10 Most Affordable Places to Live in North Carolina in 2024


From bustling cities like Raleigh, Durham, and Charlotte to quaint mountain towns in the Blue Ridge Mountains and beachside getaways along the Outer Banks, there are plenty of places in North Carolina to call home. So if you’ve been considering moving to North Carolina or are hoping to relocate to a new city, you also probably have a budget you’d like to stay under as you look for a place to live. When it comes to buying a home in North Carolina the median home sale price is $384,100. 

If that price is out of your budget, don’t worry, we’ve got options to help you find a home. Redfin has collected 10 of the most affordable places to live in North Carolina. And the best part is that they all have a median home sale price under $384,100. Let’s dive in to learn what cities are in the top 10.

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#1: Rocky Mount

Median home price: $217,500
Average sale price per square foot: $114
Average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $945
Median household income: $46,396
Nearest major metro: Raleigh (60 miles)
Rocky Mount, NC homes for sale
Rocky Mount, NC apartments for rent

With a median home sale price of $217,500, Rocky Mount lands the number one spot on our list as the most affordable place to live in North Carolina. There are about 54,400 residents living in this mid-sized city. Living in Rocky Mount, you can explore the historic Rocky Mount Mills where you’ll find shops and restaurants, walk along the Bridge Tar River Trail, or visit the The Imperial Centre for the Arts & Sciences museum.

#2: Fayetteville

Median home price: $240,000
Average sale price per square foot: $148
Average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $1,050
Median household income: $48,923
Nearest major metro: Raleigh (60 miles)
Fayetteville, NC homes for sale
Fayetteville, NC apartments for rent

Coming in as the second most affordable city to live in North Carolina is Fayetteville. When living in this city of 208,500 people, you can check out the gorgeous flowers and plants at Cape Fear Botanical Garden or Fayetteville Rose Garden and tour the Airborne & Special Operations Museum. Don’t forget to explore Historic Downtown Fayetteville where you’ll find charming cobblestone streets and local shops.

#3: Greenville

Median home price: $245,000
Average sale price per square foot: $153
Average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $849
Median household income: $48,923
Nearest major metro: Raleigh (80 miles)
Greenville, NC homes for sale
Greenville, NC apartments for rent

A little more expensive than Jacksonville is the city of Greenville. There are several top attractions you may want to check out in Greenville. Make sure to check out the Uptown District where you’ll find museums, restaurants, and riverfront parks like Town Common, spend the afternoon exploring River Park North, and visit the East Carolina University campus.

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#4: Jacksonville

Median home price: $250,000
Average sale price per square foot: $161
Average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $1,197
Median household income: $47,483
Nearest major metro: Wilmington (45 miles)
Jacksonville, NC homes for sale
Jacksonville, NC apartments for rent

About 72,700 people reside in Jacksonville, located just inland of the North Carolina coast. The median home sale price is $250,000 which is about $130K less than the median home sale price in North Carolina. Make sure to visit Wilson Bay Park overlooking Wilson Bay, spend time at Onslow Pines Park, or grab a bite at one of the local restaurants if you move to the fourth most affordable city.

#5: Winston-Salem

Median home price: $267,500
Average sale price per square foot: $162
Average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $1,115
Median household income: $50,204
Nearest major metro: Greensboro (30 miles)
Winston-Salem, NC homes for sale
Winston-Salem, NC apartments for rent

Another great place to consider living in North Carolina is Winston-Salem. The population is about 249,500 and it’s about 30 miles east of Greensboro. Popular things to do in Winston-Salem include visiting museums like Old Salem Museums & Gardens or Reynolda House Museum of American Art, walking the Salem Lake Trail around the picturesque Salem Lake, or exploring downtown Winston-Salem.

#6: Burlington

Median home price: $270,000
Average sale price per square foot: $176
Average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $1,100
Median household income: $48,923
Nearest major metro: Greensboro (25 miles)
Burlington, NC homes for sale
Burlington, NC apartments for rent

Another great affordable city to consider moving to is Burlington, located about halfway between Greensboro and Durham. Home to 57,300 residents, this affordable town can be a great option to add to your list. Living in Burlington, you can explore the expansive Alamance Battleground State Historic Site, check out downtown Burlington, and spend the day at Burlington City Park Amusement Area.

#7: High Point

Median home price: $277,000
Average sale price per square foot: $158
Average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $1,166
Median household income: $54,331
Nearest major metro: Greensboro (18 miles)
High Point, NC homes for sale
High Point, NC apartments for rent

Seventh on the list is another well-known city, High Point, where the median home sale price is about $110K less than the state’s average. With just about 114,600 people living in High Point, it’s a great place to consider renting or buying a house this year. There are plenty of activities to do in this city, like spending the day at Oak Hollow Lake, seeing the World’s Largest Chest of Drawers, and discovering the exhibits at the Nido & Mariana Qubein Children’s Museum, among many other local favorites.

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Denis Tangney Jr via Getty Images

#8: Greensboro

Median home price: $290,000
Average sale price per square foot: $178
Average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $1,089
Median household income: $51,667
Greensboro, NC homes for sale
Greensboro, NC apartments for rent

Next on our list of affordable places to live in North Carolina is Greensboro. With a population of about 299,000, you’ll be living in a mid-sized city, but there is no shortage of things to experience in Greensboro. Don’t miss out on checking out one of the museums like the Greensboro Science Center, the Greensboro Historical Museum, and the Weatherspoon Art Museum. You can also enjoy the outdoors exploring the Bog Garden where you’ll find a wetland habitat, and visiting the year-round Saturday Greensboro Farmers Curb Market to pick up some local goods.

#9: Kannapolis

Median home price: $304,750
Average sale price per square foot: $208
Average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $1,529
Median household income: $58,084
Nearest major metro: Charlotte (25 miles)
Kannapolis, NC homes for sale
Kannapolis, NC apartments for rent

The ninth town on our list of affordable places to live in North Carolina is Kannapolis. This city has a population of 53,100 and you can visit one of the parks like Vietnam Veterans Park or Village Park, watch a minor league baseball game, or check out downtown Kannapolis. There’s plenty to do on an afternoon or weekend while living in Kannapolis.

#10: Gastonia

Median home price: $308,000
Average sale price per square foot: $177
Average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment: $1,253
Median household income: $52,990
Nearest major metro: Charlotte (20 miles)
Gastonia, NC homes for sale
Gastonia, NC apartments for rent

Taking the final spot on our list of most affordable places to live in North Carolina is Gastonia. This affordable area is home to close to 80,400 residents. Living in Gastonia, be sure to check out the The Schiele Museum of Natural History & Planetarium, walk on the trail or have a picnic at Martha Rivers Park, or explore downtown Gastonia’s Historic District.

Methodology: All cities must have over 50,000 residents per the US Census and have a median home sale price under the average median home sale price in North Carolina. Median home sale price and median sale price per square foot from the Redfin Data Center during July 2024. Average rental data from Rent.com August 2023. Population and median household income data sourced from the United States Census Bureau.



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