Charlotte, NC’s abundance of affordable inventory makes it attractive to buyers/investors to purchase foreclosures in Charlotte, NC and surrounding neighborhoods. According to economists at the National Association of Realtors, the Raleigh-Carey, Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord, and Greensboro-Highpoint markets of North Carolina have seen the median home prices decline through the third quarter of 2009. High unemployment in the region has not helped either. As a result, there have been a lot of homeowner foreclosures in the Charlotte, NC area and opportunities for buyers to purchase these discounted properties.
Investment in Foreclosures
According to MSN Money, investing in foreclosures and bargain real estate is “one of the best places to invest your hard earned dollars”. More and more investors are selecting real estate as the number one investment choice today because it is less risky than the stock market. Right now home prices are so affordable and interest rates are still low.
There are many foreclosure properties available in some of the best neighborhoods that Charlotte has to offer. The economic situation has trickled down to all income brackets, and there is a large inventory of luxury properties as well.
Types of Foreclosures
Charlotte foreclosure choices include:
- Short sales – pre foreclosure properties
- Foreclosure auction properties
- REO (real estate owned) properties
Seasoned investors may opt for purchasing short sales, foreclosure auction properties or REO’s (real estate owned) properties. All are good investment choices. Short sales take the longest, but if you have the time, then you can pick up some pretty good deals right now in Charlotte. Foreclosure auction properties may offer the best prices, but there are some risks such as liens and having to deal with tenants or former owners left behind on the property. REO’s are everywhere and are good choices for new investors, first time home buyers and seasoned investors. You deal with the bank’s listing agent or you can use your own agent who will present your offer to the listing agent. Buying REO’s is similar to buying a home from a homeowner, except the seller is the bank and it may take a little longer for the bank to respond to your offer. The bank has paid off the liens and you get clear title. So for those of you who are looking for a less risky homeowner foreclosure investment, REO’s are the way to go. Prices are still discounted, and they are good value.
If you are looking for REO’s, then the easiest way to find one is to work with a local Realtor who can search the MLS for REO properties that meet your criteria. You can also check the local newspaper and drive the neighborhoods you are interested in looking for signs. Various websites pick up the listing information from the MLS such as Realtor.com and foreclosure home websites. Just Google Charlotte, NC foreclosures and several sites will pop up.
Short sales can also be found through Realtors in the MLS or by for sale by owner advertisements such as Craig’s list or various Internet websites or by driving the neighborhood and looking for signs.
Foreclosure auctions are published in the newspaper in the county where the property is located at least three to four weeks in advance of the sale. You can also find auction information online. Sometimes the sales get postponed so you should verify the date and time before attending. Some properties can be bid online as well. Most auctions require a cash deposit or cashier’s check to bid usually 10% of the purchase price. The highest bidder is awarded the property. If the property does not sell, the bank buys it back and it becomes an REO property.
Since no one has a crystal ball as to how long the Charlotte real estate market will continue to offer investors the opportunity to buy foreclosed homes, investors/buyers should take the opportunity now while there is an abundance of affordable inventory and the interest rates are low. Charlotte is one of the best places to find financing as well because many of the financial institutions have moved into the area.