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Oxford Real Estate Review — Meet Matt McGraw

Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss CommunicationsSteve Vassallo is a HottyToddy.com contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, real estate, music  politics and other subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio announcer for the basketball team. In addition, he is a certified economic and community developer and currently, a highly successful leader in the real estate business with Premier Properties of Oxford. You can contact Steve at sovassallo@gmail.com or call him at 985-852-7745.

Steve Vassallo spoke with Matt McGraw, one of the leaders in his profession which is the Oxford and Lafayette County Real Estate market. Matt and his lovely wife, Whitney, comprise an energetic team and are part of the dynamic sales force representing Kessinger Real Estate.
HottyToddy.com — Matt, exactly how long have you been actively selling real estate?
Matt McGraw — I started in 2003, which was my senior year at Ole Miss. My major was real estate and finance and I wanted to find a way to stay in Oxford because I really enjoyed the lifestyle here as I love the outdoors, particularly hunting and fishing. I realized that Oxford was poised for growth and my goal was to learn the Oxford market and establish myself as real estate professional. I am from Memphis originally.
HottyToddy.com — What was the Oxford market like back in 2003?

Matt McGraw

Matt McGraw — It was a very good year because it was also Eli’s senior year. Our football team tied for the western division title and a number of new developments, including Soleil all came on line that year. Buyers were prevalent…it was a boom time and really the beginning of the growth surge that we have seen since then.
HottyToddy.com — You have a great reputation in taking care of your clients. Is balancing so many clients a challenge?
Matt McGraw — I am truly blessed to have clients to serve and my goal is to treat each one of them as if they were my only client. At certain times of the year it does become challenging, but I love what I do and I wouldn’t trade it for any other profession.
HottyToddy.com — Having Whitney as a realtor with you has to be a wonderful asset. Tell us how you found such an outstanding companion and business partner.
Matt McGraw — Whitney was looking for a condo during her freshman year and selected me as her realtor. I would meet her at the dorm and she would tour properties with several of her friends. She ended up buying a condo in Esplanade Ridge, but we did not begin dating until her senior year. I did stay in contact with Whitney and her parents during this period and assisted them whenever I could. Looking back, I was very fortunate that she picked me to call!
HottyToddy.com — In your opinion where is the Oxford market heading?
Matt McGraw — If the city continues to allow growth and development, Oxford will “explode” even more than it has. With the new ordinances relating to trees and storm drainage, new development will be considerably more expensive and will likely make developers more cautious. If there is a slow down in development, prices on existing properties will rise due to the law of supply and demand. That is the only issue that I see that could slow the market. The demand will be there based on the general attractiveness of Oxford and the growth of the University, but some people may be priced out of the market.
HottyToddy.com — What about the status of some of the current, major developments?
Matt McGraw — The new homes in Rosemont and The Lakes subdivisions are selling as fast as they are built, along with the condos in Brighton Village. In addition Oxford Commons is taking off, as the timing is perfect.
HottyToddy.com — You have had a great deal of success with Brighton Village and other condo properties in the Old Taylor Road sector of Oxford.
Matt McGraw — We originally started with 96 units at Fleur de Lis which was the first major condo development on Old Taylor. Following that project, Brighton Village was developed with 76 units currently developed. Both of these developments have been very, very popular — due to part to the location and the quality construction. Brighton’s units are the $200,000 range. All appliances are stainless steel. The countertops are granite. The floor plans are designed with the master bedroom downstairs and two bedrooms upstairs. One of the upstairs bedrooms is quite large and can also serve as the master which is a very attractive feature.
HottyToddy.com — Describe the primary source of residents for these properties.
Matt McGraw — This development is ideal for parents of undergrads. A student can accommodate one or more roommates and possibly have a bedroom available for their parents which negates the need for a hotel room during visits back to Oxford. We have also sold a number of these to ‘weekenders,’ folks who want a second home in Oxford. There is a good mix of residents, some fulltime and some partime. The swimming pool and associated amenities add to the appeal.
HottyToddy.com — Who were the developers?
Brighton Village
Brighton Village development.

Matt McGraw — Brian Hill and Guy Billups. Brian has been active in the Oxford market for several years. He emphasizes quality and attention to details. It is a privilege for me to represent such outstanding developers such as Brian.
HottyToddy.com — Looking back at the past three years where are most of the buyers originating for condos and townhouses?
Matt McGraw — All throughout Mississippi, particularly Jackson, Meridian, Hattiesburg and the Delta. Texas, Georgia and the Tennessee cities of Memphis and Nashville all have contributed to the Oxford boom. Arkansas and Missouri (especially St. Louis) are also part of the equation.
HottyToddy.com — As to retirees and single family homes, what is attracting them here?
Matt McGraw — As you know, Oxford has benefited greatly from an abundance of very positive national publicity. Retirees from everywhere want to be part of the college town environment. The safe feeling of Oxford; the many available activities; Sardis Lake; hiking and biking;the performing arts; and of course, athletics, are all contributing factors to this attraction. Also, people from the region who, due to technology, can work from anywhere are attracted to the amenities of Oxford.
HottyToddy.com — How long has Whitney been involved in the real estate profession?
Matt McGraw — About five years. It was not a “hard sell” for her as she truly enjoys the the real estate business and is very good at it. She has helped me tremendously as we have worked to accommodate the growth of this market.
HottyToddy.com — How do you feel about all the new agents entering the market here?
Matt McGraw — Because of the growth, everyone can see the number of opportunities. There is enough to go around as long as the supply continues.
HottyToddy.com — How do you view the calendar in terms of activity?
Matt McGraw — It typically slows down this time of year (late September) once the students are back. The thrust of the market occurs between February and August where about 80 percent of the sales occur. December is the slowest month usually.
HottyToddy.com — Is the national economy impacting what is happening here?
Matt McGraw — I cannot tell that it is currently. In 2008 and 2009 there were a great many more sellers than buyers. As Ole Miss continues to grow with record enrollments, the demand will stay strong.
HottyToddy.com — Is the success of the football program influencing the market?
Matt, Whitney and their son Kent.

Matt McGraw — It is definitely helping real estate here! It seems that success in sports, especially football, is always good for the real estate market in college towns. The excitement being created is contagious. We are very hopeful for continued success for the Rebels!
HottyToddy.com — Is there a shortage or void presently in our supply of inventory?
Matt McGraw — Demand has been so strong that inventory is down for both homes and condos. However, homes priced in the $150,000-$250,000 range within the city school district are extremely hard to find.
HottyToddy.com — What direction do you see Oxford’s growth headed?
Matt McGraw — In all directions. However, in my opinion, the West may be the most attractive, but the least active. Currently I believe this is due to the land prices on the West side of town being too expensive for residential development.
HottyToddy.com — Your peers have a friendly nickname for you?
Matt McGraw — They call me “quick draw” which I’ve had for most of my life.
HottyToddy.com — What is the best way for future clients to contact you?
Matt McGraw — On my cell at 662-801-5170 is the easiest and quickest way.
Matt “Quick Draw” McGraw has earned the right to be one of the movers and shakers in the Oxford real estate boom. He truly understands the market and how best to satisfy his clients’ needs. Bringing the level of professionalism to his job each and every day as he has demonstrated over the previous decade and prior, it’s easy to explain his success.

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