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10 Reasons People Love Living in Raleigh NC

raleigh nc skyline with sunflowers below

I know, it’s a daunting task to relocate to a new city. But, don’t worry, this is your official invitation to join us here in Raleigh and I’m going to give you just a few of the reasons that you might love living here.  

1- Weather

The coolest thing about Raleigh is we have all four seasons…sometimes in the span of four days. The saying here is, if you don’t like the weather, wait a minute…it’ll change. I actually love this about Raleigh. So we can have snow on the ground and temps well below freezing in January or February and then a couple days later it can be bright, sunny and 65 degrees. (birds chirping sounds) You can definitely get outside year round, although it does get hot and muggy in the summertime. But even then, it’s still manageable. Although I grew up in South Florida, so your mileage may vary.  This is actually from my trip to Boone last fall. This is about 3 hours from Raleigh and although we do get gorgeous fall foliage in Raleigh as well, you just can’t beat a trip to the mountains during leaf season. And this is a really cool thing…every year the city plants a huge field of sunflowers at Dix Park. This is a picture a friend of mine let me use. She has goats at her house right in the middle of Raleigh and these are her goats that she took to Dix Park for a photo opp. But we’re going to talk more about urban farming at the end of the video. Anyway, the flowers in summer are gorgeous… and this is what the medians look like around the highways during the summer…they are full of sunflowers and other pollinator flowers. It’s really pretty…. 

2- Outdoor Activities

with our fabulous weather and our award winning city planners, Raleigh has TONS of outdoor activities. There are parks and greenways everywhere you look. Kayaking and stand up paddleboarding is popular on our many lakes and waterways. Jordan Lake and Falls Lake provide opportunity for gas powered watercraft. There is always fun to be had outside in Raleigh.

3 -Arts & Culture

Raleigh has been called the “Smithsonian of the South” for good reason. The NC Museum of Natural Science is the largest science museum in the southeast. The North Carolina Museum of Art features 40 galleries as well as more than a dozen major works of art in the nation’s largest 164 acre museum art park. The popular Warehouse District, formerly an industrial district, is now home to converted art galleries, loft apartments and trendy food halls. Raleigh is also home to the Carolina Ballet, North Carolina Theatre and the North Carolina Symphony.

4- Foodie Heaven

Raleigh is true to it’s Agricultural roots and locally grown food is big business in Raleigh. Raleigh is home to the State Farmers Market, a 75 acre complex with 3 restaurants serving locally grown food and rows upon rows of booths selling everything you can imagine. Food trucks are popular pastimes for local residents and you’ll often find food truck rodeos sponsored by local city government or see them around town and in popular employment centers. And the city is full of independent restaurants including a line owned by renowned chef Ashley Christianson

5- Sports

The color of sport in Raleigh is red.  Raleigh is home to the Carolina Hurricanes, who play at the PNC Arena and the NC State Wolfpack, who play their basketball games at PNC and their football games just across the parking lot at Carter-Finley Stadium.  The Raleigh area is ACC basketball heaven.  When rivals UNC and Duke come to town, tickets are at a premium!  Just outside of Raleigh you can catch a Carolina Mudcats baseball game at Five County Stadium, or watch the Carolina FC and Carolina Courage professional soccer teams play at nearby WakeMed Soccer Park.  With five other other colleges and universities in Raleigh, there is no shortage of collegiate events, and because we don’t have a NFL team, you are welcome to bring your own team’s fan gear.

6- Education

Raleigh is home to numerous colleges and Universities. Right in the center of the city, we’ve got NC State, Meredith College, St. Augustine University, Shaw College and William Peace University. There are also numerous satellite colleges in the city. We’ve got the largest community college in the state, Wake Tech. and many of these colleges partner with our local high schools and have programs to help students get free college credits while in high school. Nearby in Durham and Chapel Hill, we’ve got Duke University and UNC Chapel Hill. All these great schools mean we have a highly educated population. I find it hilarious when people from other places call me and are worried about moving to the south because they think it’s backwater. Don’t worry, The natives are friendly and highly educated. Remember they actually built this fine city and the Universities that live here.

7- Nice people, laid back lifestyle

When I first moved to North Carolina, I was shocked by how friendly and helpful people were. I grew up in South Florida. When my husband came down to meet my family before we got married, I remember coaching him on how to drive in Florida. He actually slowed down to let someone merge into the lane in front of him. Seriously, in NC people are friendly. If you see someone waving to you while you’re driving, or flashing their lights at you, they are probably trying to let you know you can go ahead and merge. 

8- Economy/Jobs

Raleigh is a great place to own a business, it’s a great place to open a new business and it’s a great place to find employment in many different sectors. In the top ten employers for Raleigh are companies from diverse fields like education, healthcare, technology, pharmaceuticals or city and state government. 

9- Real Estate

Yes prices are climbing. But the good news is that investment company Millionacres, subsidiary of Motley Fool, has has called Raleigh a top ten city for real estate investment (Tom Cruise getting to the top part). According to them, prices are going to continue to climb, so even though you can no longer get a single family home under $200k like you could just a few years ago, (currently the median price is in the $280k’s) economists are telling us that prices are going to continue to climb. 

10- Urban Farming

I think this is actually a cool little tidbit about the Raleigh area. Redfin did a national MLS search a few years ago looking for listings that had words like greenhouse, garden or chickens, to find out which cities have the most listings that reference these kinds of things. Raleigh was in the top ten. And over the last few years we have seen the area become even more urban farming friendly. The towns of Cary and Fuquay-Varina have both passed city chicken ordinances allowing chickens within the city limits. 

About the Author Ellen Pitts

Ellen is the founder of Harmony Realty, a socially conscious realty company. Ellen believes in empowering her clients through education and open communication. Ellen is a number-cruncher at heart and takes great pleasure in following and analyzing the trends of the housing industry. She loves communicating the big picture to her clients and helping them to understand how the market affects their sale or purchase. Her honest and down-to-earth approach allows her clients to make informed and intelligent decisions to get the most out of their offers and negotiations.

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