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Charlotte NC| Hows the Cost of Living Taxes Insurance and All

April 6th, 2009 Listed Under: Taxes

It is a popular question- How is the cost of Living in Charlotte? I’m asked it all the time, and it appears in Search Results for this site all the time, so I thought I’d compile the favorite cost of living posts, in one location. Most recent posts are first.

What Are Your Property Taxes? Your Casualty-Property Insurance?

Charlotte’s lower cost of living is not just about more home for the money, Charlotte also has lower taxes and lower insurance rates than any major city in the US.  I’d like to test that here, and invite your comments below.

Consider some of my recent clients. A Rahway, New Jersey  homeowner, recently retired and  who is heading to Charlotte to look at Sun City Carolina Lakes: her home is up for sale at $299,000, she pays $8,000 in property taxes annually, on about a 1800 sf duplex.   The home? Asking price of $166/sf, Taxes $4.44 per sf, per year.

Clearly, these high taxes in northern states are driving people south, even in this turbulent economy

Comparing Home Values- Testing Trulia

…instead of the usual tax rates that make comparing taxes difficult, I just compared the taxes on these houses based on the “tax per square foot” a simple calculation-that I think offers the best look at relative taxes and affordability.  They ae the last 2 columns, see what you think. I did the same thing with property insurance

Street City State Price Sq Ft Taxes Insurance Price/sf Taxes/sf/yr Ins/sf/yr
2348 Beech St Wantagh NY 449999 1976 8494 1344 228 4.3 0.68
13 Elberta Rd Maplewood* NJ 412000 2200 10100 1605 187 4.59 0.73
5 Metacomet la Franklin MA 449000 2100 4900 1344 214 2.33 0.64
4204 4th ave NE Seattle WA 435000 1060 4344 1300 410 4.1 1.23
9542 Vercelli St Lake Worth FL 425000 2437 4614 1275 174 1.89 0.52
1616 Penderleda Matthews NC 489900 3450 4250 1464 142 1.23 0.42
322 Chancelot Ln Fort Mill SC 449000 3727 2077 1344 120 0.56 0.36
7307 Roseland Charlotte NC 450000 3980 5091 1350 113 1.28 0.34

I know a number of insurance agents watch this blog– could you run some quotes on these houses, quick and dirty?

See the rest of the story

The Cost of Living in Charlotte- “Objectively Affordable”

Cost of LivingWhy have so many people been moving from the north-east down to Charlotte, NC? Is it because they get tired of the long winters? Well thats part of it but another major reason for moving to Charlotte is the low cost of living index.

Looking at the Chamber of Commerces website the average new house in Charlotte cost $243,773 in 2007, had 2,400 sq ft of living space and was on a 8,000 sq ft lot.

But how does Charlotte compare to other large cities? Using CNNs cost of living calculator Ive compared several cities to Charlottes cost of living. There are many reasons folks move here- the  favorable cost of living is a big one.

Cost of living in Charlotte as compared to Boston

A person living in Charlotte, NC making $60,000 per year would have to be earning $89,328 per year to sustain the same quality of life. Groceries cost approximately 23% more in Boston. Healthcare costs are about 18% more and utilities cost almost 56% more than in Charlotte. If youre still not convinced it would be less expensive to live in Charlotte lets look at the housing costs. It costs 118% more to live in a similar sized house in Boston than in Charlotte! Charlotte is certainly less expensive to live in than Boston.

Cost of living in Charlotte as compared to New York City

A person living in Charlotte, NC making $60,000 per year would have to be earning almost $135,784 per year to sustain the same quality of life. Groceries cost about 50% more in New York and health-care costs approximately 17% more. Housing in New York City costs 395% more than in Charlotte!

Cost of living in Charlotte as compared to Washington D.C.

A person living in Charlotte, NC making $60,000 per year would have to be earning about $92.554 per year to sustain the same quality of life. Groceries cost 13% more than in Charlotte. Transportation costs 11% more and utilities cost 47% more on average. Housing costs are approximately 184% more expensive in the Washington D.C. area than in Charlotte.

Thinking about moving to sunny Florida instead of the Queen city? Think twice, besides the higher danger of skin cancer Florida is a more expensive place to live.

Cost of living in Charlotte as compared to Miami

See the rest of the story

What is the Cost of Living Like in Charlotte?”

is a frequent question I get from families considering a move to Charlotte. We’ve been called the third most “affordable city” in the country, here are some more details and comparisons, I point out Portland and Seattle because those are the 2nd and 3rd fastest appreciating c


Charlotte cost of living is 27% less than Seattle

Charlotte cost of living is 36% less than in Washington DC , 48% less than San Francisco!

Check out the chart of southern cities (thanks Charlotte Chamber)

Cities of 400,000 to 1,000,000 Population
Second Quarter 2007



All Items Index


Charlotte, NC 88.2


Memphis, TN 89.7


El Paso, TX 93.2


Austin, TX 95.1


Kansas City, MO-KS 96.3


Detroit, MI 98.2


Jacksonville, FL 99.4


Albuquerque, NM 100.2


Denver, CO 103.7


Las Vegas, NV 110.8


Portland, OR 120.3


Fresno, CA 120.6


Washington, DC 137.0


San Francisco, CA


Sources: U.S. Department of Commerce – Bureau of Census, 2000; ACCRA – Cost of Living, 2007 Note: Five cities within this population range did not report Cost of Living data to ACCRA.

If you are moving from New York or the Northeast, you will like our property tax rates,and how we compute them. If you are from Florida, you will love our property insurance rates… but as the chart above shows, if you want to live in a larger modern city in the south, there isn’t a better city for cost of living!

And of course Charlotte’s lower cost of living means much more money for the fun things in life!

Come on down, check us out, and save more money for fun!

Charlotte NC- Undervalued, Affordable and Appreciating Still! And South Charlotte is leading the way

“The only objectively affordable city on the list is Charlotte, N.C,

whose price per square foot is third cheapest in the country,” according to Radar Logic, a New York-based real estate research firm, as cited by Forbes. In these “undervalued” cities, “the real estate boom was driven by sustainable factors like job growth and economic expansion,” Forbes says

The Vancouver in Brookhaven, over 4700sf, 679K in faboulous weddingtonCharlotte Top of Five Appreciating Markets of Top Twenty US Housing Markets (this post from late 2007)

Each month S&P/Case-Shiller® Home Price Indices ranks the top twenty US housing markets– it gave them a base line index of home prices in the year 2000, then has ranked them monthly since. Charlotte ranked 2nd in growth in home prices over a year ago. The news on the whole was Not Good for the housing market, with 17 of the top 20 markets in decline, price depreciation from a year ago. Here then are some of the winners and the losers, comparing August ’06 to August ’07: Charlotte home prices up 5.6%, Seattle home prices up 5.6%,Portland home prices up 2.8% – Atlanta and Dallas had increases of less than 1%

The losers, over 5% drop in value: Las Vegas, Detroit, Miami, Tampa, Washington DC, San Diego, and Phoenix leaving another 10 markets having lost in value less than 5% from last year. Trust me, this has lenders worried (terrified?) across the nation.

See the rest of the post


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Terry McDonald
I'm the owner/team leader of The McDonald Group at Wilkinson and Associates ERA Powered real estate brokers here in Charlotte NC. A transplanted Washinghtonian, my family and I came from the NYC area in 1993.
Terry McDonald
Terry McDonald

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