Charlotte, N.C.

The sales pitch

This 8-year-old four-bedroom house features an open floor plan on the main level, a carpeted great room with a two-story ceiling, gas fireplace and built-in bookshelves. It opens to an eat-in kitchen with a center island, granite counters, cathedral window, recessed lighting, hardwood cabinets and a built-in desk. A separate formal dining room is finished with hardwood floors and a chair railing. On the second story, the master bedroom has an oversize window and master bath with dual sinks, a garden tub and a separate glass shower. The house also has a covered front porch, patio and two-car garage.

Price: $200,000
Area median price: $185,300 (down 0.1 percent from one year earlier)
4 bedrooms/3 baths
Approximately 2,500 square feet
.22 acre lot
Gas fireplace
Great room open to kitchen
Master suite with garden tub, separate shower
Listed by: The Ramsey Group/Keller Williams University City

“One of the biggest selling features is the community,” says Lisa Ramsey, Realtor with the Ramsey Group/Keller Williams Realty. “This house is in a master-planned community featuring five pools, a fitness center and public golf course. It’s a great neighborhood.”

What else you can get for $200,000

In the Charlotte area, the buyer with $200,000 to spend will “have lots of options,” says Laurie Knudsen, president of the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association as well as broker-in-charge and general sales manager for Helen Adams Realty.

“Charlotte is amazingly affordable,” she says.

For the most part, buyers can get a four-bedroom house with at least 2,000 square feet and a garage, “depending on the part of the city you’re in,” she says.

In town, condos and town houses dominate the options at that price, and buyers will see properties with two to three bedrooms and 1,200 to 1,300 square feet, Knudsen says. In the suburbs, $200,000 buyers can claim a 3,000-square-foot home on a quarter acre or more, she says.

One hot area for $200,000 buyers: north of the city near the University of North Carolina campus — where there’s a lot of new development, Knudsen says.

Prices declined in 2010 and are down about 20 percent from two to three years ago, Knudsen estimates. But these days, supply and demand are evening out and short sales and foreclosures are tapering off, she says. “People who are not in a distressed, short-sale or foreclosure situation are going to wait the market out.”

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