Raleigh, North Carolina

City Of Oaks

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What's it like to live in Raleigh?

Am I Crazy for Wanting to Move to the Triangle Area / Raleigh from Los Angeles? I Need Some Pessimism / Reality Check.

I'm not originally from Raleigh but I'm a North Carolina native, and I think you might like it here quite a bit.

Despite what some people have said, Raleigh is not as full of religious nut jobs as other parts of the state. Just take Charlotte for instance - a full third of the radio stations around Charlotte are religious in nature whereas here in the Triangle, we have the standard 2-3 stations. There are also no true megachurches like they have in the Charlotte area. I have never once been asked where I attend church and I have never been overtly judged for never expressing any sort of religious opinions.

I've never been to L.A. but folk are absolutely right that you're going to have less to do here than there. Except for a few places on the weekends, the city largely shuts down by midnight. If you're into the club scene or are more of a night owl, this is not going to be a great place for you. That being said, there are lots of places to engage in outdoor activities and we're really close to other great opportunities if you're willing to drive.

The breweries are great. Bottle shops are all over the place. The coffee scene here is really taking off. While we won't have all of the same food that's available in L.A., there is still good food to be had all over the Triangle. Also, your rental options are gonna be great. Before I bought the home I'm in now, my spouse and I were paying $1200/month for a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath (1400 sq. ft.) on a quarter acre just outside the Inner Beltline. I'm now paying $1185/month for a 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath house (1900 sq. ft.) with a single car garage and fenced in backyard on a quarter acre that's 15-20 minutes from downtown.

My one recommendation is that you realize that this isn't going to be L.A. or Pennsylvania. I am happy to have people move here - I can't stand a lot of the assumptions people make about folk living here. While we have our fair share of conservatives, the state has ALWAYS had a strong progressive minority. I grew up in a small town of 3000 people. I also wasn't raised in a religious household, both of my parents have degrees, and we've been voting for progressive politicians since before the migration to the Triangle began to explode. Don't assume that because someone has an accent, they're a dumb redneck. And don't assume that because someone is a redneck, they don't have anything to offer.

Am I Crazy for Wanting to Move to the Triangle Area / Raleigh from Los Angeles? I Need Some Pessimism / Reality Check.

I lived in LA for 12 years and moved ot Raleigh with my former fiancé almost 7 years ago. I felt very at home in LA but had wanted to leave for a lot of the same reasons you do. In addition, the tech scene in LA was not the same as it is now but was doing well in Raleigh (I also work in tech).

I own a house here in Raleigh, I have a yard. I love my house and I really like the freedom of it. A friend has a condo at a similar price in LA but he bought during the downturn and lives with many more restrictions.

Here's what I miss about LA:

The weather. Raleigh has really good weather, but no one holds a candle to SoCal. It gets very hot here (I don't mind), but there are still mild winters. It's not that the weather here is bad, it's just that you get more gorgeous days than you can use in LA.

Being in a major city. Some things simply don't happen here. Large music acts, limited release movies, speaking engagements from writers, political leaders, celebrities. Major cities get direct flights, Raleigh basically never does. Simply put, Raleigh is not important to people who don't live here.

Friends wanting to visit. Corollary to the above, friends from out of town will sometimes visit, and it's just to see you. That's great. But only twice has a friend said: "hey I'm in town, want to hang out?", this is not hugely important but it is a factor, especially if you will miss your LA friends and hope they visit you.

Overall Mindset. The west coast has an open mindset by default I feel. People embrace a lot of different lifestyles. Raleigh is pretty liberal and open, but it's not quite the same.

Diverse music scene. This is a personal one, but there's not much of a punk scene in Raleigh. Not much of a rap scene or techno scene. The rock is awesome here, but that's the main music.

But! Raleigh is awesome. And especially if you want a little slower pace of life. It's a growing city, a great place to raise a family, and still a city with lots to do if you look for it. College sports are big. Breweries are big. The traffic here is mellow (but everyone tailgates) so you'll learn to forget your road rage. You can be active and have an influence in city and county politics.

It's a great place to live. I miss LA, but I haven't considered moving back very heavily at this point.

What is it like to live in Raleigh, NC?

Having grown up in Raleigh, I'm partial to the city. I moved away to go to graduate school in the late 80s and have lived now in NOLA, Edenton, Concord/Charlotte. I am now living in Durham and back in the triangle. Living in Raleigh and triangle area is a great place for families, medical professionals, tech professionals, university staff, and government. Lots of jobs in all those areas. Raleigh has changed over the years with lots of growth. However, Raleigh still doesn't feel like a big city (like Atlanta/NYC etc). It still has a bit of a small town feel, as does Durham and Chapel Hill. There is lots here but not quite at the level of bigger cities (but some may like that). Traffic is horrendous in certain areas but that is part of the growth. This is a great place though to live and raise a family. You can get to the beach or mountains in reasonable time. A major airport helps too. Some of the great things about Raleigh and Triangle area include:
-great performing arts/concerts/venues
-very unique and awesome restaurants. love the independent restaurants, a nice change from Charlotte/Concord which was mostly chains
-Good economy
-Good housing
-Downtown Raleigh has come back to life with a great restaurant scene, bars, breweries, and venues/festivals/events
-Falls Lake/water activities
Some things would like to see:
-some higher end retail (like a southpark mall in charlotte)
-entertainment for kids/amusement park (doubt that will happen w Carowinds/Busch Gardens within reason)
-more pro teams: Hurricanes are great but wish we had the Panthers or a major league baseball team…….Charlotte gets the sports

If you are looking for big city life, Raleigh may not be the place……….but if you want a great place to live, raise a family, and enjoy southern culture, Raleigh is perfect

What is it like to live in Raleigh, NC?

I am one of the rare natives you will find in Raleigh. I have seen A LOT of change. Some for the better, some not so much. For the better: the revitalization of downtown. There has been a lot of work put into it and has gone from being seedy to a vibrate place to explore and lots of festivals are held here. Like others have stated, you will need a car to get around. Public transportation is nearly non-existent. If you live down town you can get around easily with the R line, but that is limiting since Raleigh is so big geographically. I would also agree that the variety of jobs is limiting if outside of healthcare or technology. It has come a long way in this regard, though could afford to do better. The not so good is that because everyone keeps moving here traffic is getting worse (especially if you work in any of the healthcare/technology hubs). Also housing is NOT affordable. Yes, in comparison to other major cities. But Raleigh isn’t a city-city (IMO). So unfortunately people from other places (especially New England and CA) where housing really is ridiculous has driven up the cost of living here. Not so much fun for us natives. If you do some research you will also find that the cost of housing/living is much more than it should be for the median average salaries currently available in the area. That being said there are some “pockets” of affordability and if you don't mind living in one of Raleighs “burrows” as I call them.. ie garner, knightdale, those on the outskirt of raleigh, you can find a decent home for decent price. Keep in mind though that you will have to and contribute to the up rise of traffic congestion. Also note that it takes 30–40min to get to Raleigh from those locations. I also recently read that Raleigh has one of the highest/longest commute average from home to work in the country. Just FYI!

Pros and Cons of Living in Raleigh North Carolina