How is the housing market in Arkansas?

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I am trying to get a home loan for a house. We have been prequailfied through USDA Rural Development and we should find out in the next few days if we have been approved. I have heard different things about the housing market. Some say it hasn’t been affected here, others say that it has. I would really like to know so I’ll know what my shot is at getting a good deal right now!
I’m in Batesville!

3 comments to How is the housing market in Arkansas?

  • sublimetranscendental  says:

    Arkansas is a big place and the market in one place may be very different from the market in another. Home prices are more steady in the northwest corner (Fayetteville/Springdale/Rogers) because of remarkable rates of growth. So a home purchased there is more likely to hold its value than one in Pine Bluff or elsewhere in southeast Arkansas where the economy is sluggish. Great deals may be had in the southeast, but will the property values ever rise? Low prices may not mean good investments in the southeast. Many places around Little Rock or Conway will probably hold their value pretty well. I suspect some of the rural areas will yield the best deals or some of the smaller cities like Russellville/Mountain Home/Harrison/Batesville. You might keep an eye on Booneville. The city’s largest employer (of 800) just had a major explosion and fire. If the jobs are permanently lost, property values there may go down quickly. Of course, making a living there would be a challenge too. Good luck.

  • arealtorlady  says:

    It depends where you are in Arkansas.

    I am a realtor in NW Arkansas (Washington and Benton Counties), but I don’t know about other parts of Arkansas. In my area, this is a phenomenal time to purchase a home. Prices have come down, interest rates are low, and there is a large number of homes on the market, so there is a lot to choose from. It is definitely possible to get a good deal here, but much depends on price range and type of home, as well as where it is.

    In some ways the national “housing slump” is not as serious here as in other areas. Although prices have diminished, homes are holding their value to some degree.

    The market depends on supply and demand. In the past several years there was a so-called “seller’s market”. What this means is that there were a lot of buyers and not that many homes available, especially in lower price ranges.

    However, now there are a lot of builders who have been constructing homes even in those lower price ranges. For example, it is now possible to purchase a really nice, all-brick home with granite counters, ceramic in wet areas, and other amenities for less than $150K in Fayetteville. This was not possible a few years ago, when there was no new construction in this price range and re-sale homes sold within days. Now homes in that price range are staying on the market for a much longer time.

    Much also depends on the price range of home you are looking for. In NW Arkansas there is a glut of homes on the high end. On the medium high end (over $200K) there are also a lot of homes on the market, both new and re-sale homes. Even over $150K.

    There are some good deals out there, since there are a fair number of foreclosures and short sales listed by realtors. These do sell fairly quickly. But even other homes have decreased in value. The key is to find one you like and make an offer, especially if it appears to be a “good deal.”

    My recommendation in this changing market is to use a buyer agent. In Arkansas there is no extra cost to you if the home is listed by a realtor. Ask your buyer agent to do a market analysis on the home you select to give you an idea of what homes similar to the one you have selected have been selling for in recent months. You should expect to sign a buyer agreement with your agent, if you choose to go this route.

    One other thing. Since you are getting an RD loan, I will assume you are purchasing a home in a smaller town or in the country. There was an article in the past week in the Arkansas Business Journal that said that land prices have not come down much in Arkansas. This means that if you are purchasing a home in the country with some acreage, the land may give more value to the home, compared to a home in town at the same price. This means you get less home for the money if you want something with acreage.

    The other thing with RD loans--there are somewhat strict requirements for the home you will purchase, so that the home will need to be nearly new or in excellent condition to meet the RD requirements. The appraiser from the bank will indicate items that may need to be corrected (if it is an older home), so when you write your offer make sure you allow enough in the repair limit to cover “third party requirements”.

    I have been penalized in the past for providing my email address in some of my answers. If you have further questions, or if you are in my area, you will have to look for my profile in Yahoo Answers and contact me that way.

    I cannot comment on other parts of Arkansas, where conditions may be different than in Washington and Benton Counties.

  • whimsey_newf  says:

    I am a Broker in Arkansas and am near Batesville. The Market is holding fairly steady. Some of the more expensive homes are now coming down in price, but there are some very good deals to be had. I just sold a great 3 bed, 2 bath on 2.8 acres with a finished walkout basement for under $100,000. In Batesville there are some very good buys, you just need an agent who will work to find you that deal. Good Luck

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