3 Things You Should Know Before You Move to Raleigh (May 2021)
The top things to note.
When I was trying to figure out where I wanted to move after college, it was a big struggle. I hadn't lived anywhere outside of Ohio since I moved from California at about two or three years old. I even went to college in Ohio, and after I graduated, I suddenly had the freedom to choose wherever I wanted to live.
I had spent my childhood in a very small town, so I knew that I wanted to move to a larger city. However, I also knew that I wasn't ready to move to an insanely large city, such as New York or San Francisco. Plus, I wanted to move to an area where the cost of living wasn't outrageous.
So, I eventually landed on the city of Raleigh, and while I haven't been in North Carolina long, it already feels like home.
With that said, I believe that there are a few important things you should know before you move to Raleigh, North Carolina. They aren't necessarily negative things (in fact, I view them as advantages). However, if you aren't aware of them before you make the move, they just might take you by surprise. Let's dive right into the list.
1. The weather is beautiful.
This point is one that I want to stress immensely, but I also want to discuss it further. Keep in mind that I moved here from Ohio, where winters can be cold and harsh. The summer months in Ohio are hot and can be humid, so Raleigh is an upgrade in terms of overall weather and warmth for me.
Through the month of May, I have been even more pleasantly surprised than I initially anticipated. On days where it rained, it was brief and short-lived (with the exception of a single day). Every other day has been pretty much sunny in May. While some days have been a bit humid, I appreciate the overall warmth, and the humidity is definitely manageable.
Overall, the weather gets a 5/5 rating from me, and if you are looking for a relatively warm area with manageable temperatures in the winter, Raleigh, North Carolina, could be perfect for you.
2. Raleigh is incredibly budget friendly.
In terms of larger technology cities, Raleigh is incredibly budget friendly. They feature all the conveniences of a large city, but without as much crowding as other cities. Their costs are also much more manageable than some of the huge cities, like Seattle and New York.
For example, a small one bedroom apartment in Seattle can easily cost $1,200+, but you can get something similar (and likely larger) for a few hundred dollars less in Raleigh.
Similarly, other common costs, like groceries, tend to run a bit cheaper. While everything is relative, Raleigh is well-known as a budget friendly, progressive, and millenial friendly city.
3. Starting salaries are pretty low.
If you weren't aware, the minimum wage in Raleigh, North Carolina, is just $7.25 an hour. This is tough for anyone to live off of, even with the lower grocery and housing costs in Raleigh as opposed to other cities. Fortunately, Joe Biden is really pushing for a higher minimum wage across all states ($15), but that is still in the works, and has not come to fruition quite yet.
You can expect starting salaries in other entry level jobs to be lower than in more expensive areas, such as San Francisco. But again, everything is relative. With lower costs of living, typically comes a lower salary.
While this might not come as a surprise to some, others may have not been aware of the minimum wage in North Carolina, so I think it is important to understand for anyone who is looking to move to Raleigh, especially if you don't already have a job lined up, and therefore, don't know what your starting salary or hourly wage might be.
I am super happy with my time in Raleigh so far. While I did anticipate that I would love the city of Raleigh, North Carolina, before I moved there, I am grateful that it has lived up to my expectations thus far.
If you are considering moving to Raleigh, I definitely recommend doing some extensive research so you have a better idea of what you are getting into. But no matter where you choose to live, make sure it's the best place that suits your individual needs and goals. If you can do that, you'll be far more likely to enjoy your time there.