Monday, July 28, 2008

Arts in Charlotte

Hi Rich,

I'm considering relocating to the Charlotte area. Does Charlotte have a theatre district and museum like I am used to coming from a larger city?


Dear AC,

Although not quite New York, Boston or Philadelphia, Charlotte does has a vibrant arts and cultural scene--and I think you will be quite happy with all that it has to offer. There is actually so much--from the big performing arts centers, to the small independent venues, that I can't even list them all here. But I can give you a brief description of a few of the highlights.

NoDa, or North Davidson is center for much of the cultural community in Charlotte. You will find galleries, restaurants, and theatres up and down this stretch of the city.

The Hart Witzen Gallery is an incubator for the arts, with a mission to provide an atmosphere conducive to creativity, and what they call "a venue to exhibit cutting edge visual and performance arts as well as an unpretentious forum for the public to experience the arts." Located at 136 E. 36th Street, their website is:

The Neighborhood Theatre was originally built as a movie theatre in 1945, it has been restored and turned into a performance .The venue was designed for exceptional acoustics and provides excellent sound quality for any event. The total capacity of the Theatre is 950. There are 700 comfortable theatre style seats and uncommonly wide aisles. A thrust stage extends into the seating area. A sound system and theatrical lights are available. Find the Neighborhood Theatre at 511 E. 36th Street. Check out their site at

Here are a few of our Charlotte art galleries:

ArtHouse is at 3103 Cullman Ave.

Art Preserve at 3200 North Davidson St. #A.

BEET Contemporary Crafts and Function Art - a contemporary crafts and functional art gallery. 2302-A North Davidson

Canvas Monkey Art and Gifts -- this is a gift shop, but does feature some awesome regional art as well with a show wall featuring the works of a new artist every month. 3306-B North Davidson

Center of the Earth Gallery Inc. Highly regarded by critics and collectors for its eclectic selection of museum quality contemporary art. This award winning gallery features original paintings, sculpture, and glass by over 50 national emerging and established artists.

The Evening Muse is a listening room, art gallery and café featuring live music 5+ nights each week. The Muse features original artists in a wide variety of genres touring at the national, regional and local level and has earned a reputation for awarding-winning sound and a great casual atmosphere. 3227 North Davidson Street

Music is found in all corners of Charlotte in different forms. In NoDa Wine Up is very popular for a casual relaxing evening of entertainment--especially on the weekends. Featuring a first class menu with fine wines and beers along with a selection of appetizers. 3306-C North Davidson Street

A map of the NoDa area is available at This site has a more complete list and more info on the NoDa area.

The Belk Theater is the largest venue in the North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center at 130 N Tryon St seating 2100 at its full-capacity configuration. The theater is large but intimate with the most distant seat is less than 135 feet from the stage.

The Booth Playhouse (also at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center) is a courtyard-style proscenium theater with cabaret and theater-in-the-round capabilities. This theater contains 434 seats. This theatre hosts a variety of dance, choral and other musical ensembles, as well as meetings, seminars, and workshops.

McGlohon Theatre @ Spirit Square seats 700 and is a showplace for local and national performances. Opened in 1980, this intimate space was the former First Baptist Church. With its stained glass windows and Byzantine dome, this historically designated space is a piece of art in an d of itself.

Duke Power Theatre @ Spirit Square is a multi-purpose space. It is a Black-Box theater and is completely equipped with theatre lighting capabilities and sound system. Used for everything from meeting to small shows, it is a great space.

Charlotte also has several museums. The biggest is probably Discovery Place at 301 N. Tryon St. Discovery Place is a science museum that has great hand-on displays, special programs and a children's section. Discovery Place also contains an IMAX Dome Theater, playing popular and educational movies.

Charlotte Museum of History‎ is located at 3500 Shamrock Dr. with great exhibits showing the history of the area.

Levine Museum of the New South is at 200 E 7th St in Charlotte. This museum is very interesting and a great place to visit, especially for newcomers to the area.

The Mint Museum of Art at 2730 Randolph Rd, is a craft and design museum with some very interesting pieces. This is a place that you could go and easily spend just an hour or two, leaving time to go to some of the great restaurants in the area, or another museum.

The Light Museum --If you like photography and film you'll love The Light Factory. You can view exhibitions and films, take classes, etc.

Nature Museum at 1658 Sterling Rd is located next to the largest park in the city, so pack a picnic and enjoy the day.

----wow... ok there are more, but I think you see what I am saying. Charlotte has a lot of art and culture. The places above are mostly located within a few blocks of each other, but Charlotte and the surrounding areas have an awful lot of little gems outside of the "cultural district" as well.

I hope you enjoy Charlotte - we really do have a lot to offer! Let me know if you have more questions.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Charlotte - a sports city!

Dear Rich --

I am a HUGE sports fan. I love hockey, football, basketball... you get the point! I am moving to Charlotte after I finish up my Masters at UVA in a few months and I really want to get into some of the local sports teams.

Rob W. - UVA

Dear Rob,

Well, welcome to Charlotte, NC -- I know you will enjoy your move here. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you with your relocation.

Charlotte is home to the NFL Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Bobcats, Charlotte Checkers Ice Hockey, Charlotte Knights Triple AAA Baseball and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte 49ers featuring the nationally ranked Division I Basketball and Soccer teams. There is of course golf - with the PGA stop here , and NASCAR too. And those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head... Charlotte is an active community and with plenty of people living on or near our lakes, there are some great water sports as well.

Since there are so many newcomers to the Charlotte area, you will find fans of all sports and sports teams here as well. Pockets of Pittsburgh Steelers fans meet on Sundays during football season, and college basketball fans gather together around TVs throughout the month of March. There is in fact, no lack of sports fanatics in Charlotte.

Enjoy your new home in Charlotte, and congratulations on finishing up your Masters!

Rich Ferretti

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Choosing the Right Real Estate Agent

Last week, a young couple asked me what I thought made a good real estate agent. They are going to be buying their first home in Mint Hill, and wanted to know what qualities I believed to be important.

Now, I have often considered which of my qualities I thought made me good at my job. I consider myself to be loyal, dedicated, experienced... But when I gave it some time, I realized that there is a lot more to what a buyer or seller will need to consider when choosing the right agent.

Here are a few things that make a good agent:

Experience: You wouldn't want to be the patient of brain surgeon who was doing his first surgery. You wouldn't want a pilot on his first flight piloting your cross-Atlantic flight. While someone has to be the first... you don't want it to be you. An agent's vast experience counts. This experience can save you time, money, and heartache. Many mistakes can be made during a real estate transaction--and an experiences agent will be able to recognize potential issues before they become your problems!

Knowledge: A good agent will know the personalities of different neighborhoods, the commute times from different parts of town, and what the school district is like. A good agent will know what other homes are available in each floor plan in the neighborhood you are interested in, and what parks or shopping are nearby. And a good agent will provide you this info before you ask for it.

Professional: Through the course of your relationship, a real estate professional will gain access to your personal information: maybe checking account balances, knowledge of your investments, debts, etc., but most assuredly what your budget and ability to buy is. This knowledge should only be trusted with someone who is a trustworthy professional.

Honesty: Honesty is something we all want from people, yet too often do not get. Your agent is working for a living, and unfortunately, sometimes an agent will stretch the truth, or out-right lie to you to get you to sign the deal. If you sense an agent is not being upfront, or in fact find that they have deceived you -- you can fire them! (see my blog about firing an agent).

References: You are entitled to ask for references. I am fortunate to get many referrals from my BNI Group, or from friends, and past clients, but if a new potential client comes to me in another way, I can always provide references. You should do your homework, and make sure others have had good experiences with an agent before you trust them with one of the most important and expensive sales or purchases of your life!

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Market Conditions and Newsletters

I have released my July e-Newsletter and my video newsletter. These two resources are packed full of real estate news, as well as Charlotte market conditions. I welcome you to check these out and subscribe if you are interested. Topics include information on real estate loans, effective selling, What you should know about a "buyer's market" and much much more.

Rich Ferretti's Charlotte Real Estate e-Newsletter
Rich Ferretti's Charlotte Real Estate Video Newsletter

If there is any real estate topic on which you would like more information, especially as it pertains to the Charlotte area residential market--I would love to hear from you. Comment below or send me an email.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Charlotte University Area Real Estate

Dear Rich –

I recently graduated from UNC Charlotte and would like to stay in the University area. I have a new job near center city, and right now I am staying in an apartment, but my lease is up at the end of September.

I would like to buy a home with my fiancée, and will be looking to move in October. I have been living here in Charlotte for almost 3 years, but with school and all, I am not sure if this is a good spot to settle down. I have been on campus much of my time here in Charlotte, but I love the area, and think it would be a great place to settle down. Can you tell me what the market is like in the University area?

Rob W. UNC Charlotte

Dear Rob –

Congrats on finishing up at UNC. That is quite an accomplishment, and we are very happy to hear that you would like to stay in the Charlotte area after school.

Northeast Charlotte is a growing and popular area of Charlotte--and definetly a place a lot of young people are settling down. Like most areas of Charlotte, the market has remained steady through the economic turndown.

To give you a little background: University City and northeast Charlotte are no longer defined by city limits. Charlotte, Concord, Harrisburg and Huntersville have become one big greater metropolis, with residents moving easily from one to the next. As Charlotte has grown, the best of the neighborhoods have enlarged and are thriving. Filled with new shopping centers and office buildings, this part of Charlotte brings in an estimated $8.4 billion economic impact on the 7-county region. So it is a heavy-hitter when it comes to its contribution to North Carolina.

As you know, University City, is in the northeast portion of Mecklenburg County, and is centered around UNC Charlotte. UNC Charlotte has 21,000 students, and the area has become a popular location for living (expected to reach 162,000 by 2010) and business, (home to more than 65,000 jobs). The annual median household income for the University City area is $71,415, which is greater than the median incomes for Mecklenburg or Cabarrus counties. University City is a relatively affluent area, and fun place to live. There is always plenty to do, and it is an absolutely beautiful part of Charlotte.

Your next step would be to see what your budget is like. The University area does have homes in a variety of price ranges, but it is important to pin-point what you can pay. Then you will need to check out particular neighborhood that you like. A drive around is a good start—and keep in mind things like access to shopping, green-space, commute time, etc. Then we can start looking at what is available in your price-range in the right neighborhoods.

Congratulation and I look forward to the chance to work with you to find the right home in the University area of Charlotte.

Please give my office a call at: 704-564-0807.

Rich Ferretti
Charlotte, NC

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Charlotte's Having a Property SALE

There is a lot of talk from the radio, TV and print news about the economy. The combination of the national mortgage crisis and the price of gas have families across the country looking to cut back, get a bargain, and make a good investment.

BUT--What I am not hearing is how great a sale we are having now! And we are having a real estate SALE.

With every downturn, there is an up-side.

The upside is that we have an opportunity as consumers and investors to get a discount. And who doesn't like to get a deal? With the market struggling in so many cities, Charlotte has taken heed and put its for-sale homes on discount as well.

Charlotte's economy is relatively strong and all indicators are that we will weather this storm just fine. But we are seeing very reasonable prices, nothing over-inflated, and all very fair. If you buy here you will get a good home, at a GREAT price, and in many cases we can find you one at an astronomical deal.

Sales are cause for celebration -- so all you bargain hunters out there... have you considered an investment property in Charlotte? How about a second home in a growing area, perhaps on the lake? Can you see yourself retiring to this warm and wonderful climate?

Property continues to be a sound investment. If you are looking for some great home-SALES, I would be happy to work with you to find the right property!

Rich Ferretti

If you are looking for more information on Charlotte's growth, read my article on Active Rain.

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Monday, July 7, 2008

Charlotte Demographics

Dear Rich,

Can you give us some of the basic demographics information for Charlotte. Everyone I have talked to recently has said that Charlotte is still strong and is one of the top places to move to, but I am wondering what you can tell me about the area.

Cindy -- Considering Charlotte

Dear Cindy,

I am happy to hear you are considering Charlotte. The Charlotte area is a beautiful place to live and work, and has become the new home to over more than 40% more people than just 20 years ago. The population of Charlotte and the surrounding area is over 650,000 people and growing daily. Also, the "Charlotte area" is growing--now including several new suburbs in both North and South Carolina.

The median household income per year in Charlotte is $55,439, and that has increased 60% in the last 20 years that Charlotte has seen it's big growth.

Home prices vary from area to area, but the median home price is $169,483 and the values continue to grow, despite the downturn. While we are not seeing as strong a gain in values as we were in the last few years, we are still considered a steady region. Charlotte is a good place to move--and it continues to be a good investment as well.

Charlotte is home to many wonderful restaurants of all kinds. within 15 miles of center city there are over 3,000 places to eat. Golf is very popular here, and it is not unusual to see someone on a golf course nearly every day of the year. We are fortunate to have mild winters and see only the occasional sprinkling of snow.

The best way to get to know the area is to come and visit. Spend some time in Center City, the University Area, Ballantyne, and then also go down to Waxhaw and Fort Mill. This is a diverse and growing part of the country, with lots to offer and a variety of places to call home.

Please let me know if you have any more questions we can answer for you about Charlotte!
- Rich Ferretti

information from OnBoard LLC

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