Top 10 Neighborhoods of Charlotte

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Charlotte is one of the largest cities in America in terms of physical geography (due to its history of annexing all the smaller cities around it). It’s now an extremely diverse city in terms of areas and neighborhoods – it even has a few smaller cities within it, such as Ballantyne and South Park.

We have streetcar-era communities where buildings range from vintage factories to grand Southern estates. There are historic neighborhoods, and modern sections, working-class, and upper class.

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Here are the top 10 most “livable” neighborhoods throughout Charlotte (according to AreaVibes.com);

best neighborhoods in Charlotte

#1 Eastover

eastover-home-2

Located just southeast of Center City, Eastover was the first suburb with driveways for “motorcars” in the late 1800s. The neighborhood’s has historically attracted Charlotte’s most prominent leaders, including banker, Hugh McColl Jr. and department store icon, John Belk.

Eastover’s livability score is 87 – ranked #1 in Charlotte and #1 in North Carolina. It currently has a 97% high school graduation rate, 59% lower crime rate than Charlotte’s average, and a 318% higher income than Charlotte’s average (the median household income is $221k). On the downside, the average home price is $881,000 and the cost of living is 93% higher than Charlotte’s average.

Eastover is home to The Mint Museum of Art, with local art and historic artifacts, and The Eastover Academy, one of Charlotte’s oldest and most popular Elementary Schools.

#2 Commonwealth

commonwealth neighborhood

The neighborhood of Commonwealth technically contains most of what Charlotteans consider “Downtown Plaza Midwood”, including the new Harris Teeter, the Common Market, Dish, and The Peculiar Rabbit.

Established in 1939, Commonwealth is 4 miles east of Center City and boasts a diverse group of residents from around the world; young and old, families and singles, and Charlotte natives and transplants – the Commonwealth neighborhood truly has something for everyone.

Commonwealth’s livability score is 86 – ranked #2 in Charlotte and #4 in North Carolina. It currently has a 100% high school graduation rate, 59% lower crime rate than Charlotte’s average, and a 60% higher income than Charlotte’s average (the median household income is $84k). It’s average home price is only moderately higher than Charlotte’s average at $279,000, and the cost of living is only 13% higher than the average for Charlotte.

#3 Barclay Downs

Symphony Park barclay downsBarclay Downs once part of a 3,000-acre farm owned by N.C. Gov. Cameron Morrison, and has since been transformed into one of North Carolina’s most esteemed and successful live/work communities. It contains most of the SouthPark area of Charlotte, including The SouthPark Mall, The Colony, and Piedmont Row. It also features several award winning public schools, a regional library, and plenty of general, and specialty retail shopping.

Barclay Down’s livability score is 86 – ranked #3 in Charlotte and #5 in North Carolina. It currently has a 99% high school graduation rate, and a 73% higher income than Charlotte’s average (the median household income is $91k). Average home prices are fairly reasonable at around $493,000, and the cost of living is 39% higher than the average for Charlotte.

#4 Dilworth

300 east charlotte neighborhoodsDilworth is Charlotte’s oldest streetcar suburb, known for its many rebuilt bungalows (McMansions), renovated historic homes, incredible parks, majestic churches.

Running through the middle of Dilworth is East Blvd., one of Charlotte’s favorite streets. Most of the homes on the street have been converted into restaurants, art galleries, pubs, trendy shops, and unique office spaces.

Dilworth’s livability score is 86. It currently has a 94% high school graduation rate, 59% lower crime rate than Charlotte’s average, and a 73% higher income than Charlotte’s average (the median household income is $84k). Average home prices are even more reasonable than Barclay Down’s at around $452,000, and the cost of living is 33% higher than the average for Charlotte.

#5 Myers Park

myers park homeMyers Park was birthed out of a large cotton farm. In 1911, architect John Nolen was hired to create a “garden suburb.”  The designers used the winding paths and natural landscape to create what many consider to be Charlotte’s most beautiful community.  Most of the historic homes in Myers Park reflect the Classic style from traditional brick Georgians to English Tudor.

Myers Park’s livability score is 85. It currently has a 99% high school graduation rate, and a 131% higher income than Charlotte’s average (the median household income is $122k). Average home prices are now hovering around $723,000, and the cost of living is 68% higher than the average for Charlotte.

#6 Fourth Ward

fourth ward charlotte neighborhoodCenter City’s Fourth Ward takes up the northwest quadrant of the area inside of highway 277. It exploded in growth during the mid-1800s, during which First Methodist, First Presbyterian, and St. Peters Episcopal Churches were all constructed. By the mid 1900’s, however, the neighborhood became severely neglected and crime-ridden as many residents moved to the ‘suburbs’ of Dilworth and Myers Park.

Most of the majestic Victorian homes were either destroyed or became commercial buildings and by 1970, many parts of Fourth Ward were unsafe to walk through. During the late 90s we finally started to see a major restoration to Fourth Ward, and it is now considered one of the most thriving parts of Uptown Charlotte.

Fourth Ward’s livability score is 85. It currently has a 95% high school graduation rate, and a 42% higher income than Charlotte’s average (the median household income is $75k). Average home prices are much closer to Charlotte’s average at $269,000, and the cost of living is only 13% higher than the average for Charlotte.

#7 Foxcroft

foxcroft neighborhood homeLike Barclay Downs, Foxcroft is another neighborhood within the SouthPark area. For at least 50 years, the Foxcroft neighborhood has been one of Charlotte’s most desirable, featuring uniquely large lots, mature trees, and stunning landscaping. The Crepe Myrtle trees canopy the driveways and streets throughout the neighborhood in the summer and the old oaks just seem to envelope you as you drive through the lush, green community. Homes prices in Foxcroft range from $500,000 to over $2.5 million with homes built in the 30’s next door to renovated or re-built homes just completed in 2009.

Foxcroft’s livability score is 85. It currently has a 96% high school graduation rate, and a 144% higher income than Charlotte’s average (the median household income is $129k). Average home prices in Foxcroft are $677,000, and the cost of living is 61% higher than Charlotte’s average.

#8 Plaza Midwood

Van Landingham Estate Plaza MidwoodPlaza Midwood is full of rich history yet, urban and hip. Established in the early 1900’s, Midwood was developed along the trolley line that ran from Charlotte’s then, Downtown, along Central Avenue. Suffering during the 60’s and 70’s, in serious decline, concerned residents established the Plaza Midwood Neighborhood Association. The community began to be refurbished and residents worked diligently to improve the appearance of the area and revitalized Plaza Midwood in style.

Besides all the eclectic shops at the intersection of Plaza Rd. and Central (many of which are technically in Commonwealth), the heart of Plaza Midwood features the incredibly historic Van Landingham Estate, and one of America’s most prestigious country clubs, The Charlotte Country Club.

Plaza Midwood’s livability score is 85. It currently has a 93% high school graduation rate, and a 57% higher income than Charlotte’s average (the median household income is $83k). Average home prices in Plaza Midwood are $300,000, and the cost of living is only 15% higher than Charlotte’s average.

#9 Ballantyne East

ballentyne neighborhood of CharlotteBallantyne was nothing more than farmland 25 years ago. When the Bissell/Harris family saw the potential of the new highway 485, they decided to build a new city in the southern tip of Charlotte. Through several partnerships, they built the Ballantyne Country Club, the five-star Ballantyne Golf Resort and Spa, a sprawling corporate office park (now home to some of Charlotte’s Fortune 500 companies), dozens of high end restaurants and shops, and many desirable new subdivisions.

Ballantyne East and Ballantyne West are nearly identical in terms of ‘livability score’, but the eastern half is slightly better with a livability score is 85. It currently has a 99% high school graduation rate, and a 102% higher income than Charlotte’s average (the median household income is $107k). Average home prices in Ballantyne East are now hovering at $450,000, and the cost of living is only 34% higher than Charlotte’s average.

#10 Wessex Square

wessex square charlotteWessex Square sits in the heart of what many people consider “South Charlotte”. It’s not very flashy and it’s not very historic, but it is a great place to raise a family. It surrounds the Cedarwood Country Club (one of Charlotte’s newest), and sits directly across Pineville-Matthews Rd. from the highly desirable Arboretum Shopping Center.

Wessex Square has a livability score of 85. It’s high school graduation rate now sits at 99%, and it has a 67% higher income than Charlotte’s average (the median household income is $91k/year). Average home prices in Wessex Square are now hovering at $252,000, and the cost of living is 43% higher than Charlotte’s average.

If you’d like to find out about other neighborhoods around Charlotte, or you’re thinking about buying or selling a home in the city, check out Realty For Life.

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