Sure, there’s no denying that Charlotte NC has its own way of intriguing tourists and those considering a move here. To begin with, the city rests on the southern border of North Carolina. Now that’s as paradoxical as it is intriguing. Add to it the fact that Charlotte has around 885,708 residents brewing up a high spirited lifestyle that most would desire. After all, the country’s 15th most populated city is also home to numerous smashing breweries.
Charlotte is as urban as it’s picturesque, thanks to the Little Sugar Creek Greenway and the countless parks built across the city. The Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden is just another local favorite that adds to Charlotte’s charm. Art aficionados are always going to find reasons to hold on to this city, all credit goes to the Mint Museum Uptown, Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, among other great museums.
We’ve only just scratched the surface and there’s a lot more to know about this city nestled away in the south eastern part of the US. So let’s break down all that you need to know before you consider moving to Charlotte NC.
What Should I Know Before Moving To Charlotte NC?
So first things first, Charlotte is the largest city in North Carolina. The city is often known as the “Queen City”, which is an homage to consort Queen Charlotte of Great Britain from the bygone era. And yes, it’s this queen with German roots that the city is named after. Charlotte also has a population density of 2,882.59/sq mi, which fortunately isn’t bizarrely high.
Here’s something which might not necessarily get you on the edge of your seat. Of the 50 major cities considered, research indicates that Charlotte is not the most walkable city. In fact, in terms of walkability, it’s only 49th of the 50 major cities, as shared by Walk Score in 2011. The rank might have changed a bit today, but Charlotte still manages to make its residents work a little when it comes to getting to someplace or finding establishments. However, it shouldn’t really matter if commuting isn’t something that really troubles you.
In case you’re planning to move with your family, especially with your children, you have reason to look forward to Charlotte. The city is great for academics, and the public schools here are pretty good actually. Here’s an interesting trivia: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools are known to be our country’s 17th largest public school system. There’s also the Davidson College which happens to be one of the best across the entire US to study Liberal Arts.
Crime Rate in Charlotte
In terms of violent crimes, Charlotte experiences 7.07 violent crime per 1000 residents. Unfortunately, that’s considerably higher than the average of North Carolina, which happens to be only 3.78 for every 1,000 residents. Similarly, the property crime rate is not something the locals can be too proud about, considering how the 36.98 per 1,000 residents is higher than the state average which stands at 24.94 for every 1,000 people, according to data shared by Neighborhood Scout.
Charlotte NC Weather
Typically, Charlotte is known to witness each of Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. But weather in Charlotte can at times be like the gift you receive from a Secret Santa exchange. You are almost always in for a surprise. That’s not to say that Charlotte bogs its residents down with extremities in weather. It’s far from that actually, since the city holds on to bright blue skies for more than 200 days in a year. Amidst all the unpredictability, there’s still some sense of pattern to the weather in Charlotte. So let’s delve deeper into that.
Put that kayak on top of your van, for it’s the season to get a tan. Summers in Charlotte are synonymous with outdoor activities, humidity and a tad bit of annoyance, because the heat can just be a prick at times. June, July and August are the months you can expect least kindness from in terms of sparing you the mugginess. Although, the temperatures are still a welcome respite to many, since it’s approximately in the range of 28 degrees on an average. Come on now, it’s not all that bad, unless your tolerance for humidity is not much.
Okay so monsoon is what truly brings the unpredictability in Charlotte. Now typically, June, July and August are the months where rainfall is at its mightiest. While that sure is the case with Charlotte, the city still has a way of taking the downpour up a notch. It does so by ensuring that you don’t have to stay without the cool embraces of the monsoon at any point in the year, on the off chance that you actually start missing it. Just how the city tends to be!
Winters however can be a welcome respite, especially for those moving to Charlotte from a city in one of the northern states, where subzero temperatures are like that clingy partner that won’t ever let you out of sight. But it still gets chilly over here, with an average approximate temperature being 5 degree celsius give or take. On the lower end of the spectrum, it can also touch -1 degrees on some occasions, with 13 degrees being the average high temperature that Charlotte witnesses during winters.
Is it Expensive to Live in Charlotte?
It’s a good question to ask yourself before you decide on moving to Charlotte. Your lifestyle, the industry you work in, the economic bracket you fall under, your household expenses and the taxation laws of the city and state will all play a role in deciding if it is expensive to live in Charlotte.
The sales tax in North Carolina happens to be 4.75% at this moment in time. Although, you shouldn’t consider that as the final amount in each case, as local and county level taxes could very well increase the number in certain scenarios. For example, in Charlotte, you could consider 7.25% as the combined minimum sales tax in the city.
Cost Of Living In Charlotte
Well the promising fact about moving to Charlotte NC is that the city’s average cost of groceries is 6% lower than the country’s average. So basically, if you buy the produce for your conventional breakfast, PayScale shares that a loaf of bread will only set you back $3.12 and $1.70 for a carton of eggs. Heck, even a bunch of bananas doesn’t cost more than $3.15 on an average.
We can’t forget Healthcare when talking about the cost of living in Charlotte. PayScale reveals that you would have to pay $114.14 for a regular doctor’s visit. There’s only a marginal difference in the price to visit an optometrist, with the cost being $106.96 or so. A tad bit lower, visiting a dentist in Charlotte sets you back $98.06 on an average. While not a massive difference, the overall cost of healthcare in Charlotte is 3% higher than the country’s average.
Fortunately though, the transportation costs in Charlotte are recorded to be 3% below the US national average. It’s certainly welcome in a city where walking from one place to the other is barely ever an option. So the fact that you will only have to spend $2.53 on gas means you have another positive point of consideration for moving to Charlotte.
Buying A House
There’s a fairly good possibility that Charlotte will not stand in the way of you getting a place that you can happily call you home. All without the constant threat of a hefty mortgage looming over your head each month. We’re not trying to hype up Charlotte for nothing, and the $296,685 median home price should be able to back us. Let us give you a bit more perspective here. The US national average in terms of the cost of housing is actually 14% higher than in Charlotte.
Renting A House
Goes without saying, the average cost of housing being lower in Charlotte applies to renters as well. So you could get yourself a pretty chic rental apartment for just $929.39, according to PayScale. Do keep in mind that the fancier neighborhood you choose, the more your rent will increase. You know what they say, good things come at a price! Although, it’s worth it because there’s a possibility that some parts of the city would give you a good 2-bedroom apartment for the price we mentioned above.
Most of us know the pain of having to witness a massive hole in our pockets burned by the unkind prices of utility bills. There’s no denying that at times, we are to blame for our reckless usage of the services. But that’s not always the case, and it sure does help when you don’t have to feel like you’re breaking the bank just to pay the utility bills. Charlotte, with its average Utility Bills cost being 8% lower than the US national average, does understand.
Your electricity bill and gas bill combined is normally $153.91 each month give or take. You can expect your phone bill to be in the range of $164.06 per month. If you exclude the fees for stormwater, you can expect to shell out $68.06 per month on an average for your water bill, as shared by the City of Charlotte.
Charlotte Economy And Employment Opportunities
We have good reason to say that the economy of Charlotte is in safe hands. Considering how the city holds the bragging rights for being the country’s second largest banking center, do you really need to worry about Charlotte’s economy? If at all that wasn’t enough, Bank of America is headquartered in the “Queen City”, apart from also being the homeground for Wells Fargo’s East Coast operations. Needless to say, for those looking to advance their career in the finance industry, the world is your oyster if you will be moving to Charlotte.
Another sector which has a strong foothold in this city is that of the US motorsports. The Charlotte Motor Speedway is home to the NASCAR All-Star Race and countless pulsating hearts of motorheads who patiently wait for this event each year. In fact, Charlotte and surrounding areas are where give or take 75% of Nascar’s employees, teams and drivers set-up their camp, owing to the fact that the city is a hotspot for the industry.
Beyond these industries, you could certainly be earning the big bucks if you get a job in Charlotte as a Pediatrician or a Physician. Financial Managers also tend to do well enough, with their average salary believed to be $166,150 as shared by Zippia. Sonic Automotive, Honeywell, Carolina Foods Incorporated and Duke Energy are some of the major organizations across various industries that have their headquarters or offices in this city.
In the year 2019, Charlotte recorded $82,452 as the median household income, which is reason for optimism. Especially considering the fact that in the same year, the US national average for median household income was $80,944. Once again, if you have to compare that with the average with North Carolina, the mother state’s average median household income is actually lower than that of the city. To put a number to it, $72,049 was the average of the state. Which means that if you make the right decisions, minting serious money in Charlotte should not be a distant dream!
Getting Around Charlotte
The reliance on public transportation is a tad bit higher in Charlotte considering how in most cases, you can’t just walk it out to get where you want to. Which is why there’s a streetcar system in Charlotte which goes by the name CityLYNX Gold Line. The services are operational from 6 in the morning to 11 at night and the frequency is not too bad either, as you can easily get one in a span of approximately 15-20 minutes. Just so you know, the CityLYNX Gold Line is only helpful when you have to get from the eastern part of the city to the western suburbs.
Another option in terms of public transportation is the bus service provided by CATS. Basically, it’s the Charlotte Area Transit System which covers a multitude of neighborhoods within the city. The fare for these bus rides can be anywhere from $2.20 to $4.40, depending on the route you take. Best part is, if you had a late night out with your friends, there’s a good chance that CATS will be there to safely get you home. That’s because their operational hours tend to be from 5 in the morning to 2 am. Again, it would depend on the route you take and if it’s a weekday or a weekend.
Of course, you could always opt for cabs too if you don’t have your own vehicle. Uber and Lyft are both viable options in Charlotte. Beyond these two services, there’s also cab service companies such as Royal Cab and Crown Cab which are accessible in the city. Normally, you can expect the prices to start from $2.50 on an average. There’s also a sprinter bus service across the city, which is nothing but a hybrid-electric bus that you can get every 20 or 30 minutes, depending on the day and the time.
Best Neighborhoods To Live In Charlotte NC
1. Ballantyne East
A suburban in Charlotte that vies to be one of the best when it comes to starting a new life. Be it families or bachelors, Ballantyne East takes care of everyone. This mini city within Charlotte also serves as a business hub or sorts. Chic diners, bars and restaurants are a staple in this neighborhood. Moreover, the numerous streams of rivers running through the suburb simply adds an even more enticing touch to Ballantyne East. If you love to be pampered in the arms of mother nature, you will certainly fall in love with the Big Rock Nature Preserve. Some of the biggest companies are also based in the neighborhood. But the best part is that Ballantyne East is a bit more walkable than the rest of the city.
Median Home Value – $464,309
Average Rent – $1,105 per month
2. Uptown Charlotte
Arguably the best neighborhood to live in Charlotte, even more so for those who love sports or outdoor activities in general. The Uptown not only happens to be home to the Bank of America stadium, it’s also where the practice field of Carolina Panthers lies. Considering the neighborhood is also a business district, you shouldn’t be surprised at the towering sight of Bank of America’s base set-up here. That’s not all though, families have a reason to be excited because the Uptown Charlotte region also has some of the best schools in the city. And of course, we can’t forget the fact that Charlotte Motor Speedway is also a part of the neighborhood.
Median Home Value – $285,000 approximately
Average Rent – $1,500 (could be much higher or lower depending on the ward you live in)
Fancy yourself a home in a quaint neighborhood with a touch of history? Dilworth should definitely be up to the task of sweeping you off your feet. If you’re a history buff, you might already know about the neighborhood being a pioneer in terms of having streetcar lines being built and developed across the area. And this was established all the way back in the 1890s. A peaceful residential suburb, Dilworth is where your eyes will be treated to Victorian era architectural majesties and gorgeous homes with the most inviting front porches. The neighborhood is also dotted with pretty parks and some great local cafes.
Median Home Value – $360,000
Average Rent – $1372
Is Charlotte A Good Place To Live?
If you ask us, Charlotte is certainly suited for families looking to start a new life in a city that’s full of opportunities. Your children can get good education here and at the same time, you can enjoy all the perks of a big city, without having to worry about the exorbitant cost of living that can bog you down. For those working in the Banking & Finance industry, Charlotte is as good as it gets in the US. The numerous financial powerhouses and booming economy is just what you need to earn the big bucks and live a good life in the city. The weather here is a tad bit erratic, but it’s still not the hottest or the coldest city by any stretch of imagination. So if these are things that tick boxes for you, moving to Charlotte is surely a good idea!
See also: Best Affordable Moving Companies in the U.S. | 5 Best Moving Companies in Charlotte NC