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Helena Market Days

If you’re looking for a home for sale in the Birmingham area and don’t know the territory well, Shelby Co.—just south of Birmingham—offers a great quality of life.

If you want a great community to live in with plenty of things to do, here’s one of many reasons why Shelby Co. is so popular.

Lots of folks love Helena Market Days, the annual summer farmer’s market that takes place along Buck Creek in Helena every Saturday from 8am until noon.

We thought we’d share some sights and sounds of Market Days from our visit on July 13th.  And nope, we couldn’t leave without some of those wonderful Chilton Co. peaches…they’re just plain hard to beat!

Here’s where you can find more information on Helena Market Days.

Enjoy the video!



USDA Financing To Stick Around

Good news if you’ve been thinking of buying a home in the Birmingham general area…USDA no down payment financing

With two days left to spare, the government has decided not to allow a change to take effect that would have meant the removal of Calera as one of the communities eligible for no-down-payment home mortgage financing.

Congress has passed a resolution that preserves the areas where homes are eligible for USDA loans.  The bill must be signed by the President before becoming law, but that is expected to happen shortly.

USDA loans are popular with many Buyers because they can be an affordable way of purchasing a home.  The loans are available for properties in specific geographical areas designated by the government.

The decision by Congress means that the home we currently have listed in Calera will continue to be eligible for USDA’s no-down-payment financing:

Mid-Year Shelby Co. Homes Sales Update

New statistics for the Birmingham and Shelby Co. real estate market show a drop in sales and prices, but there are some positive signs showing, too.

According to the Birmingham Area Multiple Listing Service, Inc., sales in June, 2008 totaled 1,253; that’s 35% below the 1,929 sales recorded in June, 2007. For the first half of 2008, 6,702 sales were recorded. That’s 28% below the 9,317 total sales reported for the same period in 2007.

The average price of a home in June, 2008, stood at $196,504, which is about 5.4% below the June, 2007, average price of $208,767.

The numbers hold good news for sellers. June, 2008 inventory stood at 12,580, which is 714 fewer listings than the 13,294 homes for sale during June, 2007.

Good time to buy a home?  You bet...

Good time to buy a home? You bet...

Here are some more numbers we consider encouraging. While the average price of homes for sale from January through June of 2008 ($194,000) did drop compared to the same period a year earlier, the drop is pretty slim: Only about 2%. In other real estate markets, the drops in average price have been quite a bit higher, so, once again, the swings in the Birmingham/Shelby Co. markets are not nearly as extreme.

What about foreclosures in our area? Those dropped by 17% during June, 2008, compared to a year earlier, according to the MLS. Out of a list of 100 major U.S. cities surveyed for foreclosure activity, Birmingham rated 97th.

Every business has up and down cycles, and real estate is certainly no different. While stories about ‘the dire real estate market’ continue to make the news, you might be wondering if you should forget trying to buy a home. We would suggest that just the opposite is true. Given very good interest rates that continue to be available and a large, diverse inventory to choose from, this is an excellent time to buy.