Banktown Foreclosures: Where Misfortune Meets Opportunity
When the Democratic National Convention descends on Charlotte, N.C., in September, and the national spotlight shines bright on the Tar-Heel state, one word will be banned from the corridors of DNC political love fest: foreclosures.
In anticipation of the Democratic National Convention, we featured the Charlotte, N.C. real estate market in the August 2012 issue of the Foreclosure News Report, exploring what investors are doing to prosper in down market.
Here’s a little sneak preview of the article:
Charlotte real estate investor Brian Dunovant, who has bought four dilapidated Charlotte, N.C., houses, fixed up all of them, found tenants for two, flipped one, and is about to list and flip the fourth.
Like hundreds of Charlotte real estate investors, Dunovant has placed his money and energy into the areas growing foreclosure market, turning misfortune into opportunity.
“Two years ago, I was driving through the area and I noticed a lot of empty and boarded-up properties,” said Dunovant, referring to the Villa Heights and the adjacent NoDa (Northern Davidson) neighborhoods northeast of downtown Charlotte. “I also noticed that a lot of properties were being remodeled and flipped. The city was also putting in a light rail and a street car in the area, and the community seemed to be growing.”
That got Dunovant thinking about buying, renovating, renting and flipping foreclosures.
Although he and his wife, Marla, both have full-time jobs, and had no experience in real estate, they started a real estate development company — called it Anne Sue Properties LLC (named after Brian’s mother) — and started buying and restoring run-down homes in the Villa Heights and NoDa communities.
“When you see groups of 30 people jogging together you know there’s a sense of community,” said Dunovant, whose about to list his latest NoDa flip for $229,000.
His agent, Karen Skaar, a broker with Allen Tate Realtors in South Park, saidDunovant is a unique investor, who cares not only about his bottom line, but the communities he invests in.
“Brian makes it a point to be part of the neighborhood,” said Skaar. “He meets with the neighbors and he has befriended them. And the neighbors have warmly embraced him.”
Both of Dunovant’s rentals cash-flow, generating rents ranging from a $550-a-month Section-8 property to a $750-a-month Villa Heights property. “I can probably get $1,100 for the Villa Heights rental because my son lives in the area and rents for that amount.”
“A lot of activity in the Charlotte market is move-up buyers because prices are affordable and interest rates are low,” added Skaar. “And our rental market is insane. Rental prices have been driven up the last couple of years.”
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