What can I say, Mardi Gras is here. Our little city streets shine during this season with magical lights and magical floats. February 18th was the Mystic Mutts of Revelry (even the dogs get in the action) in the afternoon and at night were The Knights of Ecor Rouge. On February 24th, the Maids of Jubilee will parade at 6:45 pm. On the 25th the Krewe of Mullet Mares will take stage on County Road 1 at 2 pm. Then on the 27th the Order of Mystic Magnolias will be on the streets of Fairhope at 6:45. Celebration will end on the 28th which is Mardi Gras Day.
Tonight, our sky was in glow with vivid colors of red, gold, and cream and a back ground of beautiful clouds. I couldn’t resist getting a photo to share with you. As I sat at the Fairhope Yacht Club Marina, watching the glory of the sky, a sailboat was pulling through the channel. What a wonderful way to end a Monday.
I don’t know about you, but it is like a jigsaw. One day we are in the 70’s and the next day we are in the 40’s. Our flowers do not know whether it is winter, spring, or fall. Our azaleas are in full bloom. Who knows what it will be like when we finally reach Spring. Japanese Maples are incredible now and extremely happy. But wait, tonight our temperatures will be in the 30’s and tomorrow back in the 60’s. The winter coat is still in my closet. Welcome to Fairhope. If you do not like the weather today, wait till tomorrow and it will be totally different. The good news, the sun is shining and the stars are bright in the sky.
Is it Winter, Spring, or Fall–no one knows and especially our azaleas, Japanese Magnolias, and so many flowers. Today is the middle of Winter but the temperature does not resemble it. Someone told me that winter means a winter coat and winter clothes but with temperatures being 70º, it is hard to do. Who knows what our little flowers will do when it is officially Spring. Although this week-end, we should have some cooler temperatures.
Last night, walking to a friendly restaurant, I just set in awe looking at the beautiful lights. Fairhope always lights our streets beginning the Thursday before Thanksgiving and they stay lit until after Mardi Gras. Our little city sets a wonderful stage of beautiful flowers throughout and nice charm. This Friday will be Art Walk which everyone comes out and visits our Art Gallery as well as other galleries that are open.
2017 rolled in with cold weather and overcast skies, but, slowly, the sun popped out and now it feels like Spring. Not only has the weather been a roller coaster, so has our market. Who knows what we will see in the remainder of the year.
The predictions are that the future may see a lot of changes. We probably will see an increase in interest rates, but I predict that it will be slow. Builder costs are increasing which will help homes that have some age on them to sell. I hope that the number one change is that buyers will realize that they can pick up a paint brush, change out appliances, update bathrooms and quit looking at homes with tunnel vision. The common phase of today’s buyer is, “The house requires too much work.”
Presently, we have 773 active homes on the market from Spanish Fort to Point Clear with 278 under contract. 28 homes have closed since January 1, 2017. Summarizing 2016, our MLS reports 1,892 homes closed at an average price of $280,730. These homes closed at an average of 97% of their listed price. Our highest reported sale last year was a bay front home listed for $2,450,000 and sold for $2,225,000.
Overall, we feel very bullish about 2017. I feel higher-end homes will sell better this year. Hold onto your hats and let’s get started! I know how frustrating a market can be. Lucy and I live it every day. Any questions that you might have, please give us a ring.
Met a client early this morning and walked this magnificent property. 3 acres with 247 front feet on Magnolia River. The main house was built in 1850 with tons of Southern charm. The guest house is 1/1 with a wide glassed in porch. As we walked the property, birds were chirping and shrimp boats engines were humming. Serenity were the views of Bon Secour River.
Yesterday I was fortunate to tour the shores of Normandy, walk the beach and visit the American cemetery. How heroic our soldiers were and how proud I was to be an American. Over 9,000 Americans are buried in the cemetery. All marked with beautiful white marble crosses.
As we approached our group joined into the Pledge of Allegiance and then followed with taps. It was a very emotional day.
This is the time of the year that most areas experience coloring of the leaves, but in our area we experience vivid sunsets. Have you noticed? Some nights, the colors in the sky after the sunsets are as vivid as the actual sun setting. We live in a beautiful area and I know you will agree.
The market has been very interesting this year. Prices have not increased much but we are seeing some bright spots out there. Presently there are 772 active listings in the Spanish Fort to Point Clear area. The average price is $393,911. Average time on the market for the active listings is 155 days. Since January 1, 2015, our area has experienced 1540 homes to close with an average list price of $282,974. The average sold price was $273,611. Presently, there are 212 homes under contract. As you can see, these stats are showing great improvement in our market.
The upper price point is still struggling. We have had great sales but we would like more. I do expect this to change as we go into 2016. Eventually buyers will get less opinionated on their expectations. When this day arrives, all of us will celebrate.
The great news is people are eagerly shopping on the internet. One of our listings just sold via internet without the buyer visiting. Photos are so important in marketing. As you know Allison Ashurst, my daughter –in-law is our photographer and she is excellent.
Before you know it, we will be celebrating Thanksgiving dinner. Sellers sometimes think this is the worst time of the year to sell a home. I disagree because this is the time of the year that we think home, good cooking and great family gatherings. Just remember if you are going to be out of town, please let us know.
Any questions about the market, give us a ring and we will try to answer.
Judy Niemeyer & Lucy Sundbeck
Is closing a Special Listing on Mobile Bay in Fairhope, Alabama.