Calling all Floridians! If you’re thinking of moving and starting over, you should consider relocating to North Carolina—many of you already have.
According to a published report in Business Insider, in 2022, Florida led the nation as the most popular state people are moving to. At the same time, it also led the nation as the most popular state for people to move out of.
The extremes are not unrelated. In fact, it’s more like a cause and effect. As new residents are coming in, they are driving up housing prices to a point where some of the current residents can no longer afford to stay.
Here are the real numbers:
In 2022, the state of Florida saw the biggest increase in population with 674,740 new residents. However, 469,577 moved out of the state.
The Business Insider study found that the vast majority of those getting out are moving to the border states of Georgia and Alabama. The third most popular state for outbound Floridians is here in North Carolina. Last year, a total of 37,071 people moved from some place in Florida to some place in North Carolina.
“It’s not just the price of housing,” said Doug Wahl, Office Manager with Just for Buyers Realty. “I get calls from time to time from people who moved, started out in New York or New Jersey, and then they retired to Florida. After a while, they feel they are too far away from their old hometowns. It’s too far to drive to see the grandkids. They don’t want to return to the snow, but they want to be closer, so they start looking at the Cape Fear region and other parts of North Carolina.”
By comparison, a drive from Orlando to New York City is more than 16 hours. Making the trip from the Wilmington area cuts the drive time down to less than 9 hours.
So, if you tried Florida only to discover it’s not for you, here’s what you should know about moving to the Cape Fear Region.
Pros of Moving to the North Carolina Coast:
- Milder Climate: North Carolina’s coastal region offers a more temperate climate with distinct seasons, providing relief from Florida’s hot and humid weather.
- Beautiful Beaches: The North Carolina coast boasts stunning beaches like Wrightsville and Topsail Island.
- Lower Cost of Living: While the cost of living varies across North Carolina, it tends to be lower than many parts of Florida, including housing, taxes, and daily expenses.
- Quality of Life: The North Carolina coast offers a slower pace of life, making it an attractive option for those seeking a more relaxed and laid-back lifestyle.
- Outdoor Activities: There are ample opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, fishing, and boating, thanks to the state’s diverse landscapes and waterways.
- Cultural Diversity: North Carolina’s coastal cities like Wilmington offer a mix of cultural experiences, historic sites, and a vibrant arts scene.
- Good Education: The state has well-regarded educational institutions, both public and private, at all levels, making it an attractive destination for families.
- Lower Hurricane Risk: While the North Carolina coast can still experience hurricanes, it generally faces less frequent and less severe storms than Florida.
- Job Opportunities: The coastal region has growing industries in tourism, healthcare, and technology, providing potential job opportunities.
Cons of Moving to the North Carolina Coast:
- Colder Winters: If you prefer a year-round warm climate, you may find North Carolina’s winters cooler than Florida’s.
- Hurricane Risk: Although it’s lower than Florida, the North Carolina coast still faces hurricane threats, which may require hurricane preparedness.
- Tourist Crowds: During the summer months, popular coastal destinations can become crowded with tourists.
- Limited Public Transit: North Carolina’s coastal areas may have limited public transportation options, so a car is often necessary.
- Relocation Costs: Moving can be expensive, and the distance between Florida and North Carolina may result in higher relocation costs.
- Different Culture: The cultural vibe and pace of life in North Carolina can be different from Florida, so it may take some adjustment.
Remember that the specific experience of moving from Florida to the North Carolina coast can vary based on the location within both states and personal preferences. It’s important to research the areas you’re interested in to make an informed decision. That’s where the JFB team can help. Speak to one of our relocation experts today at 910-202-4813.