With breathtaking views, fantastic weather, a growing job market, and welcoming neighbors, North Carolina is the perfect place to call home for people from all walks of life.
If you’re contemplating moving to anywhere in the Tar Heel State, we understand that your excitement is mixed with anxious jitters; but that’s a normal part of relocating somewhere new. This article strives to soothe your nerves by bringing you top reasons to move to North Carolina.
1. Friendly residents
The Southern Hospitality isn’t a myth — the residents here are brimful of the sweet southern charm in small towns and bigger cities alike. With such welcoming and friendly neighbors, you’ll never feel like an outsider when you move in. A huge reason for the hospitality is the diversity among the residents; it seeps into ideas, attitudes, and culture throughout the entire state.
NC has the eighth-largest Native American population in the US. Some recognized tribes include the Meherrin, Cherokee, Lumbee, Coharie, Sappony, and Waccamaw Siouan tribes. Other immigrant groups that make up North Carolina’s demographic include South Asians and Latinos (from Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador).
2. Eclectic lifestyle
North Carolina is a mosaic of different lifestyles. Whether you’re yearning for a laid-back country lifestyle with farmland and barbecue or the chaos of a busy city, North Carolina has it all. There’s plenty of nature here too. You don’t have to pick between mountains or beaches; this state has both — there are gorgeous beaches along the coastline with majestic mountain landscapes.
Sports are HUGE in the Tar Heel State, with college basketball dominating the space. High school sports are also a big part of the small-town culture, so if you’re planning to live in one of the rural towns, be sure to look into the local teams and their rivalries.
3. Cost of living
The living cost in NC varies between regions, but overall it’s 5 percent lower than the national average. One of the most significant areas you will see the lower price difference is real estate. The median home price here is $187,300, while the national average is $231,200. A few of the most affordable cities are Cary, Fayetteville, Concord, Asheboro, Durham, Lexington, Wilmington, Greenville, and Chapel Hill. One of the bigger cities, Raleigh, has a slightly higher cost of living than its surroundings.
Food is another area where the expenses fall below the national average. The average cost of a gallon of milk in Raleigh is slightly over $2, and a loaf of bread is under $4. If you’re single, you’ll likely be able to get all groceries for $250 per month. The utility prices in NC are 4 percent less than the national average; the average monthly energy bill is $161. The peak summer months can spike up the temperature, and the energy usage, which increases the bill.
When it comes to transportation, NC has a well-organized bus system with a Monthly Pass that costs $88 per month and an Express Plus Pass costing $176 per month. If you have your vehicle, you can enjoy lower than average gas prices.
4. Food and breweries
Southern cuisine is some of the best in the nation, and North Carolina has plenty to offer in this sphere. This state is known the most for its Eastern and Lexington style barbecue (you will find some of the best pulled pork here), which is served along with other Southern favorites like hush puppies, beans, fried chicken, and slaw. NC also has some of the best Calabash-style seafood.
Other iconic NC favorites include fried green tomatoes, biscuits, and gravy (biscuits are served with every meal), fried catfish, peach cobbler, glazed doughnuts, sweet potato pie, and Cheerwine.
With over 300+ craft breweries, North Carolina is known as the “State of Southern Beer.”The breweries spanning Raleigh and Charlotte to Wilmington contain live music, delicious food, patio seating, and kid and pet-friendly areas. The wine production is quite serious here, too, with vineyards, wineries, and tasting rooms throughout the state.
If you aren’t huge into alcohol, that’s OK! Sweet Tea is consumed more than water in NC.
5. Low taxes
North Carolina offers attractive tax breaks for seniors. You don’t have to pay tax on Social Security income, and the income tax rate is a flat 5.25%. Plus, the corporate income tax is low, and there’s no State Estate tax. The great tax benefits are a significant reason why there are so many businesses moving here. If you’re a senior wanting to start your own business, North Carolina will help you save significantly on taxes.
This state’s 0.86 percent property tax is lower than the national average of 1.08 percent.
Here’s great news if you’re a parent— you may consider contributing to a National College Savings Program through NC 529 Plan. The proceeds within this account will grow tax-free and can be withdrawn at any time with zero tax consequences, as long as the funds are used for qualified educational expenses.
6. Mild weather
If you’re moving from a state with extreme weather, you will love North Carolina’s moderate climate. The state overall has a humid subtropical climate with short and mild winters and hot summers.
You will be able to experience all four seasons, like snowy winters (minus blizzards), warm summers, colorful fall, and blooming springs. The moderate weather all year round means you can enjoy the outdoors anytime. Also, whenever the state expects snow, everything shuts down, and grocery aisles get wiped out from people stocking up on food.
7. Thriving job market
North Carolina’s job market has been steadily surging over the last few years. The Research Triangle region is a significant contributor to keeping the state’s economy strong. Triangle NC is a Raleigh Durham Chapel Hill area in NC situated near three major research universities — Duke, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University. It is also a hotspot for technology and biotech companies. Some of the other robust industries in this state are Aerospace and defense, automotive, pharmaceuticals, food processing and manufacturing, furniture, IT, plastic and chemicals, business and financial services, energy, textiles, and tourism.
There are plenty of Fortune 500 companies that call and see home. These include Bank of America, Lowes, Duke Energy, BB&T Corp., and Nucor. Charlotte is home to one of the largest banking centers in the US, only second to NYC. BoA and Wells Fargo are the biggest sources of employment here.
All this is to say, with the right qualifications, you will have an easy time finding a job in NC.
8. Top-quality schools
NC has many nationally ranked K-12 schools, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools being the state’s best. NC has 10,429 public and private schools. Here are some of the best school districts to consider:
- Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools
- Polk County Schools
- Watauga County Schools
- Union County Public Schools
- Elkin City Schools
- Asheville City Schools
- Mooresville Graded School District
- Carteret County Public Schools
- Wake County Schools
- Henderson County Schools
- Dare County Schools
9. Colleges and universities
North Carolina has many colleges and universities and prestigious private institutions such as Duke University, Wake Forest University, Elon University, Davidson College, and the Queen’s University of Charlotte. It also has a vast community college network with 58 campuses offering associate degrees and certifications in occupational therapy, culinary starts, fine arts, and more.
Sports are a significant part of colleges and universities in NC. Overall, students have plenty of higher education options, including top-rated research institutions for those wanting to research biotech, nanotechnology, biochemistry, and genetics.
10. Best of all worlds
It’s rare to find a state that offers its residents all the right things: situated along the Atlantic Ocean, NC has many incredible beaches to bask in the sun. It also has Blue Ridge and the Smoky Mountains located in the western part of NC. Plus, the forests, waterfalls, farmlands, metropolitan areas, and other facts like low cost of living, significant tax benefits, incredible educational opportunities, high pay, and affordable homes will ensure that you never want to leave this state.
We hope these top reasons to move to North Carolina article gives you the confidence to make your move stress-free. NC gives you remarkable flexibility that is hard to find anywhere else. It’s an excellent state for planting your roots with your family.
If you need relocation assistance for moving to North Carolina, feel free to contact us. Stark Movers offer packing, loading, and transportation services to seamlessly help you move into your new home in NC.