The laid-back lifestyle and mild climate of North Carolina are big draws for homebuyers, along with low taxes, opportunities for outdoor pursuits like hiking and rafting, a solid brewery scene, and college sports galore. And the state’s popularity only continues to grow among all age groups.

Recently, Charlotte snagged the number-six spot on the U.S. News & World Report’s 2020-2021 Best Places to Live list—an index that ranks cities on their value, desirability, job market, and quality of life—and Raleigh-Durham came in at 11. Both are also part of a group of “18-hour cities” in which the downtown areas are bustling beyond the typical workday hours, and these locations are increasingly popular with millennials.

Not only that, but the two locales are considered prime picks for retirees, along with Asheville. Plus, Raleigh has gained attention in recent years for a boom in technology jobs,  garnering the nickname “the Bay Area of the East Coast.”

Compared to 2019, housing prices are up nearly 11% in Charlotte and 14% in Raleigh, respectively. The demand is also high, with homes only staying on the market for an average of six days as opposed to 11 last year. This may be partly because buyers get so much bang for their buck: at the end of August 2020, the median home value statewide was $214,726, a six percent increase year over year, but still well below the national median home price of $310,600.

Unlike more densely-populated urban regions like New York and San Francisco where the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted residents to seek areas with more space, the generally suburban landscape of North Carolina means that the housing market has remained relatively stable throughout the crisis. 

Everyone’s trying to get to a city that is a little more spread out, but yet offers some of those same things as those more populated cities,” real estate agent Laura Peed explained to WTVD, noting that both local and out-of-state buyers are competing for properties.

The construction industry is responding in kind. According to a recent survey of the 80 largest markets in the nation, Raleigh-Durham was ranked number one and Charlotte was ranked number 11 for expected construction growth in 2021.

Everyday Expenses Add Up

Yet, for residents, the rising costs of day-to-day life still prove to be a challenge. In Wake County, which includes Raleigh-Durham, housing prices have increased 1.7 times more than incomes in the past five years, and 66% of Charlotte homeowners reported that housing costs were rising more rapidly than their incomes. Also in Charlotte, a whopping 85% felt that home maintenance costs were moderately to extremely stressful.

“When their housing eats so much of their income, they have to do without in other areas,” Kathryn Sabbeth, a UNC-Chapel Hill housing law professor told The Herald. “If you’re spending 50 or higher percent of your income on housing, you have less money left over for clothing, food, school supplies.”

Fortunately, working with a home equity investor like Hometap can help North Carolina homeowners access the equity they’ve built in their homes and pay for necessary expenses without having to sell their house. 

Find out if a Hometap Investment can help you pay off debts, accomplish financial goals, and live a more enjoyable and less stressful life in your North Carolina home. 

Take our five-minute quiz to see if a Hometap Investment might be a good fit for you.

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