Real estate experts know it’s time for home-buying opportunities – Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tennessee, USA

Real estate experts know it’s time for home-buying opportunities – Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tennessee, USA
Chet Whitsitt and his wife, Judy, enjoy their home's airy atmosphere. (Photo by Dennis Copeland/The Commercial Appeal)

By John Wood, Memphis Commercial Appeal


Sunday, May 3, 2009


Contrary to current assumptions about the economic downturn, homes in the Memphis area are still being bought and sold daily. Evidence of that is the number of property transfers listed in this Homefinder section every week.


Homes are also being bought by the people who know the Memphis housing market from the inside out — real estate professionals like Chet and Judy Whitsitt of Crye-Leike Realtors, Lee McWaters of McWaters and Associates and Gay and Steve Young at Keller Williams.


“Realtors are definitely buying homes today, knowing they can get an incredible buy in this market,” said Chet Whitsitt of Crye-Leike Realtors, “and because they know that homes are going to sell because there are always going to be people who need a home for many reasons.”


For the Whitsitts, it’s a matter of downsizing as their children set out on their own. The Crye-Leike couple is moving out of their 4,235-square-foot current home and have purchased a 3,300-square-foot home in the same neighborhood, River Trail Crossing in Cordova, where they’ve lived for 17 years.


“We’re excited about moving and living in new surroundings,” Judy Whitsitt said, “and by staying in River Trail Crossing, we get to keep the relationships we’ve built over the years with our neighbors.”


Another veteran real estate professional, Lee McWaters, broker and owner of McWaters and Associates, has been in the business for 20 years and knows that for every downturn in the home market, there is an upturn.


“Even though we’re in a recession and the real estate market was the first to drop, the real estate market will be the first to come back, in my opinion,” said McWaters.


McWaters illustrated his confidence in the local market when he purchased a new home recently in Collierville after renting temporarily. “I got a good price, a good interest rate and a great new home.


“I’m happy I bought when I did. It’s a great time to buy in this environment. In fact, there’s never been a better time to buy a home.”


“That’s exactly right,” said Steve Young, team leader at Keller Williams Realtors, who, along with wife Gay, recently purchased a new home in Collierville. “It was the right move for us.”


The Youngs sold their previous home in the Planters Ridge neighborhood and bought a larger home in the Fairways at Memphis National.


After being in the real estate business for a number of years, Young says he looks at buying a home not from an emotional standpoint but from a business standpoint. By buying now during a downturn, he gets a great deal on a home. Then after the market comes back, the value of his new home goes up and he increases his net worth.


“If you look at real estate as an investment, buying now is the best time,” Young points out. “Homes are being sold and inventories of unsold homes are dropping. The question now is not ‘Why not buy a home?’ the question is, ‘What are you waiting for?'”