Lots of neighborhoods in Charlotte have instant name recognition. Myers Park, Dilworth, Southpark — they’ve been around (and popular!) for years and have the real estate price tags to prove it. But what about buyers who are looking for something just as special that not as many people know about?
“The current Charlotte market leaves agents no choice but to leave no stone unturned — so not much is hidden anymore,” says Helen Adams Realty Agent Kelly Blandford. “As inventory stays low and the number of people moving to Charlotte continuously rises, we have to step outside of the more well-known neighborhoods and show buyers all that Charlotte has to offer. Luckily there is something for everyone.”
We asked the professionals at Helen Adams Realty to give us the scoop on Charlotte’s “hidden gem” neighborhoods. Here were a few of their favorites:
Uptown | Midtown
You may feel like you’ve driven through every neighborhood the heart of the QC has to offer, but some of the agents’ favorite spots are tucked away in surprising locations just minutes from uptown.
This historic neighborhood is hidden in plain sight, sandwiched between Myers Park, Dilworth and Elizabeth. Made up of single-family homes, townhomes and mixed-income apartments, the mostly residential neighborhood also features two churches, a charter school, a park and a retail strip.
“Cherry has a rich history. Named in 1891, it’s one of the oldest historically Black neighborhoods in Charlotte. Today, many residents strive to uphold the community’s racial and economic diversity, especially in the face of rapid redevelopment,” says Helen Adams Realty Agent Chloe Faucher. “And less than a mile from Uptown, its location is ideal, with the Charlotte skyline visible from many homes. Many of the original bungalows have been replaced with new modern homes, driving up the neighborhood’s average sales price to around $645,000.”
If you’re looking for a townhome, it doesn’t get much better than Crownsgate.
These all-brick homes with garages and private courtyards even have the option to have a master suite on the ground floor.
“Crownsgate is a wonderful place to live,” says Helen Adams Realty Agent Brandon Boyd. “Walk across the street to the Greenway and the Mint Museum, and enjoy all the amenities of Eastover and Elizabeth — restaurants, shopping and bars — and it’s just minutes from Novant and Atrium hospitals.”
“Living in Airlie is like living in Mayberry, USA,” Brandon says.
This quiet cul-de-sac street in Myers Park features two-to-four-story homes with garages on the lower levels. Many homes feature large decks and porches overlooking the views of the two ponds in the area.
“Children can play in the street, get a game of football going in the common area or fish in the two ponds,” Brandon says.
Just past popular Madison Park, Montclaire has the same style ranch and split-level homes with a slightly lower price tag, says Helen Adams Realty Agent Mary Helen Davis.
“The neighborhood has beautiful streets that are great for taking a stroll or going to the Greenway to walk/bike/or run alongside Little Sugar Creek,” she says. “Montclaire is less than a mile to the Rail Trail so you can hop on the light rail for a quick ride uptown. It is also about a mile away from South Park’s shops and restaurants.”
Buyers who crave a taste of the suburbs (while still being somewhat close to the action) often look just south of uptown. These neighborhoods are close to plenty of options for shopping, dining and recreation.
Old Georgetowne, Olde Providence, Mountainbrook, Sharon Hills and Carmel Estates.
Large lots and active neighborhoods with swim and racquet clubs make the SouthPark area feel like it’s far away from everything, but really it’s a stone’s throw away from everything Charlotte has to offer.
Kelly said she loves Old Georgetowne, Olde Providence and Mountainbrook because of their variety in style, price and natural scenery.
“These neighborhoods also have slightly larger lots than in-town and though they are in the city, you’re guaranteed to see deer, owls and more,” she says.
Kelly also recommends checking out nearby Sharon Hills and Carmel Estates.
“They’re both very established smaller communities, but you may never know they are there unless you happen to turn in,” she says. “Both have such diverse styles and price ranges — but right under your nose in SouthPark.”
When Helen Adams Realty Agent Melissa Brown thinks of a hidden gem neighborhood, Sturnbridge immediately comes to mind.
Located off Carmel Road, and just minutes from either Southpark or Ballantyne, Sturnbridge offers a close-in location at very affordable prices (average sales price in 2020 is $360,000).
“Sturnbridge feels like a piece of Americana, with adorable homes, large lots, and a neighborhood park which is a popular hangout year-round,” Melissa says.
Conveniently located off of Providence Road between Fairview and Rea Road, this neighborhood provides easy access to all the shopping of SouthPark and the Arboretum, Brandon says. Need to get uptown? Just head north on Providence Road — it’s a straight shot.
“This mature neighborhood has tree-lined streets and nicely sized homes with two-car garages,” Brandon says.
Melissa says if you’re looking for a gated community with a super-convenient location near SouthPark Mall and the Arboretum, Challis Farm should be on your list.
“Prices are much less than in gated communities closer to the center city (average sales price in 2020 is $884,000; median is $880,000),” she says. “The neighborhood is anchored by 18-acre Challis Lake, offering beautiful vistas, fishing and paddle-boating. For members of Carmel Country Club, there is a paved golf-cart path directly to the club. What a way to escape!”
The eclectic vibe and hoppin’ nightlife of Plaza Midwood and NoDa have attracted scores of buyers to this once quiet corner of the city. Its residential neighborhoods often feature charming bungalows, but many nearby neighborhoods are replete with all-brick ranches situated on large lots with plenty of room for additions and unique outdoor spaces.
Find yourself gravitating toward mid-century ranches on spacious lots? You’d love Windsor Park. Located north of Central Avenue between Eastway Drive and Sharon Amity Road, this neighborhood is close to fun and funky Plaza Midwood but features a more affordable price point, Chloe says.
“Because of its location and relative affordability, Windsor Park has become attractive to families, singles, and investors alike,” she says. “The average sales price is just shy of $300,000. But homes in this neighborhood are appreciating quickly — this is an increase of over 11% from last year.”
Kelly says to also be sure to check out nearby Eastway Park, Echo Hills and Amity Gardens, which boast mature landscaping and solid, mostly brick homes.
Mary Helen says Chantilly is one of Charlotte’s most charming original neighborhoods. Nestled right in between Elizabeth and Plaza Midwood along the railroad tracks, this neighborhood is full of character from its historic homes to its tree canopy-covered streets.
“Chantilly has all the walkability,” Mary Helen says. “You can walk through the cute neighborhood streets to all the restaurants and shops that Elizabeth and Plaza Midwood have to offer.”
Willing to look just outside the city? You might find larger houses for less money, with fantastic school systems to boot.
Town of Matthews
One of Melissa’s favorite hidden gems is a neighborhood called Hearthstone, located off Tilley Morris Road.
“You’ll find a beautiful tree canopy and easy access to popular Colonel Francis Beatty Park. The homes are a beautiful rustic style, on half-acre lots that back up to woods,” she says. “A friend describes Hearthstone as ‘urban living with a rural soul’ and the average sales price in 2020 was $372,000.”
A larger neighborhood at the edge of Matthews, Sardis Plantation offers a variety of styles and prices, plus a fun neighborhood playground, tennis court and walking trails, Melissa says.
Enjoy sought-after schools, including Providence High School, and plenty of shopping and dining opportunities at the Arboretum.
Literally feet from the county line, Hunter Oaks is a beautiful large community off Rea Road that is less than five minutes to Blakeney Shopping Center.
“Hunter Oaks has fantastic amenities and is the best buy available for sought-after Marvin schools,” Melissa says. The neighborhood’s average sales price in 2020 was $486,000.
Ever heard of a neighborhood that has its own private airstrips? Welcome to Weddington’s hidden gem of Aero Plantation, a 400+ acre “fly-in” community that has been designated as a wildlife sanctuary, Melissa says.
The community features a 2,400-foot paved and lighted runway and a hangar for small planes.
“In fact, when driving through the neighborhood, you’ll find many homes with their own personal plane port or hangar next to their garage,” Melissa says. “Aero Plantation residents also enjoy 90 acres of common area, with two lakes, tennis courts, a basketball court and a three-hole golf course.”
Do you know any other hidden gem neighborhoods in the city? 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.