Moving to North Carolina
If you've been craving a fresh start in a place that combines picturesque landscapes, an ever-growing dynamic job market, and a distinct lifestyle, allow us to introduce you to the captivating charm of North Carolina! Our comprehensive North Carolina relocation guide is your trusty companion, as you embark on this exciting journey. From bustling cities rich in cultural experiences to sleepy coastal towns and impressive mountain ranges, it's no wonder that so many people are singing the praises of the Tar Heel State. Let's dive in and discover what makes North Carolina irresistibly inviting!
What to Know Before Moving to North Carolina
1. Savor that southern hospitality
North Carolinians are known for their warm and welcoming nature, so get ready to experience some genuine southern hospitality. Whether you're attending a football game or simply exploring the local neighborhood, you'll encounter friendly faces and a strong sense of community. Additionally, the state is known for its delicious barbecues, and there's no better place to bond with your newfound neighbors than over a plate of mouth-watering pulled pork or juicy fried chicken.
2. Embrace the diverse geography
North Carolina boasts a unique blend of beaches, mountains, and everything in between. From the sandy shores of the Outer Banks to the peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains, you won't have to go far to find your next adventure. The state also experiences four distinct seasons, allowing you to enjoy a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, and skiing. Just don't forget your sunscreen for those sunny summer days on the beach!
3. Take advantage of the thriving job market
Those considering relocating to North Carolina will be happy to learn about the state's flourishing job market. The Triangle, comprised of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, is home to a booming tech industry and some of the country's top research institutions, such as Duke University, North Carolina State University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Additionally, the Queen City of Charlotte is well-established as a financial hub, housing the headquarters of major banks like Bank of America and Wells Fargo.
4. Be prepared for the "Carolina Crud"
As charming and beautiful as North Carolina is, it comes with a lesser-known downside: the Carolina Crud. This colloquial term refers to the frequent colds, allergies, and sinus issues that plague newcomers for their first year in the state. This phenomenon is caused by the high pollen count and rapid shifts in weather patterns that the Tar Heel State experiences. Not to worry, though—once your system adjusts, you'll be feeling right as rain. Just remember to pack some tissues and allergy medicine in your moving boxes!
5. NASCAR isn't just a pastime—it's a religion
In North Carolina, NASCAR isn't just a popular sport—it's practically a way of life. The state is home to the Charlotte Motor Speedway, one of the most iconic racetracks in the world, and the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Many race teams and drivers make their home in North Carolina, so don't be surprised if you find yourself brushing elbows with NASCAR royalty at the grocery store. The high-octane energy and rumbling engines aren't for everyone, but it's hard to resist the undeniable excitement in the air during race season!
6. Channel your inner swashbuckler on the "Graveyard of the Atlantic"
The coast of North Carolina has a storied history and a reputation for shipwrecks—earning it the nickname "Graveyard of the Atlantic." This treacherous stretch of water boasts over 2,000 shipwrecks dating back to the 1500s. This element of danger only adds to the area's allure for history buffs and treasure hunters alike. For a unique family adventure, visit the Outer Banks to learn about famous pirates like Blackbeard, who once terrorized these same shores. You might even uncover a long-lost treasure—or at least a hearty helping of mysterious tales to share around the campfire.
In conclusion, North Carolina truly offers a little bit of everything for everyone. Whether you're a nature enthusiast, an ambitious professional, or a history buff, the Tar Heel State is rich with career opportunities, natural beauty, and fascinating stories. Just remember to pack your tissues, sunscreen, and adventurous spirit, and be prepared to carve out a new chapter of your life in North Carolina's diverse, vibrant landscape.
Pros and Cons of Living in North Carolina
Pros of Living in North Carolina
Lower Cost of Living
North Carolina has a lower cost of living compared to many other states in the U.S., making it a more affordable place to live. Housing costs, in particular, are below the national average, enabling residents to find quality housing options without breaking the bank.
Booming Job Market
North Carolina has a thriving job market in a variety of fields, including research and technology, healthcare, and finance. The Research Triangle Park in the Raleigh-Durham area is home to global companies like IBM, Cisco, and GlaxoSmithKline, offering numerous job opportunities.
North Carolina enjoys a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. The weather remains relatively mild throughout the year, with the occasional snowfall in the winter and warm summers. This climate allows residents to enjoy various outdoor activities year-round.
Rich Arts and Culture Scene
North Carolina is home to a thriving arts and culture scene, with numerous museums, galleries, and cultural institutions throughout the state. World-class music, dance, and theater performances frequently take place in North Carolina's cities, offering an abundance of options for arts enthusiasts.
Access to Natural Beauty
One of North Carolina's greatest assets is its diverse landscape, from the scenic Appalachian Mountains to the stunning Atlantic coastline. Residents can take advantage of the state's many national parks, forests, and beaches, providing ample opportunities for outdoor recreation, including hiking, camping, and water sports.
Cons of Living in North Carolina
Higher Sales Taxes
While North Carolina's cost of living may be low, the state does have a relatively high sales tax rate. This may be a drawback to some residents, as it increases the cost of day-to-day living expenses, such as groceries and dining out.
North Carolina's location on the Atlantic coast makes it vulnerable to hurricanes and tropical storms. These severe weather events can cause significant damage to property, infrastructure, and the environment, and may disrupt daily life for residents.
Although some of North Carolina's school districts are highly-rated, the state's public education system as a whole often ranks low in national rankings. This may be a concern for families with school-aged children who are seeking high-quality educational opportunities.
Variable Healthcare Quality
The quality of healthcare in North Carolina can be inconsistent, with some areas offering excellent care while others lack sufficient access to medical facilities or providers. This may be a concern for residents who prioritize easy access to high-quality healthcare services.
Traffic and Infrastructure
Some cities in North Carolina are experiencing rapid population growth, which has led to increased traffic congestion and strain on existing infrastructure. This can result in longer commute times and a need for improvements to roads, public transportation, and other facilities.
Is North Carolina a Good State to Live In?
North Carolina is a great place to live because of its diverse landscape, ranging from beautiful beaches to lush mountains, and a temperate climate. The state also boasts a low cost of living, vibrant cities like Charlotte and Raleigh, and excellent colleges and universities, making it an attractive option for those seeking a blend of natural beauty with urban convenience.
What Is North Carolina Famous For?
Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway is often called "America's Favorite Drive" because of its stunning scenery and smooth winding roads through the Appalachian Mountains. Stretching across 469 miles, this scenic route provides breathtaking views and ample opportunities for outdoor adventures along its path.
North Carolina is known for its lip-smacking, finger-licking good barbecue, specifically the distinctive vinegar-based sauce that's popular in the Eastern part of the state. There's even a friendly rivalry with its western counterpart, which boasts a tangy tomato-based sauce, making North Carolinians proud connoisseurs of the art of barbecue mastery.
The Outer Banks
A picturesque series of barrier islands along the state's Atlantic coast, the Outer Banks offers visitors an abundance of beach fun, historic lighthouses, and wild horses roaming freely. With miles of serene coastline and charming small towns, it's easy to see why the Outer Banks is a beloved destination for both tourists and locals alike.
Located in Asheville, the Biltmore Estate is the largest privately-owned home in the United States with an impressive 250 rooms on 8,000 acres of land. Once the luxurious Vanderbilt family home, it's now open to the public, showcasing stunning architecture, historic artifacts, and lush gardens, making it a must-see North Carolina attraction.
Overview of Tax Rates
North Carolina's average property tax rate is 0.86%, which is lower than the national average of 1.07%. This places the state at the 34th position in terms of property tax rates in the United States.
North Carolina's statewide combined sales tax rate is 7%, which includes a 4.75% state sales tax and a 2.25% average local sales tax. This rate is higher than the national median rate, ranking 23rd among other states in the country.
The state of North Carolina imposes a flat 5.25% income tax rate on its residents, ranking 20th among other states. This flat rate is relatively moderate when compared to both graduated income tax rates and high flat rates in other states.
North Carolina's housing market offers a competitive and affordable environment for both renters and buyers when compared to other states. The median home value in North Carolina is around $226,000, significantly lower than the national average of $277,000. Similarly, the median rental rate in North Carolina is approximately $1,375, again lower than the national average of $1,470. With appreciating home values, above-average job growth, and a mostly balanced market between buyers and sellers, North Carolina provides an attractive opportunity for homeowners and renters alike.
Cost of Living
North Carolina has a relatively affordable cost of living compared to other states in the US. It ranks lower than the national average in housing, transportation, and utility costs. While healthcare and education expenses are on par with the national average, essential items such as groceries are moderately priced. As a result, North Carolina remains an attractive destination for those seeking a balanced lifestyle at a reasonable cost.
Weather & Natural Disasters
North Carolina's climate is characterized by a mix of subtropical and continental influences, resulting in dynamic weather patterns throughout the state. Summers are typically hot and humid, with temperatures averaging in the mid-80s to low-90s Fahrenheit. Winters are relatively mild, though the state's central and western regions experience cooler temperatures and snowfall due to their higher elevations. Precipitation is abundant in North Carolina, with an annual average of around 50 inches, which is evenly distributed throughout the year.
Weather-related phenomena experienced in the state range from thunderstorms and tornadoes to hurricanes and winter storms. The location and shape of North Carolina's coastline make it particularly vulnerable to hurricanes and tropical storms, which occasionally make landfall and result in devastating flooding and high winds. In addition, the state's inland regions are susceptible to tornadoes, especially in the spring and fall months. Lastly, winter storms, including ice storms, can pose challenges to residents and disrupt transportation in the state. Overall, the diverse climate and weather events in North Carolina contribute to the state's scenic beauty and rich natural landscape.
Economy & Job Market
Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
Finance and Banking
Agriculture and Food Processing
North Carolina is known for having a diverse and dynamic economy and job market. Historically, the state was known for its strong agriculture sector, with tobacco, sweet potatoes, and the textile industry leading the way. However, over the years, North Carolina's economy has evolved drastically into a more knowledge-based and service-oriented powerhouse. Today, the state is home to the Research Triangle Park, one of the largest research parks in the world, which contributes to a thriving pharmaceuticals and biotechnology industry. Other major industries include finance and banking, particularly in Charlotte, which is the second largest banking center in the US after New York City, as well as technology, and food processing.
Thinking about joining the North Carolinian ranks and searching for a job after your big move? You're in luck! North Carolina's unemployment rate is the same or lower than the national average, which is a testament to its diverse job market. The Research Triangle Park area—anchored by Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill—offers innumerable opportunities in tech, biotech, and education sectors. Charlotte is perfect for those interested in finance and banking, while Asheville is an ever-growing arts, food, and tourism hub. As you can see, whether you're a tech-savvy programmer, a distinguished banker, or even an avocado enthusiast (thanks to the thriving agricultural sector), North Carolina is prepared to welcome you with open arms and bountiful job prospects!
Traffic and Transportation
Oh, the joys of getting around North Carolina! With its bustling cities, rich history, and scenic beauty, navigating this wonderful state is an adventure in itself. When it comes to big cities like Charlotte and Raleigh, the average commute time may hover around 25-29 minutes - not too shabby, eh? But hey, while cruising around, don't forget to soak in the surroundings and enjoy the ride!
On the other hand, if you're looking to go green or just sit back and relax while on the move, North Carolina's public transportation options have got you covered! From Charlotte's LYNX light rail system to Raleigh's myriad of bus services (say hello to the R-Line, GoRaleigh, and GoTriangle!), you'll be spoilt for choice as you make your way through the urban jungles of this diverse state.
And if you're flying high, North Carolina's air travel scene is ready to impress. Key airports like Charlotte Douglas International Airport and Raleigh-Durham International Airport keep the state connected and humming, whisking travelers away to their next escapades. So buckle up, and let North Carolina's traffic and transportation sweep you off your feet!
Things to Do
So, you're moving to North Carolina, huh? Lucky you! The Tar Heel State is brimming with beauty, adventure, and charm. From the sandy shores to the majestic mountains, North Carolina is steeped in an array of stunning landscapes and vibrant cultural attractions that undoubtedly deserve a spot on your must-visit list. Without further ado, here are seven of the top things to do as you settle into your new home in North Carolina!
1. Road trip down the Blue Ridge Parkway
Connecting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina to the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a 469-mile scenic drive of pure, natural beauty. The winding roads and breath-taking vistas, along with the charming small towns, state parks, and other attractions dotted along the route, make this one of the most unforgettable experiences for anyone looking to explore North Carolina's vast landscapes.
2. Explore the Biltmore Estate
It's impossible to talk about the must-visit attractions in North Carolina without mentioning the iconic Biltmore Estate! As America's largest privately-owned residence and a National Historic Landmark, the Biltmore is a bucket-list event for history buffs and architecture enthusiasts alike. George Vanderbilt's 250-room chateau is nestled in Asheville and boasts stunning gardens, a winery, and plenty of delightful events throughout the year.
3. Catch the "Magic Mile" of Lights at Kanuga Conference Center
Let's take a step off the beaten path and dive into one of North Carolina's lesser-known gems – the "Magic Mile" of Christmas lights at the Kanuga Conference Center! Located in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, this annual holiday event features a dazzling display of over 400,000 Christmas lights and decorations illuminating a mile-long trail. Soak up the festive spirit and enjoy a unique holiday experience with family and friends.
4. Stroll through the Sarah P. Duke Gardens
Just a short drive from the heart of Durham lies one of North Carolina's most enchanting locations – the Sarah P. Duke Gardens! This 55-acre botanical wonderland features a diverse array of plants, flowers, and landscapes, making it the perfect spot for a peaceful, picturesque stroll. Don't forget to check out the stunning rose garden and the awe-inspiring Asiatic arboretum!
5. Get lost in Blowing Rock (the town, that is)
Blowing Rock, a quaint mountain village in western North Carolina, is a fusion of charm, history, and natural beauty. The town's namesake, The Blowing Rock, is an unique natural rock formation perched on a cliffside, where winds create an upward draft that can send light objects sailing back upward. In addition to the mystifying geology, the town boasts an array of delightful boutiques, eateries, and art galleries that will make for an unforgettable day of exploration.
6. Slide down a natural water slide at Sliding Rock
Ready for an adrenaline rush? Pack your bathing suit and head to the Pisgah National Forest in Western North Carolina, where you'll find the remarkable Sliding Rock! This 60-foot natural water slide cascades into an eight-foot deep pool, making it an exhilarating must-try activity for all ages. The catch? The water can be quite chilly, even in the summer months, so prepare for a shocking plunge!
7. Witness gravity-defying Mystery Hill
If you're itching to explore the more eccentric side of North Carolina, then the quirky Mystery Hill in Blowing Rock is ideal. This unique gravitational anomaly has puzzled visitors for decades due to its strange effects on humans and objects. You'll have to see (and feel) it to believe it! Besides the gravity-defying fun, the attraction also includes an Appalachian History Museum, showcasing the rich history of the region.
In conclusion, North Carolina is an alluring blend of nature, history, culture, and a touch of mystery. From the grandeur of the Biltmore Estate to the exciting rush of Sliding Rock, there's something for everyone in the Tar Heel State. So buckle up, get ready to explore, and fall in love with your new home in North Carolina!
Find Movers for Your North Carolina Relocation
As you embark on your exciting journey to make North Carolina your new home, you'll want to ensure a smooth and stress-free moving experience. Great Guys Moving is here to help you achieve just that by connecting you with the most reputable, licensed, and insured movers in the industry. With our extensive network of quality service providers that offer affordable pricing, obtaining quotes for your upcoming move has never been easier. Don't leave your relocation to chance – take the first step towards a successful transition by requesting a free moving quote for your North Carolina move today!
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