If you’re moving to Raleigh, NC then congratulations are in order, because you’re making a great choice. Thanks to its family-friendly lifestyle and Southern charm, Raleigh is often considered the best place to live in North Carolina and the best big city in the Southeast.
In the past few years, many people have been flocking to the Southern states, and Raleigh is one of the top destinations. The Raleigh metro area was the second-fastest growing region in the country between 2016 and 2021.
Whenever you’re moving to a new community, you’ll want to know about the environment where you’re headed. This post will give you some information about Raleigh, NC, so you know what to expect. It will describe the pros and cons of living in Raleigh and some good things to know before you arrive.
Pros and Cons of Living in Raleigh
There are many advantages to living in Raleigh, including:
Many Employment Opportunities
Raleigh is ranked as the third-hottest job market in the country, according to the Wall Street Journal and Moody’s. This is based on job and salary growth, labor force participation, and unemployment rates. Raleigh is also ranked #3 in the country for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) job growth. Since Raleigh is the North Carolina state capital, state government jobs are also plentiful.
Raleigh has lots of recreational and entertainment options. There are many local parks and trails for walking, jogging, and biking, several lakes, a 28-acre botanical garden, and one of the world’s oldest amusement parks. If you like museums, you’re in luck. Raleigh is known as the “Smithsonian of the South” because of its many family-friendly educational museums like the Museum of History, the Museum of Natural Sciences, and the Museum of Art.
A Thriving Arts Scene
Raleigh has several performing arts theaters and two music festivals. The IBMA World of Bluegrass in downtown Raleigh is the world’s largest free urban bluegrass festival.
Multiple Neighborhoods to Choose From
Raleigh has several attractive offerings when you’re looking for a place to live. Oakwood is a Civil War-era historic district with restored homes and grand Victorians. Five Points is one of the most coveted residences in the city and includes parks, restaurants, and shops. Apex is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and considered one of the best places to live in the U.S. because of its developing neighborhoods, easy commutes, and proximity to parks and amenities.
Affordable Cost of Living
While Raleigh’s popularity as a place to live has driven prices up lately, particularly in real estate, the average cost of living is still seven percent lower than the national average. Home prices, food, and utilities are all below average.
Excellent Education and Healthcare
Duke University, NC State University, and the University of North Carolina are all located in the area, and all are top-notch research universities. Together with other local colleges and universities, there are 200,000 students attending higher education institutions each year. Meanwhile, the public school system is one of the largest in the country and has among the best graduation rates and student outcomes in the state.
Duke and UNC also have top medical schools and nation-leading healthcare centers.
Raleigh is conveniently located halfway between New York City and Miami and just a few hours’ drive from Washington, D.C., Baltimore, MD, and Norfolk, VA. Raleigh is located on I-95 which goes up and down the East Coast, and on I-40 which goes cross-country to California. So, road trips are definitely an option. Meanwhile, Raleigh-Durham International Airport is one of the best mid- to large-sized airports in the nation and has over 400 daily flights on 10 major airlines.
But there are some downsides to living in Raleigh, just like anywhere else:
While Raleigh offers abundant outdoor recreation options, it does get very hot and humid in the summer. Temperatures are regularly in the 90s and the humidity makes it feel even hotter. It is the South, after all.
During hurricane season, there’s always the danger of a storm making its way up the Atlantic coast. Though Raleigh is over 100 miles away from the coast, gusting winds and heavy rain are possible.
The humid summer weather brings many pesky critters like mosquitoes, roaches, fleas, bedbugs, rodents, and venomous snakes. These pests can invade your yard and spoil your summer fun.
Raleigh is known as the “City of Oaks” because of the many stately oak trees lining the streets and neighborhoods. It’s also close to dense forests. So, the pollen is thick and, during peak season, covers cars, patios, and everything else. This is a problem for allergy sufferers.
Compared to some other major cities, Raleigh has few public transportation choices. So, most people drive. This means traffic is bad during rush hour. Not as bad as New York or Washington, D.C., but still bad. Raleigh residents spend 15 to 24 minutes on their daily commute, which is about average for the country.
If you’re bringing your car to Raleigh, know that North Carolina requires new residents to register their vehicles and get a North Carolina driver’s license within 60 days after moving.
What to Know When Moving to Raleigh
Residents find the many benefits of living in Raleigh outweigh the downsides. If you’re thinking of relocating, here are a few things you might want to know.
Limited Transportation Options
As mentioned, there is limited public transportation. The city has grown dramatically, but public bus routes haven’t kept up, so there are many areas the buses don’t reach. The bus system is expanding, but this will take time.
As for biking, Raleigh does have many bike trails, but bike routes for getting around the city are limited. Combined with the traffic, that makes biking less than ideal.
Finally, the downtown area is walkable, but the outlying areas not so much.
Average Crime Rate for a Large City
Raleigh’s crime rate is about on par for a city of almost half a million people. Some neighborhoods and areas are safer than others. While property crime is a problem, only 11 percent of reported crimes are violent.
Tight Rental Market
The rental vacancy rate in Raleigh is slightly lower than the national average. This means finding a suitable place to rent can be difficult, depending on the time of year. With so many students in the area, apartments typically become available about two months before the end of each semester.
Relocating to Raleigh, NC can be a great choice for many people in all stages of life. There’s something to fit almost anyone’s needs and preferences. If you want to make a smooth, stress-free move to Raleigh, give All Around Moving a call today.
We hope you found this post, Tips on Moving to Raleigh, NC: Relocation Guide useful. Be sure to see our post The Most Popular Southern Cities to Move to This Year for more great information. Additionally, we put together this newsletter to share with your friends and family.
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