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5 Reasons to Love a Real Estate Agent

by DeLois Smith

Star Chat with DeLois - April 2015

by DeLois Smith

Belated Easter Greetings!
“The beauty in nature is God’s greeting card to us!” This is a quote I used four years ago to reflect the reassurance and joy I felt during this season. A blessed Easter has just passed with the refocusing of our hope in the risen Saviour! Over the past few days, I have also reflected and celebrated the lives of some very dear people in my own life – Bill Oliver, an entire-lifetime friend from Hot Springs, AR; Bernice Linton, a several decades-long community co-worker; and Debbie Sinopoli, a very dear colleague for over twenty years. They were each dedicated to making a difference in the lives of many. Their memorials truly made a lasting impression on those of us who were touched by their lives.
I wouldn’t have been able to make it to the memorial in Hot Springs without the new Hattiesburg based business, Southern Star Aviation and the talented pilot Charles Gauotte. They made the normally 10-hour trip to Hot Springs a possibility for me since I only had one single day I could be away from my business and responsibilities. If any of you have a need to travel a distance of 400-500 miles on a tight schedule, then you will find Southern Star Aviation to be a delightful and accommodating service. Please consider supporting this new Hattiesburg area business the next time you make travel plans.
The 2015 First Quarter has brought several notable changes in local and national residential real estate.
I. Encouraging Energy Efficiency has long been the mission of the U.S. Department of Energy.
a. New Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) standards have increased from 13 to 14. There is a grace period of 18 months for SEER 13, as long as the supply lasts for the south (including Mississippi). Of course the replacement cost will be greater, but there will be a substantial cost savings. Check now with your local electric service to determine rebates available.
b. A Second big change involves hot water heater replacements. Effective April 16, 2015, the DOE will require high energy factor ratings. This rule will affect homeowners needing a water heater replacement. It could be minor or rather major if the larger unit requires structural modification.
II. Home Warranties – a Beneficial Asset among Homeowners, Especially New Homeowners: Locally, I recommend First American Home Warranty because of the wonderful service they provide for the Hattiesburg area. Go online to to check out this service, even if you have owned your present home for many years.
III. The New Hot Housing Market – Vacation Homes: As vacation homes soared to comprise 21% of all transactions in 2014, investment property has declined for four consecutive years. This is a national trend, but the local market shows a reduction in investment property with the reduction of foreclosure inventory. The average vacation home buyer last year has a household income of $94,380, and property was a median distance of 200 miles away from the primary residence.
IV. Home Sizes Trending Down: Economists and housing experts attribute this contraction to the return of the first time buyers. Locally, however, I see the “trend downward” very often in the 50+ home buyer. Additionally, many of our current clients are more cautious and practical. They consider mortgage payments, utility bills, and job stability. This is also an interest in the so-called tiny homes or properties that range from 100 to 400 square feet. The tiny house movement is picking up steam nationally with a cable television series called Tiny House Nation that spotlights these homes and the people who live in them.
V. Youth of the Nation: The 13 million young adults (YAs) currently 18-34, often referred to as Millennials, comprise the largest and most diverse population in the last three decades. The percentage of YAs today who are foreign-born has more than doubled since 1980 (15% versus 6%), with many speaking a language other than English at home. Twenty-two percent of YAs have college degrees, and only three in ten have ever been married. The median age of millennial home buyers is 29 with a median income of $76,900, and they typically buy 1,720 square foot homes costing on average $189,900.
VI. Team Production increased in the number of units closed during the first quarter from 70 in 2014 to 76 in 2015. Average closed sale price is down from $194,880 in 2014 to $183,734 in 2015.
Rates are still very favorable, and quality inventory is available! Interest rates at closing are usually 3.5% -4%, depending on several factors. Mortgage rates and terms are very favorable. NOW TRULY IS THE TIME TO PURCHASE!!!
Thank you “again and again” for your continued support as we endeavor to create extra value for the wonderful clients we serve!
Happy Spring!
DeLois & Team

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Contact Information

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

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.