Sunday, December 31, 2006

Nashville Among Hot 2007 Markets

Middle Tennessee (represented as "Nashville" on the interactive map) is viewed as a hot market in 2007 for real estate. Go to this link if you want to see what's not so hot (West and Northeast).

Friday, December 29, 2006

Development Tax Increase Wanted

Rutherford County wants to increase the development tax from $1500 to $3000 on new construction, but the proposal must be approved by the state. The county commissioners do not expect the State General Assembly to okay their plea for money which will help the county cope with its rapid growth. Rutherford County greatly needs more funding to help pay for new schools to house the huge influx of students as this is the fastest growing county in the state. Also, the money would pay for roads, traffic lights, and more.

Development tax is usually paid by a home builder (it does trickle down to the home buyer in the price of the home).

Read the article in the Daily News Journal here.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Population Passes 6 Mil

The population of Tennessee has passed SIX MILLION, according to the Tennessean. The state grows by about 50,000 people each year from births, people relocating from other parts of the United States, and people coming here from other parts of the world (I'm unclear if there are any other ways to come here...).

Meanwhile, hat tip to the lovely Japanese couple I spent today with who are moving here from Miami. They picked middle Tennessee because they believe the people are friendlier, plus there's no state income tax.

Read the article in Friday's (Dec. 22) Tennessean here.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Housing Slows Economy

Just read on that the housing slump in 2006 has officially slowed the U.S. economy.
The economy has been losing momentum all this year. The main culprit behind the third quarter’s slowdown was the deepening housing slump.
The good news is that most economists do not expect the economy to fall into a recession. The article also states that, "The Fed’s goal is to slow the economy enough to thwart inflation, but not so much as to cripple economic activity."

Personally, I'm seeing the housing market pick up again. Read all about it here.

Must Sell Car to Buy Home

I saw this article in today's Tennessean about a woman who has to sell her Grand Am in order to buy a home. First, let me say that an $800 house payment in Franklin? Wow. That's quite affordable but it can be very very hard when you live from paycheck to paycheck.

It may seem unreasonable that she has to sell a car to buy a home, but there is some logic to the apparent madness. When a lender looks at a loan application, the person needs to meet a certain debt to income ratio to qualify. If you owe too many debts, you would be considered ineligible for the loan.

This formula may even include credit that is available to you. Let's say you have three credit cards with a balance of $320, but get turned down for a loan. Confusing, but it could be because you have $30,000 in credit available - or you have the ability to charge the cards up that high which would hinder your ability to pay a house note. Although I'm not a lender, I think it's a good idea to limit the number of credit cards you have ... make on-time payments to the one or two you have and be sure to pay all other bills on or before they're due. It's so devastatingly important to keep up your good credit. Even if you're not ready to buy a home or may never buy a home, landlords often check your credit score before renting and potential employers can do the same.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Lots of High Priced Homes Available

Rutherford County does not have a shortage of high end homes; in fact, there are so many that they seem to stay on the market longer. But according to the Daily News Journal, they'll go fast if any other major companies relocate to this area.

The real need is for affordable homes. If you have a home that can be priced under $125,000 and it's in good shape, it will almost certainly sell fast. Read about the market at this link.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

November Freeze

Although prices were up, home sales dropped 9% in the Nashville area in November. While sales of commercial, multi-family, land and more were down, the downturn was driven entirely by the largest drop in single-family home sales in at least five years.

Realtors are naturally concerned, but overall most agree that the market is balancing itself out after the years of rapid growth. If buyers are hesitant, they should reconsider as interest rates are very low and they can afford to be picky when house hunting. Sellers need to be extremely cautious in pricing their homes correctly and in staging them to be appealing to buyers.

Read the Tennessean article here or visit the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors web site for consumer information.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Mortgage Rates Drop

Mortgage rates have dropped for the fourth straight week, according to Reuters News.

"Rates for 30-year mortgage rates fell to 6.11 percent from 6.14 percent, the lowest since 6.10 percent in the January 19 week.Rates on 15-year mortgages also ebbed to 5.84 percent from 5.87 percent. The last time they were lower was in the second week of February, when they averaged 5.83 percent.One-year adjustable rate mortgages were 5.43 percent, down from 5.46 percent.

These are absolutely incredible rates! If you'd like to learn more about buying a home, I am one of five agents sponsoring a "First Time Home Buying Made Easy" seminar. Agenda items include:

  • Renting vs. Buying
  • How to Qualify for a Loan with ZERO down
  • Home Safety & Insurance
  • Your Credit Score
  • Why Title Insurance
  • Buying a HUD Home
  • Home Inspections & Warranties
  • Closings Costs
We are tentatively scheduling three seminars: January 22, January 27, and January 29. If you're interested, I'll post updated info as we nail down locations!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Housing Market in Recovery

Pending home sales were down in October according to the National Association of Realtors, but the market is recovering. Given my own business calls, I believe that to be true. Read the article from MSNBC here or from the horse's mouth at NAR here.
"The national median existing-home prices for all housing types was $221,000 in October, which is 3.5 percent below October 2005 when the median price spiked above adjacent months to $229,000."
The leveling out of home prices is great news for buyers! The fact that buyers are again in the market is great news for sellers!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Good News from Greenspan

After years as head of the Federal Reserve, it would seem natural that Alan Greenspan still has something to say. This time, what he says is great for the real estate industry: "The worst is over." Go read aobut it from the National Association of Realtors web site.

Sellers, start your engines!

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