More Accolades Pour in as Cary Takes Spot Among Most Livable Mid-Sized Cities in US

Most-Livable-Mid-Sized-Cities-in-US-Preston Retreat

In what is becoming a trend here among annual polls, awards and rankings, the town of Cary continues to be recognized both state wide and nationally, supporting you and your family’s move to the Preston Retreat new luxury home community, most recently being placed in the top five by Smart Asset in their list of the Most Livable Mid-Sized Cities in the US.

The experts at Smart Asset placed Cary as the only North Carolina representative in the top 25 on their Most Livable Mid-Sized Cities in the US, detailing their high ranking in a blog post by Derek Miller at their official website. (smartasset.com) There, Weber explained, “One of the safest cities in the country is also one of the Most Livable Mid-Sized Cities in the US, our data reveals.”

He continued, “Cary has a low poverty rate, low unemployment rate, and a high median income. In each of those metrics, Cary ranks in the top 15.” The piece concluded, “Combined, those three figures show that most households in Cary are in a stable financial position. Employment is plentiful, and most households should be able to save money.”

In the same article covering the Most Livable Mid-Sized Cities in the US, the methods behind the final results that were arrived at are also explained thoroughly as follows. “ To rank the best mid-sized cities in America, we excluded the largest 100 cities in the country, and looked to data for the rest of the cities with a population above 100,000. In total, we examined 173 cities…we compared them across eight metrics.”

The piece then told those eight metrics used in deciphering the top 25 Most Livable Mid-Sized Cities in the US as:

  • Median Home Values
  • Monthly Housing Costs
  • Income Inequality
  • Poverty Rate
  • Median Household Income
  • Unemployment Rate
  • Uninsured Rate
  • Average Commute Time

To see a detailed breakdown with the actual numbers included that landed Cary at number four among the Most Livable Mid-Sized Cities in the US, visit smartasset.com.


Top 5 Listing of Most Affordable Cities in NC Places Cary at Number Two


With many of the real estate/living blogs releasing their year-end polls for 2018, it comes as no surprise that the highly decorated town that you now call home at Preston Retreat, Cary, is among many of these listings. This includes the recent study on livability.com, placing Cary as the number two town state wide among the Most Affordable Cities in NC

With just one town/city ahead of Cary on the Most Affordable Cities in NC list, and only 5 featured in the article at livability.com, the reasoning for Cary’s lofty positioning is explained. “Low unemployment rates are almost as important to a city’s affordability as cheap housing costs. (You need an income to pay for that mortgage!) Cary’s unemployment rate is at 5.6%, the lowest of all the cities on the list.” They go on to say, “…Those who are employed enjoy a significantly high income, with the median household income at $90,250. The city also provides plenty of ways to cut costs, such as multiple public transit options, and numerous parks and nature preserves for free entertainment.”

The blog posting that details the new ranking was written by Livability expert, Stephanie Inman, who gets into the research and analyzation process, stating, “North Carolina is consistently among the top 10 most populated states in the U.S. With excellent job opportunities and a number of outdoor attractions, the state is a huge draw for families, young couples and singles. But higher population usually means higher living costs.”

Inman continues to say, “We considered a number of factors in composing this list, such as earning potential, quality of life, the city’s cost of living compared to the national average, attractions and much more.” She concludes, “…We don’t just mean the cheapest places to live in North Carolina: These are places you will actually want to move to…”

According to their official website, “Livability explores what makes small-to-medium sized cities great places to live.” Going into further detail, they state, “Through proprietary research studies, engaging articles and original photography and video, we examine topics related to community amenities, education, sustainability, transportation, housing and the economy. We then leverage that expertise to develop city rankings for a range of topics.”

For further specifics on Cary’s ranking among the top 5 Most Affordable Cities in NC and to view the entire listing, visit livability.com.

Cary is the named the Safest City in America

In a recently released study at homesnacks.net which analyzed over 280 U.S. cities with a population of 100,000 or more, Cary was names as the Safest City in America. Utilizing recent data and research from the U.S. Census, FBI,and Open Street Maps among a host of other reliable, trusted sources, this is the third year that the experts at Homesnacks have compiled the Safest City in America rankings and the first time Cary has ranked on top.

In specifically addressing Cary being named as the Safest City in America for 2019, the blog post from Homesnacks noted, “Taking the crown as the safest city in America for 2019 is Cary… a classic example of everything that makes America great.” It continued to heap praise on the town, saying, “We are talking about only having a 1 in 93.0 chance of being the victim of a property crime and a 1 in 1,560 chance of being the victim of violent crime…That’s crazy safe. Compare it to St. Louis, MO or Memphis, TN, (the most dangerous city in the country), with roughly a 1 in 30 chance of being the victim of a property crime.

The Home Snacks experts went on to detail how they rank the 280-plus municipalities they looked at in this study to name the Safest City in America. While there are surveys and public polls on what cities in a state are the safest, we didn’t want to rely on speculation and opinion. Instead, we looked at the hard numbers from the FBI’s most recent report of crime (Sept 2018).” Their explanation continued on to say, “Specifically, we analyzed the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report which summarizes the number of property crimes and violent crimes in each city per year.

The Two Main Categories analyzing the safest City in America were:

  • Violent crimes per capita (murders, assaults, rapes, armed robberies)
  • Property crimes per capita (thefts, burglaries, motor vehicle thefts)

Going further to cite specifics on Cary being the Safest City in America for 2019, the site gave the following example, “There were a total of 1902 crimes committed in Cary which had a reported population of 166,986. That means the number of crimes per capita is 0.0114 which translates into a 1 in 87 chance of being the victim of a crime.” In conclusion the article states, “We crowned the place with the lowest overall Safety Score, the Safest City In America. The safest city, based on our criteria, is Cary.”

To view the entire piece on the Safest City in America or for further details, visit home snacks.net.

The Best Place to Live in North Carolina is Cary…of course!

As noted in a previous post  on the Preston Retreat blog, the Town of Cary was earlier this year named by the”Money” section of Time Magazine as one of the Top 10 Best Places to Live across the entire United States. In accordance with those lofty accolades, Time also has honored one municipality in each of the 50 states individually for 2018, with Cary being recognized as the Best Place to Live in North Carolina.

Again detailing the reasoning behind Cary being their selection as the Best Place to Live in North Carolina, Time columnist Shaina Mishkin noted that, “Cary offers a quieter, suburban lifestyle with a significantly lower population than nearby Raleigh. You likely won’t have trouble finding a job once you get there, as Moody’s Analytics predicts the area will see a 9.6% increase in jobs by year 2022—fueled in part by the recent spike in tech sector career opportunities in nearby Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill (referred to as the Triangle).”

 She continued on to explain that, “MONEY not only named Cary the best place to live in North Carolina, but the city also made it into the top 10 of the Best Places to Live in the entire country.” She concluded her piece on the town of Cary being the Best Place to Live in North Carolina, saying, “Within Cary itself, the median home listing is $442,370 with an average of $3,304 in property taxes…And safety counts: The crime rate is lower than in the state’s cities, and also lower than the national average.”

The blogpost detailing Cary being chosen as the Best Place to Live in North Carolina also went in depth in its explanation of the decision making process and how they arrived at one top city or town in each of the 50 states. “We looked only at places with populations of 50,000 or greater,” the blog post explains. “We eliminated any place that had more than double the national crime risk, less than 85% of its state’s median household income, or a lack of ethnic diversity.”

The specific categories in which each town or city was analyzed with rankings derived from more than 70 separate types of data, in the following categories:

  • Economy— based on local unemployment rate, historical job growth, projected job growth and the level of employment opportunities available, among other factors.
  • Cost of living— based on tax burden, insurance costs, commuting costs, medical spending, utility and home expenses.
  • Diversity— based on racial makeup, racial integration, and economic diversity within a place’s population.
  • Education— based on math and reading test scores and local and county level high school graduation rates.
  • Income— based on historical median household income, projected household income, a comparison between local and state median household income and change between current and historical household income.
  • Housing— based on com Housing Affordability Index and Housing Growth Index at city level, plus other realtor.com housing statistics available at realtor.com/research
  • Crime— based on property and violent crime risk as well as homicide and drug overdose rates.
  • Amenities— based on number of doctors and hospitals in the area as well as number of leisure activities in the town and surrounding area, including bars, restaurants, museums, sports complexes, and green spaces.
  • Ease of living— based on commute times, weather, and other factors.

For further details on Cary being named the Best Place to Live in North Carolina, including allthe other states selections’ and more, visit time.com.


Photo courtesy of Town of Cary


North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival Back and In full Swing in Cary


The North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival which has become one of the most anticipated winter traditions statewide, has returned and started up on Friday, November 23. Not to worry however, as just as in years’ prior, the event will run Tuesdays-Sundays, from 6-10 pmthrough Friday, January 13 and will bring a host of exciting and fun traditions of the Far East just minutes from your new dream home in Preston Retreat to Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheatre.

With over 20 all new displays, the Chinese Lantern Festival hosts over 25 Chinese artisians and performers that build their incredible hand made lanterns that are on display for this one of a kind event. There are only four of these type events annually across the country, with Cary joining Columbus, OH, Little Rock, AK, and Indianapolis, IN in hosting the Chinese Lantern Festival.

On the Koka Booth Amphitheatre website, they list the following fun facts about the North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival:

  • Lanterns on display are lit with more than 15,000 LED.
  • The spectacular Chinese Dragon lantern is longer than three school buses and weighs 18,000 pounds. Standing 200 feet long and 21 feet high, the dragon floats on Symphony Lake in Cary. Fun fact: its head was installed by crane with a 15-person crew!
  • Visitors enter the festival through huge scarlet lantern gates, in the form of a four-story pagoda with spinning upper floors.
  • Each lantern is created by hand on silk fabric stretched over steel frames and then lit with upwards of hundreds of LED.
  • Lanterns are made exclusively for this event and shipped from China into the North Carolina Ports.
  • It took 19 tractor-trailers to deliver this year’s lanterns. That’s up from 13 in the first year, and 15 last year.
  • Lanterns are mainly made in only one city in China: Zigong, Sichuan, the lantern capital of China for thousands of years.
  • Many of our visiting artisans’ lantern-crafting skills are passed down from one generation to the next.
  • Most traditional Chinese lantern festivals are celebrated on the 15th day of the first month in the lunar calendar, marking the last day of the lunar New Year. This tradition dates back 2000 years!
  • In ancient times, lanterns were fairly simple and only the emperor and noblemen had large, ornate ones. In modern times, lanterns have been embellished with complex designs such as the ones on view here in Cary.
  • The prominence of red in the designs symbolizes good fortune

For more information on this years North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival, visit Koka Booth Amphitheatre’s official site at boothamphitheatre.com.

“Giving Thanks” to Our Realtor Friends at Preston Retreat

With the holiday of the past week coming and going, it was a time for family and friends alike to “give thanks.” We here at Preston Development Company had a lot to be thankful for this year, especially with the record setting sales at Cary’s Preston Retreat neighborhood, the community that has raised the bar among Triangle area luxury home communities. As a token of our thanks to the hard work and dedication  of our friends and family in the realtor field that have aided in the success achieved, our Builder Sales Representative, Jay Upchurch once again visited several local realtor offices to show a token of “thanks.”

To give our realtor family’s the “thanks” we speak of from Jay and the entire team at Preston Retreat, he set out on route earlier this week to deliver a “cornucopia” of goodies to the local realtor offices, leaving some tasty treats for each, in showing our appreciation for all the hard work and dedication that has been a big factor in the record sales we have seen at Preston Retreat.

In what has become an every holiday tradition, ranking Jay up there with such holiday icons as Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny himself, the deliveries were once again well received and in accordance with Thanksgiving, there may have not been a more fitting holiday yet for his “special deliveries” to show how much we see the great job that all these fine and dedicated men and women have done in helping turn prospective home buyers vision and wishes, into the reality of their dream home at Preston Retreat.

We thank all of our realtor friends for their support of Preston Retreat and hope that they and their collective families all enjoyed their Thanksgiving.

Best Town in NC to Find a Job is Cary

One of the many factors to consider in relocating your family is the availability to find employment, and once employed, having a chance to grow and prosper at that job. According to the annual poll done at zippia.com, your move to the luxury new home neighborhood setting the standards in the Triangle area, Preston Retreat, was one supported by the employment opportunities in your new home town, as Cary was ranked number one statewide among the listing for Best Town in NC to Find a Job.

As noted by the experts at  in the article analyzing the Best Town in NC to Find a Job, many people may expect a city such as Charlotte, Raleigh, or even Chapel Hill to top this list, however, as explained, “Cary ranks as our number one overall best place to find a job in North Carolina. It scored well across the board, but extremely well for its unemployment rate (2nd) and future job growth (2nd).” The blog post goes on to say that Cary is, “known as being a great place to live and that has a lot to do with the fact that the people there all have jobs and get paid well for doing them.” The piece concludes with a glowing testimonial to the town, saying, “If you are thinking of moving to NC and will need to find a job, we strongly recommend you start your search in Cary.

In reaching the final rankings for the Best Town in NC to Find a Job, the process is also explained at the Zippia website as follows: “In order to properly compare places, we set a minimum population threshold of 5,000 people. After getting the data for about 740 places in NC, the population requirement cut out list down to 146 places. We then ranked each place across a number of criteria from one to 146, with one being the best.” Furthering their explanation, the post said, “We took the average rank across all criteria, with the place posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner.”

Also detailed were the five main points of analysis, which were:

  1. Unemployment rate
  2. Recent job growth
  3. Future job growth
  4. Sales tax
  5. Median household income

To see the entire top ten listing and take a more detailed look at the Best Town in NC to Find a Job rankings and more specifically, how the Town of Cary was placed in the number one spot, visit zippier.com.


Halloween Events in Cary Sure to be a Frightfully Good Time

The fall is upon us and for the young “trick or treaters” in town that means it is the season for a variety of Halloween Events in Cary set up just minutes from your new home at Preston Retreat, that family members of all ages can enjoy. The events will start this weekend and will be hosted at a variety of locations across town.

Herbert’s Haunted House 
Friday 10/26 7:30-9:30 pm, Saturday 10/27 7:00-9:00 pm at Herbert C. Young Community Center

The Cary Teen Council will take you on a spooky walk through their house of horrors. Those who dare will navigate through the building to experience all of the thrills that Cary’s teens have dreamed up to get your adrenaline rushing. 

Costume Dance Party

Saturday, 10/27, 1:00-2:30 pm at Cary Arts Center

Dress up in your favorite costume creation for the annual Costume Dance Party. Party includes light refreshments, an art activity, dancing and costume awards.

Cary’s Great Pumpkin Carve
Saturday 10/27 2:00-8:00 pm at Downtown Park

Stop by the Pumpkin Patch to pick out the perfect pumpkin to carve at one of the carving stations (or bring your own). Pumpkins will be lit for display and judged in a variety of categories. Stay for family friendly Halloween specials shown outdoors, including “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”! Pumpkins are for sale at low cost; all other activities are free.

Schedule of Events

  • Pumpkin Patch and Carving Stations | 2-5:30 p.m.
  • 3-D Pumpkin Carving Instructional | 2:45 & 4:15 p.m.
  • Pumpkin Lighting & Judging | 5:45-6:30 p.m.
  • Family Friendly Halloween TV Specials | 6:45-7:45 p.m.

Halloween Mall Crawl

Saturday, 10/27, 4:00-5:30 pm at Cary Towne Center

Calling all goblins, ghosts, princesses, superheroes, and everything in between!  Dress in your best Halloween costume and join us for an afternoon of trick-or-treating, storytelling, and magic show.

Heart of Cary Association’s Fall for Cary Festival

Saturday, 10/27, 1:00-6:00 pm in Downtown Cary

The festival is partnering with the Town of Cary’s “Great Pumpkin Carve” to bring a host of free events along S. Academy Street and throughout the walkable areas of Downtown that include: food trucks, local craft beers, a petting zoo, costume contests for adults and pets, trick or treating at downtown businesses, hay rides, bounce house, children’s crafts and cookie decorating, balloon artistry, face painting and a treasure hunt with more than $3,000 in prizes. Admission and plentiful parking is free.

For all the details on these and other upcoming great Halloween Events in Cary and other activities happening in the town visit their official website at townofcary.org.





Top Ten Safest Cities in North Carolina Places Cary at Number 9

A new 2018 study by the experts at Safewise.com has again placed the Town of Cary as one of the top 10 Safest Cities in North Carolina. Especially notable in the town’s inclusion was the fact that Cary was the highest populated town on the entire 2018 listings for Safest Cities in North Carolina.

According to the blog posting at safewise.com detailing the 2018 poll of the Safest Cities in North Carolina, it was explained that “Cary has a lower property crime rate than several of the towns that rank higher in the study, but it’s violent crime rate is slightly larger.” This is common for a higher populated city and in actuality if the numbers were weighed equally, Cary could have easily ranked higher.

Getting back to what Safewise described as  “one of the factors that makes Cary stand out on the list” is its higher population. As futher explained in the article, “None of the towns in the top 20 Safest Cities in North Carolina provided by Safewise have a population of more than 100,000 people aside from Cary (the closest is Concord, North Carolina with around 89,000 people).

The blog piece then states that , “The study also shows that property crime makes up about 91 percent of all crime in Cary. This does not seem to correlate with any particular level of safety in the study as towns with both larger and smaller proportions rank below Cary, although all of the other top 10 towns have a greater proportion of property crimes with a lower proportion of violent crime.”

Specific statistics listed for Cary and leading to its top ten listing among the Safest Cities in North Carolina shown are its population of 164,835, a miniscule percentage of violent crimes of 0.92 per 1,000 people. Propwerty crimes per 1,000 residents at just 10.05 and a total overall crime rate at 9.12 percent violent as compared yp 90.88 percent being property related crimes.

The final overall description of how the final rankings were determined was also told as the experts at safewise concluded, Our evaluation is based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) in each city. If there was a tie, we also factored in the number of property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft). To level the playing field, we calculated the rate of crimes per 1,000 people in each city. This makes it easier to directly compare the likelihood of these crimes occurring in cities with vastly different populations.

To read more in detail about Cary’s inclusion in the top 10 Safest Cities in North Carolina, visit safeties.com.

Cary Named in Time’s Top 5 Best Places to Live in America for 2018

The prestigious annual listings by the money.com section of the official Time Magazine website has released its annual poll ranking the Top 50 Best Places to Live in America, supporting your decision to move you and your family into the luxury new home neighborhood that has changed the game in the Triangle area, Preston Retreat, as Cary, NC was listed as number 5 in the annual rankings.

The website’s rankings of the Best Places to live in America based its final tally and list according to the explanation at time.com after collecting over 100,000 different data points. The article on the Best Places to Live in America went in detail explaining the process. “We looked only at places with populations of 50,000 or greater. We eliminated any place that had more than double the national crime risk, less than 85% of its state’s median household income, or a lack of ethnic diversity.” The article concluded, “This gave us 583 places.”

Continuing with their explanation of how they ranked the Best Places to Live in America, it then noted “We then collected more than 135,000 different data points to narrow the list. We considered data on each place’s economic health, cost of living, diversity, public education, income, crime, ease of living, and amenities, all provided by research partner Witlytic. MONEY teamed up with realtor.com to leverage its knowledge of housing markets throughout the country. We put the greatest weight on economic health, public school performance, and local amenities; housing, cost of living, and diversity were also critical components.

Time.com writer, Sahina Mishkin, who wrote the piece on the Best Places to Live in America, concluded the part on criteria used in the selection process, saying, “We then collected more than 135,000 different data points to narrow the list. We considered data on each place’s economic health, cost of living, diversity, public education, income, crime, ease of living, and amenities, all provided by research partner Witlytic. MONEY teamed up with realtor.com to leverage its knowledge of housing markets throughout the country. We put the greatest weight on economic health, public school performance, and local amenities; housing, cost of living, and diversity were also critical components.

Supporting both the sentiments of the lofty number 5 ranking for Cary among the Best Places to Live in America, Time.com spoke with a local business owner and Cary resident, Mile Cullen, who spoke about choosing Cary as a location for both his bookstore and for his family to live, saying, ““It has high average income, high education level, and good population density.” Cullen added that until about a year and a half ago, his family lived in Raleigh, and made the commute, but changed their mind and decided to move to Cary as he and his wife liked Cary’s newish feel and intimate energy, citing that it has “all of the amenities of a larger city, but with a smaller population.”

The article then listed some of the great amentities he spooke of as Bond Park and other green spaces; the Koka Booth Amphitheatre, a busy concert venue that also hosts an annual Chinese lantern festival; an active youth theater program called Applause!; and The Cary, a multi-use cultural center in the city’s downtown that hosts semi-regular screenings of works-in-process by North Carolina filmmakers.

To see the entire listing of the 2018 Top 50 Best Places to Live in America and a  more detailed look at Cary being named number 5 on this list, visit http://time.com/money/collection/2018-best-places-to-live/.