This Month in Real Estate: December 2014

A recap of the December 2014 real estate market from the Keller Williams team.

If you have questions about what these numbers mean for you and your home, call On the Move Charlotte today!
Real estate market december 2014
Click the photo to watch the video

Our Favorite Apps for Charlotte Residents

Who doesn’t love a good app?

There are about a bazillion apps out there and we use a bunch of them! Our favorite apps are a mix of useful, purpose-specific, and cheap. The more localized an app is the more we tend to like it and we’ve spent a good deal of time checking out Charlotte-focused apps in the area. Which ones do we find ourselves using the most?

Ride CATS
(iOS and Android) Free

iphone appsWhether you take the bus, the Gold Rush, or the light rail it’s great to have a CATS-sponsored app. You can look up everything from the right stop to get off to the next train coming your way and you can even save your preferences for future trips.

Charlotte Traffic
(iOS and Android) Free

There are a dozen CLT traffic apps out there but this one’s our favorite. It’s from the folks at WCNC NBC and it’s got lots of useful features like live cameras and even listings of the lowest gas prices around town. It’s updated instantly so you can count on it for your commute.

The Charlotte Observer
(iOS and Android) Free

Would any Charlotte app list be complete without the Observer? If you don’t have a subscription you’ll probably hit your monthly read-limit pretty quickly but even still this app’s great for giving you headlines and up-to-the-minute breaking news.

Charlotte Douglas Airport
(iOS and Android) Free

There are several airport apps but we find this one the most reliable. You can look at a real-time map of the airport, view three days worth of arrival and departure information, and and even book last-minute hotels right from the app.

 

And here are a bunch of other non-Charlotte specific apps that we nonetheless find ourselves using all over town!

Open Table – Book restaurant reservations at spots like Fahrenheit and 5 Church and earn points towards dining
Lyft – Order a driver, get picked up in minutes, and pay without getting out your wallet. Love it!
Map My Walk – Plan a walking route anywhere in CLT and track speed, distance, and your GPS position
Keller Williams Real Estate Realty Search – Search for homes, look at maps, and even find open houses near you with the KW app
1 Weather – Our favorite weather widget/app…ever. Reliable, easy-to-use, and totally mobile friendly.
Uverse – CLT’s Uverse customers can record shows right from their phones with the Uverse app
Yelp – Who doesn’t love Yelp for reliable restaurant, business, and retail reviews?

What’d we miss? What are your favorite Charlotte apps?

 

 

Two Great Open Houses to Visit This Saturday!

Baby it’s cold outside!

That’s why you should spend your Saturday visiting one or both of our warm, cozy open houses! Whether you want to live in a gorgeous family home in Stonehaven or a totally-remodeled condo in Southpark we’ve got a listing you’ll love.

 

rocky falls outside

6324 Rocky Falls Road

Saturday, November 15th
2:00pm-4:00pm
$295,000  4BR/2BA

Everyone wants to live in Stonehaven! This two-story charmer has hardwoods present upstairs and downstairs as well as four generously sized bedrooms off the upstairs landing. Large kitchen, plantation shutters, and a walk-in attic big enough to store all your stuff…this home is exactly what you’ve been looking for.

 

3200 Heathstead Kitchen

3200 Heathstead Place, E

Saturday, November 15th
2:00pm-4:00pm

$105,000  2BR/2BA

Located right in the heart of Southpark this beautifully-redone 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo is perfect for a young professional or growing family! It’s got tons of space, a newly remodeled kitchen (with granite!) and a secluded woodsy setting. If you’ve been looking for privacy close to all the conveniences of Southpark, this is your home.

Got questions?
Give us a call!

704.516.3318

 

 

Charlotte Loves Mid Century Modern Architecture

We smell a trend!

Falling WaterMid-Century Modern homes sell very, very quickly in Charlotte, in part because they’re so unusual. Designed anywhere between the mid-1930s and the mid-1960s these homes are distinguished by their blocky lines, abundant windows, and open floor plans. Modern homes are meant to “bring nature in” – have you seen Frank Lloyd Wright’s ‘Falling Water?’

midcentury-modernIf you love right angles and beams in lieu of walls, you’ll love Mid-Century Modern architecture. And you wouldn’t be alone! Charlotte is home to plenty of enthusiasts (we actually wrote about the trend as early as last year) and there’s even a occasional home tour called “Mad About Modern” that invites you inside some of the city’s best examples. Although craftsmen homes are the hallmark of Charlotte’s historic architecture you may be surprised that there are dozens of immaculately cared for mid-century moderns across town. If you’re interested, there’s even an Uptown Mid-Century Modern tour available!

These homes don’t come on the market all that often as they’re so unique…owners tend to hold onto them for decades, not just years. The good news is, we’ve just listed 407 Wilby Drive, one of the finest examples of mid-century style we’ve seen in a while. At only $274,900, this property is bound to move very, very fast. Call us today to set up a private showing before this architectural gem is gone!

40 wilby drive

Click here for a video tour of 407 Wilby Drive

 

 

The ‘Greening’ of the Charlotte Real Estate Market

Charlotte is ‘greener’ than you think.

We’re sometimes known as “The New Energy Capital” and there are dozens of LEED certified buildings and building projects in town. UNCC is actually a big proponent of all things ‘green’ and even have a program called the Charlotte Green Initiative…and did you know there’s an alliance of active hospitality professionals here called the Charlotte Green Team?

Of course, the sustainability “trend” is decidedly more than just a trend, and it’s carrying over into real estate.

We’re noticing plenty of green initiatives among Charlotte’s homes and more and more of our buyers are concerned about sustainability each year. Builders are responding too, many incorporating green/sustainable design right from the get go, and it’s attracting particularly eco-conscious buying groups like millennials. Here are a few of the trends we’ve been seeing locally:

  • Organic garden plots in yards and neighborhood gardens shared by multiple residents and homes
  • “Green” building supplies like recycled glass counter tops, bamboo flooring, and low-flow shower heads
  • Eco-friendly appliances, particularly in the kitchen and in tankless hot water heaters
  • Solar power electrical components and panels

There are whole eco-focused neighborhoods and developments popping up around town, from the re-branded “EcoDistrict” of Belmont:

 

to The Woodlands at Davidson, a neighborhood conceived around conservation and use of local materials:

 

to Northwood Estates in NoDa that has its own sustainable vision plan:

 

Buyers should expect a greater focus on sustainability in coming years and sellers should, too. While some eco-friendly home upgrades cost more in the short term there aren’t many that won’t pay back dividends in utility costs, water usage, and/or replacement over time. Charlotte hasn’t yet hit peak “green” but we’re well on our way.

For a southern-fried city that loves its air conditioning we’re mighty proud of the Queen City’s commitment to conservation.

 

 

Mecklenburg County Rectifying Property Tax Mistakes

Did you know Mecklenburg County property owners are currently being refunded (and in some cases, billed) for incorrect property valuations from all the way back in 2011?

About 85% of homeowners won’t notice any changes at all, but so far over $16 million has been refunded. On the flip side, some current property owners are being charged back taxes based on incorrect assessments from 2011.

From our friends at Movement Mortgage:

“Mecklenburg County is in the process of reappraising all properties within the county for tax assessment purposes. The process has two objectives: value properties at current market prices, and equitably distribute the cost of local government among the property owners.   If residents own a home undervalued during Mecklenburg County’s revaluation mistake in 2011, they will need to get ready to pay up.  This means the person who owns the property now has to pay the  back taxes according to a state law if there is no agreement in place.   In case of a refund, it will go to the new owner.

Mecklenburg county appraisers have been reassessing property values after mistakes were found in a review in 2011 and so far they have found over 100,000 cases of overpayments and the county is getting ready to issue refunds. They are also sending tax bills to thousands of homeowners for back taxes from 2011, 2012 and 2013.”

What does all this mean for you?

Well, nothing yet if you haven’t received word from the county. But be prepared for a letter regarding your current and past property tax payments and also know your appellate rights in the case you disagree with your assessment.

It’s important to note that ONLY the Mecklenburg County Tax Office will have specific answers about your property and your rights!

Contact the county for more information.

 

The Secret of Sedgefield is Out

Sedgefield is ready for its moment in the spotlight.

Just a few short weeks ago, Redfin named Charlotte’s Sedgefield neighborhood one of the hottest areas to watch. But not just in Charlotte…in the nation. Sedgefield is so much more than Dilworth’s little brother, ranch homes, and easy highway access. Sedgefield is coming into its own and there’s never been a better time to get into this neighborhood or into one of its many sub-sections.

That location? You can’t beat it.

Squared off by South Blvd. and Park Road, Sedgefield is located in one of the most desirable parts of south Charlotte. An easy 6-8 minute drive to Uptown, a hop-skip-and-a-jump from I-77, and easy access to both Ballantyne and the lake communities make it a perfect combination of city-living and residential tranquility. Of course, millennials and young families love Sedgefield because it provides easy access to some amazing retail (think Blackhawk Hardware, Great Outdoor Provision Co., and every big box store South Boulevard has to offer) and some of the city’s most-frequented restaurants:

And that’s just a start. Park Road Shopping Center has its own movie theater, the neighborhood’s public schools are highly ranked, and above all else, it’s just a great place to live. Homes in Sedgefield are still affordable (but not for long!) and its streets are wide, tree-lined, and teeming with families and residents. It’s truly a picture-perfect place to call home right in the heart of Charlotte.

Our Brand New Listing is a Steal

One of our favorite listings, 1011 Sewickley Drive, is situated in the popular sub-section of Sedgefield known as Broadmoor. It’s been completely renovated and features a brand new kitchen, three new bathrooms, and a huge deck overlooking a quiet, private backyard. Even for the Sedgefield area, this home is something special. Newly refinished floors, a massive bonus room, and a fantastic street…what more could you want in a family home?

We’re holding this new Sedgefield charmer open this Saturday, August 30th, from 10am – 1pm.

 

In such a highly-desirable location with such an unbeatable price, 1011 Sewickley Drive won’t stay on the market long. Come see in person why Sedgefield is the perfect neighborhood to call home in the Queen City.

 

 

Fourth Ward is Uptown’s Best Kept Secret

Uptown Charlotte is the place to be if you’re looking for urban living.

There’s nothing wrong with the huge, shiny-glass apartment towers popping up all over the city but we’re pretty partial to the more residential parts of Uptown: the ones that offer all the quiet and restfulness of a neighborhood but provide easy access to restaurants, shopping and nightlife, too.

Fourth Ward is the best of both worlds.

Spreading over about 30 city blocks in the northern quadrant of Uptown, Fourth Ward is considered the most residential of all the wards. It’s oozing with charm: Victorian Homes, official historical designation, and even the three-acre Fourth Ward Park. There’s even a historical Fourth Ward Walking Tour! The neighborhood has tons of mature trees so it’s got lots of natural shade, and with sidewalks, access to public transportation, and walkability to some of Uptown’s best haunts it’s the perfect place to live. 7th street public marketWhat’s nearby? The newly-opened Fourth Ward Bread Company makes a mean breakfast and coffee (oh, and they filmed Homeland there, too!) It’s an easy few-blocks walk to Discovery Place and to Harris Teeter, too. Several watering holes, acclaimed restaurant The McNinch House, and plenty of salons and shopping are just a few steps away. The Dunhill Hotel and restaurant, nightspot Dandelion Market, and even Crave Dessert Bar are a stone’s throw away. You’re also close to the NC Music Factory, to the 7th Street Public Market, and have access to the Light Rail which is expanding by the minute! 4th ward bread co One of our favorite listings, #3B – 517 North Graham Street, is right in the middle of all the best parts of Uptown, located in the desirable Fourth Ward Square complex. Low-rise condo developments like this one keep the neighborhood feel alive and offer plenty of shade and parking, too. The complex has a fitness center, a fabulous rooftop terrace, and one of the only saltwater pools in Uptown.

517 North Graham Street, Unit 3B is a spacious 1BR/1BA condo home.

It’s got a clean, urban feel and excellent Uptown views. Immaculately cared for and freshly painted, its upgrades include everything from tile backsplash to granite to hardwoods. Stainless steel appliances, custom lighting, and a tray ceiling (did we mention it’s a top-floor unit?) make this home a can’t miss. Whether you’re a young professional, a newlywed couple, or even looking to downsize in retirement, this home is the perfect fit. We’re holding two open houses this weekend and we don’t expect this one to last long! It’s being offered for only $154,000 which is an almost unheard-of deal in this area of Charlotte. If you’re looking for convenience, walkability, and residential amenities, this is your new home! Call for more information.

Open House Times: Saturday, July 26  2:00-4:00pm Sunday, July 27  2:00-4:00pm

A Look at Charlotte Light Rail’s LYNX Blue Line Extension

blue line extension stopIf you live (or are thinking of living) in the University area, life’s about to get a lot more convenient.

In January of this year the city of Charlotte officially approved the Blue Line Extension for the LYNX light rail – an additional 9 miles of tracks that would provide unprecedented access to the University area from Uptown. Design was completed just over a month ago and the city’s purchased nearly all of the land it needs to finish the job. Construction officially began with underground work back in June of 2013.

If you live anywhere along the light rail path you’ll want to follow the CATS Facebook page, created for the sole purpose of updating folks about the Blue Line Extension. Here you can keep tabs on road closures, get updates on design changes, and generally follow the project along.

Where’s the Blue Line Going?

Blue Line Extension MapWell as of now, the light rail terminates in Uptown Charlotte at the 7th Street Station. When the extension is complete there will be 11 additional stops heading Northeast. The stops will include:

9th Street Station
Parkwood Station
25th Street Station
36th Street Station
Sugar Creek Station
Old Concord Road Station
Tom Hunter Road Station
University City Blvd. Station
McCullough Station
JW Clay Blvd. Station
UNC Charlotte Campus Main Station

Construction is slated to finish in Spring 2017 if everything stays on track.

What Does this Mean for Property Values?

Great question. There’s no doubt the light rail extension is going to be great for values all along the line. Commercial property owners along the path are holding onto their properties in anticipation of increased value which means prices will only go up from here. Developers have already started scouting spots for multi-family housing, residential developments, and retail pavilions all the way up the line, too.

blue line extension construction

If you live anywhere from NoDa to UNC Charlotte, your property value is likely to go up in the coming years as transportation options widen.We’re excited to see how the light rail extension(s) impact the city and also to see the development of the Gold Line streetcar. Charlotte is growing in big ways and property values are only going up from here!

Contact us if you’ve got questions about what the Blue Line Extension means for your home or commercial property.