Wilmington, North Carolina, is famous for many things – the “Hollywood of the East” is a hot spot for film and television shoots. Plus, the city boasts riverfront beauty and gorgeous Atlantic beaches, and the old-town charm is unmissable in many of its neighborhoods. Here’s a new accolade to add to the mix: according to a 2021 study, Wilmington was ranked #1 for inbound moves in the United States. With families and young professionals saying goodbye to harsh big-city life, Wilmington’s amenities, affordable cost of living, and mid-size appeal have drawn more relocators than any other destination this year.
5 Reasons Why Wilmington is Booming
1. From Riverfront Walks to Beachside Strolls to Long Days at the Lake
Water babies, take note – Wilmington makes it easy to take your pick for waterside enjoyment or water sports and recreation. In addition to being beautiful, the natural landscape that surrounds Wilmington made it an early hub for trade and culture. The Cape Fear River’s vast banks and gentle, lapping water lends tranquility to a vibrant downtown. Today, residents can enjoy endless shopping, restaurants to try, and relaxing promenades along the Riverwalk, named one of the best in the country. The Riverwalk is an elevated, wooden boardwalk that stretches “from bridge to bridge,” or nearly 2 miles from the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge to the Isabel Holmes Bridge. A walk along the Riverwalk promises gorgeous vistas, a tour through Wilmington’s historic district, and easy access to show-stopping attractions like the Cotton Exchange and the USS North Carolina Battleship. Locals take to the Riverwalk for an evening jog while tourists lap up the scenery, including pastel buildings and beautiful decorative lighting at night. Locals and tourists alike celebrate special occasions with a sunset cruise along the river.
When the ocean calls, Wilmington residents are rich in beachcombing options. Just minutes from the city, some of the most beautiful stretches of the East Coast await. Many beaches are easily reachable by car, like family-favorite Wrightsville Beach or Carolina Beach, which boasts a beautiful boardwalk flanked by casual restaurants. There are also many delightful island beaches off the coast of Wilmington that are easy to access by ferry, including Topsail Beach and the surfers’ choice, Figure 8 Island. On calm days, paddleboarding is a favorite beach activity. Adventurers will find no shortage of options to up their adrenaline with jet skis, scuba diving, and performance sailing.
For a relaxing escape from Wilmington’s dense and desirable riverside and beach fronts, Greenfield Lake in Greenfield Park is an urban oasis. Fishing and kayaking among the Spanish Moss and ivy-laden shores are both popular water activities. Greenfield Park is also a welcoming picnic spot with grills and picnic shelters.
2. Events Keep Wilmington’s Community Vibrant
Wilmington’s residents tend to keep an active social calendar. There’s always something to do in Wilmington, with an ever-growing calendar of cultural events, celebrations, and festivals.
The Riverwalk is a hub for local events all year round. Every Saturday morning, vendors set up shop on the boardwalk with handmade wares and fresh delights as part of the Wilmington Farmer’s Market. Riverfest, an annual celebration that happens in October, features fun for the entire family. This free festival includes live music, craft vendors, kid-friendly games, and a showcase of classic cars. The Riverwalk is also home to any number of impromptu happenings, from musical performances to garden parties.
The Cucalorus Film Festival happens every year, showcasing innovative cinema from all over the world. Another tradition locals love is the fabulous Port City Azalea Festival. This springtime celebration announces the blooming of the Azaleas with music, street fairs, and historically dressed southern belles. Tens of thousands of regional enthusiasts flock to the Azalea festival to join in the festivities, partake in a street fair, or sample treats from a street food vendor.
3. Where There’s History, There’s A Sense Of Belonging
The Wilmington area’s rich nautical history led to early explorations in 1524, long before the colonies were established. Today, residents enjoy sharing local lore about Wilmington’s pivotal role in just about every national event from the 18th century to the present. Wilmington wears its history proudly through its buildings and neighborhoods. You don’t need to be an architecture buff to marvel at the dazzling construction of many of Wilmington’s beautifully preserved historic buildings. A saunter through any of the city’s seven historic districts acts as a tour through time, with preserved streets, enormous trees, and neoclassical building details that will charm and surprise you.
Wilmington is home to an impressive bunch of historic houses and museums for those with a thirst for historical knowledge. A 1770 gem, the Burgwin-Wright House is a mansion built out of an earlier jail that offers a glimpse into life before the American Revolution, as well as an impressive orchard and rose garden. The stately Bellamy Mansion is a remarkable relic of early Wilmington life, constructed during the height of the Civil War. The Smithsonian-affiliated Cape Fear Museum casts an even larger historical lens on the Wilmington area in ancient times. It is a favorite for families with young children. Civil War Buffs can explore Fort Fisher, home to one of the most significant land-and-sea battles in U.S. history.
4. Smart People Choose Wilmington
Living in a college town comes with all kinds of perks. Wilmington locals enjoy a cutting-edge scene, food that appeals to young people, as well as a healthy love of college sports. The University of North Carolina, Wilmington, is home to the beloved Seahawks, a renowned basketball team that rallies up fans from the campus and beyond. Hawks games are a great excuse to check out one of Wilmington’s many breweries.
UNC Wilmington and New Hanover County Schools are two of Wilmington’s most significant job creators. So, not only are interesting people cycling through the city every academic tear – many locals are education professionals. A well-educated population is a trend throughout the region in cities like Raleigh and Charlotte, as well.
5. Wilmington Offers Unparalleled Bang For Your Buck
Where else can you own a home that is both a short commute from a bustling city and a stone’s throw from pristine beaches without breaking the bank? Despite the access Wilmington provides to some of the finest amenities in the South, the cost of living remains manageable. Real estate costs align with the national average, and new homes in Wilmington are comfortably priced. Seaside housing costs a pretty penny in many cities – however, in Wilmington, the average house costs around $230,000. For a city with a mild climate, ocean access, southern charm, and an influx of new residents looking to call Wilmington home, the value is tremendous.
H&H’s New Homes in Wilmington, NC
Ready to settle down in an affordable new home in Wilmington? Find the perfect blend of sea breezes and local color with a quality-built H&H Home. We build newly constructed homes throughout the Wilmington area, with communities in neighborhoods like Southport, Hampstead, Leland, and Bolivia.
A short drive north of Wilmington, Sparrow’s Bend graces Hampstead, North Carolina, where residents enjoy peace, quiet, and the good life. Sparrow’s Bend is a quick skip to the beach, just minutes from local boat ramps, and features a pool and cabana for easy relaxation a few steps from home.
H&H Homes is building brand new constructions at Highlands at Boiling Springs Lakes, a sparkling new community with refreshingly low property taxes and easy access to the Southport neighborhood’s exciting tapestry of activities. Named for its many spring-fed lakes, Boiling Springs Lakes is home to some beautiful swimming lakes and is a destination for boating, water skiing, and freshwater fishing.
If a newly-built home in the heart of Southport suits you, consider a brand new construction at The Preserve at Fisher Landing, where homeowners will have immediate access to all that Southport has to offer. Museums, the Oak Island Lighthouse, the Waterfront Park, and many historical attractions dot the Southport landscape. Additional new and to-be-constructed homes are now selling at The Villas at Fisher Landing, also in the heart of Southport.
Making strides toward owning a new home should be an enjoyable process. This is why at H&H Homes, we are committed to offering our customers a smooth, hassle-free experience. We specialize in making the homebuying journey as seamless as possible for first-time homebuyers. Together with our preferred lender, we collaborate with our customers to explore loan options and openly discuss pre-approval on home loan costs. To plan your new home purchase, get in touch with our team of skilled New Home Sales Counselors and schedule a tour of our many floorplans and take the next step toward owning the home of your dreams.