Hope Rogers, Staff Writer
In a small town such as Wingate, North Carolina, there is really only one major attraction site, which in this case is the university. When everything is more than ten miles away, it can be hard to find decent housing that fits the needs of young people in the area.
Although students are not permitted to live off campus unless they are living with a relative, are married, or over 23 years old, there are faculty members that face the challenge of finding a suitable living space nearby on their own. To find out what these challenges are, I spoke with some of Wingate’s faculty members to discover where they chose to live and why.
Dr. Wobig from the Political Science department describes his experience with housing in Monroe as “lucky”. He had to move to North Carolina when he was hired in May 2014, but was not able to see the apartment before he moved in because he would have had to fly. He trusted the recommendation of another faculty member who knew of an apartment opening up, and was relieved that the place turned out to be nice.
He has chosen to remain living in Monroe because of its location. “While living in Wingate would be convenient for work, there is nothing to do there of interest to a youthful, single person. I knew I wanted to be close enough, so that I could drive to Matthews, Ballantyne, or uptown Charlotte to have fun. I thought pretty hard about moving to Matthews last year but that 45 minute commute was not appealing, and rents are a little higher there.”
Dr. Kumar from the Marketing department moved from Pennsylvania to Ballantyne where he commutes about 45 minutes to the university. He doesn’t mind the drive, because he likes to be closer to uptown Charlotte to have access to different kinds of retail.
One of his favorite attractions, which he calls “Charlotte’s best kept secret”, are the Charlotte Greenways, which consist of well-maintained walking trails around the city. Additionally, Charlotte is a city with a lot of diversity, and Dr. Kumar “wanted to be in an environment to meet people from different places.”
Other faculty members such as Mrs. Baker from the Communications department chose housing in the Weddington/Wesley Chapel area based on school districts for her kids in middle and high school. She moved from California, where she says the housing prices are double what they are in this area.
Although she is not a first-time home buyer, she loves Indian Trail because it offers very affordable housing that is not too far from shopping. “Monroe is the closest housing option but does not attract buyers due to schools, lack of shopping options, and a lackluster downtown.”
Mr. DeLangie from the Sport Sciences department also found his ideal living space based on his family, but it involved some moving around first. He used to commute from Ballantyne, but he says the hour commute was too long. Fortunately, his wife got a job at Wingate which provided free housing for both of them, and he lived close enough to walk to work.
The drawback to living in Wingate then became that it was too far away from everything else. Between the two extremes, Mr. DeLangie and his family finally found a happy medium. “We settled on Indian Trail, a nice balance between Wingate (25 min drive) and Charlotte (~30 min). The main goal for us was to have easy access to 485 since it is so easy to get anywhere else from there. We chose the neighborhood because it had good walking trails, sidewalks, parks for our 2-year-old, and it is safe.”
Based on the professors I talked to, there are a variety of locations they chose to live in for similar reasons. If anything, a small town like Wingate as opposed to a large city where people are more likely to live due to more housing options and convenience, isn’t ideal. Although it may be difficult to find both affordable and decent housing for young adults in the area, at the very least, students can be grateful they are not battling for the same apartments.
Edited By: Brea Childs