You’re looking at what was almost a $2,500 cat.
Colleen and I had a great time helping Juergen and Helga Lauer of Lake Forest in Alabaster sell their home.
The Lauers were moving to Germany.
Getting everything shipped overseas went pretty smoothly…until it came to the Lauer’s two cats.
The moving company said, ‘sure, we’ll ship them—for $2,500 each.’
We guess that was almost enough to put Juergen and Helga into a—pardon the pun—catatonic state.
Surely, the Lauers wondered, there must be a less expensive way to transport two cats from Alabama to Germany!
After some more research, the Lauers found their solution: Delta.
$200 each, flown/done.
No word on what the cats thought of the trip…
If you’re looking to buy a home in the Birmingham area, Lake Forest in Shelby Co. is one of the neighborhoods where you can’t go wrong.
Folks love this area because of its surroundings, which include a lake, walking track, playground and more.
Here’s a look at sales activity in the neighborhood during 2012:
If you’d like help with finding a home anywhere in the greater Birmingham or Shelby Co. area, let us know.
There are plenty of good opportunities out there…
Getting your home sold in Shelby County is taking longer in some communities and less time in others, while prices have dropped, according to October statistics from the Birmingham Multiple Listing System.
The average number of days on market increased in Alabaster and Chelsea, but fell in Helena, Pelham and Calera:
Prices continued a downward trend in October, and substantially so, compared to September:
How many homes are selling?
Except for Calera, the number of homes sold in October dropped from September. Chelsea saw the sharpest one month drop, while more homes sold in Calera during October than in September:
Why the uptick in Calera?
Perhaps it’s the large inventory of low cost housing (both new and resale), making for some very attractive deals for first time home buyers, along with the fact that Calera qualifies for USDA financing (which means loans with no down payment required).
I think these statistics are giving us some important messages.
If you’re planning on buying a home, the market is continuing to work very much in your favor in the Birmingham and Shelby County area. Prices have dropped, inventory is in plentiful supply, and loans continue to be very affordable.
If you’re trying to sell, the message these numbers present is that it’s going to take a lot more than just putting a For Sale sign in the yard.
Marketing plays a more critical role than ever, and must be done in innovative ways if your home is to stand out among all the other properties for sale.
Pricing is no less important and will be a huge deciding factor in how quickly you sell, or if you sell, at all (believe me, we have seen examples of both!).
You may also benefit from an informed assessment of your property’s appearance and condition. With so many homes for sale right now, if your property doesn’t sparkle, Buyers will simply move on to another.
These are some very good reasons for trusting the sale of your home to an Agent who’s knowledgeable about the market here in the Shelby Co./Birmingham area and who knows how to achieve success in spite of challenging economic conditions.
It’s always interesting to take a look at what’s happening in the real estate market here in the Birmingham and Shelby County area.
Here’s a quick look at market numbers for the Alabaster, Maylene and Saginaw areas, as of 10/25:
Total Homes for Sale:Â 355
Homes priced from $149,999 or under:Â 127
Homes priced from $150k-$199,999:Â 101
Homes priced from $200k-$249,999:Â 50
Homes priced from $250k-$299,999:Â 36
Homes priced from $300k-$349,999:Â 17
Homes priced from $350k-$399,999:Â 9
Homes priced from $400k-$449,999: 3
Homes priced from $450k-$499,999: 1
Homes priced at $500k or above: 11
Of the homes priced between $150k and $199,999:
-Â 27 have a full basement;
– 33 have a partial or finished basement;
– 19 have a Master Bedroom on main level;
– Â 26 are at least one side brick;
-Â 16 are four sides brick;
– Â 100 have at least 2 baths;
-Â 52 have 3 or more baths
Interest rates remain low, lots of Sellers are anxious to work deals, and time is running short if you’re wanting to take advantage of the First Time Home Buyer’s Tax Credit…
Source: Birmingham Multiple Listing System
How much does it cost to buy a home in the Birmingham/Shelby Co. area?Â Here are a few numbers that really show the variety of inventory and pricing currently available.Â Remember that these are asking, and not sold, prices:
Homes For Sale:Â 370
Under $150,000:Â 125
Helena/Pelham (Shelby Co.)
Homes For Sale:Â 502
Under $150,000:Â Â 148
No. Shelby Co./Hoover
Homes For Sale:Â 725
Under $150,000:Â 30
Homes For Sale:Â Â 287
Under $150,000:Â Â 23
Homes For Sale:Â 334
Under $150,000:Â 203
$150,000-$199,999:Â Â 77
Source:Â Birmingham Multiple Listing System
Here’s a look at how homes have been selling in the Shelby Co./Birmingham area during the past few months, courtesy of the Birmingham MLS:
Here’s a look at current inventory for the Shelby County and Birmingham areas, as indicated by the Birmingham Multiple Listing Service:
Number of homes available:
Helena & Pelham area (Shelby Co.): 521
Helena & Pelham area (Jefferson Co.): 58
North Shelby/Hoover area (Shelby Co.): 701
Altadena/Cahaba Heights area: 62
Liberty Park/Vestavia area: 446
Alabaster, Maylene & Saginaw area: 372
Calera, Montevallo & Wilton area: 356
Columbiana, Westover & Wilsonville area: 89
Number of homes for sale based on current selling price:
Alabaster, Maylene and Saginaw area:
Helena and Pelham areas (Shelby Co.):
Helena and Pelham areas (Jefferson Co.):
$150,000-$200,000:Â Â 2
Here’s a look at home sales in the Alabaster, Maylene and Saginaw areas of Shelby county during October, 2008 (source: Birmingham Area Multiple Listing Service):
As of 11/11/2008, 443 homes were listed for sale in the Alabaster, Maylene and Saginaw areas, and among those were some awesome deals for buyers (one seller cut $20,000 off the price of a one-year old brick four bedroom cul-de-sac home).
Thirty year fixed and fifteen year fixed rate loans continue to be available at well under six percent for many buyers…