Last Updated on January 23, 2023 by Filip Poutintsev
Living in Charlotte, NC, is a special place known as the Queen’s City. This was due to being ruled under colonies and named after Queen Charlotte.
There are many restaurants and cultural activities. With breweries and wineries available and an array of restaurants, you will never run out of good food and drinks.
A variety of coffee shops will keep you busy as you explore the streets of Charlotte.
There are a lot of sports teams that come from NC, which boasts a rich sporting life within the city.
Besides that, many mountains are available to explore for the more adventurous person. Charlotte also boasts a beach for some relaxation time.
Of course, there it’s not all sunshine in Charlotte, NC. Before moving to Charlotte, NC, you will need to know a few things.
Pros and cons of living in Charlotte, NC, at a glance
- Food and nightlife
- Good education
- Cost of living
- Infrastructure issues
- Natural disasters
- Lacking diversity
Pros of living in Charlotte NC
1. Food and nightlife
There are many restaurants in Charlotte, along with breweries and wineries. There are many clubs, bars, and even concert venues.
You may be lured into a trendy bar when wandering down the street. Charlotte’s nightlife caters to all people, ages, and relationship pairings. Charlotte offers something for families, girl’s or boy’s night, and couples.
Charlotte is diverse in that you can find bluegrass, country, jazz, rock, and even hip-hop playing live somewhere in Charlotte. That being said, if you prefer a free experience, there is also something for you. There are tons of free concerts and free live music throughout the city.
If you are prepared to walk around, you can also find free music being played on the street.
Knowing that you can safely walk the streets to find the experience you are interested in is great. This is because the community of Charlotte is passionate about their music. It is an expression of who Queen City is.
Some popular venues where you can find great music are the PNC Music Pavilion, The Fillmore Charlotte, Charlotte Metro Credit union Amphitheater, and the Spectrum Center, to name a few.
If you are bar hopping, finding music at a few bars, Connolly’s, Howl at the Moon, and Corkscrew is a sure bet.
When you are done enjoying the nightlife, you will be able to enjoy amazing coffee shops. Not Just Coffee, RUSH, and Coco are some winning locations to hang out and treat your mouth to tasty coffee.
Charlotte is accessible regarding the mountains and beach. You will find yourself a short drive away from a restful weekend getaway.
There are a few amazing places close by which can work as day trips.
There is the US National Whitewater Center located west of the airport. You can get onto the Catawba River, which accommodates all levels of whitewater skill.
There are even mountain biking trails, walking trails, and summer concerts, all with seasonal passes.
Lake Norman is a fantastic outdoor venture only an hour from the city. You can take your boat, kayak, or other water crafts. This is a 34-mile body of water that you can take full advantage of.
3. Good education
A major reason for people relocating to Charlotte is the quality of education. Queen City boasts the largest school district in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area.
There are about 169 schools with about 150,000 students K-12.
Something to be mindful of is schools being redistricted. This is due to the growth the city is experiencing. New schools are being built rapidly to keep up with the development. If you need more information about Charlotte schools, you can look at the Great Schools website.
Charlotte is proud of the high-quality education it provides. There are prestigious colleges such as UNCC, Duke, Davidson, NC State, and Wake Forest. There are a mere few hours away.
Many colleges are also available closer to the Charlotte area, like Queens University of Charlotte, York Technical College, Johnson and Wales, Johnson C. Smith University, the Charlotte School of Law, Winthrop University, and UNC-Charlotte.
You can obtain a certificate for a degree with a pick of colleges.
4. Cost of living and community
Charlotte is a community-based city. The residents work hard to keep life safe, simple, and connected. When visiting or moving to Charlotte, the locals will welcome you with open arms. They are excited to invite more people into their way of living.
Charlotte is spacious enough that you will find yourself meeting new people all the time. But just big enough that you will bump into the same people regularly in the same areas.
The average is about 100 people moving to Charlotte daily. There seems to be enough room and work to go around.
Queen City has many jobs to offer, and as the city grows, so does the opportunity. In 2017 Charlotte had an unemployment rate of 4.9%. This was higher than the average salary in the U.S. at the time.
Prestigious companies like Bank of America and Wells Fargo are located in Charlotte. Other companies that offer an array of jobs are Lowe’s and American Airlines.
The most plentiful job opportunities in Charlotte are the finance and insurance markets. Interestingly, the health care and social work fields are Charlotte’s largest suppliers of jobs.
Tech is a rapidly growing source of jobs, with companies like Amazon placing substantial warehouses in the area.
Several companies are relocating to Charlotte. As these companies relocate, they also relocate their employees.
The average housing price in Charlotte is just below the U.S. average. That being said, as Charlotte expands, housing costs are starting to rise.
A great way to balance this out is that the land is cheap. This way, people can build their dream house at an affordable cost.
A bonus if you are relocating from the northeast is that your real estate taxes will decrease. People moving from New York or New Jersey will end up paying fewer mortgage costs.
There is a huge variety of neighborhoods in Charlotte. This can make choosing one challenge. It is good to read up on each neighborhood’s offers to help make a decision.
Cons of living in Charlotte NC
If you do not own a car in Charlotte, you will still be able to get around easily enough. Charlotte has the Charlotte Area Transportation Service (CATS).
This service boasts quite a few bus routes that run throughout Queen City. There is even a bus shuttle.
Another option is a high-speed rail system within the city. This is known as the Lynx Light Rail.
If you are looking to get a little exercise, then you can use the bicycle option. There are bicycles available to rent. You can rent daily or buy an annual pass.
The company, B-Cycle, offers this service. This is one of the largest urban bike-sharing systems within the Charlotte area.
Unfortunately, just like in any city, you will still experience the dreaded rush hour traffic. The average person spends about a half hour in traffic. This is hardly comparable to larger cities. But remember that Charlotte is a growing city.
It is always a smart idea to test drive your commute in rush hour traffic, so you know how much time you will spend in your car daily.
Something to think about is how the growth of the city is affecting its infrastructure of the city. Due to development, the green space and park availability are slowly disappearing to make more space for infrastructure development.
This development includes highway toll lanes, affecting how people choose to drive and where the main congestion tends to fall.
The amount of people moving to Charlotte is too much for the current infrastructure. This can greatly affect the pros of living in Charlotte. It might be worth researching any city development projects for the area you plan on living in.
2. Natural disasters
You will have a chance to experience all of the seasons. You will find enough snow to ski in winter, but summer brings hot weather, perfect for beach days.
A major factor when moving to Charlotte is the hurricanes and flooding. Flooding is a byproduct of the rains following a hurricane.
This normally happens from June to November.
An issue is that Charlotte is the main evacuation point for the coastal residents in North and South Carolina. This means you could find your city swarming with thousands of temporary refugees.
3. Lacking diversity
Moving to Charlotte can be an overwhelming religious experience. The predominant church is the Elevation Church hosting about nine satellite congregations within the Queen’s City.
There are about another nine congregations spread out over the state. This is one of the quickest-growing churches in the United States.
You will need to adjust to seeing the bible all over the city of Charlotte. Also found in the Billy Graham Library. If this is something you can live in harmony with, then it won’t be a problem.
Charlotte can get stuck in the older Southern way of doing things. However, everyone is friendly and will welcome you with open arms.
That being said, if you come from a cultural minority or an ethnic minority, you might be treated slightly differently. People can be narrow-minded in seeing you as an outsider.
A diversity of people are moving to the city, but it will take time for the older crowd to accept this as the norm.
Crime, poverty rates, and safety
The general crime rate is at 42 per one thousand residents. This means that Charlotte has one of the highest crime rates in the U.S. compared to cities of its size.
This means that your chance of falling prey to a crime is 1 in 24.
As Charlotte has quite a high crime rate, most of the violent crime tends to happen in the area located north of downtown.
There are many safer areas to live in Charlotte.
Currently, the poverty rate in Charlotte, NC, is 11.9%. This is not as high as Mississippi, with a poverty rate of 19.58%. This is always a problem in a city that is increasing.
Connectedness to other cities
In North Carolina, the most connected cities are Cary, Huntersville, Holly Springs, Indian Trail, and Apex.
Charlotte finds itself in 17th position out of 44 cities.
The worst connected cities in North Carolina are Sailsbury, Rock Mount, Greensboro, Lumberton, and Shelby.
Every city comes with pros and cons. All you can do is decide if the pros outweigh the cons for you and what you want to get out of your city.
If you want to live in a vibrant city with an offer of endless potential, then Charlotte, NC, is the city for you.