Thinking about moving to Charlotte?
Of course you are. This North Carolina city is growing fast for good reason. Its booming urban economy and ease of living have made it a hot spot for those in search of the big city perks without the hassles—and there are plenty of perks.
Tucked into North Carolina’s picturesque Piedmont region, Charlotte is just a quick drive from both the mountains and the beach. Not that you’d want to leave. The city is filled with distinct neighborhoods and spots that you’ll want to spend plenty of time exploring. From the historic South End where former factories house craft breweries and local markets to Plaza Midwood with its craftsman bungalows and creative restaurants, the city offers allure for anyone.
Our guide to its top neighborhoods will help you find your match, and our list of best realtors can lead you to your perfect home.
Sure, you’ll hear some occasional grumblings about the drive times on the south side of Charlotte where the I-285 loop can stall around rush hour. And yes, those who live to the north of town in the Lake Norman area often have delays on their way home to the ’burb’s. But overall, Charlotte commuters have it easy.
The city was ranked 43rd in the country for worst traffic last year by TomTom Traffic Index. Considering it’s the country’s 17th largest city, that stat isn’t too bad.
And there are plenty of alternatives to driving. Charlotte’s Lynx Light Rail line runs from south Charlotte into Uptown with an expansion to north of the city set to open in 2017. An extensive bus system and streetcar, as well as almost 100 miles of bike lanes round out other options for those hoping to avoid car time.
If you enjoy four full seasons, then you’re going to love Charlotte. While summer can have some scorching days of Southern heat, and winter can get a bit icy and long by February’s end, the city’s weather is generally perfect for those who enjoy the outdoors.
Typically, there is some snowfall over the winter. And in true Southern city fashion, Charlotte takes its snow days seriously. Because heavy snow is rare, roads will often remain covered for days at a time during storms. It thaws quickly in the spring though, when you’ll find patios and sidewalks filled with locals soaking in the warm weather and sun. But the city’s favorite season may be fall when its famed tree canopy can really shine with neighborhood streets seemingly lined in autumn reds and golds.
Summer average (June – Aug): 87 °F high, 67 °F low
Winter average (Dec – Feb): 53 °F high, 32 °F low
If you’re looking at the economy, Charlotte is looking good. The city is growing fast and consistently adding new—and skilled—jobs. Traditionally, Charlotte has been a banking center as it’s home to Bank of America’s headquarters and the east coast operations for Wells Fargo. But that is diversifying quickly.
Today, the city is home to more than 50 companies on the Inc. 5000 list and has become a top destination for corporations that are expanding to new markets. This, in addition to an innovative start up scene has created a growing culture of creative entrepreneurs.
This growth is reflected across the city, but nowhere is it more noticeable than in the ongoing construction around Charlotte. From new housing developments in the surrounding neighborhoods to gleaming skyscrapers being built in the city’s center, the amount of cranes on Charlotte’s horizon make it obvious this city thriving.
Unemployment rate: 4.6 % (as of June 2016)