Louisville Real Estate Blog | Brad Long Real Estate Group | Keller Williams Louisville East

Inexpensive Ways to Stage Your Home Like a Pro

Inexpensive Ways to Stage Your Home Like a Pro


Whether the home you are selling in Louisville, KY is worth $100,000 or $1,000,000, if the property does not make a good first impression it will probably sit on the market for months while hordes of would-be buyers parade through. That is why home staging is such a big deal - and such a big business among real estate professionals.

If you are getting ready to put your home on the market, you could call a professional home stager to boost its value and help you sell it more quickly. But what if you do not have the money to hire a professional?

The good news is there are plenty of inexpensive DIY ways to stage your home like a pro. These tips will help you make your home look its best without breaking the bank. Here are a few of our favorites.

  • Get rid of mold with a simple mixture of bleach and water. Just mix one part water and one part bleach, fill a spray bottle and spray down your bathroom walls. 

  •  If your newly mold-free bathroom walls still look a bit grimy, just give them a fresh coat of paint. Painting the bathroom is one of the best, and least expensive, home staging tricks. 

  • Update your outdated bathroom tile with a fresh coat of paint. Just use a quality primer to coat the tiles and then finish with a ceramic epoxy coating. Your old tile will look like new in no time. 

  • Replace your square cabinet-style vanity with a new pedestal model. Pedestal sinks are very popular with buyers, and they can make a small bathroom look bigger. Replacing the bathroom vanity is not as hard as you might think; you can probably do it in a matter of hours. 

  • Make your master bathroom and bedroom as gender-neutral as possible. Avoid colors like baby blue or pink; choose a neutral shade instead and select bedding that matches the walls. Choose accessories that will appeal equally to men and women. 

  • Fix your old fireplace screen for a few bucks by first stripping it down and then applying a fresh coat of heat-resistant spray paint. Buyers will love your beautifully updated fireplace screen. 

  • If your kitchen cabinets are structurally sound but not aesthetically pleasing, give them a facelift instead of replacing them. Take off that old outdated cabinet hardware and replace it with new shiny brass accents. Apply fresh stain to give the cabinets a fresh new look buyers will love. 

  • Modern buyers love stainless steel appliances, but owners of older homes do not relish the idea of spending thousands of dollars on dishwashers and refrigerators they will soon be leaving behind. If you want to give your old dated dishwasher a new lease on life, just remove the front panel and give it a good cleaning. Then use an adhesive covering designed to look like stainless steel. Buyers will love the look, and you will love the price. 

  • If you plan to install new granite countertops in your old home, look for ways to save and make the investment more profitable. Do the work yourself and ask the vendor for remnants from previous installations. The buyer will get the beauty of granite, and you will save money. 


Staging and updating your home does not have to cost a fortune. The tips above can help you stage your property and make it more attractive to modern buyers. Spending a few hundred dollars now on some smart upgrades could boost the selling price of your home by thousands of dollars.

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CAN I GET A MORTGAGE AFTER BANKRUPTCY?

CAN I GET A MORTGAGE AFTER BANKRUPTCY?

Looking to buy a house in Louisville, KY, but worried about finding a mortgage because of a bankruptcy? Bankruptcy is more common now and banks will consider making loans within two or three years after the bankruptcy is discharged - as long as your credit history has been pristine since the bankruptcy. 

Expect to be charged higher interest rates or be required to come up with a bigger down payment, though. Even if you have excellent credit history, a larger down payment usually means the best interest rates, and if you have a bankruptcy on your credit report it becomes especially important to put down as much money as possible.

Your past credit report is an important factor, but keep in mind there are several other financial indicators that are also considered.

Your employment history and income. If you've had steady employment for a long period (more than two years) and you've received regular pay raises and promotions, this counts heavily in your favor when applying for a home mortgage.

Your debt-to-income ratio. Bankruptcy either discharges or restructures your debt for a certain period of time, allowing you the breathing room to clear up your credit history. If you avoid taking on large debts after bankruptcy, your debt-to-income ratio should be fairly low.

The loan-to-value ratio of the home you'd like to buy. It's possible to find great real estate deals where the asking price on the home is far below the appraised value of the home. As you talk to mortgage loan officers, point out how much equity you'll immediately have in your new home.

Your down payment. Obviously, the more money you pay up front the less money you borrow overall. Saving the ideal 20 percent down payment makes you look much better to a mortgage company, even if you have a bankruptcy on your credit.

It is possible to get a mortgage after bankruptcy. You probably won't get the lowest interest rate or the most ideal terms, but it's possible to refinance a mortgage in a few years after building equity in the home. Be patient and persistent, and discuss your finances with the one of the Brad Long Groups recomended lenders.

To return the home page of this website, click Louisville Real Estate and you can start your home search using all of the most advanced tools available.

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Louisville Area Home Sales Up in 2016

The Greater Louisville Association of Realtors® (GLAR) reported that in March 2016 sales were up 14% with 1,346 homes and condos sold versus 1,180 last March. "The sellers' market is continuing in Louisville with inventory down in some areas over 20% compared to last year. This has also led to some fluctuations in the month to month statistics, , but in general our members are seeing steady single digit appreciation gains versus last year" said Greg Taylor GLAR President. 

Home sales are up this year 15.1% from January - March compared to the same time in 2015. Median prices for Louisville during the same time are up 4.3% and the average price is up 1.1%. 

There are just not as many houses on the market for the demand in Louisville. In some cases, homes are selling in a matter of hours. In Jefferson County, there are 24.7% less inventory of homes an condos for sale this March than in March of 2015. 

We expect this trend to continue the next few months as inventory levels are not increasing enough to cover the demand. Contact us and our professionals can help you get set up on an email alert so you know as soon as houses that meet your criteria are listed. 

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CAN I GET A MORTGAGE WITH BAD CREDIT?

CAN I GET A MORTGAGE WITH BAD CREDIT?

If you have bad credit and want to obtain a mortgage to buy a new home, you may feel as though it's impossible since lenders tightened their eligibility rules. There are plenty of so-called “options” available on the Internet for bad credit loans, but you must be very careful to watch out for scams.

Mortgage laws have changed in recent years but, the following general guidelines apply:

• Your credit report must have fewer than two 30-day-late payments in the past two years. 

• Bankruptcies must be at least two years ago, with excellent credit history since then.

• Foreclosures must be at least three years ago, with excellent credit history since then.

If you have a few minor negative marks on your credit, you might be better off simply waiting a few months for those to clear (while continuing to make all your payments on time, of course). Alternatively, you may ask a creditor to remove a single late payment flag from your report—though it's up to the creditor to do it.

If you've had serious financial trouble, you'll need to shop for a mortgage loan from several lenders. Don't assume you're actually prequalified for a mortgage just because you filled out an online form and received several offers. You'll need to follow through with the process of applying for a mortgage with each lender to make sure the offers are real.

It's best if you talk to a loan officer in person and get your questions answered on the spot. Even if the first bank you talk to won't give you a mortgage because you have bad credit, the loan officer can help you understand what needs to be done in order to secure a mortgage.

It's not impossible to get a mortgage with bad credit, but it is more difficult. Work with several potential lenders and don't settle for the first approval. Even though you have bad credit, there are several places in the process where you can negotiate a better deal. Give us a call and we can put you in touch with a mortgage professional that can give you all of your options.

Search all Louisville Real Estate for sale by area, price, year built, square footage or any other detail on Louisville's finest MLS search site.

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HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET A MORTGAGE?

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET A MORTGAGE?

As you begin shopping for a new home, one question will weigh heavily on your mind: “How long will it take to get a mortgage?” For an extremely tiny minority of home buyers, it will take a few days to apply for a mortgage, get approved, and finalize the contract on a new home.

For the vast majority of home buyers getting a mortgage may take four to six weeks or even longer, if there are negative marks on your credit report or small debts you'd like to pay off before applying for a home loan. It can be very hard to be patient with the process.

Applying for a mortgage may seem mysterious (and even dangerous!), but the process is usually straightforward. Here's what generally happens, in the simplest terms possible.

First Step: Apply for a New Home Loan 

First, you'll talk to a mortgage loan officer who will explain a number of terms used in the mortgage industry: fixed rate, adjustable rate, jumbo loans, subprime, 30-year and 15-year, and a bunch of industry terms.

Keep asking questions until you understand and can make a good decision about what type of mortgage loan would be best for your situation. Remember, there are plenty of mortgage lenders in the industry. If the first one you talk to seems like a bad fit, talk to another. Plus it's always good to get several quotes as rates and closing costs can vary dramatically between lenders.

During the mortgage planning phase, you'll discuss financial details on the application and get a good idea of what your monthly payment might be. The loan officer then sends your paperwork to an underwriter who looks it over and asks questions, and may require more paperwork to approve the application to move on in the process.

 

Second Step: Finalizing Paperwork and Securing a Pre-Approved Mortgage?

Once you've found a good mortgage lender and moved through the prequalification process, it's time to decide on the home you want to buy. At this point, ask your realtor to step in to find an affordable property that meets your needs.

Take the information your realtor provides back to your mortgage lender and plug in the numbers: the price of the home, estimated annual insurance and property tax costs, the required down payment, and any other costs that will be paid by you, the buyer.

The loan officer will give you final estimates on the interest rate and points that may apply to the loan and should be able to generate a realistic target payment and all the financial information that describes the proposed loan. This is usually called a Good Faith Estimate of Closing Costs. Make sure you understand all the terms so you're not unpleasantly surprised!

 

Third Step: Closing the Deal on Your New Home?

In the final stage of getting a mortgage, you'll tie up a whole bunch of loose ends. The home will need to be appraised and inspected and reports submitted to the mortgage company. A title search will be conducted, and the mortgage company will want evidence of that. You'll definitely need to secure home owners insurance before the closing date, too.

 Work closely with both your realtor and your mortgage lender at this time, and be prompt about providing paperwork at both ends of the process. Definitely pay attention to amounts you're asked to bring to the closing for down payment and closing costs. The funds you bring to closing must be in the form a certified or cashiers check. You will also need to bring two forms of indentification one of which must be a picture ID.

You've worked hard over the past few weeks to apply for a mortgage, shop for an affordable home, and get to the moment of closing the deal. It might feel like a journey of a thousand miles, but if you ask for help along the way the process is much less frustrating.

At this stage, you're days away from owning a new home! Celebrate your accomplishment and look back on the past few weeks with pride. You've done it!

At the Brad Long Real Estate Group will will walk you through the process from begining to end.

Search all Louisville Real Estate for sale by area, price,  year built, square footage or any other detail on Louisville's superior MLS search engine.

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