First of all, what exactly is a bedroom community?  Many people commute to large cities for work every day, but often few can afford to live within their borders. Even a number of suburban areas have become too expensive for average workers to afford. One solution to this work-versus-life issue is known as a bedroom community or commuter town. A bedroom community is generally a smaller city or town located even farther from a major city than the suburbs. The economic base of a typical bedroom community is housing sales and general retail sales, not heavy industry or technology.

Typically, residents sleep in these neighborhoods, but normally work elsewhere. These communities have little commercial or industrial activity beyond a small amount of retail, oriented toward serving the residents.

Existing on the periphery of a larger city, real estate and the cost of living in a bedroom community is often cheaper compared to the major city, so people often choose to commute to the city and live in a suburb in order to have more living space.  A commuter town may be located on a major highway into the larger cities, or it may be in a more isolated semi-rural area.

A bedroom community is often an incorporated city with its own municipal government and public services, but the economic emphasis is more about housing and retail sales rather than entertainment or industry.

So, is a retirement move to a North Carolina bedroom community right for you?

The perspective of a retiree with regard to moving to a bedroom community is different, of course, than someone in the prime of their career and raising their family. Often though, retirees can take advantage of the positive elements of a bedroom community.  One of the benefits of retiring to North Carolina is that if you chose to retire to a bedroom community, the “large city” that the community is adjacent to isn’t usually that huge, at least not by national standards.

Charlotte for example, North Carolina’s largest city, has a population 731,424. You can still easily access the benefits of a large city (arts, education, etc.) from the bedroom community you chose to reside in. Many retirees are attracted to North Carolina due to the large number of quiet, varied, small towns that are close enough to larger urban areas like Charlotte, Raleigh and Greensboro.

If you care considering a move to a North Carolina bedroom community, the list below may help you in your search.

The Cost of Living Index for each community is referenced against the national average. So, for example, a city with a Cost of Living Index rating of -4% means that this town is 4% below the national average. The index is an overall rating, which includes food, housing, utility, transportation, health and miscellaneous costs.