From RealtorMag: From the layout of the kitchen to the colors of the paint, a home’s interior space can affect people in a variety of ways, both positive and negative. Distaste for the way something in a home looks can even raise your levels of cortisol, the stress hormone associated with a wide range of health problems. Read more.
From HouseLogic: The first thing you need to know about home inspection: You’ll feel all the feels. There’s the excitement — the inspection could be the longest time you’re in the house, after the showing. Right behind that comes … anxiety. What if the inspector finds something wrong? So wrong you can’t buy the house? Then there’s impatience. Seriously, is this whole home-buying process over yet? Not yet. But you’re close. So take a deep breath. Because the most important thing to know about home inspection: It’s just too good for you, as a buyer, to skip. Here’s why.
The first half of the 2018 Louisville real estate market was marked by home prices continuing to rise faster than a porch thermometer on a sweltering July afternoon. From January 1 through June 30, the average sale price across the Louisville market was up 5.8% to $217,101 (from $205,194 for the same period in 2017). The median price was $177,500 vs. $169,900 a year ago. For the month of June, that average sale price was a staggering $237,458 (five years ago in June 2013 the average sale price was $195,411).
Rising home prices continue to be driven by a shortage of inventory. For the entire Louisville MLS (multiple listing service), the inventory of available properties was 7% lower than for the first half of 2017. The total number of homes sold from January 1 through June 30, 2018 was 8,516 vs. 8,706 or 2.2% less than the same period in 2017. The inventory situation may be improving slightly according to the industry association the Greater Louisville Association of Realtors (GLAR).
Interest rates have risen modestly and mortgage rates have followed suit with a recent 30-year fixed rate at approximately 4.5% according to Bankrate.com (this compares to about 4% for this time in 2017). Most analysts expect rates to continue to rise gradually through at least the end of 2019.
In its mid-year market analysis, GLAR reported more than 4,000 properties for sale at present compared to 3,000 just a few months ago. As has been the case for the last few years, move-in ready homes under $250,000 continue to set the pace and are selling quickly, often in multiple offer situations.
The high-end market also continues to be robust with 347 sales of properties between $500,000 and $999,999 in 2018 vs. 320 for the same period in 2017. Sales of properties priced at $1 million plus also showed limited growth with 41 sales in 2018 vs. 37 in 2017.
The question on most consumers’ minds seems to be: How long can this bull real estate market...
It’s a good time to be selling high-end real estate: The luxury market is posting a record number of sales, and 19 major areas also saw double-digit gains in July, according to realtor.com®’s 2018 Luxury Home Index. The index measures the entry-level luxury price tier, which is the top 5 percent of residential sales among 91 U.S. counties. Read more.
If you’re transferring to a new home or office with the help of a moving company, then the following tips on how to cut costs when moving should come in handy.
Don’t bring everything with you
Surely, some of your belongings are things you don’t really want, much less need. Instead of taking them with you to your new home or office, getting rid of them in one way or another is a much better option. Just leave them behind or give them away. If you want to make some money off them, then hold a garage sale.
Schedule the move during the off-peak season
Moving during peak season can cost you more than if you do it during off-peak months when movers charge lower rates and conditions are more convenient. If you do your move sometime between September to early April, you are going to reduce your costs.
Recycle packing materials
It’s always good to have brand new materials on hand when packing, but if you want to save money, recycling should be an option. You can use boxes you already have at home, but if you need more, you can always ask friends and family for old boxes of their own. You can also go to your neighborhood store and buy old boxes for cheap, or even get them for free.
Pack your own stuff
Some people are just too busy to do their own packing, so they hire someone else to do it for them. Hiring professional packers are a good option if you have the budget for it, but if you’re short on funds, making time to pack your belongings is pretty much the only choice you have left.
Do your research on moving companies...
According to the United States Census Bureau, more than 35.5 million Americans relocate annually and more than 11 times during a lifetime. Based on these statistics, there is a good chance that you or someone you know will soon need a reasonable, reliable long-distance moving company. Here is the new buyer’s guide to long-distance moves.
1. Plan Well in Advance
If you have ever experienced a move, you know it is a significant event that disrupts your lifestyle. The essential part of relocation is to begin planning three months before the move to handle the smaller chores that often have financial consequences when forgotten. Keep in mind that if you are moving during the peak summer season, you should make contact sooner.
2. Declutter and Downsize
Before contacting moving companies, you should declutter and downsize so that you know the weight or width of your moving requirements. Decluttering will significantly reduce your moving costs as well as the energy to pack it. If you wait to do this chore, it will complicate the estimate, which companies will not reimburse when based on “not to exceed” contractual weight.
3. Record Moving Items in Detail
Before beginning your research, you should make a detailed list of your property as well as their value and descriptions to ensure estimate accuracy. Take an image of each item for insurance purposes....
Sharing a home is an exciting and monumental step for couples, especially when purchasing a house together. The appeal of buying an older home and altering it to meet your style can be very tempting, especially when pricing is considered.
However, undergoing home renovations is one of the most stressful experiences couples go through. Renovations require time and financial commitments, and often lead to stress from messy surroundings and ugly surprises about your home that come to light during the process.
So how can you ensure that your relationship will survive? Here are some of the essential Do’s and Don’ts of home renovation when you’re moving in together:
Do Set a Budget
Set a budget before diving into your home renovation project. To establish a budget, you will need to determine what needs to be done, research the process, and request quotes to determine what a reasonable budget will be. Once that is done, you can agree on a total number and break it down by room. You may decide to use gifts to contribute to your home renovation project-- you can find more details here.
To prevent arguments, you will want to not only determine the budget but determine who is paying for what. Frustration can arise when one person feels as though they have spent a greater portion of the budget than the other person unless this divide is determined beforehand. For example, if one half of the partnership makes more money than the other, they may take on a...
Who isn’t looking for a new way to save money and go green these days? In my personal experience, I started looking for ways to reduce the amount of energy I consumed after noticing how my utility bills had been continuously growing for months. Turns out there are a lot of ways to save energy. Hence, I decided to share the knowledge and turn my research into a post on practical tips to save energy and money. Let's get to it! Read more from Alex Harris at ElectroSawHQ.com.
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.
Via Forbes.com: 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.
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 improve...
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 gutters...
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.
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?
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 ensures...
Niche.com, 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.
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.
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.
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 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 was...
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.
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.
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.
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.