Tallahassee, FL Real Estate News

By Joe Manausa, Tallahassee Real Estate
(Joe Manausa Real Estate)
Mortgage Rates At 2 Year Low Are you taking advantage of the lowest interest rates in two years? Homeowners have a few exciting options right now.Compare your current loan with today's low interest rates. If you are happy, do nothing. But be informed. Compare your current loan with today's low interest rates and refinance to lower your rate and thereby lowering your payment. If you are comfortable with your current payment, sit down with an expert in the Tallahassee Real Estate Market and determine how much home your current payment can buy with today's interest rates.Regardless of the choice that you make, I would encourage you to be informed. Historically, interest rates are in the 8 to 9% range on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage. Right now, they are below 6%. You might be able to save ...
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By Joe Manausa, Tallahassee Real Estate
(Joe Manausa Real Estate)
Inventories Dropping In The Tallahassee Real Estate MarketIf you have been observing the Tallahassee Real Estate Market for any time (or reading this blog for that matter), you'll know that we are in a market cycle where supply is greater than demand. We have been in an over-supply state for quite a while, and we all have been wondering when the supply-side would quit growing. It is bad enough that we have more than enough homes on the market, but it seemed that each month for the past three years we were seeing this supply grow!Well, 2008 brings us some great news! I was checking our inventory trends this morning and I am happy to report that inventory appears to be dropping. This trend began back in May, but it took until November to really outline the trend. In the chart below, the b...
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By Joe Manausa, Tallahassee Real Estate
(Joe Manausa Real Estate)
Tallahassee Real Estate Season The Tallahassee Real Estate Market moves faster or slower every year at different times. While not all years are the same, over time we have come to expect activity levels at predictable times. We refer to these activity cycles or changes as seasonality.I have measured seasonality for many years in order to better prepare my Tallahassee real estate brokerage company for the changes that occur throughout the year, and I always get excited in mid-January because this is when the market starts to heat up for its strongest time of year. The following charts demonstrate this. These charts are based upon closings, but the actual activity that creates closings (people making decisions and writing contracts) actually starts 45-60 days prior to the closing. Based u...
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By Joe Manausa, Tallahassee Real Estate
(Joe Manausa Real Estate)
The December numbers are in and I'm preparing an extensive analysis of the 2007 Tallahassee Real Estate Market. This report will be published in the next few days on this blog.As a quick preview/overview, I thought I'd mention a few items that first come to mind:Average Prices remained fairly stable, with an overall decline of about 4%. Not nearly the decline the "bears" were predicting. (Click For Larger Image) Lot sales were down significantly, which is expected when new construction starts decline. One reader (Gooch) asked "I'm curious how dirt is doing.Tallahassee seems like a crazy place for empty subdivision lots. Have they dropped accordingly with the home market?" At this point, I am not certain that the price trend is affected more by the slowing of speculative "upper end" home...
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By Peggy Dye
(Dye and Wright Realty, LLC)
GOOD NEWS...YAHOO!Leon County's real estate market was called "thoroughly stable" by noted economist Hank Fishkind in his second annual Attorneys Title Fund report on the state of Florida's residential real estate market.  Fishkind's assessment of the Tallahassee market was a high note in the report that noted Florida population and economic growth will be "very slow, especially during the first half" of 2008.But, this is good news for Leon County...
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By Joe Manausa, Tallahassee Real Estate
(Joe Manausa Real Estate)
One of my major goals when joining Active Rain (about 6 months ago) was to find out as much as I could about web traffic, SEO, internet marketing, etc. I have learned so much here on this site.I knew I needed to upgrade my primary website. We had a "stock" product that was delivering weak leads at best. So I searched Active Rain for somebody who seemed to be well-versed in the areas of SEO and Web Site Development and was happy to find a member, Brad Carroll, of Dakno Marketing.His company has helped us build our site, all with original content, and we went live on it two days ago. While we have a lot of "kinks" to work out, I believe it is the site that we were seeking. Please check it out when you have time at http://www.manausa.com.
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By Joe Manausa, Tallahassee Real Estate
(Joe Manausa Real Estate)
"JUST THE FACTS, MA'AM."I had a conversation the other day with one of our real estate agents.  He was complaining about a customer of his being "all over the map" on what they wanted in a home in Tallahassee.  "They have been bouncing around for weeks now!"  So, I asked him if he had taken his customers through our discovery process.  "Oh, that just takes too long."  Longer than guessing at what they want for weeks????I'm dumbfounded how some people insist on doing things the hard way.  The first time I tried to buy a house was long before I got into the real estate business.  The only thing my agent, not a Tallahassee Realtor, asked me was how much I wanted to spend a month.  She didn't even pre-qualify me!  And worst of all, she never tried to discover my motivation for buying.  Over...
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By Joe Manausa, Tallahassee Real Estate
(Joe Manausa Real Estate)
 One technique that we here at Century 21 First Realty have been having great success with lately is our office tours. This month we have had a 100% success rate on listing presentations performed with this technique, all of which were well priced.  We have taught our agents to do two part listing presentations.  First is the preview.  This is exactly as it sounds.  The agent goes out and takes a good hard look at the property.  They take note of anything that will affect value.  They also tour the neighborhood to see first hand the immediate competition and to get a feel for the area. The second part is the close.  We are highly encouraging our agents to bring their prospective sellers into the office for this phase.  This affords our agents many advantages.  One, it gets the prospect...
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By Eva Armstrong, Environmental Visions
(Environmental Visions)
The long-awaited pictures from my trip up the Blueridge Mountain Parkway... are finally here!     This was even with the fog still hanging over us!                                                              The reds were more prevalent this season...  and we were really lucky that the leaves turned while we were driving north-east towards Virginia!                                                                      We did have some surprises - like when we started our adventure at Milepost 269 in Cherokee, NC , we came across the most astounding find:                   But he wasn't the only one!   These bears were beautiful!  The one below was outside the post office---    There were lots more inside a parade ground but we couldn't get close enough to take pictures...  The one that ...
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By Joe Manausa, Tallahassee Real Estate
(Joe Manausa Real Estate)
Several readers have commented about the charts, graphs, and data that I have been providing via my Tallahassee Real Estate Blog. I am happy that people are enjoying them and I appreciate the comments that I have received, even the negative ones. It allows me to adjust what I am doing so that I am providing a service to as many readers as I can.I utilize two main sources of information. The most complete data that I have on sales in the Tallahassee Real Estate Market comes from Metro Market Trends. This is every recorded sale in Leon County, dating back to January of 1991. The other source of data that I use is the Tallahassee Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service (MLS). While this does not include every sale that occurs in Leon County, it does provide roughly 2/3rds of the sales i...
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By Joe Manausa, Tallahassee Real Estate
(Joe Manausa Real Estate)
Looking back over the past twelve years of information that have been compiled on home sales in the Tallahassee Real Estate Market, we can see that the pace of sales over the past five years has cooled off. I decided to graph the sales of residential units (Single Family, Condominiums, and Townhomes) in order to see how 2007 was doing versus the previous years. Since I have the data on hand for the county, this was not difficult. The results were not surprising. The number of sales in Leon County in 2007 make this year just above average for the twelve recorded years.As we can see from the graph, 2002 - 2006 had more unit sales than this year, while 1996 - 2001 were lower. These sales figures are recorded from the County Courthouse by a company (Metro Market Trends) that gathers all of...
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By Joe Manausa, Tallahassee Real Estate
(Joe Manausa Real Estate)
With all the talk of increased inventories in the Tallahassee Real Estate Market, I decided to take a look at what was available and where it existed. In order to do this, I accessed the Tallahassee Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and pulled all of the properties that we actively listed for sale. I included Leon County, Gadsden County, Wakulla County, Jefferson County, Franklin County, and "Other" (which means all properties for sale by the Tallahassee Board of Realtors that are not located in the previously named counties). Perhaps the first thing that I noticed is how active the surrounding counties are. It wasn't long ago that our MLS only tracked Leon County Real Estate. Additionally, note how there are more Lots and Land listings in Wakulla County than there are i...
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By Eva Armstrong, Environmental Visions
(Environmental Visions)
Ok - so I've been gone for a couple of weeks... I have a really good excuse ---I murdered my laptop !  Yes - you read it right--- murdered my laptop!!!!  Made a real mess of it to boot - not clean and totally bloodless like Dexter (for those of you who have read the books or watched the TV series on Showtime).Noooooo, I really did it up goooood.Three Sundays ago, I returned late from showing houses to a really nice client.  We looked at or visited about 9 homes and I was tired (my excuse for this mess).  It was about 6:30 in the evening and I still had 2-3 hours of computer work ahead of me, including my AR blog, etc.... so I thought to myself:   "hum,,,, I think I'll fix a martini, salty, shaken - not stirred - with an olive, to sip on while I work!"So I did.  And I set it down - - - n...
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By Joe Manausa, Tallahassee Real Estate
(Joe Manausa Real Estate)
How Long Does It Take To Sell A Home In Tallahassee? Often times, I see reports referring to the average market time that it takes to sell a home in Tallahassee. Unfortunately, these reports are based on data that is not accurate.They are a compilation of MLS sales data, where the market time is measured by taking the date the property was sold and subtracting the date the property was listed in the MLS. While this is an accurate way to measure the market time for that specific listing in the MLS, it fails to measure other critical components:Many properties are listed and fail to sellMany properties are listed for a period, pulled off of the market, and then re-listed (the only market time measured is the final listing period).Many properties are placed into the MLS after a Realtor se...
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By Joe Manausa, Tallahassee Real Estate
(Joe Manausa Real Estate)
To Sell A Home In Tallahassee - Seller Must Optimize Exposure I have been writing this blog while examining the Tallahassee Real Estate Market in depth. While a few readers have had differing opinions that they have shared, it seems that we all agree that inventories are at very high levels right now. This is a normal cyclic event, but it is important to understand what a homeowner needs to do to sell a home in Tallahassee under the constraints of today's market conditions.The first thing one must have when deciding to sell a home in Tallahassee is a good understanding of the underlying market conditions. After all, a home placed into the market must compete with other similar homes. Knowing the overall market, as well as the competing market, is a great starting point.This first chart ...
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By Joe Manausa, Tallahassee Real Estate
(Joe Manausa Real Estate)
HOW DO YOU PERPETUATE YOUR PROFESSIONALISM? Okay, quick show of hands.  Who here considers themselves to be a professional? Good. Now, who here would say that they consider the majority of their fellow REALTORS as professionals? Hmmmm... What constitutes a professional anyway? One definition is "a person who is an expert at his or her work." And how does one become an expert at his or her work? I would submit that experience and knowledge are certainly important ingredients.  I think we all can agree that the basic REALTOR's licensing course is a far cry from the be-all and the end-all of professional education. And while required continuing education courses are a good practice, they are hardly enough to build expertise. More education and training is clearly required for anyone to con...
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By Joe Manausa, Tallahassee Real Estate
(Joe Manausa Real Estate)
Have you ever considered moving to a new school zone for your children, but did not know what the average price of a home in that zone would cost? Well, if you have, than today's blog will be perfect for you. I charted home sales in the Tallahassee Real Estate Market by school zone. I have them separated by High School, Middle School and Elementary School. There were so many Elementary Schools that I broke them down to 2 different charts.We can see that if the highest average price for a home was in the Chiles High School zone, while the lowest average price was in the Godby High School zone. Obviously, we expect to see similar results from the zones in the Middle Schools that correspond to the above High School zones. For the Middle Schools, Deerlake Middle School had the highest avera...
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By Joe Manausa, Tallahassee Real Estate
(Joe Manausa Real Estate)
Leon County's NE Quadrant Dominates The MLS Sometimes a picture tells a thousand words. After preparing yesterday's blog in which I was startled to see a downward trend on units sold in Area 1 (Northeast Quadrant) of the Leon County Real Estate Market, I decided to take a look at all MLS activity and to create a picture of what we have been selling, and where.  This chart demonstrates that out of the 52,944 sales in the MLS, more than 37% of those came from the Northeast Quadrant of Leon County! Considering the MLS has a record of sales for Leon County, Jefferson County, Wakulla County, Franklin County, Gadsden County and even an "other county," you can see how strongly the Northeast Quadrant of Leon County has dominated our market. About The Author   As Broker and Co-Owner of Century 2...
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By Joe Manausa, Tallahassee Real Estate
(Joe Manausa Real Estate)
Leon County sales trends In an effort to find out what parts of the Tallahassee Real Estate Market are growing and changing, I downloaded all of the sales that are maintained in the Tallahassee Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service (MLS). The existing database has sales that date back to August of 1999.The following chart shows that volume of sales in Northeast Leon County, Northwest Leon County, Southeast Leon County, and Southwest Leon County. It really did not show me any surprises. Due to appreciation and growth, the linear trend of the volume in each quadrant of the county is rising.  I performed the same analysis, but focused on units sold, rather than total sales volume. This definitely had one surprise in store for me. Areas 2 through 4 in Leon County have a growing unit tr...
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By Joe Manausa, Tallahassee Real Estate
(Joe Manausa Real Estate)
Here I sit, writing my simple blog on the Tallahassee Real Estate Market, expressing my views as many others do when writing blogs on their own subject matter. Now understand, I am writing on a subject in which I have 17 years of experience, so it is not like I'm discussing the mission to Mars or anything. I am definitely staying within the bounds of my education, experience, and understanding.So, why do I bring this up? Yesterday, I wrote a blog explaining how somebody who is looking to move-up in the Tallahassee Real Estate Market can actually gain in a depreciating market. While I kept it very simple in order to get the basic point across, I had a reaction from a reader that struck me as very odd. Or should I say very confused. This opinionated reader, who goes by the name "anonymou...
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