Anyone who lives in an area at risk for flooding needs flood insurance:
Between 2008 and 2012 the average residential flood claim was more than $38,000. Flood insurance is definitely a good idea to protect yourself and keep you and your finances afloat. Flood insurance is available to owners and renters of homes and condos as well as commercial owners and renters. Price will vary on how much insurance is purchased as well as what the insurance covers and how much the particular property is at risk.
Every policy form will cover the building and contents. However, contents coverage is optional so you will probably want to discuss covering your personal property with your agent. Also, be aware that there's usually a 30 day waiting period for your insurance to take effect after purchasing it.
When you go to purchase flood insurance:
You may be asked for an elevation certificate. This is a certificate that validates the lowest floor of your home relative to the ground. This certificate will only be required if your structure was built or extremely improved ON or BEFORE your communities date of the Flood Insurance Rate Map. This type of building would be considered post-FIRM. Find out if your building is post-FIRM or pre-FIRM BEFORE buying an elevation certificate. It's important to note, all property owners reserve the right to purchase elevation certificates and it MAY lower your premium.
Also, be sure to ask your insurance agent the following questions:
- What flood zone do I live in and what is the flood risk?
-Is flood insurance required for my property? Will the lender require it?
-Even if it's not required, should I...
As a buyer, getting a home inspection is a crucial step in the home buying process. It's not something to take lightly or a step in which to cut corners. It's important to have a professional examine the home as this is most likely the largest purchase you'll ever make.
Here are 8 crucial questions you should be asking a potential home inspector:
#1. What will the inspection cover?
Your inspector should ensure that the inspection and inspection report will meet all applicable requirements that the state of Washington requires as well as practice a code of ethics. You should ask about all the items included in the inspection ahead of time and verify that anything you are concerned about gets covered up front.
#2. How long have you been an inspector?
New inspectors simply don't have the experience that a seasoned and skilled inspector has. No amount of education can come close to the years of experience that well-seasoned inspectors have under their belt. You’ll want to make sure that they have a history in their profession and possibly a few names as referrals. Even though newer inspectors can be qualified, they may work with a partner that is more seasoned until they get the experience needed. Every home is different and the more experience an inspector has the better informed they are about certain areas of the construction of the home.
#3. Are you proficient in residential inspections?
Some building inspectors only deal with commercial so you want to verify that this is a residential inspector skilled and trained in the details of a single family house or condominium inspection.
#3. How long will the inspection take?
Most inspectors take between two and three hours to complete an inspection for...
I just read this article today on MSN Money talking about millennial's using their parents home equity as a new weapon in a bidding war. Now, before you completely disregard this idea let's think about the implications of this and how it can be a benefit or a detriment to both parties.
They call it a mortgage merry-go-round; parents can refinance their home to fund the cost of their adult child's new home purchase. This makes the kid a desirable all cash buyer in an area where bidding wars are common. Certain micro markets around Nashville have become hot to seller markets and bidding wars are not uncommon. Having all cash buyer and a quick sale makes it a very attractive offer for sellers. But, do parents really do this and how beneficial is it?
Sellers typically prefer cash even though the terms may not be as attractive as a financed offer. Sellers need to weigh all costs and terms when determining which offer to choose. Use the purchase price is above the list price and it can't be appraised for the higher value, a cash offer can be very attractive. A cash offer doesn't need to be at market value because there is no appraisal there's no home loan. Sellers could get more for their home and the kids are now indebted to their parents instead of a lender.
Read More: Top 4 things all buyers wish they knew before buying
Is this a sign of how difficult it is for millennial's to get into the housing market even for a starter home? Starter homes are typically the fiercest competition and bringing in all cash offer on a starter home in any community is extremely attractive.
Nearly all of us at some point in our lives have gone through the regret of buyer’s remorse. For some, it may be just a small sting of an embarrassing outfit and for others a large life-altering event. When that buyer’s remorse involves a major life purchase such as a home purchase it can take a long time to recover, sometimes several years.
Purchasing a home is a huge process not just because you are spending a huge sum of money, but also because of all of the details, legal jargon, insurance, relocation, repairs/maintenance, and more. Before purchasing any home there is a fair amount of homework and educating yourself on all the aspects of the large purchase you are about to make.
Here are the top things homebuyers wish they knew before taking the plunge into homeownership.
Today’s current housing market is very competitive. It is definitely a seller’s market with significantly fewer homes for sale than buyers looking to purchase, because of this it is not uncommon to end up in a bidding war for a home that has only been on the market a few days. It can be extremely frustrating and discouraging if you don’t go into the buying process with a patient outlook. It may take a few bidding wars and even looking at houses you don’t think you are going to like before you find the right home. This could take longer than you expect as well.
Don’t get impatient and settle for something you don’t truly want that won’t fit your lifestyle needs.
Know and Have Good Comprehension of Pre-approval and Loan Processes
Since home loans...
The final walk-through is usually conducted about 2 to 3 days before closing or's final signing. This walk-through is crucial to verifying any work that was done on the inspection report, and verify that the home is as it should be when it closes. If you don't do this final walk-through and something is broken, not working, or the house has been trashed, there's really nothing you can do about it. This is why the final walk-through is imperative to the home buying process. Here are 12 tips for your final walk-through on things to check, verify, and confirm.
#1. Set aside at least 60 minutes for the final walk-through and make sure that it is done about 2 to 3 days before final closing. If the previous sellers are already out, this is a perfect time to double check everything.
#2. Take your contract with you and your real estate agent to confirm that any items that were agreed upon to be fixed or repaired have been done and that they have left the house with the right materials and any items that were set to stay.
#3. Start on the inside and open and close all the windows and doors and check that all latches and locks work properly.
#4. Test all heating and air-conditioning systems.
#5. Confirm that all appliances are in good working order and as they should be.
#6. Flush all the toilets and check all the faucets.
#7. Test all the light switches and electrical outlets. Bring along a hairdryer or something small that can easily be plugged in to verify electricity.
#8. Test all smoke detectors and CO...
Thank you for your service... first and foremost. You are what keeps us free. That being said, we want to help you however we can when it's time to sell, buy, and move. Sometimes moving in the military is a fast-paced situation and if you haven't already done it a half a dozen times you might be a little frazzled. Here are some easy tips for a smooth relocation.
#1. Get a Realtor® that is familiar with military relocations.
If your agent has never had to help a military family, move along. You need someone experienced with VA loans, relocations, and the military process. They will make sure the home as the VA-designated Minimum Property Requirements and help to make closing that much easier. Read More about the importance of your own buyer's agent.
Read More: Sell with Us, Use our Truck
#2. Have the proper paperwork.
As soon as you get your PCS orders make sure you have your mortgage pre-approval ready to go. (An experienced agent will help with this as well). Pre-approval can get you the house you want by being ahead of others out there that haven't done their financial homework ahead of time. But remember, once you've been pre-approved, don't go spending a ton of money or apply for credit. Your credit and finances will be checked prior to closing and you wouldn't want anything jeopardizing your chances of getting the loan.
#3. Research and Homework
Find out about a new place before you've even been there. With technology, we can literally plop our virtual selves in the middle of the street and check out the house from the sidewalk and the neighborhood...
Here's our radio show on 840 WHAS on February 11, 2018.
Loaded with Real Estate Questions and answers...What's happening to Real Estate? Buyer or Seller? Love Real Estate? Stay up to date on Louisville, KY Real Estate. You can listen to our latest Radio Show here! Be sure to listen to our Louisville Real Estate Show on 840 WHAS Sunday morning from 8:30-9:00 am! Have a question for our team of experts? Call (502) 252-1890 or (502) 376-5483 to leave a question. For more information about Louisville Real Estate or to work with the hardest working Real Estate Team in Kentucky “The Sokoler Medley Team" at REMAX Properties East, 10525 Timberwood Circle, Louisville KY 40223 head to www.WeSellLouisville.com, email bob@WeSellLouisville.com or call (502) 376-5483.
The best way to keep a home looking great is to keep it clean. A great way to do this is to design your home in a way that will make it easy to keep tidy with minimal effort. If you are designing a space it is a great idea to think about what it will take to maintain it. After all when you have just remodeled, re-styled, or built your perfect space you want to keep it looking perfect.
Here are some design ideas for an easy to clean low-maintenance home.
A smooth surface is much easier to get clean than a porous one, or a textured one. Keep this in mind when selecting kitchen and bathroom counters and flooring where there is a significant amount of moisture and a larger potential for spills. Solid stone and laminate counters are easier to care for than porous materials such as marble. Tile is a great durable surface, but it might not be the best choice for a counter because of the porous grout.
More: Is your neighborhood affecting your property value?
Color and Pattern
All white rooms are trending right now. One thing to remember is, though white rooms look bright and airy, they won’t look this way all the time unless you are constantly wiping them down. On some surfaces, black can have the same effect of showing everything. There are other great neutral colors to consider that will show less dirt such as shades of brown and gray. Patterns are also a great way to camouflage minor dirt build up.
Less is More
Louisville's average sale price is up almost 3%, the areas average median sale price is up more than 1.5%, but the problem felt by anyone looking for a home in the $50,000-$300,000 price range is just finding a home. The number of Louisville homes on the market has dropped 15% from a year ago. The reason it's a bigger problem now is that there are more people in that price range looking for a home than ever before. In addition to Millennial's looking for a home, you have boomerang buyers (people who have had credit problems and whose homes went into foreclosure or short sale between 2008 and 2014), now able to look for homes, move-up buyers and individuals who are downsizing.
Additionally, Home builders are trying to build homes as fast as they can.
But because many of the trades got out of the industry during 2008 to 2013, finding plumbers, electricians and woodworkers are harder than ever. So construction of new homes is slower than it should be.
We're seeing more buyers continuing to look for homes here in August than in years past. That's an indication that there are still plenty of buyers looking for
that perfect home. In fact, the most recent numbers from the Greater Louisville Association of Realtors (G.L.A.R) shows that the number of homes sold in July 2017 was down just .1% when compared to the same month in 2016. That's a clear sign that buyers are getting concerns they may not find their perfect dream home and are buying homes that they hope to turn into that dream home. Interestingly enough the number of pending homes was up 7.9% during the same time frame.
The role of the listing agent; the real estate broker that actually has the contract with the seller, not the buyer. This is the licensed agent or broker the has the authority to list, market and facilitate a transaction or sale between the buyer and the seller. Many people that think that they can sell the house themselves try to known for a while and eventually use a listing agent. A lot of people think they will save money by selling it themselves rather than paying a commission to the listing agent, but by the time they actually do sell, they probably drop the price lower than where would've sold in the beginning with an agent. They really haven't saved the money.
But what is a listing agent supposed to do?
A listing agent is not necessarily the same agent that will bring the buyer. When you decide to sell your house the listing agent will write up a contract and in that contrac, it will state how much commission the agent(s) will receive from the actual sale of the property. A typical commission is about 6%. When there are two agents involved, both the buyer's agent and the listing agent, that is typically split down the middle. If the same agent that lists the property also brings the buyer, that listing agent could receive the full 6% commission or it can be negotiated, but once it's in the contract, it is set in stone. Sellers could write in a negotiation to the commission. Let's so that if there is a buyers agent and the listing agent, the total commission would be 6% but if the listing agent also brings the buyer can reduce that to about 5% or less.
Everything is negotiable once it's in writing, it usually can't be changed without prior agreement.
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 with a buyers agent it's important...
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.
It is no great real estate secret that a home in the most popular location or inside the boundaries of the best school district are going to sell for a higher price. Location is a huge facter in what sells homes for premium prices. So what location factors can bring down the value of a home? What is it is about a neighborhood that causes homes to sell for less money?
Realtor.com has put together a list of neighborhood features that bring down property value. Along with the list, they also provided a percentage of just how much each feature negatively effects the value of a home. They came up with this number by looking at home prices next to facilities known to bring down home value and compared them to the median home price for that city. They polled the 100 largest metropolitan areas across the country.
Here are the results that Realtor.com found
Brings Down Value 22.2%
Young families looking for homes are going to look for homes zoned for the best schools. Homes zoned for schools with low ratings are not highly sought after. Living inside the boundaries of a poorly performing school brings down property value more than other factors. The median home price of homes inside zip codes with schools rated 1 to 3 out of 10 according to great schools is $155,000.
Brings Down Value 14.7%
This one seems to be expected on this list. Very few people would want to live near an adult themed club, especially a young family. Places like these usually have loud music blaring and a crew of unsavory people hanging...
It wasn’t the weather, home prices, lack of buyers or Interest rates that slowed Louisville home sales in February 2017. Plain and simple it was a lack of inventory that caused sales to drop by 6% last month compared to February 2016. Buyers are having trouble finding homes especially in the $100,000 to $349,000 price ranges (see our absorption rate chart below).
Actually, the drop in home sales could have been a lot worse considering there were 20.6% fewer homes on the market last month compared to a year before. That 20.6% drop equates to approximately 1000 homes and when the inventory only totals 3652 homes, a drop of approximately 1000 homes represents a large chunk of potential homes to buyers. Remember, buyers are desperately trying to find a home before interest rates go up again.
There are several reason homes in the $100,000 to $349,000 price range are in short supply:
- Boomerang buyers (people who had their home foreclosed on or had to short sale their home between 2007 and 2014 are back in the market looking for homes.
- Home builders effected by the recession closed their doors or slowed production to survive. Those home builders are regaining confidence in the economy but many of their suppliers and trades (electricians, plumbers and carpenters) either retired during the recession or found other jobs.
- First time home buyers including millennials are now in the market trying...
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 belief, lead paint can cause health problems...