By and large, Charlotte is considered one of the more desirable Southern cities. Progressive leadership. Plenty of industry (especially banking). A good location adjacent to major rail lines.
All in all, a city with better prospects than many others in the imminent energy crisis.
However, the article demonstrates that the effects of these converging forces are a) happening more swiftly and b) more severely than many anticipated:
While the crime rate citywide held steady, the rate in the heart of Charlotte's 10 highest-foreclosure areas rose 33 percent between 2003 and 2006, an Observer analysis found. All of them are suburban areas filled with starter-home subdivisions. They were built since 1997 with homes valued at $150,000 or less.
Windy Ridge is 5 years old, but already 81 of its 132 homes have lapsed into foreclosure. Dozens stand boarded up or vacant, with windows smashed and doors kicked in. Vandals have ripped copper wire from walls. Vagrants and drug users frequent the empty houses -- next door to families who thought they'd invested wisely in their northwest Charlotte suburb.