Quick Hitters in Louisville Real Estate

Louisville real estate is garnering all kinds of national attention these days:

Spring Reveals Some Signs of Rebound in Louisville
Louisville Home Sales Up, Home Prices Down
Kiplinger Tabs Louisville Regional Winner in Home Prices Stability

Mostly positive news, right? I’ll have a more in-depth analysis of the home sales date coming shortly.

But for now, let’s just say that as experts forecast interest rates on the rise, more and more homeowner are going to make their move. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

What Is a True Relocation Specialist?

Lovely lake in White Blossom within Springhurst neighborhood.

Lovely lake in White Blossom within Springhurst neighborhood.

There are a lot of “sacred” terms in real estate. We in the business toss these words around without much thought but does the average consumer know what they mean?

Just now I Google’d “Louisville KY relocation specialist“. Lo and behold, look what came up!

Now, a good portion of my business is helping people relocate to Louisville from outside the state or even outside the country, so I have a great deal of experience in this area. But what I wanted to write about today were relocation companies.

Some, like Cartus, negotiate with the largest U.S. companies to the benefit of both. But do the home buyers benefit? The answer, as you might expect is, “sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t.”

The laws are such that the consumer has the right to use whichever real estate professional they like without being forced into choosing a particular agent deemed acceptable by their employer. There are times when it’s financially in the best interest of the consumer to use that agent, but I’ve seen instances where it certainly wasn’t.

Bottom line is, “Get recommendations!” Find someone you trust, and ask them if their Realtor did a great job. I pride myself on first class customer service for all my real estate clients and as my moto goes, “Top agents put you first!”

If you’re considering a move to Louisville KY, I’d love to chat with you and see how I might best help you!

Louisville Home Prices On the Rise

After a couple of down years, it looks like home values in Louisville are heading back up. This information comes from First American CoreLogic.

Home Prices in Louisville-Jefferson County Increase

In Louisville-Jefferson County, home prices, including distressed sales, increased by 0.63 percent in December 2009 compared to December 2008. This compares to November’s year-over-year HPI, which was 0.06 percent.** Excluding distressed transactions, year-over-year HPI for December is 0.11 percent, compared to November which was -0.87 percent.

First American CoreLogic is projecting that 12-month forecast for Louisville-Jefferson County home prices, including distressed sales, will be 3.30 percent.
National HPI Highlights as of December 2009

  • Including distressed transactions, the peak-to-current change in the national HPI (from April 2006 to December 2009) is -28.2 percent. Excluding distressed properties, the peak-to-current change in the HPI is -21.5 percent.
  • When distressed sales were included, Nevada (-20.8 percent) remained the top-ranked state for annual price depreciation in December, followed by Arizona (-12.6 percent), Idaho (-11.4 percent), Florida (-11.3 percent) and Michigan (-10.8 percent). Of these five states, all but Michigan showed month-over-month decreases in their HPI between November and December 2009.
  • Excluding distressed sales, the worst five states for year-over-year price declines changes slightly. Nevada (-18.8 percent) still holds the top spot, followed by Arizona (-11.8 percent), Florida (-10.3 percent), Michigan (-10.0 percent) and Maine (-9.1 percent).

“The housing market, after experiencing stabilization in many, but not all, markets in the spring and summer of 2009 is going through the typical seasonal winter malaise,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for First American CoreLogic. “The big unknown for the 2010 spring selling season continues to be the future of the federal home buyer tax credit,” he said.

What’s even better is that they’re forecasting a good 2010. Here’s the 12 Month Forecast, starting December 2009 to December 2010.

Kentucky 3.2% [Single Family Combined] 2.5% [Single Family Combined Excluding Distressed]
National 2.7% [Single Family Combined] 3.5% [Single Family Combined Excluding Distressed]

Getting More From Your Real Estate Blog

The following was written by my friends at VIP Realty in Houston. If you have any questions, please let me know.

Blogging may not ever go mainstream in real estate, and that’s a good thing for those who practice the art. In an industry where fast results are preferred and successful people usually have more client turnover, those who take time to document the market and offer their thoughts will likely always be in the minority, and stand out as a result. But blogging’s lack of trendiness hasn’t stopped it from evolving – new strategies are constantly appearing, and real estate blogs offer some of the best ideas. This article includes a few ideas for putting together a successful real estate blog, or developing an existing one.

The first step in making your blog popular is knowing who’s likely to read it, and writing for those people. For example, will you focus on the same local buyers and sellers you do business with every day, or will you write to a national audience on a particular topic? One way to figure this out is to look at what you talk about with clients on a daily basis, and see if it’s transferable to a blog. Some of the best-read real estate blogs simply document a Realtor’s daily routine, providing insight and entertaining anecdotes along the way. Real estate blogs that focus on a city or metro area, occasionally covering topics outside the buying and selling of property, are also popular – many of these aren’t even written by agents, but good writers who understand how their audience works.

Once you’ve targeted an audience you want to assure them that you’re the best source for your subject. A good strategy here is to be the first to write about topics when they become blog-worthy, and make sure your copy is original – if you’re an expert in the field you blog about, so much the better. It’s also a good idea to get comfortable with people commenting on your blog. Whether the comments about what you’ve written are positive or negative, a healthy base of comments helps establish you as the central discussion point for your topic. It can also be a way to extend your stories, and generate ideas for future blog posts.

Aggregation is another strategy successful bloggers often use. Instead of trying to be the source for all information and resources on a particular topic, you should link elsewhere when a more in-depth explanation is required. This allows readers to choose when they want more information, or just the basic facts and witty insight provided by your blog. Outbound links also promote the idea that you’ve included everything essential, while supplementary information can be found elsewhere.

Finally, it’s important to keep in mind the advantages of continuity in your blog. Many of the best blogs have been up for years with the same look and writing style. Readers go back to these blogs looking for a particular angle and coverage niche, and they always find it.

Visit the VIP Realty website for more information on property marketing in the Houston real estate area. There you’ll find buyer and seller service details, information on local communities, and details on Downtown Houston Condos, and other home styles.

Time Waits for No Man

Much of this year’s real estate push can be attributed to the $8,000 first time homebuyer’s tax credit and other government incentives. The deadline to move into a home and take advantage of this offer is November 31, 2009, unless the deadline is extended, of course.

Like so many of us procrastinators, waiting until the last minute is standard operating procedure. But in this case, those who wait may miss out completely. Here why.

3 Reasons Why First Time Homebuyers Need to Act Fast

  1. Time to Close: Many don’t understand that about the quickest you can find a home, negotiate the contract, haggle over repairs, wait through the financing process and close on a home is 30 days. And that’s super fast! Most deals take longer with some much longer. Waiting to the last minute is a bad idea for such an important decision.
  2. Inventory Shortage: Inventory has been a high levels here for some time but as things are picking up these Louisville homes are being sold. Which are the first to go? You got it! The lower priced homes are being bought by these first time homebuyers so that particular portion of inventory is the smallest in our market. At the end of the day, you may not find a house you like enough to buy.
  3. Financing Dilemmas: Financing can be tricky for those with little or bad credit. Those who haven’t bought a home yet are less likely to have had time to build up their credit. These buyers need to allow for more time, not less, with the purchase of their home.

So the bottom line is… if you are a first time home buyer looking to buy a new Louisville home, you better start right now. Otherwise, there are a large number of reasons that you’ll be missing out— 8,000 reasons to be exact.

If you’d like my help, please contact me at 291-7406.

Short Sales, Contract for Deed, Lease Options and the Exciting Life of a Real Estate Lawyer

Bold title there, huh? You might be wondering the reason. Well, I’ll tell you! I attended some Continuing Education today as a part of my real estate license requirements.

I wasn’t too excited about the prospect when I woke up this morning, but Harry Borders did a great job with the 3 hours he was given and I feel wiser for having attended.

The topics are extremely complicated but important as he said experts predict 50% of all real estate transactions 18-months from now will be short sales or similar “distressed” situations. Wow. That’s a huge number!

I’m far from a Short Sale expert but Harry’s class was good for me. I feel somehow healthier and better informed to help my clients and that’s what it’s all about.

The Internet’s 8,253,047th Blog

I have several blogs already. I have a personal one where I live under an alias and talk about anything and everything that pops into my mind. That place is hardly contains professional material; more, it’s just the fun and amazing things I come across.

Then there’s LouisvilleHomesBlog.com which I started back in 2006 to focus on real estate news and advice for home buyers and sellers. Specifically targeting Louisville, Kentucky, this site gives unbiased information about trends and such without much self promotion at all.

Next comes SpringhurstNeighborhood.com which has an even more narrow focus… the community in which I live. I basically just update this site monthly with data about sold properties. Of course, all active listings for Springhurst can be found on my personal site.

So with all this, why would I need yet another Web site?

What I’m thinking, and feel free to tell me I’m crazy, is that I need a place to tell my stories—my everyday dealings with clients. I’ve had some great clients who keep me up-to-date and appreciate all my hard work. And I’ve had my share of crazies. It’s these kinds of stories that I’ll put on this blog.

Plus! If you have any specific questions, I’ll try to entertain those here as well.

But it’s very informal so please… take your shoes off, grab an ice cold beverage and sit back… we’re all friends here.