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How's the Market? Part 1


While no one can predict the future with certainty, most experts expect to see modest growth in the U.S. housing market for the remainder of this year and next. Inventory will remain tight, mortgage rates will continue to creep up, and affordability will remain a major issue in many parts of the country.

So what does that mean for home buyers and sellers? To answer that question, we take a closer look at some of the top indicators.


There’s good news for homebuyers! In many markets across the country, prices have begun to stabilize after a period of rapid appreciation. Nationwide, home sales experienced a slight decline of 1.6 percent in the second quarter, primarily due to higher mortgage rates and housing prices combined with limited inventory.

 However, buyers who have been waiting on the sidelines in anticipation of a big price drop may be disappointed. Demand remains strong across the sector and prices continue to rise. The Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index reported a 6.2 percent annual gain in June, a healthy but sustainable rate of appreciation.1

 In its latest Outlook Report, Freddie Mac forecasts continued growth in the housing market due to a strong economy and low unemployment rate, which dropped to 3.9 percent in July.

“The housing market hit some speed bumps this summer, with many prospective homebuyers slowed by not enough moderately-priced homes for sale and higher home prices and mortgage rates,” according to Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac. “The good news is, the economy and labor market are very healthy right now, and mortgage rates, after surging earlier this year, have stabilized in recent months. These factors should continue to create solid buyer demand, and ultimately an uptick in sales, in most parts of the country in the months ahead.”3


  1. S&P Dow Jones Indices Press Release -
  2. Freddie Mac Outlook Report -
  3. DSNews -


10 Tips to Improve the Curb Appeal of Your Home


10 Tips to Improve the Curb Appeal of Your Home

Curb appeal is very important, especially when you considering things you need to do to before selling your home.  Your home and yard need to look amazing right now, especially buyers are likely doing an initial drive-by before they schedule a showing to see your home.  Even if the weather is not cooperating you need to get outside and get your home ready for a quick sale!

  1. Paint Front Door - Adding a new coat of paint to your front door instantly enhances your home's appearance, and what's more, it can greatly increase resale value.
  2. Update Hardware - Update the hardware outside your home by getting new house numbers and put new numbers on the mailbox. Also consider adding a new door latch to your front door.
  3. Decorate Your Porch - Add some furniture pieces or a table and chairs.  Be sure to spruce up your porch with some colorful pots and fill them with vibrant colors. Add a welcome mat that will greet guests as they walk through the door.
  4. Update Windows - This will also save you money down the road.  Look for windows that clean easily.
  5. Garage doors - Change them up and bring a little color to your home, such as carriage doors.  Remember to keep the space behind the doors tidy as well.
  6. Install outdoor lighting - Show off that beautiful lawn of yours with outdoor lighting. You can also invest in path lighting as well to light the path that your guests walk on to get to your front door!
  7. Landscaping - Make sure your yard looks neat, clean and colorful! Clean out your flower beds, pull weeds and make sure your gardens are presentable.
  8. Replace damaged siding - Refresh your home's exterior by painting or changing out the siding for a fresh new look! If none of these are necessary, get out your power washer and clean the dirt off the house.
  9. Add Architectural Detail - Consider adding a few architectural embellishments that will enhance your homes curb appeal, like decorative shutters or molding around the garage door. Replace your mailbox, if your old one is worn down.
  10. Roofing - Install new roofing, if necessary, or just clean out your gutters.

Most buyers cannot visualize changes, and often won't take a second look at a house if the first look doesn't appeal to them.  Then there are some buyers who can visualize changes, and are prepared to make them, but will expect you to reduce the price of your home to compensate for the work they plan to do.  Put these tips into action and stay within your budget, and your house will be ready for that quick sale!

Real Estate is Moving in Birmingham


The past two weeks in the Birmingham market have really been hopping. The buyers are moving and looking. Perhaps the lower interest rate and the possible $15,000 tax credit has provided the impetus needed to get everything moving again.

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