Sunday, April 13, 2008

Charlotte Realty: All doom and gloom or is there a silver lining?

If you read the Charlotte Observer today - you may think the Charlotte real estate market is all "doom and gloom." And while we are experiencing a higher-than-usual amount of foreclosures, I am here to tell you that Charlotte has a comparatively strong real estate market.

Essentially, like all over the country, people got into mortgage situations that they could not handle. For whatever reasons: bad decisions, mortgage brokers pushing adjustable rates, the economy, it has all come to a head over the last few months, and Charlotte is not immune to that.

Now, despite the national, (and growing global) problems with the real estate markets, Charlotte has in fact, remained strong--even grown, but that doesn't mean that there aren't a higher percentage of foreclosures than we are accustomed, or comfortable with.

So what does this mean for you? If you are looking at moving to Charlotte within the next 6 months to a year, it means you should get your house ready, and on the market ASAP. Other markets are having record-long selling cycles, and you need the time to sell yours. You should think long and hard before buying a new home here before your current house is sold. You may get caught with 2 mortgages, and I believe this is the case for a high percentage of the foreclosures here in Charlotte.

Now, if you are nearing a foreclosure situation right now, do what you can to avoid missing payments. Once you have missed several mortgage payments in a row, it will become increasingly difficult to refinance. Look at ways to cut expenses, or borrow money until you can refinance. If the house you are in is not one that you can continue to pay for, look to sell as soon as possible - even if it is at a loss. This will sting in the short-run, but is better than being without a house and having to go through bankrupsy. Cut your losses before things get worse.

Now, If you are in a good financial situation, this is a perfect market for considering investment property, or for getting a good deal on a new home. Foreclosures are not only often a great bargain, but so are the other homes in the Charlotte market. Historically Charlotte has drawn newcomers because of our healthy economy and good housing prices, and that is still true. Additionally, we are in a strong buyer's market. If you can and want to buy - this is the time!

I would be happy to discuss the Charlotte real estate market and if now is a good time to buy for you - please comment below.

- Rich Ferretti

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