Charlotte, NC – Austin, TX – Dallas, TX

4. Charlotte, North Carolina Charlotte tops the list of selected cities in terms of population growth, which was 19.89 percent between 2000 and 2006. Charlotte also tops the …

4. Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte tops the list of selected cities in terms of population growth, which was 19.89 percent between 2000 and 2006. Charlotte also tops the list for percent change in median home price; home prices have risen 8.3 percent since last year. Charlotte is also second highest on the list for this figure among the larger group of 99 cities studied. Still, Charlotte’s median home value of $164,300 is lower than Denver, Colo.; Atlanta; Tucson, Ariz.; Austin, Texas; and Jacksonville, Fla. Charlotte’s median household income of $48,670 is the highest among the selected cities.

Charlotte has the second lowest homeowner vacancy rate and the fourth lowest rental vacancy rate, at 9.1 percent. Charlotte’s percentage of foreclosed homes stands at 0.99 percent, so interested investors may be wise to start looking sooner rather than later.

In North Carolina, both judicial and non-judicial foreclosures are available, though non-judicial foreclosures are more common. The foreclosure process takes 110 days and the sales go through the sheriff’s department. There is no right of redemption in North Carolina.

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5. Austin, Texas

With three cities in the top five, Texas is a solid state for foreclosure investors. Between 2000 and 2006, Austin saw its population grow 9.22 percent and its job market grow 7.03 percent. While Austin has the fourth highest median home value of the selected cities, at $173,000,  it also claims the highest median gross rent—$794 per month—among the selected cities.

The Austin-Round Rock MSA saw median home prices rise 5.6 percent between the second quarter of 2006 and the second quarter of 2007, and the median household income is second highest among the chosen cities, at $47,212. Investors may find stiff competition in the city, which has the second lowest percentage of homes in foreclosure on our list. With only 0.87 percent of homes in foreclosure, investors will have to be motivated to find a good home in the foreclosure listings.

6. Dallas, Texas

While Dallas’ job and population growth over the last six years aren’t quite as strong as Fort Worth’s, the two areas (and the city of Arlington, which we featured in our story about Affordable Real Estate in Arlington) are intertwined in terms of jobs, population and commerce. While many make their homes in Arlington, Fort Worth or the booming suburbs, homes close to Dallas’ commercial center will likely remain  a good buy.

Dallas’ median home values are at $129,400. Dallas’ median rental rate of $724 is helpful for rental property investors looking to pay off their investments in a timely manner. Additionally, Dallas’ percentage of foreclosed homes is at 1.53 percent.

Texas’ foreclosure process is one of the most efficient and least complicated in the country. The process lasts only 27 days, and while both judicial and non-judicial foreclosures are available in Texas, non-judicial foreclosures are more common. There is no right of redemption in Texas. The shortened process in Texas stands to make deals more complicated for investors interested in short sales.

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