The RE/MAX Associates Louisville Real Estate Blog

Best Ways to Update Your Louisville Kitchen

The kitchen is where a family spends most of its time. So if you are building your own home, or buying an existing home you plan on remodeling, the kitchen is the best (and most expensive) place to start. I will let you in on some of the most recent trends that make it one of the best rooms in the house.

  1. Make the kitchen open to the family room – rarely do people feel a room is too open.  Families today want everything to be together, so what better place than those in the kitchen mingling with those in the family room. Open room are the new trend!
  2. Plenty of stylish cabinets – Homes today are needing more and more storage than homes in the past, especially in the kitchen. It is ideal to fit as many cabinets in as you can while also having the right amount of windows and open spaces. Stylish cabinets look the best, but the style really depends on your own taste.
  3. Functional layout – functionality never goes out of style. Make as much space around the cooking surface as you can. Do not let any important kitchen piece (fridge, garbage can, sink, etc.) be too far away from the rest.
  4. Countertops that make a statement – Kitchen countertops really pull the room together. This is still all your choice though. Just make sure that they complement the cabinets and floors.  You can never go wrong with Carrera marble or granite. There are still plenty of choices out there, just be sure to pick what you are willing to live with for a while!
  5. High-end appliances – In most cases, high-end appliances perform better and last longer. Also, when you have these brand names, potential buyers will get a sense that this kitchen is special. Not only do they come in style, but they are absolutely beautiful.
  6. Today’s colors please – Like the fashion industry, interior designs can really make a person’s jaw drop. Begin with a subtle base from the neutral family, and accept...

How To Make One Extra Mortgage Payment This Year

When you owe a significant amount of money, per say on a house, it will take years before you pay it off. It’s like feeding money into a vending machine for months before you finally get your snack. Just because you have a long time to go, doesn’t mean you can’t shorten the time to reach your goal of being debt free. Reaching your goal early can cut down on the time, and saving you some interest as well. So how can you do this? Let’s look at the motivation and then your method.

Motivation

Give yourself the “why” behind the “how” for amping up your mortgage payment by crunching the numbers. Savings is what you’re essentially looking at. Let’s say you are trying to pay back $150,000 mortgage with a 4% interest rate. You have a 30-year loan, and 2045 is when it will be paid off (on paper). IF you are able to contribute an additional $712 each year, you can expect to pay off this mortgage by 2041. This is a full four years of savings!

Method

  1. Look at your budget - Look at your credit statements, your savings, debts, and your spending to better understand where you stand financially. This will give you clear insight into your spending and savings habits, which will show you how you can alter these habits and put a little more aside for your mortgage.
  2. Set a reasonable goal – Big ambitions become overwhelming pretty quickly. Set a goal you know you can achieve, so if it’s $10 a month, start there. Put that extra savings into your mortgage each month. Once you’ve reached your goal, bump it up a bit!
  3. Automate extra savings – You will always find a reason to divert extra savings somewhere else. Automate these extra savings to your mortgage to avoid the temptation to spend it elsewhere. Your band will have an option to automatically...

6 Tips to Winning A Negotiation

Negotiating can be a tough obstacle in your home buying process. Never do you want the seller to feel like you’re trying to low ball them. It’s best to negotiate in a way that both sides can walk away feeling happy with. Once you learn how to handle negotiating encounters it gets easier, and you can thrive.

 

When selling your home and you receive such a low an offer that makes your jaw drop, remember to relax and consider all your options. Here are six tips to help you win this negotiation game.

 

  1. Price is right- There is a difference in the price you believe your home is worth vs. the price the market will allow. Look at neighborhood sales in the recent past to give you a more realistic idea.  Be sure to ask your agent about what benchmark is most probably.
  2. Consider the first offer – Generally your first offer is your best one, so pay attention to it. It might appear insulting at first, but usually from then on out these offers tend to get worse.
  3. Think like a salesperson – Before you list your home for sale, establish your BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement). This is your fallback option in case a no deal happens. This also pushes you into a strong negotiation position. If you do not receive your absolute bottom line, then maybe you will rent it out and stay try in the near future. Or maybe you’ll renovate and stay. Having a BATNA in mind will stop you from receiving a bad deal out of desperation.
  4. Don’t get emotional – IT is vitally important to stay level headed throughout this process. Business is business, and has no room for emotions. Business skill, rational and logical thinking, and negotiation skills are what this is all about. Also ask your agent to find out the buyer’s prequalification amount from the bank, or what the buyer’s desired purchase price is. The more information you have about...

Buying a Home After a Separation

Buying a Home After a Separation

Breaking up with a long-term partner is never easy, and divorce can be worse. It’s even worse when it involves dividing up belongings, dealing with emotions, and giving up things that we hold sentimental value to.  The usual knife in the hart is losing the home.

Often times people go through post-divorce grief. This is where people sink into a depression and live in a space, merely existing. They do not decorate their new home, refuse to paint, entertain, etc. It’s just a habitable couple of rooms. Not only are they sad about losing a relationship, but they are sad about losing their dream home.

In order to recover, one must recognize their own role in the loss and forgive themselves. They must not see selling their home as a failure defining them or their ex. Once the emotional work is taken care of, it’s time to take care of your financial life. Your credit might take a little hit, so you should work on that a bit. The moment you begin in search of your new dream home, and put in actual effort, you’ll be surprised how life begins to open up again.

Now that you’re beginning again, look for a home that is reasonable. It’s not advised to go buy a home with a huge mortgage only to destroy your credit after you built it up again. There’s a god chance you’ll be downsizing after this separation. So let’s take a look at five tips to make this transition easy.

 

  1. Trust the process – Honesty is the best way to connect with your real estate agent. Open up to them and let them become a part in your success.
  2. Create your own story – Everyone lives their own lives, and just because it took a friend of yours a couple years to find a home after their divorce doesn’t mean it will be the same for you.
  3. Relax and chill – Your home is out there, it just needs to be found and have your personal touch.
  4. ...

Making Withdrawing From an Offer Easy

It’s never easy to go back on your word and cancel on a contractual offer. It’s true, life happens, things change, opportunities arise, and we don’t expect some of life’s biggest curve balls. How do these life events relate when it comes to buying real estate?

Every year a ton of home sales fall through. A safe assumption from the buyer’s perspective is you entered the contract with full intentions to purchase the home. As life happens, circumstances change. Since it is your life, you are legally allowed to back out of the contract at any time, but depending on when, you might have to forfeit some money.

There are two main situations when you withdraw from an offer. Here is what to expect from each situation, but there’s one common theme when dealing with both: it is imperative that you need to communicate clearly with your agent every step of the way.

Within a contingency period

Once you and the seller have agreed upon, and signed the contract, the deal is now binding. The standard real estate contract bears many contingencies, meaning that they must be met in order for both parties to proceed. You have agreed to buy the home after a successful inspection, appraisal, receiving financing to buy the home, etc. Once all these are met, the contract takes the next step towards the final transaction.

There’s a catch, if the inspector says the home needs all new piping or a new hardwood floor for example, and for that reason you do not want to buy the home, you are within your rights to cancel the contact and gain your money back.

No one likes to see these deals fall through, but if it has to be, better early in the process than later. This is the cleanest and easiest way to walk away from a contact for both parties.

Outside a contingency period

 Here is where things get a little hairy. If all contingencies are met and everyone is ready to move forwards,  here...

Top Ten Most Helpful Home Renovation Apps pt. 2

From the previous post, here is the second part of the top ten most helpful apps. Let’s begin where we left off,

6. myPANTONE ($7.99-$9.99, iPhone & Android) – Pantone began over 50 years ago and is looked at as the “language of color”, so they specialize in planning color schemes for rooms in homes. Homeowners who do it themselves can also see Pantone’s libraries and create their own color scheme. A great aspect about this app is you can color match. All you have to do is snap a picture, upload it and Pantone will pull the closest color from their spectrum. Saving them will giving you a head start when you decide to start shopping.

 

7. NousDECOR (Free, iPhone & iPad) - Here’s how to work this app. You see a piece of furniture you like, so you decide to take a photo of it. Then you can upload it using the app and it will search for the same piece, or ones like it, with different prices, and where to find it.

 

8. HomeStyler (Free, iPhone & iPad) – Before you begin any major reconstruction project; this app helps you envision the process from start to finish. You upload a shot of your empty space, and you can virtually try lighting, paint, rugs, cabinets, etc. Save your favorites to see which rooms look the best. A handy trick from this app is it has a list of nearby experts on call when you’re ready to throw in the towel.

 

9. iScape ($9.99, iPhone & iPad) – This one is similar to HomeStyler, but only it’s for outdoor spaces. Upload a shot of a garden, or yard and start adding trees, shrubs, chairs, etc. If you want to take on this project, this app lets you plan it all out and helps you envision the project, but if you are hiring a landscaper, you can explore the ideas and let them in on your vision. It even has a texture tool that adds grass, mulch, rock, and others to complete your plan.

 

10. Paint my Place (Free,...