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Building and Looking for a House in Chapel Hill

I have gone house hunting many times in Chapel Hill over the last 55 years with my parents, on my own, as part of a married couple, and numerous times as a friend. Recently I spent a day looking at houses in Chapel Hill in the range of $550,000 to $875,000. None of the houses were especially large, prestigious, nor had incredible "curb appeal" and most of them were in neighborhoods where I had lived as a child or adult. What most astounded me was that the average yearly property tax bill the dozen nice upper middle class home I saw was now just under $13,000 a year. This contrasts with my childhood in the 50s and 60s when people making that much per year were living in far nicer homes than these.


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Jennifer Cross      12:56 PM Mon 11/5/2012

I went to high school in Chapel Hill in the early 80s and lived with my family in Lake Forest. In the early 90s I got my law degree at Carolina and was offered a job with a firm in Durham. My husband and I spent more than three months trying to find a nice home that was affordable for our family in Chapel Hill but were unable to. Happily we found a great place in Durham that we still live in today.

Bill A      10:57 PM Sat 11/3/2012

Charly, <br \>Know you have homes in several areas and a solid feel for the cost of property. Not sure that what you talk about in CH is out of line from a broad brush of our country. Hard to tell these days what makes sense between those who deplore how values have fallen and others who feel prices are too high. In the balance, sense that CH is not all that far out of line. CA and CT, off the top, are good places to use as sounding boards as a basis of comparison. CH has, after all, a good deal to offer!

Art D.      7:30 PM Sat 11/3/2012

I hoped to find a house in Chapel Hill in 2010, but the prices were outrageous. I finally bought a place I could afford in Graham, and now have a 45 minute commute to my job as teacher in Chapel Hill.

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Bite Sized Facts Link for Useful facts, financial success, universal truths, and great health info

Chapel Hill is located on a hill whose only distinguishing feature in the 18th century was a small chapel on top called New Hope Chapel. This church was built in 1752 and is currently the location of The Carolina Inn. The town was founded in 1819, and chartered in 1851.



What is it that binds us to this place as to no other? It is not the well or the bell or the stone walls. or the crisp October nights. No, our love for this place is based upon the fact that it is as it was meant to be, The University of the People.

-- Charles Kuralt



Dark Side of the Hill -- Pink Floyd, the creators of the most popular album in history, Dark Side of the Moon, took the second half of their name from Floyd Council, a Chapel Hill native, and great blues singer and guitarist. He once belonged to a group called "The Chapel Hillbillies".



Check out Charly Mann's other website:
Oklahoma Birds and Butterflies


We need your help. Send your submissions, ideas, photos, and questions to CHMemories@gmail.com.





There would probably be no Chapel Hill if the University of North Carolina Board of Trustees in 1793 had not chosen land across from New Hope Chapel for the location of the university. By 1800 there were about 100 people living in thirty houses surrounding the campus.



The University North Carolina's first student was Hinton James, who enrolled in February, 1795. There is now a dormitory on the campus named in his honor.





The University of North Carolina was closed from 1870 to 1875 because of lack of state funding.





William Ackland left his art collection and $1.25 million to Duke University in 1940 on the condition that he would be buried in the art museum that the University was to build with his bequest. Duke rejected this condition even though members of the Duke Family are buried in Duke Chapel. What followed was a long and acrimonious legal battle between Ackland relatives who now wanted the inheritance, Rollins College, and the University of North Carolina, each attempting to receive the funds. The case went all the way to the United States Supreme Court, and in 1949 UNC was awarded the money for the museum. Ackland is buried near the museum's entrance. When the museum first opened, in the early sixties, there were rumors that his remains were leaking out of the mausoleum.



The official name of the Arboretum on the University of North Carolina campus is the Coker Arboretum. It is named after Dr. William Cocker, the University's first botany professor. It occupies a little more than five acres. It was founded in 1903.



Chapel Hill's main street has always been called Franklin Street. It was named after Benjamin Franklin in the early 1790s.



We need your help. Send your submissions, ideas, photos, and questions to CHMemories@gmail.com.



Chapel Hill High School and Chapel Hill Junior High were on Franklin Street in the same location as University Square until the mid 1960s.



The Colonial Drug Store at 450 West Franklin Street was owned and operated by John Carswell. It was famous for a fresh-squeezed carbonated orange beverage called a "Big O". In the early 1970s, I managed the Record and Tape Center next door, and must have had over 100 of those drinks. The Colonial Drug Store closed in 1996.



Sutton's Drugstore, which opened in 1923, has one of the last soda fountains in the South. It is one of the few businesses remaining on Franklin Street that was in operation when I was growing up in the 1950s.



Future President Gerald Ford lived in Chapel Hill twice. First when he was 24, in 1938, he took a law couse in summer school at UNC. He lived in the Carr Building, which was a law school dormitory. At the same time, Richard Nixon, the man he served under as Vice President, was attending law school at Duke. In 1942, Ford returned to Chapel Hill to attend the U.S. Navy's Pre-Flight School training program. He lived in a rental house on Hidden Hills Drive.



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