Best place to retire: Uptown
Pros: Low cost of living and property taxes, buyer's market, new light rail line
Cons: Construction - of the twenty condo tower projects, only two are complete.
Real estate: One survey found an average condo price of $440,000, but basic one-bedrooms stil go for under $200,000. Rent an Uptown two-bedroom with a garage for $1,500.Live in Charlotte, and you'll join the young professionals and empty nesters that are expected to double the Uptown district's population over the next five years.
Uptown is the center of it all, and you don't need a car: Walk to museums, nightlife, performing arts, continuing ed classes at UNC's Charlotte campus and even NFL football. And if your knees start to ache from all that walking, Presbyterian Orthopaedic Hospital is located in Uptown.
Condos towers are going up everywhere, and a brand new light rail system is expected to debut in November 2007. Some of the more upscale condos will be pricey, but Charlotte is still very affordable and known for its low property taxes.
For a small-town-in-the-big-city feel just a bus ride away from downtown, take a look at the bungalow homes in Dilworth, a "street-car suburb" with restaurants, boutiques, and Carolinas Medical Center, the only Level One trauma center in the region.
See complete data and interactive map for Charlotte
Public transportation maps: System