Looking around the great state of North Carolina there are clearly a number of best places for you to retire or relocate.
One of those places that from time to time pops up on our radar, often through comments and questions from readers like you, is the Coastal NC Best Places To Live of Wilmington.
Now through the years, I’ve done other posts on Coastal Wilmington North Carolina.
- Port City NC Best Places To Live Wilmington
- Why Do People Love Wilmington North Carolina?
- A Video of Wilmington North Carolina
And I’ve talked about why I think Wilmington makes it onto the list of one of the Coastal NC Best Places To Live.
This week I thought we’d take a look at some of the things people tell me they like and dislike about Wilmington North Carolina.
If you weren’t already aware of it, Wilmington North Carolina, with a population of a little over 100,000 people, is the largest city in eastern North Carolina.
Wilmington North Carolina has a reputation for being a very laid-back place
Coastal Wilmington North Carolina is often referred to as the “Port City” given its long history as a major eastern seaport.
Wilmington itself sits right at the southeastern corner of North Carolina between the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean, which brings me to my first point about Wilmington North Carolina:
1. Coastal NC Best Places To Live Location, location, location:
One thing (if not the major thing) that attracts people to Coastal Wilmington North Carolina is its natural beauty and ideal location. If you want to live near the ocean and beautiful beaches, wherever you settle in Wilmington the water is not far away.
Wilmington’s particular latitude and longitude also give it a very mild subtropical climate with summer temperatures rarely getting above 88 degrees and winter temperatures on average in the 50’s and 60’s making it a wonderful place to spend time outdoors.
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2. Good business and career opportunities:
Wilmington North Carolina has very few large employers but instead prides itself on its small businesses and entrepreneurial culture which has helped attract a lot of younger workers looking to start new careers.
In fact, Wilmington ranked quite high in recent Forbes and Fortune magazine surveys of best places to start a business or a career.
Another advantage for local businesses has been the quality of the programs and student body of local universities like the University of North Carolina, Wilmington and the unique situation of having the third largest motion picture production studio in the country located in their backyard.
Cost of living in Wilmington North Carolina remains slightly below the national average
For parents with young kids looking to relocate to their best place to live along the North Carolina coastline, Wilmington and New Hanover county schools have a good reputation and consistently score above average in statewide tests.
For those with older kids, the UNC Wilmington is very highly rated and often scores in the top 10 of public universities in the southeastern United States.
Oh, the UNCW is also home to an Oster Lifelong Learning institute for the older, older kids (you and me) looking for new things to learn and do.
4. Low taxes and affordable housing:
Calling housing affordable can be quite subjective nowadays but I can say that the recent median home sales price in Wilmington North Carolina is around $184,000 and with a property tax $0.37 per $100 of value.
Therefore, Coastal Wilmington North Carolina has the second lowest property tax in the state for a city its size.
Alright, we hit a lot of the good stuff, but what about things of concern?
Well, Wilmington North Carolina has a higher crime rate than many cities of the same size in North Carolina.
But hold on, the overwhelming majority of that crime takes place closer to the city center and involves crimes against property (burglary, larceny, etc.), so it’s worth keeping this in mind when looking for your best place to live.
Not unusual for coastal areas, we have also had reports that area traffic can be quite bad for a city of Wilmington’s size so be aware of that.
And the worst drawback is Wilmington’s history of hurricanes.
It usually gets “brushed” by some tropical storm about every 3 years, and more directly affected every 8-10 years. That means “boarding up and packing up”, if you want to play it safe.
It also means higher insurance rates.
But because the area and town are so attractive, people are willing to put up with the inconvenience and threat.
On a lighter note, although Wilmington North Carolina has a reputation for a place where culture and the arts flourish, there have been complaints that local restaurant offerings are uninspired which… the next time I’m in Wilmington, I’ll be sure to either verify or disprove.
If your in the area, be sure to let us know your thoughts.
Anyway, I hope this answers some questions about Wilmington as a Coastal NC Best Places To Live and provided a better glimpse into what it is like living in North Carolina along the coast.
I’ll see you next week!
Robert Bencivenga is a professional site locator and location analyst for major corporations. Robert researches the growth of NC and SC to find the Best Places to Retire or Relocate that are still affordable.
Robert Does Not Sell Real Estate!
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