Positive Trends: Vice President & General Manager, Gail Coleman

I just returned from The Realty Alliance Conference which was held in Atlanta. The Realty Alliance is comprised of sixty-two of the leading real estate companies in the country. We gather together twice each year to share ideas and to hear from various speakers who address a broad range of issues affecting our industry.

The best part of these meetings is the wonderful opportunity we all have to network with each other and to meet in our smaller “forum groups.” Within these groups we brainstorm issues, share best practices, good ideas, marketing strategies and market conditions as well. It is always interesting to get the perspective of the owners and operators of top companies outside of our own little fish bowl.

At the conclusion of our forum meeting the leader of our group asked each person to give a one word answer to describe the emotion they were feeling at the end of three very intense days of meetings. The answers went along these lines…optimistic, hopeful, and energized! The reason…no matter what region of the country we hailed from we all were seeing signs of a recovering real estate market.

Foreclosures and short sales are still a challenge for most markets helping to contribute to the downward pressure on home prices. However, there are bright spots that we all seemed to share in common all across the country.

Inventory is inching downward particularly in the lower price ranges creating the long forgotten multiple offer scenario. Rents are on the rise making leasing in many cases more costly than home ownership. Whether one is a tenant or an investor, now is the time to buy! According to the Mortgage Bankers Association interest rates are not expected to rise appreciably until the first quarter of 2013…it is an election year after all! CoreLogic’s chief economist Mark Fleming was quoted recently in Steve Harney’s blog that, “Since the peak in home prices, mortgage rates have declined and affordability has risen dramatically. Housing affordability is at levels not seen since prior to the early 1990’s.” And, Fannie Mae economist, Doug Duncan said, “Conditions are coming together to encourage people to want to buy a home.”  Imagine our naysaying economist with something positive to say about real estate!

My colleagues and I had a bit of a spring in our steps as we left Atlanta. Regardless of the trends or the forecasts that we watch so carefully what we truly trust is our deep and abiding faith in the tenacity, and resilience of our agents, management and staff to weather any storm. The rainbow is always there just behind the clouds… if we look hard enough.

Have a successful week!


Gail H . Coleman

Vice President & General Manager

Homes for Sale in Williamsburg, Hampton Roads, and Northeast North Carolina

Whether you’re searching for homes in Williamsburg, homes in Hampton Roads, or homes in Northeast North Carolina, we’re bound to have one that’s just right for you. Whatever you’re looking for–new construction, new homes, condos or waterfront homes, we have homes for sale in all areas of Williamsburg, Hampton Roads, and Northeast North Carolina.

If you’re moving to Williamsburg, Hampton Roads, or Northeast North Carolina from out of state, our Relocation Department can make your move a smooth one. And, our one-stop shopping for mortgages, title insurance, and settlement services is available in our offices throughout Williamsburg, Hampton Roads, and Northeast North Carolina.

If you’re a buyer or seller who’s looking for help with home repairs, home improvements, or home maintenance, our Service Center can recommend only the most tested, proven, and thoroughly professional people to help you repair, improve, or maintain your home, no matter where it is in Williamsburg, Hampton Roads, Northeast North Carolina.

When you’re ready to buy, sell, or invest in a home, contact us and we’ll get you moving!

A Thought on Insurance Policies

Insurance policies are actually a Unilateral contract (a promise for a promise). The applicability of coverage is determined at the time of the loss and not of the time of the application. This means an insurance binder is simply a statement that coverage is applicable contingent on all the other provisions of the contract. It is also a contract of adhesion. This means that it is generally presented on a “take it or leave it” basis, there is no negotiation.
Policies can be confusing and I suggest that you might need an attorney to sift through all of it to understand it.
Check your policies, complete insurance reviews every year, understand the difference between a tropical cyclone deductible and a wind and hail deductible and think about getting flood insurance. If you are helping your clients, I suggest that you get the insurance agent involved at the beginning of the transaction to evaluate the risk and to do an insurance inspection on the property so that there will not be any surprises at the last moment.