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Deals on Wheels ready to roll

(published May 26, 2009)

STEELE CREEK -- Paula DeCarbo isn't the first real estate agent to praise a buyer's market, but given current buying conditions, it may be hard to argue with her. So she and fellow Realtor Ken Davis have a plan to prove just how attractive real estate can be -- by going on location, location, location.

"It's a very good time," said DeCarbo, who along with Davis makes up a First Properties of the Carolinas team with 22 years of industry experience. "It's an excellent time. There's no better time than right now."

The program, called Deals on Wheels, now runs in two three-hour sessions each Saturday taking potential buyers to foreclosed, bank-owned and all-around "great value" properties in Steele Creek, Lake Wylie, Fort Mill and Rock Hill.

"We're going to head to southwest Charlotte in the morning, and then we'll be going to Fort Mill, Lake Wylie and Rock Hill in the afternoon," DeCarbo said.

Tours will be arranged by customer needs with home prices ranging from $100,000 to $250,000 or $250,000 to $500,000, and include all data on homes including tax information, mortgage charts and all necessary forms and guidelines.

"What we're seeing is the lower end of the housing market is moving," said Realtor Paul Roise in the First Properties office in Lake Wylie. "The higher end is not. The $100,000-$250,000 seems to be moving, while the $500,000 or $2 million isn't."

Even with great deals on properties, DeCarbo and Davis intend to find the perfect fit for buyers based on individual needs.

"The main thing is what are they looking for?" DeCarbo said. "No. 1 are they looking to fix and flip, or No. 2, are they looking to buy and use as a rental? Or No. 3, are they looking for themselves?"

The pair doesn't know of other area professionals offering the same type of service as Deals on Wheels. Some tours could run during the week, depending on demand.

"Our sales are down," Roise said of the local real estate market. "I don't know how much they're down. We're all looking for a pick-me-up."

Which, despite not knowing when it might come, local Realtors expect.

"Hope springs eternal," Roise said, "and it's spring now."

Want to go?

Deals on Wheels real estate bus tours run beginning at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturdays leaving from the First Properties Steele Creek office at 11040 S. Tryon St., Steele Creek. Anyone interested in attending should call by 9 a.m. the Friday before the tour. Tours are limited to seven people per session. First Properties, first known as River Hills Realty, also has offices in Steele Creek, Lake Wylie and Tega Cay. There is no cost for the tour. For more information, call 704-906-0101 or 704-737-4701, or visit