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Living in Cary, NC? Things to Know Before Moving

Cary consistently ranks as one of the top places to live in the United States, attracting a diverse population with its robust economy, excellent schools, and high quality of life. Whether you’re considering relocating for work, family, or retirement, Cary offers a dynamic living environment that blends small-town charm with the conveniences of a larger city. This guide aims to equip potential new residents with essential insights about the area, helping you make an informed decision about your move. From understanding the local job market to exploring community activities, here’s what you need to know before calling Cary your new home.

Geographic and Demographic Overview

Located in the heart of North Carolina’s Triangle area, Cary is strategically positioned between Raleigh and the Research Triangle Park, making it a prime location for professionals and families alike. The town boasts a mild climate with four distinct seasons, providing residents with a perfect balance of warm summer days and cool winters.

Cary’s population of over 170,000 is diverse and rapidly growing. The town is known for its high educational attainment, with a significant percentage of residents holding college degrees or higher. This educated workforce is one of the reasons Cary attracts numerous technology and research companies. The demographic mix is varied, offering a multicultural environment enriched by a blend of cultures and backgrounds.

Family life is particularly prominent in Cary, where community-focused living is a priority. The town’s safe neighborhoods, abundant parks, and excellent schools make it an appealing choice for families looking to put down roots. Additionally, the presence of several universities and colleges within the region contributes to the vibrant and youthful atmosphere in the area.

Cary’s planning and development have been meticulously managed, ensuring that growth is balanced with sustainability and livability. The town’s layout includes extensive greenways, well-maintained roads, and thoughtfully planned residential and commercial areas, which make it both functional and attractive for its residents.

Economic Landscape

Cary’s economic environment is robust and diverse, driven by its proximity to major research universities and the Research Triangle Park, one of the most prominent high-tech research and development centers in the United States. This proximity has made Cary a magnet for technology companies and startups, fostering a dynamic job market that attracts professionals from various fields, including biotechnology, information technology, and clean energy.

The town’s economy is anchored by sectors such as software, life sciences, and environmental technology. Major corporations, including SAS Institute and Verizon, have established significant operations in Cary, providing a wide range of employment opportunities. Furthermore, Cary’s strategic location near the state capital allows easy access to governmental and public sector jobs.

Cary boasts one of the lowest unemployment rates in the region, reflecting its strong job market and economic stability. The presence of global companies offers not only a wealth of job opportunities but also positions Cary as a community with a high median household income, substantially above the national average.

Cary is also known for its business-friendly environment. The town offers various incentives for businesses to set up operations locally, including tax incentives and resources for small businesses. This supportive environment promotes a thriving local economy and encourages innovation and entrepreneurship.

Looking forward, Cary is focused on sustainable growth. Plans are in place to further develop its downtown area and expand public transportation to accommodate its growing population and business sector. These developments are aimed at enhancing the quality of life for residents and making Cary even more attractive to businesses and professionals.

Cost of Living


Understanding the cost of living in Cary, NC, is crucial for anyone considering a move to this vibrant town. While Cary offers numerous amenities and a high quality of life, it’s important to consider how these factors translate into everyday expenses.

Housing is the most significant factor in the cost of living in Cary. The town’s real estate market is competitive, reflecting its desirability and the influx of new residents. The average home price in Cary is higher than the national average but comparable to or slightly less than prices in other high-growth metropolitan areas in the South. For renters, the market is similarly priced, with a range of options available from luxury apartments to more modest townhomes.

Utility costs in Cary, including electricity, water, and garbage collection, are generally on par with the national average. The temperate climate helps to keep heating and cooling costs reasonable throughout most of the year.

Transportation expenses in Cary can vary widely depending on one’s proximity to work and access to public transportation. The town is served by several major highways, which facilitates commuting but also necessitates owning a car. Public transportation options are expanding, with ongoing efforts to enhance local and regional transit services.

Grocery prices in Cary are typical for the region. The town hosts a variety of shopping options, from larger supermarket chains to local farmers’ markets, offering residents a range of choices from budget-friendly to gourmet and organic selections.

Healthcare costs in Cary are influenced by the presence of several top-rated hospitals and medical facilities in the area. While healthcare services are readily available and of high quality, the costs for medical care, insurance, and related health services are in line with national averages but may vary based on individual circumstances and coverage.

North Carolina’s tax structure is also a consideration, with state income taxes and sales tax rates that can impact overall living expenses. Property taxes in Cary are moderate and contribute to funding public services, including the highly regarded local school system.

Housing Market


Cary’s housing market is dynamic and reflects the town’s growing popularity among professionals and families alike. With a reputation for safety, community engagement, and high quality of life, Cary attracts a diverse population, driving demand in its real estate market.

The real estate in Cary is characterized by a mix of spacious family homes, townhouses, and modern apartments, catering to a variety of preferences and lifestyles. Over the past few years, property values in Cary have seen consistent appreciation, fueled by the town’s economic growth and the influx of new residents. The average price for homes in Cary often surpasses the average for North Carolina, influenced by the town’s desirability and the high standard of living it offers.

Homeownership rates in Cary are high, with many residents choosing to buy homes, taking advantage of the town’s family-friendly atmosphere and the long-term stability it offers. For those looking to rent, Cary offers a range of options, from high-end apartments to single-family homes. Rental prices, while competitive, are reflective of the quality and location of the housing, with newer developments offering a range of amenities that appeal to younger professionals and families.

Several factors contribute to the vitality of Cary’s housing market. The presence of major employers, proximity to renowned research institutions, and a robust school system make Cary an attractive place to settle down. Additionally, the town’s commitment to maintaining green spaces, parks, and recreational facilities adds to its appeal, enhancing residential property values.

Looking ahead, the housing market in Cary is expected to remain strong. The town’s ongoing development plans, which include expanding public amenities and improving infrastructure, are likely to continue attracting new residents and investors. Potential homebuyers and renters should be aware of the competitive nature of the market, where properties can move quickly due to high demand.

For those interested in the Cary housing market, it is advisable to work with local real estate agents who understand the nuances of the area. They can provide valuable insights into neighborhood trends, help navigate competitive bidding situations, and find properties that meet specific needs and budgets.

Lifestyle and Amenities


Cary offers a rich and fulfilling lifestyle, characterized by an abundance of amenities that cater to a diverse population. From outdoor enthusiasts to culture seekers, Cary provides a well-rounded living experience that complements its residents’ active and varied interests.

Cary is renowned for its commitment to maintaining and expanding its parks and recreational facilities. The town features over 30 parks, including the expansive Fred G. Bond Metro Park, which offers hiking trails, boating, and picnic areas. The Cary Greenway System provides miles of scenic trails for walking, biking, and running, seamlessly integrating nature with urban living.

Cary’s cultural scene is vibrant and growing, with numerous venues that host a wide range of performances and events. The Cary Arts Center and Koka Booth Amphitheatre offer everything from local theater productions to concerts and film festivals. The town also supports a variety of art exhibitions, workshops, and cultural festivals, reflecting its diverse community.

Cary boasts a plethora of dining and shopping options, from local boutiques and markets to larger shopping centers like Cary Towne Center and Crossroads Plaza. The town’s culinary scene is equally impressive, featuring a mix of traditional Southern cuisine, international restaurants, and everything in between, catering to all palates and preferences.

Cary places a strong emphasis on community engagement and inclusivity. There are numerous community centers and programs designed to foster interactions among residents, including sports leagues, hobby groups, and civic organizations. The town frequently hosts community events such as the Cary Downtown Farmers Market and the Lazy Daze Arts and Crafts Festival, which not only bring the community together but also celebrate local arts, crafts, and produce.

The town is committed to the health and wellness of its residents, evidenced by its comprehensive public health facilities and numerous private wellness centers. Cary also hosts health-focused events such as fitness challenges and wellness fairs, encouraging residents to maintain healthy lifestyles.

Cary is particularly appealing to families, thanks to its safe environment, excellent schools, and an abundance of family-oriented activities. From sports programs for all ages to educational workshops at the local libraries, the town ensures that there are ample opportunities for families to grow and learn together.

Education System


Cary is known for its strong educational foundations, making it an attractive destination for families prioritizing academic excellence. The town boasts a variety of educational options that cater to different needs and aspirations, from public schools known for their high achievement to private institutions offering specialized curriculums.

Public Schools

Cary is served by the Wake County Public School System, one of the largest and most respected education systems in North Carolina. The district is renowned for its high academic standards and innovative educational programs. Many of Cary’s public schools consistently rank highly in state and national evaluations, attributed to strong curricula, experienced teachers, and active community involvement.

Private and Charter Schools

In addition to the public system, Cary offers several private and charter schools that provide alternative educational environments. These institutions often feature specialized programs, smaller class sizes, and unique pedagogical approaches, allowing parents to choose options that best fit their child’s learning style and educational needs.

Higher Education

Proximity to some of the nation’s top universities is another educational benefit of living in Cary. The town is within a short drive of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, Duke University in Durham, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. These institutions not only serve as centers for higher learning but also contribute to the local economy and cultural vibrancy of the area.

Continuing Education and Vocational Training

Cary also supports lifelong learning through various adult education and vocational training programs offered at local community colleges, such as Wake Technical Community College. These programs provide residents with opportunities to enhance job skills, pursue new career paths, or simply expand their knowledge and personal growth.

Libraries and Educational Resources

The Cary community is well supported by several branches of the Wake County Public Library, which offer extensive resources for both students and adult learners. These libraries serve as vital community hubs, hosting educational programs, workshops, and events that encourage learning and community engagement.

Tips for Moving to Cary


Relocating to a new city can be an exciting yet daunting process. If you’re planning a move to Cary, a little preparation can go a long way to ensure a smooth transition. Here are some practical tips to help you get started:

Research the Area


  • Explore Neighborhoods: Spend some time researching the various neighborhoods in Cary to find the one that best suits your lifestyle and needs. Consider factors like proximity to schools, work, public transportation, and amenities such as parks, shops, and restaurants.
  • Visit in Person: If possible, visit Cary before your move. This allows you to get a feel for the town, explore different areas, and possibly even view houses or apartments.


Plan Your Move


  • Timing: When planning your move, consider the time of year. Weather in Cary is generally mild, but moving during spring or fall can provide pleasant weather conditions, making the move easier. Also, try to avoid peak moving times like the beginning or end of the month when moving services are in high demand.
  • Hiring Movers: Choose a reputable moving company with experience in long-distance or local moves, depending on your current location. Obtain quotes from several companies to ensure you get the best service at a competitive rate.
  • Packing: Start packing well in advance of your moving date. Label all boxes clearly and keep an inventory to track your belongings. Consider special packing for fragile items to prevent damage during transport.


Settling In


  • Utilities and Services: Set up essential services such as water, electricity, internet, and cable before you arrive, if possible, so your new home is functional as soon as you move in.
  • Update Your Address: Remember to change your address with the post office, and update it for all relevant services and subscriptions.
  • Explore Community Resources: Once you move, take some time to visit local community centers, libraries, and parks. These can be great places to meet people and learn more about your new hometown.

Moving to Cary, NC, presents an exciting opportunity to experience one of North Carolina’s most vibrant and thriving communities.

As you prepare to make this beautiful town your home, remember that a successful move requires careful planning and consideration of your specific needs and preferences.

If you’re ready to take the next step towards moving to Cary, or if you have any questions about the moving process, No Sweat Services Inc is here to help. Our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to providing you with the support and resources you need to make your transition as smooth and efficient as possible. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to schedule a consultation. Let us help you make your move to Cary a fantastic start to your new chapter in this thriving community.