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Old 09-30-2009, 11:26 AM
 
4 posts, read 14,464 times
Reputation: 18

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Hi Everyone,

I have done my homework and read the threads but don't really see anything clearly yet.

I have accepted a position that is located close to downtown Charlotte.

We will not be ready to buy a home yet until we sell our other home, but we will be renting a home for at least a couple years. We'd like to rent in an area where we'll eventually buy. Here are some details:

- We're a family of four (3 year old and 5 year old kindergartener)
- Not looking for an over-priced "status" neighborhood really, but somewhere that our kids can attend a good school and it's clean and safe.
- Would eventually try to buy a home in the $200-$250 range.
- Lots to do for my family, close to local churches, etc.
- Somewhat manageable commute into downtown.

If you were in my boat, what would be your recommendation?

Thanks in advance for your advice. I could really use it!
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Old 09-30-2009, 11:56 AM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,264 posts, read 83,848,848 times
Reputation: 39572
Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenician View Post
Hi Everyone,

I have done my homework and read the threads but don't really see anything clearly yet.

I have accepted a position that is located close to downtown Charlotte.

We will not be ready to buy a home yet until we sell our other home, but we will be renting a home for at least a couple years. We'd like to rent in an area where we'll eventually buy. Here are some details:

- We're a family of four (3 year old and 5 year old kindergartener)
- Not looking for an over-priced "status" neighborhood really, but somewhere that our kids can attend a good school and it's clean and safe.
- Would eventually try to buy a home in the $200-$250 range.
- Lots to do for my family, close to local churches, etc.
- Somewhat manageable commute into downtown.

If you were in my boat, what would be your recommendation?

Thanks in advance for your advice. I could really use it!

Since the "status" neighborhoods start in the 400's I don't think you have to worry about looking for one, lol!

I would suggest you search greatschools.net to help you determine some of the schools you'd be most interested in, then look for rentals in those areas
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Old 09-30-2009, 12:26 PM
 
Location: NE Charlotte, NC (University City)
1,894 posts, read 5,473,860 times
Reputation: 1035
I'll recommend my part of town: "University City." It's the northeast part of Charlotte's limits. Easy commute to uptown (20-30 minutes, depending upon traffic), good share of churches, plenty to do shopping and restaurant-wise, back road access to the Concord Mills area with even more shopping and convenience (without the hassle of taking normal congested roads off of I-85..this is a perk to me, maybe not so much to others), well planned and laid out growth (i.e. tolerable traffic/not too congested like some other constrained parts of town, not built out, but not a whole heck of a lot of room left for a conglomerate neighborhood to plop down and really saturate the area), and plenty of reasonably priced bang for the buck homes.

Here's a map I made a while ago to clarify the area I'm talking about since there is much debate and discussion over the area known as University City: Click Here

We rented int eh southwest part of town (the Berewick community) for a year before purchasing out home in the UC area. In my opinion, that part of town is growing very rapidly and experiencing some growing pains. Your budget will limit your hunt in the south part of town to pretty much nothing that would suit your family given relatively higher prices around there.

Some will argue that the schools are the best in the south part of town compared to anywhere else in the CMS district. What I've been able to boil it down to is a combination of things stemming from varying financial support to lack of parental involvement...and of course the touchy subject of today's parents trying to use the school system as a day care to rear their kids. IN other words, I believe the schools are what you make of them. As a new father who had kids on his mind when I bought my house, I hope I carry some weight in this discussion!
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Old 09-30-2009, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Matthews, NC
14,693 posts, read 21,894,020 times
Reputation: 14245
I'd suggest Matthews. I can speak to the quality of the schools but the kids in my neighborhood are not holy terrors. They don't make a lot of noise, carouse around at all hours of the night, etc. One day someone's dog ran into my backyard and they knocked on the door and asked if it was alright for them to go get him so they seem polite.

There are a lot of established neighborhoods in the price range you are looking for. Commute to downtown for me is around 20 - 30 minutes depending on what time I leave. I live near Idewild & Rice Rd. On the downside, not sure how many rentals there are around here.
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Old 09-30-2009, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
1,808 posts, read 5,647,906 times
Reputation: 746
My neighborhood is 3 miles from Uptown on the east side. If you've been reading this forum, you may have heard of the Plaza-Midwood historic neighborhood (walking distance to where I live, but I don't actually live in that neighborhood). PM has a small, walkable shopping district with a grocery story, bakery/coffee shop, post office, bank branch, library, city parks, and several local restaurants.

As I mentioned, my neighborhood borders on PM, but is not actually a part of it. As such, houses in my neighborhood are not as expensive, and I'm sure you can find one that will fit your budget. The house may not be large, but you'll get a lot of character with it, especially if you like older houses (mine was built in 1941). I do know of a couple of rentals in the area.

I really enjoy living in my neighborhood, but I don't have any children, so I can't comment first-hand about the schools. I will say that, in talking with my neighbors with kids, I have learned that the schools aren't perceived well. Many plan to send their children to nearby Chantilly Montessori, which may be an option for you (though I have heard that this school has a wait list). Some are also considering private school.

I would say that the schools are probably the only downside to where I live. Since I'm sure that's important to you, you might do well to follow bs13960's suggestion to look in Matthews.

Good luck and contrats on the new job!
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Old 09-30-2009, 01:09 PM
 
20 posts, read 45,462 times
Reputation: 21
Hi, any thoughts on the Mallard Creek area( Close to mallard creek church road)? I hear people say this is North, and some say Northeast and some say its considered University area? which is true?

Thanks
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Old 09-30-2009, 01:35 PM
 
Location: NE Charlotte, NC (University City)
1,894 posts, read 5,473,860 times
Reputation: 1035
Quote:
Originally Posted by ninaheidi View Post
Hi, any thoughts on the Mallard Creek area( Close to mallard creek church road)? I hear people say this is North, and some say Northeast and some say its considered University area? which is true?

Thanks
Check out my map (see my previous post, above). I think I've shown a good representation of what could be considered the imaginary boundary of University City along Mallard Creek Rd.

Now, let's add some confusion to the mix! There's a few things that are called Mallard Creek:
- There's actually a Mallard Creek...the kind with water flowing in it (not a road). The area surrounding this creek has historically been called the Mallard Creek area for over 100 years and consists of the very large area extending from I-77, clockwise to near Rocky River Rd. or 49, bound to the north by the City/County limits, and bound to the south by the Derita area (the intersection of Mallard Creek Rd. and W. Sugar Creek Rd.)
- There's Mallard Creek Rd. which runs from Derita (W. Sugar Creek Rd.) all the way up to near Charlotte (formerly Lowes) Motor Speedway. Along this path, it fades out of the Derita area, into University City, and eventually out of Mecklenburg County altogether and into Concord.
- There's Mallard Creek Church Rd. too! It's basically what was Prosperity Church Rd., picking up after it crosses Mallard Creek Rd. and heading east/southeast, ending at 49 near UNCC.

For the most part, all of these "Mallard Creek" things are primarily smack dab within University City (with the exception of Mallard Creek Road's excursion into Derita and Concord).

To answer your specific question, the area near Mallard Creek Church Rd., I think the area is just fine and offers a range of homes...from tightly packed cookie cutters to nice larger lot mature homes. The area as a whole is well suited for families and has no crime issues.
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Old 09-30-2009, 01:40 PM
 
54 posts, read 94,253 times
Reputation: 40
welcome! first off, to clarify, it's referred to as "uptown"

Second a great place to live is Selwyn Village Condominiums. It is located 15 minutes to uptown. It is located in the historic Myers Park area and is close to shopping, etc. Nice friendly place, too.

It is an ideal place if you want to avoid suburbia a la Ballantyne, etc.
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Old 09-30-2009, 01:45 PM
 
3,775 posts, read 6,571,132 times
Reputation: 4377
when selecting your neighborhood, don't forget that you don't have to go to your "neighborhood" school... CMS has a great selection of magnet and motessori schools... This option makes the east side of town a solid option. Great houses, mature canopy trees, great neighborhoods and a *super* easy commute to uptown. I'm 3.5 miles from uptown and my roundtrip commute is 10 minutes.

And still very affordable, although they are creeping up every year.
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Old 09-30-2009, 08:29 PM
 
4,010 posts, read 8,507,965 times
Reputation: 1572
Given the OP's description I would recommend Davis Lake, Highland Creek, or other similar of that part of Harris Blvd.
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