Harboring around 880K residents, Charlotte is one of the best places for experiencing North Carolina life.
The residents pride themselves on the delicious barbecue, fine breweries, colorful streets with graffiti, and hospital residents, making it a great place to live. However, moving to Charlotte, NC, does not come without a few catches.
Whether you’re considering a move to Charlotte, North Carolina, or just curious about what life is like in this buzzing metropolis, you’re in the right place.
Let’s the realities of living in Charlotte – the good, the bad, and the in-between. From the city’s rapid growth to its diverse culture, each aspect contributes to the unique experience that living in Charlotte provides.
Pros of Living in Charlotte
Charlotte is renowned for its fine dining among locals and tourists alike. Ranking top third of the best foodie cities in the country, expect Charlotte, NC, to satisfy all your cravings!
The town is home to many unique eateries serving delicious food. Moving to Charlotte allows you to experience cuisines from all over the world, including traditional food options.
With so many restaurants and eateries serving fine food, living on an empty stomach and unfulfilled desires is impossible.
So, while you’re out exploring the fun experiences that ensue in Charlotte, don’t forget to stop by and have some drolling meals! According to Time Out, the best restaurants in Charlotte, NC, include:
- Fin & Fino
- Leah & Louise
When relocating, one of the most important things to consider is the employment opportunities present in the city. Fortunately, the interest of many companies results in the city’s economic market booming!
Charlotte is home to many big companies, including one of the largest banking centers in the city. Other domains like technology, health care, transportation, and financial services also thrive, resulting in abundant job opportunities.
Moving to Charlotte, NC, provides a good opportunity to progress your career and find job opportunities suited to your skills and preferences.
According to Indeed, the largest companies to reside in Charlotte, NC, include:
- American Airlines
Charlotte has comparatively lower living costs compared to the other cities residing along the East Coast.
With living costs 5% lesser than the national average, living in Charlotte allows you to attain the city amenities without worrying about accumulating a huge income to stay onboard.
Basic necessities, including fuel, groceries, and healthcare, cost lower than the national average, freeing you of the financial burdens.
Depending on where you choose to move from, relocating to Charlotte can help you make the most of your financial situation and create a lucrative plan for a better income.
Living in Charlotte gives you an opportunity to attain world-class education. The North Carolina Staples recognizes as the “Research Triangle” for inhabiting three of the most prestigious universities in the country.
These Universities include Duke University, University of North Carolina, and North Carolina State University.
The esteemed educational institutes in Charlotte offer exceptional education, opening doors of opportunities to excel in your professional career.
Apart from the universities in the city, the city harbors many excellent schools, making it a great town for family-oriented people or individuals interested in pursuing education.
According to the US News, the best Educational Institutes in Charlotte, NC, include:
- Davidson College
- Johnson & Wales University
- Livingstone College.
Charlotte has a prominent spot in North Carolina that puts it close to many recreational sights. Whether you’re a beach person or like the mountainous views, the recreational sights are only a short drive from Charlotte.
The easy access to recreational sights will allow you to break free of the daily hustle and bustle and take a relaxing weekend off. Additionally, many sights are located close to the city, presenting an opportunity to make a perfect day trip.
According to NC Tripping, the best spots to partake in recreational activities in Charlotte, NC, include:
- The US National Whitewater Center
- UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens
- Carolina Raptor Center
Cons of Living in Charlotte
While the town has many beautiful sights and landmarks to explore, the city also suffers from extreme traffic. The traffic in Charlotte is as bad as in metropolitan cities like Chicago or New York.
The heavy traffic in the city makes it hard for you to commute through the city, especially during the peak hours. Traveling to work from home and vice versa is going to be a long drive living in Charlotte, depending on your distance from your workplace.
As you settle in the city, spend some time cruising around the city. Traveling around the city will help you discover alternative routes and get an idea of the traffic in the city.
While the city’s temperate climate may feel ideal for exploring the city, visiting the famous sights, and partaking in recreational activities, it also opens the town’s door to some uninvited guests: Mosquitoes!
Throughout the year, tackling mosquitoes is a significant concern about living in Charlotte, NC.
Whether it be the scorching heat and sticky summers, the mosquitoes will be there to boil your blood further and have some! The residents suggest avoiding staying out during dawn and dusk as the best thing to do.
There isn’t enough breeze to keep the mosquitoes away during dawn and dusk. Aside from avoiding traveling at certain times, it’s best to avoid always keeping mosquito repellent close by!
High Sales and Income Taxes
Before you move here, prepare yourself to face some hefty tax bills!
To begin with, you have to pay the flat state tax, which falls around 4-5% of your household income. Apart from the income taxes imposed, you must look out for sales tax!
With the state’s and county’s rates combined, the residents in Charlotte have to pay 7.25% in sales tax. Sales tax implies the retail price of any product you buy. However, considering the amenities and maintenance of the city, you will see your taxes at work in Charlotte, NC.
The city is one of the fastest-growing in the United States, attracting people with its job market, lifestyle offerings, and relative affordability compared to other major cities. This rapid influx of new residents puts a strain on the city’s resources.
Schools, in particular, face overcrowding issues. As the population increases, more students are enrolled in local schools than they were originally designed to accommodate. This can lead to larger class sizes and potentially decreased attention to individual students.
The rapid growth also leads to increased housing demand, causing home prices and rents to skyrocket in recent years. This situation has made it harder for some people, particularly those on lower incomes, to find affordable housing.
Public transportation in Charlotte is somewhat limited, particularly when compared to larger metropolitan areas.
The city does have a public transportation system, known as the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS), which includes buses and a light rail line, the LYNX Blue Line. However, the coverage is not extensive and many neighborhoods lack convenient access to these services.
Relying solely on public transit can be challenging in Charlotte, and many residents find owning a car to be a necessity. The bus routes often do not cover the entire city and waiting times can be long.
Charlotte definitely has its perks for those looking to put down roots, but it might not top the list for tourists.
It’s a city that invites you to live, work, and grow, providing a strong sense of community, a thriving job market, and a growing food and arts scene.
Hi, I’m Ashley a freelance writer who’s passionate about personal finance. Ever since I was young, I’ve been fascinated by the power of money and how it can shape our lives. I’ve spent years learning everything I can about budgeting, saving, investing and retirement planning. So if you are looking for tips, advice, or just a little bit of inspiration to help you on your financial journey, you have come to the right place. I am always here to help, and I am excited to share my passion for personal finance with you.