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Old 04-07-2009, 09:21 PM
 
5 posts, read 5,031 times
Reputation: 30
I lived there much of my life, and I will say I'd expect to want to leave after the big city novelty wears off. Growing up there, I guess I took the urban aspect for granted, because Raleigh definitely is not the same, even on Glenwood South, but it's better in so many ways for me. I just think Charlotte needs to focus on their infrastructure problems before continuing to expand.

 
Old 04-08-2009, 12:06 AM
 
7 posts, read 6,491 times
Reputation: 19
My two daughters (12 and 14) and I just returned from a trip to Charlotte. We were thinking of relocating there from Long Island. We were doing so because we thought it would offer us a better life. We would sell our home here and purchase a home there and have a very small mortgage. We would pay off our bills and hopefully live a more relaxed lifestyle. My husband is a retired New York City police officer, so we thought it would give us a chance to enjoy retirement while our girls would have a chance at going to a new school in a more relaxed atmosphere. When we arrived, we couldn't believe what we saw. Abandoned stores in Indian Trail, many many homes for sale, large parcels of property, next to farms with for sale signs placed on them. You would drive and see what looked like abandonment, only to come across a subdivision that looked like it didn't belong where it was. We felt frowned upon for being "yankees" and I can see why. It seems that many of the people there are from the north, but they looked miserable. They were riding in their big fancy cars and driving up to their mansions with the for sale signs on their lawns. I guess with so many homes for sale, many people are stuck with what they have. I know the economy is bad everywhere, but after seeing what we saw, we got back in the car and drove home. I know there is good and bad in every area, but there was nothing that made me want to look further. Even the new shopping center looked like a ghost town. I'm sure with time it will fill up, but I don't want to risk making the wrong move. Also, our motel room was horrible. Maybe the local real estate agents can work something out with a nice hotel/motel in the area -- possibly give potential home buyers a discount in exchange for a clean room in a reputable hotel. Sometimes with the right accomodations, people are more willing to trust their real estate agents and a good nights sleep may put potential buyers in a better frame of mind. Many people come to Charlotte knowing nothing at all, and maybe the first place to start is with the proper accommodations. Just giving you my point of view--
 
Old 04-08-2009, 04:35 AM
 
Location: caribbean island
5,357 posts, read 4,962,313 times
Reputation: 1873
Default What's a better life?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lindygirl View Post
My two daughters (12 and 14) and I just returned from a trip to Charlotte. We were thinking of relocating there from Long Island. We were doing so because we thought it would offer us a better life. We would sell our home here and purchase a home there and have a very small mortgage. We would pay off our bills and hopefully live a more relaxed lifestyle. My husband is a retired New York City police officer, so we thought it would give us a chance to enjoy retirement while our girls would have a chance at going to a new school in a more relaxed atmosphere. When we arrived, we couldn't believe what we saw. Abandoned stores in Indian Trail, many many homes for sale, large parcels of property, next to farms with for sale signs placed on them. You would drive and see what looked like abandonment, only to come across a subdivision that looked like it didn't belong where it was. We felt frowned upon for being "yankees" and I can see why. It seems that many of the people there are from the north, but they looked miserable. They were riding in their big fancy cars and driving up to their mansions with the for sale signs on their lawns. I guess with so many homes for sale, many people are stuck with what they have. I know the economy is bad everywhere, but after seeing what we saw, we got back in the car and drove home. I know there is good and bad in every area, but there was nothing that made me want to look further. Even the new shopping center looked like a ghost town. I'm sure with time it will fill up, but I don't want to risk making the wrong move. Also, our motel room was horrible. Maybe the local real estate agents can work something out with a nice hotel/motel in the area -- possibly give potential home buyers a discount in exchange for a clean room in a reputable hotel. Sometimes with the right accomodations, people are more willing to trust their real estate agents and a good nights sleep may put potential buyers in a better frame of mind. Many people come to Charlotte knowing nothing at all, and maybe the first place to start is with the proper accommodations. Just giving you my point of view--
Sorry that you had such a bad first time experience. I have a couple of questions and comments that might help.
First question is:what would be your definition of "offer us a better life'"?
Life on L.I. is not so bad if have have a few bux. So I am assuming that with a saleable house (you have equity) and your husband's pension from the police force this might not be the biggest issue.

Store fronts for rent and a gazillion houses for sale is a sign of the times and is no different than what is sweeping all of the country. So we would need to put that in a relative position as to the rest of the country. Not so sure what you pointed out is so different than Long Island.

Bad hotel room. Not really important. You just picked the wrong one. If you're going back to re-visit (and my feeling is you're not) just post here on this board for recommendations.

Good luck w/whatever you do and again I would be very interested in what you expect of "a better life".
 
Old 04-08-2009, 06:09 AM
 
7 posts, read 6,491 times
Reputation: 19
Well, common sense dictates that I was not blaming Charlotte for my hotel room. Given the fact that a realtor had posted this question, I was just giving another point of view that may help in making a transition a bit more comfortable. Secondly, a better life is a better life. There is no definition for this. What is better for me may not be better for you and vice versa. Peoples views on lifes expectations differ and I think many people would know what someone is saying when they say a "better life." Anyone that would question this is just "nit picking." I guess your right, Long Island isn't really that bad -- you just have to leave to appreciate what you have. As far as the vacant store fronts, I did point out that the economy is bad everywhere, but what I did notice is that while there are many vacant store fronts, there is also new store fronts being built not too far away. How many vacant stores, both old and new will be seen in the Indian Trail, Waxhaw area? Yes, your right, I do not plan on coming down anytime soon, but I did want to see what the "hype" was all about. I'm sure people who are looking to relocate to the area will have no problem doing so with so many homes to choose from, like the stores, both old and new.
 
Old 04-08-2009, 06:40 AM
 
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
59 posts, read 102,630 times
Reputation: 46
Default Charlotte...

Quote:
Originally Posted by johne482 View Post
Sorry that you had such a bad first time experience. I have a couple of questions and comments that might help.
First question is:what would be your definition of "offer us a better life'"?
Life on L.I. is not so bad if have have a few bux. So I am assuming that with a saleable house (you have equity) and your husband's pension from the police force this might not be the biggest issue.

Store fronts for rent and a gazillion houses for sale is a sign of the times and is no different than what is sweeping all of the country. So we would need to put that in a relative position as to the rest of the country. Not so sure what you pointed out is so different than Long Island.

Bad hotel room. Not really important. You just picked the wrong one. If you're going back to re-visit (and my feeling is you're not) just post here on this board for recommendations.

Good luck w/whatever you do and again I would be very interested in what you expect of "a better life".
Are you sure you weren't in South Florida? Just kidding.

As for me...my wife and I are also trying to re-locate to Charlotte (Huntersville/Concord area). She goes up there for business every now and then and I was up there visiting about 9 months ago. Our expectations are like most peoples -- a better way of life.

I grew up in a town called Davie in the 1970s, which is a small suburb of Fort Lauderdale. Far away enough from the city to be peaceful, but close if enough to everything (like 15 minutes to downtown Fort Lauderdale and like 45 minutes to Miami). We had a two-story house, a yard, a nice neighborhood that had plenty of families. It was safe, people watched out for one another and was affordable for the time. And I want that for my daughter. I want her to have friends, know the parents, be able to play in the back yard or for us as a family to ride our bikes through the neighborhood. I'm a little old-fashioned. I want to be working in the yard or washing the car in the driveway, while my wife and kid play in the yard or hang out with neighbors. I had that as a kid, I want to give my daughter the same.

I'm 37, married, with a little girl almost 3 and would maybe like to have another child. But wouldn't be able to do it down here.

We both have good jobs, college degrees, make six figures combined, excellent credit -- and we are struggling down here. Everything is so expensive. I live in a 1400 square foot townhouse that I paid more than 200K for in a good area (no garage either). I also pay $400 a month in maintenance for my association. You know what my community has to offer at the clubhouse -- a pool and a treadmill. When the sales lady at Skybrook told me the monthly maintenance was $30 a month I almost fell over.

Even in today's market if you want to buy an actual 4 bedroom house with a yard in a good neighborhood down here, you are talking at least $300K. Now add in the $6,000 of property taxes, the $3,500 insurance (hurricanes jack that up) and that leaves us stuck in our townhouse.

Another thing, there are WAY too many people down here all cramed into one location. The schools down here are horrendous (public schools), the traffic is insane, people are rude, etc.

Do I think Charlotte is utopia? Sometimes I maybe want to believe that, but I know every place has issues, but the time that we have spent up there reminded me alot of Davie, the area I grew up in 30 years ago. Less people, nicer people, less traffic, cheaper to live, far enough away from the city to enjoy the quiet life, but close enough to enjoy big city life.

I know for $230K I can find a house in Skybrook, Highland Creek or Moss Creek that is way better than anything I could afford down here.

My wife's job isn't the problem, she can transfer up there with no problem, no salary cut. So the next step is a) selling our house and b) me getting a job. We won't move without me having a job.

My expectations are a little high, but South Florida is becoming a place you don't want to live and raise kids. It's kind of sad, but I'm sure the others on this board who lived down here will agree with me.
 
Old 04-08-2009, 06:50 AM
 
Location: Wouldn't you like to know?
8,376 posts, read 10,074,994 times
Reputation: 3175
Quote:
Originally Posted by frustratedinflorida View Post
Are you sure you weren't in South Florida? Just kidding.

As for me...my wife and I are also trying to re-locate to Charlotte (Huntersville/Concord area). She goes up there for business every now and then and I was up there visiting about 9 months ago. Our expectations are like most peoples -- a better way of life.

I grew up in a town called Davie in the 1970s, which is a small suburb of Fort Lauderdale. Far away enough from the city to be peaceful, but close if enough to everything (like 15 minutes to downtown Fort Lauderdale and like 45 minutes to Miami). We had a two-story house, a yard, a nice neighborhood that had plenty of families. It was safe, people watched out for one another and was affordable for the time. And I want that for my daughter. I want her to have friends, know the parents, be able to play in the back yard or for us as a family to ride our bikes through the neighborhood. I'm a little old-fashioned. I want to be working in the yard or washing the car in the driveway, while my wife and kid play in the yard or hang out with neighbors. I had that as a kid, I want to give my daughter the same.

I'm 37, married, with a little girl almost 3 and would maybe like to have another child. But wouldn't be able to do it down here.

We both have good jobs, college degrees, make six figures combined, excellent credit -- and we are struggling down here. Everything is so expensive. I live in a 1400 square foot townhouse that I paid more than 200K for in a good area (no garage either). I also pay $400 a month in maintenance for my association. You know what my community has to offer at the clubhouse -- a pool and a treadmill. When the sales lady at Skybrook told me the monthly maintenance was $30 a month I almost fell over.

Even in today's market if you want to buy an actual 4 bedroom house with a yard in a good neighborhood down here, you are talking at least $300K. Now add in the $6,000 of property taxes, the $3,500 insurance (hurricanes jack that up) and that leaves us stuck in our townhouse.

Another thing, there are WAY too many people down here all cramed into one location. The schools down here are horrendous (public schools), the traffic is insane, people are rude, etc.

Do I think Charlotte is utopia? Sometimes I maybe want to believe that, but I know every place has issues, but the time that we have spent up there reminded me alot of Davie, the area I grew up in 30 years ago. Less people, nicer people, less traffic, cheaper to live, far enough away from the city to enjoy the quiet life, but close enough to enjoy big city life.

I know for $230K I can find a house in Skybrook, Highland Creek or Moss Creek that is way better than anything I could afford down here.

My wife's job isn't the problem, she can transfer up there with no problem, no salary cut. So the next step is a) selling our house and b) me getting a job. We won't move without me having a job.

My expectations are a little high, but South Florida is becoming a place you don't want to live and raise kids. It's kind of sad, but I'm sure the others on this board who lived down here will agree with me.
Yours is a typical story of a potential transplant looking to move here.

Just be careful in terms of employment. Our unemployment rate has skyrocketed and we might overtake Michigan at some point this year. There still are transplants moving here w/o jobs which is suicide in my book.

unless you have 1-2 YEARS emergency fund at least, I wouldn't move here. Again, employment overall is extremely shaky at best.

Do your research...this is not meant to be fear mongering..just advising reality.

Good luck....
 
Old 04-08-2009, 06:55 AM
 
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
59 posts, read 102,630 times
Reputation: 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by CouponJack View Post
Yours is a typical story of a potential transplant looking to move here.

Just be careful in terms of employment. Our unemployment rate has skyrocketed and we might overtake Michigan at some point this year. There still are transplants moving here w/o jobs which is suicide in my book.

unless you have 1-2 YEARS emergency fund at least, I wouldn't move here. Again, employment overall is extremely shaky at best.

Do your research...this is not meant to be fear mongering..just advising reality.

Good luck....
Thanks. I appreciate it. I've been doing it and won't move without a secure job, believe me that is a fear of mine. Getting a job, moving and then getting laid off. That would not be pretty.

We have a realistic goal of moving too, not just shooting up there. We want to be up there by the time my daughter stars elementary school. She will be 3 soon, so Summer of 2011.
 
Old 04-08-2009, 07:53 AM
 
Location: S. Charlotte
1,498 posts, read 1,765,901 times
Reputation: 634
Default Moving hopefully in the next few months

My husband is already down there (well over in the York, SC) working, and we are all up here in northern Illinois trying to sell our house. My own job will "move" with me.

My expectations are that (once we sell our house) we'll be able to make up the loss in the house and purchase a comparable house for less, get the kids into a good school district and start enjoying the new location.

I liked what I saw when I visited, and in terms of unemployment/economy, it appears that North Carolina is slightly ahead of Illinois. For example, when I visited in January stores in the area were closing early due to the economy. Within a few months the malls in this area started doing the same thing.

My only "concern", and it's not a huge one, is that I'm not 100% sure how the schools in northern Illinois burbs compare with those in S. Charlotte. I believe they are either similar or better in S. Charlotte, but I don't know of anyone from my specific area (Gurnee) that is now in Charlotte in the Ballantyne/Providence area I'm considering. I'm talking public to public at this point.

Another thing I'm wondering is where are the parks? The ones with the swing sets/ climbing structures? Here in Illinois the villages are in charge of setting them up, and we have a very strong park district. I'm not sure how the park district is in S. Charlotte area. It seems the play sets are set by the subdivisions. This is not a major concern but more of a curiosity b/c I did not see many park district areas when I visited.
 
Old 04-08-2009, 08:06 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
7,042 posts, read 8,694,475 times
Reputation: 2226
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicagomichauds View Post
My husband is already down there (well over in the York, SC) working, and we are all up here in northern Illinois trying to sell our house. My own job will "move" with me.

My expectations are that (once we sell our house) we'll be able to make up the loss in the house and purchase a comparable house for less, get the kids into a good school district and start enjoying the new location.

I liked what I saw when I visited, and in terms of unemployment/economy, it appears that North Carolina is slightly ahead of Illinois. For example, when I visited in January stores in the area were closing early due to the economy. Within a few months the malls in this area started doing the same thing.

My only "concern", and it's not a huge one, is that I'm not 100% sure how the schools in northern Illinois burbs compare with those in S. Charlotte. I believe they are either similar or better in S. Charlotte, but I don't know of anyone from my specific area (Gurnee) that is now in Charlotte in the Ballantyne/Providence area I'm considering. I'm talking public to public at this point.

Another thing I'm wondering is where are the parks? The ones with the swing sets/ climbing structures? Here in Illinois the villages are in charge of setting them up, and we have a very strong park district. I'm not sure how the park district is in S. Charlotte area. It seems the play sets are set by the subdivisions. This is not a major concern but more of a curiosity b/c I did not see many park district areas when I visited.
There aren't parks like you are used to. There ARE some huge parks, strategically placed but are more for hiking or fishing...things like that...they DO have play areas for the kids, but, not like what you are used to. What you are used to are maintained by the individual subdivisions. Be careful with that because subdivisions are managed by Homeowner's Associations, commonly called HOAs. Don't think that you have them in Gurnee. Please do your research on them as well because they basically can tell you what you can/cannot do with the exterior of your house.

Also, please research your school district carefully. I am not familiar with the schools in Gurnee, but, I know that the schools in Charlotte do not compare with those in the city of Chicago. There are fewer options here if your child is gifted or is technologically inclined (there are other posts regarding this). I am not fully aware of the school systems in Fort Mill, SC, they are reputed to be some of the best...please do your research first.
 
Old 04-08-2009, 08:07 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
1,808 posts, read 4,207,735 times
Reputation: 728
Here's a link to our Parks and Rec Department, which can help you find a park near the area where you'll be living. HTH!

Park and Rec Parks (http://www.charmeck.org/Departments/Park+and+Rec/Parks/Home.htm - broken link)

Quote:
Originally Posted by chicagomichauds View Post
Another thing I'm wondering is where are the parks? The ones with the swing sets/ climbing structures? Here in Illinois the villages are in charge of setting them up, and we have a very strong park district. I'm not sure how the park district is in S. Charlotte area. It seems the play sets are set by the subdivisions. This is not a major concern but more of a curiosity b/c I did not see many park district areas when I visited.
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