Best Places for Veterans to Live in North Carolina
Leaving the military presents a huge number of opportunities, not least of which finally having some control over the place you call home.
That said, the choice can be somewhat overwhelming, and for many veterans, it’s important to find somewhere right first time, to avoid revisiting that oh-so-familiar feeling of packing your stuff and swapping locations again.
If you’ve got your sights set on North Carolina, we’re here to talk you through the state’s best locations—and why they’ll appeal if you’re a veteran.
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What makes a great location?
Of course, being a veteran doesn’t make you the same as every other veteran, but research into ex-military living shows that there are certain things that hold close to a universal appeal, including:
- An established local veteran culture
- Good veteran employment rates
- A solid local economy
- Good cost of living compared to the national average
- Proximity to good schools
If those things also appeal to you and your family, then we’d recommend you check out the following locations in North Carolina.
Wilmington isn’t just considered one of the best locations for veterans in North Carolina, it’s also consistently rated as one of the best areas in the country.
Wilmington has a cost of living very close to the national average and also has excellent employment rates—plus, the city is already home to a large number of veterans, meaning there are lots of ex-military owned businesses and a thriving veteran community.
The city has a population of just around 115,000, and boasts nearby beaches and beach communities all within half-hour drives from downtown Wilmington. The city’s also brimming with culture, from performing arts and music at the Thalian Hall, to a host of important and vibrant museums.
Wilmington is an absolute must for any veteran’s list of potential North Carolina locations.
Like Wilmington, Raleigh is also considered one of the best veteran locations in America, and was recently voted the 8th best veteran city in the country.
Cost of living is slightly higher than some other places on this list, but that’s down to one of the country’s most highly rated school systems and a job growth rate that puts most other US cities to shame.
The close proximity to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base means you’re guaranteed to be part of a strong veteran community, whichever part of Raleigh you decide to call home, although a few other popular veteran locations include Cary, Apex, and Holly Springs. An average unemployment rate of around 4% is one of the lowest you’ll find across all 50 states.
If you’re a fan of the country but like the convenience of a city, Raleigh’s oak lined streets should definitely feature on your list of possible places to call home in North Carolina.
Greensboro is North Carolina’s third largest city, with around 290,000 people currently calling it home.
The city’s cost of living is significantly less than a lot of wider North Carolina and the country as a whole. While this means that unemployment rates aren’t quite as impressive as other places on this list, it does mean that your money goes a lot further when it comes to finding your perfect home.
Greensboro’s healthcare provisions are excellent and there are great local colleges and universities. Generally, the city is a quiet, with great shopping and plenty of places eat. What’s more, you’re not far from the I-85 and I-40 interstates, so hopping over to other North Carolina cities and locations is easily done.
If you’re looking for a great city in which you can maximize your money, Greensboro is well worth your time.
Charlotte also ranks as one of the best cities for veterans in the US, and the city’s close proximity to Fort Bragg makes it an already popular choice for veterans.
Charlotte is the largest location on this list; as North Carolina’s biggest city, it’s home to almost 900,000 people, with a staggering 9% of those people having a military background. As such, the veteran community is thriving—as are the large numbers of veteran-owned businesses in and around Charlotte.
Cost of living in Charlotte is slightly lower than the US average, and even though house prices are slightly up against the rest of the state, they’re still well below averages across the country, offering you a chance to find a lot of home for your hard-earned cash.
You’ll never run out of things to do in Charlotte. From the NASCAR Hall of Fame, to the stunning Freedom Park, and a host of great places to eat and shop, the city is well worth a look for veterans of all ages.
John Moran is a veteran and businessman with Phoenix, AZ based DD214 Direct, which helps servicemen and women access the military discharge documentation they need quickly and simply, with a crack team of records researchers, IT professionals, and government liaisons available to facilitate the sometimes complex process.