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Concord, North Carolina

Over 200 years ago, when two settlements compromised over the location of a county seat, the resulting town was named Concord, meaning “harmony.” Today, Concord tries to live up to that tradition, bringing people together in a pedestrian-friendly downtown that features shops, restaurants, historic buildings, two live theaters, a gourmet chocolatier, and regular events. (The climate is similarly hospitable, with 214 clear days per year.)

Located about 25 miles outside of Charlotte, Concord boasts modest home sale prices, and a median income that’s above the state median. The local economy is healthy, with many residents employed by local government and the health care industry; Moody’s Analytics predicts strong job growth for the county through 2021.

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Concord is also home to the largest outlet mall in North Carolina, with over 200 stores, and NASCAR’s Charlotte Motor Speedway.

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