10 Cheapest Places To Live in North Carolina

By PropertyClub Team
Jan 18th 2024
With a mild climate, friendly atmosphere, stunning beaches, and beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina is a wonderful place to live. But choosing the best area for your budget can be tricky. Read on to discover the ten most affordable places to live in North Carolina.

hash-mark10 Cheapest Places To Live in North Carolina (2024)

  1. Hamlet
  2. Eden
  3. Tarboro
  4. Fayetteville
  5. Thomasville
  6. Asheboro
  7. Greenville
  8. Burlington
  9. Lexington
  10. Greensboro

1. Hamlet

With a median home price of just over $122k and a low cost of living, the cheapest place to live in North Carolina is Hamlet. Located roughly 45 minutes from Fort Bragg, this small town is great for retirees and anyone interested in a slow-paced lifestyle. While it lacks the amenities of the big city, Hamlet is central to some of North Carolina’s best beaches and mountain ranges, making it an excellent option for a peaceful getaway. With the lowest home prices in the state and rental rates averaging only $875 for a 1-bedroom apartment, Hamlet is the cheapest place to live in NC by a fair margin. 

2. Eden

Eden is also one of the most affordable places to live in North Carolina, having a median home price of only $129,000. This historic town is close to the state’s northern border and was once an epicenter for textile mills and manufacturing. But today, Eden is part of the Greensboro-High Point Metropolitan Statistical Area and is a great place for those looking for peace and quiet.

Retirees especially appreciate this city’s low cost of living, reduced home prices, and easy commute into Greensboro. With an impressive selection of local parks and other outdoor adventures, Eden lives up to its name as a true southern paradise.                                               

3. Tarboro

Another one of the cheapest places to live in North Carolina is Tarboro, which has a median home price of $150k. Located in eastern North Carolina, this city is nestled along a stretch of the Tar River. Historically, the city’s location made it a significant river port during the Civil War and an epicenter for trade and commerce. But Tarboro has since become a more tightly-knit area, with an active local community, generally safe neighborhoods, and an emphasis on art and culture.

Residents of Tarboro enjoy this city for its variety of museums, art exhibits, concerts, and outdoor festivals, as well as its friendly local atmosphere and easy-going nature. With the third-cheapest home prices in the state, Tarboro is a great place to enjoy family fun on a budget.  

4. Fayetteville

Fayetteville is another one of the cheapest cities to live in North Carolina. In addition to being both beautiful and diverse, Fayetteville is home to Fort Bragg Army Base, which houses the Army’s XVIII Airborne Corps, 82nd Airborne Division, the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, and the 3rd Special Forces Group. Fort Bragg makes up a significant portion of Fayetteville’s economic infrastructure, and many residents are military families and personnel.

Outside of the military, Fayetteville also possesses a booming job market and a well-rounded education system. Though rents in this area tend to be slightly higher than others on this list, Fayetteville’s highly affordable home prices and overall cost of living make it one of the cheapest cities in North Carolina. 

5. Thomasville

Thomasville is also one of the most affordable cities in North Carolina. This suburb is only a short drive to High Point, Lexington, Winston-Salem, and downtown Greensboro, giving its residents their pick of local job opportunities and city amenities. Its local attractions include the Museum of Old Domestic Life, Furniture Discovery Center, High Point Museum & Historical Park, and Tanglewood Park.

Additionally, Thomasville has some of the best golf courses, festivals, and fairs in the state, making it a go-to for family fun. The median home price is $216,500 and violent crime is also fairly rare in Thomasville, making it one of the best safe and affordable places to live in North Carolina. 

6. Asheboro

Asheboro is one of the best affordable places to live in North Carolina for those who a calm, tranquil, small-town lifestyle. Though not the smallest city in North Carolina, Asheboro has a population of only 27,000 residents, all of whom enjoy the area for its rich history and beautiful scenery. Local amenities include the North Carolina Zoo, Four Saints Brewing Company, North Carolina Aviation Museum, Collector’s Antique Mall, and Birkhead Mountains Wilderness. And, with some of the best fall foliage in the state, residents are certain to find something beautiful in every season. Both home prices and rental rates remain low in this area, making Asheboro both beautiful and affordable.

7. Greenville

Another one of the cheapest cities in North Carolina is Greenville. Locally dubbed the “Emerald City” for its abundance of tree-lined streets, Greenville is home to the third-largest university in the state, East Carolina University, which is known for the exemplary Brody School of Medicine. In addition to education, Greenville’s main industries include pharmaceutical manufacturing, lumber, and millwork. Some of its primary employers include Old Dominion Freight Line, Kellcor USA Limited, and Lexington Home Brands. With home prices and rents well below the state and national averages, Thomasville is a cheap area for both renters and homebuyers

8. Burlington

Though originally established as a booming railroad manufacturing and repair area, Burlington has since become one of the most affordable cities in North Carolina. It has a population of roughly 60,000 people – though that number is quickly growing. Residents of this town have a passion for history and nature conservation and can enjoy local attractions such as the Conservators Center, Cedarock Park, City Park, and Glencoe Mill Village. Sports fans will also appreciate the Burlington Athletic Stadium, which is the home field of both the minor league Burlington Royals and the major league’s Kansas City Royals. Overall, Burlington is a cheap area with something to offer everyone. 

9. Lexington

Lexington is a cheap place to find some of the South’s best food. Often named the “Barbecue Capital of the World,” this city is known for its “Lexington style” barbecue. But, in addition to being a great place to grab a bite to eat, this city is also home to some of North Carolina’s most stunning scenery. Locals can find convenient access to the state’s beautiful beaches, scenic mountain drives, and a host of rivers and lakes. These outdoor attractions are a big draw for those who like to boat, fish, and generally relax close to the waterfront. This area is also known for its local collection of wineries and vineyards, which make a beautiful addition to the North Carolina landscape. Though tourism does drive up the cost of the local rental market, low home prices make this an affordable area for homebuyers. 

10. Greensboro

In addition to being one of the cheapest cities in North Carolina, Greensboro is also one of the most up-and-coming. Residents of this diverse city will find a surplus of local attractions, including athletic venues, hiking trails, and outdoor parks. Additionally, Greensboro has a thriving job market, whose most notable employers include Wrangler, Mack Trucks, The Fresh Market, VF Corporation, and Guilford County Schools. With several universities in the area, Greensboro is also a great place for further education. Though rents in this area run slightly higher, Greensboro’s low home prices make it a great place to find affordable housing. 

hash-markCheapest Places To Live in NC Comparison



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