10 Pros and Cons of Living in North Carolina Right Now

Things To Know Before Moving To North Carolina

Today we are going to dive into the pros and cons of living in North Carolina.

Perhaps you are considering living in North Carolina vs South Carolina? Or, mulling over retirement in North Carolina pros and cons?

Whatever your reasons to consider North Carolina living. We have it covered.

And I want you to leave with the information to answer this question: Is North Carolina a good place to live?

So, there is no need to delay. Let’s get on with the top living in North Carolina pros and cons today…

pros and cons of living in North Carolina

Disclosure: At no cost to you, I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Pros And Cons Of Living In North Carolina

First of all, these are the top 10 North Carolina pros and cons:

  • Great sense of community
  • Low cost of living and economic opportunity
  • Temperate weather and mild winters
  • Abundant outdoor activities
  • Access to quality health care
  • High tax burden
  • Sub-par K-12 education
  • High crime rates
  • Lack of weather variety
  • Threat of hurricanes

Furthermore, today’s North Carolina living review will cover each of these points in detail.

But first, let’s hit the big question of the day…

Is North Carolina A Good Place To Live?

And I say?

This is no question about it.

The North Carolina quality of life is pretty good from my perspective.

Here’s why…

Benefits Of Living In North Carolina

First of all, don’t let the word north in this state’s name fool you. Because there is plenty of southern hospitality here. To soak up and enjoy.

And where does that come from? It is the friendly people living in this state.

Furthermore, you can stretch a dollar farther here. Since most North Carolina living costs fall below the national average.

This includes median home values, apartment rents, grocery bills, and transportation costs.

Finally, you can stay fit and healthy in this state too. By being active in the beautiful outdoor settings.

And by taking advantage of the state’s good health care services. When the time presents itself.

But, just like any state. Life in North Carolina is not perfect.

Let’s discuss…

Bad Things About North Carolina

First of all, the state presents a higher tax burden. Versus other states in the region.

Since income tax rates, property taxes, and sales taxes. All take a good cut out of the money you make and spend.

Furthermore, the state’s family-friendly reputation takes a hit too.

First, when you consider the crime rates in certain areas. And second, the need to be very selective when it comes to the school district in which you reside.

Finally, you won’t get to enjoy the four weather seasons. If that’s something you are accustomed to. And damaging hurricanes are a threat every year.

Okay. With those highlights about the pros and cons of moving to North Carolina covered.

It’s time to dig into the specifics. About the 10 advantages and disadvantages of living in North Carolina.

living in North Carolina pros and cons

And to begin on a positive note. I will start with the best reasons to move to North Carolina…

Great Sense Of Community

If you are looking for a place that makes you feel like you belong. Then the North Carolina lifestyle may be for you.

Here’s why…

History Of North Carolina

First of all, the state has a patriotic feel. And a rich history.

Since it is one of the original 13 colonies. That sought independence from British rule.

Diversity Of People Living In North Carolina

And I’ve already mentioned the friendly people. Plus southern hospitality. And the charm this state exudes.

But there is a diverse mix of backgrounds too.

For example, the younger generation. Attending and graduating from the state’s top-notch universities.

Then there are the down-to-earth locals. Having resided in the area for generations.

Plus the retirees. Flocking to the state. To escape the cold winters and urbanization up north.

Small-Town Or Big City Living In North Carolina

Best of all, the charm and sense of community aren’t reserved for the state’s small towns.

Because it is present in the bigger cities too. Such as the Raleigh-Durham metropolitan area. Also the state’s largest city, Charlotte.

In these places, some of the most diverse communities can be found.

Now, I have another one of the best reasons to live in North Carolina…

Low Cost Of Living And Economic Opportunity

As I said earlier, you can stretch a dollar a little further in this state.

Because the price of living in North Carolina is more affordable. Versus other places in the United States.

Some reasons why include…

Average Cost Of Living In North Carolina

First of all, according to BestPlace.net, the state’s median home prices are about 19% lower than the national average.

Furthermore, a World Population Review study suggests that apartment rental rates are affordable. Since they come in approximately 9% less than average rates across the country.

Finally, residents also tend to pay a little less for groceries, utilities, and transportation too.

Next, allow me to offer a couple of other suggestions. For making the most of these financial benefits of moving to North Carolina.

Or, better yet, anywhere you decide to move…

Get The Best Deal On Your North Carolina Home

Whether you decide to purchase real estate or rent. First, make sure your credit score is in good shape.

Because mortgage lenders and landlords will check to see if you have good credit. Be sure to stay one step ahead of them. And check your credit for free using Credit Karma.

If you have decided to buy instead. And are looking for a mortgage. Check out the online loans from Lending Tree.

For some of the best mortgage rates, you can find.

Then, to save more money…

Save On Your Every Day Living Expenses In North Carolina

First of all, sign up for the rebate service from Rakuten. And get cashback on everything you buy online.

Plus, Rakuten gives you $10 for signing up. For making your first purchase.

Furthermore, if you are like me. And still like to shop at the grocery store.

Get money back from the Ibotta app. For your in-store grocery purchases.

Finally, either way, you slice it. Rakuten and Ibotta are great ways to save money.

No matter where you choose to live.

Get Your Finances In Order Before Moving To North Carolina

Next, remember that moving is a big deal. So, don’t let it ruin your finances.

I use Personal Capital to pull all of my expenses and investments together in one place.

So I can keep a handle on my budget. And investments too.

Personal Capital saves time and makes managing money less of a chore. Best of all it’s FREE to sign up and use.

But, cutting costs is not the only way to make ends meet after relocating to North Carolina…

Jobs And Economic Opportunity When Living In North Carolina

Because you will find that good jobs are plentiful here.

As the job market is strong. And the unemployment rate is significantly below the national average.

Furthermore, if you own a business. Or, are thinking about starting one.

The corporate tax rate is a competitive advantage. Since the state has one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the county.

Finally, if it’s top-notch higher education you need. To kick start your career.

Be sure to look into:

  • North Carolina State University
  • University of North Carolina
  • Duke University

They are world-renowned centers of research, higher education, and learning.

Okay. Enough about money. And all the jobs and economic opportunities that “The Tar Heel State” has to offer.

Next, onto everyone’s favorite topic. It is another one of the best things about North Carolina…

Temperate Weather And Mild Winters

benefits of living in North Carolina

The weather is great. Because it is mild during the winter months.

Especially when compared to other parts of the country. For example, many other states have intense periods of cold and multiple snowstorms every year.

But not North Carolina living. Unless you are in the mountains. Extreme cold and frequent or heavy snow are very rare.

So, enjoy the great outdoors in comfort. And even play outside with your children. On many occasions during the winter season.

Finally, here’s an interesting point. Because you will run across people referred to as “halfbacks”.

They are Northerners who first decided to migrate or retire to Florida. But found the tropical climate there too much to take.

And moved halfway back. To where? North Carolina!

Now, I have one of my favorite perks of living in North Carolina…

Abundant Outdoor Activities

I love getting out and enjoying the outdoors. And the state shines bright with an abundance of outdoor recreational opportunities.

And one of the cool things about North Carolina? Is that you can drive across the whole state in about 6 hours.

To find exactly the activity you are looking for…

For The Adventuresome Living In North Carolina

Hiking. Between the Blue Ridge Mountains. And the Appalachian Mountains that are shared with the state next door being Tennessee.

There are 100s of miles of hiking trails. For beginners. And highly advanced hikers too.

Biking. The same terrain makes for some awesome mountain biking. Or challenge your road biking fitness on some steep mountain roads.

Boating and fishing. This state has many lakes and rivers that are wide, long, and deep.

Thus, great for fishing, water sports, and boating of all kinds.

For The Less Adventurous Living In North Carolina

Beaches. There are miles and miles of sandy beaches here. Along the state’s seacoast.

And it’s hard to go wrong with any beach you choose to visit…

Be it in the port city of Wilmington.

A beach farther north near Surf City.

Or, the spectacular sandy beaches of the Outer Banks. That refers to the barrier islands. Separating the Atlantic ocean from the mainland.

They are similar to Assateague Island. A 37-mile barrier island. And national park. Off the coastal state of Maryland.

Golf. There are so many golf courses in the state.

A course to match every player’s game. Plus the temperate climate means you can hit the links almost year around.

Views. And for the less adventurous outdoorsmen and women. Just get out and enjoy the views.

Including the colorful sunsets to the west. The sun rising over an Atlantic beach.

Or the mist on the peaks of the Smoky Mountains. Just to the west of Asheville.

For The Hungry After A Hard Day Outside

And there is the barbeque. I’m not sure if this qualifies as an outdoor activity exactly?

But barbeque can be a competitive outdoor sport in the state. Centered around pork that is smoked low and slow.

With 2 regional styles of barbeque sauce. First, one with a vinegar and pepper base. Second, a classic ketch-up base with plenty of saucy seasonings.

Finally, I want to share one last of the pros of living in North Carolina…

Access To Quality Health Care

Health care will probably cost you a little more here.

But, it may be worth it. Because, more often than not, you get what you pay for.

First of all, the state is home to several excellent medical schools at

  • Duke University
  • East Carolina University
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Wake Forest University 

Furthermore, there is the Duke University Medical Center. Also the UNC Hospitals. Two highly respected health care centers.

These healthcare systems house dozens of specialty divisions, clinics, and departments. For diagnosing and treating illness or injury anywhere on your body or mind.

With dozens of highly trained medical specialists ready to work with you. In the most advanced medical facilities.

Okay. That concludes my 5 advantages of living in North Carolina.

But, the pros and cons of living in North Carolina would not be complete.

Without an assessment of some reasons not to move to North Carolina.

So, here goes…

pros and cons of moving to North Carolina

High Tax Burden

Moving to North Carolina means you will have to deal with a relatively high tax burden.

And the state hits you in several different ways. When it comes to paying taxes…

Individual Income Tax Rates

The state has a flat income tax system. That just means no matter how much money you make. Everyone is subject to the same tax rate.

And the rate is fairly high at 5.25%.

Especially when you consider a state like Washington. Or closer by states like Tennesse and Flordia. None of which levy a state income tax.

Property Taxes When Living In North Carolina

Real estate taxes are no bargain either. Although you can find more than one state with higher property taxes. Without trying very hard.

But, North Carolina’s average property tax rate is still north of .8%. Applied to the assessed value of your property.

That is a lot. Considering you can hop the state’s southern border.

And find property tax rates up to one-third less. Just by choosing to live in the state of South Carolina.

Next, I have another one of the tax cons of living in North Carolina…

Sales Taxes

Because the state’s sales tax rate is high too. Combine the state’s base sales tax rate. With the additional amount, local municipalities can add on.

And you will see rates pushing 7% on your purchases. This too is a lot of tax.

Think about a state like Oregon. Or closer by New Hampshire. A couple in the minority. Specifically, states that have no sales tax.

But I have one good thing about the state’s tax rates. Especially for those people thinking over retirement in North Carolina pros and cons…

Social Security Taxes

Because retirement living in North Carolina. Coupled with collecting federal social security benefits after you move.

It means this state cuts you a tax break. Since North Carolina does not include your social security benefits as part of your taxable income.

Okay. That’s enough about taxes.

But, I’ve got another one of the reasons not to live in North Carolina…

Sub-Par K-12 Education

Education in "The Tar Heel State"

The K-12 education system is average here. Versus other states in the country.

And, there are some things. That keeps the quality ratings of education down.

For example, you can specifically point to poorer performance as it relates to:

  • High school graduation rates
  • ACT and SAT standardized test scores
  • Reading scores
  • Student to teacher ratios
  • Percentage of residents without high school diplomas

So, for a state with excellent options in higher education. The K-12 school system falls a little short.

However, there are pockets of quality. Requiring parents to be selective in where they choose to live.

Or, find a place in your budget. For private school tuition.

Next, one of the worst things about North Carolina…

High Crime Rates

First of all, this state has higher crime rates. That a potentially new and law-abiding resident would prefer not to see.

Furthermore, when moving to a new state. Where crime is prevalent, and a regular problem.

It means you will need to be cautious in how you live your life. And where you choose to live.

Since North Carolina ranks in the bottom half of all states. For both violent crimes. And property crime.

That said, there are plenty of safe places to live in the state. But, it’s just like picking a good school district.

Do your research before settling down.

On the other hand, if you are looking for some of the safest states to live in. Consider a state like New Hampshire. Or, its border states of Maine and Vermont.

Those places have some of the lowest crime rates in the country. But, they also have very cold winters to deal with.

But that is an example of the good and bad of each different state.

Next, back to everyone’s favorite topic! The weather.

Because there are few things to consider. That may be part of the negatives of living in North Carolina…

Lack Of Weather Variety

There are some disadvantages to living in a climate with mild winters.

No Four Weather Season Living In North Carolina

If you are moving to North Carolina. From a place that has distinct seasonal weather patterns.

Then, you may not like North Carolina life.

Because most of the state does not experience the chill of late fall and early winter.

Furthermore, there is little snow to speak of. In case you were dreaming of a white Christmas.

And the dramatic reawakening. That comes from a spring thaw. Is just not part of the weather dynamic here.

So, if you are must have 4-season weather conditions. And like to shovel a little snow around the winter holidays.

Then maybe you should consider living in a state like Indiana. Just to throw out one example that comes to mind.

And another one of the things to know about living in North Carolina…

North Carolina Living Means Hot Summers

The summers are hot and humid here.

In some cases, it gets to 90 degrees or more. And for many days in a row.

So, if you have a problem with high temperatures. Then this state is not the one for you to move to. Or, retire in.

On the other hand, if you are firm about coming to North Carolina. But the summer heat is not your thing.

Then relocate near the mountains in the west part of the state. Where the temperatures will tend to be moderately cooler.

Finally, the last item on our list of top living in North Carolina pros and cons.

And this one may be one of the worst things about North Carolina…

Threat Of Hurricanes

If you are thinking of moving to North Carolina. Think of it this way.

When you choose to live here. You are selecting a location that is always at risk for hurricanes. Mostly during the summer and early fall months.

So, if that type of thing freaks you out. And I don’t blame you if it does.

Then maybe you should consider relocating to another state. With the lesser potential for ocean storms like hurricanes.

Or, just like beating the summer heat. Consider relocating farther inland to a location closer to the mountains.

To avoid the worst of the devasting destruction. That the state’s hurricanes can dish out.

Okay. That concludes my review of the pros and cons of North Carolina.

Allow me to wrap it up with a summary.

Pros And Cons Of Living In North Carolina

cons of living in North Carolin

My top 10 pros and cons of living in North Carolina include:

  • Great sense of community
  • Low cost of living and economic opportunity
  • Temperate weather and mild winters
  • Abundant outdoor activities
  • Access to quality health care
  • High tax burden
  • Sub-par K-12 education
  • High crime rates
  • Lack of weather variety
  • Threat of hurricanes

Now you know a bit about what North Carolina is like. And can answer this question for yourself: Is North Carolina a good state to live in?

I think so. But, it’s up to you to decide!

More Reading About The Pros And Cons Of Life In North Carolina And Far Beyond.

Best Money Resources For Moving To North Carolina (or anywhere)


Author Bio, Disclosure, & Disclaimer: Please join me (Tom) as I try to achieve my goals, find my next place to live, and make the most of my money. But understand, I am not a licensed investment adviser, financial adviser, real estate agent, or tax professional. I’m a 50-something-year-old guy, CPA, retired finance professional, and part-time business school teacher with 40+ years of DIY investing experience. I’m just here because I enjoy sharing my findings and research on important topics. However, nothing published on this site should be considered individual investment advice, financial guidance, or tax counsel. Because this website’s only purpose is general information & entertainment. As a result, neither I nor Dividends Diversify can be held liable for any losses suffered by any party because of the information published on this blog. Finally, all written content is the property of Dividends Diversify LLC. Unauthorized publication elsewhere is strictly prohibited.

The Pros And Cons Of Living In North Carolina Explained