Do you know the riskiest North Carolina cities for homeowners? Purchasing a home is a big investment. And not just financially through the purchase price- though that cannot be understated. You also are investing time, you’re committing your family to the area, and you’re setting yourself up for every surprise that home may bring you. It’s inevitable that there will be some big unforeseen expenses with any home you purchase. It’s if not when. But that doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t do anything and everything to mitigate that risk. That’s why the experts at created a list of the riskiest cities in the nation to be a homeowner.

Let’s face it. The last thing you want after you’ve made a significant financial commitment to purchase a home is to find out it’s in danger of flooding. Or perhaps that it’s not up to fire code, or the area is full of crime. Nationally the top 5 riskiest cities for homeownership were:

  1. Houston, TX
  2. San Bernardino, CA
  3. Glendale, CA
  4. New Orleans, LA
  5. Fort Lauderdale, FL
The list and research that shared with us are based on insurance and climate-related factors. The study compared insurance-based risk factors of the 170 most populated cities in the country. Seven North Carolina cities are among the most populous and you will find their rankings in the state, as well as nationally, below. Insurance-based risk factors included not only climate-related ones, but also property crime, the median age of homes in the city, vacant rates, and availability of emergency services.
Thanks to for sharing their research with us. You can view the full study here. Or keep reading to see how the 7 most populous locations rank when it comes to the riskiest North Carolina cities for homeownership. Do any of them surprise you? Let us know on social media!

The 7 Riskiest North Carolina Cities For Home Owners

  • 7. Cary, NC

    downtown cary

    Nationally Cary, NC the southwest Wake County suburb of Raleigh, ranked 160th out of 170th when it comes to risk. So if you’re looking to purchase a home, this is just another benefit to attribute to the city. It also has low crime, fantastic schools, lots of businesses, and is just a great place to live (or stay when visiting the Triangle).

    Homes with Flood Risk: 12%

    Homes with Wildfire Risk: 60%

    Homes with Heat Risk: 89%

    Natural Disasters: 23

    Avg. Age of Homes: 22

    Percent of Vacant Homes: 8.3%

    Fire Stations Per 100K: 5.0

    Property Crime Per 100K: 1,102

  • 6. Raleigh, NC

    Raleigh, North Carolina, USA downtown skyline

    Staying in the same area next on the list is our state’s capital. Raleigh North Carolina ranked 143rd nationally on the list. Making it one of the least risky cities nationwide to purchase a home. It is a great place to live with all the amenities of city life including professional sports- The Carolina Hurricanes, multiple universities, a thriving downtown, and more.

    Homes with Flood Risk: 13%

    Homes with Wildfire Risk: 59%

    Homes with Heat Risk: 82%

    Natural Disasters: 23

    Avg. Age of Homes: 24

    Percent of Vacant Homes: 13.3%

    Fire Stations Per 100K: 5.9

    Property Crime Per 100K: 2,304



  • 5. Greensboro, NC

    Greensboro, North Carolina, USA downtown skyline.

    The third least risky spot to buy a home in North Carolina? Greensboro. It’s a city that probably (ok certainly) doesn’t get enough recognition. The city is thriving and growing, with tons to offer. The Greensboro Coliseum hosts national acts, and often the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament. I’ve also heard great things at the developing food and drink scene. It ranked 120th nationally.

    Homes with Flood Risk: 10%

    Homes with Wildfire Risk: 35%

    Homes with Heat Risk: 100%

    Natural Disasters: 25

    Avg. Age of Homes: 37

    Percent of Vacant Homes: 7.8%

    Fire Stations Per 100K: 8.6

    Property Crime Per 100K: 3,755

  • 4. Durham, NC

    Durham, North Carolina, USA downtown skyline.

    The triangle certainly takes the title of the least risky area of the state to purchase a home in. Durham ranked 113th nationally. Downtown Durham is full of breweries, restaurants, the DPAC for performing arts and concerts, and a minor league baseball stadium home to the Durham Bulls. It also tends to be a little more affordable than other cities/suburbs in the Triangle.

    Homes with Flood Risk: 9%

    Homes with Wildfire Risk: 73%

    Homes with Heat Risk: 97%

    Natural Disasters: 21

    Avg. Age of Homes: 26

    Percent of Vacant Homes: 7.4%

    Fire Stations Per 100K: 6.5

    Property Crime Per 100K: 3,254

  • 3. Charlotte, NC

    Things to do Charlotte

    Purchasing a home in Charlotte isn’t without risk. The Queen City ranks with the third highest risk in the state. Though it still ranks in the bottom half nationally at 101st. So make of that what you will. All I can say from experience is that it seems like you’ll get a good return on your investment as I watched home prices nearly double in the past 4 years. Which is great for homeowners, but terrible for those looking to purchase.

    Homes with Flood Risk: 10%

    Homes with Wildfire Risk: 58%

    Homes with Heat Risk: 96%

    Natural Disasters: 14

    Avg. Age of Homes: 27

    Percent of Vacant Homes: 6.9%

    Fire Stations Per 100K: 4.8

    Property Crime Per 100K: 3,592

  • 2. Fayetteville, NC

    Fayetteville North Carolina Downtown City Center Hay Street

    Fayetteville tends to get the short end of the stick when it comes to a lot of this list. I’ve only visited once, and while yes, there isn’t as much to offer as some of the larger cities it’s not a bad place from what I can tell. Fayetteville ranked 60th nationally and as the 2nd riskiest city in North Carolina. Being closer to the coast than any other city on this list probably factors in for metrics like natural disasters and flood risks.

    Homes with Flood Risk: 16%

    Homes with Wildfire Risk: 91%

    Homes with Heat Risk: 100%

    Natural Disasters: 20

    Avg. Age of Homes: 39

    Percent of Vacant Homes: 8.0%

    Fire Stations Per 100K: 8.1

    Property Crime Per 100K: 3,458

  • 1. Winston-Salem, NC

    Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA Downtown Skyline.

    And the riskiest city for homeownership in North Carolina? It’s Winston-Salem. Though for the city’s credit it still only ranks 56th nationally. So overall the state stands pretty well.

    Homes with Flood Risk: 9%

    Homes with Wildfire Risk: 57%

    Homes with Heat Risk: 100%

    Natural Disasters: 21

    Avg. Age of Homes: 40

    Percent of Vacant Homes: 12.2%

    Fire Stations Per 100K: 7.6

    Property Crime Per 100K: 3,893

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