What is Cost of Living?
Cost of living is the amount of money required for someone to be capable of sustaining a particular standard of living in a given location. Having this information is helpful if you are considering moving to a new city. As the price of goods and services is different from one city to another, knowing the cost of living in this area will give you an accurate idea how much it will cost you to live there. The basic expenses that are included in cost of living indices are housing costs for renters and homeowners, food and groceries, utilities, transportation, healthcare, and taxes.
The cost of living index compares the expenses of two or more locations, with the costs of the primary location fixed at 100. For example, if you are currently living in Orlando, Florida and you would like to compare the costs in this location to those of another city that you are considering moving to, such as Raleigh, North Carolina, the cost of living index for your current location which is Orlando would always be 100, while the figures for Raleigh could be higher or lower than 100, depending on whether the expenses being compared to those of Orlando’s are more expensive or cheaper in Raleigh.
2018 Cost of Living Index in the Triangle, North Carolina
If you are considering relocating to the North Carolina Triangle Area, checking the cost of living index in this city would be a good way for you to gauge whether you’d be able to live comfortably in this place given your financial status. In the table below, the cost of living in the Triangle in North Carolina, consisting of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hills is compared to that of the stated and the rest of the country. In this table, the primary location is the United States, so all of the values under this are fixed at 100, while the values under the other locations will vary, depending on whether the expenses in these areas are higher or lower compared to those of the rest of the country.
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You can see from the table above that the overall cost of living in the Triangle ranges from 101 to 130, which is higher than that of North Carolina and the whole US. The main cause for the relatively higher cost of living in this area is the cost of renting or buying a house, especially in Chapel Hill, which is 98% higher relative to the rest of the country. Healthcare is relatively higher as well, but only slightly higher at a 103 to 106 range.
The average sales price in the Triangle is $307,319. About 90% of the condo inventory in the Triangle is priced below $250,000, and 50% to 60% of the townhomes is below $300,000. Based on a study by HSH, a publisher of mortgage and consumer loan information, the minimum annual salary needed to be able to afford the principal, interest, taxes, and insurance on a median-priced home in this area is $57,521.42.
Average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in the central part of the city is $1,195.99, $896.17 outside. For a 3-bedroom apartment, the average rent is $1,868.67 in the city center and $1,452.15 outside.
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Utility Costs in The Triangle, NC
Utilities costs in the Triangle are more or less the same as the national average: 99 in Raleigh, 100 in Durham, and 101 in Chapel Hill. The cost of electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage utilities for a 85 sqm apartment ranges from $127.63 to $135.21. Internet (60 Mbps or more, unlimited data, cable/ADSL) costs from $57.09 to $59.10. Calls on prepaid mobile costs $0.10 to $0.11.
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Food and Groceries
If you prefer cooking your meals at home, you’ll be happy to know that grocery items are much cheaper in the Triangle than the whole of North Carolina and the United States. The cost of living index for groceries in this area is 93.4, while in North Carolina, it’s 96.6. You can buy a bottle of milk for as low as $0.78, a dozen eggs for just $2.05, and a kilo of apples for $4.07. You can dine at an inexpensive restaurant for $13, while a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant would cost $50.
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Transportation in Raleigh is the same as the rest of the country, while in Durham, it is lower by 7% and 5% in Chapel Hill. The Chapel Hill Transit system, the second largest transit system in North Carolina, provides over seven million free rides every year, which is made possible by funding from the Town of Chapel Hill, the Town of Carrboro and the University of North Carolina. If you own a vehicle, a liter of gas costs $0.64 to $0.70. A brand new car similar to the Toyota Corolla 1.6l 97kW Comfort would cost $19,796.62 to $21,015.49.
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Healthcare in the Triangle
Outstanding medical care is one of the main reasons people prefer to relocate to this region. The cost of healthcare in North Carolina is 10% higher than the rest of the country, but these are relatively lower in the Triangle, ranging from 103 to 106. The Triangle is an international center of medical care and research, having one of the highest concentrations of physicians and health care professionals in the whole of the United States. Industry and independent rankings consistently show the region’s health services to be among the very best in the world. Major health care providers in Wake County include WakeMed Health & Hospitals, UNC REX Healthcare, and Duke Raleigh Hospital. Duke University Medical Center and UNC Medical Center are also located in the Triangle, and both are consistently ranked on U.S. News and World Report’s list of America’s best hospitals.
Moving to The Triangle, North Carolina
If you are planning to move to the North Carolina Triangle Area, you would benefit from learning the cost of living in this location relative to your current expenses. And if you are considering buying a home in this region, a qualified and trustworthy real estate professional will be your best partner in helping you make the right decision. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at 919-452-6484 or send us an email at [email protected] so we can discuss your options.