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I am looking to relocate and these two cities are my top choices. I wanta place that is wooded, and where the climate is mild, affordable housesand mid-sized city. The two look very similar at a glance. Are there any differencesor similarities you might be able to point out? Thanks.
The climate in Charlotte is a good deal milder. Cincy has real winter, every winter, and really got clobbered by snowstorms this year. So much as a "dusting" hits Charlotte, and like every city down South unaccustomed to snow and ice the city goes into turmoil. During the spring and summer, the OKI region gets treated to frequent tornado watches and the occasional live twister, while Charlotte is largely but not entirely (witness Hugo) immune to hurricanes.
Outside of the southwestern US, it's easy to find "wooded" areas. Either metro region has a good park system, with scenic remnant forests not too far away in both cases: Daniel Boone National Forest and the Hocking Hills for Cincy, and the Smokies for Charlotte.
Cincinnati and Charlotte are both in growth patterns where commerce and industry are concerned. Financial service firms, in particular, seem to be flocking to Charlotte. Neither place is especially booming in terms of IT and high-tech, however; I'd look towards New England or Silicon Valley or Austin first in that category.
"Affordable housing" is a relative term, but from where I sit in MA both cities offer a lot of bang for the buck. When friends moved from Boston to Charlotte, they traded up from a 2-BR condo to a 3-BR house on an acre of land near five country clubs! Sprawl has "developed" (pun intended) into a major issue for either city, but Cincinnati itself has withstood a major population decline while Charlotte is growing.
Elaborate on your criteria, and I (and plenty of others) will be happy to respond in kind.
I have no issues with sprawl, you can't have growth without it. If you're not growing, you're dying. I do want a vibrant growing city, not one that is fighting growth, or as some call it, "sprawl". I think Charlotte might be more growth oriented than Cincy, butthis is just my impression based on population changes in either city. I prefer a placewhere brand new houses are going up at a fast rate. Again, I do not see this happening in Cincy. It is my impression that the housing is noteably older in Cincy. I do likethe fact that Cincy lies in a large river valley, however. I think Ohio is a beautiful state.I remember long ago passing through Cincy and visiting some of its city neighborhoods,and it seemed so charming. For the longest time afterwards I remarked to people whata nice city Cincy was. So I have never forgotten this. It's hard to know what theenvironment of Cincy is like compared to that of Charlotte, I mean the surroundingcountryside, especially. But I guess that's basically what I am trying to understand.(rivers, recreation,, fishing, the look and feel of small towns, etc)
I am in the process of relocating to Cincy from Charlotte. In my opinion, Charlotte and Cincy have very few similarities. While Cincy is smaller than Charlotte, Cincy has more of an urban and real city feel. Charlotte is more suburban and family oriented. I'm young, single, and without kids so that's why I prefer Cincy. I find Charlotte to be a big city without a whole lot to do. From what you have stated though, Charlottte sounds like it would be right for you. There are brand new cookie cutter homes going up everywhere here. I prefer Cincy because it's old, gritty, full of history, has four seasons, historic neighborhoods, etc. but that's just me. Charlotte and Cincinnati are almost opposites in many ways. Everything is brand new in Charlotte. Cincinnati is old. Charlotte lacks history and culture. Cincy is loaded with history and culture. Charlotte is clean. Cincy is kinda dirty. Charlotte's weather is also a lot milder than Cincy especially during the winter months. It can get bitterly cold in Cincy with snow while Charlotte can have up to 5 months of summer weather. Charlotte is a couple hours drive from the beach and the moutains so you will have no problems with your outdoor activites. Both cities are great but Charlotte sounds more like you but the only way to really be sure is to visit both cities.
While people are leaving the actual city of Cincinnati, the suburbs around it are growing very quickly. Suburbs such as Mason, Blue Ash, and Westchester are constanly growing as well as many parts of Northern Ky, which you have to consider when talking about Cincinnati because of it's proximity. For example, most people in Cincinnati consider Covington and Newport, Kentucky, part of Cincinnati (go to one of the two and count Ohio license plates).
Also, Cincinnati has a lot of interesting developments in the next couple years that could result in more people moving downtown.
If you are mostly interested in the most bang for your buck and would rather have a new house, I suggest you look at some of the newer developments in parts of Northern Kentucky. They are cheaper than a lot of the newer developments in Cincinnati. I'm not sure which Northern Kentucky suburbs to look at, but you might want to start looking in that direction. There are a lot of new developments popping up around Northern, Ky in places that are 10 and 20 minutes from Cincinnati.
FYI- Suburban sprawl is not necessary for growth. Look at cities such as Portland Oregon, where they have more strict zoning forcing people to renovate and revamp old buildings resulting in a more unique city and more community. Do you really like neighborhoods consisting of only strip malls and cookie-cutter houses?
While Cincy is smaller than Charlotte, Cincy has more of an urban and real city feel.
That's because Cincy is larger, unless you're referring to "city limits" and not population. Charlotte uses 243 sq mi to define it's boundaries, while Cincy uses 78.
This explains why Cincy has has roughly 600,000 more people in it's MSA and Cincy's population density is 3,879.8.0/miČ ... compared to Charlotte's 2,232.4/miČ, more than 1,500 people per sq mi.
To the density that you noticed, that's also a good observation, there are 2,129.2/miČ housing units in Cincy compared to Charlotte's 951.2/miČ.
Just a glimpse on the economic side of things:
Procter & Gamble
The Kroger Company
Macy's, Inc. (owner of Macy's and Bloomingdale's)
Chiquita Brands International
Great American Insurance Company
Western & Southern Financial Group
The E. W. Scripps Company
United States Playing Card Company
Fifth Third Bank
Kao Corporation's United States headquarters
Comparatively-speaking, the region fares well nationally with 10 Fortune 500 companies and 18 Fortune 1000 companies headquartered in the Cincinnati area. Statistically, Greater Cincinnati ranks sixth in the U.S. with 4.98 Fortune 500 companies per million residents and fourth in the U.S. with 8.96 Fortune 1000 companies per million residents.
Bank of America
While people are leaving the actual city of Cincinnati, the suburbs around it are growing very quickly.
That's untrue. The city challenged the census, presented it's evidence and won. The US Census reversed their counts (for the love of God, they completely left off City West! lol). According to SIS the city is continually growing. You should check your resources before posting false statements on a board that people use for reference.
On the flip side, the metro Cincinnati is also growing. So you have sprawl and urban-core growth.
I was born and raised in Cincy (and still visit several times a year), but have lived in Charlotte for the last decade and I would have to say I pretty much agree with Iraqvet. He pretty much hit the nail on the head, with one exception - I haven't really found anything in Cincy that I can not do in Charlotte. But his overall assessment is very accurate. I also agree with his recommendation of Charlotte based on your posted criteria.
Both cities are great cities and you should be happy no matter what you decide. But given a choice, I would think that most people would choose Charlotte by a small margin. But when it comes to choosing between SW Ohio and the Carolinas - its not even close, especially if you are an outdoorsman. The Carolinas are very hard to beat. Warmer weather, the mountains, the beach...need I say more.
They are practically the same as Cincy's. Most of my visitors seem to think that the humidity is worse in Cincy, but it feels relatively the same to me.The biggest difference is that summer is extended usually all the way through September and really begins in early May. Winter here in charlotte is more like late fall in Cincy. Cold days = mid 40's.
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