Category Archives: Podcasts

Birmingham 2011 Home Sales: Market Thoughts

If you’re thinking of selling your home during 2011, does it make sense to sell sooner, rather than later?

This may be something to consider after listening to Tom Horn, an appraiser who specializes in home values in the Birmingham and Shelby Co. areas.

That’s because of what may be ahead in the coming months, which could make it tougher to sell later in the year.

On the other hand, Tom has been looking at price trends in the Birmingham and Shelby Co. area during the past year, and he has seen some changes from previously observed drops. For homeowners uncertain about trying to sell their properties, the trends—while not wonderful news—are actually a little encouraging.

We caught up with Tom to get his thoughts on what’s happening with home values here, and to ask what he thinks may be ahead. Whether you’ve been thinking about selling or buying a home in the Birmingham/Alabaster and Shelby Co. area, you may find Tom’s observations helpful.

Click the player just below…

…or click here if you’d like to download and listen to this interview on your personal listening device.

You can learn a lot more about pricing and trends from visiting Tom Horn’s Birmingham Appraisal blog, a great source of information on values and other appraisal-related news affecting the Birmingham and Shelby Co. area.

If you’re interested in knowing more about Tom’s services, visit his appraisal-source website here.

Tom is a good source of information on home values. He is even having folks who are thinking of selling their home call him in advance to appraise their properties … that, coupled with talking with an Agent familiar with the area, is a good way to know up front what your home’s ultimate selling price is likely to be.

Thanks, Tom, for the great information…

David

Birmingham Lender Clears Up Market Myths

If you’re seeing and hearing news suggesting that you’re wiser to hold off on buying a home, a talk with folks knowledgeable about the real estate market in the Birmingham and Shelby Co. area is likely to leave you surprised, and maybe a bit bewildered.

Jason Lee, Henger Rast MortgageFor example:

Myth: Lenders have stopped lending.

Fact: Lenders are lending, and they have some very good loans available, depending on your situation.

Clearing up the misconceptions is why we decided to catch up with Jason Lee, a Mortgage Banker with Henger Rast Mortgage in Birmingham.

In our latest netcast, we talk with Jason about why what you may be hearing on the news doesn’t match up with what’s happening in the Birmingham and Shelby Co. market.

Click the player just below…and then get moving on buying!

…or click here if you’d like to download and listen to this interview on your personal listening device.

Want to ask Jason a question about getting prequalified? Call him at 205-271-1210, or click here to send an e-mail…

David

USDA Loans: End Of An Era For Home Buyers?

USDA Rural DevelopmentIf you’ve been thinking of buying a home in the Birmingham/Shelby Co. area using the popular USDA loan program which allows you to buy with no down payment, you may be fast running out of luck.

USDA says the program is projected to run out of money by the end of April, and no new funding is currently anticipated.

In Shelby County, USDA loans have been responsible for many people buying homes in areas like Calera and Montevallo, as well as across many other parts of Alabama.

Because USDA loans are so attractive to many buyers—mortgage insurance isn’t required, either—they have often meant the difference between whether a Buyer is able to purchase property.

Carmell Cantrell, First Federal Mortgage

Carmell Cantrell is a Loan Officer with First Federal Mortgage in Birmingham, and has been following what may be the demise of the program she and other Lenders have worked with extensively over the years.

USDA loans could be revived if Congress acts, but whether that will happen remains unknown. If the program does, in fact, end, it will stand as a major point in real estate sales history, signaling the end of the so-called easy credit era.

Click the player below to listen to our interview with Carmell now…

…or click here if you’d like to download and listen on your personal listening device.

So … what to do if you’ve been thinking of buying a home using USDA loan program?

Experts have two words to suggest: Start saving.

David

Appraiser Tom Horn: Birmingham Prices Down, But May Be Recovering

If Sellers sometimes have an unrealistic idea of what a Buyer is willing to pay, Tom Horn brings them back to reality.

Tom is an appraiser in the Birmingham and Shelby Co. area, and owns appraisal-source.com, a company Lenders and homeowners trying to sell on their own rely upon for accurate residential market appraisals.

Colleen and I caught up with Tom and got his analysis of what’s happening with home values in the Shelby Co. and Birmingham areas. We found out pretty quickly that talking with Tom is very interesting!

From everything we learned about home price trends in the area, as well as the negative effects on home sales prices caused by government-mandated changes in the way appraisers are selected, we knew we needed Tom to share his expertise with us.

Thomas Horn, Appraiser

We’ve divided our interview with Tom into two segments. Click the players just below to listen to Parts 1 and 2.

Tom Horn Interview Part 1:

  • Price trends overall from 2006 are down, but may be slowly recovering
  • New homes are competing heavily with owners trying to sell existing homes
  • Foreclosures are now “making” the market
  • Increasingly, Foreclosures are higher end properties
  • What banks are doing that hurts Sellers and the community

  • Tom Horn Interview Part 2:

  • How Sellers can try to keep their home’s value at its highest
  • How the Government’s plan to manage appraisals is causing complications and affecting values
  • How Appraisers are being paid less while Homeowners are being charged more
  • How to sell sooner, rather than later: The value of getting a pre-appraisal
  • …or, if you’d like to listen by downloading to your portable device:

    Click here to download Part 1 (10 Mb).

    Click here to download Part 2 (7 Mb).

    Links to Thomas Horn’s websites:

    Click for Appraisal-source website

    Click for Tom’s Appraisal Blog

    We hope you enjoy … and thanks, Tom, for the great information!

    David Black

    Cam Ward’s Shelby Co. Economic Update

    We just never know who’s going to walk in the door around here.  But I’m not complaining!

    It’s always enjoyable and educational to sit and talk with Republican State Rep. Cam Ward, who is a candidate for the Alabama State Senate.

    Most Shelby Co. and Birmingham area civic, business and legislative leaders know Cam well, in part, for his track record as a State Representative.  He’s also Executive Director of Alabaster’s Industrial Development Board.

    With so many jitters about the national economy, what’s Cam’s take on the economy closer to home here in the Shelby Co. and Birmingham area?

    That’s one of the questions we put to Cam, who’s the guest in our latest netcast.

    Click the player just below to listen now…

    …or click here to download.

    We hope you enjoy … and thanks, Cam, for stopping by!

    David Black

    Dave Jenks: Optimism For ’09 Home Sales Market

    With all the economic uncertainty our nation has faced lately, lots of folks wonder what lies ahead for the real estate market.  Are things looking up in 2009?

    National Real Estate Expert Dave Jenks

    National Real Estate Expert Dave Jenks is a Vice President with Keller Williams Realty.

    Dave Jenks, a best selling author and Vice President of Research and Development with Keller Williams Realty, thinks so.

    We spoke with Dave last year (click here to listen to the 2008 interview) and just couldn’t get enough of his fascinating insight into the real estate market.  So … we tracked him down again to give us his assessment of how 2009 is unfolding and what he thinks lies ahead.

    Check out Dave’s comments in our latest Netcast by clicking the play button just below:

    If you prefer to download and listen to our netcast on your portable player, click here.

    We hope you enjoy our interview with Dave, and that you’ll find the information useful…

    David and Colleen

    Yardwork Is Crankin’ Up Around Here…

    Ask any Realtor what the most important first impression is about selling your home, and you’re likely to get three answers: Curb appeal, curb appeal and curb appeal.

    We’ve been sinking some cash and work into a part of our home many folks overlook. And that’s making the back yard look attractive (we already did landscaping work on the front yard a couple of years ago).

    Jeff Lucas, owner of Perfect Lawn Inc., of Montevallo, has been planting Leyland Cypress trees and bushes in our back yard, from which we recently cleared a lot of privet that was taking over more and more each year. If you’re wanting to improve your yard’s look, Jeff says now is still a good time to work on it.

    Click the player to listen:

    Or, if you prefer to listen to Jeff’s comments on your player, click here to download.

    Got questions about how to make your lawn look nice? You can reach Jeff at:

  • 205.965.5986 (cell)
  • 205.665.1547 (home)
  • David

    Buy-Downs: Helping Buyer And Seller

    So, you have to knock the price way, way down to get your home sold? Not always. While price is certainly important when it comes to getting your home sold, it’s not the only way to achieve a successful sale.

    Ever heard of a buy-down? Lots of people have, but not everyone understands it. It’s not as complicated as you might think.

    KC Haririan, First Federal Mortgage

    KC Haririan, First Federal Mortgage

    A buy-down could be the ticket to getting a home sold in a deal that’s better for the seller and the buyer.

    K. C. Haririan, a Loan Officer with First Federal Mortgage in Birmingham, is here to explain how buy-downs work.

    So, how is the Shelby Co. and Birmingham home market looking as we forge ahead into 2009? We’ll share our thoughts and observations–and we’ll see if Fisbo, our very spoiled five pound poodle, barks during our recording session.

    Click the player just below to listen:


    Fisbo,the wonder dog

    Fisbo, the wonder dog

    Care to download the program so you can listen to it later?

    Click here to download…

    We hope you enjoy the netcast!

    David, Colleen and Fisbo

    Dave Jenks: Why Now Is The Time To Buy or Invest

    Let’s face it.  You hear Realtors talking all the time about why now is a good time to buy a home.  But with all the uncertain economic news we’re hearing these days, is that just optimistic talk designed to drum up business?  Or are there some solid reasons that support buying and investing right now?

    Dave Jenks is a best selling co-author and Vice President with Keller Williams Realty.

    Dave Jenks is a best selling co-author and Vice President with Keller Williams Realty.

    Ask Dave Jenks, and he’ll tell you why buying now represents such a good opportunity.  Dave is someone definitely worth listening to.  He’s Vice President of Research and Development with Keller Williams Realty and has co-authored several best selling books, including The Millionaire Real Estate Investor.

    Dave’s research clearly suggests that real estate markets across the country are correcting from so-called ‘false appreciation’ … this means that prices are returning to pre-“bubble” levels.  This, among other reasons, should give buyers confidence, Jenks says.

    The domestic real estate market is undergoing some interesting—and, many think, positive—changes right now, as we wind down 2008.  We caught up with Dave to get his assessment of how markets around the country have performed during the past decade, as well as what’s occurring now.

    Check out Dave’s comments in our latest Netcast by clicking the play button just below:

    If you prefer to download and listen to our netcast later, click here

    We hope you enjoy!

    David

    First Time Alabama Home Buyers Get a Boost

    Starting to wonder whether buying a home would be better than renting?  If you’ve never bought a home before and have been giving this some thought, a program recently restarted by the State of Alabama may help make buying a home easier for you.

    We’ve got details in our latest netcast, which you can listen to here:

    [audio:http://www.calloncolleen.com/podcasts/091108.mp3%5D

    Care to download the program so you can listen to it later?
    Click here to download…

    The market continues to be very good for buyers in the Birmingham and Shelby county area.  That, plus the State’s bond program, means that you may have a great opportunity to make an investment that could benefit you for years to come (as well as providing a roof over your head!)

    Let us know if you have questions — we hope you enjoy the netcast…

    David