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Old 11-22-2017, 04:00 PM
 
Location: Ballantyne area in Charlotte
24 posts, read 32,371 times
Reputation: 51

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Hello Readers,
we recently completed 2 years of stay at Charlotte and i wanted to share my experience so far.
Although, we took decision of moving to charlotte by reading through various forums, talking to few people and over-hyped information on Charlotte on internet.

My thoughts:
Why we move from previous location? I have lived and loved east coast and mid-west for decades. But we (my family) decided to look for a more moderate weather location, good lifestyle and schooling with diversity.

Selection process - We considered few cities in Ohio, Georgia, tennessee , Carolina's for above mentioned reasons.(actually went to Texas as well: but felt too hot)

Finally, We decided to move to Charlotte by getting some second hand information from online forums, common friends about this place and they were pros/cons for Charlotte. However, we were more bias for this place because of name heard so many times compared to other cities.

Arrival - It was very impressive to see greenery around Charlotte specially around Aug-Sep when we moved. We liked the moderate weather and were able to find good restaurants quickly to have a feel of city. However, we started missing big libraries , eat out options, Whole food type big and good grocery stores and variety of places to visit over weekends. In any case, we adjusted well and had nice first 6 months by visiting almost all placed in Charlotte.

Schools - We moved from school district which were great into new school district (CMS) which is also considered to highly rated. But, we immediately saw a huge difference in the level of education and teaching methodology in school. The schools are over-burdened with high Teacher - Student ratio, course content is fairly lower in effort than in east/mid-west schools where our kid studied. It was little laid back and casual Although , I cannot comment if North Carolina schools system has different course curriculum than New jersey/New York , Chicago, PA schools, but we found huge difference in new learning capability of our child. She complained few times about same course contents in previous class but anyways, we passed it on and never thought too much. One other unique difference we saw in NC schools was about the rooms. Elementary schools did not have enough rooms in school building for students, so they actually make trailers as classroom(off-course with HVAC). There are some rezoning activities happening in CMS schools and students may have to change schools next year.

Community - The city specially suburbs like Ballantyne and nearby South charlotte is laid back and very dull after 6PM in winters and 7PM in summers. We did not found many people on short evening walks. Also, there are not many kids playing out too much in very few parks available in neighborhood. There are bunch of private sports classes like swimming , Taekwondo, tennis but not much public parks activities. People are generally nice but most of the times just a quick "Hello" and greetings. Probably they have to do better things inside home all the evening.

Commute / Traffic - One important criteria we had for selecting new home was low traffic. We got it wrong on this one as traffic is really bad depending on which part of city you live and work. Regardless, 2 major highways ( I-77 and 485) are clogged during rush hours and thereafter, Independence blvd is jammed most of the working hours, small roads connecting suburbs are busy during rush hours. Actually, in last 4-6 months, long car lines are commonly seen and commute from Ballantyne to Downtown has gone to almost 50 min each way. As the city is growing fast, roads are still small and many a times left turns are a problem in local roads.

Housing - We looked into south charlotte ( like an Arc) and tried to find a place with above selection criteria. We picked CMS schools with rating of 8 or more . we selected a small community around ballantyne which has enough open space, ample parking, basic amenities , diverse population. The housing has really become expensive as it seems to be "Sellers' market" and an real old house is being sold for unbelievable price.
Probably, people like this area but townhome/Single family are all expensive and its over lifetime peak valuation now. Our neighborhood has 20 years SF home above $350k and <5 years SF around $500k(with rentals for 3bed is over $1700).
We have been hearing lot of crimes reported in neighborhoods and specially theft happening very often.
We may plan to sell our house in this peak market in case we decide to move out of school district.

Employment - There were some news that charlotte has lot of new employment opportunities and i tried enquiring / searching online. I specifically belong to IT and can confirm that there aren't many local IT jobs atleast now. It all depends on each individual industry, but I see people driving lot of Uber/Lyft after being fired or leaving jobs for whatever reasons. In brief, please make sure to check various online reliable job sites and talk to someone real during your job search. Please donít assume about employment opportunities.

For other facilities like medical, i won't talk too much as not much positive experience.
One thing i wonder - Is this city ready to absorb influx of people like me moving in high numbers at least with current infrastructure?

Please excuse me if this hurts someone sentiments and these comments are purely based on our family experiences so far. I still have limited knowledge of Charlotte around Concord, Steele creek, Mathews but they all are similar in some aspects.

Thanks for reading.
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Old 11-22-2017, 05:17 PM
 
486 posts, read 287,544 times
Reputation: 101
Do u live right in Charlotte? We are relocating next year from central ny. Mint hill or matthews area. We were also looking for low traffic. I hear all areas are bad during rush hour, but also hear there are alternative routes.
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Old 11-22-2017, 06:09 PM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
21,961 posts, read 27,242,088 times
Reputation: 8998
Quote:
Originally Posted by veekay3 View Post
Hello Readers,
we recently completed 2 years of stay at Charlotte and i wanted to share my experience so far.
Although, we took decision of moving to charlotte by reading through various forums, talking to few people and over-hyped information on Charlotte on internet.

My thoughts:
Why we move from previous location? I have lived and loved east coast and mid-west for decades. But we (my family) decided to look for a more moderate weather location, good lifestyle and schooling with diversity.

Selection process - We considered few cities in Ohio, Georgia, tennessee , Carolina's for above mentioned reasons.(actually went to Texas as well: but felt too hot)

Finally, We decided to move to Charlotte by getting some second hand information from online forums, common friends about this place and they were pros/cons for Charlotte. However, we were more bias for this place because of name heard so many times compared to other cities.

Arrival - It was very impressive to see greenery around Charlotte specially around Aug-Sep when we moved. We liked the moderate weather and were able to find good restaurants quickly to have a feel of city. However, we started missing big libraries , eat out options, Whole food type big and good grocery stores and variety of places to visit over weekends. In any case, we adjusted well and had nice first 6 months by visiting almost all placed in Charlotte.

Schools - We moved from school district which were great into new school district (CMS) which is also considered to highly rated. But, we immediately saw a huge difference in the level of education and teaching methodology in school. The schools are over-burdened with high Teacher - Student ratio, course content is fairly lower in effort than in east/mid-west schools where our kid studied. It was little laid back and casual Although , I cannot comment if North Carolina schools system has different course curriculum than New jersey/New York , Chicago, PA schools, but we found huge difference in new learning capability of our child. She complained few times about same course contents in previous class but anyways, we passed it on and never thought too much. One other unique difference we saw in NC schools was about the rooms. Elementary schools did not have enough rooms in school building for students, so they actually make trailers as classroom(off-course with HVAC). There are some rezoning activities happening in CMS schools and students may have to change schools next year.

Community - The city specially suburbs like Ballantyne and nearby South charlotte is laid back and very dull after 6PM in winters and 7PM in summers. We did not found many people on short evening walks. Also, there are not many kids playing out too much in very few parks available in neighborhood. There are bunch of private sports classes like swimming , Taekwondo, tennis but not much public parks activities. People are generally nice but most of the times just a quick "Hello" and greetings. Probably they have to do better things inside home all the evening.

Commute / Traffic - One important criteria we had for selecting new home was low traffic. We got it wrong on this one as traffic is really bad depending on which part of city you live and work. Regardless, 2 major highways ( I-77 and 485) are clogged during rush hours and thereafter, Independence blvd is jammed most of the working hours, small roads connecting suburbs are busy during rush hours. Actually, in last 4-6 months, long car lines are commonly seen and commute from Ballantyne to Downtown has gone to almost 50 min each way. As the city is growing fast, roads are still small and many a times left turns are a problem in local roads.

Housing - We looked into south charlotte ( like an Arc) and tried to find a place with above selection criteria. We picked CMS schools with rating of 8 or more . we selected a small community around ballantyne which has enough open space, ample parking, basic amenities , diverse population. The housing has really become expensive as it seems to be "Sellers' market" and an real old house is being sold for unbelievable price.
Probably, people like this area but townhome/Single family are all expensive and its over lifetime peak valuation now. Our neighborhood has 20 years SF home above $350k and <5 years SF around $500k(with rentals for 3bed is over $1700).
We have been hearing lot of crimes reported in neighborhoods and specially theft happening very often.
We may plan to sell our house in this peak market in case we decide to move out of school district.

Employment - There were some news that charlotte has lot of new employment opportunities and i tried enquiring / searching online. I specifically belong to IT and can confirm that there aren't many local IT jobs atleast now. It all depends on each individual industry, but I see people driving lot of Uber/Lyft after being fired or leaving jobs for whatever reasons. In brief, please make sure to check various online reliable job sites and talk to someone real during your job search. Please donít assume about employment opportunities.

For other facilities like medical, i won't talk too much as not much positive experience.
One thing i wonder - Is this city ready to absorb influx of people like me moving in high numbers at least with current infrastructure?

Please excuse me if this hurts someone sentiments and these comments are purely based on our family experiences so far. I still have limited knowledge of Charlotte around Concord, Steele creek, Mathews but they all are similar in some aspects.

Thanks for reading.
Just an FYI, if you're looking at school districts in the future, look for blue ribbon schools.
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Old 11-22-2017, 06:17 PM
 
317 posts, read 176,594 times
Reputation: 671
Quote:
Originally Posted by veekay3 View Post
My thoughts:
Why we move from previous location? I have lived and loved east coast and mid-west for decades. But we (my family) decided to look for a more moderate weather location, good lifestyle and schooling with diversity.
Here we go again with "diversity."

Quote:
Originally Posted by veekay3 View Post
Finally, We decided to move to Charlotte by getting some second hand information from online forums, common friends about this place and they were pros/cons for Charlotte. However, we were more bias for this place because of name heard so many times compared to other cities.
The word is biased.

Quote:
Originally Posted by veekay3 View Post
Housing - We picked CMS schools with rating of 8 or more . we selected a small community around ballantyne which has enough open space, ample parking, basic amenities , diverse population.

...

We have been hearing lot of crimes reported in neighborhoods and specially theft happening very often.
We may plan to sell our house in this peak market in case we decide to move out of school district.
The colloquial use of "diversity" almost always means high crime.


Quote:
Originally Posted by veekay3 View Post
One thing i wonder - Is this city ready to absorb influx of people like me moving in high numbers at least with current infrastructure?
No, the city can barely handle who's here already. Bye Felicia!
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Old 11-22-2017, 06:49 PM
 
3,412 posts, read 3,218,643 times
Reputation: 3853
Quote:
Originally Posted by rm10269123 View Post
Do u live right in Charlotte? We are relocating next year from central ny. Mint hill or matthews area. We were also looking for low traffic. I hear all areas are bad during rush hour, but also hear there are alternative routes.
Traffic is so subjective. I live in the Concord Mills area and I commute to uptown. It's a 13 mile commute and it takes me 30-35 minutes in the morning. Once I get on 77 at exit 23 to my exit 11a ( 277 which is the inner loop around the city) is 14 minutes. There is a slow up at exit 13 which is people getting on and off 85 and then the lane to get on 277 is slow unless you're one of the *******s that decides they don't want to wait in the line and cuts in at the last second.

I don't think that's a long commute but someone else that relocates from a small town might think that's the worst commute ever.

Schools are also subjective. My kids ES is A+ rated. High test scores and loads of parent participation. We have kids of all races and it's a wonderful place to live.

One thing I've learned is that my husband and I were lucky. We picked Cabarrus county because of the lower taxes. We found the house we wanted to build and went with the neighborhood because it was just opening and we could build the model we wanted. We did this all from 400 miles away. We made one visit down here for a weekend to check out the area. We never considered the school district.

There are many people here on this forum that weren't so lucky. They didn't do their research and they weren't able to visit and they took people's advice from this forum and they are miserable. Do your own research so you can make your own choice based on what you see and not what someone else recommends.

Last edited by Riley09swb; 11-22-2017 at 06:59 PM..
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Old 11-22-2017, 07:05 PM
 
5,882 posts, read 7,735,164 times
Reputation: 3377
People have been moving to Charlotte in droves for decades. I don't think any area can be "ready" for that kind of influx, but all in all I think Charlotte has done OK.

One comment that stood out to me was that you said you visited almost all places in Charlotte, but then went on to say that you only have limited knowledge of Concord, Steele Creek, Matthews. Steele Creek and Matthews are only like 15 minutes from Ballantyne so it doesn't really sound like you did a whole lot of visiting.

Some of your criticisms are fair, but I find it interesting that among your complaints are traffic and housing costs, yet have lived in Chicago and NY/NJ which are much worse in both of those aspects.

Where do you plan to go next? If "one of the cities" in GA you considered was Atlanta, good luck with their traffic.

Did you consider the Triangle just a couple hours up I-85 the first time around? If the IT job market is important I'd think that would have been a strong contender and I know is often mentioned on these forums when IT jobs are brought up.
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Old 11-22-2017, 07:08 PM
 
2,837 posts, read 4,153,930 times
Reputation: 6874
Quote:
Originally Posted by Riley09swb View Post

There are many people here on this forum that weren't so lucky. They didn't do their research and they weren't able to visit and they took people's advice from this forum and they are miserable. Do your own research so you can make your own choice based on what you see and not what someone else recommends.
This is so true! Everyone has their own preferences - that's why there are so many options. I recommend renting for a year when you move somewhere. That way you get a feel for what is important to you.
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Old 11-22-2017, 07:11 PM
LLN
 
Location: Upstairs closet
4,981 posts, read 8,741,524 times
Reputation: 6450
I taught the NC math curriculum, 8th grade, which transitions to algebra and may well be the toughest course of any, K-12.

We had a fairly fluid student body, lots of military moves.

I never had an 8th grader come in from NY, NJ, or CA that was not WOEFULLY BEHIND our math. Never. I had one child from DC suburbs, whose mom told me how she had been in advanced math, who struggled to keep up the remainder of the year.

In fact, I only had one kid transfer in who was measurably ahead of us. He was from Northern Virginia as well, and showed up his first day of school with a Harvard tee shirt. I should have figured all that out. After a week or two, I was able, by breaking all rules, to get him transferred into algebra, mid term.

This information relates to the curriculum, not the school or me. The same curriculum taught in CMS.
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Old 11-23-2017, 08:54 AM
 
391 posts, read 243,397 times
Reputation: 262
I taught for a couple of years. When I hear people lie the OP put on the "I'm the expert" hat thinking that everyone is just like her, I remember the following: A big mouthed young lady came into my math class and immediately started talking about how far behind we are in math. After placating her, I nicely invited her to explain to the students how to accomplish the task for which I was illustrating. She had no clue. She voiced the prejudices from her parents obviously.

As soon as I saw that the OP had a "biased" concept of Charlotte, I knew she was going to be a critic. A percentage of Charlotte is like she mentioned. That is true in all large cities. But, the opposite is also prevalent.

I do know that when I travel around the country now, practically everyone I meet expresses a desire to move here. I have never heard anyone speak ill of Charlotte. I just want readers to know that you need to visit and not assume that the somewhat biased opinion of a newcomer is valid. This is a big area and has lots to offer everyone. If you can't find what you're looking for here, it doesn't exist. Charlotte might not be the best city in the U.S., but after living in the north and midwest, I would never go back to live. Bottom line, form your own opinion by reading data and taking a trip (like I did) for a couple of weeks and check out the area and investigate. Once you move, it isn't that easy.

Not only are there lots of good schools in the area, the surround the area, i.e., Fort Mill, Concord, Mooresville, etc.

One final note. Practically all school districts in the U.S. buy school books from the same sources and generally have close academic goals. Achievement of goals and lesson plans depends on students in that district. So, if someone comes here and their child finds that their class lags behind comparatively, it is because the students are not achieving goals and that is due to many factors and not the city. And 99% of the time when I hear parents say that their child is far ahead of his/her peers, it is the opposite. Do your homework, check things out.
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Old 11-23-2017, 09:32 AM
 
1,466 posts, read 1,009,776 times
Reputation: 1689
Many people move to Charlotte looking for what Charlotte can offer them, rather than what they can offer to Charlotte. We live in a consumer culture in the USA, and when people look at a place to live, they think of all the things it can offer them. I believe true community, deeper and move meaningful friendships, and a true connection to Charlotte occurs when newcomers change their thinking from "what can I get out of this place" to "what can I offer this place and its community."

Many newcomers embrace the "what can I offer" mentality and they get to know their neighbors, volunteer in the community, get involved in the school system, local sports, churches, non-profits, government, charities, social groups, etc.... They start new businesses where they see a void, they start charities, enrich the community, support the sports teams, and build off the culture of the area. They see their isn't currently a Polish restaurant in the area, and they open one to enrich our community.

Then there are other newcomers who move and want Charlotte to offer them their hopes and dreams financially. They want the biggest and newest house away from crime with excellent schools and the promise their children will have everything they need for financial success. In this instance, the city will let them down. No place is perfect and when you put so much stock in "I'm gonna get what I want", and it doesn't happen, then you get let down. Meaningful relationships often don't develop because the pursuit of financial success and getting what you want trumps all other. Often they mention "people are rude because they don't seek me out to be a friend" compared to the thought of "what have I done to show I care, what have I offered to others, and how have I gone out of my way to show I understand the sacrifice and love of friendship and community."
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