Tag Archives: Homes for Sale

The Ultimate List of Homebuyer Tips

The Internet is awash with short and incomplete lists of tips for homebuyers. For the many Americans unfamiliar with the home-buying process, trying to determine which tips to focus on could be confusing. Upon reading these lists, aspiring homebuyers must ask themselves, “Are these tips that industry experts would actually recommend, and are they worth spending my valuable time on?”

To remedy this problem, Market Leader gathered tips for homebuyers from half a dozen sources, put them all on one giant list, and, after removing the trivial and contradictory ones, surveyed almost 400 real estate agents about the importance of each tip. For the 17 tips featured in this survey, participants indicated whether they found them to be very, moderately or slightly important for homebuyers – or not recommendable at all!


Click here to read a list of more homebuyer tips

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“Alabama 3rd quarter home sales highest since 2007″

Click here to view or print the full quarterly report compliments of the Alabama Housing Finance Authority.

Alabama residential sales during the third quarter while sluggish continued to gradually improve, up 3.3 percent compared to the same period a year earlier. This is an improvement over the 2.3 percent growth experienced in the second quarter of the year. Total sales of 12,469 units represent the best third quarter since 2007 (15,051 units). With that said, third quarter sales are still 25.2 percent (was 25.0 percent last quarter) below the quarterly peak established in 2005 when 16,674 units were sold.

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View full sizeAlabama housing inventory down .9% from 3rd Quarter 2013. Infograph courtesy of ACRE. All rights reserved.

Supply: The statewide housing inventory average during the third quarter was 33,538 units, a decrease of .9 percent from the same period in 2013 and 17.7 percent below the third quarter peak in 2010 (40,745 units). There was 8.1 months of housing supply (7 months considered equilibrium during 3rd quarter) in the third quarter 2014, the same as last year (3Q). Historical data indicates that the third quarter inventory-to-sales ratio in 2014 decreased 23.6 percent from the 5-year average (10.6 months) and decreased 14.7 percent from the 3-year average.

Demand: Historical data indicates that third quarter sales in 2014 increased by 12.1 percent from the most recent 3-year average (’11-’13) and 18.3 percent from the 5-year quarterly average (’09-’13).

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View full sizeAlabama median sales price up 1.8% from 3rd Quarter 2013. Infograph courtesy of ACRE. All rights reserved.

Pricing: The statewide median sales price during the third quarter was $130,284, an increase of 1.8 percent from the same quarter in 2013. Historical data indicates that third quarter median price in 2014 increased by 3.6 percent from the most recent 3-year average and 3.2 percent from the 5-year quarterly average (’09-’13).

The Alabama Residential Quarterly Report is provided compliments of the Alabama Housing Finance Authority.

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ACRE was founded by legislative act in 1996 due to the efforts of the Alabama Real Estate Commissionthe Alabama Association of REALTORS and the Office of the Dean, UA Culverhouse College of Commerce to serve the State of Alabama real estate industry and the consumers it serves. ACRE is not a state-funded entity, rather its operates in part because of the goodwill & generosity of the ACRE Corporate Cabinet and our statewide ACRE Partners. Follow us @uaacre

Alabama Residential Quarterly Report: “3rd quarter sales highest since 2007″ | AL.com.

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Awesome in MidTowne!

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Enjoy carefree living with direct access to Indian Creek Greenway, literally minutes from work/dining/shopping, resort pool, lakes and a park. Better than new, this gorgeous Harrison plan by Mark Harris features beautiful hand scraped hardwood floors, isolated master suite on the main floor, open floor plan, granite countertops and custom cabinets in the gourmet kitchen and a huge loft with two additional bedrooms up. A large covered veranda and a privacy fenced back yard provide a great space for outdoor events. 6437 Lincoln Park Place

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Alabama residential sales in September increase 11%

Click here to view or print the entire September report compliments of the ACRE Corporate Cabinet.

Total Sales.jpgView full sizeAlabama home sales in September improved 11.1 percent compared to last September. YTD sales up 2.4%. September sales are now up 42% from its September bottom in 2010. Infograph courtesy of ACRE. All rights reserved.

Alabama residential sales totaled 3,957 units in September, an increase in sales growth of 11.1 percent from the same period a year earlier and 201 units above of our monthly forecast. September joins June and July as the only months in 2014 where sales have eclipsed last year. Nationally, sales were off 1.7 percent in September from the prior year. See more details of how Alabama compares to the broader US market here.

The YTD Alabama sales forecast through September projected 35,170 closed transactions while the actual sales were 34,169 units, a 2.8 percent cumulative variance. YTD sales through September have been sluggish in most markets across the State but remain 2.4 percent above the 2013. Sales were up 3.3 percent in the third quarter compared to 2013.

Across Alabama, 76 percent of local markets reported positive sales growth compared to last September. In comparison, this figure was 64 in August and 48 percent in July. This figure also remains at 54 percent when taking into account total YTD sales compared to 2013.

Pricing: While the return of more consistent year-over-year sales gains is encouraging news, the lead story in 2014 relates to pricing. The Center shared in earlier reports that pricing represents the primary indicator that still had the greatest upside in the future. At least through September, this has come to fruition as the YTD median sales price is up in 19 of 25 or 76 percent of local markets. While this is good news for the market, as prices increase, sales (the typical lead story) attributable to investors bargain hunting will diminish the ability of this “buyer profile” to push the sales needle in the future. Distressed sales continue to significantly diminish as a percentage of total sales across the US, a trend most market watchers content will continue in the future.

Median Price.jpgView full sizeAlabama median home sales price in September 2014 improved 4.5% from prior year and now up 18% from the month of September price bottom in 2004. Infoigraph courtesy of ACRE. All rights reserved.

The median sales price improved by approximately 4.5 percent over last September and 6.1 percent when comparing the year-to-date (Jan-September) average for a broader perspective. Still, Alabama remains below the nation’s recent pace of appreciation but the Center prefers gradual increases in pricing over spikes seen in many parts of the country (typically in markets hardest hit by the recession). Keep in mind that pricing can fluctuate from month-to-month due to sampling size of data and seasonal buying patterns. The median price decreased 8.7 percent from the prior month. This direction is consistent with historical data (09-13) that reflects that the September median sales price traditionally decrease from the month of August by 2.6 percent.

Supply: The statewide housing inventory in September was 32,992 units, a decrease of 2.5 percent from September 2013 and 22.1 percent below the month of September peak in 2007 (42,329 units). There was 8.3 months of housing supply (7.5 months considered equilibrium during month of September) in September 2014 versus 9.5 months of supply in September 2013, a 12.2 percent favorable decrease. September inventory also decreased by 1.7 percent from the prior month. This direction is consistent with historical data that indicates September inventory on average (09-13) traditionally decreases from the month of August by 5.6 percent.

Demand: As anticipated, September statewide residential sales declined 4.4 percent from the prior month. This direction is consistent with seasonal trends & recent historical data that indicates September sales, on average (09-13), decrease from the month of August by 9.9 percent.

The fact that there are fewer distressed properties (attracting bargain hunting investors – typically cash buyers) changing hands when compared to last year has also narrowed the favorable percentage change associated with sales growth.

Seeking Balance: Ten or 42 percent of local markets are considered near or in balance where buyer and seller enjoy equal bargaining power. More markets are inching closer so this is encouraging news.

In contrast to reports of lack of inventory at the national level, Alabama still has above the needed levels of supply in most local markets (13 of 25 markets or 52 percent still have 10+ months of supply) but the supply of “quality” inventory is limiting sales according to local professionals with boots on the ground.

Industry Perspective: “The September National Housing Survey shows a slight recovery in consumer housing sentiment after a two-month setback, bringing us back to the modestly positive trend we’ve seen over the last year,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “It might be too late to save this year’s home sales from posting the first decline in five years. However, the return to an upward trend in housing sentiment, combined with this month’s positive news on the jobs front, suggests that a broad-based, albeit measured, housing recovery is on track to resume in 2015. The results of the past few months show that consumer optimism remains cautious and somewhat volatile, and we’ll likely continue to see bumps on the housing recovery path reflected in our survey results.” For full report, go HERE.

This monthly report is provided compliments of the ACRE Corporate Cabinet. 

Alabama residential sales in September increase 11%; 76% of local markets experience YOY sales gain | AL.com.

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1,000 new rooftops to rise on Madison’s western horizon

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A thousand new residential rooftops will be popping up in eastern Limestone County, based on recent rezoning proposals to the City Council.

On Monday, the council announced public hearings on rezoning for three separate parcels totaling 176 acres. Combined with the rezoning in July of 158 acres on Huntsville Brownsferry Road, Madison can expect to add more than 1,000 single-family homes, said Mayor Troy Trulock.

“There’s another 600 in the pipeline,” he added.

The 1,000-home estimate will take two to five years to play out completely, the mayor said, so there’s going to be plenty of ongoing construction work in western Madison.

Mungo Homes will likely be the first to break ground should the rezoning requests be approved Sept. 22. It seeks to rezone 58 acres at the northwest corner of Burgreen and Powell roads from agriculture to R-3A single-family detached residential. The 58 acres will be combined with another parcel already zoned residential for a total of about 100 acres.

There’s another 600 in the pipeline.” – Mayor Troy Trulock

The largest of the three rezoning request is from Murphy Homes. It calls for 89 acres on the south side of Hardiman Road and east of Segers Road to be changed from agriculture to R-3A single-family detached residential. The smallest of the three comes from Woodland Homes. It seeks to change 29 acres from agriculture to single-family residential. The property is east Segars Road and across from the entrance to Hardin Oak Drive.

District 4 Councilman Mike Potter, who represents some areas west of County Line Road, said the growth is going to put “tremendous pressure” on Hardiman, Burgreen and Segers roads, and the city must get plans in place so the infrastructure can handle the large amount of traffic. A key part of that will be partnering with the Limestone County Commission, he added.

“Our school system’s got to be concerned, too,” District 1 Councilman Tim Holcombe said.

Potter referenced the new 700-acre Town Madison retail and commercial development as making the expected, rapid growth of new homes easier to bear.

While there’s some tax revenue generated from the construction phase of home building, he said property taxes are not enough to offset the cost of providing city services to them. Without retail taxes on the side, “rooftops translate to negative numbers.”

1,000 new rooftops to rise on Madison’s western horizon; 176 acres sought for rezoning | AL.com.

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Home Selling Tips Every Seller Should Know

What home selling tips are the most important for sellers to know? We sought to answer this question when we surveyed 500 real estate agents about the importance of two dozen top home selling tips. Each tip was then ranked based on the survey responses and we used the first eight – those viewed as being “very important” by 80 percent of agents or more – to create this infographic, “Home Selling Tips Every Seller Should Know.”


Home Selling Tips Every Seller Should Know

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Home Buying in 6 Steps

Six Steps

Click image to enlarge or download (PDF: 144 KB)

1) Get Ready for Home Ownership

  • Build a good credit history
  • Get mortgage pre-approval
  • Find out what type of mortgages you quality for
  • Consider hiring an attorney to review all contracts and agreements associated with the home buying process
  • Save up for a down payment (typically 10-20% of property’s value; if FHA-qualified, then possibly less)
    • Consider closing costs which can include taxes, attorney’s fees, and transfer fees
    • Consider utilities and monthly bills, such as homeowner’s assessments

2) Find a Real Estate Professional

  • Get a referral from friends, family, and work colleagues, or search realtor.com® and look for real estate yard signs and advertisements
  • Ask the real estate professionals you interview about buyer’s representation contracts and agreements; make sure you understand the terms
  • Explain your needs and expectations to the real estate professional you choose to work with

3) Find the Right Property

  • Determine what is important to you, such as particular schools, neighborhood amenities, monthly mortgage payment, public transportation, walkability, etc.
  • Make sure you include home owner’s assessments, utilities, and taxes when calculating the monthly mortgage payment

4) Finance the Property

  • Contact your mortgage broker or lender
  • The lender or attorney will run a title search to ensure there are no clouds on the title
  • Make sure you understand the financing terms—ask the lender for clarification, if needed

5) Make an Offer

  • Ensure the property is inspected by a licensed home inspector
  • Acquire title insurance
  • Make sure the title is clear, or make your offer contingent upon title clearance
  • Read all contracts before signing—make sure you understand all of the terms, ask questions
  • Place a competitive bid and be prepared to make a counter-offer
  • Keep your credit score stable and in-check by waiting to purchase any big-ticket items until long after the closing
  • Only one offer will result in a sale, so be prepared to move on if your offer is not accepted

6) Closing and Life After the Big Purchase

  • Protect your new asset by obtaining insurance such as homeowner’s, flood, disaster, and fire
  • Weatherproof your new home
  • Maintain files—digital or print—for all warranties, insurance documents, contracts, etc.
  • Keep original closing documents in a safe place, preferably outside the home (such as a safety deposit box)
  • Set up utilities bills in your name, maintain files
  • Implement desired aesthetic changes such as painting, minor construction, and re-flooring
  • Set a move date and hire movers or plan a move party with your friends
  • Get to know your neighbors and explore your new neighborhood
  • If you’re happy with the work of your real estate professional, be sure to recommend her/him to friends and family

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