I checked the current rental prices in Indian Trail and Matthews area in Union County. (The town of Matthews is actually in Mecklenburg County, but the taxes are lower in the Union County part of the zip 28104) I found that rentals of the size house you are describing run anything from $1695 per month up to $2695 per month. There could be many factors that affect such a great spread.
Yes, the market in the Charlotte area is down some this first part of 2008, but the April figures seem to be coming back very slightly in Union County. Using the average sale price for 2007 and the average sale price for the first 4 months of 2008, the average sale price has dropped around 5% in 2008. You can see the area statistics under the "Metrolina Statistics" on my website at http://www.RichProperties.net
Sale prices in this same area run from $264K to $445K. Are you looking at buying New Construction or resale? Remember that you will have to hold new construction longer to get you money back than if you buy resale. Another thought might be to buy 2 smaller properties that might rent more quickly. It is true that with the fall of the subprime market, many people who were planning on buying their first home are finding that they have to rent.
If you need a property management company, we do property management at Rich Properties. We are not a large firm but we try to give the best service in the business. We take our work seriously.
Let me know if I can be of service to you.