Whether you’re not sure exactly how much home you can afford, where in your city you want to live, or what it means to “make an offer,” it’s understandable to feel a bit overwhelmed. Here at Bungalo, we break down the buying process so you feel confident and prepared to take on whatever the real estate market brings your way.
One way to quell some home buying nerves is to learn more about your specific market—because let’s face it: every real estate market has its own ups and downs. So far, we’ve tackled the Dallas-Fort Worth, Tampa, and Nashville markets, so let’s learn more about the Charlotte, North Carolina real estate scene.
Over the last decade, Charlotte has had a lightning surge of growth, with an increase of 888,000 people—a growth rate of nearly 60 percent. This large increase in population is mostly due to a booming Charlotte economy thanks to its presence as a major player in the finance world. And unlike other traditional finance-heavy cities like New York or San Francisco, the cost of living is still relatively low. Besides a strong economy, Charlotte offers home buyers unique architecture, great weather, and a bounty of crave-worthy cultural attractions (including a burgeoning food scene, with some of the country’s top chefs, mixologists, and bakers flocking to the Queen City).
Thinking about making a move to the Charlotte area? Here’s what you’ll need to know as you begin your search.
1. Workplace Proximity is Worth Its Weight in Gold in Charlotte
If you live in Charlotte, its inevitable you’ll be driving most places, so ensuring that your house is located a decent distance from your workplace is well advised as you hunt for your new home.
“I always tell people to drive on weekdays to look at property or at least before you make the offer, make the commute during a normal 9 to 5 and not a Saturday or Sunday showing,” says Matt Stone, a Charlotte realtor. “The traffic can be quite heavy—we call it ‘Atlanta light.’”
That house you love that’s located about 30 minutes away (minus traffic) may check off all your boxes, but do you really want to spend that time in bumper-to-bumper traffic? It’s important to weigh those pros and cons as you go through the home buying process in Charlotte.
2. If You See It and You Like It, Make an Offer!
Even though Charlotte is growing—and fast—Charlotte-based realtor Genevieve Williams says multiple offer situations on are the decline, giving you some breathing room to make an offer with confidence.
Houses still get snapped up quickly in the Charlotte area, though. With an average time on market around 36 days.
In other words, it’s good to tour multiple homes to take a look at the square footage, do comparisons, or take a look at the neighborhoods. But when you find a home you love in Charlotte, you should make an offer quickly.
3. Be on the Hunt for “Coming Soon” Listings
Because Charlotte is growing so rapidly, inventory is getting tight. But this doesn’t mean you can’t find your dream home in the charming city, it just means that scouring the internet for current listings in hopes of finding “the one” might have to be your back-up plan.
So what’s the secret to finding a move-in ready home within your budget before everyone else? Search for “coming soon” listings. At Bungalo, we preview all of our “coming soon” listings 30 days before they hit the market to give you a clear idea of the inventory coming your way. Every one of our “coming soon” listing gives you an idea of neighborhood, square footage, and bed and bath count. We’ll even alert you when it hits the market and you can set up a tour on your time (before the masses)!
Another good thing about the tight market? Multiple offer situations are on the decline in the city, says Williams. This means that if a house is in your price range and you are prepared with a pre-approval, down payment, and earnest money, you’re likely to get a deal off and running without much competition from other potential buyers.
4. Craftsman Homes Are Abundant In Town and Traditional Style Homes Rule the Suburbs
A good way to describe the architectural style in Charlotte is traditional—but with a little bit of variety.
In the in-town market, you’ll see historic craftsman bungalows with all of their hallmarks like built-ins and classic front porches built for rocking chairs and lemonade. And with some of the newer construction in the city, you’ll also start to see more of the modern farmhouse look (think Joanna Gaines-style shiplap and sliding barn doors). Then there’s the suburbs, where you’ll see more of the traditional Colonial charmers with red or pink and white brick.
“Charlotte’s fairly traditional because it’s a Southern banking town, so outside of the craftsman, you’re going to see a traditional home type,” Williams says.
Just like its architecture, Charlotte’s still got a lot of traditional southern charm with just the right amount of modern style. All of the fixings to make you feel right at home.