North Carolina’s beautiful Atlantic Coast, Appalachian Mountains and Piedmont Region offer a variety of culture, outdoor recreation and business and career opportunities that make it a wonderful place to live. Before you make the move to the Tar Heel State, here’s everything you need to know!
Keep the following tips in mind when moving to North Carolina:
- People in North Carolina are really quite friendly and helpful, so if you need information or assistance, don’t be afraid to ask!
- You will not need a moving permit when moving to North Carolina, but the cities are generally busy during weekdays. Contact your local city ahead of time to find out if any parking restrictions apply.
- Summers get very hot, so try to avoid heavy lifting during the heat of the day.
- Springtime is the rainiest season, so try to avoid moving to North Carolina during this time of year.
Change your address online. To make your move from California to North Carolina easier, consider changing your address online. It is easy to do, inexpensive, and will ensure that your mail arrives to your new home with you.
Cost of Living
North Carolina has made the headlines in the past couple of years as one of the most attractive states in the country. Boasting job growth (particularly high-tech and science-oriented jobs in the so-called Research Triangle that spans the hub cities of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill), a high quality of life, and a low cost of living, North Carolina has attracted newcomers and companies alike. This situation has been exacerbated by the pandemic, and the North Carolina housing market has become very competitive, with remote workers moving to the state as well.
The cost of living in North Carolina is 6.7 percent lower than the national average cost of living. Of course, your cost of living will depend on where you settle in the state and on the lifestyle you want to maintain. But in general, North Carolina is 16th in the country in per capita income, indicating a healthy economy.
However, after a market peak in June 2022, when the median property sale price reached $363,500, the housing market in North Carolina is showing signs of slowing down following the aggressive interest rate hike policy initiated by the Federal Reserve Bank in March 2020 to fight against inflation. According to data collected in September 2022, the median property price dropped slightly to $346,600, representing a 10% increase compared to a year prior.
North Carolina residents experience all four seasons with moderate temperatures. Each of the three regions – coastal, mountain and Piedmont – may vary within four to eight degrees with an annual average low of 46 degrees and a high of 74 degrees. Annual rainfall is between 37 inches and 58 inches. The mountains receive an average of 13 inches of snow per year, and coastal and Piedmont are far below that with just one inch to four inches per year.
There are a number of renowned educational institutions that students of all ages can attend when moving to North Carolina. Current school rankings (elementary, middle and high schools), campus and district zoning/location maps, information and reviews are available online for parents moving to North Carolina. What follows are some of the top-ranked elementary and high schools, as well as some notable colleges:
- Metrolina Regional Scholars Academy
- Raleigh Charter High School
- Quest Academy
- Magellan Charter
- Triangle Math and Science Academy
- Endeavor Charter
- Sterling Montessori Academy
- Tiller School
- Exploris Middle School
- Greensboro Academy
Top Universities in North Carolina
- University of North Carolina
- North Carolina State University
- Duke University
- East Carolina University
- Appalachian State University
If you are moving to North Carolina and need government information, North Carolina’s Official State Web Portal provides many of the things you will need to know about your new state. Here are a few important facts and specific resources:
- You will have to pay an excise tax of 5 percent on any vehicle you own that has not been taxed in a different state.
- There are currently no toll roads in North Carolina, but there are plans to turn a number of Interstate routes such as I-22, I-26 and I-385 into partial toll roads in order to relieve traffic congestion.
- In many areas of North Carolina, trash collection is handled by the city or the town, so you probably won’t have to arrange garbage pick-up services. Waste disposal and management is handled by the North Carolina Department of Environment
- If you are over 18 and hold a valid driver’s license from another state, you may not need to take another driving test when you move to North Carolina. Find out where your local Department of Motor Vehicles office is.