PROS At just 63 cents per $100 for property taxes and a slew of homes in the $150K-or-less price range, Cabarrus is especially attractive to first-time homebuyers. And while the loss of Phillip Morris left an employment gap, the addition of the under-construction North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis is expected to add 13,616 jobs to Cabarrus County by 2032.
CONS Similar to Union County, Cabarrus faces water/sewer growth issues. The county charges an $8,000 Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO) fee to new homes, which builders cover and is passed on to buyers, to accommodate current and potential growth. “It’s an issue of what it does to housing prices,” says Graham. Adds Pace, “You look at a $150,000 house in Cabarrus, and all you can get for your money with the addition of the APFO, and all of a sudden Mecklenburg County starts sounding pretty good.”
VERDICT Quaint Concord + affordable homes in the $150K range = a great place to start. But the high-impact fee and consistent I-85 traffic snafus poses a problem for uptown commuters. Our call: first-time homebuyers, dig in.