Blog Archives

Mediterranean Dining at In-N-Out

If you enjoy Mediterranean dining, Hoover’s In-N-Out Grill—in the WalMart shopping center on Hwy 150—needs to be high on your list to visit.

I wouldn’t call the atmosphere elegant, but the food makes up for it.  We’ve visited several times and have never been disappointed.

Colleen and I stopped there for dinner Saturday evening.  She had the Chicken Kabobs, and I had the Chicken Kawerma, one of their signature dishes.  Our dinners, complete with fresh salads and an order of their wonderful Baba Ghanouj appetizer with Pita bread, set us back less than $20.

We left full, happy and satisfied.

Falafeel, lamb, and grape leaves are among In-N-Out Grill’s Mediterranean offerings, but others rave about their hamburgers.

Service has always been friendly and efficient.  Mike, the owner, seems genuinely interested in making sure that your dining experience is a good one.

You can see their menu on their website.  For orders to go, call 205-444-2014.

In-N-Out Grill is open seven days a week:  Sundays through Thursdays from 10am ’til 9pm, and Fridays and Saturdays, 10am ’til 10pm.

David

A Good Black List To Join

You may not think of being on someone’s black list as a very desirable situation, but here’s proof that it can be good. Yep, you can be on someone’s black list, and, most likely, benefit from it.

This all started earlier a little over a month ago. That’s when Colleen and I saw an excellent opportunity pop up on the MLS. A Foreclosure, consisting of a house and about five acres of property in a desirable area of Shelby county had gone up for sale. Asking price: $109,900.

We thought it was such an enticing offer that we immediately sent e-mails to a number of people we thought might be interested. Would anyone respond? We had no idea.

We got our answer. Lots of folks, it turned out, wanted to know more, and several visited the property.

The inquiries continued. In less than five days, the property had multiple offers and sold. Needless to say, being able to capitalize on a great opportunity requires quick response. Speed is definitely the issue. Or, as some say, if you snooze, you lose.

Given the response we received, we knew it was time to let technology help people know quickly when a good real estate opportunity arises.

Join The Black List!
And so, The Black List was born.

The Black List is our quick notification e-mail list you can join to get periodic updates about attractive chances to own property in the Shelby Co. and Birmingham area.

When we see what we consider an especially juicy real estate opportunity, we’ll let you know via The Black List. Needless to say, if you’re on the list, you’ll be among the first to learn about it. And that will automatically put you in a position to capitalize on the chance, if you wish to pursue it.

The properties you read about might be Foreclosures, or they might be regular sales or Short Sales. They might be large homes or small homes. They might be in the city, or maybe in the country. They might need work, or might be move-in ready. They might be our Listings, or they might be those of another Agent. The point is to let you know quickly when a good deal pops up.

You can sign up by clicking here and entering your e-mail address in the sign-up box at the top of our website’s main page.

We’ll operate this e-mail list the way we think e-mail lists should be run: We won’t share your information, and we won’t constantly blast you with e-mails. You can unsubscribe at any time, with no questions asked.

Here’s hoping The Black List will help you with being able to take advantage of some of the great opportunities we’re seeing more and more in the Shelby Co. and Birmingham areas!

David

Is The Birmingham “Buyer’s Market” Shifting?

Could the “Buyer’s Market” in the Birmingham and Shelby county area be starting to shift toward becoming more balanced?  That might be happening, based on November 2008 home sales statistics released by the Birmingham Association of Realtors. And we are seeing encouraging developments about home sales in other parts of the country, too.

Locally, the number of homes for sale in November 2008 stood at 10,994, which is about 15% below one year earlier.

November, 2008 sales totaled 603, which is down about 49% from November, 2007.  November 2008 sales prices in the Birmingham and Shelby county markets dropped about 7% from a year earlier.  For year-to-date, the average price is about 4.5% behind 2007, according to BAR.

The average number of days for a home to stay on the market in November, 2008, stood at 92, compared to 103 for the same month a year earlier (this figure excludes new home sales).

When you watch TV and read the headlines, you’ll no doubt see that 49% sales drop prominently mentioned.  So, is all the news bad?  We think several of the market indications in central Alabama are actually positive, believe it or not, and there are continuing indications that other real estate markets in the country are becoming more balanced, too.

First, there are not quite as many homes for sale as there have been, and that’s a good thing for people thinking of selling.  Buyers, meanwhile, still have boatloads of choices, so it’s certainly not as if their selections are drying up.  Second, the seven percent drop in prices helps show something we’ve mentioned before about the Birmingham and Shelby county housing market:  Fluctuations in values here do not swing as wildly, and to such extremes as they do in many other cities.  So, while values have plunged much farther in some other real estate markets, our area has remained a lot more stable.

We received a message from a lender this week, advising that interest rates on 30-year fixed loans some buyers will be eligible to get have now fallen to 5.0%, and 15-year fixed loans have now fallen to below 5%.  All I can say is ‘wow,’ the close of 2008 and start of 2009 have to go down in the record books as one of the best times to buy a home in Birmingham and Shelby county in years.

Clearly, the negative economic news saturating the media has caused some buyers to hold off, despite some of the most attractive pricing and interest rates ever.  But indications are starting to suggest that continuing to wait before buying may be getting riskier.  Why? 

Nationally, home sales are starting to pick up, while inventory is declining.  That means investors and others are jumping on the really good deals, so others may miss out if they wait too long.  You can get a very interesting perspective on where real estate markets appear to be heading, by clicking below to watch the November, 2008, housing report, produced by Keller Williams Realty:

‘Tis the season to buy!

David