Category: Crye-Leike in the News
286 articles included in Crye-Leike in the News
By Nancy Mueller ? FOR WILLIAMSON A.M. ? October 1, 2010 COLUMBIA, Tenn. ? A lifelong love for Halloween has led real estate agent David Miller into a scary sideline. When he isn't selling houses in the Spring Hill area, he runs a growing enterprise called Miller's Thrillers that produces a Halloween experience venue, The Haunted Woods, at a farm in Maury County. Starting tonight, The Haunted Woods will be open to fright-seekers for "showings" 7-11 p.m. on all Friday and Saturday nights in October. The attraction also will be open on two Sundays, Oct. 24 and 31. Although The Haunted Woods is only in its third year, it has established a following. Miller says last year's Haunted Woods drew 2,900 customers and he expects to top that number in 2010. To prepare for this year's Halloween season, he and his team earlier this year attended the International Haunt Convention in St. Louis, where they picked up the latest ideas for scaring the wits out of their customers. "We'll be showcasing several of those new ideas in this year's haunt," Miller said. For a $10 ticket, The Haunted Woods offers an unguided outdoor trail that features two mazes through woods and a simulated swamp, leading up to a "barn of terror." The whole thing takes up more than five acres of a farm owned by Mark and Mary Voll on Greens Mill Road, just south of Spring Hill. Going through the feature, which includes some interactive experiences with actors, takes about 45 minutes. Miller, an accredited buyers' representative who is based with Crye-Leike Realtors in Spring Hill, said his enjoyment of Halloween merged with his business instincts a long time ago. "When I was a little kid, I used to grow pumpkins on my grandfather's farm and sell them," he said. "I sold them on a street corner (in Spring Hill) for $3 apiece. I remember one day, I made $80 in only about an hour." As a realty agent, he's working with somewhat bigger numbers. Miller's Thrillers is spending between $15,000 and $20,000 to create The Haunted Woods and Miller is hoping to gross $40,000 from ticket sales by the close of business Halloween night. As much as he enjoys creating a haunted experience for other people, Miller doesn't do haunted houses himself. "I was always too scared to go to a haunted house," he said. He says that he has never sold one to anybody, either.
Watch The Story Online @ http://www.todaysthv.com/news/business/story.aspx?storyid=114772&catid=119 By Reporter Jessica Duff Home sales for July plunged to the lowest level in 15 years in the U.S., despite the lowest mortgage rates, and bargain prices in many areas of the country. But what does it mean for Arkansas as many continue to struggle to survive the economy? The Arkansas Realtors Association released the June 2010 Housing report Tuesday. The ARA has yet to release the state's July numbers, but Maurice Taylor with Crye-Leike Realty says Arkansas shouldn't be nearly as bad as the rest of the nation. "I think we'll probably be down just a little bit just because the tax credit actually. There was anticipation that the tax credit was gonna end. So some of that pent up demand may have closed in the month of July and may have spilled over at the end of June," Taylor says. The report shows a less than one (0.56) percent increase in houses sold in June this year compared to June last year. Saline (20.17%) and Sebastian (20.19%) counties saw the greatest increase. While Pulaski County saw a nearly 2 percent (-1.79%) decline. Since January, Arkansas has seen an 8.3% increase in sales state-wide. Saline County had the greatest increase at 22 percent (22.34%) while Pulaski County was just below one percent (-0.79%). Taylor says most regions are seeing a decline but that's not the case for the south. "The numbers show that the south out of all the areas in the nation had the least amount in drop in sales. Nationally numbers look pretty bad but here on a local level, we're not doing bad at all. And, like I said, this is a perfect time to put your house on the market or to buy a house, no better time than the present," Taylor adds. Just to give you some perspective, in Las Vegas, Nevada, 92% of homeowners are upside down on their mortgages. Their homes are not worth what they owe on them.
Read The Story Online @ http://www.memphisdailynews.com/editorial/Article.aspx?id=52301 Tuesday, August 24, 2010 JEFF IRELAND | Special to The Daily News Cautiously optimistic. That would be a pretty accurate phrase to describe the mood of condominium brokers who sell primarily in Downtown Memphis. Sales in the county's densest condo submarket totaled just eight in July, a 53 percent decline from 17 the same month a year ago, according to real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com. But 2010 has given Realtors a reason to remain optimistic despite last month's poor showing. Downtown has seen 87 condo sales through the first seven months of the year, a 28 percent improvement from 68 condos during the same span in 2009. "It's certainly picked up since last year," said Jason Durston of Crye-Leike Realtors Inc. "With things like tax credits and low interest rates, it's going good, but we're still not back to the heyday of the market. ? This past week I closed on three." Joel Hobson of Hobson Co. Realtors has sold 19 condos in the Goodwyn Condominiums at 127 Madison Ave. The building's 21 unsold condos had been foreclosed last fall, leaving the future of the historic building in doubt. But First Tennessee Bank NA hired Hobson to market and sell the remaining units, and the tower's turnaround has become a success story, even though the condos were sold at severely reduced prices. "There's always a demand for condos Downtown," Hobson said. "The problem has been oversupply. Prices have come down and some people have been willing to come down on their prices. But some have not been willing to do that and have decided to lease." Sue Tines, a broker for Downtown Condo Connection, has certainly sold her share of condos in the Downtown area. Over the last few years, many of those sales occurred in the South Main Historic Arts District, but in recent months Tines has been focusing on selling condos in the Pinch District at a new development called River Merchant Lofts, 497 N. Front St., near the Pyramid. When the University of Memphis and Memphis Grizzlies basketball teams quit playing in the Pyramid and moved to FedExForum, the Pinch District suffered. More than one restaurant closed and the area was no longer a hot spot. But Tines is hoping that when Bass Pro Shops moves into the Pyramid the area will be rejuvenated, thus improving the condo market there. "So far I've sold four of 19 units there," Tines said of River Merchant Lofts, which has been converted from an old river merchants' building, using much of the original design and materials. "I feel like the North End is about to pick up." When the economy is not going well, the trend is for people to rent instead of buy. For someone who's not sure where their next paycheck is going to come from, the prospect of a large down payment and a long-term commitment can be daunting. It's also tough for someone without a steady income to qualify to buy. That has led to more renters and, of course, increased the allure of Downtown apartment complexes like Metro 69 and The Washburn. But in a more traditional real estate market, which brokers hope is coming, there's still a place for buyers. "Usually you're either a renter or a buyer," said Durston. "It's two totally different groups. People who want to buy condos don't rent, and people who want to rent don't buy." Another positive sign for the Downtown condo market is the price for which units have been selling. Generally speaking, prices have remained steady or increased. Last month, the average selling price for Downtown condos was $227,813, up 8 percent from $210,523 in July 2009. The averaging selling price from January to July this year has risen slightly compared to 2009. The average price per square foot has dipped a little ($137.18 this year, $144.16 last year), but brokers believe things are headed in the right direction. "I sold two this week for full price," Durston said. "We went through some rough times with foreclosures, but I think it can be healthy. That got some inventory off the market. I'm a firm believer that there's a stressed market and a healthy market. I think we're getting back to a somewhat healthy market." Tines said plenty of people are still looking to live in Downtown, an area that offers unique amenities. "I don't think we're overbuilt right now," she said. "I've lived in Memphis my whole life and I've seen a lot of people who live in the suburbs for a while but want that urban feeling again."
Maumelle?s Crye-Leike office collects school supplies for foster children - Reported By The Maumelle Monitor
By Greg Rayburn / Staff Writer / email@example.com Friday, August 13, 2010 9:21 AM CDT On July 31, some Maumelle Realtors and brokers braved the heat and erected a tent to collect donations of cash and school supplies for the CASA program. CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates and the organization's purpose is to look out for the needs of foster children who are within the judicial system. "We want the community to know that we aren't just about selling real estate," said Realtor Lisa Halloway-Sugg. "We want to do our part in helping the community." 2010 marks the first year Crye-Leike took part in a CASA school supply fund-raiser. Its tent was erected near the parking lot of NBA Bank on Country Club Parkway. The real estate agency's Maumelle office on Audubon Drive also provided a drop-off point for anyone who wanted to donate money or supplies. Halloway-Sugg said the CASA collection is one of four community projects Maumelle's Crye-Leike Office takes part in annually. The office also collects food for the Arkansas Foodbank Network. Crye-Leike also collects coats during the winter and also collects used bicycles and refurbishes them as part of the North Pulaski Board of Realtors' Spokes for Little Folks program. Real Estate broker Betty Coney said the Realtors' board collects bicycles from people who are getting ready to throw away and refurbishes them so they can be given to needy children at Christmas time. Amanda Butler of Crye-Leike said she knows it's very helpful when groups raise money to buy school supplies. Besides being a Realtor she also works as a teacher. "It's great when teachers get help with the school supplies for the children," Butler said. "A lot of money from teachers goes into school supplies for their children. Teachers make sure they won't let their children go without."
By Tom Bailey Jr. Memphis Commercial Appeal Posted August 4, 2010 at midnight One real estate agent goes paperless as often as possible, having clients sign digital contracts with a stylus. Another essentially carries his office in his smart phone, finding answers there to every conceivable question clients ask. Another stays connected to her clients on Facebook and Twitter. Still another regularly e-mails 1,500 past clients the latest sales data for houses in their neighborhoods. Crye-Leike Realtors held a tech fair Tuesday for agents, but for some, like these four, it was preaching to the choir. In the lobby of the agency's Quail Hollow office in East Memphis, vendors pitched their smart phones, cameras and computers. After all, Tammy Deane of Wolf Camera said, photographs of bathrooms and kitchens are better with a wide-angle lens. But just off the lobby in her office, agent Melissa Hayes was already plugged in, working at two computer screens. Every minute or so they emitted a sound that signaled an incoming message. (Any telephone voice messages are transcribed by Google Voice and sent to her by e-mail or text.) An agent for 23 years, Hayes now uses a new database management system that allows her to add the social media information for all her clients, showing her what each has been posting on Facebook and Twitter. Realizing Facebook is more social than business, Hayes uses a light touch in her postings. At 10:48 a.m. Friday, for example, she posted some good news about mortgage rates to her 889 friends: "15 year conventional is 3.75%. Seriously??? Incredible!!!" At 9:49 that night, a woman named Sandy responded: "Wow! What is a 20-30 year loan rate running?" In the lobby, the dapper Stanley Mills, a Bluetooth phone headset attached to one ear, stood in his seersucker suit at Apple's booth to hear about that company's sleek products. But Mills already has been using Apple's latest, the iPad. He was among the early agents to use computers and cell phones to make his work more efficient, and he's still riding the tech wave. He has been with Crye-Leike so long -- 34 years -- his ID badge is No. 16. His newest tech tool is a program to e-mail 1,500 former clients monthly reports about sales in their neighborhoods. Mills even tells them the price per square foot fetched in the latest neighborhood sales. A home is often a person's biggest investment, so keeping up with neighboring house values is like checking your stock prices, Mills said. "I haven't found anybody who said, 'I don't care what's going on in my neighborhood. Don't send it to me,' '' he said. The need for timely information and answers is why agent Chet Whitsitt keeps an iPhone in his pocket to access all his files. "People want information and they want it now," said Whitsitt, an agent with Crye-Leike since 1985. Even all the sales contracts he deals with are accessible. If, after a closing, a client calls asking how many days she has to move out of the house, Whitsitt can check his smart phone and tell her. If he's driving around with a client and the client expresses curiosity about a house they pass, Whitsitt picks up his phone, goes to realtor.com, types the address and shows interior photos of the house. If the client is still interested, they arrange to go inside. And since the phone has GPS, it shows every house for sale nearby. Whitsitt looked at the smart phone he held in his hands and said, "It's phenomenal what this has done." David Ernst, with less than six years' experience, is relatively new to real estate. To get his foot in the door, he specialized in selling expired listings. That's real estate's version of cold cases. Before long, he received other referrals. Ernst brought to Crye-Leike a passion for going paperless. He brings his tablet computer with him everywhere and uses paperless software. The multipage listing and sales contracts can be unwieldy, especially since multiple copies of each must be printed for all the parties. When it's time to sign a contract, Ernst opens his tablet computer and hands the client a stylus to sign with. It's like signing for a credit purchase at a department store. The technology also saves Ernst the trouble of hauling around copies of blank forms. As long as he has his computer, he never worries about forgetting to bring a form. Going paperless, he said, "alleviates so much heartache and headache." Each agent exploits technology his or her own way, said Landis Foy, managing broker at Crye-Leike's regional headquarters. But he identified one trait they have in common: They're all very successful. -- Tom Bailey Jr.: 529-2388
View The Story Online http://www.todaysthv.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=109489&catid=2 By Reporter: Katherina-Marie Yancy Posted: July 18, 2010 The home buyer tax credit brought out buyers, boosting the market. The incentive is now over, but demand is still up due to historically low interest rates. While we can't predict how long the interest rate will stay below 5%, the lowest average since 1971, this latest incentive could help the housing market step toward recovery and help more families have a place to call home. Lock boxes are on doors, the open house sign possibly points to your next home and realtors say the housing market has returned to a buyers market. Karla Martin is a sales associate for Crye-Leike. She explains, "Interest rates are so incredibly low, they're under five-percent right now which allows a home buyer to get much more of a house for their money. Or buy a smaller house and have extremely low payments, lower than renting a property actually." Martin is showing a lakefront home with all the amenities. It's priced to sell but there is a lot of competition. She adds, "The inventory is higher." And because buyers know they're in the driver seat, they are taking their time, being more selective and putting in lower than normal offers because if they are denied, they know there are more choices. Martins laughs, "We call them low-ball offers. They are trying to get the best deal they can. The seller pretty much sticks to the price they have as far as what we've seen because it's already a good deal." As rates fall to a historic low, lenders are raising the bar, making it harder to qualify. Realtor Krista Tressner says, "I know it can be very discouraging if you don't get approved at the first bank you go to but we really encourage people to continue to look." Tressner is in the market for a home because of the mortgage rates. Although the tax credit gave folks immediate gratification, Tressner says, long-term, with rates this low, you can get more bang for your buck. She continues, "If you consider some people will own a home for 30 years and they'll pay that mortgage out. You're saving a lot more than $8,000 in that time." The game has changed a bit but there are still winners. Martin concludes, "We're still receiving phone calls, we're listing homes and we're still selling homes. It is really good." Martin says time will tell if the low mortgage rates will increase the housing demand once again.
NICKY ROBERTSHAW HITCHING | Special to The Daily News It's likely you've never met her, but you know who she is: The powerhouse real estate agent with the blonde helmet hairstyle and cell phone glued to her ear. After all, Judy McLellan's image has been a fixture at bus stops, in advertising and on billboards for years. While the no-swing hairdo might be a style throwback, McLellan's commitment to using the latest communication tools is strictly modern. She has embraced Facebook and Twitter to connect with the younger generation to promote her business, and is constantly looking for the next thing. "When I heard about Twitter, I said, ?I don't really understand it, but I want to do it,'" McLellan recalled. "It is so important to reach the next generation of homebuyers, and that's where they are." McLellan and her "JudyMac" team of four to five employees form a company within a company at Crye-Leike Inc.'s plush East Memphis headquarters. She promotes herself as "the #1 Realtor for the Mid-South's #1 Real Estate Company," and is managing to stay on top despite the worst real estate market of her career. She did $51 million in sales in 2009. "She's sincere and honest, and certainly gains folks' trust," said Dick Leike, president of Crye-Leike. "That's what it takes in this business. Plus, I don't know if anyone is as visible as she is." McLellan, who radiates good cheer yet is surprisingly mellow in person, focuses on working one-on-one with clients. She leaves the details to Mickey McLellan, her husband of 31 years and an experienced marketing executive who joined in the mid-1990s as business and marketing manager. The JudyMac team specializes in homes in East Memphis, Germantown and Collierville, with the bulk of their business in relocation. To that end, she has worked for FedEx Corp., International Paper and area hospital corporations. A big part of the job is selling Memphis to corporate executives, doctors and others who are considering a move to this area. It calls for out-chambering the Greater Memphis Chamber, and McLellan has become adept at that task. "I tell them, ?You are going to love this place, and let me tell you why,'" McLellan said. "Once I have an audience and can get with them, the rest is easy." McLellan and her team have had to adjust to the current real estate woes, as home values have dropped, mortgage lending has tightened up and new house construction all but stopped in 2007. Her operation has shifted from selling builder homes, which had been 30 percent of their business in 2006, to resales. In addition, her focus shifted from top-dollar homes to those in the $200,000 to $400,000 range, rather than the $417,000-plus purchases that require expensive jumbo loans. She sees signs that things are improving this year, including the return of multiple offers. "At open houses, we see that the consumer attitude is more upbeat," McLellan said. "Hearing that firsthand makes me feel much better." McLellan, who has been in the suburban residential real estate business almost 35 years, came into it naturally. She grew up in Germantown, where her mother, Frances Hall Blanton, was a real estate agent, and her father, Cecil Hall, was a builder. McLellan, who has also performed locally as a singer, began in 1976 working with her mother, who taught her the business and shared her commissions until McLellan got on her feet. "She was a wonderful, wonderful mentor," McLellan said. She joined Crye-Leike in 1985, and when her husband joined her in the mid-1990s, they made a commitment to taking the business to the next level. They hired a top national marketing firm, created a brand identity based on McLellan's image and papered it all over town. As a result, not only did she become a household name locally, she also became Crye-Leike's top agent in 1997, and has kept that No. 1 spot ever since. Her best year was 2006, when she did $75 million in sales volume. The McLellans said that they were the first in this market to use now-ubiquitous color-photo brochures, and among the first to embrace the Internet as a marketing tool. The McLellans clearly love what they do, and even on vacation - they often travel to California's Big Sur - eat, breathe and sleep real estate. "I may get tired," McLellan said, "but I never get tired of this business. I love the personal contact."
JONATHAN DEVIN | Special to The Daily News Reading the recovery of the commercial real estate market in the last year has been like picking a horse at the races with largely unknown odds, but Mack Browder is putting his money on an old favorite to pull through in the end. "The industrial market in Memphis has continued to improve," said Browder, an affiliate broker with Crye-Leike commercial division. "They just announced the lease of about an 800,000 square foot building down on Lamar called the Summit Distribution Center #2. "There's a continuing uptick in activity of people wanting more space," Browder said. "We're feeling real good about the industrial market being in balance here in town." The expansion lease by Technicolor created about 150 jobs, something market analysts in any major city would be glad to hear, and may indicate that existing commercial properties are learning to function with lowered property values. Browder, a native of Munford, Tenn., graduated from high school in Osceola, Ark., in the same class with Harold Crye, co-founder of Crye-Leike. He went to Arkansas State University at Jonesboro, Ark., on a full football scholarship and emerged with a accounting degree and a CPA certificate. Browder worked in public accounting for 35 years before becoming a real estate broker, something that came in handy in many of his business transactions. In the late 1980s he got involved in overseeing business mergers and acquisitions, whose negotiations often involved large pieces of real estate. "Mergers and acquisitions in this market is typically where a person 65 to 75 years old comes to you and says I've got a business over here and my children don't want to go into it, so I need to get all I can for it because this is 90 percent of my estate, it's my retirement," said Browder. "In representing them, you go out and find buyers for them and keep everything confidential until closing." In one deal involving a furniture company in northern Mississippi, Browder lost a substantial fee because of a licensing issue with his real estate broker. Then he decided to do the real estate work himself. "(Crye and I) were teenage friends and I was the accountant for his young company for years," said Browder. "Over the years we stayed in contact and when the opportunity came about there wasn't much debate about where I'd go." Browder avoided the residential side of the business from the start owing to the emotional nature of decisions surrounding the sale of a home. Commercial real estate has several major divisions - multi-family, retail, office, industrial and manufacturing and land for development. Multi-family properties struggled the least as more and more homeowners sought rentals after foreclosures and job losses. Land suffered the most with developers unable to sell their inventory. "There's blood in the streets for developers right now," said Browder. Retail and industrial real estate, while hit hard, seem to be making slow, steady recoveries though. Browder pointed to the closing of big box appliance giant Circuit City, which left massive buildings, some anchoring strip malls, vacant. "The fear was that the space would go unoccupied for an extended period of time," said Browder. "Well, over the last 90 days to six months, indications have been that more retailers are taking up that space, so retail is coming into balance." On the industrial side, the shock of major companies streamlining their businesses has started to wear off, and the leaner operations often rebrand with new products, which create the need for facilities and employees. That kind of recovery may come slower than the high-profit, high-risk bubbles of the last decade, but is more likely to last. "We're probably at what most people feel is close to the bottom of the commercial real estate market," said Dan Whipple, president/managing broker for Crye-Leike Commercial, who has worked with Browder for 10 years. "The capitalization rates in the investment markets are about the highest number we've seen in 10 years, maybe longer. Most of the information I read by commentators around the country seem to indicate that this quarter or next quarter is very likely the bottom of the commercial market." Whipple said that Browder's finance and accounting background is a resource not many brokers have. "His background gives him a great insight into the business and contracts," said Whipple. "It's very unusual to find a real estate broker who also has a CPA background." Last year, Browder was honored by the Memphis Area Association of Realtors with a Pinnacle Award for top sales in the industrial sector.
BY JIMMY SETTLE THE LEAF-CHRONICLE May 25, 2010 In Clarksville and across the nation, the homebuyer tax credit helped to incentivize sales of new and existing homes. Now, that tax credit has expired, and sellers, prospective buyers and Realtors are looking ahead to a new kind of marketplace ? or at least a return to familiar days. Homebuyers rushed to take advantage of the government incentives and record-low mortgage rates in April, giving the nationwide housing market its biggest boost in five months. In Clarksville, the homebuyer tax credit has been described as an effective business tool, although many here say this market is so unique compared to the nation, that the tax credit itself had lesser impact here than in other areas of the country. "In general terms, our market has always been good to stand on its own," said David Greene, vice president of the Clarksville Association of Realtors, and managing broker for Crye-Leike Realtors' Sango office. "Actually, our market here is down about 10 percent over this time last year," Greene said, "not that that's a bad thing, but inventory has dwindled some and that's the reason." Now that the homebuyer tax credit has expired, U.S. market watchers say any improvement in the post-recession market will depend mainly on the lure of historically low mortgage rates. Some economists say that won't be enough. "Although mortgage rates have fallen sharply, the combination of high unemployment, heavy indebtedness and tight credit suggest to us that demand will stumble," said Paul Dales, an economist at Capital Economics. The tax credit's impact is expected to linger for a while, however. While homeowners had to have a signed sales contract by April 30, buyers have until the end of June to complete their sales. The federal government offered first-time buyers a tax credit of up to $8,000. Homeowners looking to upgrade were able to qualify for a credit of up to $6,500. Sales were up in all parts of the country except the West. The gains were led by a 21.1 percent jump in the Northeast and a 9.9 percent rise in the Midwest. Sales also rose 8.6 percent in the South. The Associated Press contributed to this report. Jimmy Settle, 245-0247 Business
Deadline nears for incentive By RICHARD CONN/ firstname.lastname@example.org Colene Dooley said Thursday may have been "the busiest day in any real estate agent's career in Columbia." Dooley, managing broker and vice-president of Crye-Leike Realtors said there was a rush of folks in her office this week who were looking to take advantage of a federal tax credit of up to $8,000 available to first time homebuyers that expires at midnight Friday. Dooley said one of her Realtors had written two contracts in the last couple of days and was working on another one Thursday to beat the deadline. "There were several of them in Tuesday's sales meeting who were talking how busy they are with just the tax credit thing," Dooley said. The tax credit is available to buyers who haven't owned a home for three years and is valued at 10 percent of the purchase price, up to $8,000. Another credit, for up to $6,500, was available to those who have owned a home for at least five years. Kasey Cox, a Daily Herald employee, said the availability of the tax credit prompted her and her husband into purchasing their first home. They've had the contract signed since March. "We were planning on doing it anyway, but, you know, that's $8,000 free money," Cox said. "So we were really trying to find something by then." To qualify, buyers had to have a signed contract in hand by the deadline and must complete the deal by June 30. "It's been very busy this week ? and last week," said Becky Thomas, a Realtor with Re/Max of Columbia. Thomas recalled the rush of purchases with the arrival of the Spring Hill Saturn plant's workforce. "The other busiest time was when Saturn was first announced twenty-something years ago," Thomas said. "But, these are first-time homebuyers, so it's been very busy and fortunate." While saving $8,000 is enticing for prospective buyers, Thomas said it is more important for people to be happy with their purchase. "You want it to be a good house for them, too. You want it to be a good experience," Thomas said. "So if they can't find what fits their needs and what they really want, I hope that they would look at something the next week, or the next week, not just to buy something just to save the $8,000." Local Realtors said they were hopeful business would continue to boom after the deadline for the tax credit expires. Dooley said she would have like to have seen the deadline extended. "There is life after the tax credit, but it would certainly be wonderful if it was continued," she said. Story created Apr 30, 2010 - 14:03:19 EDT.
Posted: Friday, April 30 2010, 08:10 PM CDT By Reporter Sky Arnold Story Web Link: http://www.fox17.com/newsroom/top_stories/wztv_vid_3465.shtml Buying a home is a big decision and Angela Weakley wasn't sure she was ready for it. "I wasn't sure if it was really an option with my finances," said Weakley. What changed her mind is the $8,000 she's getting under the Federal Stimulus First Time Home buyers credit. "It's made it possible really because it's gonna help me cover the cost of down payment when I'm reimbursed for it," said Weakley Weakley's decision was more last minute than most. She started looking at homes Sunday and put an offer on a townhouse Wednesday. She had to rush because the tax credit expires at midnight. "We had to pull together a lot of financial info for her very quickly so she could make a good decision so yes it's been stressful," said Crye-Leike Realtor Joyce Wright. Wright had to work with an out-of-state seller and there were some tense moments with the counter offer. "Yesterday they were supposed to let us know about noon and three o'clock I hadn't heard and I thought maybe this wasn't going to happen so that was stressful," said Weakley. A big stress that's now over with not many hours to spare.
Web Story Link: http://www.wsmv.com/houseandhome/23270231/detail.html Reported By Larry Flowers POSTED: 4:08 pm CDT April 26, 2010 MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Residents who are in the market to buy a house have only a few days left to take advantage of the $8,000 home tax credit. Jessica Hogue and her husband Todd will be closing on their new home on Friday. The first-time homebuyers started looking for a home about a month ago when they realized they could get $8,000 of free money just for buying a house. "We're right at the deadline. The reason we started looking when we did is to take advantage of the tax credit, and we're very excited, and we'll put the money to great use," said Jessica Hogue. Michael Osborne of Crye-Leike Realtors in Murfreesboro said residents still have time to capitalize on the credit if they're considering buying a house. He said the tax credit has been beneficial in starting to turn the housing market around. There are two types of tax credits that potential homeowners can quality for. "The ($8,000) tax credit is available to a first-time homebuyer or a buyer who has not owned a home within the past three years -- that includes the person or their spouse," said Osborne There's also a $6,500 tax credit for those who are selling then buying another house. "The $6,500 credit is good for anyone who has currently resided in that house for five consecutive years," said Osborne. Even though the tax credit deadline is Friday at midnight, once a home buyer works at a deal on a house, they don't have to be in a hurry to pack up and move. "You need to get negotiated and signed off on your deal Friday at midnight. As long as you're signed off by Friday at midnight, you have until June 30 to actually get the house closed and get you moved in," said Osborne. Local Realtors said after the April 30 tax credit deadline, they expect the momentum of buying and selling homes to continue.
Reported by: Kelly Dudzik Email: email@example.com Last Update: 5:45 am How does an eight-thousand dollar tax credit sound? If you buy a new home by Friday, and you're a first time home buyer it could be yours. You have to meet income requirements, and the home has to be less than 800-thousand dollars, but we met one family Sunday that's really thinking about it. "I just love this fireplace. It's just beautiful," said Carole Collins. The Collins family wants to buy a new house, not today, but maybe by Friday. "There is kind of a window of opportunity here, so we're looking at this house. This is a house we really, really like," said Mike Collins. They're seriously thinking about moving into this Saline County neighborhood. "A lot of times, you see a large house that's so chopped up that you don't really get much use out of the extra size," says Mike Collins. That's not the case in this three bedroom home built ten years ago. The asking price is $269,900. You can get it for eight-thousand less than your final offer though when you get your tax credit. This isn't just a first time home buyer tax credit, people trying to sell their homes can get 65-hundred dollars when they buy a new home. "A lot of them don't even know about it because I guess it gets to be like something you've heard over and over," said realtor Diane Barsotti. Get the paperwork done now, and you don't have to close until July first to still get the money. "If you're really in the market, it's eight-thousand dollars that you get as a credit and when you put it into perspective of how much more home you can buy, it's about six dollars a thousand, so you can do the math, it's really a lot more home for the money," she adds. "You get several hundred square feet, perhaps a thousand more square feet because of all the credits and everything that are occuring, right now," says Mike Collins. And daughter, Jana, isn't opposed to that. "It's bigger than what we have now, and all my friends live around here, so I'll get to hang out with them all the time instead of just like having to come up over here to their houses, I can be over here at my own," she says.
Web Story Link: http://www.todaysthv.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=103451&catid=2 Reported by: Katherina- Marie Yancy Time is running out to cash in on the $8,000 federal tax credit and that has Arkansas realtors keeping busy these days. The housing credit is set to expire at the end of this week, April 30. Advertisement For the next week, there are 8,000 reasons to get under contract for a house. And with a lot of activity expected, economists predict April's home sales numbers will end on a high note. As realtors set up open houses, time is of the essence for potential buyers. Karen Crowson with Crye-Leike of Benton says, "We are starting to see a lot of offers. I know over the last week my office has been very busy with offers coming in." Crowson has been a realtor for more than 20-years and says this is an opportunity of a life time. She adds, "Because there are some great homes on the market and it's not too late, they need to be under contract by April 30." It's good news for buyers and sellers. First-time home buyers receive an $8,000 tax credit and repeat buyers who have lived in a house for five years receive $6,500. Nationally, the median sales price has risen to $214,000. That is up more than 4% from a year ago. Crowson explains, "The market has not caught up as far as pricing goes and with interest rates down, I still feel like it's a great time for people to get out and buy a home now." The National Association of Realtors estimates 30% of home buyers would not have purchased a home if it wasn't for the tax credit. Crowson explains, "From March and April 2009, there were 83 sold transactions in the Benton, Bryant area. The same period for this year we have actually 126 that have sold to date. We feel that's a good indication that tax credit is actually helping us." The real estate industry has been lobbying Washington to extend the tax credit once again, but the market place may be ready to stand alone. "I'm afraid some buyers have held off thinking they did one extension, so maybe they're going to extend it again and I don't think that's going to happen right now," Crowson concludes. Interest rates and sale prices are low. If you miss the tax credit deadline, Crowson says don't let that keep you from continuing your search because there are great deals to take advantage of. According to data released Friday, The Commerce Department reports sales of newly built homes shot up 27% in March. That is the largest monthly gain in nearly five decades.
Story Link: http://www.newschannel5.com/Global/story.asp?S=12360691 By Eric White Posted: Apr 22, 2010 8:44 PM CDT NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Months ago Emmaly Carr took notice as a homebuyer tax credit deadline crept closer. "You realize this is about to end. You should really jump on it," said Carr. The Nashville woman has never owned a home. The government's first-time homebuyer $8,000 tax credit was Carr's motivation. Homebuyers have to have a contract signed by April 30 and close on the property by June 30 to be eligible for the tax credit. To this point Carr has not been successful. "I'm very, very particular," said Carr. The two homes Carr was interested in already had contracts drawn up. Crye-Leike Broker Becky Meagher is Carr's agent. Meagher said she and Carr are frantically searching to find the perfect home. "I think this is the last chance for that gift of $8,000," said Meagher. Meagher said the government tax credits have given the real-estate industry a big boost. "In my office we've been extremely busy because of the first time homebuyer credit," said Meagher. She added it is not likely the government will extend the tax incentive. With time running out, Carr said her search for the perfect house will continue. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
April 15, 2010 9:42 AM Kevin Sims There are just two weeks left to take advantage of one of the government's most popular programs. The tax credit for first-time and existing home buyers ends on April 30th. Real estate agent Lisa Whittle is bracing for a busy few weeks. She's been bombarded with phone calls from first-time home buyers. "It was like the light switch came on and people started calling and saying 'We're ready to buy, we're ready to buy! We want to take advantage of the tax credit! We want to start looking!' says Whittle. Those house-hunters are racing to beat the clock to get in homes. First time buyers have until the end of this month to sign on the bottom line and get $8,000 back. Existing homeowners who have lived in their house for at least five years can get $6,500 back. "Some thought that they had to be closed by April 30th," says Whittle, "but you just have to be under contract by then." That can put a lot of pressure on those looking to buy. Whittle doesn't want anybody to rush in and says there is plenty of homes on the market to choose from. It's a buyer's market she says and there is built-in protection past that April 30th deadline. The home still has to meet the appraised value, the buyers have to be approved for suitable financing and the home has to pass inspection. "That's three opportunities they have to say 'whoops, nope I don't think it's going to work'" says Whittle. So there may be no better time to find a new house to call home. Especially as more and more people feel more comfortable making such a big purchase. "I think people feel better now" says Whittle. "They feel more confident in the economy. They feel more confident about what's happening in Chattanooga." And while Whittle would like to see the tax credit extended like it was last year, she's encouraging potential buyers not to count on it.
By Michael Lollar Posted April 12, 2010 at midnight For these home sellers, their hopes and dreams rise and fall with each uptick or downturn in the economy. They keep their azaleas neatly clipped, their yards mowed and edged. And across Greater Memphis, they were eager for the Realtors' "Nationwide Open House," a weekend of home shopping that brought out potential buyers, people who were "just looking" and others who wanted a peek at their neighbors' things. Some of those looking on Saturday and Sunday are trying to find a house before tax credits up to $8,000 expire April 30. Mortgage interest rates had been in the 5 percent range before starting up again last week. Buyers hope to get in before rates go higher. Owners don't say much about it, but they are hostage to an economy that seems to sputter even as it slowly gets back into gear. At 186 S. Belvedere, Bill Buchanan said his sister has a liver ailment that has added a sense of urgency to selling the 4,100-square-foot house on the edge of Central Gardens. It was appraised at $494,000 and went on the market for $454,000 four months ago. The asking price is now $369,000. "My sister has $475,000 tied up in this house, so she's losing $75,000 to sell," said Buchanan, a psychological therapist who has shared the house while caring for his sister. Their real estate agent, Justin Sharpe with Crye-Leike Realtors, said the price makes it one of the most affordable houses in Central Gardens. He split his time Sunday at other open houses, including one in High Point Terrace where 15 people toured a small family home that was another "major bargain." He didn't make a sale on the spot Sunday, but Sharpe said he expects the open-house weekend will help, as will interest rates and tax credits. "All of those things are getting people out there and creating some excitement in the market. I think we're going to see home sales go up." Each house has a story to tell. At 1367 Peabody, owner Lee Harris bought his foursquare house in 2006 and spent about six months renovating it and a garage apartment in the back that rents in the $600-a-month range. "It's a tough market, and I don't know why," said Harris, a real estate developer. Harris said the house was assessed at $350,000. He's asking $299,900 through Keller Williams Realty. Dan Blickhan was touring the home with two friends Sunday, and they said Harris' house "still needs work." They said the garage apartment looked like the "maid's quarters." Agent Jessica Schreiber with George Humphreys, Inc., Realtors, welcomed six lookers in the first hour of the open house at her own home at 103 N. Fernway in East Memphis. She is selling because she has already bought another house near a new job in the Wilmington, N.C., area. She tells lookers that the house is in the Richland-White Station school district. "I can tell them stuff about it," she says of the advantage of selling her own home. The disadvantage: "They may not believe me."
How To Qualify For A Mortgage In These Tough Economic Times - My Eye Witness News In Memphis - ABC 24 CW 30
Reported by: Kevin Holmes Email:email@example.comLast Update: 11:18 am MEMPHIS, TN - A nationwide drive to sell homes before April 30th is on, in order to qualify for an $8,000 tax credit. Jerry Modesto has been selling homes for 12 years. With low prices and even lower interest rates, he expects potential buyers to take full advantage of the opportunities. "When you put all that together things are looking, I think things are looking very well." One thing that's not looking so well is the pool of potential home buyers. Another problem is keeping people in those homes. In Memphis, the foreclosure rate for February grew to 2.09 percent. That's up from 1.38 percent in February 2009. With a down economy Modesto says it's become tougher for potential home buyers to qualify for a loan. "Because of previous lending tactics and things of that nature. But it is incredibly difficult to get a loan. You got to be qualified. You've got to have a good credit score. Your credit has to be in excellent shape. You've got to have between 3 and 5 percent down and that's kind of tough." Experts say the first thing you should do is go to the mortgage company and tell them what you're interested in. Then allow the bank or credit agency to tell you what you qualify for. You must have a down payment and money to cover closing costs. "It's kind of the reverse of a couple years ago, when it was free and easy," says Modesto. "Well it's not free and easy anymore." Experts say those looking to buy a home after 2010 could face an uphill battle. Economists expect interest rates to climb. They say a 1 percent increase in the interest rate can raise the total cost of the purchase price by 19 percent.
My Profession: Crye-Leike Agent Jeff Moore applies gridiron lessons to the shifting world of real estate sales - The Commercial Appeal - Memphis
By Jonathan Devin Posted April 12, 2010 at midnight Switching gears mid-career from commercial real estate to residential came with its challenges, but Jeff Moore has tackled bigger issues. A former NFL wide receiver, Moore found his first love in selling property even before he went to the Super Bowl. "It was an incredible experience for me to get exposed to the Super Bowl as a rookie," said Moore, 52, a native of Memphis. "I can remember like yesterday how star-struck I was." Moore was drafted from the University of Tennessee Knoxville by the Los Angeles Rams as a wide receiver, but before heading off to training camp, he earned his real estate license. "My mom always put a lot of emphasis on education so we'd be prepared when football was over," said Moore, whose brother also played professional football. "That was a prerequisite for our being able to play." In January 1980, the Rams met Pittsburgh in Pasadena. They lost, but Moore went on to play professionally for two-and-a-half more years before settling down. "I'd had my first child and needed to make a living," said Moore. "I'd been working in a real estate office in the off-season even during the first year I was on the team." Moore began working fulltime for Herbert Hawkins Real Estate and later moved to New Direction Investment Properties, where he gained expertise in the area which carried him through most of his career, commercial investment properties. "I always thought that real estate was just selling houses," said Moore, noting that his father sold houses in Memphis for 45 years. "I never realized you could sell office buildings or apartment buildings or shopping centers," said Moore. "I was fascinated by that." He found a particular niche in multi-family buildings and brought his experience with him when he returned to Memphis in 1993 and joined Crye-Leike's Collierville office. Sometimes apartment building tenants were less than cooperative with inspections and showings, but Moore enjoyed the challenge of working with them. "It takes a lot of finesse to make it come together," said Moore. But early in 2009 the game changed again during the credit crunch when even well-qualified commercial buyers had difficulties securing loans. Moore's volume dropped significantly, so he rebranded himself as a residential real estate agent. "With residential you're more connected to the buyer, it's a more personal experience for the buyer," said Moore. "With multi-family investment it's strictly an economic decision." Moore's wife, Juliette, is also a residential real estate agent and their daughter LaToya works with them as an assistant. "It took a while for me to get my feet on the ground and understand that to do the kind of volume I did in commercial with residential was going to require a lot more transactions," said Moore. Moore is also the author of two real estate books, the second of which, titled "Realistic Strategy for Real Estate Investing" will be released at the end of May. He calls it a warning about mistakes commonly made in real estate investing. Jeff Moore Profession: Real estate agent with Crye-Leike Education: Bachelor's degree in business emphasizing real estate and urban development from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville Family: Wife, Juliette; sons Kendrick and Keith; daughters, Stefanie and LaToya Age: 52 Hobbies: Football
Posted: Apr 11, 2010 8:44 PM CDT Updated: Apr 12, 2010 5:33 AM CDT By Trang Do - Bio | Email HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Thousands of realtors across the country held open houses this weekend. It was part of an effort to encourage people to take advantage of two homebuyer tax credits that are set to expire at the end of the month. Realtors say now is a great time to buy, not only because of these tax credits, but also because interest rates are pretty low right now, but won't stay that way for long. Buying a home is often the most expensive purchase a person will ever make -- that's why many people, like Renae Bishop, are scrambling to find their perfect home before some tax credits being offered by the federal government run out. "There's a lot of good things out there," Bishop said. "It just depends on what you're looking for. I have a certain type house in mind, and I think it's going to be an opportunity too good to miss." Bishop is looking to take advantage of the up to $8,000 tax credit for first time homebuyers. To qualify you must have not owned a home in the past three years. Crye-Leike Realtor Lea Ellison said Huntsville has a lot of great options for first-timers, but that those in the market need to act quickly. She spent Sunday showing a home in Southeast Huntsville that's on the market for $143,000. "What I would say to a first-time homebuyer is that it's a wonderful time to buy," Ellison said. "Sellers are willing to negotiate, most of them are very, very aware of the bloodbath that has happened in the market in the last couple of years." There's also an tax credit of up to $6500 available for previous homeowners looking to upgrade or downsize. The catch? You must have lived in your home for five consecutive years in the past eight years. Both tax credits require that you have a contract on a home by April 30, and you have to close the deal and move in by June 30. There are other stipulations. For single buyers, you cannot make more than $125,000 a year. Couples buying cannot bring in more than $225,000 a year. The purchase price of the home you're buying can't be more than $800,000.
By Tom Bailey Jr. Posted April 10, 2010 at midnight The solar system seems aligned for the Realtors' "Nationwide Open House" this weekend: Depressed prices, still-low interest rates, a fast-approaching deadline for homebuyer tax credits, and even sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-70's. On a typical weekend in the Memphis area, Realtors stage 250-400 open houses. But with the coordinated event, this weekend is hardly typical. "As of now we have more than 1,200 scheduled for this Saturday and Sunday, and that number has been going up every time I've checked today," said Scott Shearin, spokesman for Memphis Area Association of Realtors. House hunters can drive around looking for blue balloons that mark homes participating in the sales event. A Realtors' site, midsouthopenhouses .com, is a guide to area open houses; The Commercial Appeal's 44-page Homefinder section, in the Sunday edition, also will include hundreds of open-house listings to assist buyers. And many individual real estate agencies have open-house information on their Web sites. The largest agency in the Memphis area, Crye-Leike, normally has 40-50 open houses, but will host 120 this weekend. "We're seeing more folks out there looking right now," said that agency's co-founder and president, Dick Leike. "Open houses are pretty effective, especially if we can have a pretty weekend." House hunters might come to an open house because the exterior seems appealing and they're curious. But the real estate agent inside is hoping to form a working relationship whether the prospect ends up choosing that house or not. "The agent is out there trying to do the best they can to reach buyers, and if that buyer would like that house, that's just a home run," Leike said. "But at least maybe establish a rapport with the buyer." With so many more open houses to choose from, this weekend offers an ideal situation for lookers. "It's a lot easier way than setting up an appointment and so forth," Leike said. "This will get your answer for you." Glenn A. Moore, president of the Memphis Area Association of Realtors, said last month of this weekend's event, "For the serious buyer, the opportunity to tour dozens of homes in one weekend is a real time-saver, and others who don't think they could afford a home might be drawn into the market by affordable prices and low interest rates." A federal tax credit of up to $8,000 is available for first-time homebuyers who have a purchase contract in place by April 30. Existing homeowners could qualify for up to a $6,500 credit if they purchase another house by the same deadline. Just this week, a real estate information company, Clear Capital, reported the Memphis area's sales prices declined more -- 18.1 percent -- than in any other major city in the nation over the past four months. -- Tom Bailey Jr.: 529-2388
Submitted by Nordia Epps on April 9, 2010 - 8:13pm. It's getting down to the wire for buyers and sellers trying to get the Homebuyer Tax Credit. Up for grabs...as much as $8,000 dollars for first time owners or $6500 hundred for those moving up. There's a big push underway to qualify. After six years, the Ha's have outgrown their East Ridge home. It's been on the market for a year and a half. But things are looking up...thanks to the homebuyer tax credit. Christy Ha, Homeowner, "You can really tell the showings on our house and everybody looking really picked up with in the last few weeks. We had showings everyday and I think people are just trying to get that tax credit." Their realtor Charlotte Mabry tells me the local housing market is red hot right now as folks try to meet the approaching deadline. Charlotte Mabry, Keller Williams Realty, "It's a great opportunity. I don't think we'll ever see something like this again." At stake up to 8 thousand dollars for first-time home buyers, and there's a credit for owners who're moving up too. Mabry, "If you've been in your home for 5 years of the past 8, there's a $6,500 dollar tax credit for moving up. The key is you have to be under contract by April 30th and close by June 30th or you don't qualify." Across the nation and here in town realtors are making a big push this weekend with open houses...showing off thousands of homes like this three bedroom two bath on Autumn Leaf in Ooltewah. Janice Robertson, Crye-Leike Realty, "What I'm finding is more and more houses that I'm trying to show are having contracts put on them quicker." Karen Miller, Crye Leike Realty, "With the inventory that we have right now, nearly record low interest rates and with this tax credit it's never been a better time." That's definitely true for the Has. They accepted an offer for their house Saturday, made one on a new house Friday morning, and by that evening got the good news. Christy Ha, "They accepted our offer, so not only will the people getting our house get their credit but we will too." Once again you must be under contract by April 30th and close by June 30th to qualify. There is an extension until next year for Military members oversees.
Sunday, March 28, 2010 By: Tamara Best firstname.lastname@example.org Local Realtors say this year looks promising for the Chattanooga housing market with prices for homes starting to rise. "There's no doubt that we've seen the worst of it," said Jay Bell, owner and agent of Bell Development. "It's not just my hunch. The evidence is there." Mr. Bell said one of the most significant changes since the housing meltdown of 2009 has been the overall attitude of buyers. "A year ago, a lot of the offers that we were getting weren't real offers; they were people who were shopping for distressed properties or looking to get a deal that was unrealistic," he said. "Now we are seeing people in the market who are genuine buyers." Harold Crye, co-founder of Crye-Leike Realtors, said despite improvements, a reduction in the number of foreclosures and inventory is needed for the market to "clean up." Mr. Crye and Mr. Bell said the first-time homebuyers market has grown in part because of the homebuyer's tax credit, which expires April 30 and offers firsttime buyers an $8,000 credit. Mr. Bell said the credit might help push "on the fence" buyers to purchase homes. Realtors said low interest rates combined with a drop in home prices over the last year makes it a prime time for potential buyers. In December the median home price in Chattanooga was $128,250, down 5.2 percent from December 2008 when it was $135,000, according to the Multiple Listing Service of the Chattanooga Association of Realtors. Randy Durham, president of the Chattanooga Association of Realtors, said that the increase in pending home sales indicates that "the market has gained sufficient momentum on its own," with a surge to occur this spring. Kathy Tucker, a Crye-Leike Realtor, also noted that the Chattanooga market has weathered the recession better than others nationwide. "Our real estate market here has always been very steady. We haven't had the ups that the other parts of the country have, but we don't have the lows either," she said. Realtors said the ramp up for Volkswagen will also help drive home sales. With people ready to purchase homes, Realtors said the biggest challenge is securing financing for homes, but they are confident that local developments will be able to keep pace with the demand. "We're selling houses again ? at a pretty good pace. If things continue like this, this may be the best year I've ever had," Mr. Bell said.
Posted: Mar 31, 2010 2:55 PM CDT NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Potential homebuyers only have one month left to take advantage of a big tax credit aimed at stimulating the housing market First time homebuyers can receive a credit of up to $8,000 and repeat buyers can get up to $6,500. Buyers have to ink sales contracts by the end of April and close before the first of July to see the refund. Lisa Byrd, a realtor at Crye-Leike, told News 2 she is noticing a big difference in the local housing market, which means good things for buyers and sellers. "The phones are ringing, so as a real estate agent, most of us are really busy right now. That is a great indicator of what's to come," she said. It's not only the credit that's pushing buyers to purchase homes. With lower interest rates and lower home prices, now is the time to find the best deals around, according to Byrd. For example, a foreclosure in the Richland historic area near West End Avenue would normally be priced around $850,000. It's now on the market for half that. "This home has been completely added on. It was originally the 1,200 square foot bungalow but they have added over 4,000 square feet and all the modern amenities one would expect in a new construction home," Byrd said. The property has generated multiple offers and a lot of interest. While the looming deadline has people rushing to buy, Byrd hopes the excitement lasts past the April deadline. Read more about the homebuyer tax credit at Crye-Leike.com.
By Worth Sparkman 2/22/2010 Construction of a new Crye-Leike Realtors office is under way at 800 SE Walton Blvd. in Bentonville. The lot is in the Fountain Plaza development. A construction permit valued at $1.56 million was purchased in November, but officials said the mortgage including land purchase was about $2.2 million. Signature Bank of Arkansas is providing the financing. The 12,646-SF building will become home to about 30 agents who currently work in two different locations. Crye-Leike will occupy about 5,600 SF of the building and lease about 7,000 SF. The lease rate is planned to be $16.50 per SF, plus the triple net rate of sewer, trash, taxes and maintenance, which is expected to run $2.50 per foot. BCC Construction of Little Rock is the general contractor. Fleming Electric of Springdale is the electrical contractor, Air Works of Springdale is the heating and air contractor and Tuggle Construction Management of Fayetteville will do the insulation work. Quality Plumbing & Backflow of Lowell is the plumbing contractor.
Posted 02/02/10 8:01 pm Reporter: Michelle Rupp Producer: Evan Hoffmeyer Little Rock - The number of Americans preparing to buy a home rose in December. The National Association of Realtors' new seasonally adjusted indes of sales agreements rose to 96.6% from November 2009 to December 2009. The index has risen for nine of the past 10 months as buyers take advantage of an $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit. The credit was originally set to expire in November before Congress extended it to April 30, and added a $6,500 credit for current home owners. Locally, realtors say the Central Arkansas market is strong, largely because of relatively strong employment compared to other capital cities. Say It On 7: Click Here to Comment on this Story (Harold Crye, Crye-Leike Realtors CEO) "We're in Memphis, Nashville and Atlanta, and none of those markets are doing quite well, truthfully." They urge home buyers to look at the real estate numbers in their area and not rely on national numbers because throughout the economic downturn, Arkansas has continued to do well. Real estate brokers say some of the best deals are found in homes that have ended up in foreclosure because banks want to get rid of them. Still, they say whether you are a first-time home buyer or an existing home owner looking for a change, now is a good time to consider. (Harold Crye, Crye-Leike Realtors CEO) "One, you have a tax credit so the federal government is subsidizing you buying a house. Two, you have the lowest interest rates almost in history right now, and three, all the economists are expecting interest rates to start moving up." (Karen Crowson, Crye-Leike Realtors) "Now is the time to buy. It is not, 'let's wait and see.' because I think they're going to miss out on some good deals if they do wait. And the foreclosure market is a realistic part of what we are looking at in today's world, and so there are some great deals out there." Crowson says new lending practices have changed the real estate business, but she is optimistic for the future. (Karen Crowson, Crye-Leike Realtors) "Right now, to me, there are so many good deals out there. Pricing, because it hasn't quite recovered, there are still some good price values on homes, the interest rates are still very low, there are still some good loan programs. If someone has reasonable credit they can still get a very good loan program." It currently takes between 30 and 45 days to close on a house.
Crye-Leike Celebrates Profits In Hard Times By Turning To Web, Cost Cuts - Commercial Appeal, Memphis
By Tom Bailey Jr. Posted January 20, 2010 at 12:04 a.m. The agent with the most recognizable hair in Memphis real estate sat in the back row with her congratulatory bouquet of roses Tuesday, quietly showing why she'd just been recognized as the No. 1 agent at Crye-Leike Realty. Instead of soaking up adoration during the company's "2010 Kick Off" for about 400 agents gathered at the Holiday Inn-University of Memphis, Judy "Judymac" McLellan hunched over her smart phone, possibly working on another sale. Leaders Dick Leike and Harold Crye acknowledged 2009 was a bad sales year for the region's largest real estate company. They used McLellan as an example for other agents to help Crye-Leike meet its $4.1 billion sales goal in 2010. That's 5 percent more than the $3.8 billion in sales for 2009. In a video, McLellan explained to fellow agents how her Quail Hollow office successfully adjusted to the harsh economy. She pushed Judymac.com, Cryeleike.com and Realtor.com, while cutting back on newspaper and magazine advertisement. "That saved us a lot of money," she said. McLellan's office also started selling much less expensive homes in the weaker economy. She held more open houses. And when she sold a house, she blanketed the neighborhood with Judymac's "just-sold" cards. McLellan also froze wages and cut back on bonuses in her office, but kept her team together without a layoff. The meeting was designed as a pep rally, complete with a conga line to inspirational music. All the news wasn't bad. Yes, the company fell short of its local goal of $1.4 billion in sales. The local sales of $1.23 billion in 2009 is an 8 percent drop from 2008. And yes, the number of Crye-Leike agents across the Southeast has shrunk from 4,100 to 3,301 (and 1,300 to 950 in the Memphis area). And the 2009 goal of building an Oakland office and a new Midtown office was put on hold. But the 8 percent sales drop was much better than 20 to 30 percent that so many other agencies experienced, Leike said. Six Memphis offices in 2009 exceeded their 2008 sales: Atoka, Commercial, Forest Hill-Irene, Germantown/Poplar, Hickory Ridge and Marion. Fewer agents means less competition for the persistent. Eighty percent of the company's agents made more money in 2009 than in 2008, Crye said. The Internet traffic that came to Crye-Leike through search engine Google rose 16 percent last year. FedEx, the linchpin for Memphis' economy, is starting to rehire and has resumed its retirement contributions to its employees, said Steve Brown, Crye-Leike's general manager. FedEx tells Crye-Leike the realty company ought to start "feeling" the improvements. The company continued to implore its agents not to spend money on print advertising, a goal for 2009. Applause rang out when Crye announced the company spent 60 percent less on print ads in 2009. The company also intends to increase its market share by absorbing brokers made weaker by the economy. And while Crye wants agents to keep focusing on sales, they also can make money by managing the growing number of rental housing. The demand for property management can't be ignored, he indicated. -- Tom Bailey Jr.: 529-2388 Crye-Leike goals The region's largest real estate company on Tuesday announced its goals for 2010, including: $4.1 billion in sales across Southeast, up 5 percent from 2009. $1.29 billion in Memphis-area sales, up 5 percent. Build office in Oakland and relocate Midtown office. Increase map-searching capability on Web site and improve the virtual home tour. Digitize all transaction documents so agents can access them anywhere. Create a continuing education designation for agents called SNP (Social Networking Professional). Grow market share with more mergers.
Story Link: http://www.myeyewitnessnews.com/news/local/story/Crye-Leike-Realtors-Housing-Forecast-for-2010/8P9pE2OTOEiE1ngtDYBdmQ.cspx Last Update: 1/19 8:38 pm Midtown Memphis, TN -- It was a packed house for the Crye-Leike Realtors annual kick off party. This is where the company's president Harold Crye says to kiss 2009 good bye and welcome 2010 with open arms. Harold Crye says, "We're seeing for the first time in three years good activity. And, we're seeing that good activity in all prices ranges including the high end." He says stock market investors are finally seeing returns and now have money to buy homes costing 5 hundred thousand dollars and above, that's driving home prices up. He says for the longest time people were only buying foreclosures and lower price homes. "If you're a first time buyer you would be absolutely crazy not to be looking right now because you have the government giving you a subsidy and you have the lowest interest rates in history and you have motivated sellers and many of those sellers are banks that are deep discounting." Crye says the government is still offering the first timer 8 thousand dollar tax credit until April, you have to close by June. He says you can hold the house, rent it, then sell it and profit in four to five years when the market peaks again. And, he says it's not only a buyers market anymore. "Last few years there were a lot sellers that said I don't need to sell right now. I'm going to take it off the market. I'm not going to sell because I'm not going to give it away, so they took their houses off the market, we're seeing them put their houses on the market because the market has stabilized and we're seeing the prices move up." Harold Crye has just been named one of the top 100 most influential real estate leaders by Inman News, a company that tracks the real estate market.
FOCUS Real Estate & Development ERIC SMITH | The Daily News The latest sales numbers show the Downtown condominium market is making a slow and steady recovery, but perhaps the most telling sign that things are improving can be gleaned from a recent deal brokered by real estate agent Jason Durston. Durston, co-owner of Get Sold Memphis and a broker for Crye-Leike Realtors, said the seller of a Downtown condo refused to take anything less than the asking price. "The seller was like, ?Take it or leave it,' and got the buyer to come in at full price," Durston said. "(Buyers are) putting offers in and they're getting rejected. It's kind of coming back to the reality of, ?We still have a stable market, we're not all losing our shirts on these condos.'" Granted, the market hasn't totally returned, but Downtown condos - in fact, the entire condo market - gained plenty of momentum as 2009 came to a close. Shelby County saw 77 condo sales in December, a 114 percent increase from 36 in December 2008 and a 17 percent increase from 66 in November, according to the latest data from real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com. Condo sales averaged $144,464, up 7 percent from $134,468 in December 2008 but down 9 percent from $158,493 in November, while last month's total sales volume of $11.1 million was up a staggering 130 percent from $4.8 million in November and also up 6 percent from $10.5 million in November. Auction magic December marked the second-highest sales total of 2009 (behind only October's tally of 79) and just the fifth month in all of 2009 that saw a year-over-year increase from the same month in 2008. The story Downtown was equally impressive. The Downtown ZIP code of 38103 saw 27 condo sales last month, a 286 percent improvement from seven sales in December 2008 and a 108 percent improvement from 13 sales in November. Downtown condo sales averaged $153,660 in December, down 15 percent from $180,900 in December 2008 and down 29 percent from $215,008 in November, while last month's sales total volume of $4.1 million marked a 228 percent increase from $1.3 million in December 2008 and a 48 percent increase from $2.8 million in November. One trend that helped sales numbers - but stunted the average sales price - in December was the auction held at River Tower at South Bluffs at 655 S. Riverside Drive, where 11 condo sales closed during the month. That auction followed the October auction at the Nettleton, at 435 S. Front St. All 30 of the condos that were for sale during that auction sold at the event, giving the entire Downtown condo market a shot in the arm. The mood has improved for brokers like Durston, and his Get Sold Memphis partner Mike Parker, that they are even getting multiple offers on properties, something unheard of as recently as last summer. "It's been fairly busy. There's no question," Durston said. "We're definitely approaching that time where we're seeing a little bit of a shift back to where we want to be." Closing sales gaps Tracie Gaia, a real estate agent at Garland Co., said she too is starting to see some more movement in the Downtown condo market. The increase in activity, she added, "may not be as quick as we want," but any improvement is a welcome change to the way the market had been going. "People are realizing that the Downtown market is still a place where you want to be," she said. "It's just as lively as it always is." Gaia said the divide between buyers and sellers is closing, that buyers better understand they may not get the rock-bottom prices they might have gotten last year. At the same time, sellers don't have to take a bath on their properties. "We're not seeing a huge variance between the actual list price versus the overall sales price," Gaia said. "We're not seeing people get what they're asking for, but we're not seeing this major jump between the list (price) and the sale (price). I think that's because the sellers are more realistic on their pricing." Year to date, condo sales still fell shy of 2008, but they closed the gap as 2009 closed. Shelby County saw 703 condo sales last year, down 7 percent from 759 condo sales during 2008. Condo sales in 2009 averaged $129,154, an 11 percent decline from $145,449 in 2008, while last year's total sales volume of $90.8 million was an 18 percent decline from $110.4 million in 2008. Downtown's year-to-date total for condo sales was 163, a 12 percent dropoff from 186 in 2008. Those sales averaged $192,504, down 13 percent from $220,512, while last year's total sales volume of $31.4 million was 23 percent shy of $41 million in 2008. Chandler Reports is a division of The Daily News Publishing Co. Inc.
January 07, 2010 News ? The Fly-By by Erica Walters Agent Melissa Hayes says she can thank Uncle Sam for helping her sell 25 houses to first-time homebuyers last year. "Even in this economy, business has been steady," the Crye-Leike agent said. To help prop up the beleaguered housing market, the federal Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 initiated a tax credit for first-time homebuyers of up to $8,000 or 10 percent of the purchase price of the home. Condos, townhouses, mobile homes, and houseboats up to $800,000 all qualified as long as they were used as a primary residence. To qualify for the credit, first-time homebuyers had to earn less than $75,000 annually if single and less than $150,000 if married and could not have owned a home in the past three years. "The majority of the people I worked with have been first-time homebuyers," Hayes said. "The houses they've purchased have been around $120,000 to $150,000." After hearing about the program, Bryan Tushek and his fianc?e Storey Rowe decided to purchase a four-bedroom home for $200,000 in May. "It was probably around March of last year when I heard about the credit," Tushek said. "I was already thinking about purchasing, but that jump-started it. We decided to purchase earlier than we had planned." The program was set to expire in November of last year, but Congress extended it through April and expanded it to include existing homeowners. "We saw a push when people thought they had to close by the end of November," Hayes said. "But now people who own homes are excited." Along with the other changes to the program, a first-time homebuyer now can earn up to $125,000 a year if single and up to $225,000 if married. Existing homeowners wanting to take advantage of the $6,500 tax credit must meet the same salary requirements and have lived in their current house for at least three years. Although the extension expires at the end of April, binding contracts to purchase houses made by April 30th will be eligible as long as the closing dates are by June 30th.
Submitted by Bill Mitchell on December 23, 2009 - 5:16pm. The Chattanooga Board of Realtors this week released figures for November showing some improvement in the housing market. Is it time for you to buy or sell? If you're planning to buy a home in 2010, you'll pay about 8-thousand more than last yea. The median price of a home in the Chattanooga-Hamilton county are has jumped from 121-thousand to 129-thousand. But if you factor in the extended 8-thousand dollar federal tax credit, and the 4-to-5 percent mortgage rate, 2010 may be your year. KATHY TUCKER, PRES. Of MLS "You know there's a consumer confidence problem out there with unemployment as high as it is and so forth, but I really and truly believe once we're through the holidays that it's a perfect time for a first time home-buyer." MLS is the multiple listing service which compiles figures for the Association of Realtors. MS. Tucker is an agent at Crye-Leike. She and other local professionals are pleased that builders are picking up their pace, and that a house doesn't stay on the market as long as it did a year ago. KATHY TUCKER "Our average days on the market has dropped from about 130 to 115..which tells us that the inventory is selling now." Home selection is not a problem...there are more than 4000 units on the market at present, but realtors say that will shrink as the community deals with the impact of the new Volkswagen plant So far most of those who have come to the area are renting. KATHY TUCKER "Most of the buyers will be here the latter part of 2010..lot of those will be of course will be with Volkswagen, but a lot of them will be suppliers. Where does the Tennessee valley stand..compared to most of the country? KATHY TUCKER "We've really increased 43% over this time last year..Chattanooga is very lucky that we've got the stable market that we have." Four-hundred-99 homes were sold in November...down 7% from October...but that figure is up 43% from 2008.
By Tom Bailey, Tom Bailey Jr. Posted December 5, 2009 Story Link: http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2009/dec/05/investors-scramble-to-snap-up-property/ Anyone looking for a killer deal on houses for investment and rental income better be poised to swoop down like a hawk on a squirrel. "If there is an absolutely great deal out there, the market is dynamic in that it finds it almost instantly," said Craig Knox, a Crye-Leike agent who specializes in listing foreclosed properties that lenders are trying to sell. "More than one person figures it out," Knox said. "You underprice something, even in this market, and people will flock to it." "This market," of course, is a buyer's market. The mass of homes upon which lenders have foreclosed has created more supply than demand. Still, demand exists for rental and investment property, said Greg Glosson, broker with Fast Track Realty. "A nice property at a competitive price is a pretty hot commodity right now," he said. Scott Housewirth, a Crye-Leike agent who specializes in helping buyers buy foreclosed homes, said "it seems like the hot properties have multiple offers. That's kind of a good thing. "You've got to be on top of it quick," he said. "There are so many investors who see the trends." Of course, tighter financing also has kept more houses on the market. "The tightening of credit put a lot of investors out of the picture," said Glosson. "They had been able to get 90 percent or 100 percent financing." Gone, for the most part, are the investors without much money of their own who relied on easy loans to buy houses for rental or resale, Knox said. "The infomercial crowd is gone for the most part," he said. Now, savers and people with deep pockets are having a field day. But they're not necessarily steam-rolling the lenders who hold the property. "The perception that the bank is out there just dumping this stuff is a misconception," Knox said, who often works on behalf of the banks. "We couldn't have a customer if we just suggested dumping these properties. Our job is to get them sold. "(The banks) are not stupid," he said. "We're not stupid. ... It's market driven. We're trying to minimize the time (a property is on) the market and maximize returns. It's a matter of finding that." Housewirth has noticed that investors seeking housing are more local than in the past. "Seems like a few years ago we got a call every other day from someone in California wanting to invest," he said. "We just don't get that anymore." Local investors know the Memphis market better, and are more familiar with the prices, he said. Investors seeking rental income and a positive cash flow have a better chance to succeed when they buy at least a handful of houses, Housewirth said. The rent income needs to be at least as much as the mortgage payment, but preferably more for upkeep, advertising, insurance and other expenses, he said. It's harder to create enough of a margin on just one house, but smaller margins on several houses can add up for a better cash flow, Housewirth said. Different investors have different strategies. Housewirth works with a physician who buys houses built no earlier than 2000. So when the market rebounds, "his values are still going to be high because of the newer age of the property." Another client buys $50,000 to $100,000 houses in all areas, renovates the interiors with new carpet and paint, and rents them out on a one-year lease. "While the renter is living in there he'll fix the outside up," Housewirth said. "And then after the year lease, if the renter doesn't stay there, his outside is now fixed up and he can sell it better." He also knows investors who only buy HUD foreclosures. "Those are good deals," Housewirth said. "They are easier to buy. You can just buy those online." -- Tom Bailey Jr.: 529-2388 Buyer's market Real estate agent Craig Knox, who often helps banks sell foreclosed houses, shares some insight that potential investors might find useful: Successful investors in this market have the ability to borrow under the tight lending conditions. There's not a constant flood of homes available; the supply ebbs and flows. With good tenants and high occupancy, rental income has the potential to provide a much greater return than the stock market. Realtors can alert you when a great deal becomes available. Successful investors, knowing what they want and having a relationship with a Realtor, act quickly and confidently when opportunities arise. Consider costs that include advertising, insurance, taxes, vacancies, maintenance and management. "Dabbling" with the ownership of several houses doesn't work. Success requires commitment.
Local Homebuyers and Realtors Excited about Homebuyer Tax Credit Extension and Expansion - WDEF News 12 - Chattanooga
Submitted by Nordia Epps on December 3, 2009 - 9:39pm. Despite the economic slowdown, it's a good time to buy a house. The government expanded the popular Home Buyer Tax Credit. Now first-timers and repeat owners can get thousands of dollars until April 30th. It might just be a Christmas Present for the sluggish local housing market...an extension and expansion of the Homebuyer Tax Credit. Amie Erwin, "I think the extension is great. We have several homes on the market in our neighborhood which is cummings cove and I'm sure a lot of the other neighbors are excited about the fact that some of them that have been on the market are going to move this Spring." Now qualified repeat buyers like Amie Erwin can get up to $6,500 if they close on a house before June 30th. And certain first-time homeowners can get up to $8,000. Dot Heggie, Crye-Leike Realtors, "We think it will impact so many more buyers." Crye-Leike's Dot Heggie saw how the first law boosted sales this year. She looks forward to even better results from the new one. Heggie, "It's a great incentive.It really is and we feel like it will help the real estate market to pick up during the year and get us back on track." Crye-Leike brought together local experts to dissect the discounts for homebuyers and realtors Thursday. Gretchen Ide-Whelan, "That's enough to do some repairs and you know get things looking the way you want them to." Gretchen Ide-Whelan learned she'll be able to qualify as a repeat buyer. Ide-Whelan, "It's just icing on the cake. I mean times are tough all over for everyone and any little amount of cash you can get in your pocket is great." Erwin, "The value of that money over time definitely makes it worth it for those who have been sitting waiting deciding on whether or not they want to buy upgrade or whatever. It would be kind of silly not to go ahead and take advantage of that."
Crye-Leike Commercial marks third-best quarter thanks to Conwood purchase - Memphis Business Journal
Crye-Leike Commercial, a division of Crye-Leike, Inc., will notch at least its third-best quarter ever at its Memphis office this year, mostly a result of a large sale it worked for Conwood Co. LLC. The Memphis office will have at least $23 million in sales for the fourth quarter when all its sales and purchase escrows close, a 155.5% increase compared to $9 million in fourth quarter 2008. "The current economy for the last year has offered some of the most aggressive sales prices for purchase of office, industrial and retail properties in many years," managing broker Dan Whipple says. "Companies and investors find this the best environment in which to buy or lease a new property." The fourth quarter was boosted when senior broker Mack Browder represented Conwood on its $19.3 million purchase of a 787,500-square-foot building on 35.6 acres at 5106 Tradeport Drive.
It's been a little more than a year since the nation's economic downturn. Everything from Wall Street to Main Street has been affected. So how are you doing? In her special report, Lauren Hanson examines the housing market... one year later. Posted: 5:49 PM Nov 9, 2009 Reporter: Lauren Hanson Email Address: email@example.com Last year the nation's two largest mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced they were running out of money. In response, the government has loaned them billions of dollars to stay afloat. Congress approved a tax credit of up to eight-thousand dollars for first time home buyers, but what does all this mean to people in South Central Kentucky? After renting for two years, Tammy Britt is moving into her first home. "I've always wanted to be able to say I have my own home, my own place," said Tammy. Tammy looked at houses for around a year, but the new eight-thousand dollar tax credit is what really convinced her to jump from renter to buyer. "The further I got into it the more excited about it I was because it really occurred to me, I can do this," said Tammy. "We're seeing all kinds of young people coming in, professional people, teachers..." said Lena Turner, a realtor for Crye Leike. Lena has seen a boom in first-time homebuyers since the federal tax credit took effect in January. She says these buyers are coming in with an idea of what kind of home they want and how much they're willing to spend. "Their first home is very special and they don't want to mess around and get too big of a payment and then end up losing their home," said Lena. The tax credit is also giving a boost to realtors and lenders. "Our company this year has already at the end of September done more loans than we did all of last year," said Ronald Shaver of Century Mortgage. "We've been busier this year than I was last year," said Shaver. While the tax credit is helping first-time home buyers, others are having to make some tough decisions. "I just wanted to make a life changing decision," said Portia Wimp. Portia recently bought a brand new home, but selling her old house was difficult. "I had to think about it. This was his dream home. He lived his last hours in this home," said Portia. Her husband passed away five years ago and he told her not to keep the home if it ever became a burden. "I was trying to simplify my life after my husband died. We had a big house and a big yard and it was just too much for me," said Wimp. Wimp said with that in mind, she decided to keep her memories in her heart and downsize to a home that fit her. By downsizing, Wimp eliminated her mortgage, which she says is a relief. "I wanted to be a good steward of the funds that I have left," said Wimp. While they bought homes for very different reasons, both Tammy and Portia are happy with their decisions. "I can put things where I want. I can redo rooms, anything that I want to. It's mine," said Tammy. "I feel so grateful to have a new home that I'm comfortable in. I feel safe in this neighborhood," said Portia. According to the REALTOR Association of Southern Kentucky, home sales were up in Bowling Green and Warren County in both September and October of this year when compared to last year. The organization says September of 2008 92 homes were sold when compared to 102 in 2009. In October of 2008 75 homes were sold when compared to 112 in 2009. Annually, numbers are down a little when compared to last year. The REALTOR Association of Southern Kentucky thinks it may be because first-time homebuyers waited until the last minute to take advantage of the tax credit which expires at the end of November.
Crye-Leike Broker Dan H. Jordan recently attended a private luncheon at the U.N. in New York to celebrate the International Real Estate Federation's 'Special Consultative' status with the UN's Social and Economic Council. The Federation is the only non-governmental agency to hold this status. It represents more than sixty countries - and among other international real estate activities - works with the UN toward the goal of ensuring safe and affordable housing for the world. Jordan - recently awarded Realtor Emeritus status by the National Association of Realtors - has served as President of Greater Nashville Association of Realtors, Realtor of the Year, Board of Directors of National Association of Realtors and Presidents Liaison representing National Association of Realtors at the Ukraine Realtors Association. Jordan is the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from Employee Relocation Council and was President of Folk-Jordan Company before selling to Crye-Leike, REALTORS in 1999.
Posted: 9:11 PM Oct 25, 2009 Reporter: Lacey Steele Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org Home sales in September beat expectations as they rose to their highest level in two years. The numbers came as first-time homebuyers scrambled to apply for an eight-thousand-dollar federal tax credit that expires at the end of November. "We have a baby on the way," said Stephanie Richards, a first-time homebuyer. "Of course, anybody wants a home." "We bought a trailer off of my aunt and lived in it for three years, and decided it was time to step up to something bigger and nicer," said Adam Richards, Stephanie's husband. The Richards say they knew it was time to purchase their first home and take advantage of the tax credit. "Kind of nerve-wrecking more than anything," said Adam. "We've got a lot going on. I guy I work with kind of turned us onto Mihreta. It helped us a lot. We got with her and gave her a price range of what we wanted and where we wanted to live." Mihreta Heldic, a realtor with Crye Leike, says many first-time homebuyers are interested in the tax credit. What they may not know is they need to apply before the end of November deadline. "The first time home buyers have a time frame of when they're going to find a home and do the closing, so finalize the process by the end of November," said Heldic. Heldic says they can't give a specific final date for attempting to receive the credit because it depends on how long it takes to close on a home. "We can try, but time is running out," said Heldic. "I personally think that if we get some contracts in a few more days then maybe there is a big possibility that we can get it done." The Richards should be able to close before the end of November, and they are grateful for how much the tax credit will help out. "We needed something bigger because we knew the baby was coming, and then we knew the $8,000 would be a plus," said Adam. "Anybody could use $8,000 of free money." Heldic says many potential buyers she has worked with may have not qualified but are interested in the program and hope something similar is offered in the future.
Reported By: Katherina- Marie Yancy - KTHV - News Channel 11 in Arkansas The $8,000 tax credit that's helped thousands of Arkansans move into their first home expires November 30th, but there are several bills on the table to extend the credit through the middle of next year. More than $1.4-million taxpayers across the United States have benefited from the tax credit so far. Today's THV spoke with professionals on both sides who gave us insight into the pros and cons of extending the tax credit. The first time home buyer tax credit is set to expire November 30th unless congress passes an extension. Maurice Taylor says, "It's being introducing into legislation and from everything I hear it is very favorable to pass." Managing Broker, Maurice Taylor with Crye-Leike says the new Bill will extend the credit through May 2010 and it's critical to get the local and national economy where it needs to be, while making home ownership more accessible. He continues, "I've been in the real estate business for 10-years and the month of October has been the largest volume month I have ever had. It is in direct correlation with the $8,000 tax credit." State Economic Forecaster Michael Pakko with UALR says, "But you also have to consider the cost as well. Clearly somewhere down the road we have to pay for these subsidies. That means a larger deficit or somewhere down the line higher taxes or less spending in other areas." Pakko says it's had a positive effect on the market, but at some point the government needs to let the market stand on its own. "Part of the big build up we had in housing and in the real estate markets was attributable to government policy to encourage home ownership," Pakko adds Taylor says there won't be many incentives without the tax credit and the current ripple effect creates jobs. He says, "Once a house is sold there are a number of things that have to happen, you have appraisers, inspectors, people doing repairs, construction workers, new furniture; all of those things that go along with owning a home." Pakko adds, "The hope would be once this program has had its impact that the housing market would be on a self sustainable path." Taylor says there is also a possibility to make all homebuyers eligible, possibly making business quadruple, but Pakko says that would be poorly targeted because it would add to the deficit and give credit to homebuyers who would buy a home anyway. Currently, the credit phases out for individuals earning more than $75,000 and married couples earning more than $150,000.
By Nancy Mueller ? FOR WILLIAMSON A.M. ? October 9, 2009 BRENTWOOD ? With their children grown and their golden years upon them, Sue Harris and her husband are ready to sell their large Brentmeade house with its big yard and live in something smaller. But the housing slump and the competition for buyers in their price range have made it very hard. After trying to sell their 14-room home for $959,000 last year, they gave up in December and decided to bide their time. "It was just not worth it, trying to keep everything clean all the time for showings and waiting for a phone call that wouldn't come," Harris said. In the meantime, the 61-year-old must continue to confront the maintenance and cleaning demands of a one-acre yard and 6,280 square feet of house. Crye-Leike agent Janell Glasgow-Hall, who is Harris' friend and neighbor, says she does a good job of it, describing the house as "immaculate," the kind of place that would have sold quickly in 2004 or 2005. But in '08 she couldn't sell it, and she's noticed that neither can some of the other baby boomers around Brentwood, where the empty nests are bigger than average. Slump scares some! "My phone is ringing off the hook from people who are scared and anxious," she said. Glasgow-Hall says they want to sell, but they are scared they'll lose equity by having to slash their price to get a sale. "Their 401(k) and pensions have been hammered by the recent stock market debacle. "They are now behind the curve financially. . . . They want to sell their house, but not in this buyers' market." Glasgow-Hall has another friend in Brentmeade who has been trying to sell her 5,549-square-foot nest for about three months; she'd really like to get into a one-story home because she's developed arthritis in one knee and her three-story house has a lot of stairs. Yet another would-be seller is consulting with Glasgow-Hall on how to best fix up his house while he waits for things to get better and ponders a lower asking price. "It's a giant waiting game for a lot of people, and it is creating a logjam of inventory," Glasgow-Hall said. The way she sees it, the logjam began when fewer buyers moved into Williamson County because of fewer corporate transfers. The resident baby boomers, who aren't selling their empty nests as a result, also aren't free to buy the smaller homes. Glasgow-Hall said she believes the problem may be worse in Brentwood than in other places because of the size of the homes, the price ranges and the relative scarcity of homes and neighborhoods that meet the needs of those downsizing, once they are able to buy. Brentwood grays faster! She cites a recent market analysis of Brentwood by HTG Consultants that said Brentwood is "going gray" twice as fast as the rest of Tennessee and three times as fast as the national average. If true, that would imply that Brentwood will be the site of a lot of buying and selling once the recession eases, as a disproportionate percentage of the city's population tries to downsize. Glasgow-Hall, who is a senior real estate specialist, said she believes that a fair number of these people will end up migrating to some of the Davidson County neighborhoods that are close to the Williamson County line and have more of the kinds of homes that these empty nesters want. What they will seek out are the one-story and 1?-story homes with smaller yards and located in neighborhoods with easy egress and convenient amenities. Locations that are within walking distance of groceries, drug stores, coffee shops, restaurants, parks and doctors' offices will be highly sought-after, she predicts. At the moment, homes that fit those criteria are easier to find in Davidson County neighborhoods than in Brentwood. Pretty, relatively new one and 1?-story homes on smaller lots can be found in Nashville neighborhoods such as Christiansted Valley, Windy Hill, Winfield Park, Hearthstone and Hemmingwood, which are in Davidson County but are just a stone's throw from Brentmeade, where the Harrises live. The prices for these kinds of homes run in the mid-$300,000s to the mid-$400,000s, which is considerably less than some of the single-story homes in Brentwood that come with bigger yards.
FROM STAFF REPORTS ? October 7, 2009 COLUMBIA ? Spring Hill Realtor David Miller is set to open his Haunted Woods experience south of town for its second season on Friday. "Last year we had over 2,400 customers come out and we got lots of great feedback," Miller said. "We gave locals a reason not to drive to Nashville for a good spook and now people are talking about driving here from Nashville and other areas because they've heard about our unique experience." Miller attended an International Haunt Convention in St. Louis in the spring. "People were excited to share the latest tricks and what works for them, and we'll be showing off what we learned," he said. "We can't wait until opening night." Miller's Thrillers Haunted Woods, at 2499 Greens Mill Road in north Columbia, will be open from 7 to 11 p.m. through Oct. 31. Admission is $10. The entire experience can last anywhere between 30 and 50 minutes depending on how well patrons navigate through the various mazes and scenes. There also are special nights and times for younger children where the spook factor is turned down a bit. For more information, go to millersthrillers.net. Miller is based out of the Crye-Leike, Realtors, Spring Hill branch office at 5407 Main St.
Reported by: Allison Sossaman Email: email@example.com Last Update: 10/02 8:51 pm MEMPHIS, TN - The government is offering you the chance to save $8,000 when you buy your first house, but not for much longer. The stimulus plan's tax credit is over December 1st, but you don't have as long to act on it as you may think. "It's up to $8,000," said Memphis-area Crye-Leike Realtor Judson Williford. "10% up to $8,000, so, if you buy an $80,000 home, you're getting that full credit." Williford says house hunters should hurry up and buy before it's too late. "We're really encourage buyers to get out there and find the house they want, in order to be under contract by no later than the middle of October," he said. "Because these banks are going to start getting busy." The tax credit program is meant to give the struggling housing market a boost. "I'm hearing a lot more people talk about it," Williford said. "There needs to be a lot more people actually doing it. Right now, with this coming to an end, I'm seeing a lot more people doing it." His advice for speeding the sale process along in time: begin at the bank, get pre-approved. "You want to have an idea of your loan before you just go pick something out that's going to be overpriced," he said. "Because that will just delay the process. You need to know what your limit is." But will this surge sustain itself, or will the decline continue? Winter is generally the slow season for real estate. Williford hopes this break will help carry the market through the colder months. "We're still in a declining market," he said. "But I do think that it's improving." People who want to take advantage of the tax rebate have to close on the sale on or before November 30th. To qualify as a first-time homebuyer, you can't have owned a home in the past three years, and you have to plan to live in the house you're buying. There are also income restrictions on the tax credit. People making more than $95,000 a year aren't eligible.
After months of searching, reluctant home buyer knew what he wanted - from the Memphis Commercial Appeal
By Lesley Young Special to The Commercial Appeal Sunday, January 11, 2009 Over the past several years, Germantown native Christopher Teague heard his parents tell him time and again he was throwing his money away on rent. Finally, the CB Richard Ellis project manager listened, and in December 2007 he started the quest to find his first home. "Renting was always convenient. I didn't have to deal with the yard. If something went wrong, you just called the landlord. It was easy," said the 31-year-old. Teague made the final plunge because he was in a financial position to find not his ideal house. "I'm picky, so I didn't want to just buy a house because I wanted a house," said the University of Memphis business management graduate. Teague called his parents' friend, Tracy Kirkley, a broker with Crye-Leike Realtors, and began the search. They looked at more than 20 homes, from DeSoto County to the High Point Terrace neighborhood of Memphis, before they made it out to Teague's hometown of Germantown. And just in time. "I came out here telling myself this was the last house I was going to look at. I was tired of it," he said. "As soon as I walked in, I just knew." "Chris was very specific," Kirkley said. "He knew it when he saw it, so we just had to weed through to get to that perfect house he was looking for." What he found, for $240,000, was a four-bedroom, 21/2 - bath stone house built in the '70s, but with stylish updates. "I knew I wanted something contemporary, something modern," he said. The 2,100-square-foot home in the Cedar Ridge neighborhood has scored concrete floors, black kitchen cabinets and countertops, and fully renovated bathrooms. What really sold him was the yard. With its layered decks, wooden walkways, tall trees and pleasant landscape, Teague knew the fenced-in yard would be ideal for the entertaining he wanted to do. Visitors know when they arrive that Teague is a fervent Memphis Tigers fan. He has a University of Memphis flag flying on one faade of the exterior stone walls, as well as numerous pictures of tigers dotting the walls inside. His favorite room is the "Memphis Room," painted gray and bright blue, and featuring a DeAngelo Williams-signed football, a 2003 framed article about the team's first bowl win in decades, a stuffed tiger and other team memorabilia. So far he has used his house to entertain guests for a housewarming party and numerous game-oriented get-togethers. This year his family spent Christmas there, placing their gifts under a tree decorated in blue and gray. Though the Memphis Room is Teague's favorite, he spends most of his time in the living room with vaulted ceiling, seated in his tan leather recliner and watching his favorite team on a 56-inch big-screen TV, which he plans to move to his bedroom. "I'm going to get an even bigger one and mount it on the (living room) wall," he said. Other plans include furnishing the study, an angled room with built-in shelves, French doors and a large square window facing west. The house had only been on the market for two or three days, and Teague was the first to offer a contract. A second potential buyer made an offer, but the owners negotiated with Teague. "After I got the house, the second person came to me and told me if I ever wanted to sell this house, let them know," he said. He has no plans to move, especially out of Memphis. "I was born and raised in Memphis, and I don't plan on leaving," he said.
MEMPHIS, TN-- If you're buying a home for the first time, there's an extra incentive to get it done soon. First-time homebuyers can get an $8,000 tax credit from the federal government, but you have to hurry, the program ends November 30th. Realtors say the tax credit program has been moderately popular in the Memphis area. One hot spot is Mud Island. "Basically, it's free money from the government to buy a home" says Mike Parker with Crye-Leike Realty. In fact, you can get up to $8,000 back. The credit is equal to 10% of the home's value. "So if it was a $65,000 house, the tax credit would be for $6500" says Parker. So who qualifies? "A lot of people think it's just for first time homebuyers. It's not. It's for anybody that hasn't owned a principle residence in their name in the last three years" says Parker. There are income limits. The credit starts phasing out for couples who make $150,000 a year, as well as single people who take home $75,000 or more. Crye-Leike realtor Mike Parker admits some people are still a little reluctant to put their money in the housing market-- despite incentives like this-- but he's feeling optimistic. "Most of the realtors I've spoken with all feel like the bottom has come and gone" says Parker. The tax credit does not have to be re-paid as long as a resident stays in the home for at least 3 years. Still have questions? Crye-Leike is holding an seminar this Saturday for anyone wanting to know more about the tax credit. That's at 10:00 AM at Crye-Leike's Atoka branch on Highway 51 South.
By Stacey Wiedower, Memphis Commercial Appeal Sunday, September 6, 2009 At 73, Rev. Edward Hampton is still learning life lessons. The most recent one? Never say never. When a family friend approached him last year about buying her West Memphis house, Hampton's immediate response was, "I'm too old to buy a house." But his friend put him in contact with her real estate agent, Linda Franks of Crye-Leike's Marion, Ark., office. Franks assured him age was not a factor in the home-buying process. "It was his dream to have a house, but he kept thinking, 'No, I can't get one -- I'm too old,'" Franks said. "He had been renting all these years. He didn't even think he could buy." He loved the house, so when Franks told him it could work, he put his lifelong dream of home ownership in her hands. Partnering with Laura Shelton of Regions Bank in Jonesboro, Ark., Franks and Hampton plunged into a buying process that was neither quick nor smooth. Due to an issue with the appraisal, Franks worked to turn the deal into a short sale -- in which the proceeds of the sale fall short of what the owner still owes on the mortgage. "I contacted the mortgage company, and they didn't want to do it because they had been bombarded with short sales," she said. But she refused to give up. "We sent all the paperwork in and started in June, and it took about five months to complete," she said. "It was actually a 'long' short sale." Month after month, Hampton and Franks readied to close, but roadblocks kept appearing. Hampton was almost ready to throw in the towel. "But Ms. Franks said, 'No, you're going to hang in there. Just have faith and chase it,' " Hampton said. "I tell you what, if it hadn't been for her, I would not have had this house, because I was really ready to give up." But Hampton closed in November on the three-bedroom, two-bath, brick home in West Memphis' North Richland neighborhood. He paid $122,000 for the 1,500-square-foot home and was even able to take advantage of several programs aimed at helping home buyers, including down payment assistance and last year's $7,500 first-time buyer tax credit. Now that he's settled in to his new house, Hampton -- longtime pastor of Macedonia Baptist Church in Lansing, Ark., and a driver for Jackson, Miss.-based Shippers Express -- couldn't be happier. "I love the house, love the neighborhood, and I just love the atmosphere," he said. "The people around here are the best neighbors. They came over when I moved in and introduced themselves, and they do whatever they can to help me." Hampton also enjoyed furnishing his new home and making it his own. "I was blessed to get new living room furniture and new bedroom furniture and a big-screen TV," he said. "My favorite spot is in the living room on that big couch laying back, watching TV." The main living area of the home is carpeted, with white walls and dark-stained trim throughout. To the left of the entry, a fireplace provides a cozy focal point, with a wood mantel, brick hearth and brick surround that extends to the ceiling. Off the living area, the eat-in kitchen contains dark wood cabinetry with bronze hardware, updated appliances and light-colored laminate countertops, as well as a two-seat breakfast bar. Double doors off the dining space conceal the laundry area. Down a hall off the great room are two small bedrooms and a guest bathroom. At the end of the hall, the master bedroom has an en-suite full bath. Outside, the brick home with blue shutters features a one-car carport and a built-in storage area off the back patio. The backyard is fenced, providing a play area for Hampton's new companion, a 10-month-old black lab named Dover. The house is close to grocery stores and Wal-Mart, something Hampton likes about the neighborhood. He also likes the way he and his neighbors watch over each other. He still stops in for coffee at Franks' office occasionally. "We hung in, and he has a lot of faith and he really wanted that house," she said. Online Story Link: http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2009/sep/06/my-new-home-pastors-patience-pays-off/
RISMEDIA, September 2, 2009 Crye-Leike, Realtors announced a major advancement in the way the company and its sales associates are now marketing and promoting real estate listings and sales activity across the MidSouth. According to the company, the "marketing breakthrough" for Crye-Leike comes with its recently signed agreement with Austin, Texas based QuantumDigital to partner with the nation's 6th largest real estate firm on its direct mail and on-demand printing. Crye-Leike will be moving the bulk of its direct mail and print marketing collateral from an "in-house" direct fulfillment facility to QuantumDigital's Web-to-print online portal for processing, production and mailing. "QuantumDigital's technology will provide our agents the ability to go online to order ?Just Listed' and ?Just Sold' cards and other pieces and have them in the mail stream the very next business day," said Keith Sullivan, Crye-Leike, Realtors Senior Marketing Director. "We're confident that the flexibility to order online 24/7 and have the system integrated with the MLS for agent's listing data and photos will be a great advantage for all of our agents, putting them a step ahead of competitors." "The technology that has come out within the past three years is making it more difficult for real estate companies to execute direct mail fulfillment internally," explained Gurtej Sodhi, Crye-Leike, Realtors CIO & Corporate Executive Vice President. "We're in the real estate, mortgage, title and insurance businesses. By turning the mail process over to QuantumDigital, Crye-Leike will be able to focus on our core businesses." For more information, visit www.quantumdigital.com. Online Story Link: http://rismedia.com/2009-09-01/crye-leike-realtors-takes-agent-marketing-to-new-heights/
Twins Mandy Westerman and Brandy Laman lead similar lives in the same neighborhood - The Memphis Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tennessee, USA
By Stacey Wiedower, Memphis Commercial Appeal Saturday, August 29, 2009 Identical twins Mandy Westerman and Brandy Laman fit several of the classic twin stereotypes. When they were kids, they shared a secret, made-up language, and even now they finish each other's sentences. They were so hard to tell apart as babies that their parents first painted their toenails different colors, then had their ears pierced at 2 months old, putting tiny hearts in one twin's earlobes and stars in the other's. "We have an aunt who couldn't tell us apart when we were younger," Brandy said. "She babysat us one night and there was a joke that she didn't remember which one of us was which." "So she might have mixed us up," Mandy joked. "I might really be Brandy and (my sister) might really be Mandy." As they got older, Mandy and Brandy had fun with their twin status, dressing alike until they were 13. In high school, they shared clothes, played the same sports and played in band together. They were inseparable, and growing up as they did in the small town of Trenton, Tenn., they were known to everyone simply as "the twins." Today, at 27, they still have much more in common than blond hair and similar features. For one thing, they share not only a birthday, but also an anniversary. "We had a double wedding last year," said Mandy of the ceremony that took place in May 2008. The two couples -- Mandy and husband Kris Westerman, 26, and Brandy and husband Daniel Laman, 27 -- followed up the wedding with a joint honeymoon in Jamaica. And then a few months ago, the couples bought their first homes, closing, of course, on the same day. The houses, just down the street from one another, share the same floor plan, only in reverse. The vaulted-ceiling living rooms in their new Cordova homes even contain identical beige sectional sofas, side chairs and TV stands. The twins didn't set out to match, but they've found over the years that it's simply hard not to. "We just like the same things," Brandy said. "More often than not, they try to be different," added Daniel. "It just ends up that you can tell the similarities." And although the sisters insist they've never used their remarkably similar faces to play tricks on unsuspecting friends, teachers or family members, they've managed to trip up even their closest loved ones without trying. "One time Daniel walked up behind Mandy in Cracker Barrel and smelled her hair and said, 'Man, your hair smells different,'" Kris said, laughing. "I'm leery now," Daniel joked, but he added that, incidents like that notwithstanding, it's easy for him and Kris to tell the twins apart. "Even though we look alike, we are very different," Brandy said. "We're like one person put together, but opposite halves." Brandy, for instance, is the more serious and reserved of the two. Mandy is outgoing, energetic, playful. "We play off of each other well," Mandy said. The twins haven't spent much time apart in their lives, but they did attend different colleges. While Mandy was at Austin Peay University in Clarksville, Tenn., Brandy went to Murray State University in Murray, Ky. "We knew we wanted to go to college separately, and that was good," Brandy said. "But we always talked about, after college, moving to the same area." So when Brandy, a pharmacist at a Walgreens store in Millington, was attending pharmacy school at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Mandy moved here to be with her sister. Mandy, who earned a master's degree from a UT satellite campus in Nashville, now works as regional supervisor for Youth Villages' West Tennessee Specialized Crisis Services. To make their web of similarities even more complex, Daniel coincidentally wound up working for Mandy as a lead counselor at Youth Villages. Kris, for his part, is working toward a degree in information technology and has been employed for four years at ExcelleRx, a hospice pharmaceutical company. Although the timing in the sisters' engagements and nuptials worked out perfectly, their relationships with their respective husbands began very differently. Brandy and Daniel began dating in college but had known each other since they were 5 years old, growing up together in Trenton. Mandy and Kris, on the other hand, met through an online dating service and dated for about a year before getting engaged. Brandy and Mandy each went with the other's fianc? to help pick out her sister's engagement ring, and their rings are, of course, very similar. They had a slightly tougher time picking out houses, considering their strict criteria. Working with family friend and Realtor Joanie Whitaker of Crye-Leike Realtors, the couples knew they wanted homes within a short walking distance of one another. The biggest challenge when looking at existing homes was that, when two houses were for sale on the same street, both couples tended to like the same house. "So we decided we weren't going to get any of those because it wasn't fair," Mandy said. The compromise came in finding newly built homes, meaning they could buy homes with the same floor plan at the same price. Now that they're settled in to their new homes in the Fountain Brook subdivision off Berryhill Road, Mandy, Brandy and their husbands are enjoying the advantages that come with having a twin. "It's good because someone is always available down the street," Daniel said. "And since we're not around our immediate families, it's nice to have that. "We don't feel lonely because we have a little family here." Online Story Link: http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2009/aug/29/sisterly-love/
Clarksville housing market ?primed for building boom? - Nashville Business Journal, Nashville, TN, USA
City's home sales increase, values hold steady despite national housing crunch Friday, August 21, 2009 Nashville Business Journal - by Jenny Burns Staff Writer Five years ago, home builder John Rochford bought some land near a potential industrial site. He was planning to build a residential community, but what he didn't know was that site next door would become the home of a $1 billion plant for Hemlock Semiconductor Group, a solar panel supplier making a lot of waves as it sets up shop in Clarksville. Rochford's investment proved to be on the mark. And now others are looking to dive in ? including the big players. "We are primed for a big boom. Everyone thinks (Hemlock's) going to be a major impact that we can't even comprehend yet," says Clarksville real estate agent Eddie Ferrell, with Crye-Leike Realtors' Sango office. Ferrell says he's recently hosted two national home builders who are looking for property in Clarksville. The town of 115,000 about 45 miles northwest of Nashville has seen a lot of new construction in recent years by local builders. But none of the national publicly traded builders have moved in. Ferrell, who wouldn't name the inquiring builders, says change is coming to Clarksville real estate. Clarksville already has bucked the trend of falling real estate markets, with increases in home sales and no declines in home prices. Its stability comes from the Fort Campbell Army base and will be buoyed by Hemlock, a new hospital and new marina. "We really have been in a bubble. We really haven't seen a big slowdown in new construction. New developments are opening," Ferrell says. Clarksville-Montgomery County was the ninth fastest-growing city in the nation in 2008, according to the Census Bureau. Such stability had kept Clarksville's housing market on a slow upward climb. The median price of a home in Clarksville is $149,000. Some homes are selling this year for 8 percent more than they were purchased for in 2007, says David Greene, principal broker at Crye-Leike in Clarksville. "The buzz is real," Greene says. "We are one of the best markets in the country or at least one of the most stable markets. Even though sales slowed in 2008 to about 2,800 homes, prices did not depreciate. As for 2009, we are back on track for the 4,000 range." More apartment projects also are showing up on the drawing board, says engineer Cal McKay, principal of DBS & Associates. McKay says he's talking with several out-of-state developers. Home and commercial builder Clay Powers says developers expect contractors mostly to rent instead of buy in the short term. Ferrell says contractors are trickling into the area and filling up rental homes, in anticipation of the Hemlock plant slated to begin construction in October. While agents say it's hard to predict what will happen to Clarksville real estate, many believe values will rise in the coming years. Powers says commercial construction of industrial property likely will pick up in six months, and home construction in 12 months as things get moving with the Hemlock plant. He's working on a 980-lot home development and a 23,000-square-foot retail center in the city. The average income of the incoming Hemlock workers is expected to be higher than Clarksville's median household income of $48,630, leading to more demand for executive housing and upscale homes than Clarksville has seen before, Ferrell says. Starting positions at Hemlock are expected to pay $50,000. Ferrell also has sold homes in the past few years to several retired couples who pointed to the area as a great place to retire. CNN Money ranked Clarksville the fourth least expensive city in the nation in 2006. Back at Rochford's Oakland development, he's planning to open another 100 lots in the 700-home community. The Nashville developer looked to Clarksville because he could build single-family homes for $130,000 to $160,000. "If you get in it for the long term, you are going to do very well," Rochford says. firstname.lastname@example.org | 615-846-4276 Online Story Link: http://nashville.bizjournals.com/nashville/stories/2009/08/24/focus4.html?b=1251086400^1976781&ana=e_vert
Friday, August 21, 2009 Memphis Business Journal - by Christopher Sheffield email@example.com | 259-1726 After five years and a few setbacks, one of DeSoto County's largest and most exclusive speculative residential developments in Hernando is poised to make another push. The developers of Charleston Rowe and Beacon Hill recently signed a marketing agreement with Crye-Leike, Inc., affiliate brokers Ron Guy and Nancy Guy to try and move 28 of the lots in the separate but joined developments, says developer Jim Seay. Seay started the project about five years ago with architect Doug Thornton and builder Ray Dennison. Thornton exited the project several years ago. Seay is the remaining partner of the 10-acre Charleston Rowe development, while Dennison remains a partner in the 20-acre Beacon Hill. Seay (pronounced SEE) purchased the woody, rolling property that makes up the two developments located on the west side of Highway 51 north of Hernando in separate deals for around $1 million more than six years ago, he says. He and his partners have since invested almost $4 million to develop the site that includes several parks for green space, a natural creek with pedestrian bridges, walking trails and buried utilities, Seay says. In Charleston Rowe, lot sizes range from one-third acre to 1.2 acres with listed prices ranging from $90,000 to $125,000 per lot. Homes are expected to range from $600,000 to $1.2 million. Beacon Hill lots are about one third of an acre and list for $70,000 with homes expected to list for $300,000-$400,000 and average 2,500 square feet. For Seay, who has renovated and redeveloped some of the oldest properties in Hernando and is chairman of the Hernando Preservation Commission, the size and square footage of homes in the developments is not as important as quality of construction and architectural integrity. "Doug, Ray and I set out to change the direction building and developing was going in DeSoto County," he says. The developers have a thick, detailed list of covenants for builders and residents to back it all up, including approved building materials, placement of garages, how long cars can remain in front of homes, landscaping, lighting and more. The group traveled around the country to some of the most exclusive developments in the Carolinas, Florida and Georgia to see what worked. "We wanted something that would set a new standard for developing in DeSoto County," Seay says. "We were very upset at how the county was using its raw material, which is land." City of Hernando deputy planning director Shelly Johnstone says Seay and his partners achieved their goal. "It is a beautiful development," she says. "The smartest thing they did was leave the mature tree canopy and the least amount of disturbance on the land. It's certainly a product that we don't have anything like." Charleston Rowe and Beacon Hill very much embrace the quality of building and attention to the physical surroundings Hernando is promoting. "It embodies it in its physicalness," she says. "We want the built environment to be durable and fit into what the mayor and board would like to develop." The broader, altruistic goal of Charleston Rowe and Beacon Hill was to create a development that would raise home appraisals and result in better homes overall. The county has suffered from the perception that any type of building would be accepted by people fleeing Memphis and Shelby County, Seay says. That's had a dramatic impact on what type of construction has taken place. Builders said they stay out of DeSoto County because "we can't get (good) appraisals for the homes we build," Seay says. Builder Dennison built the two current homes in Charleston Rowe and says they are beyond the quality and style of anything in the county, as much because of his own attention to detail as well as the demands of the development. "We don't want the everyday Joe house in there," he says. "It has to be something that has its own signature." He and Seay constitute the plan review committee and plan to be stringent on all proposals. The goal of raising the bar on appraisal values occurred with Charleston Rowe's first home, a 5,000-square-foot property that sold for a record $144 per square foot when it was sold two years ago, Dennison says. The second home is 6,200 square feet under roof that sold for $650,000. Raising the bar for speculative homes to that level won't be easy, he says. "We've got to stick to our guns," he says. "It's hard to get in DeSoto County, but we'll get it." Crye-Leike broker Ron Guy says interest in DeSoto County homes has picked up in recent months. He and his wife and partner Nancy Guy just started working in DeSoto County six months ago, he says. "There's a lot of flight from Shelby County to DeSoto County," he says. On Aug. 4 Charleston Rowe hosted an open house for agents that Ron Guy said was attended by about 200 brokers. He's also working to encourage builders to check out the property and submit samples of their work and begin the review process for approval to build in the development. "If it sounds like we're being snooty, or selective, we are," Ron Guy says, "because this is just not your typical subdivision." Charleston Rowe/Beacon Hill Residential developments Developers: Jim Seay, Ray Dennison Address: Highway 51, Hernando Listing agents: Ron Guy and Nancy Guy Phone: (901) 233-9111 Story Link Online: http://memphis.bizjournals.com/memphis/stories/2009/08/24/story3.html?b=1251086400^1966301&page=2
Family swaps houses, gets just what they want in Olive Branch - The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, TN, USA
Story Link: http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2009/aug/16/my-new-home-trading-spaces-works-out/ By Lesley Young, Memphis Commercial Appeal Sunday, August 16, 2009 With their 22-year-old daughter, 18-year-old son and 11-year-old fraternal twins living in the household, Rick and Colleen Barnes' four-bedroom home in Collierville started getting cramped. So Rick and Colleen put their aspiring architect son, Phillip, to work, and for 18 months the University of Memphis-bound student ripped out the kitchen, laid down new floors and refurbished four rooms in the house. Before Phillip had time to finish, Rick talked to his mortgage broker about refinancing the house, and she suggested it was a good time to buy. "It was a good time financially, but it also made sense because Phillip was graduating from high school, and the twins had just finished elementary school and would be changing anyway," said Rick, the director of distribution for Hamilton Beach and a native of Nottingham, England. They couldn't find a place they liked in Collierville, and Rick suggested trying Olive Branch, because of its proximity to his work and the comparable schools. "We were driving down the street looking at another house, and we drove by here and I saw all the trees, and I said, 'It looks like Gatlinburg,' " said Colleen, of the almost 6,000-square-foot modern home surrounded by 3.6 acres of trees. "We got on the Crye-Leike Web site and took the virtual tour, and I just loved it. I said, 'We have to come out and really look at it.' " When they met with their Crye-Leike real estate agent, Clare Maness, to get a live tour, the idea of a trade came up. "She knew the people in this house were looking to move back to Collierville and said there was always a chance we could work out a trade," said Rick, 47. Not only did they swap houses -- the Barnes family paid $457,500 for the five-bedroom, multi-level home with a pool and a three-story sunroom -- they also got some of the furniture to go with it. They purchased two sofas, the chairs in the hearth room and the dining room set. Former owners Karen and Mark Fox also left some of their end tables, wall d?cor and a juke box in the '50s-style diner Mark had built on the basement level, complete with a neon "Open" sign. "They couldn't take it with them," Rick said. The size of the house, the pool and the lot size fits the family's needs. It also keeps them on their toes. No one room in the house is on the same level as another. To get to any room in the house, the Barnes have to either walk up or down a small set of stairs. "When I walk out of one bedroom, I can't remember which way I need to go to get to another," Colleen said. "Phillip counted 27 flights of stairs," Rick added. "They had a hard time appraising it because there's nothing like it. It's so unique, you have to really like the house to buy it." For the most part the house was move-in ready, but Phillip the aspiring architect, has already made several suggestions, including putting a coffee machine on each of the three balconies in the sunroom overlooking the back yard and pool. "He wants to pick which floor he has coffee on each morning," Rick said. After spending 18 months making improvements on their Collierville home, the family isn't looking to make any transformations. "I don't want to even look at a paint can," Colleen said. For now they're enjoying their new pool table and hosting pool parties for any one of several soccer teams. "I love this house. It's like being in the mountains," Colleen said.
Story Link: http://www.todaysthv.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=89313&catid=2 Posted By: Reporter Katherina Yancy With a little more that 100 days left for first-time homebuyers to cash-in on the $8,000 government tax credit, time is running out. It takes time to get your finances in order, find a house, negotiate and close the deal. With that said, you do have time but not very much. Realtors say it's either $8,000 today or zero tomorrow! Stacy Jones says, "I believe we would have waited longer but the houses on the market are very nice." Newlyweds Stacy and Dante Jones are in the market for their first home and they're under pressure to buy before the $8,000 dollar tax credit runs out. She says, "When we heard about the deadline we knew we had to get it before the end of the month." Danny Holt with Crye-Leike Realtors adds, "It takes about 30 to 45 days to close so once you get pre qualified and then once you find the right house and get a home inspection, by the time you close that deadline is coming up on us pretty quick." Holt says there's no word on whether the tax credit will be extended and if you're ready to buy a home now the stimulus will give you $8,000 to pay past taxes or $8,000 in your pocket. Holt continues, "As of right now, November 30th is the deadline everyone is going by. Now is the time to really start looking because it takes a while and you want to get the right house that fits your needs." Holt says the average home price for first time buyers is about $100,000 and as the deadline approaches the inventory is going to slow down with supply and demand and it will turn from a buyers market to a sellers market. "As people are buying these homes, sellers are realizing people are going to be in crunch time they're actually taking advantage of the fact that as supplies gets limited they can make more money." Jones is hopeful she will find the home of her dreams in time, she says, "There's a lot of nice houses so before the end of the month one of them will be ours." Holt says the tax credit is helping local jobs and the states economy and it's important when you find the right home to negotiate the seller paying your closing cost. The tax credit is part of the 787-billion stimulus bill. Housing organizations like HUD and FHA have proposed using the $8,000 tax credit as a down payment, but lawmakers on Capitol Hill haven't approved that.