Reviews & Comments
Charlotte, NCSuper Sprawl City
Super Sprawl city. Very clean, racially diverse, and appears economically strong. The downtown area is unbelievably small for a 800,000+ population size city. Compared to Seattle or Portland, Charlotte feels like a super suburb instead of an urban city. Oh, and on the weekends you can't even enjoy a drink out because all you hear is guys in their muscle cars reving their V8 engines or on their motorcycles to show off to pedestrians. On the plus side, very clean, not a lot of visible homelessness, and has a decent amount of amenities. If you're thinking of moving here, go visit first. On paper Charlotte might seem promising but for me at least it's a no-go.
Raleigh, NCNot as great as it appears on paper
This review is from the perspective of a potential transplant who was very, very interested in Raleigh as a potential destination. I thought it had everything a medium city such as Portland, OR but I was wrong. When you read about the Growth Sprawl - believe it. It is one big cluster of spaghetti roads that have no amenities near by. There's nothing to do anywhere except Downtown and that's not saying a whole lot since downtown is very small. The population size of this city will deceive any outsider in to thinking that it is a good sized city but it's not. The population density is among the worst of any city in the US. Also, the housing market supply is almost non-existent with home sellers taking 10+ offers on homes that will go for up to 50k above asking price. These are the cons. There are some pros, tho. It is a very clean city with lots of diversity and a growing micro beer culture. If you're coming from the west, be prepared for culture shock as Raleigh is definitely a southern city - don't be surprised when an anti-masker walks in to the same corner store as you do. Overall, Raleigh is a baby city in my eyes - it has a lot of growing up to do. If you're looking into moving to Raleigh, please, please, please visit first and make sure you actually like it. Because on paper it may look promising but once you're there it may not be what you wished it was.
Portland, ORGreat city with amenities - Millenials beware
I've lived in in the Portland area for 27 years (grew up here). It has a lot of things going for it. Great restaurants, breweries and bars, and neighborhoods, plenty of events and groups, coffee culture is rich and so are the sweets and treats, forests to the east and west of the city. Mountain ranges with ski resorts (Mt. Hood is 2-3 hours away). And the coast is 2 hours away, too. As a millennial, its a great city with lots of things to do. Like most, the city is very segregate with the Hispanic population living in the margins and suburbs and the Black communities in the North, though it's experiencing gentrification at an alarming rate. There is a huge white population here though most folks are very open-minded, and welcoming. There's been more and more transplants here from what I can tell. Lots of people from many different parts of the country but mostly from California. This makes it hard for most of us local root folks to buy real-estate as prices are absurdly high for most of us. My partner and I earn a little over 100,000 a year and we are still considering leaving Portland due to the housing shortage. We just don't want to be house-poor and we realize that as first-time home buyers Portland isn't very friendly compared to other cities. The rent prices here are also getting out of hand. Many people are settling for the suburbs in the area such as Vancouver (terrible I-5 traffic), Gresham, Tigard, etc. All of which don't won't give you the affect that Portland has. Overall, Portland is a fantastic city. I'd move here if I had the money to buy a house. Unfortunately, there's not enough space geographically for this city to grow except up (apartment construction is the only construction I see in Portland).