5 Things You Should Know BEFORE Moving to Chapel Hill, NC
If you are moving to Chapel Hill you are going to find out real fast why people love living here. In fact, we have Chapel Hill on our list of best places to live in North Carolina! So let's dive in and learn more about what it's like living in Chapel Hill!
Chapel Hill has stood since 1871 and has grown into a city with a great deal to offer to any who may be looking for a new place to call home.
Some have called Chapel Hill the “southern part of heaven,” and many who have spent time there would wholeheartedly agree. Home to a number of museums and historical sites, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as a growing economy and a diverse population, this established college town has more to offer than one might believe at first glance. Moving to Chapel Hill, NC is more than just a change in scenery, it's a different way of life. Check out some of the best neighborhoods in Chapel Hill!
A College Town
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is one of the oldest public universities in the country, and its student body of more than 24,000 students makes up nearly half of the city's population. With NC State a mere 30 miles away and the acclaimed Duke University a stone's throw away in Durham, the entire area is considered to be highly educated.
These universities and the cities that support them are sometimes referred to as the “research triangle.” This is in reference to the Research Triangle Park (RTP) which was established in the 50s and became a growth center for all manner of research companies. The downtown area is effectively merged with the 730-acre campus, and its restaurants, bars, and shops are filled with students at almost any hour of any day.
Economy, Housing, Cost of Living
Almost a quarter of Chapel Hill's professionals work in the sales, office or administrative support fields. Many of the admin jobs are connected to the university but that is by no means the length and breadth of your potential employment options in the city. Business, finance, material production, and transportation are the other largest sectors of employment, and while the work may be limited at times there are still plenty of opportunities to be found if you have the drive and/or flexibility to make the available jobs count.
The median household income sits around 60k a year which is part of what makes the city so affordable. If you haven't already check out the homes for sale in Chapel Hill, NC.
A lot of the people relocating are coming from much less affordable places whether it's the northeast or the west coast. Job growth is holding at 2.25% and the ten you projections at around 39%. Between Chapel Hill and its neighboring cities such as Raleigh, Durham, and Cary, you are likely going to find a great job right away.
The housing market in Chapel Hill is relatively stable, but prices and costs of living are higher than some may like. The median home price is around $330k, which is down from where it was in years past but still higher than the national average. Rent for a decent-sized one-bedroom apartment in town can run you between $500-700 and many do not include utilities.
Depending on where you're moving from that may be a beautiful thing or a painful one. If you're coming from some of the other nearby areas in North Carolina where you can pull in a one-bedroom for an average of $450 including water and lights, then it may be a bit of a sticker shock.
A Foodie's Paradise
Chapel Hill is one of America's “foodiest small towns” says Bon Appetite magazine. The college population has fueled the development of a truly wonderful social and restaurant scene, not to mention the nightlife. If you're looking for a place to enjoy a beer and Chapel Hill's famous “flying burrito” you'll have no problems finding it. Eclectic watering holes like 411 West and Elmo's Diner are some favorite local spots but in truth, there are almost too many to choose from. Check out the best restaurants in Chapel Hill!
Things To Do in Chapel Hill
There are quite a few interesting things to do in Chapel Hill, and while many of them are connected to or associated with the University, these are nonetheless unique spots that are well worth checking out. If you're looking for something artistic there is the Ackland Art Museum. If you're looking to get a bit of history you could check out the Carolina Basketball Museum or the Chapel Hill Museum. The Kidzu Children's Museums is a fun stop for anyone with young ones looking for a cool weekend trip, and the North Carolina Botanical Garden or Coker Arboretum will give you some variety if you just want to explore something natural and beautiful.
If you've been around a lot of the U.S you know that every town has its pros and cons, and you have to consider them and your own personal lifestyle before you make a move. Moving to Chapel Hill, NC may not be the right choice for everyone, but if you're looking for a place with a lot of action-packed into a small space then this might be a good destination to consider. For students, this may be the perfect place to get a great mix of higher education, nightlife, and business opportunity. Low crime rates, high average pay, and moderate weather help make Chapel Hill a real contender for anyone looking to make a change.
Additional Neighborhood Information:
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- Neighborhoods in Raleigh, NC
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