All posts by The Angle

Explore Fort Mill’s Riverchase

Riverchase in Fort Mill, SC is another exciting new construction development by Meritage Homes. This luxury community is separated into three distinct areas, the Village, the Manor, and the Estate. Each of these areas has different thoughtful styling, standard features, and starting price range.

The entire project is located on the Catawba River on 185 acres with 94 acres of common area. These executive style homes take advantage of great Fort Mill schools, lower SC taxes, but are still 30 minutes from Uptown Charlotte.  

  • The Village – homes in the Village range from $314,990 to $391,990. They start at 2,868 square feet and generally have 4-6 bedrooms and 2.5-4 bathrooms. Top end of square footage is over 4,000 square feet. Homes have a 2 or 3 car garage, and flexible living spaces. Luxury owner’s suites with dual vanities and generously sized walk-in closets are standard. There are ranch, master-down and 2 story plans.
  • The Manor – many of these homes have wooded homesites with thoughtful designs. Prices range from $356,990 to $450,990 and plans have 4-6 bedrooms and 3-4.5 baths. Square footage range is generally between 2,865 and 5,306..  Bedrooms are large and many plans have first floor owner’s suites with spa like bathrooms. Flexible living areas include bonus rooms, game/media rooms, and first floor offices. Designer kitchens with oversized islands are standard.
  • The Estate – homes here have 3 sides of exterior brick and large wooded lots. Prices start between $435,990 and $496,990. Homes generally have between 4-6 bedrooms and 3-4.5 bathrooms. Homes have 3 car side-load garages and are one or two stories. Spa-like baths, spacious great rooms, designer kitchens with oversized islands are standard. Flexible living spaces are in large demand and are included in all plans. There are large bedrooms and sumptuous owner’s suites. Game/media rooms, first floor offices and bonus rooms can be added to most plans.

All of the homes, regardless of which section they are located, showcase energy efficient features. These include, but are not limited to, spray foam insulation, programmable thermostats, energy star appliances, low E vinyl windows, energy efficient HVAC, lighting, and plumbing fixtures.

Amenities for the neighborhood include many outdoor activities including walking trails, river access, private community clubhouse, and resort-style swimming pool.

Children in Riverchase attend award winning Fort Mill schools. Current zoning is for Doby’s Bridge Elementary, Fort Mill Middle, and Nation Ford High School. Please verify school assignments as they are subject to change.

If you are interested in a home in Riverchase, give us a call at (704) 525-4045. Remember that bringing an agent with you when you are in the market for a new construction home costs you nothing, but can help you navigate the process and help you get the best upgrades for your money. You can view current listings and quick move in homes on our website here.

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Coming Soon: Opus Myers Park

We now know details about what Jim Gross Company is going to do with the Queens University Dorm they bought earlier this year. Think luxury, think privacy, think European design with mews or quaint alleyways. Opus Myers Park will be premium high end living for a premium price.

Sample floorplan from Opus Myers Park

Jim Gross Company has partnered with HM Properties to come up with the design for Opus Myers Park. HM Properties has been behind Dilworth Crescent, Carmel Crescent, Kenwood Cottage Place, and Kenwood Myers Park to name just a few of the top end properties they have been developing recently. They bring all of their know how and expertise to this new project and we can’t be more excited.

Opus Myers Park will consist of “five separate steel and concrete buildings enclosing a gas-lit mews reminiscent of European pedestrian streets with a cozy, intimate feel”. The mews will connect Queens and Providence roads.

24 residences will make up the project, each ranging from 2,630 to 3,262 total square feet. Each residence will have private elevator access directly to each foyer and each will have it’s own private floor. Residents will not have to share elevator lobbies, hallways, or common walls between units. Floor plans will be open with 2, 3, or 4 bedrooms and 2.5 or 3.5 bathrooms. One or two private terraces give each unit plenty of outdoor living space. Two designated, secure underground parking spaces come with each unit.

Premium features included in each home will be 10 foot ceilings, 8 foot casement windows, high-end finishes, a linear gas fireplace, top-of-the-line stainless steel appliances, “smart phone” home operation, two mechanical units, whole home “insta-hot water”, hardwood flooring, and a smart, muted contemporary feel throughout.

Opus Myers Park is located at the intersection of Queens and Providence roads, just behind the Myers Park Public Library. Until recently, it has been home to a dorm for Queens University. That building is being razed to make way for this project.

This one-of-a-kind development will have prices starting at $1,250,000. Completion is scheduled for November 2018.

If you are interested in learning more about this project, give us a call at (704) 525-4045. You can also view current listings on our website here.

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Fed Raises Interest Rates Again

Last week, the Federal Reserve again announced that they are raising the nation’s federal funds rate by one-quarter of one percent. This brings it to a range of 1.00 to 1.25 percent making this the second straight quarterly increase.

At this time, the prediction is that mortgage interest may not see a direct increase from this rate hike. In the short term, car loans and bank fees will probably be the first to show an increase. This could also affect millions of borrowers who have credit card debt as it could push their monthly payments higher. The hike could additionally impact borrower’s ability to qualify for a mortgage.

It is not clear at this time if the Fed needed to raise the rate right now. Unemployment is low at 4.3 percent in May. The economy isn’t growing as fast as the Fed would like, nor are wages. The rate hike is unlikely to help either of those causes. It seems that the Fed found themselves in a bind. They said they would raise the rate earlier in the year and they are following through, even though it might mean slowing the economy further.

The Federal Reserve will reassess the market again in September to be sure the projected additional increase is in line with the market at that time.

If you are in the market for a home right now, the hike is not likely to affect you in terms of interest rate. You may qualify to borrow less money if you have significant credit card or other short term debt.

Borrowers who will feel the rate hike the most are ones with an adjustable rate mortgage that is about to adjust as it will now adjust by half a percent. This could mean hundreds of dollars more per month on a mortgage payment. Other borrowers who will feel the pinch are ones with home equity loans or lines of credit. Repayment on those loans will call for steeper payments due to the rate hike.

If you are in the market for a home, call us at (704) 525-4045. We can help you get started on the process today. You can also view homes currently for sale on our website here.

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Get to know Sonoma

One of Ballantyne’s newest neighborhoods is a maintenance-free paradise with no shared walls. Sonoma is a whole new concept in single family homes. The Courtyard Collection of homes are more like townhomes, but with two car garages, and maintenance free yards.

Keating Plan in Sonoma

Located just off Marvin Road, Sonoma has great access to I-485. This makes a commute to Uptown Charlotte a breeze. You are also close to all of the amenities in Ballantyne for great shopping, dining, fitness, and entertainment.

Children in Sonoma attend award winning schools. Current zoning has them attending Elon Park Elementary, Community House Middle and Ardrey Kell High Schools. Please verify school assignments as they are subject to change. There are also many private, preschool, and daycare options close by.

Homes in Sonoma boast open kitchens with granite or quartz counters and stainless steel appliances. These stunning kitchens are complemented by gas cooktops and extraction hoods. Some models have large islands, painted custom cabinets and large pantries.

Hanna Plan in Sonoma

Bedrooms are generously sized and have plenty of natural light. Sumptuous master suites include large spa-like bathrooms. Some plans include two master suites, one upstairs and one downstairs. Likewise, some plans have two laundry rooms, a stackable unit downstairs, and a full laundry room upstairs.  Plenty of storage is to be had in large walk-in closets in each room.

There are 51 single-family homes that make up Sonoma. Starting range before add-ons is from the $330’s to the $360’s in three plans that can be customized to meet your needs. Upgrades can include hardwood or tile floors, raised height vanities, marble countertops, two story family rooms, lofts, mud rooms, outdoor living spaces and more.

Alexander Plan in Sonoma

The three plans are:

  • Hanna – 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2,155 – 2,160 square feet, 2-story, 2 car garage.
  • Keating – 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2,288 square feet, 2-story, 2 car garage.
  • Alexander – 3-4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2,166 – 2,174 square feet, 2 car garage.

If you are interested in a home in Sonoma, give us a call at (704) 525-4045. You can also view listings in Sonoma on our website here.

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SouthEnd Harris Teeter opening soon

Despite all the news today about Amazon buying Whole Foods, we are more excited about the new Harris Teeter opening up in South End. We’re not sure yet how Whole Foods might change as they transition to new ownership, but we are sure that the new Harris Teeter will be great.

Located on South Boulevard as part of the Sedgefield shopping center redevelopment, the new Harris Teeter has a retro logo harkening back to 1952 when the first store opened. That original location was in the same block as the new store so this new store is like a homecoming.

Coming in at 53,000 square feet, the store will have everything you already expect, as well as a Starbucks, a bar with wine and 16 beers on tap, beer growler filling station, an events area, weekly meal specials, pharmacy, and sit down eating area. This is a far cry from what was in the 15,240 square foot original store.

The new store will be open daily from 6am until midnight. For opening day, opening will begin at 5pm and will have a free-to-the-public sampling event following the ribbon cutting ceremony.

The Sedgefield Shopping Center redevelopment will also include 14,000 square feet of retail, and following later will be 300 apartment units.

There are many homes within walking distance from the new Harris Teeter and many more homes within a short drive. This poises the new Harris Teeter to be direct competition with the Publix just down the road.

Harris Teeter hasn’t been in the neighborhood since 1988 when the original location closed. This is a welcome return for residents. The store opens this Tuesday, June 20th.

If you are interested in a home in Sedgefield or any of the many other neighborhoods serviced by the new Harris Teeter, give us a call at (704) 525-4045. You can also view homes on our website here.

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May Market Update

Home sales were down slightly in May according to data released by the Carolina Regional Realtor Association. New listings and pending sales were up year over year, up 4.6% and 16.6% respectively. This shows that there are buyers out there and they are willing to purchase when the right home comes on the market.

The Charlotte area is still suffering from a lack of inventory. The supply of homes fell again down to a 2.5 month supply. This is down 26.5% from the same time last year. A balanced market between buyers and sellers is considered to be a 6 month supply.

The supply of homes was up slightly from last month. In April, there were 9,525 homes on the market. In May, there were 9,795. This represents a rise of 270 homes or 2.8% month over month. Last May, by contrast, there were 12,268 homes for sale.

Median sales price was up 7.9% to $226,500, and Average sales price was up 6.6% to $274,957. Low inventory drives prices up and we have seen gains in home prices for the past few years with no end in sight.

Homes are staying on the market for less time as well. Days on market from list until close went from 106 last May to 95 this May.

Buyers are also not getting as much of a discount on list price. Last year, they paid 96.8% of the list price for a home, and this year they are paying 97.3%. This could indicate more instances of multiple-offer situations where the highest and best offer wins the home.

We have not seen widespread evidence of homes selling for more than list price. When this happens, there is often a case of a home selling for more than the appraisal value and the buyer having to come up with the difference in cash. This is happening in some cities such as Austin, TX.

If you are interested in a home in the Charlotte area, give us a call at (704) 525-4045. You can also view homes on our website here.

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Investigate the four Villages at Brayden

Fort Mill, SC has become a fantastic place to live, especially booming in the last few years. There are so many amazing new neighborhoods that it can be hard to keep up. One of our favorite new developments right now is Brayden. There are four different Villages with different architecture, style, and floorplans. They are called the Villages, the Enclave, the Arbors and the Woodlands.

  • Brayden – the Villages has single-family homes from $321,900. These homes have 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms and at least 2,167 square feet. Two car garages are standard. There are four different floorplans available all with open floorplans, plenty of storage, and lots of natural light. There are many sites to choose from and many quick move-in homes as well.
  • Brayden – the Enclave has single-family homes starting at $383,900. These homes have between 3 and 5 bedrooms, 2.5 to 4 bathrooms and 2,804 to 3,591 square feet. These homes have generous porches, gourmet kitchens and wooded lots. Many of the homesites have already been claimed, but there are still opportunities to get in on the Enclave.
  • Brayden – the Arbors has single-family homes from $420,900. Four or five bedrooms, 2.5 to 5 bathrooms and 3,288 to 4,205 square feet. Homes here may have brick exteriors, 2 or 3 car garages, large foyers, butler’s pantries, game rooms, and sumptuous owner’s suites. There are still many opportunities to get in on the Arbors.
  • Brayden – the Woodlands has single-family homes from $559,305. There are two quick move in homes and the model home available in the Woodlands. They have between and 7 bedrooms, 5 to 6 bathrooms, and over 4,000 square feet of living space. Some even have full basements. Homes here have more luxury features including heavy mouldings, trey ceilings, hardwood flooring, owner’s suites, guest suites and more.

Homes in The Villages at Brayden are within award winning Fort Mill School District. Children would currently attend Gold Hill Elementary, Gold Hill Middle, and Fort Mill High Schools. Please verify school assignments as they are subject to change. There are also many private school, preschool, and daycare options close by.

Fort Mill has grown so much in recent years that there are plenty of places to shop, dine, and enjoy the outdoors so there is no need to leave. There is however, easy access to I-77 making Uptown Charlotte a quick commute. There are plenty of museums, sporting events, restaurants, nightlife, live music venues, and more in Uptown. This quick highway access also gives you  access to SouthPark Mall with world class dining and shopping.

CalAtlantic Homes is the builder for The Villages at Brayden. They have preserved natural wooded areas and ponds in the neighborhood. Besides the natural features, there is a private resident’s club with competition pool, and pocket parks throughout including fitness and playgrounds.)

It costs you nothing to bring a Realtor with you when you look at new homes, and you have everything to gain having a professional on your side helping you to navigate the process. If you are interested in a home in any of the four Villages of Brayden, give us a call at (704) 525-4045. You can also view listings on our website here.

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New Homes coming to Arrowood Station

Colorado based homebuilder Century Communities recently closed on its purchase of nearly 50 acres near Arrowood Station, south of Arrowood Road, between England Street and South Boulevard in south Charlotte where it will develop for-sale townhomes in a community called Hadley Park. Century will deed back part of the land to another developer for an apartment project.

The townhomes will be only minutes away from the Lynx Blue Line making a commute a breeze. There are numerous shops and restaurants in the area. It is also a quick trip to Uptown Charlotte for live music, sporting events, museums, restaurants, and nightlife. SouthPark Mall is also a short drive away boasting world class shopping and dining and also hosting the summer pops concert series.

Century Communities is a top 20 U.S. homebuilder. They build single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and flats across the country. Main markets for their homes are Colorado, Texas, Nevada, Georgia, North Carolina and Utah.

Century Communities includes two luxury brands, Jimmy Jacobs Homes, and Grand View Builders. Wade Jurney Homes and Century Complete are their brands most likely to be involved in the Arrowood Station project. They are more affordably priced and cater mostly to new homeowners and they try and give you the most home for your money.

Expect a range of floorplans to fit many different needs. Planning is in process now so we should soon see elevations, floorplans, and renderings. We will keep our eye on this project to see when any new information is available.

If you are interested in a townhome near the light rail lines, give us a call at (704) 525-4045. You can also create custom searches for listings on our website here.

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Pulte Re-imagining South Charlotte Project

We reported in April that Pulte was working on getting zoning approval for a project on Starmount Cove Lane just off South Boulevard. They were denied the zoning change they had been seeking and are working on a new plan for a smaller, single-family residential development.

The original plan Pulte put forth was for 95 two-story townhouses. They would sit on a 9.1 acre site about a half-mile from the Lynx Blue Line station at Arrowood. City council members expressed concerns about density, design, parking, accessibility, and lack of open space. Community members additionally questioned stormwater runoff, trees, buffers, the scale of the project, and potential for conversion into rentals.

It appears that Pulte scrapped the original plan in it’s entirety and will develop detached single-family residential homes on the site. Current zoning will allow 43 lots on the 9.1 acres. The parcel was rezoned in 1999 to allow density of 8 units per acre and with the new plan, Pulte will not have to rezone with the new plan. This would leave each home with a small, easy to maintain yard.

There is no price point yet published for the new project. The original plan, now scrapped, called for three bedroom units between 1,492 and 1,600 square feet to start in the $190’s. Pulte has said the homes will be similar to their Woodbury project in east Charlotte. Homes in Woodbury are between 3 and 4 bedrooms and prices range from the $180’s to the $260’s. The image above is of a home in Woodbury.

Pulte is now working through the planning phase of the project. They expect to break ground after they close on the deal in the fourth quarter of this year. Residents should be able to move in by late 2018 if all goes according to plan.

If you are interested in a new home along the Blue Line in South Charlotte, give us a call at (704) 525-4045. You can also view listings on our website here.

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Is renting or buying the best bet in Charlotte?

Home prices have been rising in the Charlotte region for the past few years with no apparent end in sight. Case-Shiller’s S&P CoreLogic home price index has prices 6.7% higher in March. This is well above the 4.3% year over year increase they reported in March of 2016. It also far outpaces the national average of 5.8% which represented a nearly three-year high.

Unusually low inventory of homes takes much of the blame for the price hikes. People are staying in their homes rather than selling and moving up. Mortgage interest rates are also on the rise which may deter some sellers as a new mortgage would have higher carrying costs. This could contribute to the current trend as it keeps inventory low and prices going ever higher.

With all of this news, you might be thinking that renting might be a better option, but is it? According to home real estate website Trulia, buying remains a more cost-effective option than renting. Trulia’s study shows that purchasing a home in Charlotte is 39.4% cheaper than renting. This assumes that buyers have a 20% down payment, have a 30 year fixed rate mortgage and stay in the property at least seven years.

However, Trulia’s study shows that renting appears to be making up some ground. Home prices have been escalating faster than rental prices. Rental rates from 2016 to 2017 have dropped 0.4% while home prices increased 7.5%.

For now, buying a home in the Queen City is a pretty safe bet. If you are interested in making the jump into homeownership, give us a call at (704) 525-4045. You can also create custom searches of home listings on our website here.

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