629 Falling Water Blvd Fairhope, AL 36532

New construction in The Waters with ALL of the extras, a covered patio, outdoor fireplace, huge gourmet kitchen, game room, oversized garage with storage… All overlooking the lake!

629 Falling Water Blvd
4 Bedrooms – 4 Full Baths – 1 Half bath

629 Falling Water Blvd

629 Falling Water Blvd

629 Falling Water Blvd

629 Falling Water Blvd

629 Falling Water Blvd

Existing-Home Sales Ascend Again in June, First-time Buyers Provide Spark

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Alabama Commerce chief: 2015 will be hard to beat, but 2016 looking good

Alabama Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield said economic development years like 2015 don’t come along very often. In fact, by one measure there’s never been a year like last year for Alabama.

“We’ve gone back several years and we can’t find a year where we had $7.1 billion in capital investment like we had in 2015,” Canfield said. “It’s quite an achievement. It’s going to be hard to beat.”

Canfield spoke to economic developers from throughout the state Monday kicking off the Economic Development Association of Alabama’s 2016 summer conference. The commerce chief credited last year’s success with his department’s collaboration with local economic development entities throughout the state, Alabama’s universities and community colleges, the state’s power companies, the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs and the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama.

In addition to the record-setting capital investment, 2015 saw the announcement of 19,202 new or future jobs from those projects.

– See more at:

Alabama closes another impressive quarter for home sales from April to June

Click here to view or print the full quarterly report compliments of the Alabama Housing Finance Authority.

Alabama residential sales during the second quarter of 2016 continued to improve, up 7.7 percent compared to the same period a year earlier. Total sales of 15,381 units represent the best second quarter since 2007. With that said, second-quarter sales are still 8.3 percent below the quarterly peak established in 2005, when 16,773 units were sold.

Historical data indicate that second-quarter sales in 2016 increased by 2,327 units from the most recent three-year average (2013-15) and 3,287 units from the five-year quarterly average (2011-15).Supply:
 The statewide housing inventory average during the second quarter was 30,121 units, a decrease of 9.2 percent from the same period in 2015 and 30 percent below the second-quarter peak in 2008 (43,108 units). There were 5.9 months of housing supply in the second quarter of 2016 (with 8 months considered equilibrium during the second quarter), representing a favorable decline of 16 percent from the same period last year. Historical data indicate that the second-quarter inventory-to-sales ratio in 2016 decreased 33 percent from the five-year average (8.8 months) and decreased 1.9 months from the three-year average (7.8 months).

Pricing: The statewide median sales price during the second quarter was $144,637, an increase of 5.9 percent from the same quarter in 2015. Historical data indicate that the second-quarter median price in 2016 increased by $11,097 from the most recent three-year average and 11.4 percent from the five-year quarterly average (2011-15).

– See more at:

Alabama Coastal Real Estate Sales Continue To Set New Records

Baldwin County & Alabama Coastal MLS*: Observations for the Month of June 2016

Sales dollars increased a better than expected 4% in June to a new record high of $172,625,514 from May $166,243,265. This is 5% better than June last year at $164,150,466.(Sect A p.2). The 12 month moving average line of sales, after a pause of three months, appears to be resuming its upward trend. Lack of new construction now seems to be depressing sales somewhat. Inventories are continuing to trend down very consistently. But, in spite of reducing inventories and generally healthy sales levels, average prices look fairly flat.

Sales in most price categories show consistent improvement. Inventories are also improving. Check out the chart on page A-17 to fully appreciate the inventory trends. Still, inventory remains high, but improving, at over a year for anything over $500,000.

In concert with ACRE, The Alabama Center for Real Estate, we have projected expectations for 2016. We use the ACRE provided data for the projections, which differs slightly from the data in this report. The projection for 2016 located here expects projected home sales in 2016 of 5,139, which is a -1.74% difference from 2015 actual of  5,230. Year to date through May actual sales are 1% above expectations. 26 more units were sold year to date than projected.

On a unit basis, sales of all houses were up at 649 this month vs. last month at 651, which is up from last year’s healthy level of 646Used Home sales decreased 4% to 533 this month vs. 553 last month, which is off 6% from last year’s 565 (Sect A p.18). New Home sales were 116 this month vs 98 last month and compared with 81 last year. New listings for New homes decreased to 144 from 170 in May. Used homes New listings declined to 733 from 803 in May with net inventory down.

The absolute number of Used Active homes on the market, which had a slight peak mid-summer of ‘09, has been consistently  improving. In June, there were 3,249 Active Used homes, a reduction from 3,834 in May and a new multi year low. New homes, which peaked in June 2006 at 2,144 Active, now sit at 530.

The Absorption rate for New homes was 7 months of inventory in June vs. 8 in May. The Absorption rate for Used homes was also 7 months of inventory in June vs. 8 in May. Over the last four years the drop in months of inventory for Used homes has been steady and impressive from 25 months plus in May 2008 to 7 months this June. The inventory of homes in the upper price range remains high with homes priced $500,000 and over at a year’s supply, but even here we are seeing improvement. I have been expecting construction to begin to pick-up in the under $400,000 range, and we have seen a pick-up in New homes, New listings where sales seem to be keeping up so net inventory of new home remains low in these price ranges.

Average sales price for all homes has been static for the past year. For New units, average price increased to  $271,548 from $255,080 last month. (Sect A p.14). Average Used home prices increased to $264,777 from $255,417 in May. Average Days On Market for New Sold properties in June was 167 vs last month of 161. Days On Market for Used was 141 compared to last month 154.

Gulf Coast condo sales in June rose 7 percent over last year

Click here to view or print the entire monthly report compliments of the ACRE Corporate Cabinet.

Sales: According to the Baldwin County Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service, Baldwin County condo sales, which include condos along the Gulf Coast, totaled 155 units during June. Year-to-date sales are four units or 0.5 percent above the same period during 2015.

For all of Baldwin County’s condo sales data, click here. 

Gulf Coast condo sales rose 7 percent to 155 units sold year-over-year during June.
Gulf Coast condo sales rose 7 percent to 155 units sold year-over-year during June.

Forecast: June sales were 14 units or 9 percent above the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE’s year-to-date sales forecast through June projected 793 closed transactions. Year-to-date actual sales are 823 units, a 4 percent favorable difference.

Supply: Baldwin County condo inventory totaled 856 units, a decrease of 17.5 percent, or 182 units, from June 2015. The inventory was down 4.5 percent from the prior month. Historical patterns indicate that June inventory on average (2011-15) decreases 1.5 percent from May. Condo inventory during June peaked in 2011 at 1,258 units. The inventory is now down 32 percent from the peak. During June, the condo supply stood at 5.5 months, down from 7.2 months during June 2015.

Demand: Condo sales dipped 10.4 percent from May. Seasonal buying patterns and historical data trends reflect June condo sales on average (2011-15) decrease from May by 7.2 percent.

Pricing: The Baldwin County condo median sales price in June was $280,000, up 7.7 percent from last June. The median sales price increased 17.2 percent from the prior month. This direction is consistent with historical data trends (2011-15) that reflect the June median condo sales price on average increases from May by 5 percent.

Baldwin County residential sales in April hold steady compared to 2015

Sales: According to the Baldwin County Association of Realtors/Multiple Listing Service, April residential sales in Baldwin County totaled 490 units, down 0.2 percent from last April. Year-to-date sales are 0.9 percent or 15 units above the same period last year. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and Annual Report.

For all of Baldwin County’s housing data, click here. 

Forecast: April results were 25 units or 5 percent above the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE’s year-to-date sales forecast through April projected 1,586 closed transactions, while the actual sales were 1,645 units, a favorable difference of 3.7 percent.

Year-to-date home sales in Baldwin County have risen 0.9 percent in April compared to the same period a year ago.
Year-to-date home sales in Baldwin County have risen 0.9 percent in April compared to the same period a year ago.

Supply: The Baldwin County housing inventory in April was 2,881 units, a decrease of 6.6 percent from April 2015. The area’s housing inventory has declined by 55 percent from the April peak in 2007 (6,422 units). There was 5.9 months of housing supply in April (with 6 months considered equilibrium for April) vs. 6.3 months of supply in April 2015. This is down from March’s 6.2 months of supply.

Demand: Baldwin County residential sales increased 5.8 percent from March. This direction is consistent with local historical data indicating that April sales, on average (2011-15), increase from March by 5.3 percent.

Existing single-family home sales accounted for 57 percent (unchanged from April 2015) of total sales, while 9 percent (unchanged from April 2015) were new home sales and 33 percent (unchanged from April 2015) were condo sales.

Pricing: The Baldwin County median sales price in April was $220,000, an increase of 0.5 percent from last April ($219,000). The median sales price increased 14 percent from the prior month. The data are consistent with historical data that indicate on average (2011-15) the April median sales price increases from March by 5.8 percent. ACRE highly recommends consulting with a real estate professional to discuss pricing, as it will vary from neighborhood to neighborhood.

Industry perspective: “We can partially attribute the sizable gain in April in home-selling optimism both to a correction for last month’s unexpected dip and to typical seasonal strength in housing activity in the spring and summer,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “Even after accounting for these factors, continued tight housing supply has led to renewed strength in home price appreciation, making selling a home a more attractive prospect this year in particular. This improved sentiment could provide an extra boost of much-needed supply for the spring selling season.” For the entire report, click here.

– See more at: Alabama Center for Real Estate

Home sales up in May across state, prices too

By  Charles J. Dean  |

Alabamians in May continued to buy more homes and pay more for them.

The latest data on home sales and prices come from the Alabama Center for Real Estate.

ACRE reports that Alabama home sales in May were up 11.4 percent compared to May of 2015. In all, year-to-date home sales are up 9.1 percent compared to the same period a year ago.

So far this year home sales are above what the ACRE had forecast.

While home sales are up, so too are home prices. ACRE reports that the May median sales price increased 3.2 percent from May of 2015. The median sales price of a home in May was $145,030.

Homes were selling for more in 80 percent of the state’s local housing markets compared to a year ago. The May median sales price was up 6.8 percent from April, reports ACRE.

In terms of the supply of houses in the state, home inventories declined 8.3 percent in May compared to a year ago as buyers grabbed up homes.

Here is the link to the ACRE May report.

7 Tips Every First Time Home Buyer Should Read

When buying your first home, a few words of advice can go a long way. Today, our network of Coldwell Banker professionals share their tips and tricks of the trade.

When buying your first home, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. A few words of advice can go a long way, so we’ve enlisted tips and tricks from our network of Coldwell Banker professionals. See their insight on the process, what to look for in a home, and home improvements. And most importantly, best of luck in your journey to becoming a homeowner!

Be patient…don’t over pay for something because you feel pressure. Good things come to those who wait!” – Shari Pesa, Executive Business Consultant, Coldwell Banker Real Estate

“Remember you are buying the house the way it is. Yes you may plan on renovating, but plans change. Can you live in the house the way it is for a few years? If so, then go for it! Don’t compromise on what you want thinking you will redo everything tomorrow.” – Tracy Freeman, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage 

806 Prospect St, Westfield Town, NJ listed by Robert Lacovara with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

“Make sure to align your expectations with the reality of where you want to live and what your price range truly affords. We all want the home near the beach for $200k but when it’s more like $2M, it is important to adjust expectations.” – Cara Ameer, Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty Inc. 

“Make sure you work with a realtor that is experienced and knows the area, especially in flood plains where additional insurance costs may impact your finances. Every house is different. Do not make assumptions.” – Jennifer Cavanaugh Ronzo, Coldwell Banker Harbor Light

811 Carpenter Town Lane, Cary, NC listed by James Ruehle with Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston

Don’t buy a home for the total amount the bank approves you for because you will need to buy things for the house when you move in. Things you never thought about until you’re living there (i.e.: hoses, grass seed, window treatments, snow blower, lawn mower…) If you buy at the highest loan approval level you could end up “house poor” and not have extra money for emergency expenses that arise or fun things for your new home.” – Holly Fetherlin, Regional Marketing Manager, Coldwell Banker Real Estate

Ask questions. Lots and lots of questions.” – David Siroty, VP of Communications, Coldwell Banker Real Estate

1059 SE Portlandia Ave, Hillsboro, OR listed by Joseph Charny with Coldwell Banker Seal

“Don’t be scared of a little work. It might be worth investing in something that doesn’t necessarily look like your dream home now, but with a fresh coat of paint and a few minor upgrades, you could have your dream home without paying the price of your nightmares.” – Jimmy Hammel, Manager, Digital Marketing, Coldwell Banker Real Estate

Home Buying 101: The Close

Often times this can be the most arduous step, but with the right information you can breeze through to home ownership.

Once house hunters find their dream homes, it’s not over. In hot markets, for example,  properties may attract multiple offers and buyers can find themselves shut out in bidding wars.

Sellers may also be reluctant to accept offers that come with conditions — contingencies — that most buyers want to include in their contracts. These involve things like the house being appraising at or more than the sale price, which buyers need to finalize mortgages; passing inspection; and a final walk through. Sometimes, buyers who are existing home owners want the sale to be contingent on the sale of their own homes. All these conditions are subject to negotiation and sellers in hot markets may have the power to turn them down. At that point, buyers have to consider whether to buy or not considering the added risk.

In addition, all states require some form of property disclosure statement that sellers have to provide before closing. What has to be on that varies but can include: damage from pest infestations; the presence of hazardous materials; condition of mechanical systems like plumbing and heating; and flood risk. The list can be long, and some items, such as severe structural damage, can be deal breakers.

Once these hurdles are cleared, the date for the final sale, when buyers get the house keys in their hands, can be set.

The settlement

A day or two before this closing, lenders have to provide borrowers with a settlement statement, mandated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which contains a good faith estimate of borrowing costs. These costs include title insurance, appraisal fees, origination fees, and escrow charges. The statement also details broker commissions, recording fees, and, oh yes, the amount due to the seller. Buyers should go over this paperwork carefully. A good real estate attorney can help.

Sometimes buyers can negotiate with sellers to share some or all of the closing costs. Anna Bischoff, an attorney in St. Louis, thought that she had some leverage with her sellers because the house had stayed on the market for a while. She had made an offer on it last January, but the sellers refused to even make a counter offer. By March, however, she noticed they had lowered the price, so she made a new offer and asked them to pay the closing costs, which they agreed to do.

The close

Once all this is squared away, buyers are ready to proceed to closing. This is a fairly routine process that involves lots of signings, of contracts, releases, and checks. The last paper is signed, the keys are turned over, and everyone shakes hands. The buyers hurry to their new address, cross the threshold, and look around. They’re pleased, excited, and a little scared. What if the roof leaks or the beautiful old oak next to the garage is ready to topple over?

Nobody said homeownership was stress-free. Most homeowners would not give it up. They have control over their living space and a sense of belonging that renters may lack. And most don’t experience “Money-Pit” types of problems.

For Bischoff, there have been no bad surprises, only some good ones. The sellers unexpectedly left a lot of good stuff behind: appliances, tools, a lawn mower. And she’s very glad at how happy her dog has been. He enjoys having a backyard and plenty of indoor space to roam.

“It’s Mojo’s house; I just pay for it,” said Bischoff.

Coldwell Banker Blue Matter