Thursday, July 25, 2013

A picture is worth 1,000 words...

If a picture is worth 1,000 words--photos of homes listed for sale may be worth a few more...

90% of home buyers first view homes online before attending Open Houses or requesting to view the property with an agent and you only get one first impression.

Here is a great example--

The more appealing the main photo is, the better the chance that the potential home buyer will look at additional photos. 
Tips for a great main photo:
1. Make the house the focus--no distractions!
2. All blinds should be open and even.
3. Show off the front door.
4. Create symmetry.
5. Avoid lawn decorations.
6. Hope for blue skies! On more than one occasion I've gone out to reshoot exterior photos when the sky is exceptionally blue because it really does make a big difference!
One thing that I wasn't able to do with the second photo was avoid shadows.  Since then I've learned about a great app "LightTrac" for $4.99 which will find the angle and elevation of sun for any location and time.  This makes it extra easy to plan for the perfect time to get great exterior photos!

Monday, April 29, 2013


It is always a great day when I get to combine two of my greatest passions, real estate and photography into one project!

Tomorrow morning we will be closing on 5600 Southland Blvd. so to capture the memory, my sellers agreed to a mini-photoshoot today. It's always nice to have something to look back on to remember your first or last days in a home =)

This is something I do with all of my clients...  After the home inspection of my very first sale my clients were standing in the yard as I was leaving.  I glanced back towards the house and thought to myself "I can't miss this Kodak moment!"  So I told them to smile pretty and took a picture of them in front of their new home with just my iPhone.  A few closings and one year later it has evolved in to this, complete with my Canon Rebel 4 and props which makes it even more fun!

I became a Realtor and closed my first deal when I was 24 which means I probably have at least 50 years left in the business.  I can't wait til I'm 70 and have all of these pictures and memories to look back on and remember when...

Friday, April 26, 2013

Before you try FSBOing...

Before you try to sell your own home without the help of a professional check out these stats!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Mortgage Rates

The Mortgage Bankers Association projects 30 year mortgage rates will hit 4.4% by the end of the year.

The difference in monthly payment (principal and interest) on a $200,000 mortgage if rates go from 3.4% to 4.4% is $114.56.  That is a difference of 1,374.72 a year that you could be saving if you buy now!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

5600 Southland Blvd. Louisville, KY 40214
For More Information Contact Ashley Deskins

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Find Your Dream Home and Make an Offer

Finally! My favorite part of working with Buyers is taking them out and showing houses.  Actually...that is my second favorite part. My most favorite part is when they get the keys at the closing table!  Buying a house is the single largest purchase anyone makes in their life so it is a big deal.  You can't just settle--you have to fall in love.

After you find "the one" you will meet with your agent to write the offer.  Be prepared to sign a million different pieces of paper.  At this time, the agent will go over sold comps in the area and together you'll determine how much you would like to offer.  Your agent will then call the listing agent to tell them they are sending over an offer on that particular property.  That agent will present that offer to their sellers and the sellers will either accept that offer and you have a house or counter offer.  Some back and forth is usually to be expected and we will go into more detail of the offer process soon.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Pre-Approval, Finding a Realtor, Wants vs. Needs

The pre-approval process, finding a realtor, and knowing what you want vs. what you need are all subjects we tackle on Day 3 of The Path to Owning Your First Home!

Before you start searching online, visiting Open Houses or searching for the perfect Realtor--Get pre-approved!  Go to your local bank or visit Cindy at HomeServices Lending at 600 N Hurstborne Pkwy to find out what you qualify for.  Not only will this save you from falling in love with a house you can't afford, you may also realize that you can afford more than you thought which gives you even more options while searching for your perfect home.  It will also speed up the process when it comes time to write an offer!

After you've been pre-approved, find a Realtor.  (cough, Ashley Deskins, cough) The best part of hiring a Buyers Agent is that our services are completely free to the buyer.  You pay nothing out of pocket--the seller pays our commission at closing :)

Next you'll need to know what you want, what you actually need and know there is a difference between the two.  You may *want* granite probably don't *need* granite countertops ;)  Once you figure this out this is where the fun really begins!

Stay tuned for Day 4!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Know your Limits and Have a Down Payment

Yesterday we discussed the general rule for figuring out how much you can afford to spend a home is 3 times your annual salary.  Today we learn that a mortgage payment should not exceed 28% of monthly income and that total bills (mortgage included) should not exceed 36% of monthly income.  So...if you make $6,000 a month--your mortgage payment should not be more than $1,680.  Obviously not everyone follows this rule but it is definitely a good rule of thumb.

Today we also discuss the importance of a down payment.  Without a downpayment saved you have no way of financing a house (unless you're a Veteran and qualify for a VA loan).  FHA loans require a 3.5% downpayment while conventional loans generally require 5% down.  20% is ideal because at 20% you are no longer required to may PMI (private mortgage insurance)

I would like to state that I am a Realtor and not a mortgage lender.  I leave the lending questions and in-depth analysis up to the professionals like Cindy Cushman of HomeServices Lending.

Here is an example of what the breakdown to mortgage payment would look like on a house purchased for $125,000 comparing the different avenues of financing.

This was a lot of information covered for one day so I'll stop there...but I'll be back tomorrow for Day 3 of "The Path to Owning Your First Home"!

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Path to Owning Your First Home

The home buying process can be overwhelming for a first time buyer.  Over the next few days I will be outlining the process along with key things to consider as you begin the path towards becoming a home owner!

The Path to Owning Your First Home: Day 1

The first step in the home buying process is figuring out how much you can afford.  Obviously you don't want to start searching for a $500,000 house if you can only afford $300,000.  The accepted formula for how much should be spend on a home purchase is 3 times your annual income.  If Math isn't your forte here is an example:  If you are married and your combined household income is $80,000 then you should be able to purchase a home worth $240,000.  Of course there are other factors that play into this number but we will get to those in a day or two :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

And the results are in....

Recently a nationwide poll on homeownership was conducted.  Recent survey results show that...


I've been a full-time Realtor with Semonin Realtors since December 2011.  I absolutely LOVE my job!  Helping someone find their home and helping them throughout the entire process is one of the most rewarding things you can ever do.  The road to finding a home isn't always an easy one, so seeing the smile on clients faces when they receive the keys at the closing table is priceless!