Updated McCracken County Sales

26 October, 2014
This evening I checked home sales for the last 3 years in our McCracken County home sales. The chart below shows the average sales price of homes sold during all of 2012 and 2013 and thus far in 2014. The communities listed were grouped in the MLS by the middle school in each community.

# Homes Sold 2012 2013 2014 Remarks
Heath $185,089 $213,348 $213,079 So far this year average sale price is up about $28,000
Lone Oak $202,788 $164,431 $174,053 So far this year average sale price is down about $26,000
Paducah $91,007 $94,944 $89,830 So far this year average sale price is down about $2,000
Reidland $121,303 $120,987 $108,833 So far this year average sale price is down about $12,000

McCracken County Sales

27 July, 2014
This morning I checked home sales for the last 3 years during months Jan-Jul for each year (2012,2013,2014). My goal was to check how sales in the four areas of the county compared. Here's what I found.

# Homes Sold 2012 2013 2014 Remarks
Heath 67 93 91 Since 2012, number of home sales has increased by 50%
Lone Oak 105 101 112 Slight increase.
Paducah 122 99 119 No clear trend.
Reidland 52 70 61 No clear trend.
(Time period from January 1 to July 27)

Sales Prices 2012 2013 2014 Remarks
Heath $188,955 $199,707 $199,980 Slight increase in sale price.
Lone Oak $209,728 $163,902 $160,229 Significant decrease in sale price.
Paducah $88,083 $97,305 $98,072 Slight increase in sale price.
Reidland $136,619 $126,616 $110,743 Significant decrease in sale price.
(Time period from January 1 to July 27)

Foreclosures and Disclosures

22 May, 2014
My website is one of the only local Paducah Realtor websites that has a particular emphasis on foreclosures. Because of this I receive many inquiries into foreclosures... which is the intention. One of the most popular questions I receive is about the disclosures. I am also asked about the utility bills and known problems.

Unfortunately, since the home is a foreclosure the disclosures are usually blank, the utility history is not available and no one knows what problems the house has. The reason being is the bank or entity (ie: HUD, Fannie Mae) that owns the house has never lived in the house. Thus, they don't know details about the condition of the house and don't have access to the utility bills. The utility companies will only provide utility history to the account holder.

Homes for sale by HUD (government's Housing and Urban Development) will typically include a "condition report". HUD will have the home inspected to determine specific problems. Some of those problems may include plumbing problems or certain appliances work or are missing. It is still highly recommended that you higher a home inspector to review the home for problems.

One recommendation I have for more buyers is that they go to the neighbors and ask what they know about the house. The neighbors will typically give you an unbiased opinion of the house. However, don't rely on the neighbors comments. Still get a home inspection.

Also, the most significant appeal of a foreclosure is the low price. Let me offer you this tidbit from a Realtor's perspective. If the house last sold for $100,000 as a typical private sale between a buyer and seller and the home is now a foreclosure with an asking price of $50,000, this will basically mean whoever appraised the home believes the home needs $50,000 of repairs or upgrades to bring it back to its best resale value. This might be a good deal if you plan to renovate the house yourself or have some particular desire for the house. However, a half off sale isn't what this is.

Home Sales Around McCracken County

2 January 2014
One of the topics of conversation in real estate is whether or not sales in any part of the county is suffering or advancing because of the new high school. I checked the MLS statistics for sales grouped by middle schools. Here is what I have found.

YearReidlandLone OakHeath
Numbers include all residential sales completed during the calender year.

My take on these numbers is that Reidland nor Lone Oak have declined any significant amount. Heath may have climbed slightly over the past 2 years. With the slow shutdown of USEC it'll be interesting to see what the numbers are for 2014. Keep in mind these numbers only show realtor assisted sales.

Candidacy Announcement

12 December 2013
Today I offically announced my candidacy as a candidate for the office of McCracken County PVA. I appreciate your support and ask for your vote in the 2014 election. I ask you to visit my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/billdunnforpva

Blog Fixed

13 August 2013
Looks like a significant portion of my blog was lost due to a recent problem with the website.

I haven't posted any of the courthouse auctions sales in quite some time. I sort of lost interest in them. Typically, the bank was there to buy the home back and it eventually became monotonous to see this. From time to time something interesting would happen with an auction but those times were few and far between.

Last time I heard from the master commissioner he was having a website built to provide more information about those foreclosures. I found this website. It doesn't appear to be complete yet. www.mcclistings.com

McCracken County Courthouse Auction

10 February 2012
Here are the properties to be auctioned off on February 27 at the McCracken County courthouse.

  • 6245 NOBLE RD
  • 806 MAIN ST
  • 1602 MONROE ST
  • 1519 HARRISON
  • 3535 CENTRAL AVE
  • 520 ADAMS ST
  • 720 S 11th ST
  • 5670 BUCKNER LN
  • 1200 PARK AVE (interesting auction)
  • 9750 CROTZER RD
  • 200 POSTOAK RD
  • 2131 KNOB HILL DR
  • 153 CALVERT DR

Home Buyers Out Looking

9 February 2012
Regardless of the state of the economy people are still graduating from college, retiring, getting married, changing jobs, etc.. The everyday life of most people continues to function. For that reason people are always needing to buy or sell a home no matter the condition of the overall housing market.

Tax season is here now and that means more money in the pockets of some folks. Some of those people will use their tax refund for personal items like a new car or a big screen TV. Others will use the money as a down payment to purchase a home. Buying a home provides a tax benefit for many people with the mortgage interest credit.

If you plan to sell a home this spring make sure you have your home prepared. Prepared? Yes, painted, clean, ready to move in. Some sellers don't believe in painting or cleaning the carpets because they say the new buyer will probably want different colors. My response to that is "Be prepared to sell the home for less". There are exceptions but most buyers don't want to buy a "fixer-upper". They want to move right in. If you get the buyer who is willing to paint and put down new carpet they will want the house at a discount.

McCracken County Courthouse Auction

14 January 2012
Here are the properties to be auctioned off on January 30 at the McCracken County courthouse. For more information see my foreclosures page.

  • 811 LEVIN ST
  • 6135 CLINTON RD
  • 5565 OAKS RD
  • 405 S. 21st ST,
  • 732 N 26th ST
  • 130 SUMMIT DR
  • 720 S 11th ST
  • 4015 HOBBS RD
  • 359 RHEA LEE DR
  • 8735 MOORE RD
  • 2817 OHIO ST

$100 Down Home

5 January 2012
There are currently two homes available in McCracken County that are HUD foreclosures. I believe only one of these homes qualify for the $100 down payment incentive offered by HUD. You can find details of the home here.

To purchase a HUD home we are required to submit an offer and turn in the paperwork within 48 hours of the offer acceptance. This means you need to have everything ready if HUD accepts your offer. In particular, this means you should be able to have a $500 or $1000 earnest money payment and proof of funds. The proof of funds depends on how you intend to pay for the home. If paying with cash then HUD wants proof of cash such as a bank statement. If paying with an FHA loan HUD requires a pre-approval letter from your lender (bank).

An additional home in Marshall County is 64135

Buy a HUD Home For $100 Down

16 December 2011
HUD has a great offer on the purchase of one of their foreclosures. These foreclosures are homes in which the owner used an FHA loan to purchase it. The HUD offer allows a buyer to purchase a home for $100 down if the buyer uses an FHA loan. The normal down payment for an FHA loan is 3.5% of the purchase price so a flat $100 down payment allows more people the ability to purchase a home.

Purchasing a HUD home means getting the winning bid on one of their homes. These homes normally sell pretty quickly. Many times the purchase price is slightly over the asking price. This happens because the homes are typically in good condition and receive several bids. To ensure you get the winning bid a buyer needs to bid a little over the asking price.

If you are interested in this offer contact me so I can tell you what HUD homes are available. There aren't many of them and the better ones tend to sell the in the first round of bidding!

Seller's Disclosures

21 November 2011
Did you know that Kentucky state law requires homeowners to disclose the condition of a home when I sell a client's home? Yes, I have a form that must be completed by the owner. A "for sale by owner" homeowner isn't required to complete one since he is representing himself. The form asks the seller questions about the plumbing, electrical, roof, structure, etc.. The seller must complete the form honestly as it could lead the seller to become liable for problems after a buyer has purchased the home.

To ensure the home is in the condition the homeowner states we always recommend a home inspection. A home inspection around Paducah usually costs $250 - $400. The cost typically depends on which inspector does the inspection as well as the size of the home.

A buyer isn't required to have a home inspection completed although we always recommend one. If you decide to save the few hundred dollars and skip the inspection we have another form for you to sign that shows you decided against one even when I recommended it. This form protects us in the event the buyer later finds problems with the home and says we didn't recommend an inspection.

McCracken County Courthouse Auction

11 November 2011
Here are the properties to be auctioned off on November 28. A few more than last month.
  • 403 S. 19TH ST
  • 2915 ALABAMA ST
  • 4403 BENTON RD
  • 521 N. 7TH ST
  • 1101 MARKHAM AVE
  • 2160 LANE RD

McCracken County Courthouse Auction

15 October 2011
Here are the properties to be auctioned off on October 31. Not many listed this month. I have been told that 130 Summit Drive that was auctioned off last month will be available at the auction again in October but it wasn't in the official list.
  • 1106 GREER ST
  • 720 S 11th ST

Neighborhood Home

18 September 2011
The house across the street from my home has been for sale for about 10 months. It has been in the hands of two Realtors so far (I am NOT one of those two). My neighbor, Mr Prince, who previously owned the home passed away sometime after the ice storm in 2009. Mr and Mrs Prince's daughter and her husband have made various improvements around the house and mow it regularly.

If you notice the name of the Street and my neighbor were the same. This is not an accident. Several years ago I became frustrated with having constant problems with food delivery (pizza) and packages from UPS or FedEx. The street was previously named Valley Street. The "Valley Street" that everyone was familar with was the Valley Street off Benton Road. That section of the street only went from 0 - 400. These people trying to deliver good and packages would call saying there wasn't a 600 block. I had to explain they were correct and they'd need to travel to Rudd Street to find the 600 block of Valley Street.

I decided I was interested in renaming the Street. I contacted the County, spoke with Steve Doolittle who recognized my claim that a new street name was valid and explained the process of renaming the street. I was told to create a petition and have my neighbors sign it. I only have 4 neighbors on this street. I left the petition in their mailboxes with instructions. They all signed it. The final step was to come up with a new name. Since Mr Prince had always been very helpful and courteous to my family we decided to call it Prince St. I checked the other street names around Paducah and McCracken County and found that name to be available.

After I submitted the petition the name was changed shortly thereafter with a new green street sign that says "PRINCE". Mr Prince never mentioned the new street name to me though. I often wonder what he thought. He was about 84 or so years old when he died and I'll remember him as a tough old man.

In June 2011 the price for the home was dropped from $63,000 to $55,000. I thought for sure they'd have it sold shortly thereafter. It hasn't sold. I have been watching the visitors who come and go hoping that I might be able to sell the home myself. The traffic has been few and far between.

If anyone might be interested in this home call me. The address of the home is 610 Prince St. Here is the information regarding the home.

McCracken County Courthouse Auction

14 September 2011
Here are the properties to be auctioned off on September 26.
  • 1132 PARK AVE
  • 3055 IRVIN COBB DR
  • 2601 OHIO ST
  • 5820 OAKHAVEN DR
  • 2953 CLAY ST
  • 130 SUMMIT DR
  • 7545 OLD CAIRO RD
  • 1109 MARKHAM AVE
  • 1420 PARK AVE

Low, Low Interest Rates!

16 August 2011
You may have heard that interest rates are low. Well, they are really low right now. Even existing homeowners are refinancing their homes. Some homeowners have been able to change their loans from a 30 year loan to a 15 year loan with nearly zero change in their monthly payment amount.

An alternative for some homeowners is the ability to obtain a larger home. Instead of cutting your pay back period in half like I previously mentioned imagine purchasing a larger home instead. Yes, for the same loan you can borrow more and purchase a larger home.

If you are interested in selling your home and purchasing a bigger one contact me so we can get you started.

June 2011 McCracken County Courthouse Sale

17 June 2011
The next courthouse auction will be July 25. There isn't an auction this month.

Is it rude to bring a Realtor to look at a for sale by owner?

5 June 2011
In my online marketing I use Google Analytics to see how well my online services are doing. While reviewing my account this week I noticed a search phrase that someone had entered into Google or Yahoo and been directed to my website. The phrase was "is it rude to bring a realtor to look at a for sale by owner".

Obviously, the answer to this person's question depends on the perspective. This buyer doesn't want to give a negative impression to the seller but the buyer wants a professional opinion so a Realtor is brought along.

The fact is that many sellers will work with a Realtor who has a buyer. Many times the reason the seller doesn't have the home listed with a Realtor is because they feel they can sell the home themselves. Another common reason is the seller simply doesn't want to pay ANYONE a fee to sell his/her home.

Usually, when I talk to "for sale by owners" the seller will be happy to pay a commission if that agent brings a buyer. We call these situations "one time showings". This means the seller will allow us to show his/her home to our buyer without any further obligation. If the buyer decides to purchase the home we complete the normal set of paperwork.

Home Inspection

30 May 2011

During most real estate transactions the home inspection is typically the most worrisome part of the transaction. Buyers want a home free of flaws and sellers believe the home is in good condition. For the realtor(s) involved the home inspection is "make it or break it" time.

At the appropriate point in the contract I explain the 3 options the buyer and seller have after the inspection is completed. Most inspections will find several items that could be corrected. The inspection report will usually list them as minor or major. Items could be as simple as a leaky fossett to major such as a leaky roof.

The typical cost for a home inspection ranges from $250 - $400. Many of the home inspectors will also perform a termite inspection will. The results of the termite inspection may be on a seperate document.

Anyway, the point of this blog entry is the three options so here they are...

  • Cancellation - The inspection report could point out a major problem in the home that the buyer isn't comfortable with. The buyer can completely cancel the purchase contract and receive his/her earnest money back.

  • Re-negotiate - The inspection report will likely list several items on the report. The buyer can request the seller repair all or a portion of the items on the inspection report or even change the amount of the initial offer price. However, the seller is under no obligation to make any repairs or accept a lower amount.

  • Accept - The buyer can accept the inspection report and continue with the purchase. This may happen if the buyer believes he/she can fix the items themselves or isn't concerned about the issue.

    The Realtor(s) is very important during this phase of the purchase. The Realtor(s) provide a different perspective and give guidance to the buyer and seller. Emotions can get high during this phase so allow your Realtor to help you through this phase.

  • McCracken County Courthouse Sale

    28 May 2011

    The following properties will be auctioned at the McCracken County courthouse on June 6 at 1:30pm. Normally, the sale is held the last Monday of each month and the newspaper notice is placed the second Friday. For some reason this process was delayed this month.

    • 1108-1110-1112 MADISON ST
    • 240 LOCKE BLVD
    • 120 KEENELAND CT
    • 5437 SHELLDRAKE LN
    • 720 S 11th ST
    • 2700 TENNESSEE ST
    • 225 RIEGEL LN
    • 304 HERMAN ST
    • 900 LORINE LN
    • 823 N 26TH ST
    • 270 FRIEDMAN AVE


    21 May 2011

    As a Realtor we often find it difficult getting potential buyers to make offers on a home. Sometimes the buyer may believe the asking price is firm or the price is too much. When a buyer mentions making an offer on a home we try to talk more about making an offer. As you can understand you can't purchase a home without making an offer. Much of the time the buyer and seller can come to an agreement on the details. The Realtors involved merely make recommendations to their client and complete the paperwork along the way. The Realtor(s) doesn't make the decisions for the buyer or seller.

    On another topic I recently spoke with a gentleman who buy homes to rent out. He has many properties for rent. He told me about an older woman in town that wanted to sell her nice home in a nice neighborhood for a fraction of its worth. Her reasoning was she wanted to sell it quick and avoid the Realtors. The person obviously didn't need the money or have a mortgage on the home as she was practivally giving it away.

    The home will likely rent for about $1,500 per month. I often view an individual's options for selling a home in this order...

  • Auction - Sell the property fast for a fraction of its worth
  • For Sale By Owner - Owner takes on all responsibility, price may be appropriate or overpriced, time required to sell can vary widely
  • Use a Realtor - Seller will usually obtain a higher sale price in return for a longer selling period.

  • Rental homes

    21 Apr 2011

    As expected, existing home sales in March were up. This is due largely to the return of warmer weather as is the case each spring. Another factor that helps the home buying season is tax refund time. Americans' tax refunds assist with the closing costs and down payments of purchasing a home.

    Notice in the previous paragraph I said "existing home sales". This does not include new homes. These are a different set of statistics. Existing home sales statistics come from Realtors, like me. These are homes that have sold. The new home sales statistics come from the builders across the country. These are not necessarily homes that have sold because some of those new home sales don't actually go to closing. New home sales are important because they reflect the condition of the home building industry. This is a fraction of the overall American economy. This statistic reflects how much material and labor is being used by contractors and suppliers like Lowes and Home Depot.


  • http://www.zillow.com/wikipages/Existing-Home-Sales-Report-vs-the-New-Home-Sales/
  • http://www.gobankingrates.com/mortgage-rates/housing-starts-rebound-6-month-high-americans-dont-want-homes/

  • McCracken County Courthouse Sale

    8 April 2011

    The following properties will be auctioned at the McCracken County courthouse on April 25.

    • 1110 MALLORY ST
    • 914 JEFFERSON ST
    • 2728 CLARK ST,
    • 651 N 42ND ST
    • 129 KIMBERLY DR
    • 7612 BENTON RD
    • 1109 MARKHAM

    Rental homes

    24 Mar 2011

    I get calls asking about rental homes pretty frequently. I am unable to provide much assistance with finding a rental home because it is normally so easy finding a tenant to fill a rental home that landlords don't need the assistance of a Realtor. Our MLS does have a few rental homes available. The ones I can offer can be found by going to "Property Search" and "For Rent" on the menu across the top of my web site.

    I usually answer those calls I receive with try the Paducah Sun or the VCI Classifieds. Anymore, I believe the VCI Classifieds would be the best source for rental homes. If it's not on the VCI Classifieds it probably just has a "For Rent" sign in the front yard.

    McCracken County Courthouse Sale

    11 Mar 2011

    The following properties will be auctioned at the McCracken County courthouse on March 28. Two of these sales are to recover past due taxes.

    At the auction the special commissioner will describe something called the "right of redemption". The special commissioner will have two appraisers evaluate each of these properties. Two-thirds of the appraised value is the amount which determines if the previous owner has a "right of redemption". This is a right given the previous owner who lost the property to redeem him or hersself. If a property is sold for less than the "2/3 value" the previous owner can pay the amount plus interest to regain the property. If the property is sold for more than 2/3's the appraised value the previous owner loses the right of redemption and cannot re-purchase the property.

    Note: These properties cannot be viewed like a typical listed or "for sale by owner" property. You pretty much take your chances with them.

    • 703 Clark St, recover $115,359.89
    • 1052 BROWN ST, recover $39,486.70
    • 325 S FRIENDSHIP RD, recover $72,964.79
    • 1706 N 10th ST, recover $78,579.23
    • 1801 HUSBANDS RD, recover $87,040.20
    • 2109 S 28th ST AND 2119 S 28th ST, recover $5,595.10 (tax lien sale)
    • 3020 HOVEKAMP RD, recover $74,492.92
    • 251 GATEWOOD DR, recover $125,459.73
    • 3400 OLD MAYFIELD RD, recover $14,480.14
    • 404 CHARLESTON AVE, recover $60,348.35
    • 3525 CENTRAL AVE, recover $7,259.35 (tax lien sale)
    • 7725 OLD US HWY 45, BOAZ, recover $109,619.48

    McCracken County Courthouse Sale

    13 Feb 2011

    The following properties will be auctioned at the McCracken County courthouse on February 28.

    • 2013 Homewood Avenue, recover $35,260.64
    • 437 Milliken, recover $47,456.41
    • 1365 S 6th ST, recover $17,649.49
    • 5415 OLD LOVELACEVILLE Road, recover $69,413.91
    • 720 S 11th ST, recover $46,237.63
    • 3208 BENTON RD, recover $42,344.77
    • 2201 COUNTY LINE Road, recover $47,419.43
    • 651 N 42nd ST, recover $63,648.08
    • 719 N 6th ST, recover $47,402.10
    • 137 WINDMERE DR, recover $88,143.86
    • 150 SCHMIDT RD, recover $258,108.92

    McCracken County Courthouse Sale

    15 Jan 2011

    The following properties will be auctioned at the McCracken County courthouse on January 31.

    • 3826 HOWLE ST, recover $78,997.59
    • 2105 HOMEWOOD, recover $80,436.33
    • 800 H C MATHIS DR, recover $41,554.47
    • 1016 HUSBAND RD, recover $73,167.41
    • 2118 CLAY ST, recover $72,072.05
    • 2551 HOMEWOOD, recover $45,625.90
    • 450 LEEDS RD,, recover $68,376.45
    • 125 WILDCAT TRACE, recover $182,252.69
    • 221 ILLINOIS ST, recover $75,384.70
    • 180 MOHAWK DR, recover $63,037.47
    • 150 PLANTATION WAY, recover $291,770.76
    • 801 MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR, recover $57,783.20
    • 165 JOLEE WAY, recover $154.722.68
    • 2612 OLD MAYFIELD, recover $65,606.63
    • 1111 LACKEY ST, recover ?
    • 3418 BUCKNER LN, recover $142,150.96
    • 826 SANDERS AVE, recover $115,437.27
    • 12055 CHILDRESS RD, recover $65,520.82
    • 5110 CONCORD AVE, recover $87,292.07
    • 147 SKYLARK DR, recover $107,912.57
    • 4445 HUSBAND RD, recover $109,563.51
    • 540 FAIRVIEW DR, recover $180,750.84

    Picking Up Speed

    14 Jan 2011

    More buyers are out looking for a home with a down payment in hand. Why you may ask? Two words... "tax season". This increased buying time will last a couple of months and then likely slow down again.

    If you have your home for sale you should consider taking advantage of this increase buying time during this overall slow economic period. If you have a serious buyer come along negotiate with them. If you lose that buyer you might have to hold onto your home for many more months.

    You might ask "How do I negotiate?" The most obvious item most buyers have on their mind when buying a home is the price. Consider dropping the price more than you might want to while you keep in mind you can sell your home now and avoid many more months of waiting.

    If you are firm on your price for whatever reason consider increasing the value of your home. Give it the appearance it is priced well or underpriced. Go above and beyond in making the home appear in great condition by doing those things you never had time to do like cleaning extensively, painting anything that doesn't appear to be freshly painted. If you go another step up try replacing old doors with modern doors, replacing older carpet. A big item every seller should do besides clean is declutter. Move a lot of your "junk" out of the house into a storage unit so the home appears to have a lot of space. If you live in a cluttered home potential buyers are going to believe the home isn't big enough for them either.

    If you believe buyers may have concerns about the home you can negotiate a home warranty into the sale. Buyers can ask for a home warranty even if the seller doesn't offer it. In the negotiation the buyer or seller can pay all or a portion of the price of the home warranty. These warranties are available in different levels so they cost different amounts. A simple home warranty may cost $250 and cover appliances.

    Another method often used to increase the likelihood of a sale is to appeal to the "greediness" of the Realtors. This is done by offering a bonus to the selling agent. A common bonus will state if the home is under contract or closed by a certain date the Realtor will receive a $1,000 bonus.

    Regardless of the method you use I personally believe if you have a certain price you want to sell the home adding value is the best route.

    If you need assistance selling your home call or email. One of the first things many "for sale by owner" sellers tell me when I first meet them is how they showed their to a lot of buyers who wasted their time. I explain to them a buyer who uses an agent is a serious buyer whereas a lot of buyers who are shopping "for sale by owners" are looking for a great deal or owner financing.

    Slow Going

    11 Dec 2010

    Sales have been slow lately. There are many homes available for sale but there aren't many buyers out there looking at houses.

    Some sellers have opted to wait until the market returns to better conditions which may work for some but that won't meet the needs of those who need to sell now. The best way to get your home to sell in these conditions is to increase the value of your home. No matter what condition the home is in you can always sell a home. The determining factor is always price.

    If you need a certain amount from the sale of your home and that amount is near the top of the sales range for your type of home you should look for ways to increase the home's value. Value is always in the eye of the beholder. You can increase the value by spending money to make improvements to your home or you can find free or inexpensive ways.

    Free ways to improve the value of your home may include rearranging the furniture to make the home appear larger. This may mean moving some of your furniture out of your home. Remove clutter from around the house, especially, the kitchen and bathroom. Clean the walls and around the doorways and light switches where the grease and dirt on hands tend to collect. When buyers view your home turn on the lights in the home so the home is bright and appears larger.

    Inexpensive methods you can do include putting a fresh coat of paint in the house. This may not include every room but try to put neutral colors in the home to appeal to a broader range of buyers. A room with a bright red or pink girls bedroom won't be appreciated by many buyers. Call a professional floor cleaner to spruce up the carpets or hardwood. Put up new blinds or curtains. Always make the entryway to the home very appealing.

    Any home can be sold. The determining factor is price. If you want top dollar from your home you need to ensure it has value. If selling the home quickly is more important consider dropping the price to the bottom of your price range.

    Buyers - FSBO vs Realtor

    23 Oct 2010

    I have a friend who flips houses. This person flips houses as cheaply as possible and is very negotiable on the sale price. Part of her money saving method is the "for sale by owner" (FSBO) method - she sells the homes herself instead of using a Realtor. I spoke with her recently at the latest home she has for sale. This home is adjacent to one of my rental homes. It was rather funny because after she showed the home to another couple she gave me that look of frustration.

    She has had this home for sale for nearly a month and has showed it probably 30 times. Many of those people say they will go to the bank and try to get a loan. Most of those people either don't call back or can't get the loan.

    This rings a bell about something I had told another homeowner last year. This home I listed and sold. I told him that the buyers that go (FSBO) shopping usually haven't spoken with a mortgage lender and don't have any idea if they can get a loan. Most often, they can't. I explained that the FSBO shoppers are quite different from buyers that call about a listed home. Before showing a home many Realtors will ask if the buyers have spoken to a lender and gotten prequalified for a loan. Getting prequalified for a loan is the first step any serious home buyer will take.

    Moral of this story? If you are a serious home buyer, whether you are shopping FSBOs or using a Realtor, get pre-qualified and shop around for a lender with good rates and low closing costs.

    Recent Sales Folow-Up

    7 Aug 2010

    I thought I would follow-up from my previous entry. The end result for sales in McCracken County for the month of July ended up being 55 homes. After my previous blog entry there were several more sales made or entered into the MLS. So July was actually slightly higher than June.

    Recent Sales

    24 Jul 2010

    I haven't done a blog entry in a while so I thought I would do one on recent sales. Many people have commented about how slow the market is right now. Yes, sales have slowed a bit but people are always selling and buying. Some people are afraid to get their feet wet right now because of what they see or hear in the news.

    I checked some statistics for single family homes in McCracken County this morning. The statistics show a slowdown as well. A significant point to remember is that sales earlier this year were high due to the tax credit. Many buyers and sellers were taking advantage of the 10% tax credit on resale homes. During the months from March to June the number of homes sold in McCracken County varied from 47 homes in March to as high as 69 homes in May. May was the month that most homes would have closed and taken advantage of the tax credit. Sales in April were 67 and June was down to 49 homes. So we had 47 in May, 67 in April, 69 in May and 49 in June. As you can see the number of sales increased and then came back down after the tax credit expired.

    The month of July is nearly over. So far the number of sold McCracken County, single family homes has numbered just 32. There are 4 others that are pending but scheduled for July. Of further significance, the number of expired listings during the months mentioned varied from 10% to 15%. The number of expired listings in July has been 30%.

    Here is a little extra info if you are interested. The average price of sold houses in McCracken County from the months March to June was as low as $118,000 in March to $176,000 in June. Again, this was the average sold price. The average unsold price for homes that did not sell varied from $153,000 in June to $205,000 in May. Notice how the average unsold price in June is less than the average sold price in June. Sometimes the statistics can be misleading. Everyone needs to remember that these are statistics and sometimes statistics can be quoted in different ways. However, the number of homes that sold during these months by an agent are fact.

    Web Site Changes

    5 May 2010

    My web site's homepage has undergone a few changes. I have had several regular visitors request that I add new listings for the other types of properties that are available. The properties displayed on the homepage are properties that have been listed in the last 48 hours.

    In addition to the new listings I also went to the riverfront and took photos of several murals. The mural across the top shows the riverfront from many years ago as riverboats travelled passed the Paducah riverfront. The other photo of the mural changes each time you visit my website. There are a total of 11 mural photos you may see.

    2010 Homes Sales Statistics

    26 March 2010

    I've seen and heard from other agents that homes under $100,000 are selling very well because of the $8,000 tax credit. I checked the MLS for some statistics to see if this is correct. Here's what I found.

    There have been a total of 332 homes to sell since January 1, 2010

    • 185 homes under $100,000 have sold (56%)
    • 73 homes between $100,000 and $150,000 have sold (22%)
    • 34 homes between $150,000 and $200,000 have sold (10%)
    • 38 homes over $200,000 have sold (11%)
    There are different ways to cut up these numbers and create statistics but I certainly agree that homes under $100,000 are selling very well. If you would like to list your home and take advantage of this good selling period give me a call so we can discuss how I can help.

    Pending Home Sales Climbing

    18 January 2010

    The number of Pending home sales in our Western Kentucky MLS is finally starting to increase. The number of Pendings had been holding steady around 70 for a couple of months but with the deadline for the home buyer tax credit nearing home sales are increasing.

    January McCracken County Courthouse Auction

    10 February 2010

    The McCracken County Master Commissioner's sale includes many foreclosures. In the current list to be auctioned on February 22 are the following properties. As the commissioner usually states before the auction some of these properties may not go to auction. Many of these properties are available as short sales before the foreclosure auction.

    These properties cannot be accessed so buyers take risks with purchasing one of these properties. Generally, the lender that foreclosed on the property buys the property back at the courthouse auction. This step is a formailty. After the lender takes control of the property the lender does several things to prepare the property for sale: 1) The lender must determine the property's current market value so an appraisal or BPO is ordered, 2) a cleanup crew will remove all remaining personal items from the home, 3) another crew will make repairs to ensure the property isn't damaged by weather and that the property is safe for potential buyers to tour the property. In the case of HUD homes there will often be property condition reports. After most of this is complete a real estate agent will place the property on the market.

  • 1217 Tennessee Street
  • 2211 Madison St
  • 230 Theobald Lane
  • 700 Sheehan Bridge Road
  • 3320 Rucker St
  • 223 Sunset Drive
  • 4001 Sunset Drive
  • 3428 Henson St
  • 453 College Ave
  • 5020 Buckner Lane
  • 3211 Bullard St
  • 5620 Old Mayfield Road
  • 5565 Husband Road
  • 905 Tyree Road
  • 2118 South 29th St
  • 1301 Rudy Ave
  • 165 Odessa Way

  • Property for Rent

    13 January 2010
    Our regional MLS now differentiates between properties for rent and properties for sale. Using this new information my web site now displays homes for rent for anyone looking.

    January McCracken County Courthouse Auction

    9 January 2010

    The McCracken County Master Commissioner's sale includes many foreclosures. In the current list to be auctioned on January 25 are the following properties. As the commissioner usually states before the auction some of these properties may not go to auction.

    These properties cannot be accessed so buyers take risks with purchasing one of these properties. Generally, the lender that foreclosed on the property buys the property back at the courthouse auction. This step is a formailty. After the lender takes control of the property the lender does several things to prepare the property for sale: 1) The lender must determine the property's current market value so an appraisal or BPO is ordered, 2) a cleanup crew will remove all remaining personal items from the home, 3) another crew will make repairs to ensure the property isn't damaged by weather and that the property is safe for potential buyers to tour the property. In the case of HUD homes there will often be property condition reports. After most of this is complete a real estate agent will place the property on the market.

  • 4850 IC Avenue
  • 840 Burkhart Lane
  • 2914 1/2 Benton Road
  • 225 Kerth Road
  • 2615 Adams St
  • 330 North 31st St
  • 701 Wheeler St
  • 4827 Stanley Dr
  • 3428 Henson St
  • 340 Fisher Road
  • 1801 Husband Road
  • 4001 Sunset Dr
  • 3208 Benton Road
  • 1113 Markham Ave
  • 521 North 7th St
  • 725 Madison St
  • 200 Watson Road
  • 5455 Michael Dr
  • 4925 Epperson Road
  • 7435 Cairo Road
  • 759 Eden Dr
  • 470 Exall Lane
  • 171 Kimberly Dr
  • 2400 Clay St
  • 6110 Harris Road
  • 4320 Marshall Road
  • 8350 B Woodville Road
  • 2298 Clay St
  • 165 Odessa Way

  • Residential Sales Year to Date

    12 December 2009

    This past year has had a lot going on in the residential real estate market. The beginning of the year doesn't quite resemble the present state of real estate. In regards to foreclosures, the number is still rising and the values of those homes are increasing as well. Aside from the foreclosures some home values are down slightly.

    The number of homes that sell during the winter months are less than during the warmer months. Cold weather doesn't make for a good time to move unless it's absolutely necessary. We are now entering the period when homes sales will slow again.

    Over the year homes that did sell sold for an average of 91% - 94% of the asking price. This means if the average sale price of a home with an asking price of $100,000 likely sold for around $91,000 - $94,000 in price.

    Average sales prices ranged from $101,045 to $139,109 across all the counties in our Western Kentucky MLS. The number of days on market ranged from 138 days to 167 days. Another intesting statistic was that of all the homes that have been for sale, only 21% to 46% sold.

    Of particular interest are very low interest rates and government programs designed to encourage home buying. Some lenders have interest rates as low as 4.3%. I always tell home buyers to shop around when deciding who to obtain a mortgage from. Why? Interest rates are a very important factor but closing costs can be significant as well. Some lenders will charge you a hefty fee just to provide you a loan. Of the government programs are the $8,000 New Home Buyer and $6,500 existing homeowner program. The state of Kentucky also has a program for anyone purchasing a brand new home.

    Commercial Real Estate

    3 October 2009

    I've noticed a lot of commercial real estate going to auction recently. The economy has put a real damper on commercial property transactions. Owners who haven't been able to sell their buildings in an adequate amount of time either find alternate uses for them, continue trying to sell or auction.

    An example of an upcoming commercial auction is the Turner Publishing building on Broadway. This auction includes two downtown buildings near each other. They have been on the market since Jan 2008. It was originally listed for $310,000. Since then the price has been dropped in large increments. The current price is $189,000. Don't forget, this is for two buildings. One is suited for a retail business or office space and the other is more suited for storage. With these buildings being in downtown Paducah and there always being a lack of parking even an auction may not bring much.

    Kentucky Home Buyer Tax Credit

    18 August 2009

    Besides the $8,000 first time home buyer tax credit, the state of Kentucky also has a tax credit for purchasers of new homes. The purchase has several stipulations but has the advantage of working for previous home owners whereas the $8,000 tax credit won't.

    More information is available on this state web site.

    Upcoming Courthouse Auction

    15 August 2009

    The McCracken County Master Commissioner's sale includes many foreclosures. In the current list to be auctioned on August 25 are the following properties. As the commissioner usually states before the auction some of these properties may not go to auction:

  • 3010 Hovekamp Road
  • 2134 Homewood Avenue
  • 3210 Alpha Drive
  • 3208 Alabama Street
  • 3203 Madison Street
  • 3435 County Line Road, Melber
  • 629 Wheeler Street (tax lien and citation liens)
  • 1111 Madison Street
  • 6040 Majestic Oak Drive
  • 2160 Blankenship Drive
  • 2207 Dixie Avenue
  • 3208 Benton Road
  • 1707 Martin Luther King
  • 2136 Dixie Avenue
  • 8535 Ogden Landing Road
  • 465 Bryants Ford Road
  • 9830 Crotzer Road
  • 4833 Buckner Lane
  • 3108 Estes Lane
  • 932 Martin Luther King
  • 719 North 21st Street
  • 3411 Central Avenue
  • 3935 Linda Drive
  • 1665 Fisher Road
  • 1500 Island Creek
  • 2975 Cornell Street
  • 125 Foster Drive
  • 270 Butler Lane
  • 3500 Kelley Road, Kevil
  • 326 Anita Drive

  • Fair Housing

    13 July 2009

    As a Realtor, I am required to complete 3 hours of continuing education in real estate law and another 3 hours in general real estate knowledge. For this year's law course I chose to complete an online course in Fair Housing. The course has been very interesting and a bit scary with some of the examples provided.

    A section of the course is about cultural diversity. The section pointed out differences from our local culture that I found were quite interesting. A few of these culture differences are noted below:

    • In the US we say "time is money" and expect meetings to take place on time. The Japanese, however, find it acceptable to be 15 to 30 minutes late. Germans and Aussies however find one minute late as being rude.
    • Most houses are built with the front door facing the street. Some Asian cultures require the front door to face a specific direction. Some middle eastern cultures will only live in a single story home.
    • Most everyone has heard of fung shui. This is an ancient Chinese philosophy that intends to improve the flow of energy in a person's environment. This means better flow energy in the person. A fundamental teaching of fung shui teaches that bad luck travels in straight lines that are called "secret arrows". Good luck, however, travels in curved paths. Fung shui believers prefer curved or spiral staircases. Stairways facing the front door are considered bad, as bad luck can enter and good luck can leave. The stove and the sink must not be opposite each other because fire and water do not mix.
    • Many Americans are superstitious of the number 13. Many tall buildings skip the 13th floor. Many Asian cultures consider the number eight lucky and the number four unlucky. The word for the number eight sounds like "rich" or "luck" and the word for the number four sounds like "death". Koreans associate the numbers three and seven for the same reasons.
    • A death in a home would be a significant factor for someone from Asia because they would not want to risk inheriting the previous owner's bad luck.

    Tax Credit Changes Denied!

    3 June 2009

    I was informed today that the FHA has officially determined that banks cannot offer bridge loans against the new home buyer tax credit as mentioned in the previous blog post. Apparently, a law was found that prevents banks from providing loans for the 3.5% down payment as required by FHA loans. The FHA rules require that the buyer must provide the down payment. A loan from a bank to cover the down payment is not allowed.

    Further details of the ruling can be found here.

    Possible Changes to Tax Credit

    19 May 2009

    I received an email today from a local lender. The email was forwarding an article from CNN. The article referred to possible changes to the $8,000 first time homebuyer tax credit. NAR pointed out that many first time homebuyers have difficulty making the 4% down payment required as part of an FHA loan. Right now, new home buyers would receive up to an $8,000 tax credit on their next tax return. This means buy a home now, get free money later. However, buyers without the 4% down payment can't purchase a home.

    This potential change proposed by HUD would allow these qualified first time home buyers, who are also FHA approved, to use the tax credit immediately for the 4% down payment. This would spur much more home buying.

    If you have been searching for a home and qualify as a first time homebuyer, call me so I can assist you in getting pre-qualified with a lender. After the lender has pre-approved you we can tour homes that fit your needs and budget. My number is 270-994-3749

    Number of Home Sales Still Rising

    30 Apr 2009

    The number of pending sales in the Western Kentucky MLS are slowly rising. I checked this statistic in the MLS this morning and it was up to 87 properties. Some of these properties are homes, some are commercial, lots or farms. Some may even be multifamily homes like duplexes and such.

    Interest rates have been fluctuating slightly but rates are still great. Rates WILL eventually go up. Don't get left behind or regretting you had purchased when rates were low. Also, don't forget about the government's first time homebuyer program that could get you up to an $8,000 tax credit on your tax return.

    If you are considering purchasing a property call or email me so we can talk about the home buying process or what you need. Finding a home can often take weeks or months to find a home that fits your needs and wants. I often find many home buyers aren't familiar with the process. If we can sit down for a bit I can explain the process and answer any questions you may have. And remember, as a buyer my services are paid by the seller so you won't owe me anything. :-)

    My cell phone number is 270-994-3749

    Pending Homes Sales

    6 Apr 2009

    Ever notice in the news about a statistic called "Pending home sales"?

    What is a "pending home sale"? A "pending home sale" is a home where the buyer and seller have agreed on a sale. This is the official status of a home after a buyer has agreed to buy the home and before the home has closed. This is usually a period of about 30 days. During this time the buyer generally has the home inspected and is ensuring there aren't any problems with a home loan.

    Where is this statistic recorded? This is a statistic found in the Multiple Listing Services around the country. As of this morning there are 76 properties (residential, commercial, land, multifamily, farms) with a Pending status in our Western kentucky Regional MLS. This is the most I've seen in a Pending status in many months.

    Why is this important? The data obtained from the pending home sales is used by the National Association of Realtors to calculate the Pending Homes Sales Index (PHSI). This official leading indicator indicates the number of homes sales expected in the next 30 or 60 days. Generally, 80% of Pending homes close within 60 days. Not all homes do close but a good percentage do.

    Next time you hear this statistic in the news, generally around the first week of each month, pay attention to if the count has increased or decreased from last month. This tells you what buyers are doing.

    Resale Homes

    1 Apr 2009

    What is a "resale home"? Basically, it's a used home. On the flip side you've got a brand new home that no one has ever lived in.

    A common mistake made by most buyers touring homes is the failure to overlook certain particulars of the home. When touring a resale home potential buyers should try to overlook the furniture, the colors of the walls and, when possible, the flooring. Many buyers will often repaint the walls or change the flooring. If the home has wood flooring, some buyers will put carpet over the wood. Our MLS even has a spot for just this type of flooring (carpet over wood) because it's so common.

    Buyers that critique wall colors, furniture and such can't find a home they're happy with. By overlooking these small details and seeing the potential in the home you can include your plans into purchase negotiations. For example, if you like a home but don't like the color of a room or rooms, include special requests in your purchase offer. Request the sellers repaint the wall to a color of your choice or put down different flooring. You can even purchase the paint and take it to them. Your Realtor will likely ensure the purchase contract is written so that the paint job must be approved after completion and that the buyers don't backout after the rooms have been painted. If the sellers won't make these type of changes lower your offer price and take on these changes for yourself.

    This also applies to countertops, light fixtures, window coverings and wallpaper.

    Surge in Mortgage Applications

    20 Mar 2009

    Mortgage applications have been surging for the past several weeks. A few of the local mortgage officers I speak with have described how they are covered up with current home owners refinancing into lower rates and wanna be home owners trying to take advantage of low interest rates and a plethora of homes to choose from.

    Three mortgage officers I know of send out weekly emails to real estate agents with notices of their rates. Last week saw a big dip in rates to well below 5%. Those rates didn't last long but are still very attractive.

    If you are considering purchasing a home in the near future the most important first step for you to take is to meet with a mortgage officer of your choosing and get pre-qualified for a loan. Many of us agents will ask you right off the bat if you are pre-qualified. Some agents will ask you go get pre-qualified before showing you a home. Some foreclosures on the market require a pre-qualification letter with your purchase offer to prove you are qualified for a loan before your offer to purchase will be considered.

    Another advantage of getting pre-qualified? Your mortgage application adds to statistics which can help improve the appearance that the economy is recovering. :-)

    Today's Master Commissioner Sale

    26 Jan 2009

    The master commissioner's sale was held today at the McCracken County Courthouse. There were probably 50 people in attendance. Of the many properties I listed in a previous blog here are a few highlighted properties that were sold.

    • 1415 Madison St, lot, appraised at $2,500. Sold for $1,700
    • 1424 Little Avenue, lot, appraised at $5,000. Sold for $3,450
    • 934-936 North 10th Street, appraised for $110,000. Sold for $73,500
    • 2069 Irvin Cobb Drive, former bar or nightclub, appraised at $240,000. Sold for $200,000. This property was previously listed by a couple of in-town agents at a price between $650,000 to $775,000
    • 1724 Monroe, house, appraised for $60,000. Sold for $40,001
    • 1204 Park Avenue, house, appraised for $45,000. Sold for $34,000
    • 250 Jennifer Lane, house, appraised for $240,000. Sold for $205,000
    • 101 Sarah Cove, house, appraised for $68,000. Sold for $45,339
    • 2865 Oaks Road, house, Appraised for $96,000. Sold for $109,100.

    Many of today's foreclosures had private buyers bidding against the lenders that foreclosed on the properties. In one auction the bank actually lost the auction. I suspect the attorney that represented the lender was allowed to bid up to a certain amount. The winning bid was 1 cent higher than the banks max bid.

    The appraised values were the values stated by the auctioneer.

    One of the things I get a kick out of when I attend these auctions is how many of the attendees know each other. I myself knew several people there today. Like myself, several people were there taking notes and not participating.


    Attended GRI-5 Today

    23 Jan 2009

    Today, myself and 64 other local realtors, attended GRI 5 class in Benton, KY. The class was entitled Systems for Success. For anyone not familar with GRI (Graduate Realtor Institute), it is a series of classes realtors attend for a variety of reasons. Among the many reasons to attend the classes, we learn to better work with buyers, sellers and other agents. We also learn how to conduct business more efficiently.

    I particularly like attending these classes because I get to meet new peers and talk with friends. One of the ways we meet new peers is by working in groups on brief group collaborations. We also exchange business cards so we can provide client referrals to some of the agents we meet (networking).

    Of all the good conversation I had there was one thing in particular that was said that most, if not all, agents had noticed. Most agents have noticed a significant increase in business since January 1st. Some agents said their buyers were waiting until after the annauguration took place. I personally noticed an increase in business shortly before that event.



    Court House Auctions January 26 at 1:30pm

    18 Jan 2009
    Many visitors to my web site enjoy checking the foreclosures page on a routine basis. The master commissioner has auctions on the last Monday of each month inside the court house at the bottom of the stairway. A notice is placed in the Paducah Sun on the second Friday of each month listing the properties to be auctioned. The same list is also on display in the hallway near where the auction is held.

    Generally, any bank lender foreclosures that are held are purchased back by the lender. These autions are usually not purchased by auction visitors. There are properties to be auctioned from time to time that are unrelated to failed mortgages.

    This January 26, 2009 there are several properties being auctioned. Most are lender foreclosures but there are several this month that are being auctioned to pay delinquent taxes, nuisance code liens or are the result of a dispute between parties. Habitat for Humanity has foreclosures this month as well. This month I have listed auctions that would likely be available to a private buyer or investor.

    • 1415 Madison Street - Judgement to collect $10,531.78 due to nuisance code liens and delinquent taxes, interest, attorney fees and auction costs.
    • 1424 Little Avenue - Judgement to collect $10,941.37 due to nuisance code liens and delinquent taxes, interest, attorney fees and auction costs.
    • 934-936 North 10th Street & 2069 Irvin Cobb - Recover costs of $11,231.57 for delinquent taxes on both properties. Recover costs of $3,568.72 for citation liens on the North 10th Street property. 934 -936 North 10th Street is 2 tracts measuring 134' 6" x 48' x 134' 6" x 48'. Tract 2 is 134' 6" x 24' x 134' 6" x 24'. 2069 Irvin Cobb is 1.024 acres according to subdivision plat.
    • 1724 Monroe Street - Recover costs of $64,276.42 to recover judgement plus attorney fees and costs of sale.
    • 1204 Park Avenue - Recover costs of $41,161.30 plus contingent deferred interest and costs of the sale. This is a Habitat for Humanity foreclosure. Lot size is 50' x 165'
    • 1316 Madison Street - Judgement to collect $13,439.98 due to nuisance code liens and delinquent taxes, interest, attorney fees and auction costs.
    • 927 Finley Street - Recover costs of $18,634.45 plus contingent deferred interest and costs of the sale. This is a Habitat for Humanity foreclosure.

    As noted in the information posted in the Paducah Sun notice, these homes are generally not available for inspection even if you intend to bid on a property.

    I intend to attend this auction. If you have any interest in any of these auctions let me know what you have in mind. Maybe I can provide assistance.

    I don't want to list your house...

    12 Jan 2009
    ...unless you are serious about selling it.

    Yes, if you aren't serious about selling your home I'll pass on listing it. When I try to sell a home for a client I invest a lot of time and money. If you unable or unwilling to maintain the home in a good, clean condition or not willing to negotiate a fair price then we are likely wasting your time and mine.

    When I list a home I gather important information about the home for placement in the MLS. This single entry gets your home listed on many, many web sites. An example of a few commonly used web sites are Realtor.com, Zillow.com, Trulia.com and my own and most other realtor web sites.

    In addition to the MLS, I typically place your home with a brief description in the Paducah & McCracken County edition of the Catalog of Homes. This catalog displays many homes for sale in McCracken county. The catalog is used by buyers, sellers and others just to pass the time. Placing your home in the Catalog each month is not free and does not guarantee any responses.

    Furthermore, I place a Prudential Real Estate yard sign in your front yard so that passersby will know your home is for sale. The sign has the well known Prudential name and "The Rock" logo on it as well my name and phone number across the bottom. The yard sign indicates that your home is being sold by a professional and allows interested parties to call me for more information. If someone wants to see your home I will coordinate an appointment for them to see the home.

    I also place your home on a few additional web sites I frequent. Some are free and some are not. I may place ads in local newspapers from time to time along with Open House notices if you permit me to host. The typical open house in the Paducah area is performed from 2-4pm on Sunday afternoon.

    This process may go on for months.

    So, if you are serious about selling your home, in the current market, I'll be happy to list your home, advertise it and show it. Otherwise, you might consider waiting until market conditions improve.

    Vacated Church I Sold Turned Into Something Good For Society!

    8 Jan 2009
    In early 2008 a friend of mine that works at the vets office referred my name to a friend of hers that was looking to purchase a church. He called me from his home in Florida. I gathered pictures and information on a couple of churches he wanted info on and emailed them to him.

    All the churches were priced really cheap. One of them was in good shape and was being sold by the former church members who had attended. Their families had attended this church for many years and were sad to have to sell it. They were being very particular to who they sold the church for. When my client and I were gathering info on the church and he was considering making an offer, without even seeing the church, we had another buyer who was making an offer as well. I learned that other buyer's offer was turned down because he wanted to sell the items in the church piece by piece. The persons responsible for selling the church turned that offer down pretty quickly.

    The church had the pews and the pulpit still inside. If I remember correctly the sound system was still in place as well. The basement leaked a little. Some of the shingles were blown off the roof. The church members had buried steel rods on the church property to mark the property boundary from the cemetery next door. The parking lot had grown grass over a majority of the gravel.

    During the closing my client, Ron Henry, asked us to pray with him and he showed us a video he had produced himself. This video took nearly an hour for all of us to watch. The person's present besides myself and Ron were the broker doing the closing and the representatives from the church. Ron made it clear to the former church members he had no intention of destroying the church. As a matter of fact I believe the agreement even stated that if Ron ever decided to get rid of the church that the former church member's would have the opportunity to buy it back at the same price.

    I hadn't heard from Ron since the closing. My job was done. The church building was near the town of Clinton, KY, nearly an hour away from my home and work. That friend that referred Ron to me brought me a newspaper article that was written a few months ago. I was so impressed I wanted to share it with everyone else.

    Read the article to see what Ron did with this church building! Here's to you Ron!

    Buy a home, receive a $7,500 interest free loan from the Fed

    2 Jan 2009
    The economy may be in trouble but there are always opportunities regardless of market conditions.

    Interest rates are another advantage to home buyers. Rates are about as low as they get. With today's interest rates you can save a ton of money over the length of a 15 or 30 year loan. A few years ago when I refinanced my home loan the length of my loan dropped from 30 years to 15 years. My payment stayed the same.

    Another, lesser known advantage to buying a home now is a tax free loan available via the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. This loan is available to qualified home buyers when the 2008 or 2009 tax return is filed. To be qualified, a home buyer must not have owned a home in the past 3 years. The amount of credit is equal to 10% of the purchase price but no more than $7,500. If you purchase the home after Jan 1 2009 but before the deadline of July 1, 2009, you can still receive the credit by filing an amended 2008 tax return.

    Remember, I said this is a LOAN? You receive the money via your taxes but it's equivalent to a interest free loan. After two years the money must be repaid via your tax return. If you claim the full $7,500, your tax return will pay back $500 each year over a 15 year period until the full amount has been returned.

    Another key point... if you sell your home before the amount has been repaid at a profit you must pay off the loan with any profits. On the other hand, if you sell the home at a loss the loan is forgiven.

    Another important detail I've read regarding pay back of the loan at tax time is you may need to adjust your federal tax wage withholding to ensure you cover the credit pay back.

    More details are available on Realtor.org and at KAR.com

    Thinner Catalog of Homes

    7 Dec 2008
    Friday the December issue of our local Catalog of Homes was released. The Catalog contains many homes that are for sale by local agents. It does not contain a complete list of properties for sale but it contains many.

    This month's issue was noticeable thinner. I compared last month's issue and found that it does indeed contain fewer pages. The last issue had 115 pages. This issue has 102 pages.

    I don't have a page in the Catalog this month myself. The homes I had listed have either sold or expired so I didn't place an order. The expired listings have sellers waiting for the market to rebound before they attempt to sell again.

    While talking to my broker about listing incentives, we talked about how the current problem isn't getting people to list their homes, it's getting buyers for those homes. Although interest rates are going lower and lower, people are being very cautious during these tough economic times. The market hasn't come to a complete standstill. Not everyone halts their life during a recession. If mortgage rates go down to 4.5% we expect buyers to come out again.

    Personally, I obtained my own home loan with a local mortgage officer using a VA loan. When I purchased the home in 2001 I got a rate of 7.5% and a 30 year term. I refinanced with another VA loan and the same mortgage officer back in 2003. My rate went down to 5% and a 15 year term. My payment went up a handful of dollars but it was WELL worth the savings.

    My broker and I also spoke about how the local board of Realtors had nearly 20% of their agents not sell a single property in 2008 and they expected several agents to escrow their license in 2009.


    2 Dec 2008
    You know, I've never attended as many auctions in my whole life as what I've attended this year alone. I've attended a few RARE Auctions, a court house auction, an online real estate auction (not eBay) and a few others. I don't know about the past but this year you can really get some good deals at a absolute real estate auction.

    I went to another auction this past Saturday. Up for absolute auction was a 2,900 square foot home. The home was valued at around $300,000. It was a 2 story home, 4 bedroom with 3.5 baths. Most of the home was outdated but it was maintained well. The outside of the brick home was in very good condition. I believe they said it was built in the 70's by a reputable construction business - of which the son of the construction business had lived next door for a while.

    The owner of the home had past away 3 years ago. The widow had built a new home and moved into that home with her daughter. The auctioneer asked for a moment of silence before the auction began in respect of the family. I don't know if they were present but I didn't hear him mention the family being there. All of the owner's belongings were about to be auctioned off as well.

    Although the home was really nice and large with a good neighborhood the home didn't yield much. As with the previous auctions the auctioneer appeared disappointed or maybe even embarrassed that the home was getting so little response. I think there were 3 bidders that bid but near the end one had dropped out. A young family ended up with the house at $145,000 - not including the 10% buyers fee tacked on by the auctioneer.

    Like I said, I don't know about previous years but the auctions I've seen in my area recently have been good for the buyers but not so good for sellers unless they only want to get rid of the property quick.