Real Estate Market Improving?

Some real estate agents say the local real estate market is starting to improve. Officials said they're confident that the housing market has stabilized and even started to improve.

"I'm very confident and feel that we're going to have a really good year," said James Harwell, broker with JDH Realty. "I'm very optimistic I would say about the rest of the year."

While there are still plenty of for sale signs around Meridian and Lauderdale County, business has been picking up for local real estate agents and mortgage lenders.

The housing industry appears to be picking up some steam. One of the largest draws for home buyers is Meridian's supply of older homes.

"One of the things we have here in Meridian is the advantage of having a National Historic District inside the city limits," said Harwell. "In fact. we've got several of them, but people move from all over the country, or they're willing to move all over the country to live in an old home, for instance> And Meridian has one of the highest, best inventories of old homes in the whole state."

Now both the real estate agent and mortgage lender we spoke with both have positive expectations for the Meridian real estate market.

"I think some of the people that are first-time buyers are still a little skeptical about jumping in," said Tom Coats, owner, of Howell Realty. "But I think some of the incentives that have been out there might start attracting some of those buyers."

"What I'm seeing over the last few months here across my desk here at Citizens gives me a lot of hope as to the future of our particular area and what's going on out there," said Lisa Goodman of Citizens National Bank.

Interest rates are as low as 2.875 percent, but your credit score and income are still very important in securing a mortgage.

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