Louisville Real Estate Blog and News

14 Best Remodeling and Home Improvement Ideas To Increase Home Value

Once you get past the holidays you may begin considering some long-delayed home improvement projects. Thanks to our friends at ContractorQuotes.US we've got a great infographic to share on which 14 projects may add the most value to your home. 



The Best Real Estate Companies Embrace Agent and Broker Brands

One thing that constantly amazes me is when I hear or read about the leaders of real estate firms downplaying the importance of the company/broker brand. The primary implication being that only the individual agent brand really matters. That branding is best left to the folks in the marketing department or, heaven forbid, that the “brand” is some ineffable concept that has no relationship to creating real business value like driving unit and volume growth.

Keller-Williams, likely the fastest growing brokerage in the world at this moment, seem to embrace this line of thinking. And indeed, most KW “For Sale” signs - the foundation of real estate brand marketing – totally emphasize the agent or team’s identity leaving the company name and logo as an afterthought. Make no mistake: Keller-Williams has built a powerhouse brand among real estate agents. In fact, I would argue that the only real brand value KW has is to agents. The primary value proposition of the KW brand is: “We’re the real estate company that shares profits with agents.” Thus far, it’s been a brilliant strategy in terms of recruiting agents and making some of the KW tribe very wealthy.

However, I think if you asked most people in the real estate business or, more importantly, real estate consumers what the KW brand stands for they would look at you with a blank stare. I mean, I know the Christie’s brand stands for “luxury”. Berkshire Hathaway Home Services has made a big Cabernet and Cream bet that Warren Buffett and the BH brand – characterized by “integrity and financial strength” – can extend to selling a gazillon homes a year (in addition to jewelry, insurance and Blizzards®).

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10 Real Estate Marketing Trends for 2016

From Inman.com:  Nearly everywhere you turn, you hear news of the rebounding housing market. Not only is it bouncing back, but it’s also making a huge comeback with new owners and investors getting into the market. There are several factors that have played a role in this resurgence, each of which will contribute to the way real estate agents market to the public. Here are the top 10 trends you can expect to see in 2016. Read more.


New Rules Give House Buyers More Review Time

From Marketwatch.com: The federal government requires that as of Oct. 3 loan disclosure documents must combine the information required in the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). Under the new rule change, known as the “Know Before You Owe” rule, or the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) regulation, consumers must be given the new combined Loan Estimate (LE) with all the charges, fees and line items three days before the closing, rather than at the closing on the HUD-1 form, which itself will disappear. Read more.


PODCAST: Selling Luxury Homes With Kentucky Select Co-Founder John Stough

Kentucky Select Co-Founder and Principal Broker John Stough just returned from the Luxury Real Estate conference in Seattle, where he was once again recognized for his leadership in marketing luxury properties. Listen to this 20 minute podcast with John as he recounts some of his adventures from 36 years in the real estate business. Read more and Listen.


Easy Improvements That May Boost The Value of Your Home

Guest post by John Miller. Contact John at john-miller@outlook.com

When homeowners think of home improvements, they may see the task as something terribly challenging and expensive that may take weeks to finish. However, for simple projects around the home, this is not the case. The following is a list of jobs that you can tackle in a few days that will increase its value and not break the bank.


An easy way to freshen up the look of your kitchen is to make sure your appliances match. While getting all new appliances can be a strain on your pocketbook, the manufacturer may be able to provide a new front that you can apply on your own. Whether you have stainless steel, black or white items, getting everything to mesh can add value to your dwelling. You can also head to your local home improvement store and change the fixtures on your cabinets and drawers.


The bathroom is another critical area of a home for home buyers. If you’re looking to boost your house value without having to spend a lot of time or money, you want to try sprucing up your hardware. This means replacing faucets, toilet seats, showerheads and door knobs. Towel racks, toilet paper holders and shower bars when replaced can also capture the attention of a buyer.

Master Bedroom

When you’re looking for easy fixes that will improve a home’s value, sometimes a fresh coat of paint to the master bedroom can brighten a room. While you may love purples, browns and burgundy, neutral colors are light, bright and simple to decorate. You can also replace your worn rug with something...

7 Simple Upgrades To Help You Love Your Bathroom Forever

Bathrooms are often forgotten spaces in homes. Maybe you decorated it once when you moved into your home, but never really loved that checkered tile or dated wallpaper. There are lots of simple upgrades that can be completed to transform your space at little cost and with only a bit of labor involved.

1. Update the Hardware

The clear knobs and glossy metal finish to your sink faucet may be dating your bathroom by a decade. Replace your faucet with a new one, finished with a brushed metal or copper plated look for an updated motif. Hand towel holders, shower faucets, and towel racks can all be replaced with a matching finish to immediately modernize the space.

Bathroom Renovation

2. Stain the Cabinets

While wood, regardless of the shade, will likely never go out of style, sometimes a deeper tone can reinvigorate a room. Use a gel stain to deepen the finish on your wooden cabinets for a sleek, refined bathroom. For that extra little touch, replace the handle pulls on your cabinets and drawers to match your newly updated sink faucet.

3. Install a Backsplash

Adding a backsplash on the wall behind your bathroom faucet will give the room a whole new look. Ranging from different styles and colors, an etched glass backsplash, in particular, brightens the sink area and gives the bathroom a clean, refreshed style. For you have more of a rustic, woodlands type of home, consider a wood backsplash to connect your bathroom with your...

Louisville In Consideration To Be a Google Fiber City

From Courier-Journal.com: Louisville has moved near the head of the line among the dozens of communities coveting a fiber-optics network developed by Google Fiber that could provide ultrafast Internet service. The fiber network, if installed, would greatly increase the speed for downloading material from the Internet, streaming movies, gaming and more.  Read more.


Is The U.S. Housing Market Strong Enough To Handle Fed Rate Hike?

From Reuters.com: The U.S. housing market is probably strong enough to stand up against an interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve this year, with stabilizing home prices supporting sales, a Reuters poll of top economists showed on Wednesday. Of 22 economists surveyed, all but two said the market could withstand the Fed's expected rate hikes. They pointed to job creation and growing demand for houses from millennials as factors contributing to the market's resilience. Read more.


Will Supply of Senior Housing Outpace Demand?

From WSJ.com: The supply of senior housing is expanding at a rapid clip in many major metropolitan areas across the Sunbelt and elsewhere, raising concerns that builders are racing ahead of demand. Analysts said the building spree could lead to higher vacancy rates and lower rent increases for real-estate firms that own housing dedicated to seniors. Shares of big U.S. companies that own a lot of senior housing have already tumbled this year as investors fret over rising interest rates. Read moreSenior Housing Stock.


Kentucky Select Managing Broker Interviewed by Zillow for Louisville Story

Zillow Blog

Best known as the home of the annual Kentucky Derby, Louisville remains under the radar for most people. But, as the locals will tell you, Louisville isn’t the small, southern town many envision. In the last decade, it has blossomed into a city that rivals other southern cities like Nashville and Charleston. Even as Louisville transforms, its history is not lost — everything comes with a side of the southern hospitality. It’s not uncommon to find a new condo development on one block in Louisville and towering historic homes on the next. With an endless number of bourbon bars, nearly a dozen museums and an intense basketball rivalry, Louisville manages to offer both the best of both worlds for those seeking the feel of a small town and the conveniences of a larger city. Check out what these proud residents love most about their changing city. Read more.


3 Features Americans Want In Their Dream Homes

Via Marketwatch.com: Most Americans have a clear idea of their dream home — and it doesn’t involve living large. Fewer people think owning their own home is part of the “American Dream” in 2015 than they did five years ago (71% in 2015 versus 77% in 2010), according to a survey of 2,000 adults carried out by Harris Poll on behalf of real estate site Trulia. Homeownership has become as much of a lifestyle choice than an obligatory milestone, says Selma Hepp, chief economist with Trulia; 75% of married people with kids under the age of 18 say they plan to buy a home to be their primary residence versus 69% of single people with no kids. Read more.


Kentucky Select Agents Provide Leadership On Greening The Louisville MLS

Kentucky Select Properties agents Cary Thale, Jamie Peterworth and Ryan Davis joined with Jacqueline Klein from Parker and Klein, Mike Horstman from Keller Williams, sustainabilty consultant and green builder Sy Safi, Nancy Church of The US Green Building Council and several other stakeholders, to implement the first "green friendly" fields on the Greater Louisville Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service.

The fields include: Energy Star Home Certification, LEED Certification, HERS rated score and National Green Building Certification. Energy efficient features which can now be better marketed on the MLS include: GeoThermal heating and cooling, solar panels, spray foam insulation and tankless water heaters.


3 Louisville Neighborhoods With The Fastest Rising Values

By Satinder Haer

Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions people make in their lifetimes. It’s often a stressful purchase because home values rise and fall outside of the homeowner’s control. However, purchasing in an area with rising home values can give you a degree of confidence about your investment.

If you’re looking for homes in Louisville, consider one of these three neighborhoods that experienced the most appreciation in the past year and are forecasted to have the sharpest increase in home values during the next year.

Bashford Manor

The tiny neighborhood of Bashford Manor has had an unprecedented amount of growth in the last two years. The median home value in Bashford Manor is currently $105,900, up nearly $12,000 from May 2014. The growth is not slowing down either, making the investment stronger. On top of the 13.4 percent increase in home values last year, another 6.9 percent increase is predicted throughout the next year. Bashford Manor is a great choice for families who want to live in a residential area with amenities just a short car ride away. The Louisville Zoo and Beargrass Creek State Nature Preserve are less than a 10-minute drive northwest of Bashford Manor, while Target, Walmart and other departments stores are just south of the area.

1366 S. Third Street

Old Louisville

Located in the heart of central Louisville, Old Louisville is the hub of all the action. This neighborhood is home to the University of Louisville, hosts the annual St. James Court Art Show and features stunning Victorian-era homes. Currently...

PODCAST: Pricing Your Home With Jay Gulick of Kentucky Select Properties

Interview with Jay Gulick, managing broker of Kentucky Select Properties, about how to effectively price your home for sale. Areas covered include comparable market analysis, timing and using 3rd party sites like Zillow and Realtor.com to get data. Read more.


5 Quick Things To Remember Before You Buy A House

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.
  4. Get a pre-approval for your mortgage-This is so there are no worries when you walk through the door of a...

Do Homes Inside or Outside The Watterson Sell For More?

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.

Sales Price to List Price by Zip Code

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 is located...

Sellers Market in Louisville Heating Up

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.


Security Considerations When Moving To A New Home

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 no-one can...

Existing Home Sales Spike

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.