Moving to Charlotte, NC
Move to Charlotte and find the perfect place for positive, outgoing, 'can do' kind of people.This friendly city is fast earning itself quite a reputation as the place to call home in North Carolina.
Make no mistake, this a substantial metro area with over 1 million inhabitants and an eclectic choice of neighbourhoods. From condos and period homes to stunning properties overlooking the area's lakes, Charlotte is definitely one to consider for those who want the convenience of city living with the countryside just a heartbeat away.
While it cannot be compared to the likes of New York, Charlotte boasts an arts community which is the envy of many larger cities. There is a plethora of museums covering everything from science to modern art, a top end theatre which presents the best of Broadway and more than a dozen resident companies which include the North Carolina Dance Theatre and the Charlotte Symphony.
Weather-wise, the climate in North Carolina is hard to beat. While the summers can be hot and humid the mild winters and beautiful springs when the city comes to life with colour and fragrance more than make up for some sticky days.
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Golf is a hugely popular pastime in Charlotte as you can play virtually every day of the year. We cannot write about moving to Charlotte without mentioning the amazing green canopy courtesy of its stunning trees. Named in the top ten of urban forests, the sight is certainly something to behold.
The Job Market
Charlotte first made its name in transportation but now banking reigns supreme in this North Carolina city. Those who have made a career in banking have the pick of the crop as far as employment opportunities in Charlotte is concerned.
Several giants in the industry, including Bank of America, call Charlotte home. There is also a burgeoning scientific hub in Charlotte and there are currently over 300 science related job vacancies in the city.
Hospitality is another area with job opportunities especially in restaurants with many seeking kitchen and waiting staff to cope with the ever increasing demands of hungry diners.
You can live very well in Charlotte thanks to its cost of living which is the 12th lowest when compared to 40 top metro areas in the US. The city comes in at 23% below the national average in terms of everyday living costs.
You can get a decent meal for $10.50 and wash it down with a beer that costs $3. Milk is less than a dollar a litre here in Charlotte, and your usual grocery shop will cost you less than other NC cities such as Asheville or South Carolina’s Charleston.
As the usual way of calculating the cost of your basic utilities is based on an 85sqm apartment we too have used this method.. The monthly cost of the basics, heating, water, garbage, electric etc is around $139 a month. You will only pay around $46 for 10Mbps Internet with unlimited data and a minute making a phone call on your mobile on a PAYG basis is only 10c.
We can tell you the price of any apartment in any city, but having a comparison is the best way of seeing whether you are getting a good deal or not. For our example we are using Atlanta, Georgia which is four hours south. If you move to Charlotte over Atlanta, you will be saving money on renting a three bedroom apartment in the suburbs.
The same goes for a one bedroom both in the heart of the city and slightly farther, though by $100 a month. Just down south is Charleston, where the property is about 30% more expensive, which is another reason to move to Charlotte instead.
Fancy living in a condo uptown? Or maybe a turn of the century home a stone's throw away from the city centre? These are just two of the numerous options open to those who want to make their home in Charlotte, NC.
For an altogether more tranquil lifestyle there are many homes on the waterfront of the 3 lakes in the vicinity. Bustling city, quiet suburbs, homes on the lake, there is certainly something for everyone in Charlotte.
Family Friendly: Plaza Midwood is one of those subway suburbs you imagine only exists in the movies. This neighbourhood first sprang up back in the 1920's, and those big, colonial style houses in leafy streets make this the current hot spot for family living. North east of downtown Charlotte Plaza Midwood is in a prime location on the cusp of city and country. With great schools and a short commuting time you can see why this is so popular at the moment.
- Upmarket: Just outside of the city boundaries of Charlotte is the town of Matthews. If you have a lot of dollar in your back pocket and are looking for a house with a touch of luxury then this is the place to come. 12 miles from Charlotte city centre, the houses here are to die for. That strong community spirit renowned around these parts is positively tangible and life is lived here at a lovely, laid back pace which is in keeping with this splendid surroundings.
- Hip & Trendy: Eastover has become increasingly popular with the young crowd who have moved here for work purposes. With a plethora of shops, bars, restaurants and entertainment venues Eastover is the place to be if you are still young enough to party all night and still get up for work in the morning. Eastover is not a rowdy party place however, it is simply a trendy area for those who haven't the responsibilities of family life and want to living in a buzzing community.
- Up & Coming: Myers Park - Always there or thereabouts, Myers Park is really on the up and up with the influx of new workers coming to the city who are falling in love with the Tudor revival homes on offer in this area. It's well located for commuting to the city, and offers the best of both worlds with its picturesque setting but only a short drive into the hustle and bustle of Charlotte itself.
Cost of moving
The standard shipping container used to relocate to Charlotte is 20 sq ft and that is what we have based these estimates on.
Schools and education
The schools in and around Charlotte rate 6/10 in the great city school rankings; the vast majority actually located within the city limits of Charlotte score 10/10. In short, your children are going to get a very good education if you choose to relocate here.
The school system in Charlotte covers preschool, elementary, middle, high, public district, private and public charter schools; all are standard for an American city. There really is an awesome choice and parents worrying about their children's education if they move to Charlotte can breathe a sigh of relief right now.
Universities in Charlotte
If you’re moving to Charlotte for university, you’ll be among the thousands of students attending one of the many private or public universities and colleges in town. One of the more notable universities is UNC, Charlotte, one of the many public research universities in the state.
There are also community colleges and private universities specialising in numerous subject, including business.
Ranking Against the World
CNN Money have named Charlotte in their top 10 of up and coming US cities, due to the fact that the city is now ranked second behind New York in the banking sector, as Charlotte is home to Bank of America.
Charlotte is also ranked 6th in the top 10 list of the best cities to live in the US, and is one of the top 20 largest cities in the US. This is. Considering the competition this a ranking they are rightly proud of.
The Charlotte Hornets currently rank highly in the NBA’s Eastern Conference, and are also owned by the great Michael Jordan, who is from Charlotte, NC.
A day in the life
There is great debate over whether Charlotte is the capital of both the Carolinas; it's known as the “Queen City” due to its size as is it said to reign supreme over the entire region. So what is a typical day in this regal city? Every day should start with a great breakfast, and it doesn't come much better than at the Original Pancake House on Charlottetown Ave. If you are a lover of pancakes all day breakfasts are available here so you can get your fix at any time of day.
Once sated it's time to head to Mint Museum. The city's oldest art museum houses the largest collection of art in the south east. If you fancy a spot of entertainment before lunch then the NC Blumenthal Performing Arts Centre is the place for you. Home to 10 amazing arts organisations there is always something going on. This is also the local venue for touring productions of top Broadway shows.
It's time for lunch at Fran's Filling Station on Park Road. This eatery offers a great range of farm-to-fork dishes and is the ideal place for a quick or leisurely lunch. Everyone loves a spot of shopping in the afternoon and there is a great choice of malls around Charlotte. We love Southpark Mall on Sharon Road for its choice of stores and great place to grab a coffee in between the retail therapy.
When the sun goes down you are spoilt for choice as to how to spend your evening in Charlotte. From bars and lounges to clubs and live music venues you are never stuck for something to do. While you may want to cosy up in that great house you have chosen it seems rude to not spend at least a couple of nights a week checking out the great nightlife in offer in Queen City.