So, you’ve decided to flee the nest? Congratulations! Although living in your parent’s basement can be beneficial while you find your feet, it’s not a suitable long-term solution, so when you finally get around to moving, it can be a big deal for you (and the ‘rents!). However, despite your initial excitement, moving is a massive milestone that requires much decision-making, with your first choice being where to move to.
Whether you still want to be close to home or if you’d like to move across states (so the ‘rents can’t come around unannounced!) to a Gen-Z-friendly state like North Carolina, the world is your oyster! But how do you decide which borough to settle in a large state like North Carolina? With excellent academic opportunities, renowned Southern hospitality, and an easy-going coastal lifestyle, many homes are for sale in The Old North State for young adults looking for a fresh start.
So, if you’re wondering which cities in The Old North State are the best for young people to live in, we’ve created this article outlining several places you should consider according to real estate agents and locals. From Winston-Salem and Charlotte to Raleigh and Asheville, keep reading to discover your ideal city.
5 Best Cities in Old North State For Young Adults to Live
Suppose you’ve been skrimping and saving for your big move for what feels like forever, but you still don’t have enough to comfortably live in areas like Charlotte or Asheville. In that case, you could consider compromising and making Hickory the destination for your first home. Plus, it’s about an hour’s drive from Charlotte and Asheville, so you won’t be far from your original goal.
With a population of over 39,000, Hickory is situated at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and is described by many visitors as an ideal location for those with the ‘hipster’ aesthetic. It has earned this reputation because of its small-town hospitality and the vintage shops, craft breweries, farm shops, and local restaurants that offer farm-to-table culinary delights.
Due to this, Hickory attracts young people that want all the amenities the city offers but on a much smaller scale and those who want to enjoy the activities the Blue Ridge Mountains offer but on a much more affordable scale. And that’s not the only thing that is affordable in Hickory! With a median property tax rate of 0.66%, it’s not a costly place to live, either!
Equipped with a low cost of living, ample recreational opportunities, good schools, and a stable job market, Hickory is the perfect city for young people fleeing the nest. With prominent North Carolina cities like Charlotte and Asheville so close, you can take a road trip to the city whenever you get the urge to spread your wings!
No list of the best cities for young adults to live in The Old North State would be complete without mentioning the ‘Queen City’ itself. Being North Carolina’s largest city, with a population of over 800,000, you can imagine that Charlotte has a little bit of everything for everyone, whether they’re retirees, entrepreneurs, families, or young adults moving to charlotte.
From enjoying a mild all-season-round climate and a thriving nightlife to expansive shopping malls and excellent academic opportunities, the Queen City’s offerings are just as substantial as the area itself.
However, one of the main reasons that Charlotte attracts such a younger population isn’t because of the over forty colleges and universities dotted around the city but its affordability. You only have to glance at the homes for sale in Charlotte to see what the city has to offer in terms of value, and combined with a low cost of living; it makes an ideal area for young adults to find their first home.
With this knowledge, young adults can shop for real estate in Charlotte, knowing that they’re bound to find an ideal home with the added reassurance that they can afford it, unlike some of the more expensive cities in North Carolina, like Morehead City, Asheville, and Wilmington.
If you’d like a better idea of what your budget could get you in terms of real estate in Charlotte, consider visiting the sites of local real estate agents like EZHomeSearch. Using their site, you can filter properties according to your budget, heart your favorite homes for sale, create saved searches, etc., making the search for your Charlotte home much more straightforward.
Not to be confused with Salem in Massachusetts, famous for its 1692 witch trials. Winston-Salem is the perfect North Carolina city to relocate to if you desire small-town charm but don’t want to miss out on big-city amenities. Due to the prestigious Wake Forest University, the city has a large population of young people, but it is far from being a typical college city.
As well as having plenty of excellent schools and universities for those with school-aged children (or planning to have them!), Winston-Salem is also attractive to home-buyers because of the low cost of living, affordable housing, lots of green spaces, and much more. So, if you want to stretch your money as much as possible, you might find that Winston-Salem is the place to do it!
According to local real estate agents, the median price for a property in Winston-Salem was $250K, with the housing costs being 41.7% lower than the national average. To give you an estimated cost of living here, residents pay around 5% less for groceries and 3.5% less than in other states for utilities.
Suppose you’re fleeing the nest with your high-school sweetheart. In this case, you could consider moving to one of North Carolina’s most safe and family-friendly cities like Morrisville. Located in the Wake/Durham County area, with a population of over 28,000, Morrisville has a suburban feel as described by residents and local real estate agents.
The city has become a popular place for families, retirees, and family-orientated couples to settle based on its low crime rate, low cost of living, robust job market, good schools, and much more. Another reason Morrisville is attractive to first-time buyers is its location, as it makes it easier for young working professionals to commute to the Triangle and young parents to do the school run.
Not only that, but houses for sale in Morrisville are also desirable for those who like the opportunities that cities like Raleigh offer but can then escape the hustle and bustle in the quiet, safe, and family-centered streets of Morrisville. Renowned for its diverse and vibrant culture, Morrisville is the perfect place for family-centered young adults to make their first home.
If you love the feeling of the sun on their skin and the sand in between their toes, there is no doubt that Wilmington will be at the top of your potential ‘move to’ cities. Offering its residents an all-year-round beach vacation (cheaper than the Outer Banks!), the seaport city has something for every kind of resident, whether young adults, retirees, entrepreneurs, or otherwise.
Whether you’d like to do a little sightseeing on one of Wilmington’s cruise boats or you’d prefer to indulge in some retail therapy in one of the many shopping malls, the city has hundreds of diverse attractions that are sure to make you fall in love with the city – if you haven’t been captivated by its Southern charm already!