Having chosen a home in Durham, I clearly enjoy the dynamic and intimate sense of community inspired by small town living. It's great to have so much space, and not too many people. But one thing that is sometimes lost in a small town such as Durham, defined by its history as a farm community and function as part of the great mail route between Boston and New York with daily stage coach traffic, is NEIGHBORHOODS. Because of the nature of how the town developed along Main Street, it can feel sprawling.
Neighborhoods are a newer idea for town planners, and represent the cornerstones of social networks. Unlike Facebook, they provide opportunity for face-to-face social interaction. Historically, they have brought together residents sharing common values and similar socioeconomic backgrounds. Residents within a neighborhood collaborate to provide social controls, promote safety and help to socialize families, especially children.
I'm never surprised by how much weight home buyers place on whether or not a house is in a neighborhood. For some people looking to create a home, neighborhoods are extremely important. And not just any neighborhood will do. Just like the house itself, neighborhoods are scrutinized and wish lists are checked twice. Neighborhoods are personal.
With all this in mind, there really aren't that many neighborhoods in Durham. So if you happen to be looking for a great house in a great neighborhood (or know someone who is), consider the Mica Hill neighborhood tucked away just off Guilford Road (Rt. 77). With the beautiful Mattabesett Trail practically in your backyard, you can celebrate views of Mica Ledges and a thoroughly beautiful setting for hiking and exploring. The homes are lovely, set on generous, mature lots. See for yourself!
243 Mica Hill Road, offered for $414,900.
This gorgeous Farmhouse Colonial beckons as a family home. Celebrate sweeping views from Mica Hills and enjoy the lovely 1+ acre lot from the wonderful deck. Open and bright with bold paint, the main living area includes the living room with granite fireplace, family room, first floor laundry and a dining room open to the huge kitchen. It features crisp white cabinets and appliances, hardwood floors, tile backsplash, chic pendant lighting, porcelain farm sink, breakfast bar and distinctive granite counters and lots of 'em. Take in savory aromas, good conversation and views from the fabulous built-in bay window seat and you will linger here in the heart of this home (although I'm fairly certain it has more than one!). Three bedrooms include the master with walk-in closet and fab bath with twin sinks and soaking tub. The bonus media room in the finished lower level features a complete home theater system with surround sound (all equipment stays with the house) and pellet stove to keep things toasty. Things of note include wrap-around porch, tile and hardwood floors, central air, large deck made from resilient Brazilian walnut, 2-car garage, 2.5 baths and hot water on demand. Simply perfect across the board: home, location, views & price. Click here for more photos and a video tour!
78 Banta Lane, offered for $397,000.
Set on a cul-de-sac, this is a wonderful, well-appointed 4 bedroom Colonial home where cherished family traditions are alive. Robust landscaping highlights the lush 1.25 acre lot with lovely views in a park like setting. Quality is everywhere, as are the fine custom details that make a house a home. The spacious living room won't soon be forgotten with classic custom cabinetry and beautiful (and practical) built-in window seat. The formal dining room will make you beg to host the holidays with wainscoting and crown molding and a perfect blue and ivory palette. Open to the large eat-in kitchen and steps away from the glorious back deck, the great room is warm and welcoming for its large size, and features brick fireplace, palladian window, skylights and vaulted ceiling. The perfect family hub, the kitchen can handle lots of cooks and foot traffic with plenty of counters and rich solid oak cabinets. Four bedrooms upstairs will charm you, including the large master suite with full bath. More to love: 2.5 bathrooms, hardwood floors, central air, 2 car garage, deck with roof-covered area, first floor laundry and full basement. Click here for more photos and a video tour!
If you're looking for the perfect neighborhood, let me know!