What Are The Pros And Cons Of Living In Greensboro, NC?
Greensboro, North Carolina, makes up part of the Triad, a trio of cities in the North Carolina Piedmont region that also includes Winston-Salem and High Point. Greensboro’s population has grown by over 20,000 people between 2010 and 2019, and it continues to grow.
The diverse makeup of the city provides lots of opportunity for cultural experiences, and Greensboro lays claim to major historical significance due to events of the Civil Rights era. It’s no wonder that many people may consider moving to this up-and-coming area for their work, school, or social lives.
Some pros of this mid-sized and growing city include good schools, affordable living, and relatively low housing costs, a diverse community with many amenities and attractions. A growing economy offers many opportunities in manufacturing, technology, and service industries.
The city boasts a mild climate that allows residents to enjoy outdoor activities all year round and is centrally located relative to many of North Carolina’s major tourist attractions. On the downside, property taxes and crime rates are higher than average, and certain neighborhoods are not well-connected to the city center via public transit or walking.
If you’re considering a move to the North Carolina Triad, read on to learn more about the perks and pitfalls of living in Greensboro.
What Are the Perks of Living in Greensboro, NC?
Greensboro offers many great perks to its residents, young and old. Dozens of neighborhoods provide many choices for prospective residents, each with its own personality and atmosphere. Great food and entertainment venues abound, and the city’s central location in North Carolina makes it easy to take day or weekend trips across any of the state’s three major regions.
In 2018, Greensboro ranked second for affordable living out of the five largest cities in North Carolina. The home pricing tends to be lower than other metro areas, opening up many options in multiple neighborhoods for prospective buyers or renters.
The lower cost of living makes it easier for individuals and families to dine out and take advantage of various attractions and entertainment venues. Greensboro has many indoor and outdoor activities to offer that have prompted some to dub the city a miniature version of Charlotte, NC.
Many Educational Choices
Whether you’re looking for a great K-12 school or options for college, Greensboro has something to offer just about everyone. The Guilford County public school system includes some of the best high schools in North Carolina, with offerings that include STEM learning and Advance Placement coursework. There are also several highly-ranked charter schools and private schools, both secular and religious.
At the post-secondary level, Greensboro is home to several four-year colleges, including the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Guilford College, and Greensboro College. Bennet College operates as an all-women’s school, while North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University is the largest publicly funded Black university in North Carolina. Greensboro is also the home of Elon University School of Law and Guilford Technical Community College.
Good Employment Opportunities
Greensboro has been ranked among the top cities for job opportunities by Forbes, with a growing employment rate that is the highest in North Carolina and among the highest in the country. Historically a center for manufacturing jobs, much of the city’s economy is shifting to a more service-oriented focus.
Local and state incentive programs have created unique opportunities for members of a diverse workforce who are interested in starting a small business. The city has also focused on bringing in jobs in the technology and logistics sectors, alongside the growth of commercial shipping hubs that bring new business to the area.
Many Things to See, Do, and Learn
When it comes to entertainment and leisure, Greensboro has much to offer in the way of food and fun, from lively nightlife, diverse eateries, and special festivals and events throughout the year. Families, young professionals, and retirees will find something to match just about every interest.
Those who love the art scene will enjoy checking out such venues as the Weatherspoon Art Museum, or taking in theater, opera, and dance performances offered at multiple performing arts centers. Greensboro’s local artists have participated in the city’s Mural Project by creating unique and original art installations focusing on various social issues.
Sports fans won’t be disappointed by Greensboro’s offerings in this area, either. The city has played host to multiple NCAA basketball tournaments, several national sports competitions in aquatics and figure skating, and is the home to the PGA Tour’s Wyndam Championship.
Greensboro also has its own minor-league baseball team, and it’s only a 90-minute drive to Charlotte to watch the Carolina Panthers or Charlotte Hornets play in their home arenas.
Finally, history buffs will appreciate multiple sites that focus on major events in American history. Guildford Courthouse National Military Park, where visitors can learn about this Revolutionary War battle, lies just six miles north of Greenboro’s downtown.
Greensboro’s International Civil Rights Museum and Center teaches the city’s important place in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, from the restored Woolworth’s lunch counter where Civil Rights sit-ins began to dozens of permanent and special exhibits immortalize the struggle endured by African Americans to earn equal rights under the law.
What Are the Pitfalls of Living in Greensboro, NC?
High Property Taxes
Despite having a relatively low cost of living and reasonable home prices, Greensboro has some of the highest property taxes among North Carolina’s major metro areas. This could prove intimidating to prospective buyers or property investors.
High Crime Rates
For those with personal safety at the forefront of their minds, Greensboro’s crime rate may be off-putting. While most neighborhoods are relatively quiet and safe, even at night, some neighborhoods experience disproportionate rates of violent crime. Overall, Greensboro’s crime rate is higher than the national average. The odds stand at 1 in 122 that a resident or visitor could become the victim of a violent crime and a 1 in 27 chance of becoming the victim of property crime.
The most dangerous neighborhoods lie in the southern and eastern sections of the city, so prospective residents who worry about becoming the victim of violent or property crime may want to steer clear of these areas.
Low Walkability in Some Neighborhoods
While Greensboro’s downtown area is extremely walkable and many options for public transit exist, neighborhoods away from the city center are not well served by public transit. Busses serve some areas, but there is no subway system.
Most residents rely on their own cars to get around. People who prefer to walk to restaurants, retail stores, and attractions may find it restrictive to live in neighborhoods that are not served by public transit.
Is Greensboro a good place for retirees?
Those in good health will find Greensboro to be a good mid-sized city for retirees. The city has plenty of local venues for entertainment, dining, and outdoor activities, so older residents don’t have to go far to enjoy their retirement. Retired residents also benefit from easy access to several well-rated healthcare facilities.North Carolina’s flat income tax rate exempts Social Security benefits, and Greensboro residents’ prescription drugs and medical equipment purchases are exempt from the local sales tax.
Is it better to live in or visit Greensboro?
The low cost of living, the variety of things to see and do, and opportunities for work and education make Greensboro a good place to live, especially for families. However, if you aren’t ready to make the move to Greensboro, there are plenty of attractions that make a visit to the city worthwhile for anyone.An extended visit may also give you the chance to tour the city and interact with residents and business owners, providing those on the fence insight into whether a move is a good choice.
What is available for fun outside of Greensboro?
While Greensboro lays claim to many great amenities and attractions of its own, the city’s location in the Central Piedmont of North Carolina has earned it the name “The Gate City” of North Carolina.Charlotte, the state’s largest metro area, only 90 minutes away by car and is also accessible by train, has everything from pro-football and basketball to museums, art venues, and theater performances, plus the amusement park Carowinds.Raleigh, the state capital, is a similar driving distance as Charlotte and boasts its own science, history, and art museums, plus opportunities to tour both the historic and current Capitol buildings. Both Charlotte and Raleigh are great for day or weekend trips.A drive of three hours east gets you to the beaches around the Willmington, NC, area, while a drive of just a couple hours more takes you all the way to the Outer Banks. Driving to the west takes you into the mountains, where fans of camping, hiking, and nature preserves will find much to keep them busy. This includes the city of Ashville where visitors can spend an entire day exploring the majestic Biltmore Estate and Gardens.
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