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Old 12-24-2015, 02:17 PM
 
3 posts, read 4,045 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi everyone,

We've been living in California for the past couple years and are looking to return to North Carolina. We've been pretty unhappy here, so we're looking to find a good place to set down roots. I don't know Charlotte quite as well (having come from Raleigh) and was looking for advice on the best suburb given our "perfect" place.

Highest priorities:

- Schools are absolutely the most important. We have a young daughter and are hoping to stop moving so much. That means good schools all the way through high school. Ideally public.
- Charming, quaint neighborhood. We like to be near the water if possible. Take a nice walk with our dogs. Get out into some parks/trails. Go see a movie.
- In case I end up having to commute to work one day (for now I'll work from home), I'd love to be a reasonable commute time into Charlotte. Reasonable meaning around 45 minutes.

Bonus:
- Near lake/water would be really great, but realize it may not be possible.

I think our maximum budget is $500k.

Really we want a great place for our daughter to grow up in, both in terms of culture and activities. We'd like to find a spot to stay for a while.

Any advice would be appreciated!
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Old 12-24-2015, 03:12 PM
 
Location: Tega Cay, SC
537 posts, read 547,764 times
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Look at Tega Cay, SC. It borders Charlotte, is on the lake, has top rated schools and is a safe place to raise a family.

Tega Cay Accolades | Tega Cay, SC - Official Website
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Old 12-24-2015, 05:10 PM
 
3,743 posts, read 11,282,530 times
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I guess my first question is, do you want to easily access the culture of the city or not? If so, I'd be looking from just south of the city (Dilworth, Elizabeth, Myers Park) to the SouthPark area, and maybe get into the Meyers Park school district.

The other option is to live aways from the city, like Tega Cay (near water), Weddington, etc. Everything is strip malls and chain restaurants, but you can get a lot of house for your money.

$500k will get you a decent place anywhere in the city - I'll only advise you to be wary of north Charlotte areas like Huntersville, Davidson, Lake Norman, etc, because traffic to/from the city is terrible and it will only get worse as those areas continue to grow, despite the coming toll road.
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Old 12-24-2015, 06:26 PM
 
Location: livin' the good life
2,147 posts, read 3,659,734 times
Reputation: 1238
Quote:
Originally Posted by Proud Father View Post
Look at Tega Cay, SC. It borders Charlotte, is on the lake, has top rated schools and is a safe place to raise a family.

Tega Cay Accolades | Tega Cay, SC - Official Website
Curious, what are the top rated schools near Tega Cay?
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Old 12-25-2015, 02:01 PM
 
156 posts, read 145,729 times
Reputation: 182
Unfortunately, being near water, having an easy commute to uptown Charlotte, and having good schools don't really come together. You're going to have to pick two of the three.

I don't know too much about the south Charlotte/Lake Wylie area, but I'm sure others will give you great info.

As far as up north / Lake Norman goes...

Cornelius/Davidson might be an area you'd like to consider.

Pros: Good schools as long as you stay in the Hough HS area. Plenty of amenities within a mile or two no matter what part of town you're in. A couple nice parks on the Lake (Jetton Park and Ramsey Creek Park) along with other non-lake parks and some greenways and walking trails. $500k will get you a nice house close to the water, but not on it.

Cons: Its crowded. Lots of traffic. Really pushing it for a commute to Charlotte, though thousands do it every day. One of the more expensive areas, but its because its a good place to live.


Other areas by Lake Norman...

Mooresville: Cheaper, out of Mecklenburg County (less taxes and drama). Great schools, lots of shopping. Generally cheaper to buy a home in than the above. But, also crowded/lots of traffic, fewer parks, farther from Charlotte (I wouldn't recommend this if you're planning on commuting.)

Denver: Also out of Mecklenburg County. Don't know as much about the schools over there but I've heard good ones can be found. Not much lake access unless you own a home on the water and that will still probably be out of your budget. Much easier to get to Charlotte than the above, though still not a breeze. It is a much more rural area, but there are still stores and things that you'll need. You'll get more for your money over here but have less around.

Huntersville: Stay out of the Hopewell and especially North Meck High areas. If you're in the very northern part of Huntersville, off of Exit 25, and in Hough HS's area, everything I wrote above about Cornelius applies. Birkdale Village is a neat area.
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Old 12-25-2015, 02:15 PM
 
44,344 posts, read 17,721,479 times
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Look at Davidson. It meets all your criteria.
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Old 12-25-2015, 03:06 PM
 
3 posts, read 4,045 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sayantsi View Post
I guess my first question is, do you want to easily access the culture of the city or not? If so, I'd be looking from just south of the city (Dilworth, Elizabeth, Myers Park) to the SouthPark area, and maybe get into the Meyers Park school district.

The other option is to live aways from the city, like Tega Cay (near water), Weddington, etc. Everything is strip malls and chain restaurants, but you can get a lot of house for your money.

$500k will get you a decent place anywhere in the city - I'll only advise you to be wary of north Charlotte areas like Huntersville, Davidson, Lake Norman, etc, because traffic to/from the city is terrible and it will only get worse as those areas continue to grow, despite the coming toll road.
Thanks for the reply everyone. Strip malls - especially the old, run down ones - are definitely not our thing. I really want a pleasant place for my daughter to grow up. Good point about traffic though. I *probably* won't have to commute and can work from home, but if things ever change, I don't want to be completely stuck with a bad commute.
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Old 12-25-2015, 06:47 PM
 
50 posts, read 43,149 times
Reputation: 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sayantsi View Post
I guess my first question is, do you want to easily access the culture of the city..,.
Culture of the city?

The must see collection at the Bechtler, Mint, and NASCAR? You're funny!
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Old 12-27-2015, 11:16 AM
 
Location: fort mill
28 posts, read 24,031 times
Reputation: 13
Fort Mill is nice - we don't have lake communities, but quick access via Tega Cay or Lake Wylie. Lake Wylie is also an option, but a commute Uptown would be longer. As far as the northern end of the city, the bridge over Lake Norman clogs up terribly, I would avoid that if you can. I've heard wonderful things about the city of Davidson & Mooresville too; but again, that terrible bridge to get back and forth from Uptown.
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Old 12-27-2015, 12:52 PM
 
487 posts, read 656,725 times
Reputation: 550
Quote:
Originally Posted by WaldoKitty View Post
Look at Davidson. It meets all your criteria.
Except price. Davidson at 500K will be hard. All of that is easy to get close to main street but you will pay more like 500-700K. You can get Davidson at 500K but it will be on the outskirts which do not meet the criteria
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