There’s a the age old question everyone thinks about when they decide to move to a city in North Carolina:
Should I buy a place or rent?
Well, we aren’t here today to solve that problem for you exactly. We are just assuming you’ll do the right thing and a buy a place 😉
And while we are happy to tell you the best place to live in North Carolina, this analysis is going to tackle the question of the best place to buy a house as an investor. That is we are going to try and determine the up and coming cities in the Tar Heel State.
To do that we are going to look at places in North Carolina that are growing faster than average, but where home prices are below average. In every day terms, the ‘deals’.
The best deal in North Carolina at the moment? That would be King according to our analysis.
Here’s a look at the top ten places to buy a home in North Carolina:
- King (Homes)
- Belmont (Photos | Homes)
- Winston-Salem (Photos | Homes)
- Angier (Homes)
- Monroe (Photos | Homes)
- Pineville (Photos | Homes)
- Hickory (Homes)
- New Bern (Photos | Homes)
- Waynesville (Photos | Homes)
- Clayton (Homes)
The methodology that wen’t into this can be a bit complicated, so we’ll break it down for you in as much detail as we can below.
If you’re not worried about finding a deal on good places to live, check out the most expensive places to live in North Carolina and, for those of you on a budget, the cheapest places to live in North Carolina.
How do you determine the best places to buy a home in North Carolina?
We were in real estate for almost five years and have been working on this site for another three. Suffice is to say, we’ve put a lot of thought into what goes into finding a good place to buy a home.
So all that thinking has come to this moment where we get to spell out how we’d approach finding an up-and-coming place to live in North Carolina. Put differently, the analysis will try to find places in North Carolina with undervalued homes relative to pent up demand.
To do that we looked at the most recent American Community Survey Census data for 2012-2016 and compared it to the previous vintage (2011-2015). Specifically, we used the following criteria:
- Y-o-Y Change In Population (People want to live here)
- Y-o-Y Change In Median Home Prices (People are willing to pay for it)
- Home Prices Relative To The State Average (It’s still kinda cheap)
We want places that are growing, have seen home prices increase in recent years, and are still ‘cheap’ for North Carolina with the following caveats:
- Home prices had to be within 20% of the state average (Much lower than that and you get to some of the more dangerous places)
- Home prices increased in the last year, and
- Above 5,000 people (Bigger cities have more data points)
So of the 736 cities and towns in North Carolina, only 19 places made it through our initial filters to even be considered.
We then ranked each place from 1 to 19 for the criteria mentioned above with 1 being the best for that criteria. We averaged the rankings to create a ‘best place to buy’ index with the place having the lowest index being the best.
Turns out that King is the best potential gem in the not-so-rough in the Tar Heel State.
Read on for more on these places.
The town was originally called ‘King’s Cabin’. Charles and Francis King lived in a cabin owned by Francis’s father for a short time in the 1830s. Being Quakers and against slavery, the King family moved to the free North. According to television journalist and historian Chad Tucker’s book Images of America, King (2006), after the King family left their home it was used by locals as a landmark or reference point in giving directions. Several decades later when a post office was established in 1888 it was named for that reference point, King’s Cabin. The railroad laid tracks a few years later and shortened the name to ‘King’ in its business transactions, and to eliminate confusion the post office followed on September 26, 1894. Charles and Francis King never returned to Stokes County and never knew their former home became the namesake of a town.
Settlement in the Belmont area began around the colonial-era Fort at the Point, built in the 1750s by Dutch settler James Kuykendall and others near the junction of the South Fork and the Catawba River. The fort was built because of ongoing hostilities with the Cherokee, but it was apparently never attacked.
The city of Winston-Salem is a product of the merging of the two neighboring towns of Winston and Salem in 1913.|The origin of the town of Salem dates to January 1753, when Bishop August Gottlieb Spangenberg, on behalf of the Moravian Church, selected a settlement site in the three forks of Muddy Creek. He called this area ‘die Wachau’ (Latin form: Wachovia) named after the ancestral estate of Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf. The land, just short of 99,000 acres (400 km2), was subsequently purchased from John Carteret, 2nd Earl Granville.
The Williams Grove School was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995.
Monroe was founded as a planned settlement. In 1843, the first Board of County Commissioners, appointed by the General Assembly, selected an area in the center of the county as the county seat, and Monroe was incorporated that year. It was named for James Monroe, the country?s fifth president. It became a trading center for the agricultural areas of the Piedmont region, which cultivated tobacco.
Pineville was changed forever when the initial segment of Interstate 485 opened to traffic. Although the one-mile (1.6 km) stretch connecting interchanges at NC Highway 51 and South Boulevard was designed to divert through traffic around Charlotte via a freeway loop, I-485 incidentally passed directly through Pineville.
In the 1850s, under a huge hickory tree, Henry Robinson built a tavern of logs. The city of ‘Hickory Tavern’ co-founded by ‘Dolph’ Shuford, was established in 1863, and the name was eventually changed to the city of Hickory in 1873.
8. New Bern
Varying complex cultures of indigenous peoples had lived along the waterways of North Carolina for thousands of years before Europeans explored the area. The Tuscarora, an Iroquoian-speaking people, had migrated south from the Great Lakes area in some ancient time and occupied this area for hundreds of years before any Europeans arrived. They had an ancient village, Chattoka, here at the confluence of the rivers. They resisted encroachment by the Europeans, rising up in resistance in 1712.
The town of Waynesville was founded in 1810 by Colonel Robert Love, a Revolutionary War soldier. He donated land for the courthouse, jail, and public square, and named the town after his former commander in the war, General ‘Mad’ Anthony Wayne.
The community which has grown into the Town of Clayton was built on a road cut by Governor Tryon?s troops around 1770 as they marched North from New Bern to Hillsborough against the Regulators. Nearly 100 years later the railroad came through and the community had its first name?Stallings? Station, since the depot for the North Carolina Railroad was in the home of Mrs. Sarah Stallings. The name lasted only three years, however before officially becoming Clayton. Incorporation followed in 1869.
There You Have It – The Best Places To Purchase A House In North Carolina
There’s our analysis of the best places to buy a house in North Carolina. And, to be clear, we aren’t necessarily saying these places are the best places to live, just that it looks like they might be in a couple of years based on the data.
In fact, every place in the following table meets our criteria, so even though it may not look super long, remember we started off with all 736 places in the state.
So if we’d could rent or buy in these cities, we’d definitely buy.
For more North Carolina reading, check out:
- 10 Safest Cities in North Carolina
- 10 Worst Places To Live In North Carolina
- 10 Most Dangerous Cities In North Carolina
Detailed List Of The Best Places To Buy A Home In North Carolina