Archive | Buyer Tips RSS feed for this section

A Buyer’s guide to Louisville real estate

7 Jul

I’ll help you buy or sell your home in Louisville, KY. If you’re looking to buy a home, I’ll help you pick the right home for you. If you’re thinking about selling, call me and I’ll tell you what price your home is most likely to sell for. Click here to search all available homes on my website.


When do you know it’s the right time to go and start looking for a new home in Louisville? It can be a difficult question to answer, but we have compiled a checklist of 5 important items  to help you decide if now is the right time for you to purchase a new home.

1. Have a set budget
When deciding to purchase a new home, this is a must. If you are currently renting in Louisville and want to stay around the same price range, you can find a comparable house in this market.Buying a home can be the same or cheaper than renting and it’s not going to throw your budget off. If you need a starting point with your budget, give us a call and we would be happy to help out.

2. Don’t worry about a big down payment
In the past, you used to need a sizable down payment in order to purchase a home. Today there are numerous down payment assistance programs that will help you minimize the cost.

3. Have a steady and stable job
It’s not always easy to have great job security in this economy, but if you have been at a company for more than 2 years, you are ready to start using that job as a way to give you leverage in terms of being able to purchase a home and cover payments.

4. Know your debts
Understanding what your debts are is key when purchasing a home.  If you are not sure what your debts are or where your credit score is at, we can help you with those so you can know what factors will work for you.

5. Be ready to make a commitment
No matter what the housing market does, you have to give yourself at least 5-7 years in a home before you sell. Long term commitment is key to home buying, as it is one of the more expensive investments you will make in your lifetime.

If you have any questions on this topic, or know anybody that is looking to buy or sell, don’t keep me a secret. It’s what I’m here to do and I would love to help!

Advertisements

Find the Perfect Neighborhood for Your Home

26 Jun



I’ll help you buy or sell your home in Louisville, KY. If you’re looking to buy a home, I’ll help you pick the right home for you. If you’re thinking about selling, call me and I’ll tell you what price your home is most likely to sell for. Click here to search all available homes on my website.

In order to have your dream home, one of the most important things to find is the perfect neighborhood – and there are plenty. It all comes down to what you want. That’s why it’s crucial you get to know the neighborhood before you consider buying a house there.

The best thing you can do is investigate the neighborhood as much as possible. There are a few ways you can do this. Drive through at different times of day to get a feel for it: after work, at night, on the weekends. It also helps to check out an open house to see the day-to-day hustle and bustle, especially on the weekend.

During and after investigating the neighborhood, take the time to ask yourself: Do I feel safe, secure? Is this a place I would like to live, to have company over? If you can answer those question with an enthusiastic “YES,” you may have found the perfect neighborhood.

One last thing to consider is the location of the neighborhood. If you want a larger lot, it will probably be further from the city center. You want to make sure that you are comfortable, not only with the safety and likability of the neighborhood itself, but with its location in relation to points of interest in the city. If you are, there is no reason not to settle there.

Remember to keep all these things in mind when searching for the place for your perfect home. As always, if you happen to know anyone who is looking to buy, sell, or invest in real estate in the Louisville area, don’t keep me a secret. I’d be happy to help!

View from the Top in the Re/Max Balloon and 7 Financial Benefits of Home Ownership

9 May

I’ll help you buy or sell your home in Louisville, KY. If you’re looking to buy a home, I’ll help you pick the right home for you. If you’re thinking about selling, call me and I’ll tell you what price you home is most likely to sell for. Click here to search a available homes on my website.

The 7 Financial Benefits of Home Ownership This Tax Season

The financial benefits of home ownership are evident year round, but particularly around tax time – they seem to jump off the page. Let’s examine how home ownership makes “cents” –  from the tax benefits, to good old fashioned financial stability.

1. Home ownership Builds Wealth Over Time

We were always taught growing up that owning a home is a financially savvy move. Our parents knew it, and their parents knew it. But this past decade of real estate turbulence has shaken everyone’s confidence in home ownership. That is why it’s so important that we discuss this again now that we’re in a ‘new market.’ Home ownership can be a very savvy financial move – but only if people buy homes they can actually afford. In 2014, this idea of sticking to a home you can afford to gradually build wealth is a “rule” that just happens to be new and old at the same time.

2. You Build Equity Every Month

Your equity in your home is the amount of money you can sell it for minus what you still owe on it. Every month you make a mortgage payment, and every month a portion of what you pay reduces the amount you owe.  That reduction of your mortgage every month increases your equity. That is especially true now with the elimination of risky mortgages like negative amortized and interest-only loans – thanks to the new “Qualified Mortgage” rules. The way mortgages work is that the principal portion of your payment increases slightly every month year after year. It’s lowest on your first payment and highest on your last payment. Thus, as the months and years go by, your equity grows!

3. You Reap Mortgage Tax Deduction Benefits

  • Mortgage deduction: The tax code allows homeowners to deduct the mortgage interest from their tax obligations. For many people this is a huge deduction, since interest payments can be the largest component of your mortgage payment in the early years of owning a home.
  • Some closing cost deductions: The first year you buy your home, you are able to claim the points (also called origination fees) on your loan, no matter whether they are paid by you or the seller. And because origination fees of 1 percent or more are common, the savings are considerable.
  • Property tax is deductible: Real estate property taxes paid on your primary residence and a vacation home are fully deductible for income tax purposes.

4. Tax Deductions on Home Equity Lines

In addition to your mortgage interest, you can deduct the interest you pay on a home equity loan (or line of credit). This allows you to shift your credit card debts to your home equity loan, pay a lower interest rate than the horrendously exorbitant credit card interest rates, and get a deduction on the interest as well.

5. You Get a Capital Gains Exclusion

If you buy a home to live in as your primary residence for more than two years then you will qualify. When you sell, you can keep profits up to $250,000 if you are single, or $500,000 if you are married, and not owe any capital gains taxes. Now, it may sound ridiculous that your house could be worth more than when you purchased it after these past several years of falling house prices. However, if you purchased your home any time prior to 2003, chances are it has appreciated in value and this tax benefit will come in very handy.

6. A Mortgage Is Like a Forced Savings Plan

Paying that mortgage every month and reducing the amount of your principal is like a forced savings plan. Each month you are building up more valuable equity in your home. In a sense, you are being forced to save—and that’s a good thing.

7. Long Term, Buying Is Cheaper than Renting

In the first few years, it may be cheaper to rent. But over time, as the interest portion of your mortgage payment decreases, the interest that you pay will eventually be lower than the rent you would have been paying. But more importantly, you are not throwing away all that money on rent. You gotta live someplace, so instead of paying off your landlord’s home or building, pay off your own!

As always, you must look very hard at your personal situation before making the big decision to buy.

Hopefully this information has been helpful to you. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact me. I would be happy to further explain the benefits of home ownership to you.

If you’re looking to buy or sell real estate in Louisville, you can reach me via phone or email for assistance.

4 Home Search Strategies that Assure Buyers a Good Purchase

15 Apr

I’ll help you buy or sell your home in Louisville, KY. If you’re looking to buy a home, I’ll help you pick the right home for you. If you’re thinking about selling, call me and I’ll tell you what price you home is most likely to sell for. Click here to search a available homes on my website.

Four Ways to Get the Louisville Home that You Want

It’s an exciting time in Louisville right now with the Derby coming up and the weather beginning to warm. We have a lot of buyers and sellers coming on to the market, and today we’re actually going to be focusing on the buyer side. I have 4 easy steps that I’d like to share with you, and they should aid you in getting into the home that you desire.

  1. Get a Realtor: This is always the first and most important step. You need someone who will be working in your best interests and who is always looking out for your well-being. You wouldn’t defend yourself in court without a lawyer, so why would you purchase a home without the representation of a realtor? Just like attorneys, realtors will aid you in going through the piles of paperwork that it takes to purchase a home, and they will make the whole process much more smooth and pain-free.
    • Also, realtors will help you find better deals on nicer homes. It will also cost you nothing to use a realtor as a buyer.
  2. Find a Lender: What I mean by this is that you need to find a lender that will assist you in getting Pre-approved. You do not want to waste your time by looking at houses that you cannot afford to buy. The worst thing a realtor can do is show you a property that you’re not qualified to buy.
    • Plus, if you’re Pre-approved as a buyer, you will be very attractive to a seller because they will know that you can afford to buy their home and you will not be wasting their time.
  3. Make a Wish List: To narrow down your home search right from the beginning, make a list of wants and needs that cannot be compromised. An example could be the location of a home – it has to be in a good school district. If you know what you’re looking for from the beginning, it will be a much simpler and quicker home search for yourself and for your realtor. Create a list of 5 things that you need in a home, and go from there.
  4. Start Looking: After you have completed all of the assigned tasks above, you can then begin to work with your realtor to organize a home search. As a realtor I will consider your wants and needs, your price range, and your general sensibilities in what home would be the right fit for you. Most people take this as their first step in a home search, but this can lead buyers astray and will probably cause bumps in the road.

The one last thing I want you to understand is that when you’re working with a realtor to purchase a home, it will not cost you a dime. The seller is the one who pays the commission to the agent, so it is really silly not to utilize a professional real estate agent to help you with one of the largest financial investments of your life.

So, if you’re looking to buy, sell, or invest in Louisville real estate, please give me a call because I am always willing to lend a helping hand.

 

Access My Pocket Listings to Find the Perfect Home

24 Mar

 

I’ll help you buy or sell your home in Louisville, KY. If you’re looking to buy a home, I’ll help you pick the right home for you. If you’re thinking about selling, call me and I’ll tell you what price you home is most likely to sell for. Click here to search a available homes on my website.

Pocket Listings

A pocket listing is a home that has been put on the market, but for whatever reason, the seller does not want it listed on the open market. You may wonder why someone would not want their property on the open market, but there are actually a few different reasons this occurs.

Privacy Concerns: The seller may be a public figure that does not want to attract attention, and sometimes people just like to have their privacy when they sell a home.

• Some sellers would prefer not to have an army of potential buyers waltzing through their home.

• Sometimes these sales come as a result of a divorce or a death, and family members want to keep this situation out of the public eye by utilizing a pocket listing.

People are sometimes afraid to sell their home in a down market, so they list this way in case a very good buyer might come along. This is a good way for them to ‘test the waters’.

These pocket listings are usually not available on the bigger real estate websites like Trulia or Zillow. Instead, you will need to contact a real estate agent such as myself because we keep these listing on our back end. I currently have two pages worth of pocket listings in the Louisville area, so contact me if you are interested.

A downside to pocket listing is that your home may not get all the advertising that it deserves. However, it is a good way to go through a sort of practice run in the home selling process.

These sort of listings will not work for everyone, but if you have been having trouble finding a home, please ask me about this because I know where to find these shadow properties. If you would like to know more about Louisville pocket listings, then give me a call at (502) 220-4663 or email me at toddmartin@realtor.com