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Buy a Home | 3 Posts
Corbin KY | 2 Posts
Lexington KY | 3 Posts
London KY | 7 Posts
Moving Tips | 1 Posts
Sell a Home | 2 Posts
February
12

Budget-Friendly Tips for Now and Later

6 Savvy Home Improvements

Home improvements come in all shapes and sizes-- from DIY aesthetic touches to full-blown professional remodeling.  While major home improvements often come with a steep price tag, there are plenty of budget-friendly improvements that can make a real difference. The great thing about making improvements is that you get to enjoy them while you live in the home, and they also add value when you're preparing to sell.

The team at Sallie Davidson REALTORS® knows home value, and we've assembled six affordable home improvements that every homeowner should consider.

6 Savvy Home Improvements that Won't Break the Budget

The big thing to remember with any type of home improvement is that there's no shame in calling in the pros, if needed. DIY is great when possible, but the improvements on our list will still be affordable if you hire a professional. The choice comes down to knowing your comfort level, and your experience with the project in question.

  1. Go Green – Literally. Have you ever visited a home that's framed by majestic trees? It's a beautiful sight, and mature trees add real value to a home. The best part is that all you really need is patience. Plant a few strategically placed trees, watch them grow over the years, and enjoy increased value if you ever decide to sell your home.
  2. Home Security – We all want to feel safe in our homes, and a home security system is one of the best ways to accomplish that goal. Home security systems can be quite expensive, but that's not a requirement. Most companies offer competitively priced options that will more than get the job done. Security systems add value, and can even help you save on home insurance.
  3. Efficient Appliances – Buying a new refrigerator, stove, or dish washer may seem like a big purchase up front, but it can ultimately save you money in the long run. New appliances tend to be significantly more energy efficient, especially if you're upgrading from a particularly old model. The long-term savings on energy bills can offset the cost of the upgrade, and new appliances are always a hot selling point for homes on the market.
  4. Add a Deck – Attractive outdoor space is always in demand, and barbecuing on a deck is one of the best ways to spend a summer day. A well-built deck will certainly add value to your home, and you'll get to enjoy outdoor fun for as long as you own your home. Unless you're a general contractor, though, you'll want to call the pros for this one.
  5. New Lighting – Whether indoors or outdoors, lighting makes a big difference in how your home is perceived. Today's outdoor lighting fixtures are often quite affordable, thanks to solar power. Lighting up walkways and accenting your favorite shrubs is a sure way to catch the eye of home shoppers.
  6. Try a Tuneup – Electrical and plumbing systems tend to lose effectiveness as they age, so keeping them in top shape ultimately boosts the value of your home. Have both systems checked out by professionals before you plan to sell. When you start talking details with a buyer, they'll be happy to know that you took the time to ensure the quality of these crucial systems.

Contact Sallie Davidson REALTORS

Every home is different, so there's definitely room to get creative when you're considering home improvements. And if you're looking to buy or sell a home in Kentucky, contact Sallie Davidson REALTORS® for all the help you need to maximize your value.

 

January
28

Try These Can't Miss Tips to Make Your Move Easy

Tips for Moving with Children

Planning a move is a bit like planning a wedding.  There's anxiety involved, sure, but also excitement and anticipation. Your children will share many of the same feelings, so it's important to help them understand the where, why and how of your move.  Our team at Sallie Davidson REALTORS® has put together 10 can't-miss moving tips to make the transition as smooth as possible – for you and your children.

Moving with Kids: 10 Can't-Miss Tips to Help You Cope

  1. Talk It Out – Let's lead off with one of the most important moving tips. Kids are clever, but it can be a challenge for them to grasp what moving really means. Have an honest, open family conversation about your move, and encourage your children to ask questions, even after the family chat has ended.
  2. Buy a Book – Children's books do a great job of simplifying complex topics like moving, especially if you're children are very young. There are quite a few books on moving, and this interactive book has gotten rave reviews.
  3. Plan a Party – If you're moving far away from your child's friends and family, plan a fun going away party before you leave. It may help to plan the party at a local park or fun center, so it won't interfere with your preparations at home.
  4. Lean on Technology – Skype, FaceTime, and social media – supervised, of course – are great for keeping your children in touch with friends and family after you move. Even for adults, there's simply something comfortable about seeing the faces of loved ones while you chat.
  5. Prioritize Toys – Favorite toys are a great distraction from stress, and offer the comfort of familiarity. Keep some toys unpacked until you're ready to move, and label toy boxes clearly, so you can quickly find your child's favorites when you arrive.
  6. Listen Well – Your kids may not always know how to describe them specifically, but their feelings are real. By offering an understanding ear, you can plan activities or steer the conversation to soothe their biggest worries.
  7. Ask for Their Help – Help them understand what's happening by involving them in the packing process. Allowing them to pack a few of their own things will show them that they're favorite possessions aren't "going away," and will be there to greet them in your new home.
  8. Build Excitement – While there's no easy way to break the news of a move, you can absolutely take steps to get your kids excited about their new hometown. Find fun activities, and show your own enthusiasm, too. Your kids will often take cues from your attitude, so staying positive is a big help.
  9. Take a Tour – If possible, try taking your children on a visit to their new town. Schedule of few of the activities you talked about while building excitement, and make a stop at your new home. Show your child their new room, and talk about how fun it will be to decorate it together.
  10. Record Treasured Memories – Your children have great memories from your current home, and it's easier than ever to preserve them. You can go digital, create an old-fashioned scrapbook, or try a mix of both.

Contact Sallie Davidson REALTORS

We hope these moving tips help, and offer a reminder that if possible, it's always best to start preparing your children for the move as early as possible, so they have time to process things on their terms. If you're still searching for the perfect home in Kentucky, contact our team at Sallie Davidson REALTORS® for help from the local experts.

January
20

Berea, Corbin and London Best Towns in Kentucky

Sallie Davidson Best Towns in Kentucky

Now, the rest of the world knows what all of us at Sallie Davidson REALTORS® have always known, our local communities are some of the best in Kentucky.   Local.Niche.com released its list of the Best Towns in Kentucky, and three of our local communities--Berea, Corbin and London—made the list.  Local.Niche.com ranks towns based on livability scores using weather, safety, schools, activites, jobs, housing options and transportation as categories.  And, quite frankly, who are we to disagree?  We think our cities are simply the best.

Low Crime Rates and Fun Things to Do Land Berea on the List

Berea, which took the 13th spot on the best towns to live in Kentucky on Local.Niche.com, earned high marks for a strong jobs market and an easy commute. The community is considered the fifth safest in the state because of its low crime rate and offers its resident plenty to see and do.

This community is just on the edge of Bluegrass Country and 40 miles to the south of Lexington, and it has been named the Folk Arts and Crafts Capital of Kentucky. This is the place to shop for locally created art while experiencing a diverse culture and friendly people. It also happens to be home to Berea College, the South's first interracial college and one of the nation's top undergraduate options.

Berea is also known as a "sustainable living" community, because many of its residents focus on giving back to nature through a focus on sustainability. With all Berea has going for it, it's no wonder it made the list of top places for Kentucky real estate shoppers to consider living.

Fried Chicken and the Moonbow - Corbin Has It All

If you're searching for a home in Kentucky in a community filled with local charm, then add Corbin, Kentucky to your list.  Home to the cafe where Colonel Sanders himself first introduced Kentucky Fried Chicken, Corbin is a quaint town surrounded by natural beauty.  Daniel Boone National Forest, Levi Jackson State Park, and Cumberland Falls, home of the famous moonbow, are all located in or around Corbin.  Corbin ranked 19th among the top places to live in Kentucky, earning highest marks for its strong schools and excellent things to do.

Low Cost of Living and Central Location Make London Appealing

Finally, London, Sallie Davidson REALTORS® home town, ranked No. 23 on the list, earning high marks for its commute, housing options and things to do. London has been named a "Vacation Crossroads," but many who vacation in London find themselves drawn to the community to make it their permanent residents. A low cost of living makes it particularly popular, as do the forests and lakes surrounding the community to provide outdoor recreation opportunities.

Contact Sallie Davidson REALTORS

There's a reason each of these communities was recognized as one of the best towns in Kentucky. Are you ready to discover them for yourself?  Contact our team of local Kentucky real estate experts at Sallie Davidson REALTORS® for help finding your new Kentucky home in Berea, Corbin or London.

January
15

Luxury Living Redefined in London, KY
Luxury Living London KY

Luxury is a term that's thrown around frequently to describe a style of living.  However, it is more than a single feature or the neighborhood you live in.  Rather, luxury living encompasses an entire lifestyle, and a combination of factors. The truth is, the concept of luxury is subjective. What one person defines as luxurious is not the necessarily what everyone thinks. There are some fundamental aspects though. Here are some concepts that highlight true luxury homes in London, Kentucky.


Neighborhood

Luxury homes come in neighborhoods that have a higher price tag attached. This makes them more exclusive, desirable, and sought after. In London, there are several communities that fit the bill. They include:

Camelot Place
Cliff's Edge
Club Valley Estate
Hemlock Falls
Kirkwood
Rural
The Heritage
The Oaks of London
Woods Edge

Luxury homes in these neighborhoods typically have special features that buyers are looking for. Some luxury listing buzzwords are waterfront, golf course adjacent, or private club. In London, you'll also find everything from grand, historic estate homes to newly built homes on beautifully landscaped acreage. The homes will have additions that enrich, as well as encourage comfortable and convenient living.


Luxury Living London KYUnique Features

In luxury homes, you'll often find one-of-a-kind features. Where materials like granite countertops have become more common, luxury homes will have imported tile from Italy, indoor saltwater pools, or a stocked 19-acre fishing lake. The features focus on experiential living, and can even entail conscious living and fine-tuned eco-friendly improvements. The features of a luxury home are going to stand out from crowd. Some examples are double-sided linear fireplaces, steam showers, cutting-edge technology, and outdoor kitchens. They'll elevate emerging trends to the highest level, and stay ahead of the curve for what is common for new homes have.

Luxury Living London KYPrivate

Privacy is coveted in today's society. With the internet, social media, Big Brother, and an ever-increasing population, privacy is synonymous with luxury. Homes with long drives, gated entries, and natural screens are alluring to the high-end buyer. There is a feeling of luxury being able to escape public view and enjoy your very own serene and majestic surroundings.

Luxury Living LondonTreasured

A luxury home may have a renowned name attached. Buyers look for homes known for their architectural prowess, or designed by a legendary architect. It falls into the concept of iconic, or collectible. Instead of exclusive cars, these buyers are collecting a luxury home.

It's difficult to quantify everything that defines luxury homes, but it usually appeals to a wide age spectrum, and is something rare.

Guide for Buying Luxury Homes

Buying a luxury home isn't going to follow the average rules of real estate. There are more levels to these purchases. Luxury REALTORS® that oversee luxury home transactions will handle more than the typical real estate agent does. Listings are often advertised on a national level, and when the transaction gets underway, you'll deal with more inspections, attorneys, trusts, and privacy issues.

Contact Sallie Davidson Realtors
The key to a successful luxury home purchase or sale is to work with a team that understands the intricate ins and outs of the luxury industry. If you're looking to buy or sell a luxury home in London, Kentucky, contact Sallie Davidson REALTORS® for assistance.

December
28

Five Things You Need to Know about Buying a Home

Buying a Home - Woods Edge Drive

The 2016 market is predicted to be one of the best in recent years for sellers with low mortgage rates and high demand for available homes. This means home buyers need to enter the market well informed, so they are in a good position to get the home they want at a fair price. If you are thinking about buying in the coming year, here are five important facts you need to know.

1.  Have That Down Payment Ready

While you can still find mortgage programs for people with no down payment, you may not qualify for those programs. The best bet is to have money to put down on the home, as well as money for the closing costs. Today's mortgages allow buyers to purchase with as little as 3 percent down, but 20 percent of the purchase price will save you from additional mortgage insurance fees. Also, have some additional money in the bank for repairs, closing costs and moving costs.

2.  Get to Know the 2016 Forms

In October, new mortgage forms were introduced that make the application process easier. When you apply for pre-approval, you will get a form within three days called the Loan Estimate Form, which will disclose all estimated costs of the loan. With this form you can see how quickly you can pay down the principal on the loan over five years, so you can see which loans let you build equity the fastest.

In 2016 you will also receive all closing documentation on your loan three days before closing. This means you will have time to read the paperwork before you go to the closing, so you can address any errors or surprises.

3.  More Financing Options in Rural Areas

Starting January 1, those who are buying a home in rural, underserved areas will have better access to financing. The CFPB has expanded its definition of "small creditor" and "rural areas," relaxing some standards to ensure that most borrowers in these areas will be able to get loans for their purchases.

4. Credit Scores Are Increasingly Important

The financial crisis of 2008 and afterwards occurred largely because people with poor credit were given mortgages they could not afford. They then went into default, sparking the financial crisis of recent years. The government is cracking down on lenders to avoid this problem in the future. While you may still be able to get a loan with poor credit, it will be harder and more expensive. Knowing your credit score, and taking measures to improve it, will go far in helping you get an affordable loan when buying a home.

Contact Sallie Davidson Realtors

5. Your REALTOR® Will Be an Essential Part of the Process

Finally, with a competitive, sellers' market, and a REALTOR® who knows the local real estate area is going  an important part of your home buying process. Contact Sallie Davidson REALTORS® for help buying a home in London, KY and the surrounding communities. Our team of real estate agents will support you in your home buying efforts.

 

December
21

Lexington KY New Years Eve Events

You've probably already noticed that Lexington, KY goes big for the holidays, and New Year's Eve is no exception. Whether you're looking for a low-key party, a big bash, or a bit of jazz in the Bluegrass region, Lexington has you covered. The big night is coming up quickly, but you've still got time to find the perfect way to celebrate New Year's Eve in style.

The team at Sallie Davidson REALTORS® has rounded up a few of our favorite Lexington, KY New Year's Eve events, and you're sure even more action as soon as you arrive in town. Now, let's start planning that party itinerary!

Lexington Comes Alive on New Year's Eve

Lexington, KY offers a New Year's Eve celebration to suit every taste, and every year adds something new to the slate. The halls are still decked for the holidays, but make no mistake. The New Year's Eve champagne is on ice, and the boughs of holly will soon move aside to make room for clouds of confetti.

  1. Last year's New Year's Eve concert at the Lexington Opera House was such a hit that the event will now be an annual tradition. This year, you'll get the chance to enjoy Take Five on New Year's Eve with the Brubeck Brother's Jazz Quartet. The show starts at 7:30 pm, with dinner to follow.
  2. Travel back to the time of Prohibition, when the real New Year's Eve parties were held in secret locations called speakeasies. Parlay Social, a modern bar decorated like an old-time speakeasy, always has something special to offer on New Year's Eve.
  3. Looking for a little musical variety for this year's celebration? Stop by the Manchester Music Hall for rotating live bands, signature cocktails, and of course a New Year's toast to tie it all together.
  4. Take a trip to the Roaring Twenties with this year's Countdown for a Cause hosted by Awesome Inc. There will be great food, drinks, and plenty of dancing, and all proceeds go to The Joy Project charity.
  5. Indulge your Renaissance side with the first annual New Year's Eve Masquerade Ball, spread over three popular venues. Ever want to experience a party in the time of Romeo and Juliet? Now's your chance.
  6. New Year's Eve isn't just a time for adults to cut loose. The kids love to celebrate, too! Bring the whole family to Champ's for a night of roller skating, laser tag, mini-golf, and great giveaways.
  7. If you're in the mood to celebrate with gourmet dining, there's still time to reserve your place at the Holly Hill Inn New Year's Dinner. The venue is a long-time favorite of locals and visitors alike.

Contact Sallie Davidson Realtors
We've covered some of the big events, but there's something new waiting around every corner in Lexington on New Year's Eve. You never know what you'll find, but that's part of the fun! Lexington truly comes alive on New Year's Eve, and the team at Sallie Davidson REALTORS® is here to help you make the most of it.

December
16

Buying a Home Neighborhood Safety

Smart Tips on Evaluating Neighborhood Safety

When you're moving to a new neighborhood, you're choosing more than just a new home. It's easy to look up things to do, places to eat, school districts, and local government, but what about the safety of your new neighborhood? We all want to feel safe and secure in our homes, so it's important to know where to turn for accurate, relevant safety information.


Today, we're going to take a closer look at how to evaluate the safety of any neighborhood that you are considering. While crime rate statistics are an important part of the equation, they only tell part of the safety story.


We'll cover online research options in the next section, but first it's important to know what you should watch for when visiting a neighborhood in person. You can also learn plenty about your new neighborhood by picking up the phone and talking to the right people.

  • Most home visits happen during the day, so you're really just getting a partial picture of what the neighborhood is like. If a neighborhood catches your eye, come back and visit the area at night. Most neighborhoods have a different – though not necessarily less safe – feel when the sun goes down.
  • If you're concerned about crime, try making a call to the local police station. Some stations will be more accommodating than others, but most will be willing to provide at least some information on the area. You might also find useful information by contacting local neighborhood watch organizations.
  • Getting to know your potential new neighbors is always a good idea, and asking around can reveal useful safety information about the area. Remember that everyone views safety differently, so it's better to rely on group trends than one individual opinion. This is another area where neighborhood watch, and the residents involved, can help.
  • In general, a strong neighborhood watch organization is a strong indicator of a tight-knit community. Safety is a group effort, and it's important to have the support of your neighbors.

Buying a Home Online Research

Putting Technology to Work to Evaluate Neighborhood Safety

Hands-on research is great, but there are limits on what you can learn by speaking with local residents. To get a complete picture of an area's safety, you'll also want to take a look at the resources available to you online. There are plenty of great tools to simplify your safety search.

  • NeighborhoodScout is a great quick-reference source, with detailed information on communities throughout the United States. In addition to crime rates, you can learn about demographics, common industries in the area, and other popular neighborhoods nearby.
  • SpotCrime is a very useful source for researching neighborhood safety. It allows you to search by address, and provides a report of recent crimes in the area. This tool is best for learning about neighborhoods in cities, but still provides useful data for smaller towns.
  • Sex Offender Registries are available for every state, backed by the US Department of Justice. State registries allow you to look up the identity and location of sex offenders in any neighborhood you're considering.

Contact Sallie Davidson Realtors

Of course, your real estate agent should also be an important source for inside information on the neighborhoods you're scouting. Contact the team at Sallie Davidson REALTORS® to learn more about neighborhoods in Kentucky, and shop for homes in the London, KY area.

December
10

Check your fireplace before you light the yuletide log

Fireplace Safety Tips

You've made your list and checked it twice, mailed your Christmas cards, and even finished your shopping.  Before you light the yuletide log, make sure you know how to do it safely.  According to one report, 14,000 house fires per year start in fireplaces.  Have you done all needed fireplace maintenance to keep your family and home safe this holiday season?

Care for your fireplace with these ten tips so Santa makes it down your chimney with ease:

  1. Hire a certified professional.  Have your fireplace and wood stove inspected and cleaned by a certified chimney professional at least once per year or after approximately 80 fires.  Ask them to show you how to check the fireplace and chimney yourself as well.

  2. Keep the area clear. Keep a nonflammable rug in front of the fireplace so that sparks do not melt or otherwise damage your carpeting.  Keep the area around your fireplace hearth free of debris and other flammable materials.

  3. Use smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors.  The American Society of Home Inspectors recommends using photoelectric smoke detectors over ionization smoke detectors. Photoelectric models can detect slow, smoldering fires.  Ionization models are better at detecting larger fires. The National Fire Protection Association recommends using one of each so you are better protected. Also using a carbon monoxide detector near your fireplace helps alert you to CO that might leak back into your home through vents.

  4. Use a fireplace screen.  Always use a fireplace screen to protect people, pets, carpeting, and furniture from sparks and flying ash.

  5. Always use fireplace tools to handle burning logs. Never use your hands.

  6. Smart with a smaller fire.  Start using your fireplace with just a few logs of seasoned hardwoods like oak, hickory and ash that burns cleaner than softwoods like fir, pine or cedar. 

  7. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby and in good working order.

  8. Never start a fire using flammable liquids or burn cardboard boxes, trash, or debris in your fireplace.

  9. Never leave a fire unattended—especially if there are children in the house.  Make sure to extinguish a fire before leaving the house or going to bed.

  10. Dispose of ashes correctly.  Never use a vacuum to clean up ashes, because live coals may remain in those ashes. Soak hot ashes in water and empty them into a metal container with a lid outside of your home.

Keeping Family Safe at Fireplace

The Christmas season is normally reserved for fond, family memories.  Part of enjoying the Christmas season begins with knowing your family and your home are safe.  For a good portion of the year, fireplaces remain unused so it is easy to forget basic, safety tips.  Share this blog with your family and friends so everyone's holiday can be merry and bright.

Contact Sallie Davidson Realtors

Contact us at Sallie Davidson REALTORS® when you're ready to begin your search for a home in 2016. 

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