What is the Real Cost of Living in Charlotte?

What is the Real Cost of Living in Charlotte?

  • Charlotte Living Realty Group
  • 02/20/23

Charlotte, North Carolina, is one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States, and there is plenty to love about the city. It offers residents a vibrant, cosmopolitan atmosphere with plenty of attractions, entertainment, and culture. Charlotte residents also have access to numerous parks, trails, and greenways, allowing them to enjoy nature and the outdoors. As a result, Charlotte is rated as having a very high quality of living.

The Queen City is home to some of the most luxurious homes in the country, as well as a wide variety of restaurants, cafes, and other eateries. It is the perfect place for those who want to enjoy a high quality of life without the premium costs of larger metropolitan areas such as New York or Los Angeles. But what is the real cost of living in Charlotte for a high-end lifestyle?

The real cost of living in Charlotte

Housing: Rental Prices

When it comes to renting a home in Charlotte, prices can vary greatly. The average rent is pretty close in line with the rest of the country at around $1,600 a month. Such apartments are still fairly basic, though, with the only amenities including such items as air conditioning, ceiling fans, and walk-in closets. They may also have features such as private balconies, in-unit laundry, and communal outdoor recreation areas.

In contrast, the highest rent prices in Charlotte are found in its luxury apartment buildings and homes, where prices can range from $2,000 to $5,00 per month. This top-tier rent is, of course, accompanied by a variety of amenities such as high-end appliances, hardwood and marble flooring, and access to a private pool or gym area. Luxury apartments and homes in Charlotte also boast a variety of high-end features, such as stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and expansive balconies and patios.

Housing: Owning vs. Renting

Should you buy a home in Charlotte, NC? Renting is a great temporary option to help discover which neighborhood you like best and gain a sense of where you would like to put down roots. Renters should keep in mind, though, that Charlotte is a hot spot for rental properties, with rent increasing year-over-year. With this in mind, if you are thinking about buying in Charlotte there are many benefits, and it may be more affordable than you think.

Homeownership provides comfort, security, and stability. It’s a great way to be connected to your community and be a source of pride and achievement. You’ll have a stable mortgage payment with no worry about increased installments for the loan term. Our trusted colleagues at DHL Mortgage offer many different loan programs to help each type of borrower achieve their home buying goals, such as first-time homebuyer programs and lower down payment options to help make buying attainable. 

Mortgage rates will continue to eb and flow, but know there is always an opportunity to refinance during your loan term and potentially lower your monthly mortgage payment if rates improve. While Charlotte is continuing to grow, it’s still affordable compared to many other large cities. Buy now and watch your home equity increase overtime!

Utilities Cost

The cost of utilities in Charlotte varies depending on the size of your home and the type of services you are looking for. Utilities for a basic, 915-square-foot apartment run approximately $170 a month. This includes electric, gas, water, and garbage disposal, with the expectation that the size of a home, the number of residents, and other usage factors will significantly impact costs. In addition, the average cost for Internet with a speed of 60 Mbps or higher is around $74.

The utility bills for the average renter may be lower, depending on whether the rental agreement has some portion of services or utilities covered by the monthly rent. When comparing rents, it can be helpful to take note of which — if any — services or utilities are covered by the landlord. At the same time, renters should keep in mind that even though they do not see those costs as separate bills, they are still paying for them.

Food Cost

The average resident of Charlotte, NC, has access to a wide variety of food options at a variety of prices. The city has a lower average cost of living than the nation as a whole, which applies to food. Groceries are approximately 1% less expensive in Charlotte than the national average. Current inflation rates and volatility within food supply chains make it difficult for specific prices to stay relevant for very long.

An individual living alone can expect to pay approximately $509 per month for all their food each month, while a family of four is expected to spend around $1,315. Dietary restrictions and other special food needs or allergies can cause that cost to increase greatly as well.

Transit Cost

Transportation costs in Charlotte are typically about 6% lower than the national average. The cost of a gallon of gas has yet to stabilize nationally but has been hovering around $3 per gallon at the end of 2022. The record high during the middle of 2022 was $4.67 per gallon.

Charlotte's Public transportation is also relatively lower-cost than some other cities. The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) offers bus, light rail, and streetcar services. Fares range from $0.90 for community shuttles to $4.40 for some express fares, although CATS also offers a variety of passes that can save you money if you plan on using the transit system regularly.

Average Salary

In addition to the reasonable cost of living in Charlotte, the city also has plenty of opportunities for making a living. The average base salary in Queen City is $73,000 per year, which is slightly above the national average of $71,000. This is on par with other major metropolitan areas such as Dallas ($75,000) and Philadelphia ($73,000) but well below a city such as Los Angeles ($83,000). However, certain industries in Charlotte pay significantly higher than the average. In particular, the technology and finance industries are two of the highest paying in the city, and Charlotte has a thriving information, science, and technology sector. Annual salaries in these fields can range between $95,000 and $140,000.

Charlotte also has a strong healthcare and life sciences sector, offering many job opportunities for those with medical and nursing backgrounds. Salaries can range between $79,000 for occupational therapists to $100,000 for nurse practitioners. However, some of the best opportunities are in the financial sector, where chief executives in Charlotte can command annual salaries in excess of $200,000, and positions such as marketing managers still exceed $100,000 annually.

Ready to find your next home?

With the great cost of living in Charlotte and all its opportunities, the city makes itself an obvious choice for many. However, finding the home that really fits you and your lifestyle can only be easy with the right real estate agent. A qualified professional, such as the agents at Charlotte Living Realty Group, has the data, insights, and tools needed to ensure you find a home you love with terms you can love just as much.

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