Home Buying in Charlotte>Question Details

Amil, Other/Just Looking in Charlotte, NC

My husband and I is looking to move to Charlotte from Michigan. We are looking for a land contract in Sept 09.

Asked by Amil, Charlotte, NC Mon Feb 2, 2009

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Wow. Frightening that so many "experts" don't recognize the term "land contract." That term is popular in Michigan and surrounding areas. You may find that other terms describing similar activities--such as "lease option" or "lease purchase" or "contract for deed" are more familiar to people in Charlotte. There are some differences, but the concept is very much the same.

I've written frequently on how to locate lease options, land contracts, etc. A Realtor may be a good place to start, but make sure that he/she goes beyond searching the MLS for "land contract" (or "lease option"). A couple of other suggestions: Properties that are listed both for rent and for sale are ideal candidates; the owner clearly doesn't need their equity out immediately. A land contract/lease option just combines the two approaches: renting and purchasing.

If that doesn't produce enough good leads, have your Realtor search for properties for sale with long DOM (days on market). Those owners may be willing to do a land contract. Similarly, look for properties for rent that aren't renting. Those owners may be willing to rent now and sell later.

To broaden your prospects even more, if necessary, use some non-Realtor strategies too. For instance, look on Craigslist for lease options, rent-to-own, land contracts, etc. Or post your own item under "Real Estate Wanted." Also, you can contact FSBOs (for sale by owner) properties. Especially in today's market, FSBOs don't do well. You'd be a live prospect with a solution to their problems.

To get really creative, identify an area you'd like to live in. Then do a direct mail campaign to that area.

And there are plenty of other ways, too.

As for timing, you'd probably be better off waiting until June or July. People who are open to land contracts probably want to do so quickly. (With a lease option, when an owner does that they're prepared to "rent" almost immediately.) You can try now, but you're likely to be most successful later this year. However, certainly use that time to determine what areas of Charlotte you'd like to live in, and to find a Realtor in the Charlotte area you think can meet your needs.

Hope that helps.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 18, 2009
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
I am a former Michigan resident, now a Realtor here in Charlotte since 1993. I know exactly what you are looking for when you say you want a "land contract", as I was a Realtor there for many years, and have experience with that type of financing. There are some homes that are available with that type of financing, so please contact me with your e-mail address and I will forward those MLS listings to you for your review. My e-mail address is rberrey@wilkinsonandassociates.com. If you prefer, just call my cell phone at 704-904-0148.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 18, 2009
I'm confused. Are you looking to purchase a plat of property, or are you looking for a "land sale" contract where the seller holds the deed until payment is complete? If you are looking for land, you might want to look at Rowan County (Salisbury area). We do not have a county water or sewer system unless the property is inside the city limits of one of our municipalities. Therefore, the building lots have to be big enough to allow a private well and septic tank with room for future repairs if needed . I currently have properties w/26, 46, 99 acres and a house with 49 acres. Rowan County is only about a 30-40 minute drive to Charlotte, straight up Interstate 85N.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 17, 2009
I know of a nice home available on "land contract" that will be available for August or September occupancy.
Visit my website ' http://;www.ownthesehomes.com" and scroll down to the middle of the page. then click on the photo named "spectacular golf course home" for more information. You can also call me at 888-979-9970 toll free.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 17, 2009
If your set on Charlotte, then hit a local realtor in that area that already has land for sale, odds are they know that region well. Just wondering why on earth someone would want to build in this market when you have such a vast inventory of beautiful homes, at rock bottom pricing? You might want to talk to a local agent in Charlotte and ask them about sales verses listings. Why would you want to build a new home in an area that is declining? Just wondering, but if your retiring and you want a dream home, go for it. Good Luck to you and your husband, and WELCOME to Florida!
Web Reference: http://www.LizaMcKeever.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 2, 2009
First of all I am NOT in real estate. Do you want somewhere to build yourself a new home? Do you want to build a spec home? You need to consider whether you want to live close to uptown/light rail or in the outer 'burbs. The 'burbs will offer a larger lot. The areas closest to the city are most sought after, but much more affordable and readily available than a few years ago.
I would almost recommend checking out which neighborhoods you think are cool based on the lifestyle you want and driving around for desirable lots. There are plenty of people out there who may be interested in selling whether they are listing their properties or not. Good luck! You will love the Charlotte weather I guarantee it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 2, 2009
Depending on what lot size you are looking for prices can range from 100K-1mm in the surrounding neighborhoods of Uptown. If you haven't purchased a lot before, here are just a few things to consider:

What is the property zoned for?
Does the seller have builder restrictions?
Does the property have utility access (water, electricity, sewer)?
Soil quality and land topography could impact cost...get this checked.
Road access? Public or private?

If you wish to receive automatic updates on the land currently available in Charlotte and the new listings that may hit the market before September, just send me an email. I'll get the CMLS information forwarded directly to you.

Best of luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 2, 2009
Well there is certainly opportunity in the Charlotte area to find you something. The area is very broad and I would love to hear from you directly so that I could ask you a few more questions and set up a search for you.. My buyers love it.. If you would like that please give me a call on my mobile at 704-607-7514. I do hae access to properties in the Charlotte and surrounding areas.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 2, 2009
What part of Charlotte are you interested in?

Brian Haigler
Keller Williams Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 2, 2009
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