Sunday, September 21, 2008

Charlotte Economy Woes? Half Empty or Half Full?

Dear Rich,

My wife and I recently moved to the Fort Mill area (South Carolina) and have been delighted by the friendly people and affordable housing (we are from NYC). But there are some things that make us nervous as first time home owners. Certainly the economy in Charlotte is better than most places, but with the banks in turmoil and gas prices high and all that comes with that, we are looking at ways to cut back, and save and just make good financial decisions. Do you have any advice for a young couple who just bought their first house so that we can protect ourselves from the struggle that so many of our friends are going through across the country?

Robert S., Baxter Village, Fort Mill

Dear Robert,

Thanks for writing in--and you are smart to consider how to make the best of this situation. I am an optimistic person, but I have also seen the ebb and flow of the economy over the last many years. Now, this is a tough time, no doubt, but there is a lot to think positively about.

First , we live in one of the best places in the country for jobs, home values, and prices. Because of the banking industries here in Charlotte, there is a base that will keep us from suffering like other parts of the US. In fact, with the dreadful news the last 2 weeks, I actually think that we will be seeing a positive influx as the banks merge. We could end up growing and gaining far ahead of what we could have expected.

Second, Charlotte was never pushed by big value swings like California and Florida, so our home values are at what they should be. Your property value should rise--slowly, but consistently--like it should. So while it may seem scary now, be assured that you made a good investment.

Third, we are smart. Having gone through this, we know how to get through it if we make good decisions. My advice is to not over extend yourselves, shop smart, drive when necessary, and consolidate trips when possible. In fact, you and your wife may be great candidates for a program called uFirst Financial--which helps you pay off your mortgage in a fraction of the time through a smart and proven process. This way when we hit a little bump in the economy next time, you will have more equity in your home and less debt. I would love to talk to you about this option. I am excited that it has been able to help so many people I know, and I think that given our current situation, it just makes good sense.

Give me a call at: 704-564-0807, for more information on uFirst and how to protect yourself in the next economic slowdown--or if you have any other questions that I can help with.

Congratulations on your new home in Baxter--that is a beautiful neighborhood!

Rich Ferretti

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