Money magazine likes Charlotte as Big-City Bargain

Money magazine likes Charlotte as Big-City Bargain

More people are learning what Charlotte already know – that it’s a big city without big-city costs.

Add Money magazine to the list of admirers. In its annual list of Best Places to Live in America, the magazine ranked Charlotte No. 1 among “big-city bargains.” The ranking, for cities with populations of more than 500,000, was based on housing affordability, economic strength, home-price forecasts and livability.

All of which is not a surprise to Pat Riley, the president and COO of highly rated Allen Tate Companies, the largest real estate company in North and South Carolina based on closed sales volume.

“Through the entire recession, 30,000 people a year continued to move to Mecklenburg County,” Riley says. “They choose to move here for many reason. The quality of construction and materials, the affordability of homes and low real estate taxes are all compelling compared to other parts of the country.”

Charlotte also features a diversity of neighborhoods that’s become common in vibrant New South cities. Two such communities were noted in Money’s rankings. Funky and walkable Plaza Midwood features what Money described as “an interesting mix of the gritty and pretty.” Its growing retail and restaurant scene, along with its prime location just 10 minutes east of Uptown, has helped make it one of Charlotte’s most popular neighborhoods.

Money also singled out family friendly Mountain Island Lake, with its “pretty, spacious” homes near the 1,350-acre Latta Plantation Nature Preserve. Just 20 minutes north of the city’s center, homes at Mountain Island Lake start at $150,000, an inexpensive alternative to suburban hotspot Ballantyne in South Charlotte.

No matter which neighborhood you pick, Charlotte boasts proximity to an active arts scene and professional sports. Another geographic benefit: “People are also attracted to the mild climate and proximity to mountain and beaches.” Riley says.

How do you get a selling advantage in Charlotte’s competitive real estate market? Angie’s experts have three staging suggestions.


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3 Illinois Cities Earn Praise in Annual Money Magazine Rankings

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Naperville's downtown Riverwalk was cited as one of the city's best features in Money Magazine's Best Places to Live 2014 rankings. (Photo courtesy of the city of Naperville)
Naperville's downtown Riverwalk was cited as one of the city's best features in Money Magazine's Best Places to Live 2014 rankings. (Photo courtesy of the city of Naperville)

Naperville and Bolingbrook named in top 50 Best Places to Live in the U.S., while Chicago's Edison Park neighborhood is called a big-city bargain.

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