15 Things To Know BEFORE Moving to Raleigh NC {2023 Guide}

September 05th, 2023

Moving to | Life in Raleigh | Buying
15 Things To Know BEFORE Moving to Raleigh NC {2023 Guide}

Living in Raleigh, NC

Are you considering a move to Raleigh, NC? Find out why 70+ people are Moving to Raleigh Daily in 2023! 

For anyone moving to Raleigh, NC, or considering the move, you'll want to read this article first. People love living in Raleigh - it even made the list of best places to live in North Carolina and is ranked #1. If you're curious about living in Raleigh, check out all of the great affordable homes for sale in Raleigh, NC.

If you're considering a move to Raleigh, contact us so we may help with your relocation.

Once you finish this article (it's worth it!), you may still have questions - please jump right in and join our moving to Raleigh Facebook group. It's a private group that is meant to add additional value to anyone who is contemplating relocating to our great city. At any time, you should feel free to reach out to our amazing group of Realtors® who can offer their first-hand knowledge to you personally - every situation is unique, and that is where our Agent's experience comes in.

Did you know Raleigh was recently ranked as the #1 best city for quality of life in the United States by Numbeo and the second-best city for quality of life worldwide? - The secret is out about Raleigh, North Carolina.

One thing most people need to realize about Raleigh is just how big live music is. When you close down the main streets in the city for a live concert, you know it's important.

Lively concert in Raleigh, NC at night with tons of people

Here are 15 things you should expect to love about your move to Raleigh

Community - A Great Reason to Move to Raleigh

One of the best parts about Raleigh is that it's a city with a small-town feel. Raleigh is a city where people know your face and that's all they need to know. It's often you will run into someone you met, recognize their face and embrace them in a warm greeting without even knowing one another's names. A feeling of comfortability and familiarity in Raleigh comes from that small-town feel. You may not recognize it at first, give it six months though and you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.

The population in Raleigh, NC, has increased from 290,000 people in the year 2000 to nearly 500,000 folks here in 2023. This growth in population makes Raleigh one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States.

Downtown Raleigh Skyline at Night with bright lights

If you're anything like me, you enjoy the opportunity to meet new people while running into the ones you met previously. Raleigh is a city, and it's a small town at the same time. It's large enough so that you're always meeting new people and small enough so that you're constantly running into the ones you know.

The People You Meet in Raleigh

Part of what makes the community so great in Raleigh is the people who call the city home. Living in Raleigh, you will encounter some of the nicest, most welcoming people in the world.

The happiness of the people who live in Raleigh is a product of everything Raleigh offers, including the number one place for jobs, fantastic weather, and affordability, unlike most other cities. Apex, NC, a suburb of Raleigh, was most recently ranked as the #1 Best Place to Live in the United States by Money Magazine.

If you're moving to Raleigh from the northern states (NY, MA, CT, and NJ are popular states to move from), you're sure to notice right away just how welcoming the people in Raleigh are. After I made the move from Boston, I realized right away that the personality of the city is contagious. You'll find yourself a happier person because you're surrounded by people who are happy. If you have a dog, there are dog parks everywhere in Raleigh.

Raleigh is the Best Place for Jobs

Moving to Raleigh NC Best City for Jobs Via Glassdoor

If you're moving to Raleigh, you will have a much easier time finding a job than you will anywhere else. Ranked a top U.S. city for jobs and quality of life, it is no wonder that so many working professionals are choosing to call Raleigh home. 

The Raleigh airport, also known as Raleigh Durham International Airport (RDU), has seen some major renovations in recent years and new airlines bringing new flight paths in and out of the Raleigh area.

With more than 24,000 job openings, there will surely be one for you, and the median base salary to median home value is some of the best in the country. Additionally, Raleigh has a job satisfaction rating of 3.3 Raleigh, NC, is on the top end when it comes to being happy in the workplace.

The Research Triangle Park (RTP) is a huge part of what makes Raleigh such a great place for jobs. Many executives will move to Raleigh to begin working in RTP with many larger businesses that have their office headquarters there. Home to more than 300 companies in RTP alone, there are a high number of job opportunities available in technology, health care, education, and research. 

Outside of RTP, you will find companies like MetLife which just moved to Cary, NC, and set up their technology office with six-figure salaries. Go to Downtown Raleigh, and you will see other companies like Red Hat and Citrix, who have set their headquarters there. 

Many residents commute from one of the amazing suburbs to Raleigh for work or school. So far, Apex has been ranked the best place to live, and Raleigh is ranked the best city for jobs. So what else will you love about moving to Raleigh?

The Food in Raleigh is Top-Notch

It was a difficult job, eating at so many great restaurants, but someone had to do it. I went ahead and tried all of the best restaurants in Raleigh, and here is a list of the 17 Irresistible Restaurants you have to try! Be careful when reading; your mouth may start to water.

One of the South's top 10 tastiest towns, as ranked by Southern Living Magazine, foodies have a special place in their hearts for the cuisine in Raleigh. If you are relocating to Raleigh, you'll want to be sure you head downtown for a night at Bida Manda(I recommend the Pork Belly Soup) or The Fiction Kitchen (vegetarian). These restaurants will hit the taste buds you didn't even know you had. 

With over 1,200 Restaurants in the Raleigh area, you will always find something new to try. What separates Raleigh from many restaurants from other places around the world is the service. It's more than just fine dining, it's an experience you'll have to try for yourself. Searching for food outside of Downtown Raleigh? Maybe in the Cary or Apex area? 

Raleigh is an excellent place for food, and if you're spending your time in Downtown Raleigh, here are some of the best restaurants Downtown.

While the food in Raleigh is some of the best in the country, the craft beer scene just might be the best in the nation. 

Bida Manda Restaurant in Raleigh, NC

Crafting Great Beer is an Art in Raleigh

With 366 beers on tap at the Raleigh Beer Garden, Raleigh, NC, just passed Munich, Germany, with the largest beer garden in the world. Let me repeat that. The city of Raleigh has the largest beer garden in the world. It's more than just a city with a few great breweries, Raleigh is home to some of the best craft beer in the world. With local breweries like Raleigh Brewing Company, Trophy, Crank Arm, Big Boss, Lonerider, and many others.

Affordability of Homes for Sale in Raleigh

In Raleigh, the homes for sale are some of the most affordable in the nation. Whether you're searching for a house in Downtown Raleigh, North Raleigh, or a suburb of Raleigh, you'll find the homes are priced reasonably for the quality of life and economy. Raleigh Real Estate and homes offer great value.

If you are shopping for homes for sale in Raleigh, please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have. Our team of Real Estate Agents loves to help people relocate to Raleigh.

One of the biggest reasons people move to the Raleigh area is thanks to how affordable the city is. It's the only major technology city with home prices under the national average. If you are in the tech industry, your cost of living in Raleigh will be significantly less than it will be in other major tech cities like San Francisco, California, or even Austin, Texas. People often compare Austin's growth similarities to the growth Raleigh is currently experiencing. It's a great time to be living in Raleigh.

Whether you're shopping for homes in Wendell, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, or Raleigh, you'll have easy access to the city at an affordable price. A lot of Cary is people who have moved from the northeast. Those people who moved to Raleigh from New York and New England sure are happy about the weather.

The Weather in Raleigh is a Reason to Move

The weather in Raleigh, in my opinion, is perfect and a great reason to relocate. We celebrate all four seasons (yes, it snows here.) and we are only a couple of hours from the Mountains if you enjoy skiing or snowboarding. Here is a great image to give you an idea of what to expect from month-to-month weather trends for Raleigh.

Raleigh NC Weather is an Awesome Reason to Relocate

Education in Raleigh is Some of the Best in the Nation

Raleigh is ranked as the second most educated city in America by Forbes, and its neighbor Durham is third. With universities like North Carolina State University, Meredith College, Peace University, Duke University, and the University of North Carolina all within a short distance of Raleigh, it only makes sense that the area places a high priority on the quality of education.

Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) is the 14th largest school district in the country, comparable to LAUSD or Chicago Public Schools. Rather than separate township-based school systems, we have one large countywide system. With a district that size comes a variety of school options.

The Raleigh area offers magnet, charter, and private schools, and even different calendar options like year-round schools. If you want to learn more about school performance, visit the NC School Report Cards for up-to-date school data. Need more help understanding all these options? Contact us, and we can put you in touch with some incredible school resources.

If you're planning to move to Raleigh and want to find homes for sale by the school district, we created a webpage to help you! It will help you find a great home that is in a school zone you like.

Here are some of the best schools in Raleigh, NC: 

Elementary School  Middle School  High School 
Abbott's Creek Elementary School Wake Young Women's Leadership Academy  Wake NCSU STEM Early College High School 
Comb's Elementary School  Wake Young Men's Leadership Academy  Raleigh Charter High School 
Stough Elementary School  Pine Hollow Middle School  Wake Early College of Health and Sciences 

*Data Sourced from GreatSchools

Art in Raleigh

The art galleries in Raleigh are some of the best attractions in the city. For a while, Art was the main attraction in Raleigh, and it inspired arts in other forms, including music, craft beer, and fine dining, and inspired some of the custom new construction homes in Raleigh.

The North Carolina Museum of Art is one of the main attractions for Art lovers in Raleigh, NC. Its history dates back to when the North Carolina General Assembly used $1 million dollars in 1947 to become the first state in the nation to use public funds to buy art. You can search through the variety of collections on the NCMA website, though nothing you'll see online will do justice compared to an in-person visit to the North Carolina Museum of Art.

For those with a great appreciation of art, it's just one more reason to relocate to Raleigh.

Raleigh, NC, is THE Spot for Live Music

If you love music, Raleigh is a great place to relocate. An interesting fact about Raleigh is that there are several live concerts a week going on in Raleigh, whether your band is playing at the Red Hat or Walnut Creek Amphitheater.

For the not-so-often days and nights when there isn't a concert, there is always live music somewhere in Raleigh.

Band playing live music in Raleigh, NC

Nightlife in Raleigh

If you're planning on relocating to the Raleigh area, you are sure to find some great nighttime entertainment. Raleigh has focused on its entertainment, especially in the past decade, when they have revamped Fayetteville District, Moore Square, Glenwood South, and other areas around the city's core. You can look at an interactive guide to Downtown Raleigh nightlife for more information. 

A product of music and craft beer, Raleigh attracts a lot of live music, fine dining, and bar hoppers downtown. There is something for everyone.

Sports in Raleigh

The Carolina Hurricanes are the only professional sports team in Raleigh. NC State, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Duke have some awesome fan bases and tailgating.

College sports are big in Raleigh, particularly college basketball. Anyone who follows college sports knows about the Tobacco Road rivalry between The Duke Blue Devils and The University of North Carolina Tar Heels. Two of the top college basketball teams year in and year out are both located just minutes from the city of Raleigh. If you love college sports, it's a great reason to relocate to the Raleigh area.

There are top Triple-A baseball teams like the Durham Bulls and the Holly Springs Salamanders. If you enjoy going to the ball game, you'll fall in love with the local baseball teams.


How far is Raleigh, NC, from the beach? Raleigh is only a short two-hour drive, and your feet are in the sand.

Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, and The Outer Banks are some of the favorite spots of local Raleighites to visit when the weather is nice. It makes for a great day trip or weekend getaway for those beach lovers looking for an additional reason to relocate.

Not only are you two hours from the beach in Raleigh, but you're also two hours from some great mountains if you enjoy skiing and snowboarding.

Cape Hatteras Light Station in the Outer Banks at Sunset


Skiing and Snowboarding are something you will find a short couple of hours from the city of Raleigh. Sugar, Ski Beech, Winterplace, and Snowshoe are all great mountains to hit the slopes.


If you love golf, you're going to love Raleigh, NC! A short hour drive south is Pinehurst, North Carolina, a city known as the "Home of Golf in the U.S." The North Carolina Golf Panel ranks the top 100 courses found in NC, and the Pinehurst area has three of the top five golf courses on the list.

It's easier to go for a 10-minute drive in Pinehurst than passing at least one golf course. The density of golf courses in the area is the reason for the nickname "The Sandhills."

The number of golf course communities in the Raleigh area is huge. It's not hard to understand why the people in Raleigh love their golf with courses like Lonnie Poole to the right. Golf is a large part of North Carolina's history, and the year-round nice weather keeps the courses open longer.

People travel from all over the world to visit the golf courses in the Raleigh and Pinehurst area. Golf is a great reason to relocate to the Raleigh area, you'll always have an opportunity to play no matter the season.

Golf course with a beautiful view of the Raleigh skyline

Living in Raleigh, NC

If you're considering moving to the Raleigh, NC, area, brace yourself. You are going to really enjoy living in Raleigh.

When I moved from Boston with my family, I remember reading about Raleigh as one of the best places to live in America, and it lives up to the hype! Whether you're moving to Raleigh with or without a job, you will want to make sure you visit the area first. Team up with a local Realtor to ask for neighborhood information and join the 'Raleigh Life' group on Facebook.

Other Things to Consider:

What are the pros and cons of moving to North Carolina?

There are both pros and cons to moving to Raleigh. For each individual situation, the pros and cons are going to be a bit different, which makes it important to evaluate such a big decision and write everything down. Some of the pros of moving to Raleigh can be found in this article, and for most people, those will be the reasons they make the move.

The pros to living in Raleigh, if someone is moving from a city like Chicago, are obvious. The weather, the affordability, a lot less traffic, and a great economic opportunity for entrepreneurs and small businesses. A lot of folks are making the move from cities like Chicago, New York City, Boston, and even California, thanks to the affordability of Raleigh.

The cons to moving to Raleigh are likely obvious to you as well. Some of the common cons would be leaving family, friends, and memories behind. After moving to Raleigh five years ago, those are the biggest cons I experienced. Other than that, there is little I miss about moving from Boston (except maybe the Boston sports teams). Raleigh is a great place, and the pros outweighed the cons for me.

What County is the city of Raleigh, NC, located in?

Raleigh, NC, is primarily in Wake County though many people don't realize there are parts of northwest Raleigh that extend into Durham County. Even though almost all of Raleigh is located in Wake County, it's important for people to know some parts extend into other counties.

When purchasing a home in Raleigh, it makes sense to be absolutely sure you're buying in the right county because, too often, folks will purchase a home in Raleigh that is districted to Durham schools or pay Durham taxes. If you're wondering what county Raleigh is in, it's safe to assume Wake County. However, you may want to check with your local Realtor just to be sure.

Can you move to Raleigh without a job? 

Many folks ask us this question before moving: What is it like moving to Raleigh without a job? The answer is that it's different for everyone. The people I know who made the move were all able to find solid work opportunities within the first 90 days of relocating. If they don't love the first gig they find, there are opportunities to see other gigs they love all around the Triangle.

Many people who make the move to Raleigh do so without a job and find work once they arrive here. There are so many great employers and a lot of job openings. The unemployment rate in Raleigh typically hovers around 4%, which is great compared to other cities. Glassdoor ranked Raleigh as the #1 place for jobs, and that's a big reason people make the move.

Moving to Raleigh, NC - Final Thoughts 

There are so many things to do in Raleigh. There really is something for everyone to enjoy, no matter your age or interests. 

As someone who moved to Raleigh myself, I wanted to share some of my experiences since moving here. Moving from Boston to Raleigh is something that was a big shift for me. Going from a large city to one that is still building its identity is a lot of fun. The Triangle area offers many great options for buyers from more expensive places. We also have helped people who are moving to Charlotte.

Using our website and our advanced, hyper-local search features, you can narrow down your search, whether it's searching by Zip Code in Raleigh or by the school district. Additionally, we have some great resources that we only sometimes share online, which we will share with you if you want to work with us on purchasing a home. Please feel free to contact us directly. 

Hopefully, you enjoyed reading the 15 Reasons to Move to Raleigh. If so, share it with friends and family. 

Considering a move to Raleigh? Our team of top local Real Estate Agents love to help folks make the move to Raleigh - contact us to help with your relocation OR with any questions you may have!

Additional Neighborhood Information:

Moving to Raleigh, NC 2018 Guide - 15 Things to Know BEFORE You Relocate

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Ryan Fitzgerald

Ryan Fitzgerald

Hi there! Nice to 'meet' you and thanks for visiting our Raleigh Real Estate Blog! My name is Ryan Fitzgerald, and I'm a REALTOR® in Raleigh-Durham, NC, the owner of Raleigh Realty. I work alongside some of the best Realtors in Raleigh. You can find more of my real estate content on Forbes, Wall Street Journal, U.S. News and more. Realtor Magazine named me a top 30 under 30 Realtor in the country (it was a long time ago haha). Any way, that's enough about me. I'd love to learn more about you if you'd like to connect with me on Facebook and Instagram or connect with our team at Raleigh Realty. Looking forward to connecting!

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