It's Really Not That Bad

Real Estate Agent with Moore & Co. Realtors

Home sales have been down in Russellville and Pope County over the past year. Those in the housing industry are hopeful that consumers will take advantage of several factors working in their favor and that the industry will pick up in the next few months. According to the Arkansas Realtors Association, home sales for January through November 2008 were down 14.3 percent from the same period in 2007. For the month of November alone, the report said, home sales were down 57.01 percent year-over-year.

Ethan Nobles of the Arkansas Realtors Association said the National Association of Realtors has predicted existing home sales will pick up in the first quarter of this year. However, he said, "We don't do predictions, and here's why. (Recently) the federal government announced they were going to buy $500 billion of mortgage backed securities held by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. When they announced that, those securities became much more desirable, and investors started to buy them. When that happens, yields decrease on those securities, and that has a direct impact on mortgage rates. They go down. So we're hovering around 5 percent on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage. That is an historic low. No one really predicted that happening. We just don't know what action the government is going to take to make purchasing a home more attractive for buyers.

"There's a perception that banks are out of money, but banks are lending. A lot of those zero down loans are pretty well gone, unless you qualify for one under the U.S. Department of Agriculture or under the Veterans Administration. Chances are you're going to have to come up with a down payment. That can be through a (Housing and Urban Development) loan, which is 3.5 percent. Conventionally they're looking for about 5 percent. If you're looking in Russellville, Right now is the PRIME time to buy, you have heard the term "Buyers Market" used ad nauseum but never has that been more true than right now! Interest rates are excellent. We're in a situation where rates are the best they've been in some time, below 5 percent, It really has stirred a lot of refinancing in our market which has the ability to lower payments for folks, which is a good thing.

Although we have not seen dramatic increase in new home sales, but the area is better off than many other markets. Some homeowners have experienced depreciation in their home values below what they owe, but certainly not the 20 and 25 percent that they've seen in California and other areas.

That's one of the good things about living here. The market tends to be more stable. We don't have the big upswings, but we don't have the big losses when things turn down.

So I leave with this: If someone tells you that you look sick long enough it won't be long until you start to believe them. Don't believe all the reports, Russellville Arkansas is fine. So go ahead and sell your house, Go ahead and buy that dream home. There is no better time than now! It is kind of all explained in this story:

"The Man Who Sold Hot Dogs"

There was a man who lived by the side of the road and sold hot dogs. He was hard of hearing, so he had no radio. He had trouble with his eyes, so he read no newspaper. But he sold good hot dogs. He put signs up on the highway telling how good they were. He stood on the side of the road and cried "Buy a hot dog, mister?" And people bought. He increased his meat and bun orders. He bought a bigger stove to take care of his trade. He finally got his son home from college to help him out. But then something happened. His son said, "Father, haven't you been listening to the radio?" "Haven't you been reading the newspaper?" There's a big depression." "The European situation is terrible." "The domestic situation is worse." Whereupon the father thought, "Well, my son has been to college: he reads the papers and listens to the radio, he ought to know." So his father cut down on his meat and bun orders, took down his advertising signs, and no longer bothered to stand out on the highway to sell his hot dogs.
And his hot dog sales fell almost overnight. "You're right, son." the father said to the boy. "We are certainly in the middle of a great depression."

-Whitt Piker, Executive Broker

Comments (4)

Jean Terry
Keller Williams Realty Spartanburg, S.C. - Spartanburg, SC

Hi and welcome to Active Rain, agreat site to network, share, learn, and have fun. Good luck. And if you ever need an agent in upstate of South Carolina, please give me a call.

Feb 11, 2009 05:40 AM
Keith Elliott Jr
KEIRE Realty Group - Manassas, VA
Principal Broker/Owner

Hello Whitt,

Welcome to Active Rain and congrats on your first post! The opportunities to learn and network are incredible here. Best of luck to you!


Feb 13, 2009 03:28 PM
Todd Clark - Retired
eXp Realty LLC - Tigard, OR
Principle Broker Oregon

I liked the post, but the story of the hot dog salesman was just awesome and a great way to look at what is going on in to today's world. We listen long enough we begin to believe the hype.

Todd Clark, Helping Families Home -

Feb 17, 2009 05:08 AM
jeff turnbow



Enjoyed your blog today. Really enjoyed the "man who sold hot dogs"! What a great demonstration of advertising!

Jeff Turnbow /



Apr 14, 2011 06:02 AM