Most AFFORDABLE Suburbs near Raleigh NC

Raleigh, North Carolina is becoming an expensive place to buy a home. Here we are focusing on the four suburbs around Raleigh where you can still get a deal. Raleigh, North Carolina is getting to be a fairly pricey place to live but there's still a few places around Raleigh that you can buy that are somewhat affordable and a pretty easy drive into Raleigh. The four main subarbs we will cover is Clayton, Knightdale, Wendell and Garner. 

We're going to break it all down and give you the facts about those suburbs. To  start, Clayton, North Carolina. Clayton, North Carolina is located to the southeast of Raleigh and has a population of just over 28,000 people currently. Clayton, North Carolina has lots of positives. There is tons of development going on. It is fairly close to Raleigh. It has an amazing downtown and has a lot of space so even  though it is getting more and more developed currently it’s still not feeling that crowded. 

Clayton also has a a few cons. It is quite a drive to get into the Research Triangle Park if you live in Clayton. If you need to commute to RTP daily it is probably not the best place to live. Also, traffic can be a little heavy at times making it difficult to get into Raleigh. This is neither a pro nor con but Clayton is really rural small town Americana. If you're not into that and you want more of a fast-paced lifestyle you may want to think about moving somewhere else but if that's your gig it's probably going to be a really good city for you to consider.

As far as shopping goes there are roughly at least seven grocery stores in Clayton. There's a lot of really nice shops and restaurants in the downtown area. Clayton also has many new developments sprouting up. As far as commute times go well as we said the commute into Research Triangle Park can be a little tough right now. It takes  anywhere between 45 minutes and an hour to get into downtown Raleigh. This means you're looking at a commute time of between 25 minutes and 40 minutes depending on what part of the downtown you need to get to. According to,  Clayton, North Carolina gets an overall rating of A-. When it comes to public schools in Clayton, it get a B plus. For the cost of living it gets a B and for housing in Clayton it gets a B. ranks Clayton, North Carolina the number one best city to live in Johnson County.

Next up we'll move on to Knightdale, North Carolina. Knightdale is located to the east of Raleigh and has a population of about 19,000 people currently. The pros of Knightdale it's very close to Raleigh and especially to downtown Raleigh. It has a lot of amenities for a town of its size and boasts a new area called Knightdale Station called Prime Barbecue. One of our favorite barbecue joints is in Knightdale Station. The cons of Knightdale, it’s really lacking a very diverse food scene and it's mostly a lot of chain restaurants with the exception of Prime Barbecue and a few others. You're going to have to settle for all of the chain restaurants. It doesn't really have a charming downtown like a lot of North Carolina small towns have but they are growing and trying to develop something around the Knightdale Station area. Again along with the chain restaurants there's a lot of chain stores. There are not a lot of local, mom and pop stores in the area. As far as shopping goes in Knightdale there are four major grocery stores and lots of shopping but again mostly the chains like Target and Walmart. Commute times to Research Triangle Park are between 30 and 40 minutes and best of all to downtown Raleigh is only between 17 and 25 minutes. gives Knightdale, North Carolina an overall ranking of A. For public schools Knightdale gets a B, for housing the town gets a B+ and cost of living Knightdale gets a B.

Next up we have Wendell, North Carolina and yes it’s pronounced “Wen-dell”. It is   located to the east of Raleigh and just slightly east of Knightdale with a population of just over 11,500 people. The pros of Wendell is it has an amazing little downtown. It is very diverse, a hip and happening place. With brew pubs, wine bars, restaurants, shopping, ice cream parlors, about anything you can imagine. Downtown Wendell also has plenty of parks and green space. A great place to commune with nature. Wendell is also close to downtown Raleigh which is definitely a huge positive.The last pro for Wendell Falls is a mega giant neighborhood that is really transforming Wendell and making it into a destination place that a lot of people want to move into.

The cons about Wendell is it can feel a little bit further out than it really is. There is a highway in Wendell that connects you to downtown Raleigh and the rest of Raleigh. You can get to those places really quickly but if you look on a map Wendell looks like it's out in the middle of nowhere. Currently Wendell has very few amenities and not a lot in the way of shopping. A select few grocery stores mostly in the downtown core. It is close to Knightdale and a lot of people that live in Wendell take the quick drive into Knightdale to get whatever they need.  Another con of Wendell it is the epitome of small town America. Most of the hustle and bustle in downtown Wendell is reserved for the evenings and weekends. 

There are three main grocery stores in Wendell, North Carolina. This list includes the recently opened Wendell Falls Publix. There are a lot more stores being built in Wendell but for now residents of Wendell lean heavily on Knightdale and spend the 10 minute journey into Knightdale for shopping. The commute times into Research Triangle Park from Wendell are between 35 and 45 minutes. From Wendell into downtown Raleigh it is only about 18 to 30 minutes. gives Wendell, North Carolina an overall rating of A-. For public schools Wendell gets a ranking of B+. For housing the town also gets a B+ and for cost of living, Wendell gets a B.

Next up we have Garner, North Carolina. This town is located to the south of Raleigh and has a population currently of around 33,000 people. The pros of Garner is it's very very close to downtown Raleigh. It is close to the big city, Raleigh, but also retains that small town feel. The cons, it doesn't have a lot of the amenities on its own. Since it is so close to Raleigh it really doesn't need to. Another con, it really doesn't have much of a downtown. As far as shopping goes there are six major grocery stores in Garner. The first, White Oak Crossing is the main shopping hub for Garner, North Carolina. White Oak Crossing has just about anything you can imagine including the area's only Cabela’s. Incidentally this is the only Cabela's in the state of North Carolina. Cabela's is also the fourth largest employer in Garner. As far as commute times go the drive into Research Triangle Park is between 28 and 40 minutes and the drive into downtown Raleigh is only about 8 to 20 minutes. gives Garner, North Carolina an overall rating of A. The public schools in Garner get an A-. For housing in Garner, it gets a B+ and cost of living in Garner gets a B. 

If you're considering a move either into or out of Clayton, Knightdale, Wendell, Garner or really anywhere in the Triangle, our team would love to be your agents of choice. You can email us at [email protected], or you can click here. We would be happy to help you and answer any questions you have.

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