Posted on July 7, 2014 at 6:30 PM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Cherry is walkable neighborhood, right down the road from the Little Sugar Creek Greenway. It's a mix of the old and the new, and you can see it by looking at the house. One, a modern, boxy gray and wood paneled home on Baldwin Avenue, isn't quite finished. But it looks new, on the inside and out.
"You can see, there's enough room to do a little swimming pool," says Elizabeth Grillo, looking out on the back yard.
Grillo found several vacant lots in Cherry, where's she's built several new homes in a neighborhood where the average house was built in 1937. So, you might be thinking, why not just buy an existing house in a place like this and fix it up? Because, recently the market's come back, and Grillo says, buyers are getting pickier.
"People are a little more impatient maybe these days," says Grillo, "and when prices go up, you want your house to be perfect."
And, they want more space. Families are getting smaller, but homes are getting bigger. In 1973, the average new house was 1,660 square feet. Today, it's 2,679 square feet.
"People will trend to build higher square footage these days to please the buyers and get a better price on a house," says Grillo.
In Cherry, the average house is 1,553 square feet, but property values have been going way up, 6 percent since 2003, according to Mecklenburg County tax records. That means, an older smaller house isn't always a good value, especially with all that can come with it.
"People want that old house feel, but they don't want to have the structural problems, the past insect problems and all of the issues they would have with an older home," says Grillo.
So in the end, it all comes down to value, and whether for you, an old house or a new house will feel like home.