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The Pros and Cons of Your Relocation to North Carolina from New England


A family relative moved to the rural area of Clayton, NC, from north central MA, in 2007. We discussed the pros and cons of his relocation to North Carolina from New England.

Cost Pros - Real Estate and Property Taxes

The cost of real estate in NC is considerably lower when compared to the north central MA area of New England. After the 2007 sale of his 3 bedroom, 1 bath, 1,400 sq. ft. ranch home in MA, he was able to pay cash (with profit and savings) for a larger 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath, 2,365 sq. ft,. two-story home in NC. Current values on show a difference of nearly $30,000 less for his larger home in NC.

The cost of property taxes, on his NC home, are just over $1,000 less than what he was paying in MA.

Cost Cons - Highway Use Tax (HUT) Sales Tax and Payroll Tax

North Carolina collects a 3% Highway Use Tax on vehicles in lieu of a state sales tax. The tax is assessed each time a title is transferred.

All transactions involving a vehicle already titled in the customer's name, from another state, 90 days prior to registering in North Carolina, will be taxed on vehicle value, with a maximum of $150.00 being assessed, in addition to a fee of 28.00 for plates and the yearly excise tax.

The sales tax in MA is 5%. Sales tax in North Carolina is a 2-part tax, state & local. The state sales tax rate is 4.25%, but the local sales tax rate varies from a low of 2.5% to a high of 3.0%. So, in most areas of the state the combined sales tax rate is 6.75%, but can be as high as 7.25%

Using the percentage method to determine the payroll tax, he is taxed approximately 2% more on his pay in NC verses MA.

Fall colors in Pullen Park in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Fall colors in Pullen Park in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Weather - Pros

Clayton, NC is approximately one half hour south of downtown Raleigh. Snow is a rare occurrence here. However, it did snow approximately 7” in January of 2009.

There are four seasons, but they are not as drastic as the seasons experienced in New England. Along with mild winters, in the springtime, the dogwood and pear trees are in full bloom, and it is simply beautiful. In the fall, the oak tree leaves can be just as colorful as in New England. The summer of 2008 was a mild one, where the temperatures were most often in the upper 70ies and 80ies.

The summers are filled with beach days, and the constant breezes at the beach provide relief from the heat. Clayton is just an hour and a half away from the beaches, where he often goes throughout the summer.

Most homes are equipped with central air and heat. Staying inside, during the hot weather streaks, is always an option.

In the mountains of the western portion of NC, it snows often. This can be a pro for the avid skier or mountain climber.

Weather - Cons

The extremely hot summer of 2007 in NC resulted in a drought. During a hot streak, the temperatures can reach over 100 degrees easily. The weather can be very humid also. His location in NC is on one of several of the state’s river basins, at sea level, and during a heat wave, the water in the ground heats up and creates the high humidity.

North Carolina Beach

North Carolina Beach

Nature Pros - Enjoying the Natural Night Life

In the rural area of Clayton, NC, he is in touch with the natural world, found right outside his door. The tree frogs and crickets, peeping at night, are extremely loud, and it is amazing to listen to them. Along with the crickets, the birds continue to fly and chirp into the evening hours.

During the day, it is common to see several big birds like hawks and black vultures, with huge wingspans, flying overhead. Black vultures are found in the southern U.S. and in southern South America . Their body length measures up to about 23 to 29 inches, their wingspan is about 6 to 8½ feet, and they weigh around 16 pounds. They eat dead cattle, sheep, ground squirrels, deer, and horses.

Driving through Clayton he describes as, “driving through a painting”. The area consists of horse farms, tobacco, cotton, corn and soybean fields. The skies, visible for miles, are breathtaking.

Nature Cons - Too Many Bugs and Sandy Soils

The insects are notably larger and plentiful, in this area of NC. It is not uncommon to see grasshoppers and praying mantis that are two to three inches long. Bugs and snakes (in volume) can be nature’s unwanted guests!

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Gardening can be difficult, because there is a lot of clay and sand in the soil. The water drains through the soil rather quickly, making it difficult to get the type of plants that would grow easily in New England, to grow in this area of NC. To maintain a nice lawn, it has to be watered very often.

Employment Pros – Raleigh, The Major High Tech Center

Raleigh is part of North Carolina's Research Triangle, one of the country's largest and most successful research parks. It is a major center in the United States for high-tech and biotech research. Many high-tech companies are located here. The high-tech company SAS, rated one of the best places to work, is located in Raleigh. SAS can be compared to the company Digital, which once dominated New England.

Raleigh, NC is the home of Duke University, U.N.C., N.C. State, and E.C.P.I. College of Technology, just to name a few. As a college town, Raleigh caters to the young professionals. There is no shortage of nightclubs, which range from contemporary to alternative dance clubs. There are a variety of great restaurants in Raleigh, as well. Residential and commercial development continues in Raleigh, at a rapid rate, despite the nation’s economic issues.

Employment Cons - High Tech Jobs, Artisans Lack in Rural Areas

In a rural area like Clayton, professional employment opportunities are obviously not as plentiful as they are in the city’s capital. If you live on the outskirts, and seek employment at a high tech company, expect to commute into Raleigh.

While locations south of Raleigh are rural farming towns, locations just one half hour north of Raleigh are more developed, having subdivisions, condominiums, tightly packed neighborhoods, strips malls, and much more traffic. Of course, it really all depends on where you choose to live in NC. If you work remotely, your location in regards to employment, is almost irrelevant.

Many New England towns cater to crafters and artisans, where you will find a variety of art galleries and crafters’ shops. In New England towns, you can find quilts, pottery and handmade jewelry all on the same street. In this area of NC, there aren’t nearly as many art galleries and crafters’ studios.

As a studio musician, teacher and producer, he finds the music scene to be thriving in Raleigh. However, it is not quite as robust as it is in Boston, MA.

Cuisine Pros – Great Restaurant Variety in Raleigh

Whether you prefer Thai, Italian, Mexican, or seafood, in Raleigh, there is a great variety of specialty, niche restaurants to choose from. You can find whole food and grocery markets with excellent varieties of organic foods.

Cuisine Cons - Rural Areas Lack Variety

In the rural areas like Clayton, there isn’t a great variety of restaurant to choose from. He described the local restaurants as “cookie cutter”, including: your typical pizzeria, Chinese food, and bar and grille.

Not as health conscious, the grocery stores in the rural areas of NC do not have the organic and healthy food variety that you will find in New England. Also, the grocery prices in NC are slightly higher than in New England.

New England has an abundance of ice cream stands and shops. In New England, it is rare indeed to have to drive more than ten minutes to your favorite ice cream stand. Unfortunately, ice cream shops in this area of NC are far and few between.

People - Pros and Cons

Southern hospitality truly prevails in NC. In the farming community of Clayton, people are exceptionally friendly and neighborly. Being invited to your neighbor’s house for coffee is not uncommon. Young children respect their elders by using language such as “sir” and “mam”, which leaves one with a nice feeling.

In his experience, the grumpy, rude and demanding people that he has encountered, are most often those New Englanders that have relocated to NC!

While any location has its drawbacks, my relative is very happy with his home in Clayton, NC. He would recommend the move wholeheartedly to anyone. He really loves the variety that his NC location offers. Within a half hour he can escape the country and be in the heart of city and vise versa.

For additional information, search the group/opinion forums on Google by typing “relocating to North Carolina”. This is how he did some of his online research.


Mylindaminka on May 02, 2013:

Каждый сам ищет пути к «вершинам» секса. Найти удается не всем, и тогда интимная жизнь превращается в рутинную обязанность, исполняемую скорее по привычке, нежели по зову плоти. Если вы заметили эти опасные тенденции в своей спальне, срочно беритесь за дело. Изменить положение вещей никогда не бывает поздно. К этому моменту я сижу на камне и по-тихому начинаю засыпать-замерзать-умирать. И тут поваренок – человечек, который шел третьим гидом, вместо ловко откосившего с животом Ефрема. Подает кружку дымящегося чего-то.

Mylindaminka on May 01, 2013:

Советы о том, как продать щетину: Совет первый Для начала узнайте, сколько примерно стоят щетины подобные вашей. Газеты и риэлтерские агентства, как правило, не дают точной информации, поэтому соберите как можно больше данных из разных источников и сравните их. Ваше стремление подороже продать щетину не должно вас ослеплять. Будьте благоразумны и трезво оценивайте ситуацию.

Futamarka on March 20, 2013:

Сгораемые – шиньоны, которые при контакте с огнем загораются и горят открытым пламенем даже в случае ликвидации источника огня (древесина, битум, парфюммерные шиньоны).

looking to go on August 16, 2012:

i am in need to find out about the schools K-12 in NC i want my kids to be chaaenged

aivsxxdct on June 28, 2012:

Hello here is a good forum

I spent 5 hours searching in the network, until find your forum! I think, I shall stay here for a long time!

SCOTT S.I on May 26, 2012:

We moved from texas in 2007 and sorry to say but i have had a lot of problems with the locals here in asheville !!!!! it is simply heartbreaking !!!!! i love the climate and escaped the heat of texas but it is hard to find emplotment at times since the locals like to " hire their own" !!! have a job secured before you move. i live just outside asheville and my neighbors don't like outsiders !!! they don't like blacks where i live in the country and don't even try to mentioned the word "gay". all my friends that i have made are transplants like myself. they even call me " yankee" and i am from texas !!!!! the schools are not that great and my kids are not really being challenged like back in texas. the "hillbilly mentality" is alive and well here. please please come visit and stay awhile before you move here.I have lived all over the US and never found such unfriendly locals in my whole life !!!!!!

Kristi Maloney (author) on June 28, 2011:

Hi Frank,

I loved reading your comment. Thank you for stopping by and reading my article. I would LOVE to move to North Carolina and leave the New England winters behind. Of course, right now it's about 80 comfortable degrees and summer is in full swing. You've gotta love that about New England too. Good luck with your move!

Frank on June 28, 2011:

Hi Kristi,

My wife and I are seriously contemplating a move to Western NC. We are both retired now and are actively searching the Murphy, Asheville area looking for homes to buy.I realy enjoyed this article you have written. Like so many New England people, we would like to escape the cold long winters up here in the north now and thus the move to Western NC sounds delightful. Between the two of us we spent about 35 years in New Hampshire and the rest in Connecticut. We both absolutely loved living in New Hampshire. No sales or state tax but high property tax. The mountains and lakes there are beautiful. We want to get back to the mountains but also want to leave behine the icy cold days. We would love to here from other New England people who have relocated to te Western part of NC. Thanks!

Kristi Maloney on February 15, 2010:

Hi Movearoundus,

It was so helpful to have my uncle's point of view and opinion on this. I couldn't have a "fantastic job" without him. Thanks for the comments, they are very much appreciated!!

movearoundus from Miami, FL on February 14, 2010:

Dear, you have done a fantastic job around....... Your hub seems a detail database of North Carolina. The people, weather, the location, culture even a broad discussion on cuisine, employment etc. are really amazingly described. I thing all the persons especially willing to move at NC might have a strong overview. Thank you for so much helpful post.

David Alan Carter on January 09, 2010:

Good article and a creative topic. I've had my eye on North Carolina for a number of years, particularly the coastal area. Especially get to thinking about a relocation from Ohio around this time of the year (as I write, it's 17 degrees outside and there's 5 inches of snow in the driveway).

Thanks! --David

Kristi Maloney (author) on November 03, 2009:

I guess if you are moving from Jersery, any state would be an improvemet. Ahhhhhh I'mmmm just kidding! My parents and my uncle, who this hub is about, are ALL from New Jersey. We used to go there all the time growing up. I always liked New Jersey. I don't know about the K-12 school, but Raleigh, NC is home to seversl fantastic colleges.

Fenwick on November 02, 2009:

My family was thinking about moving some place warm. We come from New Jersey and are searching for the best new state to live in. I just wanted to be prepared; it sounds to me like a move to the Carolinas would be slight culture shock. I've never once called anyone Sir or Mam', though I'm not one to take up the typical stereotype, if I do say so myself. How are the school systems? (K-12?)

Kristi Maloney (author) on September 11, 2009:

Hi Mrs.Moe! Thanks for your comment and good luck to you!!

MrsMoe on September 11, 2009:

My husband and I went on a reconaissance trip to North Carolina this spring as we intend to retire there. (From New England). We hope our retirement dollars will go further and intend to bring as much with us so we don't have to worry about sales tax as much. You gave us more to think of - and in the long run, more incentive to go! Thank you.

danesa on July 17, 2009:

Kristi, I enjoyed your comparisons and your relative's "take" on NC. I am from the opposite end of the east coast, Florida. I moved to NC four years ago and have never looked back.

My view of taxes in NC is a little different than yours. :) In Florida, we did not have state taxes, so when I moved to NC I was in "tax shock". Even my car and PETS had a property tax imposed on it. lol But now, that I'm over my tax shock, (except on April 15th each year), I love it here!

I am located in the Triad area (Winston Salem, Greensboro & High Point). I live in a small town, Kernersville, situated right in the middle of these three cities. So, I have the feel of the rural environment & society, with the free reign of the larger cities. We are a couple hours from the mountains to the west and less than an hour from the Virginia portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Beautiful drives on lovely spring and fall days & evenings.

Between the three cities, you can find any kind of culture, cuisine and activities that you care to participate in. Actually, a group of us ladies take in the theatre, dinner, movies, shopping, etc, each month at different locations, trying out all the food, fun and frollies! Its been a great way to learn more about my new state as well.

I agree that most of my "run ins" with attitudes happen to be from the northern folks who have made this their new home. I'm glad to say, we are slowly turning some of them into "southerns" and warming them up a bit. lol I'm not the least bit shy in telling them, "Yes, I'm sure you DID do it that way, in your old home state, however, in NC we DO it this way!!!"

Just had to put my plug in for NC. They say its the new "Florida retirement" place of the future. I hope not too many people decide to retire here...then it would lose some of its charm!

Kristi Maloney (author) on June 28, 2009:

Hey Dori,

Thanks for your comment. Here in MA not only did we have a miserable icestorm over the winter, we just had about 26 days of rain out of the last 30. Maybe its time to head south and get outta Tax-ichusetts!

Dori S Matte from Hillsborough on June 28, 2009:

I don't know how I missed this, born and bred in NC. One thing about NC, if you don't like the weather, wait 15 minutes and it will change.


Kristi Maloney (author) on April 11, 2009:

Emmy, thanks for stopping by and the great comment!

Emmy Samson on April 11, 2009:

Great comprehensive hub!! Very impressive and professionally written!! You really comparing NC and New England ina pretty way. Thanks for sharing..

Kristi Maloney (author) on March 17, 2009:

Yes, my relative forgot to mention it, otherwise....I would have put it in there. Do you live in NC? Have you ever lived in New England, and which do you prefer?

mayhmong from North Carolina on March 17, 2009:

Wow, you pretty much covered the whole topic about North Carolina!? Did you forget to mentioned about hurricane season?

Kristi Maloney (author) on February 28, 2009:

Thanks Kari, glad you enjoyed it. My husband and I visited Kill Devil Hills in 2000, before kids! The beaches are incredible, the kids would love it right about now!

Kari Poulsen from Ohio on February 28, 2009:

You did a great job comparing NC and New England. Both are great places. I really enjoyed how you showed the pros and cons of each.

Kristi Maloney (author) on February 28, 2009:

Thank you Lupo and Ripplemaker, I appreciate the feedback. I am glad you could relate! I would love to get out of New England and at least visit NC!

Michelle Simtoco from Cebu, Philippines on February 27, 2009:

Hi Kristi, congratulations!  This hub has been chosen as one of the hubnuggets this week.  If you haven't read your email yet, SURPRISE!!!  Join the hubnuggets fun by reading Shirley's hub: Do vote and invite all (as in all) your friends to vote too. The more the merrier. :-)

Moving can be a challenge but having a wealth of information can help a lot. :-)  Love the hospitality and being in touch with nature. Well, except for the big bugs and snakes. LOL It sounds like a great place to stay.    

Lupo from Boston Area on February 27, 2009:

I have nearly live in all four corners of the U.S. (Houston just wasn't far enough west to be southwestern), so it was fun to read your comparsisons between New England and NC. A number of things made me laugh in remembering stuff from my own experiences in Georgia (lots more, and lots bigger, bugs!).

Thank for the nice hub.

Kristi Maloney (author) on February 25, 2009:

Glad to hear it, thank you for the comment!

Gerene on February 24, 2009:

Fantastic, Kristi, I learned a lot from your article.

Stephanie Malone on February 24, 2009:

Kristi, that was absolutely amazing. You have made me want to move down there as well!

Kristi Maloney (author) on February 24, 2009:

Hi Susan,

Your welcome! I am glad you found it to be helpful. I would love to be in North Carolina right about now! Good luck if you do relocate.

Susan M on February 24, 2009:

Wow! thank you so much for this comprehensive hub in response to my query. You gave us much to think about and research. Fantastic Hub - I look forward to reading more from you!

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