6 Things to Know BEFORE Moving to Smithfield, NC

Posted by Ryan Fitzgerald on Friday, May 21st, 2021 at 2:57pm.

Living in Smithfield, NC

If you are moving to Smithfield, NC, make sure that you know these 6 things before you do!

Are you thinking about moving to Smithfield, North Carolina? Located in Johnston County and with a population of 13,000 people, Smithfield is known to be one of the fastest-growing areas in the state. Only a 33-minute drive from the capital of Raleigh and Research Triangle Park, and a three-hour drive to Charlotte, Smithfield is a great place to live. A safe place to raise your children, many families and young professionals are moving to the area for its prime location, affordable cost of living, gorgeous landscape, and growing business opportunities.

Moving to Smithfield, NC - What is it like living in North Carolina

After reading this moving guide, you will have a better idea of what it is like to live in Smithfield and what you can expect from the area. Read on to learn more about the 6 Things to Know BEFORE Moving to Smithfield, North Carolina! 

The History of Smithfield

Founded in 1777, Smithfield was the first town and second county seat in Johnston County. Named after its location to Smith’s Ferry on the Neuse
River, the town was where the Johnston County Courthouse was moved to. Legend has it that Smithfield almost became the capital of North Carolina but lost to Raleigh by one vote. Playing a significant role in the American Civil War by accommodating the encampment of General Sherman’s troops, Smithfield remains a historical city that has seen a rise in growth over the past several years. 

What You Need to Know About Smithfield, NC

1. Smithfield has a great education system.

Part of the Johnston County School District, the education system in Smithfield is constantly changing in order to keep up with the demands of its growing population. Home to one of the highest amounts of top-rated public schools in North Carolina, the Johnston County School District has 46 schools and teaches over 36,000 students in its vicinity. Some of the best public schools in Smithfield include South Smithfield Elementary School, Smithfield Middle School, Johnston County Early College Academy, and Smithfield-Selma High School. If you are moving with your family and have school-aged children, Smithfield understands just how important quality education is. When buying a house, make sure to choose one that feeds into the schools that you want your children to attend.

For those seeking higher education opportunities, Johnston Community College is found in Smithfield. Right off of Interstate 95 and US 70, Johnston Community College is offering its students amazing workforce programs. With a 175 acre campus and over 40 programs and areas of study, students have the ability to excel close to home. From cosmetology to accounting and business, this technical leadership academy is the perfect option for students who do not want to attend a four-year university. But, if a public institution is more of your style, North Carolina State University and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are within a commuter’s distance at an in-state tuition price.

The North Carolina State Flag a great representation of Smithfield North Carolina

2. There are many job opportunities.

Recently announced, Amazon will be building a 620,000 square foot warehouse and distribution center in Smithfield by 2022. This $100 million dollar fulfillment center will bring up to 500 jobs to the area that will pay employees at least $15 an hour minimum wage. Generating an estimated $97 million dollars annually, both Smithfield and Johnston County are preparing for a spike in growth and job creation. This Fortune 500 Company will not only drastically impact the local economy for the better, but it will lay the foundation for further welcoming leaders in business and technology.

Spearheading the agritourism industry and tobacco farming for generations, the job search in Smithfield comes with a lot of variety. If you are actively searching for a job then make sure to add Smithfield to your list. Not only are big companies scoping out the area to grow and expand, but by being only a short drive away from Raleigh and Research Triangle Park, commuting to work could not be easier. With multinational technology company Apple announcing its $1 billion dollar investment in its Research Triangle Park campus, Raleigh and its surrounding areas are about to explode in opportunity and job growth.

3. Affordable cost of living and real estate.

With a cost of living 7% lower than the North Carolina average, and 12% lower than the national average, living in Smithfield means affordability. Part of the Raleigh Metropolitan area, Smithfield has seen a 1.5% increase in housing, transportation, and food prices since last year due to its rise in growth. Still remaining less expensive than nearby cities, the housing market has seen a 12.2% trend upwards through the years. The homes for sale in Smithfield represent some of the best value in the triangle area of NC. Whether you are looking for a renovated single-family home, new construction, an apartment, or a townhome, Smithfield has you covered. When considering what property type is best for you and your family, it is important to acknowledge all of your options and choose which neighborhood best suits your needs.

Welcome to Smithfield North Carolina with a green sign welcoming folks to the beautiful state of NC!

4. There is always something to do. 

Nestled along the Neuse River, Smithfield is most famous for its distinct culture and abundance of fun things to do. Perhaps one of the most popular and local favorites is the Ava Gardner Museum. Born near Smithfield, this American actress and singer was most popular in the 1940s and admired for her femme fatale roles. Appearing in classic films such as The Killers and Pandora and the Flying Dutchman, Ava was considered one of the most beautiful actresses in Hollywood during her time. Once married to Frank Sinatra, visitors of the museum can learn about her life through new exhibits and her fabulous costume collection. Once you have visited this museum, check out some of these other local favorites:

  • Carolina Premium Outlets: This outlet mall features 76 stores including Tommy Hilfiger, Addidas, and Micheal Kors. 
  • Double Barley Brewing: Featuring a taproom and beer garden, this family-owned and operated craft brewery offers brewery tours and is pouring some of the best-handcrafted ales in the area.
  • The Howell Theatre: This nostalgic theatre has been in operation since 1935 and continues to show feature films on four screens.

Enjoy some of the best restaurants Smithfield NC has to offer with great fried chicken and waffles a southern delicacy!

5. Enjoy the Southern Cuisine

Are you craving southern cooking? Then you are in the right place! Smithfield is serving up classic southern dishes from barbeque to fried chicken alongside restaurants inspired by international flavors and cuisine. In a city where the tea is sweet, have your choice of tavern, cafe, barbeque joint, or steakhouse. If you love exploring new places to eat, check out some of these local favorite restaurants:

  • San Marcos Mexican Restaurant: Dine on the highest quality Mexican food at this local casual restaurant. Popular for lunch and dinner, enjoy tacos and enchiladas while sipping on the daily drink special. 
  • White Swan BBQ: This fried chicken and BBQ restaurant has been in operation for 60 years and is a Smithfield favorite. Make sure to order the hushpuppies. 
  • Simple Twist: This American eatery is famous for its Sunday Brunch and outdoor seating. Offering a full bar and taproom, dine on burgers, sandwiches, salads, and homemade slices of pie.

6. Smithfield Events and Festivals

The annual events and festivals in Smithfield are what bring the community together. If you want to meet your neighbors and explore the town, then there is always something to celebrate. Smithfield and Johnston County work together every year to bring some of the best events to the area. The Smithfield Ham and Yam Festival which originally started in 1985, has been an ongoing tradition of honoring the Smithfield agriculture industry. Most popular for its live music, ham biscuits, barbeque, and sweet potato treats bring the family together in May to partake in arts and crafts and pig races. Click here for more information about other festivals in the area and mark your calendar!

Moving to Smithfield, NC - The Bottom Line 

Centrally located, travel only two hours to the North Carolina beaches from Smithfield and four hours to the mountains. Providing residents with the perfect mix of urban and rural life, have the chance to live in a flourishing city while still being surrounded by beautiful landscape and family-owned farms. If you decide to move to the city of Smithfield, then expect amazing job opportunities, beautiful real estate, and friendly neighbors. When looking for your dream home in Smithfield, contact our realty specialists today!

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Ryan Fitzgerald Raleigh RealtyHi there! I'm Ryan Fitzgerald, a REALTOR in Raleigh-Durham, NC and the owner of Raleigh Realty. Chances are you and I share a similar passion, Real Estate! I also have a passion for building businesses, working out, inspiring others, technology, sports, and people. Connect with me on Facebook and Instagram!

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