Wednesday, May 19, 2010

It's a Small World

This past week my husband and I were fly fishing at Lake Taneycomo in Branson, Missouri when we met a really nice couple, Dennis and Debbie. They were fishing the same great spot that Scott and I enjoy fishing. Debbie was delighted to show us her "big catch" of the day. She said that she and Dennis have been vacationing and fishing in Branson for years and that this was the biggest rainbow trout either of them had ever caught. It was probably 6 to 7 lbs and quite impressive. Scott could not resist picking up the fish for a nice photo. Don't worry, he wouldn't dream of misrepresenting this fish as his.
We talked some more of the wonders of fishing and/or fly fishing and about how the people you meet on vacation are all so nice. The funniest thing happened though after awhile. We learned that we all were from Lawrence, Kansas. I think it is remarkable how it is that you can be on vacation and still meet people from your own backyard.
It's always nice to get away for a vacation, but it's also very nice living in a place like Lawrence, Kansas where there are so many nice folks.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Life Beyond the Tax Credit Madness

Now that the deadline for getting a home "under contract" in order to qualify for the $8,000 or $6,500 tax credit has passed, how does my professional life as a realtor change? In my opinion and in my business it really won't change much.
I spent yesterday in a Topeka, Kansas in a leadership class for Kansas Realtors who've been chosen to go through a program called the Right Track. One of the instructors, Karen France, asked each of us to explain how we had been affected individually by the tax credits for first time and move up buyers.
The answers came from agents in the Topeka, Wichita, Hutchison, Salina and even the Derby, Kansas markets. Several agents said they saw little to no change in their business while others said they were impacted heavily by the last minute rush to buy. One agent reported having 17 clients either accept offers on the home they had listed with her and her husband or make offers that were accepted by other agent's seller clients. All in the month of April!
I did not see that kind of rush although my office was incredibly busy. I had a few clients that wanted to get in on the tax credits while others who are being very patient in order to find their perfect home.
The good news is that the home market has stabilized, not only locally but around the country. Believe it or not, this stabilization has also occurred in those markets that were hardest hit including Florida, Las Vegas, etc. I have all the statistics on the home sales available if you're skeptical.
So my conclusion and prediction is that Lawrence will continue to see strengthened home sales in the coming months. The interest rates are still very attractive and the inventory is still plentiful so the opportunity to find a great home remains. Also, in my opinion and many of yours, Lawrence, Kansas is also a fantastic place to live and work.