Windsor Park: Charlotte’s Best Neighborhood for Smart Devleopment

Windsor Park is one of Charlotte’s best neighborhoods – not just because it is one of the safest Charlotte neighborhoods, not just because it has one of the best elementary schools in the CMS system, not just becuase of the well build and affordable housing stock…. Windsor Park is one of Charlotte’s best neighborhoods due to it’s great location as trends in devleopment change. People want to live closer to the city center and close to work. Windsor Park offers that and more.

The article below from the Charlotte Observer highlights these benefits:

Atlanta’s ice follies offer lessons for Charlotte

For as long as I can remember, people around Charlotte have been using Atlanta as the measuring rod for all that’s good or bad in Charlotte’s future.
Depending on who’s doing the talking, Charlotte’s either destined to mushroom into a top-tier U.S. city like Atlanta, with enough international clout to land the Olympic Games, or it’s doomed to repeat Atlanta’s mistakes – complete with horrific traffic and sprawling, disjointed suburbs.
So when Atlanta found itself paralyzed by 2 inches of snow Tuesday, I wasn’t surprised to find my Facebook friends citing it as a cautionary tale of what could lurk in the future if Charlotte doesn’t handle development challenges smartly. They circulated an article in which Rebecca Burns, author of three books on Atlanta’s history, asserted that thousands of motorists and schoolchildren got trapped in schools and on freeways because of poor transit planning and regional factionalism, not simply bad emergency management.
Perhaps if the Atlanta metro area had a coherent transit system and didn’t have 60 mayors, she argued, the exodus from the city center could have been handled smoothly.
With Mecklenburg County having reached the 1 million mark in population last year, you don’t have to look far to see the growth pressures here.
Ballantyne’s explosive expansion overwhelmed Interstate 485’s southern loop before the asphalt even dried, it seems. We’re building the second leg of the Lynx light rail system, but other parts of our long-range regional transit plan still lack money. Folks in the northern and southern suburbs have been talking for years about splitting from the city of Charlotte and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.
I asked City Manager Ron Carlee and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Director Debra Campbell what they thought. Is there a cautionary tale for Charlotte in Atlanta’s sad snowstorm saga?
Campbell said she felt it was more of an emergency preparedness planning issue. Atlanta is a great city that just grew too fast, she said, without an accompanying infrastructure strategy.
Carlee said with so many people trying to leave central Atlanta, the city would have been slammed regardless of the car-train mix.
“I feel for the people of Atlanta and for their leadership there,” he said. “They got hit very hard.”
He added, though, that as a metropolitan region grows, regional planning and cooperation become increasingly critical.
With that in mind, he and newly named Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio recently met with the managers from surrounding counties.
“We have to think beyond our borders,” he said. “We have 100,000 people commuting into Charlotte every day to work. We have 40,000 people commuting out of Charlotte every day to work. We’re already a regional economic sector.”
There are some strong, if perhaps early, signals that Charlotte’s growth pattern won’t sprawl as thoroughly as Atlanta’s. It’s not uncommon to hear local developers talking – as Johnny Harris of Lincoln Harris did at a recent conference – about how the next generation of workers and consumers want a more urban, walkable, transit-friendly environment than their suburb-dwelling parents did.
Folks in Charlotte are planning ahead, often with Atlanta in the back of their minds.
RealityCheck2050, part of a regional planning project powered by a federal grant of nearly $5 million, attracted about 400 people from around the 14-county area last year to help craft a regional plan for guiding growth and economic development over the first half of the century.
But turning plans into trains or highways or new development compacts won’t be simple. It calls for urban, suburban and rural areas to find common ground. It calls for leadership. And given the needs of the Charlotte Area Transit System’s long-range plan, it could call for lots of money, too.
Charlotte’s leaders won praise for their handling of the snowstorm. Carlee said he feels for the leaders in Atlanta who are dealing with the fallout there.
“I don’t fault them. I have empathy for them,” he said. But “we’re going to work very hard to learn all the lessons from it we can.”

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Charlotte home prices up 7.3 percent in August

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Charlotte-area home prices rose 7.3 percent in August from a year ago, for the region’s 18 month in a row of year-over-year gains, according to the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller index report.
Compared with July, prices were up 1 percent in the area.
Nationwide, home prices rose 12.8 percent annually in 20 cities tracked by the report. From July, prices increased by 1.3 percent.
But price gains across the U.S. are losing momentum because of rising mortgage rates and fewer applications for home purchases, according to the report. Most U.S. cities tracked by the report showed price deceleration compared with July.
In the Charlotte area, home prices have been increasing on a year-over-year basis since March 2012. The area had its largest year-over-year increase since the housing downturn in May, when prices rose 7.9 percent. The area’s annual gains weakened to 7.7 percent in June and to 7.2 percent in July.

Low supplies of homes for sale are said to be a major factor in rising home prices in Charlotte and elsewhere. Tight inventory is leading some potential buyers to try to outbid one another, which boosts prices.

Charlotte’s Best Neighborhood Windsor Park Will Have New Neighbors!

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Major east Charlotte development back on table after recession

A major development project in east Charlotte that failed during the recession is back on the table.

More than 20 acres along McClintock Road went into foreclosure without a single home being built there. A previous developer had torn down dozens of old apartments, paved new roads and even put up new street signs for what was supposed to become Morningside Village. Years went by, however, and nothing was ever built.

“It’s one of the top questions I get as president of the Commonwealth-Morningside Neighborhood Association,” said Jeannie Fennell. “When are they going to do something. What’s going in?”

A new developer, Northwood Ravin, has bought a significant portion of the land and plans to break ground on 400 apartments, townhomes and cottages after the first of the year.

“We want to create a village atmosphere, a kind of community that puts a lot of focus on the pedestrian experience,” said developer Ben Yorker.

He said the buildings will vary in size and architectural detail and will line one side of McClintock Road.

The company also has options to buy the remaining land in the center of the tract. Plans call for more homes and the possibility of retail shops as well.

Neighborhood groups have been generally positive about the project but have raised concerns about the few remaining large trees being cut down to make way for the buildings. Resident Molly Harrington says she’s still hoping to convince Northwood Ravin to save some of the trees.

Whatever happens, she’s glad to see the project moving forward.

“Long term I think this would be just a great example of urban living,” Harrington said

Charlotte’s Best Neighborhood Windsor Park Has Fewer Foreclosures

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From WCNC:

The number of U.S. homes set on the path to foreclosure slid to a seven-year low in the third quarter, reflecting a gradually improving housing market and fewer homeowners falling behind on mortgage payments.

Lenders initiated foreclosure action on 174,366 homes in the July-September period, the lowest level since the second quarter of 2006, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.

Foreclosure starts declined 13 percent from the previous quarter and were down 39 percent from the third quarter last year, the firm said.

The national slowdown in foreclosure starts comes as the U.S. housing market continues to recover from a deep slump, a rebound driven by rising home prices, steady job growth and fewer troubled loans dating back to the housing bubble days. Fewer homes entering the foreclosure pipeline should translate into fewer properties that eventually end up lost to foreclosure.

“It’s looking really good that there are not more coming into the pipeline,” said Daren Blomquist, a vice president at RealtyTrac. “Barring any other economic shock to the system, we expect that to bode well going forward.”

Foreclosure starts fell on an annual basis in the third quarter in 38 states, including Colorado, Arizona, California and Illinois. They increased from a year earlier in 11 states, including Maryland, Oregon, New Jersey and Connecticut.

While fewer homes are entering the foreclosure process, lenders stepped up home repossessions, which led to a quarterly increase in homes lost to foreclosure.

Completed foreclosures rose 7 percent in the third quarter versus the April-June period, the firm said. Completed foreclosures were down 24 percent from the third quarter last year, however.

All told, 119,485 homes were taken back by lenders in the July-September quarter. That puts the nation on pace to end this year with roughly 507,497 completed foreclosures, or down about 24 percent from 2012’s total.

Foreclosures peaked in 2010 at 1.05 million and have been declining ever since.

The number of homes taken back by banks in the third quarter climbed from the previous quarter in 26 states, including New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Virginia, RealtyTrac said.

Much of the quarterly increase in foreclosures came about in states where courts oversee the foreclosure process. Those courts were backed up with cases two years ago, but have been making progress working through their backlog.

Even so, it’s taking longer for homes in many states to complete the foreclosure process.

In the third quarter, it took an average of 551 days, or 1.5 years, for a U.S. home to move from initial default status to ultimately being repossessed by the lender, the firm said.

That’s up from an average of 526 days in the second quarter and an increase from 382 days in the third quarter of last year.

“It’s a sign that we’re still dealing with the wreckage of the last housing bust,” Blomquist said.

In New York, it took an average of 1,037 days, or nearly three years, for the foreclosure process to run its course in the third quarter, the longest of any state. Maine clocked the shortest average time to foreclose at 160 days.

The impact of foreclosures remains sharply elevated in some states.

Florida topped the nation with a foreclosure rate of more than twice the national average in the third quarter.

Rounding out the top 10 states with the highest foreclosure rates in the July-September period were: Nevada, Maryland, Illinois, Ohio, Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, Indiana and South Carolina.

Windsor Park is the Best Charlotte Neighborhood on the Eastside

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The Windsor Park neighborhood is the best neighborhood on Charlotte’s east side.

Savy & Co. is one of Charlotte’s premier real estate agencies. Look at what they had to say about the Windsor Park neighborhood:

Windsor Park is a neighborhood of super cute and quality homes built in the 1960s in Charlotte, North Carolina. Located just on the other side of Eastway drive and North of Central Avenue, this neighborhood couldn’t be more convenient. Windsor Park is a quick 15 minute drive to Uptown Charlotte and University City, 15 minutes to SouthPark, and is close to Cotswold, Plaza Midwood, Merry Oaks, and NoDa. It is also accessible by Shamrock Drive, Kilborne Drive and Sharon Amity.

Curving streets and solid brick ranch homes are the norm in Windsor Park. You’ll find many homes with hardwood floors, fireplaces and tiled baths. They are also on nicely sized lots, which many of the neighbors take great pride in landscaping.

Windsor Park is seeing strong appreciation as young couples and singles move in and renovate these classic homes. Residents of Windsor Park will take advantage of the planned redevelopment of Eastland Mall and the Central Avenue street car line. It also has a growing home owners association that is creating great buzz.

What a great neighborhood to call home! Find your new home in Windsor Park today!

Windsor Park is Charlotte’s Best Neighborhood to Get Rich Slowly

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Windsor Park is Charlotte’s Best Neighborhood  to Get Rich Slowly

I’m a big fan of the advice I find at the blog Get Rich Slowly. The premise of the blog is to support folks that believe that if you keep expenses low and SAVE that you can let time do the work for you – that good decisions now will pay of later.

Get Rich Slowly and Liz Weston both advise readers to consider buying LESS house than they can afford. Here’s why – in order to save, you have to reduce your expenses. Duh! According to Liz Weston, that means:

Keep your nut small. Your “nut” consists of your basic expenses, the bills you have to pay to avoid serious consequences such as eviction, repossession, credit score damage, job loss and ill health. These must-haves include shelter, utilities, food, transportation, insurance, child care and minimum loan payments. Keeping these costs to half or less of your current after-tax income will help you weather job loss or other income interruptions.

Buy less house than you can afford. As I wrote in “The 10 Commandments of Money,” the old advice that you should stretch to buy a home is seriously out of date, and often downright dangerous. In the old days, you count on rising incomes to make a big house payment more manageable over time. That’s no longer the case, and shelter payments that exceed 25% of your current income can make it tough to make ends meet.

A home in Windsor Park is an affordable investment. Not many in-town Charlotte neighborhoods can still match Windsor Park’s affordability.

Also, the size and good condiiton of the homes helps you keep utility and maintenance costs low – no need to heat and cood that McMansion! Plus the convenient location of Windsor Park will help you keep commuting costs down and save on gas!

Check out Windsor Park and see how it really is Charlotte’s Best Neighborhood to get rich slowly!

Windsor Park is Charlotte’s Best Neighborhood for Gays, Lesbians, and LGBT Friends!

A recent article asked if Charlotte has a true gay neigborhood – or “gayborhood”. Different voices chimed in on the conversation. There are many gay friendly neighborhoods in Charlotte, so what makes Windsor Park Charlotte’s best gay neighborhood?

Before I get too far ahead, I wanted to highlight the shout out to Windsor Park from the article:

The federal people counters began collecting information on same-sex couples in 2000. The result was a revealing glimpse into a community the government had never thought to track before. Charlotte’s 28205 ZIP code — which includes much of Plaza Midwood, NoDa, Chantilly, Belmont and Windsor Park, among dozens of other neighborhoods — had the highest number of same-sex couples than any other ZIP in the state.

Yeah! Windsor Park!

So there are already a lot of gay and gay-freindly folks that live in Windsor Park – you just wouldn’t know it! There’s not a community center in the middle of the neighborhood or a neighborhood gay pride parade. Our neighborhood is a quiet, peaceful neighborhood. However, we’re close enough to NoDa and Plaza Midwood to take advantage of the community crossroads in those areas – without having to pay the “hip ‘hood” premium. Real estate in NoDa and Plaza Midwood is expensive for many folks that want to buy. Homes in Windsor Park are much more affordable – and have a lot more to offer like quiet streets, nice yards, and quality construction.

Windsor Park is primed to take advantage of the eventual street car on Central Ave and the redevelopment of Eastland Mall! These reasons and many more make Windsor Park a great place to invest and live!