Looks like you have received many differing opinions about Charlotte. I'm a native Charlottean and have a different prospective than most. I personally live in the north (Huntersville). Huntersville was voted in the top 25 places to live in the country by Forbes Magazine n 2009 - see link:
I commute to Charlotte every day and can get to the center of Charlotte (Uptown) in 20 Minutes. There are many different routes into Charlotte from the North in case of a traffic snarl. The north has something the south doesn't - 400+ miles of shoreline - Lake Norman. The south is great for its own reasons as well but traffic can be much worse from the south depending on where you live and what time of day you commute. The NC school report card is great but there are also NC Public Charter Schools that are very popular in the north end. Some of the more popular shchools are: Community Charter School, Lake Norman Charter School & Pine Lake Prepratory & Lincoln Charter - links below:
Here is the Mecklenburg County Crime Mapping Link:
Hope this helps!
Fort Mill area schools are a good choice and Union county is getting some good schools down toward the Waxhaw area and over toward Unionville. Being an agent I am sure ou have access to school review websites, if not let me know. For crime statistics in the Charlotte /Mecklenburg area you can search http://tinyurl.com/mrxzgs or go on CharMeck.org and you can pull down information for Mecklenburg area.
Commuting is a bit tricky. If you live in North Mecklenburg, then it is best if you work around there, morning commutes into the city can sometimes try the patience of a saint during rush hour. Heading west on I485 from the Matthews area towards I-77 during rush hour is of similar experience.
If you need more information you can contact me.
My family moved from PA 11 years ago. It was the best thing we ever did! We ended up in the Fort Mill, SC area. Will you be continuing your Real Estate practice here in the Carolina's? I noticed that you are with Keller Williams. Well, if you do plan to get your NC or SC (or both..you can get reciprocal from both states) I am with a really great Keller Williams office Fort Mill SC. Do your homework on the schools, crime etc and that combined with the lower taxes we have I think this area is definately worth considering. Will you be visiting soon? I'll be happy to meet you for coffee to discuss things further. So just drop me a line or give me a call.
Have a great day.
As the other agents and yourself have pointed out, I can not steer you or comment too much on what you have asked. However, Cabarrus county is a hop, skip, and a jump from Charlotte. I can specifically recommend the city of Concord. Concord is known for it's great school system. I live in the Cabarrus county side of Huntersville and have always had high regard for the schools here.
Visit my web site to research schools and other area info.
My direct line is 980-254-7263.
Although we can not steer you in a particular direction towards a home or neighborhood that we want you to purchase in I can tell you which areas are most requested and the buyers alsway say it is because they like those schools. South Charlotte and across the boarder into SC Clover and Ft. Mill are fequently choosen. I have a couple of links here that you may want to look at and I would love to help you purchase your home here. I am licensed in both NC and SC. Call me direct for more information. You can also find some ver good information about the area on my website at http://www.CarolinaExecutiveHomes.com
My direct line is 704-619-7355
Some of my favorite websites for researching that type of information are:
Crime and other Community Data: http://www.ncreportcards.com/src/
Charlotte is a great place to live!