All we can say is: Wow.
Talk about adding some pizazz to our home!
We talk with our Clients frequently about adding features that make your home more attractive and enjoyable.
If you’re trying to get your home sold in the Birmingham/Shelby Co. area, these enhancements can be what it takes to get a successful sale. But even if you’re not selling, they’re still wonderful to enjoy while you live there.
We’ve taken our own advice.
Our Kitchen upgrade project is basically complete. To say that we’re pleased is an understatement.
We knew we’d like it … but we like it even more than we thought.
This upgrade includes sparkling New Venetian Gold granite counter tops, a Frigidaire professional series hybrid induction cooktop with convection oven, microwave oven, dishwasher, disposer, under mount sink and fixture, and new stone back splash. We’re even adding an instant hot water dispenser.
A lot of coordination and logistics had to go into this to make everything work.
Different work crews had to be scheduled to come in at various times, and they could only do their work in a certain order (i.e. Crew #2 could come in only after Crew #1 had finished its task).
With the need to do all this coordination—and the fact that the work crews have busy schedules themselves—Colleen and I had suspected that it could easily be three, four or even five days before our Kitchen could be used again.
Amazingly, the entire process—from removing the old, to finishing installation of all the new—was done in less than two full days (the template tracing for the counter cuts had been done two weeks earlier).
I never realized how much we depend on having water in the Kitchen—until we lost access to it! No water out of the tap or refrigerator, no rinsing dishes in the sink, and no stove adds up to having to improvise.
With all the different workers involved, it’s pretty easy to figure that someone in the process is likely to make a mistake. And I sort of figured there would be a lot of cleaning up we’d have to do behind everyone.
We were wrong on both counts.
The workers who did this project—every single one of them—did an awesome job. Nothing got damaged, no hardwoods got scratched despite everything being moved in and out, no walls got scraped, everything got put in correctly, protective covering was put down on our floors, stairs and counters, and nothing got tracked on flooring or spilled.
After finishing their work, there was no clean-up for us to do. Everything was left immaculate.
What more could we ask?
For all the logistics that had to come together, Colleen and I think we have come out great.
Steve Poe with Cahaba Cabinets, Inc. in Pelham did an excellent job overseeing all the work and handling the installation of our new counter tops. We do not take him for granite.
Oscar Requena with Hunter Home Improvements handled making sure all the gadgetry was delivered, connected and working. The changes Oscar made in his schedule are part of why we were able to have a functioning Kitchen so quickly again.
Shane and Heather Massey, the husband-wife team known as KB Pro, took Colleen’s design ideas and turned them into the beautiful back splash that we think really makes the Kitchen pop (I’ve always thought that, if she wasn’t a real estate Agent, Colleen has a second career waiting in home design and staging).
We have a lot of learning ahead, now that we have purchased an induction cook-top (the fact that it’s a hybrid means that we can cook using induction and/or the conventional way, with standard electric).
Our appliances came from the AllSouth Appliance Group, whose staff and impressive showroom can get you pointed toward the best choices for your lifestyle and needs.
It’s pretty wild to be able to put a pot of water on to boil and, instead of waiting several minutes, full boil starts in only a few seconds.
Our research into cooking technology covered electric, gas and induction. We wound up choosing Frigidaire’s professional series for several reasons.
Induction cooking is far more precise. Colleen liked the fact the stove is a hybrid; if we do sell the home and the new Buyer isn’t familiar or comfortable with induction, standard electric cooking is still available. A keep warm zone and keep warm drawer are added benefits.
The Frigidaire’s clean lines represented the look we were going for, and last but not least, this series fell in an attractive price point (we could have spent much more).
Even the dishwasher is going to require some educating. When running it for its first cycle of dishes, we first thought it wasn’t working, only to discover that is working. Yep. It’s that quiet.
Regardless of whether you’re selling or planning to stay put and just want to enjoy your surroundings a little more, upgrading your Kitchen is sure to please.
If you’re thinking of selling your home and plan to do an upgrade like this with the expectation of getting your money back in the sale, hold on a second. That generally doesn’t happen.
Home upgrades such as redone Kitchens and baths are still tremendous selling points, because they will likely put your place above the competition. Whatever you can do to stand out in a good way boosts your chances of getting an Offer.
As Colleen and I look around and enjoy our new Kitchen, we can only think of one thing we would change.
Whether we sell or stay, we wish we had done this upgrade sooner.
There’s nothing like misinformation to cause confusion and despair.
The popular story we’ve heard circulating a lot is that—starting January 1st, 2013—anyone selling a home in this country will be hit with a new 3.8% tax to help pay for President Obama’s new healthcare plan.
It’s true that the new tax does take effect with the start of the new year, and it’s true that some real estate sales will be subject to the tax. But it’s not a real estate tax, per se, and many people selling homes will not have to pay the tax.
So, just what is it?
“It” is a tax on some investment income. Interest, dividends, rent and capital gains will be subject to the tax, but only for people whose adjusted gross income is above $200,000, or couples who file jointly and whose AGI is above $250,000.
If you’d like information that makes this tax more understandable, check out this one page flyer showing the Top Ten Things You Need To Know About The Tax.
Hopefully, these facts will show that—while the tax is real and it’s about to take effect—its scope is more limited than many people have been led to believe.
One of the great things about living in the Birmingham area is the fact that so many beautiful settings are within such easy driving distance.
Colleen and I just recently returned from time away in the mountains of east Tennessee.
If you’ve never visited the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, you’ve missed a treat.
Fall colors typically peak at the mid and lower levels during the latter half of October and first part of November.
This is the park’s busiest time to visit, so be ready for lots of traffic and long waits at restaurants. But the payoff is seeing an assortment of red, orange, yellow and even purple colors that is a once per year event at most.
While we did not find this year’s colors to be especially vivid, the scenery and beautiful sunsets were still well worth the trip.
Popular places like Cades Cove offer spectacular views, but at this time of year, be ready to spend even more time there than you may be expecting.
A sign on the road leading to Cades Cove during our stay warned visitors that—once on the Cove’s 11 mile one way loop road—they were in for no less than about 3 hours before getting out.
But even during this busy time of year, there are still lots of places to explore—after all, the park encompasses over 800 square miles along the border of Tennessee and North Carolina.
Besides trails that lead to beautiful water falls and mountain views, among our favorite places are the so-called ‘Quiet Walkways.’ They generally do not involve strenuous climbing, and offer a quick, easy escape to settings where you can enjoy total peace and quiet among nature’s handiwork.
As you explore the park, you’ll definitely be taking a trip through history. The mountains are believed to be between 200 million and 300 million years old, making them the oldest mountains in the world. Not bad for less than a six hour drive, or exactly 300 miles from our front door to the cabin.
The park is full of places to relax, camp (primitive or RV), hike, stream fish and have picnics. Horseback and bicycle riding are other popular activities.
With over 800 miles of trails and unpaved roads and elevations reaching to more than 6,500 feet, you are guaranteed not to get bored. Little wonder that this is America’s most visited national park by far.
So far as I can tell, there is only one problem with spending time in places like this: The clock moves unbelievably fast. You can spend a full week and feel as if you got gypped on time.
I consider the Smokies one of the greatest photographer’s paradises the eastern U.S. has to offer. In this day and age of digital technology, you don’t have to be an expert photographer to capture some scenes you’ll likely treasure having for years to come. Press the shutter button enough times, and you’re sure to come away with a great shot.
The cabin we chose in Townsend (just outside the park) is one we’ve used many times over the years. It’s built on the side of a mountain, so from each of three levels, you have a great view looking to the west several miles, and it’s loaded with amenities: Everything from a hot tub and pool table to satellite TV, hammock and wireless high speed Internet. It’s rough, I tell ya, rough!
Another amenity getaways to the Smokies offers is one four letter word that’s very popular with lots of folks: Food.
You’ll find plenty of spots offering delicious steaks, barbecue and seafood, including Smoky Mountain rainbow trout (grilled, fried or blackened). And then there are almost unlimited varieties of freshly made fudge. When dining in the Smokies, it’s hard to walk away hungry.
Visiting the Smokies offers clear cut choices in how you spend your time. We are not fans of crawl-speed traffic, large crowds or long waits. Places that seem overly commercial in nature are not big draws for us. Translated: You are not likely to see me waiting in line to go inside the wax museum!
You can find your share of painted T-shirt shops and thrill rides in places like Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg (which are full of family friendly activities), or you can opt to spend your time amid much more tranquil and secluded surroundings, as we do, that are only a few miles away.
Colleen and I have visited the Smokies at different times of the year. Our previous visits have been during off season. While there’s no fall color to enjoy, the scenery is still every bit as impressive. More important—to us, anyway—is that going during off season means having most places almost entirely to yourself.
Off season visits mean far less traffic and hardly ever dealing with crowds anywhere you go. It may be only one or two visitors you encounter on the entire length of a trail. Some businesses close during off season, but not all. Instead of a two hour or more wait at most restaurants, you’re far more likely to walk in and be seated. The atmosphere overall is much more relaxed.
Bottom line: For us, off season visits are the way to go.
If you are really serious about wanting to get away from it all, this is where you do it.
Regardless of when you choose to visit the Smokies, you’re still likely to come away refreshed, and carrying a renewed appreciation of what Nature has to offer.
So, one word of advice: Go!
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…
From time to time, people ask us, “How’s business?”
If you look around and ask various Agents throughout the Birmingham area how their business is going, you’re likely to get varied answers. One Agent we spoke with recently has struggled much of the year. Other Agents we know have been doing much better. Colleen and I have had an extremely busy year, for which we’re grateful.
The fact is that—regardless of the economy in general and what’s reported in the news media—homes still sell. That’s because people’s lives change. New jobs, a change in family size or wanting to be closer to a particular area can be among the reasons.
I’ve heard people thinking of selling their home say, “I’ll wait until the economy improves.” To be sure, values are still down considerably, compared to previous years.
But that can also be like saying, “I’m going to buy a new car when the models get better.”
Here in the Birmingham and Shelby Co. area, the number of homes for sale in many communities is down considerably, compared to previous months. In Shelby County’s Alabaster and vicinity, the Birmingham MLS shows 220 homes for sale at present. This continues to be among the lowest numbers we’ve seen.
This drop in inventory is having an effect. Homes for sale that we consider excellent deals don’t stay on the market long. Buyers are out there, and pounce as soon as the excellent deals appear.
I’ve heard some home owners trying to sell without luck lamenting the lack of Buyers. It’s really not that Buyers are scarce. It’s just that they’re finding better deals elsewhere; the homes they wind up buying are in nicer condition, have more features, or are priced more attractively (or maybe all three).
A home needs to have pizazz to sell in the current market, and must be priced to grab a Buyer’s attention.
Homes lacking these attributes typically take much longer to sell (we’ve seen homes remain on market over a year before getting an Offer).
When it comes to getting your home sold, there are definitely success stories in the Birmingham area. Colleen and I recently listed a home in Alabaster that got two Offers and went Under Contract 13 days after going on the market. The Seller was motivated, priced his home so that Buyers had to notice, and has done a lot of fixing up to make his home look nice. The payoff to his work is that his home is set to sell, so he can move.
The drop in inventory being seen in some areas around Birmingham is starting to put a bit of a squeeze on Buyers. The Buyer who sees a really good deal on a home for sale in this area now realizes that there’s a chance to be taken by waiting: Someone else might swoop in and grab the home in the meantime.
If you’re looking to buy a home in the area, our advice is to think about what’s important in a home to you, as well as area, and to contact us (205-356-5412). If you’re planning to get a loan, another critical step to take early in the process is to get in touch with a Lender. Here is a link to some area Lenders we recommend contacting.
Remember that the world of home mortgages can be confusing, because there are so many different kinds of loans and differences in fees, down payments and other charges. A good Lender will be able to sort this out for you to help to simplify your decision.
Getting quotes from other Lenders to compare is a good idea, too; just be sure to understand that comparing different loans effectively means looking at all the overall costs, and not just a single fee that might be higher with one loan. You might also ask about “locking” in your interest rate (which involves being assured of getting the same rate if you wind up buying a little later).
By following these steps, you’ll be on the road to being part of the home sales success stories we’re seeing throughout much of the Shelby Co. and Birmingham area.
I remember thinking years ago, “you’ve got to be kidding.”
After all, what could be more boring than to have to sit and listen to someone tell a story for an hour?
Renowned storyteller Dolores Hydock has taught me a thing or two about being too judgmental in advance.
No matter what subject she chooses, Hydock’s tales are engaging, informative and loads of fun.
Dolores makes it impossible for you not to be entertained.
Colleen and I enjoyed seeing Dolores perform over the weekend at the Pelham Public Library when she told some great stories about–of all things–money.
A featured storyteller at the National Storytelling Festival, Dolores has won numerous awards for her work. If you go to see her, you’ll understand why.
We’re lucky that Dolores calls Birmingham home; she frequently makes appearances throughout the area. If you’d like to catch one of her shows, check out her website by clicking here.
Dolores has several more appearances scheduled in the coming months, including in Crestline, Homewood and Hoover.
Just one warning if you wind up going to see Dolores: You’ll get hooked, and will want to go back for more.
And then, after glancing at the sticker, reality sets in.
Looking was fun, but the sticker reminds that—before you can actually own that new car—you’re going to have to play the “show me the money” game.
Having your funding secured for the purchase of a new home is just as important. After all, if you don’t have the money needed to make buying a home a reality, what’s the point of looking?
Having enough money on hand to pay cash for a home is great, but let’s face it … not everyone can do this.
The alternative, then, is to get a loan.
Unfortunately, a number of people looking to buy a home in the Birmingham area wind up starting the loan process the wrong way, which goes like this:
- Buyer decides to buy a home
- Buyer starts the home search, driving neighborhoods, looking at homes
- Buyer finds the perfect home (“I want it!”)
- Buyer starts envisioning the new home as theirs (“Living here will be great!”)
- Deciding to move ahead with purchase, Buyer asks Lender for a loan
- Lender looks over Buyer’s information and says, “sorry, can’t help”
- Entire process comes to screeching halt
The scenario above is a classic invitation to major Buyer disappointment.
It doesn’t have to happen this way.
Colleen and I feel strongly that the first–and most important–steps in the home buying process are to contact us as your Agents and then speak with a Lender.
By finding out how much money you can borrow before you start looking, your search will be easier, as well as more targeted to properties that fit within your price range. If there are parts of your financial background that need work, a Lender can be a good resource for charting a course for you to follow so you can be approved.
If you’re thinking of buying a home, a good Lender will answer all of your questions and make you feel comfortable with the entire process of obtaining financing. Since buying a home is the biggest purchase many people make, if you don’t have this feeling of comfort, our advice is simple: Find another Lender.
Buyers lacking some time of financial qualification may be in for a surprise, given a reality we see all the time in the Shelby Co. and Birmingham real estate market:
Sellers want some assurance that a prospective
Buyer can actually obtain needed funding.
“Show me the money.”
If you try submitting an Offer without including either a loan pre-qualification or verification of funds (if paying cash), many Sellers simply won’t deal with you.
We know of several good Lenders in the Birmingham area with a thorough knowledge of the mortgage profession, different loans, costs and how they work. These Lenders have a strong commitment to providing good service.
Fortunately, most of our Clients purchased their home the right way, having contacted us first and then following our advice on consulting with Lenders before we started helping them with their search.
As a result, they are now happy homeowners.
As Fisbo, our highly spoiled six pound poodle, and I took our early morning walk a few days ago, I used the time to contemplate how our real estate business has evolved during 2011 and thought about what’s ahead as we kick off 2012.
Our walk was made rather intriguing because the neighborhood was shrouded in fog, limiting visibility sometimes to only a few hundred feet.
You can’t see very far ahead, and as you keep moving, what’s behind you grows increasingly vague.
Predicting home sale trends in Birmingham and Shelby County can be a little like walking into the fog: You can see a certain distance in front of you, but after that, knowing what’s ahead gets tricky.
That’s not to say we’re in a fog about what will happen, market-wise, during 2012. In fact, Colleen and I are optimistic that a lot of people will be buying and selling homes during ’12.
We think it’s going to be a busy and successful year.
Our optimism about ’12 is due in part to 2011, a year that was not only productive for us, but outperformed previous years.
For a lot of people in the Birmingham area, 2011 was a very difficult year, with the April 27th tornado affecting so many thousands of people and Jefferson County declaring the largest municipal bankruptcy in history.
I believe the new year will be one of healing and stories of success.
If You’re Buying:
2012 will be a year of excellent opportunity.
You might have to spend a little more time picking and choosing than during previous years, because inventory in some areas has dropped. This doesn’t mean the good deals are gone. It just means you’ll have to do a little more work to find them. An Agent with a good knowledge of the market as well as sharp negotiating skills will be one of your most valuable assets during this time.
Pricing will continue to be very much in your favor, but if you’re in search of a “steal,” you stand a greater chance of a Seller saying, “no deal.” If inventory continues to drop, Sellers have less competition, and therefore less reason for agreeing to a “fire sale” Offer.
The Buyer who understands and accepts this still stands to get a very good deal.
With no sharp rise in mortgage interest rates on the horizon, ’12 is shaping up to be another year of tremendously low borrowing costs.
If You’re Selling:
You will be in a better position to get your home sold than in some previous years. Home values will continue to be a big challenge, but the news isn’t all bad. With the number of homes for sale dropping in some areas, what has been very much a Buyer’s Market shows signs of changing. That’s a good thing, but the change is going to be gradual.
During ’11, we saw many homes sell for the same price they sold for ten years earlier. This was great for the Buyer, but not for the Seller. Seeing both Buyer and Seller bring checks to the closing table was not uncommon last year.
If you plan to sell during ’12, understanding one “fact of life” about the Birmingham and Shelby Co. real estate market will help: The maximum a Buyer thinks your home is worth may wind up being significantly less than you had anticipated.
We do feel optimistic that the slide in values is beginning to ease. This easing, however, is likely to be so slow and so slight that many people selling in 2012 may not feel it’s very noticeable. It’s important to remember, though, that the slide in home values didn’t happen in a few weeks or months, but rather, took years. Any correction won’t happen fast, either.
And then there’s the matter of your home’s condition. Do you want your home to appeal to a majority of possible Buyers or only a few? In the Birmingham and Shelby Co. area, the overwhelming majority of Buyers we work with want homes that are immaculate, need nothing done, and are “move-in” ready. We do get calls from Buyers looking for places to fix up, but they expect to pay “bottom dollar” for the work they know they’ll have to do.
Price wise, this home was nowhere near our biggest sale. But it’s not about the money.
The Seller had tried to sell five times before, starting three years ago, and not had success.
This was a sizable home in extremely nice, clean condition. But the sales price had never been in alignment with what was taking place in the Shelby Co. market, and we didn’t feel that the property had been marketed correctly.
Lowering the price was not easy for the Seller to do. But we worked hard in marketing the property, and our Seller worked hard, too, cooperating closely with us as we moved toward our common goal.
That team work finally paid off with a successful closing.
It pays to be a student of the market. Many of the sales Colleen and I helped with here in the Birmingham area offer lessons to the wise if you’re thinking of selling during ’12.
A 2011 Low Point:
We had many successful sales last year. But one home we listed in No. Shelby Co. was not destined to be one of them. It stayed on market for five months and never received an Offer. The home was not priced correctly, drew very little interest, and had significant structural issues cited by many of the few Buyers who actually looked inside.
During one phone call, the Seller (who had moved out but was still making monthly payments) says, “I really need to sell this house.” Only seconds later—during the same conversation, as we discuss pricing—he says, “I’m not giving my house away.”
The Seller’s viewpoint could be summed up in five words: Take it or leave it.
Buyers gave their answer.
The experiences from both our High Point and Low Point provide clear support for a prediction we’ll make for the year, though it’s not the boldest call I could make: 2012 will show that price and condition have never been more important in getting your home sold.
Changes To The Dictionary:
As we kick off ’12, I’m also deciding that it’s time to change the definition of some of the terms real estate Agents use (hmmm … am I allowed to do that?).
Agents have long referred to motivated and unmotivated Sellers. These categories don’t exist any longer. A Seller who is determined to do what it takes to get their home sold is, by definition, motivated. They will adjust their price as needed and will make sure their home is immaculate (as so many folks we worked with did last year). These are the people who, in all likelihood, will get to sit at a closing table.
The unmotivated Seller is typically unwilling to price attractively enough to receive an Offer. They also choose not to deal with with the moldy smell in the basement or the rotted wood that needs to be replaced. This person is not a Seller. They are a home owner. If they do happen to receive an Offer, it is likely to be for an extremely low price.
This year will be another time of great opportunity in real estate. If you’re giving thought to buying or selling a home, you no doubt have questions. Whether you’re a veteran or just starting out, Colleen and I hope you will feel welcome to contact us for assistance.
Feel free to call us at 205.356.5412 or 205.677.8686. Or e-mail us at: email@example.com
And we’re on Facebook, if you’d like to join us.
As for walking through the fog, I look forward to it. What might be ahead may not always be known, but if you’re determined to keep moving, the scene gets clearer as you forge onward.
Our optimism and positive thinking have us excited … we know there are lots of opportunities ahead.
We look forward to being part of your 2012 success story…
If you’re thinking of moving to Birmingham from out of town or out of state, you will no doubt hear news that—at best—will seem unsettling about our area.
On November 9th, the county commission for Jefferson county–Birmingham’s home county–voted 4-1 to file for what will be the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. At $4.2 billion, the scale of this filing is mind blowing, making it more than double the famous Orange Co. California $1.7 billion bankruptcy filing from 1994.
It goes without saying that this is a very unfortunate event, but it’s not exactly a surprise, either; the possibility has been mentioned and warned about for years.
The Chapter 9 bankruptcy filing follows the collapse of an agreement for the county to pay $3.1 billion in sewer debt connected to a series of financial dealings going back three years that cost county taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars and caused sewer rates to rise sharply.
Complicating the county’s financial picture was the Alabama Supreme Court’s ruling in March 2011 that a controversial occupational tax the county had passed (and depended on for $66 million of its budget) was unconstitutional.
Alabama’s Legislature could have stepped in to try and help the county avoid bankruptcy, but didn’t.
The bankruptcy filing isn’t helped by the tarnished reputation of some of Jefferson county’s elected leaders the past few years. The county’s leadership became a cesspool of corruption that saw at least 21 people—including five county commissioners—convicted of, or agreeing to plead guilty to, corruption charges, some of which were connected to the sewer debts. At least the commissioners and department heads connected with the sewer scandal are out of office.
If you’re thinking of moving to Jefferson county, this filing raises questions about the quality of life you can expect. What impact is bankruptcy likely to have on county services, on rates for sewer service, and even how easy or difficult it will be to renew car tags, given the closing of satellite courthouses? What does it mean for the myriad of county services residents need?
County staff has gone through severe reductions, as well, and these cuts have affected everything from roads and maintenance to the courts to health to inspections to law enforcement.
All of these are legitimate concerns for people thinking of moving to the Birmingham area, and there are no easy answers.
So, what does the filing mean for real estate sales in Jefferson county? The county has a lot of desirable communities that individuals and families have called home for decades. There are conveniences and benefits that only living relatively close to the metropolitan area can provide.
In deciding where to live, the quality of local government is certainly an important consideration, but so are other factors. The general feeling a community has, the geography, types of housing, price ranges and proximity to important locations are all major considerations. Vestavia and Mountain Brook, two incorporated and very desired cities in Jefferson county, have some of the most expensive homes in Alabama.
No doubt about it: Jefferson county has a black eye that will take years to heal and that could have major economic ramifications. People are still going to buy homes in the county, but the financial implosion is likely to make at least some Buyers take a close look at living across the line in Shelby county; indeed, we have already seen evidence of this.
A Birmingham real estate attorney says he has seen Buyers purchasing homes in Shelby county who say they want no part of Jefferson county’s problems.
Regardless of the bankruptcy filing, the simple fact is that—for decades—a large number of people who work in the general Birmingham area have chosen to live in Shelby county, because of its great quality of life, financial stability, affordability of housing and proximity to the metropolitan area.
Some residents view Shelby county as a breath of fresh air, compared to the financial mess, criminal wrongdoing and political bickering that has plagued their neighboring county to the north.
What’s ahead for Jefferson county? Residents will no doubt experience new belt tightening, and much of it likely won’t be pleasant. It is virtually inevitable that services will be strained further, and costs (whether they be taxes, sewer rates or other fees) will go up more. Real estate sales in the county—both commercial and residential—may well be affected, though no one is sure by how much.
Real estate Agents may find themselves being asked questions from bewildered home Buyers, like, “What’s all this we hear about Jefferson county?”
Can Jefferson county rise from the ashes?
It has to, because it has no choice.
Despite the massive negative nationwide publicity, Jefferson county will have to find a way to continue to provide needed services and facilities. The county is fortunate to have many talented and dedicated people working within its government.
Those people will be needed more than ever in the coming months and years as the county works to restructure its operations.
The Birmingham area business community may find itself being called on in new ways to be an active participant in helping the county get back on its feet. Perhaps the state will finally step in and become involved at some point, too.
With his established track record in the business and legislative community for getting things done, Petelos has drawn praise for his diplomatic skills and ability to bring sides together.
Petelos is well known for his willingness to face daunting challenges, and take them head on.
In Jefferson county, he has found one.
If you’re visiting our site for the first time, you may be thinking we’ve just now decided to jump on the blog band wagon. Not quite.
We’ve had a blog on our website for several years, but fell victim to a server attack last week. Whether several years worth of interviews, comments and real estate information will be able to restored is uncertain at present. We’re hoping the content can be recovered, but we’re not counting on it.
To confess, I was pretty upset upon first realizing how much information may have been lost. But the morning walks I take with Fisbo, our spoiled six pound poodle, help bring me to a new understanding.
Looking at the pre-dawn sky and enjoying the spectacular display of stars our crisp, clear autumn weather has made available, you’re reminded pretty quickly about how big our universe really is, and what size we are, in it. As I look at light that has traveled thousands of years just to get here, the potential loss of a blog in that huge, big world…well, it doesn’t seem quite as significant.
One of my favorite sayings is that every day is an opportunity. We have the opportunity to create all sorts of new content we hope will be informative and entertaining. And one thing is for sure: The real estate market is always changing. So, fresh, new ideas and perspectives are needed, anyway.
The Birmingham and Shelby Co. area real estate market continues to be active. Lately, we have seen more Buyers jumping at low priced opportunities, including Foreclosures. Some Buyers are going for these as investments they plan to rent out, while others are seeing them as good opportunities to live in a home at never before available prices.
We continue to see significant drops in the number of homes for sale in the Shelby Co. and Birmingham area, too. This is encouraging news for folks thinking about selling their homes, because it means there’s a little less competition out there, compared to previous months.
Right now remains a fabulous time if you’re thinking about buying a home, too, whether it’s your first place, or a repeat purchase. No matter what part of the Birmingham or Shelby Co. area you’re considering, choices and price ranges are varied.
Finally, if you don’t quite have all the money in your pocket needed to buy a home, you may be thinking of getting a loan, and this continues to be a great time for that, as well.
Assuming you qualify, you can get a 30-year conventional loan for well under 4%, or a 15-year conventional loan in the low 3% range.
Got questions about buying or selling? We’re here to help. Call us at 205.356.5412.
It’s that old ‘Every day is an opportunity’ thing.