The RE/MAX Associates Louisville Real Estate Blog

First Time Landlord Woes

Homeowners have a lot to keep up with, but landlords have even more. If you own a home and are thinking about renting it out, you should definitely read the common mistakes most first-time landlords make. Learning by trial-and-error could cost you dearly and make want to get out of the business altogether. 

  1. Live near the rental property

Living close to the property allows you to check on it occasionally, fix any problems yourself, and show it often when it's time to find new renters. Look for the best investment areas, and if it's in your long-term budget you can hire a property manager to handle the daily details.

  1. Know the landlord-tenant law

Majority of states have strict landlord-tenant laws that cover issues like security deposits, certain access times to the property, and how much notice you give the tenants before you ask them to leave.

A few laws to know are the "Habitability" and "anti-discrimination" laws. Most landlords scrim over this and tell themselves they'll be fine as long as they don't say or do anything racist or sexist. If only it were this easy. Many strange situations can arise so familiarize yourself with the law so you won't be caught in a stick situation. 

  1. Enforce timely rent payment 

This does not seem like a big problem, but if you get too friendly with your tenants they may start thinking it's okay to be late on rent. And if it continues they might skip or give partial payments when they are in between work. Eventually this might put you several months behind on rent and your mortgage has become a burden. Be firm with your tenants and foster a good relationship with them, and rent should never be an issue.

  1. Interview potential tenants

Online tenant screening services are well worth your time, money, and effort to screen who will be living in your properties. You may look at their credit...

Market Update for June

Redfin’s newest data has stated home prices in June increased 7.1% to a median sale price of $298,000. Redfin began tracking home prices back in 2010, and last month and June was the highest jump they’ve ever recorded. Another interesting stat is that 26.6% of homes listed sold above their list price, which is another record for Redfin. 

June saw home prices rise by 1.9% since last June, all while the total amount of inventory fell 10.7%. The average home that went to market in June only lasted an average of 36 days. This also happens to be another record for Redfin, as these homes sold one day earlier than the previous month. Some homes around the country in the hotter markets only lasted a week. 

Some of these markets are unseen before this point. Records are being set almost every month, prices are soaring, demand is still booming all while supply isn’t making any gains. In order to survive in these markets, one must know what they’re doing and do whatever it takes to buy that house fast. The better offers are the ones that usually win in these instances.

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Amazon and Real Estate

Something big happened last Tuesday while we were all shopping on Amazon for it’s day of deals. It very quietly disclosed part of its future, and what new service they will offer their customers. They are about to set out into the real estate world, becoming a competitor of Zillow and Redfin. 

On the website’s section under Home & Business Service, they now list “Hire A Realtor”, and when clicked on takes you to a page that isn’t fully set up yet, but it’s under construction. This is the area where you can hire someone to assemble something you use bought. So hiring a realtor will be another premium service being offered. 

The only information available about this service is the blank webpage you are taken to after clicking the link. 

What is interesting to note is that when Amazon’s “Hire a Realtor” page became knowledge, Zillow’s stock priced took a hit from $46.15 to $44.54, according to an article in Geekwire.com 

If they continue building that webpage by deciding to enter the market, it’s not the first new market they will have encroached on this summer. Earlier this summer they launched their own version of Best Buy’s Geek Squad, which is an in-home service for product installation, and electronic repairs. It’s also a service where consumers can find local electricians, plumbers, house cleaners, etc. 

Amazon’s new Smart Home Services Store on its website allows users to schedule appointments for installations, maintenance, and free consultations. Amazon product experts will answer calls and walk a user through things like smart lights, smart thermostats, etc. 

According to the National Association of Realtors, Amazon has not yet received permission to coordinate with them to use the world “Realtor”, given it is trademarked by the Association. Realtor is often used...

American Real Estate v. European Real Estate

Real estate is different throughout the world. Each country has their own culture, laws, practices, norms, taboos, etc. They all come to life when dealing with business such as real estate. Let’s take a look at the European way of handling real estate, and how different it really is. 

  1. The MLS is American

European real estate doesn’t have a centralized database, or industry infrastructure for that matter. They simply don’t have one. However, Japan and Mexico have been working on creating their own version of the MLS. 

There’s no real structure for real estate information, as one listing may contain several different agents. Since this is the case, the buyer is the most important part of the deal, not so much the listing itself. 

The way it goes is anyone can bring a buyer and that’s not a strong point for the industries professionalism. Accompanied with other factors, this is one reason why real estate isn’t viewed as gloriously as it is here in America. 

  1. Not much entrepreneurial spirit in Europe

Another major difference is the company and office structure. A large portion of European agents work in small offices who are content with their lives. Typically the office is a small shop right on the street, and they have anywhere from three to six agents, and the owner is one of them. The owner is also usually the top selling agent. 

Europe is changing though. The traditional real estate models are fading as technology is pushing them out, and creating a greater significance on franchising. 

European markets have seen some American brands like Century 21 and Remax. The emergence of these companies have changed the way europeans do business. They have a new way of thinking about business, and a real sense of professionalism. 

The bigger firms began offering more resources in marketing and training to its agents,...

Mortgage Rate Update 7/10/17

Last week the planet saw interest rates rise, and the United States followed. They saw a slight jump in the 10-year Treasury. It rose 10 basis points while interest rates across the globe rose quickly. 

The 30-year fixed rate mortgage rose to 3.96% for the week ending July 6th, 2017. That’s quite a jump considering the average of the prior week was 3.88%, which is 8 basis points. This time last year the rate was 3.41%, so yes that is still a remarkable jump. 

The 15-year fixed rate mortgage also increased to 3.22% for the week. The week prior it held at a stead 3.17%, and up from last year’s 2.74%. 

The five-year Treasury Indexed hybrid adjustable rate mortgage rose to 3.21%. Last week it was at 3.17%, and the year before it was 2.68%. 

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How Do Millennials Enter the Housing Market?

Bankrate recently published a report that held some astonishing finishings. It was centered around how Millennials find their way into the housing market despite all the obstacles they face. It found that millennials between the ages of 18-26 spend way more daily on habitual expenses than any other generation. These expenses are things like going out with friends for a beer, getting coffee multiples times a week, buying things online, eating out etc. With all this spending it’s a wonder how they manage to save any money for a down payment. 

From the report, 54% of the surveyors say they eat out at least three times a week; the Gen-Xers who tallied at 33%. 30% of them say they buy coffee at least three times a week. And the millennials of drinking age to 26 say they go out drinking with friends at least once a week. 

The other problem facing millennials that no other generation had, is crippling student debt. The total amount of student debt in our country is a whopping 1.3 Trillion dollars, all while college tuition keeps rising every year. How in the world do the find the money to stash away for a downpayment. 

One method that seems to be working pretty well is the low-downpayment mortgages offered by some big name banks. Another method is utilizing the Veteran and active-duty service member private loan, which is issued by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, and the Navy Federal Credit Union is an option where they can get a zero-down mortgage. Who needs to tighten their belt when they have the options before them?

You don’t need to be in the military to qualify for a low-downpayment loan. All you need is nearly perfect credit. Now they will be required to have mortgage insurance, either through FHA or a private company. 

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