Nashville New Homes: Yes, there is a Santa Claus.

Job-loss and unemployment rates are real, but more importantly, we must focus on the fact that 90% of our working population continue to work.  The 90% have got to be encouraged to carry-on with life before this economy can turn around.  The only thing anyone gets from sitting on a fence is blisters.

News of the “impending moratorium” on home foreclosures is spreading the nation.   Those that are facing foreclosure on their home are being granted a temporary reprieve, and hopefully this reprieve will allow enough time for those affected to form a serious plan to get their future finances in order.   Read more about it here: http://www.tennessean.com/article/20101011/BUSINESS01/10110327/2047/NLETTER01?source

My first reaction was ….”Wow.”   Just last month, the “Administration economists” said the recession ended in 2009 and recovery, although slow, had begun.    My second reaction to the news was “I bet more people wish their home mortgage was with Bank of America.”    Christmas just might be early this year.

In reality, Christmas has come early for the housing economy for several reasons.  Mired down in technical difficulties is the foreclosure process.  We all know that foreclosure sales bring the least amount of money to the lender, and have dire consequences for the property owner.  Foreclosure sales also do the most damage to property values in the surrounding areas.   These low-net, value damaging sales are for the most part stopped for the time being, which benefits the majority of property owners in this country, even if it is just for the short-term. 

Meanwhile, the short-sale process is still alive and well.   Perhaps lenders will now be even more attentive to entertaining offers that they receive.  The lenders get more for the property and the sellers avoid the foreclosure mark on their credit report and can begin re-building their lives.  Without the foreclosure sales forces, we will see further stabilization in home prices.

With foreclosures temporarily off of the market, the exceptional values offered in a BRAND NEW home stand out clearly.  The values offered in today’s new home are beyond comparison, especially with today’s unprecedented fixed interest rates.   Why buy a used toothbrush when you can buy a NEW one?  The same applies to new homes!  Don’t miss exploring these options.

With a Fed Rate of ZERO, and untold billions of bailout money already in the coffers, is the new “moratorium” really hurting the lenders that much?   I feel that the more that property values are allowed to stabilize and improve, the more those troubled assets are worth… when the time comes that they can be sold without issue.

So, here is some sound advice for anyone that may have questions:

1)   If you own your home and are looking to move-up or down-size, get your home on the market now!  What equity you may give-up for a sale will be made up on your purchase in most cases, especially in move-up situations.

2)  If you are able to keep your existing home AND purchase another, you can have the best of both worlds.  Hold your existing property until values climb AND take advantage of today’s market.  Rental property is in huge demand right now and if you find the perfect tentant, this avenue makes great sense.  Consult a Real Estate professional to explore your options.

3)  If you are not behind on your payments, keep making them, even if they are to Bank of America.  Your debt is legal and real.  Interest charges continue to accrue.  No one is going to get a “free home” out of this situation, unless you have a winning lottery ticket.

4)  If you are behind on your home payments, but foreclosure has not been initiated, get that home on the market now!  Remember, the inevitable is just being delayed a bit.  Use the gift of time wisely.  Consult a Real Estate professional and explore your options.

5)  If you are planning to purchase a home in Nashville, Tennessee, you owe it to yourself to explore what we at Ole South Properties have to offer.  Visit our website www.OleSouth.com for more information, or contact Trey Lewis at 615.593.6340 – TLewis@olesouth.com.   My specialty is in NEW HOME CONSTRUCTION but I will be glad to share advice and point anyone in the right direction.  There are many great Realtors in the Greater Nashville area whose services I am proud to recommend.

Yes, there is a Santa Claus and he doesn’t work at Bank of America.  He works at Ole South and he is working feverishly to build your brand new home for the holidays!

Today is another beautiful day in Nashville.  Let’s all get off the fence and enjoy it!

Trey Lewis is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Tennessee with Ole South Realty, 615.896.0019  direct 615.593.6340.  Specializing in new home sales in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, and Spring Hill, Tennessee.

Nashville New Homes: Man in the Mirror

What a beautiful day it is here in Nashville, Tennessee!  Not a cloud in the sky, and the chilled morning air will soon turn into a near-summertime afternoon.  Today would be a great day to purchase a new home, wouldn’t it?

Earlier this morning, I checked my e-mails on the droid-phone thingy and found the usual “chain-forwards” from friends.  You know, the e-mails that you really want to delete but you are afraid you may be asked about it later?  Yes, those kind.

One such e-mail grabbed my attention.  It said:

10-10-10  – This day will not happen again for another 1000 years.  You will not be here for it.  Make this day count.

Ok, so today is a special day.  Shall we plan now for next year’s 11-11-11 special day?   Surely there is something we can do.  Anyway, it is Sunday and I am running late for church.

While driving, I was thinking through everything that I simply have to get done this week.  The list keeps growing and I am avoiding admitting that there simply will not be enough days in the week to accomplish everything.  Some things simply won’t get done.  Its that simple.  I’m doing all I can do, right?  Or wrong?   

In many churches, the time of year is now focused on Stewardship.  You know, where you are asked to search far and wide within your soul and give everything you are capable of  – and then just a little-bit more.  (If you don’t feel you are doing your part in your church, these are great Sundays to miss.)  :0)

A friend at church shared a poem.   It applies to women too, but was written before “gender-neutral” verbage became the norm.  You can change the reference to “woman” or “person”  if it makes you feel better.

Allow me to share it with you because it was just what I needed to hear today:

The Man In The Glass

When you get what you want in your struggle for self

And the world makes you king for a day

Just go to the mirror and look at yourself

And see what that man has to say.

For it isn’t your father, or mother, or wife 

Whose judgment upon you must pass

The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life

Is the one staring back from the glass.

He’s the fellow to please ‘ never mind all the rest

For he’s with you, clear to the end

And you’ve passed your most difficult, dangerous test

If the man in the glass is your friend.

You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years

And get pats on the back as you pass

But your final reward will be heartache and tears

If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.

 

Then I got in my car and turned on the radio only to hear Michael Jackson singing “Man in the Mirror.” 

Yes, this really is a special day. 

(It will be even more special when someone buys a new home!)

Trey Lewis is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Tennessee with Ole South Realty, 615.896.0019  direct 615.593.6340.  Specializing in new home sales in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, and Spring Hill, Tennessee.

Nashville New Homes: Affordable Housing…Provide it, or it will create itself.

I have been tossing this blog topic around in my head for some time now, just waiting for the inspiration to address it.  Just minutes ago, today became the day.

Bank of America just announced they are suspending foreclosure actions in all 50 states.  Don’t just take my word for it, click here for the full story.  http://money.cnn.com/2010/10/08/real_estate/bank_america_50/

Okay, now that you read the story, lets take a real indepth look at the situation… and we’re going to have to look way back!

I was fortunate to enter my Real Estate career in 2000.  Business was good.  Along came 9/11 and America pulled together as a nation.  Values and home ownership were prevailing themes.  With demand for new homes increasing and no end in sight, inflation and greed took over.  Land prices skyrocketed.  Development projects went to the higest bidder willing to pay the premium for quick response.   The cost of building materials soared.  Many predicted there was no end to the good times in sight.  I believed them too, and had a lot of fun in the meantime!

Then one day, we look around and see that affordable housing had all but disappeared.   Home prices had escalated over the capabilities of the typical first-time buyer.  Rather than allowing market forces to adjust pricing THEN, along comes the mortgage industry to further facilitate the ever-growing “bubble.”  Interest-only loans, Adjustable Rate Mortgages, and Stated Income Loans allowed buyers to continue paying even higher sale prices.  If you could breathe and move toward light, you could be approved for a home loan with certain unscupulous lenders, even with them knowing you could not afford it. 

Consciencious and Professional Mortgage Originators and Underwriters continued to use the established and acceptable lending criteria that were in place.  Unscrupulous Mortgage Originators and Underwriters did not.  Rules are rules only when they are being enforced and these guys knew no one was watching.  Greedy investors lined up with money to lend.  Increased rates for increased risk.  Everybody wins!  After all, the properties were increasing in value exponentially each year.

YEP!  They sure were…until the first-time buyer segment of our economy put their foot down and said “NO MORE.”  The first-time buyer’s inability to participate in the housing market was about to topple the very market that they had helped create.  There were no more logs to place on the fire.

Fast-forward to “the wake-up-call.”  Housing values dropped, and will continue to fall until the housing market is once again within the grasp of the first-time buyer.  In my opinion Government has over-reacted with numerous new lending criteria initiatives.  These initiatives are sound fundamentally, but a wiser path would have been to simply enforce the criteria that was already there.  The fire was already burning down as a result of market forces, and government poured mass-buckets of cold water on it – and that continues to this day.  Lots and lots of affordable housing options have now been created, mostly at the expense of the taxpayer.

Thankfully, the Greater Nashville housing market was not hit as hard as other areas of the country.  I truly believe that is because of our accessibility to affordable housing. 

At Ole South, our mission has always been to provide the very best selection of  homes that address the needs of the first-time buyer.  That mission is alive and well today!  With brand new maintenance-free town homes starting at $89,990 and brand new traditional neighborhood homes starting at $119,990, we remain committed to keeping the Greater Nashville area an affordable place to live.

But that’s not all… We have become very good at building new homes for the “move-up” buyer, as well as the buyer that wishes to down-size and simplify their life.  Learn more at www.OleSouth.com.

We’ve always worked with responsible lenders too!  Ole South Financial, our SunTrust Mortgage Joint Venture, has made new-home ownership a reality for thousands of buyers and they are ready to assist you too!  Give them a ring at 615.907.2296.

Please do not hesitate to contact me anytime we can be of assistance in any way.  You can rest assured that our neighborhoods in Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, and Spring Hill will be your best new home value…guaranteed!

Trey Lewis is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Tennessee with Ole South Realty, 615.896.0019  direct 615.593.6340.  Specializing in new home sales in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, and Spring Hill, Tennessee.

Nashville New Homes: Blessed are the “Risk-Takers”

Have you ever noticed just how obsessed some people are on making life decisions based on what is guaranteed?  Very seldom is there reward without risk, and reward is never guaranteed.

Face it, we all love guarantees.  Guaranteed income.  Guaranteed performance.  Guaranteed success.  Guaranteed results.  Guaranteed home values?  

In real life, there are no real guarantees.  There are no defined patterns on which to base a guarantee.  Staying put in our “comfort zone” could turn out to be more risk than the alternatives.  Be the risk-taker!

Let’s look at home-ownership.  The print media in this country is having a field day saying “The American Dream” of home ownership is “The American Nightmare.”  Even funnier, many people actually believe what those idiots print!   Now that most have stopped reading print media, they now place their gloomy garbage online.

Every day, I hear people say “I’m not going to buy until ‘things’ get better…”  What “things?”  Do you have a steady job?  Can you pay your bills?  Are you planning to stay in the area for a while?   If you answered “YES” to those questions, then you need to act now before the rules change again and take you out of the game!    Be the risk-taker….and get a historically low fixed-rate mortgage payment to boot…..guaranteed!   If you don’t take the risk, how will you ever know when “things” are better?  You damn sure won’t read about it.

Think interest rates will get even lower?  Considering that the current Federal Reserve Rate is ZERO, how can they go much lower?  And even if they do, you can count on inflation to offset any perceived savings.  The lower rates are, the tighter lending criteria will get too.   Be the risk-taker!

Think home prices will fall?  In some areas of the country, they might.  No one can guarantee your home’s future value, but the one guarantee is that YOU will one day own it! 

Assuming you have a good job and want to stay in the area, the only reason I can think of NOT to buy a home would be if your world-travelling parents have a palatial estate complete with a guest house, which they have given to you as long as you want to live there – at no cost of any kind, not even yard work.   Another possible exception would be if Sandra Bullock wants you to be her “roomie.”

Regardless of what property values do, you are better off owning your home than renting it.  Rents rise.  Leases not always renew.  Every day you continue to rent is an added day that you will pay for your home, if and when you do buy.  Thirty years may seem like an eternity, but it goes by really fast.  After 30 years of renting, you own nothing.  After 30 years of owning a home, you own the home out right… unless you borrowed money against your equity.  I’ve never heard of an “apartment equity loan” either. 

That said, how old do you want to be when your home is paid for?   Could it be that being a risk-taker is not really a risk at all?

The Greater Nashville area is loaded with new homes for every need and lifestyle.  At Ole South (www.OleSouth.com) you will find new homes from 99,000 to 299,000 in a variety of desirable neighborhoods – in Nashville,  Smyrna, Murfreesboro, and Spring Hill.  You can be assured you will receive the very best new home value – not just in price, but quality and service too!

Please contact me anytime I can be of assistance in any way!  615.593.6340 or e-mail TLewis@olesouth.com.

Trey Lewis is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Tennessee with Ole South Realty, 615.896.0019  direct 615.593.6340.  Specializing in new home sales in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, and Spring Hill, Tennessee.

To blog, or not to blog…

My name is Trey Lewis, VP of Sales and Marketing for Tennessee’s #1 Home Builder, Ole South Properties. (www.OleSouth.com)

The way we communicate has been changing since the beginning of time.  How we embrace those changes really does have an outcome on our ability to be the best we can be at what we do.  I truly want to be the very best I can be at everything that I do.

For some time now, many friends and colleagues  have been telling me that these blog thingys are the “panacea” for doing business.  So, to keep from being left behind in the past, here we go!   

Hopefully, my comments will offer realistic, and somewhat humourous insights into the new home market of the Greater Nashville area. 

We really are blessed to live in such a great area and I look forward to sharing my hometown with all that want to take the time to read and participate in this blogging endeavor.  Questions and comments are always welcome, well…most of the time, anyway!

Trey Lewis is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Tennessee with Ole South Realty, 615.896.0019  direct 615.593.6340.  Specializing in new home sales in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, and Spring Hill, Tennessee.