Cost of Living in Charlotte NC: Welcome to Charlotte, North Carolina, the most populous city in North Carolina. Its main nickname is The Queen City, but it is also known as Crown Town and The QC. Charlotte is a gem of the New Old South. If you’re looking for a slow-smoked barbecue and a classic Southern sweet tea, you’ve come to the right place. In motor racing? Charlotte is the headquarters of NASCAR. There is also a thriving art scene with museums and galleries. If you are a foodie, you will be happy to find food trucks and excellent restaurants alongside microbreweries. The combination of Charlotte’s offerings makes it a modern, sunny southern metropolis, and there is[lenty of reasons it topped our list of the best places to live in North Carolina.
Living in Charlotte
If you’re looking to relocate, Charlotte has a lot to offer. Compared to the national average, out of 100, the cost of living in Charlotte is 98.9, making it only a bit less expensive overall than other areas of the country. Still, the city certainly offers a lot to love. In addition, Charlotte has several more affordable areas, allowing you to save money on rent that can free up some funds for your other basic living costs.
How expensive is an apartment in Charlotte?
The average rent for a studio apartment in Charlotte is $1,300, while a one-bedroom apartment comes in around $1,324. You can get a two-bedroom apartment for approximately $1,504. A three-bedroom apartment will run you about $1,785. Prices will vary based on square footage and amenities. Basic apartments with fewer frills will come in on the lower end of the price scale. If you’re looking for an apartment in a gated complex with a pool, gym, and other extras, expect to pay more accordingly.
Browse Charlotte apartments for rent
How do I find cheap apartments in Charlotte?
Saving money on an apartment can take being creative and looking off the beaten path a bit, such as searching out a converted space like a garage apartment or an attic apartment. Sharing an apartment or house with roommates can also save you money. You could also consider renting out a room in someone’s home as a way to save on living expenses.
There are also savings to be had depending on different neighborhoods in Charlotte, as you’ll see below. When searching online, you can add filters, including the maximum amount of rent you’re willing to pay, which can also be helpful when apartment shopping.
What is the cheapest rent in Charlotte?
To save some money, take a look at some of the Third Ward neighborhoods, as the rates for a one-bedroom apartment have decreased by almost 36% every year. The Third Ward is home to the Bank of America Stadium, where baseball fans gather every fall for games. The area is also great if you’re looking for some green spaces to explore and dog parks to get your best fur buddy out of the house for an off-leash runaround or a game of fetch.
For another cost-effective neighborhood, check out University City. A large public research university, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte is located here. UNC Charlotte offers quality education and is highly ranked at No. 532 in the nation out of 1,715 universities. University City is also a hub for many Fortune 500 companies. From here, you can make use of the LYNX light rail to go uptown while avoiding the traffic you’d encounter if using a car to get there. University City is a solid choice if you’re looking for a great place to live, work, and play, or if you’re a college student in Charlotte.
You can expect to pay anywhere from $700 to $900 for a cheaper one-bedroom apartment in Charlotte and the surrounding area. Two-bedroom apartments fall closer to $900-$1,100 for cheap options, while three-bedrooms are around $1,200 per month.
The Cost of Utilities in Charlotte
For a 915-square-foot apartment, you can expect to pay around $130 for your basic utility costs, which would include your electric bill, plus costs for your apartment’s heating, cooling, water, and garbage. You can expect your costs to increase incrementally based on your apartment’s square footage. Additionally, the more appliances you use and areas in your apartment that you need to heat or cool, the higher your bills may be. Also, if you’re a homebody or work from home, your bills may be higher. Home internet service will run you about $60 a month.
Food Costs in Charlotte
The cost of groceries is slightly below the average than in other cities at 99.2. You can expect to pay approximately $3.91 for a loaf of bread, $1.34 for a dozen eggs, and $2.92 for a gallon of milk. If you want to dine out, Charlotte’s restaurant costs are about on par with the rest of the country. Expect to pay about $15 per meal at a casual dining spot, with dinner for two at a mid-range restaurant coming in around $55. You’ll find some of the best dining options in Fourth Ward, Uptown, South Park, trendy Dilworth, and NoDa. Whatever you do, don’t miss out on the city’s best BBQ joints.
Tax Rates in Charlotte
Charlotte has a minimum combined sales tax rate of 7.25%. This sum factors in the tax rates for state, county, and city. The state sales tax rate is 4.75%, which applies to the entirety of North Carolina. Charlotte is located in Mecklenburg County, which has a 2% sales tax rate. The city of Charlotte has 0% sales tax, though, so it adds nothing to overall costs.
Transportation Costs in Charlotte
Most residents choose to drive their own cars to get around the city. Charlotte does have public transportation options, though, through Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS.) A LYNX Blue Line Light Rail or Bus service fare is $2.20, except for the express bus fare, which is $3. If you’re using the CityLYNX Gold Line, the fare is free. The public transportation options make it a great place to live if you’re comparing the cost of living in North Carolina cities. Charlotte also has a bike-sharing program, the Charlotte B-cycle. A 24-hour bike rental runs around $8. Annual membership in the bike program is approximately $100, plus 27 cents a day for unlimited two-hour rentals.
With Charlotte’s year-round temperate weather and its host of offerings for culture, dining, professional sports teams, NASCAR, and outdoor recreation, it might just be the right city for you to call home.