Louisville Properties Blog
Louisville Properties Blog

Louisville Properties Blog

Retired Engineer Helps Build Louisville Homes for Habitat for Humanity

Here's the kind of story that's always welcome. Eighty-two-year-old Middletown resident Bob Haswell recently received a 2010 WLKY Bell Award for community service. Since 1991, when he retired as a mechanical engineer at Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. on Westport Road, Haswell has been helping the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity build homes. He has driven nails, framed windows and doors, laid flooring and invested his time in more than 200 of the Habitat homes built in the area since 1991. "You can really see you did something at the end of the day," he said. Haswell is one of 4,000 local volunteers who spend Fridays and Saturdays building houses for low-income families who also must help build their homes before they can move in. Despite his considerable accomplishments for Habitat for Humanity and other local charitable organizations, Haswell avoids the spotlight and prefers to go about the business of helping people. We salute Bob and wish him many more years of good health and success building Louisville homes for grateful area families. If you're thinking about buying or selling a Louisville home and are looking for a real estate professional to help you along, call us today at 502.744.9504 or fill out a contact form. We are longtime residents of the Louisville area and have decades of experience helping people buy and sell residential and commercial property. We offer a wide range of different professional real estate services from property management to flat-fee brokerage and much more. Please give us a call today, and give us the opportunity to help you!...

Mortgage Bankers Association Predicts Slowdown in Mortgage Refinancing

In a time when home sales are down, buyers are nervous, and many homeowners are eager to take advantage of near record low mortgage rates. Mortgage refinancing has been a vital revenue stream for lenders. However, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) is predicting that that stream will slow to a trickle if mortgage rates climb to around five percent by the end of 2011 as the MBA foresees. Compared to rates just a few years ago, five percent is still a very attractive interest rate, but MBA trends suggest that any time rates increase by even a modest amount, interest in refinancing plummets. They report that members will refinance $921 billion in mortgages in 2010, and that volume could drop to a third of that figure in 2011. The MBA is also projecting that new home purchase mortgages could show modest signs of improvement in the near future. They project that this portion of the mortgage market will grow by as much as $146 billion in 2011 to reach a total of $626 billion. They expect the volume of new home sales will rise about two percent, but average home prices across the country will drop by one percent. Time will tell if the MBA's predictions will be true, but they have been tracking these metrics for a very long time and have a vested interest in making accurate projections. As the owner of Louisville real estate, you have a vested interest in getting the best price possible for your property, and we can help. Our knowledge of the Louisville real estate market combined with our internet marketing skills, database of properties for sale and other advantages for sellers make us a worthy choice to help you find a qualified buyer for your property. If you're thinking of selling, call the Louisville real estate experts at Louisville Properties today at 502.744.9504!...

How Foreclosures Affect Home Prices

There is plenty of evidence here in the Louisville real estate market and elsewhere that foreclosures have a negative effect on home prices, but researchers at Harvard and MIT wanted to know precisely how much. They analyzed years of home sales data in Massachusetts and found that foreclosed homes sell for an average of 27 percent less than homes that have mortgages in good standing or are owned outright. They also looked at how a foreclosure affects the selling prices of nearby homes and found that a non-foreclosed home takes a one percent hit in selling price for each foreclosure within 250 feet. The higher the number of foreclosed homes on a block, the higher the negative, cumulative effects on sale prices of homes on the market. Daniel Hartley, an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, recently used the Harvard and MIT study in a study of his own on how foreclosures affect neighborhoods. He calls foreclosures "disamenities' and notes that other factors shape the effect of foreclosures. He said: "In neighborhoods with low vacancy rates (tight markets), foreclosures lower the prices of nearby single-family houses by way of the supply effect. I estimate that housing prices within 250 feet of a foreclosure are lowered by about 1.6 percent per foreclosure through the supply effect, while the disamenity effect is about zero. In contrast, in neighborhoods with high vacancy rates ("looser" markets), foreclosures lower prices of nearby single-family houses by way of the disamenity effect. I estimate that housing prices within 250 feet of a foreclosure are lowered by about two percent per foreclosure through the disamenity effect, while the supply effect is about zero." We have stated many times that, while not immune to the effects of foreclosures, the Louisville real estate market has been spared the worst of the problems that are affecting many other housing markets...

Mortgage Rates Up Slightly Last Week of October

Mortgage watchers from the Wall Street Journal report that overall, mortgage rates were mixed in the last week of October with long-term fixed-rate mortgages slightly higher for the second consecutive week. These gains, however modest, broke a long streak of many weeks of record lows, according to federal mortgage giant Freddie Mac. Thirty-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.23 percent for the last week of the month, which is up ever so slightly from the previous week's 4.21 percent, but lower than the 5.03 percent average for the same week in 2009. Interest rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.66 percent, which is down from 4.46 percent for the same week in 2009. At Louisville Properties, we may not be able to help you find the perfect interest rate on a mortgage, but we can help you find the perfect piece of Louisville real estate for your home or business. We're a locally owned and operated business that puts the needs of our clients before all other considerations. We take great pride in helping people buy and sell all kinds of property in the Louisville area. If you're thinking of buying or selling a single-family home, condo, duplex, apartment building, warehouse, storefront or other type of residential or commercial property in the area, call us first and customize our services to meet the unique needs of your situation. Simply give us a call today at 502.744.9504or fill out a contact form for a prompt reply. Let us help you find the perfect Louisville real estate for your needs or a qualified buyer for your property. We look forward to hearing from you!...

Obama Administration Says Banks Can Restart Foreclosures

Despite mounting evidence that many of the nation's mortgage lenders failed to follow due process when foreclosing on millions of homes, the Obama administration's top housing official has told lenders they may resume foreclosing on homes. The announcement follows a temporary moratorium that gave troubled homeowners a small respite from foreclosure proceedings. Taking their cue from the feds, two of the biggest players in mortgage lending.  Bank of America Corp. and Ally Financial Inc.'s GMAC Mortgage unit, resumed foreclosing on delinquent home loans two weeks after the temporary halt. Others are expected to resume foreclosures in the near future. At the center of the issue is the concept of property ownership and the conditions that allow a mortgage lender to seize a piece of property from an owner. The laws are very clear about how and when a lender can foreclose, and it appears that lenders, attorneys and others involved in the foreclosure process failed to execute due diligence. The sheer volume of homeowners walking away from or otherwise defaulting on their mortgages buried people in these positions, and we know now that some of them signed more than 1,000 foreclosure authorizations in a day. This is dangerous as it clouds the facts regarding who has the true ownership of some foreclosed properties. The ramifications of these shortcuts have yet to be seen, but the moral of this story is the importance of buying good title insurance when buying a Louisville home. Your insurer has an obligation to research and disclose who holds the deed to a home, whether or not there are any liens against it and other critically important information. For more information about the importance of title insurance and the area's best selection of residential and commercial real estate, call Louisville Properties today at 502.744.9504.

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Sales of Louisville Homes Continue Downward Trend, But Sellers Trying Different Tactics

A recent Fox 41 investigation into the sales of Louisville homes found that sales dropped each month over the summer, and sellers are getting creative in trying to find and entice prospective buyers. Robin Feeney is one of the sellers looking at new ways to attract interest and sell her home. For the last 33 years, she has lived in Crestwood, and she says that she's not afraid to try anything to sell her home, including yard sale marketing. "I have stuff from when I used to own a shop, so I have tons of Derby stuff. I've got all kinds of winter coats. I mean, I've got some fabulous coats. Mega sale! Everything's for sale, inside and out, the house too if anybody wants it!" she said. She said that she tries to time her yard sales when there is an open house nearby. "Usually I do them on Sundays. Lately, I've been getting a lot of turnout from open houses, and I thought, well let's give it a try on Saturday. And look, someone showed up, and you know it's worth it." Feeney and others trying to sell their Louisville homes face an uphill battle at the moment. In July 2009, 1,195 Louisville homes were sold, but only 785 were sold this past July. When selling your Louisville home in a tough market, it's very important to think outside the box and explore marketing alternatives as Ms. Feeney and other home sellers have. At Louisville Properties, we have been helping people sell their Louisville homes for years by thinking outside the box, using our experience and resources and harnessing the marketing power of the Internet. We're locally owned and operated and have a proven track record of success helping people sell their homes in all market conditions. For more information on how we can help you sell your Louisville real estate, call us today at 502.744.9504!...

Habitat for Humanity Builds Louisville Home #337

The Louisville chapter of Habitat for Humanity has built 336 homes over the last 25 years, and a local mother recently took possession of home #337. The charitable organization, along with employees from Norton Healthcare, recently worked together to build a new Louisville home on East Caldwell Street in Smoketown. Volunteers framed the walls of the one-story, three-bedroom home and installed doors and windows for DeAndra Garnett. Garnett is the mother of a four-year-old and is expecting another child. She is employed by Kosair and was shocked and delighted with the progress of her new Louisville home. 'I was here on Monday, and it was just a deck,' she said. She continued, 'I came back today and it's all up, and it's amazing how it's up so fast.' In order to earn her new home, Garnett had to work for it by helping volunteers with the construction. She plans to move into her new house before the end of the year. At Louisville Properties, we applaud and support the efforts of Habitat for Humanity and the many other charitable organizations in our area that make a positive difference in people's lives. If you're looking for your next Louisville home or you're looking for qualified buyers to buy your current home, contact the pros at Louisville Properties. We have been helping people buy and sell commercial and residential real estate in the Louisville area for years. We have the resources and experience to help you find the perfect home or the perfect buyer. For more information about how we can help you buy or sell a Louisville home, call us today at 502.744.9504 or fill out our contact form for a fast reply!

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Commercial Real Estate Analysts Say 'Delay and Pray' Strategy is Not Viable

A meeting convened recently at the McDonough School of Business of Georgetown University where some of the biggest names in commercial real estate discussed the state of the industry. Commercial real estate in the U.S. is currently mired in its worst funk since the Great Depression, and in the two years since the credit bubble burst, prices have plunged an average of 40 percent. Industry analysts say that a perfect storm of depressed property values, tight lending practices and the Great Recession has paralyzed the country's commercial real estate market. Prices are down an average of 40 percent across the country, putting additional pressure on reluctant lenders to tighten lending standards further. Analysts say that since no one really knows what commercial real estate is worth at the moment, obtaining lines of credit could get even tougher for the foreseeable future. The analysts said that outside of a few high profile, "can't miss" commercial developments in New York and Washington that have begun recently, little else is happening. They say that everyone is in a holding pattern, waiting for a magical rebound that isn't likely to happen. They also said that the prevailing "delay and pray" strategy that the industry is pursuing is counterproductive and will only extend the status quo and could make it worse. There is no doubt that the economic downturn has affected the prices of Louisville commercial real estate. However, conditions here are not nearly as bad as most markets, which makes now an excellent time to sell and buy commercial real estate in Louisville. If you're an owner looking for a buyer or a buyer seeking your next opportunity, contact the commercial real estate experts at Louisville Properties today. Give us a call at 502.744.9504 and put our experience and resources to work for you!...

Existing Home Sales Up 7.6 Percent in August

August sales of existing homes brought modest relief to a struggling housing market in most areas of the country with sales up 7.6 percent from record lows. The National Association of Realtors reported that sales of previously owned homes rose to an annual rate of 4.13 million. The NAR also reported that the 12.5-month inventory of unsold homes in the U.S. in July dropped to 3.98 million, or an 11.6-month supply. Selling prices for homes sold in August also showed modest gains of 0.8 percent with the median price for an existing home measured at $178,600. While any gains are welcome signs for the country's beleaguered housing market, some economists predict that any recovery could take a long time for many of the hardest hit housing markets. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun expected the housing market to remain soft through October and November despite lower home prices and mortgage rates at record lows. "The housing market is trying to recover on its own power without the home buyer tax credit," Yun said. He reported that any recovery "will likely be slow and gradual because of lingering economic uncertainty." If you're thinking of selling your Louisville home, there are qualified buyers out there looking for their next home. Is your home getting the exposure and marketing you need to attract them? Call 502.744.9504 today and have the Louisville real estate professionals at Louisville Properties help you sell your home. Their experience, Internet marketing skills and professionalism can make all the difference when you're ready to sell your home. Whether you need a discount brokerage, FSBO assistance or a full-service Louisville real estate agent, rely on us to help you sell your home and get results!...

Foreclosure Oversights Could Be "Epidemic" in Mortgage Banking Industry

Recent announcements from Bank of America, JPMorgan and some other mortgage lenders about a stop to foreclosures until they had investigated "oversights" in the foreclosure process suggest that these problems are more serious and widespread than we initially thought. In a deposition she gave last February, one Bank of America official admitted that she signed 7,000 to 8,000 foreclosure documents per month and typically did not read them. "I typically don't read them because of the volume that we sign," she said. She also admitted that she had identified herself as a representative of Bank of New York Mellon, a company that did not employ her. At the center of the issue is the fact that hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of foreclosure documents have been signed without the required investigations to ensure that the lender is within their right to foreclose. One attorney representing someone who may be dealing with an unlawful foreclosure said, "We have had thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of foreclosures around the country by entities that did not have the right to foreclose." Consumer advocates say that the foreclosure oversight problems are not limited to Bank of America, JPMorgan and a few other lenders that have halted foreclosures recently. "The general level of sloppiness is pervasive around the industry," said Diane Thompson, Counsel at the National Consumer Law Center. If these and other lenders are found to have "rubber-stamped" foreclosure documents without reading them or vetting their contents, foreclosures on homes that are currently pending and those that have already occurred could be rendered invalid or illegal. If this occurs, the nation's foreclosure crisis could continue for a very long time. Buying foreclosures may not look like an attractive investment now, but if you're shopping for Louisville real estate, you're in the right place! We have the area's best selection of residential and commercial real estate. Browse the listings on our site,...

Bank of America Stops Home Foreclosures in Kentucky, Indiana and Other States

Bank of America announced recently that it is delaying foreclosures on homes in Kentucky, Indiana and 21 other states. The country's largest bank reported that it is halting foreclosures to review whether it rushed the foreclosure process on thousands of homes without reading the documentation for each foreclosure. Other mortgage lenders, including Ally Financial Inc.'s GMAC Mortgage unit and JPMorgan Chase, have recently admitted that their employees may also have signed foreclosure documents without properly vetting the information on them. The companies admitted the oversights after the lapses were made public. These revelations could result in serious headaches for the mortgage lenders. Thousands of homeowners currently in the foreclosure process or those who have lost their homes to foreclosure could contest the validity of the foreclosure, potentially leaving properties in limbo until each case is sorted out. If other mortgage lenders admit the same oversights, it could extend the current foreclosure crisis sweeping the country for years. Some states are getting involved by preventing lenders from foreclosing on mortgages in default. Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal recently requested that a state court freeze all home foreclosures in the state for 60 days. He said the freeze "should stop a foreclosure steamroller based on defective documents." California Attorney General Jerry Brown told JPMorgan to suspend foreclosures until it could prove that it has complied with a state consumer protection law. Attorneys General in Florida and Ohio have similar investigations underway looking into foreclosure oversights. This development could have far reaching consequences for the millions of homes across the country that have been foreclosed on or are in the process of foreclosure. Fortunately, there are plenty of Louisville homes for sale that are not affected by foreclosure. For the area's best selection of Louisville homes for sale, contact Louisville Properties...

September Real Estate Recap Reflects More of the Same for 2010

Each month thus far in 2010 hasn't been much fun for real estate professionals across the country, and September was no exception. Sales are down, home prices are down in most markets, foreclosures continue to mount and economic uncertainty is dissuading buyers from making purchasing decisions. For buyers, uncertainty about the nation's economy is trumping record low mortgage rates that make now the best time to borrow money to buy a home in decades. On September 30, giant mortgage lender Freddie Mac released a survey that indicated mortgage rates for 15- and 30-year mortgages in the last week of September met or exceeded record lows. Rates for borrowers with the best credit averaged 4.32 percent for 30-year fixed rate mortgages, a figure that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. A survey released by the Census Bureau recently shed some light on why low mortgages rates have failed to spur home sales. For many Americans, buying a home is not economically feasible. The Bureau's American Community Survey released September 28 indicated that more than one in five Americans can barely afford to pay rent and 40 percent of respondents reported spending more than 35 percent of their income on housing. The nation's commercial real estate sector is also flagging. Moody's/REAL All Property Type Aggregate Index for September showed that sale prices for commercial real estate are only 0.9 percent higher year-over-year from October 2009. Current conditions in both residential and commercial real estate have created the best buyer's market in recent memory. If you've been thinking about investing in Louisville commercial real estate to start a business, expand an existing one or as income property, contact the experts at Louisville Properties today at 502.744.9504. We offer the full spectrum of real estate services from property management to brokerage services and much more!...

Some Homeowners Gain Limited Relief from Chinese Drywall Problems

Homeowners struggling with strong odors, malfunctioning appliances, ruined electrical wiring and plumbing, a host of health problems and other difficulties from drywall manufactured with high levels of sulfur may finally have some help. Homeowners in 38 states have been dealing with a myriad of problems for the last several years as devastation from Hurricane Katrina and a housing boom drove record demand for drywall. Builders and distributors imported millions of sheets of drywall from China to rebuild homes along the Gulf Coast and for new construction elsewhere. Property owners' problems began shortly after moving in. Some of the contaminated drywall was manufactured in the U.S., but the overwhelming majority of the drywall was made in China and emits corrosive hydrogen sulfide gas. This gas causes respiratory problems, persistent headaches, sinus infections and other health issues for homeowners and corrodes most metals in a building. Many owners of homes built with the contaminated drywall are in an unenviable position as their current homes are uninhabitable and they must rent or buy other homes to escape the fumes. Making matters worse, their newly built homes are now nearly unsellable unless they gut them and rebuild at a cost of nearly $100,000. 'My property right now has no value -- it's toxic. I can't sell it. I can't do anything,' said one homeowner in Florida. Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed, but Chinese drywall manufacturers contend that U.S. courts have no jurisdiction over them. Only one, Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin, is negotiating with homeowners on a settlement. However, with at least 5,600 homeowners participating in a class-action lawsuit against 1,600 manufacturers, builders, installers and insurers, those receiving any financial help in the short term will be in the minority. The homes affected by the contaminated drywall were built in 2004 and after. If you're looking for an older home in the Louisville area to buy as your primary residence or as...

Kentucky, Indiana Will Receive Some of $3 Billion in Housing Aid

Kentucky and Indiana will receive portions of $3 billion in housing aid to assist unemployed homeowners who are nearing foreclosure. The Treasury Department announced recently that 17 states with unemployment rates higher than the national average will receive the funds. Under the plan, Kentucky will receive $56 million, and Indiana will get $83 million. Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear was pleased with the announcement. He said, "These funds will help active job seekers bridge the gap for a few months with their mortgage payments." The Kentucky Housing Corporation is planning to announce the allocation of the funds in the coming weeks. The Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority has not released their plans on how they will disburse the funds to unemployed homeowners. Struggling Kentucky homeowners who need free advice on how to keep their homes can visit www.protectmykyhome.org or call 866-830-7868. The Obama administration plans to use $1 billion to fund another program designed to provide struggling homeowners with emergency zero interest rate loans of up to $50,000 for up to two years. The Department of Housing and Urban Development is overseeing this program, and they plan to release details about it in the near future. The Louisville real estate professionals at Louisville Properties welcome any program that helps struggling homeowners remain in their homes. If you're tired of staying in your current home and are looking for a new Louisville house, condominium, farm, country estate or other type of real estate, call the experts at Louisville Properties today at 502.744.9504. No other Louisville real estate company has more Louisville homes from which to choose or more experience helping people buy and sell homes....

Foreclosures and Unemployment Claims Rise in July

Real estate industry watchdog RealtyTrac reports that 325,229 homeowners in the U.S. received a notice of default, auction or bank repossession in July, an increase of four percent from the previous month, but down ten percent from foreclosure numbers from July 2009. RealtyTrac estimates that one in 397 American households received notice in July. This is a staggering number, but not as staggering as the 92,858 homes lenders seized from homeowners delinquent on their mortgages that month. This number represented the second-highest number of foreclosures since RealtyTrac began tracking this in January 2005. Rick Sharga, Senior Vice President of Marketing at RealtyTrac, offered a theory about the rise in foreclosures, saying, "The numbers are exploding due to unemployment and economic displacement. We will see them get a lot worse unless we see some job creation." One can find the evidence of Mr. Sharga's grim forecast for foreclosures and job losses in newspapers, websites and communities across the country. Jobless claims for the first week in August climbed by 2,000 to 484,000, the highest in six months, according to the Labor Department. Official unemployment figures are at 9.5 percent, close to a 27-year high, but the actual number of jobless people in the country is substantially higher. The Labor Department does not include the long-term unemployed who have given up trying to find a job in their official estimates, an excluded figure estimated in the millions. While the Louisville real estate market isn't immune to the economic downturn, our foreclosure figures aren't nearly as dire as those in many other metropolitan areas around the country. Property values rose steadily in the years before the recession, but not as steeply as they did in markets that are now among those suffering the worst foreclosure rates. If you're looking at Louisville homes for sale to buy as your primary residence or as an investment, near-record low interest rates make now the best time in decades...

Louisville Area Landmark Auctioned in October

According to a Canadian real estate company, there will be an auction on October 15th for the former workplace of thousands of Louisville area residents. The Colgate-Palmolive Plant in Clarksville, which once employed 1,500 people at its peak of production in the 1960s making toothpaste, shaving cream and other household products, will be on the auction block. Active International, which bought the property from Colgate-Palmolive in 2009, is hoping that developers will bid on the sprawling complex of buildings to make the property into homes, shops, offices, a hotel and other uses. Colgate-Palmolive closed the plant in December 2007, laying off the last 200 workers at the once bustling industrial complex. Since then, Clarksville city officials have rezoned the site for mixed-use development in the hope that developers will turn a liability into an anchor for revitalizing the city's struggling south end. City officials also hope that builders will preserve the complex's historic clock, visible from downtown Louisville for decades, one of the largest in the world and a local landmark, and make it the centerpiece of the site's redevelopment. Clarksville officials are hoping that a developer or consortium of developers with deep pockets and a plan in place to repurpose the industrial complex will come forward at the auction and transform a blighted part of the city into an asset. Are you a local business owner or budding entrepreneur looking for commercial real estate in the Louisville area to start a business or expand an existing company? For the area's best selection of Louisville commercial real estate and superb customer service, contact the real estate pros at Louisville Properties at 502.744.9504. There is a wide range of Louisville commercial real estate from which to choose throughout the Louisville metropolitan area. Call us today! ...

June Home Sales Surge 26% for Louisville Realtors and Sellers

Officials with the Greater Louisville Association of Realtors say that members sold 1,477 homes and condominiums in the Louisville area last June, a 26 percent jump from June 2009 sales. The boost in sales was a welcome development for sellers and realtors and marked the twelfth consecutive month of improving Louisville home sales compared to the previous year. Louisville Realtors President Linda Gibson Cecil reported that July's home sales figures would be the "true test" of how the Louisville housing market is performing. She said that the expired federal homebuyer tax credit program would not have an influence on Louisville homes sold in July. As a result, July's sales should be a better indicator of the overall health of the Louisville real estate market. The group of Louisville realtors reports that home sales are up 29 percent year-over-year for the first six months of 2010 with a corresponding rise in median sales prices from $129,900 to $135,000 for the same period. Cecil said she expected the tax credit to help June sales, as it did in the previous months, but "I didn't expect us to be up that much." If you've been looking for Louisville realtors to help you buy or sell a home, you've been looking for a Louisville real estate professional with experience, integrity, a proven track record of success and outstanding customer service. Your search is over. Contact the realtors at Louisville Properties and enjoy decades of experience in the business, a proven record of success, a sterling reputation for integrity, superb customer service and much more! Call them today at 502.744.9504 and experience the difference that professional Louisville realtors can make when buying or selling a home in the Louisville area....

The Housing Market of Summer 2010 Plagued by Many Factors

Real estate industry analysts' cautiously optimistic forecasts last spring of slow, but gradual growth in the country's housing market over the summer have not come to fruition. Sales of newly built homes are stagnant. Foreclosures for the first six months of 2010 are up as much as 75 percent in most urban areas. Pending sales of existing homes are sluggish. Qualified buyers with good credit are still having problems arranging mortgage financing. The combination of these and other factors is making a housing recovery difficult in most markets across the country. John Burns, who owns a real estate research and consulting company in California, predicts more rough waters for the nation's housing market for the near future. Burns says the biggest problems currently plaguing the housing market include the following:

  • Lower demand for housing due to job insecurity and high housing prices
  • A nine-month supply of unsold homes sitting on the market, which is two months above average
  • Economic uncertainty as the country continues to grapple with the recession

Burns says that near-record low mortgage rates would be a boon to home sales under normal conditions, but current conditions are anything but normal. He expects that housing markets around the country will continue to struggle as banks begin to list inventories of foreclosed homes, increasing the amount of unsold homes to 11- and possibly 13-month supplies. If you're a prospective homebuyer looking for Louisville homes for sale, the real estate professionals at Louisville Properties want you to know that current market conditions favor buyers, but the buyer's market will not last forever. For the area's best selection of Louisville houses for sale, browse the listings on our site, and give us a call at 502.744.9504 for more information.

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Scam Artists Exploiting Surge of Short Sales to Commit Fraud

Plunging home values in many housing markets across the country have led to increased short sales (sales in which a home sells for less than the amount owed on the mortgage), and some scam artists are using the spike in short sales to commit fraud. California-based CoreLogic, a firm that provides research, analysis and business services to real estate and other industries, is reporting that lenders need to be on the lookout for short sale fraud. CoreLogic reports that nearly two percent (1.9) of all short sales in the U.S. over the last two years are fraudulent. They estimate at least 15,000 cases of short sale fraud, or approximately one in every 53 sales. There are many variations on this scam, but they all involve collusion between unscrupulous agents and buyers who agree to sell a home below current market value and quickly resell the home at a profit. CoreLogic reports that in most cases, the crooked agent has a higher offer for the home from a lender that he or she "overlooks" in order to make a bigger profit by selling at a lower price to another buyer. In this arrangement, the agent makes money, the buyer saves money and the lender is the fraud victim that takes a loss of tens of thousands of dollars. Short sales help homeowners struggling to meet their mortgage obligations by allowing them to move on, and these transactions help lenders by attenuating financial losses and removing the liabilities of a property sitting empty for months on end. If you've been considering the advantages of Louisville short sales for your next home or as an investment property, contact Louisville Properties today at 502.744.9504. No scams, we promise....

Mortgage Rates Heading Up Say Industry Analysts

Mortgage lenders, brokers and real estate analysts have been forecasting for months that mortgage rates would be heading up soon. The only cause of disagreement was how much they would increase. However, months after predicting rate hikes, mortgage rates have actually dropped one-half of a percentage point and are near record lows. As of August 2010, the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.49 percent. This is down slightly from 4.54 percent in July. After reassessing their forecasts in light of recent developments, analysts are citing a variety of factors that are continuing to keep mortgage rates at near-record lows. Chief among them was that lenders offered mortgages at artificially low rates, secure in the knowledge that they could package and sell these to government-owned Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Conventional wisdom (and standard operating procedure) held that Fannie and Freddie would then sell these securities to the Fed. Analysts also cited Greece's financial crisis last spring and the economic uncertainties it created as another factor that kept mortgage rates low as skittish finance ministers took a wait-and-see approach to how that would play out in world markets. Now, lenders are taking a different approach, enticing homebuyers with marketing that draws attention to low mortgage rates and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for them to save money. However, many people with sizable down payments and good credit are still concerned about job security and are reluctant to take on the debt of buying a home in the current climate. If you've been watching mortgage rates and waiting for the right time to buy a Louisville house, current low rates can mean tens of thousands of dollars in savings over the term of a mortgage. For the area's best selection of Louisville real estate, call Louisville Properties at 502.744.9504 today. Resource link: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/08/realestate/08mort.html?ref=realestate...
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