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15 Things to Know Before Moving to Garner, NC

Written by Brittany Slagle

Garner is a gorgeous town in Wake County, North Carolina that is nestled just south of Downtown Raleigh. Known as a suburb of Raleigh, Garner attracts many people and families due to its affordable cost of living, quaint small-town atmosphere, cultural diversity, and prime real estate. 

Did you know that in 2020, Amazon opened one of its largest distribution centers in Garner? More and more people are moving to Garner because of its proximity to Raleigh and the abundance of available jobs. For those looking for a great area to call home in North Carolina, Garner is a top contender thanks to its convenient location and reasonable cost of living.

Let’s check out fifteen things to know before moving to Garner, NC.

1. Living costs are 10% less than the national average

Garner and the surrounding Triangle region are attractive places to reside since their cost of living is 10% lower than the national average.

Surprisingly, housing prices in Garner are the lowest expense, coming in at 28% lower than the national average, utilities are 4% lower, transportation costs are 4% lower, and grocery costs are 13% lower.

Because of its proximity to Raleigh’s downtown business district, Garner is a popular residential area. The city’s median home price is $375,624.

2. Garner is growing fast

With a present population of over 34,000, Garner is a thriving community that is embracing a large influx of new inhabitants as new subdivisions are developed, and businesses establish themselves in the area.

Garner is one of the most rapidly expanding communities in the Triangle, with a rise in population from 2000 to 2018 from 17,757 to 28,858.

New home construction in the city has increased by an astounding 2.83 percent over the past year, and this trend shows no indications of diminishing.

3. A convenient location

Part of what makes Garner such an attractive place to live is its convenient location, just minutes from both downtown Raleigh and the nearby communities of Clayton and Apex.

Since Garner is regarded as a southern suburb of Raleigh, the town is positioned close to surrounding world-class restaurants, local stores, breweries, and top-rated attractions.

If you’re a young professional looking for a short commute to work, Garner is a great area to call home because it’s only a half-hour drive from Research Triangle Park, where hundreds of businesses and government agencies call home.

4. The city has a great business climate

You’re in luck if you’re planning to relocate to Garner in search of employment. There is a wide variety of full-time and part-time employment opportunities in Garner’s many businesses and fields of study.

Garner’s expanding job sector is a major contributor to the city’s rapid expansion. In fact, in 2020, Amazon established a distribution plant costing $200 million on Jones Sausage Road, which is 2.6 million square feet in size, and has hired as many as 3,000 locals.

The highly educated and talented labor force has contributed to a thriving job market, which has grown by 3% in the past year alone.

Companies can take advantage of Garner’s competitive business climate, which includes state and local incentives, low taxes, and a robust local economy.

5. Enjoy warm summers and mild winters in Garner

One of the main reasons Garner is a great area to live in is its comfortable temperature that offers all four seasons without harsh weather conditions. Residents get to experience a wide range of temperatures because of the region’s hot summers and moderate winters.

Garner experiences hot and muggy summers, with average highs in the 80s and low 90s (Fahrenheit). It’s the perfect time to go hiking, camping, or swimming at one of the local lakes. 

Compared to other sections of the country, the winters in Garner are tame. Temperatures can drop into the thirties and forties on occasion, but heavy snowfall is unusual. Since its residents rarely have to deal with significant snowfall or bitterly cold temperatures, Garner is a great area to live for those people who prefer such a climate.

6. Take in the outdoors at Lake Benson Park

A Canada Goose takes flight with wings spread from the lake in the early morning light. Lake Benson Park, Garner, North Carolina.
Lake Benson Park, Garner, North Carolina

Garner is a great place for people who enjoy being outside. Natural landscapes and green spaces abound on all sides of the city, making it easy to escape the noise and chaos of daily life.

One popular site for outdoor activities in Garner is Lake Benson Park. There is a beautiful lake in this large park where guests can fish, kayak, or canoe. Families may have fun on the many available walking routes and picnic sites. White Deer Park Nature Center also features nature-based educational activities and hiking trails.

William B. Umstead State Park is close by and has miles of paths through forests and along creeks, perfect for those who enjoy hiking and camping. It’s a fantastic spot to enjoy the outdoors and spot local wildlife.

7. Learn about the city’s history at Garner Historic District 

In the 18th century, settlers arrived in Garner to establish a farming town. Located on the North Carolina Railroad, the community was first called Garner’s Station. As time passed, the area developed into a prosperous farming community.

The downtown area has been conserved to keep its historic character and small-town feel. Homes and other buildings dating back to the late 19th century can be seen in the Garner Historic District.

After WWII, the town expanded rapidly as a result of its proximity to Raleigh, which caused it to become an important suburb. In modern times, Garner has managed to develop and stay true to its past.

8. Catch a show at The Garner Performing Arts Center

Despite being a very small town, Garner features a bustling cultural environment with different possibilities to engage in arts and entertainment.

The Garner Performing Arts Center plays host to a wide variety of musical and dramatic events, as well as other public gatherings. At various times throughout the year, the center plays host to performances by both up-and-coming musicians and household names.

The Garner Arts Council presents events like art shows and workshops to the community in order to raise awareness about the work being done by local artists. Community building and artistic appreciation are two areas that have benefited from the council’s work.

9. The city has a progressive tax structure

Living in Garner comes with its own set of tax considerations. The income tax structure of North Carolina is progressive, meaning that higher incomes are taxed at greater rates. Incomes are taxed at a rate between 5.25 and 7.25 percent. 

Additionally, most purchases are subject to a 4.75 percent sales tax, which may be increased by additional sales taxes levied by specific cities and counties.

10. Get around the city on GoRaleigh Transit buses

Although most people get around using their personal vehicles, a couple of people in Garner still rely on GoRaleigh Transit buses to get around town. Garner can easily reach other parts of Wake County, including downtown Raleigh, thanks to the bus routes that run through the neighborhood. Those going to or from Raleigh for work or school might find this a useful choice.

 Garner has an advantage thanks to its closeness to interstates like I-40 and US-70. As a result, getting to Raleigh and the surrounding Triangle area isn’t too much of a hassle. But at peak commute hours, some routes might get backed up with traffic.

If you need to get on a plane, Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) is about a half-hour drive from Garner. RDU is a convenient alternative for inhabitants because the airport serves as a domestic and international hub for many airlines.

11. Attend the Lake Benson Park Easter Eggstravaganza or the Garner Christmas Parade

Garner’s small-town atmosphere and sense of community are two of the city’s greatest assets. Whether you’re a young professional, a family, or a retiree, you’ll find that Garner has everything you might want in a community.

While many Garner communities organize their own celebrations, the city itself also hosts a number of well-attended festivals and celebrations each year. Throughout the year, downtown Garner has several events that provide opportunities to get engaged and make new connections without having to go far from home.

Downtown Garner is the place to be on Christmas Eve for the annual Christmas Parade. Or, take a picture with the Easter bunny and celebrate the holiday with games, music, and food trucks at the Lake Benson Park Easter Eggstravaganza!

12. Satisfy your taste buds at Ragazzi’s Italian Restaurant or Mojo’s Grill

Dining out in Garner will rapidly become one of your favorite things to do because of the city’s abundance of restaurants, cafes, taverns, bars, and grills.

In Garner, you will discover restaurants serving dishes with both Southern and global flavors, so everyone in your party is sure to find something they enjoy.

Ragazzi’s Italian Restaurant is a vibrant spot to satisfy your cravings for pasta and pizza. Located in a casual setting, La Cocina Mexican Restaurant #6 in Garner serves authentic Mexican fare and margaritas.

Alexander’s Mediterranean Cuisine: This relaxed Greek eatery is well-known for its weekly live music and Sunday brunch. Garner Towne Square is home to Mojo’s Grill, where you can get delicious gyros, burgers, and sandwiches.

13. Wake County Public School System is the largest in North Carolina

Many top-notch schools serve the Garner community because they are a part of the Wake County Public School System, the largest public school system in North Carolina and the 15th largest in the United States. The Garner school system enrolls about 159,000 children, and its schools consistently perform well above the national average on standardized tests and high school graduation rates.

Some of the top public schools in the Garner region include Timber Drive Elementary School, East Garner Middle School, and Garner Magnet High School.

If you have a certain school in mind for your children, you may want to research which Garner areas send students to that school before committing to a purchase.

14. Enjoy a cup of coffee at Lorraine’s Coffee House and Music or Aversboro Coffee

Starting your day off right in Garner means stopping by one of the many independently owned-coffee shops.

Coffee shops in Garner offer not only a wide selection of beverages but also tasty food and non-coffee items, making them ideal meeting places for both social and productive purposes.

The cuisine and cappuccino at Lorraine’s Coffee House and Music are excellent, while Full Bloom Coffee Roasters is well-known for roasting their beans in small batches using only sustainable methods.

Espresso, smoothies, and hot cocoa are some of the most popular items on the menu at Aversboro Coffee.

The Muse Coffee Company and Roastery is known for its delicious and reasonably priced coffee and snacks.

15. Live in North Raleigh, East Raleigh, or New Hope

The downtown region of Raleigh is where most newcomers will look for work or entertainment after settling locally. North Raleigh, however, is expanding rapidly and features a wide variety of neighborhoods and commercial locations from which to choose. South Raleigh is less crowded, and it’s a great spot to live and go to school because Shaw University, a private liberal arts college, is located there.

East Raleigh is a great place to call home if you need quick access to the Beltline for your commute. New Hope and Wilder’s Grove are a couple of quaint communities that prospective residents may wish to consider calling home. Located in West Raleigh, NC State is a major employer in the area. Almost 35,000 students call the massive school home, making it a terrific place to live if you work at or attend the state university.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Garner, NC, emerges as a compelling choice for those seeking an ideal blend of affordability, community spirit, and convenience. With living costs below the national average, a rapidly growing population, and a thriving job market, Garner offers a welcoming environment for individuals and families alike. 

Its proximity to Raleigh, coupled with the mild climate and abundance of outdoor activities, adds to the town’s allure. From historical districts to cultural events, Garner is a promising destination for those seeking a balanced and fulfilling lifestyle.

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