Raleigh, NC, “City of Oaks,” is quickly becoming home for many North Carolinians and out-of-staters alike. With countless historic museums, iconic BBQ, outstanding local restaurants, and scenic oak tree-lined streets, it shouldn’t come as a shock that nearly 490,000 people live in Raleigh. If you’re looking to buy a home in Raleigh, expect to see the median home sale price coming in at $405,000. And if you’re looking to rent a two-bedroom apartment in Raleigh, expect the average rent price to be about $1,685.
If those prices are out of your budget, don’t worry, we’ve got options to help you find a home. We’ve rounded up a list of the 10 best affordable Raleigh suburbs to consider living in – and they’re all under a 50-minute drive from the city. No matter where you move, you’ll still be close enough to Raleigh to explore all the city has to offer without the price of living there.
With a median home sale price nearly $100K less than Raleigh, Smithfield takes the number one spot on our list of affordable Raleigh suburbs. About 13,900 people live in this suburban area and you’ll only be about 30 minutes away from downtown Raleigh. Living in Smithfield, you can spend time exploring the exhibits at the Ava Gardner Museum or enjoying the sun at Smithfield Town Commons Park.
Oxford takes the second spot on our list. Just about 50 minutes from Raleigh, you can easily plan a day trip to explore the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Home to Oxford Athletic Park and Smithfield Town Commons Park, there are plenty of things to do in Oxford.
Drive just 40 minutes away from Raleigh and you’ll reach Louisburg, another great suburb to consider living in. Even with a population of about 3,800 residents, there are plenty of unique spots to visit in Louisburg. Make sure to visit Joyner Park if you move to the third most affordable suburb.
#4: Pine Level
A little more expensive than Louisburg is Pine Level, the next place on our list. With roughly 2,100 residents in this Raleigh suburb, make sure to stop by Sam Godwin Park for an afternoon of fun. And weekend trips into downtown Raleigh won’t take you too long, only about 35 minutes if you’re lucky to catch a traffic-free drive.
Also about 35 minutes away from downtown Raleigh is Franklinton, another great suburb to consider moving to. With about 2,500 people living in this affordable town, Franklinton is a great place to consider adding to your list. Living in Franklinton, you’ll find Franklinton Community Garden and Franklinton Park, among other great local spots to spend the afternoon or weekend.
Another recognizable Raleigh suburb is Creedmoor, where the median home sale price is about $50K less than in Raleigh. Creedmoor has about 4,700 residents and is a great suburb to consider renting or buying a house in. With Cedar Creek Gallery and many local shops, you’ll have easy access to what makes this suburb special.
Claiming the seventh spot on our list of affordable Raleigh suburbs is Zebulon, which is roughly 25 minutes away from the heart of the city. With a population of close to 6,700, living in Zebulon is a great alternative to Raleigh’s hustle and bustle. If you’re going to call this area home, plan time to explore Five County Stadium and the Zebulon Community Park.
Living in Raleigh, it’s likely that you know of Clayton, the eighth suburb on our list. This affordable city is home to roughly 31,000 residents, so you’ll have a fraction of Raleigh’s population while remaining close to the city and its attractions. Once moving to Clayton, add Clayton Community Park, Clemmons Educational State Forest, and Rainbow Lanes Family Fun Center to your list of places to visit.
Moving to Garner will give you access to downtown Raleigh in close to 10 minutes – as long as you don’t find yourself in traffic. Close to 34,000 people live in this suburb and there are plenty of activities to do in Garner. Attractions in Garner include exploring Garner Recreational Park and axe throwing, rock climbing, or racing a kart at Rush Hour Karting.
Rounding out our list of affordable Raleigh suburbs is Angier. The home prices come in about $50k less than in Raleigh and it’s only about a 30-minute drive into the city. This suburb has a population of roughly 5,700 people and is home to Jack Marley Park. There’s plenty to do on an afternoon or weekend while living in this awesome suburb.
Affordability is based on whether a suburb is less than the median sale price of Raleigh and under a 50-minute drive from downtown Raleigh. Median home sale price data from the Redfin Data Center during April 2022. Average rental data from Rent.com June 2022. Population data sourced from United States Census Bureau.