Sir Walter Raleigh, from whom the City of Oaks gets its name, would be proud to see what his namesake city has become since its planned creation as the Tar Heel State’s capital. From the distinguished Doric columns of the Capitol to the downtown energy of Fayetteville Street, there are plenty of reasons why Raleigh is the fastest-growing city in North Carolina. Its greater metropolitan area has doubled its population in the last 40 years without losing its traditional charm—or famous oak trees!
Moving to Raleigh? Read the following tips to successfully lay down your roots in the City of Oaks.
Raleigh doesn’t issue moving permits. You should, however, be familiar with the parking regulations around your new address to best coordinate the unloading of your moving truck.
Plan your move during the spring or fall, when temperatures are mild and humidity is generally lower than other times of year.
Check your route for tolls before hitting the road and make sure you have the correct payment method ready.
Avoid driving a moving truck during the busy commute times when moving to Raleigh. Especially close to Downtown, streets get congested and you could wind up stuck in traffic for hours.
Most folks find prices here pretty steep, even those relocating from the East Coast. Take your time when looking for housing and choose a neighborhood that’s close to your place of work or study.
If you’re planning on putting your stuff into storage, make sure the storage unit is well ventilated so your belongings aren’t ruined by mold or rot.
Before moving to Raleigh, remember to change your address online with USPS so your mail makes it to your new home with you!
Moving to Raleigh means moving to a state capital that lives and breathes southern character and industry throughout its many neighborhoods. There’s Fayetteville Street (the thriving downtown business district), Historic Oakland, Mordecai, and College Park, a diverse area with great fixer-uppers for young couples. You can also consider Boylan Heights, Glenwood-Brooklyn, Laurel Hills and Cameron Park, all relatively affluent and safe neighborhoods. Cary and Garner, two nearby commuter communities, offer plenty of services and housing for young families.
Full Neighborhood Report
Cost of Living
As soon as you’ve made up your mind about moving to the City of Oaks, it’s important to estimate how the cost of living in Raleigh will affect your budget and overall standard of living. The cost of living is generally determined by evaluating prices of food and consumer goods, housing, utilities, health care, transportation and other necessities. It’s a countrywide fact that most cities are more expensive than their surrounding rural areas, and when it comes to Raleigh, it’s no different. As the capital of North Carolina and one of the state’s major research and college cities, both salaries and prices are higher in Raleigh than in the rest of the state.
Raleigh has an extensive and well-maintained infrastructure that allows for easy access to all neighborhoods and the surrounding metro area, both by car and by public transport. Recently, construction has started on toll roads in order to minimize congestion during busy commute times, but it’s still a good idea to check traffic conditions when moving to Raleigh.
- Roads: There’s a network of Interstate, US and state routes that serves the city. Most notably the I-40, I-440 and I-540. These are some of the best-maintained roads in the country.
- Railroads: Amtrak’s Silver Star provides passenger rail from NYC to Tampa with a stop in Raleigh.
- Public Transportation: Intercity bus transport between Raleigh and the other cities of the Research Triangle is provided by the Piedmont and Carolinian transportation authorities. Within the city, the Capital Area Transit (CAT) maintains bus routes, as well as the R-Line in the downtown area. If you’re moving to Raleigh to study or work at the University, you can take the Wolfline buses to the campus.
- Airports: The city is served by Raleigh/Durham International Airport.
It’s to be advised to start looking for jobs in Raleigh as soon as you’ve decided to move. With an unemployment rate of 8%, less than half a percent lower than the US average, there’s a significant amount of competition for Raleigh jobs. However, the Research Triangle traditionally employs more people than most of the other metropolitan areas in North Carolina, and many of the available positions are skilled, white-collar Raleigh jobs.
Job Search and Relocation Advice
Moving to Raleigh can be a rewarding experience made all the richer if you’re up to speed on local issues and know where you’re going. Both are easily accomplished by thumbing through copies of the most widely read local news publications or tuning into the local news stations. Here’s an overview of what you’ll find in Raleigh.
The Raleigh News and Observer
Sometimes called “The N&O” by residents of Raleigh, The News and Observer has been in publication since 1865, when it was called The Sentinel. Over the past century and a half, The News and Observer has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize three times and grown to become the primary source of news, not only for the city of Raleigh, but also for Durham, Cary and Chapel Hill. Published daily, The N&O has an average daily circulation of over 175,000 and more than 210,000 on Sundays. The newspaper regularly carries local and world news, sports, business and jobs listings, and information on local cultural events throughout the city.
Printed monthly by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Raleigh, NC Catholics is one of the most widely read religious publications in the state, with an estimated readership close to 70,000. Published in full-color magazine format, NC Catholics has been in publication close to 60 years, covering faith-related local and international stories, editorials, and promoting community involvement in local charities and church events.
La Conexion is Raleigh’s principal source of news for its Spanish-speaking community. In publication since 1995, the newspaper has a circulation of approximately 20,000 and reports on local and world news, politics, issues of immigration, sports, local culture, community events, jobs and business.
Triangle Business Journal
Written and published specifically for the working population of the Research Triangle of Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, the Triangle Business Journal is published weekly and features news specific to local high-tech business. The newspaper, which also offers career leads and information, covers a wide variety of industries and is a central source of local networking through its regularly updated calendar of area business events.
Providing coverage of local arts and entertainment, the Raleigh Downtowner was founded in 2005, but has rapidly become one of the city’s most indispensable culture guides. With a free print publication that hits newsstands once per month and an online site updated more frequently, the Raleigh Downtowner offers all the latest information on the best dining and nightlife in the city, in addition to coverage of the local music, arts and theater scene.
The Raleigh Carolinian
With roots dating back to 1940, The Raleigh Carolinian delivers news, business, technology, sports and entertainment information catered to the African-American community of Raleigh. Published twice weekly, The Carolinian has been successfully reporting on local issues since before World War II.
Local TV and News Channels
To remain up to date with local headlines and world news, tune your TV to the following local TV stations and news channels.
You can look forward to pleasant temperatures when moving to Raleigh. The city has a humid, subtropical climate, and summers are hot with daytime temperatures of around 89 degrees Fahrenheit, and lots of precipitation in July, August and September.
You’ll experience mild and wet winters with some snow, sleet and freezing rain, and daytime temperatures averaging 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Spring and fall are generally pleasant, with less precipitation and milder temperatures, though hurricanes are not uncommon in late summer and early fall.
Raleigh is among the most educated cities in the country when it comes to the percentage of residents that hold college degrees. Here are some of the most notable elementary schools, high schools, colleges and universities:
- Elementary Schools: Magellan Charter School, Quest Academy and Endeavor Charter School are some of the top-ranked elementary schools in Raleigh.
- High Schools: Some noteworthy Raleigh high schools are Cardinal Gibbons High School, Raleigh Charter High School and Leesville Road High School
- Colleges & Universities: North Carolina State University, William Peace University and Skema Business School are just some of the many higher educational institutions that college students moving to Raleigh can attend. In addition, there’s also Wake Technical Community College, ECPI College of Technology and Mitchell’s Hair Styling Academy.
Before moving to Raleigh, visit the City of Raleigh’s official website for up-to-date information about living and working here.
- Toll Roads: When moving to Raleigh, you’ll probably use the Triangle Expressway, a new toll road that opened in December 2011. More toll roads are planned. You can find more information, as well as fees, at the North Carolina Turnpike Authority.
- Registering to Vote: To register to vote after moving to Raleigh, you can mail a voter registration form to the State Board of Elections. You can also register at the DMV, any Disability Services Agency, Public Assistance Agency or Employment Security Commission. Your registration must be received 25 days before Election Day in order for you to vote.
- Trash & Recycling: These waste services are handled by the city. Find your service day here.
- Taxes: There’s no excise tax, but the state charges a 3% Highway Use Tax on any vehicle you register in North Carolina.
- Driver’s Licensing: If you’re from out of state, you’re required to apply for a NC driver’s license within 60 days of moving to Raleigh, or upon securing employment. A license costs $4 per year. If you’re moving within the state, you must still change your address with the DMV.
- Vehicle Registration and Titling: You have 30 days to register your vehicle after moving to Raleigh from another state. The costs are $28 for the plates and $5 RTA registration tax. It costs $40 to transfer a title.