2017 Choker’s Index: Teams That Will Wreck Your Brackets

Photo of an NCAA men's basketball team who might be the biggest chokers in the game
I’m not going to say the name of the NCAA’s biggest chokers but it rhymes with Boater Lame.

What began as a simple experiment three years ago has now become a yearly obsession! I must complete this year’s version of the Choker’s Index at all costs! You know why? Because I need to be able to identify the teams that will wreck your brackets.

If you’re not familiar with the Choker’s Index, it’s a deep-dive into the data that surrounds which NCAA men’s basketball teams have a historical record of choking the big game and thusly… destroying your bracket. It’s heady stuff.

I hear you cry, “But this isn’t real estate? What’s going on Tre?!?”

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Most Expensive Louisville Homes in 2016

During the course of 2016, there were 17,882 properties sold via our MLS system. 15,725 of these were your standard, single-family residences (SRF)… the rest fall under different structural varieties.

Out of this vast array of Louisville real estate properties, just 44 sold for $1,000,000 or more. 34 of these most expensive Louisville homes were SFRs, then 6 farms, 3 condos, and 1 controversial property finally sold via auction.

For this piece, let’s focus on the most incredible homes that traded hands last year. Who’s with me? Want to know which was the most expensive home sold in 2016? Here we go!

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8 Things Home Inspectors Won’t Tell You

Things Home Inspectors Won’t Tell You
Talk is cheap but what really matters when it comes to home inspectors? [Photo credit: Home Water Softener Reviews]
Buying a new home is a big deal, right? Definitely!
Buyer’s need to get a home inspection. Of course.

But wait! What about all the things home inspectors won’t tell you? That’s what you have me for my friends. Let’s get started!

1. “Never buy a home without a home inspection.”

Honestly, getting a home inspection is the right thing to do… most of the time. Whoa, wait a second Tre, why wouldn’t it always be the right thing to do?!

I’m glad you asked, here’s why.

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Kentucky Population Changes: Where Do We Come From?

Photo of a Welcome to Kentucky sign | Kentucky Population Changes

Thoughts come to me from all directions. No seriously, out of the ether. They also arrive at all times, even when I’m sleeping. I’ll dream of showing crazy homes to my clients or building a new house with my wife or practically anything.

The other day I thought, “I wonder if the Internet knows where most of the people who are living here in Kentucky came from?”

Sure enough, that information is out there, if you hunt for it.

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27 Things Your Realtor Won’t Tell You

Well, well, well. What have we here? 27 things your Realtor won’t tell you?!

This couldn’t possibly be one of those “behind the scenes,” tell-all posts that I hear so much about? Well, yes… that’s exactly what it is.

“But Tre! I thought you were one of those honest agents that treats his clients the way you want to be treated?!?”

Never fear, that hasn’t changed. What I’m about to share is what I’ve seen and heard throughout my career. The good news for you is that, once you’ve read this piece, you’ll be armed and dangerous. No more surprises for you, no sir.

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How to Avoid the Stress of Buying and Selling a House

Stress out | How to Avoid the Stress of Buying and Selling a House
You don’t have to get stressed out when buying your new home! Learn how to avoid the stress of buying and selling a house and you’ll have a much better experience.

Can I get real for a moment? Yes?! Thanks a bunch!

Stress kills. It really does. Avoiding stress should be something all of us should be thinking about. Honestly, we can’t avoid all stress, but reducing it… that we can do. And I’m here to help!

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Find the Best Real Estate Agent in Louisville KY

Bit of a bait with that title but stick with me. I’m going to show you how to find the best real estate agent in Louisville with just five easy steps! It’s definitely doable.

First off, how many licensed real estate agents are in Louisville? Well, I used to know. But then our local association changed platforms and now it’s not public. (At least any place I can find.)

It used to be about 3,800 or so. That’s a big number right? How can we pare that down?!

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Top 12 Things Realtors Hate About Home Buyers

Ok people, let’s get real. I write a lot for Insider Louisville, as well as, my own website,  Louisville Homes Blog, but those are more manicured civil locales. On this site? Here’s where things get down to the nitty-gritty, as my Grandma used to say. On this blog, I’ll go behind the curtain to show you what’s really happening in the crazy world of real estate. Today, we’re going to cover all those things realtors hate about home buyers.

Photo of lady on the phone with the caption, "Are you kidding me?!?"
There are definitely some phone calls that Realtors do not want to receive.

No holds barred. No rules, just rightTM. With that in mind, let’s jump right in!

Most agents won’t be so open as to share these with you but I feel like you deserve to know the truth. After all, buying a home is a very large decision. I want to know where you are coming from and you should know the same. Let’s make sure we’re on the same page and the entire experience will go much smoother.

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Psychology of Marketing Real Estate, Part 3: Where

Welcome to my third and final piece to the puzzle on the Psychology of Marketing Real Estate. This time we’ll be looking at the “where.” If you missed either of the first two parts, I’ve linked them here:

Graphic of the Internet
The Internet has forever changed the way we market real estate.

Where Part 1: Who looked at the people involved in the real estate process and Part 2: What looked at the home itself, today we’re going to focus on the places or locations where the actual marketing will take place. It’s traditionally the kind of real estate promotion that we’re all familiar with.

So without further ado, let’s begin!

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Psychology of Marketing Real Estate, Part 2: What

Photo of the entry to a Townhome in Louisville, KY
First impressions are a powerful thing. Make sure you listings are making highly positive ones! (Photo: www.jljordanphotography.com)

If you didn’t check out Part 1 in this series—the Psychology of Marketing Real Estate—I encourage you do so. We started with the most important ingredient, people, and now we’re moving on to the physical product itself… the home!

There’s a great deal that goes into a purchase decision involving a new home. First off, it’s one of the largest investments most of us make in our lifetimes. That, by itself, is enough to set many folks trembling.

Yet besides the money, there are a large number of complex emotions that also come into play. As with anything that we humans interact with, things can get complicated quickly.

Let’s get started!

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Psychology of Marketing Real Estate, Part 1: Who

Psychology of Marketing Real Estate image of parts of the brain
The Psychology of Marketing Real Estate is rather complex but let this handy, three-part series sort it out for you.

As with any business where humans participate, there is a psychology involved. Real estate is no different.

In fact, it’s more varied and diverse because there are a larger number of roles interacting with the buying or selling of properties.

In this article, I’m going to look at the psychology of marketing real estate from the Listing Agent’s perspective. While in my home city’s market is tilted towards home sellers just a few short years back this wasn’t the case.

And even expert Realtors can learn a thing or two when it comes to such an incredible complex entity we call home buyers.

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When Is the Best Time to Sell a Home? Learn here!

One of the most popular questions I get is, “When is the best time to sell my home?” And it really increases as we get closer to Spring.

Photo of a Louisville KY home
Obviously, not every home is the same but also your particular situation will help determine the very best time to sell your house.

There’s a quick answer but where’s the fun in that? Instead, let’s look at the Top 10 tips that will help you answer this tricky question so you can better understand all the factors at play.

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Property taxes too high? Here’s help!

Photo of woman on laptop looking at her Property taxes too high bill.
Does it look like your propetry tax bill is too high? Never fear, here’s what you do.

In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes. – Benjamin Franklin

Today’s tax environment gives new meaning to his nickname, Poor Richard. Am I right?

Once new tax systems are instituted our government is jealous to keep them in place. Sure, taxes may drop for a season but they’ll be back.

Now, property taxes may be some of the most irrational of all taxes. Stop and think about it. You’ve already paid some kind of tax when the purchase took place but the government isn’t satisfied, not while you still have more money they can take.

Property taxes too high? Should you throw your hands up and give in? This reminds me of another quote.

Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up. – Jimmy Valvano

I wrote on this topic back in 2011 when the WSJ quoted Jim Kane as saying, “More than half of homeowners are paying too much in property taxes.” What was true then may still be true for you today.

But how do you know?

Step 1: Determine Market Value

In order to learn if your property taxes are too high, we need to learn true market value. Having an appraisal done will give you a value but before you decide to pay $400-$500 to an appraiser, call your trusted Realtor to do a manually adjusted competitive market analysis (CMA) before you spend any dollars. A quality Realtor, who wants your business in the future, will do this for free.

The manually adjusted process is the same one an appraiser will use. Many times a diligent agent will produce a more accurate value than the appraiser.

If it turns out your home’s current market value is less than your tax assessment, contact your PVA and ask for an adjustment. This should cost you nothing and could save you hundreds, maybe even a thousand dollars a year.

Step 2: Appeal the Decision

What happens if the PVA refuses to budge? Remember Jimmy’s words, don’t give up! Pack up your documentation and appear before the Board of Commissioners in person and state your case.

Believe me, it’s worth the time you invest because the assessed value is often used for 2-3 years before a new adjustment is made.

I’ve seen enough cases where the value was reduced to know that many local tax assessment organizations can be reasonable, if approached through the property channels and with the appropriate attitude.

Then, if you’re really smart, you’ll take the money you saved in property taxes and make some top return on your investment home improvement projects.

USAToday Ranks Louisville #2 Best Cities for Local Food

Louisville #2 Best Cities for Local Food
Photo courtesy of 21c Museum Hotels

I rarely tire of hearing great things about my city, Louisville. Well, I don’t actually own the city, I just live here, but still… I’m a huge fan.

So it’s great to hear national praise like this—the USAToday Reader’s Choice Awards ranks Louisville #2 in their list of Best Cities for Local Food. Jammin’! (Do kids still say that?!)

Here’s an excerpt from their site:

In a city known for small-batch bourbon, it’s not surprising that the restaurant scene likewise revolves around local artisans. Carefully curated relationships with area farmers lie at the heart of the menu at Proof on Main and Harvest, both downtown. One of the original farm-to-table restaurants in Louisville, Lilly’s highlights free-range beef, organic vegetables and artisanal cheeses. At 610 Magnolia, Edward Lee puts a contemporary spin on Southern fare, while Chef Anthony Lamas highlights fresh seafood at Seviche.

Planning a trip and want to know what other cities have great, local food? Check out this Top 10:

The top 10 winners in the category Best Local Food Scene are as follows:

1. Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
2. Louisville, KY
3. Nashville, TN
4. Providence, RI
5. Raleigh, NC
6. Asheville, NC
7. Oakland, CA
8. New Orleans, LA
9. Portland, ME
10. Charleston, SC

The process worked like this. A panel of experts picked the 20 nominees. Once done, the rankings were determined by popular vote.

On the other hand, if we the secret keeps getting out, our traffic will only grow worse. So… please no more national attention. Thanks!