Located in the heart of North Carolina’s Research Triangle, Durham is proud of its diverse and inclusive spirit, southern charm, and energetic startup culture. The city is a hub of advanced science, medicine and technological innovation, a place where the restaurant, live music and arts scene flourish, and a friendly community where people know their neighbors names. 

One of Durham’s many charms is the city’s historic neighborhoods, lined with mature trees and architectural styles from Craftsman and Victorian-style homes to modern condos. (For more on this, see Bellhop’s guide to Durham’s Best Neighborhoods and our Durham City Guide). But, as Durham’s reputation as one of the best places to live in the U.S., the prices of homes are rising. Data from real estate sites shows that houses in the most desirable areas get multiple offers, are currently selling for about 7% above list price (15% for the most appealing properties in prime locations) and they are selling fast. It’s a seller’s market for sure. 

But fret not! Durham is still affordable, compared to other trendy cities, but for the best deals on housing – and, often, the most interesting places to live – you might want to have a look at Durham’s up and coming neighborhoods. You get the same access to the booming local economy, excellent health care and education, green spaces, restaurants, entertainment and community spirit as you would in more established neighborhoods, for less. And, once you’ve found that perfect place, we can help make your move to Durham far less stressful than you probably expected. Bellhop’s Durham movers (all of our movers across the nation, actually) are laser-focused on treating our customers right. From tech that lets you keep an eye on your possessions every step of the way to friendly movers who will get the job done right.

Durham Central Park
Durham Central Park

Our Favorite Up and Coming Durham Neighborhoods

Cleveland-Holloway

Just east of beautiful downtown Durham is Cleveland-Holloway, an attractive neighborhood with real community spirit and easy walking access to downtown’s great restaurants and craft breweries. Seems like a new one opens every week – we love Mr. Fries Man for French fry-based, build-your-own creations, Bull City Burger and Brewery for their focus on local, the Durham Food Hall – ten local chefs serve up plenty of options, and way too many others to list. And you’re close to the Durham Bulls baseball team’s stadium (and Bull Durham Beer, a craft beer brewery located right inside the stadium). 

Cleveland-Holloway offers eclectic housing options. Looking for an ornate Victorian homes built in the late 19th century? A 1920’s bungalow, a mid-20th century family home, or something a bit more modern? You can find them all here. Realtor sites indicate costs ranging from $300,000s to $600,000s, for homes under 2,000 square feet. Larger homes are priced at $600,000s to $800,000. If you’re thinking “these are not exactly up and coming prices” we’d agree, but given the current market, and the easy access this neighborhood provides to downtown – it’s fair. You can find less expensive options in other neighborhoods, but you’d need to make some compromises on the amenities. 

You will not lack for things to do. Halloween in Cleveland-Holloway is big fun, and don’t miss Third Friday Durham art nights downtown. The downtown Farmer’s Market is a short stroll away, with the Durham Craft Market in Central Park, and Art Market Durham right next door on Saturdays.

Don’t dismiss downtown itself, either. It’s not “up and coming” – it’s already here. But if you’re a young professional who’s in search of an apartment, rather than a house, downtown Durham is almost certainly your happy place.

Lakewood

South of downtown Durham, Lakewood is close to downtown with its multitude of dining/drinking and entertainment options, but is also becoming a destination in its own right. 

Similar to Cleveland-Holloway, you’ll find a mix of homes here – older ones dating back to the 1920s right up to new homes built in the last few years. Prices range widely from $300,000s to $750,000s. The neighborhood is home to or close by places that have a real local feel.  Some of our favorites include Pine State Flowers, a flower shop devoted to showcasing North Carolina’s blooms, Rhythms Live Music Hall in the Reuse Arts District, Cocoa Cinnamon for churros and hot chocolate, True Flavors diner for comfort food with a gourmet twist, Debbie Lou’s for biscuit sandwiches and the Guglhupf bakery, café and beer garden for its breads, pastries and … beer!

Southpoint

Southpoint in South Durham is a modern suburb that’s perfect for families. Here you’ll find the Streets at Southpoint mall, the Jordan Lake State Recreation Area with camping, boating, swimming and beaches around the 14,000-acre reservoir. There are slews of upscale eatery options at the mall, of course, along with plenty of no frills delights like the old-school BBQ from Backyard BBQ Pit and the “Righteous Chicken Sandwiches” (and doughnuts!) at Rise. 

Median home prices are around $300,000 to $400,000, which is amazingly affordable for a safe neighborhood that’s close to well-ranked schools. You can also find apartments here, a rarity in Durham’s suburbs, that would be a good fit for couples or retirees.

Durham City Ballpark
Durham City Ballpark

Old West Durham 

Old West Durham is a suburb west of downtown, nestled between Duke University’s East and West Campuses, that  borders the Ninth Street Business District. You’ll find a “Diversity – Harmony – Community” – here, that motto is right on the Welcome to Old West Durham sign, and present in community life. 

Living here puts you close to downtown, but you’re also near Ninth Street, which is where some of Durham’s most interesting restaurants and shops are located. Many of the businesses are locally-owned, and it’s a lively place to run errands, explore, and meet your new neighbors. (As a side note, Durham’s only Whole Foods is located just off Ninth Street too).Among our favorites in the area are gastropubs BurgerBach and Local 22, poke bar ZenFish, Elmo’s diner (a fixture for over 20 years) and Monuts, a tip-free restaurant that serves handmade gourmet donuts, sandwiches on house-baked bagels, coffee and beer. (As a side note: Durham’s only Whole Foods is located just off Ninth Street.)

You can find some wonderful smaller homes here (1,200 or so square feet) and a few larger homes. Prices run from $400,000 to $750,000 for those most sizable options. If you’re looking for a house to rent, this is a good place to look – figure on paying of about 1,700 to 2,000 a month.

Durham City Bull
Durham City Bull

Also of note: Carrboro and Morrisville

Carrboro, just outside of Durham and near Chapel Hill, is a one-time mill town that now prides itself on being a progressive haven with a funky arts and cultural scene. It has been dubbed “Paris of the Piedmont.” The focus of the downtown area is Carr Mill Mall, a converted cotton mill, now home to a variety of  unique shops and restaurants. You’ll love living close to The Cat’s Cradle, the legendary local music venue, and the Carrboro Farmers Market which welcomes farmers and artisans from within a 50-mile radius of the town. Among the many arts and music festivals, the highlight probably is the Carrboro Music Festival, a free two-day event featuring over150 acts performing at dozens of locations in the downtown area. Median price for a home is $300,000, and there are rental houses available in the area as well, average rent is $1,700 but you can find good places for less (and way more!) 

Morrisville is  small, growing community in between Raleigh, Durham, and Cary – but it’s closer to Raleigh. That said, it’s part of the Research Triangle area, and it’s a great little town so we opted to include it here. Morrisville prides itself on its diversity, and its homegrown arts scene.  annual East Meets West Festival is a fun way to experience food, music, and culture from across the globe. In town, check out the offerings at the Hyderabad House and Neomonde Mediterranean restaurants. Median price for a home is $300,000. Lake Crabtree County Park, has hiking, single-track mountain biking, playgrounds, and you can rent a boat to cruise the 520-acre lake. Another oddly compelling activity – take the kids to RDU Observation Park and watch the planes take off and land. The little ones will love it, and you’ll probably be more amused than you’ll ever admit. 

Ready to make the move to Durham, North Carolina? Our Bellhop Durham movers are standing by, ready to optimize every step of the process. Whether you’re moving within North Carolina, across the country, or from one Durham neighborhood to another, Bellhop can make the process hassle free, Contact us today!

Lastly, if you’re interested in any nearby cities in North Carolina, Charlotte and Raleigh are a couple that should be high on your radar. Feel free to give us a call if you decide to make the move!

Tyler Brown
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