How to find houses for sale in Raleigh, North Carolina

Raleigh is one of the fastest growing cities in America, and it is consistently rated as one of the best places to live in America as well. While many places in America have been undergoing real estate distress, the situation in Raleigh has been fairly steady. Here's how to find a house for sale in Raleigh.

Consider various locations. Primary considerations are proximity to your job and local schools. Population tends to be concentrated north of the Beltline. The closer to the Beltline, the more established the neighborhoods, and the further away, the more modern the neighborhoods.
Decide on a price range and type of house (single family detached, town home, condo, etc).
Start searching! Many people use to search houses listed on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service - a list of all houses for sale by members of the National Association of Realtors). However, that site's search features are fairly limited for an area like Raleigh.
Use to search. Zillow has most MLS listing and many For Sale By Owner listings as well. Its map search is far superior to's search tool.
Also search on to find many For Sale By Owner houses as well as houses listed by real estate agents who are serious about getting the house sold.
Find out more information about your property. Wake County (the county that Raleigh is in) maintains a complete list of all property in a searchable online database. Go to to start searching. Information includes tax value and amount of latest tax bill, pictures of the house, information about the house's size and construction, last sale price and date, and more.
Scope out the neighborhood. Drive through and see what features attract you and what features are less attractive. Are the streets walkable? Are there kids playing outside? Is it within reasonable distance to shopping? Are the yards tidy? Is there sufficient privacy? Is there sufficient neighborhood interaction?

Consider driving through the neighborhood on a Friday night to see what the atmosphere is like then. Are there too many parties? Is it too quite?

Drive through the neighborhood during a work day. Is everyone gone? Are too many people still there?

You can also search local police call data at
Estimate the value of the house.'s zEstimate feature can be accessed by searching for a particular address on For most houses sold in recent months, Zillow's price estimate was within 1%-4% of the actual sales price in the Raleigh area. The estimate will allow you to do a reality check on the price of the house.
If you are primarily looking at houses for sale through a real estate agent, consider getting a buyer's agent. When a house is for sale through an agent, then the buyer's agent will not charge you a fee, but rather will get a portion of the commission, which the seller pays. Some agents off money towards closing costs as well.
Make an offer and buy the house you like best!

Copyright 2009 by Michael Nehring