The Louisville MLS Blog

132 Things REALTORS Do For Buyers!

132 Things REALTORS Do For Buyers

1. Give you access to my MLS listing database of homes & condos for sale
2. Provide information on neighborhoods, neighborhood amenities, schools, points of interest
3. Provide demographic information on Towns and neighborhoods
4. Give an overview of the current real estate market conditions
5. Explain past real estate market performance and projections
6. Explain my credentials, accomplishments as a Realtor
7. Provide you with references from past clients
8. Explain city real estate development plans
9. Discuss renting vs. buying
10. Discuss pros and cons of property types: condo, single family, multi-family, investment
11. Show how neighborhood values can change quickly from block-to-block
12. Explain your legal options of working with a Realtor
13. Explain that the Seller's Agent legal responsibility is to the Seller, not to you, the Buyer
14. Explain benefits of using a Buyer's Agent
15. Determine your preference for working with me and agree on my role as your Realtor
16. Explain that the Realtors commissions are paid by the Sellers
17. Complete in writing my Buyer's Agent commitment to you
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Unlocking the Secrets of Real Estate in Louisville, KY: Top Tips for Buyers and Sellers

Welcome to Louisville, KY, a city filled with charm, culture, and endless opportunities in the real estate market. Whether you're a prospective buyer or seller, navigating the Louisville real estate scene can be both exciting and daunting. To help you make the most of your real estate journey, here are some insider tips that will have you saying "Louisville, here we come!"

Location, Location, Location:

In Louisville, location is more than just a catchy phrase—it's a fundamental aspect of real estate. With diverse neighborhoods offering distinct characteristics, research and explore the areas that align with your lifestyle and preferences. From the historic charm of Old Louisville to the trendy vibes of NuLu, each neighborhood offers something unique. Consider factors such as proximity to schools, amenities, transportation, and future development plans when making your decision.

Embrace Derby City's Unique Culture:

Louisville is famous for its horse racing heritage and the legendary Kentucky Derby. As a buyer or seller, tapping into the city's culture can be a winning move. Use Derby-inspired décor during open houses or engage with local events to attract potential buyers. Embrace the city's spirit and let it shine through in your real estate endeavors.

Get Ahead in the Competitive Market:

Louisville's real estate market can be competitive, so it's essential to be prepared and act fast. For buyers, get pre-approved for a mortgage to show sellers you mean business. For sellers, work with a skilled real estate agent who knows the market inside-out and can help you price your property competitively. Timing can make all the difference, so be ready to seize opportunities when they arise.

Think Long-Term Investment:

When purchasing a property in Louisville, think beyond...

Selling in Spring

TIPS FOR SELLING YOUR HOME IN THE SPRING! 

Spring is here, and for many homeowners, it's the perfect time to sell their homes. The warm weather and beautiful flowers blooming all around can make your property look its best, but there are a few things you need to keep in mind when listing your home for sale in the spring. In this post, we'll share some tips to help you prepare your home for the spring selling season.

Start with a deep cleaning

Spring is a time for new beginnings, so start by giving your home a deep cleaning. This includes dusting, scrubbing, and decluttering every room in your home. A clean and organized home will make it easier for potential buyers to picture themselves living in your space. Don't forget to tackle the outside of your home as well by power washing your driveway, sidewalks, and decks.

Focus on curb appeal

Speaking of the outside of your home, curb appeal is essential when listing your home for sale in the spring. Spring is the time when flowers bloom, so add some color to your landscaping by planting some bright and vibrant flowers in your garden beds. Make sure your lawn is well-maintained, and your hedges and trees are trimmed.

Let the light in

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5 Questions to Ask Your Home Inspector

5 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR HOME INSPECTOR

     1. What is the condition of the roof?

Before purchasing a home, it is smart to ask the inspector about the condition and age of the roof. The seller of the home may know the roof’s age, but it is still important to understand the life expectancy of the roof. The life span of a roof can range from 15-30 years, depending on the type of shingle used. Often the life useful life of a roof is shorter than the expected number of years. This is due to weather, accidents, etc. harming the shingles. The inspector will be able to estimate the actual remaining life expectancy.

Shingles can be a costly hassle to have replaced. The life expectancy of the current shingles is a good thing to know, so you can plan for the replacement in the future. It is also very important to know if any of the shingles have been compromised. Even a small leak in the roof, that is not caught, can cause major damage to the roof decking. Replacing a roof’s framing, decking & shingles is very expensive—much more expensive than having a roof inspection to find and fix the little vulnerabilities.

     2. How much insulation is present in the attic?

The ability of a type of insulation to reduce heat flow is referred to as its’ R-Value. Each type of insulation has a different R-Value. Depending on the location of the home and the area of the home being insulated, an optimal R-Value is assigned. Your inspector will see the type and amount of insulation already present, then use information like that in these charts to recommend a plan of action. KY falls in Zone 4:

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Everything you want to know about a real estate appraisal!

A real estate appraisal is the process through which an appraiser determines the current fair market value of the subject property. The Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) sets forth the procedures and ethical standards to be followed by appraisers. “The appraiser investigates the characteristics of the subject property that might impact the property’s value. The appraiser also investigates the nature of the market for that property, competitive properties, and the buyers and sellers who constitute the market for that property type. The principles of supply and demand, substitution, balance and externalities help explain shifts in value.” (appraisalinstitute.org)

I am buying a home. When do I order an appraisal? Once most or all of the contract contingencies (like the inspection period) are dropped, the lender will order an appraisal of the property. This will be at the cost of the buyer and is around the $250-450 range in KY. The lending institution will pick the appraiser and verify that there is no conflict of interest between parties before completing the appraisal. A conflict of interest could be any connection that may sway the final valuation of the property. For example, if your uncle is the appraiser, they would be more likely to under or over value the property to fit your wants than a stranger would.

Why is my lender making me get an appraisal? Unless paying a significant amount of cash down, there is usually always an appraisal required by the buyer’s lender. You may wonder why the appraisal is so important to the lender. The lending institutions want to make sure they are not paying out an amount higher than the current market value of the home. Their goal is to make that loan money back with interest. If the mortgage amount is higher than the property value, the chances of the buyer defaulting are greater.

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Our 2023 Home Trend Predictions

HOME TREND PREDICTIONS

1Goodbye gray, Hello earth-tones!

    

35 Home Design Trends on the Rise in 2023- Homework Remodels- Steve Shinn

 “The big news is that beige is back,” says interior designer and color expert Jennifer Ott. “But it has different undertones than those from ’90s beige. It’s less yellow and instead has pink or green undertones.” At the end of 2022, we started noticing a lot of grey paint being replaced by white or green. We are going to see even more deep earth tone colors, mixed with natural wood, coming back in 2023! Humans perceive earth tones as warm & reassuring, bringing a sense of ease into your home.


 2. Bringing back bold & personal design choices.

Get out your grandmother’s old antiques & your thrift store steals!

“Gone are the days of impersonal, minimalist spaces—among next year's biggest trends is incorporating items into your home that are uniquely you.  Meaningful...

Working with a Buyer's Agent

Why would I work with a Buyer's Agent?

     Buying a home is likely the biggest purchase you will make in your lifetime (except for the people lining up for a spot aboard Space X), so you should treat it that way. You need someone who experiences the industry daily to represent your interests in such a large transaction. Regardless of how many times you have bought and sold a home, the real estate market is changing every day. Time and time again there will be hiccups. When these hiccups arise, you will want someone in your corner and only your corner. Time, money & stress can all be saved by using a Realtor when you buy a home!

     Often, we have buyers call in asking to schedule a showing with the listing agent of a home. It is typically not in your best interest to use the listing agent, as a buyer, to get the home under contract. Contractually, that listing agent is working in the best interest of their client—the seller—not you. Imagine you’re getting a divorce; would you use your spouse’s divorce attorney? There can be a conflict of interest when one agent is obligated to get the “best deal” for BOTH sides of the transaction.

     Getting a home under contract & having your Realtor to negotiate the offer efficiently on your behalf is only the beginning of the home buying process. To ensure you are making a solid investment with your money & getting a safe home in return, there are a lot of steps that should happen between going under contract and signing the closing documents. Inspections are a huge factor in determining if a house is a good purchase or not. Being able to understand the inspection report, pick out the necessary...

The Weekend Buzz: What's Happening Around Town? 8/10-8/12

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Heading into every weekend, I’d like to do a little post about some things that are happening locally that may be of interest. This could be concerts, festivals, races, and just any activity. There is so much happening in Louisville that this will just be a glimpse of some things you can do this weekend. Enjoy!

Friday, August 10

*St. Joe’s Picnic for the Kids - The largest picnic in Kentucky. All proceeds support children who have experienced severe neglect and abuse. Takes place at St. Joseph Children’s Home on Frankfort Avenue beginning at 5:00 p.m.. Admission is $10.

*Derby City Jazz Festival - Two-day outdoor smooth jazz festival held in the Paddock at Churchill Downs. There will be food trucks, retail vendors, cigar bar, and a selection of wine and spirits. Event begins at 3:00 p.m..

*Seven Sense Festival - Taste-making festival that is held at Gravely Brewing Company. Nearly 40 local, regional, and national acts. There is also local food, arts & crafts, visual art performances, and specialty beer and cocktails. Begins at 6:00 p.m..

*New Albany Bicentennial Park Concert Series - Live bands performing in downtown New Albany. Tonight will feature Southern Avenue and Shannon Vetter. Event is free and will be from 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

Saturday, August 11

*Paws for a Cause 5K - A run/walk to benefit The Arrow Fund. Obviously, this is a family/dog friendly event. It begins at 9:00 a.m. at Cherokee Park.

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Local Spotlight: Belle of Louisville

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Photo: gotolouisville.com

Every week, I would like to spotlight something in our great city that people may or may not know about. Maybe it’s a park, a museum, a restaurant, or another attraction. For this one, I chose to highlight the Belle of Louisville. I assume everyone has heard of it or seen it, but maybe you don’t know everything that can be done on the steamboat or what the schedules for cruises are. Hopefully this will shine some light on those things.

The Belle of Louisville was built in 1914 and is the oldest operating Mississippi River style steamboat in the world. It can hold 650 passengers. It is fully heated and air conditioned. It has a concession stand and a bar, as well as a dance floor. You can sit indoor or outdoor, and there is no smoking anywhere on the boat.

There are several different types of cruises that you can take on the Belle. You can go during the day or at night. They offer stargazing, musical, and historical based cruises. You will want to check the schedule on belleoflouisville.org to plan your perfect cruise. Advanced reservations are needed if you would like to have lunch or dinner on the boat, and this does guarantee inside seating.

Want to have a special event on the Belle of Louisville? That is certainly an option. You can actually reserve the entire boat for you and your guests. What do you want to celebrate? You can have a birthday party, anniversary celebration, graduation party, class reunion, and even a wedding! Personal...

VA Loan: An option for Veterans

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There are all kinds of loan programs out there when you are searching for your perfect house. But did you know that there is a loan that is specific for veterans? That’s right. The VA loan has been around since 1944 and it could be exactly what you are looking for if you qualify and meet the eligibility requirements. So let’s talk a little bit about this particular loan.

What is it?

This is a loan that was created in 1944 by the US Government to help our service members buy a home without the help of a down payment or a great credit score. The loans are issued by private lenders.

Who is eligible?

Not just veterans. This also extends to active duty service members, select military spouses, National Guard members and reservists. The Department of Veterans Affairs must ultimately approve eligibility.

You may be eligible if you meet at least one of the following

-You have served 90 consecutive days of active service during wartime.

-You have served 181 days of active service during peacetime.

-You have more than 6 years of service in the National Guard or Reserves.

-You are the spouse of a service member who has died in the line of duty or as a result of a service-related disability.

Advantages over a traditional mortgage

There are a few things that make the VA loan stand out over a traditional mortgage. First, no down payment for a VA loan and up to 20% down payment for a traditional loan. Also, you are not required to have PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) with a VA loan, as opposed to...

The Weekend Buzz: What's Happening Around Town 8/3-8/5

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Photo: Louisvillezoo.org

Heading into every weekend, I’d like to do a little post about some things that are happening locally that may be of interest. This could be concerts, festivals, races, and just any activity. There is so much happening in Louisville that this will just be a glimpse of some things you can do this weekend. Enjoy!

Friday, August 3

*Movie Night at the Zoo - Bring blankets or lawn chairs and come on out with the family to watch a movie on the big inflatable screen. There will be games for all ages and a meet-and-greet with Iron Man. Event is from 5:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

*Brew at BU - Come out and sample a wide variety of local beers, wine samples, and food. This takes place at the Bellarmine University Quad. Tickets are $37.50 per person, but if you are a designated driver, your ticket is only $10.60! This begins at 7:30 p.m.

*The Little Mermaid - Broadway musical will be at Derby Dinner Playhouse all weekend.

*New Albany Bicentennial Park Concert Series - Live bands performing in downtown New Albany. Tonight will feature With Wild Adriatic and Anemic Royalty. Event is free and will be from 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

Saturday, August 4

*PurpleStride Louisville 2018 - Fundraising walk to benefit the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Walk starts at 8:15 a.m. at Beckley Creek Park.

*Splash ‘N’ Dash Walk/Run - This one supports the kids of Norton Children’s Hospital. You can choose a 5k or 1k course with splash zones...

Local Spotlight: Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory

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Photo: sluggermuseum.com

In today’s blog, we will spotlight another local attraction in the city of Louisville that can be found downtown, and that is the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory. If you watch Major League Baseball and see players using bats that say Louisville Slugger on them, they came from this factory right in our town. The headquarters have been located at 800 West Main Street since 1996.

If you are in the area and can’t seem to find it, just look for the 120 foot tall baseball bat out front. It is 68,000 pounds. Fun fact: the bat was built at Caldwell Tanks, where my mom works, and when they were constructing it, we got to go out and write our names inside of the bat.

If you go to the museum, go ahead and take a tour. They depart every 10-30 minutes, depending on the season. You will get to see how a bat is made, from start to finish. The amount of work that goes into making just one bat is incredible. Players in the major leagues are very meticulous about their bats, so they have to be made just right. You have a chance to see how that is done. After the factory tour, you will receive a free souvenir Mini Bat!

Any fans of The Sandlot? Until September 9, there is an exhibit titled “Legends Never Die!” which celebrates the movie’s 25 year anniversary. There are some pretty awesome props on display from the movie, such as the Babe Ruth baseball that the kids try to get back from The Beast, Squints’ eyeglasses, Louisville Slugger bats swung by the team, and more.

“Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory is a great place to celebrate The Sandlot 25th Anniversary,” said writer-director David M....

Buying a home? Here are some tips on the mortgage process

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If you are thinking of buying a home soon, there are plenty of things that you will have on your plate. Who will be your agent that represents you? What part of town do you want to live in? Will you need to sell your home at the same time? It’s a lot to take on. Another thing, unless you are paying cash, will be the mortgage process. This may be all new to you. There are some tips that can help you during this process and I will share them here.

Find out what your credit score is. You may still qualify for a loan even if you do not think that your credit is good enough. There are several websites that can show you what your credit score is, or you can have a lender do it for you. Which leads me to my next point: choose the right lender.

Everyone knows somebody. Sometimes, people choose to work with their friends who are lenders, and it does not always work out. Our agents work with the best local lenders that can get you the best deals that are available to you. You will definitely need a lender that you can trust. After all, this is a pretty big life decision, right?

The lender will need to pre-approve you. This will be a letter that states an estimate of what you will be able to borrow. A pre-approval letter is a necessity in today’s market where there are so many multiple-offers out there. Think of it from the seller’s side. If you have two offers on your home, and one of the potential buyers has a pre-approval letter and one does not, whose offer are you more comfortable taking? The one that shows the buyer has funds to spend? Or the one where you have to just trust that they...

Selling your home? Be smart, use an agent

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In today’s real estate market, inventory is low for the number of buyers out there. In simpler terms: there just are not enough houses for sale to match up with all of those people looking to buy. Because of this, if you are even considering selling your home, now could be the perfect time. But you want to be smart about it. Sure, you may be able to sell it on your own, or what is called going the “For Sale By Owner” route, but it could be more trouble than it is worth. You can take a lot of stress off of your plate by having an agent list your house and do that work for you.

If you sell your home on your own, you are taking on a lot of responsibility. First, you have to negotiate the contract, and more than likely, you will be negotiating with a buyer’s agent who knows what each section and page mean. Do you? Do you know about inspection deadlines and response time?

Speaking of inspections,  you are then going to deal with what buyer’s agent on repair negotiations. But there is not much wrong with your house, right? The home inspectors will find plenty of things that you are not aware of or that you consider to be a big deal. If the buyer’s ask for things to be fixed, it’s on you to deal with the agent on what will and will not get done.

How are you going to market your house? Will you just put a sign in the front yard? Post a link on your personal Facebook page? Good luck. When Facebook thinks you are trying to sell something, your post gets bumped down and less people will see it. Your listing agent more than likely has their own website where your home would be listed. If you are looking for a home to buy, are you looking online...

It's Burger Week in Louisville

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It seems like everyday we are celebrating something now. It’s always “National fill in the blank day” whether that is best friend day, ice cream day, puppy day, or anything else we have seen. I am not sure if these are actual traditional days, or if they are being made up lately just to have a reason to post several pictures to celebrate said days.

Either way, the city of Louisville is making sure to have a full week to celebrate something: burgers! That’s right. It is Burger Week here in town, and that is a real thing. It runs from July 23-29 and you can get $5 burgers from some of Louisville’s best restaurants.

What you want to do is grab your Burger Passport at Louisvilleburgerweek.com and get yourself eligible for a grand prize drawing featuring a grill and ultimate grill out! How does that work? You print your passport and take it with you and get it stamped at your location of choice. You are eligible for the grand prize when you have collected at least three stamps. You can eat a burger at three different places, right?

Here is a list of the participating restaurants and what their $5 burger will be…

*Bluegrass Burgers - PB&J Burger

*Brooke and Billy’s - B&B Signature Burger

*Bubba’s 33 - Any burger on the menu

*Cooper’s Craft - Enjoy a cocktail,...

Local Spotlight: The Parklands of Floyds Fork

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In today’s blog, we will highlight a local treasure that you may or may not know about or have visited yet. If you like outdoor activities, then you must visit The Parklands of Floyds Fork. What is it? Where is it? What all can you do? Does it cost money to get in? What are the hours? Let’s dive in and answer all of those questions as we talk about one of the most beautiful parks in the Louisville area.

What is it?

The Parklands is a public park system, made up of four parks, that covers nearly 4,000 acres of land. It is donor-supported and the parks are connected by 19 miles of the Louisville loop.

Where is it?

The parks are located east of the Gene Snyder Freeway, between Shelbyville Road and Bardstown Road. Those roads cover a lot of ground. Essentially, it’s the Middletown area of Shelbyville Road and the Fern Creek area of Bardstown Road. It follows Floyds Fork, a tributary of the Ohio River.

What can you do?

Where to begin. I won’t go into full detail on every single activity that you can do at The Parklands. You would be here all day reading about it. But here is a quick list of what you can do at the parks:

-Walking, running, and hiking.

-Fishing year-round.

-Sports fields with room for soccer, football, frisbee, and more.

-Bark park for the dog in your life.

-Canoeing and paddling.

-Playgrounds and spraygrounds.

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The Weekend Buzz: What’s Happening Around Town

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Heading into every weekend, I’d like to do a little post about some things that are happening locally that may be of interest. This could be concerts, festivals, races, and just any activity. There is so much happening in Louisville that this will just be a glimpse of some things you can do this weekend. Enjoy!

Friday, July 20

*Shania Twain concert at the KFC Yum! Center. Concert begins at 7:30 p.m.

*Lebowski Fest - Celebrate 20 years of The Big Lebowski at Executive Strike & Spare. This event is also on Saturday. The time is from 6:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.

*The Little Mermaid - Broadway musical will be at Derby Dinner Playhouse all weekend.

*Concerts in the Village featuring The Newbees - Westport Village and 106.9 are putting on a free summer concert series. This one will be with The Newbees, a 12-piece rock n’ roll band. Food and drinks available for purchase, and it begins at 6:00 p.m.

*Sand Dodgeball Tournament benefiting breast cancer at The Goat. Each team receives four free drink tickets. Starts at 6:30 p.m..

Saturday, July 21

*Smashing Pumpkins concert at the KFC Yum! Center. Concert begins at 7:00 p.m.

*NULU Luau from 1:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. Live music, pig roast with pulled pork sandwiches, limbo contest, fire dancers, and more.

*OVATION! A West Louisville Performing Arts Bash - Celebrating the launch of the West Louisville ecoHub Arts Community. There will be food, a silent auction, craft cocktails, performances, and dancing. Event is 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m....

It's that time of year again: Homearama 2018

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Every summer in the Louisville area, people are able to take tours of custom-built new homes for about two weeks. This is called Homearama, a tradition that dates back to 1968. During this two week time period, people are able to take tours of these fully-furnished homes that feature modern and updated interior design, building trends, and technology.

This year, Homearama will run from July 14-29 and will be at Catalpa Farms, which is a new sustainable development with over 200 acres of land. It is a conservation community with abundant preserved open green space. There are trails, lakes, and community gardens. And soon, the neighborhood will also feature a dog park, trails, clubhouse, community center, a playground, and more. Catalpa Farms is technically located in Fisherville, Kentucky.

When you are at Homearama, you really are seeing the best of the best in today’s trends. The in-home theatre rooms, fitness areas, outdoor living spaces, it’s all top notch. While it all may seem overwhelming to some, you can at least gather some ideas for your current home or your future home you are planning in your head. I encourage you to take notes while you are there. What do you like? Are there certain designs in the kitchen that stand out to you? Do you want to decorate your outdoor patio like house number three? Make note of these things and make a return trip if you want to.

As far as getting tickets goes, you can purchase them when you arrive. The cost is $10 per person, and children 12 and under are free with an adult. Keep in mind that you can only pay by using cash or check. How does a buy one get one free coupon sound? Head on over to Facebook.com/HomearamaLouisville and find your coupon that is valid for Mondays and Tuesdays.

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Why is summer a good time to buy a home?

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We know that the housing market is usually busier in the summer. But why? Why is the summer a good time for people to buy a home? According to keepingcurrentmatters.com, there are four main reasons for this.

1) Prices will continue to rise

-Home values continue to appreciate. In fact, they have appreciated by 7% over the last 12 months, according to CoreLogic. That report also predicts that the price of homes will increase by 5.2% over the next year.

2) Mortgage interest rates continue to increase

-Interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have increased by 0.5% to around 4.5% in 2018, according to Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey. The National Association of Realtors, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and the Mortgage Bankers Association all project that the rates will increase by nearly a full 1% by this time next year.

3) Either way, you are paying a mortgage

-Are you paying rent right now? Isn't that money that could be going towards YOUR mortgage and not your landlord's mortgage? You are already paying it, but you are deciding whose mortgage you are currently paying.

4) It's time to move on with your life

-Prices of homes and mortgage rates are projected to increase. If you are thinking about moving, there is a reason. Are you going to wait and let those rates continue to increase? Or do you know that now is the time to make the move for yourself and/or your family? Buy sooner and not later. Save yourself some money.

Still want to wait?

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Data shows that May is the best month to sell your home

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Great news if you are thinking about putting your home on the market! According to attomdata.com, the month of May is the best month to sell a home. This was from an analysis of 14.7 million home sales from 2011-2017 across the country. Below is a breakdown by month of the average % sold above market price.

Photo from keepingcurrentmatters.com

Top 5 Days to Sell:

  • June 28th – 9.1% above market
  • February 15th – 9.0% above market
  • May 31st – 8.3% above market
  • May 29th – 8.2% above market
  • June 21st – 8.1% above market

According to the National Association of Realtors, homes sold in an average of just 30 days last month! However, homes that were listed with the Brad Long Group (and went under contract) were only on the market for an average of two days! 

Thinking of selling your home? Let us know! Now is the time to make the move!

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