Louisville Real Estate Blog

Top 5 Home Maintenance Tips

Trying to save money? During my years of experience in the real estate industry, I’ve learned that home maintenance is so much more affordable than emergency repairs. Here are five routine maintenance projects that can help prevent unexpected costs and save you money year-round.

1. Clear out gutters

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Homegating Tips: Bring Home the Big-Game Celebration

Game on! It’s that time of year again, when your family and friends get together for the big game and an afternoon of food, beer, team spirit and homegating. Yes, homegating has officially become the new tailgating. No more bundling up in chilly fall weather or butting heads with your rivals over whose hot dog toppings are better; sports fans are trading in for an even better game experience right in their living room.


My homegating playbook is below:

Set the game-time mood:

Tailgating decorations are aplenty in the world of sports and for homegating you can find even more! Garnish your entertainment room with team colors and memorabilia, including team cups, koozies, game-day chair covers, wall decor…the list goes on.

Man-to-chair coverage:

It may be worth moving your bulky, fragile furniture out of your entertainment room to create space for extra chairs (or pacing, for those nail-biting plays). Set aside a few easily accessible folding chairs or bar stools so that everyone watching has a seat to hold on to.

Create a kid-friendly zone:

Your young children more than likely don’t know who’s playing in the championship, and probably don’t care either. Dedicate a safe space for them to romp around and have their own playtime.

Food and drinks:

A snack and beverage station on the sidelines will go over well with all your guests. Don’t overthink it, though; if a cooler of drinks and a variety of appetizers can get fans through a tailgate, the same will work at your homegate....

Buying a Home? 4 Signs It’s Time to Call An Agent

While house hunting TV shows tour the neighborhood, close the deal and throw a housewarming party in 30 minutes, real life is not as streamlined. If you’re in the process of buying a home, here are signs it’s time to call a Realtor®.

1. You believe everything on the internet

While you can view tons of listings online, not all of the information is accurate or up-to-date. You’ll see outdated comps, conflicting forecasts and different ratings. With access to the MLS and insight on properties about to hit the market, a Realtor will make sure you’re considering all of the homes in your marketplace that fit your criteria.

2. You’re juggling a hectic schedule

You don’t need to spend time sorting through listings and contacting sellers. An agent will do the browsing so you only visit the homes that best fit your needs and price range.

3. The biggest thing you’ve negotiated lately was your kids’ bedtime (and you lost)

As professional negotiators with years of experience, Realtors know how to create, present and negotiate the best offer. Remember, you’ll be going up against another professional negotiator: the seller’s agent.

4. You don’t know if a neighborhood is on the way up or down

An agent who knows the neighborhood can give you the scoop about local developments and changes that don’t always pop up in a Google search. He or she will also put them in context of larger market forces that could impact the future value of a home.

If you’re looking for an experienced...

It’s Back to School Time: Top Tips to Stay Sane

Going back to school is an exciting time. Kids get to see their friends, have a new year of field trips to look forward to and, with any luck, get the teachers your neighbors rave about. However, with homework and extracurricular activities, going back to school can be stress-inducing for both parents and children. Here are some tips to keep calm, cool and collected.

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Parents:

RE/MAX Celebrates 26 Years of Miracles

Every minute, 62 children enter a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital for treatment. For the past 26 years, RE/MAX agents have donated generously to make sure they receive the treatment they need.

Since 1992, RE/MAX agents and brokers have invested in the well-being of their local communities through the Miracle Home Program, where an agent donates a portion of their commission to their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. Every dollar...

5 Tips for Home Sellers with Pets

For you, a house isn’t home without your animal family members. But for potential buyers, lingering animal smells and fur can be a turn-off. Here are my best tips removing traces of pets for before a showing.

1. Holey backyard, Batman!

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Get Rid of Clutter with These 5 Garage Sale Tips

Tackling clutter is my first recommendation when it comes to staging a home. It’s a great way for clients to start clearing out items ahead of their move. Here are a few tips to get started.

1. List your sale on the "Garage Sale" section of Craigslist and on any neighborhood Facebook page groups. Include photos of your more interesting items to attract shoppers.

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How to Find a Home with the Perfect Backyard BBQ Spot

Summer is in full swing, and if you ask me, there’s nothing better than an evening with burgers and brats on the grill, neighbors over to play yard games and dogs romping in the yard. If outdoor entertaining is also a priority for you in your new home, here are four things to look for:

1. Space

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4 Steps to Win a Bidding War

Housing inventory is tight across the country, and many homebuyers find themselves in a bidding war with other buyers. RE/MAX has some pointers to help you act fast during the bidding process to gain the seller’s attention.

1. Have a "Dream Team"

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5 Things to Think About When Buying Your First Place

As a renter, you have the luxury of choosing a place that meets your needs at the moment. Buying a home is a much bigger commitment, both in terms of finances and the length of time you’ll likely live there. When seeking out your first place – whether a house or condominium or anything in between – it’s important to do your homework.


Here are 5 things to consider as you begin the process of purchasing your first place.

1. The growth possibilities...

Redecorating Empty Nest

Sure, you could leave that cluttered room as a shrine to your college freshman, but wouldn't you love to use that space? Break the news to your kid gently, don't throw anything out without consulting them and keep some closet space open for when they come back to visit. Then consider one of these redecorating ideas for your empty nest.

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1. Guest room

4 Potential Surprises When Buying a Home

You can’t control all the variables when purchasing a home, but being aware of them can certainly help you along the way.

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1. Low inventory means you have to act fast ...

Pros and Cons of Having a Garden Bed

Spring means getting your hands dirty for planting season. Whether it’s plants or vegetables, you might be thinking about creating a garden bed this year. Now, when it comes to gardening, I realize everyone has their own school of thought and specific way to address the year’s crop. However, if you’re new, here are a few pros and cons to building a garden bed. 

The Good Side of Garden Beds

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How Going Green Can Help Your House Sell Faster

When it comes to real estate, “going green” is an investment in the future. The benefits to potential buyers are many and having money-saving, energy-efficient upgrades in your home can mean the difference between selling quickly or lingering on the market.


In fact, a study by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) found that 90 percent of homebuyers take energy efficiency into account when shopping for a home. 


RE/MAX created a list of advantages a green home offers buyers and some environmental upgrades you should consider before you sell.

WHY GREEN MATTERS

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3 Things to Know Before Registering Your Home on a Short-Term Rental Site

Vacation rentals only continue to gain in popularity. The concept is often a win-win, as short-term rentals can provide an income opportunity for owners and a unique way for visitors to experience a city. 

If you are an owner considering offering your vacation home up for rental, here a few things to keep in mind before you dive in. 

1. Legality

The rise in popularity of Airbnb and other sites hasn't been without controversy. There are concerns that short-term rentals threaten the jobs of hotel workers, and that a short-term rental doesn't have to pass the same certifications and inspections of regular hotels. 


Some cities have enacted restrictions against short-term rentals. You may need to register and get a permit or a license – or you may not be able to host at all. Check with the local government to make sure you understand the laws and regulations. 

2. Taxes

Second homes and rental properties are subject to specific tax rules, so be sure you know what's expected and what you can deduct.

3. Additional Costs

Renting out your home could mean an extra insurance bill. Check with your insurance agent to learn what your current policy covers regarding short-term renters. Airbnb currently offers some insurance options for short-term renters, and many of the other sites have partnerships that make it easy to take out additional coverage, if needed.

In addition to insurance, you'll have to pay a percentage of the rental income to the website: Airbnb and FlipKey both currently charge a 3% host service fee, VRBO has an option to pay-per-booking or an annual subscription...

Paw-sitive Reinforcement: 5 Ways to Help Pets Adjust After a Move

Moving can be stressful for every family member – including the four-legged ones. Every animal reacts differently to new living quarters, and temperament has a lot to do with it. Some pets take a move in stride, while others exhibit anxiety or insecurity for days or weeks.


Here are 5 things to consider as the big move approaches and after you're in your new home.

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1. A little help from the vet

First-time Homebuyers: You're Closer To A Down Payment Than You Think

For many first-time buyers, saving for a down payment is the most difficult step in the home-buying process. However, it's a common misconception that you always need 20 percent down to buy a home.

Here’s the lowdown on the most popular low-down alternative payment options:

FHA Loan

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March 2018 Housing Report: 4 Things to Know

One word sums up February home sales across the country – inventory. The lack of homes for sale continues to be the key factor as February marks the third consecutive month of year-over-year declines in home sales, coupled with quick sales and record prices. Here are key points from March’s report:

1. Slightly fewer transactions occurred

Of the 52 metro areas surveyed in February 2018, the overall average number of home sales increased about 3 percent compared to January 2018 and decreased .2 percent compared to February 2017. The beginning of the year is typically a slower selling season, but buyers should still work with their agents to navigate the competitive market.

2. Low inventory is driving prices up

The median sales price of a home sold in February was $228,700. That's nearly 8 percent higher than the median sales price in February 2017 and marks the 22nd consecutive month of year-over-year price increases.

3. Inventory continues to shrink

While the hot markets like Denver and San Francisco continue to see low supplies of inventory, we’re also watching more homebuyers migrate into unexpected markets. In one year, Billings, Montana, saw a 59 percent increase in home sales, along with Boise, Idaho, with a 25 percent increase in sales.

4. Days on market continue to drop

According to the March RE/MAX National Housing Report, home sales dropped 0.2% from February 2017, while the Days on Market average of 62 days was the lowest of any February in the report’s nine-year history.

Dig into the details of the ?...

5 Home Projects to Tackle this Spring

March means the weather is (hopefully) warming up. It’s the perfect time to get ahead on home maintenance. Here are a few projects to focus on during a spring fling of home repair.

1. Wash away the winter

Power washing your home's exterior not only adds to its sparkle, but also blasts away any potentially damaging mold and mildew. Rent a power washer at your local home improvement store and hit your siding, deck and driveway.

2. Check your AC

Scheduling a tune-up for your cooling system now can save you big bucks in the long run. Change your AC filter and schedule a pro to come check your system before contractors get busy during the summer.

3. Go with the flow

Pull out a ladder and unclog gutters. While you’re up there, check that they're connected securely.

4. Bask in the sun

Catch some rays – and brighten your home – by cleaning your windows, inside and out. Use a squeegee instead of paper towels to avoid looking out through a filter of streaks and lint.

5. Hit the fridge

The dust and grime that collects on your refrigerator's coils forces it to use more energy to cool. Cleaning coils is easy with your vacuum's hose attachment. Then, enjoy efficiently-made ice cubes in a cocktail after all your hard work.

And add a paper drink umbrella. After all, it is spring break.

What else can you be doing to help your home sell quickly and at the right price? Reach out to me, and I’d love to share other ideas. 

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