While it is the most populous city in North Carolina and a developing urban center, Charlotte retains its Southern charm and hospitality. Those moving to Charlotte, North Carolina, will find its many diverse neighborhoods are made up of people from all over the country and beyond. Everyone is welcome and can easily become part of the city’s eclectic community.
The people of Charlotte are passionate about cultural events and up-and-coming artists, the economy and financial sector, and the latest sports events.
This urban center is the fifteenth fastest-growing city in the country and that fast-paced development attracts many people. If you’re looking to move to Charlotte, NC, know competition for apartments is fierce! It’s best to get started with your research ASAP. This guide should give you a pretty good idea of everything you need to know as a soon-to-be renter when moving to Charlotte NC.
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Real Estate Market Overview
Being a renter comes with flexibility that should not be overlooked. If it’s your first time living in Charlotte, or you’re just now moving to Charlotte, NC, you’ll likely want to rent around and get the feel of the city and its many neighborhoods before deciding to settle down in a certain place. When you’re looking for apartments it’s important to first get to know the market, so here are some details to keep in mind.
Housing Costs in Charlotte, NC
The average rent in Charlotte is around $1,632 per month, but prices vary according to location and apartment size.
A studio apartment can start for as low as $800 a month, or around $1,200 in central Charlotte.
You can also find a 2-bedroom apartment in a neighborhood that’s further from downtown at around $950.
So, prices really depend on what you need from the apartment you’re searching for. However, if you’re looking to become a homeowner when you move to Charlotte, NC, the median price for a home is around $330K.
Neighborhoods in Charlotte, NC
Although life is lived at a fast pace in the heart of the city, there are many different neighborhoods in Charlotte. And they are all ready to fit your ideal lifestyle. Many areas have a suburban feel and are rather family-friendly including Concord, Mint Hill, and Huntersville.
For those looking for a more artistic, bohemian neighborhood, check out NoDa. It’s the perfect fit with its prolific arts scene and eclectic mix of buildings.
Young professionals would likely enjoy Ballantyne—home of the Ballantyne Corporate Park. Ballantyne is a dream destination, with a mix of office and residential space, as well as great schools.
If you’re looking for neighborhoods that are close to the city center, Myers Park or Dilworth could be perfect. Both areas are adorned with historical buildings and have a rich cultural heritage despite being close to Charlotte’s heart of innovation.
But, if you want to be in the middle of the action, Uptown is the place for you. It encompasses both Charlotte’s downtown area and the central business district, so you’re sure to be close to many headquarters and experience a truly urban center.
Finding an Apartment in Charlotte, NC
When you’re browsing for apartments, you will first want to create a budget, so that you can filter through the options and find your best fit. To that end, first, decide on a location. Are you going to work remotely? If so, you might want to rent a larger apartment closer to the suburbs of Charlotte. If you need to go to an office, then consider finding an apartment that’s close to public transit options. Charlotte residents are rather dependent on cars and public transport to move around, so keep that in mind.
After choosing where you’ll live, decide on the amount of space you need. Are you renting solo, with family, or with roommates? Determine how many rooms you need to have for comfortable living, but don’t go too big, as that will only end up costing you more in terms of both rent and utilities. After prioritizing your needs, you can actually use a rent calculator tool to help you out in determining your budget.
Start your search early to get a feel of the market, but not too early. You don’t want to fall in love with an apartment that will be unavailable by the time you’re moving. Use a secure platform with verified listings so you can steer clear of rental scams. This is especially true if you’re coming in from a different state or country, or you don’t have as much experience renting.
Remember to also check your credit score before moving to make sure your rental application will be approved. In Charlotte, you would need an average of 670 or higher to get approved. Although, as more people come in and competition gets tougher, you might need a higher credit score.
Cost of Living in Charlotte, NC
Charlotte has the reputation of being affordable for a large city. The cost of living is 2% lower than the national average.
Since it’s a big city, there is no shortage of restaurants or delivery options. If you cook at home you’ll likely drive that bill down.
Utilities average at around $150 without internet (which depends on your provider and preferred bundle). A one-way ticket for public transit in Charlotte is around $2.20, whereas a monthly pass is around $87. Sometimes you can get lucky and deals on public transit as well.
Charlotte has a rapidly developing job market, being home to many corporate headquarters. There are a lot of jobs in finance since it’s the second-largest banking center in the U.S. As such, you’ll likely find a good job to help you cover these bills.
Speaking of the job market, many companies call Charlotte their East Coast home, including Wells Fargo, Microsoft, Bank of America, and Centene Corporation.
The city spans a very diverse job market including companies from the food industry, packaging, transportation, and retail companies. The other plus is that many of these jobs in Charlotte, NC are hiring now.
Charlotte is also home to the country’s Formula One team, and it is a large center for the motorsports industry. This would be an organization that has jobs in Charlotte hiring now.
Charlotte has many energy-oriented organizations, and is called “The New Energy Capital.” It houses more than 240 energy-related companies. The top employers in the city are Atrium Health, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Bank of America, Duke Energy, and the city of Charlotte.
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For students moving to Charlotte, NC for educational opportunities or for those moving with family, Charlotte has many diverse options.
The public school system serving Charlotte is the second-largest in the state, and it is recognized as a high-quality educational system.
There are many colleges and universities in Charlotte as well, including the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Queens University of Charlotte, and Central Piedmont Community College.
North Carolina at Charlotte boasts 29,000 students. In-state tuition averages $16,873 a year and out-of-state tuition averages $37,150. The two most popular majors are business and marketing. However, they have several other popular programs to meet any student’s needs.
Queens University of Charlotte is on the smaller side with a population of 2,338. The average cost after aid is $28,764. This is a college more than willing to provide financial aid to help students attend their university. The most popular areas of study fall within the healthcare field.
Central Piedmont Community College tuition for a full-time student starts at $1,647 and can go up to $2,207 depending on number of credit hours. Their student population is 16,668 with 38% of the population reaching full-time student status. Liberal Arts and Humanities make up most of their students.
For those interested in research, the North Carolina Research Campus is located to the northeast of Charlotte. It includes both universities and corporate entities that have the same goal: to improve research and development and help support advancements in different fields.
Things to Do in Charlotte, NC
Charlotte has plenty to offer everyone. For instance, its museums are eclectic and diverse. You can enjoy a relaxing afternoon admiring the art galleries of Mint Museum, engaging with mind-stimulating and interactive exhibitions at the Discovery Place Science, or have fun at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
For history buffs, the Levine Museum of the New South is the perfect destination for a quick history lesson on North Carolina and the South.
Relax and disconnect from the busy world in one of Charlotte’s lovely parks. This includes the very central Freedom Park just south of downtown or First Ward Park in Uptown.
The larger McDowell Nature Center and Reserve is a center for preserving local flora and fauna and a perfect destination for camping and hiking.
For more entertainment, head to the Hornets Nest Park. Here you can enjoy many sports fields and courts, as well as a BMX track, disc golf, and fishing lakes.
Lastly, after enjoying your day in the city, you need to delight in Charlotte’s restaurant scene! From authentic Southern comfort food to niche local boutiques serving either pastries or only vegan options, you can find everything you like. Grill, delis, and even fast food are very popular options and fun experiences. If you’re looking for fancy meals and a trendy atmosphere, there are plenty of options waiting for you in the neighborhoods of Uptown, NoDa, or Dilworth.
Moving into Charlotte, NC
You’re ready for your big move! Remember that the research doesn’t stop here. Look into moving companies, the best way to pack, and any other thing that might cross your mind as you complete the moving process. It’s not easy, but having some expectations help.
Although it’s rapidly developing, Charlotte is still very easy to love and call home. The city has a place for everyone, whether you’re moving to Charlotte alone, with family, with kids, or with friends. You won’t get bored in a place like this!
The average rent is currently $1,632. This can be increased or decreased by the square feet of space in the home if it has multiple bedrooms, and how populated the surrounding area is.
It greatly depends on the person. If you’re looking for a place that is populated and has a nightlife scene, then Uptown may be for you. If you’re looking for the opposite, Concord might meet that family-friendly feel you’re possibly searching for.
Avoid any neighborhood that does not meet your standards. Charlotte, NC, has so much to offer. You should not have to settle for a place that doesn’t feel quite right. The cost of living is also extremely affordable. If you need to go cheaper, head out of the city and into the suburbs.