Durham, North Carolina may be best-known as the home of Duke University, but it has a lot to offer a homebuyer.
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It’s the second-largest city in North Carolina’s Research Triangle, a region named for the work done at local universities and businesses. North Carolina Central University is also located in Durham, as are offices for businesses like IBM and GlaxoSmithKline. Additionally, the city hosts lively music and arts communities.
The cost of living in the Durham area is below the national average, but home prices have been rising for a few years, according to U.S. News & World Report, which has ranked it and nearby Raleigh together as the No. 11 best place to live and No. 28 best place to retire. Property taxes are low compared with many other major cities.
Favorable mortgage rates have given the local real estate market a boost this year. The median sale price rose 8.2% year-over-year to $295,000 in October, according to the Durham Regional Association of Realtors.
The number of closed sales was up 30.8% from a year earlier to 526, while homes spent an average 15 fewer days on the market, according to the Realtors group. And inventory levels were down 46.4 percent to 523 properties.
Here’s a look at what you can get with a $400,000 budget in Durham, North Carolina:
Wellington Forest - $400,000
This home is located in a park-like neighborhood with amenities.
The 2,963-square-foot residence includes four bedrooms and four total bathrooms, according to the listing with Melissa White of Keller Williams.
The home features a formal foyer and a large living room open to the kitchen. There is a three-sided fireplace.
There are two master suites, one on the ground floor and one upstairs. The upper level also features a loft area the listing suggests is ideal for a library or office. A screened porch offers views of the lush landscaped backyard.
The subdivision’s amenities include a community pool, clubhouse, playground and sports courts. It’s located near Research Triangle Park, Duke, Chapel Hill and a mall.
East Durham - $365,000
This 1930-built brick home mixes Tudor and Craftsman styles.
The 2,046-square-foot dwelling includes three bedrooms and two bathrooms, according to the listing with Ian Kipp of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.
Updated in 2014, the home has preserved features like the hardwood floors and molding, but a new kitchen roof, plumbing and tankless hot water heater.
The ground-floor master includes a huge bathroom with a walk-in subway-tile-and-glass shower plus a clawfoot tub.
Outside, there’s a roomy covered side porch and a large, private back yard. The neighborhood is centrally located near downtown Durham.
Central - $320,000
This newly remodeled home is located on the edge of a historic neighborhood and very close to the campus of North Carolina Central University.
The 2,409-square-foot home includes five bedrooms and three bathrooms, according to the listing with Sheryl Vazquez of RE/MAX.
The house features a large front porch and an open floorplan. The kitchen has a long island with space for seating, sleek cabinets and granite counters and brand new appliances.
The first-floor master has a bathroom with a walk-in shower and dual vanities.
Outside, the property has a new driveway, screened rear porch and a pecan tree in the back yard.