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Old 11-28-2012, 10:40 AM
 
2 posts, read 7,748 times
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Definitely South Charlotte. Better schools, homes, neighbourhoods, fun places to go, more upscale areas (Ballantyne, SouthPark, Matthews, Rea Road etc) and lesser crime rates. More ways to get uptown as well (where most of the jobs are).
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:52 AM
 
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One more big plus for the South, it is close proximity to cheaper SC gas
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Old 02-08-2013, 02:08 AM
 
17 posts, read 28,229 times
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Default Lake Norman vs Marvin

Hello,
We are planning a move to Charlotte, NC in the next year or so. Since this is a big move and one where we hope to establish roots with our 2 children (current ages 10 & 12). This thread seemed to provide the info we are interested in and would like to have more recent info if anyone still uses this forum?
I have researched and have narrowed it down to 2 possibilities, which are in completely opposite directions of one another. The main reasons for these 2 locations is the info I have gathered on the schools (middle; Brawley vs. Marvin Ridge)( HS; Lake Norman vs. Marvin Ridge) Both seem to have good academics and good athletics (specifically girls soccer) Lake Norman seems to have a higher ranking in women's soccer than Marvin Ridge, but Marvin Ridge seems to offer a bit more academically. But it's more than that too, it's overall quality of life, we really like the idea of living with access to a lake, but is lake use only realistic in summer months? The neighborhood and country clubs in both locations are appealing as well. Fortunately at this moment a job is not a factor. We can afford most the housing for both locations as well as the club memberships for both locations. I guess what I'd really like to know is, is the lake worth the traffic and the possible difficulty of day to day life (commute to school, groceries, gym, coffee w/friends, restaurant variety & extra curricular activities, such as dance and/or gymnastics?) We are planning a visit this summer and would like to stay in both areas for about a week each, I know it is a short time, but it's all I have for now.
We have lived in the area of Los Angeles most of our lives and know what real traffic is like. We have also lived in a rural area for the last few years and know what "country" people consider traffic to be is not the same as LA. We "think" the areas could be a good compromise, between the rural country and the city (not like the suburbs of Southern Ca.) meaning still open areas with trees and countryside, not just one city blending into the next (LA) and the access to a large city if needed or desired. Any and all feed back is appreciated.

Last edited by jakbien; 02-08-2013 at 02:29 AM..
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Old 02-08-2013, 02:33 AM
 
3,914 posts, read 4,389,517 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakbien View Post
... but is lake use only realistic in summer months?
This depends upon what you mean by "use". Recreational fishermen use the lake year round and I've seen people using jet skis in the winter in wet suits. However if you are talking about bathing suit weather, that pretty much follows the weather patterns of this 4 season region. Usually the lake is warm enough for swimming from early May to mid October. The water never freezes so there are no issues with that.
Quote:
but Marvin Ridge seems to offer a bit more academically.
IMO, academics should always take precedence over sports.
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Old 02-08-2013, 04:53 AM
 
Location: Charlotte
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Unless you have a boat or house on the lake, Lake Norman is not as accessible as many would like. The only swimming area is at Lake Norman State Park a good distance away - and it's not a very nice one. Jetton Park is nice for picnics. Otherwise, the lake is lined with private homes.
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Old 02-08-2013, 06:20 AM
 
Location: Union County
5,970 posts, read 9,146,446 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakbien View Post
Hello,
We are planning a move to Charlotte, NC in the next year or so. Since this is a big move and one where we hope to establish roots with our 2 children (current ages 10 & 12). This thread seemed to provide the info we are interested in and would like to have more recent info if anyone still uses this forum?
I have researched and have narrowed it down to 2 possibilities, which are in completely opposite directions of one another. The main reasons for these 2 locations is the info I have gathered on the schools (middle; Brawley vs. Marvin Ridge)( HS; Lake Norman vs. Marvin Ridge) Both seem to have good academics and good athletics (specifically girls soccer) Lake Norman seems to have a higher ranking in women's soccer than Marvin Ridge, but Marvin Ridge seems to offer a bit more academically. But it's more than that too, it's overall quality of life, we really like the idea of living with access to a lake, but is lake use only realistic in summer months? The neighborhood and country clubs in both locations are appealing as well. Fortunately at this moment a job is not a factor. We can afford most the housing for both locations as well as the club memberships for both locations. I guess what I'd really like to know is, is the lake worth the traffic and the possible difficulty of day to day life (commute to school, groceries, gym, coffee w/friends, restaurant variety & extra curricular activities, such as dance and/or gymnastics?) We are planning a visit this summer and would like to stay in both areas for about a week each, I know it is a short time, but it's all I have for now.
We have lived in the area of Los Angeles most of our lives and know what real traffic is like. We have also lived in a rural area for the last few years and know what "country" people consider traffic to be is not the same as LA. We "think" the areas could be a good compromise, between the rural country and the city (not like the suburbs of Southern Ca.) meaning still open areas with trees and countryside, not just one city blending into the next (LA) and the access to a large city if needed or desired. Any and all feed back is appreciated.
Boy, this is going to be a tough one... We initially tried the LN area (specifically down Brawley) when we moved to the area because we have family there - and my research pointed to most of the factors/positives you list for Mooresville. We visited several times and we were sold - thankfully at that time the selling prices on resale were still nuts and the builders were outrageous. So we rented to start while we looked more closely. We only lasted a year... well, my wife didn't even last that long - she hightailed it back North and I finished the lease out following her a couple of months later. My job was here so we spent the next year and half researching other areas - visited several times more - and ultimately ended up back down here - but in Marvin. Same deal... rented for a year while we looked closely at housing options. We ultimately built here and have never looked back - love the MR area.

We're up to Mooresville often visiting her Sister - was just there recently. I dislike that it's about 50-55min from family, but it was a great decision for us. If you don't want to read on, I'll save you some time by saying the main draw for Mooresville is the lake. If you plan to take full advantage of it, it's the one factor that helps trump all else. However, if you're not lake people (we aren't), you won't get it. If you're an avid hunter and enjoy the mountains - also good positives for Iredell. You head North from Mooresville it gets rural very, very quickly. It's rural towards Denver (West) and you have the other lake areas in Meck county just South - Huntersville, etc - which are not the best public school areas... Frankly I found the best to be East over to the Davidson area. But that's it - the schools are talked about because they're not CMS, they're Iredell. Your access to Uptown is not good and access to the best areas of the entire metro is terrible - South Charlotte. I don't think anyone would argue the magic triangle South of Uptown is where you'll find the best neighborhoods, shopping, eats, etc...

In contrast, Marvin doesn't have the lake lifestyle - but it does have much better access to the areas you'll want to spend your time if you're not a lake/mountains every weekend person... to the South it does start to get rural, but you are buffered by Cuthbertson which is a well respected school unto itself (some people like it better than Marvin), to the West there's SC / Indian Land / Fort Mill that offers cheaper gas and nice areas as well... to the East you have Weddington / Matthews / Indian Trail - great suburban areas that are mature... and to the North you have Ballantyne bordering the traditional South Charlotte and everything that has to offer. Many consider the Ardrey Kell and/or Providence schools in the Ballantyne area to be among the best in the city public schools period (even though they're technically not in South Charlotte). This overall position in the metro, the fact that Marvin is surrounded 360 degrees by what many consider to be these very good to excellent areas is what tips the scales IMO.

I hope this helps... but I can't offer a California perspective and/or what a lake person would feel. Good luck with your visits and feel free to ask more questions here - many of the regulars will try to help.
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Old 02-08-2013, 09:39 AM
 
298 posts, read 563,094 times
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I can give a little bit of a California comparison although we only live in Mooresville in the summers. We currently live in South Orange County CA. There is no comparison of the traffic in NC compared to CA. It is much lighter in NC with the exception of if there is an accident. There would only be a few alternate routes to take in NC vs. CA you could usually find a way around an accident. We live in The Point in Mooresville. The best word I can use to describe it is sterile. Everyone I have encountered has been nice but the area just doesn't have a warm inviting feel to it. In CA we have to dodge kids playing outside and neighbors are always outside talking. In NC people are out running/walking but after that they are in their house. Maybe it's the heat when we are there. We also lived in Harrisburg NC and had the same experience until we introduced ourselves to the neighbors and realized they were home the whole time. I really think the heat keeps people inside. There are a lot of transplants in our area. As far as the schools it's a mixed bag of opinions. Seems to depend how good schools were in your previous area. I have heard everything from they're great to just OK. A friend of mine who moved from our exact schools in CA to Mooresville says the schools are good but where we are in CA they are better. And CA is not known right now for great schools but I do think I'm in a small niche area. I can't speak for the South Charlotte area compared to CA. I do make shopping trips there during the summer for things we don't have in Mooresville, such as Costco. To me, South Charlotte has more of a city feel and Mooresville semi-country. I do find myself driving much further distances in NC compared to CA so gas ends up costing more in NC for me.
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Old 02-08-2013, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Mars
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East or west.. South is the best

If you have kids going to school.. Don't even think about north.. It's just too many variables there..

But if your work is north Charlotte or north of Charlotte .. South would result in 45 to 60 minutes drive
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:59 PM
 
Location: Fort Mill, SC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakbien View Post
We have lived in the area of Los Angeles most of our lives and know what real traffic is like. We have also lived in a rural area for the last few years and know what "country" people consider traffic to be is not the same as LA. We "think" the areas could be a good compromise, between the rural country and the city (not like the suburbs of Southern Ca.) meaning still open areas with trees and countryside, not just one city blending into the next (LA) and the access to a large city if needed or desired. Any and all feed back is appreciated.
Country people? The city is made up of tons of Transplants from NY/NJ/Conn/Miami/<insert anywhere else>, way more than the locals. All cities/areas with tons of "real" traffic. The skinny with the LKN area i.e. North. I-77 N goes from 4 lanes down to 2 lanes over a half mile stretch. This is what people call a traffic jam, even from sunny California. An accident happens... oh boy.
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Old 02-09-2013, 04:18 AM
 
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wow! thank you all for the information.

Frewroad, you answered my questions on use.
We would like to Kayak on the lake and I figured it would be best anytime, but not summer with all the motor craft. And you are right academics should trump sports, but he idea of the lake is so enticing.

ncopus99 re:"country people"? my sisters in the middle of Wyoming when there are more than 5 to 10 cars at the stop light or stop signs. Yes all large urban areas have traffic, I'm just curious about the LN area, specifically Brawley School Road for getting to day to day stuff, ie; groceries, school, extra curricular activities, shopping, dining, hardware store, etc.

LoveOrangeCounty: I'm referring to the traffic on PCH driving through Newport Beach to Laguna Beach in the summer...(or it seems anytime now) can be terrible. Also, referring to traffic driving to or around LA, depending on time of day/night.
why did you choose to own a house in LN?

Mikeykid, great perspective on having done both LN and MR. Do you have kids? If so what did/do they think? Was it the traffic, the people or lack of anything to do that you chose to leave LN?
My husband likes the "mountains", but not for hunting, for their tranquility. I like having some rural areas around, but for trails for running and biking. Also I would like fairly easy access (10 minute drive) to grocery stores with a lot of good choice (fresh produce, meat , and dairy.) I cook a lot.
I guess I'm might be looking for a good blend of middle to upper middle economic class w/ a few uber rich in the mix. Also lots of opportunity for sports and other kid & family activities. I've heard that LN really just has the lake. Does MR offer a lot of these things? Do you see the area still progressing?
Driving into Charlotte should be a rare thing, for the occasional treat or necessity.
Was it difficult to find a house to rent in Marvin? (around 1200k-1800k) I read that it is. This is what we would like to do to start.
Maybe it would be best to live in MR and enjoy the Lake on an occasional weekend? Even though it's an hour away?
Thank you again to all who took the time to respond.
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