Okay, here's what my friend said. I hope it helps.
"Here's my two cents on IA vs NC. I like NC way better than Iowa b/c there are actually four seasons rather than 7 or 8 months of winter. It has been a long time since I've lived in Iowa, but I could never forget the snow! It's just insane, and so bitterly cold out, and everything still goes on....school, church, everything. My stepmom is a teacher's assistant (was, sorry, forgot she quit her job) for a handicapped boy, and she was telling me that they go outside as long as the windchill is above NEGATIVE ten!! And she said the kids take up half their recess time getting bundled up and unbundled.
"Since I was a kid growing up in Iowa, I can't say anything about finances up there, but if she is planning on moving to a big city like Raleigh/Durham/Charlotte, then the cost of living is way higher than living in the country or in a small town, but I don't know what the overall cost of living is here compared to Iowa, I'm thinking Iowa is cheaper, like you get more bang for your buck, but I'm not 100% sure.
"People in NC are, in my opinion, way more personalble and friendly than in Iowa. You hear yes maam no maam, yes sir, no sir, most folks actually have manners, everyone hugs one another and everyone says I love you to anybody and everybody, family, friends, mail carrier, pharmacist, dr, although I think that's more something the older generations do. Not to say that people in Iowa are rude, cuz they're certainly not, this is just something that I have noticed.
"I believe overall NC is a much more religious state than Iowa. First thing I noticed when we moved here, there are churches on everywhere, and signs up everywhere about Jesus Christ, and that's totally fine. I just remember in Iowa, people seemed more private about their religious beliefs, and not many people talked about church alot.
"Not sure about the school systems, I would say they are probably pretty much the same.
"The humidity in NC is definitely higher than in Iowa, but not nearly as high as in FL, which is one of the reasons I will never live in FL again. Say it's 85 degrees out, in Iowa it might feel like 87 or 88, here it would feel about 95, in FL it would feel way over 100.
"Oh, and one last thing, they definitely have better yard sales in Iowa! Where my parents live, ( north of Des Moine), you can get stuff at yard sales for 10 and 20 cents, where the same thing at a yard sale here would probably cost about $2-3. My stepmom is constantly telling me about the great bargains she's come across at yard sales and I admit, it makes me envious. :P
"Oh, another thing about Iowa that I love, it's all flat, and you can see for miles, and unless you're downtown, the houses are right on top of each other, most people actually have a yard, plenty of rooms for dogs, cats, horses, cows, chickesn and goats.
And a basement. The majority of houses in NC do not have basements, at least not the ones built in recent years.
"Another thing about Iowa that I dislike is the tornadoes, they can form in minutes and kill/destroy everything and everyone in their path. But, we have hurricane season here, yet another reason I'll never again live in FL, and while we don't live real close to the coast, we can get substantial amounts of rainfall and overpowering winds during a hurricane, and tornadoes as well, but Iowa is definitely part of 'tornado valley'.
"Well, I hope this helps. I defintely prefer NC to Iowa anyday, I've been trying to get my dad and my stepmom to move out here for years, but they won't b/c her aging parents are up there, and the kids are already established in school/college, etc. Someday maybe.
Okay, this is Niki again. My friend mentioned it costing more in Raleigh, Durham and Charlotte. I can tell you fairly certainly that the Greensboro area is a bit cheaper.
I wish you all the best!