by Larry Lemmons
Amarillo, Texas - The national attention Amarillo's relatively healthy economy has been getting is making a big impact on outside investors.
If you'll remember, last month housingpredictor.com proclaimed Amarillo the number one housing market in the country. That ranking apparently makes a difference.
Wade Mitchell of Mitchell Property Group says in the last month his phone has been ringing off the hook. "We're getting flooded with calls from California, both coasts, Florida, New York, California, we invented our website amarillowholesaledeals.com just to help facilitate that."
Investors from outside the city are certainly interested in Amarillo properties, but is there enough to go around? Randy Jeffers of Coldwell Banker says, "We're undersupplied in some of the more affordable areas and oversupplied in the upper end of the market."
First Time homebuyers in Amarillo have until November 30th to close on a sale to take advantage of the federal tax credit. Jeffers says, "You couple that with interest rates and it truly is one of those great times for somebody to get into a home and especially for a, you know, if they're getting to the end of that home in the 120 to 140 thousand range, it's appreciating."
The economy still presents challenges. Debbie Bigelow of Amarillo National Bank says, "It is tougher to get a loan than it was a year ago. And the qualifications keep getting a little tougher. Actually every month we get new guideline changes and things are getting tougher. You need a higher credit score, or you may need your debt ratio to be at a lower level, so there's a lot of changes going on we've been dealing with."