By Kurt Jacobson
Making the decision to purchase a new home can be rather overwhelming, especially if it is your first home or you are moving interstate. There is an awful lot to think about, particularly when it comes to thinking about financing, selling your existing home, finding an area to move to, and of course looking for potential new homes! It can be easy to get wrapped up in the financing details, and forget that you are actually looking for a new home to spend the next chapter of your life in and share with your loved ones. Keeping sight of this fact, and choosing the best home to suit your needs, is the key to homeowner happiness.
You will undoubtedly view many houses before finding one that is suitable. And indeed, this is recommended. Viewing numerous houses helps you to realize what you like, what you don’t like, what your price range will let you purchase, and which areas you are most drawn to. However, when you look at lots of houses in a short space of time, it is easy to lose track of what you are looking for. As you only have a short amount of time to view each property, it is important to take as much information in as you can from each home. So, what are the important details when you are viewing a potential home? Well, here are some of them.
First of all, there are several things you should bring with you to the open house. You will need a tape measure, a camera, and a notebook. Write down as much as you can while you are in the house, as it is easy to become confused when you are viewing multiple houses. By taking notes, you can remember which house had the spacious living room, which had modern kitchens, and which was bathed in afternoon sunlight. Don’t be afraid to take photos either, but make sure you...
(Originally posted on Bloomberg Businessweek.com)
A housing market rebound seems tenuous following the expiration of the home buyer tax credit, and consumer confidence remains weak due to lackluster employment, but David Stiff, chief economist at Fiserv, says the bottom is near. Home prices in the U.S. have declined 29.5 percent over the past four years, according to the Fiserv Case-Shiller Indexes. Stiff says prices should form a trough early next year, when median prices will be down an estimated 32.9 percent from the 2006 peak. By early 2014, they will have climbed about 7.2 percent from 2010 levels, according to the indexes. Fiserv and Moody’s Economy.com base the housing forecast on factors that include income growth, demographic trends, unemployment rates, foreclosure rates, and construction costs. Read more.
(Originally posted on Marketwatch.com)
Selling an inherited house isn’t easy. There’s the emotional aspect of getting a loved one’s home ready for sale — which likely includes clearing out his or her belongings and depersonalizing the rooms. There’s the financial cost of making necessary updates to attract buyers. Sometimes heirs have to deal with costly liens or other hidden problems, and there may be disagreements among siblings about the sale price. And understandably, sometimes family members drag their feet. Images of growing up in the home with Mom and Dad prevent them from springing into action. They can’t let go. Read more.
(Originally appeared on Refinery 29.com)
Whether you're contemplating a big move or just peeking over the fence to see how much greener the grass is, this little list is food for thought. Apartment Guide looked at its property listing data around rental rates and this Cost of Living Index. Meanwhile, our besties atLearnVest provided tips for budgeting in the New Year here. What you get is a list of 10 towns where rental and cost of living expenses are tantalizingly low. Seems a premium was placed on communities with strong cultural backbones — Louisville, Memphis, Oklahoma City, and Columbus on the list are all cities with strong music scenes. Read more.
(Originally posted on Courier-Journal.com)
“Did she come in yet?” asked Levon Wallace excitedly in the kitchen of Proof on Main, where he has been executive chef since Michael Paley moved to the 21c museum hotel in Cincinnati last year. “Who?” asked Matt Johnson, a sous-chef. “Myra,” Wallace said, as he pulled out his iPhone to show Johnson a photo — a pig’s-eye-view of a large Red Wattle hog, happily chewing. “Michael Paley and I went halvsies on her. She’s supposed to come in today.” Read more.
Louisville has been recognized in the December-January issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine as one of its “Best of the World” destinations. Other locations similarly noted in the issue are: Oslo, Norway; the Upper Mississippi River Valley; Yakushina, Japan; and Taxco, Mexico. The article showcases Louisville's expanding bourbon district along Main Street along with the Urban Bourbon Trail. Read more.
Guest post by Tyler Robertson.
Investing in a home is a happy milestone for many, but it’s also a minefield of indecision and stress. How do you refine your search to find your perfect home?
Claire Hovey is a writer with a love of all that is green and country, but due to a twist of fate she also loves sparkling city lights and a whole lot of hubbub. She is currently looking to buy her first home in a heady mix of the two.
How to Master the Art of House Hunting
There comes a time when having the freedom to up sticks and move around starts to lose its shine. You begrudge lining someone else’s pockets with rent. You begin to long for something other than beige walls; you dream of having the licence to get hammer-happy put up as many picture hooks as you choose. You start to squirrel away more and more of your Friday Night Out fund for sensible reasons and then, lo and behold, one day you find you have a savings account named ‘Deposit’ and enough in it to begin the House Hunt. You want to own cushions. Life is good.
But how do you begin to tackle the mountainous task of finding your new home? Well, pack your best plimsolls and fetch your guide rope: here are a few important lessons for the house hunt.
- Need versus want: know the difference. Fairly self-explanatory; assess your needs as a priority – three bedrooms would be nice, but two is what you need. A conservatory is a possible future goal, but for now, you can make nice with the neighbours in the front room. A vegetable patch might be an absolute must, pronto, but tea on the lawn can wait until house number two.
- Take a camera to every viewing: Sometimes you can walk into a house and just know. Most of the time, you can’t. You need to mull it over, compare and contrast and, above all, make...
Guest post by Alisa Martin.
Almost every other person in real estate is well aware of the fact that transactions can be pretty troublesome. Most of them are intertwined with legal content that makes them confusing. A lot of documentation is also necessary for the process to continue and this leaves a number of loopholes for problems to emerge. Probably, one third of contracts never end up to the finishing line of closing table.
This means that even after an agreement is adjusted between a seller and a buyer, there is still scope for confusions to erupt and the deal getting crumbled. Let us look into the facts and reasons that ultimately crumble the process.
The Financial Glitch
It is not at all an easy task to secure a home mortgage post the financial crisis that took place due to the housing crisis in the year 2008. The restrictions put forward by lenders are way stricter now. This has given rise to a lot of cancelled deals from the buyer’s side. The main reason behind it is the failure of the buyer to secure funds. A pre approval is good for a buyer. However, it does not confirm or guarantee that the buyer will eventually receive the loan amount because of it.
Slightest of facts and changes can end a deal, for example, a small increase in interest rates or change in, income. Lenders are well known gold diggers, and they will make sure to get every detail of a buyer’s financial record. It is very natural for them to discover any fact that will ultimately deny buyer’s to receive proper loan amount.
Almost all the home appraisers utilize historical data to help them determine the actually value of a property. Usually, when the real estate values are more on the rising scale, it becomes tougher to discover comps that could maintain the sales price. It still continues to be tough, even when both the seller and the buyer agree upon the amount of dollar....
(Re-Posted from CFPB website):
Today, we’re issuing the TILA-RESPA final rule. This rule improves the way consumers receive information about mortgage loans, both when they apply and when they’re getting ready to close. Alongside the rule, we’re publishing information to help industry understand what the requirements are, such as how to fill out the disclosure forms. Helping with that understanding will be an ongoing process. We’re also publishing information about the project that got us here and what the new rule means for consumers.
We want it to be easier for consumers to shop effectively for mortgages and to make the decisions that work for them. We want consumers who are confident in the information they receive, the lenders they work with, and their ability to make good comparisons. This rule is a key part of that effort, so we’ve spent a lot of time testing the new disclosures with consumers who will them as well as industry who will have to explain them to consumers. The results of that testing show that our new disclosures make information clearer and easier to use. Read more.
Guest post by Liz Nelson at www.whitefence.com
Buying a home should be an exciting adventure. Although you'll be limited by the amount of money you're able to spend, you can take your time exploring all of the options you have available in order to find the perfect fit for your needs. Whether this is for a single residence or you're looking for a family dwelling, there could be options all over the city just waiting for you to find them. However, even recently constructed houses could have dark secrets.
A Home's Specific Smell
Every home has a kind of personality. You can almost feel if the home is perfect or not just by stepping through the doorway. While the home can have an inviting "feel" to it, the structure could have a different "smell." Although the look of the home is appealing, your nose could be trying to warn you as pungent smells are detected. One of the most distasteful ones are those that have a musty and dank atmosphere to them. It's akin to walking in the basement of an old house that experiences regular floods. It's a smell of potential financial hardship and possibly sickness.
Detecting Scents with Your Nose
One of the most common reasons of this type of fragrance is derived from water damage. The more severe the damage is, the greater the smell permeates through the air. Some sellers will try to disguise the smell with deodorizers, cleaners and flowery air fresheners. However, you can detect the aftermath of the damage if you use the nose in every room, closet and cupboard. If you use your nose in an inconspicuous manner, you may be able to root out the origins of the aroma without offending the seller or making yourself look weird.
Why is this Important?
Water damage can signify that there are structural integrity faults within the house. Weather rotted wood can become pliable and very dangerous to leave unattended. Water is also...
(Reprinted from InsiderLouisville.com) Signs that the real estate apocalypse has finally passed. Kentucky Select Properties just reported the sale of a $3.05 million house on tony Avish Lane, the ritzy Harrods Creek enclave off River Road. How important is this sale to all of Louisville (even to those of us not buying, or selling, seven-figure houses at the moment)? Read more.
Asking prices on homes for-sale are edging higher nationwide in the past year, with prices 6.40 percent higher than year ago levels, according to realtor.com®’s September National Housing Trend Report. Nationwide, the national median list price for homes was $199,500 last month. Of the 146 markets that realtor.com® tracks in its report, more than 20 percent reported year-over-year over price gains of 12 percent or more. In some areas, asking prices have jumped even more — by 26 percent or more — in the past year. In Detroit alone, asking prices have surged 44.57 percent year-over-year. Read more.
(October 10, 2013. Louisville, KY) — Kentucky Select Properties was honored to be nominated for three awards at the 18th Annual Luxury Real Estate Fall Conference, which took place Oct 7 – 9 at the Ritz-Carlton in Atlanta.
Hosted by Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate, which is comprised of 130,996 agents in 3,867 offices across 29 countries, this event is one of the largest luxury-specific real estate conferences in the world. Kentucky Select Properties was nominated in the categories of “Best Overall Marketing Package” and “Extraordinary Philanthropists” with principal broker John Stough winning the individual “Master Networker” award.
Guest Blog by Tyler Robertson
There are very few businesses that allow people the opportunity to
participate without having prior knowledge of the company. Many people
view public storage in Santa Monica as a great way to invest in a business
even if they have been working in another field for several years. As with any
type of small business it is important to create a business plan.
There is no magic formula available to starting a self-storage facility.
However, there are some steps that should be followed in order to ensure
success. The first thing that you need to do is to realize that you are going to
need professional help when you are getting started. No matter how large or
small of a facility you are planning on opening you will need to put together a
team of professionals to help you throughout the process. Some of the
people that you should contact include:
• Real estate agents
• Building suppliers
This is just a few of the professionals that you may need to contact when
getting started. There may be more as well.
One of the most important decisions that you will make when starting a
public storage is the site location. If you currently own a piece of property
you must determine if it is a good location for a self-storage facility.
There are several things to be considered when choosing a site for your
storage facility. First, you need to determine whether or not it is the right
size. You also need to determine if the configuration for the storage buildings
It’s a hotly debated question among economists and analysts right now: What will the recent spike in mortgage rates do to the housing market? Mortgage rates fell to 4.75% last week, down from 4.8% for the average 30-year fixed-rate two weeks ago, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.Existing home sales in August hit a 6½-year high, rising by 1.7% from July, according to the National Association of Realtors. The report measures sales that closed for contracts that were signed one or two months earlier. Read more.
View the new Kentucky Select Properties mobile site @ http://m.kyselectproperties.com
House hunters are increasingly going mobile with their real estate searches, according to a new survey by The Search Agency, a global online marketing firm. The report shows that growth in real estate searches on tablets and smartphones has tripled in the past year, while desktop searches have mostly stayed flat. The Search Agency analyzed data from its real estate clients in order to identify online search trends from July to August as compared to the same time period last year. Read more.
Consumers shopping for a home might want to pick up the pace: Getting a mortgage will likely become more challenging and costly next year. Loan limits for popular mortgages are scheduled to drop in January, according to a Wall Street Journal report this week. The Federal Housing Finance Agency is planning to slash the maximum size of mortgages eligible to be backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which currently run as high as $417,000 in most parts of the country and up to $625,500 in pricier cities, including New York and San Francisco. That same month, new mortgage rules by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau go into effect, which restrict the types of mortgages lenders can provide. The changes could leave next year’s mortgage applicants with fewer and more expensive financing options to choose from than what’s currently available, experts say. Read more.
Post republished with permission from Whitefence Savings - http://savings.whitefence.com
Buying a foreclosed home can seem like a dream. What could be better than getting a home for a fraction of the market value? Some may even say that the deals sound like they could be too good to be true. In some cases, those doubters aren't too far off the mark. There are some hidden dangers in buying foreclosure properties that, if you're not aware of them, could be disheartening and disappointing. If you are pursuing this route in buying your new home, be sure to look out for these hazards and hidden costs. Read more.
July was a record month for home sales in Louisville as 1,102 properties were sold. This is a 13-percent gain over last month and a whopping 29.5-percent increase over July, 2012.
The total number of homes sold is also the highest since June, 2007. Wow.
Heading into the new year, I think most experts thought 2013 was going to see improvement in the Louisville real estate market. I’m not sure many predicted this kind of success.
What we saw during June was very encouraging, especially the rise in home values. That kind of spike was very dramatic and also quite rare. Read more.
Guest post by Angelo DiGangi of Home Depot
Residents of the mid-Atlantic and Gulf coasts are fluent in hurricane preparation. Cities and towns along major rivers are well-versed on flooding, and those living in Oklahoma know a thing or two about tornadoes. But Superstorm Sandy's attack on the northeast last year proved that no region is safe from a natural disaster, despite past natural trends.
Unlike hurricanes, some natural events – like earthquakes and tornadoes – give little notice before striking; however, in all cases, it is possible to emerge from a disaster more quickly and easily with proper preparation.
Following are basic steps that homeowners can take to prepare for a natural disaster.
Prepare to Be Powerless
You never realize how dependent you are on electricity until you are without it. Power outages happen frequently and can be caused by seemingly insignificant events, like innocent summer storms, although larger scale catastrophes can leave the power out for days and even weeks. Whether you live in an apartment or on an estate, it pays to prepare for when the power to goes out.
- Consider candles: Candles are compact, easy to store, and may provide the light you need during a power outage. You will be able to find your way around your home, complete any necessary tasks, and even read the kids a book to calm them while the storm passes. Remember that you will need a flame to light the candles, so store matches or a lighter where you keep them.
- Flashlights and Headlamps: Similar to candles, flashlights will allow you to navigate a pitch-black house with ease. The benefit here, though, is that flashlights won't blow out, particularly if you need light to secure a busted window or venture into the basement to pump out any water that may be leaking. Keep a cache of batteries, and if you are entering the time of year when disasters...