North Carolina is an increasingly popular destination for visitors; it has a lot of attractive features, from the climate to the sights. A lot of visitors fall in love with the state and decide to become residents. However, making the decision to move – especially for families is a big deal. Any move constitutes a massive upheaval which is why doing the proper research beforehand is so important. North Carolina has amazing career opportunities for parents and some great schools for the kids; however, for those who aren’t that familiar with the state, it might be hard to know where to find them. 

Read on for the best places to live for families in North Carolina.

High Point

High Point is a city in Guilford County; while it is classed as a city, most of the residents would agree that it has a small-town feel. Its biggest draw is the low cost of living which means that families are able to afford a better quality of life. Housing obviously constitutes the highest cost of relocating. The average house in High Point costs between $120,000-$150,000, which is actually lower than a lot of other cities in the state. The city also offers some great public schools as well as a variety of parks, museums, and galleries.


Mooresville was once a railroad town and a racing city; it is one of the oldest areas in North Carolina, having first been founded in 1850. As a result, the town is steeped in history, from the oldest hardware store established in 1899 to the Public Library built in 1939. Mooresville is a smaller suburb of Charlotte, and its residents do lean conservative, which may be something to consider depending on your political leanings. Mooresville is also slightly more expensive, with the average home costing around $250,000. 


Huntersville is another suburb of Charlotte, although it is slightly bigger than Mooresville. Huntersville boasts a strong sense of community. There are a lot of parks, sports courts and swimming pools for the whole family to enjoy. Huntersville is near Lake Norman and Charlotte, which means that there are plenty of housing options for those who want a quieter, more suburban feel or those looking for more of an uptown feel. However, these homes are more expensive, with the average home costing upwards of $300,000, although the average household income for this area is higher, too, reflecting this higher cost of living. 


Apex is a suburb of Raleigh in Wake County; it has a moderate population, but it still does not feel as congested as the larger cities, although it still has all of the amenities you would expect from a bigger city. Apex still has plenty of small-town charm, although it has seen a population boom in recent years – something must be attracting residents. Perhaps it is the stellar schools, the lower crime rates, or the fact that it was voted third best suburb to raise a family in North Carolina this year? Like Huntersville, the house prices are higher but so is the average household income. 


Smithfield is a small town in Johnston County with a population of just over 12,000 people. Smithfield represents the best of small-town living, it isn’t densely populated, and there is a lot of nature and countryside to enjoy while also still having good transport links to all of the nearby amenities. House prices in Smithfield are more affordable than some of the others on this list, with the average home costing around $140,000. In addition, the schools in Smithfield are smaller, which means that your child is more likely to benefit from a smaller class size and a more personalized experience.

Holly Springs

Holly Springs, like Apex, is a suburb of Raleigh in Wake County. If safety is a priority for you, then you should definitely consider this town; according to the data Holly Springs is safer than 72% of US cities. The weather is mild year-round, and there are excellent amenities to enjoy. The town has amazing green spaces like Bass Lake and Sugg Park. The town is extremely child-friendly with a huge choice of excellent public schools, sports and rec centers. However, homes are not cheap here; the average home costs around $320,000 – but can you really put a price on your safety? 


Cary is a city near Raleigh, and by all accounts, it is one of the best places to live in North Carolina. It has some of the best schools in the state, and it also has a low crime rate – although not as low as Holly Springs. Cary offers a variety in surroundings from the beach to the mountain. It has a bigger population which provides a more urban feel, and it means that there are a lot of modern amenities. Cary also boats a lot of community programs for kids, adults, and seniors alike. In addition, there are great transport links to the nearby cities of Raleigh and Durham. House prices in Cary represent some of the highest in this list, with the average home costing around $350,000. 


Davidson is a small suburb of Charlotte, and it is right next to Lake Norman – North Carolina’s largest man-made lake. This means that there is a lot of beaches, boating, fishing, camping and other outdoor pursuits for your family to enjoy. As a result, Davidson is consistently seen as one of the best suburbs to live and raise a family in within the state of North Carolina. It is by all accounts a safe, family-friendly suburb. Although some residents do think that it lacks diversity, another concern would be the cost of living, as the average house costs over $440,000. 


The town of Concord in Cabarrus County offers a great middle-ground between the small town and bigger cities on this list. The cost of living is lower than a lot of other destinations on the list, with the average home costing $200,000. Concord has a lot of attractions for families, from parks to aquariums to festivals and much more. The sense of community is also boosted by regular local events. In addition, there are a lot of public schools to choose from depending on your preference. The crime rate is also lower than the national average, so you can feel secure in the knowledge that your family is safe. 

How Do I Choose?

One of the biggest factors to consider is your budget, which can help you rule out areas that you can’t afford immediately.  You can also conduct more research; there are a lot of amazing resources online. For example, EZ Home Search specializes in real estate in both North and South Carolina, and so their blog answers a lot of queries on real estate in North Carolina, which can help you to come to a decision. Lastly, don’t forget to get your children’s input too. After all, they will be living there too.

In Conclusion

There are a lot of things to think about when moving your family to a new town or state, and it can be an incredibly daunting prospect at times. You should keep in mind the reasons behind the move, don’t lose sight of them; they can help to keep you motivated amidst all of the stress. North Carolina is a great state to raise a family in, and hopefully, this list will have made it easier for you to make a decision. If you have no definitive timeline on the move, then you could always take the time to visit each of the towns listed before you make your final decision.