Charlotte Habitat Group Buys, Remodels Houses

Habitat for Humanity of Charlotte is among the first in the nation to buy homes in troubled neighborhoods rather than build them from scratch.

The reason: the nation's mortgage crisis has made buying and renovating cheaper than building, even though Habitat uses volunteer labor.

The Charlotte Observer reports that Habitat officials say this isn't a permanent change for the agency. The group is just taking advantage of market conditions.

Associate director Meg Robertson says Habitat is buying houses for as little as $30,000, then putting in $10,000 worth of repairs. The cost of building a new home is $60,000.

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