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RE/MAX Properties East Louisville Real Estate Blog

The Realistic 'Wish List'

wish list

When you Google "tips for home buyers," you get a plethora of real estate advice. 99% of this advice is great and you should follow it. Set a budget, get pre-approved, find a great real estate agent, understand the true costs of ownership, etc. One of the the tips that I didn't see on a lot of these sites was the realistic 'wish list' tip. 

When buying a home you should come up with a 'wish list' of what you would like your home have, and the location you would like it to be in. Now, when you come up with this list you have to keep your budget in mind. We would all love an infinity pool and full gym but if your budget is $200,000 you're dreaming a little too big! 

Once you have comprised your list, you need to look it over and decide what your deal breakers are. These are the things that you have to have. If you have kids and a dog, a large fenced in back yard might be one of those deal breakers. If you love to cook, an updated kitchen might be the deal breaker. Once you identify your must-haves, take a look at the rest of your list. Would you be willing to compromise on the other things on that list if a house in your price range had your must haves? Unless you are building a house, or just stumble upon real estate nirvana, you are probably not going to get absolutely everything you want. There are things that you must be willing to compromise on. 

It's good to have this list ahead of time so that your real estate can know which direction to take you in. 

Comment below and let us know what's on your Wish List!! 

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Organize Those Taxes!

We all know tax time can be very stressful. If you are like me, every year you curse yourself for not being more organzied and vow to be better next year......hopefully this year it will happen! With these super easy tips I think it's possible! Do you have any great tax tips?

Tax Tips

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Does Home Staging Really Work?

We have all heard real estate agents talk about 'staging' before, we have even included it in some of our blog posts. But what is it exactly? Is it worth it? Let's take a look....

Benefits of Home Staging

A big thanks to Column Five Media for this great infographic! 

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Tips for Having a Successful Open House

Hey guys! Happy Sunday! Sunday is OPEN HOUSE DAY for sellers and it can be stressful. Check out our 5 easy tips to making sure you get the most out of your open house day!

Open House Tips

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Tips For Moving With Children

We are days away from spring, and the busiest season in real estate. While buying and/or selling a home can be exciting, the move can often be stressful. Especially if you have school aged children and your move falls during the school year. Here are a few tips to help make your move more successful and less stressful. 

Before the Move 

Discuss it with your kids. 

The best way to prepare them is to talk about it. Give them as many details as you can and answer their questions truthfully. A move is a big change and can be scary to a child. Try to be sensitive to them and their feelings, especially if they have a negative reaction.

-Allow them to be part of the process.

When you are house hunting ask for their input. Ask what they think about the house, what they like best about it, what room they think might be theirs, etc.. If your child is moving to a different school, let them be part of the search. Once you decide on a house, let them map out their new room. 

During the Move

-Give them a job.

Make them feel like they are a part of the moving process by giving them a job to do. Let them label the boxes or draw pictures on them of what room they go in, watch a younger sibling or family pet, or even pick out paint colors for their new room. By invloving them in moving day activites they won't feel left out, and they will allow you to do everything you need to do. 

-Make them feel special. 

Moving day is busy and stressful and often...

Kid-Friendly Spring Cleaning Ideas

Spring is only TEN days away!! AND it's finally starting to feel like spring outside! I don't know about you, but I was so ready for warm, sunny days!

A few weeks ago we published a post about spring cleaning, with lots of tips and lists. I know I told you I was going to attack spring cleaning head on.....come out with my guns blazing.....well that hasn't happened just yet but I am warming up to the idea! I just found a post on Home Depot's website about getting kids involved in spring cleaning. What a great idea!! Here are a few kid-friendly spring cleaning tasks....

Dusting

You know that sock that is missing it's mate because the dryer ate it? Have your child stick it on their on hand and dust all the surfaces that they can reach, like dressers and coffee tables. Make sure they take everything off of them first!

On a side note, if you manage to only have ONE sock that is missing it's mate because the dryer ate it, tell me your secret!! I some how manage to have at least one sock-mate casualty EVERYTIME I do the laundry! 

Clean out the Fridge

This task is great for two reasons: 1. This can help hone a child's reading skills, as well as help them with dates. Have them look at all of the expiration dates and throw out anything that is expired. 2. If you are like me, some leftovers just get lost in the fridge and 3 weeks later you are stuck trying to decide if you want to take the risk of opening the container or just throw it away all together. But when you have someone else cleaning...you get my drift? 

Wash the Windows 

This one is pretty self explanatory. You can have them use a cleaner like Windex or for an all natural, chemical free cleaner you can mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle.

Clean Under the Bed

When I was little and my mother...

Things That Can Go Wrong in a Real Estate Transaction

It is the wise client that prepares for problems before they happen! For this reason, we would like to share with you some of the things that can go wrong during a real estate transaction. Since no transaction is closed until it is closed, the folowing are potential road blocks. We have also given you a delay of closing estimate next to each problem. The ones with asterisks (*) are potential deal killers. Here we go!

Things that go wrong with the . . . 

LENDER . . .  Approx.  Delay 

1.Lender does not properly pre-qualify borrower ....  2 weeks to*
2.Lender decides last minute they don’t like borrower ....  2 weeks to*
3.Lender decides last minute they don’t like the property ....  2 weeks to*
4.Lender wants property repaired or cleaned prior to closing ....  1 - 3 weeks
5.Lender raises rates, points or costs ....  2 weeks to*
6.Borrower does not qualify because of a late addition of info ....  2 weeks to*
7.Lender requires, last minute, a reappraisal ....  2 weeks
8.The borrower does not like the fine print in the loan
documents they receive 3 days before closing ....  3 days to*
9.Lender loses file ....  1 - 3 weeks
10.Lender does not simultaneously ask for info from buyer,
they ask for info in bits and pieces ....  1 - 4 weeks

COOPERATING AGENT . . . 

1.Won’t return phone calls ....  1 - 3 weeks
2.Transfers to another office ....  1 week
3.Did not pre-qualify the client for motivation ....  2 weeks to*
4.Goes on vacation, leaves no one to handle file ....  1 - 4 weeks
5.Does not understand or lacks experience in Real Estate ....  1...

How Pre-Packing Your Home Can Help it Sell

Spring is just around the corner! Before you know it For Sale signs will be popping up left and right. How can you make sure that your home stands out among the hundreds and thousands of others? The RE/MAX "Fit to Sell" series is here to help! Today we are discussing the topic of the most recent video in the series, pre-packing your home. 

Pre-packing can serve multiple purposes. Not only is it nice to get a jump start on packing for moving day, but it helps with the sale of your home. By pre-packing you can help a buyer visualize themselves in your home.

Some of the items to consider pre-packing are: 

  • Personal items such as photos, nicknacks, children's art, etc. 
  • Anything that you have in storage areas. Storage is almost always at the top of a buyer's list so if you can show the buyer how much storage you have, that's a plus.
  • Any items that aren't used regularly should be pre-packed. 

Check out the full video below from the RE/MAX Fit to Sell series. 

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If I Start Spring Cleaning, Will Spring PLEASE Come NOW?!

Ok, is anyone else through with this weather?! I can appreciate lots of snow with the best of them, but this is just ridiculous. Poor school kids are going to have a three day summer vacation by the time they make up all of the snow days they've had. Not to mention the FREEZING cold temperatures!! We are in Kentucky, not North Dakota, I think Mother Nature needs to brush up on her geography a little bit. 

This morning as I was dreading getting out of my cozy bed, I started thinking about spring. It's only 38 days away! That seems so close...yet so far! One of my favorite days of the year is that first warm, sunny day when you can drive with your window down. Wind in your hair, sun on your face, arm out the window, singing your favorite song that you may or may not be playing just a little too loudly. Ah, does life get any better? Another exciting thing about springtime (some may not agree with this one..) is spring cleaning! Ok, ok, I know it's not the most exciting thing to do,  BUT just like working out, when it's all over it was so worth it! Who doesn't love a clean house? I'll be the first one to admit that over the years I have majorly slacked off in the spring cleaning department, but this year I have my game face on! I am going to scrub, and dust, and organize my house until every little nook and cranny is pristine! Who's with me?! 

Obviously since this is indeed my first rodeo, I need a little guidence. I am going to post a great room to room checklist I found on imperfecthomemaking.com, but first I want to share with you her extra tips that were really helpful! 

  • Set aside at least a week for a thorough spring cleaning. Work from one end of your house to the other.
  • Plan some easy meals for the days you will spend cleaning.  Consider using your slow cooker.  A crockpot full of stew at the end of a day of intense cleaning is a beautiful thing!...

Are You Sold on Louisville Yet?

When I was younger I couldn’t wait to get out of this city. To me, Louisville was boring and ugly…and who wants to say they’re from Kentucky?! As I got older, I began to truly appreciate the beauty and character of this place I call home. Over the past 10 or 15 years, Louisville has blossomed into not only a city that people want to visit, but a city that people love.

Everyone knows about the little pony race we have on the first Saturday in May, and everyone knows that we are home to the Louisville Slugger and heavy weight boxing champion Muhammad Ali. I would even venture to say that most know that the majority of the world’s bourbon comes from our great state. However, there are a few things I bet most people DON’T know about us….

  • Louisville was named “Top Travel Destination 2013” by Lonely Planet. We have also been in the top ten “Best Cities for Familes” and “Tastiest Towns in the South.”
  • Kentucky has over 120 parks and is home to the nation’s largest urban forest.
  • We have produced some pretty famous people….Diane Sawyer, Jennifer Lawrence, and Tom Cruise to name a few.
  • Louisville hosts the nation’s largest fireworks show (2nd largest in the world), over 60 tons of firework shells are used each year during Thunder Over Louisville.
  • Our local delicacy is the Hot Brown. An open faced turkey and bacon sandwich covered in cheese sauce and invented at the Brown Hotel. (YUM!!)
  • Old Louisville is the largest Victorian neighborhood in America.
  • On Memorial Day Weekend, we host the largest annual Beatles festival in the world.
  • The cheeseburger and Benedictine were both invented in Louisville.
  • Oh, and 90% of the nation’s disco balls are made here.

Bourbon and disco balls…does it get any better?! I think not. Check out this...

A Little Free Advice....

This 'song' came out when I was in 7th grade....at the time, it didn't really make much sense to me. Now, however, this might be some of the best advice you can ever hope to get. Enjoy. 

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of '99. Wear sunscreen.
If I could offer you one tip for the future, sunscreen 
would be it. The 
long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by 
scientists whereas the 
rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my 
own meandering 
experience... I will dispense this advice now

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh, 
nevermind, you will not 
understand the power and beauty of your youth until 
they've faded. But trust 
me, in 20 years you'll look back at photos of yourself 
and recall in a way 
you can't grasp now, how much possibility lay before 
you and how fabulous 
you really looked. You are NOT as fat as you imagine. 

Don't worry about the future; or worry, but know that 
worrying is as 
effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by 
chewing bubblegum. The 
real troubles in life are apt to be things that never 
crossed your worried 
mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle 
Tuesday

Do one thing everyday that scares you.

Sing.

Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't 
put up with people who 
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Bread and Milk, the Science Behind Stockpiling.

When the weatherman predicts a snow storm, what is the first thing people do? They go to the store to buy milk and bread....like the world is going to end. If you are like me, you find these people funny and irritating all at the same time. Why, oh why buy milk and bread, perishable items, if you think you are going to be snowed in? In the great state of Kentucky, "snowed in" generally means an inch of snow so your perishables won't actually have the chance to perish while you are stuck inside, but what about those in North Dakota? Won't their milk spoil and bread get moldy if they are stuck in 3 feet of snow? As it turns out, there is psycology behind the need or the want to buy perishable food when a storm is on the way. Yes, canned beans and tuna fish would be the smart thing to do, but it would be admitting to yourself that you might just be stuck in your home for a while. Milk and bread are staples but yet they give you the psycological comfort of thinking the storm will be over soon. Perishables are all about optimism. Check out this article below that details this interesting look at our stockpiling ways.

 

http://science.howstuffworks.com/nature/natural-disasters/buy-bread-and-milk-before-storm1.htm

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Have We Recovered?

Have we recovered from the housing crisis? This is the question on everyone's mind. As 2013 came to a close, we were all watching the numbers...expecting to see a vast improvement from the years before. Here in Louisville we have seen a great comeback. The housing market is now moving foward, where we were moving backward several years ago. RE/MAX Properties East saw a year (2013) unlike any we have seen since before the crash. We sold 403 more homes in 2013 than we did in 2012! But how did the rest of the country fare? According to the RE/MAX National Housing Report, a survey of MLS data in 52 metropolitan areas, the December median home price was 11.9% higher than the median price in December of 2012. It would appear that we are headed in the right direction! It's only January 27, but 2014 at RE/MAX Properties East looks promising! We couldn't be more excited about the year ahead. For more information on the national housing market, please click the link below from RE/MAX International.

 

http://files.a2.remax.com/content/REMAX_National_Housing_Report_Jan_2014.pdf?rmxaid=20320645

 

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RE/MAX 'Fit to Sell' Series

Thinking about selling your home? The goal of every seller (and their real estate agent!) is to sell as quickly as possible at the best possible price. This type of real estate magic doesn't just happen on its own, you must prepare your home for a quick, successful sale. Click on the link below to see a serious from the RE/MAX YouTube Channel called "Fit to Sell." There are eight 2-6 minute videos discussing everything fron flooring to air quality. It's worth the time to take a look at them!

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLadTd4NPtlV7ikJMZ2cGSa699ZjhYXeqj

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Winterizing Your Home

Baby, it's COLD outside! There are so many things we hate about cold weather, one of them being the toll it takes on your home and your electric bill! While it is best to go through the winterization process in the fall, before it gets cold, there are still a few things you can do to prevent any major issues or high utility bills.

  • Make sure to disconnect your garden hose from the faucet (turning off your main water supply and then turing on your outside faucet to let all remaining water out is an extra step you can take to protect your pipes).
  • During times of really cold weather, make sure to leave the water running on any faucet that is on an non-interior or outside wall. A drip should be fine. It is also a good idea to open up the cabinets under the faucet, this allows a little extra heat into the area with the pipes.
  • If you have large or drafty windows you can get thermal drapes or cover them with plastic.
  • Reverse your ceiling fan to circulate warm air.

For a more in depth list of things you can do to winterize your home please click on the link below.

http://realestate.msn.com/article.aspx?cp-documentid=13107899

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Dear Client...An open letter to buyers and sellers

Dear Client,

Thank you for choosing RE/MAX Properties East. It is our hope that we exceed your expectations in providing caring, timely, knowledgeable professionalism throughout your real estate transaction.

But……..THERE IS A PROBLEM!!

In the world of real estate today you may, and probably will, experience some problems.  Some of these problems you will expect and know ahead of time, others will be unexpected. Some of these may seem major to you, but are, in fact, typical and will be easily and routinely handled by our agents. Others will be major and/or unanticipated because of the massive change in the real estate environment over the last few years.

Like those of today, most transactions in the past had their share of problems. Many of the previous problems were similar in nature and we merely applied the best solutions we had developed over time with adjustments for the specific situation. Now we are seeing challenges which we have never seen before, and cannot be anticipated. They continue to be created by changes in rules, regulations, and guidelines. These things can happen after you have entered into a contract or even a few days before closing.

This is particularly true as it applies to financing. For decades the main situation which angered clients and agents alike was: After being told the lender had everything they needed and things should proceed smoothly until closing, at the last minute the lender asks for two more things before they will make the loan. In most cases this was the result of the borrower omitting or forgetting about a past loan or obligation. For example: a student loan or something they co-signed for a friend or family member.

Over the past few years the situation has become much more complicated. Lenders and each of their loans are being scrutinized closer than ever before.This coupled with constant changes in guidelines and what is required by governmental regulations...

Tips to Save Energy and Add Value

When it comes to energy efficiency, look for smart features and expertise to help you save energy and money and add value to your home.

1. Begin with a Right-Sized Home.

If the home you buy is simply too large for you or your family’s needs or plans, you stand a good chance of wasting energy through excessive heating and cooling costs. If it’s too small, you’ll feel cramped and uncomfortable. It’s a big investment, so seek balance and buy it “right” from the outset. 

2. Purchase Energy Star Appliances Such as Your TV, Dishwasher, Washer and Dryer, and Microwave.

And especially the refrigerator, as it alone contributes about 10 percent of the energy use in a home. Also, unplug electronics not in use or turn off power strips to avoid phantom charges. 

3. Install Efficient Lighting Such as Compact Flourescent (CLF) or LED Bulbs in Every Fixture.

Lighting accounts for about 6 percent of an energy bill each year.

4. Get an Energy Audit and Have Tests Performed to Identify Ways of Improving Your Efficiency.

You can always upgrade your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system as well as your thermal envelope, which includes insulation, windows, and doors  and the seals or weather stripping around them. Visit energy.gov/energytips for more tips.

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