7 Things You Need to Know Before Moving to Charlotte


moving to charlotte

Getting To Know Charlotte

Charlotte is no doubt one of the most desirable places to live in North Carolina, and for good reason. There are many reasons that the city is growing at a record pace, so if you’re considering a move to Charlotte: know that you’re not alone. We know how challenging it can be to move to a brand new city, and that’s why we’ve put together this list of  7 Things to Know Before You Move to Charlotte.

1. Charlotte is the “second largest financial center in the nation.”

This according to Bob Morgan, the President and CEO of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce. Bank of America calls Charlotte home, while other industry leaders including Citi, Ally Financial, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan all host operations in the city as well.

2. Charlotte is growing, fast.

 From 2000-2010, Charlotte was ranked the fastest growing city in America, experiencing 64.6% population growth. People of all ages are moving to Charlotte for everything from job opportunities to settling down. Note: Raleigh was number two on the list of fastest growing cities in the USA, with a population growth of 63% – there’s just something about North Carolina!

 3. People are moving BACK to Charlotte.

One of the interesting things about Charlotte is that people are actually moving back. This speaks volumes to the city’s charm. The phenomena has been so well documented it has actually been given a name – the “half-back” phenomena. North Carolina receives a large number of people who initially retire to Florida, but later decide to head back north for Charlotte.

4. Charlotte is nicknamed “The Queen City,” and “The Hornet’s Nest.”

The city of Charlotte received its name in honor of Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who had become queen consort of Great Britain the year before the city’s founding. A second nickname derives from the American Revolutionary War, when British commander General Cornwallis occupied Charlotte, before watching the city be taken back by the local residents. This event prompted General Cornwallis to dub the city “the hornets nest.”

5. Charlotte has four distinct seasons.

Charlotte has a humid subtropical climate with four very distinct seasons. Winters are short and cold, while the summers tend to be hot and humid. Temperatures vary from an average of 40 degrees fahrenheit in January to 78 degrees in July, so expect to see a different city from season to season.

6. Charlotte knows motorsports.

Charlotte is one of the most important cities in the U.S. motorsports industry, housing multiple offices of NASCAR, the NASCAR Hall of Fame and the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord (the second largest city in the Charlotte metropolitan area). Top professional racers are continuing to move to Charlotte, as the city is proving to be a hub for the racing technology industry. Approximately 75% of NASCAR teams live in or around the Charlotte area.

 7. Charlotte is affordable.

Charlotte is proud to boast one of the most affordable places to move to in the USA at the moment. The city’s housing market is 23% below the national average, with the cost of living being 9% below the national average. It’s this affordability that make Charlotte popular with a wide array of demographics, and not just one group of individuals.

Is there anything else that future residents of Charlotte should know? Don’t hesitate to leave a comment!

 


5 Family Friendly Activities to do in Greensboro


family friendly Greensboro

Whether you’ve just moved to Greensboro, or have been a resident for years, there are a ton of family friendly activities right at your disposal. We’ve picked some of our favorite activities for Greensboro newbies and long-timers alike. As always, if we missed anything, feel free to leave it in the comments section below.

1. The Greensboro Science Center

The science center packs a museum, aquarium and zoo all into one massive 23,000 sq foot facility. Taking the family for the Sciquarium experience allows for everyone to become fully immersed in the animals. This is a guided 45 minute tour, where you’re sure to learn a ton.

2. Enjoy a Greensboro Grasshoppers GameGreensboro grasshoppers

Newbridge Bank Park is a great destination for any family looking to enjoy America’s past-time. The stadium is home to the Greensboro Grasshoppers, a Miami Marlins affiliate. It’s reasonably priced and a great atmosphere for the whole family.

3. Greensboro Children’s Museum

For a great price ($8), you’ll get admission to the Greensboro Children’s Museum. The museum features many exhibits where the kids can have some serious fun, while also learning a thing or two.

Wet N Wild Emerald Pointe4. Wet N Wild Emerald Pointe

Looking the beat the heat? Wet N Wild Emerald Pointe, the 12th largest water-park in America,  is where you need to be! With over 3 million gallons of water and 36 rides, the family is sure to have a great day! General admission is $35.99, but if you’re looking to go regularly the season’s pass at $69.00 presents great value. A visit here is definitely one of the best activities to do in Greensboro during the warmer months.

5. North Carolina Zoo (35 miles south)

Home to over 1600 animals from all over the world, the North Carolina Zoo is a great family activity. The zoo is open 365-days-a-year and receives over 700,000 visitors annually. It’s a very affordable family  activity ($12 for adults, $8 for children) and will leave you amazed by the animals. Plus, the zoo just recently added four new lion cubs which are worth checking out!


5 Fun Activities to Do When You Move to Raleigh


fun activities to do in Raleigh

Having Fun in Raleigh

Did you and your family just make the move to Raleigh, North Carolina? We will start by saying, welcome to North Carolina! You’ve made a great decision, North Carolinas is full of great cities for you to raise your family, and Raleigh is one of them. Of course you need to know what you can do with your free time so here are 5 Fun Activities to Do When You Move to Raleigh.

neuse trail raleigh

Neuse River Trail

Everyone enjoys a nice walk or bike ride during the warm months of spring and summer, gather the family and go on a group walk through Neuse River Trail. The route passes through different jurisdictions such as Raleigh, Wake Forest, Knightdale, and a few more. The trail also splits off into seven different sections, some of which are parks like Horseshoe Farm ParkBuffaloe Road Athletic Park , and Anderson Point Park. This will make for a great family adventure, just be sure to be pack some essentials as it is a long trail that stretches over 30 miles.

carter-finley stadium raleigh

Carter-Finley Stadium

Are you a big football fan? Well if you are, you’re in luck, Raleigh is home to the North Carolina State Wolfpack, who play their home football games at Carter-Finley Stadium which holds 60,000 fans. A Saturday afternoon game in this stadium should definitely be on your bucket list, especially if they are taking on one of their conference rivals Clemson TigersDuke Blue DevilsEast Carolina PiratesNorth Carolina Tar Heels, or Wake Forest Demon Deacons.

frankie's fun park

Frankie’s Fun Park

This is a great way to spend a day with the family. Frankie’s Fun Park is perfect for the family that has a tough time agreeing (which is every family) because there is something for everyone. The family could take park in mini-golf, laser-tag, go-karts, and much more. This should be high on your list as one of the fun activities to do when you move to Raleigh.

pullen park

Pullen Park

Looking for a place to go for a nice family picnic and spend the day? Pullen Park is your destination. The park is over 66 acres of public park and is right next to the campus of NC State University. Once you arrive in the park you can settle in one of the many picnic areas, or let your hair blow in the wind with one of the small rides such as the carousel or train. The park also has a large pond and you can rent pedal boats for a nice, relaxing time on the water.

carolina hurricanes

PNC Arena

Hockey fans should definitely be familiar with this venue as it hosts the Carolina Hurricanes who most recently won NHL’s Stanley Cup in the 2005-06 season. PNC Arena is also home for the NC State Wolfpack basketball team who have seen a lot of success in the past few years as they play in one of the most competitive conferences in college basketball. PNC arena also hosts many major concerts. Do you have any suggestions of fun activities to do when you move to Raleigh? Let us and the new residents of Raleigh know in the comments section below!


5 Best Places to Raise a Family in North Carolina


places to live in nc

Growing Up In North Carolina

Deciding to start a family is a monumental event in everyone’s life, but deciding where you should be raising your family is just as important. There are a number of factors to consider, of course you want to be in a safe neighborhood, have good school options, and be in close proximity to work. For those looking to move to a city in North Carolina with their family, here is our list of the 5 Best Places To Raise a Family in North Carolina.

best cities to raise a family in north carolina - wake forest

Wake Forest

The small city of over 31,300 is a predominantly white-collar town with a reported 8.62% of the work force working from home. The city of Wake Forest is great for families that are just getting started and don’t want to commute to and from work. Wake Forest is in close proximity to Falls Lake State Recreation Area which is a great outdoor escape for any adventurer.

Unemployment Rate: 5.2%

Average Household Income: $72,155

Average Price of a Home: $246,500

Education: Has a high school graduation rate of 89% and a teacher to student ratio of 1:18

Crime Rate Per 100,000: 2,525

% of population under the age of 18: 56%

best cities to raise a family in north carolina - morrisville

Morrisville

The small town of  Morrisville has just over 20,000 and boasts a 4.08% unemployment rate, which is almost half of the national average. Along with great employment numbers, Morrisville makes our list of best places to raise a family in North Carolina because of its education numbers which are very impressive in relation to the other places in the state. The small classroom sizes and teacher to student ration of 1:16, can account for their excellent high school graduation rate of 94% making it a great choice for any family.

Unemployment Rate: 4.08%

Average Household Income: $78,771

Average Price of a Home: $266,600

Education: Has a high school graduation rate of 94% and a teacher to student ratio of 1:16

Crime Rate Per 100,000: 2,025

% of population under the age of 18: 45%

best cities to raise a family in north carolina - apex

Apex

With a population of nearly 40,000 Apex has all the big city amenities that a family needs, but still has that small community feel. There will be no question about the type of education your children will receive as Apex has a high school graduation rate of 96%. Despite the unemployment rate being 6.24%, Apex is still has one of the highest average household incomes in the state at $89,398.

Unemployment Rate: 6.24%

Average Household Income: $89,398

Average Price of a Home: $258,500

Education: Has a high school graduation rate of 96% and a teacher to student ratio of 1:17

Crime Rate Per 100,000: 1,623

% of population under the age of 18: 62%

best cities to raise a family in north carolina - huntersville

Huntersville

If you are worried about your children growing up without having a fun childhood, they will have no problem growing up in Huntersville. The city has a population of over 46,000, in which 56% are families that have children under the age of 18. Your children should have no issue making friends and finding ways to spend their free time living here. Huntersville has a high average household income and low crime rate, making it one of the best cities to raise a family in North Carolina.

Unemployment Rate: 8.12%

Average Household Income: $85,660

Average Price of a Home: $247,200

Education: Has a high school graduation rate of 92% and a teacher to student ratio of 1:23

Crime Rate Per 100,000: 2,291

% of families with kids under 18: 56%

best cities to raise a family in north carolina - raleigh

Raleigh

The state capital makes our list as one of the best cities to raise a family in North Carolina because of its low teacher to student ratio and relatively low average price of a home. If you are looking to immerse your family in a diverse culture, then Raleigh is a good place to start looking to settle your family. Living in Raleigh you have access to many venues that will drive culture such as North Carolina Museum of Art, Carter-Finley Stadium, North Carolina State capitol, and much more. BHHS sales associate, Laura Deans gave us some insight when we asked her about living in Raleigh, “Here you can enjoy the beautiful parks and landscaping, go for a jog around the city, or meet friends in a great restaurant. The city is expanding at a rapid rate and was named one of the best places to live by Forbes magazine. Nowhere is far. Enjoy the theatre, or a concert, and then walk home..or take a Rickshaw; because… you can’t have a city called Raleigh without being able to take a bicycle taxi home, obviously.”

Unemployment Rate: 9.5%

Average Household Income: $53,699

Average Price of a Home: $208,000

Education: Has a high school graduation rate of 89% and a teacher to student ratio of 1:14

Crime Rate Per 100,000: 3,659

% of families with kids under 18: 50%

Which city do you think is the best to raise your family in North Carolina? Don’t be shy, let us know in the comments below!


The 5 Best Areas Around Raleigh to Live In


Best Neighborhoods in Raleigh - Raleigh skyline night

Living in Raleigh

This year has been a pretty good one for the city of Raleigh by making its way on to a few lists like, being one of the America’s Coolest Cities  as well as being one of the Most Stable Real Estate Markets in America. If a city is able to make it on these type of lists, it must be a great place to live. We took a closer look at some of the areas in and around Raleigh that are great places to live.

best neighborhoods in Raleigh - Raleigh skyline

Five Points

Five Points is home to over 8,000 happy residents, and is more of a family friendly area. Five Points has over 12 schools (public and private) within a one mile radius and is very near downtown Raleigh which has been the reason the median price of a home is 134% higher than the city of Raleigh as a whole. Five Points is also a rather safe area, with crime rate numbers coming in 59% lower than the city of Raleigh.

Population – 8,390

Crime Rate – 1,464/100,00

Median Price Of Home – $477,509

Median Household Income – $72,653

Glenwood

The neighborhood of Glenwood is one of the more expensive areas to live in within Raleigh. The median cost of a home in Glenwood is $524,773 which is 158% higher than Raleigh. It’s a prestigious neighborhood and won’t disappoint those looking to move there. If you are a fan of the arts, Glenwood will not disappoint, as there are a couple art galleries in the area for residents to enjoy. (Artsource Art Consultants – Gallery, Flinks Fine Art)

Population - 7,753

Crime Rate –  1.464/100,000

Median Price Of Home –  $524,773

Median Household Income – $107,023

best neighborhoods in Raleigh - NCSU stadium

Hillsborough

The neighborhood of Hillsborough is one of the best Raleigh suburbs, being home to North Carolina State University it’s no surprise. There are plenty of amenities in Hillsborough, which allows residents to walk around the neighborhood with ease and access to everything they need. Hillsborough street alone is overflowing with coffee shops, restaurants, local shopping centers, and much more. It’s right in-between Raleigh and Greensboro, so the options for work are varied.

Population – 6,207

Crime Rate – 2,093/100,000

Median Price Of Home – $314,755

Median Household Income – $35,788

Six Forks

Those who live in Six Forks will have no problem agreeing that it’s one of the best Raleigh areas. Six Forks has an older median age than a few of our other top neighborhoods as their median age for males is 53.2 and 61.2 for females. Just because the area has an older population, doesn’t mean they do not know how to have a good time, there are plenty amenities in the area to enjoy. Six Forks is full of restaurants for residents to enjoy as well as many places to go spend some cash shopping such as JC Penney, Cameron Clothing Co. and many more.

Population – 10,490

Crime Rate –  1,464/100,000

Median Price Of Home –  $360,760

Median Household Income – $82,328

best neighborhoods in Raleigh - Raleigh aerial view

North Hills/Midtown

If you are looking for a great place to start or raise your family, look no further than the North Hills/Midtown area. It’s a great place to raise your family because it is fairly safe, and more importantly there are many schools, parks, and libraries in the area. Local agent Matt Nugent said,”The North Hills and Midtown area provides an amazing experience for family and friends of all ages. The area provides an ample amount of delicious restaurants, lavishing spas, and an constant array of social events fun for everyone.”

Population - 1,986

Crime Rate –  1,464/100,000

Median Price Of Home –  $320,000

Median Household Income – $96,542

Is there a neighborhood that you feel should be on this list? Let us know in the comments!

Get more information on living in Raleigh.


5 Charlotte Suburbs that are Great Places to Call Home


Charlotte Suburbs

Rated #12 in the US for best places for business and careers, Charlotte NC is a hot bed.  Charlotte is the second biggest banking center in the US, after NYC. Like most big cities, Charlotte is largely a commuter city. Thus, we’ve gone ahead and put together a list of 5 Charlotte suburbs which are great for young professionals, new families and established families alike. 
Fort Mill

Fort Mill

Being located in South Carolina has its advantages. Low property tax is luring many people to look across state lines to property in South Carolina. Overall, cost-of-living is cheaper in Fort Mill, making it a very desirable suburb. It’s home to 11,387 and is 18 miles away from Charlotte’s downtown. A mark of a blooming suburb is usually the amount and quality of hospitals in the area. Fort Mill has great new hospitals coupled with established schools.

Average real estate price: $174,249 (28% higher than SC average)

mount hollyMount Holly

Known as “Playful City USA,” and rightfully so, Mount Holly has six parks and two recreational centers. Mount Holly is perfect for those who have an affinity with nature. You can be in Crowders Mountain State Park in less than 30 minutes. The population currently sits at 13,776, so for anyone looking for a small-town that’s close to Charlotte, this is the place.

Average real estate price: $149,110 (0.5% lower than NC average).

The median household income is 48,070 (6% above state average).

Davidson

Davidson NCHome to 11,484 and with a close proximity to downtown Charlotte (20 miles), Davidson is a great place to call home. Davidson is host to a great college (Davidson College), a quaint farmers market and friendly people. Davidson is known as the expensive area outside of NC, and though there are properties that cost millions of dollars, there are also affordable options for new families here. 32.5% of the residents in Davidson are college students, meaning the dynamics of the town change quite a bit when school is on break for the summer.

For anyone looking to send their kids to Davidson, or to move themselves/family to the area, they can rest assured that Davidson is one of the safest areas in NC. The crime rate as judged by city-data.com is 71.8 (higher means more, US average is 322.2).

Average real estate price: 299,189 (92.6% higher than NC average).

Economically, Davidson is ahead of the rest of the state with a median household income of $82,734 which is 45% higher than the state average ($45,150).

Indian TrailIndian Trail

Indian Trail is home to 34,800 people. The population has grown over 192% in size since 2000, leading many new families to call Indian Trail home. The suburb is 15 miles from downtown Charlotte, meaning the drive into work isn’t overwhelming for commuters. The median age for this area is 33.7 years, giving it a very lively atmosphere for a small town. The Sun Valley Commons hosts a massive movie theater, and several bars/restaurants; making it a go-to place for weekends.

Average real estate price: $173,330 (15.4%  higher than NC average).

Economically, those living in Indian Trail bring in $60,337 which is 25% higher than the state median household income.

Harrisburg

Home to 11,973 people, Harrisburg is 14 miles from downtown Charlotte and takes anywhere from 25-30 minutes to drive depending on traffic. Harrisburg has seen job growth (+1.85%) and the unemployment rate is 5.4% (US average is 6.3%). It is also a hot spot for UNC Charlotte students as it’s 4.3 miles away. Nascar fans will rejoice, as Harrisburg is only 3.4 miles away from the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Average real estate price: $204,195 (33% higher than NC average).

Economically, the median household income for those in Harrisburg was $83,513 (84.9% higher than NC average.)

huntersvilleHuntersville

It’s no secret that Huntersville is one of the strongest markets in the Charlotte area. Like Indian Trail, Huntersville is only 15 miles from downtown Charlotte. Home to nearly 50,000 residents, Huntersville has grown over 97.7% since 2000. This is a great place to call home for many reasons, but one stands out, its quality schools. North Mecklenburg High came in 4th in the Charlotee Magazine’s 2011 public school rankings.

Average real estate price: $237,636 (58% higher than NC average).

Economically the median household income is 84,641 which is 45% higher than the state average.

 

Any other suburbs you’d like to see added to the list? If so, leave them in the comments section.

references: City Data, Charlotte Magazine.


4 Easy Do It Yourself Home Repairs


DIY ideas

Home repairs can often be as frustrating as they are difficult, but with the right knowledge there are many repairs you can do yourself. Roll up your sleeves and take a look at these easy “do it yourself” home repairs.

1. Fix that toilet

Toilet not flushing properly? Thinking of calling a plumber? Before you do, we have a few recommendations that could fix the problem entirely. The vast majority of water pressure problems come from the small holes beneath the rim of the toilet. Sediment gets into the small holes and quickly clogs them, greatly affecting water pressure.

The fix on this common problem is very simple. Grab a small brush with stiff bristles, and start scrubbing. You’ll save yourself big bucks, with very little effort.

Toilet leaking? You can probably fix this one yourself too. The number one culprit is usually the ball float – check the level that the water rises after flushing, which can often be above the overflow pipe. If this is the case, all you have to do is adjust the arm of the ball float, problem (likely) solved. If this doesn’t fix the leaking, the second most common culprit is a bad flapper. Head down to your local hardware store and pick one up for less than $5.00. Replace, scrub any calcium deposits in the area, and your toilet will be good as new.

2. Stop Squeaky Doors

A common complaint from homeowners, squeaky doors can make a home seem like it’s in worse shape than it actually is (and the fix is extremely simple). If you’re planning on selling your home, you should definitely look into this problem. If you have any WD-40 in the garage, spraying the hinges will generally solve the squeak. If not, try putting some petroleum jelly on the hinges – this home remedy has been quieting doors for decades.

3. Stop the Leaky Faucet

While there are several types of faucets, the most common type is the compression faucet. If you’re not sure which type you have, try to find the manufacturer and product, and run a quick Google search.

Typically, the problem with leaky compression faucets is that they need new seat washers. Take of the cap on the handle, remove the screw, and use a wrench to unscrew the packing nut. Next, unscrew the stem and remove the seat washer. Coat the new washer with plumber’s grease, then pop the stem out of the packing nut and replace the O-ring, the usual suspect for leaky handles. O-rings come in different sizes, so be sure you have the correct size when replacing. As you did with the new washer, coat the O-ring in plumber’s grease, and reassemble the faucet.

4. Remove Stains from the Bathtub

For many simple home repairs, baking soda is a great tool at your disposal. A stained tub begs to be fixed, and the good news is we’re here to help. Take equal parts baking soda and lemon juice, and combine them into a paste. Scrub the paste on the part of the tub that is stained, and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. Rinse with water and your bathtub will be looking as good as new.
What do it yourself home repairs do you have to share? Let us know in the comments section below. And be sure to look to YouTube for any specific examples, it’s a great resource for do it yourself home repairs.