The Pros and Cons of Living in Jacksonville, NC

Sunset at a beach in Jacksonville, NC

Home to celebrated Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Jacksonville, North Carolina is also the commercial hub of Onslow County. Jacksonville was named an All-American city in 1982 and, demographically, is one of the youngest cities in the United States due to its large military presence. If you’re moving to Jacksonville, or you’re coming here to become a marine, the information below will be extremely helpful. It’s a list of the pros and cons of living in Jacksonville, brought to you by the storage experts at SecurCare Self Storage. To discover everything there is to know about this city, both good and bad, read on.

Pros and Cons of Living in Jacksonville, NC


  • The cost of living in Jacksonville is almost 20% lower than the national average.
  • Jacksonville boasts some of the nicest beaches on the East Coast.
  • There are many opportunities for outdoor fun and adventures in Jacksonville.
  • The nightlife in Jacksonville is vibrant and electric and has a young vibe.
  • Jacksonville is rated very highly for young families.
  • The public school system in Jacksonville is better than average.
  • Winter in Jacksonville is relatively warm and usually quite short.
  • Violent crime rates in Jacksonville are exceptionally low.


  • Although housing is expensive, it’s often difficult to find in Jacksonville.
  • Jacksonville has a property crime problem.
  • The humidity and insects in Jacksonville during summer are often difficult to deal with.
  • Employment and jobs in Jacksonville are harder to find.
  • There is an increased risk of flooding and hurricanes in Jacksonville.

What’s It Like Living in Jacksonville, NC

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more patriotic place to live in the United States than Jacksonville, NC. Although nearly 72,000 people live here, it still has a small-town vibe and, even better, a very young population thanks to the military base. It’s family-friendly, exceedingly safe, and the weather most of the year is tolerable if not perfect.

Jacksonville is also known as the “Crystal Coast” thanks to its 85 miles of amazing beaches, including Cape Lookout National Seashore. There are many things to do for families in Jacksonville besides the beaches, also. The biggest problem for most folks is that, during summer, the humidity can be oppressive, and the bugs, including mosquitoes and gnats, can be maddening.

What is Jacksonville, NC, Known For?

Female soldier running towards family for a hug

As mentioned earlier, Jacksonville is home to world-renowned Camp Lejeune, the marine base where America’s Marines are trained. It’s also known as being a seaside town with beautiful beaches, and an amazing coastline. Because of the marine base nearby, Jacksonville is also known for one other thing; noise pollution. Low-flying airplanes, demolition noises, and artillery fire are some noises you will definitely need to get used to when living here.

Quick Facts about Jacksonville, NC

The Weather

The weather in Jacksonville is mild year-round with short winters and very little (if ever) snow. In summer, the heat and humidity can be oppressive, but not for an extremely long time. Most would consider spring and fall to be the best time of year in Jacksonville.

The Cost of Living

With an overall cost of living score of 82.9/100, Jacksonville’s cost of living is almost 20% lower than the national average. Indeed, every cost index is lower than the national average here except healthcare at 120.3/100, about 20% higher than average. (100 is the national average, just FYI.)

Real Estate Prices

You’ll be pleased to know that real estate prices in Jacksonville are some of the lowest in the United States. The median home cost is $219,400, nearly $110,000 less than the national average. One thing to note, however, is that more people rent than own.

The Public School System

Of the 23 public schools in Jacksonville, only one gets an A, Onslow Early College High School. The town school system gets a B grade overall from Niche, which isn’t dreadful. Carolina Forest Elementary School is the #1 best public school in town with a B+. Northside High School is the best HS, also with a B+.

Recreation Opportunities

Boardwalk leading out to the beach

One area where Jacksonville shines is the number of recreational opportunities available, especially in late spring through early fall. Biking, hiking, boating, fishing, and many more activities are easily available and enjoyed by many who live here. (Just remember to bring bug spray!)

The Top 3 Neighborhoods in Jacksonville, NC

Jacksonville isn’t exactly a small town, but it certainly isn’t a big city either. There are several excellent communities, all of which deserve a good look before you make your final decision on where to buy your new home. Below are the Top 3 neighborhoods in Jacksonville, NC based on ratings from several different real estate websites

  1. Sterling Farms- Rural, quiet, and convenient to most of Jacksonville’s amenities, Sterling Farms offers, single-family homes, townhomes, and condos.
  2. Northwoods- Northwoods is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Jacksonville. It’s known for having ranch-style homes, mature trees, and being close to Coastal Carolina Community College and Camp Lejeune.
  3. Sewell Fields of Verona- About 5 miles south of Jacksonville is this exclusive neighborhood. You should note, however, that it comes with exclusive home prices also.

Honorable Mentions

  1. Bell Fork
  2. Tar Landing
  3. Williams Farm
  4. Half Moon
  5. Walton’s Store

SecurCare Self Storage can Help you Plan your Move to Jacksonville, NC

If you’ve just arrived in Jacksonville, or just graduated from basic training and need to find storage, SecurCare Self Storage is your #1 choice. SecurCare has 3 safe, secure storage facilities in Jacksonville with the top features in the storage industry. From 24/7 video security cameras to on-site managers, affordable prices, drive-up storage units, and more, everything you need to store your valuables safely can be found at SecurCare. If you need help moving, take a look at our moving tips, which will get you off to a great start. Also, our storage unit size guide will make it easy to decide which storage unit is the best for you and your family. When you’re ready, reserve your Jacksonville, NC, storage unit today!