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Montgomery Real Estate Podcast - April 2010

by The Hat Team

Sandra Nickel of The Hat Team presents:





This month's edition covers Montgomery real estate market activity and with this being the last month for the $8,000 tax credit extension, we'll discuss how buyers and sellers are taking advantage of this opportunity!

Features special guest Terri Murphy of US Learning.


Program length: approximately 8 1/2 minutes

Should I Be Movin' On Up To A Larger Montgomery Home?

by The Hat Team
Should I Be Movin' On Up To A Larger Montgomery Home? 
 
Should I move up to a larger home is a question many Montgomery homeowners are asking. The questions below will help you decide whether you’re ready for a home that’s larger or in a more desirable location.
 
1. Have you built substantial equity in your current home?
 
If you have owned your Montgomery home for a number of years you might have built up some equity. Look at your annual mortgage statement or call your lender to determine your loan balance. Then give me a call to determine your home’s market value. The difference between your loan amount and market value is your equity. You can also get your market value for your Montgomery home by clicking here.
 
2. Has your income or financial situation improved?
 
If your income has increased, you may be able to afford a higher mortgage payment. 
 
3. Have you outgrown your neighborhood?
 
Often, the neighborhood or location you buy your first home in may no longer suit your needs. You may want to be closer to work, be in a better school district or have a home on a lake rather than close to it.
 
4. Are there reasons why you can’t remodel or add on?
 
Sometimes adding on to your current home is the answer. If you will end over-improving for the neighborhood, moving may be a better option.
 
5. Are you comfortable moving in the current housing market?
 
In the current Montgomery real estate market, your home may not sell quickly for what it would have a few years ago, but the home you buy also less expensive expensive.
 
6. Are interest rates attractive?
A low rate not only helps you buy a larger home, but also makes it easier to find a buyer and interest rates are currently at record lows.
 
If you answer yes to most of the questions, it’s a sign that you may be ready to move. If so, please visit HatTeam.com to learn more about buying a Montgomery home or give me a call. I’m glad to help!
 

Community Involvement: Guerilla Marketing for the RIGHT Reason!

by The Hat Team
In his Guerilla Marketing Weekly Intelligence email today, Jay Conrad Levinson writes:
 
 “If you volunteer to work on a committee but are never available for meetings, or if you sponsor a little league team and don't show up for games, you're proving yourself to be crass and superficial, probably sucking up the community to get business instead of working for it for altruistic reasons. Consumers are more sophisticated than ever these days. People know the difference between serving the community and serving yourself. If you're not willing to devote honest time and energy to your community, you're better off skipping this weapon and leaving it to the real guerrillas in your community. I just hope for your sake that none are your direct competitors."
His post struck a real chord with me.  As a dedicated community volunteer, I sit on  many boards and committees.  And I am frequently frustrated—even angered—to read the membership lists of various volunteer groups  and note the names of many folks who never show up and/or do the work of the body.  I also get irritated when I am the only REALTOR involved in issues that have a direct bearing on the quality of life in our beloved Montgomery, Alabama.
 
Those of us who make a living selling real estate in this community have, in my not-so-humble opinion, an immense obligation to give back.  We are in positions of influence and can, if we choose, make a real difference.  And if more of us were involved, what a difference that would be!

Midtown Montgomery Real Estate Sales Statistics - July 2008

by The Hat Team

Existing-home sales rose from the first quarter in 13 states, largely from buyers responding to discounted home prices, according to the latest quarterly survey by the National Association of Realtors®. Nearly one-quarter of metropolitan areas showed rising home prices in the second quarter from a year ago, with greatly mixed conditions continuing around the country.

In the second quarter, 35 out of 150 metropolitan statistical areas1 showed gains in median existing single-family home prices from the second quarter of last year, while 115 had price declines. NAR’s track of metro area home prices dates back to 1979.
NAR President Richard Gaylord, a broker with RE/MAX Real Estate Specialists in Long Beach, Calif., said foreclosures are distorting the price data. “In many areas with large concentrations of foreclosure sales, homes are being purchased below replacement cost values,” Gaylord said. “Many buyers with long-term expectations are getting exceptional value in the current market. Once the inventory is drawn down, price pressure will return because the costs of construction are rising – today’s buyers are very well positioned to build wealth over time.” National Association of Realtors®.

Let’s take a look at the sales statistics for July 2008 to see how the Montgomery AL real estate market looks:

In Midtown Montgomery, pending sales decreased 18% in June 2008, compared against June 2007.  Likewise, the number of sold listings dropped 21%.  The average sales price decreased 9% to $131,446, and homes remained on the market for an average of 7 fewer days this June.

Midtown
Montgomery
Pending
Sales
Sold
Listings
Average
Market Times
Average
Sales Price
July 2008
38
37
104
$142,820
July 2007
72
56
133
$149,412

Again, as Gaylord said and as these statistics show, real estate prices are declining in some areas, even within the same city For the latest Midtown Montgomery real estate market conditions in your area, please call me at 800-HAT-LADY or visit HomesForSaleInMontgomeryAlabama.com.
 
I
nformation is provided by the Montgomery Area Association of Realtors and is deemed accurate but not guaranteed. 

How Does Housing Recovery Act Help Montgomery Home Buyers

by The Hat Team
President Bush signed into law this week The Housing and Economic Recovery Act. This is the most sweeping change to housing reform since the New Deal of 1934. It is designed to assist more Americans invest in home ownership and shore up the faltering housing and mortgage markets.

Like any legislation, it comes with the good and the bad. I encourage you to write your Congressmen to see if we can get legislation to revoke some of the bad.  For example, effective October 1, 2008, FHA will increase the minimum required down payment from 3% to 3.5% for Montgomery home buyers. The legislation also calls for the elimination of seller down-payment assistance programs such as AmeriDream and Nehemiah by October 1, 2008.


As of July 14, 2008, upfront MIP premiums became risk-based on credit scores and the annual premium increased across the board. Instead of the original plan of making FHA loans more affordable for potential Montgomery home buyers; the new legislation is doing the exact opposite and makes it more expensive.

Details of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act:
Here are some key provisions of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act that most affect Montgomery home buyers:
  • GSE Reform – including a strong independent regulator, and permanent conforming loan limits up to the greater of $417,000 or 115% local area median home price, capped at $625,500. The effective date for reforms is immediate upon enactment, but the loan limits will not go into effect until the expiration of the Economic Stimulus limits (December 31, 2008).
    View 2009 FHA and GSE loan limit estimates (PDF)
  • FHA Reform – including permanent FHA loan limits at the greater of $271,050 or 115% of local area median home price, capped at $625,500; streamlined processing for FHA condos; reforms to the HECM program, and reforms to the FHA manufactured housing program. The down payment requirement on FHA loans will go up to 3.5% (from 3%). The effective date for reforms is immediate upon enactment, but the loan limits will not go into effect until the expiration of the Economic Stimulus limits (December 31, 2008).
    View 2009 FHA and GSE loan limit estimates (PDF)
    FHA Reform Chart (PDF)
  • FHA foreclosure rescue – development of a refinance program for homebuyers with problematic subprime loans. Lenders would write down qualified mortgages to 85% of the current appraised value and qualified borrowers would get a new FHA 30-year fixed mortgage at 90% of appraised value. Borrowers would have to share 50% of all future appreciation with FHA. The loan limit for this program is $550,440 nationwide. Program is effective on October 1, 2008.
    FHA Foreclosure Rescue Chart
  • VA loan limits – temporarily increases the VA home loan guarantee loan limits to the same level as the Economic Stimulus limits through December 31, 2008.
  • Risk-based pricing – puts a moratorium on FHA using risk-based pricing for one year. This provision is effective from October 1, 2008 through September 30, 2009.
  • GSE Stabilization – includes language proposed by the Treasury Department to authorize Treasury to make loans to and buy stock from the GSEs to make sure that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae could not fail.
  • Mortgage Revenue Bond Authority – authorizes $10 billion in mortgage revenue bonds for refinancing subprime mortgages.
  • National Affordable Housing Trust Fund – Develops a Trust Fund funded by a percentage of profits from the GSEs. In its first years, the Trust Fund would cover costs of any defaulted loans in FHA foreclosure program. In out years, the Trust Fund would be used for the development of affordable housing.
  • LIHTC – Modernizes the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program to make it more efficient.
  • Loan Originator Requirements – Strengthens the existing state-run nationwide mortgage originator licensing and registration system (and requires a parallel HUD system for states that fail to participate). Federal bank regulators will establish a parallel registration system for FDIC-insured banks. The purpose is to prevent fraud and require minimum licensing and education requirements. The bill exempts those who only perform real estate brokerage activities and are licensed or registered by a state, unless they are compensated by a lender, mortgage broker, or other loan originator.
It remains to be seen the overall effect the Recovery Act will have on both the individual home buyer and the housing industry as a whole.
From the Experts: 
“We’re going through a major financial crisis…let’s be clear: Fannie and Freddie can’t be allowed to fail. With the collapse of subprime lending, they’re now more central than ever to the housing market, and the economy as a whole.”
– Paul Krugman, Professor of Economics at Princeton and New York Times columnist, 7/14/2008

Montgomery AL Real Estate For Sale: 2440 Price Street

by The Hat Team

2440 Price Street, Montgomery AL 36111
MLS#  253257

Fourplex with huge modern apartments and covered parking in McGehee Estates...a Midtown Montgomery rarity! Each has its own washer-dryer connections, too. And if you wanted to be able to advertise "gated" to enhance market appeal, all you'd need would be a fence and gate across the front courtyard. A real moneymaker in one of the most desired locations.

For more information on this home or other Montgomery AL real estate, visit HatTeam.com or give us a call for more persoanla service, 800-428-5239. Search all Montgomery real estate homes for sale and get the current market value of your home.

 

Montgomery AL Real Estate For Sale: 3163 Malone Drive

by The Hat Team

3163 Malone Drive, Montgomery AL 36106
MLS#

Want easy maintenance, almost no yard, convenient to everything, then come take a look at this townhouse in desirable Hillwood. Very spacious rooms and good flowing floor plan. This house has been painted and is move-in ready. Very light and bright kitchen with breakfast room attached. Large mexican tile patio out back with parking off back alleyway.

For more information on this home or other Montgomery AL real estate, visit HatTeam.com or give us a call for more persoanla service, 800-428-5239. Search all Montgomery real estate homes for sale and get the current market value of your home.

Montgomery AL Real Estate for Sale: 3546 Southview Avenue

by The Hat Team

3546 Southview Avenue, Montgomery AL 36111
MLS#  253230

Looking for a great house and awesome lot in desirable Edgewood that you can buy for a song and renovate to your taste and style...here it is! Wonderful large scale living room and dining room with high ceilings and perfect for entertaining. Off the galley style kitchen is a cozy den with built-ins and cool corner fireplace. Large master has fireplace and double closets, and like newer houses, is separate from the other 3 bedrooms. Two bedrooms share a bath, and there is a third hall bath for the front bedroom. Tons of storage space in the attic, or room to expand upward with even more living space! Don't miss the huge 350 foot deep lot with full fence and lots of privacy. Detached 2 car garage provides additional storage. Go in with an open mind and see the potential this home has to be truly extraordinary!

For more information on this home or other Montgomery AL real estate, visit HatTeam.com or give us a call for more persoanla service, 800-428-5239. Search all Montgomery real estate homes for sale and get the current market value of your home.

Montgomery AL Real Estate Market Trends

by The Hat Team

Little change is expected in Montgomery AL real estate sales of existing homes over the next few months, before notably improving during the second half of the year, according to the latest forecast by the National Association of Realtors.

 

Lawrence Yun, NAR Chief Economist, said the market will come into clearer focus this summer.  “Existing home sales could start to show a sustained increase within a few months, unless there are some additional economic problems or excessive inflationary pressure,” he said.  “The wider access to affordable credit should increase sales activity notably this summer as pent-up demand begins to be met.”

 

Let’s take a look at the midtown Montgomery AL real estate market activity for this March to see how the spring is looking so far: 

  

The Midtown Montgomery market experienced a slowdown in activity this March, when compared with March 2007.  Pending sales were down by 43%, while sold listings decreased 15%.  Average market times decreased by 5 days and the average sales price decreased by 10% to $129,629

Midtown
Montgomery

Pending
Listings

Sold
Listings

Average
Market Times

Average
Sales Price

March 2008

41

97

97

$129,629

March 2007

72

54

102

$144,782

A decline both in the number of homes for sale and the length of time it's taking to sell them should indicate that we are at or near the bottom of our "small dip" in activity.

 

Now is a great time to buy or sell Montgomery AL real estate.  To get started looking at homes, please visit HomesForSaleInMontgomeryAlabama.com or search the MLS here.  For more personalized service, please call me at 800-HAT-LADY.


I
nformation is provided by the Montgomery Area Association of Realtors and is deemed accurate but not guaranteed. 

579 Rosa L Parks Ave, Montgomery AL 36108

by The Hat Team

Absolutely pristine "Jim Walters" home only 8 years old and recently COMPLETELY updated with new everything. Beautiful kitchen with all new appliances, laundry room with deluxe front loading washer and cool dryer with top rack flat drying system. LR, DR, and hallway have new hardwood laminate flooring, baths have new fixtures, and all 3 bedrooms have new carpet. Bonus room could be 4th bedroom, but has no closet. Interior has new paint, like new ceiling fans. This one is priced right and move-in ready!

For more information on this home or other Montgomery  real estate, visit HatTeam.com, or give us a call for more personal service, 800-428-5239. To receive email notification of homes for sale as they hit the market, click here.

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