Congrats on making a decision to move to the area and welcome to Charlotte!
Realtors are not allowed to disclose certain information, but we can guide you to places like http://www.greatschools.org which can provide you with such information. I focus mostly on South Charlotte which has some very nice areas.
Email me directly with a bit more about your move and your criteria and I can help guide you through your relocation. It wouldn't cost you anything extra to use me as a buyer.
I moved here form Connecticut six and half years ago with my family and four young children. Like you schools were the most important thing I was looking for in a place to live. I live in Matthews. But I found there are a lot of different areas of Charlotte that have excellent schools. Charlotte boasts some of the top schools in the state. Part of the decision on schools you have to factor in the price range you want to look at. Some homes can go for $100,000 more because they are located in one school district versus another.
Another area a lot of people look (myself included) was in Union County. Towns like Marvin Ridge, waxhaw, Indian Trail, and weddington are very popular for their schools as well.
My best advice is to talk to a Realtor tell them what you are looking for in terms of a home that can fit the school requirement for you. I would love the opportunity to help you out as well. Having children in everything from elementary school through High School I have learned a great deal about the school system in Charlotte area and might be able to help guide you.
Helen Adams Realty
There are transplants from all over the country in the neighborhood and even some folks born and raised in this area.
For checking schools a good resource is http://www.reportcards.org and you'll find a better resource is parents whose children go to those schools if someone can put you in touch with them.
I'll be happy to help any way I can.
Southern Homes of the Carolinas
You may want to read the Trulia Real Estate Blog http://www.trulia.com/blog/dfisher/2013/03/what_are_the_best There are a lot of great schools in our area. If you focus on the east side of Lake Norman, South Charlotte, Union County and north York County, you will get a great overview of the area. If before you come down, you get a list of homes in your target price range, you can do a tour to these homes and see the areas along the way. If you have a full time agent with a Masters degree in Planning with Finance and over two decades of experience, working for you, you will likely do better in negotiations. I'd be pleased to provide that service - and the above free list.. If you appreciate this answer, please give it a thumbs up, or if this was the most helpful answer, please say thanks with a best answer click.
As a realtor, but more importantly a mother of young children, I can honestly say that you are making a great decision to come to the Charlotte area! There are a lot of opinions about the schools in the Charlotte area, but I truly believe that it is about knowing your children and what they need to succeed. Before I became a realtor, I was a social worker and I can tell you that even children who go to schools performing poorly, but who had great parental support at home, succeed in academics and life. With that said, there are a lot of websites that will give you 'grades' on various schools, but there is nothing like visiting the schools in person and talking to the administrators and teachers. You will be amazed at what you can learn from a quick visit and no one knows your children's needs more than you.
Charlotte and the surrounding communities offer many public schools, but also several charter school options if you prefer a smaller environment for your child without the private school tuition. We have renowned private schools, but they are pricey and one of the reasons I find many of my northern relocation clients come down to this area is to escape the high cost of living, which is negated by paying tuition.
As someone who has preschool and elementary aged children, I understand how important our children are. I would be happy to speak with you more in detail about the different areas in and around Charlotte to ensure that your decision is one that everyone in your family is comfortable and happy with. Please feel free to call or email me with any questions.
Stephanie Blackburn, REALTOR
DL Morton Realty
For public schools, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) are poorly run. It is a big centralized school system run by government bureaucrats - the towns in a circle around downtown Charlotte generally fall within their control. If you want something poorly run, let the Government do it for you. However, there are a few good areas around the city - Myers Park and the Ballantyne area are two good ones (Ballantyne has an annual drive to secede from Mecklenburg county!)
If you go a bit further South to Union County there are good schools - some mentioned below in the Waxhaw, Weddington, Marvin areas. Union County also has generally cheaper homes and lower property tax rates than Mecklenburg County.
I am not a realtor, just a Northerner that moved down and looked at ~1,000 houses for 3 years before finally buying one....and yes, my realtor is now a good friend!