If you’ve landed on this article, you must be looking to purchase a house and are considering Charlotte, North Carolina, as your new home!
First off, congrats. Purchasing a home is a huge life accomplishment, and whether it’s your first, second, (or Beyond) time purchasing a home, it is always an awesome feeling.
Now, if you’re thinking of specifically buying a home in Charlotte, North Carolina, there are a few things you should know before you start your search. As Locals to the Charlotte area, we’re put together six important factors to consider before you make your purchase.
These reasons are:
- Favorable Cost of Living
- Mild Weather
- Competitive Housing Market
- Expanding Public Transportation Network
- Great Outdoor Lifestyle
- Strong Job Market
Lower cost of living
One of the main drivers for folks relocating to Charlotte is the cost of living. Compared to other major metropolitan areas, the cost of living in Charlotte is relatively low. Housing prices, groceries, transportation, and utilities are all affordable when compared to other large cities.
Of course, this isn’t to say that everything in Charlotte is affordable. You’ll find that some things, like restaurant dining and entertainment, are more expensive than in other places. But overall, the cost of living is relatively manageable.
However, when thinking about the cost of living, you can’t just think with a pure dollar for dollar comparison. The cost of living should also factor into the quality of life. Compared to other major metropolitan areas such as New York City or Los Angeles, Charlotte has an amazingly affordable cost of living. Additionally, due to its size, Charlotte has a higher quality of life that is typically associated with the larger cities, with a relative small-town feel.
The weather in Charlotte is, for the most part, mild. The summers are hot but not unbearable, making hiking, boating and other outdoor activities possible for a large part of the year. The winters are cold but typically don’t see too much snow (except for this year..). Meaning that weather rarely interferes with activities in the Carolina’s. It really is some of the most ideal “middle ground”.
This isn’t to say that there won’t be times when the weather is extreme. But for the most part, Charlotte residents can expect milder weather throughout the year than in other parts of the country.
The housing market in Charlotte is a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, you have some areas of Charlotte where the housing market is booming and prices rise. On the other hand, there are still areas of Charlotte where you can find affordable homes within a target budget.
In some of these areas homes are going under contract at or above list price within a day of going “live” on the market. This can make purchasing a home a difficult process in the near term.
However, given demographic and migration patterns, the upside for Charlotte over the next couple of decades seems very favorable.
Although Charlotte’s transportation network is a bit more limited than some other metros (Atlanta, Chicago, DC). There are certain areas of the city that are well served currently. For example, the LYNX Blue Line Light Rail offers consistent transportation. With the light rail you can go from I-485 at South Boulevard to UNC Charlotte’s main campus. If you are traveling within this region, the LYNX Blue LIne Light Rail might be perfect for you.
The City/County and other stakeholders are working on additional plans that might serve other areas of town over the next decade.
Throughout the other neighborhoods of Charlotte, it might be best if you have a car or are comfortable using Uber or Lyft. There is also a growing community of bicycle riders within Charlotte.
It should be noted that while some areas of the Metro do experience high traffic volumes, in most areas traffic is very “manageable”. Even in corridors where traffic does tend to be a bit of an obstacle, this can be planned for and is often attributed to more standard “Rush Hour” times.
Even transportation for events can be relatively easy in the Charlotte metro, such as going uptown to see a Football, Basketball, or Baseball game. Often you can be at the location within 20-25 mins. Commuting to many of the outdoor activities in Charlotte can also be accomplished in about the same time window.
But just because public transportation isn’t that prevalent doesn’t mean you don’t have options for getting from Point A to Point B. If you’re considering moving to Charlotte or simply looking for another way to get around, consider your transportation needs and choose a home in an area that will best accommodate them. Testing these driving routes at various times of day can give you an understanding of what this relocation means.
Great Outdoor Lifestyle
Related to the relatively mild weather, Charlotte is known as a place favored by many outdoor enthusiasts.
From Running to Cycling, to Golf, and tennis, and even to swimming and rafting. Charlotte has world class venues for all of these activities. Any given evening in the Carolinas (Except for Jan-Feb) you will see individuals running, walking, and Biking on the many Greenways and roads throughout the city. The Cross Charlotte Trail is an effort to establish a continuous 30+ Miles of trails across the Metro.
If land based activities aren’t quite your thing.. That’s ok too. Charlotte has major freshwater lakes within 30-45 mins from the center city area. These venues provide the opportunity to enjoy all of the elements of a boating lifestyle, while still being able to commute into the city on a daily basis.
One of the locations in Charlotte that has become the epicenter of all of the outdoor activities in the Carolinas is The U.S. National Whitewater Center. This 1,300 Acre facility, allows visitors to participate in a large variety of outdoor activities. Supervised activities include, rock climbing, ropes courses, rafting, mountain biking, stand-up paddleboards, and even Ice Skating (in the winter months). Even for those who are less inclined to take advantage of the more physical aspects of activities located at the Center, they also can participate in live music and other events hosted at the space. Locals can often be seen just meeting up with friends and enjoying a drink from any one of the many local breweries.
Booming job market
Good news! If you’re going to be looking for a new job soon or any time in the near future, the job market in Charlotte is booming.
In fact, Forbes has named Charlotte one of the best cities in America to find a job. They named Charlotte as number “#7” Best Places for Business and Careers, and have listed it in a number of other positive lists historically.
Charlotte is known for having a strong banking and financial employment base. A little less known, is the logistics and healthcare centered employment available in Charlotte and surrounding areas. Secondary employment is also found in service sectors, government employment, manufacturing, entertainment and hospitality roles.
So, if you’re looking for a career change or just want to go a different route in your current industry, Charlotte is a good choice of residence.
Living in Charlotte has a lot to offer- whether you’re looking for a great job market, affordable housing, or a great active environment to support a healthy lifestyle. You need to consider some things before making your purchase, as with any city, but we think this town has it all.
Do your research, weigh your options, and make the best decision for you and your family. But, with so many different neighborhoods to choose from, everyone can find an area that’s right for them. From fixer-uppers to new construction homes, there’s definitely something out there that will fit all of your needs.
Still on the fence about moving to Charlotte or looking for guidance in your investment? We’ve got you! Feel free to reach out to us. We will be more than willing to help you find your next home.