Real estate prices on the rise in Brundidge

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 12, 2002

Features Editor

Everything that King Midas touched turned to gold.

Many are hoping, and some are expecting, that the Wal-Mart Distribution Center in Brundidge will have a far reaching Midas touch.

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The asking price for property adjacent to the distribution center and near the intersection of U.S. Highway 231 and Sarah Lott Blvd. is escalating. However, Kate Taylor, owner of Taylor Realty in Brundidge, cautioned that property must sell at an inflated price before property can be valued at that price.

"There has to be a comparison price before property can be valued at a certain amount," she said. "Some of the prices that have been placed on property aren’t necessarily the value of the property – yet."

Britt Thomas, Brundidge city manager, said some property in the area has been appraised at $80,000 an acre.

Whether that property sells or whether the expected mini-explosion surrounding Wal-Mart happens, only time will tell.

Taylor said, however, that

the huge amount of construction under way at the distribution center site is having an impact on rental property in Brundidge.

"Right now, those who are working at the Wal-Mart site are just here temporarily," she said. "They are looking for houses to rent and rental prices are up, but not extremely high – about 25 to 30 percent over what they would normally be."

Taylor said Brundidge does not have a big rental base and some houses that are for sale are being rented.

As for residential property values, Taylor said she has not seen any evidence of home owners jacking up their prices because of the prospects of potential buyers once the distribution center opens in the spring of 2003.

"What we are seeing is that home owners are holding to their prices," she said. "They are not negotiating prices, but in Brundidge we have good prices on property anyway. I don’t think anyone is expecting to make a killing, but prices could go up according to supply and demand."

As property values increase, so will property taxes once property is reappraised and that will be good for the county’s coffer.

Reappraisals are done every four years and it’s just coincidental that a reappraisal is underway at this time.

Ted Kelley, appraiser for Pike County, said the reappraisals have nothing to do with the Wal-Mart Distribution Center.

"It was just time to do one," he said. "The reappraisals started in 1999 and will be collected in 2003. We started before we knew Wal-Mart was coming and there have been no sales to indicate that the property value is going up. Until sale values go up that will not be reflected in the reappraisals."

However, Kelley said if there is a drastic change in property values that will be calculated.