Headshot of Bill Bracey

Bill Bracey

I am one of many Chapel Hill recidivists—came for school, left for a cup of coffee, found a reason to return to one of the best places to live anywhere. I had my coffee in the San Francisco Bay Area (Oakland and Berkeley). The Bay Area is great, but emigration is easy from Berkeley to Chapel Hill.

I first came to Chapel Hill in 1978, putting myself through school working nights as a bartender and later as a chicken sexer on a Chatham County poultry farm. I did my few years on the Coast, and have been in real estate here full time since 1987. In 1992 I started Arbor Realty, which I still run as a property management concern, but happily joined Franklin Street Realty in 2010 for support in listing and sales work.

Chapel Hill & Carrboro have seen a steep growth curve in the last three decades, and we are becoming a mature community. By that I mean that there is little land left to develop given political boundaries, protected watershed and the self imposed rural buffer. (an exception is the thousand acre tract known as Carolina North, north of Estes Drive and west of MLK). Most development from now on will be infill and re-development of underutilized land. The downtown Greenbridge and 140 West Franklin projects are harbingers of this new paradigm. This type of dense residential development promises to burnish our already stellar downtown restaurant scene.

Chapel Hill is a corner of the conurbation known as The Research Triangle. It is the smallest of the anchor communities, but has the loveliest patina. There are gracious antebellum homes lining the Franklin Street entrance to downtown, and many fine examples of the Modernist style are scattered around the neighborhoods peripheral to the UNC campus. (The Triangle is third behind L.A. and Chicago in numbers of Modernist homes) There is a lot of other interesting residential architecture here alongside the white bread. I myself live in a converted French handcuff factory that I had dismantled in Marseille, shipped here and re-assembled on Hillsborough Street by Jean Valjean under the fatherly supervision of the Town of Chapel Hill’s Inspector Javert.

As one would expect in a town with a major university, cultural opportunities are abundant, and almost all of the music, theatrical, art, dance, social, educational and environmental institutions provide avenues for active volunteer involvement. As a certified tree hugger, I have served as president of the N.C. Botanical Garden Foundation, a board member of the Triangle Land Conservancy and the Greenways Commission, the Orange County Economic Development Commission, and am active in the local Sierra Club.

I find this place easy to love, and would like to put my enthusiasm to work for you in buying or selling real estate. Since the avaricious amongst us brought the financial world to its knees in 2007, real estate transactions have become somewhat thrilling. My job is to make finding the right house or the right buyer fun, and the actual transaction as boring as possible.

If you have a sense of humor and like what you see here, please call. I’d love to have a chance to work with you. Email me at bill_bracey@yahoo.com