This is a southern state, so please bring your manners. Everything is very polite in Gastonia, and that includes renting an apartment. There is normally plenty to choose from, and the rates will largely depend on the amenities. To secure a place, have references from past landlords as well as your employer, proof of income and a security deposit. Pet references are not normally an issue, but if you have a large dog, you might want to include one just in case. Landlords will want to know in advance if Rover barks every two minutes or if Fluffy likes to spray the walls. You might even have to pay a pet deposit.
You know how some people get by with a little help from their friends? You won't really need that here. Housing tends to be affordable when compared to state and national averages, and there are quite a few neighborhoods from which you can choose. The cost of living beats national averages as well. Here are a few communities to consider:
Boogertown: The name might be giggle worthy, but the rents are affordable, and the area offers apartment complexes and single-family homes. Vacancy rates are pretty low, however. Bummer.
Elmores Crossroads: This area has a suburban feel and more single-family homes and townhomes than apartments for rent. If you do find an apartment rental here, you'll find that prices are about average for the city.
Gardner Park: You'll find lots of apartment homes and houses for rent here, at pretty affordable prices. What's to complain about?
East Gastonia: If you dig older homes and lower rental rates, check out rentals in this area. You'll find apartment complexes and houses as well as a mixture of renters and buyers. You'll also find a 23-percent vacancy rate.
There is a lot to cover about life in Gastonia! Your evaluation of the area should start with the climate, as it is the reason for so many of the great things available in this city. Despite this being the state of North Carolina, it is actually pretty far south. As a result, you can expect hot, humid summers with cool winters. It gets cold here but not bone chilling. Because of this, there is a wide variety of outdoor activities that take place all year long.
If you're one of those outdoorsy types who prefers hiking and biking to couch surfing, this is a fantastic place to live. Not only is the weather conducive to these activities, but the city makes sure its outdoor areas are well tended. If you want to do some hiking or rock climbing, hit the Tower Trail off Linwood Road. The views are amazing and the trail is accessible all year. This is the best place for rock climbing, but the hiking is great as well. Now, if your passion is mountain biking, try the Poston Trail in the same area.
Perhaps you are more interested in festivals and fairs? Residents here can't get enough of them. There's at least one per month. The biggest is held on the 4th of July. The Red, White, and Freedom Festival includes an impressive fireworks display. There are also great festivals for the major holidays, and even the local museum gets in on Halloween each year, featuring activities for the entire family.
If you are more culturally inclined, you might want to join the Gaston County Art Guild. This guild will give you discount or free admission to shows, access to studio space and discounts from the galleries. There is a thriving art scene in Gastonia, and this is one way to be a big part of it.
If you are looking for a local hangout where you can have a few drinks and relax with friends, there are several options. Avoid Iconz on Westover unless you are in the mood for a huge party environment. It's a great place, but it's lively and not conducive to relaxing with friends or even having a real conversation. Freeman's Pub is better for relaxing. There is good food and plenty of beer and other assorted drinks. It's also much quieter.
It's not all fun and games in Gastonia. Thankfully, Gastonia and nearby Charlotte provide plenty of economic opportunity, so finding a job is easier here than in many other places. This may be important if your spouse will be looking for a job after your company relocation.