If you're looking for your first home in Louisville this spring, you are putting into action the dream of many Americans. According to a survey by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Better Homes & Gardens Magazine, most people value buying a home. Regardless of ethnicity or age, most buyers surveyed had many of the same things on their mind when they went home shopping. How do your dreams match up with what buyers want in the home?
The Homeownership Dream
The survey looked at a group of white, black, Hispanic, and Asian homebuyers between 18 and 64 and determined that between 79 and 82% saw buying a home as part of the American Dream. In the 18 to 34 group of Millennial buyers, there was a concern as to whether they can reach the goal.
- 35% said they had no down payment
- 28% said that what they wanted to buy with out of reach
- 21% said they could not qualify for financing due to credit problems or lending standards.
What Buyers Want In A Home
What were people looking for in a home? Across the board, desirable features included:
- A walk-in closet in the master bedroom
- Laundry room
- Great room
- Energy star rated appliances
- Programmable thermostat
- 2.5 bath
- Energy star rated windows with low E properties
- Proximity to parks and walking and jogging trails
What Buyers Don't Want
What were they not looking for?
- Laminate countertops
- An outdoor kitchen or outdoor fireplace
- A two-story family room or a two-story foyer
- A media room
- A whirlpool in...
Is buying a new home on your list of resolutions for 2014? You might not want to face Louisville's bitter cold and snow right now, but it's a good time to think carefully about what is on your list of "must haves." Based on what we've picked up from watching The Property Brothers, Love It Or List It, and other TV home shows here are a few things to keep in mind.
7 New Years’ Resolutions To Remember When Buying A Louisville Home
- Keep in mind that Louisville offers good housing values, but as the real estate market recovers, prices are increasing a bit. You want to get a deal, but the seller wants a fair price for their home too. Just as we counsel sellers to be realistic about their asking prices, as buyers, you need to offer a fair price as well.
- Your perfect home may be out of your price range, but is often attainable if you're willing to do some renovations. By obtaining a 203 mortgage rehab loan, you can have much of the work done before you move in. The total amount for the property and the renovations cannot exceed what your lender will offer you. If you have a long list of renovations, choose the ones that will make the house functional and that will be more difficult to add later.
- Another way to get the home you want is to be flexible with where you live. While you want good schools, convenience, and amenities, you may be able to find a good mix of these assets in a neighborhood a few blocks away from your dream location.
- Compromise is usually a part of settling on a new home. In the process of compromising, however, be aware of what you need. If you or your spouse make most of the family income from home, you need a decent office that offers privacy and quiet. This means that you should not settle for a home that offers just a little office space in the master bedroom or in the midst of the family room or other noisy location. If you...
When you think of floor surfaces you like in your Louisville home, what comes to mind? Soft carpet? Tile? Hardwood? Vinyl? You may choose a variety of surfaces according to what room it is, or you may be like the growing number of people who prefer hardwoods and other hard surfaces throughout the home. Since the 1980's, carpet has lost market share, but still has its fans. It makes up about 51% of all floor covering is the U.S. What you choose is personal preference, but carpet vs. hardwoods each have pro's and con's to think about.
Hardwoods are always a plus in current home sales. Long lasting and sustainable, they are the ultimate green floor covering, especially if harvested from a responsible managed forest and treated with a lower level of VOC's (volatile organic compounds.) Furniture can dent them, and pets can scratch them, but they can be refinished. Vacuuming, sweeping, and light mopping will keep them clean. With proper care, they can last hundreds of years. Many people accent them and protect them with beautiful room sized rugs or smaller throw rugs.
Carpeting has a lifespan of 10- to 15 years. Available in an endless array of colors and textures, carpeting enhances décor and feels warm when your foot hits the floor. It can be neutral or make a vibrant statement. It also help soundproof a room, plus retains heat. With vacuuming and yearly steam cleaning, carpeting will maintain its good looks. They can be made of recyclable fibers or recycled when they reach their life span, so they are environmentally friendly.
On the downside, carpet traps dirt. Spills seep into the fibers and can’t be completely...
If 2012 is the year when you will finally become a Louisville homeowner, one choice you have to make is how much land you want. Having a big yard is part of the mystique of homeownership for many people, but land values determine lot size as well as the types of homes constructed there. In Louisville, you have many choices within a few-mile radius of downtown, so it is up to you to decide what you want.
Having acreage of any size can be a dream come true or a nightmare for homeowners. In theory, living on a piece of land where there is distance between you and your neighbors represents having a calm place to get away from it all. You can forget the hustle and bustle of the city, see the stars at night, smell clean air, and be at peace, as you live the “Walton life,” perhaps with fewer children at hand. The downside? You have less interaction with your neighbors whether you just want to socialize or when there's an emergency. You are more dependent on a car. But there are other maintenance realities you must consider.
Do you enjoy yard work?
The more land you own, the more maintenance it needs. You may only plan to landscape the area around your home, but beautifying the yard, cutting the grass, removing weeds, and raking leaves...
Last week in our blog, we started to talk about how to take advantage of the current low interest rates in Louisville. Getting preapproval for your loan is crucial. Experts recommend that you approach several lenders, including banks, savings and loans, credit unions, and mortgage brokers, to see where you can...!--[if>![endif]-->!--[if>
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...
If you love old houses, you are bound to love Louisville. We have the largest historic preservation area of Victorian homes in the US in Old Louisville, old shotgun houses in Germantown, and a mixture of old architecture in Butchertown, Crescent Hill, and many other areas of the city. The city honors what was built in the past and is anxious to preserve it. If you go crazy for beautiful detail, you will find house hunting in Louisville an exciting adventure. You may find new love with an old Louisville home.
Loving old homes and buying one are two different things. If you buy one, you buy charm, interesting features, and great workmanship – but there are questions about major systems you need to ask before you sign on the dotted line. You might want to restore the place to its former grandeur, but replacing the guts might not give you the same rush as restoring the woodwork.
You may remember my Time To Shape Up, Louisville blog that presented a pretty bleak picture of the health and fitness of Louisville's citizens. Well, I have some good news! According to Sharon Spencer with the agriculture department, Community Supported Agriculture programs (CSAs) reflect a movement towards eating locally grown, healthy foods.
Louisville's residents can support their local farmers by signing up for CSA shares.
When you sign up at the beginning of a season, the farmer agrees to provide you with a share of their farm's fruits and vegetables for a set number of weeks. Some farms also offer fresh eggs.
Louisville is fortunate to have many local CSA farms. Some farms will actually let you tour the farm and lend the farmers a helping hand. I bet your kids would love to spend some time on a farm! Not only would it be fun, but what a learning experience!
There are many reasons to join a Louisville's CSA program:
•· First and foremost, we should all support Louisville's farmers. When you sign up for shares, you are guaranteeing income for a farmer and his family. You actually pay the farmer prior to growing season and this really helps out with the expenses of raising all of that wonderful produce.
•· Fresh fruits...
There is no doubt that we are in a buyer’s market, however, that does not mean every market is struggling. If you listen to some media reports, you might think that all sellers are in a tough spot. That's just not the case. There are many neighborhoods experiencing a very healthy market, with home sellers receiving more than one offer on their homes. This is shocking some buyers who aren’t prepared for the local market. Here are a few tips to buying smart in the Louisville real estate market.
If you are a buyer, the best way to know what kind of market you are headed into is to find an agent who has experience in the area in which you are home-shopping. A good agent can tell you which neighborhoods are bringing multiple offers, and which ones offer bargain pricing. By knowing what to expect, buyers can make solid offers on the home that fits both their budget and their family needs.
The first step is knowing what you...