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Top 10 Tips for Buying Your First Home!

By | Ashley | No Comments

Published By: TLC

Written By: Jessica Brown

Noisy neighbors upstairs? Sick of living in mom and dad’s basement? Or just want to take part in the American Dream? Whatever your reason for wanting your own home, taking the leap can be both exciting and daunting. Yet, according to a National Association of Realtors survey, you’re not alone; the number of first-time homebuyers was about 47 percent of all home sales in 2009 [source: National Association of Realtors].

While thoughts of white picket fences and granite countertops might be dancing in your head, you don’t want to be carried off by a dream and left holding a serious bill. This is probably one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make, so instead of making an impulse buy (like that pair of designer jeans you just bought), arm yourself with research and a few quality advisers. It can be the difference between years of loving the home you’re in versus wondering how long until you can look for your next one.

Take a look at these 10 tips to get you started on your way to real estate bliss.

To read the article in it’s entirety, please click on the following link:

http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/home/10-tips-for-buying-your-first-home.htm

Super tips and a great read. Call me for all your real estate needs, today!

 

Lee County residential sales improve 16% in December; 2013 sales up 4%!!

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This is SUPER news for our area, folks and a GREAT read. Enjoy!

By Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE)
Follow on Twitter
on Janu4, 2014 at 10:41 AM, updated January 24, 2014 at 10:52 AM

December residential sales in Lee County totaled 88 units representing a 15.8 percent improvement from the same period last year and 1 unit above our forecast for December. For the year, the Lee County market experienced sales growth of 3.8 percent over last year. In 2012, Lee County experienced sales growth of 9 percent.

Our 2013 forecast for Lee County projected 1,338 closed transactions – actual closings were 1,280 units or 4.3 percent below forecast.

Supply: The Lee County housing inventory in December was 825 units, a decrease of 10.4 percent from December 2012 and 33.9 percent from the month of December inventory peak in 2010 (1,248 units). There was 9.4 months of housing supply (8 months considered balanced market in December) in December 2013 versus 12.1 months of supply in December 2012, representing a significant drop of 22.6 percent which is good news for the market.

To read the article in it’s entirety, please click on the following link:

http://blog.al.com/acre/2014/01/lee_county_area_residential_sa_2.htm

 

Call me TODAY for all your Real Estate Needs!  “Your Realtor That’s Connected to the Community!”

Cyber Monday to be busiest day ever for FedEx…

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By Patrick deHahn  @CNNMoney October 23, 2013: 12:02 PM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

With stores offering big online sales discounts, FedEx expects this year’s Cyber Monday to be the busiest day in its shipping history.

Each year, the big online shopping day hits the Monday after post-Thanksgiving holiday sales and many retailers offer special discounts on online purchases. This year, Cyber Monday falls on Dec. 2.

To read the article in it’s entirety, please click on the following link:

  http://money.cnn.com/2013/10/23/pf/fedex-cyber-monday/

Is this how you are spending your Monday? Does this make moresense   than battling the crowds? Weigh in and have a great week!

Ashley Smith Durham

Top 10 real estate trends for 2014

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By: Ilyce Glink /MoneyWatch/ November 9, 2013, 6:50 AM
MoneyWatch) If the real estate recovery is a baseball game, we’re in the fourth or fifth inning.So what will the rest of the game look like?

Experts from the Urban Land Institute unveiled their view of how the rest of the recovery will play out in their Emerging Trends in Real Estate report, released this week at the land use and planning nonprofit’s annual conference in Chicago.

The group highlighted a number of housing trends we can expect to see playing out over the next few years, based on surveys and interviews with real estate developers, investors, lenders, servicers and builders.

Millennials are moving the market, but not as homeowners

Though the so-called Millennial generation has been much-maligned in the media, real estate movers and shakers are increasingly interested in where this generation is headed — quite literally. A number of the cities have seen increased economic activity in the real estate sector led by this generation, particularly Austin, Seattle, Portland and the Twin Cities in Minneapolis.

Minneapolis’ place as number nine on a list of the top 10 cities for developers came as a surprise to Andrew Warren, director of PwC, a research and advising firm that co-authored the report with ULI.

“This is a city that’s attractive to younger generations,” he said, adding that its diverse economic base is helping to bring in a lot of college grads that don’t want to leave the Midwest.

However, this same group isn’t forming new households, and they’re not buying as many homes as their parents’ generation were at their age.

Second-tier cities will lead the recovery next year

Investors, developers and builders are losing some interest in the so-called 24-hour gateway cities — San Francisco and New York City — and have developed more interested in cities like Dallas and Portland, where there are more housing deals to be had.

For example, in 2011 only New York City and Washington, D.C. had good prospects for real estate investors and developers, according to the ULI report, but now Austin, Boston, Dallas, Houston, Miami, Orange County, Portland, San Francisco, San Jose and Seattle make that list — and D.C. actually dropped out.

Real estate recovery still hinges on job growth

The slow pace of job growth as well as income and wage growth is still holding back the real estate recovery and that’s not likely to change quickly.

Many cities in the Bay Area and in Texas have seen strong housing recoveries based on the strength of their economy, said Stephen Blank, ULI senior resident fellow for finance, so places with low unemployment can expect better recoveries next year, while places still haunted by economic issues won’t.

The “smile investing” philosophy is back

Real estate developers are interested once again in a so-called smile investment philosophy, Warren said. According to the philosophy, developers and investors start looking at cities in the Northeast and moving south to cities along the Sun Belt — Florida, Texas, Arizona — and then coming back up to the Northwest — Northern California, Oregon and Washington state. So expect to see more activity in those areas than in the Midwest.

Multi-family apartment building will wane

With rapidly rising demand for apartments during the recession — boosted by increased demand from homeowners-turned-renters — multi-family building surged. But that’s likely to quiet down in 2014, as supply and demand have swapped places — and there may actually have been too much multi-family building in 2013, Blank said.

Condo development is still on the back-burner

The recovery in the condo market hasn’t matched that of the single-family market, and developers aren’t willing to take the risk on putting up new condo buildings.

Instead, builders and developers are taking a dual-track option: They build a rental apartment building with an eye on switching it to condos in 12 to 16 months, depending on market conditions, Warren said.

High-end apartment buildings are also proving problematic for developers, as the interest from well-heeled potential renters simply hasn’t been consistently strong.

To read the article in its entirety, please visit:
This is a super read…Please enjoy and call me for all of your Real Estate needs!

Homes for Heroes helps family become first-time homeowners!

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Posted: Monday, July 29, 2013 6:44 pm |

Updated: 6:48 pm, Mon Jul 29, 2013.

Tamiko Lowery | Opelika-Auburn News

Daylan Evans knew exactly where he was going. He flew up the stairs and took a hard right and abruptly stopped in a crème colored empty room with neutral colored carpet and stood there beaming.

“This is my room,” said 9-year-old Evans.

His baby sister, Ava, 4 months, will have her own room, too.

Evans says he’s been thinking about decorating with chalkboard paint. An honor roll student at Auburn City Schools, he enjoys playing baseball and tackle football.

For Daylan’s parents, Lajoye and Demarrick Evans, a new home is something they’ve dreamed about for their children. Today, that dream comes true. The last of the paperwork will be signed at Crawford Melton’s Opelika office, and the Evans will drive away with the keys to their new Auburn home.

As the first local recipients of the Homes for Heroes program in conjunction with Prestige Properties, the family couldn’t be happier.

Realtor Ashley Smith-Durham of Prestige Properties said the Homes for Heroes program was created nationally after so many heroes lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001.

“This was a way for a group of Realtors to give back to heroes by helping them buy a home,” Smith-Durham said.

To read the article in it’s entirety, please click on the following link:

http://www.oanow.com/news/auburn/article_d1b83074-f8a8-11e2-855d-0019bb30f31a.html

This is a wonderful program and one I am certainly proud to be a part of…I encourage you to visit the website at www.homesforheroes.com and let our Homes for Heroes Team put you in your dream home. Happy reading! – Ashley

 

Alabama Residential Mid-Year Report: YTD Sales up 9%; 80% of local markets show sales improvement from 2012!

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By Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE)
Follow on Twitter
on July 19, 2013 at 4:13 PM

Alabama residential sales in June continued to gradually improve, up 7.7 percent compared to the same period a year earlier. Midway through 2013, sales are up 9.3 percent year-over-year and eighty percent of local markets report positive sales growth compared to 2012. 

Supply: The statewide housing inventory in June was 33,886 units, a decrease of 1.7 percent from June 2012 and 18.5 percent below the month of June’s peak in 2010 (41,597 units). There were 8.2 months of housing supply (6 months considered equilibrium) in June 2013 versus 9.0 months of supply in June 2012, a solid decline of 8.7 percent. June inventory has increased by 1.5 percent over the prior month. This trend is consistent with historical data indicating that June inventory on average (’08-’12) traditionally increases from the month of May by .2 percent. In contrast to reports of lack of inventory at the national level, Alabama still has a plentiful supply in most local markets. Only 11 of 25 or 44 percent of local markets have single-digit months of housing supply so this is an area where more reduction would be welcome news. With that said, metro markets are edging closer to equilibrium with 7.4 months of supply.

Demand: June statewide residential sales slipped 4.5 percent from the prior month. This movement contrast with seasonal trends & recent historical data that indicates that June sales, on average (’08-’12), increase from the month of May by 4.9 percent. At first blush, it appears recent upward movement in interest rates may have impacted short-term demand to a small degree.
To read the article in it’s entirety, please click on the following link:
This is great news for the state and for Lee County! Call me TODAY whether you are in the market to list or sell. I am the REALTOR for you!

Alabama Residential Sales Improve by 6.7% in January!

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By Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE)
on March 01, 2013 at 6:45 AM, updated March 01, 2013 at 6:54 AM

Picking up right where the market closed in 2012, Alabama residential sales in January improved by 6.7 percent from the same period a year earlier. Across Alabama in January, sixty percent of local markets reported on par or positive sales growth compared to last January. Click here to view or print the full report.

Supply: The statewide housing inventory in January was 30,863 units, a decrease of 4.1 percent from January 2012 and 17.6 percent below the month of January’s peak in 2008 (37,470 units). There were 12.2 months of housing supply (6 months considered equilibrium) in January 2013 versus 13.4 months of supply in January 2012, a favorable decline of 9.0 percent. January inventory remained on par with the prior month. This trend is just short of historical data indicating that January inventory on average (’08-’12) traditionally decreases from the month of December by 2.7 percent. In contrast to reports of a looming lack of inventory problem at the national level, Alabama still has plenty of housing supply that has yet to be absorbed.

Demand: In December, Alabama residential sales were outperformed by the US market which showed an increase of 9.1 percent from the prior year, according to the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). NAR also reported that the South region sales were up 14.0 percent from last January. Investors accounted for 19 percent of nationwide sales while 28 percent were all-cash sales and 30 percent were first-time home buyers (40% in typical market).

January statewide residential sales dropped 11.4 percent from the prior month. This movement is lower than historical data that indicates that December sales, on average (’08-’12), decrease from the month of December by 17.3 percent. In comparison, US sales rose .4 percent from last month while the South region also improved by 1.0 percent from the prior month.

Pricing: The statewide median selling price in January was $103,342, a decrease of 10.1 percent from last January. Historical data (’08-’12) reflects that the January median selling price traditionally decreases from the month of December by 1.2 percent. Nationally, NAR states that distressed homes – foreclosures and short sales – accounted for 23 percent of January sales (14 percent were foreclosures and 9 percent were short sales), Foreclosures typically sold for an average 20 percent below market price in January, while short sales were discounted 12 percent.

Local Results: 13 out of the 25 local reporting associations (52% – this is up from 44% in December) reflect sales gains from last January. In January, sales in metro markets (up 8% from last year) outperformed both midsize markets(up 7%) and small markets (down 10%). 3 of 5 major metro areas representing 70% of Alabama sales have positive year-over-year growth rates except Mobile (down 4%) and Tuscaloosa (down 2.5%, primarily due to increased storm-related demand in 2011 & early 2012).

Real estate sales are seasonal and the sales pace slows during the winter months resulting in a higher degree of statistical volatility. With that said, seventy-two percent (18 of 25) of the local housing markets across the State experienced year-over-year sales growth in 2012 and that is welcome news for Alabama consumers as well our state’s real estate community.

To finish reading the full article, please click on the following link:

http://blog.al.com/acre/2013/03/post_8.html

 

More great news for Alabama residents and Lee County citizens! Please feel free to contact me whether you are thinking of buying or selling – the time is right! I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Ashley S. Durham

Hottest Market Sales Going for a Premium Over List Price!

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Real Estate Economy Watch – Insight and Intelligence on Residential Real Estate

Written by: Steve Cook  February 23, 2013

Now, in the markets where the recovery is hottest, sellers are increasingly experiencing multiple bid scenarios and buyers are pre-empting the competition with offers over list price that stir up memories of the boom years.

Last month 13 percent of all Realtors participating in the National Association of Realtors’ Realtors’ Confidence Index reported they had at least one sale above the asking price in the previous month. The percentage rose slightly from December, the first month that NAR asked its members about sales at a premium above asking price. Realtors reported some 12 percent reported sales with prices above list price.

According to Pro-Teck Valuation Service’s Home Value Forecast, median sales prices have overtaken list prices in at least one market, San Francisco, and are close to doing so in Sacramento and Seattle.

Reports from Realtors across the country confirm that sales at a premium over asking price are still very unusual and limited to hottest markets.

To finish reading this article, please click on the following link:

http://www.realestateeconomywatch.com/2013/02/prices-are-popping-out-all-over/

A Great Read! This is yet another positive sign for the housing market! Please feel free to call me for all of your Real Estate needs – I look forward to working with you!

Ashley S. Durham

 


Lee County Residential Sales Up 9% in 2012; Inventory Down 12%!!

By | Ashley | No Comments

By Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE)
on February 07, 2013 at 7:31 AM, updated February 07, 2013 at 7:35 AM

Lee County residential sales growth of 8.9 percent led Alabama’s midsize markets in 2012. During the month of December, homes listed for sale dipped below the thousand unit mark for the first time since August 2006.
Click here to view or print the full report.
 
Supply: The Lee County housing inventory in December was 921 units, a decrease of 12.0 percent from December 2011 and 26.2 percent from the month of December’s peak in 2010 (1,248 units).

There was 12.1 months of housing supply (6 months represents balanced market) in December 2012 versus 13.3 months of supply in December 2011, a solid decrease of 8.6 percent. Continued improvement in the decline of the months of supply would be welcome news.

December inventory in Lee County decreased by 9.5 percent from the prior month. Historical data indicates that December inventory on average (’07-’11) traditionally decreases from the month of November by 4.6 percent.

Lee County residential sales up 9% in 2012; homes listed for sale down 12% in December. Infograph courtesy of ACRE. All rights reserved.

Demand: December residential sales were down 8.4% from the prior month. This movemen

t contrast historical data indicating that December sales, on average (’07-’11), increase from the month of November by 14.1 percent.

Existing single family home sales accounted for 58 percent (same as in Dec’11) of total sales while 30 percent (up from 24% in Dec’11) were new home sales and 12 percent (down from 18% in Dec’11) were condo buyers.

Pricing: The Lee County median selling price in December was $166,250, an increase of 15.2 percent from last December ($144,375). The December median price also improved by 10.8 percent when compared to the prior month. Historical data (’07-’11) indicates that the December median selling price traditionally decrease from the month of November by 1.2 percent so this improvement from recent trends is encouraging news.
Real estate sales are seasonal and thesales pace slows during the winter months resulting in a higher degree of statistical volatility. With that said, seventy-two percent (18 of 25) of the local housing markets across the State experienced year-over-year sales growth in 2012 and that is welcome news for Alabama consumers as well our state’s real estate community. As for the latest economic forecast entering the new year, according to Global Insight’s most recent short-term outlook, “The economy still has only weak forward momentum. Some underlying fundamentals are improving—most importantly, housing. We expect that the fog of uncertainty (US fiscal policy) will gradually clear during 2013, setting the stage for a broad-based improvement in economic growth in 2014.”
This is FANTASTIC news for Lee County. Please call me for all of your Real Estate needs!

 

The data relating to real estate for sale on this web-site comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange Program of Lee County Association of REALTORS. Information is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed.

This IDX solution is (c) Diverse Solutions 2020.