Charlotte, NC, is one of the fastest growing cities in the south. But that doesn’t take away from the character of the Queen City and its unique neighborhoods and communities. Here’s what to expect when you live in Charlotte.
For one, you can enjoy exploring the historic areas among the city’s more than 250 distinct neighborhoods. “In any city, of course, the historical neighborhoods are all unique,” says Peter T. Harakas, Saussy Burbank’s VP Development and Land Acquisitions. “Things were just built differently many years ago.”
That’s part of the appeal of the Dilworth neighborhood. A designated historic district, this area south of Uptown was the original streetcar suburb. Founded in the late 1890s, this neighborhood was developed by Edward Dilworth Latta with the help of the Olmsted Brothers.
You’ll also see historic homes in the Fourth Ward. A popular residential area in the mid-1800s for its proximity to Uptown, this neighborhood now features both Victorian homes and post-modern architecture. Or visit the local historic district of Plaza Midwood to see a varied mix of Victorians, mid-20th century-style, and other homes all in one Charlotte community.
Historic homes aren’t the only thing that make Charlotte unique. Throughout the city, you can explore great street art, well-preserved green spaces, and thriving breweries and restaurants. In fact, Food & Wine named Charlotte in their 2022 list of “America’s Next Great Food Cities.
All this vibrancy is part of the reason people are drawn to the Queen City. Charlotte ranked 15th in the U.S. Census Bureau’s list of the largest cities in 2022. It also rounded out the list of the nation’s top five cities by numeric growth.
Fortunately, “Charlotte was preparing for growth as early as 40 to 50 years ago,” says Harakas. “Charlotte has always had ambitions to be among the world-class cities.”
Now, he says, Charlotte is well positioned to handle the consistent influx of new residents. The ambition is no longer to grow, as far as he can tell, as much as it is to effectively manage what growth we’ve got.
The growth has also shaped the types of new home available within the city of Charlotte. “There just aren’t many large tracts of lands left that lend themselves to residential,” says Harakas. If you want to live in a newly built home close in, you’re likely looking at buying a townhome or buying an existing property to build something new.
Saussy Burbank builds infill housing in communities that are walkable and already have an intact fabric of neighborhood. “We think each of our neighborhoods are unique because we design our homes on an individual basis to reflect the character that is already there,” says Harakas.
We’re currently building five traditional-looking homes at Ashbrook on Heather on a cul de sac in a neighborhood across Park Road from the Park Road Shopping Center. Another larger Saussy Burbank neighborhood is our Cottages on Rama Road. The ten single-family, detached homes are built in Craftsman-style with open living spaces, large kitchens and front and rear porches.
As the second largest banking hub in the U.S., Charlotte has a strong financial sector. Yet, that’s not the only type of employment here. The Queen City is also in the top 15 cities nationwide for tech jobs. Plus, the job market is generally solid with an August 2023 unemployment rate of 3.3 (compared to the national average of 3.9).
While cities aren’t always affordable, many residents find Charlotte reasonably priced. The U.S. Census shows per capita income in Charlotte at around $43,000, with the median household income around $68,000. Meanwhile, Charlotte’s cost of living is two percent lower than the national average, according to Payscale. In Mecklenburg County, where Charlotte’s found, the annual weekly wage across all industries was $1,949 in August 2023.
Residents are also drawn to the relatively mild climate and the city’s cleanliness. Charlotte was one of only two non-California cities (along with Tampa, FL) to make InsureMyTrip’s cleanest city ranking.
Still, when people want to get away from the city, there’s convenient access to the great outdoors. You can easily visit either the mountains or the beach, with both reachable in under three hours from Charlotte.
Families enjoy a strong school system and the many things to do with kids in Charlotte. Niche gives Charlotte’s public schools a B+ rating, and the city gets an overall A- for “good for families.”
Everyone benefits from the city’s diversity as well. Seen as the most diverse city in North Carolina, Charlotte’s most recent census data found a population that was made up of roughly 45% White residents, 35% Black or African American residents, 15% Hispanic or Latino residents, and 7% Asian residents.
That’s a diverse group of people who can all come together and rally around one or more of the city’s local sports teams. Charlotte has professional sports teams in several sports: