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It's Up to You & Me

by Mayes Harris Team

Yes, our country is in an economic mess.   Yes, the real estate market is challenging for buyers, sellers, home builders, and realtors. 

I was reflecting where the country is at today with all the major layoffs, business closures and tough economic times on all of our family, friends and colleagues.  No question it is tough times……perhaps greater than several generations remember.  Each of us face different issues, whether it’s a reduction in business, being laid off, money lost in investments or simply less money to spend.  But there is one common label---adversity.

When you look at the history of the American people, we have always risen from the depths of adversity as a stronger nation and individuals. This challenging time will be no different.  Ever wondered how American’s recover from adversity???   I believe the  catalyst for change is fairly simple…..individual leadership by a those who “believe” in themselves and their family, neighbors, and their communities.   While adversity can seem to be overwhelming---

·     It is less personal than we think……we all share in these tough times, so don’t allow it to undermine your self confidence in who you are… we actually discover some hidden talent or strength during challenges…..strengths that will make us more skilled in handling life.

·     It’s temporary…….maybe it doesn’t end as soon we tomorrow or next week, but we know better times will return…..

·     It only invades our personal and family relationships if we allow it………the best treasures in life is our close friends, family and our faith…..and you know what………all these treasures are “free”…..they will be our support for returning to better times

 

·     It’s what we do individually………we all have a responsibility to do our part.....whether it’s being supportive to others or changing our skills to provide future opportunities for us or our family.

 

Yes, things are in a mess, but  the “individual” leadership of you and me will  lead us to better times……..not a governmental edict or magical bailout. 

 

So it is now up to you and me..........

 

New Home Design Trends

by Mayes Harris Team

Home Fads That Are Falling Out of Style

January 21, 2009 by styledstagedsold · By Melissa Dittmann Tracey

LAS VEGAS – Some home features don’t stay popular forever. More homes are inching away from incorporating the following home features, according to recent consumer preference surveys.

1. Fireplaces: The fireplace skyrocketed in importance in homes in 1991 with 62 percent of new homes having one or more. But the number has steadily been decreasing ever since. In 2007, the number dropped to 51 percent.

2. Carpet: While 54 percent of homes still have carpet floors, the number is decreasing and hardwood floors are taking the place. Vinyl and ceramic tile flooring also are being bypassed more by buyers. Seventeen percent of new homes contain hardwood floors throughout the entire house.

3. Living room: These once-decorative centerpieces of homes are slowly vanishing from newer homes. Thirty-four percent of consumers say they’re willing to buy a home without a living room.

4. Desks in the kitchen: These desks were once looked at as great storage areas but they’re often too small and quickly become clutter spaces in a home, said Gayle Butler, editor in chief of Better Homes and Gardens. Instead, more consumers say they prefer larger desks in or near the family room—equipped with a messaging center—where they can keep an eye on their kids as they work on the computer.

5. Skylights: The little windows that allow natural light to seep into a home from above are falling out of style. Only 10 percent of new homes will include them this year, a continuing downward spiral for skylights.

6. Upscale kitchen finishes: Granite countertops are slowly becoming less desirable among buyers who are now moving toward affordable, low-maintenance laminate countertops—which tend to last longer and now come in various styles.

What trends are you noticing are falling out of favor with your buyers?

Re/Max Metro, Charlotte, NC Moves with the Market

by Mayes Harris Team

We are thrilled that Re/Max Metro is doing what tons of real estate offices across the country are doing. You are the first to know that a 'Grand Opening' announcement will be made in February of the new, state of the art, Re/Max Metro location at Carmel Executive Park on the corner of Carmel Road and Hwy 51.

The north Charlotte office will also be announcing a new location still convenient to the University area. The agents are excited to continue to serve their buyers and sellers with even better technology in this growing area.

Be on the look out for more announcements.

 

 

 

Technorati.com

by Mayes Harris Team

<a href="http://technorati.com/claim/nk8m65x63x" rel="me">Technorati Profile</a>

Mortgage Rates Continue Falling to Record Lows

by Mayes Harris Team

For the fourth consecutive week, mortgage rates have fallen to all-time lows. The 30-year mortgage rates averaged 5.01 percent this week, which is a drop from last week's 5.1 percent. Last year at this time, rates averaged 5.87 percent.

"Interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell for the 10th week ... due in part to the Federal Reserve's recent purchases of mortgage-backed securities issued by Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and Ginnie Mae," says Freddie Mac Chief Economist Frank Nothaft.

Other rates also dropped for the week:

  • 15-year fixed rates: dropped to 4.62 percent from 4.83 percent last week. Last year at this time 15-year mortgage rates averaged 5.43 percent.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 5.49 percent, a drop from 5.57 percent last week.


The only slight increase in rates this week was in 1-year ARMs, which were 4.95 percent, up from 4.85 percent last week. Overall, 1-year ARMs were still down for the year from last year's 5.37 percent.

Freddie Mac began tracking rates in 1971.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, Amy Hoak (1/09/09)

New Year Brings New Opportunities

by Mayes Harris Team

Happy New Year!!

First allow me to wish all my clients and friends a Happy New Year as we enter 2009.

I always look forward to New Year’s Day…..not sure why, but it seems a bit refreshing.  It symbolizes a brief moment in time when we reflect both the events of our past year, yet reach out for the hope that  our next year will be filled with positive experiences in both our personal and professional lives. 

 

Reflecting on the housing market of the past year, 2008 was a challenging time for all realtors and  their buyers or sellers.  Many are asking what will 2009 have in store for our buyers and sellers?

I am an optimistic by nature, but there are several positive facts already in place as we begin 2009.

·    Interest rates are at the lowest levels in recent history for qualified borrowers with rates hovering around 5.00%..

·    Sellers are more savvy….They are learning in order to move their properties within a reasonable time they must price to the current market conditions.

·    Inventory levels of  homes on the market has been declining since July 2008. 

·    Buyers are watching  for deals in neighborhoods they feel confident in investing for their future. 

 

While I don’t see the activity returning to the levels of 2005 & 2006 within the next year, we do see tremendous opportunities for those buyers or sellers armed with knowledge and research.

As mentioned in an earlier post to my blog this month, the media tends to paint the Charlotte area with the same brush as Las Vegas, California or Florida.  Those areas tragically saw huge declines after huge value appreciation in the 2004-2006 time period.  The Case-Shiller Indexes was released this week, and it shows the Charlotte market the second best major market in the country, recording a 4.4% decline in housing prices during the time period of October 2007 to October 2008.  Charlotte is second only to the Dallas market which saw a drop of only 3.0% compared to Las Vegas, Phoenix, Southern California and South Florida, which saw declines in the 27-32%.  

Savvy buyers realize 2009 will bring opportunity to capitalize on finding a deal on a that property which serve their needs for the years to come.

If you are thinking of purchasing a home or land in the coming year, we will be happy to assist you in researching the market for your “best” deal.

Displaying blog entries 1-7 of 7

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