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atlrvr

What would it take to get you to move to Uptown?

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You can do it now. Sure, it is not on the same level of NYC or Boston, but you can make it work. I lived uptown for 3 years, walked to work, grocery, restaurant, etc. Took the bus to points further from uptown. Rented a car for road trips. I always enjoyed the walk to/from work.

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Do you have a car at all? I live with my partner and we each have a car but are thinking about getting rid of one of them. We live in 3rd Ward, I work in 4th, and he works in Southend. On weekends when we don't have to work we don't drive at all.

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I would love to live Uptown, however for us it is a matter of space/cost.

As a family of 5 currently living in a 1800 sqft home in Matthews we bought last year for $128k, there is simply no way we can find an equivalent space in the city at even the $200-250k we could afford.

If I was single I would be living in either Noda or SouthEnd in a heartbeat.

With the light rail opening the south line this month, I have been looking in that area for opportunities. That entire corridor is set to explode over the next 5 years...

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hmmm... I am referring to Church Street between 6th Street and 9th/10th, all the way over to Graham. As for getting approached by strangers on those streets at night -- well HECK, that's commonplace. What is NOT normal (and I would definitely characterize as a "mugging" is when three adult males are approached by 5-8 individuals who have 2x4's and chase you all the way to the firehouse across from Chapel Watch, before the police finally arrive (broke my blackberry in the process when I was hit with a rock). What is the "perception" though -- the following link is the snapshot taken from cmpd.org this morning of incidents within 1,300 feet of Chapel Watch - 525 North Church Street (certainly a respectable address, let's see what it shows). Be mindful, these are not all the crimes; for space's sake, I deleted things such as "fraud," "forgery," "worthless check," crimes, etc. See below-----

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Great topic. I enjoyed most of the posts and I wonder if a different twist on the topic might be in order. It seems like for the last 5 years or so most of the developers have been targeting the young 20ish buyers that have historically been more inclined to rent than to buy. I think the combination of very low rates and easy credit (100% loans) has spiked demand and provided developers with an opportunity to avoid the slow profits (build and hold) of apartment development for the much faster cash out money associated with building condos. Amatuer investors have joined in the fun, made some good money flipping and assisted the developers in getting more projects to the market quickly.

However, with credit market tightening mostly aimed at the very demographic developers have so agressively courted, I wonder whether the young buyers of these urban projects will start to pay more attention to the big premium they've been paying for the priviledge of owning. It seems to me that they might ignore a steep premium to own if they perceive that renting will most likely cause them to miss out on big gains in appreciation. But how much more escalation in prices does everyone think our market can sustain before owning these condos (even the ones considered entry level) just doesn't pencil out for the average Joe or Jane on a typical income ?

To illusrate my point at an extreme, people in Florida that are in serious need of a home can't seem to bring themselves to buy because their perception is that the FL market is in a free-fall and any deal they can get today will be better tomorrow, or next year even. So they bite the bullet and rent. My guess is they are or would do so even if they were paying a slight premium to rent (vs own) because they feel like holding off on buying offers more upside than a small premium to rent.

Here in Charlotte however, it is reversed and the annual premium paid to own vs rent is quite large so it seems to me that it wouldn't take much of a swing in buyer psychology (expectation of flat or declining condo prices) for demand to dry up quickly. That's not to say that there wouldn't be demand to live in some of the very same buildings I just think the preference might be to rent them rather than own the unit. And if my theory held they're would be plenty of dissapointed flippers desperate to rent them

So, more specific to the thread topic, would you pay a premium to own vs rent in Uptown ? If so, how much ? And how (for sake of assumption) might a perception of 2-3 years of flat condo prices influence or change your thinking ?

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^ This is why uptown needs apartment projects so badly. There needs to be enough diversity of opportunity to withstand market swings... not to mention that renters are a fundamentally different demographic that add a different flavor of lifestyle to the community. Part of the reason that uptown lacks an established "underground" scene is that there aren't enough low-cost options for students and artists to be able to move in.

Personally, I couldn't afford a condo straight out of college so I rented uptown when the opportunity presented itself. You can still find a reasonable rate if you pay close attention and jump on vacancies quickly, but at this point the demand for uptown apartments far exceeds the supply. With the area developing so quickly (and in some ways, permanently), it would be nice if we could see the inevitable influx of lower-rent units sooner rather than later so they are taken into consideration by city planners while we still have a blank canvas to work with.

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Part of the reason that uptown lacks an established "underground" scene is that there aren't enough low-cost options for students and artists to be able to move in.

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A small, but significant, addition to the quality of life in 4th Ward:

The grass lot at the corner of 9th and Graham, which had failed as a parkspace in years gone by and been a gathering place for vagrants and drug users, is being replaced by the Fourth Ward Children's Park. Volunteers will be on site this Saturday to work on getting the park equipped with playground sets. This article in today's Observer provides a little more detail.

Though this is obviously not as large a greenspace as the others we're anticipating in the area, it's a big step for people who are seriously considering moving their children uptown. Fourth Ward Park is very kid-friendly, but the playground equipment there is almost too difficult for an adult to scale, and there's something of a space crunch occurring there on busy days. This park, though small, is the kind of place that yardless families absolutely require, and will be another step in the progression of redevelopment northward of Trade St.

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A small, but significant, addition to the quality of life in 4th Ward:

The grass lot at the corner of 9th and Graham, which had failed as a parkspace in years gone by and been a gathering place for vagrants and drug users, is being replaced by the Fourth Ward Children's Park. Volunteers will be on site this Saturday to work on getting the park equipped with playground sets. This article in today's Observer provides a little more detail.

Though this is obviously not as large a greenspace as the others we're anticipating in the area, it's a big step for people who are seriously considering moving their children uptown. Fourth Ward Park is very kid-friendly, but the playground equipment there is almost too difficult for an adult to scale, and there's something of a space crunch occurring there on busy days. This park, though small, is the kind of place that yardless families absolutely require, and will be another step in the progression of redevelopment northward of Trade St.

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This will also make the northern end of Graham a juicier location for redevelopment. I'm sure that the addition of Citadel and Garrison had something to do with the decision to move this forward after so many years of just letting the lot sit vacant.

BTW, this lot is adjacent to a small parking lot that's a notorious hangout for seedy characters. I have had my own car ripped off there before, though the major loss was just a cell phone. If the park sparks some change in that little block, it will help shift some petty crime away from the residential part of uptown.

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