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Moving to Charlotte, NC...?

Moving to Charlotte, NC...?

Old Mar 26th 2009, 9:29 am
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Default Re: Moving to Charlotte, NC...?

I've been told that people who never had allergies in their life develop all sorts of things in NC... my fiancee suffers big time, especially this time of year. The changeable weather in Spring takes getting used to too I hear.

In fact, this time 2 weeks ago on March 2nd, I woke up at my in-laws place in Cleveland County to 9 INCHES of snow which fell in just 1 night...! The whole place came to a standstill. But by the end of the week, it was warm and very sunny - bizarre!

Enjoy your visits back to the UK - but avoid London, it's NOT the place it used to be....
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Old Mar 26th 2009, 12:33 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Charlotte, NC...?

Originally Posted by Victor88 View Post
I've been told that people who never had allergies in their life develop all sorts of things in NC... my fiancee suffers big time, especially this time of year. The changeable weather in Spring takes getting used to too I hear.

In fact, this time 2 weeks ago on March 2nd, I woke up at my in-laws place in Cleveland County to 9 INCHES of snow which fell in just 1 night...! The whole place came to a standstill. But by the end of the week, it was warm and very sunny - bizarre!

Enjoy your visits back to the UK - but avoid London, it's NOT the place it used to be....
I had all kinds of (life long) health problems when I lived in London. e.g. hayfever, eczema, asthma. However, since moving to NC I no longer have hayfever or any allergies whatsoever. One possible reason for this is that I have been drinking redbush (rooibos) tea for ten years now and it is said to be good for allergies.

My eczema is greatly reduced too to the point that I don't need to go to any doctor for treatment and I can use regular hand soap.
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Old Mar 31st 2009, 1:14 am
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Default Re: Moving to Charlotte, NC...?

Originally Posted by Victor88 View Post
Hi All,

I'm from London and am moving to Charlotte, North Carolina in 2010 (moving to be there with my wife).

I'm interested in hearing from anyone who has moved to Charlotte within the past 5 years and their experiences of living there - particularly anyone from London/UK/Europe.

I've been to Charlotte three times, each for short 1 week trips - so I have got an initial 'feel for the city.

I realise things are pretty destabilised in the US at the moment, and I know that Charlotte is suffering with plenty of job losses in the banking sector... but I work in multimedia/web project management, so I'm hoping there will be something available in this line of work by the time I get there next year...

But I'd love to hear anyone's experiences/advice on -

- Good places to live near the city of Charlotte.

- Jobs/employment.

- Salaries.

- Cost of living (groceries, housing, bills, etc)

- Lifestyle and culture.

- Quality of life (in comparison to UK/Europe).

- Do you think the move has improved your life?

- Any problems?


Any of your advice/feedback is much appreciated !!!

Feel free to email me via the site too, as would love to hear from any british expats living in the USA too!!

Cheers all, have a good un.

Victor
Hi....
I have lived in Charlotte since September '08 after being an expat for 6 years in England living in the Midlands and outside of London.
My opinion is it's nice but terribly boring after compared to the UK.

1. If you like to walk and be out and about you'll hate it..I can't even walk out of my subdivision - no foot paths , sidewalks, etc. Nobody gets out of their car. There's no High Street. There's no city centre in suburb areas. Very few parks or green space.
2. Socializing is very hard. I don't find it friendly here at all. Most Americans in general seem very stressy and preoccupied. No one will want to hear about anything.
3. The schools are rubbish. My kids used to love school. They don't here. It's not about learning here. Foreign language, arts, music, sports--- not important and may only get to be in one thing a year. My children's manners and behaviour have deteriorated.
4. There's really not much to do. If you like boring American suburbia rushing your kids around all w/e to their various sporting events , going to Target in your sweat pants and trainers, and eating greasy meals from a chain restaurant...then you'll love it here. Uptown Charlotte - not impressed - not much to do. There are some nice areas to drive to for the w/e - coast, mountains.
5. There's nice housing but can be expensive - not like prices in UK though. Food , utilities seem quite high compared with other places. There's quite a bit of taxes here.
6. It's very church oriented here and I find it a bit over-the-top.

Overall..it's not bad here but it's not great either. I think Charlotte is a bit over-rated. I don't understand the draw here as they get many newcomers. I would take my old life back any time. It was not my choice to come here but necessity for a job and I am trying my best to adjust.

Good luck to you.
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Old Mar 31st 2009, 1:41 am
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Default Re: Moving to Charlotte, NC...?

Originally Posted by sanna View Post
Hi....
I have lived in Charlotte since September '08 after being an expat for 6 years in England living in the Midlands and outside of London.
My opinion is it's nice but terribly boring after compared to the UK.

1. If you like to walk and be out and about you'll hate it..I can't even walk out of my subdivision - no foot paths , sidewalks, etc. Nobody gets out of their car. There's no High Street. There's no city centre in suburb areas. Very few parks or green space.
2. Socializing is very hard. I don't find it friendly here at all. Most Americans in general seem very stressy and preoccupied. No one will want to hear about anything.
Bear in mind you haven't even lived in Charlotte a year, it's not surprising that you've yet to find places to make friends, etc.

3.
The schools are rubbish. My kids used to love school. They don't here. It's not about learning here. Foreign language, arts, music, sports--- not important and may only get to be in one thing a year. My children's manners and behaviour have deteriorated.
If your children's manners and behaviors have deteriorated, you as a parent should do something about that. It is partially a reflection of your parenting IMO.

4.
There's really not much to do. If you like boring American suburbia rushing your kids around all w/e to their various sporting events , going to Target in your sweat pants and trainers, and eating greasy meals from a chain restaurant...then you'll love it here. Uptown Charlotte - not impressed - not much to do. There are some nice areas to drive to for the w/e - coast, mountains.
No. 2 and no. 4 are related. I have at least two or three pastimes that have lead me to meet many, many people, some of whom are friends. If you have an interest you want to pursue, you can take classes. If you don't have money for classes, volunteer your time for a non-profit of interest. I participated in two local non-profit events this past weekend. I had a blast!

5. There's nice housing but can be expensive - not like prices in UK though. Food , utilities seem quite high compared with other places. There's quite a bit of taxes here.

6. It's very church oriented here and I find it a bit over-the-top.

Overall..it's not bad here but it's not great either. I think Charlotte is a bit over-rated. I don't understand the draw here as they get many newcomers. I would take my old life back any time. It was not my choice to come here but necessity for a job and I am trying my best to adjust.

Good luck to you.
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Old Mar 31st 2009, 2:32 am
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Default Re: Moving to Charlotte, NC...?

Originally Posted by sanna View Post
Hi....
I have lived in Charlotte since September '08 after being an expat for 6 years in England living in the Midlands and outside of London.
My opinion is it's nice but terribly boring after compared to the UK.

1. If you like to walk and be out and about you'll hate it..I can't even walk out of my subdivision - no foot paths , sidewalks, etc. Nobody gets out of their car. There's no High Street. There's no city centre in suburb areas. Very few parks or green space.
This is untrue, there are loads of parks and nature reserves all around Charlotte. I go to a lot of them on a regular basis as I love to be outside. There are numerous around the lake, there's a big one just off Harris Blvd, there's the state park up by exit 45 near Statesville and just an hour away are the mountains. There's Kings mountain just off 85m which is also lovely.

Originally Posted by sanna View Post
2. Socializing is very hard. I don't find it friendly here at all. Most Americans in general seem very stressy and preoccupied. No one will want to hear about anything.
I don't think its hard to socialize, you just get back what you put in to it. Charlotte is a big "going out on the town" place full of just out of college young professionals. When we first moved here we made a group on facebook to meet new people. Most of people in Charlotte are transplants and in the same "know no one" boat as you. Our first meet had over 30 people. A lot of us as still friends 2 years later. There are a lot of meet up groups on meetup.com based in Charlotte too.
I had a friend who just moved here a year ago and she and her hubby knew absolutely no one, and she started a dinner club in her neighbourhood to get to know people. (Maybe not your cup of tea but you get the idea)


Originally Posted by sanna View Post
3. The schools are rubbish. My kids used to love school. They don't here. It's not about learning here. Foreign language, arts, music, sports--- not important and may only get to be in one thing a year. My children's manners and behaviour have deteriorated.
Eh I can totally believe this, Birkdale village on a Friday night is totally full of what I can only describe as the American version of chavs. Loud mouth'd lil gits who for example go around pulling the plants out and throwing them at shop windows. No better than the highstreet on a Friday night back home. I think a lot of it is to do with lack of a school uniform here, do you remember non school uniform days back home? Total bloody chaos, no one behaved.


Originally Posted by sanna View Post
4. There's really not much to do. If you like boring American suburbia rushing your kids around all w/e to their various sporting events , going to Target in your sweat pants and trainers, and eating greasy meals from a chain restaurant...then you'll love it here. Uptown Charlotte - not impressed - not much to do. There are some nice areas to drive to for the w/e - coast, mountains.
Charlotte is a developing town, its never going to be a touristy place, (unless you count Carowinds) Its not nicknamed bank city for nothing. There's the new epi center, but like I said before the town is geared towards young just out of college professionals who main hobby is work and going out getting drunk.

Originally Posted by sanna View Post
5. There's nice housing but can be expensive - not like prices in UK though. Food , utilities seem quite high compared with other places. There's quite a bit of taxes here.
House priced have really bottomed out at the moment, you can get a nice 4/5 bedroom house for a couple hundred grand. Or for a couple million you can live at the lake

Originally Posted by sanna View Post
6. It's very church oriented here and I find it a bit over-the-top.
I get what you mean, but really, you're in the bible belt, what else do you expect?

Originally Posted by sanna View Post
Overall..it's not bad here but it's not great either. I think Charlotte is a bit over-rated. I don't understand the draw here as they get many newcomers. I would take my old life back any time. It was not my choice to come here but necessity for a job and I am trying my best to adjust.

Good luck to you.
You've only been here 6 months, it takes time to adjust to anywhere, You'll get there and find your place. I felt totally dislocated when I first come here and was focusing on the negatives about how unlike England it is, and how the food was different and how I couldn't get anywhere, but then I realized you get out what you put in and at the end of the day this *isn't* England and I have to adjust to the country not the other way around.
Once I put some effort in to finding meet up groups of interest, got on some local forums (If you're wife is interested there is a local Mums network that has a forum and they organize all kinds of kids crap to do, its exhausting just reading how busy they are) I utilized face book and my space to meet new friends. I hope you start feeling better about it all soon
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Old Mar 31st 2009, 2:43 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Charlotte, NC...?

I have to agree with Sanna, the Charlotte/Mecklenburg school system is not very good. It's over-stretched, under-funded and the schools are full to capacity. If the OP has kids they need to be very careful which area they move to if they want a good school. Some zones are better for schools than others.
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Old Mar 31st 2009, 4:53 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Charlotte, NC...?

Originally Posted by Sue View Post
I have to agree with Sanna, the Charlotte/Mecklenburg school system is not very good. It's over-stretched, under-funded and the schools are full to capacity. If the OP has kids they need to be very careful which area they move to if they want a good school. Some zones are better for schools than others.
Hey - this is my opinion of Charlotte. I have moved so many times in my life and am aware that it takes time to adjust to new areas and situations and to make new aquaintances. However, of all the places I have lived...west, midwest, northeast, overseas...Charlotte has been my least favourite. It is over rated here - I just don't get why people want to come here voluntarily. That was just a few reasons I dislike it here. It's my opinion - not yours.

As for the parenting comment - you should really not comment about that when you don't know me or my kids. I am on them about respect, manners, and education etc. I have had to work with them all of the time to make up for the rubbish schooling here. The academics are easy. I had to talk to them about a bomb scare at the school this week. Scarey.

I'm aware it's the bible belt - it's great if you like that...it's not my thing.

If you want to drive to parks and to the mountains etc..that's great. But for day - to - day life -- I can't walk anywhere from my sub. There's one park I can drive to. I don't wish to drive 1-2 hours to go for a walk after work. There are no bike paths, running areas, or even shoulders on the roads for that matter. I can't walk to get milk or a newspaper. Drive, Drive, Drive.

Yes , there are ways to socialize. I know for me it's not hanging at the local YMCA or local Chilis.

It's just very unstimulating here, bland. It works for many - not me. Again - it's just an opinion for someone who asked a questiion. You should direct your opinion that way as well.
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Old Mar 31st 2009, 5:00 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Charlotte, NC...?

Originally Posted by sanna View Post
Hey - this is my opinion of Charlotte. I have moved so many times in my life and am aware that it takes time to adjust to new areas and situations and to make new aquaintances. However, of all the places I have lived...west, midwest, northeast, overseas...Charlotte has been my least favourite. It is over rated here - I just don't get why people want to come here voluntarily. That was just a few reasons I dislike it here. It's my opinion - not yours.

As for the parenting comment - you should really not comment about that when you don't know me or my kids. I am on them about respect, manners, and education etc. I have had to work with them all of the time to make up for the rubbish schooling here. The academics are easy. I had to talk to them about a bomb scare at the school this week. Scarey.

I'm aware it's the bible belt - it's great if you like that...it's not my thing.

If you want to drive to parks and to the mountains etc..that's great. But for day - to - day life -- I can't walk anywhere from my sub. There's one park I can drive to. I don't wish to drive 1-2 hours to go for a walk after work. There are no bike paths, running areas, or even shoulders on the roads for that matter. I can't walk to get milk or a newspaper. Drive, Drive, Drive.

Yes , there are ways to socialize. I know for me it's not hanging at the local YMCA or local Chilis.

It's just very unstimulating here, bland. It works for many - not me. Again - it's just an opinion for someone who asked a questiion. You should direct your opinion that way as well.
I haven't mentioned anything except the schools. Did you mean to quote another post?

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