By Sam Boykin
John and Cheryl Littlefield, with their four kids in tow, arrived in Charlotte in 2007, ready to make a bundle.
John had worked as a contractor in the Washington, D.C., area, doing home renovations. But after 17 years he was tired of the grind. Moreover, the real estate market was booming, and he figured he could make a killing fixing up and selling homes in need of a little work in go-go Charlotte.
“It seemed like a great opportunity,” John Littlefield said. “I could do what I wanted and not worry about employees or customers.”
His dream was a common one. Buying a house, either making improvements or just waiting for the price to rise, then selling it shortly thereafter at a profit, was a widespread, giddy pursuit in the euphoric, pre-recession economy, when houses seemed to add value between dawn and dusk.
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