Market, Remodeling and Other Consumer Issues

Tue, 03/13/2007 - 1:56pm
By: The Citizen

By Patti Harris Ayers
2007 President of the Fayette County Board of REALTORS

Current conditions in the housing market is on everyone's mind today. David Lerah, Sr. VP for the National Association of Realtors , gave this recap of the home market: 2005- Home prices nationwide were inflated for the fourth straight year. In 2006- the sky never fell. There were no bursting bubbles, but the air did come out of some over inflated balloons. While Atlanta's economic and housing fundamentals remained strong, other cities with critical issues commanded the publics attention. Residential real estate is most impacted by the local economy no matter that national climate of "doom and demise". Understanding how to appropriately market and sell or buy a home requires expertise that is gained over time by professionals who value high ethical standards and superior service.

What does 2007 hold for housing in our market? "This year," Mr. Lerah advises, "will be better." Fayette County is fortunate to have a stabilized and growing economy as well as good population growth. We also have had a steady appreciation in home values (not exaggerated as some other areas in the nation), and a steady growth in new home construction. There is no cause for panic, but with all financial decisions, conducting the research is a necessary part of the home buying or selling process.

There are other issues in the housing market we thought, as your local Real Estate Board, should be brought to the consumer's attention with spring around the corner. Have you looked around your home lately? Some of these issues may be effecting your home and you. Check with your mortgage company if you have a specialized mortgage to make sure their are no surprises in your future, ie. increased rates with ARM mortgages.

Next check out around you - is there any evidence of moisture or mold? You may want to hire a professional if it seems bad, but most of the time you can usually find the source and handle it yourself. How does your home appear on the outside - ie. does your home just need a good pressure wash? Do your gutters need cleaned, replace or removed? Your Realtor should know of a few experts that can help you with any of these issues.

Now, do you see what, if anything, you should remodel or improve? The goal of every home seller, of course is to maximize the asking price of their property. It's little surprise that 40 percent of sellers make improvements to boost their home's value before putting it on the market. First, figure out a budget you can feel comfortable with. Minor renovations, including kitchen upgrades may make your home more marketable, but get a professional Realtor to evaluate where you're going to get back the money you've invested.

The Fayette County Board of REALTORS is one of nearly 1,600 local boards and associations of Realtors nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors . As the nation's largest trade association, NAR is "The Voice for Real Estate," representing more than 1,300,000 members involved in all aspects of the real estate industry.

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