Raleigh has a rich history and a thriving cultural scene and is known as the “City of Oaks.” The city has beautiful streets with lined majestic oak trees while also providing an array of museums, art galleries, music venues, and restaurants to cater to various interests. Due to its expansion, various individuals and families seek affordable housing options in the nearby suburbs. This is a great alternative if you’re looking for a big city that’s affordable. At Raleigh, there’s a 4% lower cost of living than the national average. Let’s explore five options that are quite affordable and worth considering.

Why trust us? Well, we’re local movers in Raleigh! We’ve lived and worked in Raleigh (some of us are even from Raleigh) and we can help you choose the right place for you – and get you moved in, once you do.

Skyline of Raleigh, North Carolina | Affordable Suburbs of Raleigh

1. Knightdale

History of Knightdale

Knightdale, founded in 1927 as a railroad town, has grown significantly in the last few decades. Originally an agricultural area with tobacco farms, it transformed into a residential suburb due to its proximity to Raleigh.

Demographics of Knightdale

The population in Knightdale has increased by about 60% since 2000, with around 18,614 residents. The household income averages $85,270, with a 6.37% poverty rate.

Housing in Knightdale

Various housing options exist, from one-bedroom apartments near major dining and shopping areas to larger estate homes. The larger homes are usually secluded in a more private and quiet location. The average home cost in Knightdale is $1,300 per month. Single-family homes dominate the architectural landscape of this suburb.

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Commute in Knightdale

About nine miles east of downtown Raleigh, Knightdale offers an average commute of approximately 20 minutes. While mass transit is not available directly within the suburb, public transportation options are accessible from neighboring areas, such as bus services that connect commuters to downtown Raleigh.

Schools in Knightdale

The public schools in Knightdale generally receive favorable ratings, with several notable institutions like Hodge Road Elementary School consistently performing well academically. St. David’s School also provides private education for pre-kindergarten through twelfth-grade students.

Crime and Safety in Knightdale

Crime rates have been relatively low compared to national averages in recent years, according to the Knightdale Police Department. Considering property crimes and violence, Knightdale is relatively safe.

2. Wendell

History of Wendell

This town started in the 1850s. The Granville County wilt hit tobacco farmers in Granville County. Their crop failed, and they looked for fertile land in eastern Wake County. The area grew into a small village, and a post office was obtained in 1891. The town was incorporated in 1903, and more people moved in to establish various businesses.

Demographics of Wendell

With a population of around 15,538 people, Wendell has experienced steady growth. The median household income is $73,477, with a 14.07% poverty rate. The town’s current annual growth is 15.89%, with a 55.63% population increase since 2020.

Housing in Wendell

The average home cost in Wendell is approximately $1,699 per month. The average apartment size is 1,059 square feet, but the size varies depending on the unit type. The most affordable are studio apartments, while 3-bedroom apartments offer more generous spaces. Single-family homes dominate the housing market here, with various architectural styles throughout the town.

Commute in Wendell

Located about fifteen miles east of downtown Raleigh, commuting from Wendell takes roughly 25 minutes on average. Direct mass transit options are yet to be available within the town itself; however nearby bus services serve as alternatives for commuting purposes.

Schools in Wendell

Public schools in Wendell receive generally positive ratings, with institutions like Lake Myra Elementary School receiving accolades for their academic performance and community involvement.

Crime and Safety in Wendell

Wendell is a safe place for you and your family. The city has various family-friendly activities, and the crime rate is low. Local communities usually strive to create safer neighborhoods.

3. Zebulon

History of Zebulon

Established in 1907 as a railway junction between Raleigh and Wilson, Zebulon has evolved into a thriving suburb with unique charm. The town grew due to tobacco sales, but the market closed due to the 1929 stock market crash and never reopened.

Demographics of Zebulon

Zebulon’s population currently stands at approximately 6,958 residents. Most are female and U.S.-born citizens comprise 82.9% of the resident pool. Each household comprises around three members, with a median household income of $44,389.

Housing in Zebulon

The average home cost in Zebulon is around 1,200 per month. Single-family homes are predominant in this suburb, with various architectural styles available.

Commute in Zebulon

Located about 24 miles east of downtown Raleigh, commuting from Zebulon takes roughly 25 minutes on average. While there isn’t mass transit within the town yet, neighboring Wake Forest offers bus services connecting commuters to Raleigh.

Schools in Zebulon

Public schools in Zebulon receive generally positive ratings. Institutions like Wakelon Elementary School have been recognized for their academic achievements and community involvement.

Crime and Safety in Zebulon

Zebulon has a higher total crime rate than the national average crime rate. However, the violent and property crime rates are much lower. This city remains a thriving community with a lot to offer to residents.

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4. Rolesville

History of Rolesville

Rolesville has a rich history dating back to colonial times until its incorporation as a town in 1837. The main street has been an automobile pass-through with service shops and fast-food restaurants since its founding.

Demographics of Rolesville

With around 11,076 people, Rolesville has experienced rapid growth over the past decade. The city is growing at 5% annually, with a 15.75% population growth since 2020. The median household income is $120,186 with a 1.37% poverty rate.

Housing in Rolesville

The average home cost in Rolesville is approximately $2,683 per month. A one-bedroom, on average, costs approximately $1,234 per month.

Commute in Rolesville

Located approximately eighteen miles northeast of downtown Raleigh, commuting from Rolesville takes roughly 30 minutes on average. Mass transit options are limited within the town, but nearby bus services connect to Raleigh’s city center.

Schools in Rolesville

Public schools in Rolesville generally receive positive ratings. Institutions like Rolesville High School are known for their academic programs, extracurricular activities, and sports achievements. Thales Academy also provides private education options.

Crime and Safety in Rolesville

On a scale of 1 to 100, Rolesville has a 10.6 violent crime rate, significantly lower than the national average of 22.7. The national property crime rate is at 35.4, whereas Rolesville registers 28.7. This makes it a safe working environment and a suitable place to raise a family.

5. Clayton

History of Clayton

Clayton was originally a farming town that got occupied in the 1850s. It had, a railroad which was a critical resource during the civil war. Agricultural production increased, forming new regional and local markets connected via the railroad.

Demographics of Clayton

Clayton has grown rapidly in the last few decades. It currently has an annual growth rate of 6.11%, with a population of 31,871. The suburb is experiencing an 11.26% poverty rate, with an average household income of $83,175.

Housing in Clayton

The monthly average home cost in Clayton is around $1,916. There are various rental properties available, including real estate property listings.

Commute in Clayton

Located about fifteen miles from the city, commuting from Clayton takes roughly 30 minutes on a train ride.

Schools in Clayton

Public schools in Clayton generally receive positive ratings, with several institutions recognized for their academic performance, such as Riverwood Elementary School. Additionally, St. Ann Catholic School offers private education alternatives within this suburb.

Crime and Safety in Clayton

At Clayton, you’re less likely to be involved in property or violent crimes. The Clayton Police Department conducts street patrols, ensuring the city remains safe for the community members.

Are You Moving to Raleigh?

These five suburbs offer affordable housing options relative to prices found within the Raleigh area. Knightdale, Wendell, Zebulon, Rolesville, and Clayton provide a range of amenities and opportunities for residents seeking suburban living while maintaining proximity to Raleigh’s vibrant city center.

Raleigh offers a unique blend of Southern charm and urban energy. There’s something for everyone, ranging from top-rated education institutions. Join us in Raleigh and enjoy a dynamic downtown with trendy eateries, craft breweries, live music venues, and art galleries that cater to all tastes. Explore charming neighborhoods filled with local shops and cafes. Tap into a robust job market driven by industries like technology, healthcare, finance, research, and development. Take advantage of Bellhop’s professional team of talented movers that cater to your moving needs to ensure convenience. Start planning your move today with Bellhop’s Raleigh moving services. We also offer long-distance moves to Raleigh. Let Raleigh be the backdrop for your next adventure.

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Tyler Brown