:

Traditional: Traditional style homes are among the most common types of architecture in the Raleigh area as they are often the most popular among buyers. The traditional style home offers a combination of classic designs with each home offering unique elements that may not be specific to any one style of architecture.

Bungalows: One of the most popular types of homes are bungalows from all different decades. Across the area, we have a large selection of these one-story, front porch, ranches to choose from!  The charm these bungalows bring to the City of Oaks is unmistakable.

Luxury Homes: When you fly into Raleigh-Durham International Airport you often can look down and see massive homes, with large lots, privacy, and pools.  Area wide you can find a diverse offering of mansion-like properties, whether on larger, more remote lots or in the heart of Midtown.

Brownstones: Brownstone townhomes are fairly new to the area and their popularity is likely to bring more. The first were found at Hargett Place and their design and fast-paced sales solidified a new market in Raleigh. You’ll now find townhomes and row-houses with modern design going up all over.

Modern: All sorts of modern homes are being built through the area, typically starting with an inspiration harnessing ‘an open floor plan’ or minimalism.  Modern homes aren’t limited to new builds and extend to decades old mid-century properties and Frank Lloyd Wright influenced architecture.

Historic Victorian and Southern Plantation: Historic homes can be found in the Oakwood neighborhood of Raleigh and Triangle downtowns. From the Governor’s mansion to the Dodd-Hinsdale House, great Victorian and southern plantation style homes can be found for those who love the classic architecture of the 19th century.

Condos: With space at a premium in many areas, condominium homes support density in desirable areas of the Triangle and often offer more affordable housing prices and less maintenance to buyers who may want a rooftop deck or patio overlooking the city of Raleigh skyline or Durham Bulls ballpark.

Active Adult: Active adult communities, also referred to as 55+, are scattered across the region and offer residents a variety of housing options with minimal upkeep and maintenance.  Boasting amenities including clubhouses, indoor and outdoor pools, fitness centers, art studios, libraries, dog parks and walking and biking trails, just to name a few, these neighborhoods are often an easy drive to area attractions or extended family, and offer easy lifestyle options right at home.

Rural: All forms of rural land and estates can be found within a short drive of popular Triangle cities for those looking for a property in the countryside.  Whether looking to build your dream home with room for a barn or enjoy a sweet tea on your front porch overlooking a cotton field, you will feel millions of miles away while not venturing too far from the RDU airport.

After countless hours searching online, talking to real estate experts, driving a plethora of neighborhoods and innumerable properties, the quest to relocate or find a new abode, if you are a local like Chesson, is one rewarded in a great quality of life in the Triangle.  And while each person moving to the Triangle area may have uniquely specific needs, with varied styles and diverse property types, the more daunting task will be determining what and where is right for you in whatever distinct corner of the Triangle you chose to call home.

By Erica Jevons Sizemore

Broker, Realtor and Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS)

KWSE, Director of Luxury, Keller Williams Raleigh


Erica’s background in finance and marketing is matched with a personal passion for an unparalleled experience, love of home design and inability to sit still – always brainstorming how to better position her gregarious clients real estate investments to support their lifestyle and financial ambitions.  After 12 years in wealth management at Morgan Stanley, Erica returned to real estate in residential and luxury home sales at Keller Williams Raleigh.  With a love of North Carolina and all things Raleigh, she has been an active volunteer and committee chairperson at many of our local area community standouts, among them the North Carolina Symphony, Carolina Ballet, Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, House of Hope NC and the RRAR Raleigh Giving Network.