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The Louisville Gaines Real Estate Blog

The Louisville Gaines Real Estate Blog

Can You Take Advantage of Low Rates on Louisville Homes?

If you are planning to buy a home in Louisville in 2012, the combination of low prices and low interest rates are an irresistible combination to start the process. Both things assure that you can get plenty of house for your money and give you more freedom of choice.  Unfortunately, taking advantage of the low interest rates is not a slam dunk if your credit rating is low.  Many of the best interest rates are reserved for people with high scores above 750.  To estimate your chances of claiming a low rate mortgage, you must take certain steps prior to or at the early stages of your house hunting.

First, know what you're dealing with. Pull a copy of your credit report to see what your score is and to determine whether information is reported correctly on your report. If you find errors, take the time to correct them. If you have late payments or other blemishes like past bankruptcies, repossessions, or judgments, nothing but establishing good payment habits and the passage of time will make them go away.  The good news is, by improving your payment habits you can raise your score in a few months. Assuming that your finances are now on track, these blemishes will still impact your ability to get the best rate, but you may still be able to get a loan from some lender, even if your interest rate is somewhat higher.

One thing that creditors consider when determining your credit worthiness is your debt-to-credit ratio. They do not like nearly –...

Why Not List Your Louisville Home Now?

If you are thinking of putting your house on the market, you may be  put off by last year’s stats. You also wonder how a Realtor® can help you in thismarket. You figure that if you wait until spring, you will have a better chance of being competitive.  As a Realtor® who loves to
sell in Louisville, I can offer three pieces of advice on this mild winter day to support listing it now: 
  • The economic impact is relative
  • List now
  • A good agent does matter

How are you doing?

Last year in real estate was a good one for me, but area agents sold 4% fewer homes in 2010 than in 2011 and sold them at about 3% less. The...

Are Your Louisville Home Improvements a Buyer Turn Off?

Over the course of our last few blogs, we have talked about considerations you might have when buying or selling a home in Louisville. What do you want when you are a buyer?  What should you do if you’re selling?  The reverse of these questions are: What don’t you want as buyer and what you shouldn’t do as a seller?

You may buy a house and plan to make changes you want to fit your preferences of style and color and improve your kitchen to be a gourmet work center and your bath an in home spa.  You may want a pool in your yard or a pottery studio in your garage.  As a homeowner, you can do as you like, but there may be consequences when you go to sell if your improvements don’t appeal to the bulk of buyers.  Not only may you not get back much of what you put into the home, but selling it may be harder. According to a recent article on MSN Real Estate, some improvements actually turn away buyers. 

Most real estate agents will tell you that pools are tricky additions that may be a deterrent to selling – especially a quick sale – unless you are talking about pools in warmer climates or in more affluent areas. But there are more things that can turn off the average buyer.

Improvements that don’t pay are often those that turn the normal function of an area into something else. If you blacktop your entire backyard to make tennis court, you won’t earn much rate of return on the improvement and may have to wait a while for a kindred spirit who prefers tennis to lawn care.  The same goes for covering your yard with green cement.


Creating Living Space in Your Louisville Attic

As we discussed in our last blog, you might be weighing whether to move or stay put and remodel your Louisville home.  Your issue is space, as your family is growing or you want more room for at-home business, so you look to the attic for available living  space that will not require you to expand the footprint of your house. If you have a shotgun house with a pitched roof in Germantown or Old Louisville or a rambling old house in Butchertown or St. Matthews, you wonder if remodeling the attic is good option.

In terms of rate of return of return at sale,  Remodeling Magazine surveys verify that attic remodels are a great investment that pay back over 90% at time of sales. In an economy where kids come back home and parents move in, maximizing available space makes sense to you - and to the next buyer as well. Fixing your attic, or your basement , for that matter, give better pay-back than an addition.

There are two things to remember.  First, attic remodeling is not cheap. Unless you are just improving a previous remodel and just need to do some cosmetic upgrades, you can spend nearly $50,000 in bringing  utilities to the space, reinforcing the floors, adding insulation, drywalling, and finishing the area. Putting this much into the house and paying additional utility costs might still end up being cheaper than moving. If you love your home and really don’t want to move, you need to consider if your attic is a good candidate for expansion.

How is the current roof supported?...

Will You Get Serious About Your Louisville Move in 2012?

Happy New Year, Louisville. After a couple weeks of holiday celebrations, it is time to focus on your real estate agenda for 2012. Is this the year you will get serious about moving?
Over the past couple years, the housing market has been down, so sellers have hesitated to sell unless they absolutely needed to. Though most of us anticipate making a profit on our homes when we sell, it is still shocking to realize that serious price cutting may be the only way to get the type of buyer attention that results in a “sold” sign in the front yard.  For buyers, there is more choice in a down market – but when sellers hold back, the choice is less than it would have been. 

This state of affairs beckons anyone who anticipates house shopping in the new year to carefully consider what is important to them in a new home. Over the...

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