Your Introduction to Charlotte - the Heart of the New South©

Terry’s Top Ten Reasons for Moving to Charlotte

April 12th, 2013 Listed Under: Living Here, Moving to Charlotte

Relocating to Charlotte? Are you thinking about a move to Charlotte?

My wife and 4 children and I came to Charlotte in August, 1993, twenty years this  summer.  We came as adults, with 4 young children, and can look back and say with Spring is beautiful in Charlotteconfidence Charlotte has been good to our family.  If you’ve seen my video, you knew I grew up in the Maryland suburbs of Washington DC, and spent 3 years in the new York City/ Hoboken NJ area just prior to moving here.

I’ve spent the last 8 years in real estate, primarily relocation, and a big part of this list is a reflection on what  I hear  from the  many  families I’ve assisted.  So here goes!

1) Culturally, Charlotte is part of the “New South”, a new mix of north and south.  Many of the south’s best traditions survive: folks are polite, they rarely honk their horn in anger, there is great barbecue.  Uptown (Downtown) Charlotte may be the cleanest city in America.  Yet Black Entertainment Magazine consistently rates Charlotte as a top city for African-American Professionals, and most folks don’t have an accent, unless it’s a northern accent. Charlotte has mild winters, leaves that change colors, and pizza by the slice until all hours at Fuel Pizza or Brooklyn Pizza by the lake.   What is the “New South? It is a modern industrialized economy.  Just two generations ago, North Carolina was an agricultural state.

Me At the White Water Center2) Outdoor sports abound– Test your whitewater skills 20 minutes from Uptown Charlotte at the  National Whitewater Center.  Home to the US Olympic Whitewater team,   mountain bike riders like the miles of steep trails here too.   Rock climbers enjoy the walls at the WWC, or go about an hour to Crowder’s Mountain for the real deal.

Just 2 hours from the Appalachian Trail, Charlottean’s enjoy easy weekend trips to the mountains, rivers and waterfalls near Asheville, or surfing at Folly Beach south of Charleston.  Charlotte’s central location brings beaches from Wilmington to Hilton Head in easy reach.

3) Charlotte is a giving city– Some call Atlanta the capital of the New South, if so, then Charlotte is the heart of the New South. The Charlotte Arts and Science Council regularly out raises every city in the US (excepting New York of course)  and fund a host of museums and other cultural venues.  New museums opened since the Great Recession include the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, the Mint Museum of Design, the Knight Theater, and the Harvey Gant African-American Cultural Museum.  Trying hard to not grow up to be Atlanta, Charlotte is already the financial and energy capital of the New South.

4) Charlotte is a city that welcomes newcomers– since so many are from outside the area, it is a melting pot, and everyone can remember being the new guy or gal in town. you and your family will feel welcome in Charlotte.  You will have to come and visit to see it your self, but recently I asked a mother of three from northern NJ, “What was her biggest surprise?” and she answered, “The transition  has been so easy. The kids took to school and neighborhood right away, and I dove in and have made a new set of friends quickly.  My husband loves his job here too.”

5) The Charlotte Airport– Charlotte Douglas is the 5th busiest in the World! More flights, and more direct flights added monthly.  And convenient,  if you work Uptown you can be at the airport in under 30 minutes. They are expanding their international offerings, adding more gates, and recently completed a runway expansion.  Easy in and Easy out. The Airport has always tried to stay ahead of rapidly growing Charlotte. (Charlotte was named by CNN Money as the fastest growing major city in America form 2000-2010.)

6) The cost of living is low.  See how far your income will go in Charlotte from CNN Money here. Save on insurance- property and car insurance. Repairs and improvements around the home are surprisingly less expensive in the south, as is landscaping and house cleaning.

7) The cost of home ownership is low– and many with the average wage can afford the average house.  This makes for a stable housing market.

The average home sold in greater Charlotte (a greater Charlottee area not the entire  MLS) sold for $249,000, on 2472 square feet.  Taxes on that house would range, depending on location from $1900 per year to $3200 per year, or $130 to $260/mo. With 10% down payment, would yield a Principal and Interest payment of $1,005 ( 30 yr fixed at 3.50% APR). S0, 1005 plus taxes of say $200/mo, and insurance of $50/mo – so say about $1,255 /mo without PMI.

Very affordable, and with Charlotte’s average wage of $52,000 , this is doable.   And MORE for the money than most major cities in the north east and on the coasts.

8) Charlotte has an outstanding food scene, a “foodies” delight.  Diversity, yes!    The growth in restaurants of all types and quality level  See more at Local Eats, Top Charlotte Restaurants  Top food areas include Uptown, SouthPark, Central Avenue and a growing list of excellent places in Ballantyne.  Johnston and Wales University has brought more  talent to the Charlotte area since opening in 2007.

9) Business cite’s Charlotte highly educated workforce as the #1 reason for business relocations– Charlotte and the surrounding communities have outstanding K-12 schools with the very well regarded UNC Charlotte in the northeast quadrant of the city. This same population is making its contributions to the Charlotte area in families, churches, cultural organizations, and neighborhoods.

10) Charlotte is great place for young people.   It is #2 on Kiplinger’s 10 Great Cities for College Grads, #6 on BET Magazine’s Best Places for African-American Professionals.  There is a active music scene with 2 major recent additions, the NC Music Hall and the Epicenter, with their weekly outdoor “Happy Hour” entertainment. They are here looking for a future  mate, and building a future that is bright for Charlotte.

Left off the list were the Carolina Panthers and Charlotte Bobcats,  but other cities have professional sports franchises. It is the economy and the people that are shaping Charlotte’s future, and making it a great place to live.  I would like to personally welcome the relocating employees of MetLife, the latest major addition to Charlotte. ( yes we are on your approved list of Realtors)

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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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