With a population of over 9.5 million, North Carolina is the 10th most populated state in the country. The state motto is “Esse cam videri”. This Latin phrase translates as: “To be, rather than to seem.”
The capital of North Carolina is Raleigh. The state is divided into 100 counties and three main geographic regions: the Atlantic coast plain region, the central Piedmont region and the Mountain region. You can find the infamous Appalachian Mountains in the Mountain region.
For most of the year, the weather in North Carolina is beautiful and there is always something to do. Whether you enjoy hiking, camping in the mountains, or eating more barbecue and bacon than you ever thought you could, North Carolina promises to be your new favorite place to call home.
Things to Know Before Moving to NC
With a population of almost 10 million, North Carolina is a very fast-growing state. This is partly due to the unique combination of natural landscapes and technical innovation the state provides. The business sector of this state is booming, and it is certainly a great place to work, as well as live.
The gorgeous sites in this state are never ending. In fact, North Carolina is famous for its beautiful waterfalls, which are usually accessible by hiking trails. In addition, you’ll want to be ready for some scenic season changes. During the fall, the leaves transform into a sea of red, orange, and yellow shades. This is a sight you have to see to truly appreciate.
If you are relocating to North Carolina, hopefully you consider yourself a friendly person! Southern hospitality is real, ya’ll, and you may find yourself wondering how people can be that nice all the time.
With that said, you should know that things move at a slower pace in North Carolina. With everyone’s laid back attitudes and positive outlook, you may start to realize that you aren’t worrying as much anymore.
Charlotte, North Carolina has a population of about 751,999 and is the largest city in the state. The city of Charlotte was established in 1768, and it is the third fastest growing major city in the U.S. The Bank of America and Wells Fargo headquarters are located here, just to name a few.
Raleigh is the second most populated city in North Carolina and it is also the capital. There are approximately 412,311 people who live here. Named after Sir Walter Raleigh, this city is home to many historical sites.
Greensboro hosts 270,063 North Carolinians, making it the third largest city in the state. The city of Greensboro was originally named Martinsville. It was established in 1847.
Weather & Climate
The weather in North Carolina varies from city to city. Most of the state has a subtropical climate with a lot of humidity. Summer temperatures can get up to about 90 degrees in July. In January, the average temperature is around 50 degrees. The Appalachian Mountains help protect the low temperatures and storms coming in from the Midwest.
It is common to see snow in the mountains. Each year, the area sees about 5 inches of snow. The coastal areas get about 2 inches a year, whereas Raleigh receives about 7.5 inches. The farther west you go, the more snowfall you will see.
During the fall, bright red, yellow, and orange leaves coat the state. In October, temperatures can reach 70 degrees, and drop down to about 20 degrees fahrenheit.
There are many ways to get around North Carolina. You can drive, fly, take a boat or even ride a train. Public transportation is available with Amtrak and the light rail, Lynx, in Charlotte, NC. The state has the second largest highway system in the country.
If you plan on bringing a car to North Carolina, you are in luck. The gas prices are about the same as the national average. A gallon of gas will only cost you about $2.12. And if you need to drive somewhere, why not take in some pretty sights along the way? North Carolina is famous for the Blue Ridge Parkway. It winds through the state and extends through Virginia. There are plenty of restaurants and hotels along the parkway, as well as plenty of places to camp and hike.
Housing Market in North Carolina
Real Estate Pricing
According to Zillow, the average price for a home in North Carolina is around $175,600. One-bedroom homes go for about $108,000, and a two-bedroom averages about $120,000.
Like most states, home costs will vary depending on the city. For example, in Fayetteville the average price for a home is about $120,700. However, if you move to Cary, North Carolina, the average price is right around $278,150.
Renting properties in North Carolina are below the national average. The average price for a studio apartment is about $984. On average, a two-bedroom apartment will be less than $1,000. A three-bedroom apartment will run around $1,119 a month.
Each state is sure to have safe places to live, and less-safe areas. It is good to know a little background on the crime and safety rates of the area you are moving to.
Overall, the crime rate in North Carolina has decreased for burglary and larceny. However, violent crime numbers have gone up in the state according to the State Bureau of Investigations. Violent crimes increased by 6.9%, while property crimes were down 4.7%.
Financial Living in NCr
From investing in property to starting your own business, your hard earned money will go a lot further in North Carolina. The businesses are growing significantly and have been for a very long time.
The median household income in North Carolina is $47,830 and the median family income is about $60,000. While these both are around $8,000 lower than the national average, cheaper real estate and taxes will allow your income to last.
Cost of Living
One of the most affordable cities in the state is Raleigh. The cost of living here is about the same as the national average. Compared to most major cities, this is fantastic news. The price of housing, transportation, entertainment, food and utilities are all lower than the rest of the country, on average.
There is a flat income tax rate in North Carolina of 5.75%. The sales tax varies between 6.75% and 7.5%. However, there may be a 2% tax rate levied by most counties in the state. Property tax is .84%.
Job Market in North Carolina
There is an increase in demand for jobs in the education, healthcare and information technology fields in North Carolina.
For example, Research Triangle Park, which is over 7,000 acres, employs over 40,000 residents with a full-time job.
Due to its climate, soil and hydroelectric power, North Carolina has a pretty diverse economy. The state is one of the top states in the South Atlantic for industry and agriculture. North Carolina is the highest producing state for tobacco, sweet textiles and furniture.
In addition, North Carolina leads the country in sweet potato production. It comes in second place for pigs, trout and turkey production. Also, North Carolina is ranked second in the country in Christmas tree sales.
There are plenty of fantastic health care options in North Carolina. Duke University Hospital located in Durham is rated the top hospital in the state. The hospital is nationally ranked in 13 adult specialties and 10 pediatric specialties, and they are considered high performing in 9 procedures.
Located in Chapel Hill, the University of North Carolina Hospital is ranked number two in the state for health care. It is nationally ranked in 8 adult specialties and 9 pediatric specialities. They are high performing in 7 procedures and conditions.
The third top ranking hospital in the state is Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Located in Winston-Salem, this hospital is nationally ranked in 5 adult specialties, and is high performing in 9 procedures and conditions.
Shopping, Food & Culture in NC
If you are moving to North Carolina, you’ll want to start loving pork barbecue. If you already do, then this is the place for you!
Be warned, each barbecue restaurant in the state will likely claim they have the “best homemade sauce” around. This just means you will have to try them all out for yourself.
The culture in rural North Carolina is very much tied to the Colonial and Confederate times. Since agriculture is one of their main industries, a lot of the local traditions in North Carolina are very “farm” centered. However, a lot of areas in North Carolina are considered more urban.
Due to so many people relocating to North Carolina, new residents all bring some type of their culture with them. Therefore, the state is considered a melting pot of culture.
It’s no wonder why the people of North Carolina love to be outside. With fantastic weather and beautiful sights, who wouldn’t want to enjoy this firsthand! Residents love to visit the mountains in the High Country to hike, camp and swim in the rivers.
There are also amazing beaches in North Carolina that serve as the perfect getaway. Golf is another outdoor activity that many people partake in. Others enjoy horseback riding, target shooting, hunting, off-roading and riding ATVs. It is not all that uncommon for many people in North Carolina to refer to themselves as rednecks.
The Appalachian Mountains are a huge draw for tourists. Each year, the area receives millions of visitors to the Western part of the state. The Blue Ridge Parkway and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are listed as two of the most visited national parks in the United States.
Of course, you can’t be in North Carolina and not experience the Biltmore Estate. Located in Asheville, the Vanderbilt Mansion is the largest private home in the country. It boasts 250 rooms and proudly displays artwork, antiques and unique architecture.
Battleship North Carolina
Another great place to visit is the Battleship North Carolina. Located in Wilmington, this vessel was the first of ten battleships to join the American fleet in World War II. Once called the “World’s Greatest Sea Weapon”, the USS North Carolina is now a tourist attraction. you can walk around and tour the ship and see how the sailor’s used to live.
For a more nature-oriented attraction, be sure to visit Grandfather Mountain in Linville, NC. Here you can take leisurely trails or hiking treks and get to see some of the most beautiful mountain views in the country. If you’re afraid of heights, you may want to try walking across the well-know Mile High Swinging Bridge that has been there since 1952.
Colleges & Universities
It’s no secret that North Carolina has some excellent choices for college and universities. In addition, if you work in higher education, this is definitely the place for you.
First up is Duke University. This private research college is located in Durham, North Carolina and has been ranked one of the top schools in the country. There are ten schools and colleges at Duke, but it is especially known for its medical school.
Wake Forest University
Wake Forest is another stellar school in the state. This research university is located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and classifies itself as small liberal arts school. The student to faculty ratio is a huge draw for most student, as well as the small class sizes.
Davidson College is a high selective liberal arts school focused on developing global leaders through their colleges. Davidson offers what is known as the Dean Rusk International Studies Program, which offers students the option to study abroad in 200 different programs.
NC Sports Teams
The state of North Carolina is extremely proud of their professional sports leagues. It is home to the Carolina Panthers (NFL), the Charlotte Hornets (NBA) and the Carolina Hurricanes (NHL).
In addition, the Charlotte Hounds (Major League Lacrosse) and the North Carolina Courage (National Women’s Soccer League) are also popular sports teams.
There is a very strong NASCAR following in North Carolina. If you are a fan, be sure to visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte.
Politics & Religion
Like most southern states, North Carolina has traditionally been labeled a Republican state. However, as soon as more people began relocating here, they brought their more liberal leaning politics with them.
Recently, North Carolina was referred to as a “purple” state, due to the blending on the “red” and “blue” states. However, the Republicans still have a strong presence in the rural and small-towns in North Carolina.
Many North Carolina residents identify as Protestant. The Baptist congregation is the largest religious identity in the state with 4,241 churches and about 1,513,000 members.
The second largest religion in the state is the United Methodist Church with 660,000 members and 1,923 churches. Catholicism is the third most practiced region in the state with 428,000 members and 190 congregations.
History of NC
Before the Europeans claimed North Carolina, it was first inhabited by Native Americans. Some of the most well-known tribes here are the Cherokee, Catawba, the Tuscarora and the Croatan.
Spanish explorers were the first Europeans to arrive in North Carolina in 1524. Notable explorers include Juan Pardo who founded Fort San Juan in 1567, and Hernando de Soto who came in search of gold.
One of the biggest mysteries in North Carolina history was the Disappearing Colony of Roanoke in 1584. The Roanoke Colony was sponsored by Sir Walter Raleigh and was led by John White. When White returned after gathering supplies from England, the entire colony disappeared. To this day, historians still don’t know what happened to them.
Now it’s not all creepy history in North Carolina. In Kitty Hawk on December 14,1903, the Wright brothers, who are credited with inventing the airplane, completed the first successful human flight. The original plane they flew can be seen at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.
So, How Are You Getting To North Carolina?
Now that you know all about North Carolina, hopefully the transition to your new home will be seamless. Of course the move itself may be a bit stressful, so hiring professional and experienced movers will be your best bet.
Moving companies are a huge help with relocating anywhere, but especially when you’re moving to a different state. You can rest assured that your items and personal belongings will get to your new NC home safely, and in an efficient timeframe.