12 Things to Know BEFORE Moving to Durham, NC!

January 31st, 2022

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12 Things to Know BEFORE Moving to Durham, NC!

Living in Durham, NC

Find out why 70+ people are Moving to the Durham area Daily in 2022!

Moving to Durham, NC 2017 - Reasons to Love Living in Durham, NC. Raleigh Realty - Infographic

For anyone moving to Durham, NC, or considering the move, you'll want to be sure to read this article first or contact us directly! 

12 Things to Know Before Moving to Durham, NC

There are so many things to do in Durham a lot of which you will find in this article. The city itself is located just west of Raleigh and north of Chapel Hill and has a population of around 275,000.

Is Durham a good place to live?

Many folks have written reviews online around living in Durham and the city was recently ranked as the 23rd best city to live in the United States by Livability. That score should only continue to improve as well since Durham is a city committed to being great and finding ways to improve whether it's increasing the jobs or building more infrastructure. Living in Durham, North Carolina is something many folks from other areas love thanks to its affordability. Durham is an inexpensive place to live relatively speaking for the folks who are moving here from California, the northeast, Chicago, Florida, etc. Surprisingly, a lot of people from Texas are making the move to the Durham area and for these folks, the city may be a tad bit more expensive though the cost of living is pretty similar.

The reviews are in on living in Durham, here are the reasons so many many people love it!

Durham, NC - Duke University Blue Devils BasketballThe People you Meet

Easily one of my favorite parts about Durham is the great people you meet in the city. With a population above 260,000, Durham is a mid-sized city with a great deal of personality and character.

The backbone of Durham is Duke University, one of the best colleges in the country. The University and students make the city something special. If you have the opportunity it's definitely worth checking out!

With 1.2 million people in the Raleigh-Durham area, you will never run out of new people to meet!


Durham is home to some of the best neighborhoods in the Triangle area, especially if you love living among mature trees, yet in close proximity to the action! Drop us a line in the comments section below to let us know what type of neighborhood or community you are looking for and we will jump in with some recommendations!

The Brightleaf community is a new one in Durham that is also near RTP, Brier Creek, and offers easy access to Raleigh!


The community is one of the best reasons to relocate. Durham has a great feeling of community and that is a direct result of the cities history, culture, Duke University, and the number of people who are transitioning to North Carolina.

With the type of growth that Durham is experiencing it's no wonder, so many people were not born in the city. The secret is out, Durham is a great place to live. From the northeast and west coast, people are moving to Durham for the same reasons that are listed in this article!


The Research Triangle Park, the hospitals, and the schools are the backbone of economic opportunity in Durham. The city is a fast-growing hub for technology and medicine. Recently, companies like Amazon and Google have chosen the Triangle to set up new warehouses and offices.

The Triangle area itself has one of the best unemployment rates and Durham's neighbor, Raleigh has been ranked the #1 place for job happiness in the country.

Whether you're moving to Durham with or without a job it will all work out for you. There are plenty of ways to get started with employment in the triangle so that you can handle your expenses as well as ways to move into new, more permanent roles. Fortunately, with the growth of Raleigh-Durham there is job opportunity all around the Triangle.

If you're looking for jobs in Durham, let us know and we may be able to connect you with someone to help!

Brightleaf Square in Durham, NC a Foodie's Paradise!Food

Durham is one of the hottest foodie destinations in the south, and one of the city's best-kept secrets! If you enjoy good food, drink, and entertainment you will love the Brightleaf area. Loaded with great restaurants, you can see a picture of the square here.

Southern Living rated Durham as the south's tastiest town, and it's an award that was earned!

If you have the opportunity to visit Durham be sure to check out Dame's Chicken and Waffles, it constantly shows up on the list of best restaurants in the area!

Be sure to check out Amber Watson's blog Bites of Bull City where she does an incredible job keeping the locals up to date on current restaurant openings and happenings, as well as a great place for outsiders to learn more about Durham Restaurants!


One of the biggest reasons people are moving to Durham is the affordability factor. The affordability of the northeast and the west coast is driving people to look for a better quality of life in North Carolina. We have a huge influx of people relocating here specifically for affordability and economic opportunity.

Is Durham NC an expensive place to live? Housing expenses in Durham are 27% less than the national average while utility costs are 13% lower than the national average. For retirees, the cost of living is 3.7% less than the national average making it an affordable place to live. The cost of living in Durham is less than the national average and that is part of the attraction to the bull city.

If you're looking to buy real estate, have a steady job, and send your kids to good schools, the Raleigh-Durham area is a definite spot to check out! There is a reason why the city is growing so fast, people love living here!

Durham, NC WeatherWeather

The weather in Durham is reason enough to make the move. In December you can wear a T-shirt. Many of the folks who are relocating to Durham are doing so thanks to the weather.

Mild winters are one of the main reasons people from the northeast continue to move south. If it snows, it is typically gone within a day and the snowfall is usually little, to begin with.

Nine months of the year you will see the average high is sixty degrees and above making it easy for those transitioning from harsher climates.

The image from weather.com shows the average monthly temperatures and what to expect should you be relocating to the city of Durham!


Forbes ranked Raleigh and Durham as two of the top three most educated cities in the United States. There is a high importance on education in the Triangle area which stems from the local universities. With Duke, UNC, and NC State all within a 30-minute drive from one another students have a great opportunity to continue their education at a great local University! 

Niche and GreatSchools are two websites that do a great job helping potential students understand which schools are the top-ranked in Durham, NC.


Durham is the county seat of Durham County and makes up a large part of the Triangle area.

Durham's growth began to explode after the civil war, on the heels of the fast-growing tobacco industry. For a long time, Tobacco is what Durham, NC was known for. When the armies passed through the city they fell in love with their milder tobacco and started ordering it via the mail. That is when 'Bull Durham Tobacco Factory' was born.

Are you familiar with Duke University? Here is how the name came about...

The rise of Durham's economic growth began with the tobacco industry as the Bull Durham Tobacco company and the W. Duke and Sons Tobacco company began to thrive and prosper. Washington Duke, the owner of W. Duke and Sons Tobacco company raised sons who became excellent business people in Durham. They formed a monopoly on the smoking and tobacco industry by 1900. By 1910 the Federal Government had to step in and break them up under antitrust laws.

If you live in Durham, you know about Duke Energy, the company that powers the city and its neighbors. Both Duke University and Duke Energy are connected to the Duke's who are key players in Durham's early economic growth. Duke Power (now known as Duke Energy) made the Dukes far more money than tobacco ever did. In 1924, John Duke honored his Father with a philanthropic foundation to support Trinity College. Trinity College then changed its name to what is known today as Duke University.

The Triangle area is made up of RaleighDurham, and Chapel Hill and supports incredible universities like Duke University, University of North Carolina, NC State University, and more. The Durham area is known as being one of the most educated cities in the country after a Forbes study shows Raleigh and Durham at #2 and #3 respectively.


Durham is a college town. If you love sports and you move to the Durham area you will immediately have to choose your allegiance to Duke, UNC, or NC State.

Football and Basketball are the two most popular sports in the area, though baseball is seeing some serious growth as well! The Durham Bulls are a minor league baseball team that plays in Downtown Durham. The neighboring city of Cary is home to the USA National Baseball Training Complex.

With so many universities in the area, there is almost always a game being played in all seasons. 

The Carolina Hurricanes are the cities only professional sports team within a twenty-minute drive. They play in Raleigh at the PNC Arena.

Live Music

If you love music, you're going to love the Triangle area. Music is one of the most underrated aspects of the Triangle. Live music can be found anywhere in the Triangle. Motorco Music Hall, The Pinhook, and The Blue Note Grill are all great spots to enjoy some live performances, alongside drinks and good food!

Durham has become a hip city with lots of performing arts, new coffee shops, breweries, and restaurants. This has carried over to the music scene as well with tons of great new artists performing live all around the city.

There are a lot of options for live music in the Durham area, and you can branch out to neighboring cities as well including Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Cary, and more!


One of the best parts of Durham is how rich the history is. The city does a great job keeping its history alive with the culture. Durham is a city founded on the back of the tobacco industry. Earlier in the article, we touched a bit on the history of Durham and how the fast-growing tobacco industry turned into the "Bull Durham Tobacco Factory." Durham received its nickname, 'The Bull City' from the tobacco factory.

The Tobacco company quickly became a hit and the Federal Government had to step in to break up a monopoly the city of Durham had created on the smoking and tobacco industry.

The Duke's, owners of the Duke and Sons Tobacco company, quickly turned their focus to energy (Duke Energy) and started making far more money than they did with tobacco. In 1924, John Duke honored his Father with a philanthropic foundation to support Trinity College, and it became Duke University. 

Moving to Durham without a job?

One of the biggest questions we receive from people who are relocating to the area is what if I move to Durham without a job? There are so many jobs available in the RDU area you will be able to land one quickly even if it means having to Uber temporarily. The opportunity for people moving to the triangle is one of the best in the country and the value of the real estate in this area can't be beaten. It's among the safest real estate markets and best values in the entire country. So if you're thinking of moving to Durham without a job try not to worry because you will figure it out! Find a way to relocate, focus on covering your bills while you're in search of a career that you will love in the RDU area!

Moving to Durham for a job?

Many of the people we work with when it comes to buying a home in Durham are relocating for a job, most often in healthcare, tech, or education. With some of the world's biggest technology companies building campuses in our area as well as access to some of the best healthcare and education, it's no wonder so many companies are making the Triangle a focus area. If you're moving to Durham we are here to help! Contact us.

Durham, North Carolina

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