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Old 01-03-2008, 08:48 PM
 
19 posts, read 52,233 times
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I have read a lot on these forums and thought I'd try posting to see if I can get any more specific advice. I moved to Charlotte in May to study for and take the bar. I passed (thank goodness) and began working this past September for an uptown firm. I have been renting a townhome in Sedgefield Station off of South Blvd. but I am ready to take that next step and purchase a home of my own.

I have looked at a variety of areas in town and in South Charlotte. I am also interested in the Huntersville area as my boyfriend may have found a job in that area (he currently lives in Florida but is trying to relocate). But I am pretty clueless about where to begin looking up there and to stay somewhat near other young singles/couples. Anyhow, I am trying to decide what the best step is for me based on what is available in the market.

I have driven through Stone Creek Ranch and a variety of other Ballantyne neighborhoods and I have to admit I love that area. I know there will be a bad commute (especially if boyfriend ends up living with me and working in Huntersville) but I am wondering whether it is worth it to live in such a nice clean well-lit area (I've notice that there are not too many street lights uptown!). I've also looked at the Springs Village townhomes near the Arboretum and am considering making a visit to Park South Station this weekend.

I am not that enthralled thus far with the areas around uptown Charlotte. I find it dark and not that welcoming. I haven't gone out as much as I thought I would, and I really would like to find a neighborhood where I am close to shopping/restaurants/movie theaters etc and can also take a walk on a saturday morning.

Oh and having a garage (preferrably a 2-car garage) is a must. Price range is 225K-350K. I would love to hear if other people have ideas that I have not yet considered or checked out.

Thanks in advance
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Old 01-03-2008, 08:56 PM
 
Location: South Charlotte
1,435 posts, read 5,218,539 times
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Well I'm partial to the South and think that Stone Creek Ranch is a great idea. I have a few clients that have purchased in there and are very happy. There are a few other townhome communities around the Ballantyne and Blakeney area that have 2-car garages as well. Blakeney Preserve(Pulte), Reavencrest, Charleston Place, Cedar Walk(new), and also the new Pulte community that is being developed off Audrey Kell.

Park South Station offers a lot for the money as well. They have a quatermaine floorplan that has become very popular and offers a lot of floorplan changes and options.

You can get alot for your money in these areas and will have a good amount of options weather its new or re-sale. In addition, if you went the 1-car garage route you would have even more options! Also you most likely won't need to spend over $300K to get what you want.

Last edited by Charlottean; 01-03-2008 at 09:06 PM..
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Old 01-04-2008, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Huntersville
1,852 posts, read 4,664,018 times
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Your price range is close to mine and I, like you, didn't prefer the uptown and wanted a little more yard. You will get pretty good bang for your buck in Huntersville if you chose that area. Did you want a townhome or a detached? For $300K you can get a nice 2500sqft+ with .33 acre in a good niegborhood, under 10 years old and a 2 car garage. Huntersville I think is the younger of the suburban areas and I say that because of the lake and Birkdale. NoDa may be but you pay a bit more for the homes there. Again depends on what type of home you are looking for, do you want smaller with charm or larger and newer. One newer area that looks decent and I have checked it out several times is the Villages at Rosedale. Newer community so not a lot of holder trees, but decent homes and fairly well laid out.
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Old 01-04-2008, 09:34 AM
 
Location: University Area, Charlotte
102 posts, read 85,182 times
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sarav05, first of all congrats to you on taking the first step. I am not here to comment on the areas, but about the post in general. You indicated 225 - 350 as your range. That is kind of too wide a range to call it a range. More over you said you have been working for only 5 months now.. so think over the ball park more carefully.

The reason i say this is because, once you think 350, then even if you check out a 320 home with options it might run over and you will compromise. Have a nice high end, in which you will be comfortable with making payments and also can enjoy other things. I dont know what your job pays, but have a max of 35% of your income after taxes as your home payment.

Just my 2 cents, congrats once again.
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Old 01-04-2008, 09:48 AM
 
Location: Huntersville
1,521 posts, read 4,474,347 times
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In the Huntersville Corridor you can get some real nice homes under $300K still. Check out some of the MI communities. Granite etc come standard.
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Old 01-04-2008, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
624 posts, read 1,887,842 times
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Just an FYI, doesn't have anything to do with the Housing question but more the area to live in. I've found that the ZipCodeStats.com? website to be a useful tool when trying to determine the age range and general information about the area.

The website lets you type in any US Zip Code and gives you information on median home prices, average household family incomes, demographics by age, race, and income. So far it seems to give back a decent representation, obviously we should all realize it's not all in the numbers, but it may help when trying to locate a "younger" population of people.
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Old 01-04-2008, 11:47 AM
 
1,253 posts, read 4,157,512 times
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I assume you have scoped out all of Dillworth? I guess that might be out of your price range but it should be close.

If you are looking for a single family home with a yard, etc. Then you should check out Huntingtowne Farms. Its a well hiden secret .5 miles from the Southpark Mall but still very affordable.
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Old 01-04-2008, 12:30 PM
 
19 posts, read 52,233 times
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I only started work 5 months ago but I am making 130K. I can afford pretty high payments and still stay under the 35% margin. I really don't think it is too wide of a range because it depends on where you are looking and whether I go townhome or single family, new construction or resale, etc.

My coworkers in the exact same position as me (just out of law school, student loan debt but high salary) have bought within the 175-400K range for example. The new construction I've looked at in Stone Creek Ranch was pre-priced at 349K with all the upgrades etc included.

Quick update .. I think my boyfriend may be closer to having a job lined up in H'Ville. We have been dating for almost 2 years and will probably live together (although I will buy the house in my own name and he'll help with mortgage etc). I would appreciate any specific feedback on Huntersville neighborhoods. Does anybody have any feedback about Skybrook???
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Old 01-04-2008, 12:35 PM
 
569 posts, read 1,220,535 times
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I personally love anywhere close in. I know you said that really did not appeal to you but I think it's worth another look. If you live close in you are pretty much 15-20 minutes from anywhere. You also have to factor in how much money you save in gas and car service alone. Also your time is another factor. How much time would you spend in your car everyday if you lived further out? I have lived in Chantilly(an older inner city area) for the past six years and I love it. I complain now when I have to drive more than 15 minutes. When I bought my house everyone said the same thing about my area being dirty,dark and unsafe. Over the past six years I have seen my investment more than double in value while everyone in the suburbs still is just getting thier standard 7-8% return every year. Some neighborhoods I would check out are: Madison Park,Montclaire,Merry Oaks,Midwood,NoDa,Sheffield/Eastway Park and of course Chantilly. Best of luck to you
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Old 01-04-2008, 12:38 PM
 
19 posts, read 52,233 times
Reputation: 11
Thanks for the message. I have checked out Madison Park, Midwood, NoDa, and Chantilly. My real estate agent is going to take me to view some of those properties over the next few weeks. A big problem we've been finding is that there are no single family homes in my price range with garages. I am a single young woman and I feel more comfortable pulling into my garage at night (can you tell I grew up in a nice middle class suburb community?). I have also rented a townhome for the past 8 months that has a garage so I have been pretty spoiled. I will check out the other neighborhoods though and see what I find. Thanks again for all the advice.
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