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Charlotte Community News

Jessica Sullivan
May 27th, 2015  |  +Jessica Sullivan  |  Add a Comment


One of the great things about the Charlotte Metro area is that we have a great location within the state of North Carolina. We sit just a short drive from the Appalachian Mountains (just two hours to Asheville, NC), and we are just a few hours away from the beach (just three hours to Wilmington, NC or Charleston SC). We are just miles outside of the South Carolina state line (our amusement park, Carowinds, sits on the NC/SC state line), and we have major lake access within the city. So whether you like the mountains, the beach or lake activity – Charlotte has it all (plus it’s the nation’s 17th biggest city).


Lake Norman, Lake Wylie and Mountain Island LakeMost people are familiar with the biggest area lakes, Lake Norman, north of Charlotte proper, which touches the towns of Davidson, Cornelius, Mooresville, Huntersville and Denver; and Lake Wylie, which flows along the North Carolina/South Carolina state lines. Both of these are great recreational lakes – featuring water sports, and of course boating. There are wonderful housing options along both lakes, both with water access and without. The downside to living at either of these lakes? Interstate 77. Both are mainly accessed from the city by traveling north or south on I-77, which, at times (many times) can be really congested.


There is a third lake that some are not familiar with – Mountain Island Lake. Technically speaking, Mountain Island is Charlotte’s only true lake – the one that lies within the city limits. It was man-made in 1924 as part of the Mountain Island Hydroelectric Station and provides Charlotte and Mount Holly with drinking water. Mountain Island is a smaller, cleaner, quieter lake and is a great place for fishing, swimming, water skiing, tubing, standup paddle boarding, and more. One of the best things about the Mountain Island area that surrounds the lake is its location – it lies in between the other two (south of Lake Norman and north of Lake Wylie), on the northwest side of Charlotte. It is accessible right off of highway 16, which runs directly into Uptown Charlotte. It also sits just a few miles from the northwest section of I-485, making it a comfortable (and not congested) ride up to Lake Norman (Huntersville, Mooresville, I-77), or down to the Ballantyne area and other parts of South Charlotte. The trip to Charlotte Douglas International Airport is a breeze, down I-485 and connecting on Wilkinson. You can basically be out of the city and on the lake in 25-30 minutes from anywhere.


This location allows the neighborhoods in the Mountain Island area to feel out of the way, out in the woods, and on the lake, yet retain that proximity to the city that most people desire. However, the recreation and amenities don’t stop with access to Uptown. Sitting less than 10 miles from Mountain Island is the US National Whitewater Center – which goes beyond a training and education center to offer anything from rafting, kayaking, SUP, rock climbing, rope climbing, zip lines, and more, to excellent dining options and the US National Whitewater Center is a great place to take in fireworks or enjoy a show. People flock to their festivals, including Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day holidays, plus beer festivals, and the locally famed River Jam featuring music and more. Going 10 miles in the other direction, you’ll find more nature with the Latta Plantation Nature Center and the Carolina Raptor Center. Another draw for education (learning about farming, horses, Charlotte history and more), Latta also features trails that you can walk or ride (both bikes and horses).



The Mountain Island area doesn’t lack in shopping options either. Within a few mile vicinity you have access to restaurants and everyday shopping (Harris Teeter), plus your options for doctors, dentists, a public library branch, child care, and an option of public and private schools. Go out a little further and you can shop in the growing Denver, NC area, or head up I-485 just 10 miles and you’ll have access to Northlake Mall, featuring all the best in mall shopping (over 150 shops – including Apple, Macy’s, Sephora, Belk, Michael Kors and more). You’ll also have access to a Super Target there, an AMC movie theater, and for all your outdoor equipment, Dick’s Sporting Goods or REI.


Money Magazine recently named the Mountain Island area of Charlotte as one of the “best big city bargains,” for the feel that it’s out of the way of the city, even though it’s in great proximity. The cost to live in the area is also very moderate and affordable. Homes range from traditional brick ranches to lake-front paradises. Here are a few homes at a variety of budget points to give you an idea of what you’ll find in the area. Click the images to find out more about each home!



Looking for more homes in the area? Below is a list of neighborhoods surrounding the Mountain Island area. Click through to see homes available for sale in these neighborhoods.


Waterfront Neighborhoods

Surrounding Neighborhoods


Stephen’s Grove

Mountain Point

Cashion Woods



Mt. Isle Harbor

Pine Island Country Club

Preservation Pointe

Claiborne Woods

Latta Springs


Long Creek



For more information on what it’s like to live in Mountain Island Lake, feel free to reach out to us at any time. We have Realtors® that specialize in the area and can help you find the perfect home for your lifestyle!



Kristin Ellefson
May 26th, 2015  |  +Kristin Ellefson  |  Add a Comment


Summer is back and that means so are all the awesome activities that come along with it. The whitewater center is a great spot to cool off during the summer and considering the large number of events they host throughout the season, there really is something for everyone. This week, Zipline & Dine is back in full force, with a full list of summer dates. Zipline & Dine is a great way to experience some of the extra things the Whitewater center has to offer. This zipline tour includes 5 lines and 2 rope bridges. After completing the course participants hike back to “base camp” and enjoy dinner with craft beer and wines! With the tours beginning every 15 minutes from 6-7 pm, there are several opportunities to take advantage of this fun even throughout the summer. The cost is $75/person and includes the zipline tour, dinner and two drinks. You can zip on over to the whitewater center on any of these dates and join in on on the fun throughout the summer:


  • May 29
  • June 3
  • June 5
  • June 10
  • June 19
  • June 24
  • June 26
  • July 1
  • July 10
  • July 15
  • July 17
  • July 24
  • July 29
  • July 31


Kristin Ellefson
May 22nd, 2015  |  +Kristin Ellefson  |  Add a Comment

Liz Partee- NC Broker/Realtor®, Lake Norman Office


Helen Adams Realty  thanks Liz Partee for her continued service to all of her clients. Her most recent clients spoke very highly of their experience with her throughout the process of selling their home:


Liz Partee went above and beyond for us. She was great. She kept in touch with us throughout the entire process, answered all of our questions, and our house went under contract in 4 days! Liz was even emailing us in regards to repair negotiations while she was in labor in the hospital! Will use her again if we have the need in the future


Congratulations to Liz on this wonderful review, we’re so proud to have you represent Helen Adams Realty!

Kristin Ellefson
May 21st, 2015  |  +Kristin Ellefson  |  Add a Comment

People often say the three biggest features of any piece of real estate are location, location, location, and when it comes to getting the most bang for your buck, they might be right! CNN Money recently did a little digging to see how far a $2 Million budget would get you in a variety of places around the world, including three right here in the U.S. They then compared a subject property located in each place that cost around $2M, but we thought it was time for Charlotte to throw its hat in the ring! If you’re wondering what your money might buy you elsewhere, these stats are a good place to start:


Charlotte has a lot of great features, but when you compare it to other areas, in terms of how far your budget can go, especially in a major metropolitan area, we take the cake as far as affordability is concerned. Not only will a larger budget afford you more space, but a lot of times, in our area, a larger price tag also comes with a sizable piece of land, something that’s hard to come by in other areas, like Manhattan or Beverly Hills. In addition to land, a $2 Million budget also gets you a much more spacious home in Charlotte, almost 7 times what your budget might get you in more high dollar markets. Still curious about you might get for $2 million in our local market? Well, you’re in luck, we have a few beautiful listings in this price range and can give you an insiders look to where your dollars go when you’re shopping in this price range.


Click on the image above to see more of this beautiful home!

2300 Queens Road is located in the historic Myers Park area of Charlotte. Complete with 5 bedrooms, 5 full and 2 half baths, this sprawling home showcases all the best features of luxury living. Its 2012 update included a high end kitchen and outdoor entertaining area, as well as a home office, media room, beautiful master retreat, and more! The home is also complete with a sun room, screened porch, pergola and spacious yard. Want to see more of this property? Check out the virtual tour right here.


Click on the image above to see more of this beautiful home!

Nestled on the fairways of the course at Ballantyne Country Club, 11828 Stephenson Court takes luxury to a new level. This home truly has it all, from outdoor numerous outdoor entertaining areas and an outdoor kitchen to a library, wine cellar, home, gym and game room, no stone was left unturned during the construction of this home. Stephenson Court boasts with 5 bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms in over 7,800 square feet of course-side living space. You can see more of this immaculate home right here!


Looking for more Million Dollar properties in Charlotte? See what else you can get for the money here.

Kristin Ellefson
May 20th, 2015  |  +Kristin Ellefson  |  Add a Comment

If you work in the Uptown area and are hating that you can’t get outside on beautiful work days, try this out! Romare Bearden Park will be hosting the Music Box Lunch Series every Tuesday and Friday until October! You can catch live music in the Park from Noon-1:30 PM  twice a week and bring your lunch and a blanket and catch some afternoon inspiration before heading back to work for the rest of your day! The series will feature solo artists or small combos for your lunch hour enjoyment, while you relax in one of Uptown Charlotte’s beautiful green spaces.  Wondering who you might find performing at these free lunch hour concerts? Check out this schedule of everything they already have scheduled:


May 22: Marc Hoffman
May 26: Tom Billoto
May 29: Nate Brown
June 2: Colby Dobbs
June 5: Dave Haywood
June 9: Caution Blind Driver
June 12: Tommy Lopez
June 16: Minsky Delmonte
June 19: Carrie Marshall
June 23: Ben Davenport
June 26: Kyle Cummings
June 30: Rodney Shelton


Kristin Ellefson
May 18th, 2015  |  +Kristin Ellefson  |  Add a Comment

Planning to purchase a home? Struggling to save up to make a down payment? Forbes has some creative ideas on how to save, aside from putting away a little here and there, or saving “x” amount from each paycheck. These ideas are a great way to change up what you’re currently doing in a way that will hopefully allow you to reach your goal a little faster!


Jessica Sullivan
May 15th, 2015  |  +Jessica Sullivan  |  Add a Comment

After a few delays last fall, the North Carolina Department of Transportation has announced that the last leg of Interstate 485, which circles Charlotte, will open on June 5th, 2015.  Along with the opening, the highway will be getting an increased speed limit on the outer belt, going from 65 to 70 miles per hour.


The completion of this project is a long time coming – the highway was begun in 1988. With just less than six miles left to complete it, it will make an easy connection from I-85 to 115.


As always, the project wasn’t as simple as finishing up the length of highway. Several projects had to be completed along the way to make for the best traffic flow along the highway once it was open. The initial scope of the completion project was:

  • Building the final 5.7 miles of I-485, which will run from west of N.C. 115 to west of I-85 and link I-77 to I-85
  • Converting the existing I-85/I-485 interchange to a turbine interchange, the first of its kind in the state

    Turbine Interchange

    Rendering of the turbine interchange at I-85 and I-485

  • Widening approximately 7 miles of I-85 from four to eight lanes from south of Bruton Smith Boulevard/Concord Mills Boulevard at Exit 49 to north of N.C. 73 at Exit 55 in Cabarrus County. The project also includes converting Popular Tent Road and N.C. 73 to a superstreet design



In order to complete those last few miles, the following changes had to be made:

  • Extend Alexanderana Road from N.C. 115 to connect with Eastfield Road.
  • Construct a new bridge to carry Browne Road over I-485.
  • Construct a split diamond interchange at Prosperity Church Road. This design allows traffic to exit I-485 onto a one-way service road connected to three separate streets through a series of roundabouts.
Split Diamond Interchange

Split Diamond Interchange

  • Realign Johnston-Oehler road to connect with the Prosperity Church Road/DeArmon Road intersection.
  • Realign Ridge Road and Odell School Road near the I-485 Mallard Creek Road interchange.
  • Construct a diverging diamond interchange at Mallard Creek Road.

Once complete in June, the beltway will extend 67 miles around Charlotte. They continue to finish work on the southern stretch between I-77 and Rea Road. Some lanes were opened last fall.


The NC DOT has a great web page devoted to the improvements, complete with timelines, updates, images, videos and more. You can click here to visit it and learn more about the entire project.

  • Building the final 5.7 miles of I-485, which will run from west of N.C. 115 to west of I-85 and link I-77 to I-85 (TIP No. R-2248E).
  • Converting the existing I-85/I-485 interchange to a turbine interchange, the first of its kind in the state (TIP No. R-2123CE).
  • Widening approximately 7 miles of I-85 from four to eight lanes from south of Bruton Smith Boulevard/Concord Mills Boulevard at Exit 49 to north of N.C. 73 at Exit 55 in Cabarrus County. The project also includes converting Popular Tent Road and N.C. 73 to a superstreet design (TIP No. I-3803B)
Kristin Ellefson
May 14th, 2015  |  +Kristin Ellefson  |  Add a Comment

Last month home decor experts flooded North Carolina for the High Point Market, a trade show for interior designers, furniture makers and the like, all in our backyard! High point market is a the largest furnishings industry trade show in the world, bringing more than 75,000 people to High Point every six months with close to 75,000 attendees and 10% of those being international attendants, its a look inside some of the world’s hottest design trends. Since the event is for industry professionals only, its always nice to get the insiders scoop on what the latest and greatest ideas are. If you’re  curious about what some of the up and coming design trends are for the rest of 2015 like we were, you’ll be happy to know that Elle Decor recently discussed some of the hottest trends to look for at the High Point Market and in interior design for the rest of 2015. Lindsey Campbell spotlighted the top 4 trends as “Made in America”, Blue, Nature, and Metallic Finishes. Not sure what that means? Check out some of these examples:


Made in America


Image from Good Housekeeping. Click image to see original article.

With people looking to shop local and support artisans and their craft, its no wonder that the “Made in America” trend has reached into home furnishings. Whether you’re looking for furniture pieces, light fixtures, textiles, or the perfect little accessory, you can always find something that has been lovingly crafted in the good ‘ole U-S-of-A. Check out this example from Good Housekeeping. An entire dining room created using pieces made across America. Click the image to view descriptions of each piece and to find out where it came from and how you can get your hands on them.



This room was designed by and photographed by Lisa Petrole Photography


Shades of blue are back in a big way in home decor, especially the deep rich shades like navy! Bold color choices have a huge impact on any space, especially as people continue to pick up the light/neutral hues for their furniture and decor, as seen above with the gray and cream furnishings paired with the dark color walls in this space. If you’re looking to take a daring chance in your home this year, try somethig like this. Even if you dont’t want to commit by painting the entire room a dark vibrant color, think about using a rich blue tone for an accent wall to give the space a little variety, it might be just the change you have been looking for.




Check out these Terrarium Kits from One Kings Lane

Bringing the outdoors in has become a big thing in home decor, and one of the post popular things designers are doing these days is creating terrariums to bring some chic natural elements into the space. Other ideas are to use decor with Natural or floral elements, whether they are wall decor/art, or natural wood/ tree stump side tables or coffee tables, or maybe even just some woven baskets. There are so many great ways to bring those natural elements into your space and this is an easy update that can bring your room a whole new vibe!


Metallic Accents

Click the image above to check out more tips on using metallic accents on

You’re probably thinking, “how am I going to put metallic things in my house?!” But metallic accents don’t have to be crazy, flat gold and silver wall decor, or metallic table legs on a simple white table, or a copper frame on your light fixture can be the perfect added bit of metallic to elevate your space. Wondering how to bring it all together? Check out these tips from realsimple and get started!


If you’re looking to update your space, these are some easy tricks to bring a fresh new look to your space. If you weren’t sure where to start before, hopefully these tips and ideas have given you a little inspiration to help you keep up with the times. Happy decorating!




Kristin Ellefson
May 13th, 2015  |  +Kristin Ellefson  |  Add a Comment

As we turn the page to the second quarter of 2015, a proliferation of new listings is expected in most markets across the U.S. Spring is traditionally the commonplace time of the year that we see some of the most desirable gems polished for eager buyers. Though some Google searches and Twitter posts will blatantly offer pessimism about the state of the housing market, on-the-street evidence does not support bad tidings.New Listings in the Charlotte region increased 2.0 percent to 5,516. Pending Sales were up 40.8 percent to 4,716. Inventory levels fell 22.4 percent to 12,959 units.Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 8.6 percent to $190,000. List to Close was down 7.3 percent to 127 days. Sellers were encouraged as Months Supply of Inventory was down 33.8 percent to 3.9 months.The national home-ownership percentage is the lowest since 1993, when Jurassic Park was the highest-grossing movie. Rental prices continue to astonish with accelerated price growth, which may cause some to think twice before locking in a 12-month lease. Lending practices and mortgage rates will also have a decided effect on the number of buyers who will become homeowners this year. With the release of Jurassic World this month, we are reminded of cyclical conversations in both real estate and movie-making. Reprinted from the April 2015 CRRA Monthly Indicators.


You can read our full monthly market report here.





Kristin Ellefson
May 12th, 2015  |  +Kristin Ellefson  |  Add a Comment

Charlotte and all of its surrounding cities and towns are a great place to live in the summer! There’s always something to do, some sort of concert or festival, or reason to celebrate. What’s even better? When some of those events are free!! If you are new to the area or maybe you’re pinching pennies for a big summer trip and are looking for budget-friendly entertainment around town this summer, this list is for you. Charlotte On the Cheap recently posted this list of all the great entertainment options you can experience for free this summer and we definitely thought it was worth sharing. Check it out:


  • Charlotte’s Alive After Five
    Charlotte’s best weekend kick-off, every Thursday at The EpiCenter through June 25th


  • Whitewater River Jam

Live Music every Thursday and Saturday through the end of September, 7-10pm, The Whitewater Center (admission is free, parking – $5)


  • Sunset at Metropolitan
    Live music every Thursday through May 28th at Metropolitan from 6:30-8:30pm.


    • Stonecrest Summer Concert Series:
      Fridays and Saturdays from 7-10 PM through the end of September on the Fountain Stage at Stonecrest.


    • Blakeney Summer Concert Series:
      Friday and Saturday night from 7-10pm through the end of August at Village Green at Blakeney



    • Kannapolis Summer Entertainment Series
      If you live in the area, check out this page for tons of free events going on in Kannapolis throughout the summer.


    • Matthews Summer Concert and Movie Series
      Live in Matthews? Find tons of free events to keep you entertained this summer right here.


    • Union Street Live in Concord
      Live Music on the Courthouse Lawn in Concord, May 21, June 18, July 16, August 20.


    • Blue’s Out Back:
      Gaston County Museum annual summer concert series. The second Friday of every month, through September at 6:30 pm


    • Romare Bearden’s Party in the Park:
      Free Live entertainment every Wednesday from 6-9PM, through the end of August.


    • Belmont Friday Night Live:
      A live concert series in Downtown Belmont, twice a month, through the end of August at 7pm


    • June Tunes Concert Series in Mint Hill:
      Every Saturday in June at 7pm in front of the Mint Hill Town Hall