Buying a Home in Louisville, KY, and Southern Indiana

Finding and purchasing a home that will meet your needs is a significant and often stressful time. Our goal is to make this transition as smooth as possible. We are experts in the area, and once we learn what it is that you’re looking for, finding your dream home is simple.


Before you start looking for a home you should ask yourself a few questions:

  • Where do you want to live? Are there particular neighborhoods or communities that you like?
  • What kind of house would you like (need)? Are you looking for a particular style? How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you want?
  • Is a home office a necessity? Do you need a bonus room or flex-room?
  • Do you entertain often? Is a home suitable for entertaining something you’re looking for?
  • Do you want a yard, pool, gated or guard gated community?
  • Have you determined your price range or consulted a lender to determine the best price range?

Searching for your dream home can be a time-consuming experience. Working with our professional team will make the process much more efficient!

Following are some articles and items that may be of interest:

There are lots of issues to discuss with your agent before looking at homes:

  • Loan pre-approval
  • Cash available
  • Price range
  • Area
  • Minimum sq. ft.
  • Bedrooms
  • Baths
  • Basements
  • Garages
  • Yard size
  • Condition
  • Schools
  • Activities
  • Hobbies
  • Maintenance
  • Your expertise
  • Special needs
  • Health
  • Proximity needs- to work, school, babysitter, hospitals,
  • Large furniture
  • Number of vehicles/drivers
  • Pets
  • Homes vs. condos
  • Old vs. new
  • Style preference
  • Construction preference
  • Etc., Etc., Etc.


The Buying Triangle

The buying triangle only works if you are actually ready, willing and able to buy.

Picture a triangle.

  • At the top point is a $ sign.  This represents what you can afford.
  • At the left point is a house.  This represents the house you described as the house you want to purchase.
  • At the right point is a map.  This represents the area in which you would like to live.


I take this information and search out listings that match the three points.  The listings that come up are the ones most likely to suit your wants and needs.  But sometimes, no listings come up.  That means one or more of the points on the triangle needs to change or you need to delay the buying process.  You are in control.  You tell me which point to adjust.

  • Maybe you could spend more money than you had originally planned.
  • Maybe you could buy a smaller house, or one without a garage, etc.
  • Maybe you could expand the search area and live a little further out.


Then I will redo the search and see if there are properties that will suit your needs and wants.


Why do I need a staked survey?


So you will actually know what you are buying.

  • Even if the property is fenced, you can’t tell if the fence is actually on the property line.
  • Even if the seller points out the boundaries, you have no way of knowing if the seller is correct.
  • Even if there are pins, you have no way of knowing they haven’t been moved.


By getting a staked survey, in addition to boundaries, you will also find out about easements, encroachments and the location of structures and driveways.

Another benefit of a staked survey is that you can ask that the boundary issue exclusion on the title insurance policy be waived.

This topic involves a legal matter.  Please seek the advice of an attorney specializing in real estate, in the state where the property is located.  We are happy to provide a list of attorneys, if you need to consult with one.


What is Owner’s Title Insurance and why do I need it?



Owner’s Title Insurance is an insurance policy written on a specific piece of property.  It protects the owner against any claims that arise out of past mistakes, like incorrectly-recorded deeds and liens, lost heirs, unreleased mortgages, etc.

It is important that you buy it, because issues involving your title are seldom discovered until just before the closing date on the sale of your house.

That is not a good time to find out about an:

  • Unreleased mortgage
  • Easement
  • Encroachment
  • Incorrectly recorded lien
  • Outstanding mechanics lien


Owner’s Title insurance usually costs less than 2 hours of an attorney’s time. How many hours could it take to resolve even one of the above issues? How long could it delay your closing?

If you have owner’s title insurance, all you need to do is produce the policy. Your title insurance company will insure your title for the next buyer and take care of the issue - at their cost - not yours.

By the way, if you purchase a property by obtaining a mortgage, the lender will require you to pay for Lender’s Title Insurance to insure their interests.  They know how important it is to have a clear title.

This topic involves a legal matter.  Please seek the advice of an attorney specializing in real estate, in the state where the property is located.  We are happy to provide a list of attorneys, if you need to consult with one.


Frequently Asked Questions:

Buyers – Why shouldn’t I get my mortgage through the Internet?


You should only work with a lender that you can sit down and speak with face to face.  There are lots of seemingly good deals on the Internet, but what happens when there are delays?  You won’t have any pull because they don’t even know you.  Your agent won’t have any pull because the Internet lender knows the agents would never recommend them to their buyers.  You won’t necessarily get the good deal you expected anyway because there are too many variables.  They can find many ways to get paid, but few ways to really save you money.


Buyers – What does a One-Year Home Warranty cover?


There are several warranty companies that have been around a long time and have a good track record.  Each of them has a booklet with a list of what is covered, and a list of exclusions to that coverage.  We suggest that the booklet be reviewed with a specific property in mind.  For instance, if you are purchasing a property with a septic system, you will want the best possible coverage for the septic system, a costly system to repair.  The same is true if you are buying a house with an old HVAC system.  The coverages are not the same and there are some limited payments.  There are also upgrades to consider.  For the example of the HVAC system, you may wish to upgrade so that if you need a new system, you won’t get hit with charges for hauling away the old system, Freon recapture, etc.  Due to current regulations, if an old A/C system cannot be repaired, it must be replaced with a much more efficient and costly system.  The indoor coils must match the new outside unit, so make sure the warranty covers such costs.  Your agent will assist you in comparing warranty companies and selecting the best fit for the property.



Buyers – Who should I call to do a home inspection?


Your agent will give you a list of trusted home inspectors.  You can get someone out of the Yellow Pages or off the Internet, but if you are trying to save money, it would be best to save it elsewhere.  A really good inspector will represent you and thoroughly inspect the home and give you the truthful findings. There are inspectors out there that take your money, but then tell you that you also need to hire a HVAC contractor to inspect the furnace, a roofing contractor to inspect the roof or an electrician to inspect the electric system. By then you may have run out of time to have the additional inspections. If the home inspectors aren’t qualified to inspect, they shouldn’t take your money.  Your agent will steer you clear of those types of inspectors.  However, there are times when excellent home inspectors will come across structural issues or wood destroying pests that need to be looked at by those licensed to do that type of inspection.



Buyers – Who represents me?


If you choose to work with a Realtor, that agent will represent you, unless you are viewing or purchasing a home that is listed by them.  In that case, the agent will let you know that he or she already represents the seller and can therefore, only represent you on a limited basis, or perhaps not at all, on that particular property.  Each agent is required to give you a statement that explains Agency, or Representation, and to disclose who he or she represents, prior to you making an offer.  If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask.


Buyers – What is a Buyer Broker?


A Buyer Broker is an agent who is committed to working solely for you, in your best interest.  That means, they will give advice as if they, themselves, were the buyer.  They owe all their loyalty to you alone.  Most Buyer Brokers do not list property, but if there is a property they have listed, you can choose to be represented by another agent on that property.  They will not become a limited agent without your express consent.


Buyers – What do your services include?


As licensed real estate agents or brokers, we have the duty to represent our clients in all phases of the transaction.  That means, we meet with you to discuss your objectives, assist you in obtaining the best financing, finding the best property, researching, negotiating, coordinating inspections, appraisals, repairs, closings, utilities, and being available after the closing to answer or deal with any questions you have.

Buyers – How much do I pay you?


Buyers do not generally pay for the services of the agent representing them.  Usually the listing agent negotiates the total commission with the seller, then he or she puts the property into the Multiple Listing Service so that all Realtors in the area have access to it.  In the listing, the listing agent offers to share the commission with another company if they produce the successful buyer for the property.  The buyer’s agent gets paid at the closing, based on the commission offered in the MLS.  There are occasions, in a For Sale By Owner, for instance, where a buyer may wish to compensate an agent representing them.  This is allowable, but the compensation is paid to the agent’s company, not the agent.


Buyers – We have bad credit. Can we still buy a house?


Possibly, but the advice most would give you is to slow down and not buy yet.  Ask for assistance in getting your credit cleaned up.  Pay down your debts or get rid of them altogether.  Save up a down- payment and an emergency fund. Go through credit counseling or Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. Buying a house may just get you into more difficulties later.  Doing it the right way will pay off and can change your future.


Buyers – What is a Lease Option?


Sometimes sellers will allow a buyer who cannot close right away, to rent for a short time and purchase an option to buy the property later.  This can save you money by not having to move twice and by locking in the price now for the closing that will happen later.  You will probably want to consult an attorney to draw up this type of agreement.  It may be better to just rent a house until you can buy what you really want.

Buyers – What is a Land Contract?


Sometimes there are sellers that will let you move in and pay payments to them until you have paid in an agreed-upon amount or up until a specified date.  At that time, you will have to be in a position to get a normal loan from a lender.  The big drawback is that there is usually a large up front deposit that is non-refundable if you cannot later perform on your end of the deal.  You may have to move out and forfeit the deposit.  A Land Contract is not usually a good idea for a buyer.  It would be better to just rent a house until you can buy the house you like, later.  Definitely consult a real estate attorney before embarking on a land contract.


Buyers – Can I rent to buy?

Possibly, you can find a seller who will let you rent a house for a higher amount than usual, with some of the rent to apply to your down-payment later, but what if you don’t like living there.  Will you get your money back?  Really it would be better to just rent for now and save money for a down-payment.



Buyers – Why use a Real Estate Closing Attorney?

A real estate attorney specializes in real estate, but not all real estate attorneys do closings.  Some do litigation, planning and zoning, environmental issues, commercial leases, etc.  What a closing attorney has is a staff that is used to doing closings.  They know what’s normal in our area, and what’s not normal. They are used to dealing with mortgage companies, title insurance companies, title examiners, and all the others that work behind the scenes to make your closing smooth and efficient.  (Imagine if you hired your pediatrician to do your eye surgery.  They are both doctors, but they need to stick to their area of specialization.)  Just because your cousin is an attorney, does not mean that he or she is up on the latest forms and has all the contacts needed to accomplish your closing correctly.


Buyers – What is Owner’s Title Insurance and why do I need it?

Owner’s Title Insurance is an insurance policy written on a specific piece of property.  It protects the owner against any claims that arise out of past mistakes, like incorrectly-recorded deeds and liens, lost heirs, unreleased mortgages, etc.

It is important that you buy it, because issues involving your title are seldom discovered until just before the closing date on the sale of your house. Owner’s Title insurance usually costs less than 2 hours of an attorney’s time. How many hours could it take to resolve even one of the above issues? How long could it delay your closing?  If you have owner’s title insurance, all you need to do is produce the policy. Your title insurance company will insure your title for the next buyer and take care of the issue - at their cost - not yours. By the way, if you purchase a property by obtaining a mortgage, the lender will require you to pay for Lender’s Title Insurance to insure their interests.  They know how important it is to have a clear title.


Buyers - What is a Title Search?


When you purchase a property, you can’t just assume that the seller owns it free and clear.  There may be a mortgage, a second mortgage, a line of credit, an equity loan, a home improvement loan or other liens for taxes, sewers etc.  You don’t even know for sure that the seller is the only owner.  There are estates and divorces that complicate ownership issues.  To be safe, you will want to have the closing attorney do, or hire someone to do, a title search to discover all those things and more.  This needs to be done or updated right before the closing. You can request a copy at the closing.

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