For Many, Buying May Be More Affordable Than Renting in Charlotte

For Many, Buying May Be More Affordable Than Renting in Charlotte


The choice between buying and renting a home is a personal one, no matter where you live. Renting might be better until you have more money for a down payment. Buying may be better if you’re planning on staying in one city a while.

Need help making the call? Real estate database company Zillow reports that in the most recent quarter of 2014, buying a home in Charlotte was about twice as affordable as renting.

On average, home buyers in Charlotte spent 13.1 percent of their income on mortgage payments in the third quarter of 2014. That’s less than half of the 26.3 percent renters in Charlotte spent of their monthly income.

The numbers are similar in cities across the country, as rents soar nationwide while incomes remain largely flat. Meanwhile, home prices have stayed relatively stable – and well below pre-recession levels.

Despite that affordability, home ownership has declined across the country, even as the housing market has recovered. One reason, experts say, is that millennials have to save longer to make down payments that are higher than they used to be, thanks to stricter lending rules. If you’re among those who need to wait a while longer before buying, Charlotte has a thriving apartment inventory, especially in desirable locations for millennials such as Uptown and South End. If you’re ready to purchase, it’s time to find the right real estate agent. Before you select one, ask yourself a few questions: Are most of the agent’s listings in neighborhoods where I want to live? How many of the agent’s listings are appealing? How quickly does the agent offer references?

If the answer to the last question is “not very quickly,” you want might want to look elsewhere. Here are four more warning signs of a bad real estate agent.

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