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Should I Buy a Home Now?

by DeLois Smith

I'm often asked if this is a good time to buy a home. Some clients are concerned that home prices may fall further than they have already. They are assuming that the best course of action is to wait for the bottom in the market and then buy. The problem with this approach is that you don't know where the bottom is until you see it in the rear view mirror, meaning until you've missed it!

Home prices are one factor in determining your cost of ownership, but so are interest rates and financing availability. Even though interest rates have gone up in the last six months, they are still near historic lows. Since your monthly mortgage payment is a combination of paying down your principal and paying the interest owed, if home prices come down a little further but interest rates go up, it could cost you even more to service a mortgage on an identical home!

While a home is a major investment, it is also the center of your personal life. It's important to live in a home that reflects your taste and values, yet is within your financial "comfort zone." To that end, it may be more important to lock in today's relatively low interest rates and low home prices, rather than to hope for a further break in prices in the future.

Please give me a call if I can be of any assistance in determining how much home you can afford in today's market.

Jennifer's Journal - March 2013

by Jennifer Beightol

My name is Jennifer Beightol. I am the Listing Coordinator here at The DeLois Smith All Star Team, Realtors. Like many of you, my husband and I are not originally from Hattiesburg. It has been nearly thirteen years since we made the decision to move to Hattiesburg. We wanted our daughter to have the opportunity to grow up in the same type of environment that we had grown up in. You know that wholesome “Walton’s-like”… life centers around family, church, community and oh yea … Ike Godsey’s Store… type of environment.


Definitely not the fast paced work around the clock environment we were living in Atlanta. So we packed the truck, loaded the van and moved ourselves and our five year old to Hattiesburg. It was a difficult transition at first, especially for the five year old who wondered where the rest of the mall was. But, I am pleased to report we adapted and for the most part have been very happy with the move.


Hattiesburg delivered! Family was a big reason for our move to Hattiesburg. It was very important to us that our daughter be raised around her extended family….to have that connection. At the time of our move my husband’s immediate family had also relocated to the “Burg” from Waynesboro. Now we were no longer the only Beightol’s in town. It was a wonderful change to be able to have Sunday lunch with family again. We found an amazing church. I am still often awed by their caring, goodness and generosity.


Ours is just one of the churches in Hattiesburg… there are many… filled with wonderful people doing wonderful things. I am proud and humbled to say we have been warmly invited to worship with quite a few of them. The church truly is a cornerstone of life in Hattiesburg.


The people of Hattiesburg treat you like a neighbor. This is never more evident than in the wake of disaster. Following the tornado of February 10, so many members of the community came together to help people they never met take those first steps back to normal. That is just the way things are in the “Burg”. Oh yea… I can’t forget… Ike Godsey’s Store – well Hickman’s and Kress Department Store might be a thing of the past …and the Mom and Pop curb stores of our youth might not be exactly what they once were… but the children have their hang-outs and gentlemen still get together for coffee and conversation. So as far as achieving that goal of a “Waltons-like” environment for our daughter to grow up in…Hattiesburg may not be Walton’s Mountain… but it is a pretty great place to raise a family.

Adam's Thoughts - March 2013

by Adam Watkins

We greet March with thankfulness! Given the “Mississippi Miracle” or “Hattiesburg Miracle” that our community experienced on February 10th, we can’t help but be thankful! As we consider the miles of damage created by the EF-4 tornado that traveled through Oak Grove, Hattiesburg, Petal, and surrounding areas, the more thankful we become. Personally, I’m awestruck at the simultaneous manifestation of God’s power and God’s protection. The fact that there were no casualties amidst utter devastation is quite a miracle indeed! Especially when you consider that the tornado glazed by Forrest General Hospital and over several churches (on a Sunday) as well as a university where students were largely out of town because of a holiday.


In fact, several of our team members were actually hosting nearly two dozen open houses that afternoon during our monthly Tour of Homes - all within the general path of the tornado. We had team members criss-crossing the area between tour locations as the tornado sliced through the community. There were a lot of phone calls and text messages made to assure everyone’s safety. We praise God for His protection, and we stand ready to serve our neighborhoods as we recover. We know we can do this because we’ve done it before. Our Katrina experience taught us a lot of lessons that we can apply here, and we intend to combine that experience with our resolve to forge ahead!


In spite of all these events, we see the beginnings of sustained improvements within our local real estate market. The first 50 days of this year are pointing to a trend of increased market activity. Year-over-year data from the Hattiesburg Multiple Listing Service (MLS) shows the number of homes under contract, homes sold, and sales volume to be up 54%, 6%, and 11% respectively. These increases are offset to some degree as our level of supply remains elevated, with a 1% increase in homes actively on the market over the same time period last year. Prices in most price ranges also appear to have stabilized. How long this trend will last depends on a multitude of factors, as you can imagine. These factors include long term interest rates, the financial impacts on employers of the new health care legislation, and the employment climate of the Hattiesburg Metro area. Regardless of these unknowns, we certainly welcome the improvements.


We do recognize, however, that to hundreds upon hundreds of our community members and families, market trends and market improvements are not nearly as important as putting the pieces of their lives back in place. These families are experiencing a tremendous sense of loss as they grapple with the destruction of their homes, businesses, and places of employment - and for some - as they recover from any injuries they sustained. It has been heart-warming to witness our churches and volunteer organizations sweep in and offer aid with efficiency and tremendous support. These volunteers are a part of what makes our area a special place to live. We’re dedicated to being a part of that support system. Almost immediately following the February 10th events, we began receiving phone calls and requests to assist those in need of housing - whether rental or purchase. We’ve even had some investors step in and purchase properties that are suitable for storm victims to lease as they begin to pick up the pieces of their lives. We can’t help but be inspired by these community helpers, and are honored to join them.


One of our client couples had a particularly touching reaction to these events - I’ll call them Jim and Jane. Jim and Jane have the benefit of life experience, having lived in their Hattiesburg home for many, many years. After the events of February 10th, they were faced with the overwhelming loss of their home, and the widespread devastation of their neighborhood. They needed a “new place” to start again, and we are grateful to have been able to help them find that new place. As they stepped out of the elevator on their way to leave our office, Jane said, “Well Jim, let’s go start the rest of our lives.” Her words weren’t filled with bitterness or resentment. Instead, they were filled with a sense of wonder and resolve. How inspiring and humbling! We have a tremendous responsibility to the Jims and Janes out there, and we are ready to fulfill that responsibility. Please don’t hesitate to call on our team. We are anxious to help you and/or your loved ones “start the rest of [your] lives” just like Jim and Jane.


Moving forward…


Adam & The Team

Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3

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.