They’re trading their small home off Park Road in Summit Township for spacious living quarters off Walcott Road in Blackman Township.Although they’re getting a great deal on their new digs — spending $185,000 for a foreclosed house they figure would be worth about $300,000 in a better seller’s market — the Coopers are struggling to sell their other house.Home Realty It’s listed at $99,800 — $25,000 less than they paid for it six years ago.
“We figured if we got a good enough deal on a larger house, then we would be willing to take a loss (on the sale),” said Allison Cooper, 31, a computer programmer at Consumers Energy.The average listing and sales prices for Jackson-area homes were down in March from the same month in 2008, continuing the downward trend in recent years. The average house, condominium or farm was listed at $124,082 last month, with an average sale price of $69,269, according to figures compiled by the Jackson Area Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service.
Home Realty But as the spring home-buying season gets under way, area Realtors said they’re seeing some positive signs. Among them: an increase in the number of residential sales and renewed interest in homes in the $100,000 to $200,000 price range. The average sales price climbed nearly $16,000 from January to March.
“I believe that the buyers are out there with the stimulus plan (tax credits) for first-time buyers,” said Kim Gibbs, manager of Exit Realty 1st at 437 Fern Ave. and the president of the Jackson Area Association of Realtors. First-time home buyers get a tax credit of 10 percent of the purchase price, with a maximum credit of $8,000.
The glut of foreclosures means homeowners shouldn’t think of selling unless they must, Gumbert said. “If you haven’t lost your job or are in the middle of a divorce, if it’s not an estate, your house should not be on the market unless you are in a position to compete with the deals out there.” Home Realty But he also has seen greater interest recently in more expensive homes that are reasonably priced, including homes on lakes. One good sign: Some sellers are finding buyers as soon as they put their homes on the market, he said, which hadn’t been happening with nonforeclosures.