Blog Archives

Sandwiches, Shakes And Trivia At Montevallo’s Eclipse

If you ever wind up in Montevallo, a small but charming Shelby Co. community south of Birmingham, drop by for a visit at Eclipse Coffee and Books, and your taste buds will appreciate it.

I stopped in a few days ago and heard one of their sandwiches calling my name.  The Italian Panini, offering a blend of ham, salami, peppers and olive spread, was a definite treat:

Eclipse offers a variety of foods, baked goods, sandwiches, shakes and drinks for breakfast, lunch and dinner.   Nightly events include music, poetry reading and trivia contests.

The atmosphere is casual eclectic.  You’r likely to find anyone here, from a 20’s something student attending the nearby University of Montevallo, to a half century or more long resident making their regular visit…


Enjoying Cars by the Creek

Living in Birmingham and Shelby Co. has its perks.

If you’re a car enthusiast, you’ll definitely want to check out the many car shows taking place throughout the area.  One of those—Cars by the Creek—was held September 15th in Montevallo, a Shelby Co. city many people love for its charm.

We captured the fun on video and thought you might enjoy it:

Events like Cars by the Creek are a wonderful chance to look back at the love affair Americans have had with the automobile for generations.

If you really want to get in the mood for a car show, here’s a good radio channel to check out:  Car Tunes Radio promises to be the perfect complement.

Activities like Cars by the Creek are one of the many advantages of being able to call the Birmingham and Shelby Co. area home…


Great 3BR Montevallo Home For Sale

When we saw this 3BR home we just listed for sale the first time, we wondered if anyone has ever lived in it. The answer is yes, but you’ll have a hard time believing it.

This one level home, on Pilgrim Ln in Montevallo’s Lexington Parc community (across from American Village), is in super clean condition. It’s available now, and features nice craftsmanship throughout (the owner is the builder). Best of all, it’s priced to sell.

Check out our video talking about this great home…

If you’re interested or know of someone who is, let us know. We doubt it will stay on the market very long…


October Birmingham/Shelby Co. Home Sale Stats

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:

Days On Market  JUN-OCT 2009
Click here to see a larger version of the Average Days On Market graphic

Prices continued a downward trend in October, and substantially so, compared to September:

Average Prices  JUN-OCT 2009
Click here to see a larger version of the Average Sales Price graphic

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:

Homes Sold  - JUN-OCT 2009
Click here to see a larger version of the Number of Homes Sold graphic

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.


Birmingham Home Sale Prices

How much does it cost to buy a home in the Birmingham/Shelby Co. area?  Here are a few numbers that really show the variety of inventory and pricing currently available.  Remember that these are asking, and not sold, prices:

Homes For Sale:  370
Under $150,000:  125
$150,000-$199,999:  111
$200,000-$249,999:  51
$250,000+:  83 just_listed2

Helena/Pelham (Shelby Co.)
Homes For Sale:  502
Under $150,000:   148
$150,000-$199,999:  153
$200,000-$249,999:  72
$250,000+:  129

No. Shelby Co./Hoover
Homes For Sale:  725
Under $150,000:  30
$150,000-$199,999: 41
$200,000-$249,999: 127
$250,000+:  527

Homes For Sale:   287
Under $150,000:   23
$150,000-$199,999:  92
$200,000-$249,999:  53
$250,000+:  119

Homes For Sale:  334
Under $150,000:  203
$150,000-$199,999:   77
$200,000-$249,999:  29
$250,000+:  25

Source:  Birmingham Multiple Listing System


Seller’s Choice: Lead The Market, or Chase It?

“It’s the sluggish economy.”  That’s what I hear a number of Sellers say when their home fails to sell here in Shelby county.  It’s an easy explanation to fall back on.  But is it accurate?  Many more times than not, the answer is no.

If everyone in the Birmingham area deciding to sell completed a simple one page question sheet with two answers, it would really help determine, up front, whether their home is going to sell successfully, and whether it sells sooner, rather than later.

Here’s what the question sheet would look like:

It’s amazing how many folks have to learn this most basic rule of real estate.  If you don’t know it, not to worry … you will learn it when you try to sell.

If you choose to make your home as attractive as it can be (yes, that can take some work for many owners), and if you commit to setting a price that piques the interest of potential Buyers, you’re automatically positioning yourself to sell sooner, rather than later.  You’re leading the market.  How do you know if you’re doing this?

By gauging response.  Response is everything.

In the current economic climate, if you get an Offer on your property within 30-45 days of putting it up for sale, you’re doing well.

In the area extending from Hoover in north Shelby county across Pelham, Helena, Alabaster and south into Chelsea, Calera and Montevallo, 2,286 homes are listed for sale at the moment, according to the Birmingham Multiple Listing System.  With all this available inventory, Sellers have competition.

As a Seller, you must make your home enticing to potential Buyers, price-wise and appearance-wise.  If they find it tempting, you will no doubt find yourself signing a Sales Contract soon.

But what if your home has been on the market for, say, a couple of months or more, and hardly anyone has even looked inside?  What if you’ve not yet had a single offer?  The response you’re getting—or lack of it—is the market speaking to you.

Planning to lead the market or chase it?  Your decision means whether you will sell sooner or later.

Planning to lead the market or chase it? Your decision means whether you will sell sooner or later.

Many Sellers may wind up not liking what they hear.  Oh, don’t get me wrong.  Sometimes I don’t like what I hear a lot when I listen to the market, either.  But, like it or not, it’s valuable input.

The sooner we accept what the market is telling us and adjust accordingly, the sooner we’re likely to see a successful sale.  And if that’s been our goal all along, why prolong getting there?

We know Sellers who, in essence, checked the ‘Lead the Market’ box.  We know this because they got their property sold successfully, and without being on the market a particularly long time.

We also know Sellers who choose the ‘Chase the Market’ option.  They do this by pricing their home higher than is recommended.  Some neglect to take the steps suggested to make their property aesthetically pleasing.

Market chasers pay a price for their decisions.  They may believe they’re going to get closer to their asking price when an Offer finally does come in, but this often doesn’t happen.  Market chasers can expect to have their property remain for sale with few showings for a long time—other homes will no doubt come on the market and likely get Offers and possibly sell before theirs even gets a nibble.

Some market chasers won’t see their homes sell, at all.

In short, Sellers who say they want to sell, but who are actually market chasers, need to be prepared for frustration.

Which box would you check?


Homes For Sale in Birmingham & Shelby Co. Area

As we start off May, 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.): 518
Helena & Pelham area (Jefferson Co.): 58
North Shelby/Hoover area (Shelby Co.): 776
Chelsea: 279
Altadena/Cahaba Heights area: 72
Liberty Park/Vestavia area: 492
Alabaster, Maylene & Saginaw area:  382

Calera, Montevallo & Wilton area:  346
Columbiana, Westover & Wilsonville area: 93

Number of homes with 3 or more bedrooms for sale:

Alabaster/Maylene/Saginaw area: 362
Chelsea area:  24

Number of homes with swimming pool for sale:

Alabaster/Maylene/Saginaw area: 116
Chelsea:  24

Bottom line:  There continues to be an excellent supply of homes in a wide variety of styles and price ranges.  The good time to buy rolls on!


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