Living In Wilmington, NC Pros VS Cons

I remember the first time I visited Wilmington, NC was when my brother attended UNCW and I was at ECU. It reminded me so much of San Diego and southern California, but without the over-population and pollution. If you come to Wilmington, you will notice the feeling of the city being somewhat of a “hidden gem”. It’s a very hard feeling to describe, but it’s there. Here are some of the pros and cons of living in Wilmington, NC:


1.Everything here is still cheap

Living up north or on the west coast, you will notice the incredibly expensive cost of living and how difficult it is to live without a high paying job. Wilmington still provides a beach lifestyle without huge taxes, property prices, and living expenses. I pay $1,300 a year in taxes for a condo in the city limits. My electricity bill is around $80 a month. That gives you a good idea of the living expenses. Check out my “Ultimate Apartment Rental Guide” for good places to live!


2. The city is very clean

Littering is very frowned upon at a social level. Word to the wise: Don’t litter because it makes people very, very angry. It shows too because Wilmington is incredibly clean on many levels. The beaches here still have a shimmery blue color and downtown still smells great (bigger cities tend to have that nasty sewer smell)

3. The city re-invests money into infrastructure

Truth be told, every government has some scandals, but the leadership in Wilmington is really putting it’s money where it’s mouth is. Nearly, every part of the city is seeing reinvestment in infrastructure. From roads, amphitheaters, bridges, sidewalks, Wilmington is really preparing and making sure that it doesn’t turn into a sprawling over-developed mess (I’m looking at you, Myrtle Beach!).


4. It has a great culture for a smaller city

I once heard someone from New York City call Wilmington “po’ dunk”. Yes, it is a “smaller” city, BUT it has a healthy blend of old and new. If you want the fast, yuppy lifestyle Wilmington does have a historic downtown with a small financial district. If you desire a relaxed family atmosphere, Wilmington has outskirts that provide quiet, affordable places to live. Wilmington has a VERY diverse culture.

Let me also briefly explain that I am from La Jolla, which boasts some the wealthiest, best-looking people in the world. I think Wilmington has a population on par with La Jolla. Beauty is subjective, but the people here are far from “Po’ Dunk” in terms of looks..




  1. Wilmington is urbanizing

Many people that came here to escape the “city-life” in the 70-80’s are realizing that Wilmington is no longer a sleepy town. If you want a “Mayberry” by the sea, you may want to look at Topsail Beach and/or Carolina Beach. Wilmington is alive with energy, growth, and excitement, but that also comes with a price.


2. Crime

You may have clicked on the blog post JUST for this topic. Here’s the scoop: For a city it’s size, Wilmington has relatively average crime rates. I live in a part of town that many would describe as a war-torn nation (South Kerr Ave). At the very most, I’ve had things stolen out of my truck.  I am a single, 26 year old male, so my definition of a bad area differs greatly from someone with a family. Here is a guide to safe areas to live in Wilmington.


3. Corporate jobs are hard to come by

Many people that come to Wilmington are “shocked” by the lack of corporate jobs and have issues finding work. Before coming here, make sure you have work lined up or a decent savings/retirement. If you are looking for a upper middle class lifestyle that is provided in LARGE, metropolitan cities, you may want to think twice. I see this all the time and it’s especially difficult if you are trying to find something that’s very niche Example: Corporate IT professional. Moving to Wilmington? Check out my entire relocation blog here!



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