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Old 03-20-2013, 07:04 AM
 
23 posts, read 48,542 times
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FearofTransplant - unfortunately the way UC was developed during the fast and furious years of the real estate bubble, not much thought was given to master planning, connectivity of neighborhoods or walkability. That was left to individual developers who bought up patches of farmland. If you want to live in Western Union County and want your kids to be able to be able to walk or ride their bike around you can't avoid the really big developments like Marvin Creek, Somerset, Hunter Oaks or Weddington Chase. Downtown Waxhaw of course is another option of an actual town center, but you have to decide if the school options fit your requirements. Of course, these developments are islands unto themselves, so they will be only riding to their friends who live in the neighborhood. There is a back gate into Marvin Elementary School so the residents of Marvin Creek can walk their kids there, but Marvin Ridge MS and HS have no sidewalks until you are within a 100 yards of the front door. Kids are seriously discouraged from walking there even from the adjacent neighborhoods. Chimneys of Marvin backs up to Sandy Ridge Elementary school but again you are talking "cookie cutter" homes. Weddington schools are set up in a triangle of land so all the schools are essentially on the same piece of land. There is a pocket neighborhood of Weddington Hills that backs up to the campuses (custom homes.) Of course there are no sidewalks or safe ways of getting to other neighborhoods. Note that because of this, all children get a school bus - even if they live across the street from the school as the district does not provide cross walks or crossing guards. A lot of people move to Western UC for the top quality schools and lower taxes, but there is a price to pay.

Charlotte Mecklenberg schools have had their issues and we were told to watch out for all the redistricting. The pocket in South Charlotte that feeds into Audrey Kell High School all has excellent schools, but again is mostly newer more densely packed developments and will be pricier. The area boasts more sidewalks, some bike paths and shopping. There are some larger older properties spotted around (usually backing up new developments) but my guess is these will be priced at land value for a developer to turn into more densely packed homes. As you get further into Charlotte, you will find a lot more "neighborhoods" but unless the home is on a busy road like Providence Road, they will be much more expensive than UC and the school situation varies. When we first moved here, we ruled out those areas as we had elementary school kids and were afraid there were too many variables on the schools going into MS & HS.

We could not bring ourselves to buy into a "cookie cutter" development but in many ways wished we did for the sake of the children as we found social life revolved around the neighborhoods (pools in the summer) and that it was hard to arrange "play dates" for the kids as they were already hanging out with the neighborhood kids and the parents did not have an incentive to drive them anywhere. It is a tough choice to make and some depends on how social you are and how much time you have to spend pursuing friendships. When the kids are younger they tend to play with the kids on their street, when they get to HS, of course that all changes.
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:52 AM
 
985 posts, read 1,647,136 times
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Maybe the thing to do is look on weekends, during the week anytime you can. When my husband was down here looking the criteria was : people outside in the neighborhood - kids, adults etc. walking playing talking whatever. That was a bigger focus for us as well as say pool and a place for people to gather in the summer. We wanted a lot that could support a full volleyball net and an additional sport.

There are many neighborhoods that offer this with sidewalks and things to do, playgrounds, pools etc, in Union County even in Waxhaw. In all honesty there are many at many price points.

It was the "feel" of the place that worked for us and what we wanted. I know others that bought the unique house without much a neighborhood, and yes they are driving their kids to the neighborhoods where the kids gather. It happens, but you miss out on the doorbell ringing or a text coming in and the kids meeting at the pool, at the tennis courts, at the basketball court or even volleyball court. It does sort of seem you have to decide what it is you want.
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:55 AM
 
Location: Waxhaw, NC
1,076 posts, read 1,990,374 times
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I am one who decided to rent on a large lot in outer unincorporated union county to be able to keep my horses at home, and thought it would be great. I ABSOLUTELY LOOOOOVED IT. But it wasn't fair for our daughter. We just purchased in a neighborhood. As much as it kills me to be a little closer to everyone and give up what the country had to offer, it will be far better for her to be within steps of a friends house. School district also played a part in the decision making. I would have preferred to stay on acreage in a neighborhood but I don't know how available that is, without spending a small fortune
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