Aptly nicknamed the "Queen City," Charlotte is the largest city in the state of North Carolina. It is considered a major financial hub with assets second only to New York. This 297-square-mile metropolis is home to 775,200 people as well as financial giants such as Wells Fargo and Bank of America. Like much of the Southeast US, Charlotte has four distinct seasons, with short winters and hot summers.
From January to July 2013, there were 13,151 dwellings sold in Charlotte, approximately 10,200 of which were single-family homes and 2,900 were condos. In terms of housing stability, the annual residential turnover is 25 percent, with a good 32 percent of the citys population having lived there for the last five years or more. Of the approximately 290,000 housing units in Charlotte, around 52 percent are owner-occupied, which is lower than the nation's 57.7 percent. Additionally, 38.6 percent are rented, which is greater than the state and national percentage of 28.8 percent and 30.9 percent, respectively. Half of the vacant properties (9.4 percent of all properties) are available for rent and 20 percent are up for sale. With the city's vacancy rate, there's bound to be a good deal of rent to own houses in this metropolis.
For people who still have energy to burn when the sun goes down, Charlotte has a vibrant nightlife. Theres always a good bar, restaurant, lounge, dance club, cafe, nightclub, or bowling alley to hang out in when youre in the city. For a wide selection of entertainment activities, Uptown is still the best destination. Tryon Street and the Epicenter Complex are where most of the action is. Popular hang-outs in this area include The EpiCentre, Courtyard Hooligans, and The Belfast Mill. For people who want something different from the Uptown scene, South End is a good choice. Most of the bars here are along Morehead Street and the East/West Boulevard station. Some places worthy of mention are Dharma Lounge and Dilworth Billiard.
Being a financial hub, banking and finance are major businesses in Charlotte and generate a lot of commercial activity in the city. Other large industries that contribute to the economy of Charlotte are motorsports, biotechnology and life sciences, aerospace and aviation, energy, and health. Many big companies are headquartered in Charlotte. According to the survey conducted by Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, the top employers of the city are: Carolinas Healthcare System, Wells Fargo Company, Bank of America, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Novant Health, Walmart and Sams Club Stores, City of Charlotte, Duke Energy Corp., Food Lion LLC, Harris Teeter, Lowes, North Carolina State Government, US Government, and US Airways. Each of these companies and organizations has no less than 5,000 employees.
Charlotte has 199 neighborhoods each with its own distinct charm and beauty. The cost of living and home values can vary between different communities. It is important for homebuyers or renters to choose a neighborhood that suits their lifestyles and preferences. Heres a quick overview of the main neighborhoods in Charlotte.
Ballantyne: This community was once a hinterland that was developed to accommodate the rapid growth and development of Charlotte. Today, Ballantyne is home to swanky restaurants, upscale retail shops, and stately housing. Ballantyne Golf Club is also in this area.
Midtown: This area has an eclectic mix of antique and gift shops, galleries, pubs, parlors, and bakeries. Outdoorsy types will like that Little Sugar Creek Greenway is located in this area. Kings Drive Farmer's Market is just a couple of minutes away as well.
South Park: This is home to luxurious shopping centers, entertainment, dining, and residential homes. Being Charlottes largest residential and business area, this neighborhood is home to South Park Mall, Phillips Place Stadium 10, Symphony Park, and restaurants that serve cuisines from around the globe.
Myers Park: What was once a cotton farm evolved to become Charlottes very own garden suburb. Today, this neighborhood is one of the most prestigious addresses in the city. It is home to Mint Museum of Art, Manor Theater, and Duke Mansion the former home of Duke University founder, James Buchanan Duke, which has been converted into a hotel.
South End: A light-rail stop away from City Center, this neighborhood offers a vibrant mix of live music, festivals, antique shops, galleries, and restaurants. This is the home of the South End Soul Festival, a celebration of art and design.
Dilworth: This is a historic neighborhood of bungalow houses and oak tree-lined streets. The main thoroughfare of this neighborhood is East Blvd. the hub of a diverse mix of restaurants and shops. Dilworth holds the Annual Yiasou Greek Festival.
NoDa: North Davidson, or NoDa, as most locals would call it, is a historic neighborhood that grew because of the textile industry. These days, this area is home to live music venues, art galleries, and bungalow-style homes.
Uptown: A bustling financial district by day, life of the party by night, this neighborhood is where the action is. Most of Charlottes venues and museums are located in this neighborhood, such as Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, NASCAR Hall of Fame, and Mint Museum. Due to housing demand in this neighborhood, more luxury condos are constructed here than any other housing type.
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