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Philip Winburn's Blog

By Philip Winburn | Agent in Huntsville, AL

How is the Huntsville real estate market?

There's not a short answer to "How is the real estate investment market in Huntsville?"
The rental market  has been remarkable for the past three years. There are still jobs moving into the area and often the emigrants are not in a position to purchase homes. With the slow economy many have had credit issues and others are underwater on the homes they are leaving. During the peak summer season our rentals are often rented before the current tenant moves and it's not uncommon for the homes to be rented sight-unseen.Homes for sale in Huntsville AL
Huntsville's population is fairly mobile with many people moving for job opportunities. Those that aren't unable to sell their homes often turn to us to rent them until they are able to sell. We pick up two to three new rental homes per month this way.
Huntsville real estate sales is much more complicated. Some areas and price ranges are doing quite well while others are still very slow. Complicating the equation is a local production builder that is building attractive homes in desirable areas for a remarkably low price. While many builders failed during the crash, Breland Homes had the resources to acquire the developments of several builders and is thriving. While I have sold several of their homes and my clients are happy, it is very difficult for existing homes to compete for buyers in the $95,000 to $250,000 range.
With interest rates low and sales of existing homes slow, now is a good time to consider a purchase. I do think that overall Huntsville's real estate market is coming off the bottom.
  There is talk of  another Base Realignment and Closings federal hearing in 2013 and Huntsville's Redstone Arsenal is expected to have a homes for sale in huntsville alsubstantial net increase in defense positions. While the Obama administration de-funded NASA's  Constellation heavy lift space vehicle program resulting in a loss of about 2,500 aerospace positions, Marshall Space Flight Center's budget for 2013 has been describes as adequate. There is talk of another space vehicle program but to my knowledge nothing firm yet.
If you have followed my ramblings on Huntsville's multi-family housing market you will understand that finding decent multi-family property in Huntsville is near impossible and we wouldn't consider managing most of what is available.
Our preference is single family homes in the $120,000 to $280,000 range that will rent in the $1,100 to $1,600 range. We should start our property search on location and schools then filter further on age. Newer homes will be more appealing and have lower maintenance costs. I prefer full brick for lower maintenance and ranch style verses two story to appeal to a wider group of tenants and on resale, to buyers.
Once we start to focus on specific neighborhoods and properties I can research the neighborhood sales, the properties listing history, the homes for sale in huntsville alsellers mortgages, check for flood zones and consider traffic and traffic noise. We can estimated rental amounts based on research and our experience.
We would make offers contingent on a home inspection and radon testing. We would ask to be able to market a property for rent upon acceptance of an offer and before closing. We have been able to have a tenant ready to move in immediately after closing.


By Ken Allen,  Mon Apr 23 2012, 10:41
Thanks for some interesting insights about your market.

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