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Habitat for Humanity sale underscores market upswing

PAHH/Courtesy<br>A North Dakota couple is under contract to buy the Prescott Area Habitat for Humanity's home in the Quailwood subdivision for $148,000.

PAHH/Courtesy<br>A North Dakota couple is under contract to buy the Prescott Area Habitat for Humanity's home in the Quailwood subdivision for $148,000.

Miriam Haubrich recently got some welcome news.

Haubrich, executive director of Prescott Area Habitat For Humanity, said Sunday afternoon that a North Dakota couple is buying a house that the non-profit was looking to do something with since late 2008.

"Right now it's a buyer's market, so we feel very fortunate they chose to buy our house," she said.

As Haubrich said in a mid-March story, a private donor gave them the roomy 1,775-square-foot home in the Quailwood subdivision to sell.

The home's original listing price was around $280,000, according to Haubrich, who said board members considered renting it until market conditions got better.

Instead, Haubrich said they were looking to sell it for $150,000. The house recently appraised for $151,000.

Haubrich said the buyers are offering $148,000 cash for the home and the deal will close early next month.

The looming sale adds to the number of area homes sold this summer.

Dan Harris, president of the Prescott Area Association of Realtors, said the number of home closings posted on the Multiple Listing Service was 229 from May 15 through June 15.

Compare that to the 187 homes sold in June 2008.

Harris said the market is prime for people to snatch up good values.

"I think we're going to end up with steady upward growth - maybe not as fast as some people would like to see it, but it'd be healthier that way," he said.

The bump in sales seems to echo what the National Association of Realtors reported July 23.

The NAR said existing home sales rose for the third consecutive month as inventory eased and home prices fell less sharply in June.

Single-family, townhome and condo sales rose 3.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.89 million units in June from a revised pace of 4.72 million in May.

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in a press release he's "hopeful" about the gain and he expects a gradual uptick in sales to continue with tax credit incentives and other favorable conditions.

Back at PAHH, Haubrich said the experience of getting a home and selling it is something she would do again.

"This has been a positive experience for us," she said. "We would have liked to sell it sooner, but we're patient."

It was a bit of a long haul for the non-profit, according to Haubrich, who said only three people made offers on the home.

"The market's so fragile right now," she said. "These are different times. This is a real tight economy and so we're feeling very, very blessed."

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