Charlotte is full of neighborhoods that have been around the block a few times. They’ve seen the good, bad and ugly of change. Some of the city’s most popular neighborhoods today weren’t the most popular neighborhoods ten years ago. One of my favorite transformation stories is the Belmont neighborhood.
When I was a new real estate broker and cutting my teeth over 10 years ago, my interest in real estate was in the “up and coming” neighborhoods. My eyes were hawk-eyed focused on the neighborhood of Belmont. I’ve been writing about it since 2013!
Belmont is situated adjacent to Plaza Midwood snuggled up against the edge of uptown Charlotte in the area code of 28205. The coolest area code in the Charlotte area is also home to NODA –the Art District, Villa Heights, Plaza Shamrock, and other popular neighborhoods. When my first-time homebuyers asked my opinion of where to buy I would always suggest we look in Belmont. Yes, there is also a town named Belmont in Gaston County but don’t get them confused. Plaza Midwood and NODA were usually the preferred spots but these neighborhoods were already pricing first-time buyers out of the market and Belmont was just right there, oh so close.
Belmont had a downtime where the neighborhood had deteriorated, small businesses had left and crime had increased. The fear factor associated with Belmont was real and, frankly, justified. However, it just didn’t take a real estate investing or buying genius to see the enormous impending shift that was about to happen.
My husband Kurt and I spent our non-working time exploring neighborhoods on foot. We walked every nook and cranny of Belmont and often dreamed of buying one of the closed-up brick storefronts to resurrect with something cool and funky. Today those same abandoned storefronts are packed with commerce on the main St. Belmont Ave. Bloom and Bottle — A florist and bar, Love! The best burger in town and the best BBQ. The neighborhood is also home to two breweries: Birdsong and Catawba Brewing.
Interestingly, I sold a house in the heart of Belmont to investors from California in 2015. They wanted my opinion on the best neighborhoods to invest in and they would buy wherever I recommended. They purchased the house for $100k. This house was a small cute bungalow that needed some work. These investors didn’t put any money into their Belmont house. Instead, they used it for a rental and the house fell into even more disrepair. They eventually started to renovate the inside but before it was done they called me earlier this year to ask my opinion about next steps.
They were considering two options.
- Continue to renovate
- Sell as is?
After discussing the current market in Charlotte and Belmont in particular they decided to stop dead in their renovating tracks and sell as is. This home just hit the market in worse condition than when the sellers purchased it over seven years ago and it is selling for four times what they paid.
Had the needed repairs been done over the years and the full renovation complete( yes they would have had a greater investment), the sale price would have been more like six times their initial investment. Six times!
All this to say, Belmont has had a dizzying upside. Even beyond the Charlotte general real estate trend. Why? because there was an undeniable business aspect to this neighborhood making it another NODA with shops, food, drinks, and walkability.
The best part is the transformation is only beginning. There is even more business coming soon to the area.