Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Old House New Home?

Dear Rich:
My wife and I have to make a choice between an beautifully updated home in an older neighborhood in Charlotte or a brand new home in a more modern neighborhood, with a ton of amenties just outside the city. The first house in the older neighborhood has almost everything I want and is much larger, but I want to make the best investment. We may have to move again in about 5 years (my job has me travelling a lot) and I want to make sure we do the right thing.

I appreciate your advice!
Shane -- Charlotte Newcomer

Hello Shane -- and welcome to Charlotte. I hope that I can help you narrow down your property choice.

If your goal is to buy a home for its later resale value and the one you are leaning towards buying in the older neighborhood, you will want to find out if is at the upper end of home values for that neighborhood--especially if it has been updated and others have not. If this is the case then it may not be the best choice.

If the older home in Charlotte is similar or lower in price to the others in the neighborhood, then there should be no problem, because pricing should be considered in relation, (generally) to the local neighborhood and not compared to homes in other parts of town.

Is the neighborhood on the decline or is it a neighborhood that is improving? And are other homeowners doing updates, keeping their properties landscaped etc. It could turn out to be a very good investment as long as you don't pay too much because of the recent improvements, when you could find another home in the same neighborhood less expensively--one that you could update yourself.

But remember that you also buy a house for its value to you as a "home." If you feel comfortable, happy, and excited about the older home, and you like the neighborhood, this is a factor of equal or greater value than its ultimate resale price. This is an investment, but it is also where you and your family will live!

If you would like more information about the Charlotte area, I would be happy to answer any questions you might have -- just comment below.

Happy House Hunting
Rich Ferretti

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