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9 Tips for Researching How to Move to North Carolina

Posted by on Friday, May 14th, 2021 at 4:08pm

how to move to north carolina

Moving to a new state, whether it’s next door or across the country, can seem overwhelming. Some people are moving for work, to be closer to family, to live in a more scenic environment, and for a variety of other reasons. To have a seamless move to your next rustic mountain paradise, you need to know how to move to North Carolina, the laws before moving to NC, how to find the perfect mountain home and more.

Moving to North Carolina appeals to people because of its charming locales, mountains, forests, natural settings, and so much more. Moving to a new state is a big decision and you’ll need to know how to move to North Carolina in the most productive, stress-free way. You’ll need to know the advantages of living in North Carolina so you can make an informed decision, why the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau is the best place to live in North Carolina, laws before moving to North Carolina, how to change your residency to North Carolina, whether you have to retake your driving test, and more.

Keep reading to learn how to have an easy move to North Carolina and get everything ready for your new life change. Here is your guide to all of the ways you need to know how to move to North Carolina.

Advantages of Living in North Carolina

If you’re thinking about moving to North Carolina, you need to know the advantages of living here.

  •         There is a relatively temperate climate
  •         Western North Carolina is home to a temperate rainforest
  •         North Carolina Research Triangle
  •         Nantahala National Forest
  •         Great colleges and universities like the University of North Carolina, North Carolina State University, Duke University and Appalachian State
  •         Charming areas to call home
  •         Outdoor enthusiasts will be right at home
  •         There is a slower, more laid back outlook on life
  •         There are a variety of colleges to consider. Western Carolina University is located in Cullowhee and it’s part of the University of North Carolina system.
  •         There is the research triangle
  •         North Carolina barbeque
  •         Western North Carolina is very family-centric
  •         Experience all four seasons

Places to Live in the North Carolina Mountains

places to live in the north carolina mountains

There are a variety of places to live in the North Carolina mountains and each one is a little different. A professional real estate agent can give you more information and answer any of your questions.

Out of all of North Carolina’s mountain towns, Asheville is the most recognizable. Then there are other popular towns and cities like Hendersonville, Boone, Banner Elk, Morganton and Brevard.

If a location with a small footprint is more your style, there are options for that, too. These places are so small; you can’t call them towns or cities. But these locations are just as charming as the bigger mountain towns and cities, if not more so.

Places to Live in the Western North Carolina Mountains

If you’re looking for a place to live that’s a little off the beaten path and not in a heavily congested area, we think you’ll love these five small town locations:

  1.       Cashiers
  2.       Highlands
  3.       Sapphire Valley
  4.       Lake Glenville
  5.       Lake Toxaway

Rural Places to Live in North Carolina

The locations we outlined above are part of the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau in Western North Carolina. They are more rural than the state’s bigger mountain towns and they’re known for their sense of community, southern hospitality, natural beauty, and more. They truly are some of the best places to live in Western North Carolina.


Like other towns on the Plateau, Cashiers fosters a deep sense of community. It’s known for a variety of things. One of them is The Village Green, which is home to many events throughout the year. Come for music concerts, farmer’s markets, the annual Leaf Festival, and more. When you want to get out and experience Mother Nature, Rainbow Falls, Silver Run Falls and Upper Whitewater Falls aren’t faraway.


Highlands also has an emphasis on its natural surroundings, and it’s known for its downtown Main Street area. There are a variety of local small business shops and restaurants to explore. Many of them are pet-friendly so don’t have to leave your furry family member behind.

Sapphire Valley

This community is only a few miles away from Cashiers. It’s known for its country club amenities and it features two 18-hole golf courses. There are a variety of private mountain communities tucked away in Sapphire to discover. An experienced real estate agent in the area can show you around.

Lake Toxaway

Lake Toxaway and Lake Glenville give you the best of both worlds. It’s where the lake meets the mountains. The difference between the two is that Lake Toxaway is a private lake and amenities are reserved for homeowners. Lake Glenville is public and a little larger. Lake Toxaway gives you access to the nature and views you love, but lets you live in style. Lake Toxaway Estates members enjoy access to the luxury clubhouse, 40 acres of green space called The Meadow, and the open-air Pavilion, where residents can enjoy events year-round.

Lake Glenville

Lake Glenville is public. This means anyone can access the lake and go boating, kayaking or swimming. This is part of what makes it the most popular lake destination on the Plateau. Lake Glenville also has the highest elevation east of the Mississippi River. This is lake life with a focus on beautiful Western North Carolina nature.

Outdoor Things to Do in Western North Carolina

outdoor things to do in western north carolina

The Plateau is home to a variety of outdoor adventures.

Go hiking, see a waterfall, visit the Nantahala National Forest, and more.

Here are some of the best hiking trails in Western North Carolina:

  1.       Panthertown Valley
  2.       Secret Falls Trail
  3.       Whiteside Mountain Trail
  4.       Black Balsam Knob
  5.       Frying Pan Tower

North Carolina is also home to a variety of waterfalls.

Some of the best waterfalls on the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau include:

  1.       Rainbow Falls
  2.       Secret Falls
  3.       Toxaway Falls
  4.       Dry Falls
  5.       Schoolhouse Falls

How Do I Change My Residency to North Carolina?

One of the best tips we can give you about how to move to North Carolina is how to change your residency status.

You’ll need to update it within 60 days after you establish permanent residency in North Carolina, according to the North Carolina DMV.

In order to make sure everything is legal while you’re on the road driving to and from work, the grocery store, and more, you’ll also need to get a North Carolina driver license, title and register your car with the NC Division of Motor Vehicles.

Laws to Know Before Moving to North Carolina

When you move to a new place, you want to follow their rules and regulations and moving to North Carolina is no different.

Here are some laws to be aware of so you know how to move to North Carolina without any interferences or hassles:

  •         Gambling is ok if you’re on an Indian reservation, otherwise, the state is known for pretty tight gambling restrictions
  •         People under 18 can consent to pregnancy care or drug rehab
  •         In NC, you need to have up to three years to file a personal property damage claim
  •         You must wait 30 days to get a permit to conceal a firearm
  •         North Carolina does not recognize marital property as community property
  •         NC is a no fault divorce state
  •         Texting and driving has been banned since 2009

Do I Have to Retake My Driving Test if I Move to North Carolina?

New North Carolinians need to take a vision test, knowledge test and traffic signs recognition test. According to, the driving test is normally waived unless an examiner decides one must be taken.

How to Find the Perfect North Carolina Home

A professional Broker can help you find the perfect North Carolina home, whether it’s a retirement home, rustic dream home, or North Carolina investment property. They can also help answer any questions you have about how to move to North Carolina. Landmark Realty Group has years of experience helping people find their dream mountain homes on the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau.

If this sounds like the perfect place for you, let us know. We’re passionate about helping people move to here because we love our home dearly and have a strong desire to share it with others.

Feel free to browse our available homes for sale in Western North Carolina and let us know if you see something you like. Many of our team members moved here after falling in love with the area on a vacation. Some of us were born here, and because it’s paradise, we never wanted to leave. Either way, we know the area well and we can’t wait to show it to you!

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