To all of our Clients and Friends,
Smith & Wilson Realty is here for you!! Our thoughts and prayers go out to you, your family and friends as we all work together to find a new normal during this difficult time of concern in our country and world.
As a brokerage, we are taking steps to do more virtual communication with our clients and vendors. We want to keep our social and working relationships strong, while maintaining physical distance in accordance with the new communication guidelines.
The Real Estate Market is still doing great. Rates remain low. Lenders are still getting our clients pre-approved, Buyers are viewing homes, and Sellers are listing and closing their property with us everyday. We are just taking a different approach in doing business. Our photographer, stager, title companies,...
The real estate market is always changing. Prices rise and fall, as well as interest rates. Conditions favor buyers or sellers. Areas become popular. It is an ever-changing landscape made up of numerous factors. Let’s take a quick look at how the market is at the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020 in Louisville and surrounding areas.
The past few years has seen a market with a shortage of “affordable housing” available for sale. Listings at below the $200,000 mark, and even more specifically, at $150,000 and below have been in high demand. Buyers have engaged in bidding wars and many of these homes have ended up selling for more than the original listing price. The reason for this is complex and lends itself to an article all its own. What’s in store for affordable housing in 2020? Simply put, we don’t know. Recent months have seen similar numbers of listings than the previous year, however, year over year, listings under $150,000 have actually decreased....
When closing a real estate transaction in Kentucky, you will be looking at a long two to three-page document that shows all debits and credits for both sides of the deal. This settlement statement includes descriptions of what each amount is for. In most deals, title insurance appears. If the buyer is financing their purchase, there will be a line for a lender’s policy. There will also be a line for an owner’s policy, which is optional. No other line on the statement raises eyebrows more than this one. And it’s because it’s not always discussed much. So, let’s discuss what it is and if you need it.
Title insurance protects from loss related to ownership issues of a property. The title company will research the history of the property and you will ideally receive a “clean” title. This means you own the property and no one else claims ownership or has a lien against it (a lien means someone has a legal interest in the property). An example of a lien...
Millennial Home Buyers
I’m old enough to remember when Millennials “weren’t buying homes”. I guess they were wasting all their money on avocado toast or something. For five years now, millennials have passed baby boomers and Gen Xers as home buyers. This tech savvy generation is smart, and they are often looking for something that their elders are not. Specifically, that thing is value.
84% of millennials see owning a home as part of the American Dream. They see it as a great investment and historically, they couldn’t be more right. They witnessed the housing crisis of the early 2000s. While values dropped dramatically, prices have more than recovered. (If you bought right after this crisis struck, your investment has probably skyrocketed!).
Millennials are often looking for their “forever” home right out of the gate. They are patient. They have rented for longer than their parents...
A Glimpse into The Coming Market Conditions
It’s Holiday time in Louisville! And Louisville loves the holidays. People get involved in events and parties, the weather is chilly, and this all influences the local real estate market. But it also creates opportunity that the summer months do not. So, what do you need to know if you plan to buy or sell during the end of the year?
Supply and demand are economic forces that are at the heart of the matter when analyzing markets. We Realtors hear all the time in November and December something like this: “Yes, we are looking but we are going to get serious after the new year”. Seller should understand when listing in these holiday months, many potential buyers close up shop to focus on the busy season. DOM (Days on Market) increase typically around this time. There is still plenty of market activity, but homes may take a little longer to sell. Last year, during November and December, average...
How Much House Can I Afford?
One of the first steps when you are thinking of buying a home is determining your budget. It’s a big let down when you look at houses in a price range way over your budget. It is generally recommended that you look at houses within your price range so that your eyes aren’t bigger than your wallet. One way to do this, is to let your agent connect you to a trusted lender. Most agents have relationships with lenders they rely on. But we get it…you may not be ready to give over W2s and have your credit run. Especially if you are just starting to look, you may just want some basic guidelines to figure out how much house you can afford.
Here are the main factors:
1. Income. While this may be obvious, your income will have a big impact on what you have the ability to purchase. One thing to consider is whether you are an employee, contract worker, or self-employed. Lenders will have different criteria...
Skip the Zestimate!
Perhaps you saw the news. Spencer Rascoff, CEO of Seattle based real estate media company, Zillow, sold a home. Maybe that part is not newsworthy, but this part is: he sold it for 40% less than the Zestimate displayed on the site.
There are several sites that us an AVM (automated valuation model). However, the following is true: these models are not sufficient when an accurate assessment of value is needed. The particular instances I’m referring to are buying a home and selling a home.
You see, these models pull publicly available data, crunch them together and spit out a number. But the model doesn’t account for several things. I know firsthand that an addition done to my house has not been reflected in Zillow’s pricing efforts. But other things, such as lot irregularity, condition/age of mechanical components, smell, and function...
You’ve inherited a home now what?
Inheriting a home comes with a lot of responsibilities and decision making by the heir(s). If you have a loved one that has passed on and you’ve inherited their home or are the executor of the estate, below is a guideline to help you through the process before you decide whether or not to sell or keep the home.
Making sure the home is secure and re-keying is extremely important. (it’s almost impossible to know who may have a key). Notify the local police department that the property is now vacant. Speak with trusted neighbors and ask them to keep an eye on the property.
- Set up lights with timers to make the home appear to be occupied.
- Make sure mail is forwarded or regularly picked up and no leaflets are left at the door/porch.
- Continue making mortgage payments, property tax payments, home...
20 Proven Facts About Selling Your Home
I love my home. My family has lived here or over five years and unless, for some unknown reason, we move out of town, we will never move again. It works for us. However, if we ever had to up and move, I am not under the impression that EVERYONE would want to buy this house. And not surprisingly, your home is the same. When you are preparing to put your home on the market, this list of facts will come in handy.
You should know your market. Or, at least your agent should. Real estate is local. Market trends change all the time. You/your agent should know the area, what is selling, and what is NOT selling.
Your home should be clean! A little bit of time can net you, literally, thousands of dollars....
NFL Luxury Homes
Are you thrilled about the 2019 NFL season? We sure are! Sundays, Mondays (and Thursdays too) are a lot more exciting now that football is back!
I am often intrigued by the luxurious lifestyle of some of the greats of the NFL. Sure, not all the players make the big bucks that a select few make (they all still do pretty well). But the NFL can make players very wealthy. Since I am in the real estate industry, I got a little curious. Where (and how) do these guys live?
Leave your muddy cleats at the door and join me on a virtual site-seeing tour of some of the NFL’s best real estate!
Tom Brady – QB, New England Patriots
This one, you can actually buy!
You can’t get much more star power than Tom Terrific! His estate in Brookline, Massachusetts...