Columnist: Real-estate deals harder to find

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 10, 2015

Jerry Johnson

Contributing columnist

Real-estate deals are getting harder to find.

The reasons are simple, look in Friday’s LaGrange Daily News and you will see about three, or maybe four, pages of foreclosures, but five years ago there would have been about 26 pages on any given Friday. Now we are having jobs coming to LaGrange, back then we had many plant closings.

Why is this important to you? If you’re renting you may see an increase in your rent and house prices are going back up. Banks are helping a lot with interest rates at 4 percent on 30-year loans — $100,000 is only $477.42.

If you look at $100K financing for 15 years at 3 percent your payments would be $690.59. Where can you rent for those prices?

If you’re in that house that you have had for a long time, now is the time to move up the price range. The bargains are in the higher priced homes above $180,000.

There is a really big demand below that price range for they can now buy cheaper than rent. Why not go ahead and look for that dream house with low rates and bargain prices? You may never have this opportunity again.

Another thing, use local bankers and loan officers, you can sit down look them in the eye. What they tell you closing cost will be is what you get with no surprises. You will be proud you did.

Food for thought on paying for your kids’ college education — buy a good rental house. That means good location, good condition and treat it like a business.

Finance it 15 years and put all the rent money back in the house — no bass boats! That is how Ashley and Jay got through college and did not have a big bill when they finished college.

I had bought several, and when I needed money because both were in college at the same time, I sold a rental, which meant I sold several rentals. We bought a house in Columbus for Ashley, sold it when she finished and had a nice profit and the same thing for Jay at Auburn.

The suggestions I am making is a better way than working three jobs to put Junior through school.

“I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.” — Mother Teresa

Jerry Johnson is president of First Realty of LaGrange.