Why Should I Move to Charlotte, NC?

charlotte-skyline-2If you ask a real estate agent in Charlotte the reasons why you should consider making this fine southern city your home, you will probably get a lot of standard responses. Some of these responses may include aspects such as the quality of schools in the area, the diverse and thriving job market, and the affordable cost of living. Although these are all valid, great reasons for choosing to make Charlotte your home, there are also other exciting reasons to set up house in the Queen City.

Connect with the great outdoors

Charlotte offers the best of both worlds when it comes to living in the heart of the city and also getting to explore the great outdoors. Mecklenburg county is home to over 200 recreational facilities and parks. If you enjoy zipping along a zip line or conquering whitewater rapids, you won’t be disappointed with your options. These activities are only a hop, skip, and a jump away. You’re also about two hours from the mountains in Asheville, and about three hours away from the nearest beach. Seriously though: anything you could want outdoors is within reach in Charlotte!

Enjoy all four seasons

Did you know Charlotte enjoys blue skies and bright sunshine pretty much all year long? The summers may be a little hot and humid, but the winters are typically mild. The area enjoys an abundance of clear skies throughout the year, with winter temperatures ranging just from the mid-50s to the low 30s. Springtime temperatures usually range from the mid-50s to the high 70s. If you are the type of person who likes to enjoy all of the seasons in the year, Charlotte is the place for that.

Art, music and culture

Charlotte may not be  comparable to New York City, but it does have a thriving art community. There are tons of museums, theaters, and galleries to enjoy. Music can also be found everywhere in this cultured city with tons of concerts coming to town frequently. You can enjoy anything from acoustic performances in a variety of venues and wine bars to national acts at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater.

Abundant economic opportunities

We know we mentioned the diverse and thriving job market in the list of ‘standard’ reasons why Charlotte is a great place to live, but it really is true. Not only does Charlotte have a thriving job market, but this wonderful city also welcomes entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs from all walks of life will appreciate the numerous clubs and organizations in the area that support economic development and new businesses. Forbes named Charlotte as the 12th best city for business and careers, and Entrepreneur Magazine rated it as one of the top ten places for small businesses.

As you can see, the Charlotte area has so much to offer area residents. When it comes to knowing the Charlotte area, Top Charlotte Agent has cornered the market. We have the expertise and knowledge paired with the ingenuity and adaptability required to help you search for your dream home. If you are thinking of relocating to Charlotte, let us help. Whether you need help with the transition or simply just want some inside information and expert advice, we can help.

Contact us today, and we can help with whatever you need!

Why Charlotte NC is a Great Place to Live!

charlotte-skyline

Charlotte is a well-known metropolitan area that encompasses a large portion of North Carolina and lies just above the South Carolina state line. Charlotte is located in Mecklenburg County and is considered to be a very desirable place to live. (We may be a little biased!) There are lots of reasons why this area is one of the best areas to move to, but we will discuss some of the biggest motivators that drive people to call this beautiful Queen City their home.

Charlotte Offers Abundant Opportunities

Many people appreciate the area because of the growing job market, low cost of living, and four-season climate. There are excellent public and private schools and a range of housing types to choose from. There is also a big choice of safe urban and rural neighborhoods to move into, whether you are a single adult living on your own or have a family and need a house.

Charlotte also appeals to the creative types! Funky in-town neighborhoods like NoDa and several live music venues, such as The Fillmore and PNC Music Pavillion, are a big draw for people who appreciate music and art.

Business owners love the diverse economy and widespread transportation system. A well-educated and productive workforce is also a definitive plus!

Charlotte Has Amassed Lots of Accolades

Charlotte area residents aren’t the only ones who have noticed how great Charlotte is. Many well-known organizations and publications have made mention of this great city in multiple accolades. Here are a few select compliments the city has garnered:

  • Money Magazine ranked Charlotte as one of the 10 Best Places to Live
  • Black Enterprise and BET.com nominated Charlotte as one of the Best Cities for Black Families
  • Forbes ranked Charlotte as one of the Best Places for Singles
  • Expansion Management cited Charlotte as one of the Top US Real Estate Markets
  • Ladies Home Journal ranked Charlotte as one of the Best Cities for Women
  • Entrepreneur Magazine recognized Charlotte as one of the Best Cities for Entrepreneurs

The truth of the matter is Charlotte, NC is a great place to live all around. It is a growing, lively city with lots of activities and events, and there is always something to do! When it comes to real estate in Charlotte, Top Charlotte Agent has cornered the market of knowledge and experience. If you are considering relocating to this great city, we can help you during this transition. Whether you need help navigating the home buying process or simply just want tips on the best neighborhoods, we can help.

Learn more about relocating to Charlotte today!

Top 5 Suburbs To Live in Charlotte, NC

Charlotte is a wonderful city with a great deal of available housing options. Any Charlotte realtor will agree that this city truly is a wonderful place to live. One of the best things about the Charlotte real estate market is that there are lots of great deals to be had, even in the suburbs. The suburbs have been a good option for many buyers due to property taxes being lower. Of course, land prices are also lower and home prices are extremely reasonable. With all this in mind, here are 5 suburbs in Charlotte that surpass all the others when it comes to purchasing a home.

Fort Mill

Fort Mill really has it all! People who move to this area can enjoy the conveniences that Ballantyne offers without having to pay extra. The overall cost of living for this area is much lower. Many real estate agents in Charlotte recommended this suburb to buyers because the demographics appeal to young families who want to live somewhere that offers a strong sense of community. This area is actually located in South Carolina, but is only 18 miles from uptown Charlotte. Explore houses in Fort Mill, South Carolina!

Concord

If you’ve fallen in love with Davidson, but the home prices there are not within your price range, Concord may be your best bet. This area has a lot going on; there are specialty shops, theatres, restaurants, art galleries, and more. Best of all, these draws are all within walking distance of downtown Concord. Any realtor in Charlotte will agree that Concord is one of the best places to buy a house in Charlotte. Explore houses in Concord, North Carolina!

Indian Trail

It may be hard for many people to believe, but for a while now many Charlotte real estate agents have touted this secret gem as a wonderful place to settle. This once-sleepy suburb has recently experienced a big housing boom and the area infrastructure has finally caught up with new retail and restaurant offerings for residents. It’s a great place to live because it offers the convenience of Matthews without the high price tag. Explore houses in Indian Trail, North Carolina!

Mount Holly

Mount Holly has branded itself as a “playful city”, and with wonderful reason: the area contains two recreational facilities and six parks. Mount Holly is conveniently located across the Catawba River, right near the US National Whitewater Center. Also, Crowders Mountain State Park is only thirty minutes away from the area. This exciting suburb will most likely appeal to people who are drawn strongly to an adventurous life. Explore houses in Mount Holly, North Carolina!

Rock Hill

Although this suburb is about thirty miles from the uptown Charlotte area, it’s a prime candidate for being a wonderful place to live because of the low cost of living and strong schools. There are also lots of parks and natural spaces to wander. Winthrop University offers a bustling cultural scene for the area, which includes live music theatre and dance. The best part is that admission to these cultural hotspots usually costs less than the cultured events that go on in the uptown Charlotte area. Explore Houses in Rock Hill, North Carolina!

It is clear that the Charlotte area houses some wonderful areas for people to call home. For more information about these wonderful areas, contact Top Charlotte Agent today. We can point you to all sorts of wonderful deals on Charlotte area homes in the best Charlotte neighborhoods!

The Importance of Location and Happiness

The Importance of Location and Happiness

By Andrew Hill @ www.newhomesource.com

So you’ve heard the saying, “Location, location, location.” Often times this is tied into the monetary aspect of your home- what it will cost you and how much you can plan to sell it for. But location is also very much related to your happiness, because if you like where you live it will go a long way.

First thing’s first: given enough time, effort, and capital, nearly everything else about your home can be changed. The paint, the fixtures, the tile, everything. The one thing that you cannot change is the neighborhood you live in. Be sure you enjoy your surroundings. If you’re married with children, don’t move into a neighborhood with 20-somethings if you can’t see yourself being friends with them. If you need peace and quiet, please don’t look at homes in the city.

Location also applies to proximity. Are you the type who needs a grocery store within walking distance? Or do you prefer to only go into town a few times a month? Be sure to also consider your proximity to work. Traffic makes us miserable. As the Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert says, “Driving in traffic is a different kind of hell every day.” If you hate commuting an hour and a half, then you need to buy a home that’s closer to work. Cut that commute down from a three hour round trip to only one hour a day, and in just one week you’ll save ten hours- in a year you’ll gain more than 20 days!

Another key location factor are your streets and sidewalks. “Sidewalks?” you ask. Absolutely! Are you an active jogger? Do you want to live in a neighborhood where kids play in the street? Do you want to be able to take a walk with you family or pet? Sidewalks are a good indicator of location quality. They’ll tell you plenty about what goes on and how safe your neighborhood is.

Which brings mean to my final point: crime rate. Not to be overlooked is the influence of location and crime rate. If you are the type of person who fears rough city dwellers, get a home in the suburbs. If a small amount of crime doesn’t bother you so long as you have a downtown loft, go for the loft. You need to be conscious of what you want to surround yourself and your family with, as well as what you can afford. Everyone wants to feel safe, but some are more comfortable in certain communities than others. Make sure you are in tune with your comfort zone.

As you can see, the importance of location goes well beyond your house value. Where ever you choose to rest your head, eat your meals, and spend time with your family should make you happy. Now go forth and be location conscious when finding your perfect home!

I’m buying a home and plan to be there 5 years-how easy is it going to be to sell my home when the time arrives?

The most important factors in selling a home are the exact same as when you bought it. Schools, market conditions, proximity to shopping, neighborhood appeal, and condition of your home will be the main factors.

Ask yourself-what attracted me to my current home in the first place?

Whether or not you need schools at the time, schools will continue to play a vital roll in protecting your value and increased desirability.  Award winning schools are the most important consideration.  Great shopping centers create a lifestyle of convenience and social gathering spots.  We are all creatures of convenience and these spots are exactly that.  Whether you want to live in South Charlotte, with such shopping centers as Blakeney or Stone Crest, or up North in Huntersville where you have Birkdale Village these award winning centers are a hub for shopping and enjoyment.  Today’s buyers are focused on a community and neighborhood that offer so many choices.  Country club life style of golf, tennis, and an on site restaurant, having a club house with work out facilities and a lazy river for the family or just a well groomed community play a major roll in the ease of selling your home.

Real Estate is local in nature and not all communities are impacted by “market conditions”.  Even though we face tougher economic times not all communities are declining in value.  Some communities continue to outpace the market because of the factors I’ve listed above.

Want to know more?   Do you have questions as to which communities are the best and which schools have the best ratings?  Think before you purchase and consult your Realtor.

Foreclosure or Short Sale?

With more and more Americans facing the prospect of declining home values and unemployment levels not seen in quite some time, many homeowners and their lenders are facing the situation where the home is worth less than owed.  This is no problem if the owner doesn’t have to move and can afford their current payment.  If the owner is forced to sell for whatever reason, then the possibility of a short sale becomes a very real option.

What is a short sale? A short sale is an option you have before you reach the point of [Read more...]

Flight 1549 Passenger Story Is Important Reminder

This morning I had the opportunity to hear from one of the passengers who was on USAir Flight 1549 that crash landed in the Hudson River.  He spoke about understanding why he thinks everyone survived and reminded us to think about the important things in life by being better husbands, sons, fathers, brothers and dads.

I look at what I have in my life; my family and my business.  He reminded me to be grateful for what I have and never take it or anyone for granted – not that I ever do. [Read more...]

Charlotte, NC Commuter Times

charlotte commutersThe Charlotte Chamber of Commerce has put together a series of maps that show estimated commute times from certain points in the metro area. This is a pretty cool tool for folks thinking of moving to Charlotte and are unfamiliar with commute times in different parts of the city. The times are only estimates, of course. Included in the report are occupations shared by residents in the various areas, thus allowing those who might be currently unemployed to use this information while searching for employment. The study focused on 15-30 minute drive times in 15 different areas of Charlotte.

Check it out at:

Charlotte Commuting Time Estimator

Mortgage DTI Update

Today we have a guest blogger from the mortgage industry. Paul Bender with Countrywide Mortgage has an important update for all homebuyers:

EFFECTIVE TODAY:  Customers that are purchasing homes with less then 20% down, now must have a 700 credit score and have a debt to income less then or equal to 41%.   Government loans (FHA, VA) are not effected.
If the customers are putting 20% or more down then they can have a credit score less then 700, the DTI still needs to be 41%. [Read more...]

Billy Joel & Elton John Concert

Imagine dining uptown under Carolina Blue skies.  You say to yourself, “The food’s great and so is the atmosphere but can it get any better?”

Two hours later the evening goes from good to out of this world!  Here I am a 59 year old baby boomer who remembers the 70′s like it was yesterday when the only thing I had to worry about was [Read more...]