Fairhope and Baldwin County Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Aug. 8, 2019

Baldwin County Property Values Increasing

Baldwin County Median Sales Price Up 6.4%

Aug 02, 2019

The number of homes sold in June was 11.1% above the five-year June average of 605 sales. (iStock)

 

Sales: According to the Baldwin County Association of Realtors/Multiple Listing Service, Baldwin County residential sales totaled 672 units during June, down 8.7% from 736 sales in the same month a year earlier. June sales were also down 8.2% compared to 732 sales in May. Results were 11.1% above the five-year June average of 605 sales. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and Annual Report.

 

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

 

Inventory: Total homes listed for sale in the Baldwin County area during June were 2,899 units, an increase of 1.2% from June 2018’s 2,865 units but a decrease of 2.5% from May 2019’s 2,974 units. June’s months of supply totaled 4.3 months, up 10.8% from June 2018’s 3.9 months of supply. June’s months of supply increased 6.2% when compared to May 2019’s 4.1 months of supply. June’s months of supply was 14.9% lower than the five-year average of 5.1 months of supply.

 

Pricing: The Baldwin County median sales price in June was $259,200, an increase of 6.4% from one year ago and an increase of 1.8% from the prior month. This direction is consistent with historical data (2014-18) indicating that the June median sales price on average increases from May by 0.6%. The differing sample size (number of residential sales of comparative months) can contribute to statistical volatility, including pricing. ACRE recommends consulting with a local real estate professional to discuss pricing, as it will vary from neighborhood to neighborhood. The average number of days on the market (DOM) for homes sold during June was 83 days, unchanged from one year ago, and an increase of 6.4% from 78 days in May 2019.

 

Forecast: June sales were 51 units, or 5.8%, below the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 713 sales for the month, while actual sales were 672 units. ACRE forecast 3,577 residential sales in the Baldwin County area year-to-date, while there were 3,521 actual sales through June.

 

ACRE’s statewide perspective: Statewide residential sales increased slightly in May, extending the streak to 5 consecutive months of year-over-year sales gains. Statewide residential sales increased 1.4% from 6,306 closed transactions in May 2018 to 6,392 in May 2019. Year-to-date, sales are up 3.2% from 2018. Home price appreciation in the state continued to climb as the median sales price in May increased 4.3% year-over-year from $165,688 to $172,864. The statewide median sales price is also up 3.4% year-to-date. Although nationwide inventory levels are trending upward, Alabama’s residential listings decreased 11.6% from one year ago. Low inventory levels were a significant factor contributing to rising sales prices throughout 2018 and in the spring buying season of 2019. With low inventory levels, it is not surprising to see homes selling more quickly than in previous years. Homes selling in Alabama during May spent an average of 88 days on the market, an improvement of 12 days from May 2018.

 

NAR’s national perspective: Existing home sales rebounded in May, posting their first year-over-year gain since August 2018. Nationwide sales increased 0.9% from approximately 535,000 closed transactions one year ago to 540,000 currently. The nationwide median existing-home price increased 4.8% in May, marking 87 consecutive months of year-over-year gains. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, said, “The purchasing power to buy a home has been bolstered by falling mortgage rates, and buyers are responding.”

 

 

Source: Alabama Center of Real Estate

Aug. 6, 2019

Best Value on Mobile Bay Front Home!

Sit on the dock of the bay and wake up on vacation with a different sunset every day.

12501 County Road 1, Fairhope AL 36532

Experience the beauty of daily sunsets over Mobile Bay from your porch, deck, or pier. Now you can enjoy that wonderful waterfront lifestyle that you have always dreamed about with fishing, boating and family entertaining. This beautifully appointed home is now available at the very affordable waterfront home price of $719,900. Better call today because this great value will sell quickly. Call me at 251-591-2386. John Fowler

Spectacular views await you at this custom built magnificent bay front home! One of a kind in New Orleans style with over 1300 sq ft of wrought iron covered balconies and three stories totaling 3063 square foot of luxurious living! Enter into an open space first floor for entertaining with a gourmet kitchen to satisfy even the most picky chef. Featuring beautiful maple cabinetry, built in microwave,trash compactor, tile flooring, pantry, center island and gas range. Dining area and living area boasting elegant crown molding and floor to ceiling windows to appreciate all the beauty around you! Second story features hardwood flooring, crown molding, laundry room, 2 nice bedrooms with ample closet space and full bathroom . The master suite with a fantastic view consist of a walk in closet and private full bath. Third floor was finished with a large sitting area, bedroom, full bathroom and crows nest balcony that must be seen to appreciate. Three stories of front and back covered balconies and a private lift for your convenience!! Large open space under house for parking and outdoor entertaining including a full RV hook up. Long dock and boathouse to enjoy all that bay front living has to offer!! Upgrades include new exterior paint, new roof and new dock!

April 1, 2019

Trends in Landscaping Design to Try This Year

Feb 28, 2019

The following is a guest post by Cat Murphy.

 

Whether you’re trying to sell your home or update the one you recently bought, there are plenty of ways to modernize your landscaping and add a touch of refreshing curb appeal. The latest trends include homeowners stepping outside the box with landscaping designs that have Mother Nature’s best interest at heart. Here’s a list of this years most up and coming popular trends.

 

Growing Produce

If you’re going to add plants to the garden, you might as well also grow something to eat. Planting edible options, like fruits and vegetables, is a great way to add interest and beauty to your landscaping that also offers plenty of health benefits. Growing food in your yard is a trending design that allows you and your guests to appreciate how food is grown. It’s also great for the environment and helps cut down on the weekly grocery budget. Choose fruits and vegetables that thrive in your community for an easier way to manage your garden.

 

Privacy

Speaking of privacy, you don’t have to install an ugly wooden fence. Plant a quick growing hedge or shrub to provide an extra barrier between your outdoor living space and your neighbors. Even a low growing shrub, like a boxwood, can create a semi-private feel to an area without hindering the view. Planting trees is another excellent way to add privacy and natural beauty to compliment a house.

 

Asymmetry

Shapes found in nature are rarely perfectly straight lines. Many homeowners now prefer the creativity of nature by reflecting curved or slanted lines in their landscaping. Slight curves on the outside edge of a garden bed and curved walkways are trending right now. These asymmetrical lines not only make your home more appealing, but they also create a softer overall look that embraces nature’s shapes. You can also include a free formed garden bed in the middle of a large lawn space that will add value to your home as well. Be sure to use a weed eater to properly trim all edges for the best look possible. 

 

Xeriscaping

So you want a beautiful lawn and garden, but what if you don’t have time to keep it maintained? Xeriscaping is both a popular landscaping technique and design that incorporates plants acclimated to a specific region and decreases the amount of maintenance by using less turf. These plants are typically locally native plants that require little to no added water. They do well in the current climate conditions of the area and can be left alone for the most part.

 

Xeriscaping also encourages homeowners to replace lawn areas with non-organic mulching options, like stone, to create a truly unique look. While xeriscapes are more common in arid regions of the country, some homeowners use this type of landscaping in smaller portions of their yard that are either hard to access or have trouble growing other plants.

 

Adding any one of these landscaping techniques to your yard will help raise the overall curb appeal of your home. Consider changing a problem spot in the yard to a xeriscape or adding plants that provide nutritious food options. Creating privacy with quick growing plants as well as incorporating curved lines into your yard are other trends in landscaping design to try this year.

Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter

Posted in Owning a Home
April 1, 2019

Baldwin County Feb. home sales up 15% from 2018

Apr 01, 2019

The Baldwin County median home sales price in February was $237,272. (iStock)

Sales: According to the Baldwin County Association of Realtors/Multiple Listing Service, Baldwin County residential sales totaled 472 units during February, up 15.1 percent from 410 sales in the same month a year earlier. February sales were also up 32.2 percent compared to 357 sales in January. Results were 3.4 percent above the five-year February average of 345 sales. Two more resources to review: Quarterly Report and Annual Report.

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

Inventory: Total homes listed for sale in the Baldwin County area during February were 2,872 units, an increase of 2.6 percent from February 2018’s 2,798 units and an increase of 1.3 percent from January 2019’s 2,836 units. February’s months of supply totaled 6.1 months, a decrease of 10.8 percent when compared to February 2018’s 6.8 months of supply. February’s months of supply decreased 23.4 percent from January 2019’s 7.9 months.

Pricing: The Baldwin County median sales price in February was $237,272, a decrease of 0.4 percent from one year ago and a decrease of 5.1 percent from the prior month. This direction is inconsistent with historical data (2014-18) indicating that the February median sales price on average increases from January by 1.2 percent. The differing sample size (number of residential sales of comparative months) can contribute to statistical volatility, including pricing. ACRE recommends consulting with a local real estate professional to discuss pricing, as it will vary from neighborhood to neighborhood. The average number of days on the market (DOM) for homes sold during February was 96 days, an increase of 1.1 percent from 95 days in February 2018 and an increase of 4.3 percent from 92 days in January 2019.

Forecast: February sales were three units, or 0.6 percent, below the Alabama Center for Real Estate’s (ACRE) monthly forecast. ACRE projected 475 sales for the month, while actual sales were 472 units. ACRE forecast a total of 901 residential sales in the Baldwin County area year-to-date, while there were 829 actual sales through February.

ACRE’s statewide perspective: After a strong 2018, statewide residential sales in January increased 1.1 percent year-over-year from 3,320 to 3,358 closed transactions. Home price appreciation in the state continued to climb as the median sales price in January increased 5.5 percent year-over-year from $143,152 to $151,015. Although nationwide inventory levels are trending upward, Alabama’s residential listings decreased 7.4 percent from one year ago. Low inventory levels were a significant factor contributing to rising sales prices throughout 2018. With low inventory levels, it is not surprising to see homes selling more quickly than in previous years. Homes selling in Alabama during January spent an average of 106 days on the market, an improvement of 10 days from 2018.

NAR’s national perspective: During January, total existing-home sales nationwide declined 9 percent from approximately 313,000 closed transactions one year ago to 285,000 currently. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, said, “Existing home sales in January were weak compared to historical norms; however, they are likely to have reached a cyclical low. Moderating home prices combined with gains in household income will boost housing affordability, bringing more buyers to the market in the coming months.”

Click here to view the entire monthly report.

The Baldwin County Residential Monthly Report is developed in conjunction with the Baldwin County Association of Realtors to better serve Gulf Coast consumers.

Source: Alabama Center for Real Estate

Dec. 5, 2018

New Fairhope Listing at 115 Echo Lane

New Listing at 115 Echo Lane Fairhope

Great home in beautiful setting close to Bay and Downtown Fairhope

Nestled under the canopy of a classic live Oak tree, welcome to this wonderful home on a peaceful cul-de-sac in Fairhope. Echo Lane is one of the better kept secrets in Fairhope and is adjacent to the Fruit and Nut area but doesn’t have the higher prices. 115 Echo Lane Details. You can take a quick stroll down Fig Avenue to the park on Mobile Bay or take a quick ride into town to enjoy everything that is great about Downtown Fairhope. This charming home has been well maintained and nicely updated and is in move- in condition. The beautiful wood floors are throughout the home. They were installed this year and there is no carpet. The kitchen is roomy and has tile floors, newly painted cabinets and beautiful marble counters were installed last year. The refrigerator stays with the home. There are 2 very large bedrooms and either one could be a master. The 3rd bedroom makes a great small den area. The dining room off the entrance could also be an excellent sitting/office area. There is a very large laundry room off the kitchen with laundry tub and additional storage. The washer and dryer are also included. Sit on your front porch and look out over your beautifully landscaped front yard and hydrangea gardens under your glorious Live Oak. Or sit on your back patio and enjoy the peace and quiet of the gardens and fountains and the fenced yard which backs up to a wooded area for additional privacy. A new roof was installed in 2016. There is an oversized carport and a storage building out back.

 

Nov. 30, 2018

Preparing Your Home for a Spring Sale

Preparing Your Home for a Spring Sale

Nov 30, 2018

How to Prepare Your Home This Winter for a Successful Spring Sale
Here’s our go-to list of what sellers should be doing now to ensure for a successful sale next spring.

SHARON LEE

NOV 13, 2018

Guest post by Patti Stern

If you are planning to sell your home next spring, why not get a jumpstart during the fall /winter season so you have more time and less stress while preparing? An added plus is that your home could potentially be ready to list in time for the early spring selling season at the end of January when the market is less crowded. It’s a win-win! Here’s our go-to list of what sellers should be doing now to ensure for a successful sale next spring.

1. Assess Your Home’s Condition – Inside & Out

The first step is to do a thorough walk-thru with an objective eye. Does it have “move-in ready appeal” that will “wow” young, savvy buyers? Is there chipped paint on moldings and trim? Is the front entry carpet runner worn and could benefit from replacing? Look at your property through the lens of your buyer and determine what needs the most attention so that Millennials with families can immediately connect and envision themselves living there with minimal work to do when they move in. 

2. First Impressions Go a Long Way

With the changing seasons, try to tackle exterior repairs and landscaping while you can by keeping gutters clean, lawn raked, shrubs trimmed and driveways/walkways shoveled. For an inviting front porch with curb appeal, maintain a polished look each season with welcoming accents such as potted evergreens or berry branches, a beautiful wreath on the door, glowing lanterns, and a colorful welcome mat.

Living Room Staged by PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating

3. Remove Distractions & Get Organized

Tackle clutter one room at a time and decide whether to keep or purge items based on when you last touched or used it. Remove personal items, collectibles and excessive furniture that distract from the room’s key features as well as its perceived size and flow. Then organize the remaining items with efficient storage solutions such as baskets and containers for closets, drawers and cabinets.

Library Staged by PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating

4. Make it Fresh & Bright 

Ask yourself if the color on the walls and cabinets is too dark? Does wallpaper need to be removed? Are window treatments dated and heavy? Does worn carpet need replacing? Do hardwood floors need polishing? Simply adding a fresh coat of neutral “greige” paint to dark walls will brighten the room by creating a backdrop to showcase the other elements in the room, such as the white trim, new carpeting, wall art, and furniture (as shown in library above).

Living Room Staged by PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating

5. Create the “Wow Factor”

Once you’ve invested in the necessary upgrades for move-in ready appeal, buyers still need to emotionally connect by envisioning how their furnishings will look in the space. Staging a home is an investment in getting the property sold and for top dollar. Professional stagers can create the “wow” factor that might be needed after all of the repairs and upgrades are finished. Complete the look with strategically placed modern furniture paired with pops of colorful and inviting accents that will make a lasting impression as pictured in the living room photo above. 

For more examples of interior decorating and home staging, visit www.pjstagingdecorating.com.

Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter

Posted in Selling Your Home
Nov. 4, 2018

Great Daphne Home with Pool

9383 Chamberlain Pass, Daphne AL 36526

Wonderful 5 bedroom family home with swimming pool in the Daphne school area. Home has been beautifully updated and well maintained. There is a large media room upstairs that that is ideal as a recreation room. Screened back deck looks out to inviting pool area. Triple garage with the 3rd garage ideal for a workshop. The large kitchen offers granite counters and stainless appliances. Spacious master suite with whirlpool tub, separate shower and 2 walk-in closets. The home is close to all Daphne schools.

 

Nov. 1, 2018

Baldwin County Top most Improved Market

Top 5 Most Improved Markets in September

Oct 30, 2018

Top 5 Most Improved Markets in September

 Baldwin County is once again leading the State in sales volume and property value increase

     

The Alabama Center for Real Estate created the following rankings based on year-over-year (YOY) growth in total residential sales during September.

  1. 1.  Baldwin County - 18.5 percent
  2. 2.  Tuscaloosa - 16.3 percent
  3. 3.  Lake Martin Area - 14.8 percent
  4. 4.  Cullman - 13.6 percent
  5. 5.  Lee County - 13.2 percent

 

Baldwin County: Residential sales volume in Baldwin County increased 18.5 percent year-over-year (YOY) from 471 to 558 transactions. Year-to-date sales reached a total of 5,362 closed transactions, an increase of 3.9 percent from one year ago. The median sales price increased 5.4 percent from $228,000 to $240,275. The year-to-date median sales price increased 5.5 percent from $227,072 to $239,453. Inventory increased 4.7 percent from 2,711 residential listings one year ago to 2,839 in September. Months of supply decreased from 5.8 to 5.1, while average days on market (DOM) dropped from 102 to 83. 

Tuscaloosa: Residential sales volume in the Tuscaloosa area increased 16.3 percent YOY from 190 to 221 transactions. Year-to-date sales reached a total of 2,102 closed transactions, an increase of 4.3 percent from one year ago. The median sales price increased 11.8 percent from $167,750 to $187,500. The year-to-date median sales price increased 5.4 percent from $165,561 to $174,439. Inventory decreased 8.4 percent from 961 residential listings one year ago to 880 in September. Months of supply decreased from 5.1 to 4.0, while average days on market (DOM) was unchanged from 62 one year ago.

Lake Martin Area: Residential sales volume in the Lake Martin area increased 14.8 percent YOY from 61 to 70 transactions. Year-to-date sales reached a total of 529 closed transactions, an increase of 1.7 percent from one year ago. The median sales price decreased 28.7 percent from $349,000 to $248,700. The year-to-date median sales price decreased 11.4 percent from $267,656 to $237,050. Inventory increased 32 percent from 406 residential listings one year ago to 536 in September. Months of supply increased from 6.7 to 7.7, while average days on market (DOM) dropped from 149 to 123.

Cullman: Residential sales volume in the Cullman area increased 13.6 percent YOY from 66 to 75 transactions. Year-to-date sales reached a total of 664 closed transactions, an increase of 5.7 percent from one year ago. The median sales price decreased 7.1 percent from $150,750 to $140,000. The year-to-date median sales price increased 4.6 percent from $137,064 to $143,367. Inventory decreased 10.9 percent from 561 residential listings one year ago to 500 in September. Months of supply decreased from 8.5 to 6.7, while average days on market (DOM) increased from 111 to 127.

Lee County: Residential sales volume in the Auburn/Opelika area increased 13.2 percent YOY from 136 to 154 transactions. Year-to-date sales reached a total of 1,702 closed transactions, an increase of 15.3 percent from one year ago. The median sales price decreased 9.7 percent from $257,348 to $232,269. The year-to-date median sales price increased 3.8 percent from $225,422 to $234,021. Inventory increased 8.6 percent from 534 residential listings one year ago to 580 in September. Months of supply decreased from 3.9 to 3.8, while average days on market (DOM) dropped from 58 to 55.  

Source: Alabama Center for Real Estate

Oct. 31, 2018

“Smart Home” Technology Is the Future"

“Smart Home” Technology Is the Future. Here’s Why.

Sep 28, 2018

Why should you consider upgrading to this increasingly prevalent technology? Let’s explore a few reasons.

 

SEP 14, 2018

Today’s smartphones go a tremendously long way in making some of life’s responsibilities easier to manage. Their ability to interact with home automation tools has contributed significantly to the rise of Smart Home technology. By making the move to this increasingly innovative tech, homeowners can reap significant benefits. It’s not unusual to come across listings these days promoting Smart Home as one of the several features of a home or a condominium residence. Why should you consider upgrading to this increasingly prevalent technology? Let’s explore a few reasons.

Control at the Touch of a Button

Smart appliances create an unprecedented level of control that simply makes life easier. Take for example something like an oven. Let’s say you were in the middle of baking a great meal for your family or friends but you forgot an essential ingredient, forcing you to head to the store. Instead of worrying whether or not you turned the oven off and having to waste valuable time by turning back, just turn it off at the touch of a button. The same idea applies for your air conditioning. You may wish to turn it off completely when you’re not home, or perhaps turn down the temperature a couple of degrees when you’re on your way home. That way when you arrive home, your home is nice and cool.

Better Safety and Accessibility

Besides making sure ovens don’t stay on, your security is dramatically improved. Through a smartphone, you can see who is knocking at your door when someone rings the doorbell, you can lock your doors remotely, or even keep track of when certain people in your home come and go such as when children arrive from school or when an elderly relative is picked up. Speaking of the elderly, voice commands make it much easier for them to perform simple tasks such as turning on the lights, reducing the risk of injury while attempting to fumble for the light switch in a dark room.

Better Use of Energy

Modern smart appliances have advanced enough that they use minimal electricity. Today’s cooktop stoves, for example, are intelligent enough to know that heat should only be applied when there is a metal pan placed on top. With this intelligent technology, homeowners can potentially save money on their electric bill.

Money Savings

The US Environmental Protection Agency published a study showing that using smart thermostats resulted in as much as thirty percent in energy savings for homeowners. When evaluated over a long-term period such as five years, that’s quite the chunk of money being saved. It’s also worth noting that if and when it comes time to sell your home, Smart Home technology may significantly improve the resale value of your home and catch the eye of a buyer looking for something that offers modern conveniences.

 

Transitioning towards a fully Smart Home equipped home may require a significant investment upfront but again, the long-term rewards outweigh the initial costs. Consider how the technology can benefit you and your family.

JILL HERTZBERG

 

Posted in Owning a Home