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Petal an up-and-coming place to live.

by Adam Watkins

Petal was recently named in the Top 10 in two seperate surveys ranking cities in Mississippi. One of those reasons was the growing real estate market.

Adam Watkins, broker associate at The DeLois Smith Allstar Team of Realtors, said in 2003, the average sales price for a house in Petal was around $107,000. By last year, that number had shot up to $147,000 — a 37 percent increase over a 10-year period.

“That period included one of the most difficult real estate markets we’ve experienced in recent memory, and in spite of that, the market has demonstrated strength,” Watkins said. “By and large, $147,000 for a house — based on the type of school system you get and the median income of the area — is extremely affordable, and I think that’s what those surveys are picking up on.”

For more on the story, view the full article in the Hattiesburg American. 

http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com/article/20140319/NEWS01/303190016/Petal-An-up-coming-place-live-

The cost of waiting

by Scott Holmes

Today there is some much needed help still available with the purchase of the family home, BUT IT IS VANISHING. Back when the Fed got involved in reducing the mortgage rates, they were 6-6.5% and are currently 4.4%ish. As the Fed is “tapering” off the easing it has given, we are headed to a predicted interest rate of 5.4% in the 1st qtr of 2015. This is from a Dec 2012 rate of 3.35%.


“This decision from the Fed is a trigger to get out there and look for a home while rates are low, as the Fed is still giving buyers the opportunity to borrow money at a discount, ” Michael Deery- President, Citywide Financial Corp.
So, if you’re a buyer that will use a home mortgage for your purchase, quite simply, the ability to borrow that money is cheaper now than it will be in the future. You’ll notice an increase in the average home price above from 2014 to 2015.

This increase will be due in large part to a lack of inventory (homes for sale) from this year and the pent- up demand to purchase from those buyers who postponed buying in the past for various economic reasons.
This supply/demand effect will help bring back some strength into the market. If sellers wait too long to put their homes on the market, they will lose available buyers with the increase of interest rates. I recently had a buyer looking for a home from $240-300k, but they reduced their top price range to $275k after looking for about six months.


Considering these facts, all you folks that would like to sell, there’s not a better time this year to place your home on the market with less competition than right now!! Feel free to contact me or another team member in our office to discuss how you can best take advantage of our recovering market today!

Great American All Star - Major General Larry Harrington

by DeLois Smith

The Pine Belt community that we love so dearly has produced some amazing people who are making a difference in our community, our state, our country, and even the world over. With that in mind our team has chosen to honor some of the American Heroes we have encountered as clients and now as friends and neighbors. The first recipient of THE GREAT AMERICAN ALL STAR award is a man who has deep roots in Hattiesburg – roots that have formed a foundation for an incredible life of purpose, leadership, compassion, and service.
Major General Larry Harrington (retired) served 32 years in the US Army - a career that included a variety of command and staff positions and numerous awards. His successful career includes assignments in some of the most demanding, complex, and strategically relevant positions. As commander of Task Force Storm, he deployed the joint brigade task force in Afghanistan providing essential counterinsurgency support to Joint Task Force 101 (CJTF101) and Joint Task Force 82 (CJTF82) in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. After Hurricane Katrina, Harrington commanded Task Force Engineer and was instrumental in stabilizing conditions in South Mississippi to begin rebuilding of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Earning some twenty-six awards from not only the U.S. Army and Mississippi Army National Guard, Harrington has also earned the “Zlotym Medalem” from the Polish Army and the French Army Medallion with recognition from the Czech Republic, the Swedish Army, and the French Army for his NATO leadership. Harrington’s military career is certainly praise worthy, but it’s what we learned when our team sat down with the general and his wife, Rosie, that made us understand what heroes are made of.
Both Harrington’s father and grandfather served in the U.S. military, but he didn’t exactly aspire to joining the service at a young age. He attended The University of Southern Mississippi on an athletic scholarship where he not only learned about the value of teamwork but where he was also introduced to the ROTC. Although, he may not have known then that he would make a career of the military, it was an obvious fit. He quoted, “I liked the structure, teamwork, and organization – being part of something larger than yourself.”
That “something larger” has lead Harrington to build a public service resume as noteworthy as his military service. Through his volunteer service, Harrington and a group of leaders brought Habitat for Humanity to Hattiesburg in the early 90’s, and today the program has helped some 40 low-income families build affordable housing. Harrington was chosen for the Chamber of Commerce New Leaders Program, Board of Directors for the Salvation Army and YMCA, President of the “M” Club, President of the Oak Grove Booster Club, and he was elected Commissioner of the Forrest and Lamar County Soil and Water Conservation District. “I was always taught you take care of the institutions in your life that make you what you are – church, family, military, and community.” said Harrington.
Quick to always give credit to God and then to his team members, Harrington says of his service, “I was fortunate and blessed to be needed.” On being asked what he felt was his greatest accomplishment, his spirit of teamwork was extremely evident when he replied, “Thirty-four years of marriage and two sons.” Harrington and his wife Rosie (DiFatta) were high school sweethearts. After joining the military the Harrington’s made it a priority to keep their family close to their hometown allowing their sons to enjoy a childhood among family even though the General continued to travel with his job.
Today Harrington works full time managing a company that performs contracts involving international construction, commercial communication and consulting for the US government globally. In discussing the attributes Harrington looks for in hiring an individual for a job, we discovered that he uses the concept of the Four E’s which consist of Energy, Excellence, Edge and Execution. He further explained ‘he looks for someone who will have the physical stamina, sense of quality work, expertise in the task and the ability to follow through on any project to its satisfactory completion’.
Harrington remains dedicated to the U.S. military and in recent years has served on a panel of retired generals whose research helped to identify one the biggest threats to our nation’s military force. According to their research 80% to 90% of Americans between the age 17 and 24 do not qualify for the military due to a lack of good-quality education on the preschool level and overall diminishing physical fitness in our country. He pointed out that children between the ages of 1 and 3 learn the habits of a lifetime. Harrington is hoping this information will help secure funding for creating and improving early education programs.

Market Winds

by DeLois Smith

The first forces of March winds were felt strongly today as I entered a closing with every hair pointing in the wrong direction. Such are the feelings we experience daily as we make our very best efforts to assist buyers and sellers through new challenges.
Just today, team members Adam, Brenda and I found ourselves in a situation we wish we could make two separate families winners of the same home. It felt like the Biblical example of Solomon’s wise decision relating to the splitting of the baby. Our team has a nice custom built home listed in Petal where the seller suddenly dropped the price yesterday by $34,500 below his purchase price 13 months ago. (He was enabled to adjust the price based on a corporate transfer arrangement) Immediately both Adam and Brenda had buyers who had wanted that property for some time but had not made an offer because they were trying to sell current homes first. With such a price incentive, they both responded. Now, we all must wait four more days before the relocation company will sign off on either offer. In the meantime, there could be additional offers which would change the outcome altogether. So-o-o, lots of “nail biting” for an entire weekend!
2014 – the year of the “boomerang buyer” is a trumpeted change which allows the short sale and foreclosure sufferers to buy back into the American Dream sooner then they imagined. Recent revisions by FHA and Fannie Mac loan approval systems have opened the doors for some former home owners to buy again just one year after foreclosure. Eligibility for a fast-track loan hinges on whether borrowers suffered a specific financial event during the recession that, through no fault of their own, caused them to lose their home. Also, the foreclosure or short sale should be the only blemish on their credit report.
Square footage as a status symbol has been replaced by a gravitation toward smart, efficient, amenity-rich homes. The “Smart” home is more important than the “green” home, according to a Better Homes and Gardens’ recent survey. The smarter the home, the more time and money a homeowner can save.
For the affluent consumer, the drive to make more money has become the drive to have more time. These consumers are willing to give up 1,000 square feet of living space for the next home in order to get a life style amenity they desire, such as a better neighborhood (54%), access to fine dining and entertainment (39%), and a shorter commute (38%).
The chic outdoors also plays a major role as a lifestyle amenity – a garden oasis, outdoor fireplace or fire pit, separate guest house, or state-of-the-art outdoor kitchen are among the most desired amenities. There will always be a desire for distinctive homes. Yet, the definition of what is considered luxury and how it is perceived will continue to shift as standards and lifestyles change.
As we complete the last days of February, we have an opportunity to reflect on the successes of serving several of our revered past clients, some lovely international buyers, several estate clients, a few first time buyers, and some up-sizing and some down down-sizing clients. We thank you for blessing us with your trust and good will. We look forward to the strong market winds of March!!
Your grateful Realtor,
DeLois Smith

Spring brings out more than blooms

by Dana Quesenberry

Wow! What a winter this has been – certainly one for the record books. Although, I have to admit I did enjoy the unusually cooler weather, it’s most likely because I knew it wouldn’t last for long.
There are hints of spring in the air and with the promise of warmer temps and longer days comes the anticipation of spring flowers, spring festivals, and, of course, spring cleaning – all of which I am looking forward to.
I love to garden, even if I’m not particularly good at it, there’s just something about getting my hands dirty that clears my head.
My mom has always particularly enjoyed the various festivals honoring everything from seafood to strawberries so we’ll likely be hitting the road soon to revel in this time-honored Southern tradition.
Probably my favorite tradition of all is spring cleaning. No really, I love it! Moving from closet to closet clearing out those pesky unused items that are just taking up space and organizing what’s left makes springtime the best time! Oh, the efficiency in the days after!
Another reason spring is such an exciting time for me; it is the start of the busiest season in real estate. Buyers seem to awaken from their winter’s nap ready for the new start promised by spring, and with the inventory of beautiful, spring-clean homes decked out in their dogwood blooms and azalea blossoms, they are surely not going to be disappointed. Be sure to join us on Sunday, March 2nd, for our Tour of Homes to see for yourself – Spring is in the air!

Displaying blog entries 1-5 of 5

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.