Moving to Raleigh NC? Here’s What You Need to Know

Raleigh NC Skyline

Raleigh, NC, continues to be one of the best places to live in the U.S. If you’re thinking of moving to the capital of North Carolina, New Home Inc. has put together a Raleigh relocation guide for an insider’s look. Whether you are relocating to Raleigh from another state or just moving from a neighboring city, here’s what you need to know about moving to Raleigh, NC.

Strong job market stays strong

One of the big draws for people relocating to Raleigh is that you can enjoy a great place to live AND work. In 2022, North Carolina was chosen by Forbes Magazine as #1 on the list of Best States for Business, a recognition the state has earned for three years in a row!

The Research Triangle—which spans the areas bounded by Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill—represents one of the top 10 tech job hubs in North America. Research Triangle Park is a sprawling commercial area that spans 7,000 acres and houses hundreds of companies. Fortune 500 corporate giants—like Apple, Google, Amazon, IBM, Bank of America, and Cisco—have established major centers for operations at Research Triangle Park.

In addition to the technology opportunities in the Raleigh job market, you’ll find a wide variety of other industries for new jobs in Raleigh, including education, medicine, technology, biomedical sciences, data science, and engineering. Top employers in Raleigh include Duke University and Health System, the State of North Carolina, Wake County Public School System, and WakeMed Health & Hospitals. With so many opportunities, it’s not surprising that the Raleigh unemployment rate is lower than the national average of 3.7%

Affordable housing market

Raleigh is a competitive housing market. As of November 2022, home prices in Raleigh were up 10.5% compared to the same time last year, with a median sales price of $410,000. Homes stay on the market for about 39 days. But there is good news for people who are relocating to Raleigh! There are still plenty of affordable new homes for sale in Raleigh and many of its surrounding areas. 

Compared to markets like NYC, DC, Miami, Seattle, or San Francisco, you’re going to get a lot more house for your money in Raleigh. For example, Raleigh home prices are:

  • 39.3% less than in NYC
  • 48% less than in DC
  • 16.3% less than in Miami
  • 39% less than in Seattle
  • 58% less than in San Francisco 

With the strength of the Raleigh job market, you’ll be able to command a high salary in Raleigh. Your dollars will stretch much further than in these other markets. 

As you’re thinking about moving to Raleigh, keep in mind that you have a great choice of Raleigh suburbs to consider. Fuquay-Varina, Apex, Selma, Smithfield, and Lillington give you more ways to experience your perfect Raleigh lifestyle. New Home Inc. is building new homes for sale in Raleigh and these Raleigh suburbs. Take your pick of single-family homes and townhomes, all within a reasonable commute of Downtown Raleigh and Research Triangle Park. And each of these Raleigh suburbs offer its own unique advantages and things to do.

Great weather in all 4 seasons

One of the advantages of living in Raleigh is that you experience all four seasons—but without intensely hot summers or freezing cold winters. Year-round Raleigh weather provides a temperate climate you’ll appreciate!

 The “cold season” only lasts from about November to February, and even then, average daily highs reach about 59°. It can get cool at night, with winter lows hovering around the freezing mark, but it’s still nothing compared to the ice and snow of the frigid Northeast. 

If you’re moving to Raleigh from Miami or another tropical climate, Raleigh winters will probably be refreshing. You’ll also enjoy plenty of sunshine! Summertime highs easily reach the upper 80s, and with the heat index, it can feel even warmer. This weather is great, though, for the outdoor recreation that North Carolina is so well known for. 

Raleigh is a paradise for outdoor recreation fanatics

North Carolina’s natural landscapes—hills, mountains, streams, and ocean—offer everything the outdoors lover wants.  Our Raleigh relocation guide isn’t complete without sharing the many ways you can get your fill of fresh air fun.

Raleigh is located in the Piedmont area of the state, with gently sloping hills. If you want a higher high, take a ride to the mountain ranges to the north and west. When you want to take in the coastal vibe, head east to the ocean, or treat yourself to one of the many streams and lakes near Raleigh.

As you consider moving to Raleigh, you should also know that the region offers 180 miles of scenic greenway trails to ride, walk, or jog along. Just 10 miles from Raleigh, William B. Umstead State Park is a popular place for locals to camp, hike, bike, horseback ride, paddle, fish, picnic, and just relax in the beautiful North Carolina outdoors.

What’s your sport of choice? Basketball, tennis, golf, softball, soccer, pickleball, skateboarding, cycling, swimming, disc golf, dodgeball, kickball, or climbing? All around the city, take your pick of athletic parks, aquatic centers, recreation facilities, gyms, and even a BMX track

And if your outdoor recreation includes your four-legged companion, living in Raleigh means dog parks galore!

Living in Raleigh NC gives you a front-row seat to sports

If you are coming from a sports town, you’ll score a big win by moving to Raleigh NC. In fact, we may just make you a Carolina Hurricanes fan! Aside from NHL hockey, there are also professional men’s and women’s soccer teams, and six colleges and universities offering thrill-filled collegiate sports of all kinds. NC State’s Wolfpack basketball games never fail to draw a lively crowd of cheering fans.

Raleigh loves to celebrate!

Do you love festivals and special events? Here’s one more reason for moving to Raleigh. As you might expect, the North Carolina capital is big on celebrations. From major festivals and events to romantic date nights, you’ll never run out of fun and interesting things to do in Raleigh. 

If you resolved to eat healthier in 2023, you might have to give yourself a break for the Krispy Kreme Challenge in February, where you run a 5K and stop halfway to eat a dozen donuts!

Music lovers also love Raleigh. Plan on the annual Dreamville Fest, a springtime outdoor weekend music festival, and the Hopscotch Musical Festival. And CueGrass always serves a satisfying blend of bluegrass music and finger-lickin’ barbecue. 

For food and brew, arts, crafts, culture, and more, Raleigh’s climate is perfect for festivals. While living in Raleigh, plan on attending some of the can’t miss events: Brewgaloo (April),  Artsplosure/Raleigh Arts Festival (May), Animazement (May), Raleigh International Food Festival (June), Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo (September), Triangle Oktoberfest (October), the North Carolina State Fair (October) at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, and the beloved Raleigh Christmas Parade (November). 

In addition, individual neighborhoods host their own lineup of events that celebrate local food, people, and holidays. There is truly something different to do every weekend of the year in Raleigh.

Fine food and craft beer is everywhere

Raleigh is a foodie and craft beer aficionado’s paradise. Whatever you’re craving, it’s here. 

Many restaurants are locally owned and operated and rely on a farm-to-table focus. The restaurant industry is a driving force of the local economy, providing jobs and careers for thousands. Whether your palate is yearning for famous Carolina BBQ, traditional southern, or delicacies from around the world, you don’t have to go far to feast on the best around. 

As popular as craft beer is across the nation, Raleigh has remained at the forefront of this booming scene. There are dozens of craft brew houses in Raleigh alone, with hundreds more within driving distance. Our Raleigh relocation guide editors found this complete source of North Carolina breweries and taprooms

It’s so easy to get there from here

If you’re moving to Raleigh NC from out of state, or your career takes you on the road (or in the air) often, Raleigh is perfectly positioned on the East Coast to get where you need to go. Living in Raleigh, you’ll fly out of Raleigh-Durham International Airport and go anywhere domestically or abroad. You can fly to New York or Atlanta in about an hour and a half, to DC in just over an hour, and to Miami in about two hours. Raleigh’s access to six major highways means you can easily get to other cities within the region—like Greensboro, Fayetteville, Wilmington, and Charlotte. 

Top quality education makes it a smart choice

Raleigh is one of the most educated cities in the U.S. A high percentage of people living in Raleigh and the surrounding areas have earned a college degree (undergraduate or higher). The Raleigh-Durham area is home to some of the world’s most prestigious universities.Duke University, UNC Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University are nationally ranked research institutions and a leading reason that so many global tech corporations establish offices in the area, where they can attract high-level talent. 

The quality education isn’t just at the higher levels. Access to high-quality education is a priority among Raleigh-area residents. In terms of primary education, both Wake County Public Schools and Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools are top-rated districts, according to GreatSchools

Take your pick of appealing Raleigh suburbs and communities 

Raleigh is a blend of communities that each has their own unique lifestyle. Raleigh suburbs give you easy access to the urban adventures of North Carolina’s capital city, with a little bit of distance when you want something with less traffic, larger homes, and more affordable home prices. But you don’t have to sacrifice convenience or community character for it. New Home Inc. is developing communities of new homes for sale in Raleigh and the surrounding cities and towns of Fuquay-Varina, Apex, Selma, Smithfield, and Lillington. Whether you want the convenience of a townhome’s lock-and-leave lifestyle or the spaciousness of a single-family home with a yard, look at our available homes for sale. Depending on when you’re planning on moving to Raleigh, you can get the latest updates when you sign up for the New Home Inc. VIP List.

Need more relocation info? Here are additional New Home Inc. resources on living in Raleigh, NC: