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How to Be Strategic in Your Home Ownership Decisions

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Parks & Weisberg, REALTORS® gives insight into how to approach selling or buying a home in the 2022 Louisville housing market

 

By Rachel Porter
Photos by Emily Peters

 

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or eager for a new change of scenery, it can be intimidating. It’s impossible to understand the ins and outs of the housing market overnight, but that’s why there’s places like Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Parks & Weisberg, REALTORS® to make the process easier. We chatted with the current owners, Dave Parks and Judie Parks, to learn how to be more strategic in homeownership decisions.

For starters, what should people know about the 2022 housing market?

The main thing to know about the 2022 housing market is that sitting on the fence, thinking this market is hot and prices will go down, may not work. We do not believe that will happen in the near future for Louisville. We believe inventory will remain tight through 2022; if they want to buy, let’s buy. Even though the interest rates have gone up, they are still historically lower than the average over 30 years. Also, the government backed loan limits in the market has been raised over the past couple of years by $100,000.

What are some of the first steps people should take when considering buying or selling a home?

The minute someone thinks they want to sell or buy, they should reach out to a professional REALTOR® and discuss how the market is working. Many people think they can sell because there’s not enough inventory, which is correct, but it doesn’t mean they’ll get the top dollar if they don’t do it right! Sellers will always get the most money for their house when it’s professionally marketed in the MLS because the more buyers that are exposed to a house, the more offers it will get.

How can buyers and sellers be more thoughtful about when, where and how they buy or sell their homes?

The minute a house is ready, meaning it is adequately staged, maintained and cleaned, sellers should put the house on the market. We aren’t seeing anything causing prices to go down, so the sooner, the better for sellers. Also, buyers can be afraid of overpaying; however, no one lives in a house for free. It’s about how much someone is willing to pay to get in the home with features that are cheaper to buy included with the place than add later. An example of this is houses with pools. Putting in a pool costs more than a house that already comes with one.

What economic strategies can everyone use to save money for a down payment and closing costs?

In today’s market, if buyers have 5% of the purchase price of a house, they can get a reasonable loan product at almost any price. If the buyer is a veteran, they do not need any money down. If the buyer has a budget below the $450,000 range, they could need as little as 3.5% to get the house. But also, if the buyers are renting, they should start saving 25% more than their rent price in their account every month to have a down payment ultimately.

How can buyers achieve the home they want while still meeting their budget?

In most of Louisville, it’s still more expensive to rent than buy. If buyers are willing to purchase something that represents what they are renting, it should not cost that much more. If they are first-time homebuyers, there are a lot of products out there that don’t require a significant down payment with a good credit score. Buyers should not look above their budget. They need to look under their budget to allow the ability to offer above asking and include appraisal gap allowances if possible. It’s essential to have a conversation with buyers upfront about what they are willing to settle for that they can do later.

How does a real estate agent or agency like Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Parks & Weisberg, REALTORS® help clients take the right approach to the selling and buying process?

We ensure the seller is prepared by coordinating staging, professional photography, maintenance and even landscaping. We consult with buyers to make sure they make the best offers and even have seminars teaching our clients how to write the best proposal. But most importantly, a lot of the time, an agency can be complacent and just put the sign in the yard — we are not that type of agency. We do not look at our sellers and buyers as numbers, but instead we build relationships with them. It is not about what’s good for us; it’s about what is good for them.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Parks & Weisberg, REALTORS®
1701 Herr Ln. Suite 100
Louisville, KY 40222
502.897.3321
bhhspw.com