11 coolest neighborhoods for starter homes under $425,000

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I’m not going to tell you how many hours I’ve spent trolling Zillow looking at houses, but it’s enough to know the Charlotte market is a beast.

While I’m not exactly ready to leave my amenity-rich apartment to take on the woes of homeownership, I’m a planner, so I’ve scoped out some of the best neighborhoods that consistently have great starter homes for sale — even if they need some cosmetic upgrades.

I based my recommendations on price (under $425,000) and what you get for your money.


Wilmore

What you’ll get: Location. You’ll be close to everything lovable about South End (shops, restaurants, the rail trail, etc.) but without the straight-out-of-college boisterousness of South Boulevard apartment living. Plus, if you work uptown, the short commute is ideal.

Homes for sale right now: Less than 5

What you can expect to spend: $340,000+

Distance from uptown: 1.5-2 miles

Favorite house for sale: I love this little three bedroom. If you’ve got room in the budget to take on a fixer upper, there’s room to customize this one and make it your own.


Chantilly

What you’ll get: Location. Chantilly is a gorgeous neighborhood with tree-lined sidewalks. Most houses won’t be in the starter home price range, but there are a couple right now coming in around $325,000 that would be perfect for those prioritizing location over space (you’re probably going to get two bedrooms, one bathroom).

Homes for sale right now: Less than 5

What you can expect to spend: $325,000+

Distance from uptown: 3 miles

Favorite house for sale: I have a thing for cottages, and this beauty is no exception. The street is absolutely adorable, too (think kids riding bikes, new parents pushing strollers, shaded by beautiful trees). Again, you’re losing square footage, but the location is prime.


Sedgefield

What you’ll get: The houses are on the smaller side, but the location is fantastic. For under $425,000 you can expect to find ranch-style houses under 1,300 square feet with two to three bedrooms and one or two bathrooms.

Homes for sale right now: Less than 10

What you can expect to spend: $340,000-$400,000

Distance from uptown: 3.5 miles

Favorite house for sale: Nothing catches my eye at the moment, but I know the neighborhood has had some gems sell quickly in recent months.


Plaza Midwood

What you’ll get: Homes under half a million are on the smaller side – around 1,200 square feet with two bedrooms and one or two bathrooms – but most are full of charm. Plus, the location is great – walking distance to bars and restaurants.

Homes for sale right now: Less than 10

What you can expect to spend: $350,000-$395,000

Distance from uptown: 4 miles

Favorite house for sale: This Winter Street two-bed bungalow has tons of curb appeal. I’d say it’s move-in ready, with the exception of a few cosmetic upgrades.


Villa Heights

What you’ll get: A cute house right between NoDa and Plaza Midwood. You likely find something around 1,500 square feet but layouts vary – there’s a four bed, one bath and a two bed, two bath on the market right now.

Homes for sale right now: 10+

What you can expect to spend: $250,000

Distance from uptown: 4 miles


Madison Park

What you’ll get: Most houses are three bed, two bath ranches coming in between 1,200 and 2,000 square feet on roughly a quarter-acre lot. In terms of turn-key readiness, I’m seeing a mix. Many houses have been recently updated (reflected in the price) but others on the cheaper side could use some TLC depending upon your preferences.

Homes for sale right now: 20+

What you can expect to spend: $280,000-$400,000

Distance from uptown: 5-7 miles

Favorite house for sale: This brick ranch is probably one of my favorite starter homes on the market. The floor plan is open and airy and it seems incredibly well taken care of. I’d probably renovate the kitchen, but you can easily move in as is.

Madison Park

4900 Zephyr Lane


Beverly Woods

What you’ll get: There are several one- and two-story houses on the market – all coming in north of 1,800 square feet with a range of floor plans. The homes I’m seeing look well taken care of and the rooms are spacious but overall, you’d probably want to leave room in your budget for cosmetic upgrades.

Homes for sale right now: Less than 10

What you can expect to spend: $350,000+

Distance from uptown: 8 miles

Favorite house for sale: Technically this one is in Olde Georgetown, but it has a ton of space, and I think it’s the perfect pick for someone who wants to take on a project.


Sherwood Forest

What you’ll get: This neighborhood is several miles southeast of the city, so you’re going to get more square footage, despite most homes bumping up against the $400,000 price point. You could snag a four bed, four bath home well over 2,000 square feet.

Homes for sale right now: 2

What you can expect to spend: $375,000-$400,000

Distance from uptown: 8.5 miles

Favorite house for sale: There are only two houses under $425,000 currently, and they both need TLC. But keep your eye on this neighborhood if you like South Charlotte.


Olde Providence

What you’ll get: There’s a mix of one- and two-story homes in a range of floor plans. On the smaller side, you’re looking at 1,600-1,800 square feet, but some of the larger homes are more than 2,200. These houses are at least three bedrooms.

Homes for sale right now: 10+

What you can expect to spend: $275,000+

Distance from uptown: 9.5 miles

Favorite house for sale: The curb appeal on this Windy Rush Road house could use a boost, but the inside a spacious and light.


Sardis Woods

What you’ll get: These houses are going to be right around 2,000 square feet and at least three bedrooms. You’ll get more land and a bigger house for significantly less than smaller homes closer to the city. You’re still within a 20-minute drive of SouthPark Mall and about 15 minutes of The Arboretum.

Homes for sale right now: 5-10

What you can expect to spend: $240,000-$350,000

Distance from uptown: 11 miles

Favorite house for sale: Three bed, three bath under $300,000? This two-story home racks up on points in my book. Plus, the exterior is adorable.

Sardis Woods

9701 Cloverwood Court


Sardis Forest

What you’ll get: Many houses are more than 3,000 square feet so if space if your priority, you’ll want to check this neighborhood out. If you work in uptown or the SouthPark area, this is probably as far south as you’ll want to go if you don’t want an insane commute.

Homes for sale right now: 5-10

What you can expect to spend: $350,000-$420,000

Distance from uptown: 12 miles

Favorite house for sale: This one comes in at $400,000, but at nearly 3,300 square feet, you can’t beat that in Charlotte.

Sardis Forest

111 Gerald Lee Court


If you’ve recently bought a starter home in a great location not listed, let me know what I’m missing brianna@charlotteagenda.com.

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