Elizabeth City : North carolina

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What it's Like to Retire in Elizabeth City

Elizabeth City is located in northern North Carolina, south of Norfolk and just west of Cape Hatteras and the Outer Banks. The Pasquotank River flows through this old seaport on its way to the nearby Albemarle Sound, the body of water on the landward side of Hatteras. Many serious boaters pass through or tie up here because of its location on the Intercoastal Waterway.

Elizabeth City (population 18,683, motto “Harbor of Hospitality”) has an incredible array of beautiful homes on Main Street and Church Streets points to some obvious wealth in its history. Homes here range from those restored to all their Victorian Majesty to others slowly rotting behind overgrowing shrubbery. The soaring Episcopalian, Baptist, and Methodist churches on critical intersections must have had wealthy patrons in their past. At the waterfront there are the town docks with visiting sailboats, condos, parks, historic buildings, and the giant Museum of the Albemarle. Open spaces in the landscape suggest unfinished urban renewal, presumably the sites of old mills and warehouses. Nearby is the campus of Elizabeth City State University, part of the University of North Carolina system and a historically African-American college. The College of the Albemarle is also in town.


Don't miss the profile we did on Elizabeth City in this Blog article: "Would You Take a Chance on an Up and Coming Place to Retire?"

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Where to Retire in Elizabeth City and Home Prices

The median price of a home in Elizabeth City was about $125,000 in late 2014, which is much lower than the national median. Zillow reports the number to be $141,125 in mid-2015. There are spectacular homes on Main Street which might involve some restoration. There are nice suburban neighborhoods outside of town as well as some newer developments coming into the area.

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What is special about Elizabeth City

Elizabeth City State University, part of the University of North Carolina system and a historically African-American college, is here. The College of the Albemarle is also in town. The (free) Museum of the Albemarle is a very large and ambitious addition to the waterfront area.  Elizabeth City is the birthplace of the Moth boat, a small sailing boat that is celebrated with an annual regatta here. The town was once very wealthy and that is apparent in the beautiful homes and buildings in the downtown. The Intracoastal and a beautiful waterfront are exceptional features for a small town. And the community comes together to celebrate things like the high school prom at the Albemarle Museum, which features the Oscar-like arrivals of the promgoers and their amazing outfits.

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What is not special about Elizabeth City

There are plenty of minuses here: vacant lots, for sale signs, the occasional abandoned house, crime or gangs, and poverty. There are plenty of empty windows in the beautiful old downtown, mostly because merchants have fled to strip malls and big box stores just outside town on Route 17.

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Who will like retirement in Elizabeth City

People who are familar with North Carolina will like it here.  The Coast Guard base attracts people who retire from that service.

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Local economy is driven by

Today Elizabeth City’s economic development owes much to its county and federal courthouses, as well as Elizabeth City State University. The Coast Guard Station at Elizabeth City is also a key employer. There is some tourism thanks to the Albemarle Museum and an energetic Chamber of Commerce.

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Climate and Physical Environment

Elizabeth City is located in northern North Carolina, south of Norfolk and just west of Cape Hatteras and the Outer Banks. The Pasquotank River flows through this old seaport on its way to the nearby Albemarle Sound. The average Jan temp is in the low 40s and the average July temp about 80.

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Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Elizabeth City also hosts the North Carolina Potato Festival, an annual celebration of the potato, one of the region's most important crops. The festival has steadily become one of the most popular draws in northeastern North Carolina. There are several interesting downtown restaurants. The Museum of the Albemarle is very large and ambitious.

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Crime

Elizabeth City's crime rate is below the national average, it has shown a steady decrease in crime each year for the past several years.

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Medical facilities

The primary healthcare provider in Elizabeth City is Albemarle Hospital, a 182-bed regional medical center and hub of the Albemarle Health system.

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Transportation

The Intracoastal Waterway comes through town.  Norfolk International Airport is less than 1 hour to the north. There is local bus service.

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Valuable Links

Discover Elizabeth City

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What people are saying about Elizabeth City

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Facts about ELIZABETH CITY
  • State: NC
  • Environment: Small Town,Boating Community,
  • City Population: 10,000-25,000
  • Median age of Population: 25-44
  • Avg Jan Temperature: 41-60
  • Avg July Temperature: 60-80
  • Median HH Income: 20,001-40,000
  • Average Home Price (MLS): $100,000-$200,000
  • Annual Property Tax on a $200,000 house: Less than 2000
  • Total Crime Index: 91-100 (slightly below average)
  • Cost of Living Index: 91-100 (slightly below average)
  • Culture Index: 101-110 (slightly above average)
  • State Sales Tax: Yes
  • State Income Tax: Yes
  • Name of the Guide: boomer1

Can you add to or correct these Facts? Or do you have a photo of this community we could use? If so, please click on Edit these facts

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