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Aerial view of Downtown Raleigh.

Best Places to Buy a Home in Raleigh

Moving to Raleigh, NC to buy a home? The capital of North Carolina offers historic homes, family-friendly housing, and tight-knit communities, making it one of the best places to buy a house. Check out the five best neighborhoods in Raleigh!

Five Points

  • Home Price: $516,550 median purchase price
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 67% of Raleigh neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Families, retirees

If you’re thinking about relocating to Raleigh, NC, consider moving to Five Points. This unique area marks where five historic neighborhoods connect—giving easy access to the interstate and downtown. While residents value their easy commutes, what really draws people to this family-friendly Raleigh neighborhood is the community. Award-winning schools like Underwood Magnet Elementary School and Oberlin Magnet Middle School are nestled by spacious yards to elegant Georgian-Revival cottages and bungalows. That small-town feel is consistent throughout Five Points’ walkable streets, with plenty of local shops, restaurants, and things to do!

Things to Do in Five Points

Spend the day at Kiwanis Park where you can find playgrounds, baseball fields, basketball courts, dog runs, and more! Buy tickets to blockbuster films at the Rialto Theatre, Raleigh’s oldest movie theatre. Enroll the kids in Preschool & Pre-K Art classes, Kids Yoga, or Dance! with Ms. Charlene at Wild At Art Kids. Be on the lookout for the Franklin Farmer’s Market where you can find baked goods, fresh produce, and art on Tuesday evenings. Enjoy an Apple Cider, Sourwood Honey, Boston Cream, or an OG Glazed donut from Bright Spot Donuts. Order mouthwatering dishes like Bistro Truffle Burrata, Grilled Chilean Salmon, or Chicken Pot Pie at the Bloomsbury Bistro. Treat yourself to award-winning pizza at Lilly’s Pizza, where they have unique flavors like Dante’s Inferno, Tobacco Stack, and The Big Shindig. Or end the night with craft beer and cider flavors like Biere De Neuse, Streamside Pink Lemonade, or Noble Golden Arrow at Neuse River Brewing.

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Historic Oakwood

  • Home Price: $247,660 median purchase price
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 17% of Raleigh neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Students, singles, young professionals, families

Developed shortly after the Civil War, Historic Oakwood is known for Neoclassical Revival, Queen Anne, Craftsman, and historic grand Victorian homes decorating tree-lined streets. Residents can not only benefit from easy access to the interstate, but also a variety of shopping, restaurants, entertainment, and more thanks to the town’s downtown location. That said, attending resident-only activities like the Spring Jazz Supper, July 4th Block Party, and Fall Pig Pickin’ are a major pro to living in Historic Oakwood. So, it often draws families looking for a community atmosphere in Raleigh. And with the presence of Saint Augustine’s University—a private, historic Black college—nearby, families with other children or even young professionals looking for a place to live can find an affordable home in Historic Oakwood.

Things to Do in Historic Oakwood

Enjoy treats from local businesses when you buy tickets to the self-guided Annual Oakwood Garden Club Tour. Give the kids a day to explore native species of the Neuse River basin, splash in water tables, or dress up as a forest creature at Marbles Kids Museum. Attend plays like Mlima’s Tale, The Cherry Orchard, and more at the Burning Coal Theatre Company. Get up close with live animals by exploring exhibits like Living Conservatory and Arthropod Zoo at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Grab a slice of cheese, square, or white pizza with your toppings of choice at Oakwood Pizza Box. Reserve a table at Jolie, a French bistro that offers Butternut Squash Bisque, Steak Tartare, Parisienne Gnocchi, and even Escargot. Enjoy the tradition of whole hog barbecue and eat a Pulled Pork Sandwich or Brisket Melt for dinner at Longleaf Swine. Or dig into the SmokeStacks Signature Wings, Pan Seared Scallops, or Lobster & Shrimp Benedict at SmokeStacks Cafe.

Mordecai

A home in Mordecai, Raleigh with a well-kept lawn. Photo by Instagram user @chappellres.

Photo via @chappellres

  • Home Price: $287,625 median purchase price
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 39% of Raleigh neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families

Looking for a Raleigh neighborhood that’s peaceful, has quiet roads, and near the heart of the city? Be sure to check out Raleigh’s oldest neighborhood—Mordecai! This pre-Civil War neighborhood offers soon-to-be homeowners several Spanish Mission and Colonial ranches, as well as well-kept Bungalows—at prices that are more affordable than most U.S. cities. Many young professionals and working adults in families appreciate budget-friendly homes with such close proximity to Downtown Raleigh. Plus, those interested in higher education can take advantage of William Peace University being within walking distance of the neighborhood.

Things to Do in Mordecai

Visit Raleigh’s oldest house—which was the birthplace of 17th U.S. President Andrew Johnson—or tour Mordecai Historic Park on a trolly. Take the kids to slide and swing at Mordecai Mini Park. Admire Haitian art, antique prints, and folk art at leading fine art gallery Gallery C. Find unique and vintage clothing, furniture, and art, or hunt for handmade and rare pieces at TrunkShow. Savor a pick-me-up Macchiato, Cold Brew, or London Fog at Pine State Coffee. Sit down for a warm meal like Country Fried Steak, Rhonda’s Triple Decker Club Sandwich & Fries, or the combo meal featuring the Soup of the Day, Grilled Cheese, and a soda at Watkin’s Grill. Experience unique flavors like Roasted Strawberry & Honey, Coffee Bourbon, Sola Cinnamon Donut, and more at Two Roosters Ice Cream. Or browse homemade cookies, cupcakes, pies, and fresh bread at Yellow Dog Bread Company.

North Hills

  • Home Price: $374,150 median purchase price
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 72% of Raleigh neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Consider North Hills if you’re looking for a lively neighborhood with a mix of housing options—from two-story new-builds to renovated Ranches and split-level homes. Locals divide the area into three districts, though consider the region as Raleigh’s Midtown. Not only is North Hills pedestrian-friendly, but it’s also one of the best places to shop in Raleigh, providing the area with a variety of stores and employment options. Residents can also find sustainable energy initiatives including electric charging stations for cars, solar energy in partnership with Baker Renewable Energy, composting, and more. To top it off, North Hills also offers residents an amazing farmers market that’s open for community and small businesses from April to November.

Things to Do in North Hills

Grab your clubs and play a round at Carolina Country Club, a Southern-style private course that’s been around since 1910. Discover everything from ancient to Contemporary art at the North Carolina Museum of Art, including rotating exhibitions like Ruth E. Carter: Afrofuturism in Costume Design and Thinking through Making: NCMA College Exhibition. Get some fresh air at Shelley Lake and bike the Greenway Trail. Shop big-name brands like Apple, LUSH, Sephora, Build-A-Bear Workshop, and more at Crabtree Valley Mall. Start your morning with a hot Turmeric Latte, Americano, or French Press with a baked treat at Jubala Coffee. Enjoy the best brunch in Raleigh with dishes like the Charleston Omelette, Chicken & Waffles, Shrimp & Crab Benedict, and more at STIR. Treat your tastebuds to South Korean dishes like Pork Samgyupsal, Dolsot Bibimbap, or Kimchi Fried Rice at Seoul Garden. End the day with an ice-cold beer at the award-winning Clouds Brewing to try standouts like the Midnight Delight Milk Stout or rotating flavors like the Mean Girl Kettle Sour and Sweet Potato Porter.

Stonehenge

A beautiful ranch style home with a big lawn in Stonehenge, Raleigh. Photo by Instagram user @jasondrealty.

Photo via @jasondrealty

  • Home Price: $279,428 median purchase price
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 83% of Raleigh neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Families, retirees

Potential homeowners should take a look at Stonehenge! This peaceful City of Oaks neighborhood has budget-friendly townhomes as well as single-family houses with large yards—in addition to Springmore Life Care Retirement Community and Abbotswood at Stonehenge for those looking for retirement communities in Raleigh. On the other hand, parents looking for schools in Raleigh can send their children to Quest Academy to receive a great education while also pursuing extracurriculars. Residents of all ages can get involved and meet their neighbors by participating in community events such as the Book Club, Bridge Club, Fall Fair for All, or Lighted Ornament Workshop—organized by the homeowner’s association.

Things to Do in Stonehenge

Go swimming, play tennis, or enjoy a variety of other activities at members-only Seven Oaks Swim & Racquet Club. Test your luck and try to hit a hole-in-one during your next round of golf at the Wildwood Green Golf Club. Bring the kids or pack a picnic to share after exploring the playgrounds, courts, fields, or the trail at the Lake Lynn Community Center. Get your nails done, stop by the hardware store, or grab a snack when you shop at Brennan Station. Fill up on a Chesapeake Benedict, Hot Fluffy Pancakes, Stuffed French Toast, or a Mediterranean Omelette from Brigs Great Beginnings. Bite into a Channa Masala Wrap, Deconstructed Samosa, Rainbow Burger, or a Chipotle Bowl at Pure Vegan Cafe. Choose between Spicy Hawaiian, Chicken & Pesto, or S.O.B.O pizza at Chow Pizza Bar. Or dig into an all-you-can-eat buffet of sample Japanese dishes, like Vegetable Tempura, White Dragon rolls, Eel & Cucumber rolls, and Yellowtail sashimi at Orchid Japanese.

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Neighborhood data from AreaVibes

About Mike Beutler

Mike Beutler is a writer and digital content specialist who transitioned to self storage in 2020 after several years in the airline industry. His travels cultivated a passion for exploring cities across the U.S. and abroad and inspired him to learn more about practical insights for urban living. With 14 moves under his belt, both locally and cross-country, he also has a passion for minimalism and organization, and sharing tips to help others make any space feel like home while staying organized.