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Old 09-28-2010, 07:38 PM
 
4 posts, read 28,920 times
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Hi All,

My husband and I are in the process of relocating to Charlotte, NC. We have found two great homes. One is in Brookhaven and the other is in Providence Downs South. Both are approximately the same amount of money and comparable space.

Simple survey: Which community would you choose and why?

Thanks in advance for your help. This decision has been difficult to make.
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Old 09-28-2010, 08:14 PM
 
Location: livin' the good life
2,147 posts, read 3,658,858 times
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I am not familiar with PDS but can advise on Brookhaven. We were one of the first homeowners in Brookhaven six years ago and have only good things to say. Our son went to nearby Antioch which is one of the top K-5 in the county. Many parents walk their kids to school. Neighborhood is very social and most kids are MS or younger. My son now goes to Weddington HS which we have been happy with.
The ammenities are top shelf and the pool has waterslide, lazy river and a swim team which is enjoyable for the families. The clubhouse has a work out room, kids room on lower level. There is discussion on doubling the size of the excersise room. The tennis courts get alot of use and has teaching pros year round with about 30 kids participating. There are 5-6 women tennis teams that play other clubs. I'm not aware of any neighborhood in CLT that has as good a quality of tennis program. Most of the women took up the game when they moved here, there are also men teams but not to the extent of the ladies. As many neighborhoods, most of the homeowners moved here from other states. The HOA is very stable and gets alot of participation on the committees and alot of monies in reserve. The builder, JWH stands behind their product with one of the better warranties around. JWH has an excellent reputation and Brookhaven was their fastest selling neighborhood ever. The neighorhood is about 98% built out and values have held up fairly well. I'm only aware of 5-6 forclosures out of over 500 homes (so far).

Last edited by ZnGuy; 09-28-2010 at 08:53 PM..
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Old 09-28-2010, 08:42 PM
 
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Thank you so much, ZnGuy. I hope all responses are as informative as yours. It sounds like we would definitely be happy in the Brookhaven Community. I appreciate your time.
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Old 09-28-2010, 09:06 PM
 
Location: Union County
5,783 posts, read 8,410,081 times
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PDS is supposed to be Providence Downs big Sister, but it really mistimed the bubble... Depending on where it is, the Elem could be different - either way it's Marvin Ridge. They run the Union County IB program out of that cluster and all 5 schools (3 elems, mid, and high) are very highly rated by both greatschools and NC report cards. Due to its proximity to the SC and Meck borders, it's highly unlikely that any school rezoning is going to occur for PDS.

A story I heard - take this second hand, is that one of the developers worked out fraudulent mortgages and got caught. The resulting foreclosures hit them pretty hard. Overall I like the neighborhood - very cool pool, some large wooded lots... It's not finished, which is a serious consideration. But, it is a true custom neighborhood, which means in the short term Centex isn't coming in and offering a new price point.

Brookhaven on the other hand is tract built - granted that it's a very respected builder with an excellent reputation. As much as I said about Marvin Ridge, Weddington schools are great and I'm a fan. But its location isn't ideal from a school zoning perspective as Antioch is the farthest West. Yet it has the benefit of being up against Meck border, as PDS does.

Overall, you'd have a different "shopping/eating" area between the 2. I think Brookhaven would mostly rely on the Matthews / Indian Trail areas which offer just about everything you'd need plus. Where PDS would offer Blakeney/Stonecrest/Ballantyne - which also will pretty much offer you everything you need plus.

Depending where you work, the commute could be substantially different.

A consideration is also whether you want to be buying at the top of a neighborhood or bottom of a neighborhood. I did a quick look and I'm guessing you're talking the 800k price point.

All things invalidated because I've not seen either property - I would likely lean towards PDS. Out of curiosity, did you look in Providence Downs?
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Old 09-28-2010, 09:22 PM
 
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Thank you, also, MikeyKid. We did look in Providence Downs, as well. We found a house we liked, but not as much as our top three. You seem very knowledgeable about the area, and I appreciate your response.
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Old 09-28-2010, 09:26 PM
 
Location: Union County
5,783 posts, read 8,410,081 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Halfwayback View Post
Thank you, also, MikeyKid. We did look in Providence Downs, as well. We found a house we liked, but not as much as our top three. You seem very knowledgeable about the area, and I appreciate your response.
Anytime - I would love to hear what you ultimately choose... Best of luck.
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Old 09-29-2010, 05:37 AM
 
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I would love to know what we ultimately choose, as well. We like the PDS house more, however fear that the community may not be as family oriented as Brookhaven. Will we feel isolated in the PDS community? This is what's making our decision so difficult. Any input? All responses are appreciated, as we are getting close to our deadline and change our minds every five minutes.

Thanks to all!
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Old 09-29-2010, 06:01 AM
 
Location: livin' the good life
2,147 posts, read 3,658,858 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeyKid View Post
PDS is supposed to be Providence Downs big Sister, but it really mistimed the bubble... Depending on where it is, the Elem could be different - either way it's Marvin Ridge. They run the Union County IB program out of that cluster and all 5 schools (3 elems, mid, and high) are very highly rated by both greatschools and NC report cards. Due to its proximity to the SC and Meck borders, it's highly unlikely that any school rezoning is going to occur for PDS.

A story I heard - take this second hand, is that one of the developers worked out fraudulent mortgages and got caught. The resulting foreclosures hit them pretty hard. Overall I like the neighborhood - very cool pool, some large wooded lots... It's not finished, which is a serious consideration. But, it is a true custom neighborhood, which means in the short term Centex isn't coming in and offering a new price point.

Brookhaven on the other hand is tract built - granted that it's a very respected builder with an excellent reputation. As much as I said about Marvin Ridge, Weddington schools are great and I'm a fan. But its location isn't ideal from a school zoning perspective as Antioch is the farthest West. Yet it has the benefit of being up against Meck border, as PDS does.

Overall, you'd have a different "shopping/eating" area between the 2. I think Brookhaven would mostly rely on the Matthews / Indian Trail areas which offer just about everything you'd need plus. Where PDS would offer Blakeney/Stonecrest/Ballantyne - which also will pretty much offer you everything you need plus.

Depending where you work, the commute could be substantially different.

A consideration is also whether you want to be buying at the top of a neighborhood or bottom of a neighborhood. I did a quick look and I'm guessing you're talking the 800k price point.

All things invalidated because I've not seen either property - I would likely lean towards PDS. Out of curiosity, did you look in Providence Downs?
Alot of good points and I know you do your research, I would not consider Brookhaven 'track building', I've built custom and I would not consider them that. You have alot of flexibilty in design of home and changing of floorplan, there is not many things JWH won't built in your new coinstructed home. If there is such a term I would describe as semi-custom. After all JWH is also building in Firethorne and Longview.
One thing I would certainly take in consideration in these economic times is the financial stability of the HOA. Brookhaven is fortunate to have significant funds in reserve(well over 100K) and just about built out. I have heard PDS is a very nice development as well but have heard from those in building, mortgage industry that it was one of the hardest hit foreclosure communities (mainly due to mortgage fraud) and would definately want to see if that would cause any risk (home values, HOA)Matthews builder will plead guilty in fraud case - CharlotteObserver.com (http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2009/11/10/1047013/matthews-builder-will-plead-guilty.html - broken link) . I've seen what has happened to the Palisades community on Lake Wylie who's HOA and golf club is a financial disaster and foreclosures everywhere.

Last edited by ZnGuy; 09-29-2010 at 07:08 AM..
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Old 09-29-2010, 08:01 AM
 
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I would be very leary of the Providence Downs South neighborhood. I live in a different state, and I have read about this neighborhood on the FBI website.

Federal Bureau of Investigation - The Charlotte Division: Department of Justice Press Release

North Carolina FBI Mortgage Fraud Investigation

Suspect in mortgage fraud scheme appears in court | Ballantyne News

Looks like a mess that may take awhile to sort out.

Hey Mikey! Followed you over here from the other board.
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Old 09-29-2010, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Union County
5,783 posts, read 8,410,081 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZnGuy View Post
Alot of good points and I know you do your research, I would not consider Brookhaven 'track building', I've built custom and I would not consider them that. You have alot of flexibilty in design of home and changing of floorplan, there is not many things JWH won't built in your new coinstructed home. If there is such a term I would describe as semi-custom. After all JWH is also building in Firethorne and Longview.
One thing I would certainly take in consideration in these economic times is the financial stability of the HOA. Brookhaven is fortunate to have significant funds in reserve(well over 100K) and just about built out. I have heard PDS is a very nice development as well but have heard from those in building, mortgage industry that it was one of the hardest hit foreclosure communities (mainly due to mortgage fraud) and would definately want to see if that would cause any risk (home values, HOA)Matthews builder will plead guilty in fraud case - CharlotteObserver.com (http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2009/11/10/1047013/matthews-builder-will-plead-guilty.html - broken link) . I've seen what has happened to the Palisades community on Lake Wylie who's HOA and golf club is a financial disaster and foreclosures everywhere.
I like the Wieland neighborhoods, please don't get me wrong... They may be "semi-custom", but driving through them they all look very similar. If you drive through PDS, it's very different as any true custom neighborhood would look unique on many levels.

I'm not certain of the correlation to the stability of the HOA and foreclosures as they are not mutually exclusive... You can have foreclosures just as easily in either neighborhood. Now if the HOA becomes insolvent I can understand that being a concern - my point being it doesn't mean homes will start foreclosing for that reason alone. They may see significant increases in HoA dues, but at the 800k price point I don't think you'll break people with that. My assumption here is that someone buying at that price can truly afford it.

There's no doubt that an unfinished neighborhood is a concern and should be taken into consideration... On that front I don't know the percentage of PDS completeness, however I do know that it is a neighborhood where you buy a lot and custom build your home. It's not the same issue we see discussed here on the boards where you have a builder who will suddenly start offering a "new model" designed specifically to bring in lower price points. If we were talking Marvin Creek (Toll Brothers) or Bridle Path (Orleans) as a couple of examples, I would definitely agree with you being VERY concerned.

In the end, I think I weighed heavily buying at the top of the neighborhood vs. near the bottom... Purely from a price perspective, I would be much more comfortable at the bottom of a custom neighborhood then at the top of a semi-custom one. Especially when you consider the school clusters involved.

This certainly isn't an easy decision! Frankly, I think either side could be a smart move - apologies as I never intended to insult your neighborhood. It's beautiful.
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