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Charlotte
  • $650   =  non-traditional average 1
  • $960   =  average 2BR ÷ 2, or traditional roommate rent 2
  • $1490   =  average 1BR, rented solo 3
  • (traditional vs. non-traditional roommates)
  • (the rest of the  southeast US)

40% live within a 10-minute walk of a park. 4
Most errands require a car. 5
tea = sweet tea = no kidding
public transit, motorsports 6
outdoors activities for days, new money, super hood, uncle daddy rollin' coal, crackhead dance offs, friendly robbers, where high school football players go to, desis out for their evening walk, country clubs, comfy suburbanites, old money, and more relocated yankees are the largest hoodmap tags 7

SO, roomiematch.com's Charlotte roommate rundown:

Charlotte might primarily be known as "Bank City, USA" because it . . . has a lot of banks? Yup. No, not trying to insult your intelligence. No, not a trick question. Nope. Just a lot of banks.

But you might not already know that's not just a lot of banks, but #2 in banks? After NYC, predictably, but that's still a lot of banks headquartered in a city that's way smaller than #2 in size after NYC, right? Yet there they all are.

However, if you're now imagining a monochromatically concrete downtown, the opposite happened. In between its banks, Charlotte features lots of greenspace with an extensive tree canopy. If you're within Charlotte's city limits, you can always reach out your hands and touch both trees and banks! Even from inside your apartment!

(Just kidding! Not everyone can touch both a tree and a bank from inside their apartment, but more than you'd probably imagine. Banks and residential apartments frequently share buildings surrounded by trees so there you go.)

There's also arguably more motorsports and more pimento cheese than anywhere else. Ever.

The rest of the Charlotte roommate lowdown:

  • humid and subtropical climate -- summers are long and warm, winters are cool, freezing storms rare
  • Charlotte is the most populous city in North Carolina, and usually growing. Within city limits there are almost 900,000 people, with close to 3 million in the greater metropolitan area.
  • Charlotte is "Bank City, USA," the second-largest banking center in the US, after NYC. Many banks are headquartered or feature significant branches here.
  • home to Barber-Scotia College, Davidson College, Johnson-Smith University, Catawba College, Livingstone College, Queens College, Wingate Collge, Winthrop University, and the University of North Carolina
  • More motorsports industry racing in Charlotte than anywhere else, with the US's only Formula One team, NASCAR, NASCAR Hall of Fame, and the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Understandably, most of NASCAR's people live in or near Charlotte.
  • Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) carries over 16 million passengers annually, on light rail, streetcars, buses and vanpools. Many privately carpool as well, and Amtrak is very active here. So while Charlotte is doing well on the public transport and ride sharing front . . . it's still not rated well for walkability. So you and your roommates will probably still want cars if you venture much outside the city center and/or off the main lines.
  • Traveling by car, the central core/Uptown is laid out in a grid, with the streets numbered, and running east-west! Easy for almost everyone! HOWEVER, recent roommate transplants will likely find the outer ring of suburbs more difficult to navigate. They are NOT laid out in a grid. They're not really laid out according to much that'll make sense while driving on them. Also, the names of the streets change at random right in the middle . . . to the same names shared by other nearby streets? Suburban navigation for newbies will necessarily involve a good GPS system plus good directions, get both before you venture out there or prepare to GET LOST.
  • Some of Charlotte is friendly to cyclists with designated bike lanes. The rest, not so much (some say NOT AT ALL). If you want to cycle more safely using bike lanes, you'll probably want to plan your route in advance.
  • Due in large part to North Carolina's long history with tobacco, smoking cigarettes in public is more common here than in most American cities. Smoking is still popular in clubs and concert venues and on outdoor decks . . . but it's also increasingly common to ask others if they'll be bothered before lighting up, especially around food. In short, it's a confusing time for tobacco in Charlotte. If it's important to you to be able to smoke during an event OR that an event is completely smoke free, you should ask in advance.



After you're settled down, you and your roommates should experience Charlotte's:

  • Outdoor Adventuring Opportunities: U.S. National Whitewater Center has man-made rapids you and your roommates could enjoy year round, plus mountain biking and whitewater rafting. If that doesn't float your raft you can hike up some rocks at Crowders Mountain State Park.
  • Uptown Museums: You could visit several within walking distance of each other, including the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, the Levine Museum of the New South, and the Mint Museum.
  • Pimento Cheese: Charlotte is considered by many to be the Pimento Cheese Capital of the World. You can order it by the pound. It might be called "salad," it might end up on a hot dog or alongside some BBQ, it should probably end up inside you and your roommates.
  • Cheerwine: Cherry-flavored soda that Charlotte loves. R.C. Cola is also popular. "Sweet ice tea" (or locally, just "tea") is the most popular non-carbonated drink, and is usually served ice cold too but much sweeter than most sodas and colas.
  • Metalmorphosis: A reflecting pool in an office park containing a mirrored head with 40 steel pieces. It rotates. It spits water. You and your roommates will never see anything quite like it, especially in the suburbs (it's in Ballantyne).


Here's the city of Charlotte's listings for Housing and Neighborhoods.





Notes

1.   The non-traditional roommate rent average for this city we've experienced over the last 3 years. We can't predict future rental availability, because we're neither in control of any rental market nor psychic, sorry!

But in most cities most of the time, the recent and relatively recent past are the best predictors.


2.   This idea came from smartasset.com's ranking of what a roommate saves you in 50 cities. They ranked where roommates will save you the most money, based on the average cost of a 1BR as opposed to a 2BR ÷ 2. Unsurprisingly, the more expensive the city, the more you can save, but the savings are significant in all larger metros. So we got the data for the rest of our cities from Zumper too.

This is really the minimum you could save, as you could live with more than one roommate, split more services, share food or other supplies, etc. More sharing tends to lead to more savings too, as per our roommate roadmap.

As per the rest of the description at the top of this page, we're calling this "traditional" roommate rent.


3.   From zumper.com.


4.   Directly quoted from the Trust for Public Land's parkland rating system.

"The ParkScore index awards each city up to 100 points for acreage based on the average of two equally weighted measures: median park size and parkland as a percentage of city area. Factoring park acreage into each city’s ParkScore rating helps account for the importance of larger “destination parks” that serve many users who live farther than ten minutes’ walking distance."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual ParkScore, nature lovers might like to see all roommate cities ranked for parkland.


5.   Directly quoted from Walk Score's Cities and Neighborhoods Ranking. They've ranked "more than 2,800 cities and over 10,000 neighborhoods so you can find a walkable home or apartment."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual Walk Score, dedicated pedestrians might like to see all roommate cities ranked for walkability.


6.   From various lists here on our own best roommate cities.


7.   From hoodmaps.com: a collaborative map where residents use tags describing social situations you're likely to find. Other users can thumb up or down, so the largest tags have been thumbed up the most.