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How we helped Paul with his mother’s real estate needs by working with her to get the job done

17 Jul

We were able to find the house that met our needs very quickly which we were pretty happy about. Todd did a really good job working with my mother and having the right conversations with her. He was very sensitive towards her and was able to help her transition.

-Paul Kleine-Kracht, Home Buyer

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How we helped Rachel buy her dream home by working through the negotiation process

17 Jul

I found my dream home across the street from my mother’s house that was owned by an older couple going into a nursing home. They were pretty emotionally attached to it so there was a lot of back and forth and things they weren’t willing to do. Todd was very patient and always looked out for our needs.

-Rachel Abel, Home Buyer

Explaining the Essentials to Down Payment Gift Assistance

26 Feb


Explaining the Essentials to Down Payment Gift Assistance

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.

I’ll be explaining down payment gift assistance today, and what I mean by that is if someone were to give you money as a ‘gift’ in order to help you pay for your down payment on a home. It is understood that 25% of new home buyers will get a gift in one form or another. Lenders will often scrutinize these sort of gifts because they fear that this is just another loan. To avoid a fiasco like this, I have some easy steps you can follow:
  • These gift funds need to be given to you in the form of a direct deposit or through another lending company, but they cannot come to you in the form of cash because that is an unverifiable form. Lenders will not like to see this, so avoid cash gifts.
  • gift letter must be signed by the giver that says these funds are a gift, and that any sort of exchange for the gift will not take place.
      • You have to remember that not only you will be scrutinized, but your gift giver will also be looked at by the lending company. The lenders will likely want to know bank information, so be sure you can verify all the necessary data.

     

  • Different Limits for Different Programs: Different lending programs will allow different limits for these types of gifts, so be sure to check this before you go with a certain lending program.
  • Seasoned Funds: If you expect to buy a home in the next 3-6 months and are also expecting a gift deposit to purchase one, then have that put into your account a few months beforehand. This will surprise a loan officer because by that point, these funds will be considered ‘seasoned’.
  • Understand Federal Gift-Giving Guidelines: This goes for both you and the gift-giver. Once a gift surpasses a certain limit (somewhere around $14,000), there will be some taxes applied to it.

This is a short synopsis on the rules relating to down payment gifts, so if you don’t quite understand them, then be sure to contact me because I would like to help you with your home-buying experience. Also, if you need any assistance with real estate in the greater Louisville area, then feel free to contact me as well.

You can call me at (502) 220-4663 or email me at toddmartin@realtor.com

Buying in the Winter, what to look for and get $5,000 to chase away the blues!!!

12 Feb

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.

Buying in the Winter, what to look for and get $5,000 to chase away the blues!!!

Today I wanted to go over a topic that is often over looked and that is taking advantage of the winter and buying a home. As I’m sure you are aware, the snow has brought us up to eight school closings; but did you know that now is a great time to buy a home?

While you’re out looking at properties, you want to see how well the home’s furnace works. If you walk into the house and it feels “toasty,” check the thermostat to see if it is set at 65 degrees or 80 degrees. You also want to check for draft and insulation inadequacies. To do this, simply run your hand over the top of the window or look for fog to determine if the window has lost its seal.

Look at this fantastic home that passes the winter test!

When this unpredictable weather hits, the market sees a sag in sales. However, this is good for buyers! Lenders, loan officers and banks tend to have fewer loans in their pipeline which means the lending process will be expedited. This gives you the chance to move into your new home more quickly. This cold weather also brings motivated sellers.

Remember: when looking for homes in the winter, be sure to see what snow removal services the areas offer and if they are taken care of; this is especially important in condos and townhomes. If you’re in the city, find out if your street is on their route to be plowed. It is important to know if you will be able to get out of your home!

ATTENTION BUYERS!!!! Would you like $5,000 to buy a home; you don’t even need to be a first time home buyer! Be sure to contact me to find out about this. This is on a first come, first basis so call me as soon as possible.

For additional information on buying a home in the winter, view the articles below:
http://realestate.msn.com/blogs/post–is-winter-the-best-time-to-buy-a-home

http://www.realtor.com/home-finance/real-estate/buyers/buying-a-home-in-winter-benefits.aspx

http://themortgagereports.com/12423/buying-a-home-in-the-winter-consider-the-advantages

Thanks and have a great day!

Now is the Time for You to Get off the Fence and Buy!

24 Jan

Buyers click here to search all area homes for sale.

Now is the Time for You to Get off the Fence and Buy!

Today I wanted to talk to you about purchase price. There seems to be two major reasons for keeping people on the fence about purchasing a home. Those two items happen to be the increasing price of homes in the area and rising interest rates. As you may have heard, the market is back up to the numbers we saw in 2007. A good part of that is that interest rates are still low. However, buyers are weary of the interest rates creeping up from its historic lows.

There is a key piece of information you should understand: the longer you wait, the harder it will be to get into the home that you had picked out because your purchasing power is dwindling. This is because the Federal Reserve has been artificially inflating the low interest rates by purchasing bonds. In January, they announced that they were going to cut back the purchase of those bonds.

Monthly, they average about $85 billion. They have cut back $10 billion, but they are still assisting with the interest rates. However if we see unemployment scale back, banks will scale back on their lending as well. This will cause interest rates to rise and the government to back out purchasing those bonds. As of now though, interest rates remain at historic lows.

As an example, say you are planning on purchasing a home in the $350,000 category at 4% interest rate, your monthly payment would be around $1,500. However, if the interest rises by just one point to 5%, that same budget would only allow to purchase a property at $311,000. That is quite a difference and you are still able to get more bang for your buck if you were to purchase now.

Average Purchasing Price from 2001-2013

Sales 2001-2003 Sales 2004-2006 Sales 2007-2009 Sales 2010-2012 Sales 2013

If you have any questions, give me a call at (502) 220-HOME (4663). Thanks and I look forward to speaking with you. Have a great day!

What Can You Expect in 2014?

13 Dec

 

Thank you for taking the time to visit with me today, I know December is a hectic month and I appreciate it! Today I would like to do a recap of 2012-2013 and give you an idea of what to expect in 2014. For 2012, there were 13,624 sales within Jefferson County and the surrounding areas. As for 2013, we’ve had 14,478 sales accounting for a 6.3% from 2012. We still have time to go until the end of the year, yet this is a very positive impact.

Todd-Martin-2012-stats

Another statistic I find interesting is if we break down the properties in the area from $0-2,000,000+, 2012 only had two homes sell that were priced over $2,000,000+ and in 2013, nine homes were sold in that same price range giving us a 350% increase in production in the higher end market. These numbers show great signs of market recovery and what’s to come.

Todd Martin 2013 stats

As far as interest rates, what we’ve been hearing and what we’ve been seeing that they still historically low. Interest rates have gone up slightly and are looking to increase above 5% next year. This is still an excellent time to buy with 5-6 months’ worth of inventory which is great for the serious buyers this time of year. As an early Christmas present, I wanted to give you something we’ve been working very hard on: a mobile home search application for Android/Apple. Simply register, and you will be off and running!

Click here to perform a home search on your Apple device

Click here to perform a home search on your Android device

Thanks and have a wonderful day!

11 Reasons Why You Should Sell During the Holidays!

8 Nov

Welcome back! With the holidays upon us, so what happens with the market? For years I have been telling people that I do more business between November and April and today I am going to explain why and dispel any myths. During the holidays, inventory typically goes down. This happens because most realtors are telling customers that no one buys homes during the holidays and want you to take your home off the market. Ironically, when there are no homes on the market, inventory prices go up.

Interest rates are also at an all-time low making it a great time to buy. With the low interest rates, surplus cash is also factor this time of year. People generally get bonuses and tax returns at the end of the year and are eager to spend it. This surplus of cash is perfect for the down payment of your next home. The old school belief is that school is in session which means no one is looking for homes. The reality is that if you’re being relocated and have to buy a home, you will.

The average days on the market in this area for homes are currently 60-90 days; the three properties I put on the market this past month averaged only 11 days on the market.

For quick reference, I have listed 11 reasons to show you why now is the time to list during the holidays:
1. People who look for a home during the Holidays are more serious buyers!
2. Serious buyers have fewer houses to choose from during the Holidays and less competition means more money for you!
3. The supply of listings will dramatically increase in January, so there will be less demand for your particular home! Less demand means less money for you!
4. Houses show better when decorated for the Holidays!
5. Buyers are more emotional during the Holidays, so they are more likely to pay your price!
6. Buyers have more time to look for a home during the Holidays than they do during a working week!
7. Some people must buy before the end of the year for tax reasons!
8. January is traditionally the month for employees to begin new jobs. Since transferees cannot wait until spring to buy, you must be on the market now to capture that market!
9. You can still be on the market, but you have the option to restrict showings during the six or seven days during the Holidays!
10. You can sell now for more money and we will provide for a delayed closing or extended occupancy until early next year!
11. By selling now, you may have an opportunity to be a non-contingent buyer during the spring, when many more houses are on the market for less money! This will allow you to sell high and buy low!

If you or someone you know is looking to buy, sell or invest in real estate, please don’t keep me a secret. I am here to help. Have a great week!