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Old 03-11-2010, 05:46 PM
 
17 posts, read 24,192 times
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Hi! I wanted to get some guidance on the condo market at Uptown Charlotte. I am about 37, married, with no kids - we might have one in a year or two. Here is some other information that might be useful:

1. We're looking for an uptown condo in under 250 K range and are concerned about further fall in value, even from here - we fully understand that values are currently depressed but that there might be more pain ahead in the Uptown condo market.
2. We currently rent in uptown and really like the area - Huntersville / Ballantyne are our other options. We have been here over 15 months and have stable employment.
3. We are concerned about excess capacity in Uptown Charlotte and everyone seems to advise against getting into the Condo market - since we will have a family in a year or two, we have been advised to buy a single family home in Ballantyne / Huntersville.
4. My wife does not currently drive - she is learning currently; we've never been in a city without public transportation before but she is learning how to drive right now.

Given our circumstances, my questions are:
1. Should we buy a condo?
2. If yes, at what price / what should we offer? What buildings do you recommend?
3. Are values at uptown still out of sync with reality? HOA fees here are pretty stiff here and that is another consideration.
3. If no, which suburb is better Huntersville / Ballantyne - of course, we will think of single-family homes in these suburbs!
4. Is there any other consideration that we should have before we make the plunge?
5. I've heard that some uptown condos have an issue with Argon gas (known to potentially cause lung cancer) - does anyone know of this issue? Any place we can find facts?

I appreciate any help - thanks in advance.
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:33 PM
 
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If your wife doesn't drive but you are looking at condos, I would look at Southend by the light rail. You can get a little more space for your buck and be able to go downtown quickly.
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Old 03-11-2010, 10:01 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
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You might regret buying a condo with a plan to have a kid soon. The spaces are too small in a condo for a family (imo). You'll probably want to sell the condo after a couple years for more space and then you won't be able to sell it for what you paid for it.

Have your wife learn to drive and get comfortable with it and then see if she's ok with driving on highways and major roads.

Since you like living in uptown, just continue to rent until you have a child, then see if you still want to stay there with a child.
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Old 03-12-2010, 10:35 AM
 
17 posts, read 24,192 times
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Default Uptown Charlotte Condos

Thank you to both of you - appreciate it. We can afford a ~1000 sq ft place - 2 bed, 2 bath set-up in Uptown etc. I've checked Southend and don't find the area is very safe - it's not well lit, for one; it is still a consideration for us.

Also, we will be able to upgrade to a single family home in about 2 years - given that she's not pregnant yet, buying a condo seems to work from a timing perspective. Still, I wonder if this additional information helps you answer my question on which uptown / Southend condos could be a consideration given our budget / needs.

Thanks again,
H
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Old 03-12-2010, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Union County
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Go into this decision assuming you will NOT be able to sell the condo when it comes time to buy a home. For instance, be sure the association will allow you to rent it if you move out.

Think very carefully about this decision vs. just renting... because frankly you can find a 2bed rental situation pretty easily until you are ready for a home.
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Old 03-12-2010, 11:13 AM
 
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Thanks MikeyKid - the assumption is NOT to sell the condo after 2 yrs, but rent it out and yes we will research the association so that it allows renting. Great advice - thank you!

The "just rent" situation for 2 bed seems economically unviable because it is nearly $1500 to rent uptown and that could be my mortgage amount.
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Old 03-12-2010, 01:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry72 View Post
Thanks MikeyKid - the assumption is NOT to sell the condo after 2 yrs, but rent it out and yes we will research the association so that it allows renting. Great advice - thank you!

The "just rent" situation for 2 bed seems economically unviable because it is nearly $1500 to rent uptown and that could be my mortgage amount.
I've seen 2 Beds for much less uptown. Rents have really plummeted. Try the St. Peters Building. Check craigslist. I can't give you advice on buying, but there are lots of rental deals to be had uptown now.
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Old 03-12-2010, 02:15 PM
 
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You might want to consider a townhouse with your children situation. Additionally, remember that condos have condo fees that generally go up as soon as they are filled and from then on. I would lean towards Southend or Dilworth if I were you. There are parks and children around and it is safe. In a townhouse, you don't have to worry about footfall noise from your upstairs neighbors. Prices are really great at this time for whatever you opt to do. It is the time to buy a place regardless of whether a condo or townhome. Rents are down too, but you might kick yourself in two or three years for not investing actually purchasing a place.
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Old 03-12-2010, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Union County
5,999 posts, read 9,215,865 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArthurMcAlister View Post
Prices are really great at this time for whatever you opt to do. It is the time to buy a place regardless of whether a condo or townhome. Rents are down too, but you might kick yourself in two or three years for not investing actually purchasing a place.


If you think people will be "kicking themselves" in 2-3 years for not purchasing now, then you have to be ignoring what's going in the economy and housing market.
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Old 03-12-2010, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
2,193 posts, read 4,787,825 times
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Will your income be able to support your 2 mortgages when you purchase a single family home? That's something to take into consideration. I think you have to prove to lenders that you are collecting rental income for a solid two years. I'm not sure though of the details on that though. You may want to double check on how difficult it is to get a 2nd mortgage before jumping into buying a condo.
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