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Another possible transplant - relo info

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Rhode Island
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Another possible transplant - relo info

Well, first, WOW, I didn't expect to see so many people planning a move to Charlotte as well! I've been reading the other threads, but had a couple questions of my own and figured I'd start a new thread - hope no one minds. :)

My husband and I moved to Rhode Island about 2 1/2 years ago from Atlanta, GA. I'm originally from Canada and had moved to Atlanta to be with him but really didn't like it and we both decided we wanted a change, etc. etc. And for the most part, we've loved living here.

Anyhow, we are now in the position of wanting to buy a house. Well, we knew the cost of housing was high here, but it's just been disheartening to look at really plain, small houses that cost over $225K. Plus you just know this market is going to pop eventually and houses that you buy for that much probably won't be worth that 5-10 years down the road. So much for your investment.

So, we start talking about moving back down South. We'd talked about this before, seeing as how we are also wanting to start a family and I'd like for us to be able to see at least some family more than once or twice a year, especially if we had a baby. But I'm not really keen on moving back to Atlanta.

We've looked into Charlotte, NC and it really seems to be a good fit. The cost of housing is way better than the northeast, it's close enough to Atlanta that you could drive for weekend visits, and from what I've heard so far, it seems like a pretty cool city.

I was originally looking into the Huntersville/Concord area, but the remarks I've seen on here seem to indicate that the commute is horrible. Someone else has told me that the Gastonia area was not good. Are the commutes better from the west and/or east side? Also, we're hoping to get a 3/4 bedroom house for under $130K - I've done some initial searching in the Mount Holly/Gastonia and Mint Hill/Matthews areas. Is either side 'better'? Is there somewhere else I should be looking? We're not stuck on living in the city, in fact, I'd like to have a little distance between me and it, but still keeping the commute around/under 30 minutes.

Any tips/advice are much appreciated! :)

(P.S. My husband is quite looking forward to moving back to the South - he's already drooling over the idea of having Chick-Fil-A again!)

Charlotte, North...
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1. Re: Another possible transplant - relo info

Hi,

I was over in Huntersville yesterday, a Saturday, and traffic was still horrible! I've had to drive from Charlotte to the Aquatic center in Huntersville several times during afternoon rush hour and it's taken up to 2 hours! The roads in that area, plus to and from Charlotte are just not equiped for that type of traffic. I grew up in the area, Mint Hill to be exact, and Huntersville was way out, very rural then; the road system has just not been able to keep up with such rapid grwth. I can't see the situation getting any better for years to come. Mint Hill was a wonderful little town to grow up in; (you know everyone, everyone knows you). It's much, much larger than that now, but I think it still would be a great place to grow up. I-485 has recently connected to Mint Hill, that makes getting to all parts of Charlotte much more convenient. There's also a huge wonderful shopping mall planned in Mint Hill right at I-485. However, I do think that commuting into downtown (actually we call it Uptown) Charlotte from Mint Hill would be be difficult to do in 30 minutes during rush hour.

About Gaston county, there are some not so desirable areas near the far side of downtown Gastonia. However since some of my family members have moved near the Belmont- Cramerton area, I have been VERY impressed. When I was growing up, Gastonia was a big joke. Years ago it was pretty much all textile mills throughout the county. You don't have to be too educated to work in a mill, so there were always comments and jokes about the area. Textiles are gone now, and some parts of Gaston county are depressed. In the past few years however, certain areas have really caught on. There are nice new neighborhoods and unlike Charlotte there are still true "neighborhood schools". The main street in Belmont is adorable. Very historic with great stores and a few restaurants. There's even a park in the middle of town where they show free family movies on certain nights during the summer, they also have free concerts there. The schools that my nieces attend are all highly rated, the elementary school is among the highest in the state. There's lots of beautiful country over there, it is near Lake Wylie, in fact part of the shore line is in Gaston county. There's also two beautiful mountain areas (yes, just out in the middle of the piedmont) where you can enjoy hiking, mountain climbing and other great outdoor activities. My friend of mine who is on the Charlotte area planning board says that Gaston county is really the best buy in the area now. Everytime I've driven to Belmont in rush hour I have arrived in 20-30 minutes tops. Just because that area is not the latest fab. place to live around Charlotte don't rule it out. There's plenty of good shopping in the area, a big mall plus a place called Franklin Square that has many of the shops found in Charlotte, plus a big movie theater. Tell your husband, that my husband loves Chick-fil-A too, and we've found two while visiting in the Gastonia area.

Best Wishes!

southcarolina
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2. Re: Another possible transplant - relo info

Hello Nereid-we are transplants from CA (1 year ago) and I've got to tell you we couldn't be happier. We ended up in SC (right on the border) and it's only a 20 drive to Charlotte. The town we opted for: Tega Cay (tegacaysc.org). There's also Fort Mill and that is very nice as well. If you decide to stay in NC I have to agree with UNCMickey in regard to Belmont. It is a great little town that I just love to take the back roads to and visit main street. What ever your decide I wish you the best of luck!

Rhode Island
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3. Re: Another possible transplant - relo info

Thanks for the input, I'm looking for all the info I can get. :)

My husband's two solid job prospects are both located in the SW area of Charlotte, near the airport, so I have been concentrating my house search on that side of the city. Several of the homes I'm interested in are near the Pawtucket golf club, which is just east of Belmont and Mount Holly, in Mecklenburg county. I haven't been able to find any suitable houses in our price range in Belmont, Mount Holly, or the Lake Wylie area.

Is anyone familiar with the area I'm looking at? If so, any input is appreciated. :)

Charlotte, North...
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4. Re: Another possible transplant - relo info

Friends of ours lived in the Pawtucket Golf course area about 10 years+ ago. Their house was modest but new along with the others on the street. These friends have since moved out of town but while they were visiting last summer we decided to drive by their old house; we were sad to find that the neighborhood had gone downhill. The many of the homes are not cared for as well as they used to be. A major problem our friends discovered after they moved in was that the area is in a direct flight path to the airport. It was very loud, and hard to enjoy a cookout, etc. Sometimes the planes are so low you could almost read the writing on the tires.

I was on the phone with my sister when I first read your post, she lives near Belmont, so I asked if she had any other suggestions. She said that another good place to look in Gaston County would be in the WA Bess elementary school district. She has friends who's kids go there and say it is a wonderful school; it has been a School of Excellence for several years, and has won many other awards. My sister says that much of the new construction in the area is on the higher end, but there are several neighborhoods in that district that would have new homes in the $100,000.00-$150,000.00 range, and a few other neighborhoods with existing homes that could be purchased for under $100,000.00. She says that there are many people in the area that work at or near the airport; it would not be a bad commute; the school itself is less than a 10 minute drive from Lake Wylie and Hwy.49. which goes directly to the SW area of Charlotte.

Hope this helps.

Best Wishes!

Rhode Island
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5. Re: Another possible transplant - relo info

Nereid, I live in RI and also going to be moving to nc(winston salem). Have you had any luck and what other info have you used. Thanks

North Carolina
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6. Re: Another possible transplant - relo info

By the way, a lot has changed in the past year. Both I77 and I85 have widened, and most, if not all of the road construction is complete. The communte from Huntersville to Charlotte is a breeze now (though Huntersville Rds themselves have some congestion). The communte from Concord has also improved dramatically. Both commutes are around 30 minutes (or less).

7. Re: Another possible transplant - relo info

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