Why Move to Charlotte?
If you are an outgoing, positive, can-do type of person, we think you’ll love calling Charlotte home
Relocating families might tell you that they love the growing job market, low cost of living and four-season climate, or the range of neighborhoods from urban to rural, good public and private schools and universities. Members of Charlotte’s burgeoning creative class may tell you that they love the funky in-town neighborhoods like No-Da, live music venues like the Music Factory, Neighborhood Theater and the Double Door, our proximity to mountains and beaches and access to an amazing array of outdoor activities. Retirees might mention our abundant churches, the highly-respected health care system, Charlotte’s many museums and cultural opportunities, as well as one of the nation’s best airports to get their grandchildren here for a visit. Business owners would probably mention Charlotte’s well-educated, productive workforce, our resilient, diversified economy, good transportation system, and our active Chamber of Commerce that helps integrate them into the Charlotte business scene. All good reasons to be sure. But I love Charlotte for its people. The area was first settled by forward-thinking, hard-working and welcoming folk of Scots-Irish and German extraction. Religious and highly independent people with a charitable bent shaped this town and region. Their fingerprints remain on our collective souls.
Let’s take a look at 11 reasons why Charlotte might be right for you.
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11 Excellent Reasons to Make the Move to Charlotte
#1. Four Seasons
Charlotte is known for its year-round clear, blue skies and bright sunshine. If you play golf, you’ll discover you can play every month. Now, it’s true that we have hot, humid summers, but the mild winters and the picture perfect springs and falls more than make up for that. You’ll find the temperatures range from the mid-50s to low 30s in the winter, the high 70s to mid-50s in the spring and fall, and the high 90s to the mid-70-s in the summer. We typically have 109 clear days and 105 partly sunny days for a total of 214 days with sun annually.
Newcomers and visitors often remark on our enviable green canopy of trees. American Forests named Charlotte one of the 10 Best Cities for Urban Forests in 2013. A drive through neighborhoods like Myers Park showcases the foresight of early 20th Century planners. City leaders continue that tradition today. There’s a tough tree ordinance to help protect existing mature trees and ensure appropriate planting when new developments are approved. Through a public/private collaborative project called TreesCharlotte, we are planting a total of 500,000 trees – 15,000 per year – toward reaching a long-term goal of 50% canopy in 2050. Additionally, there is the Charlotte Public Tree Fund, the Creek Releaf Program to help the reforestation of streamside buffers and the Big Tree Program to catalog and protect champion-sized trees.
#3. Low Cost of Living
You can live well here. Compared to the top 40 metro areas in the nation, Charlotte has the 12th lowest cost of living. Charlotte is 23 percent below the national cost of living average, much of that due to Charlotte’s housing costs being 18 percent lower than the national average. We have the 12th lowest residential property tax rates when compared to the largest city in each state. Our mild climate helps keep heating and cooling costs low. On top of that, our total cost of utilities is lower than the national average.
#4. Lifelong Learning
The hub of Charlotte’s lifelong learning community is Central Piedmont Community College, or CPCC as we call it. Want to become an entrepreneur? Then, CPCC’s Small Business Center is for you. CPCC also offers personal enrichment courses in dance, fitness, cooking, personal finance, self-defense, kayaking, even the history of Charlotte. The University of North Carolina Charlotte offers continuing education online ranging from accounting and healthcare to law and publishing, as well as certificate programs, and professional development courses. You’ll find continuing education programs at other local universities, too.
#5. Excellent Healthcare
We hope you never need the expertise you’ll find in Charlotte’s top medical facilities. But if you do, you are in good hands. Carolinas Medical Center (CMC), part of Carolinas HealthCare System, is the largest research hospital in the region, and one of five teaching hospitals in the state. Novant Health is a North Carolina-based integrated healthcare system that serves 34 counties.
#6. The Great Outdoors
You could leave the county for the mountains or the beach. In an hour and a half you can be near the highest peaks east of the Rockies and in a little over three hours, you can be basking on a beach. But outdoor recreation is abundant right here. Golfers will find more than 30 courses in Mecklenburg County alone. There are about 600 courses spread throughout the state. If water is your thing, the US National Whitewater Center is home to one of the largest manmade rivers in the world. Ride the waves in a raft, or check out the ziplines and climbing wall. Of course, boaters and anglers will love the access to lakes, like Norman, Wylie and Mountain Island. Mecklenburg County is home to more than 200 parks and facilities on 17,600 acres of parkland. Charlotte also sports an emerald necklace of greenways, 37 miles of which is developed and another 150 miles is under development.
#7. Southern Hospitality
Charlotte is a city with both feet planted firmly in the New South, with the emphasis on “new”. But we haven’t forgotten our heritage of hospitality. When we ask you to come “sit a while,” we mean it. Just look at the Charlotte airport next time you come through town. There are dozens of rockers turning the tree-filled Atrium into a big front porch. There are those trees again. We’ll fill your glass repeatedly with sweet tea, share stories with you and maybe send you home with a foil-covered plate full of something sweet. When you move in, don’t be surprised if a neighbor walks over before you finish unpacking.
#8. Homes. Sweet Homes
Want to live uptown in a condo? Yes, you may. Turn of the century homes are available near center city, too. Check out the bungalows in Dilworth, or the homes in Plaza Midwood, a streetcar suburb begun in the 1920s. Myers Park and Eastover are excellent locations for uptown workers, if you have the money. But if you are in more of a resort living mood, you will find waterfront and water view options on Lake Norman, Lake Wylie or Mountain Island Lake. Our small towns host a variety of housing options, ranging from historic homes in Davidson to McMansions in Matthews. From extremely urban to rural, there is a home for you in the Charlotte region.
#9. Arts, Culture & Music
Charlotte is no New York, but it has an arts community envied by a number of larger cities. Museums abound, ranging from the kids’ science museum, Discovery Place to the Charlotte Museum of History, and from the Mint Museum to the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. The Blumenthal Center presents the best of Broadway and is home to 13 resident companies ranging from the Charlotte Symphony to the North Carolina Dance Theatre. Local actors earn their chops at places like the Actors’ Theatre of Charlotte, Theatre Charlotte, and Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, as well as in the smaller towns spread throughout the region. Music can be found everywhere from acoustic performances in wine bars to national acts at the NC Music Factory, Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, and the Neighborhood Theatre.
#10. Can-Do Spirit
From the time of the first white settlers to the region, Charlotte has been a town built on commerce and always looking for an advantage. Since Charlotte had no navigable river nearby, Surveyor Thomas Polk built his home in 1755 at the intersection of two Indian trading paths to take advantage of the commerce they promised. That crossroad today is Trade and Tryon – also known as The Square – one of the busiest intersections in the state. The nation’s first gold rush started in our region in 1799. Leaders successfully landed a US Mint for the purpose of minting coins, and this provided impetus for the later development of our banking industry. In 1849, Charlotte leaders saw the benefit rail could bring and fought to have the rail line from Salisbury extended to the Queen City to connect with the South Carolina rail system all the way to the port of Charleston. Charlotte put aside partisan differences in 2012 and successfully landed the Democratic National Convention. We understand that working together is good for business, good for Charlotteans.
#11. Giving Back
Our history of giving back starts with the church. Scots-Irish Presbyterians originally settled the area, establishing six churches spread widely throughout the county. In 1917, men at Second Presbyterian started the annual December luncheon of the Good Fellows Club to raise funds for the working poor. Today, there are 1,700 members who continue to gather in December, collecting money for those less fortunate. In 2012, the club raised more than $350,000 in eight minutes by cajoling attendees to write big checks. Their female counterpart group, Good Friends, raised another $156,000. Individual philanthropists have made their mark here, too. You’ll see the name of Leon Levine, founder of Family Dollar, on facilities around Charlotte. He has donated millions to fund local universities, the Levine Children’s Hospital and Levine Museum of the New South just to name a few. Since 1928, the Belk Foundation has led the way in charitable giving. The Belk Brothers founded a chain of department stores in 1888 and helped establish hundreds of rural churches near their stores. Later, their philanthropy turned to education and hospitals.