Affordability, investment guide one homebuyer

Young Charlottean takes advantage of lower home prices

When 2008 Johnson & Wales grad Robert Penry witnessed the economy crash and real estate bubble burst, he didn’t see red flags and caution in his future. Like so many others who found a buyers’ market attractive, Penry undertook his own journey toward home ownership. That long process has finally paid off.

Some new home buyers can still take advantage of foreclosures and lowered sale prices. Photo Credit: respres, via Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons.

Some new home buyers can still take advantage of foreclosures and lowered sale prices. Photo Credit: respres, via Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons.

After what he said was a long and sometimes frustrating process, Penry, 23, finally found the home he was looking for. It’s a modest three bedroom ranch in the established Windsor Park neighborhood in East Charlotte. The affordability wasn’t the only feature to hook him.

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“I liked the accessibility,” he says. “It’s close to university, downtown, South Park. It’s relatively close to everything.”

While he’s happy now, Penry wasn’t singing the same tune a couple months ago. He started scouting out possible purchases in June 2009, but never had much luck.

“When I first started looking, investors were snatching everything up left and right and paying cash,” he says. “I needed traditional financing options, like a mortgage, and people were selling to folks with cash before people like me.”

After looking through about 40 different homes, Penry went into contract on one before finding out the home needed extensive repairs. On a second contract, the home inspection turned up the same result. For Penry, it seems third time is a charm.

“The house is pretty much move-in ready,” he says. “It has several new items, like a relatively new roof, new heating and air units and new carpet.”

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He says he doesn’t plan on spending much to up-fit the home, although he’d like to refinish the hardwood floors and renovate the kitchen and bathrooms. He’s pleased about the affordability of the home and his ability to invest, looking forward to a possible return in the future.

And, he has some cautionary advise for those looking to jump into the homeowners’ circle.

“You get what you pay for,” he says. “If you can afford a little more, it will be worth it in the long run.”

He says to remember that a less expensive home might be placed in a not-so-delightful neighborhood or it may be in need of extensive repairs. Home inspections are a must. “I’ve spent probably $1,500 on home inspections. Ultimately, it was well worth it to know what I am or am not getting into.” : :

This article was published in the March 6—March 19 print edition.

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Posted by Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.