Contemplating a move to Charlotte, NC? We get it. When you think of Charlotte, it’s easy to describe it as hip, vibrant, and…well…huge. Yep, the Queen City is making moves on the throne, and in 2020, it became the country’s 15th most populous city — even surpassing famous metropolises like San Francisco. It also goes big on business — especially in the banking industry. Believe it or not, Charlotte is the nation’s second-largest banking hub, coming in right behind NYC (and before San Francisco).
A great job market, diversity, tons of culture, good schools, an outstanding food scene (don’t think we forgot about that lip-smackingly good North Carolina BBQ), and a relatively affordable cost of living make Charlotte a hot contender among young professionals, families, singles, and students. Life here is laid back, fun, and full of southern charm.
Wondering where to look for a Queen City home or rental to call your own? We’ve got you covered with a closer look at some of the best Charlotte neighborhoods, complete with all the things you want to know, including median prices, types of housing, vibes, schools, and things to do.
Whether you’re moving to Charlotte, NC, from nearby or relocating from afar, we think you’re going to love it. In fact, we’ll bet you can bank on it.
WHAT ARE CHARLOTTE HOUSING PRICES LIKE?
Charlotte’s popularity has resulted in a real estate boom. It’s also caused a rise in housing prices and the overall cost of living. But while it’s getting more and more challenging to find great deals on homes, prices for both buyers and renters aren’t too far off from the national average — at least for now.
As of May 2021, Zillow lists the typical home value in Charlotte at $302,570 — up a whopping 16.4% from the previous year. For comparison, the national typical home value saw a 13.2% increase over the same period of time and lists at $287,148 as of May 2021.
Looking to rent instead of buy? According to RENTCafé, rent in Charlotte only saw a 5% increase between 2020 and 2021, averaging a little more than $1,300 per month as of May 2021 — still slightly less than the national average of $1,428. While there are a variety of rental types available, the average apartment size in Charlotte is about 940 square feet (think one-bedroom).
|What’s the most expensive neighborhood in Charlotte, NC? With average rent prices close to $2,000 per month (as of June 2021) and a typical home value of nearly $1.4 million (as of May 2021), Eastover is Charlotte’s most expensive neighborhood, at least in terms of housing costs.|
BEST CHARLOTTE, NC, NEIGHBORHOODS
Charlotte has nearly 200 official city-designated neighborhoods, which works out to approximately one neighborhood every mile and a half! That’s good news for anyone looking to call the Queen City home. From historic Victorian and Tudor homes to more contemporary condos and modern high-rise apartments, there’s plenty to choose from. Plus, you’ll have your pick of neighborhoods and vibes, ranging from the buzzing Central Business District to the more settled-down suburbs.
Don’t be confused by this bustling neighborhood’s name. Uptown Charlotte is located in the downtown Central Business District. Uptown is split at the intersection of Tryon and Trade Streets and divided into four wards, all encircled by the 277 and 77 Interstates. Don’t want a car? You might not need one. Walk Score rates Uptown’s First, Second, and Fourth wards as Charlotte’s top walkable areas.
Uptown is considered the city’s heartbeat, pumped full of tech startups, creatives, restaurants, bars, the city’s top museums, gobs of nightlife and entertainment options, and a true big-city feel.
Diverse housing options range from single-story Victorian homes to chic high-rises. Unsurprisingly, having all Uptown has to offer at your fingertips makes this neighborhood one of Charlotte’s most popular — and more expensive. As of June 2021, the average rent costs hundreds above the city average at $1,697 per month, and the median list price of homes in Uptown is around $395,000, as of May 2021 (with the latest annual increase at 13%).
Most residents here are young professionals, singles, or students from the nearby colleges and universities. You know, folks looking for a lively slice of walkable city life — and who don’t mind the noise or higher prices that come along with it. However, anyone who lives here will be sharing the neighborhood with locals and visitors alike, as Uptown is also a popular tourist spot.
It’s no coincidence that one of Charlotte’s premiere neighborhoods is also one of its most picturesque. Myers Park is a well-heeled area located about 10 minutes from the city center, known for its 100-year-old oak canopy-lined streets, stately mansions, and collection of upper-crust amenities. It’s also home to some of Charlotte’s wealthiest residents and a high concentration of families.
According to Zillow’s May 2021 numbers, the typical home value runs close to $1.24 million dollars (an increase of nearly 14% over the previous year). And even though home prices are multiple times more than the city’s typical home value, most people here tend to own. Gorgeous historic mansions representing 1920s Colonial Revival and Tudor Revival architecture styles are common finds. Rentals? Less so. If you can find a rental, that’s a great way to try before you buy, with average rent remaining relatively affordable at $1,418 per month, as of June 2021.
Myers Park isn’t very walkable or well connected to public transit, but that’s actually how it was designed. Residents come here for the suburban feel and highly rated public schools, and they stay for the gourmet grocers, upscale boutiques, swanky country club, Booty Loop trail, and art galleries. Whether you end up calling Myers Park home, stopping by Wing Haven Garden & Bird Sanctuary’s rose garden is a lovely way to spend a day — even better if you bookend it with breakfast at littleSpoon Eatery off the Selwyn Avenue strip and a visit to the 98-acre Freedom Park.
Located about 15 minutes south of Uptown, Charlotte’s SouthPark neighborhood offers a life full of luxuries both big and small. This neighborhood is loaded with extravagant mansions and apartments, high-end shopping, and upscale restaurants. Families are drawn to the neighborhood’s quiet tree-lined streets and large homes, though SouthPark’s posh side appeals to young professionals looking for a taste of the sweet life, as well.
According to Zillow, as of June 2021, SouthPark’s resort-style apartment rentals range anywhere from around $1,200 for a studio to $2,000+ for multiple bedrooms. As of May 2021, SouthPark’s typical home value is more than double the city’s, coming in at $607,946.
Even if you don’t end up living in SouthPark, chances are you’ll still find your way to this beautiful area of Charlotte. Full of upscale, designer retailers, SouthPark Mall is a huge destination for locals and visitors. Events (or just walks) at Symphony Park, special meals out at SouthPark’s restaurants — like tapas at Bulla Gastrobar or cocktails and small plates at Dogwood: A Southern Table — or perusing the independent boutiques are a must.
|From long-distance moves to storage right in your driveway — or at a local PODS Storage Center — we’ve got you covered. We focus on providing the best in flexible, personalized moving and storage services. Find out more about how PODS can customize your move to Charlotte.|
This trendy neighborhood pulls in young professionals and singles with affordable rentals and adjacent proximity to the action in Uptown. Located on the eastern edge of Uptown’s First Ward, Belmont features a lot of beautiful Southern-style bungalows with wraparound porches, new high-rise condos, and single-story Victorian homes. The neighborhood has been going through somewhat of a revival over the last few years, making the transition from Old Charlotte to New Charlotte.
The average rent in this community-focused neighborhood comes in just under the city average at $1,247 a month, as of June 2021. However, the typical home value here has shot up an impressive 22.1% in the last year, edging up near $375,000 in May 2021 — well over the city’s overall typical home value. And while the neighborhood received an overall grade of A- from Niche, the schools here are only slightly above average with a B- grade (though there are still 13 schools with an A rating).
No matter what you decide about living in Belmont, you can’t live in Charlotte without sinking your teeth into some of the local BBQ. Head over to Sweet Lew’s BBQ, a Belmont spot, to snag a traditional taste of North Carolina’s signature style. And for dessert, take a trip to Alexander Street Park for delicious sunset views of the Charlotte skyline, or head out for a beer at Catawba Brewing Company.
|What’s the best neighborhood to live in Charlotte, NC? Finding the best neighborhood in Charlotte, NC, is going to depend on why you want to move to Charlotte. Families may want to consider neighborhoods with less car traffic and good schools, such as Myers Park. Young professionals and students may prioritize amenities and the ability to walk or bike to work or school and prefer living in Uptown Charlotte in the heart of the city. Still others may be looking for a community-driven neighborhood with more affordable prices like Belmont. It’s all about you and your wants.|
Not to be confused with the Belmont neighborhood within Charlotte city limits, Belmont, NC, is located about 15 miles west of the Queen City. Niche rates it as one of the best suburbs to live in North Carolina, giving it an overall A grade. The vibe here is spacious and suburban, the schools are highly rated, and the commute to Charlotte is easy, making Belmont popular with families, young professionals, and young family transplants from the city.
Typical home values here come in at nearly $300,000 (as of May 2021), which is a 15.1% increase over the previous year, and most Belmont residents own their homes. Belmont is full of a mix of condos, townhomes, and apartment homes — many built in the early 1970s and sporting brick exteriors. Want something a little more modern? Rentals average $1,216 monthly, as of June 2021, and you can expect your average one-bedroom to be around 975 square feet.
There are 15 public schools in Belmont, including the Highland School of Technology, which ranks as the 26th best public high school in the state, according to Niche. Residents here enjoy breezy strolls through the Belmont Historic District, hunting finds at the Catawba River Antique Mall and Piccolo Antique Mall, and flexing their adrenaline and watersports skills at the nearby U.S. National Whitewater Center.
Located about a 30-minute straight shot north of Charlotte, Davidson is a popular suburb for young professionals, college students, and families. Niche rates Davidson as the top suburb to live in the Charlotte area — and in the top four best suburbs to live or raise a family in the state. The vibe here is spacious and suburban but vibrant, thanks to the younger-skewing pool of residents.
Condos are a common find here, and many come with gorgeous waterfront views over Lake Davidson, spacious wooden balconies, and multiple bedrooms. Rentals average about $1,315 per month and around 890 square feet, as of June 2021. And homes sport a high typical home value of more than $460,000 as of May 2021 (a 15.1% increase over the previous year).
Davidson families have a great selection of public schools to choose from, including nearly 20 schools that Niche grades as A or better. It’s also home to the prestigious — and selective — Davidson College, a liberal arts college also known for its athletics teams.
PLANNING YOUR MOVE
Ready to start planning your move to Charlotte? It’s never too early to start. Check out our Containing the Chaos blog for tips and tricks to help get you on the move. From how to pack for a long-distance move and the top questions to ask when vetting a moving company to tips on moving with portable containers and more. PODS moving and storage is here for you every step of the way.
Katherine Alex Beaven is a frequent contributor to the PODS blog who has moved 20+ times because she loves to experience new places.