I am looking to buy a home in Charlotte, NC within the next three weeks. Should I get a Single Family Home or Condo???

Asked by Zach Johnson, Charlotte, NC Mon Sep 21, 2009

Currently renting. I am looking to buy a single family home or Condo/Townhome in Charlotte. My price range is $150k to $200k. I am interested in these zip codes: 28210, 28226, and 28277. First time home buyer and I am looking to buy right away. Can anyone help or give advice?

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Deirdreg, , Charlotte, NC
Wed Oct 14, 2009
I went from a single family home to a townhome. My first experience and I love it. I like the sense of community. As a single person, in the single family home I felt out of place in the community because I did not have a family. Here, there are many other women like myself who are single. It is a lot of responsibilty owning your own home with a townhome I don't have all that responsibility, upkeep and maintenance. In a single family home if your neighbor doesn't keep it up, it hurts your home value. I live in 28278 the Steele Creek area by the way. Good luck.
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Dan Chase, Home Buyer, Texas City, TX
Fri Oct 9, 2009
When you buy a single family detached house you do not have
1. a neighbor who lets their half of a house deteriorate and fall into the cellar.
2. a small space that is kind of yours but the real owner of the building tells you what you can and can not do with what you paid for if you choose to buy a condo.
3. When you have children arrive or relatives move in you can EXPAND a single family dwelling. A condo is fixed in size until it gets torn or burned down.
4 you do not have noise coming in from the upstairs or next door condo that is always driving you nuts. I was told this happened by one condo buyer.
5. You have a space to call your own.
6. You have a spot to put something in the yard. Perhaps a trailer, a car, or even a picnic table. You have space for the kids to play ( assuming you get any amount of land). You have space to stretch your legs.

When you think about it, why would anyone want a condo?

If you were wondering, yes, I am a country boy. always will be.
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John Smith, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Charlotte, NC
Thu Oct 8, 2009
The choice to buy a single family home or condo/townhome is completely a personal choice and is really driven by what you want out of a residence. If you are a young person or young couple maybe you want a single family residence to grow into or maybe you want something that avoids lawn maintance such as a condo. There are many variables and many pros and cons of each. In short , a purchase is a long term commitment, maybe not loooong term, but most likely you would plan to own it at least 3 - 5 years if not more. Buy what is comfortable to you and try to have some foresight of what your housing needs are going to be in the next 3 - 5 years. I would recommend speaking with a mortgage professional first. A mortgage professional is going to be able to explain the different mortgage options for different properties. Knowledge is power! Once you know what financing options are available for condos vs single family homes, then you will be able to better narrow down your search.
If you are planning to buy, I would do it sooner than later, to make sure you're able to take advantage of the $8,000 stimulus tax credit. Must close by Nov. 30th. If I can be of any assistance, please feel free to contact me. Cell: 704-299-5507 and email is john@mortgagesmithteam.com
Website: http://www.mortgagesmithteam.com
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Renckens Sus…, Agent, Huntersville, NC
Thu Sep 24, 2009
Hi Zach,

In my opinion you are better off buying a single family home. In most markets, condo's and townhouses take a little longer to sell. There are lots of advantages to owning a property with no maintenance but its important to think ahead. How long will you be in the property, how long has it taken for the properties to sell that you are considering? My best advice to you is: have your agent (if you have one) research your market before you buy. Know all of the facts and make an informed decision. My company offers to rebate your last months rent at the closing table should you chose one of our agents to assist you. My services are free to you, compensation for the Buyer's Agent is paid by the Seller. Good luck - there are some great deals out there. Let me know if I can help.
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d, Home Buyer, Charlotte, NC
Tue Sep 22, 2009

I agree with a majority of the comments the other agents have posted here based on the information given in your question. There are many other questions that would help me properly advise you- a few of those would be why you've chosen those zip codes, your current hobbies & interests and the location of your workplace/school/ favorite restaurants & shops, etc. In the mean time, a few more general considerations regarding home type are given below.

I noticed that most of the agents mentioned investment potential as a consideration when making your decision. However, you did not mention that in your question, so I don’t know if that’s important to you. Be sure to carefully evaluate your personal situation as this is also going to be your home and not just a stock certificate or savings account. Townhomes/condos are very different places to live than single family homes, so you have to think about your lifestyle. If you are buying with investment potential in mind, you may want to think about what type of investment you are looking for; whether you will try and sell the home some day or add it to your investment portfolio as a future rental property. If you do want to keep the property for future income from rents, a condo or townhome may be a good choice since the exterior is typically maintained by the Homeowners Association (HOA) for those properties.

Another thing to consider when looking at townhomes/condos vs. single family is community appearance. What I mean by that is that even if single family homes are typically a better investment, should you get stuck trying to sell your home in between a few homeowners who never cut their grass or lose their home to foreclosure, your property could suffer just by being close to those other homes. In those situations, you still have an HOA that can force them to properly maintain their home, but it can take a while to enforce. The nice thing about a townhome or condo is that you may never know how someone maintains their property until you walk in the front door. Take some time (or I’d be happy to show you) to drive through the different types of communities to see the difference. You may find that the majority of townhome and condo communities are going to have a better overall visual appeal vs. single family communities in your price point. If community appearance as it relates to your future ability to sell the home is a concern, especially in a single family neighborhood, community selection will be extremely important. Be sure to drive through the entire neighborhood to get an overall feel for the community. Finally, try to meet some of the homeowners to see if they have an active HOA and if they like living in the neighborhood.

Let me know if you have any other questions and feel free to visit my website at http://www.kayfisherslistings.com for additional tools which can help you in your search.

Good Luck with your home search!

Kay Fisher
0 votes
barbarak, , Matthews, NC
Mon Sep 21, 2009
Hello Zach,
While you ponder the question of owning a house and having to maintain the yard by yourself or a condo with low or no maintnenance, I also would like to comment on one or the other. If you are looking in the 28277 area for a condo, then you will find more recently built ones and therefore a newer style and up-dated amenities. The area is more towards Ballentyne a trendier area with restaurants and shopping close by. While homes and condo's are taking a hit these days all over for any seller, a buyer has the upper hand and can have a wide selection to choose from. The condos or town homes in these areas also tend to have interior up-grades, giving you more bang for your buck. It is great to buy now and take advantage of the 1st time homeowner tax credit, set to expire November 30th, 2009.

Please let me know if I can help you with suggesting a great mortgage broker and I'll be glad to send you a selections of homes and condos to see the difference in your selected areas.
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Annette Deme…, Agent, Hickory, NC
Mon Sep 21, 2009
Good Luck and make sure you take advantage of the 8,000 tax credit!
I would love to help but Charlotte is a little out of my comfort zone!
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Lynn Johnson, , 28204
Mon Sep 21, 2009
Hi Zach,

First you need to get educated about what is available in these zip codes. I agree with Shonn Ross that a single family home is a better investment in these areas. I am sure you have looked at properties online but you need to get in these homes and see if you like them.

Next you need to learn about all of the great loan programs out there. I have a lot of resources to help you find the loan which fits your needs.

Then you need to find a Realtor who knows the area. I have been working this area with clients within this price range for the past 3-4 years. I know the market. I can advise you on what is good for future re-sale too - that is something buyers sometimes overlook in buying a home.

Give me a call - I would love to help you find your new home!
0 votes
Bill Carey, Agent, Charlotte, NC
Mon Sep 21, 2009
Hi Zach,

Something to consider whether a single family or condo there are some great selections in "Bank Owned Properties" . Some of the best neighborhoods have these homes all across Charlotte you can find super deals and save thousands of dollars. As a first time buyer you may be eligible for a tax credit of up to $8,000 on top of big bank discount.

Today's housing market here in Charlotte where we have not had the extreme ups and downs there are big money saving opportunities for the savvy homebuyer. We have hundreds and hundreds of "Bank Owned Properties" or "REO's" in all price ranges. These homes are priced from below $100,000 to well over a million dollars they may need some repairs but many are move-in ready.

A good friend recently moved (a corporate transfer) from L.A. to Atlanta. Mike and his wife took a beating on their L.A. home but more than made up for it in Atlanta. Actually in L.A. they lost a little over $200,000 and to me that's big money. But they made it up by finding a move-in ready "Bank Owned" home in Atlanta. Their new home was a builder spec with all the bells and whistles originally priced over $850,000 they closed on the home for a little under $500,000. Granted this is big savings and every "Bank Owned" sale does not make a 40% discount but many do and some are bigger 50% and more right here in Charlotte.

So just a thought, if you are in the market for a home your first home, moving up or downsizing maybe an investment property consider looking at "Bank Owned Properties" as a solution to your home search. Most MLS listings of "Bank Owned Properties" do not have many photos on line usually only one, they don't have virtual tours and the listing only contains basic information not much to review in your saved homes file. The way you sort out "Bank Owned Properties" is by getting out and going through the front door, you have to see the home, touch the home and smell the home in person. The best opportunities go fast so you must be ready and get out there in person.

I'm available most days or evenings to help you find your new home. Call me on my cell 704-905-0740 or email me at bill.carey@ziprealty.com .

Best Regards,
Bill Carey
ZipRealty, Inc.
Licensed in NC
Toll Free: 1.800 CALL ZIP x3106
Cell: 704.905.0740
Fax: 866.717.6019
My Profile: http://www.ziprealty.com/agent/bcarey
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"Your home is where our heart is."
0 votes
Gail Jodon, Agent, Charlotte, NC
Mon Sep 21, 2009
Much of that answer depends on personal preferance and lifestyle. I am a strong believer in home ownership and feel it is a better investment, but buying a home may not be right for you? Are you OK with taking care of a lawn, simple home maintenance like having the gutters cleaned out, etc ? There is currently an enormous inventory of condos on the market and if you had to relocate for some reason, and had to sell your condo, you would be competing with all those condos on the market. I say go for the home. Have you looked at the neighborhood of Madison Park? Montclaire? they are quite close to South Park, easy Uptown commute and you could find something nice in your price range in those neighborhoods. I would love to help you. Feel free to call or email. Gail@ModernCharlotte.com or 704.957.9107
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Shonn Ross, Agent, Charlote, NC
Mon Sep 21, 2009
Hi Zach, given the zip codes you have listed, I would definately recommend purchasing a single family as far as appreciation goes....your return on condos would be better if you were looking to buy in the neighborhoods closer into the center city. A single family will require more time in upkeep and maintenance, but you also will not have the monthly HOA fees. I am more than happy to help in any way...it is really inmportant to buy smart, especially with your first home. If you would like to share any specifics as far as size, number of bedrooms baths...a "wish list"..I would happy to send some homes to you that I think would be good purchases...thanks much to the questions...Shonn
Web Reference:  http://www.savvyshonn.com
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Debbie and S…, Agent, Charlotte, NC
Mon Sep 21, 2009
Hi Zach,

It's definitely best to buy a single family home. I leave in area 28270 and would be most happy to give you guidance in purchasing your first home. If you close within the next 70 days, you should be able to qualify for the $8,000 tax credit. Please contact me at your earliest convenience.

Debbie Arriero, ABR, CRS, GRI, SRES
Realtor, Broker
Arriero Realty, Inc.
0 votes
Shelley Simm…, , Charlotte, NC
Mon Sep 21, 2009
Hi Zack,
A home tends to hold it's resale value better than a condo. I would love to help you find the perfect home and can meet with you this week to start looking. Just e-mail me direct with your contact information or call me and I can start sending some to your e-mail to look at today. My direct phone number is 704-619-7355 and e-mail is CarolinaMegaTeam@aol.com You can also begin a search on my website at http://www.CarolinaExecutiveHomes.com
I love helping first time home buyers make a good investment and look forward to hearing from you.
Shelley Simmons -Remax
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