Located just north of Chapel Hill and west of Raleigh, Durham is one of the most popular places to live in North Carolina. It’s known for its top-notch education system, low unemployment, and a historic downtown that fuels the city with a fun, youthful vibe.

If you’re thinking about moving to Durham, you’re in the right place! Here’s a quick run-down of some of the top things you need to know about living in this vibrant city.

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Many people relocate to Durham in search of mild weather. It rarely snows here, which can be a big advantage if you’re coming from a northern state. Summers here are typically hot and humid. Winters can be cold, but the season is fairly short.

During the summer months, you can expect average highs between  81°F and 88°F. In the winter, highs tend to be between 51°F and 58°F and during January, which is usually the coldest month, average lows are around 33°F.


There are currently 72 public schools and 35 private schools in Durham. The top-rated public schools in Durham County include:

  • Research Triangle High School (9-12)
  • Pearsontown Elementary School (PK-5)
  • City of Medicine Academy (9-12)
  • Lakewood Montessori Middle Schools (6-8)
  • George Watts Elementary School (PK-5)
  • Voyager Academy (K-12)

There are also many excellent colleges and universities in the Durham area. This includes Duke University, UNC at Chapel Hill, North Carolina University at Raleigh, Elon University, Meredith College, and Campbell University.


If you’re planning to buy a home in Durham, you may be able to find a great deal! As of January 2023, the median home sale price here was $369,500, reflecting a 0.14% decrease from the previous year. This is also 4% lower than the national average.

The housing market here is somewhat competitive. While hot homes tend to sell for the asking price and go pending in about 21 days, average homes stay on the market for around 48 days and tend to sell for about 2% below the list price. It’s not uncommon for some homes to get multiple offers, so keep this in mind during your search.


When planning your move to Durham, you’ll want to have an idea of how far your dollar will go here. In 2023, the cost of living in Durham is about 4.3% higher than the national average. Prices of just about everything have increased by around 1.5% year over year, with the largest increases occurring in housing, food, and transportation.

This slightly higher cost of living is typically offset by higher wages. The average household income in Durham is $82,753, which is a bit higher than the national average of $70,785.


Durham is the 4th largest city in North Carolina with a 2023 population of 300,600. The city is growing at an annual rate of 1.87% and the population here has increased by 5.84% since the 2020 census. Durham spans about 113 miles, giving it a population density of 2,674 people per square mile.

The city attracts many young professionals and families. The median age here is 32.9. Around 37.1% of Durham residents are married and 51.6% of households own their home. The demographics here are primarily white (48.43%), black or African American (37.48%), Asian (5.37%), and multi-racial (5.11%).


Like most large cities, Durham has some crime challenges. While the violent crime rate for the Durham metropolitan area is lower than the national average, the property crime rate is higher.

Generally, the southern parts of the city are considered safest, with your chances of being a victim of a crime coming in at around 1 in 44. In the western neighborhoods, the chances increase to as high as 1 in 13.


In 2021, Durham was ranked the 15th best place to drive in the United States, according to WalletHub, despite the city’s heavy traffic during rush hour. Durham is conveniently located along I-95, making it easy to travel to and from the city. It’s 23 miles from the Virginia border and is only 7.8 miles from Chapel Hill, 20.1 miles from Raleigh, and 49.8 miles from Greensboro.

The Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) is also just 10 miles away, making both domestic and overseas air travel easy and convenient.


If you’re a foodie, you’ll love living in Durham! The city is considered to have one of the most exciting and varied dining scenes in the southeastern U.S., offering options that will appeal to everyone. It’s also a hip and trendy place with a thriving live music scene, plenty of nightlife hotspots, performing arts centers, craft breweries, and coffee shops.

There are plenty places to shop in Durham. You never know what you’re going to find, from antiques and vintage shops to specialty boutiques and big box stores. The Brightleaf District is a popular shopping and dining destination located in downtown Durham, while other popular shopping areas include the Rockwood District, and the Ninth Street District.

If you enjoy spending time outdoors, you may also want to take advantage of the city’s many parks, splash pads, playgrounds, recreation centers, and public pools.


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When you’re ready to move to Durham, you need an experienced moving company you can trust. John’s Moving is a top-rated moving company in the Durham area, and we pride ourselves on putting our customers first. We offer a full range of moving services including packing and unpacking, white glove delivery service, and secure storage solutions. Contact us today to discuss your options and request a free estimate.