Yurek

Question about condos and hometowns

14 posts in this topic

Hi everyone,

 

I am new to QC and this forum. 

 

First, let me tell you a little bit about my background. Three years ago I immigrated from a small country in Eastern Europe to Chicago. I spent there two years, decided that it's too cold, windy and sometimes unsafe for me to live there. We lived entire time in downtown and I worked 20 minutes from our apartment building. Chicago was my first urban experience in US. Living there I learned the difference between how cities were designed and built in Europe and in US. While learning about differences, I became interested in urban planning, sprawl phenomenon, new urbanism movement, public transit and so on.

 

After a while I decided to find another city to live. After all investigations and analysis I realized that Charlotte is the best option for me personally. It has great weather, strong IT job market, close proximity to ocean and mountains and so on. This months it has been six months since my wife and I moved and I can say we don't regret it. The only thing that I am currently stuck in Concord suburban area till next summer, because it's when our lease and contract with my employer expire. 

 

Before coming to US we used to have the "American Dream" and we really wanted to buy a house and live in a suburban area. After spending half a year in such area we realized that it doesn't work for us. We don't need to own land and we don't want to drive everywhere. I like to walk and bike a lot and driving to bike is ridiculous. Sidewalk is a luxury which sometimes is hard to find.

 

Currently we thinking about buying a condo or maybe a townhome as our next move, if everything goes well.

 

So, my question is - is it possible to find a reasonable priced condo or townhome, which are not in uptown? From what I learned, uptown is not really safe in many places and it's not good place to live if we decide to have kids. Whole area down South from Uptown to South Park mall looks good, but real estate prices are really high, close to 1 million. Which is understandable, land there worth more then the house itself. So, If I don't want to own land, are there any real options there for a person who likes to walk and bike? What is the price range for two bedroom condo/townhome?

 

Thanks, I appreciate your feedback.

 

Sorry for any typos, English is my second language and I am still learning :)

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First of all, your english is pretty good. Few minor mistakes, but very good for someone who doesn't speak the language natively.

 

Secondly, Uptown isn't unsafe. You've probably gotten bad information from people in Concord that think Uptown is filled with crack dealers and gang members. I'm amazed at how many people I still encounter that think they're going to get mugged if they go uptown.

 

If you live east of Tryon street in uptown, you get good schools. It is in the Myers Park (high school) district. I'm assuming the elementary district would be First Ward Elementary.  If you live West of Tryon Street, you're in a bad school district.

 

I don't really know what you consider expensive, but you can get townhomes in the Garden District for  250,000-300,000 last I checked. HoA fees at those units are $225ish a month I believe, which should cover the majority of your homeowners insurance and maybe the water bill.

 

The South Park area is pretty nice as well. My coworker just sold his townhome behind Phillips Place for $235,000. It an older complex, but well kept. Anything farther south than South Park and you're not really going to be in a much different scenario than you're currently in, in Concord. There will be sidewalks, but there will be virtually nothing walkable and you'll be completely dependent on your car.

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Thanks for answer!

 

Just to clarify, I consider a price range $200,000 - $300,000 a reasonable price. Anything above it is too expensive to waste so much money on a concrete box :)

 

I am just investigating is it possible to buy a unit somewhere where I can walk out of my neighborhood. In a neighborhood I currently live in we have only 0.5 sidewalk and it's very upsetting. 

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Thanks for answer!

 

Just to clarify, I consider a price range $200,000 - $300,000 a reasonable price. Anything above it is too expensive to waste so much money on a concrete box :)

 

I am just investigating is it possible to buy a unit somewhere where I can walk out of my neighborhood. In a neighborhood I currently live in we have only 0.5 sidewalk and it's very upsetting. 

 

 

I can't think of too many places within 3 miles of uptown that don't offer sidewalks.  Charlotte, as a whole, is not a pedestrians dream.  But inside the core neighborhoods, you should have no problem getting around on foot or on a bike safely.  I do it every day!

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I can't think of too many places within 3 miles of uptown that don't offer sidewalks.  Charlotte, as a whole, is not a pedestrians dream.  But inside the core neighborhoods, you should have no problem getting around on foot or on a bike safely.  I do it every day!

 

I don't expect Charlotte to be a 100% percent bike and pedestrian friendly, just wondering is it possible to find something walkable and affordable. 

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I currently live in a townhome community in South Charlotte off of Carmel road. There are also tons of nice neighborhoods to walk the dog through. If not for the proximity to the grocery store, there would be no walkable amenities. There are many similar communities in these boundaries - Park Rd, Fairfiew Rd, Hwy 51, Providence Rd.

 

By walkability, do you just want to take a stroll, or do you want to be able to walk to amenities? I live in a community very close to a grocery store, the primary reason we picked the location.

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Are you and your wife looking to have children? If so it may be wise to consider the schools in the area. If true walkability is what you are after then look at the centers, corridors, and wedges document here: http://ww.charmeck.org/Planning/Land%20Use%20Planning/CentersCorridorsWedges/CentersCorridorsWedges(Adopted).pdf It technically leaves off a few places you might consider like Plaza-Midwood, NoDa, and Elizabeth, but it is a start. There are quite a few of what I call accidentally walkable neighborhoods near the Activity Centers. For Example I grew up in the Farm Pond neighborhood, near where Eastland Mall used to be. It was and is walkable, though the shopping and restaurant selection has gone downhill.

So I recommend going and visiting the activity centers, eat at the restraunts, have a look in their grocery stores, and generally hang out in the area and see if you like it. More than likely you should be able to find something in your price range.

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So I recommend going and visiting the activity centers, eat at the restraunts, have a look in their grocery stores, and generally hang out in the area and see if you like it. More than likely you should be able to find something in your price range.

 

Thanks, I will consider this!

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It feels like I will need to find a condo in a somewhat walkable area, to get more options and hope that overtime Charlotte will become more walkable and developed.

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I've lived here only a few weeks but in my experience wandering around at night the biggest danger in uptown is to be surprised by another person walking around after 10pm. ;-)

 

Seriously, seems very,very safe and there are plenty of 1 bedroom options in nice buildings under 300K. For example, The Avenue is a nice building with 1 bedrooms around 275. it is west of tryon though and the post above made it sound like schools are better east of tryon. Whistle-Stop, are the schools west of tryon really bad or are you just saying east is better?

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I've lived here only a few weeks but in my experience wandering around at night the biggest danger in uptown is to be surprised by another person walking around after 10pm. ;-)

 

That's hilarious! :)

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I've lived here only a few weeks but in my experience wandering around at night the biggest danger in uptown is to be surprised by another person walking around after 10pm. ;-)

 

Seriously, seems very,very safe and there are plenty of 1 bedroom options in nice buildings under 300K. For example, The Avenue is a nice building with 1 bedrooms around 275. it is west of tryon though and the post above made it sound like schools are better east of tryon. Whistle-Stop, are the schools west of tryon really bad or are you just saying east is better?

The boundary is actually Brevard Street. For HS, anyone living there or east in Uptown goes to Myers Park (arguably the most desirable HS in the city). Anyone west of there goes to West Charlotte (arguably one of the worst high schools in the city).

 

I don't know as much about the elementary or middle schools.

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We own a townhome in Uptown, and I feel the area is very safe and walkable.  There are some really nice townhomes in 3rd and 4th wards that are in your price range. 3 beds, 2 baths would probably cost 240-300k in these areas, on average.  My wife works at the DEC and walks to work most days. We often walk to dinner or to the bar.  For the price you are considering, you can definitely live (and own) in Uptown.

Edited by birky

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Thanks, that's sounds reassuring. 

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