MOVING TO North Carolina

As a van-lifer for 2 years, I have visited every state and gotten to know each one personally. There are a few that stick out in my mind that I would actually consider moving to for various reasons:

Colorado – for it’s pure beauty and outdoor activities

Massachusetts – for it’s endless list of things to do, history and education

Texas – for it’s southern hospitality and diversity

Florida – for it’s beaches and low taxes

But no state compares to North Carolina. NC really has it all – education, beautiful scenery, low cost of living, and the best thing about moving to Asheville, Raleigh, Charlotte, Wilmington or anywhere in between is that North Carolina is a very non-judgmental place. In my experience, keeping up with the Jones’s is more likely related to being kind and helpful rather than what you have. You will never find a Real Housewives show made from any town in North Carolina – people who migrate here are very down to earth.

If  this sounds like your kind of place and you are considering moving to North Carolina, we’ll ask you one simple question: why haven’t you already?

With great weather, a breathtaking climate, a thriving job market, and some of the nicest neighbors around, North Carolina has become one of the top destinations for young families, professionals, and retirees.


Pros and Cons of Moving to North Carolina

The Pros of Living in North Carolina

Cost of Living
When you consider the presence of affordable homes in North Carolina, the lower tax rates compared to the rest of the region, and lower rental prices, then it does not cost as much to live in this state than in other places in the country. The average price of a home in the state is just $183,400, which is significantly lower than what it is in other coastal states around the country. Renters pay a median price of $1,345.

The sales tax rate in North Carolina is 4.75% across the state, although county and local taxes can add to it. Most pay between 6.75% to 7%, although there are a handful of counties where the rate is 7.5%.

Weather

The average temperature in the state of North Carolina during the month of January is 50°F. Although a polar vortex can bring down this average in some years, the temperatures are typically quite mild, especially when you live in or around the Wilmington area. During the summer months, the average temperature in the state does not climb above 90°F. There are some areas that will go above that threshold in July (Charlotte and Wilmington), but you can use those days to escape to the beach or the mountains.

Outdoor Activities
While summers can be hot and humid, winters are extremely mild in North Carolina—a pleasant surprise for most residents moving in from out of state. Between the Outer Banks, Lake Norman, the US National Whitewater Center and the Great Smoky Mountains, residents will never run out of places to explore. Golfers love North Carolina’s more than 600 courses, too.

Hospitality

One of the best things about moving to North Carolina is its people. The state has become a melting pot of diverse people from all over the country and residents appreciate that friendly, community feel.

Food
You will find some of the best restaurants in the United States located in the Raleigh area when you live in North Carolina. Nana’s is an excellent example of this advantage. Opening in 1992 before the city experienced a renaissance of sorts, they offer a monthly menu, tasting options, and specialty wines that are perfectly matched to each dish. There are also stately locations for dining to consider, such as the majestic Biltmore Estate in Ashville.

More Pros Because NC is Awesome!

  • Healthcare – North Carolina has four nationally acclaimed medical schools at Duke University, East Carolina University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Wake Forest University. State-of-the-art hospitals in Charlotte and the Research Triangle take care of critical care. More than 100 community hospitals see to your everyday medical needs.
  •  Education – There are several excellent universities available in North Carolina that can help you to pursue a degree in almost anything that you love. Duke  University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, Davidson, North Carolina State, Appalachian State University, Elon University, and several others all make it possible to secure a spot in a field that you love.
  • Small Towns – Every state has some fantastically odd roadside attractions to find, and North Carolina is no exception to the rule. The best one just happens to be the World’s Largest Chest of Drawers, which you can find in High Point. This Victorian dresser is actually a building, located in the self-declared furniture capital of the world, and it was originally constructed in 1926. Two large socks dangle from one of the drawers.
  • Beaches – Although the beaches are better than average, it is the  mountains on NC that  receive all of the glory when you move to this state. Although the weather can turn away from being favorable at times, there are often glorious pinks, oranges, and purples to see every night from at least one window of your home. When you add in all of the other benefits which are possible when living in this state, it typically feels like the perfect ending to another wonderful day after deciding to make the move.

The Pros of Living in North Carolina

High Crime 

States like Massachusetts are known for not reporting all crimes so this may be skewed but it is still a concern.

Taxes

Those moving from relatively low tax states like Florida or Tennessee will see much more of their funds going to the state as the income taxes are high.

Education

How can education be both a pro and a con? North Carolina has an amazing public university system in the University of North Carolina but its public elementary, middle and high schools score lower than average.  For that reason UNC, Duke, etc chose a lot of out of state students instead of residents of NC.

Hurricanes

 


Best Places to Live in North Carolina

best places to live in North Carolina
Best Places to Live in North Carolina

Stretching nearly 500 miles long, moving to North Carolina is an adventurer’s dream. Whether you enjoy spending your free time exploring nature’s mountains and beaches or you prefer more of an urban lifestyle, North Carolina’s cities offer something for everyone.

Here are some of the best places to live in North Carolina:

Moving to Charlotte

Known as the largest city in North Carolina and one of the best places to live in the U.S., Charlotte has become a popular destination for migrants around the country. Charlotte’s median income has increased substantially and students who come to study at UNC Charlotte, Johnson & Wales, Queens University, and Davidson College often stay thanks to job growth.  Between its up-and-coming neighborhoods, vibrant downtown life, and family-friendly communities, it’s no wonder that singles, young couples, and families are moving to Charlotte at a fast rate. Located in southeast North Carolina, it’s also a short drive to Asheville and Hilton Head.

Moving to Raleigh

As the state capital and second-largest city in North Carolina, Raleigh has tons to offer its residents. The city has an impressive technology hub, including its 7,000-acre Research Triangle Park (RTP), home to more than 200 companies and 50,000 employees. If you decide to move to Raleigh, you’ll love the laid back environment, endless outdoor activities, and Southern hospitality. Many transplants come from Boston, Austin, and New York and end up in Raleigh  Learn more about long distance movers.

Moving to Cary

Cary is very up and coming for young families – you will find a lot of transplants from Florida, Texas, Michigan and Massachusetts in Cary.

Moving to Durham

About 30 minutes north of Raleigh is another great place to plant some roots in North Carolina: Durham. Durham is part of the Research Triangle, and it is known as the City of Medicine for many reasons.  If you don’t mind a short commute, Holly Springs, Morrisville, and Wake Forest are popular suburbs of Durham. They are affordable and very safe. Learn more about local movers in NC.

Moving to Chapel Hill

Home to the University of North Carolina and its Carolina Tar Heels, Chapel Hill is a thriving college town not far from Raleigh and Durham. But, Chapel Hill is much more than a college town. The economy is closely tied to technology, science, and the arts. From its picturesque downtown and historic campus to the renowned Ackland Art Museum and breathtaking views of Jordan Lake, Chapel Hill is all about living authentically.

Moving to Asheville

This breathtaking city located in the Southern area of the Appalachians is historical, hip and always has something going on. There are more than 500 restaurants and bars and 150 art galleries, many located in the River Arts District. The Blue Ridge Parkway runs right through Asheville, taking you west to the Cherokee Indian Reservation. Asheville has been a playground for the wealthy since the 1800s. George Vanderbilt began buying property here in the late 1800s and built what is now America’s largest estate. Nicnames the world’s only “Foodtopian Society,” where residents believe incredible food fuels everything. Residents can enjoy the culinary collaborators’ creativity, passion, and local flavors that combine into a unique experience for all. Don’t forget a craft beer. Asheville has been named Beer City USA four times. Between delicious food and beer, an eclectic music and arts scene, and outdoor adventures at nearby Blue Ridge Parkway, you’ll never run out of things to do.

Moving to Wilmington

In a short drive, residents can visit Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach and Kure Beach. Unlike many of North Carolina’s top areas, Wilmington is far from suburbia. This historic port town is quaint, charming, and most of all, friendly. The area encourages locally owned shops, small businesses, and even a dog-friendly downtown. Wilmington has been called the Hollywood of the East, or Wilmywood, because of the TV shows and movies filmed here. For those who appreciate an eclectic, laid back lifestyle, Wilmington would make the perfect home.

Moving to Greensboro

Dubbed the “Gate City” due to its short distance to all the major cities in the state, Greensboro is one of North Carolina’s top destinations. Although it’s home to North Carolina’s third-largest metro, the area feels like a small community—making it the perfect place to raise a family. Residents can enjoy plenty of attractions, including a zoo, waterpark, art galleries, and golf courses.


What is the cost of moving to North Carolina?

The cost of moving in North Carolina can vary widely depending on the size of your home, the location of your new dwelling, timing of the move, and any additional services needed (packing, special handling, equipment rental, etc.). While all moving companies will give you a quote on the cost to move your belongings, it’s important you have an idea of the total expenses and what should be included so you can budget correctly and protect your bank account from hidden fees. You can get a guaranteed not to exceed moving quote here.

What is the Average Cost for Movers?

First things first, you need a team to physically move your belongings. The average rate for movers is $120-$150 per hour, but keep in mind that’s just the manpower. There are other costs calculated into your move, including the weight of belongings, gasoline, insurance, etc.

Local Movers NC

Local (or Intrastate) moves are generally categorized as moves under 100 miles. This may vary with the moving company, but it’s good to keep that in mind when budgeting. Most moving companies provide 2 movers and a truck, and only charge by the hour for local moves.The key to budgeting local moves is understanding how long it may take. These are the national averages according to HomeAdvisor:

The average moving cost in North Carolina is $1,102 and typically ranges from $601 to $1,648. That is slightly above national average, which is $1,059 and typically ranges between $569 to $1,565.

Remember to book your local movers as far in advance as possible. Though they may be local, that doesn’t mean they can be scheduled last minute. You should hire movers 4 weeks in advance at a minimum. The sooner you do it, the better chance they’ll be available the day you want to move. Learn more about local movers near me.

Long Distance Movers to North Carolina

While local moves are calculated by the hour, out-of-state or cross-country moves are usually calculated according to distance and weight of the belongings to be moved. This does not include all the fees for moving, which can also consist of fuel, tolls, etc. Knowing how much all your belongings weigh can be incredibly hard. The moving company will look at everything in your home, garage, etc. and create an estimate based on the average weight of other similarly sized homes. So be as transparent as possible about what you plan to move or there will be a large discrepancy between the quote and actual cost. On moving day, the movers will weigh the empty truck and then weigh it after it’s filled. Make sure you get a weight receipt from the mover, so you know what the truck weighed without all your belongings. This will prevent discrepancies later. Get a guaranteed moving quote here.

Additional Moving Fees

While the primary costs of moving include labor and hours or weight and distance, there can be other fees contributing to the cost of your move. Many of these are considered add-ons, so if you’re looking to cut costs, try to avoid these. You can also hire Monster Movers who does not charge any of these extra fees.

Packing and Unpacking

Packing and unpacking your belongings are the longest part of the move, and oftentimes the most work, which is why people sometimes pay professional movers to pack and unpack everything they own. The benefit is knowing the movers have the best tactics for protecting fragile items, like dishes, glassware, art, and awkward items. But most people choose to do all the packing themselves in order to cut costs. Some also just prefer to maintain privacy with what they own.

Furniture Disassembly/Reassembly

It’s common for people to do all their own packing but leave the task of disassembling and reassembling furniture to the movers. This reduces unnecessary work, because the professionals have their own tricks of the trade. However, doing the physical work is one more way for you to save money.

Bulky and Fragile Furniture

If you have unique or bulky pieces of furniture that require extra attention, you will be charged an extra fee. This can include pianos, priceless art, and large appliances. However, having a professional mover handle these things is often worth the extra fee, because they know the best way to transport them without damage.

Hindered Accessibility

Homes, condos, and townhouses that have elevators or excessive stairs, or are located a significant distance from where the truck can park may be charged a fee, because hindered accessibility slows down the unloading of the truck and creates more work for the movers. There may also be an extra fee if they need to rent a vehicle to move your belongings from the truck to your residence. Of course, there isn’t much you can do about this. Just be prepared to pay a little more.

Equipment Rental

Normally, the fees for renting straps, moving blankets, and dollies aren’t much. Some moving companies include them in their base prices. However, if you have narrow steps that require the movers to hoist furniture to an upper floor, they will need to charge you for extra equipment. The same goes for crates and extra packing supplies required to transport anything bulky or fragile.

Insurance

Many people expect their belongings to be protected by their car insurance or homeowner’s insurance during their move. Rarely does this happen and If they do, it’s very limited. Movers normally provide basic insurance for the belongings they are transporting. However, the industry standard for coverage is .60 cents per pound. That would be a whole $30 or so for your 65” flat screen television. The moving company is required to give you a breakdown of their insurance policy. Thoroughly read it before moving day.

Don’t hesitate to ask the company if they provide an expanded coverage. This may include a full-value plan with a limit you set yourself. However, this usually includes caveats, like:

  • The moving company isn’t responsible for anything they don’t pack themselves.
  • No more than $100 will be paid for a single item unless specifically listed on an inventory sheet (get ready to write down everything you own!).
  • The moving company reserves the right to choose how you are compensated, which means they can opt to repair rather than replace and if something is damaged beyond repair, you get the current value only, which means you don’t get enough to fully replace your washer, even if they drop it from a hoist.

In other words, it may be in your best interest to pay for moving company insurance from a third-party company. Your regular insurance provider may even have a program.

Exclusivity

To up their profits and streamline their process during out-of-state moves, moving companies oftentimes load more than one family’s belongings on a large truck. This may slow your move and cause delays while you wait for them to unload another family’s belongings. However, you can pay for exclusivity to assure you have a prompt delivery. Choosing to do so depends on your urgency and their timeline.

Storage, Warehouse Handling, and Delivery

Sometimes the sale of your home and your closing don’t match up. In that situation, you may need to have all your belongings stored for a period of time. This can bring on additional fees for storage space, warehouse handling, and pickup/delivery to and from the building. How much you pay depends on the moving company’s setup. Some national chains have private warehouses. Some require you to rent from a local storage space. Make sure you ask lots of questions about security, handling, and accessibility. If you need to store with a local storage place, you may be able to save money shopping around.

Learn more about long distance moving companies here.


Where are the best places to work in North Carolina?

North Carolina has a massive start-up scene and it is easy to find supporters if you are an entrepreneur as well as many Fortune 500 companies including:

  • Bank of America — No. 25
  • Lowe’s — No. 42
  • Nucor — No. 120
  • Duke Energy — No. 126
  • BB&T Corp. — No. 248
  • VF — No. 252
  • Laboratory Corp. of America — No. 278
  • IQVIA Holdings — No. 305
  • Sonic Automotive — No. 316
  • Advance Auto Parts — No. 326
  • Brighthouse Financial — No. 342
  • Hanesbrands — No. 444

What was once known as a traditional economy built on tobacco and manufacturing has quickly evolved into a technology-driven economy. Energy, finance, and information technology are all rapidly growing sectors in the state with several major employers nearby.

Top 6 Business Sectors of  North Carolina:

Finance

Energy

Biotechnology

Aerospace

Furniture

Education

 

With a thriving business climate, low cost of living and beautiful landscapes across the state, living in North Carolina is a dream. With a population of over 10 million, North Carolina is the ninth largest state and it continues to grow. Many transplants come to Charlotte, Wilmington and Chapel Hill and have made these places very diverse and interesting.

North Carolina is generally characterized in three distinct areas. The Western part of the state is part of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the major city is Asheville. The central area is the Piedmont region, which contains five of the state’s largest cities – Charlotte, Raleigh, Durham, Greensboro, and Winston/Salem, plus charming towns like Cary, and historic Hillsborough. The eastern part of North Carolina is home to beautiful beaches. Overall, North Carolina four national forests, ten national parks and about 50 state parks. Here, you’ll find miles of hiking trails, placid lakes and streams, and roaring whitewater rivers. If you are into the outdoors, North Carolina offers recreation of all types from surfing, to kayaking, to riding rapids, hiking, biking, and even skiing up in Boone or Maggie Valley.