8 Great Suburbs in the Area
There's more to Charlotte's suburbs than better prices and lower taxes. We enlisted the help of real estate experts to come up with the best 'burbs the area has to offer. Plus find out what your home is worth now.
One good thing about this real estate market: there are deals to be had. Lots of them. Even in the suburbs, which were already known for lower land prices and, in some cases, lower taxes, home prices are way off their peaks, and infrastructure is finally catching up to all the homebuilding of the 2000s. So we asked real estate experts to weed through the data and tell us which are the best suburbs in Charlotte:
1. Fort Mill
It’s not just the relatively low property tax that’s persuading families and newcomers to look across the border—“You get all of the conveniences of Ballantyne and the south Charlotte corridor without having to pay for it,” says Jonathan Osman, a broker at Keller Williams. Good schools, affordable single-family homes (buyers can scoop up a home in the $150,000 to $300,000 range for 1,700 to 3,200 square feet), new hospitals, and proximity to I-485 and I-77 have made Fort Mill one of the most desirable ’burbs in the Charlotte area. “Your overall cost of living is less expensive in Fort Mill,” says Keith Thompson, a broker with Prudential Carolinas Realty, citing expenses such as car insurance. Plus, neighborhoods such as Baxter Village —which has been one of the more popular neighborhoods in the Carolinas, according to real estate analysts—are appealing to young families looking for a strong sense of community. “Fort Mill’s been a hot spot for the past four or five years,” says Jim Crowley, a broker with Keller Williams. “And I see it staying that way for quite some time.”
Distance from Uptown:
Eighteen miles, or about forty minutes during rush hour
South Carolina taxes and lower cost of living coupled with decent schools, new hospitals, and access to nearby Ballantyne and south Charlotte’s offerings.
Proximity to major highways:
Five to ten minutes to I-77, fifteen to twenty to I-485
Proximity to shopping:
Ten minutes to Ballantyne, Blakeney, and Stonecrest. About twenty to Carolina Place Mall
When out-of-towners fall in love with the quaintness of Davidson but can’t quite afford the home prices, their best bet is to look east toward downtown Concord. This northeastern suburb boasts a botanical garden, art galleries, theaters, specialty shops, and restaurants, all within walking distance. “Downtown Concord offers a lot of entertainment options, while also maintaining its small-town charm,” says Keith Thompson, a Realtor with Prudential Carolinas Realty. Add proximity to the I-85 corridor and Concord Mills to the diverse schooling options and relatively low property taxes, and it’s easy to see why this once-hidden gem has been one of the top places for newcomers to move to in recent years. Plus, the small-town feel isn’t confined to downtown: residents exude southern charm. “It’s the biggest comment we get from folks who come here,” says Leigh Brown, a broker with Re/Max Executive Realty. “People here wave to you as you drive through neighborhoods.”
Distance from Uptown: Twenty miles, or about forty-five minutes during rush hour
Proximity to major highways: Less than ten minutes to I-85, fifteen minutes to I-485
Proximity to major shopping destinations: Just minutes to downtown Concord. Fifteen minutes to Concord Mills
Perks: Beech Spring Mountain Bike Park (Poplar Tent Road) and Sherman Branch Park (Rocky River Church Road) are two of the best mountain biking trails in the region. Frank Liske Park offers ball fields, picnic shelters, mini-golf, volleyball courts, paddle boating, walking trails, and a popular summer camp.