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Moving From California To North Carolina: Benefits, Cost & More

Moving from California to North Carolina is a major coast to coast move. Before making such a big change, it’s important to consider the pros and cons carefully. If you've been thinking of relocating to North Carolina, this guide should help you decide. We'll cover the benefits and drawbacks of moving between these states, what it might cost you, and highlight some of the best movers to work with.

    Best Movers From California to North Carolina

    If you’ve already made up your mind that you want to move to North Carolina, here are the best companies to work with. Each company featured here is fully licensed and experienced with handling cross-country moves. We’ve included options for both full-service and self-service, so you can find the right choice for your specific needs:

    Best Full-Service Mover

    International Van Lines

    • Local, Long-Distance, & Int'l Moving Services
    • Licensed Moving Carrier & Broker Nationwide
    • Live Chat & 24/7 Customer Service

    Best for Extended Storage

    Allied Van Lines

    • Local, National, & International Moving
    • Extensive Add-On Service Options
    • Short-Term & Long-Term Storage

    Best Customer Service

    North American Van Lines

    • Personalized Approach To Moving
    • Licensed Carrier & Broker in All 50 US States
    • 24/7 Customer Care & Support
    Provider Superlative Service Model Average Cost Our Rating
    International Van Lines
    Best Full-Service Mover Full-Service Carrier, Broker $2,400 – $5,400 ★★★★☆ 4.8/5
    Allied Van Lines
    Best for Extended Storage Full-Service Carrier, Broker $4,400 – $7,400 ★★★★☆ 4.6/5
    North American Van Lines
    Best Customer Service Full-Service Carrier, Broker $4,400 – $7,400 ★★★★☆ 4.6/5
    American Van Lines
    Best Moving Add-Ons Full-Service Carrier $4,200 – $7,200 ★★★★☆ 4.5/5
    Safeway Moving Systems
    Best for Military Moves Full-Service Broker $2,700 – $5,700 ★★★★☆ 4.5/5
    Most Affordable Moving Container Service $2,100 – $3,100 ★★★★☆ 4.5/5

    * Average moving cost is based on a 2,000 mile two-bedroom move. Cost can vary significantly based on move weight and distance. Be sure to request a free quote to get an accurate estimate for your move.

    Should You Move From California to North Carolina?

    To help you decide if a move to North Carolina from California is right for you, we’ll compare cost of living, job outlook, weather, culture, and more:

    Housing Costs

    California is far more expensive than North Carolina, especially when it comes to housing. Here’s a quick breakdown:

    California North Carolina CA to NC
    Avg. Home Cost (source) $683,996 $248,950 -$435,046 (-63%)
    Avg. Rent (source) $2,542 $1,211 -$1,331 (-52%)
    Utilities (source) $401 $342 -$59 (-14%)


    • Home Cost. The average house price in California is about $683,000, while the average house price in North Carolina is $248,950. This is a huge difference of nearly 63%. Selling your home in California could allow you to afford a much larger home in NC or pocket significant savings. If you’re a first time homebuyer, you’ll also have a much easier time finding something that meets your needs in NC.
    • Rent. Renters can also reduce their monthly rent expense by half, with the average rent in NC as $1,211 vs CA’s $2,542.
    • Utilities. Utilities aren’t as drastically different between these states, but you can still save about 14% by moving to NC.

    Cost of Living

    It is far cheaper to live in North Carolina than California. When compared to the national average cost of living, which sits at a baseline of 100, North Carolina is at 90.6 while California is at 149.9. Outside of major savings in terms of housing costs, residents in NC can realize average cost of living savings of 13.9 percent.

    Expense CA to NC
    Groceries -11.1%
    Restaurants -11.2%
    Transportation -16.2%
    Childcare -10.3%
    Entertainment -22.2%
    Clothes -12.2%
    Average Savings -13.9%


    • Food. Both groceries and eating out at restaurants are about 11% cheaper in NC. For example, a loaf of bread in California is $3.30 but only $2.58 in North Carolina. A fast food meal in CA is $8.29 vs $7.11 in NC.
    • Transportation. North Carolina doesn’t have much of a public transportation system. You will most likely need to own a car. That said, gas in NC averages $2.30 per gallon which is much less than the average of $3.48 in California.
    • Sales Taxes. California has the highest sales tax in the nation at 7.25%, so moving to any state will allow you to realize savings there. North Carolina’s rate is 4.75%.

    Weather & Climate

    Weather may not be a major concern for many people, but you will definitely experience a change leaving one of the sunniest states in the country. California, of course, is known for its mild, sunny, and dry weather throughout the year. Be prepared for rain and humidity if you’re making the move from California to North Carolina.

    California North Carolina CA to NC
    Average Temp July 87.1 86.4 -0.7
    Comfort Index Summer 8.7/10 6.9/10 -1.8
    Average Temp Jan 53.5 48.7 -4.8
    Comfort Index Winter 7.5/10 6.7/10 -0.8
    Average Sunny Days 69% 59% -10%
    Average Daily Rainfall (in) 1.69 3.35 1.66


    • Muggy Summers. Like many other the southeastern states, North Carolina has a reputation for having hot and humid summers. Highs average around 86 degrees but can often reach into the 90’s. With humidity as high as 70%, summers can feel even hotter and more oppressive, especially compared to California’s 61% humidity.
    • Mild Winters. Winters in NC are mild, with some snow, most commonly in the more mountainous regions. Winter lows average around 32 degrees, with highs averaging around 48.

    Job Opportunities

    There are plenty of great job opportunities in both states. The jobs in California are more diverse, with a wider variety of industries. North Carolina’s Research Triangle, however, is a booming area focusing on healthcare and technology. Centered around Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, this region houses over 170 major companies, attracting young professionals from around the world.

    • Unemployment Rate. Both states saw a spike in unemployment at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but unemployment rates have since fallen back to near pre-pandemic levels. North Carolina currently has a 4.1% unemployment rate, while California has a slightly higher rate of 6.9%.
    • Income Tax. California has a graduated income tax system, which increases as individuals make more money. Rates range from 1-13.3%. North Carolina, however, has a flat income tax rate 4.99% for all residents. Source

    Things to Do

    Much like California, North Carolina is all about the outdoors. The state has many state parks as well as a few national parks within its borders. You can enjoy the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Great Smoky Mountains, and beautiful beaches and waterways.

    Lifestyle & Culture

    California is considered far more urban than North Carolina. However, North Carolina focuses much of its lifestyle and culture on the arts. It’s home to many art museums, theaters, and production companies. It also pays homage to its Appalachian heritage with festivals and craft fairs.

    • Politics. North Carolina is nearly split evenly when it comes to Republican and Democratic support from its residents. California leans slightly more left, widely considered a blue state.
    • Diversity. California is the most diverse state in the country, serving as a rich cultural melting pot. North Carolina is also fairly diverse, ranked #20 for cultural diversity, #26 for religious diversity, and #24 for political diversity according to World Population Review. Source.

    How Much Does It Cost to Move From California to North Carolina?

    Moving across the country is not cheap. Considering the annual savings on housing and everyday life, however, making the move can be well worth the initial cost. From the center of California to North Carolina, it is just over 2,400 miles. To help you plan your move, here is what you can expect to pay for different types of moving services:

    Provider 2 BR Cost 4 BR Cost Get A Quote
    Full-Service Move International Van Lines $2,400 – $5,400 $6,200 – $9,200 Free Quote
    Allied Van Lines $4,400 – $7,400 $10,900 – $13,900 Free Quote
    Safeway Moving Systems $2,700 – $5,700 $7,800 – $10,800 Free Quote
    Moving Container U-Pack $2,100 – $3,100 $4,100 – $5,100 Free Quote
    PODS $2,200 – $3,200 $4,200 – $5,200 Free Quote
    Truck Rental National Average $2,000 – $2,700 $2,300 – $3,000 Free Quote


    Cost Factors

    There are many factors that can impact your moving cost, including:

    • Distance: The longer the distance between your move origin and destination, the more you will pay. Cross country moves like moving from California to North Carolina can be particularly expensive, because they are often multi-day trips covering 2,000+ miles.
    • Weight: The larger your shipment, the more you can expect to pay. Larger homes will require a larger truck (or multiple trucks) and more crew members to assist with loading and unloading.
    • Time of Year: Moving season peaks during the summer. Movers have greater demand and less availability, so costs are typically higher. In general, it can be cheaper to move in the off-season. If there is severe weather that would prolong your move, however, that can also impact your cost.
    • Add-Ons: Moving companies offer many services beyond basic loading, transportation, and unloading. If you add extra services to your plan, out of necessity or luxury, your move will cost more.
    • Scheduling: To get the best price for a move, set it up well in advance. A last-minute move will cost more, as many companies charge fees for short notice.

    Best Places to Move to in North Carolina

    Are you still deciding where you want to move? Here are some of the best places to live in North Carolina:

    Durham, NC

    Durham is a smaller city just outside of Raleigh. Home to Duke University, Durham is one of the three main cities in the state’s Research Triangle. Historically, the city was known for tobacco production, but all those old warehouses have been converted into fashionable offices and living spaces. It’s an affordable place to live, and it attracts people of all ages from around the country.

    Find the Best Durham, NC Movers

    Asheville, NC

    Asheville is the hip place to live in North Carolina. It’s an artistic city with many museums and galleries, music venues, and craft breweries. It also serves as a gateway to the Blue Ridge Mountains with plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventure. Over the last few years, it’s shown up on many charts for best places to live in the country.

    Find the Best Asheville, NC Movers

    Chapel Hill, NC

    Chapel Hill is an iconic college town, home to the University of North Carolina. It’s top-rated school district attracts young families from all over the state. It also has some of the best healthcare in North Carolina and is a short drive to Raleigh or Durham.

    Find the Best Chapel Hill, NC Movers

    Raleigh, NC

    If you’re looking for educational opportunities in North Carolina, you can’t do better than Raleigh. The state’s capital is home to ten different colleges and universities, including NC State University. It also has a booming economy with plenty of job opportunities. Raleigh is great for working professionals and younger folks, as it’s very affordable to live in.

    Find the Best Raleigh, NC Movers

    Wilmington, NC

    Wilmington is a different side of North Carolina. Every other city on the list is at the heart of the state, with mountains surrounding it. Wilmington, however, is a beach town! The town gets great weather all year and is more affordable than many other beach towns in the country. The median income is under $50,000, and the median house cost is low, sitting around $260,000. Enjoy the beach in an affordable town!

    Find the Best Wilmington, NC Movers

    How to Choose a Moving Company

    If you’re moving to North Carolina from California, it’s important to hire the right moving company. Consider the following when picking a moving company:

    • Insurance: A cross-country move is risky, regardless of the company helping you. Make sure that your moving company offers insurance coverage on your belongings.
    • Cost: Moving can be expensive, so be sure to find a company that fits within your budget. Shop around to get the best estimate you can.
    • Customer Reviews: As with any other company, be sure to look at reviews, especially for the specific location you’re moving from. This can help you avoid any issues with service or quality.
    • Timeline: The ideal company will be available during your timeline without any extra fees for short-notice.

    Book Your Move Today

    Time is of the essence when you’re moving. Most moving companies prefer to schedule moves about 8 weeks out. This lets them examine your needs and put together a moving plan. Start planning your move from California to North Carolina by getting a free estimate from the best movers serving this route:

    Best Full-Service Mover

    • Local, Long-Distance, & Int'l Moving Services
    • Licensed Moving Carrier & Broker Nationwide
    • Live Chat & 24/7 Customer Service

    Best for Extended Storage

    • Local, National, & International Moving
    • Extensive Add-On Service Options
    • Short-Term & Long-Term Storage

    Best Customer Service

    • Personalized Approach To Moving
    • Licensed Carrier & Broker in All 50 US States
    • 24/7 Customer Care & Support

    Most Reliable

    • FMCSA-Licensed Broker Nationwide
    • Long-Distance Moving Only
    • Packing & One Month Storage Included

    Most Competitive Pricing

    • Long-Distance Moving Container Service
    • Storage at Secure U-Pack Facilities Nationwide
    • Two Container Sizes (8' and 27')

    Moving from California to North Carolina FAQs

    Does North Carolina get cold?

    North Carolina doesn’t get too cold in the winter, with most days seeing temperatures well above freezing. The state experiences very little rain or snow throughout the year.

    What are taxes like in North Carolina?

    North Carolina has a sales tax rate of 4.75%, which is slightly higher than the national average. The personal income tax is a flat 4.99% no matter your income level. This is considerably lower than many other states.

    Do I have to pay for my move to North Carolina ahead of time?

    Most movers require a deposit at booking, usually 50%. The rest of your bill will be paid upon completion of the move.