Monday, December 14, 2009

Beale Street

From the narrow street of Beale St here in Memphis we owe so much. The music of W.C. Handy and other Blues artists have influenced our music today. Much of the sound that we got from Elvis Presley, The King of Rock 'n Roll, can be traced to his influence by Blues.

Blues Music tells so much more than a fictional story or the feelings of a heartbroken lover. The music of the Blues Artists also tell us stories of our lives. Listen to the Memphis Blues, not the ones that REALTORS are writing right now, but the ones that tell the story of an oppressed people and the Mayor of Memphis at that time, E.H. Crump, who controlled a political machine that affected not only local politics but the Governor's Mansion and even sent men to Congress.

The St. Louis Blues tells even more stories. Oh I wish I could be the composer of Blues Music, but needless to say I'm not talented in that way. I would write of the problems we experience in the Real Estate market now.

Beale Street is not the street that Handy and Little Miss Laura (one of the most soulful singers I've ever heard) knew. Today Beale is a fun place to go. Lots of bright lights, no traffic on the street. You have street musicians, but not the Blues Singers that started this time honored tradition.

Is Beale Street worth visitng? You bet. Just keep the historical perspective in consideration when visiting there. It is a wonderful place.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Memphis Market

I've been watching the condition of the Memphis market for the past few days. While prior to now we've been in what I would call a declining market, the market here seems to be stabilizing. The inventory in the area is high, but it is not that high. My listing in Midtown, the other day I did an absorption rate analysis on it and the rate shows it is still a strong buyers market but that the inventory especially in the midtown area seems to be coming down. That is a good sign for the market at this point. So we are beginning to see a slow recovery in the area, especially in the midtown area.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Memphis is One of the 100 Most Affordable Cities in America

Forbes Magazine has announced that Memphis is one of top 100 Affordable Cities to live in of all the United States.  That is something I've known for a while now.
Housing in Memphis is good quality, but is reasonably priced.  And Memphis is home of course to worldwide mammouth FedEx, but is also home to International Paper and the internationally famous St. Jude.  You can get a wonderful home in Memphis for about $200,000 that has all the amenities of a $750,000 home in the Washington DC area.  Also check out the prices of food, gas, and utilities in Memphis. 
While I lived here for 30 years and then took the lure of two other cities to work in, Memphis is by far the best place to live.  And housing ... you can't beat it!

Check it Out!

Shelby Farms, which is a wonderful green space that has been dedicated over the past few years for use by citizens, sponsors this wonderful event call Starry Nights.  It is downright gorgeous!  You will want to check it out immediately.
The lights are tantilizing and the displays are great.  When I lived in Atlanta they had something of this nature at Life Chiropractic College and then in the DC area there was something similar to it at a Maryland state park on the banks of the Chesapeake Bay.
But I think that by far what Starry Nights has to offer outweighs what others have to offer.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tax Incentives

Yesterday I was talking with a loan officer from Magna Bank, Allen Bethel, in my office about the new tax incentives that we are telling our clients about. While the $8000 incentive that goes to buyers who are essentially classified as First-Time Homebuyers is something we are all familiar with, the additional incentive that has been put out there is something else.

The incentive, which is being called the Move Up Tax Credit is $6500 for someone who is currently in a home for the past 5 years. But why are we calling it the Move Up Credit? That is really a misnomer for the credit. In reality the tax credit should be called the Moving On or something of that nature tax credit.

This came up for me the other day because I was talking to a family of empty nesters that were wanting to sell their home. As they sat there talking about downsizing and hoping that they had no boomerang children, they asked why there weren't incentives for them. These folks are selling their home and moving to a less expensive home. So do they qualify for the Move Up credit? You bet they do. So we need to make sure that our empty nesters and other folks that are maybe not moving up but moving on to something more manageable understand how this works.

Disclaimer: I am a Real Estate Broker in the State of Tennessee. I am not an Accountant, CPA, Tax Attorney. If you have any questions about the comments in this poat I suggest you consult with a qualified tax representative.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Extended and Expanded Tax Credit

Well after lots of hard work, we finally got the Tax Credit extended and (Thank you Congress!) expanded.  Not only do "first-time" homebuyers qualify for the tax credit, but now individuals who have lived in their homes for 3 years or more can get a lower tax credit (every little bit helps doesn't it!) for themselves.

This is very good news.  While I think there was the hope that the previous tax credit would stabilize the housing market, it appears that the new stimulus may actually stimulate the housing market, much like the Cash for Clunkers did for the auto industry.

Two things to remember ... these are TAX CREDITS!  They will be applied to your tax return and you aren't going to get a check from President Obama as so many people believe.  When you file your taxes you will get the tax credit ... if the government owes you $1250 on your taxes, then you will get that plus the housing credit.  If you owe Uncle Sam some taxes, then it will be deducted from the tax credit.

As always, please consult with a qualified tax professional to better understand the programs mentioned above.  I am not a tax professional and only providing information that has been provided to me that is deemed reliable but not warranted.  (Don't you love disclaimers!)

Dana Couch-Davis
Crye-Leike, REALTORS

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Time to Begin

This won't be a blog just about real estate ... although seriously that is the thing I am most interested in at this time.  I will be putting information out here about various things such as trends in the Memphis-Shelby County market, things that are happening in Memphis (this is one happen' town) and when I come across a great place to eat or shop I'll put that on here as well.

For those who haven't visited Memphis, it is one great town.  And I should know since I've lived in Atlanta, Washington, Baltimore, and Brussels during my lifetime.  Oh, by the way, I've lived in Memphis as well.  In fact, Memphis is where I grew up ... right over in East Memphis.

There's been a lot of good press about Memphis over the years and at times there is some bad press ... but all in all .... Memphis is a great place to live.  The city is host to a variety of cultural activities including various types of theatre, sports events (even if Iverson does leave the Grizzlies they still rock), and so many more things that you will want to participate in.  So I'm going to go out and seek these things out and will keep you updated about them.

So welcome to my hometown, Memphis, TN.  Lots of people have and do call Memphis home.  Among them was Elvis Presley, baseball legend Tim McCarver, actress (and one of my favorites) Cybill Shepherd, Dixie Carter went to school here, John Dye of Touched by an Angel was also a student in Memphis, W.C. Handy, all of those Blues artists that used to sing and perform on Beale St. and later at Blues Alley, and so many others.

Welcome to Memphis ... also known as the Bluff City ... River City .... and the Home of the Blues!