*Note: I am not persuading or dissuading anyone to move or stay in a location, I’m just sharing my personal experience.*
When it comes to choosing a place to call home, one of the most important factors I consider is the cost of living. Other factors are education, quality of life, and activities. North Carolina’s capital, Raleigh, and the sunny city of Ft. Lauderdale in Florida, are two popular destinations with their own unique charms. I have had the privilege to live in both of these amazing cities. To be clear, I have lived in the outskirts of these two places but was within a 20 or 30 minute drive. In this blog post, I will compare the cost of living between these two cities, exploring various aspects such as housing, insurance, groceries, and overall affordability.
Housing expenses typically represent a significant portion of one’s budget. In Raleigh, the cost of housing is relatively affordable compared to many other major cities in the United States. The median home price in Raleigh is around $300,000, offering a range of options for buyers and renters. However, it’s important to note that housing prices have been increasing due to the city’s growth and popularity.
On the other hand, Ft. Lauderdale’s housing market tends to be more expensive. The median home price in Ft. Lauderdale is approximately $450,000, making it a pricier option compared to Raleigh. Rental prices are also higher in Ft. Lauderdale, with apartments and houses commanding a premium.
I have pictures of the houses we’ve purchased (above). Both houses are almost similar in cost. Our NC house is about 30k more expensive than our FL home. But as you can see, one house is a lot bigger than the other. If we were to purchase a FL home the size of our NC home (land not included), it would be 100-200k more.
When I mention insurance, I’m focusing on home and auto. Because Raleigh is about 2.5 hours away from the coast, hurricanes can happen but they are very rare. It is usually tropical storm force winds or maybe a category 1. So natural disasters are not common. I believe hail storms are the most common storms in this area. With that being said, when I moved to NC and bought a house, my home insurance decreased by 75% compared to what I was paying in FL.
Our auto insurance also decreased. We pay 50% less on our auto. I think the reason why is because FL is a no fault state and natural disaster has a part to play.
I will say, NC has state taxes and FL does not. But in honesty, with all the savings we acquired, I don’t seem to notice.
When it comes to everyday essentials like groceries and utilities, both Raleigh and Ft. Lauderdale have similar costs. Grocery prices are generally affordable in both cities, with a range of supermarkets and local markets to choose from. Utilities such as electricity, water, and internet services also fall within a similar price range depending on where you live. Though my water bill is low because I am on a septic system, I pay monthly for trash/recycle removal and have to empty the septic every 2 years. So it balances out.
Taking into account the various factors mentioned above, Raleigh tends to have a lower overall cost of living compared to Ft. Lauderdale. While both cities offer their own unique advantages and amenities, Raleigh’s affordability makes it an attractive option for individuals and families seeking a lower cost of living without compromising on quality of life.
When deciding between Raleigh, North Carolina, and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, it’s important to consider the cost of living as a crucial factor. While Ft. Lauderdale offers beautiful beaches, a vibrant cultural scene, and warm weather year-round, it comes with a higher price tag. On the other hand, Raleigh provides a more affordable cost of living, diverse job opportunities, and beautiful outdoor scenery.
In my personal experience, career wise, Raleigh is the place to be for those in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineer, Math) field like myself. Culture wise, there isn’t a diverse population like south Florida but most people I have met here are so friendly and truly exemplify the term “southern hospitality”.
Ultimately, the decision to relocate or stay will depend on your personal preferences, career prospects, and financial situation. Whether you choose the charming capital city of North Carolina or the sunny shores of Florida, both Raleigh and Ft. Lauderdale have their own unique charms to offer.
Until next time…