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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-

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!

Star Chat from DeLois - January 2014

by DeLois Smith

Dear Friends,


The new is wearing off of 2014! It is now time for all of us to consider what impact our lives will have on our families, churches, community, state or nation in 2014. In that reality, I have been contemplating growth in three main areas – spiritual value, family values, and high performance team impact.


“In appreciation of Remarkable Lives”, an article in the Wall Street Journal grabbed my attention. A good way to start a new year is by reflecting on remarkable individuals who died the year before. Margaret Thatcher was a prime minister who reversed Britain’s decline. She then modernized and strengthened her nation.


The recent memorial service for Frank D. Montague, Jr. was a beautiful tribute to a local giant. After suffering from polio in his 20’s, he was declared disabled by the U.S. Navy. His retort was that he would make his own decision about his future. For over 60 more years, he accomplished unbelievable results in all of his personal and professional endeavors. These successes included 64 wonderful years of devoted marriage, three devoted sons who are also very successful attorneys, and pages of leadership roles in Westminster Presbyterian Church, educational institutions, and civic and professional organizations. I personally loved and respected this remarkable man and was abundantly blessed to call him my friend.


Dr. Donna Wheeler was another dear local friend who devoted selfless service influencing thousands of William Carey University students for 47 years. For Donna, the Rotary motto “Service Above Self” was her life. My husband, Lavon, and I had the privileged joy to participate in four of Dr. Milton Wheeler’s famous international trips. Donna found strength to encourage and nurture everyone on the trips even when she had serious health issues. I shall never forget the day she and I ran the “real” Olympia track together in pouring rain – not very fast, mind you, but we finished the track!


This week our team will be setting the course for high performance impact on the local Hattiesburg market in 2014. The team just arrived back from a refreshing and relaxing cruise which they earned for 2013 success in meeting our team goal of $62 million closed including 325 transactions. Each of the 14 full time team members are setting their personal and professional goals this week. This accumulation of each of the team roles will be our combined 2014 team goal. Next week we will announce the goal and the special theme for impacting the lives of those we serve in 2014.


Your grateful Realtor,


DeLois Smith

Contentment in today

by Wendy Gay

It’s true! I have a hard time seeing the Big Picture. I guess you could say I’m a little self-absorbed in my own world.


Most people, I guess, have an idealist type view of their future, an idea of who will be in their lives, places they will go, and activities they will accomplish, or at least try.


My vision is pretty limited at this time. This is so ironic because I have spent most of my life “For someday when, and one day if.” Could it be that I’m satisfied and content with my present? Or could it be fear of what lies ahead so therefore I won’t look? I’m pretty well known for not reading the newspaper or watching the news, which I agree is not very wise.


But honestly, I feel my efforts are spent more on the things I can control that hopefully impact the world, one person at a time and those efforts are as menial as making sure Josie Lee Gay has washed behind her ears or as important as the family from Ohio, that has four days to find a home, will have a place to lay their heads next month.


I choose to believe that it’s contentment in today and right where I am at. I’ve finally stopped struggling against the things and events that are outside my control and I’ve found the silver-lining in the gift of Today.


- Today God has granted the gift of freedom.
- Today God has granted the gift of health.
- Today God has granted me the gift of forgiveness followed by grace and therefore hope over my future.

I would like to close with a quote from my good friend and client Hao Xu…

“NO WORRIES”

Thank you God for today. “Trust that the events of today carry you to the future, tomorrow.” –Psalm 23:1-6.

Realtor.com app provides quality home search

by Josh Bellew

Realtor.com AppOver the past year that I have been with The All Star Team, I have been asked numerous times about the best way to search for homes using a mobile device. In today’s market, there are many different options for the home buyer looking for that perfect home, including mobile versions of agent’s websites and truly dedicated apps from national search companies. You can spend more time searching for a search tool than actually searching for a home. So after a year of trying out all of the options, I am ready to give my stamp of approval.


After experimenting with countless mobile websites and popular mobile apps on both Apple and Android devices, I have found myself always reverting back to the Realtor.com app. The Realtor.com app, in my opinion, was the easiest to navigate and worked consistently across all platforms. It also gives you the ability to communicate with your Buyer’s Agent in a convenient format. Here are several of the features that keep me going back to the Realtor.com app while searching for houses.


The most up to date home information. Realtor.com is linked directly with the Hattiesburg MLS, the listing service used by all Realtors in the Hattiesburg area. When we list a home, change a price, or update a status, Realtor.com receives this information in about 15 minutes and makes the appropriate changes. Other apps like Zillow and Trulia can take up to 2 or 3 days to update.


Location based home searches – This is one of my favorite features of the Realtor.com. It can detect the general area you are in and show you homes that are within a certain radius. This is incredibly useful if you like to search for homes by driving in the areas you like. Sometimes you may not know there is an excellent neighborhood tucked away in the woods off the major highways, but now you will be able to scout out the area without wasting time.


Full screen photo slide show. The Realtor.com app offers a great way to view the home photos. Once you are looking at the listing, just touch the photo of the home and a full screen slide show pops up that allows you to easily swipe through the photos.


Open House list – We all like an open house. It’s a great way to quickly view a house you’re interested in, especially when you are just starting your search. Realtor.com gives the agents in our area the ability to list our Open Houses. Curious if there are any Open Houses while you’re searching? Just go to the app’s home screen and click Open Houses. If any are scheduled, you will see a list of addresses and times. (Be sure to check it out before our Tour Of Homes each month.)


Collaborative Search – One of the most useful features of the Realtor.com app is the ability to connect with our Buyer Agents while you are searching for a home. The app allows you to sync your login with the agent you are working with. You can then easily let the agent know which houses you are interested in and request a showing of a specific house. Once connected, your agent will be able to recommend houses that you may be interested in, allowing you to easily view the home and let your agent know your thoughts. If you would like to connect with your agent on the Realtor.com app, just ask and they will email you an invitation to connect.
These are just a few of the many features that make this my “go-to” app when searching for homes. As always, if you ever have a question about searching for homes online, feel free to give me a call or, better yet, stop by the office and say hello.

Download the realtor.com app here.

Star Chat from DeLois

by DeLois Smith

Dear Friends,
This really is my 40th year to serve in the intense and ever-changing role as a Residential Realtor in the greater Hattiesburg Area. I have loved the opportunity to be closely connected with families of the area who were buying and selling their homes. Frequently, I have had the joy of working with first, second and even third generations and sometimes it has been the estate homes of friends that I have had close personal relationship for many years. Those are the sad times of reflecting on the brevity of life.
My passion for helping families buy or sell their homes is as intense as it was in August 1973 when I first convinced a young family that 910 Quinn Street should be their “home sweet home” at $16,500.00. Adam says, “Selling a family home to DeLois is like a dose of Vim and Vigor!”
In 1977, when we first opened Hattiesburg’s first franchised office, Hattiesburg Gallery of Homes, our very first clients were Dr. John and Cathy Dudley as they sold their first home on Prince George and purchased their current home in SW Hattiesburg.
My 40 years of local experience has taken me through two major recessions; no financing in the early 70’s except owner financing or FHA or VA Assumption; interest rates from 16-21% in the 80’s; a steady annual appreciation of 3% from 1990-2005; Katrina and recent tornadoes with a loss or severe damage to 560 local homes; and now New Hope!
“The most significant differences between 2012 and 2013 is in single word: Confidence
– consumer confidence is at its highest level in almost five years. Consumers
believe that real estate is a safe investment. They are also feeling a need to get in the market before it’s too late.” RIS Media Real Estate.
Market strategy, negotiating skills and trend spotting have never been more critical
to buyers and sellers than right now. If you have needed or wanted to make a move in the past five year, Now is the time! Here are some important facts for your consideration:
• Cheaper to Buy than rent – Today it is 44% cheaper to buy versus rent.
• Mortgage Rates Moving Forward- The MBA projects 30 year mortgage rates will be 4.3% by the end of the year.
• Cumulative appreciation by 2017 – Locally I expect to be in the 15% range over the next five years.
• Move-up Buyer Savings – Currently a young family can move from a home in the $150,000 range with higher rate financing to $200,000 without an increase in payment. In the $300,000 - $400,000 with a $100,000 increase in value, there is likely to be money left over!
Our team of cutting edge professionals has never been better equipped to help you move smoothly through the process of marketing your current home and helping
you and your family get well positioned to meet your present and future home ownership needs.
In my 40 years of service to home buyers and sellers, I’ve not seen a better opportunity!
Call us to help you, your friends, or family move!

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.

Life of Balance

by Jerron Carney

The New Year is in full swing, school is back in session, and the resolutions are at the top of our priority list. What is on your agenda for 2013 - Eating healthier, more exercise, losing weight, living on a budget?


It’s so easy to come out of the gate with much passion to conquer what we so desperately desire. But more often than not, when we give ourselves to something new and exciting, we forget some necessary ingredients to a balanced life. I have found this to be true in my own life. Trying to balance life between church, work, family & friends – I often find the pendulum leaning toward my hobbies and personal interests rather than the things that truly matter most in life. Life just seems to find a way to get out of balance.


Being new to the real estate industry, it has taken much time and energy to begin this new phase of my life. Rules, regulations, clients, new listings, closings, and the list continues to grow. While I am enjoying every second, I have been forced to guard against burnout and fatigue. The last time I checked, there are still 24 hours in a day. Too many times, in my own life, there are items not checked off at the end of the day; and it’s very easy to stress out when these responsibilities are not met. However, we must always remember to keep everything in balance. Balance is different for all us, but it’s of utmost importance that we each find our own, and stick with it. Time is precious – Do not take it for granted. It’s a lot like land, they are not making any more of it.


To put this all in perspective, I’m reminded of what a wise old gentlemen once told me, “Son, keep the main thing the main thing.” In other words, set your priorities and keep it all in balance.

Staying on Our Toes in 2013!

by DeLois Smith

Over the course of my 40 year real estate career right here in The Pine Belt, I have learned that we need to continually ask ourselves: What can we do better? In the wake of a less-than-stellar-period for us – ’09, ’10, ’11, and ’12 – we cannot rest on our laurels, even though we can see some signs of improvement locally, as well as nationally. The market is changing; our customers and clients are changing; and we, too, need to be refining and retooling.


Currently, two members of our support team, Jennifer Beightol and Andrew Bird, client care and listing specialist, are giving up their weekends to participate in a locally offered real estate licensing class in order to improve their services to our clients.


Elizabeth Liggett, our team closing coordinator, continues to lead in offering All Star Access in early February. All Star Access is a custom built, online communications system for our clients. This system provides buyers and sellers a 24/7 online system to access their transaction progress.


Adam Watkins is closing in on the last six months of his MBA at Tulane while starting January 2013 off with $1.3 million in production – quite an amazing feat.


Buyer Specialist, Wendy Gay, has made an impressive business plan for her clients for 2013. Wendy is enthusiastically following her plan daily with the professional assistance of a brilliant national real estate trainer, Brian Buffini. We can’t wait to see the results of Wendy’s strategic focus.


Congratulations to Buyer Specialist, Linda Seifert, for producing the highest single residential sale in the City of Hattiesburg, the 2nd highest in the area market for this January.


It’s been a while since we’ve been able to kick off a new year on an optimistic note, but 2013 stands to be a year for housing where the positives finally outweigh the negative. Of course, the jury is still out on the fiscal cliff along with potential housing policy changes. Despite the policy and economic changes we may face this year, here are my predictions that will most impact our local housing market in the coming months:


• Inventory Reductions
• Local investor confidence
• Return of move-up buyers
• Growing international consumer base
• Increase in new home construction


Two more predictions I really want to include, but do not yet see: 1.) Increasing activity in the high-end of the market, and 2.) Rising home values. We can put these on the “hopeful list”, maybe the 2nd quarter will provide more evidence.


For any of you who have a need to buy up or down because of family need changes or have a family member who needs a home or you could benefit from a single or multi-family investment, RIGHT NOW is the time to buy. Do not wait for rates to rise and investing to decrease!


Our team has loved the opportunity to serve 38 successful buyers or seller transactions this January with $6.5 million in volume. The diversity in age was from early 20’s-80’s. We have recently served families from China, India, Russia, Taiwan, S. Carolina, Texas, Louisiana, California, New York, Florida, Arkansas, Missouri, and Mississippians.


Thanks for your many kind and generous notes and comments about our team service to you and your family and friends. You warm our hearts and encourage us daily. AND WE PLEDGE to you that we will focus on “Staying on Our Toes” in 2013 to continue to add value to you and your family.


Gratefully your Realtors,


Delois & Team

Meet Debra

by Debra Pace

Hello, or as we say in Texas….Howdy! I am Debra K. Pace, the new kid with The All Star Team. I would describe myself as a hard working country girl who is down to earth and approachable by everyone. I left a great career with The Federal Bureau of Prisons to follow my husband to Hattiesburg.

At the Bureau, you were considered to be Federal Law Enforcement with a mandatory retirement at 57! YES, I walked away from that wonderful benefit for the love of my husband! There was not a facility close by for me to transfer to, so it forced me to step out of my comfort zone. In Bryan/College Station, Texas, I had met a Realtor named Cherry Ruffino who had a very motivating story of working her way out of a Safeway Cashier job to the largest producing Real Estate Agent in that area. I remember telling my friend Nancy Jo that I wanted to do that. Although she encouraged me, there was no way I could walk away from a solid career for such an uncertain sales job. Shortly after moving to Hattiesburg, Sharon Register hired me as her Assistant. After a few months, I could see that I could go out on my own and took the leap of faith. I was an Independent agent with Realty Executives for four years, surrounded by great people. I’ll talk more about my decision to move later, but for now, let me introduce my family.


My husband is Alan Pace, we have been married since 1985, and I love him to the moon and back. We both grew up in Nacogdoches, Texas, attending the same school. His grandfather was one of the first chicken growers in the area and his dad followed in his footsteps, they always told Alan to get on the other side of the desk, not to be a chicken grower. He came home one day to say he joined the Army and of course, his first duty station was in Schweinfurt Germany. After 5 years, he realized that furthering his education would enable him to provide for his family more than the Army. He obtained his Bachelor’s Degree from Stephen F. Austin, then onto University of Arkansas for his Master’s Degree course work. He began his poultry career with Sanderson Farms and worked for them for 14 years. He is now with Tyson Foods with the same position, but unfortunately, it took him to North Carolina. Our motto is “we will do what we have to do to get our kids out of college debt free”. Seeing my husband every two weeks is not what I had envisioned for myself at this age, but hopefully the kids will appreciate it one day. God blessed us with two wonderful children who are transitioning to the adult world as we speak.


Kaleb Pace is known as a humble and great guy. He graduated this year from USM. Some of you may know him from Anatomies Fitness Center; he has worked there for six years, currently the Director of the Youth Center. I love going places with him to watch kids run up to him for big hugs in stores or restaurants. He doesn’t realize it, but I think his calling is to be a Youth Minister or something kid related. I’m looking forward for him to be out on his own to gain that independence.


Our beautiful daughter is Lauren Pace, and she is currently a junior at USM, and I say currently a junior, because it seems that she changes her major every semester. The kids put too much pressure on themselves, thinking they have to have a career path right now. I feel they should concentrate on enjoying the college experience and know the career path will come later and probably change a few times. If Lauren had it her way, she would be a Socialite. A few months ago, she was hired by Mugshots as a waitress and she absolutely loves it because she gets to meet so many people. She is the girl that is full of life on campus, loving her sorority sisters at Chi Omega with all of her heart, and all the new friends that she has met along the way. We are so proud of both of our children.


Now that you have met my family, you may be yawning by now because we do not live an exciting lifestyle. Let me close by saying that I am so thankful to Adam and Delois for not giving up on me for the past couple of years and for believing in my abilities to contribute to her incredible team. We have talked about me joining them for awhile, but I was so intimidated by their success, I was afraid that I would not fit in, and worried what my peers would think. I made the decision to join them right before the National Realtors Convention held in November, and when I left them in Orlando to drive home by myself; I had the clarity that I had been praying for. All of their clients and all of our peers need to know that behind the hustle and bustle of the business scene, they really are like family. They put God first, always starting the meetings with prayer request and giving HIM the praise that only HE is worthy of receiving. They run a well-oiled machine; each person has their place in the mechanics of making this model work. They make me want to be a better person and better agent. I do not regret making the move to this team; my only regret is not doing it sooner.


My clients need to know that I will still provide the same great service they are accustomed to receiving from me, and any new clients that I receive need to be prepared to be blown away by my attention to their needs, and work ethic. My close clients refer to me as “passionate about this business”, so call me, let’s buy or sell something together!

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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.