If you reside in the Athens area than you are probably aware that our real estate market is generally very strong. After some real tough years, the local market has come back with a vengeance. As I have mentioned in earlier posts, our in town neighborhoods are seeing appreciation and in some cases a return to the values of 2005 and 2006. In addition, many areas of Oconee County are performing well, and builders are experiencing a boom in real estate sales. For many people that depend on real estate to earn a living this all sounds too good to be true, and I am of course one of these people. However, in my job I provide many types of real estate service. Here at 5Market, we assist sellers, buyers, investors, tenants, and business owners because they all have real estate needs. And while many sellers are very happy these days, there is an equal amount of very frustrated buyers.
Currently, several neighborhoods are highly competitive. In many cases, properties are going under contract before most buyers get to set foot in the door. Two prime examples of this are Normaltown and Forest Heights. Normaltown has many varied and unique properties which appeals to a wide range of buyers. But it seems now that a buyer needs an insider tip to find something in this area. Additionally, Forest Heights, which is located on the other side of Hawthorne, offers houses well below $200,000. As a result, properties have been flying off the market in Forest Heights over the last several months. These are just two areas where buyers are experiencing
frustration, but they are many more examples throughout the Athens area. Meanwhile, there are still some areas and price points where the sellers are not always in control. For example, people that are selling a property in Oconee for over $500,000 probably don’t think it is a “seller’s market”. This doesn’t mean that no one is buying over $500,000, but that fewer buyers are able to afford this range. Furthermore, many neighborhoods in west Athens are not seeing the appreciation they probably deserve. The Timothy road corridor is full of great neighborhoods that still offer a lot of house for a reasonable amount of money. But in the end, it always comes back to supply and demand. The trends change from time to time, and right now it is trending towards our in town neighborhoods which is driving up the demand.
All that being said, what does it mean if you are a buyer in this market? Well it means you should keep the faith, remain patient, and keep looking. We all know that these property values cannot grow to infinity. At some point, the market will level off or even come down a little. But that doesn’t mean buyers shouldn’t purchase. The biggest reason buyers need to buy now are the interest rates. If you can find a rate below 4.5% or even below 4%, you need to take advantage. It is impossible to know what will happen with Athens real estate over the next 20 or 30 years. But I know that they aren’t making any more land, and rates will have to go up at some point.
Well here we are again stepping right into another very HOT and very dull summer. Don’t get me wrong, summer is great in a lot of ways. For example, kids are out of school, the days last longer, people get to go on vacation, and overall it can be a fun time of year. But when it comes to sports, I think it is downright dreadful. In the past, the Braves have offered some quality summer entertainment but not this year. Jiminy Crickets they are awful. Just awful! I know what you are thinking, what about the NBA playoffs? Well to be honest, I just don’t care about the NBA. I understand that many people really do love it, but it is just not my cup of tea. All that being said, it seems like an ideal time to talk a little college football. It is still way too early to discuss predictions and schedules, but I can’t wait to have those discussions later this summer. However, if you have been paying attention to the news lately there is plenty to talk about or better yet plenty to bi*tch about. Before I digress any further, let me remind you that I am an unabashed Georgia fan, I am not a reporter, I do not have sources, and these are just my opinions. So please keep this in mind as you read the rest of the blog. Now that we are on the same page, here are 5 things that deserve your attention this summer:
1) The Baylor Scandal– Wow this is really bad. So bad in fact, they have already fired the head football coach, Art Briles. In case you haven’t heard, the football program and athletic department at Baylor have been supposedly covering up, failing to report, or generally ignoring numerous sexual assault cases against football players. In general, many Baylor players were either accused, convicted, or charged with sexual assaults. Two players were convicted of rape while many others were accused. And guess what? Baylor failed to report these incidents in many cases for TWO years. Granted, not every person accused of assault is guilty, but this is more about the athletic department’s handling of the situation. Briles is a great football coach, and Baylor has experienced a lot of success lately, but this is just grotesque. If they would cover up or hide sexual assaults, what else would they hide? Regardless, say goodbye to Baylor in the Top 10 of college football. It was awful while it lasted.
2) Ole Miss cheating? Surely, you jest?- Ole Miss’s athletic department has been under investigation by the NCAA this year. Truthfully, not all of the allegations are related to the football program, but Ole Miss football has suffered a very embarrassing off season thanks to Laremy Tunsil and others.
Here in Athens, our suspicion of Ole Miss began way back with the recruitment of Laremy Tunsil. During Tunsil’s recruitment, he was a solid UGA commit for a long time. Then the weekend before signing day he went on a visit to Ole Miss for the first time. Long and short, Ole Miss was able to flip Tunsil at the last minute. This may not be surprising if it were Alabama, Florida, Auburn, or even Tennessee. But keep in mind that Ole Miss wasn’t beating Alabama at the time or many other SEC teams for that matter. So this was a total shocker, and Tunsil wasn’t the only unexpected recruit that Ole Miss landed that year. Needless to say, here in Athens fans suspected foul play from the start which probably sounded like sour grapes at least until this year’s NFL draft. In April, Mr. Tunsil saw his draft stock fall due to the timely release of a video that showed him smoking weed through a gas mask along with some text messages to his coaches asking for money. And if that wasn’t bad enough, Tunsil admitted that he accepted money in an interview after he was drafted. So now it appears that a little bong smoke in Oxford may end up leading to a BIG DAMN FIRE.
3) Satellite Camps– If you follow college football than you are probably aware of all this satellite camp hoopla. Jim Harbaugh already stirred the pot earlier this year with his plans to travel with Michigan to other areas of the country. I don’t want to bore you with the details, but Nick Saban recently had his own rant against these camps. And Jim Harbaugh quickly went to twitter to fire back at the czar of college football. Usually, I get tired of Nick Saban’s act, but I have to agree with him on these camps. If the NCAA allows any yahoo with access to a prospect to host a camp it could damage the game. Baseball and basketball have already been decimated by travel ball and AAU basketball. Can we at least keep football focused on high school development?
4) Jim Harbaugh Antics– Is anyone else starting to think that Jim Harbaugh is a jackass? I was a big fan of his before, but I am starting understand why the 49ers ran him off. I really think he is a good coach, but his bitching, moaning, and recruiting antics are already growing tiresome. Nevetheless, if he keeps winning than he isn’t going anywhere . Just look at Louisville, who just gave the biggest SOB in football, Bobby Petrino, a raise. Has he even won a meaningful game since returning to Louisville?
5) 93K Day and Ludacris– Ok I admit the Ludacris contract was ridiculous, but I just don’t care enough about it to be embarrassed. It was a small blemish on an otherwise stupendous event. And by the way, if you think Ludacris had anything to do with the 93,000 + that attended the G Day game well than you might be a TOTAL IDIOT. 93,000 people came to see and support the new staff and the players. Georgia has a great fan base that can compete in numbers with any other program in the country. Not to mention that Athens is a great town, and our fans will look for any excuse to come visit. Here is what happened on “G” Day. Kirby asked for the support, and the fans answered the call plain and simple. Most of the crowd showed up after Ludacris was off stage which only proves my point. Having an opening act for the spring game was just a gimmick to try and get people there on time which didn’t even work, but I can assure you that 93,000 were coming with or without Luda.
Now I am going to end with a lame Ludacris reference and “Rollout”. Have a Great Summer! And as always Go Dawgs!