Archive | October, 2010

My First Home: We Almost Lost It

29 Oct

In 1978, we purchased our first new home in the Washington DC suburb of Centreville, VA for $76,000. I was a new home sales person working for a home builder, so I was able to buy a brand new single family home with the company discount and since I was a veteran was able to purchase it with no money down…what a deal!

Today, Centreville is a popular DC suburb where everyone wants to live. Back when I bought my home, it was an exit on I-66, with a McDonalds, a shopping center and right next door to the Civil War Battlefields of Manassas.

The community we lived in was called Newgate Forest and it was actually a former Civil War encampment for the Confederate Forces. When they developed the site many Civil War artifacts were unearthed, cannon balls, buttons, bullets, muskets, you name it. Can you imagine today building a subdivision on a Civil War battlefield…I don’t think so! Continue reading

Uncertainty vs. Swagger

28 Oct

Ever heard the old adage, “Paralysis of the Analysis?” Well today, many individuals and businesses, both large and small, are centering their decision making process around this very idea. They are unsure whether or not they should invest time, energy and money into something they need, want or believe in.

In my opinion, America is either at the bottom of this economic cycle or close to it.  As to when exactly we will be off the ground and on the mend … that is being argued by economists daily all over the world. The problem with economic studies is that the most economists are reading history or judging the future based on historic charts and recovery tools that worked in the past.

We are in a new territory today, and we are writing history.  The data, before it’s printed, is outdated and being rewritten.This recovery is like no other because no one has dealt with the present circumstances.

Confidence and determination, or swagger, have served Americans well since our first ancestors set the stage.  How do we get back to that way of thinking?  It is all about mindset after all. America’s mindset, if truth be told, is the world’s mindset. Continue reading

What is Happening to Housing Prices?

27 Oct

Worried about the value of your home? As we have discussed in previous blogs, the best future indicator of your home’s value is the Housing Inventory level in your market. Historically, housing inventory has predicted future pricing in the following manner:

  • Appreciating Market = <5 months inventory
  • Stable Market = 5 to 6 months inventory
  • Depreciating Market = 7 to 9 months inventory
  • Double Digit Depreciating Market = 9+ months inventory

Year over year, the Charlotte Region’s inventory levels were up in all price ranges below $250k. Above $250k, inventories have come down significantly from last year and are even below 2008 inventory levels. (Please note the extremely tight inventory levels in September 2007 at the height of the market – inventories during this peak season ranged between 2.5 and 6.2 months. We can see that the inventory levels at the peak were solidly in an “appreciating market”.) Continue reading

How to Engage A Community Using Social Media

26 Oct

An individual or company’s success with social media is dependent on multiple factors. There is however only one factor, in my mind, which stands above the rest when it comes to failure. That is the inability to take online relationships offline.

So, when it came time to incorporate a social media component into our sponsorship with the Carolina Panthers, I knew that we would need a program that accomplished two goals simultaneously. The first would be to tell the Allen Tate Company story and the second would be to engage and interact with the community.

We were presented with the idea of a social media challenge. An event that would be part scavenger hunt and part “Amazing Race.” It was different and unique; something that had never been done before. Immediately we saw the potential of an event that would allow us to interact, face-to-face with potential clients and create a viral message that would reach an infinite amount of people within our community. And so the Panthers Purrsuit was born. Continue reading

What Does the Luxury Market Look Like?

25 Oct

In June I posted about the upper end market and its rebound.  Since then, we’ve seen the market continue it’s up and down course. So what does the upper end market in our region look like today?

First, inventory of $750,000 and plus homes in the Triangle, Triad, and Greater Charlotte markets has decreased significantly in the past 12 months. In fact, inventory is at its lowest level during the past 24 months.  New home inventory is not getting replaced so expect to see inventory numbers continue to decline.

Second, demand has increased 40% or more in these same markets since a year ago.  Why? There are great values in the market as median prices have dropped 10% or more.  There have been comments from Wall Street Journal, Karl Case, John Paulson and others that now is the smart time to buy real estate and the wealthy are heeding the advice and buying homes. Continue reading

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