Everyone has had that nosy neighbor at some point!  This newsletter has been designed to keep you “in the know” as to what is going on in the Clarksville, Tennessee and Fort Campbell, Kentucky area.

Click the link to read the December edition:  December Nosy Neighbor Newsletter

November 2013 Nosy Neighbor Newsletter

Everyone has had that nosy neighbor at some point!  This newsletter has been designed to keep you “in the know” as to what is going on in the Clarksville, Tennessee and Fort Campbell, Kentucky area.

Link  —  Posted: December 10, 2013 in Nosy Neighbor Newsletter, Uncategorized

Neighborhood Shout-out!

Posted: November 11, 2013 in Uncategorized

neighborhoodBoth on post and off readers submitted which neighborhood they live in and what they love the most about it…  See what they had to say!

Katie lives off post:  “We live in Aspen Grove off Trenton. We like it because it’s relatively quiet. Easy access to post and to exit 4. Family friendly, lots of kiddos playing outside, families going for walks.

Mirely lives on post:  “We live in the Woodlands and I like it. I love the quietness. There are so many parks nearby. I love that the houses are spaced out and I dont feel crowded.”

Tell us about your neighborhood!  You may also submit pictures with your narrative.  Top submissions will be featured on Buy or Sell Clarksville Tennessee Homes and in the next Nosy Neighbor Newsletter.  No addresses will be displayed, and please note if you would like your submission to remain anonymous.  All submissions to ArielAndersonRealtor@gmail.com please.

Over the years as a military family, we have moved numerous times.  We have rented apartments and duplexes, lived on post, and owned homes.  We have converted our primary homes into rentals, taking us from militaHome-Happy-Home-1-size-3ry homeowners to investors, and we have managed them personally, making us landlords.  I have been the general manager of a large hotel, worked for military housing, and have since become a licensed real estate agent.  So I got to thinking, (watch out!  It can be dangerous when I get to thinking… ha!), based on all of our personal experience, and experience with all the people I have been in contact with over the years, are homeowners happier?  What I found surprising is that there have been some actual studies done and data collected with the same question in mind.

If we go back to a previous blog post of mine, Which Realtor is Right For You?, I speak of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.  The foundation of the pyramid includes physiological requirements like breathing, food, water, sleep and shelter.  The pyramid theorizes that the next level of human needs include bodily safety, health, and the security of property.  Having a place to call home is one of the most important motivators of human behavior.  So why do we decorate our homes for holidays?  Why do we mow our lawns and maintain our landscaping?  Why do we clean and tidy our homes before we have visitors?  Why do we often ask new acquaintances where they are from originally?  It is plausible to think that it is because we identify ourselves with the place that we call home.  Our home is an extension of who we are; an important display of our personality and identity.

In 2013, Fannie Mae conducted a National Housing Survey (click to see the survey results in their entirety).  Renters and homeowners rated their experiences on the following scale:  very positive, somewhat positive, somewhat negative, and very negative.  There was a significant disparity in the results.  71% of homeowners rated their experience as very positive, while only 34% of renters felt the same way.  For renters ages 18-34, 57% would actually prefer owning a home, only 13% prefer renting, and about 30% have a mixed preference.  Interesting!

According to the survey, the top reasons to rent were:

  • Living within a budget (57%)
  • Less stress (52%)
  • Best decision given the current economic climate (50%)

On the other hand, the top reasons given for owning were:

  • Control over living space (84%)
  • Privacy and security (80%)
  • A good place for family and to raise children (78%)
  • Best investment plan (78%)
  • A nicer home (71%)
  • Building wealth (70%)
  • Saving for retirement (69%)
  • Being engaged in the community (64%)

According to the National Association of Realtors Survey of Home Buyers and Sellers, the top motivator for buying a home was simply the desire to own, closely followed by the desire for a larger home, a job related move, change in family situation, and affordability of owning versus renting.

Now we are getting to the good stuff!  Did you know that there was a study on the social benefits of homeownership?  Yeah, me neither until my pondering got the best of me and I found some incredibly interesting data.  As stated in the 2012 Social Benefits of Homeownership and Stable Housing, homeowners move less frequently.  Now, being a military family, I immediately thought to myself, “We don’t really have control over how often we move.”  But yet, we do.  How many military families have you known stationed at one installation for several years who move every time their lease is up or a deployment rolls around?  I can think of a few.  We’ve done it a few times ourselves.  We’ve gone from on post housing, then moved closer to family during a deployment, then back to on post housing again.  Would we have done the same if we had been more invested in our residence?  Likewise I have worked with families who have gone from on post, to rentals off post, and back to post housing again all within a few short months.  The bottom line is, the research shows, homeowners move less frequently, they are more invested in their neighborhoods, and they tend to build more long term friendships.

Additionally, there is the belief that crime rates may be lower in neighborhoods where the residents are predominantly homeowners.  If you think about it, it makes total sense.  Homeowners who may move less frequently, are more invested in their neighborhoods, who have formed longer lasting friendships may be more likely to notice someone who doesn’t belong.  They may be more likely to look out for the homes in the vicinity and report something that doesn’t look right.  They may also communicate more regularly with neighbors and develop formal or informal neighborhood patrols and watches.

Homeowners also tend to give more back to their communities as far as volunteering, church involvement, and through participation in community organizations.  Just a little side note… Have you ever been having a crappy day and then randomly decided to do something nice for someone?  Maybe you paid for the person behind you in line at Starbucks, or told a stranger that you love her outfit.  It makes you feel better, right?!  If we put positivity out into the world, that tends to be what we attract back into our lives.  I had not even begun to think of the effect that owning a home has on parents that might then in turn effect their children.

As I read through the Social Benefits of Homeownership and Stable Housing, I was pretty astounded by the findings.  What typically happens with children when you move frequently?  They tend to change schools more often.  Makes sense, right?  Data has shown that frequent school changes can have negative impacts on children and families.  Because homeowners tend to move less frequently, their children tend to change schools less often as well.  For younger children this has been shown to mean fewer behavioral problems, and higher scores in math and reading.  For older children, the effects can be life-LONG and life-changing.  They tend to have higher graduation rates and they have lower teenage pregnancy rates!  Ultimately the numbers show that if you own your home, your children are more likely to own their homes as well.

So you may be thinking, “well there is no way we could afford to own a home on one income”.  That is a self-limiting belief.  You may be surprised by what you are eligible for.  What may surprise you even more are the benefits of homeownership to low-income families.  The families living at or below the poverty line who became recent homeowners tend to report a higher level of perceived control over their lives which ultimately lead to higher life satisfaction, and higher self-esteem.  Homeownership was directly correlated with higher educational achievements, higher earnings, and lower welfare dependence rates.  Is it all some strange coincidence?  I don’t think so.

The results were not limited to the United States.  Based on findings in the UK by the Office of National Statistics Survey, 80% of folks who owned their homes reported a medium to high level of satisfaction, while 68% of renters reported the same.  Canada reports one of the highest rates of homeownership worldwide with 70% of their citizens being homeowners.  The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC), worked with Habitat for Humanity on a study that corresponded with the United States’ Social Benefits of Homeownership and Stable Housing study and reported that 86% of the respondents said their lives had improved since owning their homes.  Among many things, they reported improved health, increased happiness with work and school, and 58% said their finances were better.

Healthy Happy HomeNow I do believe the numbers don’t lie, but don’t get upset, I’m not saying their aren’t happy renters too.  Some of us have the ability to make the most of any circumstance that comes our way.  I simply leave you with my ponderings… Is it possible that homeownership can contribute to happiness?

If you have questions or need real estate assistance in the Clarksville, Tennessee or Fort Campbell, Kentucky area or know anyone who does, call me today at (931) 436-6765 or submit your information below.

© Ariel Anderson and https://buyorsellclarksvilletennesseehomes.wordpress.com, 2013.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ariel Anderson and https://buyorsellclarksvilletennesseehomes.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

October 2013 Nosy Neighbor Newsletter

Everyone has had that nosy neighbor at some point!  This newsletter has been designed to keep you “in the know” as to what is going on in the Clarksville, Tennessee and Fort Campbell, Kentucky area. 

Link  —  Posted: October 18, 2013 in Nosy Neighbor Newsletter
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Home EquityYour house has been sitting vacant, or maybe you are days away from moving.  You’ve got that nagging in the back of your mind, “We need to sell! We need to sell!”  I can detail for you several ways to make sure you don’t sell your home!  Read on for a few very recent, as in the last 30 days, situations I have personally encountered:

In Tennesee, when an offer is put in on a home for sale, there is a Time Limit of Offer in the Purchase and Sale Agreement.  The time limit can be as short or as long as the buyer would like.  Usually 24 hours is a reasonable amount of time for a response.  If the contract is not accepted or countered within that time frame, the offer terminates, and the buyer is free to move on.

We all know offers are frequently made in the evenings or on the weekends.  That’s just the name of the game in the real estate world.  So, we put an offer in on a home with a 24 hour time limit.  Two hours before the offer expired, I (working as the Buyer’s Agent) touch base with the Listing Agent.  “Have you heard anything from your seller?”  No response.  Tick, tock… tick, tock… 30 minutes before the expiration, I call.  “Just trying to touch base, let me know what your seller thinks.”  Nothing.  At the exact moment the offer expires, a text message from the Listing Agent, “He’s doing a counter now.”  Well, guess what?  Too late!  The offer is technically terminated.  Now some buyers and Buyer’s Agents will understand, and continue to move forward with the counter offer.  But some will move on to the next home.  The lack of communication and timeliness potentially costing you the sale of your home.

This same home was listed on the Multiple Listing Service (at least it was listed!), though there were no updated pictures of the new carpet and paint.  And most importantly, it had been on the market for nearly two months with no “For Sale” sign in the front yard.  When I went to show it, my buyers even asked, “Are you sure it’s for sale?”  You can imagine how detrimental that can be to the sale of a home.

At another home recently, I arrived to show it to a couple of potential buyers.  There was one problem; no lockbox on the front door.  No instructions in the MLS.  I call the listing office and whoever answers the phone sounds exasperated.  “Did you look on the back door?!”  Ummmmm, this is a new construction home, no sod or grass and it rained about 8 inches in the last 24 hours.  Do you really want me to treck through 5 inches of red clay mud and then walk through your new construction home?  “The builder is about 10 minutes away, he’ll let you in.”  Click.  Tick, tock… tick, tock… 10, 9, 8, 7…  10 whole minutes (or longer) for my buyers to say, “Nevermind, it’s getting dark, let’s go look at something else.”  Potentially costing you the sale of your home.

This same home did not have a lot number displayed visibly.  Anyone who has been out looking at new constructions without a plat map will understand how frustrating this can be.  Additionally, the flyer for the home displayed the incorrect address and list price.  All of which have the potential to cost you a sale.

Another lockbox scenario:  The home for sale is occupied, and I make an appointment to show.  I show up at the home with my buyers, and I can see the lockbox on the front door through the tightly secured and LOCKED glass of the storm door!  No way possible to access it.  So I call the appointment line, who calls the Listing Agent and says they will call me back.  Tick, tock… I call the Listing Agent and leave a message.  No response.  5 minutes go by out there standing in front of the home with buyers.  “Ok, well why don’t we head to the next home on the list.”  Moving on.  Two hours go by, we are well into our home search, and the Listing Agent calls back and leaves a message that the door is now unlocked.  We are on the other side of town and they’ve already found a home that they love.  No thank you, maybe next time.  The lack of communication and timely response which ultimately may have cost you the sale.

Not a lockbox this time, but another lock situation and another new construction home:  We are out and about in the neighborhood.  There are several nice homes that my buyer likes, but we just haven’t found “the one” yet.  I think back to all of the homes I have been inside of in this particular neighborhood, and I say “You know what?  I know you don’t prefer a corner lot, but there is one more out here I think you would like.”  We head over and I access the lockbox and the key fits, but I can’t seem to get the door to unlock.  I wiggle, and jiggle it to no avail.  I go around to the backside and try the backdoor.  No luck.  I call the Listing Agent who DOES answer, but says, “Yeah, I’m aware.  It is difficult to open but keep trying.”  So I do.  Turns out, this one is nice, but not the one for her.  A little over a week later, the same scene.  I have a different buyer, and cannot get the key to turn.  Frustrating!  Why hasn’t this been fixed?!  If it were my listing, I would’ve gone out and changed the lock myself!  I was almost over it, when I inserted the key and twisted once more.  Voila!  It opened.  I am writing the contract on it today.  But how many agents would have stayed and continued to try to open the faulty lock?  Especially when there are 80 other new construction homes available within a mile radius.  There certainly was not timely follow-up, which potentially may have cost you the sale of the home several times over.

Final scenario:  The unhappy sounding, unhelpful agent.  “Good afternoon!”  I say.  “I was out at your listing with my buyer and she is interested.  Is there anything else you can tell me about the home?”  Silence.  “Ummmm, have you had any activity?  Any offers?”  I ask again.  Distractedly, she responds, “Yessss.”  Ok, I think.  This isn’t going far.  “Well, can you tell me anything else about the home?”  Silence.  Possibly even typing in the background.  Again, sounding distracted she says, “It has new carpet and paint.”  I sit there for a moment, yes we saw that on the MLS, and out at the home just now, I think to myself again.  Ok, clearly this conversation is going nowhere.  “Thanks for your time.  Have a good day.”  I explain to my buyer that I can’t offer her any other information, and we move on.  No follow-up or feedback requests that potentially cost the sellers the sale of their home.

Before I tell you the #1 way to sell your home, think about all the factors you consider when it comes time to sell.  You may have been told:  stage your home, clean it, unclutter, price it right, it might not be possible in a market that is down, list it with a popular company or team, hold frequent open houses, etc.  But really…

The #1 way to sell your home is to find a Listing Agent that you can communicate with.

Think about it… Can you get ahold of your Listing Agent at all reasonable times?  Or at least get a timely return call and regular follow-up?  If not, neither can your potential buyers!  Call the listing office and pretend to be a buyer.  Ask for information on the home.  Are they friendly and helpful?  Are you put on hold for 5 minutes?  If so, then it is likely potential buyers will be disregarded too.  Follow up.  Is the sign in the yard?  Lockbox on the door?  Are the flyers accurate?  A great agent will ensure all of these things from the start, but with communication between you and the agent, as well as between the agent and potential buyers can go a LONG way!

It will be much easier on you and everyone involved if you get it right from the start.  Make sure that in the beginning your listing agent is worthy of being HIRED instead of fired later down the road and after money spent.

Cardboard sign with the words "Fired", "Hired

If you are seeking or interested in selling real estate in the Clarksville, Tennessee or Fort Campbell, Kentucky area or know anyone who is, call today or submit your information below.

© Ariel Anderson and https://buyorsellclarksvilletennesseehomes.wordpress.com, 2013.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ariel Anderson and https://buyorsellclarksvilletennesseehomes.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Is your kitchen a gathering place?

The proud new owners of this kitchen stepped off a plane from Hawaii and into their brand new home. I can make it happen for you too!

Image  —  Posted: October 3, 2013 in Uncategorized
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