We are escaping the cold and heading south to visit one of the country’s fastest growing cities. A city named for royalty…but also named the Pimento Cheese Capital of the World! On this edition of Market Focus, we are exploring the wonderful city of Charlotte. Many assignees are coming to support the financial corporations that make up the US’s second largest banking center, as well as seven different Fortune 500 companies. However, assignees are staying because they have fallen in love with a vibrant, convenient, family-friendly, and exciting place to call home. Join us as we head to the Queen City!

Rental Trends

Naturally in a city that is booming in population, one can expect a tight rental market. This is no different in Charlotte, where assignees should be ready to apply immediately after seeing any properties they like. It is recommended to apartment search on weekdays and have your letter of employment available, which has become commonly requested. Areas with desirable schools are going to be priced at a premium as well. Assignees can expect to pay from $1,800+ USD per month for a 1-bedroom apartment.

Where to Live

For singles and young professionals, IOR has been seeing that Southend and Plaza Midwood are increasingly popular. Aptly named, Southend is located on the southeast part of the city and has an abundance of apartments with top amenities. Assignees can reach grocery stores, bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and breweries all by foot. It is also accessible to Uptown along the light rail. 1-bedrooms run around $1,890-4,580/month. Towards the east end of town is Plaza Midwood. Assignees looking for a more affordable option tend to gravitate towards this neighborhood. It offers an eclectic feel with great nightlife, especially for those that love dives and live music. Plaza Midwood will be a bit less accessible by foot or public transport. 1-bedrooms run around $1,700-3,000/month.

Assignees with families and those looking for a bit more space tend to look in two principal areas, largely depending on where they work. Those commuting to the city center should consider Ballantyne, which offers single family homes at a more reasonable cost than in Uptown while having some of the best schools in the state. There are plenty of family-friendly amenities, like shopping, restaurants, parks, and youth sports as well. 3-bedrooms run around $2,700-3,500+/month. Another great area for those working in the northern side of the city are the suburbs of Davidson, Cornelius, Huntersville, and Mooresville. These areas have been booming over recent years and really appeal to those looking for a relaxing lifestyle. Residents love the ample shopping, golf, and perhaps most appealing, experiencing the lake life of beautiful Lake Norman. 3-bedrooms run around $2,100-2,250+/month.

Insider Tips

A unique aspect of your rental search in Charlotte can occur in the Southern and Northern areas, where national property management companies own most rentals. When viewing properties with many of these companies, assignees will view the property on their own. They will need to schedule an appointment online, present a valid driver’s license, and then can conduct a self-tour of the property.

Another aspect of rental hunting is while most single-family homes require a non-negotiable 1-2 month deposit, many apartment deposits will vary from person to person. Complexes evaluate your credit score and available income and determine a deposit they deem suitable based on your information. With these points in mind, it’s generally a good idea to enlist the support of your Destination Services Consultant, who will be an expert advocate on your behalf.

Local Insights

Be sure to get your museum fix in Charlotte! The Mint Museum offers two campuses of art and design, and the Discovery Center also has two campuses, one focused on nature and the other on science. Motorheads can enjoy the NASCAR Hall of Fame in this area as well, with plenty of interactive exhibits.

Charlotte is an outdoor town, and there are heaps of activities that suit all types. Some of our favorites include heading to the Whitewater Center for whitewater rafting, canoeing, kayaking, rappelling, rock climbing, and more. Other great options include the number of Greenways across the city, along with the Booty Loop, both offering great running and biking trails.

Not that you will run out of things to do in the city, but another incredible aspect of Charlotte is its proximity to a diverse amount of day trips. Great skiing and breathtaking hiking are just a couple hour’s drive north to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Another enjoyable day out is to Yadkin Valley, one of Carolina’s award-winning wine regions. We mentioned Lake Norman to the north, but to the south you’ve also got the beautiful Carolina coast and the ocean! Myrtle Beach, Charleston/Folly Beach, and Hilton Head are all local favorites.

IOR Destination Services