Brunswick County Relocation Guide

Welcome to Southeastern North Carolina

We are so excited to hear you are considering relocating to Brunswick County. There is so much to love about this coastal county, including its picturesque beaches and the charming town of Southport, which has been the setting for multiple movies and televisions shows. It also borders the Cape Fear River and historic Wilmington, and is a convenient drive to Myrtle Beach, SC.

Relocating to a new area is a huge decision, and we want you to feel comfortable throughout the process. We know you are trying to learn about everything that will affect your lifestyle and happiness, likely without spending a lot of time in the area. This is why we try to do everything we can to help.

Questions we often hear are:

  • Which are the safe neighborhoods?
  • Where are the family-friendly communities?
  • Which are the good schools?
  • Which churches are all-inclusive?

Unfortunately, as real estate brokers, we are limited on things that we can say due to the Fair Housing Act, which makes it illegal for anyone working in real estate (Realtors, property managers, landlords, etc.) to discriminate based on race, religion, sex, or family/economic status. It doesn't mean we don't know the answers, just that we could unintentionally discriminate. For example, if we were to respond to the question about family-friendly communities with a specific neighborhood, it could imply other neighborhoods are not inviting to families, which would be a form of discrimination.

To avoid potential discrimination and still support you as a buyer, we have included resources here to help you with those hard decisions (plus, others that have proved beneficial to past clients). Browse around and let us know if you have any questions.

The main areas of Brunswick County include Leland, Belville, Boiling Spring Lakes, Bolivia, Winnabow, Shallotte, St. James, Varnamtown, Navassa, Bald Head Island, Oak Island, Southport, and the beaches (Ocean Isle Beach, Caswell Beach, Holden Beach, Sunset Beach). We don’t cover all of these areas but know some excellent agents located closer to the South Carolina border that we can refer you to.

You can learn about some of the areas we service and what makes each unique by clicking on their name on the Our Areas page.

Sometimes listing descriptions will refer to other places, like Town Creek or Sandy Creek. On this resource page, you will see maps of townships and designated census places. One is a picture, so you can see an overview. The other is an interactive Google Map that will let you pan and see area businesses and amenities. If you are unfamiliar with the zip codes in Brunswick County, you can view a map here.

We also serve Pender County and New Hanover County. Our Areas page has information for those as well. Again, should you choose a city that is outside of our service area, we will gladly refer you to another trusted agent from within our large network.

All of our area pages have market reports that you can download. These have statistics about the area, including the crime rate in comparison to the national rate. You can also visit the Town of Leland police crime map and the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office website (crime reports are linked under Resources). You can also view registered sex offenders in North Carolina here.

As mentioned under Crime, all of our area pages have market reports with demographic information displayed in graphs and charts. Data includes population density, total households, occupancy rates, household living costs, households with children, education completed, top employment industries, average income, entertainment costs, utility costs, etc. This is a general overview of the area and when information for a specific community isn’t known, the data for the whole zip code is displayed. You can dig deeper into the stats on the U.S. Census Bureau page for Brunswick County.

Concerning more info on jobs and employment industries, the Brunswick Chamber of Commerce is a good resource for information about businesses. Many residents in Brunswick County work for companies based in Wilmington. Both Zippia and Glass Door list the largest companies in the Wilmington area and the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce includes companies from Brunswick County in some of its stats. It also compares the cost of living to the closest metropolitan areas and gives insight into transportation, arts, and culture.

As you know, Brunswick County sits at sea level on the North Carolina coast. This means some properties experience flooding during bad storms. The State of North Carolina has an excellent website for viewing area flood maps. You can search the site by address to see the current flood zone, use their calculator to estimate the cost of repair if the property was to flood, and see an estimate of how much flood insurance would cost. If the link above doesn't load, you can also reach the map here.

We have extensive experience assisting clients throughout the process of buying new construction, including finding the perfect community and lot, choosing features during the design, and navigating walkthroughs for the final build. Below are some resources on our website regarding new construction homes and the process of buying them. If you’re interested in going this route, let us know which communities you like the most, and we can send you site maps, floor plans, pricing, and standard features.

  • New Construction Homes for Sale in Brunswick County: Narrow this search to your target price range, size, and location.
  • New Construction Communities: View some of the newest and most popular new construction communities in our area. Don’t see what you’re looking for? We may just not have created a page yet. Send us an email or call and we’ll see what information we have and gather up whatever is missing.
  • New Construction Blog Posts: Our articles and videos about buying new construction homes in this region.
  • New Construction Buyer Guide: Your essential guide to buying a new construction home, including choosing a builder and the hidden costs you may face.
  • Why You Need Buyer Representation When Purchasing New Construction: All new communities have on-site agents or a sales team. They will walk you through the available lots, floor plans that fit those lots, and the builder’s contract. They may even be the ones to help you pick out the features and finishes in the design center. However, they are not your agent, and you really should have someone with your best interests at heart representing you. We go into that more in this article.

If you need recommendations for a custom builder, let us know what type of home and service you’re looking for (Craftsman Single-Family, Luxury, full custom blueprints, pre-created floor plans, etc.), and we’ll send you names of reputable builders.

The NCDOT has numerous public roadway projects that they are working on in Brunswick County and the counties bordering it. Some of these projects pass by current communities, which can lead to increased traffic in the area, as well as noise. There are also a few projects in planning that have not been finalized, and they may require acquisition of private property. You can view projects under construction and in development on the NCDOT website

If you have school-aged kids, we recommend searching for any property you are interested in on the Brunswick County school district map. This will show you the assigned elementary school, middle school, and high school the property is assigned to. When using this map, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Redistricting happens. There are no guarantees that the schools will remain the same the entire time your child is attending. We hate to say that, especially when some parents work so hard to be in a specific district, but we feel having the right expectations is key to being happy with your home.
  2. Not all schools are included. This map shows the assigned traditional public schools; however, there are other schools in the county district. These include year-round public schools and magnet schools. Some of these schools are lottery based and though they aren’t an assigned school, you may still need to live in a certain zone to attend.

Visit Brunswick County School’s web page for enrollment. There you will find all the information you need to enroll a new student in the county school system. If you prefer a private school, you can view a list of them here.

The State of North Carolina grades each school (private and public) on academic growth and creates a report card for it. These grades are generated every year after the EOGs (End of Grade tests) are completed. Each report card goes in-depth into school resources, student readiness, and teacher training. They compare the individual school to others in the county and the state. You can view the report cards on NC Report Cards.

Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)

We have compiled all of our Frequently Asked Questions on our FAQ page. If you need more information on any of these topics or other real estate subjects, please don't hesitate to ask. We want you to feel well-informed when making decisions during your purchase.

Townships and Designated Census Places

Map of Brunswick County North Carolina With Municipal and Township Labels

Interactive Map of Cities and Towns

2023 Tax Rates

Brunswick County$0.342
Smithville Township$0.0400
Boiling Spring Lakes$0.19
Carolina Shores$0.10
Caswell Beach$0.17
Holden Beach$0.14
Oak Island$0.16
Ocean Isle Beach$0.1089
St. James$0.0600
Sandy Creek$0.2500
Sunset Beach$0.1600
Bald Head Island$0.5779
BHI MSD Zone A$0.0668
BHI MSD Zone B$0.0383