Moving to Charlotte? 5 Questions Answered

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So you are moving to Charlotte, if you are like most, you have lots of questions:            man woman thinking

Where do I want to live? 

Do I want to rent?  Or would I prefer to buy if i can?

What would it take to buy?

Can I buy with student loans?

How do I get a home rental in a good school district? There are so few.


Where Do You Want To Live?

We’ll start with location.  I’d start with your friends, get recommendations.  And plan a visit here too. Plan to spend a few days exploring if you can. Even with a rental, you need to be happy where you live!   Then look up your work address. You’ve heard traffic is bad here (only if you come from a smaller town) but still, who wants a long commute? Many newcomers start with a close radius to their work, and see what they can find.

Charlotte is NOT  a big city, well maybe a small Big city.   However, the closer locations are more expensive, and you may need a condo, or small house. You certainly get less for your money, less space and less features… but you trade that for being minutes to restaurants and clubs.

Our Uptown area, defined as inside the 277 loop, is popular for folks who want to be in the center of the action and enjoy high rise living.  Two Uptown searches  Rentals    Condos For Sale     Registration required

Do I want to Rent or Buy?

Good question, and there is lot to unpack there.  Most come to rent here, but then realize something:  real estate is terrific in Charlotte.  What  I mean by that is it is  a) affordable (often the same as rent)  and b) appreciating.  So

even if you are only here a few years, you can walk away with a pretty nice chunk of change.  First up, are you Able to buy? Do you have the downpayment, or access to it?  2nd are you pretty sure you’ll be here 3 years or more?   This is why so many people who are able, DO BUY, even their first place here because it makes so much sense. That and the fact it doesnt take long to get comfortable in our city.


If you are re locating a family here,  coming for a new job,  you can figure it out.  Charlotte has lots of good choices. You can figure out the “where” and “what”  within a few days, and then in combination with your budget, narrow your choices down.  Some think they HAVE to rent a year, and then wind up spending 25,000 to 36,000 in rent, only to realize 2 weeks in they could have bought and not thrown the money out the window.

What would it take to buy a condo or home in Charlotte?

To start, it takes a bit more time.  I’m talking days not weeks folks if you 1) do your homework and2) have a good Realtor. We have suggestions!

Then it takes the basics- a downpayment- generally 5% (minimum) of the purchase price,  money for closing costs and moving expenses.  To qualify for a mortgage in most instances you’ll need atleast a couple of paychecks and Good credit.  Notice I didn’t say perfect credit, generally you can get a good rate from a FICO of 680 on up.

Can I buy with student loans? 

The short answer is Yes, but it depends.

You’ll need to talk to one of our lenders.

Can I get a quality rental with quality schools?

They are rare, but occasionally.  I strongly recommend Home Partners and a good realtor.  This will let you get a good home in a high quality school district, and give you the option to buy after a year or more.

Neighborhoods AND Home  Searches

Alexander Crest Alexander Place Amity Gardens
Arbor Hills Ardrey Asbury Place
Ashbrook Ashley Park Ashton Ridge
Ayrsley Ballanmoor Ballantyne Country Club
Barclay Downs Battle Forest Belle Vista
Bellemeade Belmont Berewick
Berkeley Beverly Crest Beverly Woods
Beverly Woods East Biddle Heights Biddleville
Bishops Ridge Blakeney Greens Blakeney Heath
Bradfield Farms Brandon Brawley Farms
bridgehampton Bridlewood Brightwalk
Brooke Dale Brookwood Hills Bryant Park
Burning Tree Caldwell Farms Cameron Wood
Camp Green Candlewyck Carmel Estates
Carmel Forest Carmel Park Cedar Woods

Like to see the rest? Sign up on our Home and Neighborhood Search Site.

Terry McDonald

Terry McDonald

I am the owner and operator of and was inspired to create this website when I moved my young family of 6 down to Charlotte from the northeast, now over 20 years ago. Charlotte quickly became home to us and I wanted to create a website that would help individuals and families considering a move to Charlotte. I'm also the owner of The McDonald Group at eXp Realty (my day job) and have helped hundreds of folks relocate to Charlotte over the years.

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So everybody’s heard that Atlanta calls itself the “capitol” of the New South. Ok, I’ll give them that. But if Atlanta is the “capitol”, then Charlotte is the heart of the New South. Charlotte is the 20th largest city

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