Whether you plan on working in town or even in nearby Concord or Charlotte, you'll find getting to and around Kannapolis is easy -- Interstate 85 travels through the town. Once you're in town, finding an apartment should prove just as easy. That is, as long as you give yourself at least a few weeks to find your perfect pad. Keep your expectations in check -- you'll either find an apartment in a new and modern apartment complex, or a rental home, but not much is available in between these two extremes.
When you do go searching for a place, take the essential paperwork with you, including proof in the form of paycheck stubs that you'll be able to pay the rent each month. If you're moving with any kind of pet, make sure you're prepared to show up-to-date vet records, and to pay an extra pet security deposit in addition to the apartment's security deposit.
While Kannapolis overall has a rural feel to it, there are some 'hoods that are more modern and developed than others. Whether you want to be close to shopping centers or restaurants, or you prefer to not have a neighbor within a 10-mile radius, chances are there's a neighborhood perfect for you. Here's a quick summary on most of the different communities along with their ups and downs:
Centerview: The downtown area is a quaint walkable stretch of a few dozen city blocks, complete with shops and restaurants. Finding an apartment or even a rental home on a side street shouldn't be a problem here -- the vacancy rate has remained high for the past few years. If a factory job brings you to town, you'll be close to the textile mills here.
Cold Springs: Some residents consider this spot in eastern Kannapolis to be the best of all worlds. It's still a decidedly rural -- some might say bucolic -- area, but it's just minutes from neighboring Concord and it has I-85 running along its western border. These factors, plus a dearth in rental options and very reasonable rental rates, make Cold Springs the belle of the rental ball in Kannapolis.
Fisher Town: The sheer size of this community should make finding a place to rent -- or even rent to own -- a certainty. It's close to I-85 and considered one of the areas ripe for development in the next few years. Score a place here now, and you might find yourself surrounded by Starbucks and Walgreen's within the next five years.
Enochville: Most real estate is owned, not rented here, but you might be able to find that lone rental home if you search long and hard. Why would you want to go to all the trouble? Well, you'll pay shockingly little here and probably have a sizable yard to call your own. The trade off? You're a little off the beaten path here, but if you crave solitude, that might be yet another plus.
Shady Grove: In the geographic center of town, just west of downtown and Main Street, Shady Grove is an ideal place to find a smaller rental home or even an apartment in a small complex. Rents are reasonable, and vacancy rates are about average, so consider this your neighborhood when your long-shot dream neighborhood doesn't pan out.
Earnhardt Lake: Rental options are rare here on the town's far west side. You might be able to score a larger rental home, but you'll have to move quickly since rentals don't stay vacant for long at all. Stay on the southeastern side of this community to be near not only I-85, but Earnhardt Lake as well.
Thanks to the area's pleasant weather (OK, yes the summers can get a tad humid, but as a trade-off, winters are usually mild) getting out to enjoy Kannapolis' parks and greenways can and does happen throughout the year. Spend the afternoon in Veteran's Park or North Cabarrus Park, or visit the site named for native son Dale Earnhardt. The Dale Earnhardt Plaza on Main Street between A and B Streets features a 900-pound, nine-foot-tall bronze statue of the NASCAR legend and is surrounded by walkways and gardens. The plaza and statue are filled with symbolic Earnhardt details, including the seven steps leading down into the plaza, which represent his number of championship victories. Also, the walkway surrounding the Plaza is shaped to mimic a racetrack, and the benches along the walk are grouped in sets of three, which was his car number.
Kannapolis is very much a car town, so don't sell the Honda before moving here. While the downtown area is a nice walkable area, unless you work from home or just a few blocks away, you'll need to drive to work or depend on the public bus service that services the area. Stay away from Idiot's Circle just off Main Street on weekend nights, as that's where local teens still drive around and socialize.