Iris Smith explained how the economic downturn took its toll on their family of five, even though she and her husband were both working.
“We had a really, really bad time in Ohio when the economy crashed,” she said. “We tried everything to sell our home, but no one was biting. Then Derek had a calling for a job opportunity here, so we just packed up and said, ‘We’re moving, and we’ll worry about the house in Ohio later.’”
Three years of leasing later, and they were able to find a Rockvale home within their budget. The Smiths were also able to finally sell their home in Ohio, as well.
“We were looking nonstop, and then we decided to call (Realtor) James (Yates) for help,” Iris Smith said.
After all, Yates had helped them back in 1996 when they bought a home in Smyrna and again years later, when they needed to sell that home to move to Ohio.
“We looked at so many houses left and right, and then we found this house,” Smith said. “I was nervous, but at the same time, I was happy. I said, ‘Give me the keys because I’m tired of throwing money away (on rent).’”
Factor in a low, fixed mortgage rate, and the timing couldn’t have been better.
“It was a good deal because of the economy right now; we got lucky,” Smith said.
“The square footage was not what we were looking for, but we were able to finish the upstairs. Now it’s the footage that we want, and it’s the way that we want it. We’re settling in right now and enjoying the new home.”
The Smith family is just one example of the 400-plus residents who opted to buy a home in Rutherford County in the past couple of months.
Home sales in Rutherford County topped 259 in October, compared to 218 the same time last year, according to the Multiple Listing Service.
“Year-to-date closings continue to improve and narrow the gap to catch up with 2010,” said Steven Dotson, president of Rutherford County-based Red Realty.
“Prices continue to jump around … but the year-to-date prices are close to the same in most areas.”
Rutherford County experienced an increase of 7 percent in home sale prices from September to October. Additionally, the number of pending sales increased 5 percent to 281, which is a good indication of sales for November.