If you are planning to relocate to North Carolina, knowing what to expect when it comes to the cost of living is helpful when planning and budgeting. Although the cost of living in North Carolina cities varies, overall costs are lower than the national average in most areas. Check out our guide to the cost of living in North Carolina to determine if Tar Heel State is the right place for you.
Cost of Living in North Carolina: Rental price
Housing is one of the areas where the cost of living in North Carolina is lower than the national average. According to bestplaces.net, the average North Carolina rental cost for a studio is $ 697, while a one-bedroom apartment costs an average of $ 731 per month. You can even rent a two-bedroom apartment in the state for an average of $ 875 per month, which is lower than the national average price of a one-bedroom apartment, at $ 930 per month.
The median price of homes in the state is $ 187,300, while the national average is $ 231,200. House prices have increased in recent years. NeighborhoodScout reported a 7.5% increase in home values between 2017 and 2018 statewide. Some of the state’s most affordable cities for housing include Fayetteville, Cary, Concord, Durham, Asheboro, Wilmington, Lexington, Chapel Hill, and Greenville, although many cities have experienced declining rental prices over the years. last years. .
Raleigh is the state capital and one of the largest cities. The cost of living in Raleigh is slightly above the state average, with Numbeo reporting that a one-bedroom apartment in the city center costs an average of $ 1,360 per month. If you live outside of the city center, you can save several hundred dollars as the average monthly one-bedroom apartment is just over $ 1,000.
Cost of Living in North Carolina: Food and drink
You can’t mention North Carolina food without including “barbecue” in the same sentence. The state is known for its tangy, vinegar-based barbecue sauce, poured liberally over smoked, pulled pork and other types of meat. You’ll find places across the state that serve this staple, alongside other Southern favorites like silent puppies, coleslaw, beans, and fried chicken.
Food is an area of the cost of living in North Carolina that is also below the national average. In Raleigh, the average cost of a gallon of milk is just over $ 2, while a loaf of bread costs less than $ 4. A single adult can expect to spend around $ 250 per month on groceries. A meal in a casual restaurant costs an average of $ 12. The state is also known for its craft beer scene, so if you love to sip a cold beer, you can satisfy your craving here.
Cost of Living in North Carolina: Utilities
Utility prices in North Carolina are about 4% lower than the national average. The average energy bill is just over $ 161 per month, while the average cost of a cell phone is $ 172 per month. The size of your living space and the way you use your utilities will definitely be a factor in what you pay each month.
During the summer months, the hot and humid climate contributes to higher electricity bills, as most residents rely on their central air conditioning system to stay comfortable. Other seasons are more moderate in most parts of the state, so bills tend to fluctuate a little less. High-speed Internet access typically costs around $ 60 per month.
Cost of Living in North Carolina: Transport
Depending on where you live in North Carolina, you may be able to get around using public transportation. Among the many perks of living in Charlotte is a bus system with lines that cross much of the city. A monthly pass on the basic route costs around $ 88, while an Express Plus pass will cost you around $ 176 per month. Other cities that provide public transportation include Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Durham, Concord, Fayetteville, Asheville, Cary, Boone, Gastonia, Goldsboro, Greenville, High Point, Rock Mount, Winston-Salem, Wilmington, Wilson, Salisbury and Hickory .
Many residents have their own private vehicles, and the below-average gas prices make it easy to get around without breaking the bank. In May 2019, a report from GasBuddy showed the average price of a gallon of gasoline in North Carolina to be $ 2.71, almost 20 cents lower than the national average of $ 2.90. Commuters in the state spend an average of 24.3 minutes by car to get to work. The average auto insurance premium is $ 865 per year, almost 40% lower than the national average. Your age, driving record, credit score, and marital status also affect what you pay for auto insurance.
Cost of Living in North Carolina: Leisure and entertainment
The quality of life of the state’s residents is quite high, which makes it an attractive place to put down roots. As the average cost of living in North Carolina is lower than the national average, residents have access to attractive amenities without having to spend a fortune. You can also participate in many leisure activities and enjoy various entertainment venues.
The state is home to over 300 miles of beach and 1,000 miles of trails, making it a great location for all types of outdoor enthusiasts. The temperate climate includes mild to cool winters and long periods of pleasant weather during much of the spring and summer months. Residents often enjoy exploring and seeing the iconic mountain ranges nearby, which include the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Great Smoky Mountains on the west side of the state.
Award-winning museums, festivals, theaters and musical groups are accessible statewide. If you want to live in an area with a vibrant cultural scene, choose one of North Carolina’s largest cities, like Raleigh, Durham, or Charlotte. The state is also home to a nationally recognized zoo, a system of accredited aquariums, and fascinating museums that commemorate the history of the region and its original inhabitants.
With abundant Southern hospitality and a low average cost of living, North Carolina is an attractive place to live. Check the listings on Zumper in Charlotte, Raleigh and so many other North Carolina cities to find your next home.