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Average Cost of Living in Charlotte, NC: An In-Depth Guide

Charlotte is an affordable city to live in. But besides home prices, you should also consider the property taxes, insurance rates, utility bills, and other expenses. If you want a house that doesn’t break the bank, this guide will help.
Charlotte is an affordable city to live in. But besides home prices, you should also consider the property taxes, insurance rates, utility bills, and other expenses. If you want a house that doesn’t break the bank, this guide will help.

So you’re thinking about moving to Charlotte, North Carolina, but don’t know where to start. Even before you begin hunting for a home, you need to make sure you can afford living in the city.

Charlotte is North Carolina’s largest city and a great place to live. Perfectly fusing high-energy cosmopolitan bustle and southern charm, it truly is a city for everyone.

A report by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that between April 2010 and July 2018, the population of Charlotte, NC, grew by 18.6%. Any time a community grows, the cost of living in the area tends to increase as well.

However, the population growth hasn’t had a significant impact on the cost of living in Charlotte. In fact, as PayScale reports, Charlotte’s cost of living is 5% below the national average.

If there are people who know everything about Charlotte, it’s the local real estate agents. They can be very resourceful in helping you to set realistic expectations for buying a house and estimating the cost of transport, health, utilities, and more.

Let’s take a look at the cost of living in Charlotte, NC.

Typical Home Prices in Charlotte, NC, In 2019

In 2019, Charlotte’s median home value is $224,800 according to June data from Zillow. Affordable home prices have attracted a significant number of home buyers, and the NeighborhoodScout reports that the city’s homeownership rate stands at 53.1%.

Between 2018 and 2019, the home value in the city increased by 6.9%. It’s predicted to increase by 3.3% by 2020. The median price of homes listed in 2019 is $300,000 while homes sold have a median sales price of $226,900.

Single-family homes form the highest percentage of homes in Charlotte – 56.2% – followed by apartment complexes at 30.3%. Townhomes constitute about 7.3% of the city’s homes.

How Much Are Charlotte’s Property Taxes?

North Carolina has relatively low tax rates compared to other states. The state’s effective real estate tax rate is 0.86%, which is the 21st lowest in the United States.

The property tax in North Carolina is “ad valorem,” meaning that it’s based on property value. A county assessor determines the property value and is required to revalue the property at least once in eight years. The purpose of the reappraisal is to establish the latest market value of a home.

Since your home’s reappraisal value determines the taxes you pay for up to eight years, it’s essential to ensure the assessed value is accurate.

In Mecklenburg County, where the city of Charlotte and its suburbs are, the average effective property tax rate is 1.14%. In Charlotte, the total county and city rate was 1.2944% as of 2018.

There’s also a municipal service district rate ranging between 0.0168% and 0.0668%, and a fire service rate of 0.08%. All these rates add up if your home is assessed for more than you expected.

Average Homeowners Insurance in Charlotte, NC

Charlotte has lower homeowners insurance rates than other cities. According to insurance.com, North Carolina’s average homeowners insurance rate is 37% lower than the national average.

If you own a home in Charlotte, you’ll pay approximately $773 annually to insure it. Of course this depends on a variety of factors. Three factors affect your homeowners insurance rates:

  • The age of the home: Older homes are prone to wear and tear and could attract higher premiums than newer homes.
  • Home building materials: Houses made with wooden frames are considered to be more susceptible to rotting, fire, termites, and other risks. If the insurance company perceives your home as being less risky, your premiums will be lower.
  • Claims history: This refers to the insurance claims you’ve made and other claims made by your home’s previous inhabitants. If your history reflects many insurance claims, the insurer may see you as a higher-risk customer and charge you higher premiums.

Common Home Maintenance Costs in Charlotte, NC

On average, homeowners spend over $2,000 a year on repairs and maintenance. And if something unexpected pops up, 25% of homeowners only have $500 in the bank for emergency repairs.

Considering a new roof would cost significantly more than that, home maintenance costs can quickly get out of hand.

Several factors affect the maintenance and repair costs of a Charlotte home:

  • Age: A home built 5 to 10 years ago will require little maintenance compared to one that was built 10 to 20 years ago.
  • Weather: Homes in areas with heavy rains, high winds, termites, and other extreme weather conditions also undergo more deterioration. Luckily, the Charlotte weather isn’t extreme.
  • Condition: Some homes may be over 100 years old but be in pristine condition because the previous homeowners focused on maintenance. Others may be less old but look terrible. How the previous homeowners maintained the home dictates its maintenance needs.

Other Costs of Living in Charlotte to Consider

When living in the Queen City, these are the additional costs you should expect:

Utility Costs

As reported by Numbeo, Charlotte’s average monthly utility bill is $161.85. This money caters for basics like electricity, water, heating, and garbage – for a 915-square-foot apartment. Residents pay about $58.54 for internet every month.

Transport Costs

In Charlotte, a monthly ticket for public transport costs $87. On average, a taxi trip costs you $21 on a business day in Charlotte. If you want to drive yourself a gallon of gas costs $2.64 as of June 2019. Plus, of course, you’ll need to cover car insurance and other car maintenance costs.

Food Costs

According to Numbeo’s estimates on the cost of living in Charlotte, the food prices in Charlotte are close to the national averages:

  • A meal at one of the city’s inexpensive restaurants costs $15.
  • A meal for two at Charlotte’s mid-range restaurant costs $57.5.
  • Residents spend approximately $11.88 daily on food, and at least $368.37 monthly.

Before moving to North Carolina’s Queen City, do your homework and reach out to your family or friends living in the area – or local market experts – to be conversant with the cost of different goods and services.

Find a Top Charlotte Real Estate Agent

Truth be told, finding the perfect home in Charlotte can be an uphill task if you do it alone. To save both money and time, consult a local real estate agent. They will help you to find a home that suits your needs at the best price.

An experienced agent will give you a clear picture of how much it costs to live in Charlotte because they have a wealth of knowledge on nearly all local matters. They will offer professional advice on the homes in the area, the facilities in the neighborhood, and the common expenses.

Clever can help connect you with the top realtors in Charlotte. Clever Partner Agents know the local real estate market and will help you to find the right home. And because they know home buyers wish to save as much as they can, they offer a Home Buyer Rebate to sweeten the deal.

When your deal closes, you’ll receive $1,000 back on homes over $150,000 and up to 1% back on homes over $500,000. You can use that money to cover closing costs or to buy mortgage points that will make your monthly payments more affordable.

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Reuven Shechter

Reuven Shechter is the Outreach Coordinator at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you with top real estate agents to help save on commission. He spreads the word about Clever, disseminating studies to journalists and developing relationships with media outlets. Reuven is passionate about investing in real estate and creating lasting success for families. His writing has been featured in Max Real Estate Exposure, Leverage Marketing, and more.

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