Sunday, July 20, 2008

It’s a Buyer’s Market in Hannibal

Recently, this article appeared in the Hannibal Courier-Post:

These paragraphs jumped out at me:

The number of units (homes) sold is up almost 6 percent, and the volume has increased 7.5 percent. The average price has risen only 1.5 percent.

John Ravenscraft, the association’s president (The Mark Twain Association of Realtors), gives low interest rates and low regional unemployment much of the credit, but adds an intangible that often isn’t mentioned with such trends.

He said local real estate agents and banks “continue to have a positive attitude” and “continue to work hard” to make sure buyers get what they want.

They’ve also stayed away from sub-prime lending that’s gotten some financial institutions in trouble.

Upon reading this article, I found myself wishing the writer had added a broader view reflecting a national trend of house-buying toward towns like Hannibal where...

Houses are cheap! Very, very cheap. It’s easy to find decent houses for well below $100K in Hannibal. Prices here would amaze much of the rest of the country. Had folks the inclination to look outside their own cities and towns like we did in our search for a more Rockwellian existence (and in a grand house), it is easy to find a Victorian glory for well below $200K, and even less than $100K, if a fixer-upper were desired.

Additionally, Missouri is one of few states that allows non-Missouri residents access to the state’s tax credits program for restoring historic and historic district houses:

More on our experiences with this later.

Though we had our Victorian glory well into the restoration process, we decided to make another purchase - a purchase that was a result of the house-buying climate today, where many find themselves in a mortgage mess. That house purchase would be the Laura Hawkins (Becky Thatcher) house, right next door to us.

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