Turnaround City: Charlotte's Real Estate Rebound

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The Challenge: Four years ago, Robert and Susan Aliota had their dream home in mind: more square footage, a downstairs master, in their sons’ current school district, all on a large lot on the golf course at Carmel Country Club, where they’re members. Two years ago, they began looking seriously. When a 1960s Mansard-style home that satisfied all of the Aliotas’ desires went on the market in the Montibello neighborhood, the couple knew this could be the one. But while the home had great bones and was on a large 1.28-acre wooded, golf course lot, it needed major renovations. Their real estate agent, Dave DeSilva, urged them to give the house a second look. And with an asking price a third of the sales prices of homes on the same street, the Aliotas couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make this their dream home.

The Options: Because the home was priced just right—the asking price was $700,000 to $800,000 less than the sales prices of homes on the same street—the Aliotas knew that they couldn’t pass it up. After consulting with residential designer Jeanine Devaney and a designer with Shea Custom Homes, they realized they could add their personal touch to the home and likely still come under budget.

The Decision: The Aliotas opted to transform the two-story 4,400-square-foot home into a three-story 5,800-square-foot Georgian-style beauty. With the help of their designer, the couple added a third story and created an open floor plan ideal for the couple, who entertain often. “This is the home we plan to retire in,” Susan says. “Besides allowing us the lifestyle we wanted, we made an investment.” A sound investment indeed: in 2012 the home was appraised for 40 percent more than the Aliotas put into it. “I think it’s a great move for them,” says DeSilva, who is with Allen Tate. “They’re happy there and they got to do what they wanted with the home.”

Next: Go Big; Go Suburban


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