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Old 05-31-2012, 07:16 AM
 
12 posts, read 13,361 times
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All,
I will be moving down to charlotte in the next month from richmond, VA and am looking to find an area to end up in. I've worked with 2 realtors, who have given very different advice. First what I am looking for - my wife and <1 year old will be moving down with me. I travel every week, so I need to be close to the airport. We both spend alot of time at the whitewater center, and other mountain bike trails. So proximity to that is also important. Our target has been to keep those within 30 minutes of the house. Our range is 300-450 for homes.

My largest question is McCullough. The homes are wonderful and priced very well for the size / quality, and the area is very convient. but I'm scared of the schools there, and worried about resale once the SC side starts construction. 1 realtor pushed it very hard, the other said to stay away at all costs.

For other areas I've seen / heard -
Ft Mill / Tega Cay - good schools, but we've not found anything that is within the 30 minute mark that we like
Ballantyne - concerned about the traffic, but otherwise looks good. Looks like you definitely pay a premium for the area though - homes seem to be 20% higher than other areas of greater charlotte.
union county - looks excellent, but too far away from the airport and things to do for me
Belmont - looks like a good alternative to CMS, but from a quick drive it seemed too small town for my tastes.
Mountain lake - seems like Pineville only without the hope of better schools opening. I love the area and found some wonderful homes, but I see no hope of schools there being any good.

Any bright ideas? We'd planned on spending most of the summer looking, but our house in richmond closes in mid July so we've got to accelerate our house hunt.

Thanks,
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:56 AM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
20,491 posts, read 25,691,530 times
Reputation: 8146
Quote:
Originally Posted by outdoorplay13 View Post
All,
I will be moving down to charlotte in the next month from richmond, VA and am looking to find an area to end up in. I've worked with 2 realtors, who have given very different advice. First what I am looking for - my wife and <1 year old will be moving down with me. I travel every week, so I need to be close to the airport. We both spend alot of time at the whitewater center, and other mountain bike trails. So proximity to that is also important. Our target has been to keep those within 30 minutes of the house. Our range is 300-450 for homes.

My largest question is McCullough. The homes are wonderful and priced very well for the size / quality, and the area is very convient. but I'm scared of the schools there, and worried about resale once the SC side starts construction. 1 realtor pushed it very hard, the other said to stay away at all costs.

For other areas I've seen / heard -
Ft Mill / Tega Cay - good schools, but we've not found anything that is within the 30 minute mark that we like
Ballantyne - concerned about the traffic, but otherwise looks good. Looks like you definitely pay a premium for the area though - homes seem to be 20% higher than other areas of greater charlotte.
union county - looks excellent, but too far away from the airport and things to do for me
Belmont - looks like a good alternative to CMS, but from a quick drive it seemed too small town for my tastes.
Mountain lake - seems like Pineville only without the hope of better schools opening. I love the area and found some wonderful homes, but I see no hope of schools there being any good.

Any bright ideas? We'd planned on spending most of the summer looking, but our house in richmond closes in mid July so we've got to accelerate our house hunt.

Thanks,
Belmont is a small town (under 10K). You have to look at the shopping in Gastonia to understand the dynamic of the area. There's another thread that is current that gets into that. Belmont's mall of choice?

Usually, I would say to look at SE Gastonia, but Gaston County is building a new high school that will change who goes to which high school. You're safe in Belmont & Cramerton. We usually base school clusters by high schools, so if you had a child in high school now, Forestview high school would still be in play.

Your 30 minute window to the airport takes you as far west as Kings Mountaib, which is bigger than Belmont, but I don't think that it's what you want, at this time. However there is a hiking trail being built & the schools are better. Kings Mountain Gateway Trails > Home

I'd say that you should look at the Cramer Mountain development in Cramerton, & give Belmont a 2nd look.

This might help you.

North Carolina State Elementary Schools - NC School Rankings

North Carolina State High Schools - NC School Rankings
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Old 05-31-2012, 01:49 PM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,270 posts, read 86,025,648 times
Reputation: 39664
Quote:
Originally Posted by outdoorplay13 View Post
All,
I will be moving down to charlotte in the next month from richmond, VA and am looking to find an area to end up in. I've worked with 2 realtors, who have given very different advice. First what I am looking for - my wife and <1 year old will be moving down with me. I travel every week, so I need to be close to the airport. We both spend alot of time at the whitewater center, and other mountain bike trails. So proximity to that is also important. Our target has been to keep those within 30 minutes of the house. Our range is 300-450 for homes.

My largest question is McCullough. The homes are wonderful and priced very well for the size / quality, and the area is very convient. but I'm scared of the schools there, and worried about resale once the SC side starts construction. 1 realtor pushed it very hard, the other said to stay away at all costs.

For other areas I've seen / heard -
Ft Mill / Tega Cay - good schools, but we've not found anything that is within the 30 minute mark that we like
Ballantyne - concerned about the traffic, but otherwise looks good. Looks like you definitely pay a premium for the area though - homes seem to be 20% higher than other areas of greater charlotte.
union county - looks excellent, but too far away from the airport and things to do for me
Belmont - looks like a good alternative to CMS, but from a quick drive it seemed too small town for my tastes.
Mountain lake - seems like Pineville only without the hope of better schools opening. I love the area and found some wonderful homes, but I see no hope of schools there being any good.

Any bright ideas? We'd planned on spending most of the summer looking, but our house in richmond closes in mid July so we've got to accelerate our house hunt.

Thanks,

I like McCullough a lot! It is very attractive and convenient, especially for the things you are interested in.

And shame on the realtor who told you to avoid it because of the schools - they are not supposed to steer you like that.

South Mecklenburg High school is very well liked. It is not the top school rated high school, true, but it's a solid B for sure. And remember, there is much more to a school than the stats and testing numbers. Go visit them, look around, get a feel for how responsive and attentive the administrators are then decide for yourself
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Old 05-31-2012, 06:12 PM
 
186 posts, read 358,890 times
Reputation: 209
I've actually been checking into that neighborhood myself. Just wondering if the realtor that told you stay away gave you a specific reason? John Wieland builds really high quality beautiful homes, but it always seems to be on the edge in terms of location, though in many cases the area matures very nicely. I've heard Pineville Elem is either getting upgraded/reno-ed or maybe moved? I've listed the pluses as gorgeous homes, close to Target, light rail etc, much easier commute - take back road to I-77, homes consistently selling at a reasonable pace, decent lot sizes - 1/4 acre plus, close to Anne Springs Greenway/trails. The minuses are proximity to flea market, market uncertainty about Pineville and price point, really new so no mature landscaping, not sure how I-77 S to exit 1 compares to I-77 N to Lake Norman, not wild about the proximity to Carolina Place. I'll say this too about Mt. Island - the newer neighborhoods have lots of the big power lines everywhere, and a number of homes are right by the coal fired power plant. Duke is going to close it, but maintain the substation, its not clear what else they might do there.
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:51 AM
 
314 posts, read 565,756 times
Reputation: 225
Have you looked at Huntersville or parts of Concord? That will still keep you within the 30 minute mark to the airport and the whitewater center. Also, parts of Davidson will put you a little further away than 30 minutes but you can afford homes in that price range so you may want to give that a look too.
Sorry to expand the search! I relocated from MA and looked all over too and I remember it being so confusing as to which area to choose...lots of nice areas here!
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Old 06-01-2012, 06:21 PM
 
12 posts, read 13,361 times
Reputation: 11
Thanks all for the thoughts and ideas. We're coming from bigger small cities (Raleigh, Phoenix, and Richmond) so I'm still very nervous about small towns. Very possibly I'm being unfair there, but so far we've avoided towns that didn't have easy access to day care and at least a medium size grocery store.

Will probably head down again for (yet another) look. The disadvantage of a town this spread out - lots of small commuter cities so lots of choices and few of them really wrong.

The realtor's main concern other than McCullough's middle school was resale difficulty after the SC side is started (b/c of better schools, lower taxes, etc). I've spent enough time in NC that I'm biased enough to not be concerned, but she seemed to think that most people would only buy in SC after that.

Until this afternoon Ballantyne was top of the list, but traffic there post work seems to be brutal (55 minutes estimated to the WW center at 6 PM). It's still in the running, but I Ft Mill and Huntersville just moved up the list.
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Old 06-01-2012, 07:18 PM
 
12 posts, read 13,361 times
Reputation: 11
One more followup after looking up schools in Huntersville. The schools there seem no better than Mountain Island lake or Pineville (per greatschools.org). But average SAT scores for seem to tell a different story - north Meck beat even Lake Norman Charter. Am I missing something?
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Old 06-01-2012, 08:45 PM
 
186 posts, read 358,890 times
Reputation: 209
The towns in Charlotte (Cornelius, Huntersville, Davidson, Pineville, Matthews) are no different from what Richmonders think of as Glen Allen, West End, Chesterfield, Midlothian, Short Pump etc. Huntersville is extremely similar to Midlothian. Charlotte by the way is larger than both Richmond and Raleigh, don't forget that Charlotte is large enough to support pro sports teams and Raleigh and Richmond don't. North Meck underwent a zone change when the new Hough HS opened in Cornelius, for the 2010-2011 school year and without a senior class. Hough siphoned off the well to do areas of Davidson, Cornelius, and Huntersville and added more higher poverty areas, so North Meck may not see sustained performance.
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