Raleigh NC is known as one of the best cities to live in North Carolina. As the state capital of North Carolina, it is as vibrant as a big city and as cozy as a small town. It has been named as one of the 10 fastest growing cities in the US and has seen a surge of development in the past decade. We’re with you and it goes without saying that Southern hospitality is welcoming and affectionate. But what also makes it really attractive as a city to live in is a vibrant culinary scene, some great schools, a very familiar family friendly environment, richness in culture and vibes of a very youthful place.
The old fashioned Southern charm is the vibe of the city. That is what makes it so expressive, so charming and so homely. But there is this fresh surge of energy which comes from the newest generation of people wanting to live here or already living here that makes it a choice for families to want to move here. Halfway between New York and Florida, you will never be in want of a beach or the mountains. Everything is just a few hours to a day’s trip away. So if you’re thinking of moving to Raleigh NC, here’s the essential information to keep in mind before relocating here.
What Should I Know Before Moving To Raleigh NC?
The beautiful lush ‘City of Oaks’ with a Southern drawl and warmth has one of the most vibrant music scenes in the country. No kidding! They will even close down streets for that. Especially the live music scene! It’s got both the coziness of a small town and the expanse of a larger city, so while the pace may feel spaced out, it never feels quite too sleepy. And that’s great when you are trying to enjoy the finer things in life. It is affordable and the weather is absolutely great. So that itself lends a few extra points to the happiness quotient of the people living here.
Raleigh is also commonly known for its Raleigh Triangle Park which is named for its tri-city region of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. The triangle is home to large fortune 500 companies in technology, biotech and medical industry and it is this job market that is attracting people from all over the country. With a population of almost 465,000 people, Raleigh was named as the third best city for job seekers in 2017, all of that without Raleigh not really being a touristy city.
The city is not just lined with oak trees, but it is also filled with green pathways, bike trails and there are so many well planned trails. At the end of the day, these are all designed to get you to see the city in all its glory and at the same time have some quality time with your family. You have some amazing trails such as Tobacco Trails, Nausea River Greenway, Lake Johnson Park, White Oak Creek and Umstead State Park. It offers a vibrant community of bikers and walkers and people with similar interests.
Crime Rate in Raleigh NC
The fact that it gets chosen as one of the best places to live in the country and that it has happy, lovely people living there, it is not hard to believe that the crime scene in Raleigh is lower than the national average. It is almost 18% lower than the national average. Year on year crime in Raleigh has decreased by over 22% with you having a 1 in 50 chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime according to the data provided by area-vibe. Violent crimes in Raleigh are 33% lower than the national average and none of these figures are hard to believe because that is how safe Raleigh is.
Hot and muggy summers, short and cold winters and very wet and partly cloudy weather all the year round. That is what Raleigh’s weather is all about. Although Raleigh is not much of a tourist destination, in case you cared about what was a good time to visit Raleigh, then early May to mid-June and from late August to mid-October would be it.
Usually the hot season in Raleigh will last from May to September for around 3.6 months and the average daily temperature goes above 27 degrees celsius. The hottest day of the year will usually see a high temperature of 32 degrees celsius and above. The cool season lasts for almost 3 months, from late November to end of February, when the average temperature is around 15 degrees celsius. The coldest day of the year usually sees a minimum temperature of 0 degrees around 29th of January.
May, September and October are usually the most pleasant months in Raleigh, whereas July and January can get really uncomfortable. Raleigh averages about 46 inches of rainfall and will get approximately 108 days of precipitation per year. July is usually the rainiest month, whereas October is the driest month in Raleigh.
Even in terms of snowfall, Raleigh averages about 4 inches of snowfall. The Appalachian mountains protects North Carolina from the cold fronts coming in from Canada.
Is It Expensive To Live in Raleigh?
It would be a good idea to understand how expensive it is to live in a city before you decide to move in. Raleigh has a stable and strong economy, with a thriving business scene and yet very affordable to live in. The main reason for people wanting to live in Raleigh is its affordable cost, which is lower than the national average, in spite of it being a technology hub. The cost of living in Raleigh is about 2% higher than the national average and is about 7% higher than the North Carolina average. General sales tax is about 7% lower than the national average in North Carolina itself.
Cost of Living in Raleigh NC
Utility prices could be 4% lower than the national average and the housing prices could be 30% lower than the rest of the country. You could be shelling out anywhere up to $160 for your energy bill, about $170 per month on your phone bill and about $2.50 on your gas/gallon.
With all the other processes lower than the national average, its grocery prices are higher, almost by up to 13%. You would be paying about $3.70 for a loaf of bread, $2.20 for a gallon of milk, say about $2 for a carton of eggs and approximately $3.75 for a bunch of bananas.
Although Raleigh is famous for its healthcare, that however does not reduce the costs on healthcare. Healthcare in Raleigh is about 3% higher than the national average, where a visit to the Doctor could cost you approximately $113 as per payscale.com. Unless you cared for your set of whites really well, your visit to the dentist could cost you anywhere up to $97 and a visit to the optometrist will send you back by about $105. Also, if you were a pet lover, then remember that a visit to the veterinary could cost you $54.
Even in terms of transportation costs, bus fares and gas prices are 8% lower than the national average. If you were using the buses, a one-way ticket could cost about $1.25 and a monthly pass of about $45.
Buying A House
Studio apartments are small and hence would be most affordable. The median sale price for a home in Raleigh is $270,000. Of course, location is crucial to the price of a home and its future appreciations. Also, university towns are usually a little more expensive than other cities or towns. If you are looking for a bigger bang for your buck, then you may try to step a little out in the suburbs.
Renting A House
Current realty rates could be very varied in the wake of COVID-19, but on an average the apartment rent would be around $1,250 which has increased from the previous year.
Utility bills would differ in different climates and expect to pay for your AC costs in the summer as much as run the heating for winter. It all evens out to bring utility costs right around the national average, around $125 per month for a one bedroom apartment.
Raleigh Economy And Employment Opportunities
The Raleigh unemployment rate has reduced to 1.33% and that is well below the national average. With its Research Triangle, Raleigh has become a job hotspot and a technology hub. That has created a lot of job opportunities and has been one of the major reasons for the population to grow in Raleigh. Financial services, electrical, medical, electronic and telecommunications are some of the industries that are driving the Raleigh economy, along with clothing and apparel, food processing and pharmaceuticals. In the last few years, Raleigh has become one of the exciting places for people to pursue their businesses and careers. Some of the major employers in Raleigh are the United States Environmental Protection Agency, IBM Corporation, Fidelity Investments, Glaxo SmithKline amongst many others.
The median income in Raleigh NC is $61,000 approximately. But if you wanted to “live a little well”, then you should look at a median income of about $80,000 and above approximately. Do keep in mind that North Carolina has a flat income tax rate of about 5.25%, while the sales tax rate for Raleigh is 7.3% as mentioned earlier. While Raleigh has seen the job market grow by 3% over the last year, it is predicted that in the next 10 years, Raleigh will see a growth of up to 44% which will still be higher than the national average of 33%.
Getting Around Raleigh NC
Raleigh-Durham International Airport serves about 10 million passengers a year approximately and it also offers facilities for cargo and general aviation. Raleigh Durham International Airport is the region’s primary airport and North Carolina’s second largest airport. It is an important part of the city and state’s infrastructure. The airport serves the city and greater Research Triangle Metropolitan region, as well as much of eastern North Carolina.
2. Public Transportation
GoRaleigh Access, R-Line and Transit Authority are the city of Raleigh’s public transportation system. The GoRaleigh Bus fare for a day pass is give or take $2.50. On the other hand, a reduced fare of $1.25.
3. Showtime Trolleys And Historic Raleigh Trolley Tour
There are two types of trolley rides which are called Showtime trolleys and these are free. The Showtime Trolleys run on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and the frequency is every 15 to 20 minute. They run from 5:30 pm till 11:30pm. The second trolley system is Historic Raleigh Trolley Tour and that is not free. You have to purchase tickets for it on the Mordecai Historic Park’s website. If you want a tour of the downtown Raleigh area, then this is a good option.
You will also find taxis, shuttles, limos and the public bus systems. You can even choose to use the trolley rides. Raleigh does not have a subway system. Buses will take you most places that you want to go. And then you also have cab services like Lyft and Uber.
See Also: Relocation Guide to North Carolina
Best Neighborhoods To Live In Raleigh NC
Raleigh is one big friendly neighbourhood in itself. The southern delightful behaviour of the people will soon draw you in and you will feel like one of the locals even before you know it. Although, there will always be some neighborhoods better than the others, so here is a list of the best neighborhoods to live.
Oakwood goes back to the 19th century and a little historical gem of a neighborhood. It is identifiable with its bungalows and grand Victorian homes. It is very close to Raleigh downtown and is a favourite with young homeowners and newer people coming into the city.
Oakwood is beautiful and green and you either walk it all up, or bike around the place. You can even rent electric bikes for a short term. The neighborhood is famous for its Oakwood Candlelight Tour, which has been observed for the last 50 years where they talk about the history of Oakwood. Another interesting thing about Oakwood is that it was the first neighborhood in the city to be listed in the National Register.
Median Home Value – $535,000
Average Rent – $1179 per month approximately
2. Five Points
Two miles north of downtown Raleigh are a group of historic neighborhoods that are located inside the beltline and that cluster is known as Five Points. Mostly single family homes from period bungalows to three storey new homes are the characteristics of Five Points. You will find a vibrant shopping scene, dining and entertainment options, antique stores, art galleries and shipping too. Parking is along the street and the neighborhood is dotted with parks, playgrounds and convenience stores
Median Home Value – $550,000
Average Rent – $2,000 per month approximately
Also Read: Moving To South Carolina – Relocation Guide
3. Brier Creek
One of the most appealing and vibrant neighbourhoods, Brier Creek has been named as the nation’s top business area for business. It is famous for its shopping, dining and entertainment options. Thanks to its locations, the homes in Brier Creek go really fast and it is highly desirable.
Average Rent – $1,200 per month approximately
Is Raleigh A Good Place To Live?
Raleigh is family friendly, with a beautiful vibe, great quality of life and with its Southern hospitality. A lot of people consider Raleigh as one of the top cities in the country to live and understandably so. The cost of living is affordable, the crime rate is significantly lower than the country’s average and there are good enough job opportunities. Plus the city really gives people some very good options to live here and raise their families. Its thriving restaurant scenes, its beautiful tree lined areas, its parks, trails and outdoor activities options are some other desirable things. Ultimately, it boils down to whether the things offered by the city match your personal goals or desires. Once you figure that out, the rest will fall in place, with some proper planning of course.