You're in the right place already! The answer is TRULIA!
In order to do a custom map search, select our map view and click the pointer finger icon directly below 'satellite view'. I've done a quick custom search of South Charlotte for you here:
To see low crime neighborhoods, use Trulia's Crime Maps! Here is a crime heat mat of all of Charlotte:
Unfortunately, Trulia doesn't have any retirement haven maps...yet. :)
Hope this helps!
Daniel answered well. Another way to look at your question would be to answer like this: you can ask a realtor for an automated search designed in our MLS with your specific geographic area with the focus. You can get new listings as these houses are inputed into the MLS. Our system calls these areas of Charlotte - areas 4,5, and 6. The towns are called Matthews, Charlotte, and Pineville.
The crime answer is difficult for a number of reasons. However, you can do the following: google the street to see if a crime pops up, call the police department, check the sex offender website, check the crime map on trulia, ask the neighbors about crime, visit the area at night, look for security system signs. Crime is random and there are no assurances that crime can not occur in any area of Charlotte metro, which includes surrounding counties.
Finding a good rental can be as difficult as finding a good purchase. In our MLS, the compensation is usually 10% to 15% of the first month of rent but can be any fee the landlord wants to offer. If you do the math, the landlord is only offering to pay an agent $100 on a $1000/month lease for finding a tenant. While this may be a reasonable fee, if the agent only had to show one house; however, if the agent has to show rentals all weekend long then it becomes a fee that is less than minimum wage. This is the reason that many real estate agents do not show rental houses in the Charlotte area. Now, dig a little deeper and you find that real estate agents in other areas of the country are compensated much better. If you properly compensate a real estate agent for showing rental houses, then you will find almost any real estate agent is willing to help you.
As far as retirement havens are concerned, we can not discriminate by age. However, there are some neighborhoods in our area that are only designed for those people 55 and older. This would be a material fact and should be disclosed to you.
Wishing you the best of golf,
Robin Faison, broker
Keller Williams Realty
The only consumer site I know of that has a similar capacity is the mobile site at http://www.realtor.com, where you use your finger to draw the area you want to search within. Through paid annual subscription, I have access to such a capacity but at a much finer detail (search one side of the street but not the other) and would be happy to sit down with you, draw a specific search area on a map, with specific criterion and see what townhomes and homes are available for purchase...but I dont work rentals. If you appreciate an answer, please give "thumbs up". For the most helpful answer, please say thanks with a "best answer" click.
Please let me know your price range. There are a lot of golf course communities around Charlotte. One gated South Charlotte community is giving one years membership at a country club with the sale of their homes. There homes start in the 300,s. Please visit my website http://www.realestatesearch-charlottenc.com. Please call me for more info and pictures. Tel:704 540-0254..
With best regards.
Jacqueline Rolls-Berardi. Buyers Agent. Keller Williams Realty