Wiregrass home sales follow national trend

Posted by: Melissa Johnson - bio | email

DOTHAN, AL (WSFA) - New numbers are out and home sales rose last month to the highest level in more than two years.

Many chalk it up to the looming deadline for the first time homebuyer tax credit.

Jeremy Paul, of Dothan, and his wife are hoping to soon become first time homebuyers.

He says they started looking for a home nearly six weeks ago.

Now that they've found what they're looking for, they hope to get past the inspection and quickly move forward.

He and his wife are in a hurry to get out of their apartment and into their own home because soon, they won't be the only ones around the house.

Paul says, "My wife is expecting, so she's ready to get settled in."

But that's not the only reason he's in a rush, he is also hoping to take advantage of the first time homebuyer  tax credit.

And he's not alone.  Nationally, sales rose 9.4 percent in September, coming from a downward pace in August.  Home sales topped 5.57 million dollars this month, with August earnings around 5.1 million.  Experts say, those numbers portray just how many first time homebuyers are scrambling to get their stimulus while they can.

And realtors in the Wiregrass say those numbers ring true here as well.  They've seen an increase in the number of first time homebuyers and overall sales.

Millie Miller, realtor for James Grant Realty in Dothan said, "The month of September, we sold 89 homes, and in August, we sold 74.  So we're definitely up."

While sales are up, she says, the average price of those homes is down.

Miller said, "A lot of first time homebuyers are taking advantage of the stimulus package, and by doing that, they're buying smaller, less expensive homes."

Those homebuyers like Jeremy Paul say that this tax credit means the difference in buying now and buying later.   He and his wife are looking forward to owning their first home and, "Being away from everybody else and having our own little yard," he said.

Realtors say, if you are wanting to take advantage of the tax credit, your time is running out.

The last day to close and be eligible is November 30th.

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