Out-of-state investors are scooping up Charlotte homes

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CHARLOTTE (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) — The Charlotte Housing market is as hot as it has ever been, and out-of-state investors are creating and even more competitive atmosphere.

For Stephen Massa, family is everything. That is why he is hoping to make the daily commute from Steele Creek to pick up his grandchild in NoDa a little shorter.

“We would prefer to be closer to them,” Massa said. “But that’s unrealistic at this point in time.”

For sale single-family homes are flying off the market in record time.

“The inventory is low,” Massa said.

The bidding process for homes that are available is quick, competitive, and in some eyes – unfair for individual buyers because of outside investors.

“So, Mega-companies… think all of the big investment companies out of California and New York coming in and purchasing massive trenches of typically new single-family homes,” owner of Matt Stone Real Estate Matt Stone said.

He said investment firms like Homes 4 Rent and Goldman Sachs offer sellers more than asking price, demand less, and use online algorithms to put down immediate offers with similar templates offers.

“This is what to expect when working with our group.’ An as-is purchase, we are not going to ask for anything, we are not going to see the home, our agent will do a walk-through the day before closing to make sure it is still standing and beyond that proceed at closing,” Stone said.

He said investors dipping into housing markets is not just happening in Queen City.

According to Realtor.com, investor purchases across the US have increased drastically within the last year and the Charlotte market is a prime target.

“Entire neighborhoods are being turned over largely,” Stone said. “They are collateralizing them, renting them out and putting property management in place.”

When properties in neighborhoods like Steele Creek go on market, homeowners say they have seen 45 offers within days. Nearly half are by LLC’s, which are offering up to 20% over asking price.

“This is the sweet spot, this is the spot that a million dollars can get you three to four homes,” Reunion MontClaire HOA President Gordon Mullings said.

To prevent LLC’s from scooping up available homes and turning them into rental properties, the South Steele Creek neighborhood created its own regulations.

“I felt it was appropriate, timely, and necessary,” Massa said.

Earlier this summer, Massa was one of several homeowners to vote and pass a rental cap.

“I have seen through the years what the deleterious effect of what rentals can do,” Massa said.

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“it’s not anti-rental, but it’s a matter of saying like, ‘hey, we want to keep it at a certain pace because if you don’t have skin in the game, that’s when you start seeing the properties get a lot of lawn violations and things like that, that can bring down a community,” Mullings said.

Not all communities have the ability to monitor who is buying, including the City of Charlotte.

“Perhaps this is a point in time we will see homeownership over time, but the city has no way to control people purchasing investment properties,” Housing and Neighborhood Services Director Pamela Wideman said.

Instead, the city is offering assistance programs for low-income families to help qualify for homeowners.

“Everyone talks a big game about affordable housing but if entire communities are being built on an affordable basis and then purchased by a New York investment bank I don’t know what that did to solve the problem or even help,” Stone said.

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