10 Questions You Should be Asking Your Real Estate Agent
...and probably aren't
If you are buying real estate and especially if this is your first time buying real estate or you just haven't purchased property in several years, things may have changed and you may just not be familiar with the process. In any case, there are questions about the property and even your real estate agent that are important to know before making a final decision. Here are some questions you should be asking a real estate agent that you probably don't even think about.
Q. Is the property in a flood zone?
Just because you don't see any water around doesn't mean that the home is not zoned in a flood zone. It's important to know this because you will need additional homeowners insurance.
Q. Is the home close to an airport, freeway or train tracks?
These may not seem obvious when you tour the home so it's important to ask, especially if it's going to be an issue for you. Is the home in a flight path or are there night trains that go by that will keep you awake or drive you crazy?
Read More: How to Find the Perfect Neighborhood
Q. How easy will this home be to resell?
Most people don't think of reselling a home before they've even purchased it but it's important to know this if you plan on selling anytime down the road. Even if you don't think you are going to sell, you never know what may come up so it's important to buy a home that has resell value.
Q. Can I have references from past clients?
When choosing to work...
Take a walk thru 11311 Oakhurst Road - Luxury Living and Entertaining in Lake Forest! Ranch Style With An Additional Bonus Level, Updates, Open, Spacious, 3 Master Bedrooms and Circular Drive. There are also 2 other rooms for office or craft space that are currently used as bedrooms. This custom-built home with Golf Course Views is nestled between the 11th and 12th holes in Lake Forest.
Buying an Older House and the Things to Look For
They just don’t make them like they used to. Our parents have said it, our grandparents have said it and most of us have said it about something at some point in our lifetime. Whether it be about the continually breaking washing machine, our vehicle that is always in need of maintenance, the lawnmower that doesn’t seem to cut grass, you name it, quite often it seems like the quality of “newer” things isn’t up to par. Sometimes older truly is better and this is especially true in older homes. A home with good bones has unlimited potential. While there are many different things that you should keep your eyes peeled for when buying an older home, you will find that most of the time you will be incredibly pleased with the bones of your “new” old home.
Whether your home is 30 years old or hundreds of years old, there are always things to look for before you make your purchase and dive head first into your new house. Here are a few things to keep in mind when viewing and touring houses you may soon call home:
Lead Paint: Most of us have heard about the problems that are associated with lead paint at some point in our life, however it might not click to ask about it when touring homes. Generally, any home built before 1978 should be inspected for lead paint, homes build after 1978 should be in the clear. Many houses that were built before 1978 (when lead paint was banned) may not contain it as many people had already realized this paint was deadly. Contrary to public...
Moving with Children
Studies say constantly relocating to new homes can have a long lasting negative impact on a child’s development. This makes transitioning into a new home quite a daunting task that requires proper prior planning. According to Dr Shegeiro Oishi a renowned psychology professor at the University Virginia, relocating to a new house is not always bad for kids provided parents take time to make their kids comfortable with the idea of moving and make arrangements to involve children in the house hunting process. This article details some of the challenges that children face when it comes to relocating to a new home and gives effective tips that come in handy in making moving a seamless and painless experience people with kids.
Challenges Children Face When Moving To A New Home
Losing friends and peer groups - Young kids can be attached to their friends and there is no doubt many tweens and teenagers are emotionally attached to their peer groups. Relocating to a new home means abandoning relationships that they care about to start new ones in an absolutely new environment which is a very scary and nerve wrecking concept. This is particularly tough for introverted kids.
Academics suffer - If moving involves changing schools then it can detrimentally affect children’s academic performance. If moving will require changing schools then this may affect the kids’ academic work as they will have to acclimatize with the new teachers and new classmates.
Finding the Perfect Neighborhood in the Lousivlle KY Area
When searching for a new home often one of the main deciding factors is where the home is located. Staying within school districts, ensuring you have a short commute, staying close to your favorite shops and restaurants, the list is endless. With so many things to keep in mind it is certainly an import step to ensure your new home fits into your desired neighborhood. If you are starting your search in the Louisville area you are in luck! There are more than 15 small neighboring areas that are available for you to browse. Each offers it’s own unique features making sure that you are guaranteed to find the home of your dreams in the perfect location. We will be diving into 5 of these neighborhoods to help break down some of the main highlights each has to offer. This will help you find that special new place to call home in that perfect spot on the map.
- Springhurst: With shopping close by, Springhurst is the perfect place to gather with friends and family. Springhurst offers a great school district and is perfect for all of the adventure your family desires with it’s many outdoor activities.
- Polo Fields: If you are looking for an upscale luxurious home, this is the place for you! Featuring...
An open house is a great way to see different properties without the commitment and hassle of contacting a buyers agent and scheduling a showing. It's often the first step that many buyers take when they begin their search for a new home. They made tour certain neighborhoods, be on the lookout for newspaper ads and talk to brokers about different open houses in particular neighborhoods. This allows buyers to browse open houses at their leisure, ask questions and find out a little bit about the property in the neighborhood. If you're in the market for a new Louisville Kentucky home and you're currently browsing open houses here are some great questions to ask the real estate agent to find out as much about the property as possible and save yourself a lot of time.
#1. Ask why the homeowner is moving.
This is probably one of the number one question a lot of buyers agents get and it's a valid one. Even if you don't get the full story most real estate agents will let you know that either the homeowner has been relocated, there's a family status change or there moving up or downsizing. Most of the time real estate agents won't tell you if there's something really horrible about the house but they do need to disclose certain items about the house such a structural integrity, coding and zoning. Be sure to read between the lines and listen for clues on why the owner might be selling. Is there a noisy train close by? Is this a high crime neighborhood? Is it a bad school district etc. Often times by knowing why the homeowners moving can put the home in either a positive or negative light.
#2. How long has the house been on the market?
This is a great question to ask as a gives you a good idea of the timeline of the property. If the home has just...
Louisville home sales are up 4.7% over February 2015. The number of active listings on the market is down 20.1% compared to the same time last year. That’s why realtors are finding it tougher and tougher to find homes for anxious buyers. If the lack of inventory continues, home sales could tumble, as buyers get discouraged with the lack of options to choose from.
The absorption rate is much lower than we've seen in years. In case you don't know what the absorption rate is, imagine all homes coming on the market stopped as of this moment. The absorption rate measures the number of buyers in the marketplace, the number of sellers putting their homes on the market and the number of homes going under contract. When combined the absorption rate gives us a good indication of how the home sales market is performing.
There are several scales but the one we look at closely says that if there is a six-month supply of homes or more it's a buyers market. If there is a 5 to 6 month supply of homes it's a neutral market. Finally anything less than a five month supply of homes and were looking at a sellers market. As of this writing, the absorption rate was 3.43 month supply of homes that's a firm sellers market! Compare that to just a year ago where the absorption rate was a 4.83 month supply. Not quite a neutral market but certainly not anywhere near as hot as the market is right now!
For sellers, the good news is that homes priced right, in good condition and staged properly are selling in a matter of days. We’ve...
You certainly don't want to give away your home when selling nor do you want to pay the highest price when buying. Good negotiation skills can take years to develop and tips and strategies come from highly qualified buyers agents and listing agents. But there are ways you can negotiate for the right terms and price in your next real estate deal.
Here are 10 tips that all buyers and sellers should know when it comes to real estate negotiations.
#1. Be an effective communicator.
Before you can negotiate anything you need to be an effective communicator. If you don't how to communicate properly, appropriately or accurately, your needs and desires are simply not going to get across. You need to listen, clarify, understand the opposite parties expectations and understand your expectations as well.
#2. Know the market.
If you have no idea what an accurate price is for a particular piece of property you are negotiating in the dark. The other party might be laughing at you because you simply don't understand the current market trends and strategies. Understand if it's a buyers market or a sellers market or if the market is balanced. There's no points to request a lower price on a home if the seller has three backup offers over list price. You have to understand what you're dealing with, the current market and how to really get what you want.
Read More: ...
Two New Home Communities in Louisville
Brookfield – Pulte Homes
Pulte residents who call Kentucky home, love to take advantage of all that Pulte and the Bluegrass State have to offer, from rich history set inhttp://www.weselllouisville.com/ beautiful cityscapes and countryside, to semi-custom...
Thinking of selling your home? Don’t wait until 2016, buyers are out there right now looking for the perfect home. Consider the fact Louisville area real estate continues to outpace last year. According to the latest numbers from the Greater Louisville Association of Realtors, homes going under contract increased a whopping 12.4% October 2015 compared to October 2014. The number of Louisville area homes closing in October 2015, up 1.3% over 2014. The absorption rate sits at a 4.4-month supply (a strong sellers market).
The numbers could be even better if there were more homes on the market. There were 17.5% fewer homes on the market last month compared to October 2014. In fact the number of homes coming on the market last month was down 2.5% compared to October last year.
So what does this all mean? The real estate market in the Louisville area continues to improve month over month. We’re seeing a number of homes that went under contract the month before not closing for a variety of reasons:
1) Appraisers found the sales contract price was higher than what comps in the area had sold for. This has been a problem but it escalated at the beginning of this year when the government instituted a random computer check of appraisals. If the computer felt the appraisal was too high it would kick it back to the appraiser to be reworked. The appraiser doesn't get more money to do the extra work so they are more conservative in the beginning. That's why we're finding more appraisals coming in low. If the buyer is unwilling to come up with cash out of pocket or the seller is unwilling...
Homes With Pools in Louisville
Thinking of buying a home in Louisville with a pre existing pool or hot tub? If so, there are some things you need to know to ensure they continue to run smoothly.
First, get an inspection. Your local pool professional should be able to send someone out to your home to check the integrity of the structure of your pool and hot tub and let you know how much "life it has left" in it.
Next, as the new owner of a hot tub, you want a fresh start so that it's YOUR hot tub. Start by cleaning the plumbing, changing the filter and draining the water (be sure to turn the power to the hot tub off before you drain it). Once it's empty, wipe down the walls and seats with a hot tub cleaning product. After the filter has been replaced and the tub has been cleaned, you can refill the tub back up to the skimmer level.
Now, that your hot tub is clean and brand new to you, you'll want the water to stay clean and healthy. This means having the right balance of chemicals in the water.
Bring a sample of the water, as well as any chemicals the previous homeowners left behind, to your local pool professional. They can analyze the water and how to use the chemicals to keep the water in balance. You must use a proper sanitizer, chlorine or bromine, to kill the bacteria in the water (water treatment systems will not kill the bacteria). They will help to keep the ph, alkalinity and hardness levels balanced as well. Make certain to only use chemicals, cleaning products and scents that are specifically approved for hot tub use.
If you've become the new owner of a pool, YIPEE! How fun that...
Homes in Indian Hills, Louisville
The City of Indian Hills is a community of just under 1,200 homes and 2,900 citizens, located in Jefferson County, Kentucky, approximately seven miles northeast of downtown Louisville. Located just minutes from downtown and east end shopping and dining, Indian Hills is a perfect location for those who want to have it all. As of 1999, Indian Hills is a Home Rule City as authorized by the Commonwealth of Kentucky legislature. However, development of the neighborhood began in 1924. Today, Indian Hills serves as a welcoming haven for families.
The history of this area is rich and the soil even richer. Taking its name from the pioneer days, Indian Hills continues to provide a sense of nature and community. The Veech family, known for horse breeding and potato farming, first developed this area in the early 1920s. Everyone since has tried to stay true to the land’s natural flow. Rolling streets with mature trees and lush shrubs such as honeysuckle are just part of what gives this area the feeling of being part of a simpler more natural time, as well as the fact that over a third of the area's land is purposefully undeveloped woodlands.
Once considered the suburbs, the Indian Hills neighborhood now is considered by many to be an easy commute for those that work in the downtown Louisville area.
Homes and Prices
President Zachary Taylor once lived in this beautiful area, originally designed by Frederick Law Olmstead that consists of four different sections: Indian Hills-Cherokee, Indian Hills-Country Club, Robinswood,...
Everyone Wants a Rambler or One Story House
Ramblers were a very popular American style of architecture in the 1950s and 1960s. Many families moving to the suburbs at the time found them appealing because they were easy to build and cost effective. In more recent years, however, people began to favor grander looking, two story homes. Housing styles are always falling in and out of favor just like fashion trends. Today, it seems ramblers are making a comeback in Louisville and elsewhere.
There are many reasons the rambler is making a comeback. Many home buyers in today's market are aging baby boomers and first time home buyers. Both young and old like the idea of a rambler because they can do all their living on one floor without the worry of stairs for old bodies or tumbling toddlers. Ramblers also offer more affordable options that can provide more bang for your buck.
Another reason people are returning to ramblers is the fact that many of them were, like we stated earlier, built in the 50s and 60s. This means they were often built on larger lots. The large homes you see built today are often constructed on much smaller lots. Buyers are beginning to express an interest in larger yards with mature vegetation.
Additionally, when considering the architecture of the rambler, they have a lot of potential. Home owners like the contemporary style of an open floor plan. Ramblers can be remodeled to convey an open look without compromising any structural support. Also, due to the large lot size that many ramblers are on, they're also easy to add on too. The ability to increase square footage and home value is always a perk. Image by ...
I'm a First Time Buyer. Where Do I Start?
Home buying can be intimidating and nerve wracking and rightly so. It's a complex process. However, there is hope for it to not be as overwhelming as all of that. How? By reading a list like that below to start you on your road to home ownership.
1. Find a professional and experienced Realtor to work with. This person will be your "Buyer's Agent". Your Realtor will be a guide and resource to what, when and how to do things. He or she will also manage all of the contracts, deadlines and details for you, making life that much easier.
2. Get pre-approval for a mortgage with a lender of your choice. This is best done face to face after interviewing a few of them by phone or through email. Your Realtor will suggest a few lenders for you to try from their networking and connections as well as coach you on the right questions to ask.
3. Pick a neighborhood or community you like that is within your price range. Also consider factors such as commuting time, schools and proximity to daily needs. Your Realtor will help you with information on subdivisions and price ranges, but be sure to do some independent research by driving around on your own time to compare and decide.
4. Now it's time to choose. Your Realtor will provide details on all available homes in your area within your budget. After you pick your favorites, your Realtor will arrange the showings and accompany you to each property you've...
They're BACK! Low Down Payment Loans
You've been wishin' and a waitin' and your prayers have been answered! Borrowers are finally once again seeing the return of some low down payment loans that will allow people to enjoy all the benefits of home ownership. This news is going to have a big effect on the recovery of the housing market. This is especially so for first time home buyers.
With the crash in 2008 and the following mortgage meltdown, these loans had disappeared, but they're back and people couldn't be more pleased. Here's some outlines on the changes concerning them with their return:
The type of loan that has returned is one offered by lenders themselves such as the Right Step mortgage by T.D. Bank. The lender recently lowered Right Step's minimum down payment from 5 percent to 3 percent while raising the debt to income ratio to 41 percent.
This type of loan is competitive with F.H.A because private mortgage insurance is not required ( it usually is on loans with less than 20% down). Rather, T.D. requires all applicants to go through a housing education class. This type of class has shown to improve loan performance significantly.
Qualifications include that borrowers must have a minimum FICO score of 660 and income at or below 80% of the area median income. If the borrower is buying in a Census-defined low to moderate income area, the income cap is waived.
It was a rough beginning to 2014. Ice, snow, freezing temperatures and slush kept buyers indoors slowing down the Louisville housing recovery. The sales numbers for March 2014 reflect sharp decrease in home sales. The latest numbers from the Greater Louisville Association of Realtors shows the number of homes sold last month were down 19.5 % from March 2013.
But just like the weather, home sales for Louisville have taken a turn for the better. The number of homes going under contract in Louisville for March 2014 was actually up 8.7 %. That’s a remarkable statistic considering much of March was in the deep-freeze and it indicates we’ve entered what could be described as a sellers market (more about that in a moment). We saw what was happening from our Sokoler Medley team offices every time the temperatures warmed up even for just a day, there was a flurry of showings and contracts followed. It’s no wonder we put 40 homes under contract in the month of March .
The problem were tracking now is the number of homes currently on the market.
Last year at this time they were 7414 homes on the market, as of this writing there are 6029 homes on the market that’s down 18.7%. With an increasing buyer demand and fewer homes on the market the housing recovery could easily stall. Buyers who have looked at the homes on the market have found some are overpriced, some are in need of deferred maintenance, some are in the wrong part of town and some just won’t fit their needs.
Were constantly looking at the absorption rate for the Louisville area. In March 2013 the absorption rate was 6.77%. That meant there was almost a seven-month supply of homes based on the number of homes on the market and the number of sales for that month. As of last month the absorption rate was down to 4.86%. The national Association...
Two Insider Tips for Buying Investment Property
It doesn't take a brain surgeon or a rocket scientist to be able to buy investment property in Louisville but there are always a couple tips that you can take advantage of to make your efforts a little easier. There are many things you can do to ensure your success in investment property. Here are a look at two you may or may not know about.
Know Your Canvas
It's important to get to know the home values in the area you're canvassing (the area where you'll be making offers). Your canvas area is where you intend on concentrating your marketing efforts. You can gain much of this information from the MLS listings but an even better way is to take a Sunday and hit the open houses. Not only is this a great way to find out the home values but you'll see firsthand "what" exactly sells for that price.
Get to Know the Local Agents
Secondly, while you're out canvassing your canvas and checking out the open houses, it's also the perfect opportunity to get to know local real estate agents. This can put you at the top of their buyers list when they have an "ugly" house to sell. Sometimes realtors get calls from repeat customers that have "junkers" to sell and the realtor can't simply say no to taking the listing. However, they don't want to spend time and energy marketing and advertising the property. That's where they're list of investors comes into play. Investors like you are who they call in these situations so it's a win win for everybody.
Should We Buy or Sell First in Louisville Real Estate?
Sometimes it happens. You are currently making mortgage payments on a home you either still have on the market but hasn't sold OR that you've only considered selling and then it happens. You see your dream house in your ideal neighborhood is for sale and at a stellar price! What do you do?
It is possible to buy a new house before your old one sells, but unless you have serious income, it is risky business and not recommended. Here are some things to look at when considering if buying before selling is a smart move for you:
Benefits of Buying First
It's true that most people are in no position to buy before selling but it's still worth looking at the benefits of doing so before making the ultimate decision. After all, there is a reason that such an idea is crossing your mind.
Everyone wants a great deal and many of us have an idea of our dream home. When an opportunity pops up that meets both of these requirements, how can you not consider it?! The perks are that you can see yourself being perfectly happy living out your days in this home and you can see how much money you'll net when do actually sell your current home. Plus, how nice will it be to have a place to move into immediately once you do sell your current home?!
Then, there's also always the potential of carrying both homes, if you have the finances, and rent your first home out. This is an especially intriguing idea if the market is on the rise and you see the potential for selling your home...