With its dichotomy of quiet neighborhoods lined with historic homes and funky urban enclaves full of art, music and revelry, Charlotte can sometimes feel like many cities-within-a-city. And considering an estimated 120 people move to Charlotte every day, the real estate landscape is in a constant state of change.
We spoke to the pros at Helen Adams Realty to get the scoop on up-and-coming neighborhoods in the area, and here’s what they had to say.
What buyers want in the booming QC
Charlotte’s metro area is booming and expanding. But with the soaring numbers of people relocating to the Queen City, property appreciation has increased every year, making some areas less affordable than ever before, says Helen Adams Realty agent Sherrie Andrews. The result? Buyers are much more open to checking out areas outside the center of the city than in years past.
“Charlotte is laid out like a wheel and everything in the center near the spoke is dense with housing and development. With very little land left to expand, the areas experiencing the greatest growth are all outside the inner ring around the center city,” Sherrie says. “In each direction, north, south, east and west, Charlotte is growing and areas are booming with new construction. Businesses — Coffee shops, boutiques, bars and restaurants along with other services — are following the development.”
So who is the modern Charlotte homebuyer and what are they looking for? Our city’s median age is 34, making it the perfect spot for young professionals and young families.
“One of the biggest requests I hear from my buyers is walkability,” says Helen Adams Realty agent Holly Webster. “With light rail expansion, the Gold Line, greenways, and efforts to make Charlotte more bike-friendly, neighborhoods close to Uptown are continuing to see tremendous growth.”
Lots of buyers and current residents are looking to retain their area’s culture and charm.
“While some buyers and investors may view a neighborhood as ‘up and coming,’ many people love it the way it is and has been,” Holly says. “That is why it is important to keep a healthy mix of old and new, small and big, owners and renters, along with local businesses, to ensure that relatively affordable housing still exists in our communities so that the very people who help make the community what it is aren’t pushed out.”
If you haven’t heard of these neighborhoods already, chances are you will soon:
Sherrie says the areas between I-77 and I-85 have seen some of the most explosive growth over the last couple of years.
“Neighborhoods such as Seversville, Biddleville, Enderly Park, Washington Heights have all seen new houses, major flips of old houses and condos being built,” Sherrie says. “These are some of the most vibrant areas for young professionals wanting to be close to uptown without paying to live closer in.”
Located just northwest of uptown along Tuckaseegee Road, Enderly Park began as a rural farming neighborhood and is transforming into a charming community full of small businesses and friendly neighbors.
The neighborhood’s roots run deep in the city’s historic West End — it first saw residential growth when Camp Green was established as a military base during World War I, Holly says.
“Enderly Park is a strong example of a neighborhood willing to embrace change and growth as our city changes,” Holly says. “With close proximity to Uptown and South End, and several small local businesses such as Enderly Coffee Co and LuLu’s, I feel the community has a lot to offer.
Holly says surrounding neighborhoods’ prices are skyrocketing, but don’t overlook Enderly Park, which offers similar proximity with more room for immediate appreciation.
Camp North End
You’ve probably heard of NODA, the arts and entertainment district along North Davidson Street. Eclectic and brimming with creativity, the area is quickly becoming a favorite hangout for Charlotteans from all walks of life. And now lots of them want to make it their full-time home.
“The Arts District (NODA) has been growing for some years and now areas surrounding it such as Camp North End are booming with new lofts, warehouses re-purposed and new housing,” Sherrie says. “Hip, trendy and edgy, this area is popular with our ever-expanding Millennial population.”
Enter Camp North End, a mixed-use development with an aim to preserve history while fostering creativity and innovation.
“The industrial complex first housed the Ford Motor Plant, then served as the Quartermaster Depot during World War II, followed by a drug store distribution center,” Holly says. “Now, boutique shops, open-air food markets and bars abound with live music on Friday nights.”
Holly suggests checking out surrounding neighborhoods like Brightwalk, which are walkable to Camp North End.
Known by some as MORA, the Monroe Road Corridor and areas close to Plaza Midwood has fueled expansion towards the east.
“Neighborhoods such as Sheffield Park, Windsor Park, Echo Hills, East Way Park and Markham Village are all seeing great demand with young professionals looking for first homes,” Sherrie says. “Monroe Road itself has added businesses all along the corridor and the LYNX light rail is expected to be expanded in that direction. More affordable than areas closer to uptown, these are great areas for buyers looking to purchase first-time homes.”
South of South Park
Looking for something with a bit of mid-century charm? Areas south of Southpark are still close in and have great housing stock built in the 1960s, Sherrie says.
“Starmount and Montclaire are two of the neighborhoods where these classic houses are being renovated and renewed,” she says. “With the Lynx light rail running along South Boulevard, it is a quick commute to center city from these neighborhoods.”
If buyers are willing to look just outside the city limits, Union County has seen a massive influx of people looking to be close enough to the action, but far enough out to get more house for their money. Areas like Waxhaw feature charming downtowns, highly rated schools and other amenities families crave.
Other suburbs in the area include Monroe, Indian Trail, Weddington and Wesley Chapel.
“Union County is an attractive place to live because it gives residents proximity to city-living amenities, being just a short drive from Charlotte, but with a small-town feel. For many years, Union County has been one of the fastest-growing counties in the state,” says Helen Adams Realty agent Liz Partee. “I believe this is due to the more affordable real estate prices, great school systems, beautiful parks, plentiful outdoor activities, lower taxes and so much more.”
Realtor.com reported Union County’s median price per square foot home listing at $144 — significantly less than Mecklenburg’s $163 per square foot.
“Also, the recently opened Monroe Expressway further expedites the drive from Union County into Mecklenburg County. I have personally seen buyers agreeing to purchase farther out in Union County than they ever would have considered before because the Expressway allows their commute to be shortened,” Liz says. “As a Charlotte native myself, I moved to Union County four years ago and enjoy living and working here for the many reasons listed above.”
Do you have any favorite up-and-coming neighborhoods? Let us know in the comments!
Thank you to our contributors:
Helen Adams, a sixth-generation Charlottean, founded her residential real estate company in Charlotte in 1975. Her achievements as an entrepreneur and community leader laid the foundation for a thriving, multi-office real estate business, and today she has become a role model for women throughout the Charlotte region. Second- and third-generation family members, led by Jeff Adams, continue to successfully operate four offices serving Charlotte’s finest neighborhoods with a stalwart commitment to perfecting their craft.