I’m back in Knoxville after attending the annual National Association of Realtors (NAR) Conference and Expo in San Diego, California.

It was a whirlwind trip filled with lots of learning experiences, reconnecting with Realtor friends, and seeing new products to help buyers and sellers.

San Diego is a very beautiful city with a spectacular and waterfront along San Diego Harbor.

San Diego California skyline from Coronado Island

San Diego California skyline from Coronado Island

One of the most exciting things I saw at the conference was the official unveiling of NAR’s new consumer website, HouseLogic.

HouseLogic is not a listings website like Realtor.com but rather a consumer resource which NAR intends to make the ‘go to’ site for homeowners and buyers to visit for objective and valuable advice, tips, and pretty much everything you need to know about owning and buying real estate.

You can simply visit the site and search to find whatever you’re looking for; it’s laid out very well and easy to navigate. A second option is to sign up for a free account and be able to find more easily projects and tips customized to your area. You’re completely safe signing up with your email address; the site’s privacy statement assures that none of your contact information will ever be passed on to anyone for any reason without your express consent.

I signed up for a free account and was immediately served up some project ideas to save money on energy costs, preventative maintenance on my heating system, and an article on how to receive up to $1,500 in tax credits for replacing an existing heating and air conditioning system. Pretty good stuff and the price was definitely right, FREE.

For buyers NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun had some words about the current market. He said: “said home sales continue to be dominated by lower-priced homes. In fact, NAR data shows nearly 70% of homes sold in September were priced below $250,000.

“The housing market has become much more active at the lower end,” said Yun. “The $8,000 homebuyer tax credit has significantly helped the market and is having its intended impact of stimulating home sales, decreasing high home inventory levels, and helping to stabilize home prices.”

Sales of homes priced below $100,000 are up 22.5% from a year ago. Sales in the upper-end market are still slow, however; homes priced above $500,000 are up only 4% from last year.

Yun projects the homebuyer tax credit will help raise home sales this year by 350,000 to 400,000 among first-time homebuyers—these are buyers who couldn’t have purchased a home without the tax incentive.

“The expansion of the tax credit into 2010 will help raise existing-home sales next year by as much as 15% and increase home prices by 3 to 5%,” he said.

Increased affordability is also helping spur lower end home sales. In September, the national median existing home price was $174,900, down 8.5% from one year ago.

So do yourself a favor, pay a visit to HouseLogic and see what it has to offer you. Better yet sign up for a free account and let the site find things relevant to your needs and get a monthly newsletter (optional) filled with timely information.

Buyers and sellers are also invited to visit KnoxvilleHomeCenter.com to see all the Knoxville area homes for sale as well as find buying and selling tips, schools information, local jobs, recreational opportunities, and lots more Knoxville information.

Please feel free to comment or ask a question either here or email me

Below is a photo of the Hotel del Coronado on Coronado Island. This spectacular beachfront hotel is on the National Register of Historic Places and has visited by many famous people.

Eleven U.S. Presidents have visited The Del, starting with Benjamin Harrison in 1891. One of the resort’s most famous visitors was England’s Prince of Wales in 1920. He would later become King Edward VIII, only to give up his throne in 1936 to marry Coronado divorcee Wallis Spencer Simpson. Many have speculated that they may have first met at The Del.

The Del has played host to some of America’s greats, including Thomas Edison, L. Frank Baum and Babe Ruth. Famed aviator Charles Lindbergh was honored at The Del in 1927 after his successful trans-Atlantic flight. At this lavish banquet, a replica of Lindbergh’s “Spirit of St. Louis” circled the enormous Crown Room ceiling.

Hollywood has been making movies at The Del since 1901. In 1958, The Del was the backdrop for the comedy classic “Some Like It Hot,” starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon. The resort has also seen a steady stream of celebrity visitors – from Charlie Chaplin and Humphrey Bogart to Brad Pitt and Madonna. None of them were there during my visit. ;)

Hotel del Coronado on Coronado Island, California

Hotel del Coronado on Coronado Island, California

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