An article in yesterday's Charlotte Observer went into detail about several new subdivisions that are decaying quickly, mainly due to foreclosure rates. (Read it HERE)
It's an interesting tale. You'll read about homeowners who saw houses on the internet that looked oh-so-cute but have declined in value...an investor who purchased blocks of houses and then saw their values and rental rates decline to where he was so far behind he let them go....builders who abandoned neighborhoods mid-stream...renters who can't wait to get out.
Blame is certainly flying around the country right now in light of the foreclosure mess. Investors blame underwriters who blame loan officers who blame buyers who blame the government. And truthfully, all should be bearing at least a portion of the burden.
I'll tell you this. When I'm working on behalf of a buyer-whether it's a homeowner or an investor-we're seeking good neighborhoods (no matter what the price point). We don't want communities that are saturated with investment houses (limits on rentals are GOOD for homeowners and investors alike). We don't want a house built by someone who's on the financial brink (can we say warranty?).
I'm not perfect and I'll make my mistakes in life like everyone else. But I do my research in real estate. And if the folks who find themselves in a pickle now had carefully chosen an agent who was working on their behalf (AND if they'd listened), they might not have purchased in these communities.
I worry about the folks who contact me via the websites, and when I talk about buyer agency-I get shooed away, because they don't need me. They know enough about buying houses in Oregon or Florida or Texas and what's different about North Carolina? What may be different is the knowledge about the areas and builders and trends-and those are things that you don't know unless you live this every day.
Do yourself a favor-hire a buyer agent next time (pick a good one, though-do some interviewing). The difference could be avoiding the situation described in this article.
(Leigh Brown is a professional residential real estate expert in Charlotte NC and surrounding areas. I'm also a native-if you want the real scoop, hire me.)