Moving to North Carolina

North Carolina, “The Tar Heel State”, is located  in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west, Virginia to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east.

When you move to North Carolina, expect southern hospitality at its best: Helpful people, a reasonable cost-of-living, and your choice of cities, suburbs, beachfront property or rural areas in the mountains or on the coast.

Check with your real estate agent or landlord prior to the move to find out if a moving permit is required. In the city of Greensboro, for instance, a permit may be required if your moving activities will block the sidewalk on moving day. Moving to rural or suburban areas of North Carolina or to a city home with a driveway should require no special permits since you can unload the moving truck on your own property without obstructing traffic. Permits are necessary for moving an entire house or mobile home to North Carolina or through different areas of the state and for oversize vehicles, but your professional movers should take care of that process.

Research carefully, since everything from population density to property taxes and even climate varies widely.

If you enjoy the four seasons, but not to any extreme, North Carolina’s moderate temperatures make the state a smart move. The state’s temperate weather averages about 50 F during the day in the winter and up to 90 degrees F in the summer. However, it is often about 20 degrees cooler in the mountains, where snow is normal during the winter. In parts of the Appalachians, temperatures drop below the average winter temperature in Buffalo, New York, one of the coldest cities in the North.

The perception exists that North Carolina has a low cost of living and high quality of life. With options such as beachfront property or mountain homes, mid-size cities or suburbs, it’s true that North Carolina offers something for nearly everyone, at every income level or demographic.

Is life really less expensive in North Carolina? It is. The consumer price index (CPI) is 209, 6.7 percent lower than the US city average. This isn’t just statistics, either. There’s a huge difference in the cost of living between New York, NY, and Asheville, NC, a mountain city with rich cultural diversity, arts, music and nightlife.

The cost of living in Asheville is 44 percent lower than New York City, while salaries are only 27 percent lower, resulting in more disposable income and a better quality of life. North Carolina is 16th in the country in per capita income, indicating a healthy economy.

North Carolina currently has no tolls roads, which will help keep costs low on a move across the state. The debate over toll roads in the state has been stewing since 2002, when the North Carolina Turnpike Authority was founded to implement and oversee up to nine toll road projects across the state.

Transportation systems in North Carolina consist of air, water, road, rail, and public transportation including intercity rail via Amtrak and light rail in Charlotte. North Carolina currently has no tolls roads, as it has the second-largest state highway system in the country and has a growing passenger rail system with Amtrak serving most major cities, as well as the largest ferry system on the east coast.Charlotte is also home to North Carolina’s only light rail system known as the Lynx. The debate over toll roads in  the state has been stewing since 2002, when the North Carolina Turnpike Authority was founded to implement and oversee up to nine toll road projects across the state.

Like so many other things in North Carolina, commuting time varies widely depending on your occupation and where you live. Army bases like Camp Lejeune and Fort Bragg have an average commuting time of just 11 minutes, while those in rural regions may have a commute of 40 minutes or more into the nearest city to work.

North Carolina has 115 public school systems, each of which is overseen by a local school board and is home to many excellent universities as well as dozens of community colleges and private universities.

North Carolina is an eco-conscious state; tourism is the second largest industry. Every year the Appalachian Mountains attract several million tourists to the Western part of the state, including the historic Biltmore Estate. The scenic Blue Ridge Parkway and Great Smoky Mountains National Park are the two most visited national park and unit in the United States with over 25 million visitors in 2013. The City of Asheville is consistently voted as one of the top places to visit and live in the United States, known for its rich art deco architecture, mountain scenery and outdoor activities, and liberal and happy residents. Preserving the natural environment to continue to attract tourists who love North Carolina for its mountains and beaches is important, so the state promotes commuting measures such as bicycling to work or carpooling.