From the peace and tranquility of the soaring Blue Ridge Mountains to the pristine white sands of the Outer Banks, there’s a place in North Carolina for everyone. Warm Atlantic waters and breezes that blow in off the Atlantic keep the state warmer than most. The diverse terrain from one region to the next means there’s plenty of variety for transplants from other states to choose from.
According to Real Estate News, of the 150 most populous cities in the US, seven are in the state of North Carolina. Our list takes into account the cost of living, jobs, schools, crime, quality of life, and more. While “best” is a relative term, the locations on this list are the most affordable with the best chances of having a good job and something to do to keep you happy after work.
This city of half a million people is located about an hour and 45 minutes from Wilmington, the closest coastal city. The median home price is $136,600 while the median household income is $45,000. You don’t have to be a college graduate to survive and live comfortably here, and there’s a large local military and defense industry community.
With a population of nearly 700,000 and some of the best high schools in the state, this is a great city to live in for families. The median home price of $251,877 and average annual salary of $45,000 means homes are a little steeper in price, but the cost of living is still only about 22% of the city’s median annual household income. Greensboro is about three hour’s drive from the nearest coastal city and is in rolling hills between the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountain ranges.
This small city of nearly half a million people is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Living here costs an average of 23.4% of a family’s household income, and the average home price is about $280,000 with an average salary of nearly $45,000. Excellent schools and a stunning natural environment make this a highly desirable city to live in.
With average home prices comparable to Asheville, this city of 670,000 residents located next to Greensboro is affordable for families. The job market is centered around technology, agriculture, healthcare, and financial services industries. Net migration to the area has heated up in the last five years. This is a great place for warm weather.
This is a large metropolis of more than 2.5 million residents and is one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation. Year-round warm weather and net migration are very high. This is one of the most affordable major cities in the United States, and the average annual salary is $52,150 while home prices average $350,000. Unemployment is far lower than the national average here.
Raleigh and Durham, NC
These cities combined have a smaller population than Charlotte, but the average annual salary is higher and the median home price is nearly $20,000 lower. Residents pay just 20% of their income on living expenses here. Schools have some of the highest scores in the state, the unemployment rate is low even during hard times, and the industries keeping the city employed are very strong. Technology industries are starting to move their headquarters to the area, too.
North Carolina is a stunning state with diverse terrain, a strong economy and job market, and an affordable cost of living. If you’re thinking about moving to North Carolina, a real estate agent from Potempa Team can help you decide which city and neighborhood are best for your family. Contact us today to get started.