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Old 05-25-2010, 09:10 PM
 
Location: Charlotte
2,447 posts, read 6,641,576 times
Reputation: 1389

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2sea View Post
Wow. You guys are fast on the keyboard.

I said district, but meant high school. Sorry.

OK, Ballantyne is off the list. Not knowing the area and just looking at the maps, it seems odd that Ballantyne would be much more of a drive than Tega Cay. And Audrey Krell seems to be highly regarded. But as I said, I clearly don't know the area! And that drive time is absolutely critical. Are the drive times from the other neighborhoods mentioned, to 485/Tryon, about equal during rush hour traffic?

I looked again tonight, and I really don't see a house in Tega Cay in my price range (pretty wide search criteria, since I don't know exactly what my range is) that I like. They seem to be more modern designs there.
Distance wise Ballantyne isn't very far away but you would have to take the southern leg of 485 to get to Steele Creek. The westbound (inner loop) traffic in the morning and eastbound (outer loop) traffic in the evening is very congested and gets backed up. Here is a video from two years ago
about that part of 485. Conditions haven't improved and have probably worsened since 2008.
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Old 05-25-2010, 09:43 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
2,193 posts, read 4,534,610 times
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Although Ballantyne may appear a shorter ride, the traffic is bumper to bumper during rush hour. And the only way to go is by highway. Tega Cay, at least you have an option to take hwy 160.

But Ballantyne has great schools and is a great area. A lot of people love living there. Though I've heard SC has great schools too. And it has the lake living you want as well as a nice commute.

To figure out how much house you can afford, you can use one of those online mortgage calculators. And also use one of these: How Much House Can I Afford Calculator - Yahoo! Real Estate

But that's just a guide. Only you know what kind of monthly payment you are comfortable with, terms of mortgage you want, what kind of bills you have and hobbies you have. It's best to create a budget worksheet to figure out what you are comfortable spending.
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Old 05-26-2010, 05:36 AM
 
58 posts, read 106,426 times
Reputation: 21
Understood. And again, you guys have been a tremendous help already. I very much appreciate your taking the time to help folks like me!

Well, we have a relatively small amount left on the mortgage on our current house. So we should have a decent down payment. Key is to get our current house sold of course. And it does depend some on what price we get there. Other than that and a few thousand of credit card debt we always seem to have (maybe 5k), we are debt free. We have cash, etc towards retirement, but would prefer not to touch any of that. Just use the sell of the house as downpayment towards the next house. I would hope we would see at least $250k from that. I am fairly sure we would qualify for whatever loan, within reason, we would want to get. Easily another 300-500k. But neither of us wants to be paying on a house for another 15 years. So we would tend towards the low side of those numbers if possible. I would hope we could find something in the 450K range. But could go higher if we found something we just had to have. And from my searches, looks like the lake is out for any house we would want. Not looking for traditional, not modern. Transitional, I suppose. Something with a large driveway and a decent lot, say around 1/2 acre.

Yes, easy to look at maps and make a judgement. But reality is obviously different. Again, appreciate the info you've provided. It makes for a HUGE timesaver for our 'neighborhood shopping trip.' I hope I mentioned somewhere in this thread that we're coming to look, but have not made the decision yet to move. Alot depends on how things go when we come to look. We plan a long weekend so we can see what the Friday afternoon traffic looks like. Hopefully that will give us an idea of traffic volume (unless everyone leaves early on Fridays!).

Are there other neighborhoods I have not listed that I should consider? I don't want to miss looking at one that may be a gem I've missed. Also, we mentioned last night the possibility of leasing something for 6 months and take our time learning the area and neighborhoods. Makes some sense. How is the leasing market? We do have a cat and a dog. And since I don't have a job there yet, leasing would allow me to take my time job shopping as well. Are most of the jobs in any particular part of the city? I would be looking for something on the SW side, obviously. I've seen tons of jobs of interest, but ususally no location noted other than 'Charlotte'. It's amazing the number of jobs around Charlotte. Wife has a nice offer, and I would have no problem with finding something suitable, due to my experience. Our choice comes down to more salary and city living vs less money and small town living.
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Old 05-26-2010, 07:59 AM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,270 posts, read 88,294,482 times
Reputation: 39844
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2sea View Post
Understood. And again, you guys have been a tremendous help already. I very much appreciate your taking the time to help folks like me!

Well, we have a relatively small amount left on the mortgage on our current house. So we should have a decent down payment. Key is to get our current house sold of course. And it does depend some on what price we get there. Other than that and a few thousand of credit card debt we always seem to have (maybe 5k), we are debt free. We have cash, etc towards retirement, but would prefer not to touch any of that. Just use the sell of the house as downpayment towards the next house. I would hope we would see at least $250k from that. I am fairly sure we would qualify for whatever loan, within reason, we would want to get. Easily another 300-500k. But neither of us wants to be paying on a house for another 15 years. So we would tend towards the low side of those numbers if possible. I would hope we could find something in the 450K range. But could go higher if we found something we just had to have. And from my searches, looks like the lake is out for any house we would want. Not looking for traditional, not modern. Transitional, I suppose. Something with a large driveway and a decent lot, say around 1/2 acre.

Yes, easy to look at maps and make a judgement. But reality is obviously different. Again, appreciate the info you've provided. It makes for a HUGE timesaver for our 'neighborhood shopping trip.' I hope I mentioned somewhere in this thread that we're coming to look, but have not made the decision yet to move. Alot depends on how things go when we come to look. We plan a long weekend so we can see what the Friday afternoon traffic looks like. Hopefully that will give us an idea of traffic volume (unless everyone leaves early on Fridays!).

Are there other neighborhoods I have not listed that I should consider? I don't want to miss looking at one that may be a gem I've missed. Also, we mentioned last night the possibility of leasing something for 6 months and take our time learning the area and neighborhoods. Makes some sense. How is the leasing market? We do have a cat and a dog. And since I don't have a job there yet, leasing would allow me to take my time job shopping as well. Are most of the jobs in any particular part of the city? I would be looking for something on the SW side, obviously. I've seen tons of jobs of interest, but ususally no location noted other than 'Charlotte'. It's amazing the number of jobs around Charlotte. Wife has a nice offer, and I would have no problem with finding something suitable, due to my experience. Our choice comes down to more salary and city living vs less money and small town living.
Are you kidding me????

Find one first please, then come back and tell us how long it took and how much lower the salary is than you are used to. Maybe you are bank CEO material? Or a surgeon? Okay, if you are then you'll probably do fine. But honestly, I don't know ANYONE here who would tell you there are "a number of jobs in Charlotte" right now.

WHERE did you hear that? Oh, you aren't being fooled by all those recruiter ads you see on places like Monster and Indeed are you?
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Old 05-26-2010, 08:44 AM
 
1,554 posts, read 2,921,000 times
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"...so want to live close to work. That means SW Charlotte. Just outside 485 on Tryon." "It's amazing the number of jobs around Charlotte."

I think we're being fooled with on this folks. First the poster asserts he has a job. In SW Charlotte. Then says he's amazed with the number of jobs that are available. Then he says he'd like to find a job in SW Charlotte although he's clearly unfamiliar with the entire area. In this economy, who's specific about the part of the city they want to work in? And who has "a nice offer" these days? Companies aren't giving people days and weeks to consider and negotiate job offers.
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Old 05-26-2010, 08:37 PM
 
58 posts, read 106,426 times
Reputation: 21
No, I never said I had a job. My wife has an offer. I said that in the post two up from this one. You are right about being unfamiliar with the city though. I used to drive down to Charlotte once/month in a previous job to meet with division managers from various locations. So I know a little about it. But that was years ago.

Maybe I am being fooled by the Monster and Indeed ads. Tell me if I need to hear something!! I know what the recruiters do, the games they can play. If they're 'fake' I still have the chance to talk with a recruiter and put them to work for me. But I'm sure not all are false. There are several I see every week that I would easily qualify for in my field. And the contacts are direct to the companies. If they're open jobs with companies/recruiters simply throwing something out to see if they can find just the right person, that works for me. I'm the right age... not too old to scare companies away but old enough to have plenty of solid business experience, twenty years experience in my field, six years of large international company experience, PeopleSoft and SAP experience, lifetime certified, managed up to 40 people (currently 38), master's degree. And never any health issues or other 'hidden' social problems that turn up occassionally when you think you've hired a good employee. Also, my wife's offer is good enough that I wouldn't have to push too hard as to salary. So I'm comfortable I can find something after I get there.

Yes, I would be specific as to the part of town I will work in. If they can find someone better for the job, then I'll look elsewhere. But I know from experience in my field that in NC, Raleigh and Charlotte are the places to go for my type jobs. That has been the case for many years. I'm sure the economy has slowed everything. No question. But if you're qualified, and can be somewhat patient, the jobs are there. And things do seem to be picking up. What I don't know is if they are concentrated in a particular part of Charlotte. Seems I see more on the North and NE side of Charlotte than other parts. But again, most ads I see typically do not specify. They only name a company.

On top of that, I would be in no big hurry to start work once we move (IF we move). If we lease and it takes me 6 months to find something, that would be fine too. We just wouldn't buy a house until after I have found a job. I know it's a big risk to leave a perfectly fine job. Both of us enjoy our jobs. But I think we're getting a little bored where we live currently. And there is no job market here (it's not a poor job market, because no market exists!). So overall I know we'd end up making more money in Charlotte. Question is, would we LIKE living there. Soooo... any other neighborhoods I should be looking at/riding through when we get down?

And one other question. At what point should we ask a realtor to show us around? It's obvious we are in the initial stages here. And don't know if we'll make a move or not. But we do have to make a decision very soon. We may or may not have a chance to make a second trip before we have to decide. I doubt we will. But I also don't know if it's fair to expect someone to ride around all day with us looking when we don't even know if we'll make the decision to move.
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Old 05-27-2010, 03:29 PM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,270 posts, read 88,294,482 times
Reputation: 39844
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2sea View Post
No, I never said I had a job. My wife has an offer. I said that in the post two up from this one. You are right about being unfamiliar with the city though. I used to drive down to Charlotte once/month in a previous job to meet with division managers from various locations. So I know a little about it. But that was years ago.

Maybe I am being fooled by the Monster and Indeed ads. Tell me if I need to hear something!! I know what the recruiters do, the games they can play. If they're 'fake' I still have the chance to talk with a recruiter and put them to work for me. But I'm sure not all are false. There are several I see every week that I would easily qualify for in my field. And the contacts are direct to the companies. If they're open jobs with companies/recruiters simply throwing something out to see if they can find just the right person, that works for me. I'm the right age... not too old to scare companies away but old enough to have plenty of solid business experience, twenty years experience in my field, six years of large international company experience, PeopleSoft and SAP experience, lifetime certified, managed up to 40 people (currently 38), master's degree. And never any health issues or other 'hidden' social problems that turn up occassionally when you think you've hired a good employee. Also, my wife's offer is good enough that I wouldn't have to push too hard as to salary. So I'm comfortable I can find something after I get there.

Yes, I would be specific as to the part of town I will work in. If they can find someone better for the job, then I'll look elsewhere. But I know from experience in my field that in NC, Raleigh and Charlotte are the places to go for my type jobs. That has been the case for many years. I'm sure the economy has slowed everything. No question. But if you're qualified, and can be somewhat patient, the jobs are there. And things do seem to be picking up. What I don't know is if they are concentrated in a particular part of Charlotte. Seems I see more on the North and NE side of Charlotte than other parts. But again, most ads I see typically do not specify. They only name a company.

On top of that, I would be in no big hurry to start work once we move (IF we move). If we lease and it takes me 6 months to find something, that would be fine too. We just wouldn't buy a house until after I have found a job. I know it's a big risk to leave a perfectly fine job. Both of us enjoy our jobs. But I think we're getting a little bored where we live currently. And there is no job market here (it's not a poor job market, because no market exists!). So overall I know we'd end up making more money in Charlotte. Question is, would we LIKE living there. Soooo... any other neighborhoods I should be looking at/riding through when we get down?

And one other question. At what point should we ask a realtor to show us around? It's obvious we are in the initial stages here. And don't know if we'll make a move or not. But we do have to make a decision very soon. We may or may not have a chance to make a second trip before we have to decide. I doubt we will. But I also don't know if it's fair to expect someone to ride around all day with us looking when we don't even know if we'll make the decision to move.
From personal experience in the last two years I rank recruiters right up there with used car salesman

I have to say, your arrogance over the job situation is staggering. Though I suppose if you have at least 18 months worth of living expenses saved up (sounds like you do) then you wouldn't starve.

Just know that it's not your "qualifications" that are in question - it's the actual availability of jobs. It has been estimated that for every one job listed in Charlotte there are about 350 qualified applicants who want that job. Our unofficial unemployment rate has been estimated to be about 18%.

Your resume reminds me of my husbands, except he's also a PMP. He was laid off in June 2008 and did not work again until June 2009, and only because we left the state for that job. He was unexpectedly furloughed from that job too after just 6 months and we came back to Charlotte where it took him another 6 months to get the job he has now. Oh, and did I mention, it pays less than he was making 15 years ago?

Just words to the wise...
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Old 05-27-2010, 08:55 PM
 
58 posts, read 106,426 times
Reputation: 21
lovesMounntains, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to sound arrogant. Reading it now, I can see what you mean though. Maybe I do have it all wrong. But the jobs I see posted so frequently just amaze me. Here, if I were in the market, I would look for a year before I saw anything remotely close to something that sounds decent. But it seems that I see something in Charlotte area almost every other day of interest. I'm astounded by the volume of jobs advertised. Could it be that many/most of those I'm seeing are not ture?? Would the newspaper be a more reliable source/gauge of the number of jobs than the internet sites?

You're right about the fact I had not considered how many qualified people may be looking and applying for each of those jobs. I suppose I've gotten too used to this area. There aren't too many well qualified folks here. But in Charlotte there would be much stiffer competition. Your information is an eye opener for me. And certainly would be a factor in our decision to move or no. 18%... wow. Guess I need to do some further research as to how tough it actually is to land one of the jobs advertised. I suppose I can contact my professional association for some advice.

I won't starve! As I said, my wife's offer is a good one. She wants me to wait until after we get settled to find something. But then, I've been telling her I could do so with no problem. Sounds like I will need to reassess that information.

Thanks once again for sitting me straight. It could save me from making a big mistake.
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Old 05-27-2010, 09:05 PM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,270 posts, read 88,294,482 times
Reputation: 39844
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2sea View Post
lovesMounntains, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to sound arrogant. Reading it now, I can see what you mean though. Maybe I do have it all wrong. But the jobs I see posted so frequently just amaze me. Here, if I were in the market, I would look for a year before I saw anything remotely close to something that sounds decent. But it seems that I see something in Charlotte area almost every other day of interest. I'm astounded by the volume of jobs advertised. Could it be that many/most of those I'm seeing are not ture?? Would the newspaper be a more reliable source/gauge of the number of jobs than the internet sites?

You're right about the fact I had not considered how many qualified people may be looking and applying for each of those jobs. I suppose I've gotten too used to this area. There aren't too many well qualified folks here. But in Charlotte there would be much stiffer competition. Your information is an eye opener for me. And certainly would be a factor in our decision to move or no. 18%... wow. Guess I need to do some further research as to how tough it actually is to land one of the jobs advertised. I suppose I can contact my professional association for some advice.

I won't starve! As I said, my wife's offer is a good one. She wants me to wait until after we get settled to find something. But then, I've been telling her I could do so with no problem. Sounds like I will need to reassess that information.

Thanks once again for sitting me straight. It could save me from making a big mistake.
2sea, I am gratified that you took my words in the way in which I intended them, and did not get offended

As much as I like helping people find their corner of Charlotte I also believe in painting as accurate a picture as possible for people seriously considering the move.

And you are wise to keep in mind that this is a very white collar city - a very educated work force. Competition IS stiff. The good news is, your wife has found something, and that is half the battle.

The frustrating thing is that recruiters are like starving dogs right now, and they are scambling to pad thier files with good qualified candidates so when the one or two real jobs DO come along they have at least one person out of all the people they've collected with a good chance at getting the job, thus increasing their chances of getting paid. I'm sure they aren't ALL advertizing for non-existant jobs, but some are for sure.

But do double check with your personal contacts - at some point things have to start looking up, sooner rather than later I hope!

Last edited by lovesMountains; 05-27-2010 at 09:14 PM..
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Old 05-28-2010, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Union County
5,783 posts, read 8,409,122 times
Reputation: 4818
With an IT background I got my PMP 5 years ago and so saddened how watered down the certification has become... Even "Senior Project manager" job listings are mostly glorified analyst positions and typically a short term contract. In rare cases they may be "try n buy", but I wouldn't bet the ranch that there will be a buy at the end of the contract. I see more and more of the app side go offshore and glad I made a hard left from app to infrastructure engineering long ago... But I digress.

Take note of the responses I got to my "500k thread" (Where would you spend 500k today?) which appears to be right around your price point.

The lower price points may be stabilizing, but there's still tremendous downward pressure on the upper price points. You should seriously consider renting to learn about the area before buying.
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