By Tre Pryor
In today's market, the play of the day is finding a Louisville real estate bargain. You can't walk out your front door without hearing about Foreclosures, Short Sales or any number of distressed properties. Most of this is coming from people trying to sell you their "special" list of properties.
Louisville is no different than any other city in the U.S. except that we don't have nearly the number of these homes as do places like Las Vegas, California and Florida. But that doesn't mean Louisville has no bargain buys. So for that reason, I've written Top 10 Ways to Find a Louisville Real Estate Bargain.
10. Above Normal Appreciation
What if you can't purchase a home below it's current market value but... can purchase a home that will appreciate at a faster rate than everyone else once you own it? Then that's a deal too! Like any task that includes predicting the future, this is a tough job. Having a wealth of experience and a long-term view can make this possible but it's often easier said than done.
9. Property Infringement
There are times when the government comes in and requires a property owner to sell a portion of their land via eminent domain. Usually this is for a road, highway or airport expansion of some sort. These sellers are anxious to sell before the work crews come and buyers can usually get quite a bargain. Just remember to do all of your due diligence beforehand, so that you fully understand the extent of the government work and are happy with that outcome before purchasing this type of home.
8. City to City
Most people do not have the luxury to choose where they live due to job requirements. But if you are one of the lucky ones, selecting a city with great bang for your buck home prices, then you can land yourself a real estate bargain. Do some research to find best buy markets and choose a city that's currently hot. Some years Louisville makes the list, others not, but compared to most of the country, Louisville housing is very affordable.
7. Looking Ahead
In every city there are hot spots. Certain neighborhoods are more desirable than others. This changes over time, but a good Realtor® with experience can tell you which areas are currently drawing the most interest. For example, here in Louisville, the Highlands extremely popular with younger home buyers. If you're looking to find a real estate bargain, do not purchase a home in this area, you won't get a deal. Instead, you'll likely pay a premium.
But a wise shopper will look at the surrounding neighborhoods to see where the hot trend might spread once everything has bought up in the first area. Frankfort Avenue and Clifton are similar neighborhoods. They both carry many of the same character traits and prices haven't yet spiked for these areas like they have for the Highlands. These areas are good bets for finding yourself a real estate bargain.
6. Uniformed Sellers
For the most part, For Sale by Owners (FSBO) properties don't meet with much success. I wrote a piece called Top 10 Things to Consider When Contemplating a FSBO that highlights some of the difficulties that FSBO's encounter.
Every good Realtor® will tell you that the most important thing in selling a home is setting the proper asking price at the start. FSBO's usually don't accomplish this task. Usually they'll overprice it, which only hurts their chances with the smaller number of people who'll see their home. But every once in awhile, they'll under price their home. That's where a bargain can be found by the astute buyer.
5. Auction Properties
Going to a real estate auction might seem a bit strange to many, but there deals to be had if you've done your homework. Generally speaking, these properties have some kind of problem that kept them from being sold in the traditional manner. There are a number of companies that focus on residential real estate auctions and you can also try the Jefferson County Commissioner's Sale. But be warned, this only for the experienced home buyer.
4. Non-Trendy Styles
Louisville is, for the most part, a traditional city. We don't have much in the way of ground-breaking design. So while a majority of homes share similar styling, many do not. These properties are overlooked by the majority of home buyers. This makes them prime targets to our bargain hunters. If you see a contemporary home for sale, chances are you'll be able to purchase this property at a much better price.
3. Relocation Nightmares
For a home seller, a relocation can be a monstrous event. For the home buyer, it can be an amazing opportunity! Nothing pushes negotiating in the buyer's favor like a seller who needs to be in Topeka by the first day of the next month. Their loss is almost always your gain.
2. Days on Market
Days on Market (DoM) is the total number of days that a particular property has been for sale. It just stands to reason that the longer the seller has been trying to sell, the more "motivated" they are to get it sold. These kind of sellers are much more likely to drop their asking price even further if someone (anyone!) will come and take this property off their hands. If that doesn't sound like a bargain waiting to happen, I don't know what does.
1. Fixer Uppers
Fixer Uppers are sometimes called Handyman Specials because whoever buys this house is most certainly going to need some work done on it. Spotting these properties isn't too difficult at most real estate agents will identify these properties as such in their listing descriptions. I would throw "As Is" properties into this category as well.
Due to the fact that in today's market most buyers want "move in ready" homes, these fixer uppers generally are discarded from their search list. That means some lucky buyer, who has properly inspected the home's structure and other vitals, is likely going to get one heck of a deal!
It's important to note that while I've given you the best ways to find a bargain, finding them can still be tough. I wholeheartedly recommend that you take full advantage of your Realtor® to help you track down the deals.
If you don't currently have a trusted Realtor®, please feel free to contact me. We can chat or meet for coffee. Buyers pay no commissions to agents so it rarely makes sense for any buyer to go it alone.