RALEIGH, N.C. — Twenty years ago, Noah Daniels-Wilder couldn’t walk down Montague Lane in Raleigh without looking over his shoulder.
“This where I'm from, who I am, what made me, what molded me," he said.
Wilder’s Raleigh roots can be traced back to the 1800s.
His great-grandfather's house still sits on the street, a spot everyone in his family has lived in at some point. His family still owns the South Side home.
“We weren’t the wealthiest, but we weren’t as poor as other people in the same breath. But it was definitely some times that we struggled. I think my crib was a laundry bin. That was my crib," Wilder said.
Today, Wilder is a real estate investor and co-owner of CDW Housing. He buys and remodels homes before big corporations step in.
“People who build this, they get their money and they leave, right, they don’t help the youth and do any backpack giveaways," Wilder said.
It’s also about educating homeowners.
“We come in and say, 'Hey, before you sell to that out-of-state investor who is giving you $130,000 dirt cheap numbers, here’s what you can do to change that,'" Wilder said.
Wilder hopes as neighborhoods like this improve, they don’t lose their most important asset — the people in it.
“Property value shoots way up when they move them out. I always wonder why is that. You know what I mean? It goes up, like now this land is worth something now," said L.B., a Raleigh resident.
L.B. hasn’t lived at his home for very long.
He wants to feel safe, yet knows there’s a fine line between what it takes to get there.
“Just don’t run all the Black people out, where they’re born and raised and that’s all they know. Just kick them out like that and jack the price of the rent up, so they can’t afford it," L.B. said.
As house prices continue go up, Wilder’s family isn’t going anywhere.
“Every generation of Wilder family has lived in this house," he said.
Wilder says some things are worth holding on to.
“I want other people in the neighborhood to have the opportunity to fix and flip their own home and benefit from the changing community around them. I want everyone to benefit from it, just like our family can," he said.