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Joe Smith

Sales Associate

Joe's Blog

Lexington Attractions

7/13/2017

Lexington Kentucky, also known as the horse capital of the world. We are the second biggest city in the state of Kentucky. With this big of a city, what are some things that we have to offer? In this post, I’ll be talking about some of the attractions and things to do if you’re a local or a tourist.

 

Thursday Night Live

Hosted by Central Bank, Thursday Night Live is a place for friends, live music, local food, and beverage vendors. This takes place at the Fifth Third Bank Pavilion at Cheapside Park (251 W. Main St) starts at 5pm and goes until you get tired! Live music is played from 5:30pm-8pm. My favorite part about this event is when they play jazz. As a avid lover of jazz, this was a winner with me. The food is also a plus. They have vendors and food trucks lining the streets.

 

Keeneland

As the horse capital of the world, Keeneland was definitely on this list. Keeneland has two racing seasons every year; a spring meet in April and a fall meet in October. Even if you’re not there during those times, they offer guided tours around the property year round from 6:30am to 5pm. Keeneland also offers a “Breakfast with the works” on Saturday mornings where you can have breakfast in the trackside equestrian dining room. After breakfast, there’s a visit to the kids club corner for free children’s activities, next is a guided tour, then a paddock demo, and lastly a Jockey Q&A.

 

Distilleries

Here in Lexington we have many distilleries. From bourbon to craft beers, there’s something for everyone. Some distilleries include: Buffalo Trace, Wild Turkey, Woodford Reserve, and Four Roses. For craft beers, some examples include, West Sixth Brewing, Blue Stallion Brewing, and Kentucky Ale. At the distilleries, they will usually take you through a guided tour of the facility and then at the end, there is a tasting.

 

Friday Night Market

The night market is a pop-up open market located at 700 block of Bryan Avenue. This event is held on the first Friday of every month from April to December. It is free to attend and is from 6pm to 10pm. At the Night Market, you get to go through the street and view local artists and crafts that are for purchase. In the parking lot just off of Bryan Ave, there is a beer draft trailer courtesy of Northside brewery, West Sixth Brewing, and live music from local and regional bands. Don’t forget there’s also many food trucks and vendors there as well.

 

Eats

Lexington is filled with good eats. From local restaurants to chain restaurants, we have a big list. My all time favorite restaurant would have to be Ramsay’s. Ramsay’s is a home cooking type of restaurant with a casual dining atmosphere. My suggestion would be to get the fried catfish. It is delicious. Other restaurants include: Saul Goods Restaurant & Pub, Tony’s, Hopcat (On the top 10 list of best fries according to Food Network), Local Taco, Pies and Pints, Blue Door Smokehouse, Bella Notte, Joe Bologna’s Restaurant and Pizzeria, and many others.

 

Lexington Legends

Here in Lexington, we have our own minor league baseball team that plays at Whitaker Bank Ballpark. Right now is a perfect time to go see them in action since they have almost a game every night during the summertime. You can go watch a good game of baseball while enjoying some ballpark food and drinks.

 

There are so many things to do here in the great city of Lexington. Visit www.visitlex.com/things-to-do/calendar-of-events/ to see a full list of events that go on!

Steps To Take You To The Closing Table

7/11/2017

The Very First Step:

The very first step in looking to buy a property is to get pre-approved for a mortgage if you’re going that route. To find the best rates and terms, you would need to “shop” around. It’s always good to check with your primary bank first since they know you financial history. But you should still check out other banks or mortgage companies as well. If you need recommendations for a lender, I will be more than happy to suggest some. After you found your lender/bank, you want to make sure you have all the documents with you when you meet with them. Examples of documents that lenders will need, are: two years of W-2, two years of tax returns, two full banking/savings statements, car payments, two months of each credit card you have, and etc. After you get pre-qualified, you get to go shopping for your future home!

 

My advice for you is that when you start looking for properties, make a list of “needs” in a home, like bedrooms, bath, garages, and etc, and then a list of “wants” that could be fireplaces, fenced backyards, finished basements, and etc. This will help make the process easier when narrowing down your choices. If there isn’t a large inventory in the market, you would want to move quickly. We, as your real estate team, will be on the lookout for any properties that we think that will fit your needs. We will send you a list of homes, and if some of them catches your eye, we can schedule a showing to view the property in person. Likewise, if you’re in a neighborhood that you like and see a for sale by owner sign, all you have to do is get the phone number I as your realtor will contact the sellers and make arrangements for it to be shown to you. My main goal, as your realtor, is to make the transaction as easy and non-stressful as possible and help find the home of your dreams.

 

After you find a home that you would like to purchase, we will help you write an offer to the sellers to get it under contract. I will be negotiating with the listing agent on your behalf the price and terms of the offer until it becomes a fully executed contract. I will keep you updated every step of the way and answer any questions that you have.

 

One question that I get quite often is “ What do I do after the seller accepts my offer?” First off, Congrats! You’re on your way to owning this property. There are many steps to take after an acceptance of a contract. Right after the offer is accepted, you should select a state licensed home and termite inspector. After you have selected someone, we as your real estate team, will schedule the appointments for you. Usually the home inspection is first, and then the repairs are negotiated with the sellers and then the lender will schedule the appraisal for the property. If the contract is a cash deal, an appraisal will not be necessary. You, as the buyer will be responsible for the payment of the home inspection at the time of the inspection. The termite inspection can be part of the closing cost or can also be paid at the time when the inspection is done. If an appraisal is done, you would need to write a check to your lender to cover the cost of the appraisal. If you’re not using a lender, the appraisers will send you will be invoiced for it. The sellers are responsible for all the negotiated repairs to be completed prior to the final walk thru. Once the documents have been received, the lender will send all the documents to the underwriter to get approved. 9/10 the underwriter will send back the loan documents with conditions that need to be met. For example, addition forms, further explanations on bank accounts and etc. If your lender asks for a document, my advice is to get the document to them as quickly as you can so you won’t delay the closing. After the underwriter approves all the documents, the lender will notify me of the loan approval. Which means we got the green light! We will then coordinate the closing times and dates with all parties. The lender will send you a email with the closing disclosure you have to “open” as proof of you seeing it and then you will have three days to review

 

Lastly, we CLOSE! The lender will send you a email with the closing disclosure you have to “open” as proof of receipt and then you will have three days to review the disclosures. The reason for this is because of the new banking regulations. The day before or day of closing, we will do a final walk thru of the property just to double check that everything is in order, all the negotiated repairs are done, and that no damages was made during the move of the sellers. If the movers made any damages, they will be responsible for the repairs. At the closing, you will be signing the documents and then you’ll finally get the keys to your new property!

 

 

 

 

 

This is me: Joe Smith

6/28/2017

Hello everyone and welcome to my blog. My name is Joe Smith and I've been a realtor since 1987. I am a broker associate with the accreditations of ABR, ACP, CRS, GRI, and SFR. I specialize in residential, investment and commercial properties. Click the link below and watch the video below to find out a little more about me as a person and realtor! I will start posting more blog content soon! Let me know if you have a specific question or a topic you would like me to talk about in my blog! 

    https://www.facebook.com/JoesmithKY/videos/1252641704850643/

Interest Rates

8/26/2011
This is information is from USA Today, to keep you update on today's Real Estate Market. Mortgage rates come off their historic lows By Daniel Wagner, Associated Press Updated 6h 52m ago WASHINGTON – Fixed mortgage rates edged up this week from their lowest levels in decades. But few potential home buyers have been able to capitalize on them. The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage rose to 4.22%, Freddie Mac said Thursday. That's up from 4.15% last week, lowest level on records dating to 1971. The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage, a popular refinancing option, rose to 3.44%. Last week it fell to 3.36%. Mortgage rates typically track the yield on the 10-year Treasury note. Yields rose this week as investors shifted money back into stocks. The stock markets were more stable after a turbulent stretch. Bond yields rise as their prices fall. Still, low rates have not been enough to revive the weak housing market. Mortgage applications to buy a home fell last week to a 15-year low, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. High unemployment and fear that the country may be on the verge of another recession have left many people hesitant to buy. National Mortgage Rates Others can't qualify for the low rates. Their credit is too weak to meet banks' tighter lending standards. Many banks are requiring larger down payments. Some potential homebuyers are stuck in homes that are worth less than the existing mortgage. Over the past year, the average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage has been below 5% for all but two weeks. Yet home sales remain low. Sales of new homes are on pace to finish the year as the lowest on records dating back to 1963. The pace of re-sales is shaping up to be the worst in 14 years. Home prices haven't fared much better. Since the peak of the housing boom in 2007, homes have lost nearly a third of their value. The weak housing market has been a drag on the economy. And without more jobs, the housing market is unlikely to recover any time soon. To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country Monday through Wednesday each week. The average rate on a five-year adjustable-rate mortgage fell to 3.07%. That's the lowest rate on records dating to January 2005. It was the fourth straight week of record lows for this type of loan. The average rate for the one-year adjustable-rate mortgage rose to 2.93% from 2.86%. Last week's average was the lowest on records going back to 1984. The rates do not include extra fees known as points. One point is equal to 1% of the total loan amount. The average fees for the 30-year, 15-year and 5-year loans held steady at 0.7 point, 0.6 point and 0.5 point, respectively. The average fee on the one-year adjustable mortgage fell to 0.5 point from 0.7 point.

Interest Rates

8/26/2011
This is information is from USA Today, to keep you update today's Real Estate Market. Mortgage rates come off their historic lows By Daniel Wagner, Associated Press Updated 6h 52m ago WASHINGTON – Fixed mortgage rates edged up this week from their lowest levels in decades. But few potential home buyers have been able to capitalize on them. The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage rose to 4.22%, Freddie Mac said Thursday. That's up from 4.15% last week, lowest level on records dating to 1971. The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage, a popular refinancing option, rose to 3.44%. Last week it fell to 3.36%. Mortgage rates typically track the yield on the 10-year Treasury note. Yields rose this week as investors shifted money back into stocks. The stock markets were more stable after a turbulent stretch. Bond yields rise as their prices fall. Still, low rates have not been enough to revive the weak housing market. Mortgage applications to buy a home fell last week to a 15-year low, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. High unemployment and fear that the country may be on the verge of another recession have left many people hesitant to buy. National Mortgage Rates Others can't qualify for the low rates. Their credit is too weak to meet banks' tighter lending standards. Many banks are requiring larger down payments. Some potential homebuyers are stuck in homes that are worth less than the existing mortgage. Over the past year, the average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage has been below 5% for all but two weeks. Yet home sales remain low. Sales of new homes are on pace to finish the year as the lowest on records dating back to 1963. The pace of re-sales is shaping up to be the worst in 14 years. Home prices haven't fared much better. Since the peak of the housing boom in 2007, homes have lost nearly a third of their value. The weak housing market has been a drag on the economy. And without more jobs, the housing market is unlikely to recover any time soon. To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country Monday through Wednesday each week. The average rate on a five-year adjustable-rate mortgage fell to 3.07%. That's the lowest rate on records dating to January 2005. It was the fourth straight week of record lows for this type of loan. The average rate for the one-year adjustable-rate mortgage rose to 2.93% from 2.86%. Last week's average was the lowest on records going back to 1984. The rates do not include extra fees known as points. One point is equal to 1% of the total loan amount. The average fees for the 30-year, 15-year and 5-year loans held steady at 0.7 point, 0.6 point and 0.5 point, respectively. The average fee on the one-year adjustable mortgage fell to 0.5 point from 0.7 point.

Lack of first-time buyers hurts housing market

4/5/2011
These are excerpts from USA Today by Julie Schmit, dated 3/28/2011 Many first-time Home buyers are sitting on the sidelines of the U.S. housing market, stalling the recovery of the housing market. Last month, 34% of existing homes purchases were made by first-time buyers, according to the National Association of Realtors. In January, they were 29% of the market, the lowest since NAR surveys started tracking them monthly in late 2008. In a strong market, first-time buyers make up 40% to 45% of all purchasers. They play a significant role in purchasing starter homes so those owners can move up and purchase more expensive homes Despite low mortgage rate and lower prices in many markets, existing –homes sales have been week for months and were down 2.8% in February from a year ago. What’s keeping more first-times on the sidelines? Expired tax credits. Federal credits boosted home sales in 2009 and 2010 and brought some first-time buyers into the market sooner than normal, says Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. The credits expired in April. Last March, 48% of buyers were first-timers, inside Mortgage Finance data show. Lending Standards: Tighter lending standards since the housing bust are edging out first-timers who can’t meet credit or employment history requirements in still weak economy, says Guy Cecala, publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance. Government backed mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae there loan portfolio last year had an average credit score of 758, that was up from 720 five years ago. Higher down payment on conventional loans of 20%, are driving more buyers to Federal Housing Administration loans. The FHA requires as little as 3.5% down for borrowers with good credit scores. In fiscal year 2010, FHA loans were 19% of the home purchase market vs. 14% A decade before. So what is today’s a buyer to do? Preparation is the answer, meet with your realtor and lender in advance and devise a plan. Learn what the lender is going to require from you in advance, learn what purchase amount you qualify for, so your realtor will show you home in that price range.

Lack of first-time buyers hurts housing market

4/5/2011
Lack of first-time buyers hurts housing market These are excerpts from USA Today by Julie Schmit, dated 3/28/2011 Many first-time Home buyers are sitting on the sidelines of the U.S. housing market, stalling the recovery of the housing market. Last month, 34% of existing homes purchases were made by first-time buyers, according to the National Association of Realtors. In January, they were 29% of the market, the lowest since NAR surveys started tracking them monthly in late 2008. In a strong market, first-time buyers make up 40% to 45% of all purchasers. They play a significant role in purchasing starter homes so those owners can move up and purchase more expensive homes Despite low mortgage rate and lower prices in many markets, existing –homes sales have been week for months and were down 2.8% in February from a year ago. What’s keeping more first-times on the sidelines? Expired tax credits. Federal credits boosted home sales in 2009 and 2010 and brought some first-time buyers into the market sooner than normal, says Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. The credits expired in April. Last March, 48% of buyers were first-timers, inside Mortgage Finance data show. Lending Standards: Tighter lending standards since the housing bust are edging out first-timers who can’t meet credit or employment history requirements in still weak economy, says Guy Cecala, publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance. Government backed mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae there loan portfolio last year had an average credit score of 758, that was up from 720 five years ago. Higher down payment on conventional loans of 20%, are driving more buyers to Federal Housing Administration loans. The FHA requires as little as 3.5% down for borrowers with good credit scores. In fiscal year 2010, FHA loans were 19% of the home purchase market vs. 14% A decade before. So what is today’s a buyer to do? Preparation is the answer, meet with your realtor and lender in advance and devise a plan. Learn what the lender is going to require from you in advance, learn what purchase amount you qualify for, so your realtor will show you home in that price range.
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