Guide: Moving to Charlotte

Guide: Moving to Charlotte
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Welcome to Charlotte, We’ve Been Waiting For You.

Welcome to Charlotte, a city with long lasting endearing qualities, the most beautiful of which is the diverse reasons why our citizens love to live here.

Charlotte is accommodating for newcomers in many walks of life. You may be coming here for the jobs or ease of living, but you’ll stay because of the people and the city. Southern hospitality and affordability mixed with access to a dynamic metropolitan market is a hard to find sweet spot.

Moving Facts 1

We haven’t met you, but since you’re moving to our favorite city, we like you already and want to help you settle in so you can move on to the good stuff.

Moving to a new city is undoubtedly one of the more stressful events in life. Let’s get you started with a look at some facts, neighborhoods, public transit, life things, and mundane moving details and then top it off with some fun things to do in the Queen City once you’ve unpacked those boxes and certifiably lost your mind.

Moving Facts 2

First Things First, Where Will You Live?

Charlotte is a city of unique neighborhoods and with hundreds of square miles to cover, finding the right neighborhood can feel challenging.

Here’s a list of happening areas within and around Charlotte.

Check out the Axios Charlotte Guide for Buying a Home for more information on average home prices by zip code and demographics. If you’re moving here with a family, be sure to read the Axios Charlotte Guide to Education to help navigate the school options in the area.

Moving Facts 3

Not looking to buy a house yet? No problem. Apartment choices around the city and county abound and construction of new complexes continues to accelerate at an impressive pace.

Area Zip Code(s) Description
Ayrsley 28273 The Town of Ayrsley is a 5-million square foot, master-planned urban live-work community, located on 180 acres in Southwest Charlotte.
Ballantyne 28277 Just outside the I-485 loop, this neighborhood is one of the city’s newer additions and is a major hub for young families and businesses.
Belmont 28205 One of Charlotte’s affordable up-and-coming neighborhoods, just a stone’s throw from Uptown. (Not to be confused with the City of Belmont in Gaston County.)
Center City (First Ward, Second Ward, Third Ward, Fourth Ward) 28202, 28204, 28206, 28208 Charlotte’s Center City, known as Uptown, is divided into four wards, spreading out from the intersection of Trade and Tryon Streets. These areas consist of Charlotte’s most authentic urban living neighborhoods.
Chantilly 28205 A quaint cottage neighborhood located between Plaza-Midwood and Elizabeth.
Cherry 28204 Fast selling neighborhood tucked between Myers Park, Elizabeth and Uptown.
Concord 28027 Just 15 miles northeast of Charlotte is Concord, home to Lowe’s Motor Speedway and Concord Mills — the area’s largest shopping mall.
Cotswold 28211 Cotswold offers an amazing location that’s only moments away from Uptown.
Davidson 28035, 28036 Davidson is charming and known for its quaint Main Street, tree-lined sidewalk neighborhoods and Davidson College.
Dilworth 28203 Dilworth has transitioned into a thriving neighborhood with Freedom Park as its centerpiece.
Eastover 28207 Eastover is one of the finest, and most upscale, historic neighborhoods in the Charlotte metro area.
Elizabeth 28204, 28207 Mansions and bungalows co-mingle in this trendy and historic neighborhood.
Huntersville 28070, 28078 Huntersville is now North Mecklenburg’s largest town with ample waterfront and countryside homes.
Matthews 28104, 28105, 28106 Matthews offers a small town feel with accessibility to big city amenities. Charming downtown.
Mint Hill 28227 On the outskirts of Charlotte, you find the quintessential all-American town of Mint Hill.
Mountain Island 28214 Mountain Island Lake is often described as a hidden jewel due to its proximity to Uptown, airport, and other attractions while offering prime access to nature through the lake.
Myers Park 28207, 28209, 28211 Myers Park is one of Charlotte’s oldest and most beautiful neighborhoods with mature tree lined streets and unbelievable homes.
NoDa 28205, 28206 NoDa, or North Davidson, is Charlotte’s Historic Arts District and is home to many eclectic art galleries, live music venues and local eateries.
Pineville 28134 Pineville is a quaint town on the outer edge of the Interstate 485 loop and offers small town charm with accessibility to big city amenities.
Plaza Midwood 28204, 28205 Plaza Midwood is an emerging area near NoDa featuring an active restaurant and cultural scene.
Providence 28270 The Providence corridor south of Route 51 and north of Ardrey Kell Road offers the best of suburban living.
South End (Ashbrook, Madison Park, Sedgefield, Selwyn Park, Wilmore) 28203, 28209 SouthEnd is in high demand and development is doing its best to catch up. There’s a vibrant scene in South End, attracting young professionals, creatives, and families.
SouthPark (Barclay Downs, Fairmeadows, Foxcroft, Mountainbrook, Carmel) 28210, 28226, 28209, 28211 Residential areas around SouthPark are enviable for their proximity to Uptown and desirable, upscale shopping.
University City 28262 University City is to the northeast of Uptown and home to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. This area is growing quickly and is also home to Ikea.
Wilmore 28203, 28217 Wilmore is an up-and-coming neighborhood, reminiscent of Dilworth, but more affordable.

What You Need to Know About Taxes

  • Property located within the city limits of Charlotte is taxed at the rate of $1.2844 per $100 valuation (combined city-county rates).
  • Outside city limits but within Mecklenburg County, property is taxed at $1.0094 per $100 assessed valuation. Valuation is based on 100 percent of market value.
  • A 4.25 percent state tax plus a 3 percent local tax make up the 7.25 percent Mecklenburg County sales tax. There is an additional tax of 2 percent on prepared food purchases.

Moving Facts 6


The average Charlotte commute is 24 minutes, one way. As with all growing cities, Charlotte faces congestion, and areas north and south of Charlotte battle traffic the hardest. Former residents of areas like DC, NY, and Atlanta will confirm that Charlotte traffic is no big deal while others find that traffic on 485, I-77, and I-85 is a recurring nightmare. If public transit isn’t an option for you, and you’re bothered by a stop and go commute, utilizing Jedi strategies in terms of leave times and routes is your best bet.

Moving Facts 7

Public Transit

Charlotte Area Transit System

Charlotte’s public transit system consists of bus, light rail, and most recently, streetcar. Yes, it’s a trolley. The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) has an extensive transportation system in the Charlotte area. It’s the largest transit system between Atlanta and Washington D.C., and is still growing to meet the area’s persistent growth.

CATS operates over 70 local, express, and regional bus routes. Local fare for the bus system is just $2.20, while fares for express routes are $3 within the county and $4.40 to neighboring counties. Special rates are also available for senior and disabled citizens.

The LYNX Blue Line, Charlotte’s first light rail transit system, extends from 7th Street in Center City Charlotte to I-485 at South Boulevard. Additional lines to Lake Norman, UNC Charlotte and the airport are planned for the future.

The Gold Rush, a free streetcar trolley shuttle service, operates within the uptown area during weekday office hours. While the entire fleet is wheelchair accessible, CATS Special Transportation Services provides additional services for those with certified disabilities.

Moving Facts 8


North Carolina DMV

  • Newcomers must obtain a North Carolina driver’s license within 60 days of establishing a permanent residence.
  • The state of North Carolina’s annual motor vehicle registration plate fee is $28 per private passenger vehicle. In addition, motor vehicles “resident” within Mecklenburg County are subject to a property tax based on the assessed value of the vehicle. You’ll receive a bill for property tax when it is time to renew your vehicle’s registration.
  • Inspection: All cars must have an annual mechanical inspection and must be inspected within 10 days of purchase of a North Carolina license plate.

Moving Facts 5

Getting Settled In

City of Charlotte Mecklenburg County | | 311


Water and Sewer

  • Mecklenburg County | 311 or 704.336.7600




Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) has the 18th largest school system in the nation, serving more than 140,000 students in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. CMS operates 160 schools for grades K-12: 89 elementary, 39 middle, 28 high schools and four alternative schools. Charlotte offers a wide range of public, charter, and private school options. Go to Axios Charlotte’s Guide to Education in Charlotte for more details.


There are places of worship for every religion in Charlotte, with hundreds of houses of worship including Protestant, Catholic, and Greek Orthodox along with six Jewish temples and three Islamic mosques. Welcome to the City of Churches.

Denominational HQ (1)

Notable churches in the area:


There are seven acute care hospitals in Charlotte that are part of two systems: Carolinas HealthCare System and Novant Health. Finding good health care in Charlotte is not a challenge and with offices densely scattered around the city, good health care is readily accessible.

Specialty hospitals include behavioral health centers, Carolinas Rehabilitation, Hemby Children’s Hospital, Levine Children’s Hospital, Carolinas Specialty Hospital and Novant Health Charlotte Orthopedic Hospital.

Charlotte is also fortunate to be home to OrthoCarolina, one of the nation’s leading independent academic orthopedics practices. They have over 130 surgeons in over 25 locations.

Finally, Time to Have Some Fun

One of the biggest challenges of living in Charlotte is doing everything on your list of things to go do or see. This is a good problem to have.

Breweries and distilleries are multiplying at record speed, there are greenways for miles, sporting events every weekend and the list goes on. Speaking of lists, here’s a list of some of our favorite things to do in Charlotte. We could describe each of these activities for you, but we know you’re smart and will check out their websites anyway.

Oh, and by the way, this is just the tip of the iceberg – there are hundreds more events, festivals, farms, and restaurants to see and visit. Welcome to Charlotte, pace yourself.

Arts & Theater Nearby Towns
Blumenthal Performing Arts City of Belmont
Charlotte Ballet Downtown Matthews
Charlotte Symphony Orchestra Historic Brattonsville
Children’s Theatre of Charlotte
NoDa Gallery Crawl Parks & Recreation
Opera Carolina Freedom Park
South End Gallery Crawl Greenways
The Charlotte Comedy Zone Charlotte Mecklenburg Parks
The Evening Muse Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
Theatre Charlotte Golf
Historic Latta Plantation and Nature Preserve
Breweries Lake Norman
Birdsong Brewing Lake Wylie
Free Range Brewing Rail Trail
Heist Brewery Romare Bearden Park
NoDa Brewing Company U.S. National Whitewater Center
Sycamore Brewery
The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery Recreation & Entertainment
Triple C Brewing Lazy 5 Ranch
Festivals & Events EpiCentre
Carolina Renaissance Festival Great Wolf Lodge
Festival in the Park Queen’s Landing Lake Norman Dinner Cruise
Queen’s Cup Steeplechase Ray’s Splash Planet
Richard Petty Driving Experience
Museums The Speedpark at Concord Mills
Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
Billy Graham Library Shopping
Carolina Raptor Center Ballantyne Village
Carolinas Aviation Museum Charlotte Premium Outlets
Charlotte Museum of History Concord Mills
Charlotte Nature Museum
Discovery Place Sports Events
Discovery Place Kids Carolina Panthers (NFL)
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture Charlotte Checkers (ECHL)
ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center Charlotte Hornets (NBA)
Levine Museum of the New South Charlotte Hounds (MLL)
McColl Center for Art + Innovation Charlotte Independence (USL)
Mint Museum Charlotte Knights (AAA baseball)
NASCAR Hall of Fame Charlotte Motor Speedway (NASCAR)
President James K. Polk State Historic Site Wells Fargo Championship (PGA)
Reed Gold Mine
Sea Life Aquarium Tours
The Light Factory Charlotte Center City Carriage Tours
Wing Haven Gardens Charlotte NC Tours
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