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Speaking of Custom v Catalog v Mass Produced... - 11/29/10 11:41 PM
Image via Wikipedia Yesterday, I wrote a post about Coach-Built cars of the 1920s and 1930s. As I was wring about those cars, and the Coach-Builder catalogs that grew out of them... and the mass-produced cars, I started thinking about the comparison with homes in the US. And there is an interesting comparison. Back in the 1970s and 1980s, my grandparents had a wonderful lake property in northern Michigan. It was on Black Lake. It had been in the family (mostly) for generations. When I was very young, it had a couple of one room cabins that had been built in (8 comments)
53 Cool Concepts... Part XXXI - 11/28/10 10:22 PM
Image via Wikipedia The first cars mostly shared something in common. They were largely built by coach builders... the guys that built horse drawn coaches. In fact, a luxury car was usually ordered as nothing but a chassis with an engine, and perhaps the hood and front fenders. The rest of the bodywork and the interior was hand built by a coach builder. Companies like Cadillac, Lincoln, Chrysler and others primarily built chassis for very high end clients. It wasn't until later that they introduced standardized models. For a while in the 1920s and 1930s (in some cases, as late as (0 comments)
Suwanee, GA, Market Report, October 2010 - 11/28/10 10:20 PM
Image via Wikipedia Market stats for Suwanee, GA, October, 2010 indicate that there are 5601 properties on the market. Overall, there is about an 10.7 month supply of properties. There was less that 8 months of inventory as recently as June. Even though inventories are down since then, sales are also down. In the sub-$200k arena, there are 159 listings, with about a 8.7 month supply. In June, there was a 4.8 month supply. Inventories have increased, until September, as sales have slowed... although sales for July and August (19 and 15) were exactly the same last year and at 18, (0 comments)
Flashback Friday... Home for the Holidays... - 11/26/10 01:08 PM
Image via Wikipedia Could still happen. I was writing about it last year, too. My mortgage guy can usually close loans in about 22 work days... so there is still a little window to find a home and actually close before the end of the holidays. You could... ring in the new year in your new home... maybe even wake up Christmas morning in the new digs... enjoy the mortgage tax deduction for 2011... send the kids to great Gwinnett County schools... give your favorite toy a new garage... Of course, for every buyer there is a different motivation... but the (1 comments)
Happy Thanksgiving... Don't Stress. - 11/26/10 01:04 PM
Image via Wikipedia Honestly, Thanksgiving is one of my least favorite holidays. I love the idea behind it, and can fully support being thankful for all of the wonderful things in my life… but I think that is something that we should remember daily, not just remember because there is a meal connected to it. And about the meal… I’d rather have Japanese… A little sushi and some hibachi. Steak, shrimp, fried rice and a couple of tuna rolls with wasabi… Or maybe a juicy steak… Southwestern Pasta with chicken? Turkey, dressing, cranberry (canberry?) sauce, pecan pie, pumpkin pie… I don’t (11 comments)
Wayback Wednesday... Case-Shiller Index - 11/26/10 01:00 PM
Image via Wikipedia A couple of years ago I was writing about the Case-Shiller Index and the Atlanta market. I still am not a huge fan of the index as an "end-all" summation of all things related to real estate value, but it is always fun to look over data like this and see what in might glean. There is no doubt that we were in a bloodbath a couple of years ago. Values were dropping like a rock and there was no end in sight. Hopefully, we've seen the end. Values appear to have stabilized... but I am of the (0 comments)
Duluth, GA, Market Report, October 2010 - 11/26/10 12:56 PM
Image via Wikipedia Preliminary stats for Duluth, October, 2010 indicated that there were 589 properties on the market. Overall, there is about an 10.5 month supply of properties. Months of Inventory has been increasing for the last couple of months. Sales in October were 360, compared to 63 a year earlier. Don't forget, though, there was a tax credit slated to expire at the end of November last year that was spurring sales. In the sub-$200k arena, there were 227 listings, with about a 9 month supply. The Absorption Rate had gotten down into the high 4 month realm… and as (0 comments)
Lawrenceville, GA Market Report, October 2010 - 11/25/10 11:31 PM
Image via Wikipedia Market stats for Lawrenceville, October, 2010, indicate that there are 1623 properties on the market. Overall, there is about an 9.8 month supply of properties, with sales weakening since June. Sales dropped off dramatically this year compared to last (154 v 223). In the sub-$200k arena, there are 1299 listings, with about a 8.8 month supply of homes. Sales accelerated through June, but then fell off as the tax credit was slated to end. While inventories are down from just a couple of years ago, for the recent past, they are still high. Sales for this year v (1 comments)
53 Cool Concepts... Part XXX - 11/25/10 11:27 PM
Image via Wikipedia We all love limos, right? When we see one, we wonder who might be in the back... is it a couple that just got married? Maybe it is a prom couple. Could it be a celebrity? It might be a "titan of industry". There are loads of possibilities... For a long time, the American manufacturers built factory limos. These weren't 200" stretches, by any measure. But, they were extended wheelbase luxury sedans... Lincolns, Cadillacs and the odd Chrysler Imperial. But, they have pretty much cut that out. Now, about the only way to get a stretched sedan is (1 comments)
Lilburn, GA Market Report, October 2010 - 11/25/10 11:25 PM
Image via Wikipedia Market stats for Lilburn, October, 2010, indicates that there are 444 properties on the market (as of October 31st). Overall, there is about a 10.7 month supply of properties. Lilburn is actually mid-pack among cities in Gwinnett County. Absorption Rates had been improving since March, until September. In fact, in March there was 15.3 months of inventory. In the sub-$200k arena, there are 278 listings, with about an 8.2 month supply. This represents most of the sales in the market area, and reflects the same improvement in inventory levels, continuously since March, until October. And, one other thing (0 comments)
Flashback Friday... Angry Yanks... - 11/20/10 12:12 AM
Image via Wikipedia Last year I was waist deep in dealing with buyers involved in REO properties (bank owned). Oddly, I have been waist deep in the same process lately. As mentioned in the older post, some buyers have to go through 6, 8 or 10 (or more) offers in order to land some of these properties. And when the listing agent, or the seller, requires a pre-qualification from THEIR specific lender in order to offer on the property, that can add up to a lot of credit pulls for the potential buyer... possibly even enough to damage their credit. The (8 comments)
Wayback Wednesday... Political Incorrectness - 11/20/10 12:08 AM
Image via Wikipedia There is a video clip that has been EVERYWHERE on the internet. It has been re-subtitled more times than I can count. Almost any subject that is causing anyone frustration, from the collapse of the housing bubble to the Democrat meltdown to the way some people drive in traffic... They've all had a version of this video. And while it isn't politically correct, it is funny. And I don't care about being politically correct. I prefer funny. And Bill Mahr is politically correct... and NOT generally funny. Pop back a couple of years and see what the fuss (7 comments)
Gwinnett County Market Preview - 11/16/10 08:51 PM
Image via Wikipedia I have been running Gwinnett County Market stats for the last couple of hours. And the results are interesting, if not pretty... For the county-wide numbers, I don't have the most accurate numbers until a full month has passed. That means that I have numbers for October, but they accurate numbers I have are for September. The October numbers will likely change about a week into December. I will have a full report with the segments broken out for Thursday. But here are a couple of highlights... Sales were down 22% for September... as much as 29% for (1 comments)
53 Cool Concepts... Part XXIX - 11/14/10 09:07 PM
Image via Wikipedia For a very long time, pick-up trucks were very basic and focused vehicles. They were designed to carry stuff... and stuff they couldn't carry, they dragged. They weren't: Cushy Stylish Expensive Diversified Instead, pick-up trucks were spartan vehicles that were powerful, and utilitarian. They had slippery bench seats with all of the support of a church pew. And since early trucks didn't have seat belts, the bus sized steering wheel doubled as a convenient hand-hold during cornering. Oddly, I think that trucks need to get back to their roots... at least a little bit. The major manufacturers (5 comments)
So, You Have An Accepted Offer... All Is Good, Right? - 11/14/10 12:01 AM
Image by Alan Miles NYC via Flickr Not so fast there, Mr and Mrs Homeseller... A lot of sellers think that the sailing is going to be smooth after they go "Under Contract". After all, the hard part is getting an offer, right? Maybe... Maybe not... Actually, I have dealt with a rash of buyers falling out of contract lately. Inspections haven't been good to a couple of sellers. The specific issues aren't as important as the concept here. The home isn't sold until you clear the closing table. Homes fall out of contract for a variety of reasons. Inspection issues (5 comments)
Why Shouldn't They??? - 11/12/10 11:18 PM
Wandering around in the stacks of AR... and any other site with a lot of real estate agents, one often runs across posts wondering just HOW consumers can view us as interchangeable cogs... all the same. But let's think about this for a couple minutes. We all call ourselves REALTORS(R)... We all have almost the EXACT same inventory... Almost everyone makes the same promises... ("I'll sell your home for the highest price in the shortest time") Too many of us have a 20 year old 'Glamour Shot' on our business card... And let's not forget that our fees, while always negotiable, (11 comments)
Flashback Friday... Tax Credit Gambling - 11/12/10 08:49 PM
Image via Wikipedia This week last year, the biggest news in housing was all about the Tax Credit expansion and extension. It went from just being for First Time Home Buyers to allowing existing home owners to get a credit also. Those credits finally expired in April (with closing mostly by June). Looking back on the market reports for the last year, the effect of the tax credits is pretty obvious. And I wouldn't call it all a good thing. There certainly was an increase in closed sales leading up to the original June deadline. But, there was a VERY sharp (2 comments)
Norcross, GA, Market Report, September 2010 - 11/11/10 11:29 PM
Image via Wikipedia Market stats for Norcross, August, 2010 indicate that there were 375 properties on the market. Overall, there is about a 8.3 month supply of properties. September sales were down v 2009 (43 v 55), but August was way up (52 v 43). Overall, the market isn't terrible here, looking back. In the sub-$200k arena, there were 192 listings, with about 6.2 month supply. Sales are way down from a year ago in this segment, which is the main driver of sales in this area. But the segment is still looking pretty strong, despite the weakness in July and (4 comments)
53 Cool Concepts... Part XXVIII - 11/10/10 10:39 PM
Image via Wikipedia I love Rally Cars... They look like hot hatchbacks that you can run to the dealership and buy. Subaru WRX STis, Mitsubishi Evos and Ford Focus RSs... as well as cars that aren't sold in the US like Citroens, Skodas and Peugots. But, Rally Cars are just cool... Too much power and incredibly light weight. All wheel drive. Not only are they incredibly tough, but they are also very versatile, racing on surfaces from dirt to gravel to tarmac to snow. Subaru and Mitsubishi have leveraged their Rally presence into VERY powerful brands. The WRX STi and Evo (2 comments)
Wayback Wednesday... Set the Hook... - 11/10/10 10:35 PM
Image via Wikipedia Two years ago there were worries among sellers that buyers couldn't obtain financing. Those worries are back... but, then as now, money was available. Of course, in the middle there were issues with getting loans funded. But now, the loans are available. Of course the credit restrictions are tighter and there are fewer loans available for those with weak credit. But, many would be buyers think that getting a loan is all but impossible... that may be what they heard on TV or saw in the paper. So, a great opportunity for sellers (and their agents) is to (3 comments)
Buford, GA, Market Report, September 2010 - 11/09/10 02:45 PM
Image via Wikipedia Market stats for Buford, GA, September, 2010 indicate that there were 612 properties on the market. Overall, there was about an 14.3 month supply of properties. Sales were down radically in July (19 v 71 for 2009), but August was back in the realm (57 v 61 for 2009). September was slightly below last year (52 v 60 for 2009). But the magic has been a little underwhelming since June. In the sub-$200k arena, there were 316 listings, with a 11.9 month supply. Sales for July were down by 70%. There was actually one extra sale for August, (3 comments)
Enter Realtor.com... New Android App - 11/08/10 10:22 PM
Realtor.com has introduced their new Android App for Google Andriod based mobile phones like the T-Mobile G2, Sprint EVO, Verizon Droid X and AT&T Captivate. I have to say, it is pretty cool. It is 'location aware', so it can search for listings and open houses that are nearby. It can also do a host of other things, such as filtering listings by price, amenities, size, bedrooms/bathrooms, etc. It can also share listings with family and friends... and it syncs to your Realtor.com account so that you can share listings and notes between your computer and phone. Scan this with your (10 comments)
Cool Concepts = Hard Work... - 11/07/10 12:16 AM
Image via Wikipedia This is a tough series... Here I am, up to 27 parts in the 53 part series, and I am having trouble coming up with cars and concepts week after week... Let's see if I can tough it out. But, there is a good part to a series like this, too. I can write the posts ahead of time and schedule them to go out on the blog. And that seems to push me to write... and not just the car series, but also the rest of the content for the blog. So, if you have any ideas, (3 comments)
Sugar Hill, GA, Market Report, September 2010 - 11/04/10 05:39 PM
Image via Wikipedia Market stats for Sugar Hill, GA , September, 2010 indicate that there are 226 properties on the market. Overall, there is about an 10.4 month supply of properties, with sales dropping precipitously since June (31 in June, 15 in August and 17 in September). Meanwhile, inventories are up. In the sub-$200k arena, there are 151 listings, with under 13.7 months supply. Sales are also about ¾ of the level last year over the last three months. Sales appear to be decelerating. Between $200k and $400k, there are 65 listings for sale, and about 11.5 months of supply. As (0 comments)
Wayback Wednesday... Median Price Comparison... Ouch! - 11/03/10 11:15 PM
Image via Wikipedia A couple of years ago I was looking at median house prices in the Atlanta area, via a map that the NAR (National Association of REALTORS®). My friend Jay Thompson unearthed it... I think before the NAR was quite ready to release it. The map is a fun little interactive tool, but the information is the real story here. A couple of years ago, I noted that the Median Home Price in the Atlanta area was $158,300 for the 2nd Quarter of 2008, down 9.8% from the 1st Quarter of that year. For the 2nd Quarter of 2010, (5 comments)
Suwanee, GA, Market Report, September 2010 - 11/02/10 08:23 PM
Image via Wikipedia Market stats for Suwanee, GA, August, 2010 indicate that there are 598 properties on the market. Overall, there is about an 10 month supply of properties. There was less that 8 months of inventory as recently as June, but sales are slowing even faster than inventory is shrinking. In the sub-$200k arena, there are 144 listings, with about a 8.3 month supply. In June, there was a 4.8 month supply. Inventories have increased, until September, as sales have slowed... although sales for July and August (19 and 15) were exactly the same last year and at 18, there (2 comments)
Duluth, GA, Market Report, September 2010 - 11/01/10 10:08 PM
Image via Wikipedia Preliminary stats for Duluth, September, 2010 indicated that there were 588 properties on the market. Overall, there is about an 9.9 month supply of properties. Months of Inventory has been increasing for the last couple of months. Sales in September were 38, compared to 63 a year earlier. In the sub-$200k arena, there were 226 listings, with about a 10.6 month supply. The Absorption Rate had gotten down into the high 4 month realm… and as recent as December, was in the low 5s. In May, it was at 7.9 months and has been rising since, markedly in (0 comments)
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