Your Wilmington, NC Real Estate Questions Answered

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Your Wilmington, NC Real Estate Questions Answered 

Wilmington is a great place to live, but you don't take our word for it. Livability has included the city in the "Top 50 Best Places to Live," Money Magazine called it the "Best City to Live in North Carolina," and Niche.com graded the city an A-. The city is known for its beauty, charm, and southern hospitality. 

Residents enjoy big-city living near the Atlantic Ocean. They have access to three iconic beach towns while experiencing a relatively affordable cost of living. Wilmington has a diverse economy, a growing job market, access to quality education, and health care specialists. Entertainment ranges from arts and theaters to museums to sporting events. Festivals happen year-round, in part thanks to the temperate climate that encourages people to get outdoors in all four seasons.

Does it sound like Wilmington is the right place to live for you? Learn more about what life is like living in Wilmington, North Carolina. Our resources cover everything you need to know, from the best beaches in the Wilmington area to what life is like in New Hanover County.

Here are some common questions we hear from people looking at moving to Wilmington, North Carolina.

What is the average price of a home in Wilmington, NC?

As of September 2021, there were 390 residential real estate listings in Wilmington. The median list price was $419,950, and the average price per square foot was $250.31. The least expensive listing on the market was $169,000 in the Wilmington suburbs. Home listing asking prices topped out at luxury condos on the market for more than $1 million.

Of course, the real estate market fluctuates, and these numbers will change. EZHomeSearch updates its listing data every 15 minutes, so you can see the most recent information about the Wilmington real estate market

Are you interested in a Wilmington condo? In September 2021, 82 condominiums were for sale with a median list price of $191,200. The average price per square foot was $227.43.

What areas near Wilmington can you find an oceanfront condo in? 

As you likely know, the city of Wilmington is not directly on the Atlantic oceanfront. It sits along the Cape Fear River, which provides plenty of waterfront water, but there's no ocean access in Wilmington. However, its famous beaches are a short drive away. You can live in an oceanfront condo or single-family property and be a 15 to 20 minutes drive from Wilmington amenities. 

Your best bet for finding an oceanfront condo would be Wrightsville Beach, Kure Beach, Carolina Beach, and North Topsail Beach. Each of these beaches has a unique character and set of amenities. Find a condominium to serve as your permanent residence, a second home, or vacation rental investment property. See what listings are currently available for oceanfront condos in these locations. 

What county is Wilmington in?

Wilmington is inside New Hanover County, North Carolina. New Hanover County is the second-smallest county by land size, but it is one of the most populated in the state. The borders stretch up the Atlantic seaboard and Cape Fear River, meaning it has miles of waterfront. Part of the Tidewater region, many of the areas in New Hanover County are highly developed. However, you can still find small-town communities and beach towns with lots of character. The 2020 US Census counted 225,702 residents in New Hanover County and 116,000 residents in Wilmington. 

Why are people moving to Wilmington?

Wilmington is a dynamic city with activities for people of all ages. Compared to other waterfront cities, it has a lower cost of living. This means that residents can find waterfront and oceanfront properties at a more affordable rate than other major tourist destinations up and down the Atlantic seaboard. At the same time, they'll enjoy a temperate climate with relatively mild winters.

The city also offers countless retail, dining, special events, arts and culture, and recreation opportunities. A resident can start the morning sailing on the Cape Fear River, head to work during the day, and enjoy a live show in the evening. The Riverwalk draws people for entertainment, dining, and shopping; it has been ranked as one of the best boardwalks in the country. 

Recreation opportunities are plentiful. Out on the water, spend the day boating, sailing, skiing, surfing, fishing, scuba diving, and more. On land, pick from 13 golf courses, numerous tennis courts, parks, sports fields, hiking trails, and bicycling opportunities. Tour the USS North Carolina battleship, spend a day at the North Carolina Aquarium, or walk the Airlie Gardens.

New Hanover County has a highly-rated school district for K-12 education. In addition, parents have 25 private schools for educating their students. UNC-Wilmington offers 58 bachelor's programs, plus 36 master's and four doctoral programs.

Future job growth for the city is projected to be at 37.3%, which exceeds the United States average. With a diverse range of industries, a UNC campus, and a tourism hotspot, there's a lot of economic potential waiting in Wilmington. The median household income for a Wilmington resident was $42,130 a year, above the national average.

Is Wilmington growing?

Yes, Wilmington is a growing city. Tracking the US Census Data over the last 20 years, Wilmington had 75,000 residents in 2000. That increased to 105,000 by 2010 and now stands at 116,000 in 2020. That is a growth rate of 9.5%. Population growth projections place New Hanover County to reach 314,000 residents by 2040. Wilmington also was the top city in the nation for inbound moves, meaning people inside North Carolina moving into the city.

What type of waterfront properties are found in Wilmington?

Wilmington's two-mile Riverwalk serves as the focal point for retail, dining, and entertainment. Surrounding this Riverwalk, are industrial shipping facilities, the USS North Carolina', and residential real estate. 

Wilmington has condominiums, apartments, and single-family residences with water views. Any waterfront property typically has a dry dock, pier, or jetty for the residents to store their boats when not in use safely. Waterfront communities offer access and additional amenities, such as Porters Neck Plantation, River Bluffs, and Waterford of the Carolinas.

What are property taxes in Wilmington, NC?

Your property taxes are based on the current assessed value of your home. The New Hanover County tax department reassessed the value of all residential properties in 2021 and will do so again in 2025. Your residential property is taxed at 100% of market value, as dictated by North Carolina General Statute 105 - 283

The New Hanover County tax rate per $100 in 2021 was 0.475. The Fire District levied a tax rate of 0.0725, and a debt service of 0.0446 was assessed for the county's unincorporated areas. City of Wilmington residents had a municipality tax of .3808 plus 0.0547 for the Municipal Services District. This brings the total property tax to 0.9105 mills. The county's tax rate includes funding for the school district.

What areas are near Wilmington?

Just outside Wilmington, find the beachfront destinations of Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Topsail Island. Surrounding Wilmington is suburbs giving away to rural communities. These small surrounding towns include Cape Fear, Eagle Island, Silver Lake, Murrayville, and Wrightsboro. The northernmost reaches of New Hanover County become more agricultural, such as the area around Castle Hayne. 

Further beyond New Hanover County, the tourist destination of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is a 45-minute drive to the south. Jacksonville, North Carolina, which is near Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, is about an hour's drive from Wilmington. 

What are some neighborhoods inside Wilmington?

Wilmington is a large city with great neighborhoods and communities to choose from. Some communities are walkable to the riverfront; others have a suburban feel. The downtown has a large historic district with homes dating back to the 1800s. Here are a few areas inside Wilmington:

Water Street is a residential area near downtown Wilmington and the Cape Fear River. Residents have great views and proximity to amenities, making this an in-demand area to live. Find a range of architectural styles and housing types.

Carolina Place is home to some unique historic properties, with a prevailing bungalow style. Homes here were built from 1900-1938, making it one of the earliest suburbs in the city. 

Mayfaire is a mixed-use style community close to Wrightsville Beach. Choose from luxurious homes or condos, all near the prime shopping destination of Mayfaire Town Center.

Bayshore and Marsh Oaks are established communities between Mayfaire and Porters Neck, with easy access to greater Wilmington. 

Forest Hills is a more affluent community east of the historic downtown. Find large lots capped by majestic homes. 

Sunset Park and Greenfield Lake are to the south of the historic downtown. The properties here have vintage character and a strong sense of community. 

River's Edge is named from its location on the edge of the Cape Fear River. It's a short drive to historic downtown, with a prime location to some of the city's best schools. Homes are newer, with construction starting in the 1990s. 

Airlie Gardens is near the eponymously named attraction, with proximity to the Intracoastal, great restaurants, and Wrightsville Beach

How easy is it to get around Wilmington?

Coastal Highway 17 runs through Wilmington's heart and has a bypass road to get around the downtown area. North Carolina Highway 74 is another major road that runs out to Wrightsville Beach, and highway 421 will take you down to the destinations of Carolina Beach and Kure Beach. Highway 117 connects through the heart of Wilmington to the UNC-Wilmington Campus and the Cape Fear Riverfront.

Outside the Wilmington city limits, you can jump on I-40 and I-140 to reach other destinations in North Carolina and beyond.

If you're looking for a faster means of travel, try the Wilmington International Airport, a regional airport with flights to Washington, DC, Chicago, Charlotte, Dallas, Atlanta, and New York. 

Living in Wilmington, NC

Wilmington, North Carolina, is a great city for people of all ages to live, work, and play. Learn more about moving to Wilmington. Have any other questions about living in Wilmington, North Carolina? Our goal is to be your resource for real estate and lifestyle in this popular destination. Please contact us with what you'd like to know about Wilmington. 

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