Real Estate News, North Carolina

How to Decide Between Wilmington and Southport, NC

Published on December 29, 2020

Coastal Carolina is one of the most desirable areas to live in the south – but therein lies the problem. How is it even possible to choose the best place for you when there are so many amazing possibilities?

Today we’re going to look at two of the best places to live in North Carolina, namely, Wilmington and Southport. These two cities have a lot in common. They both enjoy an ideal climate, a thriving cultural scene, waterfront living, and incredible quality of life. But before you resort to coin-flipping, let’s have a look at what makes Wilmington and Southport so unique.

Wilmington, NC

It’s no secret – Wilmington is loved by people all over the United States, and it continues to rack up accolades. It’s been named Best City to Live in North Carolina, Best Place to Retire, Best Riverfront, Best Christmas Town, Best Place to Get Married, and one of a Dozen Distinctive Destinations, named so by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Wilmington residents enjoy mild winters and moderate summers, where the average temperature doesn’t rise above the low 80s or below the mid-40s. There’s very little snow in the winter, and it’s outside of hurricane regions, so there are literally no drawbacks where the weather is concerned.

Coastal NC Communities

Wilmington, NC, real estate is very reasonable, too. There’s a nice mix of new and old architecture and lovely master-planned communities that offer every amenity you can think of.

Compass Pointe is one of these, and anyone who loves a resort-style atmosphere will feel right at home here. With its central clubhouse, wellness center, tennis courts, and an 18-hole golf course, everything you could possibly need is at your beck and call. Brunswick Forest is another popular golf community. Sprawled over 4500 acres, it offers a breathtaking range of amenities that includes over 100 miles of walking and cycling trails, a massive fitness center, its own boat launch, and an incredible variety of neighborhoods to choose from.

Southport, NC

The seaside town of Southport has a 200-year history, underscored by stunning Victorian architecture, plantation-style homes, and a small-town charm that’s easy to fall in love with. If you love shopping for antiques, eating fresh seafood, and soaking in seaside living at its finest, you won’t find anyplace better to live. In fact, it was once named the Happiest Seaside Town in America by Coastal Living Magazine, and that’s no small feat!

There is an avid boating community here, and you don’t have to look far to find a marina, boat launch, a beach, or a place to rent a boat for the afternoon. Whether you’re a seasoned mariner or an aspiring sailor, there is no end of adventures to be had.

Southport, NC, real estate is hot at the moment. It’s known as a vacation destination, so its economy is driven by tourism and is seasonal by nature. The summer months bring visitors from every corner of the country, and it’s a popular place to retire to, peppered with spectacular golf courses and communities like the exclusive St. James Plantation, a resort-style property with four championship golf courses and packed with every amenity you can think of.

Southport vs. Wilmington, NC: What’s Different?

All in all, Southport and Wilmington have a lot in common, but there are some notable differences. For example, real estate in Wilmington is a little more affordable, with the median price hovering around $144,000. In Southport, the average price of a home is about $200,000, and the cost of living is a bit higher, too, largely due to seasonal tourism.

Southport is a small town with more of a small-town feel to it. Although the population grows significantly in the tourist season, its core residency numbers less than 4,000. Wilmington is a bustling metropolis in comparison, with a population of more than 122,000.

Though both Southport and Wilmington are among the best places to retire in NC, Southport’s demographic is older by about 10 years. But the bottom line is – if you’re looking for a North Carolina coast retirement, there are no wrong turns here.

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