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pros and cons of living in Charlotte North Carolina

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canada
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pros and cons of living in Charlotte North Carolina

My family and I are considering moving to North Carolina, specifically interested in Charlotte. My husband is in the banking industry and we would like to know what people think of Charlotte on the whole. Comments around quality of life, crime rate, safe schools etc would be appreciated. Also, what communities in and around charlotte are most desireable?

Thanks!

NC
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1. Re: pros and cons of living in Charlotte North Carolina

I would like to refer you to NCBOUND's threat on here - over 200 posts with lots of info on the area. Charlotte is a substantial metro area with over a million people in its environs. It has all the amenities and challenges of such. The traffic is formidable. The schools are historically poor. The crime rate is significant. Having said that - there are some lovely neighborhoods, some good people, fine restaurants and excellent shopping. And, of course, it is the #2 financial center in the U.S. ( behind New York). Again, read the the good posts on here and you'll get lots of good insight. Best wishes.

NC
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2. Re: pros and cons of living in Charlotte North Carolina

LOL! So sorry- I meant THREAD, not threat! She is definitely NOT threatening! If you will find her post and read it, I think a lot of your questions will be addressed. Best wishes.

florida
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3. Re: pros and cons of living in Charlotte North Carolina

Norcan,much depends on your measure of comparison.Traffic formidable?Trust me if you are from ny or Boston you will find the traffic just fine.All in all Charlotte is a wonderfull place where you can find good schools,great restaurants etc.Yes,like any other area we have pockets of crime and poor schools.There is a reason why so many are moving here and when you visit you will see why.

4. Re: pros and cons of living in Charlotte North Carolina

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charlotte
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5. Re: pros and cons of living in Charlotte North Carolina

Can I assume that your husband would be working in Uptown? Since you said banking, that's what I would guess.

My husband is an investment banker, and we moved to Charlotte in 1999. We live in the Myers Park area, which is an intown neighborhood. Fortunately, we bought in 1999, because the housing prices now are OUT OF SIGHT. But we love the intown neighborhoods, and my hubby's commute to the bank is about ten minutes, max. If you move further out, yes, you are going to have a serious commute. (The number of miles isn't that far...but the number of cars is insane!)

People here are very friendly and open to newcomers, in my opinion. (I grew up in Atlanta, and this was not the case, I don't think.) Charlotte is growing, but it's still not that big; so if you have a talent or an interest and want to get involved, you can! The city has some problems, like all growing cities, but they've done a good job with Uptown development...getting people to live and work in the city. More and more good restaurants are opening. I find this a very easy, comfortable city to live in.

Unlike Atlanta or Dallas, people here have plenty of money, but I personally don't think that they show it or live in a flashy way. They are more subtle about their weath, in my opinion (e.g., high school kids aren't driving Hummers to school!) There are some really great private schools here, and depending on your neighborhood, some public schools are good too. I can't speak for the entire city...maybe someone else can chime in here...but Myers Park Traditional School, Eastover Academy and Selwyn Avenue schools are all excellent. Myers Park High School is supposed to be a really good school as well.

There are tons of places to live here...intown neighborhoods like Elizabeth, Dilworth, Myers Park, Eastover, south Charlotte (which incorporates a huge area and many neighborhoods), and then you've even got folks living up on Lake Norman or further south on Lake Wylie...then they make the commute into town each day. A hellish commute, I'm sure, but a house on the lake would be a nice thing to come home to each day!

I read about increasing crime stats every day, and it breaks my heart. But you are going to find that in any city, especially cities that are growing as fast as this one! I feel extremely safe in my neighborhood, but I'm always cautious about not opening the door to strangers (even those who look harmless), not going for a jog late at night, etc. Common sense things.

if you want to email more about this or talk on the phone, let me know. Good luck

Lacey, Washington
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6. Re: pros and cons of living in Charlotte North Carolina

It honestly depends on what you are looking for. If you have kids, you should be fine. There are so many young families moving here raising their children. I know Union County seems to be the choice spot, but seems like the schools in the Ballantyne area (Community House, Ardrey Kell) seem to be decent. For people who don't have children (like myself and my husband) we can be bored to tears on (many) occassion.

You'll find that Charlotte is very clean on average, this is mostly due to the fact it is a "newer" city and a lot of the growth is very recent. There are a lot of outdoor activities here, which is great. Restaurants have ratings, so you feel a bit better about eating in Charlotte.

I lived outside Baltimore for 11 years. Sorry, but the traffic here isn't a heck of a lot better. You are dealing with two-lane highways (on the south side) that cannot handle the flow of traffic. At least up in the northeast part of the country you've got at least four lanes and an HOV. There are no plans to expand until the 2010's. I know it's not Houston or DC traffic, but don't want you to think traffic is smooth sailing. It's going to get much worse as they continue to build without the infrustructure to support it.

I would check out Ballantyne, Pineville (closer to the Providence Rd/Ballantyne Commons), Weddington. The further south or east you go, the worse the traffic is going to be, however the nicer the areas are (at least in my opinion). I wouldn't say people here aren't flashy about their money. It's not really a flashy thing, it's more of an entitlement thing and a not paying attention thing that drive me crazy about some of the people with money here. Unfortunately all the building around us is being built for people who do have a lot of money, I'm assuming because they know people continue to move here from other parts of the country and are still getting $$$ for their homes. Makes it hard to live in some of these areas if you are middle class.

One thing I was surprised about when I moved here were the gangs. Not like I see them hanging on the streets flashin' signs, but I didn't know they had them there. Guess I was naive. Is no where near the crime I witnessed in Baltimore, which was heavily drug-related, but there are definitely some pockets to watch out for.

I would check out www.charmeck.org. You can check out crime stats and other interesting info on the city in order to make your decision. Like I said earlier, if you have a kids, I think you'll be fine here and will fit in well. Just a few things to consider and research.

North Carolina
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7. Re: pros and cons of living in Charlotte North Carolina

Another area to consider is about a 30-35 minute communte to downtown, and that's Concord/Kannapolis (Cabarrus County). Housing is much more reasonable than many of the areas mentioned on previous posts. Cabarrus County schools have solid reputations. I85 construction from this area (NE of Charlotte) is complete and traffic usually flows steadily. In addition to the schools, this area has the Speedway, Concord Mills, Historic Districts, and new Convention Center to name a few. Not sure about crime, but with growth, crime seems to follow in certain areas, Cabarrus County included.

8. Re: pros and cons of living in Charlotte North Carolina

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9. Re: pros and cons of living in Charlotte North Carolina

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