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....
Louisville Real Estate Blog and News
(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 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....
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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....
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
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.
In the past two years, the housing markets have recovered faster in red states than in blue, a new analysis reveals. According to data from RealtyTrac, most housing markets in the U.S. (52%) are better off now than they were two years ago, though 11% are worse off and for the 36% remaining it’s merely a toss-up.
Put simply, to be declared “better off,” a majority of the residents in that state had to live in counties that exhibited at least three of these five factors (all of which have a strong influence on housing health): significantly fewer foreclosure starts; higher median home prices; a percentage of homeowners who are severely underwater on their mortgages that was lower than the national average; significantly lower unemployment; and be counties where home prices didn’t rise so quickly that many average people could no longer afford to purchase a home. Read more from Marketwatch.com....
The last of the moving trucks has just left and you are finally ready to close the door on an exhausting day. But wait, are you done with moving yet? No. There are a whole lot of things that you need to do after you move into your new home. Here is a quick checklist to help you kick-start the process.
1. Check your big-ticket stuff and furniture to make sure that nothing was damaged during the moving process. Most movers and insurance companies have a limited time in which you can file a claim. Make sure that all your appliances and electronics are working before that deadline passes you by.
2. If you were not able to have an exterminator visit the house earlier, get it done now before you start opening all your packed boxes. If you have a lot of time on hand and can rough it for a day or two, consider giving the home a thorough and in-depth cleaning before you start organizing.
3. When unpacking, don’t open all boxes at once. Hopefully, you’ve been diligent in marking all your boxes and maintaining a ‘moving diary’ when you packed. Now is the time to reap your rewards!
Multiple boxes lying open with stuff strewn all over can tempt you to stuff all of them inside a closet and then forget about it. Instead, open one box at a time and organize your belongings neatly as you go. Set yourself a timetable, like two or three boxes a day, so that your entire unpacking will be over in a week.
4. Change all locks and alarm codes. Not to sound paranoid, but do you really know how many copies of your keys are out there?
5. Make sure that all smoke detectors in the house are in working condition. If necessary, replace their batteries.
View more photos of this spectacular home and other Louisville luxury listings at Business First Home of the Day....
(From Marketwatch.com) First-time home buyers haven’t been much help in the housing recovery, but it isn’t because young adults stopped aspiring to become homeowners. “Though they see a tough road to affording Homeownership, younger renters [those between the ages of 18 and 39] still are very likely to say that it’s in their future plans,” wrote Sarah Shahdad, strategic planning analyst with Fannie Mae, commenting recently on Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey. “The vast majority still plan to own someday; about half plan to buy a home the next time they move.” It’s just that, right now, economic realities and life decisions are getting in the way. And those obstacles have repercussions for the broader housing market, because the absence of young buyers is one big reason why the housing recovery hasn’t been stronger. Read more....