Louisville Real Estate Blog and News
One of your biggest investments you will ever make will be your home. Buying a house is not only exciting, it can be challenging as well. There are a lot of things that need to be clear and a lot of questions that are to be answered before you can seal the deal. So make sure you have these five essential things to do before you buy a house. First get yourself a checklist to start off on the right foot.
- Checklist-Always set up a checklist before you start. This way all your ducks are lined up and there will not be many, if any, surprises. A good checklist goes a long way when it comes to being ready to buy a house.
- Do your research-This is something you should do, it doesn’t matter what you are going to buy. However, in case of buying property the responsibility is even more because the amount involved is generally very high. There are a lot of houses on the market at any given time including Daybreak homes for sale. When you visit different houses with different features; it can be overwhelming. It is quite a daunting task to overcome but as long as you research first you will be on the right track. So let your fingers do the walking for you with your research.
- Check your credit score-Always check your credit score to make sure there are no old bad credit marks on it and to fix it if there are any. The recommendations are getting your credit score above 580 in order to get better interest rates. The recommended score is usually around 640 to 660. Of course the higher your score the lower your interest rate will be.
- Get a pre-approval for your mortgage-This is so there are no worries when you walk through the...
Our fascination with numbers can lead to some very interesting conversations about the state of Louisville’s real estate market. For instance, this past month, someone in the office asked which area we thought sold better, urban homes inside the Watterson, or the more suburban areas outside of our expressway system.
Convinced this was a no-brainer, we piped up with an opinion, but before we had actually dug through the numbers to prove our case. Before you read any further, ask yourself, if we were to look at four “urban” zip codes, and compared them to another set of four that were further east, let’s say “suburban”, which set of sold homes would you expect to get closer to their asking price? As any seasoned Louisville Realtor® will attest, there are two distinct groups of buyers in town – those who will happily live outside the Watterson and those who break into a light sweat when they venture outside the borderlands of I-264.
Back to the “urban” vs. “suburban” zip codes. That scenario is exactly what we graphed above. Using 40204, 40205, 40206 and 40207 as the urban set, we compared the ratio of sold prices to listing prices (SP/LP%) of these homes along with a suburban set comprised of zip codes 40222, 40223, 40245 and 40059.
We fully expected this to be a pretty graph and plot out very quickly with one group clearly outperforming another. And yet…
Unless you predicted that there would be no pattern at all, we think it would be fair to say that there doesn’t appear to be a relationship at all between where a home...
The average price of homes sold in Jefferson County in the first four months of 2015 was $181,197, nearly a $20,000 increase over the same 2014 period, the Greater Louisville Association of Realtors has reported.Home sales were up sharply across the association's three-county metro area, which includes Jefferson, Bullitt and Oldham counties. Read more....
When you move into a new home it can often seem as though there is a long list of things that have to be taken care of. Not only do you have to pack all of your belongings up, transfer your utilities, decorate and arrange for removal company, but there is also a plethora of paperwork that needs to be carried out. With all of this going on there are always some things that get neglected and one of the most common is home security.
Home security is incredibly important, especially when you move into a new home. What many people fail to consider is that there could have been several families who have owned the property before them and we can never be certain that every single copy of the door keys has been collected back in and handed over. Add to that the fact that if a security system is already installed, then the previous owners still have the access codes. These are all concerns that should be considered when moving house, especially considering the fact that approximately 4.6% of break ins occur within the first year of living in a property. So, what can people do to boost security when moving house?
Replace The Locks
When you move into a new property, ideally you should have the locks replaced as soon as possible. If your budget allows, then you might want to consider choosing patented key locks which will not allow anyone to make copies of the keys without your consent. This is more expensive than standard locks, but many home owners feel that the initial outlay is actually worth it in the long run because of the increased security aspect. Patented locks also allow the current key to be deleted from the system if the keys are ever reported stolen meaning that...![endif]-->/o:wrapblock>!--[if>!--[endif]-->
Existing-home sales jumped in March to their highest annual rate in 18 months, while unsold inventory showed needed improvement, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Led by the Midwest, all major regions experienced strong sales gains in March and are above their year-over-year sales pace. Total existing-home sales1, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 6.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.19 million in March from 4.89 million in February—the highest annual rate since September 2013 (also 5.19 million). Sales have increased year-over-year for six consecutive months and are now 10.4 percent above a year ago, the highest annual increase since August 2013 (10.7 percent). March's sales increase was the largest monthly increase since December 2010 (6.2 percent). Read more....
(From Marketwach.com) If death and taxes are the two true givens in life, there probably should be a third: the bucketful of tax breaks Uncle Sam throws out every year to encourage more Americans to buy a home. From being able to write off virtually all mortgage interest, not only for your primary home, but for a second home as well — up to $1.1 million of debt (when you include home-equity loans) in most cases, to being able to write off your property taxes, homeowners have opportunities for dozens more federal income tax deductions than renters. Read more....
(From Marketwatch.com) U.S. house prices are only undervalued by around 2% on average, according to the latest research, but they’re still overvalued — and undervalued — by double-digit percentages in some metro areas. American house prices were, on average, almost back to normal in the fourth quarter of 2014, after being undervalued by as much as 5% one year ago and by 3% in the previous quarter, but the extent to which they’re undervalued or overvalued still varies dramatically among the 100 largest metropolitan areas, according to real-estate website Trulia. In the first quarter of 2006, at the peak of the housing-market bubble, U.S. houses were overvalued by 34% before dropping to 14% in the first quarter of 2012. Read more....
Great piece from our partners over at StyleBlueprint Louisville. "The real estate market is booming in Louisville right now. Perhaps you’re putting your house up for sale soon, or maybe you’re just considering it. We asked realtors from Kentucky Select to offer advice about the best ways to get your house ready to put on the market, a process more commonly known as staging. When selling a home, staging it is the best way to get it to sell. After all, you want your house looking its very best for potential buyers. And guess what? You can stage your home yourself. Yes, seriously. Here’s your new mantra:Clean. Simple. Fresh." Read more....
Like most people, when the new year rolls around, I like to take a little time out and reflect on the year that was, and the year that is ahead of us. With real estate, I’m a little hesitant trying to predict what will happen in our local market over the next 12 months. But I can certainly take a look at what has happened, not only last year, but maybe even stretching a little further back than 2014.
For the entire Louisville MLS, which includes several neighboring counties adjoining Jefferson, such as Shelby and Oldham counties, 2014 was the third year in a row that saw a rise in the number of units sold when compared to the preceding 12 months.
From a recent low of 11,720 units sold in 2011, each of the next three years saw a few more sales to reach this past year’s total of 16,082 sold properties.
I have seen different numbers being reported, with some outlets even saying that the MLS saw a decline in the number of homes sold between 2014 and 2013. So to clear up any confusion and to be fully transparent, all of the numbers that I used for these graphs were pulled directly from the MLS, and included all single family homes along with multi-family properties, rentals and vacant land or lots.
I chose to use all the categories of residential sales, and not focus on single family homes only because I wanted this short article to be general in nature, and to be all inclusive since I don’t know which types of properties each reader might find most interesting. When I turned the tables and focused on how well Kentucky Select Properties has fared as a Brokerage over the past few years, I used the exact same criteria.
As Kentucky Select Properties celebrated its 10th Anniversary (thank you!) this year, the numbers...
The Amat Luxury Blog in Barcelona Spain took some time recently to interview Kentucky Select Founder and Principal Broker John Stough.
"Discussing negotiation techniques during the last Luxury Real Estate Symposium John just said that “Negotiation starts just when you pick up the phone the first time”. This is just a common sense comment during a symposium, but this is the feeling I always have when I speak with John or when I listen to his opinions during the congresses." Read more.
In honor of President's Day, this infographic from the National Association of Realtors looks at how the most famous residence in America compares to a typical home. See graphic here....
|Please join Laura Heiskell at 11005 Park Road
For a Soup & Salad Luncheon
Thursday, 2/12 from 11-1pm
Whether you’re looking to buy or sell a home, or even refinance your current home at a lower rate, a home appraisal is a key step to confirming the value of a property. Lenders use professional appraisers to provide an unbiased opinion on the value of a home in order to ensure that, in the event of default, the funds they lend are backed up by the property. In this way, lenders have a bit of insurance that, even in the worst-case scenario, their investment is a safe one. So, what are the major aspects of an appraisal? What are the most important factors to know about that can affect the value of a home, and what happens if an appraisal comes in lower than the agreed upon price during closing on a sale? Let’s take a closer look at the details of appraisals and their importance on property investments from both buyers’ and sellers’ perspectives.
Professional, certified appraisers take into account comparable sales, home amenities and other key, quantifiable factors. Since property condition is a factor, keeping up with necessary repairs can provide a boost to appraised value.
You may have, at some point, rushed to clean up your home to get ready for an appraisal in order to receive a quick boost in value. While it couldn’t hurt, tidiness isn’t a major factor in appraisal value. According to Investopedia, appraisal numbers are typically a sum of factors including current market trends, your home’s amenities, upkeep and maintenance, number of bedrooms and bathrooms and square footage. Another major factor to appraisals relates to recently sold comparable properties. As a result, taking the time to check out recently sold, similar homes in your neighborhood is a quick way to get a relatively close estimate when creating a list price on your home.
If you’re buying a home, expect an appraisal as part of the closing procedures. If appraised...
Via Catey Hill at Marketwatch.com.
Most millennials say they’d rather rent than buy a home — a decision that could cost them more than $700,000 over the course of their lives.
Nearly six in 10 millennials (59%) say they’d rather rent a home than buy one, with just one in four saying they are either very or completely likely to purchase a home in the next five years, according to a survey of 1,300 millennials released this week by EliteDaily and Millennial Branding. (This anti-home-buying trend can already be seen: Currently, only about one in four millennials own a home, down from about one in three in the mid-70s and early 80s, according to data from the Demand Institute.) That’s “bad news for the real estate industry,” the report concludes. Read more.
A number of economists are forecasting an increase in home sales this year, and some are predicting that more first-time buyers will be in the mix. That’s great news for sellers, particularly first-time sellers most likely to have the kind of starter homes these buyers will want. Below are some tips for those selling a home for the first time. Before selling your home, give some careful thought about where you will live next, said Hedda Parashos, owner of Palisade Realty in Spring Valley, Calif. “Planning ahead will save the time and money associated with moving multiple times or trying to get out of a deal after you sign a purchase agreement,” she said. “Your Realtor can help you locate a new home or rental before you close escrow or negotiate a lease back.” Read more....
When it comes to the housing market, 2015 may be the year first-time home buyers make a comeback.
With rents rising faster than incomes, many Millennials are expected to start looking to buy homes of their own. What they will find are much more favorable conditions than they have seen in years, including lower down payment mortgages, looser lending standards and a bigger selection of homes to choose from.Here are four housing market trends economists and other industry experts expect to see in the year ahead. Read more....
When selling your home, every detail matters to get the best deal possible. If you are currently preparing for a sale, you have probably added finding a good stager to your long checklist of tasks. In truth, you don’t really need to factor in this additional expense, since you already have to spend a few dollars to increase the appeal of your home to potential buyers.
A few staging tricks can go a long way to increase the value of your property and are easy enough to be performed by anyone. Your bathroom, for example, is a great place to start transforming your house into an inviting dream-home without resorting to professional help.
Step 1: Squeaky clean surfaces
Would you like to take a relaxing bath after a long, hard day at work in a moldy tub with a few spider webs looming over your head and a faded shower curtain that smells like a sewer? Not particularly. Neither does your potential buyer.
A sparkling-clean bathroom is perhaps the most important quality that will grab the attention of buyers during an open house. Devote a weekend to scrubbing the floor and tiles, the toilet bowl, the tub, the sink, and throwing out everything that looks old and moldy.
In addition, get an effective air-freshener to rid the space of residual odors. Use a caulk gun to fill in any cracks and gaps in the tiling. Wipe all mirrors, so there are no fingerprints and smudges.
Step 2: No personal items
If you are still living...
Some solid fundamentals on buying or selling real estate from the folks at Realtor.com:
When it comes to buying a home there are many different steps to consider. It can be a very confusing time for the first time home buyer. Putting your home up for sale can be equally demanding. Realtor® Billy Malone of San Marino, California recently compiled his list of ten things that those shopping for a home or putting one on the market need to keep in mind:
Buying and selling a home can be the most stressful process you may ever experience. Even if the process is not overly stressful, it can often be a personal and emotional transaction and will be one of the most significant. Owning a home is the American dream, it is where we build our lives and families, and it should not evolve into the American nightmare. So how do you make sure that you get to live the dream and live it well? One method is to refer to one of those Real Estate checklists you come across online. Read more....
Once you’ve paid for your house, how much will it cost you? This is a crucial issue for anyone looking ahead to retirement. The more expensive your home, the more of a drain it’ll likely be in terms of property taxes, maintenance, homeowners insurance and more. Suppose you own a home that, in addition to any mortgage payment, costs $1,000 a month. You then get a fat pay raise, prompting you to trade up to a larger house, which has double the monthly expenses. Read more.
If you stay in the larger home during retirement, you’ll need to come up with $2,000 a month, equal to $24,000 a year. Based on a 4% annual portfolio withdrawal rate, that would mean $600,000 in retirement savings just to pay your housing costs, versus $300,000 for the smaller home.