Getting Ready to Join The ‘Tar Heel’ Community: Things to Know About North Carolina Before Relocating

Explore the excitement of moving to North Carolina, a state with stunning coastlines, dazzling mountain views, and rich culture. Learn about the low cost of living, outdoor activities, Southern charm, all-American cuisine, and pleasant climate all-year-round that make the Tar Heel State an attractive destination for relocation.

Moving to the neighboring borough or another state can be an incredibly stressful milestone (no matter how prepared you think you are!). From hiring a professional mover and decluttering to setting your budget and getting packing supplies, the moving process comprises many elements – all accentuated by uncertainty about your new home.

Yet, all this aside, moving is also extremely exciting. It can promise new job opportunities, new friends, retirement, etc., everything North Carolina can grant. Located on the East Coast, those with the pleasure of living in North Carolina lovingly refer to themselves as ‘Tar Heels’ after the state’s famous moniker derived from the production of naval stones like tar, pitch, etc. 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, nearly 361,000 individuals moved to North Carolina in 2019, with 308,400 or 86% of all in-migrants moving from another state. The top states where these individuals came from were Virginia and Florida.

Migration inbound map North Carolina - source:

With stunning coastlines, dazzling mountain views, and rich culture/history, you’ll ask yourself, why didn’t you consider moving here sooner? While you kick yourself over not having relocated sooner, we outline several things to know before you touch down in the Tar Heel state, including the state’s love of sports, the sheer number of green spaces, the types of homes for sale, and much more. 

It’s Perfect For Outdoorsy Types 

Wind in your hair, sand between your toes, and the sun warming your skin – being outside is magical. And according to many health professionals, it is one of the best things for our physical and mental health – granting us benefits such as boosting our immune system, improving our mood, increasing our confidence, and much more. 

So, if you love the outdoors, you’ll be pleased to discover that North Carolina has no shortage of outdoorsy things to do, which attracts out-of-state visitors and tourists alike. Some of the most popular outdoor activities in the Tar Heel state include boating, rafting, hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, etc., with beautiful beaches, mountains, and other natural beauty as the backdrop. 

There are options here if you’d like to go on a hiking tour in Asheville that will take you and a small group up to breathtaking waterfalls, panoramic mountain views, and lush meadows, valleys, and hills. So you can take in the natural beauty of Blue Ridge Parkway and the Pisgah National Forest. 

Or, if you’d like to take your family on a four-mile-long white-water rafting trip, where you’ll raft your way through rapids and river dips as the views of Pisgah National Forest surround you – North Carolina is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and one we’re sure you’ll never tire of! 

The Cost Of Living Is Low

No matter where we’re thinking about moving to, buying a house is a significant purchase, and due to this, we want to ensure that we get the best value for our money possible. So, if you want to ensure that you get the most ‘bang for your buck,’ you’ll be glad to learn that the cost of living is lower in North Carolina than the national average. 

Here is a summary of the main locations in North Carolina, according to data provided by

City, StateCompared to the national average
Charlotte, North Carolina0.018
Raleigh, North Carolina0.051
Greensboro, North Carolina-4.20%
Winston Salem, North Carolina-6.10%
Durham, North Carolina0.043
Fayetteville, North Carolina-1.70%
Cary, North Carolina0.051
Wilmington, North Carolina0.046
High Point, North Carolina-4.80%
Greenville, North Carolina0.044
Asheville, North Carolina0.016
Burlington, North Carolina-4.50%
Chapel Hill, North Carolina0.022
Concord, North Carolina-3.40%
Gastonia, North Carolina-0.80%
Hickory, North Carolina-1.50%
Jacksonville, North Carolina0.039
Kannapolis, North Carolina-8.00%
Rocky Mount, North Carolina0.044
Salisbury, North Carolina-7.80%
Wilson, North Carolina0.044
Cost of living in North Carolina’s main cities and towns compared to the national average

If you’d like a rough idea of what it costs to live in the Tar Heel state, residents of North Carolina pay 96.5% less than other states for groceries and even 99.2% less for utilities such as gas, water, trash, etc. But although these figures are impressive, that’s nothing compared to the cost of the property markets, which sits at 83.1%. Not only are the property prices lower than the national average in North Carolina but there is much variety of homes for sale. 

If you’d like to learn more about the types of property you could be living in after relocating to North Carolina, EZHomeSearch can help you find homes for sale, connect you with local professionals, allow you to favorite listings, create saved searches, and much more. Consider visiting their website or contacting a team member for specific inquiries. 

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Lots Of Friendly Southern Charm

Bird's eye view of the historic Chatham County courthouse located in downtown Pittsboro, North Carolina.
Bird’s eye view of the historic Chatham County courthouse in downtown Pittsboro, North Carolina.

If you love helping others and can’t resist smiling back at someone if they smile at you first, then we guarantee you’ll love living in North Carolina. In the Tar Heel State, you’ll find people smiling at you for no reason; they’ll be keen to help you with any issue you might have; and are always warm/welcoming – even to strangers! 

Despite Hollywood movies portraying newcomers as outsiders when moving to a new state, no North Carolina town or city is like this. They are quite the opposite! You won’t have to worry about being the new folks in town for too long. You’ll soon find a mix of people populating the state, from outdoor enthusiasts and Triangle commuters to coastal dwellers and families, so you won’t feel out of place for long! 

Not only is the North populated by diverse people, but they are all approachable and willing to make friends with you – after all, they call it Southern charm for a reason! Instead of closing their shutters hastily when you walk by, Tar Heels are likelier to invite their new neighbors in for a glass of sweet tea and get to know you better!

Home Of All-American Cuisine

Let’s face it one of the best things about living in America is the food. Apple pie, cheeseburgers, Nashville hot chicken, biscuits and gravy, cornbread – the United States is one of the best places to be if you’re a foodie – and North Carolina is no exception! 

Being the birthplace of some of the most iconic American foods, including Krispy Kreme doughnuts, Mt. Olive Pickles, Pepsi-Cola, etc., the towns and cities of North Carolina attract many to its food and fine dining scene featuring all-time American favorites and culinary staples that are exclusive to the Tar Heel State. 

If you find yourself passing through (or potentially relocating to!) Raleigh, Winston-Salem, or Durham, you’ll have to consider taking your family to experience one of North Carolina’s most notable eateries like Nana’s Restaurant, The Fearrington House Restaurant, The Dining Room at the Biltmore Estate, etc., and sample some of the states staple dishes (and revisit old classics!) yourself.  

As well as serving up a combination of American favorites and native food/beverages, North Carolina is the birthplace of various food-focused destinations, world-renowned public figures in the food industry, award-winning craft breweries/wineries, notable restaurants, and much more.

Pleasant Climate All-Year-Round

Average monthly temperatures in North Carolina all year round

If the thought of Florida’s red-hot Summers and the bone-chilling coldness of Alaska’s winters makes your body taut with fright, you’ll be pleased to discover that North Carolina’s climate is often described as the best of both worlds. Based on its geography, the Tar Heel State’s climate is primarily humid and semitropic, resulting in warm summers and moderately cold winters. 

So, if you’re moving from a state with extreme weather, you’ll be glad to discover that you shouldn’t experience blizzards, heatwaves, etc., living in North Carolina. Instead, residents can enjoy all four seasons, Spring, Summer, Winter, and Fall, while participating in various fun activities all year round. 

During the winter months, you and your family can go snow tubing at one of North Carolina’s tubing hills or grab a hot chocolate while watching the lights of the Christmas Parade. On the other hand, during the summer, you and your family can swim at Hooker Falls or watch the rhododendron blooms at Craggy Gardens, which look like they’ve been taken from the pages of a storybook. 

Due to the pleasant all-year-round climate, you and your family are presented with various things to see and do, and the best part is that you’ll never have to worry about missing them due to extreme weather (or not being able to find your snowshoes!) ever again!