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Starting late last year, some predicted that the 2018 tax changes would cripple the housing market. Headlines warned of the potential for double-digit price depreciation and suggested that buyer demand could drop like a rock. There was even sentiment that homeownership could lose its coveted status as a major component of the American Dream.

Now that the first quarter numbers are in, we can begin to decipher the actual that impact tax reform has had on the real estate market.

1. Has tax reform killed off home buyer demand? The answer is “NO.”

According to the Showing Time Index which “tracks the average number of buyer showings on active residential properties on a monthly basis” and is a “highly reliable leading indicator of current and future demand trends,” buyer demand has increased each month over the last three months and is HIGHER than it was for the same months last year. Buyer demand is not down. It is up.

2. Have the tax changes affected America’s belief in real estate as a long-term investment? The answer is “NO.”

Two weeks ago, Gallup released its annual survey which asks Americans which asset they believed to be the best long-term investment. The survey revealed:

“More Americans name real estate over several other vehicles for growing wealth as the best long-term investment for the fifth year in a row. Just over a third cite real estate for this, while roughly a quarter name stocks or mutual funds.” 

The survey also showed that the percentage of Americans who believe real estate is the best long-term investment was unchanged from a year ago.

3. Has the homeownership rate been negatively impacted by the tax changes? The answer is “NO.”

Not only did the homeownership rate not crash, it increased when compared to the first quarter of last year according to data released by the Census Bureau.

In her latest Z Report,” Ivy Zelman explains that tax reform didn’t hurt the homeownership rate, but instead, enhanced it:

“We have been of the opinion that homeownership is most highly correlated with income and the net effect of tax reform would be a positive, rather than negative catalyst for the homeownership rate. While still in the early innings of tax changes, this has proven to be the case.”

4. Has the upper-end market been crushed by new State and Local Taxes (SALT) limitations? The answer is “NO.”

In the National Association of Realtors latest Existing Home Sales Report it was revealed that:

  • Sales between $500,000 and $750,000 were up 4.5% year-over-year
  • Sales between $750,000 and $1M were up 15.1% year-over-year
  • Sales over $1M were up 17.3% year-over-year

5. Will the reforms in the tax code cause home prices to tumble over the next twelve months? The answer is “NO.”

According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Insights Report, home prices will appreciate in each of the 50 states over the next twelve months. Appreciation is projected to be anywhere from 1.9% to 10.3% with the national average being 4.7%.

Bottom Line

The doomsday scenarios that some predicted based on tax reform fears seem to have already blown over based on the early housing industry numbers being reported.

When it comes to talking about millennials, there are many stereotypes out there that have influenced the way the public feels about the generation. Whether it’s the assumption that millennials are irresponsible with money and would rather buy avocado toast than save for a down payment, or that millennials jump from job to job, the majority of these stereotypes paint the generation in a negative light.

A new study by Bank of America entitled Better Money Habits Millennial Report recently came to the defense of the generation when it reported that:

“Millennials deserve more credit – both from themselves and from others – for their mindfulness when it comes to money and their lives.”

Here are some key takeaways from the study proving that millennials deserve more credit for what they are already doing:

  • 63% are saving – (47% have $15,000 or more in savings)
  • 54% are budgeting – (73% who have a budget stick to it every month)
  • 57% have a savings goal – (67% who have a goal stick to it every month)
  • 46% have asked for a raise in the past 2 years – (80% who asked for a raise got one)
  • 59% feel financially secure – (16% have $100,000 or more in savings)

Many have wondered if millennials even want to own their own homes or if they would choose to rent instead. Well, not only do they want to own their own homes, but many already do and are looking to trade up! A recent study by realtor.com shows that 49% of Americans who plan to sell their home in the next 12 months are millennials!

Danielle Hale, realtor.com’s Chief Economist, gave some insight into why millennials are looking to sell,

"The housing shortage forced many first-time homebuyers to consider smaller homes and condos as a way to literlly get their foot in the door. Our survey data reveals that we may see more of these homes hitting the market in the next year."

Not every millennial fits into the stereotypes that are so prominent in our society. Those who have risen above the stereotype are ready and willing to buy a home of their own, and many others already have!

Every year, Gallup surveys Americans to determine their choice for the best long-term investment. Respondents are given a choice between real estate, stocks/mutual funds, gold, savings accounts/CDs, or bonds.

For the fifth year in a row, real estate has come out on top as the best long-term investment!

This year’s results showed that 34% of Americans chose real estate, followed by stocks at 26%. The full results are shown in the chart below.

Real Estate Tops Best Investment Poll for 5th Year Running | MyKCM

The study makes it a point to draw attention to the contrast in the sentiment over the last five years compared to that of 2011-2012, when gold took the top slot with 34% of the votes. Real estate and stocks took second and third place, respectively, while still in recovery from the Great Recession.

As the real estate market has recovered, so has the belief of the American people in the stability of housing as a long-term investment.

Homeownership is on the rise again!

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How much water does a running toilet use?

by thewaterscrooge.com

One in five toilets has a leak.

While that number may surprise you, the fact of the matter is that new leaks are constantly occurring—and your tenants won’t always know that they are.

Couple this with the fact that water costs have increased by 200% over the past 15 years and you have a problem you can’t afford to ignore.

As that water sneaks out, so do your chances of saving money in utilities.

The EPA estimates “a toilet alone can use 27 percent” of your average water consumption per day. And that’s when it’s working correctly.

A leaking toilet can lead to thousand of lost gallons every month, making identification vital.

How Leaks Start

The cause of most leaks lies in the factory parts of the toilet. As a toilet gets older, the cheap rubber parts inside will wear down, limiting their functionality.

The most common problem parts are:

  • Damaged seals,
  • Gaps from the flush valve,
  • Flush valves with small cuts, and
  • Fill valves that remain open.

All of these parts are affordable when replaced on a single toilet and can be done immediately to avoid leaks altogether. 

The Unwanted Costs

Running toilets can have different speeds at which they cost you money. A slow leak can waste 30 gallons a day while keeping you oblivious to the problem. A medium leak, on the other hand, is more noticeable and will go through roughly 250 gallons and $3.00 a day.

The worst case is a large leak, where your toilet operates a constant flow of water, spending up to 4,000 gallons and adding a potential $40 to your bill every day

Always be a happy camper...

by Brenda Blackwell

As I was reading through Facebook last week, I noticed that Mississippi was on a list as being in the “Top 10 Boring States”.  Well, I certainly have no problem finding something to do in our lovely state!  And I KNOW that our state offers many wonderful family destinations and it is not always about world-class, expensive resorts and attractions that make for a wonderful family memory.  I was particularly reminded of this during Easter weekend.  

Actually my story begins in June of 2017 when I visited the George W. Bush library in Dallas and bought my 6 year old grandson, Tanner, the book, Our Great Big Backyard written by Laura Bush and Jenna Bush Hager.  This is a wonderful story about a family that spends the summer camping throughout the United States in numerous National Parks throughout our beautiful country.  I made the statement that we should go camping as a family and, of course, Tanner was all about that!  I said we should probably wait until March when it was cool.  Well, in March, Lindsey, my daughter and Tanner’s mother, called me and said that Tanner had written on his March calendar page “camping with Lolly” and she wanted to know what that was all about!   Everyone in the family knows that if Tanner writes an event on his calendar that it was taken by him as a serious commitment…not to be ignored!  So I scrambled around trying to think of where and when to work our camping trip into my calendar.  I first tried Paul B. Johnson State Park and even went there to check out the cabins, activities and such.  It was already booked up!  (I was impressed!) 

So in the back of my mind I remembered two statements I had heard concerning Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park in Pelahatchie, MS. (www.jellystonems.com)   One was from Breanne and Seth, my daughter and son-in-law, who had taken their youth group from church there probably 10 years ago.  They raved about the place!  And then I remember one of my friends telling me that their grandchildren would rather go to Jellystone than Disneyworld.  Normally I would have thought that was an outrageous comment…but when we kind of jokingly ask Tanner if he would rather go to the Hattiesburg Zoo or Disneyworld he says “Hattiesburg Zoo!”  Well needless to say, Jellystone was a hit and I learned several things from this wonderful, family adventure. 

  1.  Be careful what you say.  If it sounds like a promise you need to keep your word!
  2.  You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to have a fun and memorable experience with your kids and grandkids.
  3. Don’t assume…ask their opinion about places and things they would like to experience.  It may surprise you! 

By the way, Mississippi has so many fun places to visit that I have lived here 47 years and still have many on my bucket list.  I have many clients who are moving here from other states that ask me about what activities our state offers.  Here are a few that I particularly enjoy and also a few new ones that I can’t wait to visit:

Mississippi Arts + Entertainment Experience (MAEEX)- www.msarts.org It opened April 28, 2018 in Meridian and is the new $50M Museum known as “The Max” showcasing Mississippi arts and entertainment legacy.  The evocative and interactive spaces in the museum were engineered by the same people that worked on the WWII Museum, The Grammy Museums in LA and Ms,  The National Archives Museum in DC and The Kentucky Derby Museum.  Sounds impressive!

Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson- https://mcrm.mdah.ms.gov  There are 8 galleries that focus on the years 1945-1976

The Institute for Marine and Mammal Studies in Gulfport- www.imms.org The Ocean Adventures Marine Park in now open.

USM Gulf Coast Research Lab’s Marine Education Center- http://gcrl.usm.edu/summer.camps.php  The Education Center holds summer camps for grades 1-12.

Natchez Pilgrimage Tours- www.natchezpilgrimage.com Fall Tour is Sept. 21-Oct.8, 2018.  There is also information on their website for a stay in an historic Bed & Breakfast. 

The grand, octagonal antebellum home, Longwood, is open daily and is definitely a must see. www.stantonhall.com/longwood.php But don’t miss others that are open daily such as Dunleith, Melrose, Rosalie and Monmouth either.  Also, Rowan Oak (William Faulkner’s home) in Oxford, Waverly (supposedly haunted) in Columbus and Beauvior (Jefferson Davis’s home) in Biloxi!

The Miss Mississippi Pageant in Vicksburg is June 20-23. https://missmississippipageant.com/miss-pageant  (My next door neighbor, Mary Margaret Hyer, is competing again this year and I’ll be there!)

The Vicksburg National Military Park www.nps.gov/vick/index.htm It was once the scene of a 47-day Civil War Battle.

Walter Anderson Museum of Art in Ocean Springs www.walterandersonmuseum.org Ocean Springs is remarkable and my daughter’s good friend, Roxy Condrey, is the owner of two fabulous places to stay for an overnight visit…The Inn at Ocean Springs located right in the center of things on Washington and her new endeavor, The Roost.   Both got recognition in Southern Living Magazine and Architectural Digest respectively.

As you can see, our state is not boring.  Here are a few more I just can’t leave out:  Ship Island, Birthplace of Elvis in Tupelo, Windsor Ruins in Port Gibson, Natchez Trace Parkway, The Mississippi Children’s Museum and next door the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science in Jackson, Lynn Meadows Discovery Center, and a canoe trip on the Okatoma in Seminary.

Always be a happy camper!

Brenda

  

Getting Started in the 'Burg

by Dennis Baum, Listing/Buyer Specialist

     July 4, 2018 will mark the 6th year anniversary of my association with the All-Star Team. Within the course of those years I've had the opportunity to list and sell dozens of properties, at all different prices, and in a wide variety of conditions.

     Our move to the ‘Burg 6 years ago was the result of a decision my wife Dixie, and I made in order to be closer to our kids and grandchildren. I had been a Realtor in Dallas since 1995, and although I knew a good bit about the real estate business, I didn't know a soul in Hattiesburg.

     In order to build a business, I could either sit and wait for my phone to ring or proactively go forth into the public domain, join organizations, meet people, and establish roots. As the former prospect would most likely result in starvation, the later necessarily was the course of action I chose to pursue!

     Calling on “expireds” is one of the most effective ways to garner listings; and in real estate, listings are the "name of the game". An expired listing is one which has reached the end of the contractual relationship between the listing agent and the seller. These expired sellers (and For Sale by Owners) is where I have focused much of my prospecting and business development attention.

     Recently an expired listing at 269 W Lake Road appeared on my "radar". Through the  research and investigative process I employ, I was able to contact one of the heirs of the Cole family, who after considerable discussion, graciously allowed me to list the home his father had built for their family on Lake Serene in the 1970’s.

     Having provided you with a bit of background, I wish to tell you about this magnificent home and property on Lake Serene, which you have been driving past and admiring subconsciously for years. It’s the lovely home with the pillars in front that sits above its own private pond on West Lake Rd on Lake Serene; immediately north and across West Lake Rd form the Lake Serene Club House and immediately next to the Lake Serene Walking Trail. This is possibly the finest estate property I have had the pleasure of listing since I began selling real estate in Hattiesburg, some 6 years ago. 

     Situated on the most gorgeous, elevated, gently rolling 7.5 A tract in Hattiesburg, the price to $499K. A huge cement pond with a walking bridge graces the entrance to the estate, making this home distinctive and elegant. Joanna, one of the vendors who works for the All Star Team in our "make ready" department and helped prepare this home prior to listing, commented recently that years ago, with her wedding day approaching, Mrs. Katherine Cole (the lady of the house) allowed her and her wedding party, to take her wedding pictures on that very same bridge. 

     Words simply cannot describe the magnificent beauty this property provides. Beautiful sunrise over Lake Serene, after thrilling sunrise, has graced this landscape throughout time immemorial. Flocks of Canadian take flight, and tall pines are positioned all around at attention. 

     The 4700 sq ft, 2 story home is superbly built, and features 5 bedrooms, 4 full baths, and a half bath. But wait, there's a lot more! You'll find garage space for 6 cars, and a shed to accommodate 4 additional vehicles or implements. Also included is a huge, covered family pavilion and outdoor kitchen, a classic merry-go-round for the chillin' and grandkids, plus a greenhouse. Your own private 2 bay boat hose with eclectic lifts is located immediately across the street where you can whisk you and your guests on your own motorized golf cart (included)! All Lake Serene privileges are conveyed with the purchase.

Thanks in advance for your assistance and consideration!

Dennis "Den" Baum; All Star Team Realtors; Hattiesburg, MS 39402; 601-402-1993

Trends of 2018

by DeLois Smith

Dear Friends,

     The joy, hope, and reassurance of Easter has been a special blessing with beautiful choral music ringing forth from local church choruses and congregations and numerous well-attended special Easter services. Spring is truly here in all of its grandeur! Our Hattiesburg area has been breathtaking for a few weeks now. I wish all of you who have moved away could come back home to enjoy this beautiful burst of splendor. We invite you any time!

     Here at the end of the first quarter of 2018, changes are very obvious in the residential market! First is the imbalance of supply and demand. Homebuyers are experiencing some severe shortage of supply in the $100,000 - $200,000 price ranges in most locations. Petal has only a 1 ½ month supply in the $200- $250,000 range. At the same time, in the city and Oak Grove, the supply ranges from 7 ½ to 18 months in the $300,000 - $750,000 ranges. However, based on specific needs, such as location, amenities, features, or style, there are definite shortages in the $300,000 and above price ranges also.

     Secondly, I believe everyone knows that interest rates are rising (currently at 4.625% on Conventional, 30-year fixed.) A mortgage rate increase of 4.5% to 5.0% adds $60 for the typical monthly payment. Lenders will offer other concessions to cash in on rising demand. Just last week, I was involved with a buyer and lender working on a 1% down conventional 30-year mortgage and a 1.5% FHA mortgage- a good example of how creative lenders become to meet market demands. 

     Thirdly, inflation is rising. “Rising labor costs, increased government spending, and housing shortages are the main pressure points,” Lawrence Yun, NAR Chief Economist. Though the inflation data is a concern, an easy way to hold down inflation is to build more homes. More inventory will mean a slower rise in home pricing.

     As Realtors, we are proud of the professionalism in our local Greater Hattiesburg Home Builders Association and the higher standards of our local licensed home builders. The challenges they face are intense as they work with constantly rising prices in materials and shortages in skilled labor force plus changing regulations. Our team is a member of the Greater Hattiesburg Home Builders Association in order to understand the issues, changing trends, and new regulations, and to create smoother relationships as we are involved in marketing newly constructed homes, presales, and custom homes.

     Another new trend: Many builders are switching to starter homes, which are sorely lacking. More first-time buyers are feeling the urge to get into the market before prices and interest rates price them out of the market. For years, builders focused on higher-end homes which promised higher profits. Now there are plenty of big houses and far too few smaller homes for younger buyers and not enough homes for the boomers and senior buyers who are ready for a smaller home with lots of amenities with one floor on a level lot.        

    Thanks to our outstanding Marketing Director, Jennifer Upton, our All-Star Team website continues to function as cutting-edge technology with 102,809 page views on our site year-to-date (3/27/2018).  Many of our clients comment regularly that our site is their “go-to” for much of their housing information resource. Most rewarding is when buyers come to closings and tell me they have been on our website every day for the past year!

    We currently need new properties to serve the needs of current buyers. Our team goal and focus is always to “sell for a better bottom line in a shorter marketing time”, providing a full “team” of highly- trained specialists. During the first quarter, our 6 Realtor team average days on the market has been 70, with 40 properties closed for a volume of $10,736,000- average sales price of $268,400. To put these numbers in clearer perspective, the average agent in our local MLS has closed less than 1 transaction in the first quarter (.89 unit).

    These accomplishments are made possible by your continued enthusiastic support. If you are thinking of selling or know of a friend or family member who may need or want to sell, our team is in position to serve those needs now!

 Happy spring celebrations to you and your family!

LAMAR COUNTY DAY OUT AGAINST LITTER SET FOR APRIL 28th

by BUSTER WOLFE

The following was published on hattiesburgspokes.com 3/28/2018 

Lamar County residents are being asked to mobilize April 28 for the third annual Day Out Against Litter to pick up garbage along streets and highways.

Last year, more than 200 volunteers collected 350 bags of garbage to overtake the first year’s production. Volunteers came from Oak Grove (77 people), Sumrall (50), Purvis (30) and Lumberton (87).

District 2 Supervisor Warren Byrd gave Lumberton residents special praise after last year’s event.

“I am tickled pink and (Lumberton residents) know because I’ve been nagging them with text messages and phone calls,” he said. “I am very proud; I had a lot of support and I had a lot of good county people there. … We had more kids than we’ve ever had. We had teams and we had churches.”

The Board of Supervisors is trying to enlist sponsors so that volunteers will be able to have a hamburger lunch after the litter pickup.

REGISTRATION LOCATIONS (4/28/2018 @ 8AM)

Oak Grove - Arnold Line Community Center

Sumrall - Sumrall Community Center

Lumberton - Lumberton Senior Center

Purvis - Multi-Purpose Center

LET'S PULL TOGETHER & KEEP LAMAR COUNTY A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE!

Testimonial, Seller 2018

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Displaying blog entries 11-20 of 139

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.