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Big Expectations for Housing in 2016

Do signs point to another housing boom? Perhaps - home sales are poised to zoom to the highest levels since 2006 next year, according to a 2016 housing forecast issued by®.

Gains in new-home construction and existing home sales are both expected to push total home sales to the highest levels in years. The new-home construction market is expected to see the most gains in 2016, with® forecasting a 12% year-over-year increase in housing starts and a 16% year-over-year growth in new home sales. The gains in existing-home sales are expected to be more moderate, with expectations of a 3% year-over-year gain.

"Next year's moderate gains in existing prices and sales, versus the accelerated growth we've seen in previous years, indicate that we are entering a normal, but healthy housing market," says Jonathan Smoke,®'s chief economist. "The improvements we've seen over the last few years have enabled a recovery in the existing-home market, but we still need to make up ground in new construction, which we could begin to see in 2016. New home sales and starts will bring overall sales to levels we have not seen since 2006 and will help set the stage for a healthy new home market."

Total sales for existing and new homes are expected to reach 6 million for the first time since 2006 next year.

2016's Buying Force

Fueling the increase in total sales,® predicts three distinct segments of home buyers to dominate: older millenials (25 to 34 years old); younger Generation Xers (35 to 44 years old), and retirees (65 to 74 years old), Smoke says.


Millennials are expected to make up the largest demographic of buyers in the coming year at 30% of the existing home market.

"Driven by increasing income, millennials will seek out homes that meet the needs of their growing families - putting the most weight on the safety of the neighborhood and the quality of the home," according to®'s forecast. "Commute time and a preference for older homes have these buyers looking in city centers and closer-in suburbs."® predicts some of the most sought-after markets for millenial buyers in 2016 - based on their large number of millennials, strong employment growth, and affordability - include:

   1. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-                      Roswell, Ga.
   2. Pittsburgh
   3. Memphis, Tenn.-Miss.-Ark.
   4. Boston-Cambridge-Newton,              Mass.-N.H. 
   5. Austin-Round Rock, Texas 

Young Generation Xers:

Buyers between the ages of 35 to 44 years old are likely to make up the second largest population of buyers in 2016.

"These buyers have rebounded from the financial crisis and are entering their prim family-raising and earning years,"®'s report notes. "More than two-thirds of the buyers in this age group already own a home. They will be moving out of a starter home into a larger home or more desirable neighborhood."

The markets expected to see the most upticks from these growing families are:

   1. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-                      Roswell, Ga.
   2. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo.
   3. St. Louis, Mo.-Ill.
   4. Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia,            N.C.-S.C.
   5. Columbus, Ohio


The third largest segment of home buyers in 2016 are expected to be individuals or couples who are looking to relocate or retire between the ages of 65 and 74. New retirees are expected to fuel a trend in downsizing and seeking out ways to lower their cost of living.

"They will likely put their home up for sale at the start of the home-buying season in March or April, and aim to make a home purchase following the sale of their home,"®'s report notes. "This age cohort has a very strong preference for newly constructed homes and put the most weight on their ability to customize their home."

The markets expected to see the most retiree buying activity in 2016 are:

   1. Boston-Cambridge-Newton,              Mass. - N.H.
   2. Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-            Arcade, Calif.   
   3. San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif.
   4. North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton,        Fla. 
   5. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.



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11 Harrington Lane, Dothan, Alabama $650,000

A beautifully appointed luxury home in the prestigious Harrington Woods. Custom crafted with the highest level of quality. Professional series Viking appliances, duel Fisher-Paykel dishwashers, solid wood cabinets with a natural stain in the kitchen. The floor plan flows easily and this home combines beauty and elegance without overlooking comfort. Situated on a 3 acre lot, it features a heated salt water gunite pool and spa. The pool house boasts a 1 bedroom, 1 bath apartment with a changing room, shower & water closet on the other side.

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Showcase Agents of the Month

Showcase Agents for November

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Showcase Properties would like to recognize the “Showcase Agents” for the month of November - Torri Gulledge & Mike Gulledge with the Gulledge Group Real Estate Services, Nan Pitcher, Susan Morrison, Angela Blissett, & Tim Vierkandt with Service With A Smile.

These highly trained and motivated professionals continue to set the standard for productivity, professionalism, client satisfaction, and commitment to career development. Our team of professionals at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Showcase Properties is “Committed to Excellence - Every Day in Every Way.”

Real Estate Statistics

Real Estate Statistics for
November 2015

Homes Sold                                  77

Average Days On Market          203

Average Sold Price          $137,111

New Listings For November    176 

Total Homes On Market         1,163

Home Buying Tips

Final Walk-Through

You found the perfect house, made an offer, negotiated the price, had an inspection and ensured your mortgage. The only thing left is your final walk-through.

Walk-throughs are normally scheduled the day of, or day before the settlement, as the seller should be completely moved out. The object is to ensure that the house stands in the same condition as when you agreed to buy it.

This is not the time to nitpick about nail holes or carpet imperfections. Unless you’ve negotiated allowances for such issues, you’ll have to address them later after you’ve settled.

What could impact the transaction is property or fixtures that the seller agreed to leave behind are missing (e.g., a washing machine, pool table, garage cabinets, etc.) or if the seller leaves things that were supposed to be removed (e.g., paint cans, furniture, etc.).

With your agent at your side, be sure that obligatory repairs flagged during the home inspection are completed to code and satisfaction. If the seller agreed to replace an aging water heater but didn’t do it, this must be accounted for during settlement.

You may be eager to leave the house and get to the settlement, but don’t rush through the walk-through. Run the appliances through a full cycle to make sure they work. Turn on all faucets and showers as well.

Some contracts will specify that the buyer complete a walk-through a week or two prior to settlement followed by a quick meeting prior to settlement to check off any items previously noted. Again, any items or tasks that aren’t complete must be justified at the time of settlement.

Though issues may arise, the majority of walk-throughs go without a hitch as both parties are eager to complete the deal and willing to negotiate any final hurdles.

Network Updates

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Announces New REthink Council Members

IRVINE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, part of the HSF Affiliates LLC family of real estate brokerage franchise networks, today announced the selection of nine new members to its REthink Council, a national group of 15 top-producing, motivated young agents from Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brokerages around the country.

    “We’re focused on the real estate market of today and tomorrow,” said HSF Affiliates LLC CEO Gino Blefari. “The REthink Council is an incredible think tank of talent and a proactive approach to ensure the future success of our industry.”
    Members were selected through a nominating process for their professional achievements and contribution to their communities and offices; each member is an exemplary agent or broker with outstanding innovation, participation and leadership within the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network.
    The new REthink Council members include: Tiffany Curry, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties in Houston, TX; Stephen Ferguson, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, REALTORS® in Philadelphia, PA; Stephen Hales, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty in Alexandria, VA; Kyle Hannegan, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties in St. Louis, MO; Erin Heider, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Professional Realty in Beavercreek, OH; Phillip MacArthur, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Warren Residential in Boston, MA; Megan Owens, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ambassador Real Estate in Omaha, NE; Kyle Rank, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices York Simpson Underwood Realty in Chapel Hill, NC; and Tim Vierkandt, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Showcase Properties in Dothan, AL.
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