Louisville Real Estate Blog

3 Top Housing Trends for 2018

When buying or selling a home, an understanding of current market trends could help optimize your time and money. Here are a four real estate trends that defined 2017 and are expected carry on into the new year.

3 Top Housing Trends for 2018

1. Competing Generations

The recent shift in home buying preferences is a generational one. Millennials are starting to abandon their condos in the city for starter homes in the burbs, putting them in direct competition with downsizing baby boomers. With these two groups both looking for similar housing, well-maintained single-family homes are expected to go very quickly in 2018.

2. Tightening Inventory

The fall of 2017 was tight in regards to the number of homes available for sale. In fact, total housing inventory was down 13.4 percent in October 2017 compared to the same time the year before, according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report.  For most of the country, sellers currently have the advantage. Will that change in 2018? It’s possible, but buyers should prepare for a market where they will have to be aggressive to purchase the home they want.

3. Advancing Tech

Like most other industries, real estate today is profoundly affected by the advance of technology. Homebuyers and sellers can easily access information about a house or the market with the click of a button, and virtual walk-throughs allow a buyer to enter a prospective home for the first time with few surprises. In real estate, technology has the potential to reward those who do their homework and make the most of digital...

4 Ways Having an Agent Beats Selling Solo

While selling your sofa or lawnmower on your own doesn't take a lot of sales skill, working with a professional real estate agent will help you get the most money in the shortest time when selling your home. Here are some of the top reasons I can help.

4 Ways Having an Agent Beats Selling Solo

1. Increase your profit

Many people think they'll make more money if they avoid paying an agent a commission and instead handle their own home sale, but the statistics show otherwise. According to the National Association of Realtors, selling with an agent brings in a higher profit, enough to cover the commission and then some. For one thing, I have the experience and tools to price your home appropriately. Studies show that homes priced correctly when they first hit the market sell faster, and for a better price, than those that linger with a decreasing price tag.

2. Save you time

While it may take just moments to upload a Craigslist ad, handling prospective buyers, inspectors, and appraisers can suck up your time. From screening out unqualified buyers to helping you prepare your home for inspections, I can help drive the process more efficiently.

3. Make a better deal

You might be proud of your poker face, but are you really a savvy enough negotiator to put one of the biggest deals of your life on the line? As most buyers use a buyer's agent, you'll probably be going toe-to-toe with a professional negotiator. When you list your house with me, you not only get their marketing power and connections, but you get a pro negotiator advocating for you during the initial offer, the counter offer, and the post-offer period, which includes inspections and...

5 New Year's Pledges for Home Sellers

Have you made your #NewYear resolutions yet? If you are thinking of selling your home in 2018, here are some tips to help get you started – call me when you're ready to meet your goals!

2018

1.  "Avoid drastic design changes"

Unless you’re turning your bold color palette into a more neutral one, it's best not to try to anticipate what buyers want in design and décor. The best way to freshen up your home is to simplify and depersonalize, so potential buyers can picture building their own lives there.

2. "Stop neglecting the dripping faucet"

This applies to all those repairs you might view as minor but could actually be a symptom of a larger problem. Addressing things like leaks, poor ventilation and cracks in walls helps avoid inspection surprises and eliminate buyer thoughts of “what else might be wrong?”

3. "Price my home reasonably"

It's understandable to think your home is worth more than the others on the block – especially if you've invested in key upgrades and remodels. And you might be right. But the only way to truly know is to compare your home against recent sales of similar homes in the area. I can help you reach a competitive price that reflects what your home is worth in the local real estate climate.

4. "Thin out the clutter"

When the For Sale sign goes up, your home should...

4 Tips for Creating a Home Gym With Limited Space

Take out the intimidation and the cost of a gym membership and work out at home. Just designate a space, crank the music, and go! Is fitness part of your resolution, yes or no?

4 Tips for Creating a Home Gym  With Limited Space

1. Designate a space

Regardless of whether your workout space is an entire room or just the width of a yoga mat, take steps to separate it from the rest of your living area. Experts agree a dedicated space helps keep you motivated. A room divider can help separate your equipment from the rest of your life — and prevent it from becoming a drying rack for your laundry.

2. Admire and inspire

A $10 mirror can make all the difference when it comes to checking your alignment and preventing injury. It can also give you a way to check your progress, or keep an eye on those love handles for extra motivation.

3. Equip yourself wisely

If you're short on space, you can find treadmills, rowers, TRX machines, and even bikes in fold-and-stash options. Adjustable weight sets take up a fraction of the space of a whole set of dumbbells. And a chin-up bar across a doorway hogs no floor space at all.

4. Turn the music up

An upbeat playlist can be a huge motivator for going the extra mile. Install speakers in your workout space, or find portable ones that can link to your phone.

Want to find a home with enough space to workout? I’ll help you find a home that will help you meet your goals. Give me a call, shoot me a text, or send me an email. My information is below.

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5 Holiday Recycling Tips

The post holiday mess is always so overwhelming! Luckily, there are ways to recycle tinsel, ribbon, wrapping paper, and even holidays trees with ease that will lessen your stress and won't eat at your conscience! Check out my favorite tips and tell me yours!

Recycling Tips

After the holidays, your home can look a bit hung over with piles of wrapping paper and fallen tinsel trailing under everyone's feet. It all feels like a hazy eggnog memory. You may be wondering how you'll possibly clear out all the trash. Well, maybe it doesn't have to be trash. Here are five tips for keeping the planet in mind as you clean up this holiday season.

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5 Ways to Connect with Family During the Holidays

It's often tough to be away from loved ones during the holidays. Fortunately, there are several ways everyone in your family, wherever they may be, can be included in celebrating the season. Here are a few.

5 Ways to Connect with Family during the Holidays

1. Make a date to video chat

Plan ahead (maybe even send out an e-vite) and schedule a virtual family reunion. Video chatting is easy – and free. Services like Skype, FaceTime, and Google Hangouts allow you to talk to more than one person at the same time. Bonus: you can finally turn down the volume on the uncle who shouts during every conversation.

2. Share an Activity

While everyone may not be able to do the same thing in the same place, you and your family members around the world can still share a holiday experience. For example, everyone could make the same treasured family recipe or create some DIY holiday decorations. Then, share the experience via phone or video chat.

3. Family Facebook

Set up a Facebook page for your extended family for the holidays and beyond. Posts can include messages or videos from each member of the family (don't forget the dog!) or snapshots from holiday activities.

4. Record a message – or a conversation.

SpareMin is an app that makes it easy to create and share audio recordings. Grab a family member and host your own podcast with a topic like "Family Update" or "2016 Year in Review."

5. Online family photo album

Sites like ...

Have You Saved Enough for Closing Costs?

Have You Saved Enough for Closing Costs?There are many potential homebuyers, and even sellers, who believe that they need at least a 20% down payment in order to buy a home or move on to their next home. Time after time, we have dispelled this myth by showing that many loan programs allow you to put down as little as 3% (or 0% with a VA loan).

If you have saved up your down payment and are ready to start your home search, one other piece of the puzzle is to make sure that you have saved enough for your closing costs.

Freddie Mac defines closing costs as:

“Closing costs, also called settlement fees, will need to be paid when you obtain a mortgage. These are fees charged by people representing your purchase, including your lender, real estate agent, and other third parties involved in the transaction. Closing costs are typically between 2 and 5% of your purchase price.”

We’ve recently heard from many first-time homebuyers that they wished that someone had let them know that closing costs could be so high. If you think about it, with a low down payment program, your closing costs could equal the amount that you saved for your down payment.

Here is a list of just some of the fees/costs that may be included in your closing costs, depending on where the home you wish to purchase is located:

  • Government recording costs
  • Appraisal fees
  • Credit report fees
  • Lender origination fees
  • Title services (insurance, search fees)
  • Tax service fees
  • Survey fees
  • Attorney fees
  • Underwriting fees

Is there...

Selling in the Winter Attracts Serious Buyers

Selling in the Winter Attracts Serious Buyers

A recent study of more than 7 million home sales over the past four years revealed that the season in which a home is listed may be able to shed some light on the likelihood that the home will sell for more than asking price, as well as how quickly the sale will close.

It’s no surprise that listing a home for sale during the spring saw the largest return, as the spring is traditionally the busiest month for real estate. What is surprising, though, is that listing during the winter came in second!

“Among spring listings, 18.7 percent of homes fetched above asking, with winter listings not far behind at 17.5 percent. While 48.0 percent of homes listed in spring sold within 30 days, 46.2 percent of homes in winter did the same.”

The study goes on to say that:

“Buyers [in the winter] often need to move, so they’re much less likely to make a lowball offer and they’ll often want to close quickly — two things that can make the sale much smoother.”

Bottom Line

If you are debating listing your home for sale within the next 6 months, keep in mind that the spring is when most other homeowners will decide to list their homes as well. Listing your home this winter will ensure that you have the best exposure to the serious buyers who are out looking now!

The study used the astronomical seasons to determine which season the listing date fell into (Winter: Dec. 21 – Mar. 20; Spring: Mar. 21 – June 20; Summer:...

3 Questions to Ask Before Buying Your Dream Home

3 Questions to Ask Before Buying Your Dream Home

If you are debating purchasing a home right now, you are probably getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family will have your best interest at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in the real estate market.

Ask yourself the following 3 questions to help determine if now is actually a good time for you to buy in today’s market.

1. Why am I buying a home in the first place?

This truly is the most important question to answer. Forget the finances for a minute. Why did you even begin to consider purchasing a home? For most, the reason has nothing to do with money.

For example, a recent survey by Braun showed that over 75% of parents say “their child’s education is an important part of the search for a new home.”

This survey supports a study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University which revealed that the four major reasons people buy a home have nothing to do with money. They are:

  • A good place to raise children and for them to get a good education
  • A place where you and your family feel safe
  • More space for you and your family
  • Control of that space

What does owning a home mean to you? What non-financial benefits will you and your family gain from owning a home? The answer to that question should be the biggest reason you decide to purchase or not.

2. Where are home values headed?

According to the latest Home Price Index from CoreLogic, home values are projected to increase by 5.3% over the next 12 months.

What does that mean to you?...

Is Getting a Home Mortgage Still Too Difficult?

Getting a Home Mortgage

There is no doubt that mortgage credit availability is expanding, meaning it is easier to finance a home today than it was last year. However, the mortgage market is still much tighter than it was prior to the housing boom and bust experienced between 2003 - 2006.

The Housing Financing Policy Center at the Urban Institute just released data revealing two reasons for the current exceptionally high credit standards:

  1. Additional restrictions lenders put on borrowing because of concerns that they will be forced to repurchase failed loans from the government-sponsored enterprises or Federal Housing Administration (FHA).
  2. The concern about potential litigation for imperfect loans.

What has been the result of these concerns?

6.3 Million Less Mortgages

The Policy Center report went on to say:

“It was so hard to get a mortgage in 2015 that lenders failed to make about 1.1 million mortgages that they would have made if reasonable lending standards had been in place. From 2009 to 2014, lenders failed to make about 5.2 million mortgages thanks to overly tight credit. In total, lenders would have issued 6.3 million additional mortgages between 2009 and 2015 if lending standards had been more reasonable.”

In an interview with DSNews, Laurie Goodman and Alanna McCargo of the Policy Center further explained:

“Our Housing Credit Availability Index (HCAI)* measures the probability that mortgage borrowers will become...

THANK YOU VETERANS!

American Flag

Thank you to our veterans for involving themselves in our local communities, our state, and our country, helping us to solve problems and to create a vision for our future using the skills they learned during their time in the service. I want to especially thank Steve Poe, one of my clients from the past year!

Interested in how to show your support? Louisville will be honoring veterans with an annual parade today, Friday, November 11th, downtown on Main Street at 11:00a.m. That time choice is significant because that is the time the cease fire took effect to end WWI. Bleacher seating is available between Fourth and Sixth Streets!

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