It's bad, but not all bad, in the Americus, Ga., real estate market

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Michael Dixon Realty

  Supply continues to exceed demand for the inventory of listed properties in Americus, Ellaville, and the surrounding area. While several listings expired at the end of 2009, some of those will be renewed. We began the new year with 156 residential listings, down from 163 on the last day of December. Land listings dropped from 87 to 75 while commercial listings held steady at 26.

  The number of qualified (meaning able to get financing) buyers on any given day can be counted on one hand. It's no wonder we have so many unsold properties. Many have been on the market a year or longer without an offer.

  Realtors and their sellers may hope that the real estate market will be like the natural world in the spring, and come back to life. As a business person, I'm supposed to be optimistic and upbeat, and tell you the market will soon bounce back. Well, sorry, but I don't think it will in the first half of 2010. No rose colored glasses here.

  I won't pretend to be an economist and give you all the reasons for my less-than-optimistic stance. Let's just say, the indicators give me no reason to think we have yet hit bottom in this recession.

  Unfortunately for sellers, market conditions do not bode well. For qualified -- there's that word again -- buyers, it's a time to bargain for the best deal, and keep more money in your own pocket.

  It's a good time for investors who buy low-priced houses, rehab them if necessary, and rent them out. The demand for rentals has skyrocketed in the past year. Half of my calls are from would-be renters.

  As just one example of the properties investors can buy now, I have a brick house at 205 Rucker Street in Americus with two bedrooms, two baths, and 1,480 square feet, priced at $39,500. The out-of-state owner wants to unload it. Granted, it would take $10,000-$20,000 to upgrade bathrooms and kitchen, replace floor coverings, and turn this house into a really nice home, but the return on investment probably is there for the savvy rental manager.

  Many gems like this one need to be polished up, and made available to a waiting rental market. If you might like to see any property in the Americus area Multiple Listing Service, regardless of the listing company, call me at 229-924-3089. Please visit one or all five of my real estate websites. There's or, to name but two. Let me advertise your property for sale in Premier Monthly magazine, which is distributed monthly to over 3,000 locations in eight Southeastern states. See it online at


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