Allen & Allen Incorporated
In July 2016 we found a house in a local airpark
community that the owner had been trying to sell for
several years. He had listed
the house with various agents in various agencies
but had not found a buyer. Most airpark homes are
rurally located where local
comps did not support the values of these unique
My husband Bruce took one look at the house and
said, "I can sell this house." We went home to
create our web site NC-Airparks.com. And Bruce did
sell the house.
Interest in NC-Airparks.com took off. Interested
buyers contacted us while we began to investigate
and research all of the airfields we could find in
North Carolina. We collected information creating
an informative data base of information about both
active and defunct airstrips. We learned the many
problems buyers ran into by blindly buying
properties on these airstrips. Most buyers didn't
know how to protect the costs they were putting into
the airfield properties they were buying. There is
no real estate course that teaches agents how to
protect residential aviator buyers from the unique
problems some of these buyers have experienced.
We collected restrictive covenants and other
information about these airstrips, met with
developers and eventually we were contacted
by the NC DOT Department of Aviation. We had some
information they didn't have so we shared.
Early in 2007 Bruce was diagnosed with a brain
tumor. Despite his health and our limited time
and resources, the business flourished finishing
2007 with the most sales we have had. Bruce
died in April 2008 but when I returned to our office
the economy had completely dried up sales.
Only a few foreclosures and one or two "give away"
sales occurred in residential aviation properties
the following years. There was little interest
from buyers who by now were struggling with their
own economy issues. Retirees couldn't sell
their homes in other states so they couldn't buy
here, lot owners couldn't build the dream homes they
had planned, some aviators experienced health issues
losing coveted medicals and others just plain lost
interest in building a new home. Eight years
made the world of difference in the lives of pilots
who dreamed of "living with their planes". The
residential aviation market was dead not only in
North Carolina but in states all across the US.
The Spring of 2015 brought the first hopes of
recovery in this unique market niche. Easter
of 2015 our web site began to experience an enormous
increase in visits by complete strangers.
Buyers began signing up for our newsletter
indicating an increase in interest in residential
airpark properties. A few buyers bought houses
and many owners began re-listing their lots and
homes for sale. Some properties had been on
and off the market for years, some as far back as
2007. The market was flooded with listings.
But ready willing and able buyers were few.
Memorial Day weekend 2016 was when the
first calls came in from serious buyers ready to
buy. This time buyers wanted existing houses;
no buyers were interested in buying a lot and
building a house of unknown cost. Since
Memorial Day many hangar homes have sold, especially
those modestly priced. This trend continued
throughout the summer of 2016. There are few
modestly priced homes left for sale. Some of
the more expensive homes remain on the active market
while others have sold, indicating the trend toward
increased prices for hangar homes. Buyers are
becoming more selective in the homes they are buying
and sale prices are going up slowly.
Some buyers are now saying they will consider buying
a lot if they cannot find just the right hangar home
for them. Today's lot buyers are not long-term
investors as they were before the recession.
Today's lot buyers are ready to build now or in the
near future. They price housing costs before
they buy and they are more serious and less dreaming
about their purchases.
UPDATE 2023-2024: Although airpark building
lots have been selling slowly, most aviator buyers
still want an existing hangar home. As a
result as of 11/20/2023 there are no airpark
hangar homes for sale in North Carolina and only one
airpark hangar home for sale in South Carolina.
there are a few properties with private hangars
and a runway but the runways are very short.
For Sellers, we advertise your properties in major
aviation publications and on various aviation web
sites. You may not care if your buyer is an
aviator but the health of aviation communities
depends upon buyers with aviation interest.
When you look up sales in aviation communities keep
in mind that those sale prices include an agent
commission. You may sell your property
yourself, but buyers expect to pay much less when
they buy from you. One buyer told me that he
sold his house for a particular amount but when I
evaluated his sale, I found that he could have
pocketed almost $30K more had his property been
properly advertised on the open market. He
lost a lot of money.