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The 10 Coolest U.S. Cities To Visit In 2018

Certain cities are on everyone’s wish lists: New York, Austin, Nashville. And they belong on those lists. But it’s a big country, and there are so many more places to see—including, increasingly, cities that we never would have given a second glance. Thanks to grassroots and civic revitalization projects, creative types taking advantage of cheap real estate, and the realization that small can be beautiful, a new list of must-see cities is forming. Read more.


The Weekend Guide To Eating and Drinking Your Way Through Louisville, KY

Via For many Americans, the city of Louisville is synonymous with three things: bourbon, Hot Browns (a local dish of thick toast topped with turkey, bacon, and Mornay sauce), and the Kentucky Derby. While all of these things still deserve our attention, there’s another good reason to visit this vibrant Southern city: outstanding restaurants and bars. Read more.


2017 in Review and Real Estate Tax Law Changes

The year 2017 in Louisville residential real estate was marked by an acute shortage of houses priced under $200,000, historically high average selling prices (ending the year at approximately $208,000 vs. $175,000 in the last boom year of 2007, and up from $197,000 in 2016), and a historically short amount of time the average home stayed on the market for sale (just 44 days compared to 77 in 2007, and down from 51 days in 2016).

The high-end market in 2017 also showed impressive year-over-year gains. 682 properties sold for $500,000 - $999,999 vs. 581 in 2016 – a 17% increase. There was a 68% increase of properties that sold for $1 million or more in 2017 with 74 vs. 44 million dollar plus sales in 2016.

Here at Kentucky Select Properties we enjoyed our best year ever with $309 million in total sales volume, an increase of $37 million or 13.7% over 2016 (which had previously been the best year in company history).

4 Items of Note Regarding Residential Real Estate and the new Federal Tax Law

Capital Gain Exclusion - One of the most important provisions of the new tax law for many homeowners was not a change but a vote for the status quo with regards to the exclusion of capital gains on the sale of a principal residence. As long as you have lived in your principal residence for 2 of the 5 years immediately preceding the sale you remain exempt from paying tax on up to $250,000 of gain as a single filer and up to $500,000 when married filing jointly.

Mortgage Interest Deduction – The new law reduces the limit on deductible mortgage debt to $750,000 for new loans taken out after 12/14/17. Current loans of up to $1 million are grandfathered and are not subject to the new $750,000 cap. Under the new law you will no longer be able to deduct the interest on home equity loans (unless the proceeds are used to substantially...

Guide to Gutters and Downspouts

Every homeowner, landlord or property management company knows how significant it is to have gutters and downspouts defending their properties from water damage. Without them, rainwater can collect on the roof of the building or pool around the foundation of the building. Eventually, creating the possibility of severe damage to concrete, drywall and roofing materials. Considering that water damage can cost property managers and owners thousands of dollars, having the right gutters and downspouts on a property is more than a good investment — it’s just good sense.

Yet with so many materials and styles available for gutters and downspouts, property managers and owners might be left wondering what’s best for their properties. Although the differences might appear to be simply cosmetic, choosing materials for gutters and downspouts can make a significant difference in terms of the work they require for maintenance, how much it costs to install them, and how much it will cost to maintain them over the life of the property.

For example, vinyl gutters may be the most inexpensive option, but they come with some disadvantages that should make property managers think twice about installing them. Their affordability might make them seem attractive originally, but their weaker construction means they won’t stand up to heftier loads. They also tend to become brittle after extended exposure to heat and cold. Meaning, property managers may need to replace them more regularly than other types of gutters.

On the opposite end of the price spectrum, property managers may be attracted to copper gutters because of their rust-free construction, their attractive look and their strength. However, they require professional installation in order to weld the joints together — making them even more expensive than the cost of materials.

Choosing the correct...

How To Beat The Competition In A Hot Housing Market

Louisville is one of the hottest real estate markets in America. Many of the homes in the area are selling at or above the asking price and staying on the market for an even shorter period. This has greatly limited the available inventory of for-sale homes. If you’re in the Louisville market to buy a home, you’ll most likely be facing increased competition and bidding wars.


Buying a home.jpg

With hot market areas in Louisville like St. Matthews, Germantown, Schnitzelburg and parts of the Highlands facing increasingly low inventory levels and 10-plus-year highs in sales, finding your dream residence can be a challenge. How do you beat the competition in a hot housing market like Louisville?

Get Preapproved

According to Nerdwallet, getting a pre-approval is a ‘must’ in a competitive housing market like Louisville. Don’t even bother putting in an offer if you haven’t taken the time to get pre-approved. Sellers in a hot market are looking for more than just your offer amount. Most look for interested buyers who are ready to complete a sale.

When submitting an offer, include a letter from your bank stating that your lender has already underwritten your application and is pending appraisal. Before you even start making offers, make sure that your lender already has a hold on your financial documents. This...

Best Public Elementary Schools In Louisville Metro 2018, a website that analyzes schools and neighborhoods, has released its 2018 rankings of the best public elementary schools.The rankings are based on factors that include state test scores, student-teacher ratio, student diversity, teacher quality, grade school ratings, and the overall quality of the school district. (You can read more about the methodology here.) Read more


Easy Ways To Enhance Your Home's Exterior

Many homeowners put a great deal of time into designing the inside of their houses to appear welcoming, charming, and comfortable. There is no end to the amount of decor and design ideas out there, and this surplus of resources makes it easy to create your home to be an extension of your personality. Whether you want a laid back bohemian sort of vibe or a sophisticated and classic one, you can create your living space to be exactly what you desire.

Home Exterior Enhancements

The same rings true for the exterior of your home, and because this is what visitors and onlookers see first, it’s important to not overlook this part of the design process. Besides creating a strong first impression, dressing up the outside view of your house can help add curb appeal, therefore helping your home increase in value.

If you’re looking for a few simple ways to enhance your home’s exterior, here are a few easy ideas to help you get started:

Add Focus to Your Windows

If eyes are the windows of the soul, then windows are the eyes of your home. They provide a glimpse of your private life to the outside world, and likewise, they allow you to peek out at the great big world when you don’t feel like jumping all of the way in.

By adding more detail to your windows, you can immediately create an eye-catching element to your home, and there are many ways to do this successfully.

  • Window awnings come in all different styles and colors, so you can easily find a match for your personal taste. They help keep your home shaded and protected from strong sunlight,...

Choosing The Right Lighting For Your Home

Home Lighting

What's the first thing you see when you walk into a home? Well, that depends entirely on how good the lighting is. Although lighting isn't at the forefront of everyone's minds, it can play a major role in the presentation of your home. It's not just about brightness, either – depending on the location inside your home, the type and style of bulb you choose will determine its usefulness. 

Do you have stainless steel appliances in the kitchen? Bright, overhead lights will make them shine like the masterpieces they are. Want to create a relaxed ambience in your bathroom or media room? Warm, dimmable lights will give you the mood and versatility you're looking for. The examples go on and on.

To help you find the perfect lighting for each part of your home, we're going to discuss each type of light, what they're capable of (and not capable of), and where each is best suited.

Types of lights

Thomas Edison first invented the incandescent light bulb in 1879. While this was the standard for light for many years, the energy consumption of incandescent light has phased these bulbs out in favor of more energy-efficient options.

Halogen incandescents

Halogen incandescents are the new and improved version of Mr. Edison’s original creation. With 25% better energy efficiency, these bulbs last around 1,000 hours and are known for their warmer coloring (they range from orange to yellowish white in appearance). They provide instant light when you turn them on, and they are fully capable of being used with dimmers.

Compact fluorescents (CFLs)

Fluorescent lighting...

How To Appeal Your Home Property Tax Assessment

By Tony Lindauer, PVA Administrator (as published in the Courier-Journal). In light of recent letters to the editor and the months of media coverage relating to Gov. Matt Bevin’s personal property assessment, I feel that some clarification of the property assessment and appeals process is warranted. It is very important to disseminate accurate information about the assessment and appeals process. Read more.


Plotting Housing Development In Louisville

From Insider Louisville: Developers have filed plans for new housing developments in 2017 as they look to cash in on and ease the continued demand for single-family and multifamily housing in Louisville. At the end of 2016, Insider Louisville debuted a map that showed where new subdivision projects, additions to existing subdivisions, apartment complexes, condominiums and mixed-use developments were planned. This week, Insider combed through Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government’s development records and our archives from Dec. 26 of last year to this past Monday to add new projects to the map. Read more.


Home Buying With Student Loans and Debt

From The Mortgage Reports: It's different to be a first-time home buyer as compared to an experienced one First-time home buyers often skew younger than the general home-buying population which means less work experience, lower income levels, and usually, less money saved for down payment. It also can mean higher levels of federal student loans and debt. Read more.


Home Sales On Pace To Beat Record 2016

From Insider Louisville: Despite lower housing inventory, buyers are finding houses, and possibly at record numbers, according to state and local data. The Greater Louisville Association of Realtors reported that home sales were up 2.42 percent in the Louisville MLS for the first six months of this year compared to the same period in 2016. As of June 30, there were 8,625 houses sold in the MLS in 2017 versus 8,421 in 2016. Read more.


Go To Louisville Architects Of The Early 20th Century

(From Insider Louisville): By the first decade of the 20th century, the mansion-building boom in Old Louisville had slowed down. The automobile had first been introduced to Louisville in 1897, and by 1905 there were about 400 of them in town. Paved roads were following suit. Louisville’s wealthy now were casting their horizons farther out, some as far out as the Glenview area along the Ohio River. Read more.


Infographic: Keeping Your Home Secure

Every year 2 million home burglaries are reported in the U.S.  If homeowners were to take a few extra security measures, this large number can be reduced. It is extremely important to know what can be done to prevent break-ins as this is not only a matter of your personal belongings being taken, but also a violation of privacy Victims of break ins can have many emotional effects that last a lifetime. The following infographic displays different tips and tricks to keep your home secure. 

Keeping Your Home Secure created by SABRE, SABRE offers a variety of home security systems.

Buyers Grow More Confident About Housing

From You may need to do less convincing to get home shoppers to make their move in the housing market. Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index rose 2.2 percentage points in April, with five of six components rising that measure confidence in buying, employment, household incomes, financing, and more. Read more.


Google Fiber Confirms Presence In Louisville

From The Courier-Journal: Google Fiber is a go in Louisville. But details on when the ultrafast network will be constructed and in what areas it will be first available will have to come later, Google Fiber said. “Many have eagerly waited to hear these words: Google Fiber is coming to Louisville,” Mayor Greg Fischer said Wednesday morning. Google Fiber said it plans to test ways to deploy super-fast Internet, with speeds about 20 times faster than conventional broadband, but that details of services in Louisville will come later, according to a news release. Read more.


American Brandy is Surging, Even In Whiskey Country

From Three years ago, Joe Heron, a pharmaceutical executive turned beverage-industry entrepreneur, moved here from Minneapolis to open a distillery. But unlike the dozens of other would-be whiskey barons setting up shop in Kentucky these days, Mr. Heron and his wife, Lesley, weren’t interested in making bourbon. They wanted to make brandy. Read more.


50 Tips To Sell Your Home This Spring Faster And At A Better Price

From Have you heard? It’s a seller’s market. Well, in most zip codes at least. But a hopping homebuying season doesn’t necessarily mean your home will go well over asking price just by putting up a For Sale sign. There’s still plenty a seller must do if they want to get the best price for their soon-to-be-former digs. Read more.


Moving to Louisville?

Louisville, Kentucky’s largest city, is more than baseball bats and horseracing (although we’ll talk about those in a minute). Being the 27th largest metro area in the U.S. has its perks. For example, it’s a large enough city to draw in job opportunities (the city recently ranked #18 nationwide for job opportunities in health care and affordable housing) while maintaining a big helping of quaint Southern charm. As you consider purchasing a new Louisville home, we have a few facts for you to consider about the city.

Louisville Bridge

 Derby City

Churchill Downs in South Louisville plays host every year to more than 150,000 attendees of the Kentucky Derby, held the day after the Kentucky Oaks, which itself is the third most-attended day of racing in the U.S. (For reference, the most recent Superbowl, held in Arlington, TX, was the most-attended Superbowl in history and saw only 103,219 attendees.) On top of the horse races, which continue in a tradition started back in 1875, the derby is also known for its fashion: those famed hats. The large, feathered, and otherwise extravagant headwear started becoming a staple at the event in the 1960s, and have attracted nearly as many admirers as the derby itself. While donning the stylish chapeaus, the derby observers are also downing approximately 120,000 mint juleps, the event’s traditional drink.

Strong Housing Market

Louisville’s real estate is in a great stage for buyers right now. In fact, the city was recently named the ...

Louisville Real Estate Trends For 2017

By Jay Gulick, Managing Broker

  • As reported by my friend Tre Pryor in his always insightful writings for Insider Louisville and Louisville Homes Blog, there continues to be serious shortage of houses for sale in Louisville. A balanced housing market (e.g. one that is equally good for buyers and sellers) has six months of available inventory. As Tre points out, in January 2017, there was only 2.18 months of available inventory across the entire market. The corollary to such a low supply of homes is that prices have continued to rise. The average sale price of all homes sold in Louisville in January was $194,108. For January 2016 that number was $187,392 and going back to January 2015, the average sale price was $166,740. So, in just two years the average sale price in Louisville has jumped approximately 16.4%.
  • Interestingly, for homes priced at $500,000 and above there is close to 9 months worth of available single family inventory. So while the market as a whole is very much a seller's market, the high end of the market is currently more favorable to buyers.
  • Lack of inventory coupled with better than average buyer demand also translates into multiple offer situations. Anecdotally, an agent in our office just listed a nicely updated $560,000 house in St. Matthews. She had 19 showings the first day it was on the market and received 3 purchase offers. Most buyers and sellers are well served by having professional agent representation during multiple offer situations which are stressful and highly competitive in even the best of situations.
  • Inventory is tight everywhere, especially in lower price ranges, but if you’re a buyer in 2017 it may pay to broaden your neighborhood search. For example, while the 40217 zip code in Germantown had a lot of buzz in 2016,...

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