Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ready for an upturn??

Well if you ask the media they will tell you that the real estate market is going to hell in a handbasket. If you ask most lenders they will tell you that it is the best time in the world to buy a house and they can give you the best rate in town! As a realtor, I'll tell you something a little bit in the middle. No the market has not gone to hell in a handbasket. And Yes it is a good time to buy a house. But now more than ever you need to become an educated buyer. With more inventory on the market and rates continuing to drop, do your homework. Now is a fantastic time to buy a house......if you know what to look for. With all of the inventory stacked up ( but slowly selling off) it is a good time to do some shopping. You have more time to look at your financials, talk to professionals that care about your investments, and most importantly way your options. There are some great deals to be made in today's real estate market. Especially in new construction. Don't be afraid to ask builders for closing costs, price reductions, and free upgrades. They have inventory and are trying to push their exsisting homes so they can start building new ones. I speak from experience. I am buying a home just outside of Nashville. I was bold yet respectful with my demands. The builder agreed, and now we have a win win situation for all.

So don't listen to the media's talking heads telling you that the sky is falling. It is a great time to invest in real estate, just make sure you are working with a trusted professional that has your personal interest at heart. There are deal out there, you just need to know how to find them. Thanks for stopping in and God Bless.

Nick Woodard
Keller Williams Realty
Franklin, Tennessee

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Williamson County Sales November

Williamson County Association of Realtors® Announces November 2007 Home Sales
Williamson County Association of REALTORS® Announces November Housing Numbers

December 10, 2007 (Franklin, TN)-The Williamson County Association of REALTORS® today announces the sale of homes statistics for Williamson County, Tn. for the month of November 2007. There were 278 residential and condominium closings reported for the month of November, according to figures provided by RealTracs Solutions, the multiple listing service used by REALTORS® in the Middle-Tennessee area.

Compared to November of 2006, the single family residential closings decreased 20 percent and the median price decreased by 9 percent. Condominiums closings have increased by 30 percent and the median price increased by 16 percent. The decrease in the median price appears to be tied to a decrease in the number of homes in the over $1 million range closing in November. The average days on the market (DOM) for residential homes have increased by 14 days and condominiums have increased by 17 days. Days on the market have been consistent since the onset of 2007, with the days ranging from 58 - 68 days. Median prices have remained consistent since January 2007, ranging from $365,000 to $391,200. The median is a typical market price where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

November 2007

Median Price
Average Price

$ 365,000
$ 427,205

$ 219,990
$ 227,241

November 2006

Median Price
Average Price

$ 401,700
$ 466,644

$ 189,890
$ 219,234

November 2005

Median Price
Average Price

$ 296,072
$ 370,150

$ 152,920
$ 167,229

"The National subprime mortgage crisis peaked in September when many of the sales closed in November were being negotiated, which may explain some of the market change. Dr. Lawrence Yun, chief economist with the National Association of Realtors recently predicated that high-cost markets with many jumbo loans would show a slow down due to the mortgage crisis. That certainly seems to be the case in Williamson County where the downward distortion of the median and average price seems to be due to a slow-down in the higher-priced market. After the holidays, the pent up demand for homes is expected to break so that sellers should be ready for buyers with sparkling clean, updated homes and appealing prices." said Kathie Moore, 2008 President of the Williamson County Association of REALTORS®.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Rate Cuts???

Wall Street Awaits Fed's Rate Decision
Sunday December 9, 1:38 pm ET
By Madlen Read, AP Business Writer
Wall Street Waits for Federal Reserve's Rate Decision, Eyes Data on Inflation, Retail Sales

NEW YORK (AP) -- After two winning weeks on Wall Street, investors find out Tuesday if their wish for an interest rate cut -- the driver behind the rally -- will be granted.
Federal Reserve officials in recent weeks have indicated a willingness to cut rates further, so it's almost a foregone conclusion that the target federal funds rate is headed lower. The Fed has already dropped rates twice since the credit markets froze up over the summer due to surging mortgage defaults, and the only point of contention in the market seems to be the size of the next cut.

But there are three more weeks left in this rocky year, so investors aren't sighing with relief just yet. Wall Street remains uncertain if the Fed will keep lowering rates into the new year; at the central bank's last meeting on Oct. 31, policy makers said "the upside risks to inflation roughly balance the downside risks to growth."

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and others appear to have shifted their stance in light of recent market turbulence, but investors want to see it in writing. Furthermore, many are skeptical that rate cuts are enough to bring demand back into the worrisome areas of the credit markets, which has been seeing securities downgraded on practically a daily basis.

Wall Street has posted robust gains recently as investors grew more confident in the Fed's openness to loosening its policy again. They have also been relieved that some credit-loss estimates for banks have been milder than feared.

"The market has sort of changed its paradigm -- it's expecting the worst. So when it doesn't get the worst, it rallies," said Brandon Thomas, chief investment officer for Envestnet Asset management.

The Dow Jones industrial average has risen more than 640 points over the last two weeks, a rally that has brought the blue-chip index to less than 4 percent below the record close it reached Oct. 9.

Last week, the Dow ended 1.90 percent higher, the Standard & Poor's 500 index finished 1.59 percent, and the Nasdaq composite index ended up 1.70 percent.

Whether the Fed lowers rates in 2008 will depend not only on how the financial and housing industries weather ongoing mortgage problems, but also on inflation. Any higher-than-anticipated readings for November from the Labor Department's producer price index and consumer price index -- scheduled to be released Thursday and Friday, respectively -- could worry investors.

And with two weeks left until Christmas to shop, Wall Street wants to see a fiscally fit consumer raring to spend. The Commerce Department's retail sales report for November will be an important economic snapshot, especially after last week's mixed sales data from individual retailers.

There are not many earnings scheduled for this week, but there are a few that the market will be watching closely. Costco Wholesale Corp.'s quarterly results could give investors a clearer sense of how the average consumer is faring, while Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.'s report -- the first fourth-quarter report from the investment banking industry -- will offer some insight into how tough the credit markets have been for banks over the last few months.

Analysts are expecting Lehman to post a profit decline and Costco to report a profit rise.

Wall Street will also be monitoring data Monday on pending home sales in October and a Wednesday report on the October trade deficit, which could have implications for the tumbling dollar.

Nick Woodard
Keller Williams Realty Franklin, Tennessee

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Keep your nest egg growing

Keep Your Nest Egg Growing and Safe
by Michael Sexton

Does retirement planning scare you?

If so, you’re not alone. As soon as the subject comes up, most people start to sweat. They worry that they haven’t saved enough. Or they blame themselves for waiting too long before thinking about their retirement years.

Put the blame game aside. The good news is, you can change that kind of thinking in a day. You can do it now if you confront the issue of retirement head-on, and take some small steps to get started.

Do the Simple Stuff First

There are lots of complicated things you can do to plan for retirement. You can read reams and reams of complex investors’ information on the Internet. You can meet with an investment advisor and take home a briefcase stuffed with information about stocks, funds and bonds. You can call your friends and relatives and listen to their advice about what you are doing wrong.

But why start by putting more obstacles in your way? To get a quicker start, take a simple look at the things you already have in place. If you work for a company and have a 401(k), for example, set your contributions to the highest possible level - especially if your employer matches the dollars that you put in. If you forgot to increase your 401(k) contribution after your last raise, do it now. Also monitor your Social Security account so you always know how much income you’ll get when you retire.

Keeping your eye on the basics will add more money to your retirement accounts than you can imagine. Best of all, you are doing that by controlling retirement accounts that you already have - not ones that it will take you months to research, set up and fund.

Start Saving and Investing Today, Not Tomorrow

Thanks to the magic of compounding, even late starts can make a difference of tens of thousands of dollars -maybe hundreds of thousands - and a better-funded retirement.

Starting today gives you a psychological edge too. It builds your confidence and momentum.

A good investment advisor can help. To find the right one, get referrals from four or five friends and meet with the advisors they recommend. To keep your selection simple, go with the advisor who takes the most time with you, who shows interest in your objectives and situation - and who shows no frustration about answering all your investment questions.

If one of them makes you feel dumb for asking basic questions - well, that is a dumb advisor.

Get Realistic about Spending

The point of accruing wealth is to live an interesting and rewarding life. Everyone at Trump University is in agreement with that idea.

But there is a difference between living well and throwing money away. And part of the problem is that some of the acquisitions you make today can cost you a lot of money tomorrow. (And for many of us, “tomorrow” translates into “retirement.”)

For example, the residences you buy today will become more expensive to own in the years ahead. You have to think about that. Property taxes, on luxury residences especially, could well increase four or five times in the next 15-20 years. So the point is, ask your financial planner to help you decide when you are reaching the point of being overextended in your real estate holdings. Remember that the expenses you can carry today are not necessarily the expenses you can handle tomorrow, because some of them will grow.

Also get in the habit of buying only things that you know you will use and enjoy. When a new gadget appears that you want, wait for the price to fall before you buy it. It makes financial sense to treat money with respect. And if you have children, you’ll teach them the value of what a dollar can buy.

Talk to Your Investment Advisor about Risks

Investment advisors, you have noticed, like to talk about potential earnings - and rarely like to tell you what can go wrong.

The simplest way to learn about risk is to keep aksing about it. Some good questions to ask are:

“Is my return on this investment guaranteed by any government agency or some other entity?”
“How much money can I lose if this investment fails?”
“Do you have your own money in this investment account or vehicle?” (If the answer is no, find out why!)
Remember, you might not hear about risk unless you ask about it.

Get Smart about Your Insurance Coverage

Don’t spend such a fortune on insurance that you become insurance poor. But do buy enough to make sure that your residence, possessions and autos are covered - and that their full replacement value will be yours in the event of catastrophic loss.

Also review your liability coverage. If a guest becomes injured in your yard or home, for example, will you run the risk of losing everything?

The bottom line . . .

When you retire, you want your nest egg to have grown. But you also need it to be safe and sound, because a lot of money that is at risk does not represent security.

Just remember that it is not beyond you to reach those goals. The key is to get started today.

Nick Woodard
Keller Williams Realty

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Foreclosure Training

Investing in Foreclosures? The Fundamentals Still Apply
by Michael Sexton

When you’re buying foreclosed properties, you can throw away all the classic wisdom about real estate investing, right? It’s a whole new world with new rules.

No, wrong. The fundamental rules apply, only moreso. Let’s take a closer look.

Rule One: Foreclosure or not, location is still of prime importance. You still need to look for properties in locales that promise growth and appreciation. So always consider the trends in municipalities where you might buy investment property. A new commuter line, a new hospital or a new school can dramatically increase property values. Even though you will find more foreclosures in dying communities, stay away from them. Location is still king.

Rule Two: There must be a way to increase the value of what you are buying. If there is no potential for growth, why invest? Remember, not all foreclosures are the same. As with all properties, some are standouts and some are duds.

Rule Three: Cash flow is still king. Even if you are applying a prudent“buy and hold” strategy, how will you generate income from your holding? Remember that the “on paper” value of the properties you own is fine, but that negative cash flow can drain the lifeblood from your investments and sink you.

Rule Four: Comparable values are still the yardstick for success. Comps are the yardstick you must use to evaluate the potential of your investment. So do the math. When buying a house to renovate and sell, deduct the cost of your renovations from its fair market value. That’s how much you should pay, not one cent more - whether the property is a foreclosure or not.

Rule Five: You still need expert advice and counsel. Buying a foreclosure does not entitle you to get sloppy and make decisions on the fly. You need a good attorney, a capable home inspector and all the other pros who can help you minimize risks and avoid mistakes.

Rule Six: Take your time. Even with “foreclosure fever” in the air, the first foreclosed property you see is probably not one you should buy. Yes, there might be a limited period of time left to take advantage of the current foreclosure boom. But that doesn’t mean that you should rush to snap up the first property you consider and make unwise mistakes. You need wisdom on your side.

Nick Woodard
Keller Williams Realty

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Real Estate Picking back up?

Is the real estate market picking back up in Middle Tennessee? The answer, yes and no. I have been keeping a very close eye on what is going on around me lately. The real answer to the question is, "what area are you talking about?" Because 3 miles can make the difference in a Hot market and a Cool Market. In the neighborhood that I purchased my home in Antioch Tennessee, 3 months ago the new sales agents were selling about 4-5 units per week, a combined 185 units for the previous year. As of 2 months ago, they are selling about 1 every two weeks. But just down the road in a new neighborhood that Kathryn and I just put a contract on a home, I have brought 5 different buyers that are purchasing a home this week. So you see, when someone asks you " is the market slowing down?" the real answer is "yes and no" it just depends on where you want to be. In a market like we are currently in, it is all about finding opportunities.

The government is keeping loans at a very reasonable rate. Jobs are continuing to come available. People are moving. What seems to be the problem? Media. Media. Media. The media is putting a false sense of dispair on buyers and sellers. Yes there are states and cities in this country that are having a terrible reversal of the market. But here in Nashville, we are sitting pretty. There is absolutely no reason to be nervous about buying a home in the Nashville market at the current state. Things look bright for our future here in God's Country.

If you need help with a real estate transaction in Middle Tennessee, give me a call. I would consider it a blessing to be able to help. God Bless

Nick Woodard
Keller Williams Realty

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Today's Top Ten!!!!

Today's Top Ten signs that it is time to sell your home.

10. When you bought your house, you lived in the country. Now you're surrounded by high rises.

9. You can't get any appliances repaired because "they stopped making those parts years ago"

8. The swing set in the backyard has sprouted roots.

7. The plumber's number is on your speed dial.

6. Your phone number is on your plumber's speed dial.

5. All the children's rooms are now guest rooms.

4. You haven't visited the other half of the house in six months.

3. You have to move the furniture to see the carpet's original color.

2. Your bathroom is a lovely shade of avacado green......from the first time that it was in style.

And today's #1 sign that it is time to sell your home...........

1. You can't make any improvements to the exterior of your home without getting approval from the Board of Historic Monuments.

For assistance with the purchase or selling of real estate in the Greater Nashville area give me a call, I would be glad to help. God Bless

Nick Woodard
Keller Williams Realty

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Selling your home in a cool market

SELLING YOUR HOME in a cooling market is stressful at best. A couple years ago, headlines screamed of bidding wars and of homes moving off the market within days. No more. Across the country, new home prices are now down slightly from one year ago. And many predict housing prices will fall farther before they're done.

So if you plan to sell your home in the near future, call a handyman to make sure everything is in working order. Then take a close look at your local real-estate market and find out what's selling, what's not and why. Finally, don't expect to get more for your house than your neighbor got a year ago. This is a different market, warns Nelson Zide, co-owner of ERA Key Realty Services in Framingham, Mass. Look at more recent sales data and price your home accordingly.

That said, can you still get a good price? You bet. Here are some more tips to help you get top dollar for your house.

Price, Price, Price
Selling a house is all about price. Ask too much, and you could get stuck with a home that languishes on the market. The longer it sits, the harder it is to unload. "The first question a buyer asks is how long the house has been on the market," says Pamela Liebman, chief executive of New York-based real-estate firm the Corcoran Group. "If it's been on a while, they ask what is wrong with the house."

Ironically, homeowners who ask more for their homes tend to get less in the end. According to Liebman, studies show that if you price your home properly it will sell faster and at a higher price than if the home was priced aggressively. "Overpricing leads to low bids," Liebman says. "Proper pricing leads to high bids."

So how do you set the right price? First, take a look at recent sales in your neighborhood. And don't forget to factor in the condition of your house. A home buyer in a more neutral market is still going to pay up for a new kitchen with Poggenpohl cabinets and a Sub-Zero Refrigerator. But if you failed to notice that Harvest Gold stoves and countertops went out of style with bell bottoms and love beads, you had better be prepared to drop your price by about as much as it would cost a new owner to renovate your relic.

Curb Appeal
First impressions are everything. The last thing you want is to turn off a potential buyer before he or she walks in the door. So make sure the house is painted, and call a landscaper to get your lawn in tip top shape. "If your grass isn't green, make it green," Liebman says. "If you have weeds, get rid of them. If the shrubs are overgrown, cut them." Even small, inexpensive potted flowers can make your home seem more inviting.

Some renovations are worth an investment. An extra bathroom makes a home more saleable, says Jim Cory, senior editor at Remodeling Magazine. A few cans of paint and new carpeting could also provide a handsome return. An outdated eight-room home in South Philadelphia, for example, might go for roughly $130,000, says Cory. Pull the shag carpeting and wood paneling — a project that costs roughly $15,000 — and that same home could list for $180,000.

Fix Everything
Make sure everything works. Have an inspector assess everything from your water heater and furnace to your central air conditioning system. "If there are any doubts about the mechanical functions, a buyer will walk," Remodeling Magazine's Cory says.

Even minor repairs are crucial. Hire a contractor to go through your home with a fine-toothed comb. Make sure the gutters are cleaned and the tub has new grout and caulk in the joints. Every window must slide open, and kitchen cabinets should open with ease. And don't forget to paint over ugly water stains. If you don't, a potential buyer could see it as a warning sign of a larger issue.

If you're inclined to leave your home as is, prepare to drop your asking price. "I hate to say it, but price cures everything," says Era Key Realty's Zide. Historically, buyers negotiate two dollars for every dollar of reported deficiencies, according to home-inspection company HouseMaster.

Additional Tips
There's some basic advice that's worth repeating. Keep your home as clean and as pristine as possible. This means cleaning out your closets and getting rid of excess clutter and furniture. You want your home to look as spacious as possible. The Corcoran Group's Liebman even suggests fresh flowers. "Baking cookies could be a bit silly and obvious," she says.

How long will all this take? Give yourself a good six months. It takes time to plan, and then to coordinate projects with a contractor or handyman. Just know that the hassle will be worth it. With a little hard work, you can get the best price for your home in any market.

Nick Woodard
Keller William Realty Franklin,TN

Monday, October 15, 2007

Q & A about your credit score

My friend was told by a "debt counselor" that he should keep his credit utilization ratio at about 30 percent because having it too low would hurt his score. I dispute this notion. My (credit ration) generally sits between 1 and 4 percent based on monthly purchases (paid in full) during a statement period. Can you settle this dispute?
-- John R., Phoenix Ariz.

In general, making generalizations about credit scores is not a good idea.

According to the people who created the scoring system, a lower credit utilization is usually gives you a better score. That's why closing credit accounts without paying down debt on open accounts can lower your score. By reducing your total credit limit without a corresponding drop in your debt balance, you raise the ratio of debt to credit limit.

Still, your score is based on a complex formula that takes a number of factors into account. For more on how it works, check out the Fair Isaac & Co (FICO) Web site. They used to be fairly secretive about how the scoring works, but these days they’re happy to share the criteria with the public.

As for your friends “credit counselor,” in my opinion many of those holding themselves out as counselors are simply selling more credit. The common scam is to consolidate loans into a new one, charge a higher interest rate and then stretch out the term for many more years to lower the monthly payment. Since most people are so fixed on monthly payments they go along with this. But they end up paying much more interest before the loans are paid off.

The only credit counselors we believe to be legit are those certified and affiliated with the National Federation of Credit Counselors. You can find one in your area by going to

For a list of reputable qualified lenders or assistance with your next real estate transaction, visit

Thanks and God Bless,

Nick Woodard
Keller Williams Realty

Monday, October 8, 2007

September closings in Willimson County Tennessee

Williamson County Association of REALTORS® Announces September Housing Numbers
October 8, 2007 (Franklin, TN)-The Williamson County Association of REALTORS® today announces the sale of homes statistics for Williamson County, Tn. for the month of September 2007. There were 364 residential and condominium closings reported for the month of September, according to figures provided by RealTracs Solutions, the multiple listing service used by REALTORS® in the Middle-Tennessee area.
Compared to September of 2006, the single family residential closings decreased 30 percent and the median price decreased by 2 percent. Condominiums closings have decreased by 42 percent and the median price increased by 8 percent. The average days on the market (DOM) for residential homes have decreased by 35 percent and condominiums have increased by 14 percent. Days on the market have been consistent since the onset of 2007, with the days ranging from 61 - 68 days. Median prices have remained consistent since January 2007, ranging from $367,500 to $391,200. The median is a typical market price where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

"Our County continues to attract buyers and sellers of property and homes. Although the market is not performing to 2006's record-setting year, the market has been consistent since the beginning of 2007 and the trend of seasonal closings is consistent year over year," said Susan McKinney, 2007 President of the Williamson County Association of REALTORS®.

For more information about our real estate market or for my personal real estate services, please contact me at 615.566.9839 or go to Thank you and God Bless.

Nick Woodard
Keller Williams Realty

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Increasing your home's value

Increasing Your Home’s Value

Which improvement projects will give the highest return on your investment? Five tips from a top appraiser.

With an increasing number of properties hitting the market, you want to make sure that you’re doing all the right things to get top dollar for your property. And while you cannot change your house’s location or size, there are a number of ways you can easily affect the value of your house. “By spending a few hundred dollars on improvements you might earn a few thousand in payback,” says Terry Dunkin, president of the Appraisal Institute. Here are five things that may help secure your asking price.

Maintenance pays off—big time. A house’s condition can be critical to the appraiser’s or potential buyer’s impression, because it indicates the homeowner’s attitude toward his property. “A well-maintained house tells the buyer that you’ve taken care of your property and care about it,” says Dunkin. That helps buyers feel confident that they won’t discover big problems that have been left to fester. But frayed carpets, peeling paint and cracked sidewalks say just the opposite. Luckily, a house’s condition can be a relatively quick fix. By investing in a paint job and new carpets, you can easily up the value of your house.

Keep up with the Joneses. If you’re guessing at whether it would be a wise investment to add granite countertops or an in-ground pool, the best way to decide is by taking a look around the neighborhood. “You don’t want to be particularly above or below your neighbors,” says Dunkin. Hiring an appraiser who is familiar with your area can be particularly helpful in determining how your house measures up. Says Dunkin, “They are out in the neighborhoods and know, for example, if three-quarters of your neighbors do have granite countertops.”
Size does matter. We’re talking in terms of both property and the house itself. And unlike location, you do have a few tricks up your sleeve for this one. “The way you get bigger bang for your buck is by creating living space within the confines of the existing structure,” says Dunkin. That means getting a bit creative, by adding a new bedroom in an attic or converting a basement into a family room.

Some rooms are better than others. When appraisers are valuing a house, the bedrooms and bathrooms are particularly important, because they indicate how many people could comfortably live in the house. This can make an additional bedroom a particularly wise investment.

It’s all about balance. Always keep in mind the cost of improvements versus the impact they’ll have on your appraisal. Investing in a pool if you live in California, for example, may have a significant impact on your house’s appraisal. Doing the same thing in New Hampshire, however, is probably not the wisest investment. Once again, Dunkin recommends working with an appraiser if you need more insight into how much a particular improvement or amenity will add to your house’s value.

Thanks for stopping by and God Bless

Nick Woodard
Keller Williams Realty Franklin, TN

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Image is Everything!

After watching my favorite show " The Real Estate Pros," I decided to jot a few things down that I feel the average home seller or investor should know. Image is everything. Let me say that again....IMAGE IS EVERYTHING! After having worked with buyers and sellers for a number of years now, you would be amazed at how simple and affordable it can be to make your home the top looking house on the market.

My number one "quick fix" is paint. Paint can make or break a deal without you even knowing it. I would say about 75% of the buyers I work with will look at a paint scheme and decide not to buy the house if they don't like the painting color/style. That means that most of the people that will be going through your home, don't know how to visualize the home looking differently. I am not an agent that believes in nothing but neutral or earthy colors. I believe that every room should have personality and style to it, just be careful to have the right style. It pays to stay in the loop as to what the newest trends, colors, and styles are in the market.

There are tons of ways to stay up to date with what the new trends are. Here are a few of my recommendations.

1. Watch a few shows on HGTV, you will be amazed how much useful information is really in their programming. Most of them are about how to improve your home on a tight budget. I would recommend ( Trading Spaces, Flipping Out, The Real Estate Pros, and Property Ladder)

2. Take a class at Home Depot. Home Depot offers many classes and free "How To" sessions on just about everything. Attend a workshop and learn how to do things the right way. When looking at adding value to your home, always learn how to do it correctly. Never take shortcuts. Don't go cheap on the biggest investment you have.

3. Go visit a model home at a new construction sight. Most builders that have any sense will be up to date on what the new trends are. They know that the newest ideas will help turn their properties faster. That is why they hire very good and very important home stagers and decorators. Many of them will even give you the name of their decorator.

There are plenty of ways to educate yourself on how to make your home "pop", you just have to do a little homework. For more tips check out or give me a call directly. May God Bless you and your home.

God Bless,

Nick Woodard
Keller Williams Realty Franklin, TN

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Fed Ready to Lower Rates This Week for First Time in More Than 4 Years

WASHINGTON (AP) -- For the first time in more than four years, the Federal Reserve appears ready to lower interest rates to prevent a housing meltdown and a painful credit crunch from driving the economy into a recession.

A rate cut would affect millions of borrowers, with the intention of getting them to spend and invest more, which would revitalize the economy.
In one of their most important and anxiously awaited decisions, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and his central bank colleagues meet Tuesday to determine their next move on interest rates. Those policymakers are widely expected to cut an important rate, now at 5.25 percent, by at least one-quarter of percentage point. Some analysts predict a bolder step, a half-point reduction.

If the Fed drops the rate, then the prime lending rate that commercial banks charge many individuals and businesses would fall by a corresponding amount. It now is at 8.25 percent.
"It's no longer a debate over whether they will ease but by how much," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's "The economy is soft and getting softer," and the Fed has come under economic and political pressure to act.

Should the Fed go with a quarter-point cut, analysts expect policymakers will lower the rate again in October and in December, their final meeting of the year.
Fed action would mean that borrowers who can obtain credit would see rates drop on a variety of loans. It would become less expensive for people to finance certain credit card debt and for homeowners to take out popular home equity lines of credit, which often are used to pay for education, home improvements or medical bills.

Also, it should help some homeowners whose adjustable-rate mortgages reset in the fall.
"Borrowers facing a rate reset Oct. 1 might see their ARM rates adjust to 6.7 percent, for example, rather than the 7.5 percent that a borrower whose loan adjusted back on July 1 experienced," said Greg McBride, senior financial analyst for "Still a big increase, but not the knockout punch it could have been," he said.

Less immediate would be relief for the country's economic health. An expected series of rate decreases could take three months to nine month before rippling through the economy and bolstering activity.

"It's like taking an antibiotic. After you take the first dose, you don't feel immediately better. But after a series of dosages accumulate, there will be a more positive effect," explained Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group.

Over the short term, a rate cut would provide an important psychological boost. It could make investors, businesses and others less inclined to clamp down or make drastic changes in their behavior that would hurt the economy.

Fears that the deepening housing slump and a spreading credit crisis could short-circuit the six-year-old economic expansion have shaken Wall Street over the past few months. Stocks have swung wildly, with sharp drops reflecting investors' bouts of panic.

A recent government report showing that the economy lost jobs for the first time in four years delivered a fresh jolt. The biggest fear is that individuals and businesses will cut back on spending, throwing the economy into a tailspin.

By Zandi's odds, there now is a 40 percent chance the economy will fall into a recession -- the highest probability since the last recession, in 2001. Just two months earlier, Zandi believed there was only a 12 percent chance.

So far, though, consumers have not cracked. Retail sales rose a modest 0.3 percent in August, after a 0.5 percent gain in July, the government reported Friday.
Problems have been most pronounced in housing.

But, Fed Governor Frederic Mishkin said recently, "economic activity could be affected more severely in other sectors should heightened uncertainty lead to a broader pullback in household and businesses spending." He added, "That scenario cannot, in my view, be ruled out, and I believe it poses an important downside risk to economic activity."

Analysts expect the economy will slow to a rate of about 2 percent in the current quarter, from July through September. That would be just half the rate of the three previous months. Growth in the final three months of this year could turn out even weaker. The employment climate is starting to deteriorate. Employers eliminated 4,000 jobs in August, intensifying calls by politicians and others for the Fed to cut rates. The unemployment rate, now at 4.6 percent, is expected to climb close to 5 percent by the year's end. The weakness in employment was troubling because job and wage growth have served as shock absorbers for people coping with the housing slump.

After a five-year boom, the housing market went bust more than a year ago. Higher interest rates and weaker home values clobbered homeowners, particularly "subprime" borrowers with spotty credit histories or low incomes. Foreclosures set records and late payments spiked. Lenders were forced out of business. Hedge funds and other investors in subprime-related mortgage securities took a huge financial hit.

A credit crisis ensued, spreading beyond the subprime market to more creditworthy borrowers.
"If current conditions persist in mortgage markets, the demand for homes could weaken further, with possible implications for the broader economy," Fed Governor Randall Kroszner said in a recent speech. The situation for the Fed, though, could become even more complicated. Oil prices recently surged past $80 a barrel, a record. Persistent increases could rekindle inflation worries.

Much has changed since the Fed's previous meeting on Aug. 7, when it held its key rate steady. But days later, the Fed was forced to begin pumping billions of dollars into the financial system to stem worsening credit problems and market turbulence.
Then on Aug. 17, the Fed slashed its lending rate to banks and issued a more grim assessment of the economic climate.

Bernanke repeatedly has pledged in recent weeks to "act as needed" to keep the housing and credit mess from sinking the economy. "It seemed like the Fed was behind the curve. Now it is going to bring out the big gun" on Tuesday and cut its most important rate, the federal funds rate, said Scott Anderson, economist at Wells Fargo. The last time the funds rate, which is the interest that banks charge each other, was lowered was in late June 2003. The rate is the Fed's main tool for influencing the economy.
"The cut is really needed to improve the cost and availability of credit for the average business and consumer," he said.

For information about the Nashville, Tennessee Housing Market go to

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Current Nashville Housing Market

Okay, a little view point from the streets. Being a realtor out on the streets and seeing everything that is going on from day to day my opinion on the housing market is quite a bit different than what you see on MSNBC. Is the market slow??? Compared to last year, maybe. But last year was a banner year, one for the record books. If we have a thriving market that sets records for sales, listings, and new homes, than ultimately the following year you could expect it to slow down a little bit. At least that tends to be the natural process.

In the Nashville Real Estate market, I am seeing a multitude of different situations. More listings on the market. Yes it is true, we have more listings and inventory on the market than we would like. This means two things; more room to negotiate as a buyer and more to choose from. This time last year, if you were a buyer in the Nashville market you found something that was interesting to you and you jumped on it. You presented a strong offer and made up your mind then and there that this house was the house for you. Now with there being more homes on the market, there is more competition for your business. Sellers are more likely to be reasonable about their pricing structure and more inclined to work with and negotiate with qualified buyers. Plus, this gives you as the buyer more time to think it over, pray about, and take your time on the purchase of your home.

Another issue that helps you the qualified buyer is this; the mortgage industry. With all of the problems being seen in the mortgage world, truly qualified buyers are like gold. When you find one as a seller, you hang on to it. There is nothing in the world more frustrating to a seller than tying up their property in escrow only to have the buyer's loan fall apart at the last minute. It waste time and money for everyone. So when a "good" buyer with a strong loan comes around, sellers will do whatever it takes to keep them around. That is a big plus for the buyer. And usually results in a better deal.

For my sellers, things have changed. The days of putting a sign in your yard and putting fliers out front are over. It takes a strong marketing campaign to bring traffic to your house. The number one thing and by far most important avenue for selling your house these days is the internet. Research from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) tell us that 85% of all home buyers in the market do their own searching on the internet, most of them even before calling a realtor to assist them. That means you have to have a very strong presence on the world wide web. Your realtor should be very tech saavy and know how to reach the target market for your home. For an example, refer to my website and look at my listings.
To sell your home, the potential buyer needs to know what it feels like to live in your home before ever stepping foot in it. That is why I have embedded a video stream tour of the property directly on my website. Buyers that are looking in the area can click on your listing and have a video tour of your home to see what it looks like and how it feels to actually be inside your property without ever leaving their couch. The more information and "feeling" you can give your potential customer, the better chance you have of them setting up a showing to come and see your home.

If you have any questions or would like to speak with me about my marketing ideas for listing your home in and around the Nashville area, please give me a call. I would love to help. Buyers, it's a great time to start looking. Rates are going to be going up in the future and there are plenty of options out there. Call me if you would like to take a look at a few. In the mean time, take a look at and do some looking around for yourself. I hope that this blog has been educational and can be a source of help to you and your family.

Thanks for stopping by, may God bless you today and always!

God Bless,

Nick Woodard
Keller Williams Realty

Monday, September 10, 2007

Trust, FSBO's, and unrepresented buyers.

Trust....That seems to be a foreign word to some of us in the business industry of 2007. It seems like everywhere we turn there are people out there trying to make a quick buck and they don't seem to care who they have to step over to do it. I have recently seen this issue come to light. I was involved with a real estate transaction that involved a particular builder in the Nashville area ( no names mentioned, unless you call and ask me!) where that trust was breached. My client and I were both promised something that never came to light. Unfortunately my client was taken advantage of and we both learned a very valuable lesson.

On a similar topic, I have dealt with more than one mortgage officer that promised things that could not be done. Then left my client sitting at the closing table with a blank stare on his face. There are also times that I have answered questions from unrepresented buyers that get into their new home only to find major problems that were never addressed during their inspections. They thought they didn't need the help of a professional, until it was too late.

With all of that said..........(I'm going somewhere with this, I promise) .......Business, real estate, relationships, they are all based around trust and being educated before jumping into something. That is why it is imperative that you as educated buyers do your homework before making a major decision like buying or selling a home. The numbers tell you that selling your home For Sale By Owner will NOT bring you more money for your home. In fact the numbers say that you are far more likely to get more for your home when a realtor markets your property. That is including the realtor's commission. Also, never never never (did I say never) walk into a builder's office on a new construction site unrepresented. I can't tell you about the nightmares that I have seen people go through when trying to work directly with a big name builder. It's like going into a court of law trying to defend yourself without a lawyer. Just remember, you get what you pay for in this life.
In the industry we are seeing a wave of discount brokers. Those that will list your home at a discounted price. Discount brokers give you discount service. An investment like your home should never go to the lowest bidder. If you are ever contacted by a discount broker that will sell your home for a fraction of the cost, ask to see his marketing plan. Ask him how much work he is going to do for you. What marketing tools does he have to sell your home for the most amount of money? More importantly, is he or she motivated to have your best interest in mind even though you aren't paying him very well?

This industry is all about trust. You put your investments into the hands of those that you can trust, and only after you have done your homework for yourself. Even though you hire someone to help you, you should always do as much for your own education as possible. There is no such thing as too much education.

Let me leave you with this thought. Never do anything that your gut tells you isn't right. Put your trust into professionals that truly have your best interest in mind. Cheaper isn't always better. You wouldn't want your 16 year old daughter to have her brakes fixed by the cheapest mechanic in town, why would you want to list your home with the cheapest realtor in town?

Thanks for stopping by. Visit my website at for a list of people you CAN TRUST and for a ton of other useful information. My the Lord bless you today and always.

God Bless,

Nick Woodard

Thursday, September 6, 2007

State of the Art Real Estate Marketing

With technology taking over in every aspect of our lives, I have made it a point to shift my marketing efforts towards the "tech savy" customers out there. Within the pages of you can find my listings and see what I am talking about. These days people don't want to be bothered with long drawn out showings and miles and miles of visits. They want results, and they want them fast. That is why I have married two ideas together to form one. With everyone that hasn't lived in a hole for the past 5 years knowing what was, I decided why not have a video tour of my listings? Why not let my buyers see what it is like to live in the home before putting their money down? I have decided to join the "standard" virtual tour with the realism of a camera tour. After thinking it over I decided, sure you can razzle it up and put "pretty" accents on the video. I could even hire a beautiful model to show you around the property. But what people really want is a genuine feel for what the property offers them. After all they are going to be living there. They don't want the "smoke in the mirror" marketing ploy. After all, I'm not selling you anything. I am merely putting buyers and sellers together.

When you have a free minute stop by Check out my featured listings and get the REAL TRUTH, the WHOLE TRUTH and NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH!

Thanks for stopping by and God Bless.

Friday, August 31, 2007

House-Flipping still offers good opportunity

First, pick an area on which you'd like to focus and learn more about it than other potential investors. Drive the neighborhoods, check the public records, and use the search engine at to see how long properties stay on the market and what they eventually fetch. Also get to know the contractors and real estate agents; there's a good chance you'll eventually want to negotiate with one of them. Get up to speed on the local building permit and coding process, too.

Meanwhile, learn everything you can about home buying and remodeling in general. It helps keep costs down, but isn't mandatory, if you're able to do at least some of the remodeling work yourself. Refer to my "preferred partners" section for a list of trusted remodelers, drywallers, and painters. Read books, lurk in the real estate forums online and talk to people with experience about potential trapdoors and hidden hurdles in the business. In fact, you might want to partner with someone more experienced for your first deal or two.

Then be patient. When and if a good opportunity does come up, you'll be ready. You'll know the market well enough to gauge the value, you'll have your financing already lined up, and you'll know what you need to do to make a profit. If you are interested in seeing what good deals might be out there, give me a call. I drive the areas everyday and can point you in the direction of some very profitable locations.

Monday, August 27, 2007

What is REALLY happening in the mortgage industry?

Ok like promised, I want to try to shed a little light on the current "mortgage scare" that seams to have become a reality in the eyes of the media. The reason for the current "crisis" can be summed up in a simple phrase "buyers got in way over their heads." Is the mortgage industry to blame? Partly yes. With the real estate market taking off like a rocket in the last couple of years, everyone became a buyer. Everyone wanted in on the action. Buyers were buying homes on a mortgage ARM ( Adjustable Rate Mortgage) with a wonderful rate to start off with, but growing as the years moved along. Guess what.....the years moved along and all of a sudden families were seeing their monthly payment go up, some of them drastically. What happens then? You are forced into pumping more of your money into paying for your house. You become what I like to call "house broke", something that my clients will tell you I am very cautious of. Well for a ton of home owners it became too much. They then became forced to sell their homes. Those were the lucky ones. There were many people that were forced into foreclosure. With many homes going into foreclosure, the big lenders lost a ton of money. Not to mention they had their investors knocking down their door wanting their money as well. Hence the reason 116 mortage lenders went out of business this year.

Why I believe the mortage industry is partially at fault? Because it is our job as trusted professionals in the industry to be knowledable of our client's needs and to put them at the top of the list. I feel that many mortage officers wanted to "make the deal happen" and allowed their trusting clients to get into a product that was not in their best interest. Sure it looked pretty up front and allowed them to get into their "dream house" worry free for the first 3 years. But then all of a sudden their rates went up and their dream home became a nightmare! It is our job as professionals to diligently educate our clients on what to expect throughout the long run, not just the 2 months that we are working on the deal. It is our responsibility to make sure that we are serving our clients with the best of intentions. And yes, sometimes that means telling them that they cannot have a loan.

My personal opinion is that the mortgage industry messed up and now things are a little tougher than they were last year. But it is nothing to worry about. I don't think that the housing "bubble" is going to burst. I don't even think there is a "bubble". And I certainly dont think that any of your homes are in jeopordy of losing value in and around the Nashville area. Actually in my opinion there isn't a better time to buy. It looks like the government is stepping in to protect rates and keep this whole "situation" at bay. To sum it all up.......mistakes were made and lessons were learned, but the market is still as strong as ever.

So buyers out there, it is all about finding someone to trust. Sometimes it isn't always best to go with the person that does the most business or has the best advertising. Ninety nine percent of the time your safest bet is to go with the one that has your best interest in mind, not his. If you are considering buying a house or even need to refinance, take a look at my "Preferred Partners" section. These are the people you can trust!

I want to end my thoughts by thanking you once again for stopping by. I pray that the Lord blesses you with His favor. Make it a point to make a difference in someone else's life today. God Bless

Nick Woodard

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Thanks for stopping by!

Thank you all so much for stopping by and taking a look at my webpage. We are just getting off of the ground, so take a look around and make sure to come back in the following weeks for updated information. In the mean time, if you have any questions about anything feel free to give me a call. There is a lot of media attention about the current housing market. Some of it is true, but most of it is exaggeration. Stay tuned and I'll explain why. God Bless