Cornelius among 10 most affordable communities in NC


Cornelius among 10 most affordable communities in NC

March 11 Cornelius and Huntersville made it onto NerdWallet’s list of the 10 best communities for homeownership in North Carolina. The survey looks at the availability of homes, their affordability and whether the community is growing.

The study, which lists the median price of a Cornelius home at $266,600 (in Huntersville, the median price tag is $247,200), says the homeownership rate is 71.8 percent in Cornelius (75.1 percent in Huntersville).

NerdWallet says North Carolina added about 100,000 residents to its population of nearly 10 million between 2012 and 2013. The unemployment rate went in the opposite direction, falling to 6.9 percent at the end of 2013, down from 9.5 at the beginning of the year.Indeed, CNNMoney listed NerdWallet among its Top 20 Best Money Sites in 2010. The New York Times also recommends NerdWallet to readers. The company was founded by Wall Street types back in 2009.

NerdWallet looked at the 59 North Carolina cities with populations greater than 15,000 to find out which offer the best value for potential homeowners.

The analysis adressed three main questions:

  • Are homes available? NerdWallet looked at the metro area’s homeownership rate to determine the availability of homes. A low homeownership rate is likely a signal of competitive inventory, more options for renters rather than buyers and expensive housing. Areas with a high homeownership rate led to a higher overall score.
  • Can you afford to live there?They looked at median household income, monthly homeowner costs and median home value to assess affordability and determine whether residents could live comfortably in the area. NerdWallet used monthly homeowner costs to measure cost of living. Areas with high median incomes and low cost of living scored higher.
  • Is the area growing? We measured population growth to ensure that the area is attracting new residents and showing signs of solid growth. This is likely a signal of a robust local economy, which is another attractive characteristic for homebuyers.

Here is what NerdWallet has to say about the top 10 Most Affordable communities in North Carolina:

  1. Holly Springs

With an estimated population of 26,865, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the town of Holly Springs has more than doubled in size since 2000. In this town where homeowner costs are 22.4 percent of income, 88 percent of homes are owned rather than rented. The town is home to a manufacturing facility for the pharmaceutical company Novartis and is less than 20 miles from Raleigh, a major city with many employment options. Holly Springs has the third-highest monthly income on the top 10 list at $7,432, and the median home value is $236,700. The town is also filled with rich history — it incorporated in its current form after the Civil War in 1877.

  1. Indian Trail

The town with Native American roots sits about 15 miles from Charlotte. Indian Trail celebrated its centennial just seven years ago. Homeowner costs here account for 26.4percent of the median monthly household income and 85.8 percent of homes in Indian Trail are owned rather than rented. The population jumped during the 1990s from 1,942  to 11,905 residents, and has not stopped growing. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated a population of 34,800 for 2012. The town turned its focus to improving the community atmosphere in 2009, by initiating a Parks Master Plan, which would create more parks and recreation opportunities in the town. Crossing Paths Park, the town’s first municipal park, opened in 2011 and features public art, playgrounds and an amphitheater.

  1. Fuquay-Varina

Fuquay-Varina has a homeownership rate of  74.6 percent and monthly homeowner costs here take up 29 percent of median monthly household income, according to data crunched by NerdWallet. The median home value in this town is $192,700. With a bustling Parks and Recreation department, Fuquay-Varina provides many free opportunities for family fun. The department is responsible for 18 park sites, a youth sports program, senior programs, and summer camps. Residents of Fuquay-Varina have access to six public schools, as well as to Wake Technical Community College, located in the 17 miles between Fuquay-Varina and Raleigh.

  1. Wake Forest

This town, which was the original location of Wake Forest University, is considered a growing bedroom community and saw an 11.6 percent population growth between 2010 and 2012. The homeownership rate is 74.8 percent and the median household income per month is $6,185. Homeowner costs take up only 28 percent of that income. Located just 18 miles from Raleigh, Wake Forest’s residents have access to Wake Technical Community College and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, which is one of the town’s largest employers.

  1. Clayton

Considered a satellite town of nearby Raleigh, Clayton is the smallest of our top 10 towns with a population of 16,078 in 2012. Clayton saw a 9.3 percent population growth between 2010 and 2012 and has a 65.7 percent home ownership rate. Despite its size, Clayton is home to pharmaceutical and manufacturing facilities that are major employers for the town, including pharmaceutical companies Grifols Therapeutics and Novo Nordisk. Well-known Caterpillar Inc. has its building and construction products division located in Clayton. The median home value in Clayton is $258,500.

  1. Apex

This suburb of Raleigh has one of the larger populations of the towns on NerdWallet’s list with 40,420 residents in 2012, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The homeownership rate here is 75.2 percent and 23 percent of the median monthly household income goes to homeowner costs. Apex also has the second-highest median monthly household income the top 10 list at $7,450 a month. Like many of these towns, Apex has historic roots. Its restored downtown area is featured on the National Register of Historic Places. The town is also known for its annual Peak Fest, a festival held every May.

  1. Huntersville

Located only 12 miles from Charlotte, Huntersville boasts an estimated population of 49,344, and numerous public and private schools. The homeownership rate here 75.1 percent and homeowners here spend 24.3 percent of their monthly income on home costs. The median home value is $247,200 in Huntersville, a town known for hosting the annual Carolina Renaissance Festival every autumn. The NASCAR racing shop Joe Gibbs Racing is headquartered in Huntersville.

  1. Morrisville

Morrisville is booming: The town saw the largest population growth on the top 10 list, growing by 15 percent between 2010 and 2012. In Morrisville, 48.8 percent of homes are owned rather than rented and 27.8percent of household income goes to homeowner costs. The median home value is $266,600. A part of the Research Triangle metro region, which encompasses the Raleigh, Durham, and Cary areas, Morrisville had an estimated population of 20,591 in 2012.

  1. Cornelius

Located alongside Lake Norman, Cornelius saw an 8 percent population increase between 2010 and 2012. The home ownership rate in Cornelius is 71.8 percent and 25.9 percent of the median monthly household income is devoted to homeowner costs, according to data crunched by NerdWallet. The median home value is $256,700 in Cornelius. Though it didn’t incorporate until 1905, Cornelius was booming in the industry of cotton in the late 1800s. The town, which had a population of 24,818 in 2012, is now home to 10 public parks and a championship golf course.

  1. Mint Hill

A suburb of Charlotte, Mint Hill saw a 4.3percent population jump between 2010 and 2012. The town has an 81 percent home ownership rate, the median monthly income is $5,806, and 27.5 percent of that income is devoted to homeowner costs. Mint Hill is home to Mint Hill Veterans Memorial Park and Wilgrove Park, as well as a nationally recognized youth football program.


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Today, Myers Park is one of the most prestigious addresses in Charlotte, and for good reason: tree-lined streets, mansions on huge lots, and a location that’s unbeatable. Myers Park was once home to captains of  industry, manufacturing, and government, many of whom were responsible for North Carolina’s growth as a powerhouse state. Now with over 10,000 residents, Myers Park is nestled between two other sought-after neighborhoods, Dilworth and Sedgefield.

Why would you want to live in Charlotte:

– Tree-lined streets
– College & universities
– Major Employers
– Close Proximity to Professional Sports & Entertainment
– Historical Homes & Landmarks
– Medical facilities
– Airport