With so many amazing career opportunities and a wide array of outdoor activities, it’s no wonder that North Carolina is constantly among the top 10 most populated states. However, with higher population comes higher living costs.

But don’t fret; expensive housing won’t stop you from moving to the Tar Heel State. How? Because we did the research for you and found the 10 most affordable areas in North Carolina!

Before making this list, we considered a few factors such as earning potential, the city’s cost of living, quality of life, attractions and employment rates.

Cary

Having a low unemployment rate is just as important as a city’s affordability. Speaking of low unemployment rates, the city of Cary has an unemployment rate of 5.6 percent, which is the lowest of all the cities that are on this list. Furthermore, those who are employed are privy to a remarkably high annual salary. In fact, the median household income in Cary is $90,250. Cary also provides ways to cut the costs such as multiple public transport options.

Durham

Durham is a city that has everything wrapped into a single location, all the while maintaining its affordability. Almost 70 percent of homeowners spend less than 30 percent of their monthly income on housing expenses. Also, Durham has an average monthly rent of only $852! However, living cheaply doesn’t mean you have to throw away quality. Case in point: Durham has some of the most affordable health care in all of North Carolina. It’s also been named the “Foodiest Small Town in America” by Bon Appetit.

Concord

A lot of U.S. homes cost cost up to $300,000 to $400,000, making homeownership almost unattainable. However, Concord is the place to make your dream of owning a home into a reality. The median house price in Concord is extremely low at $168,300 and the average mortgages average 1,441. Concord residents also enjoy a reasonably high household income, with median annual salary being $53,000. what’s this mean for you? You get to spend less on house expenses and more on living the way you want.

Wilmington

Homes are situated by the water often fetch a high price. However, in the city of Wilmington, the median house price is just about $226,000. Depending on where you live in Wilmington, you can easily stroll around town, all the while forgoing car expenses like gas, repairs and tire replacement. Also, most types of entertainment in Wilmington cost next to nothing. The historic district and Riverwalk constantly provide free options that you can visit day after day.

Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill is filled with an abundance of opportunity, which further compliments its affordability. This city is home to a few of the nation’s top employers such as Blue Cross and Blue Shield, which means that there are plenty of jobs as well as higher salaries. There’s also an abundance of quality educational options, which allow residents to further advance in their career. The median household income in Chapel Hill is $65,373, which is more than the annual income in the United States.

Morrisville

Being one of the most popular suburban areas in North Carolina, Morrisville has a population of over 22,000 residents and has favorably ranked in areas like the availability of jobs, public schools and ethnic and economic diversity. The median household income in Morrisville is about $91,206.

Wake Forest

Wake Forest is another suburban area in North Carolina located north of the state capital. The town is home to almost 35,000 residents and used to be the original home of Wake University before it relocation to Winston-Salem. Just like every other area on this list, the median annual income for a family living in Wake Forest is respectfully high, rounding up to $81,000. The average price for a home here is about $267,300.

Raleigh

The northern capital of North Carolina, Raleigh, which is also known as the City of Oaks, is a great place for people who love the excitement of bustling city. This huge city is home to over 432,000 people, who enjoy the low cost of living. The home value of Raleigh is about $209,000, which can net you a three bedroom single family home, depending on the location.

Waxhaw

Waxhaw is a small suburban area and is one of the fastest growing places in North Carolina. It has a population of 11,600 people. Located in Union County, Waxhaw is a few miles from the state border with South Carolina. Waxhaw also ranks high with regards to education and family friendliness, however, the cost of living is slightly higher than the other areas. The median home value is almost $260,000. On a brighter note, the median household income is quite high, amounting to $84,294 on average.

Apex

The town of Apex, which is comprised of 42,000 people, is often named one of the best places to live in North Carolina by Indeed, Time Magazine and Niche. Thanks to all the lucrative job opportunities, Apex has a quality of life that is “second to none”. The median household income clocks in at almost $91,000 a year. Like Waxhaw, the cost of living is a tad high, which is $265,000 on average.