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Old 11-14-2015, 09:19 PM
 
120 posts, read 74,062 times
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I live in a suburb of Indianapolis and am considering moving to NC. I am considering Charlotte and Winston Salem. My main considerations in somewhat a priority order are

Milder winter. Prefer having to drive to work very less in snow. Prefer warmer and shorter winters than what I am used to in Central Indiana.

Scenery. I understand Winston Salem is near to nice rolling hills and mountains. Is that the same for Charlotte? I ride a motorcycle so I would like to enjoy some nice backroads and scenic roads nearby.

Good, safe neighborhoods. I am not into shopping and do not need glitzy neighborhood bars or restaurants. But a nice variety of dining options will be good. Also I would like a downtown with character, from what I read WS scores good here. I do not have kids and hence I am not worried about quality of school districts.

Area attractions. I would like to be in driving distance to nice attractions like relaxing parks, State parks, mountains, historic sites, waterfalls etc. I enjoy being outdoors enjoying nature and traveling on scenic roads.

Moderate cost of living equal to or lower than Indianapolis. Would be nice to rent a home or apartment preferably with garage in a safe neighborhood initially. What would the rents be normally in these cities for a 1 or 2 BR?

I work in the Tech industry. I understand Charlotte has more jobs. Is the job situation in WS stable and decently good? I have a job already which maybe able to transfer me to these cities. Wanted to clarify why I placed the job question lower in the priority list.

Cultural acceptance. I am a single Asian male in my 30s. I would like to be in a city where neighbors would be open and accepting of other races. Definitely want to make local friends.

I have researched the city comparisons for climate, housing costs etc. but would love to hear opinions from those who actually live in these cities or even someone who has lived in Central Indiana also.

I would like to get opinions so about which city will be a good option for me. Any comparisons to Indianapolis will also be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
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Old 11-16-2015, 07:43 PM
 
120 posts, read 74,062 times
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Can someone from Charlotte please provide your perspective? Thank you.
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Old 11-16-2015, 07:56 PM
 
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you might feel less of a cultural fit in winston salem (outside of downtown) but i think you would prefer on the outdoors scenery points.

Charlotte i suppose is a little better positioned to asheville but your one hour from the blue ridge park way in winston

on the other hand indianapolis is hardly san francisco so that might be fine with you.
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Old 11-16-2015, 08:39 PM
 
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Thank you hey_guy. To me the dilemma now looks like WS for solo outdoorsy enjoyment, Charlotte for more expensive city life with chances to mingle more with humans. Do people who work in Charlotte have to pay to park like Chicago etc?

You made me laugh. It is so true, Indianapolis is no San Fancisco and SFO type places are what I am wanting to avoid.
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Old 11-17-2015, 06:49 AM
 
Location: Southport
4,639 posts, read 4,763,389 times
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I have lived in both Charlotte and W-S. They are quite different cities. Charlotte is much larger, has major league sports, light rail, a large hub airport, many major corporate headquarters, etc. W-S is much smaller, has a much less robust corporate base, a non-hub airport, etc.

The climate is about equal, although Charlotte averages 4 or 5 degrees warmer than W-S, and W-S definitely gets more snow and ice events in the winter, but of course thaey are not frequent and don't last long, as it almost always warms up in a day or 2 after a storm.

W-S is definitely closer to the foothills and mountains.

Both cities have good neighborhoods. W-S has a nice selection of good restaurants. Obviously, Charlotte has more. W-S's downtown is very nice, but again, obviously much smaller than Charlotte's.

Have you looked at a cost of living analysis between Indy and the 2 cities? I would think Charlotte would be a good bit more expensive than Indy. Housing in Charlotte is much more expensive than W-S.

I don't think cultural acceptance will be an issue in either city.

W-S has a decent job market. BB&T, a large regional bank, is headquartered there. There are several other medium sized companies with HQ's in W-S, and there is a fairly small but growing tech sector. Again, Charlotte has much more of everything. Bank of America, Belk, Harris Teeter, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas are all headquartered there, and many other major corporations have large facilities.

It really boils down to whether you want a larger, busy city (Charlotte traffic can be bad) with more amenities, or a smaller, more low key city. I suggest you visit both to get a feel for them. From your post, I would say W-S is more of what you're looking for.
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Old 11-17-2015, 06:50 AM
 
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Both cities are about equal when it comes to access to parks and scenic drives. The countryside to Charlotte's east is always fun to go for a cruise, mostly two lane roads and reasonable speeds to keep it fun. When it comes to the city itself there are some differences. Both cities have the typical "post war" design of a center city with various types of housing spreading out from the center and a particular degree of car dependence, though Charlotte is much better, and improving rapidly when it comes to transit, I know you said you enjoy driving, but I would certainly recommend at least hanging up the keys for your work commute, especially if you work in uptown Charlotte (can't speak for Winston.) However, if you insist on being a car commuter, I can only imagine that Winston is more car friendly when it comes to traffic volume. As far as character, once again, I can only say so much about Winston, but from the few times I've been there (aside from the hospital, that was no fun) they have a few restaurants and bars in their downtown, at least one street has a lot going on with a Mellow Mushroom and a very good bakery who's name escapes me at the moment. Charlotte has had a history of shutting down early, but this has rapidly changed, I have had to work early on Sunday morning and have still seen people stumbling around at 5am, so I think its safe to say that the nightlife here is not lacking on any metric. Lots of clubs as well as more "grown up" high end restaurants, etc. Overall, both cities are fast growing, Charlotte is just bigger and newer feeling, I compare Winston to a rust belt city, but with plenty of modern amenities as well, Charlotte just has everything on a bigger scale.
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Old 11-17-2015, 08:54 PM
 
120 posts, read 74,062 times
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Thank you Dawg2 and Nick.

I have seen the housing prices for Indy are between those for Charlotte and WS. Though I said I like driving or riding, I failed to mention that was for recreation and weekends. I absolutely will take public transportation to work if it is available.

So far, I like WS more, but as suggested I think I should visit both cities first.
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Old 11-18-2015, 06:26 AM
 
Location: Southport
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You're going to have a hard time commuting via public transportation in W-S. Any idea where your office will be located in either city?
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Old 11-18-2015, 12:50 PM
 
102 posts, read 82,247 times
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Winston and Charlotte are not too far from each other, so both in one trip shouldn't be a massive undertaking. Not sure if it was even considered, but you ought to check out neighboring Greensboro and maybe even Raleigh while you're here as well, sort of the middle ground between big city Charlotte and small city Winston Salem, Raleigh has the benefit of being close to the beach, vs the mountains, depending on what your preference is when it comes to driving. Coming from Indiana the beach may be something you don't experience too often, and NC's beaches are some of the best I've been to, and I've been to California and Florida.
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Old 11-19-2015, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Charlotte
1,391 posts, read 1,861,958 times
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It comes down to whether you want more cultural acceptance and job opportunities or closer proximity to the mountains and it's attractions.
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