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“Perfect storm” leads to increase in home sales

With interest rates at an all time low, the housing market is booming. Houses are being sold within hours of being listed.

“July was one of the busuest months we have seen,” said Ariel Bryson with Mountain Pro Real Estate. “There are more people trying to get away from renting and actually working towards something they will own one day. Plus, there aren’t many places to rent in Franklin, so they either have to make a choice buy or relocate.”

While COVID9 has hurt most industries, it has benefited the housing market — between interest rates being low and a desire for people to relocate, people are crediting COVID19 as being a reason for buying a new home.

“We have seen a sizable increase in the last month,” said Amanda Harrold, Mortgage Originataor with Rabun County Bank. “Record low rates and the seasonal buying time are combining to push people into buying sooner rather than later. Refinancing is also up higher year over year because of the low rates. All of this is despite COVID and spiking unemployment.”

Bryson said the requests her firm are getting are a mix of people looking for greener pastures and those looking for a project.

“People are wanting to relocate to smaller cities because the numbers of people effected by Covid are a lot smaller than what they are on bigger cities,” said Bryson. “Houses aren’t as close together and you are actually able to social distance a little more unlike cities with larger populations.”

Harrold has seen more people looking for second homes in the mountains, rather than local residents looking to move.

For Macon County, Bryson said those shopping for homes are looking for properties with a view, a change from the cities they are relocating from.

“We are also getting asked a lot about foreclosures and fixer upper homes so people can flip- that’s a big thing these days,” said Bryson.

Buying a home right now is an investment — it is a financial move that will pay off in the longrun.

“If you have been thinking or wanting to buy or sell a home, do it now,” said Bryson. “The market is HOT. Agents have several buyers just waiting to buy homes, and anything between 100,000-300,000 are selling within hours if not days of being on the market. Please let us know if you would like to put your home on the market or if you are looking to buy your forever home, we would love to make your dreams come true.”

Harrold said that the perfect combination of events makes purchasing a home right now ideal.

“We really have a perfect storm…record low interest rates, housing prices allowing people to sell quickly for a profit yet low enough for buyers to afford, and the summer buying season,” said Harrold.

With so many people looking to buy and inventory looking low, Harrold said she is seeing more and more people look for financing to build new homes.

“People are looking to build more and more now,” said Harrold. “Custom built homes are hot. Plus, existing home inventory is very tight so people are looking to buy and remodel and/or add on.”

For as fast as the market is moving, Harrold said that one of the best ways to keep up is to rely on local options for the buying process to ensure the fastest, most effective service.

“Use a local lender,” said Harrold. “Mortgages are more complex than they have been in the last 15 years. You need to work with someone that knows you and your situation. Plus local folks get the deals done faster. Go to a mega bank and prepare to wait 60-90 days.”

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