The Chase: $450K budget left this couple between bidding wars. Which home will they choose?

The Chase: $450K budget left this couple between bidding wars. Which home will they choose?

Courtesy of Don Gomez

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Buying a home in this seller’s market is a whirlwind, and these home buyers took us along for the ride. This is The Chase, a new series featuring real Charlotteans and their house hunting stories.


Charlotte newcomers Sarah and Jon Ramberg started their home search in March for a house under $450K. Here’s how it played out.

Who: Sarah (45) and her husband Jon (39) moved to Charlotte from Greenville, S.C. in June 2020 for Jon’s work. She’s a blogger/author, and he’s a senior network engineer. They rented a house in Steele Creek for several months and started to look for a place to buy in March.

The house: Sarah and Jon were looking for a 2,000-square-foot house under $450,000 on the west side of Charlotte and close to the airport.

  • An easy commute to the airport, low HOA fees and natural light (for Sarah’s photos) were their top wish-list items.
  • A 3-car garage and interior storage were on their would-be-nice list.

They spent about a week looking before making a decision. These were their top 3 picks.

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Option 1: Belmont new build

Price: $394,950

Neighborhood: Belmont (the Gaston County town)

Specs: 3 beds, 3 baths, 2,099 square feet

Why it made the cut: It’s comfortably below their price point, checked off their top wish-list items, and it’s on a quiet street.

belmont new build

Courtesy of Meritage Homes

Option 2: Bidding war brick

Price: $395,000

Neighborhood: Coventry, northeast Charlotte

Specs: 4 beds, 3 baths, 2,994 square feet

Why it made the cut: With four bedrooms, wood floors, lots of natural light and great curb appeal, this one really caught their eye.

bidding war brick

bidding war brick interior

Courtesy of listing agent Gregory Winter at Velocity Properties LLC

Option 3: The Palisades 3-bed

Price: $425,000

Neighborhood: The Palisades, southwest of Charlotte

Specs: 3 beds, 3 baths, 2,532 square feet

Why it made the cut: This one’s the right square footage, and it’s in a convenient location for Sarah and Jon.

the palisades

the palisades kitchen

Courtesy of listing agent Don Gomez at C-A-RE Realty


Which house would you pick?

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Which house did Sarah and Jon pick?

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If you guessed the Belmont new build, you’re right.

How it went: In a word, Sarah says the process was a whirlwind. “It’s exciting but terrifying because other than low interest rates, this is absolutely a sellers’ market,” she said. By the time they saw bidding war brick, the sellers had already moved on to their highest offers. And The Palisades 3-bed went under contract before they could even schedule a showing.

  • As a buyer, the bidding wars were intimidating and that’s ultimately what led them to the Belmont new build home, Sarah said.
  • “We weren’t planning on making such a snap decision, but buyers can’t be super picky right now. At least, it didn’t feel like we could be.”

Ultimately, Sarah says they’re happy with their decision. “We would have loved to have a Charlotte address, (but) Belmont is awfully cute!” Sarah said.

Sarah and Jon Ramberg at Meritage_Amberley in Belmont


If you’re house (or apartment) hunting right now, we want to follow your journey. Email me at brianna.crane@axios.com with what’s on your home wish list and your budget. 

  • This series was inspired by the New York Times. If you’re curious what home-buying in New York is like, take a peek at their series, The Hunt.

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