Don’t get left behind. Now may be the best time to rethink your New York City lifestyle and join others who are fleeing because they’re tired of dealing with the competition, high cost of living, and even the winter weather. Head 630 miles south to Charlotte, North Carolina, where job growth is strong, the cost of living is 88% lower than NYC’s, and yearly snow only adds up to a mere three inches.
If you’re considering moving to Charlotte, the nation’s second-largest financial center, read on to make sure the move will be right for you.
What to Know About Moving from NYC to Charlotte
Here’s what to know before moving to the Queen City.
Housing and Cost of Living
Since 2015, Charlotte home prices have risen by 50%. Yet the median home value, as of summer 2020, is $228,800, still a bit under the national average of $231,200. The New York City median home cost is $450,000 more expensive, at $680,500. Before Charlotte home prices rise even more, now may be an opportune time to become a homeowner.
But if you’re not ready to buy, rent is much more affordable too. Compare the average two-bedroom NYC rental of $2,049 to the same size rental in Charlotte that averages $1,133. That’s a monthly savings of $916, or 80%.
Based on the U.S. average index of 100, NYC’s cost of living is 187 of 100 – Charlotte’s is 99 of 100 – 88% lower. You won’t just save on housing costs – your food and groceries will be 17% lower, health costs 12% lower, utilities 52% lower, and transportation costs 84% lower. Add the 197% lower home price (or 80% lower rent) and ka-ching – you’ll be delighted to watch your nest egg grow month by month.
The family median income in NYC is $64,565, almost $7,000 lower than Charlotte’s $71,516. So with the chance of bringing home a healthy paycheck combined with a much lower cost of living – voila – Charlotte offers an excellent opportunity to get ahead and enjoy a high-quality lifestyle.
Overall, your combined NYC taxes are almost 5% higher than what you’d pay in Charlotte. Let’s take a look at a summarized breakdown:
- Property taxes: Charlotte residents pay an average 1.164% property tax, slightly lower than the U.S. average of 1.211%, but in the mid-range of the 0.627% to 1.925% (depending on borough), you pay if you’re an NYC homeowner. With Charlotte’s substantially lower home prices, however, you can likely still anticipate a smaller tax liability.
- Sales taxes: Charlotte sales tax is 7.25%. In New York City, sales tax varies between boroughs, from 7% to 8.5%.
- Income taxes: North Carolina levies state income tax at a flat 5.25%. Your New York state income tax varies from 4% to 8.82% based on your taxable income, but don’t forget – you also pay an NYC income tax.
Economy and Job Growth
Charlotte’s economy is strong and continues to grow at a steady pace. Nicknamed Banktown, Charlotte, is the nation’s second-largest financial hub, right behind New York City. Health care, social assistance, retail, and insurance are also top industries. Bank of America and Wells Fargo are two of the city’s top employers, followed by Carolina’s Healthcare System, American Airlines, and Lowe’s.
Over the past year, Charlotte’s job growth, at 2.7%, outperformed NYC’s growth of 0.5%. At the end of 2030, models anticipate Charlotte’s job growth to tip 45% compared to NYC’s 31%.
Transportation and Traffic
If you’re moving from New York City to Charlotte, you’ll definitely notice the difference in how people get around. Only 4% of Charlotte commuters use CATS, the Charlotte Area Transit System. By comparison, 57% of residents commute via NYC’s MTA, The Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Despite Queen City’s rail, light rail, bus, and streetcar routes, 77% commute by car compared to 22% in NYC. You don’t need a calculator to see that Charlotte is a car-oriented city.
If you move to Charlotte, you’ll have a 16-minute shorter one-way commute than in NYC. It takes an average of 25 minutes for a one-way trip to work compared to 41 minutes for NYC commuters. Although their commute is shorter, Charlotteans still deal with severe traffic; the city has the 54th worst traffic in the nation.
New York City earns some of the highest ratings in the country for walkability, biking, and transit. Most boroughs earn scores in the 80s and 90s for walking and transportation, with Manhattan at 100 for both. Queen City ranks a walk score of 26, bike score of 30, and transit score of 29, again pointing to the fact that you’ll need a car to commute, run errands, and have fun. If a walkable urban lifestyle is vital for you, consider the Fourth, Second, or First Wards when looking for housing.
Weather and Climate
Charlotte’s moderate climate still offers beautiful seasons, but winters are a lot easier to manage. About three inches of snow accumulates throughout the winter compared to NYC’s 25 inches, and average winter temps are about 12 -13 degrees warmer in Charlotte.
Your NYC January highs average about 38 °F with lows of 26 °F. Charlotte January highs average 51 °F, and lows get down to around 30 °F. The amount of rainfall is similar – 43 inches in Charlotte and 47 inches in NYC.
Charlotte summers will be a bit hotter than what you’re used to in NYC. July highs average 89 compared to NYC’s 84, and unfortunately, summers will still challenge you with high humidity.
Charlotte hasn’t earned any accolades for its crime rates. The national average for property crime is 35 out of 100 and 23 out of 100 for violent crime. By comparison, the property crime rate in Charlotte is 54 of 100, and violent crime is 34. These rates are substantially higher than NYC’s property crime of 25 and violent crime of 28.
Most of the Queen City neighborhoods we summarize in the following section are very safe. But before you decide on where you’re going to settle, for peace of mind, search the internet for the crime rates of favored neighborhoods. The communities of Dilworth, Fourth Ward, and Hermitage Court are excellent places to start your home search if safety is essential for you.
Culture, Diversity, and Demographics
New York City’s population, at 8,560,000, is ten times that of Charlotte’s 826,000, however since they cover about the same landmass, it makes sense that Charlotte’s density is about a tenth of NYC’s. Approximately 28,500 people live in every square mile of NYC compared to 2,700 in Charlotte.
The Queen City continues to grow by leaps and bounds, with a 53% increase in the last 20 years. NYC had a 7% increase over the same period. The racial demographics that vary between the two cities reveal that Charlotte is 42% White, 35% African American, 14% Hispanic, 6% Asian, and 2.5% Two or More Races. NYC is 32% White, 22% African American, 29% Hispanic, 14% Asian, and 2% Two or More Races.
Charlotte is known as one of the Southeast’s most progressive cities. Though the town is not quite as liberal as NYC, where 80% of registered voters are Democrat, 62% of Charlotte’s registered voters lean left.
In addition to sophisticated culture, Charlotte is the hub of NASCAR and motor racing culture. Although the corporate headquarters remain in Florida, 90% of team shops are within 75 miles of Charlotte, not too far from the NASCAR Hall of Fame that sits in Uptown.
Almost every good size city has its iconic dish or cuisine, and Charlotte is no different. Known as Queen City Caviar, pimento cheese is a lunchtime staple. It evidently started as a popular dip but is now added to sushi rolls and even cheesecake! Add fried pickles and a deep-dish pie called Sonker to the mix, and Charlotte’s iconic dishes can definitely be considered unique.
Best Neighborhoods in Charlotte
Most cities refer to their central business district as ‘downtown,’ but not Charlotte. In NYC, you find Downtown Manhattan as well as Uptown. In Charlotte, the entire central area is called Uptown – there’s no ‘downtown.’ In our following summary, we describe neighborhood locations in relation to Uptown.
Historic Dilworth sits about two miles south of Uptown. About 8,500 residents enjoy neighborhood events, like the Spring Party and the Home Tour, year-round, that not only entertain, but bind the community. Condos, townhomes, plus vintage and new-build single-family homes provide a variety of housing. Find out more about Dilworth here.
Located five miles south of Uptown, about 12,500 people live in Myers Park. One of Charlotte’s most desirable neighborhoods, the median home price, at $854,384, is far above the city’s average. Beautiful old trees line the streets, and housing comes in the form of mid-rise condos and gorgeous old historic homes. Learn more about Myers Park here.
Rated Charlotte’s #1 neighborhood for young professionals, Fourth Ward has about 5,130 residents who enjoy the active nightlife and urban vibe—located in the northern section of Uptown, 63% of the population rents. Housing is mainly apartments, townhomes, or high-rise condos. Here’s more info about Fourth Ward.
With a population close to 11,580, Providence Crossing is known for its excellent schools, so it’s no surprise that about half of the households include children. Year-round family activities, especially holiday festivities for kids, unite the community. Providence Crossing sits about 20 miles south of Uptown and consists only of single-family homes. Find out more information about Providence Crossing here.
Affluent Eastover, located four miles southeast of Uptown, is considered to be one of Charlotte’s most beautiful neighborhoods. You’ll find excellent schools, high-priced homes, and an overall luxurious vibe. Some low- and mid-rise condos are also available. About 2,700 residents enjoy easy access to Charlotte’s amenities. Learn more about Eastover here.
Approximately 75% of Uptown’s 7,828 residents rent. Young professionals are especially attracted to the Uptown lifestyle where restaurants, cafes, pubs, taverns, entertainment, and nightlife abound. Charlotte’s pro sports teams, the Panthers (NFL) and Hornets (NBA), play in Uptown stadiums. Housing is mainly in mid- and high-rise condos and townhomes, some with gorgeous views. Here are more Uptown details.
About 12,300 people live in Davidson, a small town 20 miles north of Uptown. Charming, historic Davidson is known for its unique downtown designed for pedestrians and cyclists, not for cars. Davidson College adds to the young college-town vibe alongside thriving coffee houses, cafes, pubs, and art galleries. Top-rated schools add to the allure of this family-friendly community. Learn more here.
Another option, if you don’t want to live in Charlotte proper, is Matthews, located about 20 minutes southeast of Uptown. The majority of the 30,700 residents are homeowners. Housing ranges from charming historic single-family homes to newer contemporary builds. Both families and young professionals enjoy Matthews’ small-town lifestyle. Find out more about Matthews here.
Cost of Moving from NYC to Charlotte
On average, it costs about $2500-$4000 to move from New York City to Charlotte. Though this might sound expensive, consider that you are hauling your stuff about 627 miles across the country. The total cost of your move will depend on several variables, including your origin and destination zip codes, the time of year you’re moving, the size of your household, and which services you require. The best way to get an accurate estimate is by scheduling an in-home or virtual (no contact) walkthrough with a licensed and insured interstate mover. Get free moving quotes from the best NYC to Charlotte movers now!