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Indian Trail, Stallings most affordable spots to live in state

16 April 2014

By Jane Duckwall, Charlotte Observer

If you live in Indian Trail or Stallings, your wallet thanks you.

The towns recently topped the list for the most affordable places to live in North Carolina, according to Movoto, an online real estate brokerage firm based in California.

Movoto used U.S. Census data to evaluate all the communities in the state with populations greater than 10,000. It looked at median home prices, unemployment, adjusted median income and typical expenses to come up with its ranking of the state’s 10 most affordable places to live.

When all the calculations were complete, Indian Trail came in first, with Stallings a close second.

“That’s terrific news,” said Mayor Michael Alvarez of Indian Trail when told about the list.

He gave credit to the city’s leaders, businesses, utilities and citizens for partnering to keep costs down.

“I certainly can’t take credit for it, but I’m proud of it,” he said.

In a later email, he wrote, “It is a great honor for Indian Trail to be recognized. Low taxes, location to Charlotte, small-town feel, and years of hard work by residents and leaders have kept Indian Trail affordable and successful.”

Mayor Wyatt Dunn of Stallings also responded with excitement.

He said in an email, “We were very excited to see the Town of Stallings being recognized as one of the most affordable places to live in N.C. Plus being affordable, we are proud of the excellent quality of life that our families and businesses enjoy in Stallings.”

Movoto’s top-ten lists of cities are featured in its blog, which says Indian Trail ranks first in affordability because of its “high median household income of $70,414 (adjusted for an overall cost-of-living index of 99) and its relatively low utility, miscellaneous expense and food costs.”

Movoto also says the cost of food in Indian Trail is 3 percent lower than it is in the rest of the state.

“No matter how you look at it, this is good news for residents, since Indian Trail does have some delicious food, from fresh produce at the farmers’ market on Navajo Trail to the unbeatable nachos at La Unica,” the blog says.

Movoto gives these reasons for ranking Stallings second: “Though the overall cost of living in Stallings is 102, two points higher than the national average, it more than makes up for this with an adjusted median household income of $75,999. Like Indian Trail, the cost of food in Stallings is also 100, where the state’s average is 103; and also like Indian Trail, the unemployment rate is relatively low, just 8.7 percent, meaning, not only are prices low, but the economy is strong.”

Alvarez said Movoto’s list “makes for a friendly competition” between the two towns, and “Stallings is a wonderful neighbor to have.”

Movoto’s top-ten lists of cities are featured in its blog, which “has been recognized for its unique approach to city-based research by major news organizations around the world such as Forbes and CBS News,” it says on


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