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November 2013 Star Chat from DeLois

by DeLois Smith

Autumn Greetings!

   Pretty fall mums with pumpkins scattered about, v-shaped formations of geese making their happy sounds on their journey south, cooler breezes and sunny days, black and gold and many other sporting events, Live-at-Five Downtown, pumpkin parties, and up-coming Heavenly Art Exhibition on November 14th at Sarah Gillespie Art Museum at William Carey – these are reflections of this Hub City Autumn of 2013.

   These reminders of our blessings help us to “look up” rather than looking  around at the alarming events of recent weeks – both local and national. This week’s “ Make A Difference” campaign is a step in the right direction.

   Larry “Doc” Harrington, father of our dear friend Brigadier General Larry Harrington, led a most exemplarly life. Several generations of USM athletes and thousands of Army officers have been impacted by his model. His devotion to USM aided in bringing about an economic boost to the school equalling millions of dollars.  

  Our goal with each Star Chat edition is to provide some local and national information impacting the real estate industry – especially focusing on our homes and residential real estate investments.  This article focuses on the realities of ObamaCare, the recent government shut down, and other economic factors affecting the current real estate market.

 

Housing affordability is at 156 which means good market conditions for buyers.

Interest rates have been bouncing between 4.3% to 4.7% and are projected to be 5% by spring of 2014.

Local residential MLS supply is 8.84 months.

Average days on the market for the area MLS is 95.4 days; average for our team is currently 69 days.

Foreclosures Sales in our local MLS closed year-to-date are 299 of the total 1237 single family houses sold or 24.1%. Nationwide the foreclosure  accounted for only 14% of the September sales. This directly correlates with the fact that our area entered the recession period behind other parts of the US; and we are trailing coming out.

Locally and nationally we are experiencing delays in processing loans which is a direct result of the government shutdown.

USDA financing is frozen now and we do not know when it will be funded.  Our team currently has two sellers and buyers who cannot move toward closing. This delay costs everyone concerned; and of course this delay will cause some contracts to terminate.

Higher flood insurance rates went into effect October 1st.  Realtors nationwide have reported approximately 10% of transactions in September were located in flood zones, and that one out 10 of those transactions were delayed or canceled due to concerns over rising flood insurance rates. Another issue is the ever-expanding boundaries of FEMA’s flood zones.

The 3.8% and .09% new taxes designed to fund $240 billion over the next ten years into “ObamaCare” and Medicare became effective January 1, 2013. For the 95% of Americans who make less than $200,000 as individuals or $250,000 as a couple adjusted gross income, the tax does not apply.

Gains on a personal residence will seldom be affected because the tax is on gains exceeding the $250,000 individual exemption or $500,000 exemption for a couple.

The 3.8% or .09% will more often apply to the sale of second or third homes, investment property or inherited property. It applies on interest, dividends, rents and capital gains. Below is an example of a how this may apply to certain individuals.

 

Always, when considering any real estate transaction, whether it be buying or selling, get advice from your own tax professional.

 

 Thank you again for your many acts of kindness, loyalty, and encouraging remarks to us and to your friends and family.  We always want to hear from you anytime we can be resourceful or helpful.

 

Blessings to you and your family,

 

 

DeLois and Team

Fourteen years of change for the better

by Josh Bellew

Fourteen years ago I moved to Hattiesburg to attend The University of Southern Mississippi. When I moved here I had no intention of staying after I graduated. I was going to leave town right after I received my diploma and only visit during Homecoming. I didn’t have any negative feelings toward this town, I just could not see myself living here. I grew up on The Coast and viewed Hattiesburg as a small town with not much to offer in terms of jobs and what I considered to be good quality of life factors. 

I remember my parents telling stories about how everyone questioned when they built Roses and University Mall (now known as Mid-Town Market)  “out in the country”. When I was in high school I visited my brother for a few days to get a feeling for the college life. While visiting he took me to the new Turtle Creek Mall. Once again everyone was wondering why they built in so far out. 

When I was enrolled at USM it was known as a suitcase college. Every weekend the students would head out of town as quickly as they could, only to return late Sunday night or early Monday morning. There was little for young adults to do, much less a place for many of them to work. It seemed that everyone wanted it to change, but nothing was being done to fix this. 

Little did I know that there were plans in the works from various groups in the area. During one of my internships I was asked to attend a networking meeting hosted by The Area Development Partnership. It was during this meeting that I learned I was not the only one that wished for change in the area. A spokesperson for The ADP spoke about plans to bring more jobs into the area and ways to keep young adults from moving away once they graduated. I thought it was a lofty goal and probably just a few talking points to make everybody feel better. 

Luckily, I was wrong. Over the past 14 years I have seen this city transform leaps and bounds to a place that I am happy to call home. 

What was once a dwindling downtown area with vacant buildings and empty lots is now beginning to thrive thanks to the efforts of the Historic Hattiesburg Downtown Association and several forward thinking business owners and developers. Thanks to these groups downtown Hattiesburg is bustling with numerous restaurants, shops, art events, and festivals that create exciting experiences for all involved. 

The student life at USM has changed for the better. The improvements made to the campus since I graduated have been phenomenal. It is a joy to walk around the campus now. There are also more activities to keep students on campus and bring alumni back to campus. Does anyone remember USM tailgating 14 years ago? I sure do, and it was absolutely boring. 

The medical community in Hattiesburg has blossomed to be one of the leading medical communities in the Southeast. For the population size of Hattiesburg, we are very fortunate to have access to the quality health care professionals that have decided to practice in our area. With the addition of the College of Osteopathic Medicine at William Carey University, Hattiesburg has become not only a place for quality doctors to practice, but also a place to train future doctors. 

With the growth of Camp Shelby into one of the United States military’s major training facilities, Hattiesburg has seen a tremendous population growth. Because of the strong education, military, and medical community that we have it is no wonder that other business decided to locate in Hattiesburg, bringing more job opportunities and an excellent quality of life this town.  

From looking at future development plans by both the local governments and private developers for each part of town, I am confident in knowing that the best is yet to come. Community progress can often seem slow, but when I think back on the past 14 years I have seen what can quickly be done by groups of people that have a deep passion and love for their community.Perhaps I’m getting older, but the more I see Hattiesburg change, the more I think we are heading in the right direction.

Fall brings accomplishments in education and sales

by Adam Watkins

Fall is in the air!  What a tremendous year this has been thus far with a lot of accomplishments and life-changing events for members of our team and the clients we serve.  As we look toward the final quarter of 2013, our team is encouraged by the market activity we have experienced over the first 3 quarters of 2013. 

Average sales prices per unit have remained about the same when compared to 2012, but total sales volume and number of sales is up about 20% over the same period of 2012.  Interest rates remain near record-lows, and inventory is quite healthy.  We presently have new construction opportunities throughout the Oak Grove and Petal markets between $120,000 and $365,000 that will be available for purchase in time for celebrating the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.  Many of these can be purchased with $0 Down/$0 Closing costs if the purchaser qualifies for USDA or VA financing.  Contact one of our team members who can connect you with the appropriate lenders making these offers as well as the homes that qualify.

As usual, The All-Star Team is making investments in education of our team members so that we may provide our clients with the most highly-credentialed real estate sales team in the Pine Belt.  Sales and Support team members will attend training courses in San Francisco at the beginning of November at the National Association of REALTORS’ annual convention.  This annual experience will be the capstone to a year’s worth of educational accomplishments.  Jennifer Beightol and Andrew Bird completed coursework for licensure earlier this year.  Jennifer is presently completing courses that will allow her to attain her G.R.I. designation (Graduate REALTOR Institute) as well as attaining her brokers license.  She began her new role as Team Administrator at the beginning of September as well.  And, much to the relief of Amelia, DeLois, and the Team, I completed my Masters in Business Administration (M.B.A.) with Finance Concentration from Tulane University in New Orleans back in June, after 20 grueling months of study.   When complemented by over 200 years of combined experience in the real estate industry, these educational investments provide a wealth of knowledge for our clients that is unmatched in our region.  You can expect us to continue fine-tuning our skills as practitioners both in the field and the classroom.

Congratulations are in order to DeLois and The Team for recording the largest sale of 2013 for the HAAR MLS this past month.  It is one of only two sales recorded over $1 Million in the current production year, and the highest-valued sale ever recorded for Canebrake subdivision.  So far this year, The Team has been involved in 50% of the recorded sales over $700,000 in Canebrake.  We remain thankful and honored by the opportunity to represent some of the finest homes in our marketplace.  At the same time, we are keenly aware of how important each home purchase is, whether it’s a starter home or a luxury residence.  You can’t bring families home again and again (and generation after generation) without recognizing that within every price range is someone’s dream home.  That’s why we make it a point to seek out the best homes in all price ranges to serve every life stage.  Just ask Andrew Bird, our newest Buyer Specialist, who recently helped close a sale for some excited first time home buyers!

Our campaign to increase our social media presence and be accessible to our friends and clients in multiple ways is growing.  In the last two months, our official team page on Facebook has grown by nearly 150%.  Increasingly, our monthly Tour of Homes is being promoted through online mediums - including Facebook.  If you haven’t already done so, please be sure and “Like” us on Facebook and join our real estate conversation.  You can find our page by logging onto our webpages, www.GoAllStarTeam.com or www.allstarteam.com, and clicking on the Facebook icon.  Or, direct your web browser to www.facebook.com/AllStarTeamREALTORS.  Hope to see you there soon!

We look forward to serving you or someone you know in the near future.  We’ll have the perfect opportunity to do so at our final Tours of Homes for 2013, scheduled for October 6th and November 3rd.  For the complete schedule, be sure and check our website and/or Facebook page.   As always, we remain ready to earn and keep your trust again and again.

Adam & Team

Creating lasting, rewarding memories

by Linda Seifert

This past week, I had an opportunity to spend some quality time with my two youngest grandsons, Gunnar, age 8 and Gage, age 2.  (My oldest, Dylan….the ‘Dyl Man’, is a sophomore engineering student at Mississippi State).  

To say that Gunnar and Gage kept me hopping is an understatement!  I love the outdoors as they seem to do also, so we had a great time!  We took several walks with my pulling them in their little red wagon ‘uphill’….ouch!  I also rode the 2 year old on the 8 year olds mini four wheeler which goes all of 8 miles per hour.  I must say my backside got a real workout bouncing along the roadway!  Gage squealed with delight however and protested disembarking by repeating more….more!   

Gunnar is into football and we practiced field goals and passes with gusto!  Like his parents he watches the Saints with interest and enthusiasm!  He has an amazing understanding of the game and its players which his ‘Nana’ still struggles with even though I do have a basic knowledge of the rules.  

The time invested with these precious boys is always rewarding with lots of hugs and giggles, and I see through their eyes all the wonder and excitement of the good things childhood has to offer.  I am reminded of how lucky they are to have sweet loving parents, grandparents and a myriad of family and friends that adore them, treasure them and have hopes and dreams for their bright futures.     

I get some of the same warm and fuzzy feelings when I have an opportunity to help a family find their own piece of the American dream through home ownership.  I love the smiles, laughter and, yes, even prayers of thanksgiving received from my clients when a new home is purchased.  

Our Team is dedicated to offering the best possible home selling and buying experience.  Our ultimate hope is that you will spend a lifetime of memory making experiences in your homes and know that we genuinely wish for you a ‘happily ever after’!  

 

Live and Love well!  

Linda

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

Contact Information

The All-Star Team, REALTORS®
Bringing you home...again and again!
4 Willow Bend, Suite 2A
Hattiesburg MS 39402
601.545.3900
800.335.6477

The All-Star Team, REALTORS brings you over 200 years of accumulated experience along with the most innovative marketing strategies in the real estate industry. We specialize in the real estate properties located in Hattiesburg, Oak Grove, Petal, Sumrall, Purvis, Columbia, and the entire Pine Belt region. Put The All-Star Team, REALTORS® to work for you as you consider your next home sale or purchase. Experience the team approach to real estate and make us your REALTOR® for life! See how The All-Star Team, REALTORS® really is bringing the Pine Belt home again and again.