The real estate market in Blair, Nebraska, has experienced significant changes over the past year. To gain insights into these changes and their implications, we interviewed Scott and Julie Hayes, a knowledgeable and experienced husband and wife real estate team with NP Dodge Real Estate in Blair. They provided their expert perspectives on market trends, property values, and tips for both first-time homebuyers and sellers.
Understanding Blair’s Changing Real Estate Market
Scott provided a thorough analysis of the real estate market changes in Blair over the past year, attributing shifts to factors such as the Federal Reserve increasing Prime Interest Rates and consumer concern about the economic state of the country. He explained, “Housing values for Blair/Washington County have stabilized or still show some appreciation; comparatively big cities, which saw a bigger appreciation during the 2020-2022 frenzy, are now seeing some price leveling.” He further mentioned that gas prices may have discouraged some commuting, but “Blair should be fine, because some people don’t want to live in Omaha, and the easy commute on Highway 133 makes it seem like an Omaha suburb.”
Median Listing Price: What to Expect
When discussing the types of properties and features one can expect at Blair’s current median listing price of around $310,000, Julie explained, “For the median house price in Blair area, you should expect little actual maintenance and repair required. The home may still need some preferential repairs (paint, flooring, maybe room expansion or add-on, maybe some updating).” She also noted that properties at this price point typically feature “an attached garage, several bedrooms and a couple of bathrooms. The rooms may not be oversized. There may not be granite countertops, a built-in refrigerator, or luxury ornate lighting fixtures. The appliances should be functional, but probably a bit older.”
First-Time Homebuyers: Expert Advice
Scott shared valuable advice for first-time homebuyers in the area, suggesting they “work with local lenders, because depending on the house and its condition, there are some local incentive mortgage plans (like NIFA, USDA, FHA, VA loans) that could help you in some cases.” Julie is the Vice President of Three Rivers Housing Development Corporation so there may be first-time buyer assistance there as well. Scott also recommended getting a home inspection and considering a home warranty for older appliances and HVAC systems. Julie added, “For older individuals living in the home, consider the location of bedrooms, laundry, and entry into the house.” She further advised buyers to “look around the neighborhood and talk to neighbors.”
Residential Properties: Demand and Up-and-Coming Areas
When asked about the demand for residential properties in Blair’s popular neighborhoods and up-and-coming areas, Scott mentioned, “The demand for housing in the Blair area is still high; one issue that has been seen and discussed by many is the limitation of affordable (up to $250,000) housing for purchase or rent.” He also highlighted the need for apartments, one-level smaller housing, and starter homes for first-time buyers as an effective investment opportunity, saying, “Apartments and first-time-buyers’ housing, as well as senior living options, would be an effective investment in the area.”
Scott elaborated on the new construction happening in and around Blair, stating, “There are multiple/numerous areas in and around Blair where new construction is happening; some of these are through a specific builder/developer, others are not limited to a specific builder.”
Maximizing Property Value: Tips for Sellers
Julie emphasized the importance of presentation when selling a home in Blair, advising sellers to “consider opening up the room so it looks more spacious and pleasant by getting rid of some stuff or putting it in storage.” She added, “For any showing, decluttered, clean and neat is very critical, and no unpleasant odors.” Scott also advised on the importance of going with a licensed REALTOR®, stating, “I do recommend using a full-time, licensed REALTOR® to maximize your net profit. The market has calmed down, and a good REALTOR® can dramatically increase the number of potential buyers and provide a professional advocate to protect your interests. Even during the frenzy, I saw multiple sellers decide to sell “For Sale By Owner (FSBO)”, and I believe going through a REALTOR® and having it listed on the MLS would have opened up their marketing of the property much more and therefore the result could have increased their net profit, even after paying a realtor/broker fee.”
For homeowners considering significant repairs or updates, Scott suggested evaluating the cost-benefit of completing such projects. “For items such as outdated carpet, some potential buyers prefer to make these changes after closing and may reduce the offer price. On the other hand, sellers may offer an allowance (like a carpet allowance) with the home sale. Julie chimed in, “Many buyers don’t want to take on a big project when they buy, and therefore Seller may want to make the repairs to increase their potential buyer audience.”
Scott and Julie Hayes provide a comprehensive look into the Blair, Nebraska real estate market. Their expertise and understanding of market trends and property values make them an invaluable resource for homebuyers and sellers alike. By considering their advice and staying informed about market developments, those looking to buy or sell a home in Blair can navigate the market with greater confidence and make well-informed decisions.