I was visiting my daugher in Chapel Hill last Sunday for Father’s Day and saw an article in her Raleigh News and Observer that caught my eye. It’s a column by Amy Hoak of MarketWatch on why mortgage rates are so low. It offers a good fundamental explanation of why we’re seeing such low rates and gives some idea of what may change that in the future. It also has some additional interesting info quoted from Clear Capital such as, “Clear Capital recently reported that national home prices were up only 0.1% in the second quarter, from the year-early period. That’s far from the 3% to 4% appreciation expected in a healthy market.” They go on to say that this is a first in quite some time, but still a necessary first step.
If you’re interested in the state of the real estate market both in terms of interest rates and home prices, I’d recommend you take a few minutes to read this well-written article HERE.
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Posted in Iredell County, Mooresville, Quality of Life, Statesville, tagged education, Iredell-Statesville Schools, mooresville graded school district, Mooresville Schools, property taxes, tax base on June 13, 2012 |
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Well, school’s out, the kids are happy, and the teachers are exhausted! It’s a good time to consider what a bargain we get here in Iredell County with our schools. A few weeks ago, I attended an information session that the Realtor Association set up with the Superintendents of our two school systems in Iredell County- Brady Johnson of Iredell-Statesville Schools and Mark Edwards of Mooresville Schools. They each went through a long list of accomplishments for their respective systems and noted that both systems consistently rank in the top ten in performance of all school systems in North Carolina. But they really got our attention when it was noted that in terms of spending per student by the 115 systems in the state, Mooresville is ranked at 100th position and Iredell-Statesville at 105th. That means all the other schools on up to the #1 position spend more per student than do our schools. I think it’s remarkable that we can get such wonderful results for so little money compared to the great majority of school systems in the state.
Iredell County’s tax rate is one of the lower ones in the state, and our local politicians guard that jealously as one of our best assets. As a taxpayer, I certainly agree. However, we’ve all got to understand that the quality of our education system in the county is a huge asset in the eyes of businesses looking to relocate or considering whether to stay or leave. School quality is one of the very first issues that they address when they start looking for locations. They know that having good schools nearby is one sure way to attract and retain good quality employees. That has a great impact on all of us whether we have kids in school or not. A healthy business environment provides long-term benefits for our property tax base as well as money spent with local retailers and services that help them survive and prosper.
Thanks to all who work in our Iredell County school systems for providing such an excellent education for our students and providing such an excellent reputation for educational quality. That’s one of the reasons that Mooresville and Statesville have consistently ranked #1 over many years for business growth by Site Selection Magazine, based on the amount of investment in new and expanded business for similar communities in the USA.
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I went to Raleigh this week to attend a meeting of the board of the NC Association of Realtors. During our session, the current NCAR President, Lou Baldwin, made the observation that earlier in the year, billionaire Warren Buffett made a comment that got everyone’s attention. While being interviewed on CNBC in late February, he said that he’d buy up a couple hundred thousand single family homes if it were practical for him to do so. He went on to say, ”If held for a long period of time and purchased at low rates, Buffett says houses are even better than stocks.” If you’d like to see the report on the interview, go HERE.
From this, I still don’t advocate owning your primary home mainly as an investment. You should own a home because you want the freedom to do what you choose on your property and you’d prefer to not pay rent that retains no equity in the property. However, Buffett’s comments do suggest that he sees a clear path to improvement in the housing market in terms of valuations and prices. The only question is how long that will take. With interest rates and prices being at historically low levels, anyone who is contemplating a move should be looking seriously at getting it done, provided you have a reasonable credit history and stable employment.
In another interview, Buffett also said that people should not try to buy the home of their dreams. Rather, they should aim to buy the home they can afford. Seems like Mr. Buffett’s logic always rings true to practical thinking. That’s why I enjoy reading about his pronouncements.
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