The RE/MAX Associates Louisville Real Estate Blog

Ways to Finish Winter Strong and Save On Energy

Louisville has had some crazy weather lately, from 60's and 70's mid week to 30's and 40's the very next day. It's been quite unpredictable and we really don't know what next week will hold. If you are a precautionary type of person you'll be ready for winter to finally appear as it should in February. Finish the winter season strong by saving what you can on your heating bill.

Insulate your doors and windows

Weather stripping your doors and windows is a simple project with wonderful benefits. It's easy to install and easy to remove.
Get yourself some transparent weather sealant tape, and apply it to windows and glass doors. A simple YouTube should answer any questions you have about application.
Another cool use for this tape is placing it on your cracked windows. When it's placed on the trip drafty parts of the window it keeps out the unwelcome elements from the outside.

Door sweep

Whether you know it or not of lot of cold air comes in under your exterior door. These door sweeps heart symbol tune install by just nailing them to the bottom of your door, or with some sort of adhesive.

Reflective insulation

Some of the most expensive rooms in your house can be those not used like your crawlspaces and attics. Reflective insulation is less expensive and easier to install then normal fiberglass filled, itchy insulation. A staple gun is all you need.
This product is $20 a roll and it can be used on several rooms in the house. They can keep your pet’s house, the chicken coop, or most other small places warm.

The garage door

Garages are usually always cold, unless it is insulated. A Good way to keep it warm is to weather strip...

Home Builders Slow As Developers Start Fewer Apartment

A report by commerce deep apartment stated that the adjusted rate for new house is 1.25 million, which is a Decline 2.6% in January. The United States saw a drop in apartment constructions, which lead to fewer homes being built last month.  December of 2016 new house construction rose 1.9% while new apartment construction dropped nearly 8%.
However, in the past year new home construction rose 10.5%. This is due to an increase in demand in homes. Despite rising interest rates, the market is still standing strong.

The frustrating obstacle for buyers today is the lack of inventory. The December stock of available homes reached its lowest point since 1999, in turn, prices have elevated so much that buyers have to relentlessly bid against one another.

Homebuilders are seeing the demand firsthand, but can't erect homes fast enough to alleviate a little of the shortage.
On the other hand, future building permits rose 4.6% last month!

A significant rise in permits is good news for these frustrated buyers. Permits turn into starts, and starts develop into new homes for sale. Economists are expecting a significant amount of starts for mid-2017.

A combination of shortage of homes, rising prices, and increasing mortgage rates all aided to hinder the sales of existing homes in December. These homes fell 2.8% from the prior month.

Enough of all the doom and gloom, the good news is that we have officially recovered from the big recession almost a decade ago. Last year builders began work of the most homes since 2007 right before the recession happened.

The Northeast and the south saw the most starts in the month of January. The Northeast had nearly record gains of starts at 55.4%, and the South sought 20% gains.

We will see how higher mortgage rates will affect the market, even though they are still historically low numbers. Lately, the rate has been about 4.15%, which is still...

What Is Water Hammering?

When you hear your house moving at night it could be a variety of things, but a common one is water running through your pipes. If the water is obnoxiously loud, it's a common problem called a water hammer.
And if you live in a house that is a minimum of ten years old, you’ve probably woken up to this hammer in the middle of the night.
So why does this happen? And how do we make it stop?

What causes water hammering in pipes?

Any normal person would think water flows smoothly throughout pipes, but it's quite the opposite when coming from water tanks. As water is pushed out of the tank into your pipes it's spinning, tumbling, and churning until it eventually meets your faucet. All this is actually audible but we often tune it out. However, often times an increase in water pressure or if it comes to a sudden halt, the pipes begin clanking inside the walls.  This is the water hammer we've been talking about.

The cause of the water hammering is by waterlogged air chambers, excess pressure in your pipes, or clogged pipes.

Pipes that hammer are usually in older homes and happen to still use 90° angles in their pipes. The noise is simply shockwaves that are forcing the pipe to move around. Newer homes have become more clever in the way that they fit the pipes through the walls and the material they use like PVC.

If this problem doesn't get resolved in a timely manner the pipe fittings can be stripped and the pipes will burst!
Pipes that are installed correctly will contain air pockets that nearly silence the sound.

If the pressure begins to be too much the water will absorb the pocket of air and then that's when the hammering can really be heard.

If you are a do-it-yourself kind of person, and with a little plumbing skill,  you can totally do this on your own.

1. If you know exactly...

Home Prices & Immigration

Have we ever seen a time in our country’s recent history where we are all so divided? Some would argue yes, others argue no. Right now a great amount of the divide is due to immigration and the economy. It’s not as simple as it sounds because it’s a complex issue with many factors attached. One aspect of immigration to think about would be national security. Immigrants from some parts of the world are more of a concern to national security than the immigrants who move for economic purposes.

2016 wasn’t the best year America has seen. Wages didn’t move, jobs were lost to globalization and new age technology, all while we bickered with one another about how many immigrants we should be letting in.

It’s often discussed that there’s a tradeoff among our wallets, all inclusive ideal society, and the actual affect on the economy throughout the years. 353 cities with immigrant populations across the country from Hunting, WV, to Miami, FL can shine a little light on how the immigration has been.  

The correlation between the immigrant population and the home price appreciation was shocking. The more of an immigrant population a city has the higher the home prices. The U.S. Census Bureau data on immigration and home prices show that in 20 metropolitan areas with the highest amount of appreciation also had an immigration population of at least 20%. Surprisingly, the cities with the lowest appreciation also had immigration population of less than 5%.

Obviously home prices aren’t the only factor in determining economic wealth considering most of America couldn’t buy a house during the past 8 years.

It’s nearly impossible for cities to grow and thrive if they don’t see home price appreciation. Any economist who studies the relationships between government policy, home affordability, and local economies will tell you there is always prosperity when home prices rise, and it’s...

Renovation vs. Remodel

Are you thinking of remodeling or renovating? You might say they are the same thing right? Nope! Despite people using these words with the same meaning, they actually are fairly different.

A renovation is basically a facelift on a property; changes will be made to an already existing structure. A remodel is changing the structure through demolition and construction.

If one was to renovate their bathroom they may install new sinks, toilets, throw on some new paint, put down a new tile floor, all while keeping the plumbing and electrical systems in their current place. It could be classified as a remodel if they knocked out any walls, or move some pipes.

Look at it like this, in order to improve the functionality of the home like decreasing or adding structure, you’ve got yourself a remodel. Decorating the essentials, no matter how ordinary, like flooring and new paint, is always considered a renovation.

Most Americans will hire handymen, or professional home repairmen to do their renovations, while remodeling requires industry experts who have much more expertise on the matter.

How different are the costs?

Typically renovations are cheaper because only the decorations or surface details are changed. Most of the renovation projects can be accomplished quickly and on a budget. One thing about remodeling is they usually come with a surprise or two, which can easily put you out of your budget.

On the other side, bigger remodel projects are rather expensive. Even before you begin the physical process of remodeling, it will cost you in permits, and these are rarely cheap. Make sure when you do this, you do it right, so make sure the funding is available. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to pad your budget by 10% to 12%.

...

Can You Get A Mortgage After You Foreclose? Yes!

Going through foreclosure is one of the worst experiences a homeowner can ever have. As brutal and demoralizing as it is, it doesn’t mean homeownership is gone forever.

Truth be told, it’s actually easier to qualify for a mortgage after a significant credit event than originally thought. It will have a lot to do with the circumstances of your foreclosure and how you’ve managed your credit since then. So if you want to try the real estate market again, here’s how to get a mortgage after a foreclosure.

What’s the minimum amount of time to apply after foreclosure?

Every mortgage program is a little different regarding the waiting period between foreclosure and applying for a new loan. However, there are some general rules.

Ray Rodriguez of TD Bank says the waiting period is seven years for a conventional mortgage.  Other programs offer significantly less waiting times. The Department of Veteran’s Affairs requires a two year wait, the Department of Agriculture and the Federal Housing Administration require three.

How can you speed up the process?

The way to reduce the waiting time for acquiring a new mortgage is to prove your foreclosure was a result of a substantial financial hardship that you have overcome.

Now there’s a fine line between significant hardship and recklessness. Saying you forgot, or took too many vacations won’t cut it. Legit hardships are major health problems, divorces, a layoff, or a business failure.

Another part of the legitimacy is proving this happened by providing the necessary paperwork like paid hospital bills.

It’s important you write an explanation letter which needs to be short and sweet. Get to the point of your hardship and follow up with how you have recovered.

An important note to remember is that there’s...

Junk In the Clutter Drawer

We all have that one drawer that is full of junk. Sometimes people purposefully have a junk drawer or other times it happens by accident; but no matter how the clutter accumulated, it’ still a stress spot in your house that needs to go. Set a day aside to pull out the drawers and remove all paper clips, old receipts, pens, etc.

The best way to start is to just straight up dump it on the ground and only put back the items you need. It can be tough picking out what you need and what you don’t. It’s quite easy for someone to rationalize keeping a chip clip they’ve had (but not used) for the past two years.

Here are ten things you need to remove from your junk drawer immediately. Removing these items will make sure it because an efficient space for storage instead of junk.

Stale pens

Lids are missing, some are low on ink, and others you feel you’ve had for a decade. Grab a scratch pad and test them all; throw out the ones that don’t work. Next time you go to grab a pen you won’t be worried if it works or not. Such a relief!

Old coupons

Everyone likes to save money and coupons are the simplest way. Despite having the intentions you could just never remember to bring them to the store with you; so there they stayed in your drawer. Grab all the old ones and toss them. Some stores like Bed Bath & Beyond accept expired coupons, so save all those if you have any.

In today’s world most stores have digital coupons you can download on your smart phone. For instance, Kroger has an app where you can download it, and scroll for hours selecting which coupons you want loaded to your customer card, and when you go to check out the coupons are automatically applied.

Batteries

Are the batteries still good? One simple way to...