I started thinking about this topic after a Q&A I did with y’all over stories the other week! Surprisingly a handful of y’all said you were either moving to Raleigh or considering it, and then several of you asked if we would ever consider moving. So, I thought I’d dive into these topics today. First, let’s chat about why we love Raleigh!
So every time Stephen and I travel to a different city we always play this “game” of “would we live here instead of Raleigh?” It’s not because we are necessarily thinking about leaving Raleigh but more so just a fun thing we do to compare new cities that we visit vs. where we currently live. We’ve been to a lot of different cities, and every time (except once) when we’ve done this, we always end up saying that we love Raleigh the most in terms of someplace we would actually want to live. Of course there are pros and cons to every city, but when we play this “game” we take everything into consideration: cost of living, year round weather, restaurants and shopping, proximity to mountains and the ocean, overall vibe of the city, etc.
That being said, Raleigh pretty much comes out on top for us everytime when we consider everything as a whole. Here are some things we love:
-Cost of living is pretty reasonable for a mid-size city. There are so many mid-size to large cities where it’s really hard to buy a house, or if you are buying one your budget doesn’t go very far. With Raleigh, there are a ton of pockets/neighborhoods with good price ranges going anywhere from low 200s to several million+. Home prices are going up year after year (to put things in perspective we bought our first house for $210K and sold it for $235K two years later) so people are definitely gravitating towards moving here and that is reflected in the housing price and market (we had 8 offers on our home within 2 days of putting it on the market lol). But, there is still a wide range of prices and you can overall get a lot for your money considering everything else Raleigh has to offer as a mid-size city!
-Weather is pretty good year round. While Raleigh summers do get fairly hot (mid 90s) and humid, the temperatures year round aren’t too severe. We actually get a spring and a fall, and winter feels like winter but doesn’t get so brutal where it’s unbearable (average temps are usually 30-40 degrees on the coldest days). Overall, it’s nice to be able to experience the change in seasons (IMO)!
-Because of the good weather, I feel like you can spend a lot of time outdoors which is something that I personally love. There are also good amount of (paved and unpaved) trails between Raleigh and Durham which is a nice option vs. just walking (or biking) around your neighborhood.
-Good selection of restaurants & boutique fitness studios. I feel like when it comes to dinner especially, Raleigh (and Durham) have so many amazing options. Many of which have made Bon Appetite lists and there is definitely a good variety to choose from. As far as health and fitness goes, I think Raleigh is a pretty health conscious city. We don’t have soul cycle lol, however, we have about every other boutique fitness studio which is great.
-Only 2 hours from the beach and mountains. Another great thing about Raleigh is it’s location to other cities. In just two hours you can be at the beach (we always go to Wrightsville) and in just 2-3 hours you can be in the mountains (Blowing Rock/Boone or Asheville). Virginia and Tenessee are also not a far drive which gives you options as well. It’s nice to feel like you can take a vacation and not necessarily have to take the time or spend the money to fly somewhere.
-As a whole, Raleigh is pretty liberal. Obviously, this goes for Raleigh and Durham, not all of NC lol. But this is something that is personally important to us–that we are around like minded people especially with the recent events of this last year. I’m using the term liberal here because it’s the easiest word to sum everything into one. My point being, we personally wouldn’t love to live somewhere that is very conservative. Not saying we couldn’t but it definitely plays into the overall vibe of a city, and what we personally care about!
Overall, like I’ve said, we really love it here. Raleigh was voted the #11 best place to live, #24 in fastest growing, #2 for best place to live in NC, and #28 for best places to retire. So as you can see, it has a lot to offer! I’ll link that article here with those stats and a lot more information on Raleigh here!
Okay, so onto if we would ever move! Like I said above, there has only been one city that we could envision ourselves in besides Raleigh when we take everything into account. A few years ago we visited Austin, TX and when we left we played “the game” lol and for the first time we were like this is a city besides Raleigh that we could see ourselves living in. Since then it’s honestly not something that we have really thought about/circled back to, but y’all reminded me of it during the Q&A and it got me thinking!
From what I remember, we loved the weather, the restaurants, how active and dog-friendly the city is, and how while they have the larger retailers, they are also really supportive of small businesses as well. Comparing it to Raleigh (again from what I remember), I feel like Austin is a little more modern in some ways versus Raleigh can feel more traditional. I also feel like in recent years especially, Austin has become more of a spot that creatives have migrated to which is something I can appreciate. I will say, working as a blogger in Raleigh can feel a little isolating. There’s very few other girls who I know that are doing the same thing, and it can be frustrating not having that community and living somewhere where people are like “I’m sorry, what do you do??” I think Raleigh and pretty progressive and most people understand my job (to a certain extent) but (my assumption) would be that it’s a little more common in Austin because overall more creatives are moving there.
Overall, I think we like Austin because in a lot of ways it is comparable to Raleigh (here is the Austin overall review if you want to take a look). Of course there are differences but for a lot of the reasons why love Raleigh (good weather, more reasonable cost of living, great restaurants, health conscious, etc). are why we also really gravitated towards Austin when we were there. That being said, would we ever move? The answer is possibly one day, but no current plans. We felt like we would be in Raleigh for a long time (and still very well may be), but we also aren’t tied here and are always keeping an open mind. If we feel like we are being pulled in a different direction, we would be open to moving. We aren’t impulsive, but at the same time we don’t dislike change and we appreciate mixing things up. Basically, we are always open to jumping on a new opportunity if it feels right and makes sense for where we currently are in life. So, TBD 😉
EDIT: So not to get political but given the all the anti-abortion laws (plus other things) that happened in Texas in 2020 we basically decided that we would never consider moving there. Even though Austin is much different than the rest of Texas, that’s just not the kind of state we want to live in. Nothing against Texas or anyone who lives there! But just given everything it is not a place that we would consider living at this point. I wrote another blog post recently on why we were considering move and where we were considering moving to so I’ll link that here.
I hope this was helpful for any of y’all thinking of moving to Raleigh! If you are moving here or thinking about it, comment below! I’m definitely curious 🙂