The RE/MAX Associates Louisville Real Estate Blog

Top 3 Deal Breakers

Buying a house used to be fun. All the excitment involved was an enjoyable process. Now it's more of a huge hassel. Buyers wait for roadbumps to come their way and handle them when they have to. Sometimes these bumps can be deal breakers. Here are three of the most common deal breakers and advice on how to avoid them.

1. Too Low of an Appraisal

     Every now and then buyers believe they are benefitted by a lower appraisal price than the agreed upon purchase price. This will force the seller to lower the price. Today most sellers rarely break even so this is the most common deal killer. If the appraisal is barely below the contract price, most sellers will bring their price down a little and the buyer will meet the seller halfway.

     The buyers and sellers hands are tied when they receive the appraisal. There are two things the buyer can do to minimize the risk of letting a low appraisal kill the deal. Check the comparable homes that have sold in your area with your agent. Then do not make an offer above the average range of comparables even if there are multiple offers for this property. Next consider working with a mortgage broker who originates loans through its own bank. These lenders select from a smaller pool of appraisers that are qualified and knowledable in your area.

2. Property Condition Drama

     Lenders today are concerned with two things: property condition and the number of distressed houses on the market. Most homes with crappy painting, faulty electrical systems, wood rot, etc. aren't likely to fare well when the appraiser walks though, let alone qualify for the asking purchase price. The seller would be willing to do some work but certainly not all if it because it probably isn't in their wallet.

     Prevention is the best remedy for transaction ailment. If you are considering buying a short sale or a REO the bank literally...

Properly Calculating the Square Footage of your Home

When buying a house or selling property, calculating your square footage can be a complex process. Your real estate agent should measure the square footage for you, but they may leave out some important areas. It is vitally important that you get an accurate measurement and get every foot equated for.

Measuring the Exterior

     Exterior measurements are the first piece to get calculated. The way this is done is by measuring the exterior walls first, and then a sketch is made showing the perimeter. This can be a difficult measurement depending on the landscaping.

Unfinished Areas

     Your house may have some important unfinished areas like in the garage, or in an attic with enough space to be worthy. However, these spaces are not accounted for because they are not considered living space.

Closets and Hallways

     These will only be counted for only if the area is finished and heated. If the closet isn't completely finished, it won't be accounted for.

Bay Windows & Sloped Ceilings

     If you have bay window(s) and the ceiling is seven feet or taller, it will be included in the measurement. The area for sloped ceilings will only count if it is five feet or taller.

     The home's square footage reflects finished living space ready to be occupied by the resident. Heating has to be done by a conventional system and also must be accessible from another living space room. Steps are often missed when calculating the measurements, which is why the numbers rarely match up on the PVA or local listings. Remember that ceilings that are too low and if the...

Four Ways to Personalize Your Home

Honestly, buying a house in today's market sucks. There can be numerous let downs from financing to move-in. But one of the best parts about being a homeowner is the ability to make your house truly yours. You do this by customizing it exactly how you and your family want it. Here are four steps to personalizing your home.

1. Paint the inside and outside of your house to create the feeling you want.

     Painting a house is a significant part of creating your home. Studies show that the color you paint your home have great impacts on the mood levels and happiness levels of the residents inside the house.

Exterior- Paint the exterior of your house to your preference. What did your dream house look like, and what color was it? Keep these in mind when deciding the color of your house. 

Front door, shutters, & fences- Maybe you just bought a house that is freshly painted. If so, maybe consider painting one part of the house to give it your personal touch. Rusty reds, greys, blacks, aquas, and greens all do great for a polished entrance, all while adding a specialized knocker give it 100% personalized look. Finally, painting shutters and other exterior parts are inexpensive and give your home the look that it is actually yours.

Interior- When painting the inside of your home, you should aim to match colors to the purpose of the room. For example, bedrooms should resemble restfulness, bathrooms, clean, and living rooms, warming and energizing.

2. Inventory your personal items before you unpack

     Most home buyers are living closer to work and buying smaller homes to manage the cost of ownership. Even if your'e not moving into a small home, unpacking presents an oppritunity to customize your home to what you want to do in each room. You don't have to put your bed in your bedroom, or your kitchen table in the kitchen. It's your house put it where you want it.

Make...

Has the Louisville Real Estate Market Hit Bottom?

Greedy borrowers, shady lending practices, and not much common sense from our elected officials. Since the beginning of the house crisis, not much has been done to fix it. Our forclosure numbers are through the roof, but maybe the worst hasn't come yet. Most say our recent legislation is a step in the right direction.

According to the National Association of Realtors, distressed sales have peaked. Of coarse forclosures aren't going to stop tomorrow, nor the next day. But it is a positive step when there are less forclosures this month than last month.

Distressed properties are homes that is drowning financially, and is drowning surrounding properties. Even if your mortgage payment is paid to date, the short sale next door or down the street are negatively affecting your home's value.

Louisville doesn't have the worst housing market, however, home prices have dropped one percent from July 2010 to July 2011. Even though our Louisville market isn't the strongest, it's certainly not the worst.

So where do we go now? WHo knows, but jobs are the major concern for right now. Louisville job rate hasn't declined, but has held steady at 9.5% so we'll have to endure the rough waters until this recession ends.

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6 Insider Secrets for Open House Prep

The most common tips for preparing a home for an open house is the usual clean, repair, stage, spruce, and deodorize. Beyond these mimimums there are better tips that most people never consider. These tips will ensure you home is looking like the hottest house on the market. 

1. Look at other open houses in your neighborhood, city, and price range.

     Going to look at other homes gives you an idea how other homes are stacking up against your home. You will get to see how other homes are laid out in terms of viewing, cleanliness, household items, etc. Going to other open houses will let you see how a potential buyer would view your house. So take notice what other homes are doing and try to imporve yours.

2. Move.

     Pack up all your belongings (personal) and move them out of the house. None of your personal items should be visible in an open house. People in an open house do open closests, drawers, etc. so you may want to consider renting a storage unit for your time on the market.

3. Tell the neighbors to come over.

     Do you know your neighbors real well? Do they come over for dinner or parties on special occassions? Well if they don't there's a good chance they may be a bit nosy and interested in how you live. Your neighbors are probably aware of who wants to live in the neighborhood, and who they want to live there. Go ahead and invite them for the open house, it won't hurt anyone or anything.

4. Enlist the neighbors.

     Incase your neighbors are planning to move in the future, they want your home to seel for as much as possbile. If your home sells for a good price, it will increase the value of their home as well. Since you've already invited your neighors you should make sure they can help out as well. They can do helpful things like make sure cars aren't parked in the street in front of your home, and not letting their...

Four Buyer Incentives that Sell Homes`

In today's market one can easily find themselves to be stuck in several ways. A family finds themselves stuck with their house on the market with no bites, and stuck in their house until they sell. There's also the feeling of stuck where you've lowered your price as far as you can without having it turn into a short sale. You've already painted the house, replaced the carpet, and lowered the price as far as possible; now this is the feeling of stuck that makes you feel the situation is out of your control and there is nothing you can do to change the outcome. But here are four buyer incentive tips to guide you away from the feeling of being stuck and getting your home sold.

1. Interest rate buy-down

     'Pay points' is a term often heard from sellers offering a percentage points of the sale price. These percentage points are paid to the buyer's lender as discount points that bring the buyer's interest rate down. This will decrease the pressure they feel of guessing and locking their interest rates. They'll also feel they will beat the market rate by buying your home. Seller-paid rate buy-downs save sellers money on the monthly payment of the entire lifetime of the loan. Also these points are tax deductable for the buyer. 

2. Closing cost credit

     Most buyers that are trying to get into the market while prices are low are already finding it very difficult to come up with the money for the down payment. Most home loans require anywhere from 3-6 percent of the loan amount in cash, and the downpayment to cover other fees like closing costs. the smart sellers and their agents include their home's listing and marketing materials the offer to pay 3-6 percent of the home's sale price at the closing to void the closing costs. A closing credit cost gives an edge to buyers and makes a home much more attractive than its competitors. Your agent should help you crunch all the numbers on how much of a credit you can afford...

Four Need to Knows about Buying & Selling Simultaneously

Buying a house was once a process that only took a couple of months. But today tight mortgage guidlines, market concerns, and distressed sales appraisal dramas extend this process all while making it much more complicated.

If you're trying to buy and sell at the same time, it seems like you've undertaken all these complications twofold. However, getting educated about today's market and figuring out all your options gives you strategy. There is no need to panic and worry about all the outcomes. here are four tips that will make buying and selling your house much easier.

1. Meet with your agent way before you plan to list your house.

           This allows them to give you an idea on how long it will take to sell your house, and possibly how you can move it along faster. They'll give you advice when and at what price to list your house, and show you how it can realistically be expected to quicken the sale of the house. They can and will tell you what price you will most likely receive on your house. This opens up the option whether you need a short sale (if your houses' value is less than what you owe) or not. This will affect your qualifications on your loan application in the short-term. Short sales make it very difficult to get a loan for a few years, but if you want to and need to buy in the near-term with a short sale, discussing legalities and logistics must be done with your CPA, mortgage pro, or attorney. Meeting with your agent a year before you plan on moving isn't too early at all. All the information you need will come from meeting with them this early.

2. Meet with your mortgage broker before you start looking for houses or put yours on the market.

            Obviously this step would have been done anyway, but it is critical they walk you through this process before any major contracts are signed. Talking with them will help you:...