Sunday, March 30, 2008

Buy Now! Why the Housing Crisis is Good for You.

Dear Rich,

My wife and I have been living in Charlotte or the last 3 years, and have a few more months left on our lease. We have a great apartment, but we are expecting our first baby in September and would like to move into a house. Neither of us have ever owned a house, but our credit is good and at least until our baby is born, we have 2 incomes, (although we aren't sure what the plan is yet after that!)

With the current housing crisis, and everything that is going on with mortgages, do you think that the market is good in Charlotte, and can my wife and I find a good starter home with a decent rate? Or do you think we should wait a while until things shake out a little?


Joe E. -- Charlotte, NC.

Dear Joe,

Here in Charlotte, we are fortunate that the housing market is still very strong, which is great! But the even better news for you, is that this is a super time for first time home-owners with good credit, to buy a home. Home prices are lower than they have been and interest rates are really good. I would say that this is definitely a good time for you to find a new home!

There are some great neighborhoods in the city of Charlotte as well as the suburbs, including some new construction in family-friendly neighborhoods. My best advice is to shop around for a good mortgage rate, and make sure to buy a house that you can afford--on one income. If your wife and you decide one of you will stay home with the baby for a year, or more, then you will have to be able to make the payments with less money than you may be able to qualify for right now. It is important to be conservative now, and upgrade later if you choose, and your incomes can support it.

Also, there are several foreclosed properties available if you are looking for a "deal." Although I certainly recommend carefully considering this route. Foreclosures are sold "as-is" which usually means that you will have several projects to do right off the bat. With a new baby coming, you might not want this added factor. But if you have some extra cash, are particularly handy, or like a challenge, or even if you buy the right property, there are some real bargains out there for the right buyer.

If you are interested in talking to me more about the available homes in the Charlotte area, please call me at 704-564-0807, or check out my site for my featured listings. Also, I would be happy to recommend a mortgage broker. Just let me know, and congratulations on the new baby!

Rich Ferretti
Buyer's Agent -- Charlotte

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