I was recently quoted in Money Magazine’s article on why Raleigh is one of The 6 Best Big Cities to Live. The entire article can be found here, or in Money Magazine’s October 2016 print edition.
I was thrilled to be interviewed for the article, and that Raleigh was selected as one of The 6 Best Big Cities. My wife and I spent a lot of time researching different locations and feel that Raleigh was a great choice for us. The article’s section on Raleigh can be found below with my comments in bold.
6 Best Place to Live 2016 – Raleigh
After the financial crisis, New Yorker Mike Eklund decided it was time to change careers, from banking to financial planning, and hometowns. He and his wife, Kerri, scoped out midsize cities around the country for their growing family. Their search ended in Raleigh, North Carolina’s state capital and a top-ranked town for everything from launching a career to enjoying one’s golden years.
“It has everything we wanted: good schools, a reasonable cost of living, and it’s a great place to raise a family,” says Eklund, who has four children ages 2 to 10. Indeed, Raleigh has become a magnet for young families: The number of children between the ages of 5 and 14 grew more than 55% from 2000 to 2013, roughly 10 times the national average.
Meanwhile, the local economy is booming. Between 2010 and 2015, job growth in Wake County was a whopping 20%. Raleigh has a strong employment base of its own, anchored by government jobs, and many residents commute to nearby Research Triangle Park, home to more than 200 companies, including Cisco, IBM, and Fidelity.
“We set ourselves a goal to be in the top five hotspots for innovation and entrepreneurship in the nation,” says DeLisa Alexander, executive vice president and chief people officer for software company Red Hat. Alexander is a board member of Innovate Raleigh, a group of local business and community leaders. When it comes to ideas for developing Raleigh’s business climate, “People don’t say no,” she says. “They say yes—and how can we help.”
The area benefits from the presence of three top educational institutions: Duke University, North Carolina State University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. And there’s no shortage of culture, with more than 80 live-music venues and two fine-arts museums.
These big-city amenities come with easy access to the outdoors. The region has hundreds of miles of trails, and the Capital Area Greenway is a superhighway for bike commuting, running, and exploring. Getting out of town is also a breeze. “The beach is two hours away,” says Eklund, “and the mountains are less than three hours the other way.”
Real estate, too, remains within reach. Raleigh ranks in the top 25 of major metro areas on housing affordability, a measure of home prices relative to household income.
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