Are you looking to plant your roots in a family-friendly area but can’t decide where? The city of Charlotte, North Carolina has long been a family favorite place to call home. A regular on ‘best places to live in the US’ lists, Charlotte is more than just the home of the Charlotte Hornets and NASCAR Hall of Fame. The Queen City also boasts a high-quality school system, events and amenities for all ages, and safe, peaceful neighborhoods, all at an affordable price. If you are eager to learn whether or not Charlotte is the right place for you and your family, then keep reading!
For families looking to relocate, education is one of the most pivotal decision-making factors. Parents will naturally seek neighborhoods where top-quality schools, from elementary through to high school, are widely available. Fortunately, many of Charlotte’s neighborhoods offer first-rate educational options. Ballantyne West’s public school network is rated A by Niche.com. The Charlotte suburb is located in Mecklenburg County and is home to esteemed schools including Irwin Academic Center and Ardrey Kell High School. You’ll find Myers Park High School, one of the best schools in the Charlotte area, conveniently located in the safe Myers Park community. Meanwhile the residents of Tega Cay in York County can access excellent public schools like Gold Hill Middle School and Fort Mill High School.
Affordable Living in Charlotte
While living in Charlotte may be more costly than the average mid-sized town, it is much more affordable than other major US cities like Boston, Seattle, Chicago, and Austin. With a 99.7 cost of living index, it falls just below the national average of 100. In comparison, Boston and Seattle’s cost of living indexes sit above 150. In terms of housing costs, PayScale and NerdWallet give Charlotte favorable scores. Although housing in Downtown Charlotte comes with expensive price tags, families looking to base themselves in the quieter, residential suburbs will find much more affordable options. The median home price for a 3-bed, 2-bath home is $307,320 according to an UpNest study. This means Charlotte housing is ‘14% cheaper on average than the rest of the country.’ Food and grocery costs are estimated to be 6% lower than the national average, a welcome statistic for families with growing children. Additionally, a 2021 PayScale report found that utilities and transportation are 8% and 3% below the national average, respectively. However, Charlotte is known for its expensive healthcare costs. You will find yourself paying 3% more than the national average on medical expenses.
Activities and Amenities for the Entire Family
Charlotte has copious outdoor and indoor activities, and exceptional amenities to keep children busy no matter the weather. The Children’s Theater Charlotte and Matthews Playhouse of the Performing Arts are top picks for live theater to enthrall the whole family. Both theaters also host weeklong summer camp programs for those especially interested in the arts. Educational fun is in abundance at the Mint Museum. The museum’s Lewis Family Gallery provides a ‘creative environment for creating art, engaging in puzzle challenges, and stepping into a Roman Bearden collage.’ And in the spirit of educational fun, you can visit ‘one of America’s leading urban public libraries’ the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. Carowinds Amusement Park and Ray’s Splash Center will entertain the kids in the sunshine, while the Sky Zone Trampoline Park and The Pit Indoor Kart Racing are perfect for rainy days. Charlotte is also home to stunning green spaces including the US National Whitewater Center. The recreation grounds consist of 1,300 acres of protected land with whitewater rafting, kayaking, and zip lining. You can also hike or mountain bike along the 50 miles of trail.
In a town where family and community are at its heart, Charlotte has endless family-friendly events. Enjoy free admission to the Mint Museum, tasty treats from local food trucks, and live music at Party in the Park. Movies on the Green is an idyllic summer event for parents and children alike. Other fun events include the Labor Day Pool Party, Memorial Day Splash, and Festival in the Park. Your four-legged family member will also feel right at home in Charlotte. The annual Woofstock is a pup-friendly event with music from live bands, delicious food, and rescue and shelter animals.
Employment Opportunities in Charlotte
Charlotte and its surrounding neighborhoods have plenty of employment options, specifically in the areas of finance, tech, and healthcare. Bank of America is headquartered in Uptown Charlotte, while the HQ for Wells Fargo’s East Coast division is located a short walk away. Additionally, according to a 2019 Charlotte Observer report, tech job growth in the city has been outpacing the national average. Between 2014 and 2019, tech employment opportunities grew by 30%. Companies contributing to the burgeoning Charlotte tech scene include Red Ventures, LendingTree, and Levvel.io. Healthcare workers and educational professionals will also find no shortage of employment opportunities. Atrium Health and Novant Health ‘are two of the largest employers in the area providing tens of thousands of jobs in hospitals, medical centers, pharmacies, and physicians’ labs.’ Meanwhile The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system is a dominant employer for those in education.
Safety and Crime Rates
Although the city of Charlotte has a higher-than-average national crime rate, the crime is confined to a small number of neighborhoods located north of Uptown. The neighborhoods, including La Salle St & Beatties Ford Rd, account for 8% of violent crime despite being just two square miles. Outside of the major crime hotspots there are many safe neighborhoods. Ballantyne, an upscale neighborhood bordering South Carolina, has a crime rate 8% lower than the national average. Chantilly, a community located just 10 minutes from Uptown, is safer than 84% of Charlotte neighborhoods and has a crime rate 42% lower than the national average. Other areas with substantially low crime rates are Myers Park, Beverly Woods, and Providence Crossing.
Are you considering a move to Charlotte, North Carolina? We have some great resources to get you started! Check out our moving checklist for information on how to prepare for your move and use our free move estimate tool to determine the cost of your Charlotte move. If you are not in Charlotte, check out this page to discover if we offer moving services near you.