Louisville home for sale

Laura Rice's Complete Home Buying Guide for Louisville

  • Laura Rice
  • 07/20/22

When you're moving to Louisville from another area, or it's your first time buying a home, it can seem like a daunting task to find and purchase a home. The Louisville housing market is on fire, and the homes for sale in Louisville, KY, seem to sell as quickly as they're listed.
You need more information to navigate the market of available homes and find your dream property. Once you understand the Louisville housing market a little better, you'll find that the home buying process can be delightful, and you can find a space that's ideal for you and your family.
This complete home buying guide for Louisville can help you find your footing and make all the right moves!

Arrange your financing

Even if you have millions in the bank, you probably don't want to pay cash for your home. It's always a good idea to arrange your financing before you start looking at homes.

This means going to the bank and getting pre-approved for a mortgage. While you have a good idea of how much you want to spend on your new home, a pre-approved mortgage helps to guide the final price you can offer for a home.

This type of pre-approval shows the seller that you're a serious buyer and makes them more likely to agree to sell you their home, especially if you're in a bidding war with another potential buyer who isn't pre-approved. It also shows the real estate agent you're serious about buying a new home.

You'll need to provide some basic information and possibly documentation for pre-approval on a mortgage, but it isn't as time-consuming as the final authorization.  You might even consider requesting pre-approval from a couple of mortgage brokers to ensure you get the best rate possible.

Know what you're looking for in your new home

The housing market in Louisville is diverse, and homes come in all shapes and sizes. You can find a home with a swimming pool in the backyard or one with a theater room for family night. Of course, it's about more than the amenities. You need to know the minimum number of bedrooms and bathrooms, but remember, you aren't buying a home for now. You're also buying a home for your future.
Are you planning to have children, or more children, down the road? Are your kids going off to college in a couple of years? Do you need space for an aging parent in the immediate future? The answers to these questions can guide your decisions about the size of the home you want to find. It's a good idea to make a list and separate it into must-haves and wants. You'll use this list while you're viewing properties to make sure you get everything you need and want in your new home.

Finding and working with the right real estate agent

The truth is that not all real estate agents are the same. You find agents who concentrate on the luxury market and others who help people find their starter homes. These specialties can create a type of tunnel vision for the agent.
You want to work with an agent who partners with you to find the right home. This is a realtor who listens to your needs and price range before showing you homes that meet these qualifications.
Some realtors are more interested in making a quick sell than finding that one home to thrill their clients. You need a real estate agent that caters to your needs and helps make the process of buying your new home as seamless as possible.
It's okay to ask for recommendations and meet with a couple of realtors before making a final decision. It's important you work with an agent whose vision for your new home aligns with your own.

Know the neighborhoods and what they have to offer

From the Highlands to St. Matthews KY real estate, Louisville has a diverse selection of neighborhoods. There are mature neighborhoods with spacious yards and newer areas with recently built homes that offer all the latest upgrades.
If you have children, it's essential that you check out the public and private schools in the area. You can start looking at neighborhoods that place you within easy driving distance to the school of your choice.
Some neighborhoods in Louisville are a foodies' paradise, while others seem more like a food desert. If you love exploring new restaurants for date night or a girl's night, then you want to make sure that your new neighborhood is within easy driving distance to the local restaurants.
Even if you want a quiet and peaceful neighborhood, you don't want to drive half an hour each way to pick up a gallon of milk. You also want to take advantage of some of the wonderful shopping opportunities in Louisville. There are many gorgeous neighborhoods close to all the shops you want to explore.
When choosing a neighborhood, you must consider your daily commute to work. While Google might tell you it's a 10-minute drive to your office, the app doesn't consider morning and evening traffic. It's a good idea to drive the route between your office and prospective neighborhoods before settling on the right area for you. Some areas get more congested than others, and you deserve a realistic idea about the time you're going to spend driving back and forth to work.

Making an offer and negotiating a deal

You've found the home of your dreams. Now what? It isn't like finding a new pair of jeans and going to the check-out desk. Your real estate agent works with you to write up an offer and determine the amount of earnest money you want to offer. Earnest money is a guarantee that the offer you're making is a serious one. Your real estate agent deposits your earnest money in a special account and holds it until you buy the home, and the earnest money applies to the sale.
With the offer complete, your real estate agent sends it to the seller's real estate agent who takes the offer to the seller. Odds are, the seller isn't going to accept the first offer you make.  When this happens, the seller can refuse your offer or make a counter offer. This is when you want a real estate agent with outstanding negotiating skills. The offers can incorporate a lot of room for compromise, from closing costs and the selling price to appliances that stay with the home.
Your real estate agent needs to work hard to get you the best deal possible and the one that meets your needs. This can be a stressful time, and you might need to walk away from making another offer on a home if a deal seems unlikely.
The offer and negotiations can be the most challenging part of buying a home in Louisville. There might also be other potential buyers making offers on the home at the same time you are. Your real estate agent will let you know when this is the case.

Closing the deal and getting the keys

In most cases, it takes between four and six weeks to close on a house. During this time, you'll complete the paperwork and details of your mortgage. It's also time for an inspection of the property.
If the inspection reveals any issues with the home, you can back out of the contract or renegotiate its terms. It might be something minor where you can get the current owner to make the necessary repairs or hire someone to make them. Another option is asking for a lower price on the final sales price, although many sellers will make repairs instead of accepting a lower offer. This is time to renegotiate the terms of the sale.

Another task during this time includes a title search to ensure that the owners have the right to sell the home. This search might turn up a lien on the house, and the title can't be transferred until the lien is removed. You don't want to discover that the sellers can't transfer the title at closing. The real estate agents will work with a real estate attorney to create the closing paperwork. This is where the closing costs originate. Your agent probably already has a firm that they use, and they will take care of this task. 

Find a partner to help you navigate the homes for sale in Louisville, KY

It isn't enough that there are dozens of homes on the market that might appeal to you. It's essential you narrow down your options to find the one property that has everything you want in the ideal location.
Laura Rice, an expert Louisville real estate agent, and her team want to partner with you to find your perfect match. We understand the Louisville housing market and can guide you to the properties that check off all the boxes on your must-have list. Contact us today to start looking at homes.

Recommended reading: Louisville Real Estate Market Forecast

Work With Laura

Laura is uniquely qualified to identify potential contract issues, making sure you are protected and your transaction happens as smoothly as possible. She is committed to providing exceptional client service all while developing a long-term relationship with you that will remain well beyond the final transaction.

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