Join us on this edition of Market Focus as we head to Oak City! Raleigh is a hotspot for all walks of life. From arts and culture devotees, to sports fanatics and nature enthusiasts, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Noted as having a small-town Southern community feel fixed with modern city character, any Raleigh-goer truly gets the bet of both worlds. Raleigh is also a highly reputable area for business, as it is at the heart of technology, healthcare, and education fields.
The housing market has been on the upswing for some time now. There exists a competitive atmosphere for potential renters, particularly in the coveted downtown area and near Research Triangle Park. Waiting a week (sometimes even a day) to see other homes can cause a rise in competition. The average 1-bedroom apartment in Raleigh is around $1,200/month, and the average 3-bedroom home is around $2,000.
Homes and apartments within the rental market move very quickly. Due to the high demand, an application may be required as soon as the property is viewed, as it’s very common a landlord will already have several applicants for a property. The positive news? Many assignees will find that despite the competition, housing options are much more affordable than other large U.S. cities.
Where to Live
Every neighborhood and suburb has a distinct character and is known for different lifestyles and environments.
There are plenty advantages to living in Downtown Raleigh. This is a very multicultural community that is filled with a plethora of great shopping, recreational activities, and school options. Downtown is home to a very diverse restaurant and craft beer scene as well. From traditional BBQ to all-natural food choices, the options are endless. There is also a free shuttle system that offers access to a variety of downtown locations and offices. Most residents will find that high-volume areas are walking distance or just a short commute away. Rental options are generally apartments, ranging from $1,200-1,600 per month.
Morrisville, rated the #1 best suburb to live in North Carolina, is an ideal space for assignees relocating with families. Offering residents a suburban feel, while being only a 20 minute drive from downtown, brings family-friendly fun to a whole new level. Morrisville has plenty of highly acclaimed public schools and is also very close to Research Triangle Park, where many assignees may work.
For those interested in the “small town feel” while still staying close to the city, Cary is the perfect spot. Lining the streets are eclectic restaurants, coffee shops, brunch spots, and parks that are raved about throughout North Carolina. Quality education and both public and private schools are around the corner, and it is very hard to go wrong here.
Tips for RMCs, HR & Assignees
Raleigh and the surrounding areas do not have the public transportation that other larger U.S. cities boast. Unless one lives within walking distance to work, commuting in Raleigh can be a challenge without a vehicle. One of Raleigh’s many charms is its beautiful surroundings; it is spread out and very green with trees and plants everywhere. This same charm though leads to longer distances from work.
Be sure to bring a home country license and credit card if the expat intends to rent a car or take driving lessons. Many rental car companies in the Raleigh area have gone to credit card as a payment for a long-term rental and will not take debit cards.
Snow is quite rare in Raleigh. While the novelty may represent ‘fun’ for children, the downside is on the rare occasion it does snow, the city may seem to…overreact. Those from colder climates may find it humorous that a light dusting of snow can lead to closed schools, offices, roads, and cancelled flights. Perhaps what can seem most annoying are supermarkets on the eve before an anticipated snow – shelves are likely to be bare as Raleighites prepare to bunker down and wait out the winter weather.
Local Insights for Assignees
Widely known for its beauty, Raleigh is the perfect place to experience the great outdoors. Home to countless parks, trails, and lakes, nature lovers are sure to be entranced by its beautiful landscape. Activities such as kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, and boat rentals are common to the area, especially in places like Lake Crabtree County Park or Bass Lake Park. For those on the thrill-seeking side, Raleigh has plenty of outdoor adventure parks, like TreeRunner Raleigh Adventure Park and Go Ape Treetop Adventure Course, with suspended obstacles, swings, zip lines and even junior parks for children’s participation.
If you’re interested in some mouth-watering taste testing (or much more than just a taste), Raleigh does not disappoint in the food category. With food trucks becoming more and more popular, it seems like there is something new to try on every corner. Trying to maintain a healthier diet? The State Farmers Market, which is open every day of the week, is always a wholesome fan favorite. With over 75 acres of indoor/outdoor specialty shops and restaurants filled with fresh local produce, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Feeling sweet? Head over to the Videri Chocolate Factory to sample, or learn to make, some of the country’s finest chocolate.
Artists are also sure to be in for a treat, as well, with the art scene booming throughout the city. The North Carolina Museum of Art is filled with a large variety of fine art sure to please the eye. With works from all over the world, including African, Egyptian, and Jewish pieces, you won’t want to miss out. Although it opened in 1924, a three-year expansion was recently completed, filling the 164 acres with outdoor theatres, live music amphitheaters, and plenty of outdoor trails.
Enliven your weekend with a visit to the Raleigh Beer Garden, located in the heart of the Glenwood South entertainment district. With the world’s largest beer collection (more than 350 beers on tap), the outdoor patio and rooftop garden are sure to bring some summer fun in the city. If beer isn’t up your alley, don’t worry. The Raleigh Beer Garden offers a renowned food menu, with a variety of sandwiches, pizzas, salads, and more. Interested in experiencing Raleigh nightlife first-hand? Take a stroll through Glenwood South to see crowds gathering at Cornerstone Tavern, The Wine Feed, and plenty of other progressive restaurants, bars, and clubs.