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I'm older than I look
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Happy Friday Y'all,

I may have an opportunity to relocate to the Charlotte area. About 3-4 miles northwest of UNC-Charlotte and a mile southwest of the Trader Joe's. I've been thinking of moving out of California in order to retire earlier, per my financial advisor.

However, I do plan on keeping my home here in Los Angeles due to property appreciation and also primarily if I decide to retire back here in sunny Southern California. If all goes well, it gets paid off in about 6-7 years.

Hopefully I can negotiate a higher salary than I have here in LA, plus I would be moving to a lower cost of living area which hopefully adds up to earlier retirement. Also, I've lived in SoCal for almost 40 years so it may be nice to live somewhere else and if I do decide to stay in Charlotte, it may even speed up my retirement even more.

What's close to that area? What are good areas where I can start searching? I read that my CA Realtors license has reciprocity so hopefully I can keep my license in NC as well.

I currently am less than 5 miles (12-15 minutes) surface street from my work, and regularly go home for lunch and see my dog and would like to do the same if possible but I'm also open to commuting to find a more ideal home. I don't know how traffic is to that corridor, so would appreciate tips.

I'm on barely a quarter acre here in LA, so would like more land and would like a pool like I have now. I would also like to be next to a body of water and I've seen some waterfront homes in Terrell, etc. based on a quick perusal of the interwebz.

Anyway, just thinking out loud so would love to get any tips from members in the area.

Thanks in advance!


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Posts: 1905 | Location: San Fernando Valley, CA | Registered: September 13, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Two things.

First, leave any of your california ideas or beliefs in california. california transplants have destroyed Washington, Oregon, and Colorado. We do not want that disease to spread any further.

Second, Lake Norman. BTW, it isn't cheap but with 1 bedroom houses costing 1/2 million in california you are used to that.


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Posts: 4674 | Location: Michigan | Registered: November 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks Scooter.

And it looks like my office would be the University Park area.


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Posts: 1905 | Location: San Fernando Valley, CA | Registered: September 13, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If you are looking for a bit more land but want to remain in close to the university area I would look in Mint Hill or east of there as well as the Harrisburg area. While the housing market is greatly inflated right now it’s nowhere near California prices I’m sure.

If you’re willing to commute a ways there are a lot of great areas within 30 minutes of the university that are much more reasonable and might provide you more what you’re looking for - Locust, Midland, Red Cross are areas to look at for rural/land. Concord is ok but stay away from Kannapolis. Regardless get outside the 485 beltway and out of Mecklenburg county unless you like paying higher taxes.



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Posts: 6215 | Location: North Carolina | Registered: April 30, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Look for a house in Union county. Stay out of Mecklenburg county. Speaking of Mecklenburg, their CCW permits are running at about 6 to 9 months now so keep that in mind. There schools are terrible. Speaking of schools, The three best towns to look at Wesley Chapel, Waxhaw, and Weddington. They have three of the best highly ranked middle and high schools in the state of North Carolina all within a 6 mile radius. You’ll have a bit of a commute to the University area, about 45 minutes on 485 going north. If kids schools are not a consideration with schools, take majojos recommendation above.


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Posts: 12565 | Location: VIrtual | Registered: November 13, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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no kids, so school is not a consideration. i read to stay out of mecklenburg. thanks for the tips about mint hill and union.

don't really wanna do that long of a commute, but heck we'll see. i also ride so perhaps the 45 minute commute won't be so bad especially if it's through a nice area, but not looking forward to the humidity.

and you can't get a CCW unless you have connections or were the victim of a serious crime out here in LA so I don't mind waiting!


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Posts: 1905 | Location: San Fernando Valley, CA | Registered: September 13, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I hope ChongoSuerte will chime in with his expertise.

At one time (I believe) his beat was the University district which the area you are looking at borders or is part of.

The area you are looking at is okay, but I would reconsider it. I worked a lot of fatalities in the area, and a few other various deaths but nothing outrageous.

If it was me I will look into Harrisburg. At least one or two of our investigators lived there are really liked it. It is close to Charlotte but is actually considered Cabarrus County.

I lived on the Kannapolis/Concord line and really liked the area. It was about 30mins from mile marker 60 to the Medical Examiners Office off of Exit 36.
 
Posts: 1358 | Location: Trying to get back to ND from NC  | Registered: March 03, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It's west of 85, off governer hunt road.

Yeah, some of the areas are within 20 miles of the office so that's not too bad of a commute.

Maybe there may even be light rail directly to the campus so if there are hubs in the areas around it, I may do that to expand my search. After almost 15 years of a 12-15 minute commute, don't fancy going longer than that if I have to drive.


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Posts: 1905 | Location: San Fernando Valley, CA | Registered: September 13, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I am in a similar boat - wanted to relocate this year but due to COVID it may not be until late 2021.

I love the area near Lake Norman, with Cornelius being my #1 target. Huntersville is a close second. My office is in the uptown area, so a bit of a commute but much better than what I normally would see in the metro NYC area.

One note that house prices are up and sales close in days or less.

Good luck on your potential move.
 
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We have very close friends that relocated to the Tega Cay / Fort Mill section of SC. Its just over the border, south of Charlotte. One of our friends is an orthopedic PA in Charlotte and commutes there daily without problems. Great area in my opinion. They love it. They live in a neighborhood on Lake Wylie. I highly suggest you look into it.
 
Posts: 1015 | Location: Central New Jersey | Registered: February 02, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Chance228:
We have very close friends that relocated to the Tega Cay / Fort Mill section of SC...

That may be the best of both worlds and the area I would suggest at least looking at. You are still in the metro Charlotte area, but in SC, you more likely to keep your civil rights longer. I fear that the fascists moving to NC from NY, CA and other totalitarian enclaves will turn NC blue at some point.



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Lived in Matthews for 15 years and loved it....
 
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I live in Waxhaw and commuted to the University area for years. 45-50 minutes each way. it is not ideal. You would be better off in Cabarrus or Union County just east of the 485. No water there but it is not too far off the freeway before you get into some areas where you can have some land.

Huntersville/Lake Norman area is really popular but you will feel like you are in LA when you see the traffic. Not my idea of a great place to live...

I love the Charlotte area and not as many nuts and fruits as California...





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Posts: 1629 | Location: Charlotte, NC | Registered: February 24, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by shoupdawg:
Happy Friday Y'all,

I may have an opportunity to relocate to the Charlotte area. About 3-4 miles northwest of UNC-Charlotte and a mile southwest of the Trader Joe's. I've been thinking of moving out of California in order to retire earlier, per my financial advisor.

However, I do plan on keeping my home here in Los Angeles due to property appreciation and also primarily if I decide to retire back here in sunny Southern California. If all goes well, it gets paid off in about 6-7 years.

Hopefully I can negotiate a higher salary than I have here in LA, plus I would be moving to a lower cost of living area which hopefully adds up to earlier retirement. Also, I've lived in SoCal for almost 40 years so it may be nice to live somewhere else and if I do decide to stay in Charlotte, it may even speed up my retirement even more.

What's close to that area? What are good areas where I can start searching? I read that my CA Realtors license has reciprocity so hopefully I can keep my license in NC as well.

I currently am less than 5 miles (12-15 minutes) surface street from my work, and regularly go home for lunch and see my dog and would like to do the same if possible but I'm also open to commuting to find a more ideal home. I don't know how traffic is to that corridor, so would appreciate tips.

I'm on barely a quarter acre here in LA, so would like more land and would like a pool like I have now. I would also like to be next to a body of water and I've seen some waterfront homes in Terrell, etc. based on a quick perusal of the interwebz.

Anyway, just thinking out loud so would love to get any tips from members in the area.

Thanks in advance!


Yup, that's the heart of my area. I've lived/worked in the area for about 6 years, and am one of the night shift supervisors now. There are a LOT of people in the area, 180,000 or so in our division. The largest Wells Fargo corporate campus in the nation about a mile or so from where you describe. Traffic during rush hour is an absolute beast, and wrecks are through the roof. By sheer population, if that area was its own city it would be the seventh largest in the state. Busiest police division in the city by far, and currently leading or tied for homicides.

All that said, there are some nice places to live. Mecklenburg county isn't a horrible place, and I value time saved not commuting. We moved to the south part of the county last year because my wife as commuting 45 minutes twice a day on the I-485 loop and she was over it. I think somebody mentioned traffic fatalities, there are a lot of those. CLT people drive as bad as anyone else, and road rage is all the rage these days, it seems.

Geographically, if you weren't going to stay in Mecklenburg, Cabarrus County is your closest bet, commute wise, from that area. Mecklenburg is solidly democrat, and will never change.

Highland Creek is a massive neighborhood near there, and has areas in Mecklenburg and Cabarrus counties. There is also a large community behind the Trader Joes. Both of those are areas close enough to run home during lunch, if you're talking about working somewhere off Research Dr/IBM area. There are some older neighborhoods off Prosperity Church Rd that are nice too and within run-home-for-lunch distance, and back up to the greenway area.

There are still some areas with some land close enough to be viable, too, but probably too far away to sneak home during the day. We looked at some near the Cabarrus/Mecklenburg line but we decided to go to the SW due to my wife's job and the cost. The commute to some of those can be deceiving though. The "back roads" are covered during rush hour, and single stop lights on a two-lane can be a killer.

If you're trying to be on Lake Norman, it's expensive. My wife's grandfather's farm was on the lake when they filled it, and he has been selling sections off to fund his retirement (he is 93 and has lived far longer than he ever thought). Prices are well over a million for a lot, and up and down depending on where or which lake. There is also the Catawba river, but that's hitting 30-45 minutes for a commute. Any of the water is, actually. And taxes for those spots are stupid.


It really boils down to what is important to you. To us, not spending a whole lot of time wasting life away sitting in traffic was more important than living on 5 acres. Our house is in a very quiet area in Mecklenburg County, just outside the city limits, but our lot isn't very big. When we retire we will be moving, and we both have family that live out in the country.

The traffic corridors are a damned mess at rush hour, but outside of that it's actually not that bad. 77 is the main N/S route, and the recent toll lanes that made a lot of people mad have actually improved the drive a lot. I drove to Statesville this evening from south end, leaving at around 5pm and it was smooth (except for a wreck 30 miles north of CLT). But when it's bad, it's bad. The main surface streets in the area you describe (WT Harris, Mallard Creek, N Tryon) all suck during most of the day, but not as bad with most of the big banks doing remote working right now. I-485 is a race track, but if there's not a wreck it's pretty smooth in most of the circle, except near the I-85 interchange near the airport and around the south side of town during rush hours.

The light rail is about useless. I'm sure that's a huge surprise to all reading... It's good for getting from point B to point C, but the problem is getting from point A to point B, and from point C to point D. You've got to either park at a station or have an Uber/taxi pick you up/drop you off. There are some places downtown that lightrail is close enough to, but a lot of times it's just easier to drive and find a parking spot once you add up the time driving to a station, parking, and all the stops between. The nearest station to where you're describing working is a couple of miles with no easy access. Maybe you could ride a bike from the station, but I'd be expecting to get ran over in that case.

I mention crime above, but primarily it's property crime. If you lock your car and don't keep anything in sight, or you keep it in a garage, and do a decent job in keeping your home secure, your odds go way way down of being a target. If you don't deal drugs or don't live beside someone who deals drugs, your chance of being targeted for violent crime is also way way down. I expect those are universal truths.

You can use the department's crime map to take a look at any places you are considering: https://www.crimemapping.com/map/agency/65 I took a quick look and the areas I mention above are much better on average than the city as a whole.


If you have any more specific questions let me know. My MIL just retired after decades as a realtor in the area, and my wife grew up in east Charlotte/Mint Hill. The area you're looking at working in has been exploding for a decade and is only going to get busier. They are bringing 10,000 jobs in next year just with one business I think it is. Apartment buildings are going up like crazy. If commute is your concern, I'd buy close to work and pay that bugger off ASAP and sell when you retire and go wherever you want to be.




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Posts: 10873 | Location: NC | Registered: August 16, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Matthews side of mint hill.

Davidson.

Cabaras county

Edge of SC.

NC is democrat .... Mecklenburg is tax heavy.
Huntersville is growing ...

Anywhere and everywhere is 30-45 min drive.
Go easy to get west around here.

I moved to mint hill 4 yrs ago .... Wished I had gone into the edge of SC
 
Posts: 918 | Location: Mint Hill NC | Registered: November 26, 2016Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by D-Man:
I am in a similar boat - wanted to relocate this year but due to COVID it may not be until late 2021.

I love the area near Lake Norman, with Cornelius being my #1 target. Huntersville is a close second. My office is in the uptown area, so a bit of a commute but much better than what I normally would see in the metro NYC area.

One note that house prices are up and sales close in days or less.

Good luck on your potential move.


yeah I don't know if I want to do the commute but some of the houses I've seen on the interwebs look really nice and might just be worth it


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Posts: 1905 | Location: San Fernando Valley, CA | Registered: September 13, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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thanks a bunch folks.

especially chongo and the commutes and detail on the different scenarios I brought up.

I've been so used to a quick commute for 15 years that it might really start gnawing on me in a short while if I had to do a long commute again.

and I've been reading about the heat and humidity in charlotte. here in southern California I am able to ride my bike to work year-round and I am legally able to split Lanes but I'm unsure if that's legal in North carolina.

I do have a good size dog and would love a place for him to have a backyard because that's what he has now. and I have a car and a pickup truck and four bikes. but I suppose I could downsize. it may be the best bet to get something right next to the office until I figure out what I want to do and where I want to go. if things go well especially from a financial perspective which is one of the reasons I would move out to North Carolina, my home in LA would be paid off in about 6 or 7 years. so I could just come back here and do the part time thing or I may fall in love with North Carolina find the woman of my dreams and settle down there in which case who knows?

got to see if I can handle the weather first and the commutes second and go from there :-)

I'd be open to South Carolina but where I would be working it's about as far as if I went in the lake Norman area.

but hot dang a lot of the areas I was looking at that are near the water are as expensive as some of the homes out here in Malibu. I guess it makes sense if it's close to the water just like how Malibu's close to the water out here :-)


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Posts: 1905 | Location: San Fernando Valley, CA | Registered: September 13, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Lane splitting is illegal in NC. Chongo did sum things up quite well. Good luck & safe travels on your relo Wink


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Posts: 12565 | Location: VIrtual | Registered: November 13, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by CQB60:
Lane splitting is illegal in NC. Chongo did sum things up quite well. Good luck & safe travels on your relo Wink


Darn, one of the few things we did right here in California. Cool

I'll look for something closer to work then.


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Posts: 1905 | Location: San Fernando Valley, CA | Registered: September 13, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I live in the area you are looking at. PM me if you have any specific questions on the area. I went to UNC-Charlotte and I've been here since 2001. I've lived in Plaza Midwood, University City, and Prosperity Church area. I would avoid uptown or the Ballantyne area due to crowding, but the outlaying areas are nice.

PS Why haven't we had a small get together with this many of us this close together?


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