Money magazine ranks Charlotte No. 1 Big-City Bargain

If you're looking to move and want a city that will give you good housing and cost-of-living value, Money magazine highly recommends Charlotte. Its newly released 2014 Best Places to Live rankings list has Charlotte pegged as the Best Big-City Bargain in the country.

he magazine ranked Charlotte No. 1 in that category. Phoenix, Fort Worth, Tx., Boston and Chicago rounded out the top five. The magazine created the list by studying metropolitan areas with more than 500,000 in population, and by analyzing housing affordability, economic strength, home price forecasts and livabililty data. The researchers also, in each city, singled out several "promising, well-priced" neighborhoods.

In Charlotte, they pointed out Plaza Midwood, calling it "an interesting mix of the gritty and the pretty" for its mix of tattoo parlors and antiques shops. Mountain Island Lake also earned a mention for being what local Realtor Francine Dupont called "a thrifty alternative to Ballantyne."

Charlotte didn't make the overall top 50 best places to live list, though. Cary came in 19th, Chapel Hill 36th.

Related stories from Charlotte Observer