Posted on June 22, 2012 at 5:39 PM
Friday, Jun 22 at 5:57 PM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Popular builder Saussy Burbank is asking the owners of smaller, older homes in Dilworth to sell to them so they can tear the homes down and built newer, more expensive homes in their place.
Saussy Burbank officials say it’s because Dilworth is a great location and their new homes in Dilworth sell almost as soon as they are listed.
Some neighbors say the move is pricing older, long-time Dilworth homeowners out of the neighborhood.
Renee McCollum has lived on Diana Drive in Dilworth since 1961.
"This is pretty much the only house I've ever known,” she said.
McCollum says she's gotten a couple of letters over the last couple of months from Saussy Burbank offering to buy her house. She won’t move and won’t take the deal.
McCollum says Saussy Burbank’s offer was in the low $200 thousand dollar range – and the mid $200 thousand dollar range was as high as they would go due to the expense of tearing homes down.
She doesn’t think the offer was fair.
"Absolutely not, our tax value has skyrocketed with reassessment and our homes are close to 300 thousand dollars tax value now,” McCollum said.
“My house was just revalued for $300,000,” said neighbor Lorna Graves. “I don’t know much about real estate, but you get more than the tax value for your house.”
McCollum says Saussy Burbank is taking advantage of recent property revaluations, knowing some folks are having a harder time paying their property tax bills. "We're struggling to pay our taxes on some of these homes and we've got a lot of people on this street who have been here longer than I have, they are retires and on a fixed income,” McCollum said.
Saussy Burbank says it sent about 80 letters. Some accepted their offer. Others homeowners are coming to them unsolicited asking Saussy Burbank to buy their homes.
Saussy Burbank officials say their offer is about a great location and meeting demand, not revaluation.
Neighbors like the way the homes look, despite their concerns.
The new homes are selling for about $650 thousand dollars.
"It's taking away from our neighborhood, it's changing it and we either grow with it or grow out,” McCollum said.
Saussy Burbank says their homes retain the character of Dilworth, they've gotten many compliments and are looking for more lots.