4th of July Fireworks Displays and Events in Northwest Arkansas

NOTICE: This article is NOT for any other year than 2009. Some of the information below is correct but I know that the Rogers Fireworks Show will be held on the 4th this year instead of the 3rd. Please review the comments at the end of this Fourth of July article to get the most up-to-date information or to post corrections. Thanks everyone! Have a safe and happy 4th in Northwest Arkansas!

There are many events surrounding the 4th of July this year. Here is a list of some of the most popular 4th of July fireworks displays and events that you and your family can enjoy this Independence Day in Northwest Arkansas…

4th of July Fireworks Displays and Events in Northwest Arkansas

Fireworks Displays at Beaver Lake

  • July 4th – Free Fireworks display at dusk at “Ugly John’s Rocky Branch Marina” call (479) 925-1300 for more information
  • July 4th – The eighth Annual Bentris Trails End Resort Show Free Fireworks display at dusk…just south of Market 8, only viewable from boats due to water levels. Call (479) 359-3912 for details.
  • July 4th – Lost Bridge Village Community Association Free Fireworks display at 9:15pm located at 11636 Dogwood Drive, Garfield. Call (479) 359-3204 for more infomation.

Fireworks Displays in Bella Vista

  • July 3rd – Free Fireworks at dusk or just after 9pm on Lake Loch Lomond in western Bella Vista. Call (479) 855-8000 for more information or visit the Bella Vista POA website. The Shrimpman’s Yacht Club will host a July 3rd Extravaganza, which includes dinner, live music, and dancing as well as a great view of the fireworks show. Tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased by calling (479) 855-8110.

Fireworks Display in Bentonville

  • June 28th – Celebrate America Independence day Extravaganza with military flyover, free food, and lots more. Starts at 7:00 pm
  • July 4th – Bentonville Square Kids 4th of July Parade Around the Square, 10:00 am during the farmer’s market.
  • July 4th – Memorial Park just after dark

Fireworks Displays in Fayetteville/Springdale Fourth at the Field

  • July 1-4th – Rodeo of the Ozarks – Gates open at 6pm nightly. Fireworks on July 4th.
  • July 3rd – Arvest Ballpark – Arkansas Philharmonic and Fireworks Display. Tickets are $13 in advance and $15 at the gate.
  • July 4th – Arvest Ballpark – The Largest Fireworks Display in Northwest Arkansas, live bands, charity midway, lots of inflatables and family fun! Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for kids.

Fireworks Displays in Rogers

  • Friday, July 3rd – Fireworks at Veteran’s Park.

If you have an Independence Day Event that you would like me to add or promote…please let me know or make a comment below. Everyone have a safe and happy 4th of July in 2009!

If you are planning on shooting off some fireworks with your family, you may want to take a look at 8 Fireworks Safety Tips for This 4th of July…

8 Fireworks Safety Tips for This 4th of July

Northwest Arkansas, It’s that time of year when burgers are on the grill, neighbors are in the yard, and the kids get ready for the all important 4th of July pastime, fireworks. I figured it was about time to brush up on fireworks safety. You never can be too careful, especially with little ones running around. So kick back, put the grill on low, and read something that might help you keep your fingers and your eyebrows (or an eye). Enjoy these fireworks safety tips for the 4th of July…

Most of the tips below are according to the National Council on Fireworks Safety. Remember that kids really shouldn’t play with or shoot fireworks. If you give a kid a sparkler, know that they burn at 1800 degrees, hot enough to melt gold.  Keep sparklers away from the face, clothing, and hair.  Some of the best products to let children feel involved are “snappers” which are affordable and save.

  • Make sure to buy only legal fireworks – those are the ones with the manufacturers label on them.
  • Never try to make your own fireworks.  The process is dangerous and may blow up in your face (literally).
  • Stay away from others lighting or using fireworks – some types, bottlerockets, chasers, etc., can backfire or go the opposite direction.
  • Light one firework at a time.  Never try to relight a dud.
  • Point fireworks away from homes.   If possible set them off in a mown field away from homes, trees, brush, or other flammable substances.  It is estimated that some 60,000 responses are made each year to firework related fires.  Soak fireworks in a bucket of water before throwing them away.
  • Never hold fireworks or firecrackers in your hand.
  • Never throw or point fireworks at someone.
  • Lastly, always pick up the fireworks you shoot.  A neighborhood has a tough enough time keeping itself clean without all the mess fireworks make.

Here is a good video on Fireworks safety…

Northwest Arkansas Home Prices and Market Report – May 2009

I have to apologize to everyone for it being June 17th and I am just now getting the May report done. A lot has been going on in the market: interest rates have come up some, foreclosure sales are down (a good thing) home prices are up, pending sales are up, and general market sentiment is much higher than in the last few months. Here is the Northwest Arkansas Home Prices and Market Report for May of 2009. I do hope you find it interesting. Remember that you can find all of my monthly market reports in Market Conditions.

Northwest Arkansas Home Prices and Housing Market Report

We’ve got some pretty astounding numbers this month. The average Sales Price of a home that sold in May vs. a home that sold in April of this year went up over $24,000 to $168,181. An increase of just over 17% in one month. I’m not saying the average home in Northwest Arkansas’ value increased 17% in the past thirty days. But what I do think is happening is just about as good.

Foreclosure sales have dropped off significantly to be replaced with traditional home sales. As we know, foreclosures artificially lower average sales price of normal properties so I think we can safely say that more ‘normal’ homes are selling.

To further my argument for more normal sales, the price per square foot sold has gone from a low of just over $79 per foot in February to this month’s high of $90.48 per square foot.

Average Home Prices for Sold Properties in Northwest Arkansas

While we had a bit of a hiccup last month, this month’s average sales price of over $168,000 brings us back to fall 2008 levels. I don’t know what you see but I see recovery.

May numbers by City

Below are individual city numbers. I will remind everyone that these numbers don’t add up to the complete NWA numbers because smaller cities and rural areas are not taken into account here. If you want specific numbers on other cities or areas you can contact me, call your Realtor, or do it yourself (if you are a Realtor).

With the exception of Bentonville… each town had a statistically significant increase in home sales over the past month. 50% more homes sold in Fayetteville in May than in April! If that’s not significant, I don’t know what is.

Northwest Arkansas Pendings, Solds, and Expireds by Month for 2009

I love to see pending sales trend up like this. It means many more closing in the next 30-60 days. You can also see the number of expired dropping significantly. To me, this means homeowners and buyers are coming to a meeting of the minds when it comes to value and the ultimate sales price.

Current Inventories in each Northwest Arkansas City by Month

Besides some building going on in Fayetteville that is skewing their numbers a little…currently listed property inventories are falling in each sub-market of Northwest Arkansas. Less supply equates to higher prices. As Ron Burgundy would say, “It’s science.”

Average Days on Market by City

This one is kind of a messy graph. But it does help you see how each city is faring and how long properties typically stay on the market. The average for all of NWA went up to 168 days this month. Hopefully, with the drop in supply and increase in demand… we’ll see these numbers drop over the next few months.

Absorption Rates by Price Range

For a numbers guy like myself… this is the most interesting graph of all. As absorption rates continue to fall each month we’ll see prices come into balance. Supply and demand will stabilize and a healthy market will resume here in Northwest Arkansas. Pay special attention to the blue line as that is where the majority of properties in Northwest Arkansas fall. If the absorption rate continues to fall to 7 or lower… *gasp* we’ll be looking at seller’s marketing again.

Before we go… a note on Absorption Rates

Many pure staticians would say I don’t figure or quote absorption rates correctly. Well, I do what makes sense. I also ‘levelize’ the figures by average the past 3 months worth of sales in the data. I find it is a truer representation of the trend. And the trend, ladies and gentlemen, is what we want to know anyway.

Take this quote from WikiAnswers:

The number shows the rate at which the inventory of homes for sale are being sold. A declining figure indicates [to] people the inventory is decreasing as more homes are being sold than are coming onto the market. A rising absorption rate implies that there are more homes coming onto the market than there are buyers willing to buy at the market prices.

The absorption rate lets you know how well the market is absorbing the current inventory of listings. The ultimate question the absorption rate answers is, “Is the current inventory level shrinking or growing“?

I hope that helps you see how useful a tool the absorption rate can be.

Well that’s it for this month’s market report for Northwest Arkansas. After some months of slogging through the detritus, it looks like NWA is coming through the bubble (I call it a Swell for Northwest Arkansas) better off than most of the rest of the country. If you haven’t read it yet, check out The Forbes List of Best Cities for Recession Recover over at our broker site https://exitprorealestate.com/

As always please leave your thoughts about the state of the market if you have any. If you like this market report and want to continue to read them on a regular basis (they make more sense that way) then use the form just below to subscribe by RSS or email. Thanks for reading.

Northwest Arkansas Receives High Honors in Forbes’ List of Best and Worst Cities for Recession Recovery

Northwest Arkansas has been ranked the #2 best place for recession recovery according to research done by Forbes magazine. We all know Northwest Arkansas is a great place to live and work. Now the rest of the country knows it too. What that mean for the future is good news for all of us in Northwest Arkansas…

As the article in Forbes says, “What better way to sit pretty during a recession than to have the ultimate recession-proof company headquartered in your neighborhood.” People can say what they want about Wal-mart but I think we could all give a quick thank-you to the retail giant that has helped us weather the on-going storm.

A quick rundown of the Forbes article.

 

Northwest Arkansas placed second behind Austin Texas as a candidate for quick recovery. Other areas that made the list were:

  • Boulder Colorado
  • Huntsville Alabama
  • San Antonio Texas
  • Mobile Alabama
  • Dallas-Fort Worth
  • Washington DC
  • McAllen Texas
  • Seattle-Tacoma Washington

The article’s choices were based on several criteria:

  • Moody’s projected gross domestic product (GDP) of metropolitan areas across the US
  • Unemployment figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • Home prices, incomes and affordability data from the National Association of Home Builders
  • The Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) has a current GDP of $13.9
  • Billion and an estimated GDP of $14.5 Billion by the end of 2010. After a quick visit to the calculator, see that’s an increase of over 4.3% in Gross Domestic Product over the next 18 months.

Unemployment is much lower than the national average at 5.0% and you can see our most current home prices in the market conditions section of this site.

What’s this mean for the Northwest Arkansas Housing Market?

It depends on your situation. If you are planning on buying a home but aren’t buying until the fall of 2009 or later, this isn’t really good news for you. As you’ll see in our upcoming market and home prices report, absorption rates are stabilizing, prices are higher than they were a few months ago, and interest rates are up a percentage point from their lows of a few weeks ago. All things being considered though…there is still a large selection on the market and some killer deals to be had this summer.

If you are a homeowner, business owner, or just a Northwest Arkansas resident…this is some pretty good news that will only get better. Higher home prices means more disposable income, which means more spending and saving, which ultimately means a happier, healthier economy here at home.

Here’s a sneak peak of what you’ll see in the home prices report this month…

I don’t know how you read it but I read “the bottom has passed.” There’s still time to get in on some deals of the century though. Contact Exit Pro Real Estate today to find out more about the 8,000 tax credit, low interest rates, RD loan program, and a host of other great things that make now the right time to buy.

3 Reasons a Social Media Agent is Way More Likely to Get Your Home Sold

The only real constant in life is change. People change, the Internet changes, and the way that people buy a home changes and evolves. As a professional real estate agent, I task myself with staying on top of trends and best practices so that my clients always get the best service. Below are three reasons a social media agent is more likely to get your home sold than a traditional sales agent.

Let’s define a ’social media agent’
Social media is just the complete group of social networks, blogs, forums, and sites where people socialize for business or pleasure. While the list gets longer everyday the most popular social networking or social media sites are Myspace, Facebook, Linkedin, Bebo, and Twitter. We could keep going in real estate and add about 100 more; networks like activerain, ning, zolve, and comergence to name a few. But all you really need to know is that social media is mainstream…it’s pervasive…and it helps real estate agents get exposure for their clients and sell homes.

1. Their reach extends far beyond the local market

2. They can promote your home in many different ways on many different sites

3. They can add a ‘viral’ element to your home marketing that traditional agents cannot.

Social media agent’s reach extends beyond the local market…
While people move from neighborhood to neighborhood and move up and down in home size and price, a whole bunch of people move from one area to another. Traditional agents have no real reach outside their local markets.

Social media agents (we’ll just call them Socials) do. I have followers (and friends) on Twitter and Facebook that are from all over the world. My blog has received visitors from every state (including Puerto Rico) and 48 different countries. When one of those people or someone they know needs an Agent in Northwest Arkansas….who you think they are going to call?

And that’s not all…
Traditional agents may have connections with other people in real estate in other areas. People that they may send or receive business from an a sporadic or regular basis. Social Agents have those connects across different industries and in far larger numbers.

Social Media Agents promote your property in many different ways…

Here are just a couple of examples…

I regularly post your home listing information to my Twitter account using Tweetlister so my followers keep your home fresh in their minds.
I syndicate your home listing (I use E-listings but other ‘Socials’ use V-flyer or Postlets) to dozens of websites online to get the most exposure possible for your property.
I post a flyer for each property on Craigslist.
I write an article about you home and create a property website with your own personalized URL (ex. 123mainst.com)
I take video of your home and post it on Youtube with links back to my website and your property’s homepage.
I talk about showing your home on Facebook and Twitter, Plaxo/Pulse and Friendfeed…plus a dozen other websites and networks.

‘Socials’ can add a ‘viral’ element to your home marketing that traditional agents cannot.
Viral marketing is not something you can plan on. It’s when a piece of content, marketing, a picture, or an idea goes from one person to many via many different channels and users, very quickly. Check out wikipedia’s definition of viral marketing. However it’s defined, it’s certainly a real phenomenon and growing part of marketing. For a property listing to go viral (or something about it) it generally has to have something extraordinary about it or surrounding it. Let’s look at an example:

You list your home with a ‘Social’ who then begins their marketing efforts. The social writes a blog post about your home and mentions that the owner (that’s you) is the grandson of …oh, let’s say…Willie Nelson. The blog title goes something like this…”Own a piece of Willy Nelson History with this Charming 3 Bedroom Home.” The agent finishes the article and proceeds to syndicate it by posting it to their profiles on Facebook, Linkedin, and others.

Three hours go by and Exit Pro Real Estate (or some twitlebrity) has a search set up for Willy Nelson using search.twitter.com and decides he likes the look of the house and RT’s (that’s Re-Tweets) your Tweet about the listing. About 14% of his 700,000 plus followers on twitter head to the blog post your agent wrote three hours ago and check out the home of Willy Nelson’s grandson. You just had nearly 100,000 people view your property in less than three hours. viral marketing in social mediaThat’s an example of Viral Marketing in Real Estate.

Now, you may not be Willy Nelson’s grandson but chances are there is something exceptional about you or your property that people will find interesting. One of those people may want to buy your home.

So why wouldn’t you hire a social media agent?
I certainly can’t think of a reason…unless you just don’t want your home sold. Social Networking and Social Media is the new way that people communicate. Many of us have a hard time with the ideas behind social media because they are so radically different than traditional communication and networking. Just remember that any one under thirty today has/is growing up with social media and that’s what they use to communicate and do business.

Shouldn’t your agent be using it too?

Social Media is all about the 2-way street so if you like this article, hate it, or something in between, let me know your thoughts on how social media can help real estate agents market homes for sale or give me your story about how social media communication or marketing has helped you do something. Thanks for reading.

NWA Grapevine: News, Events, Classifieds, Businesses, Coupons, and more

If you want to find something in Northwest Arkansas the NWA Grapevine is the place to go. You can find information about local events, schools, churches, what is for sale, and businesses. You can even find coupons, recipes, and gas prices around the country!

Local Interests – When and Where You Need Them

Right now on the NWA Grapevine you can find

  • Times to watch “Up” in 3D at Malco’s Pinnacle Hills Theater
  • 1997 Harley Davidson FXDLR Dyna Low Rider for $8700
  • Information on the 3rd Annual Festival of the Ozarks in Pea Ridge (Sat 6/13/09)
  • And the website for Cooper Elementary School in Bella Vista

And Its Free

You can join the NWA Grapevine for free to post your own classifieds, events, and local information. What better source to get your information out there than to use a local site determined to get local information to local people? And I can tell you from talking with Rustin, the owner, that he is committed to building this resource to be the one-stop shop for Northwest Arkansas. So let’s all get on board and get our local events, churches, schools, activities, and groups on the Grapevine.

Sign Up Now For Free!

News Alert from 40/29 News – New Home Sales and Home Prices up in Northwest Arkansas

40/29 News just did a feature story on new home sales activity and a rise in home prices in Northwest Arkansas. If you were waiting for ‘bottom’ to buy or refinance you may have already missed it. But it’s not too late! Check out this video from 40/20 News featuring our own Executive Broker, Richard D Behnke , talking about new home sales.

Here’s the link to the video about New Home Sales and Home Prices in Northwest Arkansas.

There’s a lot more to it
If you watched the whole 2 minute or so video you would have heard that home prices in Northwest Arkansas rose from $137,000 in February up to $168,000 in May. That’s my statistic that we gave them and I can explain that number a little bit.

Did home prices rise by almost 23% in three months?
The short answer is no, not really. But it’s still very good news. The numbers in February were so low because a greater percentage of the sales were foreclosed or distressed properties. This artificially drove the average sales price down to $137,000….actually $137,521 to be exact. In May, we say a much more significant number of home sales were traditional property sales, driving the average sales price back up to $168,181.

Use Dwellicious to Search, Store, and Share Homes for Sale

This is the time of year when you get that itch to look at homes, especially online. While I have a great searching solution here on my website, I want to bring your attention to a great new(ish) web service called Dwellicious. Bookmark, save, share, and update your home search online with this truly nifty tool. Check out the video below to see just what it’s all about.

Now you’re are ready to bookmark your favorite real estate properties on the Internet! Below is a list of the real estate search portals Dwellicious works with.

  • cbbain.com
  • century21.com
  • coldwellbanker.com
  • corcoran.com
  • craigslist.ca
  • craigslist.org
  • cyberhomes.com
  • enormo.com
  • estately.com
  • frontdoor.com
  • har.com
  • homefinder.com
  • homes.com
  • homescape.com
  • homesdatabase.com
  • hometoflorida.com
  • johnlscott.com
  • kw.com
  • metrolistmls.com
  • mlsfinder.com
  • realtor.ca
  • realtor.com
  • redfin.com
  • remax.com
  • rentals.com
  • sandicor.com
  • sdlookup.com
  • themls.com
  • trulia.com
  • yahoo.com
  • zillow.com
  • zipvo.com

Dwellicious is adding more sites to the mix all the time.

Features I love…

  • Keep your entire property list in one, easy to access, place
  • Walk Score and other ‘cool tools’
  • Smart Bookmarks allow your properties to stay updated without you having to do a thing
  • Social network sharing with one click posting to twitter and facebook

So there you have it. Dwellicious….another great tool spawned from a bunch of great tools. I’m a big proponent of ‘work smarter, not harder’ and that especially applies to searching for your next home. I help all my clients get set up with a Dwellicious account (totally free). It helps them stay focused and keeps them updated and allows me to find out what their preferences really are before we ever start touring homes.

If you would like my help with a new Dwellicious account or would like to find out about some of the other nifty websites, gadgets, and tools I use to conduct my real estate business, contact me anytime and I’ll be happy to help.

Heard of any nifty, neato, golly gee gadgets or sites out there I should know about? Let me and other home owners know by commenting below.