What I Spent Moving From Long Island To Raleigh By Erica Geiger 

Editor’s Note: We know there’s a lot of people who read this that don’t live in the Raleigh-Durham area yet, but they want a glimpse of what life would be like here. We want to be completely transparent when it comes to money and cost of living (yes, it’s going up!) So we invite you to share your experiences. If interested write us at: theraleighdurhamgirl@gmail.com

Hi there! My name is Erica Geiger and I decided to move from Long Island, New York to Raleigh, North Carolina! I am a 26 year old single female and decided to embark on this adventure solo. Some may say brave, I say a bit nutty! 

Photo Credit: Erica Geiger

When the pandemic hit I was living in a basement apartment for $1,200. It was great for a while but working from home and being enclosed in a tiny 500 square feet room with no windows started to get to me.

I came down to Raleigh with my Dad back in 2020 to check out the area as I have heard such great things from online forums. Let’s just say it was love at first sight. We explored the city, surrounding areas and even had a real estate agent show us around on what I could afford. A year later I decided to pack up my bags and make the move. Shoutout to my family who took the road trip down with me and all of my stuff. My parents, brother, his girlfriend, and my 86 year old grandpa (yes 86!) all drove down to help me get settled and unpack. 

Photo Credit: Erica Geiger

Why the Raleigh-Durham area?

  • Affordability

Living in New York is expensive to say the least. The median home price is $560,300 compared to North Carolina which is $280,000. My mortgage for my new home is just about the same as what I was paying for my one bedroom basement apartment on Long Island. Also the price of a coffee from a local cafe in Raleigh is so much cheaper compared to Long Island ($3.50 vs $7 with almond milk!) 

  • The Change of Pace

Life down here is a bit slower, people aren’t in a rush, and that is one of the reasons why I love it here. I am 26 years old but act more like I am in my late thirties. I don’t need the fast paced, wild parties, always on go scene. I want to talk to the supermarket cashier about their day, have tea with my neighbor but still be able to catch a play on a Friday night, or go to a new restaurant. 

  • The Weather/Scenery 

I hate snow and New York is full of it in the winter months! I am someone who is always cold so the winters are dreadful to me. I love that Raleigh’s winters only last a month or two and it hardly snows here! I just moved in January and am so excited to experience living here in the spring! I absolutely love to be in nature and the amount of trees here is surreal – I guess they don’t call it the City of Oaks for nothing. Also let’s talk about the parking situation. I am never driving around for hours looking for a parking spot! 

Occupation: Digital Marketing Specialist – I am still currently working at my company which is based in New York. I am one of the many fully remote team members! 

Industry: Business/Marketing

Age: 26

Location: Cary, NC

Salary: $70,000

My Husband’s Salary: Let me know when you find him 

Debt: $o

Pronouns: She/her

Cost of Moving

Gas for 2 cars: $300

Fridge: $1,250

Home Decor: $500

2 person Dining Table w/ chairs: $500

Couch: $1,000

King Bed: $300

Queen Bed: $250

Mattresses(2x): $500 

Washer/Dryer: $1,800

Utensils/Bowls/Plates: $150

Bakeware: $50

Cleaning Supplies: $75

Pillows: $100

Standing Desk: $150 

TV: $500 

Total: $7,425

*Pods moving truck quoted me at $1,300 for a one bedroom studio apartment but we made it work with one honda civic and one mini van  

Cost of House in Cary: $275,000

Down Payment: $55,000

Total To Move: $62,425 

Things I did before the move for extra cash…

Sold some clothes on Mercari: +$200

Sold gym weights: +$100 

Freelancing on Fivvr: +$500

Sold old dining room chair: +$50

Stocks: +$1,000 (I am a newbie) 

Got my security deposit back from my apartment: +$1,200 ~ make sure to ask your landlord about this – so many people forget! 

Total: $3,050 

New Monthly Expenses

Mortgage: $1,100 (includes escrow). 30-year mortgage. 

Car Payment: $200

Water: $40

Electric: $150 (average)

Car Insurance: $75

Cell Phone: $50

401(k): $900/month

Amazon Prime: $13/month

Food Shopping: $200

AT&T Internet: $50 

Gym: $25

Therapy: $200-300

Donations: $50

Total: $2,978

Old Monthly Expenses

Apartment: $1,200

Car Payment: $200

Car Insurance: $200

Cell Phone: $50

401(k): $900/month

Food Shopping: $350

Gym: $25

Therapy: $300-500

Donations: $50

Total: $3,425 

And just by traveling a mere 8 hours in the car across state lines, I saved $500/month with triple the living space!

You can follow more of Erica’s adventures at @longisland_to_raleigh