Buying a Home

Do I need a Survey when I buy a Home? What about if it is in a Subdivision?

do I need a survey for real estate or home purchase?

If you are like most persons, the obvious answer to “Do I need to get a survey?” is: “I’m buying a house in a Louisville subdivision, I don’t need to get a survey. I’d rather save the $250-400.”

But, what is always obvious, isn’t necessarily correct.

In October 2006, we represented some clients that were purchasing a home in an established and fairly affluent neighborhood that felt similarly. Upon our insistence, they finally relented and ordered a staked survey for the home they were purchasing.

The surveyor found that even though the home owner had gotten the proper permitting to construct their all brick $30,000 free standing garage, the current owner of the property had never gotten a survey either to mark the utilities.

And they found a big surprise: the garage was built directly over the Louisville Gas & Electric as well as Metropolitan Sewer District easements. And as such, those utility easements granted them the right to demolish the garage if they so desired to service their utilities.

We were then able to renegotiate the purchase price on the contract, as well as get some written assurance from those 2 agencies to amend their easements to not demolish the garage.

John Borders of Borders & Borders real estate closing attorneys was involved in this transaction, and it provided inspiration for an article he wrote for the Greater Louisville Association of Realtors Realtor Direct newsletter that I am publishing with his permission here:

Surveys—What You Need to Know!

One of the most...

Louisville Golf Homes and Neighborhoods

louisville golf homesWe’ve received a few requests regarding the various Louisville Golf Country Clubs that are available in the area, so thats what today’s article is about. We’ll start off with some of the more pricey and work our way down. So here we go with just a few:

Valhalla Golf Club – Its a golf country club. Period. There are no tennis courts, and no swimming pools. It does however offer a cozy club house, but its bread and butter is golf. But, there is something to be said for specialists. Valhalla is playing host to the 2008 Ryder Cup later this year. Its initial membership fee is $50,000+* (*estimated, but its probably more), and has a monthly membership fee of $500. Membership is fairly exclusive. There are only approximately 250 regular members of Valhalla, and becoming a member can be reminiscent of applying to get in a good college: it can take up to a year to gain acceptance on the application. The golf course is always in top notch shape, and offers some of the most challenging courses in town. This course was designed by Jack Nicklaus and was constructed by the Gahm family from Louisville KY. The PGA of America has owned the course since 2000.

Lake Forest - This golf community features its own golf course, plus its just a short drive from Valhalla allowing Lake Forest residents to potentially golf within minutes at either location.

Hurstbourne Country Club – The membership fee to join is $28,000. And it has monthly dues of $375. Lots of amenities for persons to enjoy beyond golf, include swimming, tennis and the clubhouse contains a restaurant for dining.

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What does MLS mean?

If you ask the question “What does MLS mean?”, you are likely to get a variety of answers.

Some sports fans will immediately respond with “Major League Soccer”.

If you ask someone that is looking to buy a home, they’ll most likely think of MLS as meaning Multiple Listing Service.

But if you ask Sarasota real estate agent, Marc Rasmussen, he’s likely to tell you MLS means one giant headache. Why, you may ask?

Well, lets go back a few years to the beginning of the story……

Back in March 2002, a real estate trade association publication wrote an article offering advice about good website name selection. Included in the article was the recommendation that using MLS as part of your name was an excellent tip for those wanting a good domain name.

That brings us to Marc. In 2003, Marc was trying to register a website name for his real estate business. Domain names that he tried included his Area real estate, homes, homes for sale, etc – all of which had been taken by others.

So, Marc followed the guidance of his real estate trade publication, and registered TheSarasotaMLS as his website name. Not a particularly great website name by any stretch – but at least he listened to the good advice of his trade publication, and made due with what he could get.

Marc then went on to spend tens of thousands of dollars on the building, and branding of the website to gain exposure on the internet and to get it in the mind of those within his own local community that he was the expert for Sarasota Homes.

Marc worked hard to increase his brand recognition for his website. Thousands of dollars were spent on print advertising, and in internet efforts to gain exposure and recognition for his real estate business.

This continued on for several years – and Marc continued to gain more and more prominence. People “knew” who he, and his website, were.

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3 Questions to Ask Before Buying Your Dream Home

3 Questions to Ask Before Buying Your Dream Home

If you are debating purchasing a home right now, you are probably getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family will have your best interest at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in the real estate market.

Ask yourself the following 3 questions to help determine if now is actually a good time for you to buy in today’s market.

1. Why am I buying a home in the first place?

This truly is the most important question to answer. Forget the finances for a minute. Why did you even begin to consider purchasing a home? For most, the reason has nothing to do with money.

For example, a recent survey by Braun showed that over 75% of parents say “their child’s education is an important part of the search for a new home.”

This survey supports a study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University which revealed that the four major reasons people buy a home have nothing to do with money. They are:

  • A good place to raise children and for them to get a good education
  • A place where you and your family feel safe
  • More space for you and your family
  • Control of that space

What does owning a home mean to you? What non-financial benefits will you and your family gain from owning a home? The answer to that question should be the biggest reason you decide to purchase or not.

2. Where are home values headed?

According to the latest Home Price Index from CoreLogic, home values are projected to increase by 5.3% over the next 12 months.

What does that...

Have You Saved Enough for Closing Costs?

Have You Saved Enough for Closing Costs?There are many potential homebuyers, and even sellers, who believe that they need at least a 20% down payment in order to buy a home or move on to their next home. Time after time, we have dispelled this myth by showing that many loan programs allow you to put down as little as 3% (or 0% with a VA loan).

If you have saved up your down payment and are ready to start your home search, one other piece of the puzzle is to make sure that you have saved enough for your closing costs.

Freddie Mac defines closing costs as:

“Closing costs, also called settlement fees, will need to be paid when you obtain a mortgage. These are fees charged by people representing your purchase, including your lender, real estate agent, and other third parties involved in the transaction. Closing costs are typically between 2 and 5% of your purchase price.”

We’ve recently heard from many first-time homebuyers that they wished that someone had let them know that closing costs could be so high. If you think about it, with a low down payment program, your closing costs could equal the amount that you saved for your down payment.

Here is a list of just some of the fees/costs that may be included in your closing costs, depending on where the home you wish to purchase is located:

  • Government recording costs
  • Appraisal fees
  • Credit report fees
  • Lender origination fees
  • Title services (insurance, search fees)
  • Tax service fees
  • Survey fees
  • Attorney fees
  • Underwriting fees

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Have a Home Or Farm to Sell?

If you are considering selling your home in the Louisville area, contact an agent at Finish Line Realty first to get a free valuation and market analysis.