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Dilworth's gentrification


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City leaders discuss gentrification

1/3/2005 9:56 PM

By: Shawn Flynn, News 14 Carolina


Several city leaders expressed concern that a policy preventing gentrification would cancel out their revitalization

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Dilworth, one of Charlotte

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Dilworth is interesting.  When I was a teenager, it was a dangerous neighborhood riddled with XXX bookstores, boarded up houses, and plenty of crime.  As we all know it has improved dramatically considering it really was the first neighborhood to be rennovated by the older baby boomers when they got old enough to buy houses.  Gentrification was started by the baby boomers though it continues today.  In Dillworth's case, I am not so sure that it was a bad idea considering what the place used to look like. 

For the other neighborhoods listed, I don't see how they are going to stop it.  Much of the housing in Belmont for example is owned by slum lords who rent to the very poor.  They bought these places as investments and hope to make money off of them when these areas are re-vitalized.  On the otherhand, the houses in these neighborhoods are much less charming than those in Dillworth and the other neighborhoods that have already been gentrified so it is not so clear these places are going to change as dramatically. 

With that said, real estate is way over valued in Charlotte fueled by very cheap interest.  When, not if, mortgage rates go back up to the 25 year average (somewhere about 8%) you will see the prices in Dilworth and many other places in Charlotte drop dramatically.  But because of its proximity to DT, it will still be expensive to live there compared to all of Charlotte except for parts of Myers Park and Eastover.    And it has some of the most interesting architecture in the city since they razed all of the victorian homes within the inner loop (with few exceptions in 1st ward) in the 70s.

For the kind of money that it takes to live in Dillworth, I would rather live on the lake.


I would think that the only problem that occurs with current residents when "gentrification" happens, is that their property taxes go up with the property value. You really can't stop someone from selling when their property value goes through the roof and I'm not sure why people think its a bad thing when a long-time resident cashes in. Obviously they know what's better for themselves than what City Council might think.

Strange, it is like they are saying "We want it to become nicer, but not TOO nice." Boggles the mind.

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I love Dilworth. I know a couple of families that live there. One couple bought their house about 15 years ago for around $60,000 and of course now, because of the land value alone their cute little house is worth well over $500,000. I'm not sure when the other family moved to Dilworth, but they have been there for quite a while. (The street they live on was used for the filming of Jason Alexander's "tail" scene in shallow hal.)

I think gentrification is always a good thing. If one of the effects of it is that the neighborhood turns a little more homogenous, so be it. Generally speaking, when a neighborhood starts to turn around and people start moving in and fixing up older houses, it's only a matter of time before the neighborhood becomes less diverse. It takes like-minded people to move into a neighborhood that is in bad shape and work together to turn it around.

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We are not going to a depreciation in Dilworth or other older revitalized neighborhoods. Low interest rates usually indicate a lag in the housing market, and mortgage companies are trying to intice people to buy homes with low rates. Higher rates indicate prosperity and the rates are raised to the highest point that people are still willing to pay.....therefore high rates mean that lots of people are buying homes....and high volume means high prices...the faster homes sell, the higher the prices go because sellers aren't afraid of the their house sitting on the market, so they don't typically reduce the price of their house.

Also, Charlotte has been very successful in recruiting companies from more expensive housing markets.....Boston, San Fran to name two big one with BofA acquisitions. As people move here from these markets, they are amazed with the relatively low cost of housing here and pay top dollar, especially in more urban neighborhoods that are most similar to where the came from. Perfect example is a man and his wife who moved here last year from New York city and bought a 3500 sq. ft. house on Queens Rd. West in Myers Park. His mortgage is the same as he was paying to rent a two bedroom apt. in Manhattan.

Charlotte is cheap folks......if anyone thinks it's expensive to live in the older urban neighborhoods, just go look up the prices of comparable homes in similar neigbhorhoods in Boston, Minneapolis, Denver, Miami, San Fran., San Jose, L.A., Washington, D.C., Seattle, or Portland. Or if you really want a good laugh, see what a 1,700 sq. ft. 2Br, 2Ba will cost you in midtown Manhattan......David Furman is selling them for about $600k in Uptown.

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Well....because they are....or at least to economic prosperity that also drives housing demand. They are also a factor of government lending rates and government backed bonds. The simple fact of the matter is that mortgage rates go up as the economy in response to inflation. The higher rates of inflation, the higher the fed raises bank lending rates and the higher mortgages are as a result. Housing appreciation is one of the primary indicators of inflation. If want to see a good example of this, look at national average 30-year mortgage rates and compare them to California (a state that sees the most wild price fluctuations) average home sale prices.

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