Category Archives: Uncategorized

Semonin Realtors Raises Funds to Raise the Roof

A Look at the 2014 Semonin Realtors® Dessert Auction

Over the years, Semonin Realtors® has proudly sponsored the build of 16 Habitat for Humanity homes. Throughout the year a number of events are held to help raise funds to “raise the roof” on the 17th Semonin sponsored Habitat house. The annual Dessert Auction has proved to be a favorite among the Semonin family. This year’s event held Wednesday, April 16th, raised more than $11,500 for Habitat for Humanity!

Dozens of creative cakes and delicious desserts were donated by friends and family, as well as a number of local bakeries.

An exciting live auction is the day’s main attraction, but funds were also raised through an afternoon bake sale and raffle drawing. Here are a few photos from the day’s festivities. 

"Bunny Butt Cupcakes"

Easter Bunny Cake

Semonin Realtors Dessert Auction

Semonin Realtors Dessert Auction

Semonin Realtors Dessert Auction

Semonin Realtors Dessert Auction

Peacock Cake

Derby Cake

Strawberries and Creme

Peep Tree

Easter Cake

Bake Sale


The Big Four Bridge Opening in Indiana

The Big Four Bridge, which has been a popular attraction for Louisville residents since it opened on February 7, 2013, will finally be accessible from the Indiana side. After several extensive delays, the much anticipated completion is confirmed for April 30, 2014, the same day of the Kentucky Derby Festival’s Great Steamboat Race.

The Big Four Bridge connects Louisville, Kentucky with Jeffersonville, Indiana allowing pedestrians and bicyclists to easily enjoy the attractions on both sides of the Ohio River. The opening of the Jeffersonville ramp will give Louisville residents the ability to stroll across the river to enjoy the many great shops and restaurants Historic Downtown Jeffersonville has to offer. On the flip side, those from the Southern Indiana side will be able to easily enjoy Louisville’s esteemed Waterfront Park and many downtown attractions without the hassle of automobile traffic and finding a place to park their car. This recreational bridge is hoped to promote exercise and a larger sense of community among the area’s residents and tourists.

The Big Four Bridge

Photo Credit: Insider Louisville

How Do Buyers Search for Homes?

The real estate world has changed drastically since the good old days when searching for homes meant picking up the newspaper and diligently scanning through all the cramped text and tiny photos. Everyone has turned to the Internet for everyday tasks, including searching for homes.

How many buyers use each tool to search for homes (in percentage) Online Website: 89% Real Estate Agent: 89 Yard Sign: 51  Open House: 45 Mobile/tablet website or application: 45           Mobile/tablet search engine:  42           Online video site: 27 Print newspaper advertising:  5 Home Builder: 5 Home book or magazine: 5 Billboard: 5 Television: 4 Relocation Company: 3 Information Sources Used in Home Search From the National Association of Realtors  Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers - 2013

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, in 2013, 92% of homebuyers used the Internet to search for homes, and 43% actually found the home they purchased on the Web. These numbers have continued to rise year after year. As a seller, the more buyers you reach, the better chance you have of getting an offer. How do you reach more buyers? Easy; market your home with the tools buyers are using to shop, or in other words, put your listing where they will see it.

The chart to the right displays which tools buyers use most often to search for homes. Primarily focusing on the most popular, you should use a combination of these sources to reach a good amount of buyers. If you are using a real estate agent to list your home, ask questions about marketing tools: What websites will your listing be on? Is their website compatible for smart phones and tablets? How many open houses will you have? What kinds of tools will be used to specifically reach other real estate agents? All of these are valid questions to be asked and could influence your decision of which agent you should use.  

A knowledgeable seller, is a successful seller. Information like this will help you feel confident and informed through the difficult process of selling a home.

Remodeling Costs & Resale Value

Remodeling projects are a great way to add value to your home, but not all projects produce the same return. If you are looking to add value to your home, it is important to know how much certain jobs cost and how much of that money you will get back when you sell the property. Remodeling Magazine recently came out with the 2014 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report which provides estimates for national averages and for local areas such as the Greater Louisville region. Below are some remodel projects with their average cost and value recouped in our local area. Our averages are generally at or above the national percentage of cost recouped.

Project: Attic Bedroom; Job Cost: $47,725; Resale Value: $32,968; % Recouped: 69.10% Project: Basement Remodel; Job Cost: $59,830; Resale Value: $38,218; % Recouped: 63.90% Project: Bathroom Remodel; Job Cost: $15,444; Resale Value: $8,479; % Recouped: 54.90% Project: Family Room Addition; Job Cost: $76,667; Resale Value: $45,600; % Recouped: 59.50% Project: Garage Addition; Job Cost: $48,619; Resale Value: $27,496; % Recouped: 56.60% Project: Garage Door Replacement; Job Cost: $1,468; Resale Value: $1,054; % Recouped: 72.00% Project: Major Kitchen Remodel; Job Cost: $52,836; Resale Value: $36,762; % Recouped: 69.60% Project: Minor Kitchen Remodel; Job Cost: $18,211; Resale Value: $13,625; % Recouped: 74.80% Project: Master Suite Addition; Job Cost: $99,369; Resale Value: $60,196; % Recouped: 61.00% Project: Home Office Remodel; Job Cost: $26,923; Resale Value: $8,582; % Recouped: 31.90% Project: Roofing Replacement; Job Cost: $16,591; Resale Value: $9,112; % Recouped: 54.90% 

Louisville Rankings & Recognition (Infographic)

Best of Louisville Infographic

Semonin Realtors® Names New Managing Broker of New Albany Sales Office

White, Sara 12-13
Sara White, new managing broker of the Semonin Realtor® New Albany Office

Louisville, KY (January 31, 2014)Semonin Realtors®, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, has announced the appointment of Sara White as the managing broker of the Semonin Realtors® New Albany Office in Southern Indiana, effective January 2, 2014. White is responsible for managing the New Albany office and contributing to the efforts of the Southern Indiana Realtors® Association (SIRA). She will coach, mentor, and overlook the performance of approximately 40 agents, as well as actively recruit new sales associates.

Prior to her work in real estate, White graduated from Wake Forest University where she was a women’s basketball scholarship student-athlete. Her work history consists of a number of leadership roles that demonstrate her ability to manage and mentor. From 1993 to 1997, White worked as the assistant coach for the University of Louisville Women’s Basketball team and then as the co-head coach from 1997 to 2000. She expanded her management skills by taking the position as the Director of Basketball Operations at the University of Louisville until 2002, and then as an Associate Athletics Communications Director at Purdue University from 2006 to 2013.

White first joined the Semonin team as a sales associate in 2002 and was awarded as a Multi-Million Dollar Producer in 2004 and 2005. As a graduate of the Semonin Leadership Program and the Floyd Wickman Real Estate Sales Program, White is considered a highly qualified leader who has exemplified extraordinary passion for the real estate industry.

“It was not going to be easy to find a successor for Billie Dahl,” said Brad DeVries, President and CEO of Semonin Realtors®. “But when the opportunity came to bring Sara White back into the Semonin family after having left the area a few years ago, we jumped at the chance! Sara is a natural leader, a very gifted communicator, an extremely caring person, and a real competitor! Those qualities, along with her proven success in the industry, will be a great benefit for Semonin Realtors and our team in the southern Indiana market!”

“It is a pleasure to be back with Semonin Realtors and an honor to serve as the sales manager of the New Albany office,” White said. “My Southern Indiana roots run deep, as a native of Clarksville with family in the area for generations. I have such respect for the honesty and integrity, commitment to service, leadership and education that is the foundation of Semonin and feel fortunate to have such a great team of Realtors to work with. I’m excited for the future of this office and appreciative to Brad DeVries, Stan White and the entire Semonin leadership team for this opportunity.”

About Semonin Realtors®

Semonin Realtors® is a wholly owned subsidiary of HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, is the leading real estate company in Kentucky and Southern Indiana. Founded in 1915, Semonin Realtors® now operates with over 500 agents, 50 staff members, and three locations serving Greater Louisville, Elizabethtown, and Southern Indiana.

Neighborhood Spotlight: Anchorage

Nestled under a canopy of mature oak and magnolia trees and the blossoms of dogwoods is the pristine and reputable city of Anchorage, Kentucky located in northeastern Jefferson County. Tucked away in a quiet and serene setting, residents and visitors of the Anchorage community almost forget they are within minutes of Louisville’s most hustling and bustling urban areas.

Only three square miles in size, the city of Anchorage is bursting at the seams with character. The history and charm of the neighborhood has made it a reputable and desirable location for many Louisville residents.  Circled around the quaint, old-fashioned city center is an equal blend of historic estates, wealthy mansions, and cozy cottages. The homes in this community look as if they were plucked out of the pages of a magazine—real estate so renowned people often just drive around the neighborhood in admiration.

Also being known for its outstanding schools, exceptional city services, beautiful parks and hiking trails, and unique, upscale restaurants, Anchorage has been and continues to be one of the most preferable and wealthiest neighborhoods in the Louisville area.

Click here to view homes for sale in Anchorage, KY.

Preparing for a New MLS

A MLS (Multiple Listing Service or Multiple Listing System) is a database used by real estate brokers and licensed real estate agents to search and gather information about all homes listed for sale by other broker participants. Sale history of properties is also stored in the MLS and can be used to compile data and market statistics. MLS developers are constantly coming up with new resources such as interactive maps, prospect and portal tools, customizable saved searches, and much more.

The Greater Louisville Association of Realtors (GLAR) made the decision to switch systems, a change that will take effect Monday, January 20th. As of Monday, the system agents have used in the Greater Louisville region for years, known as List-It, will be static information. All updates and new listings will be posted to the new site, FlexMLS.

FlexMLS will provide real estate professionals in the area a variety of new and innovative tools that can enhance the way business is done. Since the MLS is a primary resource for real estate agents—one that is used on a daily basis by most—it is essential these professionals understand how to operate and navigate the site.

At Semonin Realtors®, we have been spending the past couple of weeks preparing for this change and have performed a number of training classes offered exclusively for Semonin agents. The Marketology department at Semonin has also put together a 100-page manual agents can use as a reference guide to help them through this transition. We have gotten raving reviews from a number of agents who have already attended one of these classes, which we will continue to hold throughout the coming weeks. Here are a few photos of some of the training courses:

Semonin Realtors

Semonin Realtors


Semonin Realtors

The 2014 Home Improvement Expo

Home remodeling and renovationWith every new year comes new ideas and fresh motivation for change or accomplishment. This is the time to take a look at the things on your do-to list that you still haven’t gotten around to do, especially things around the house. If you are a homeowner looking to remodel or simply update your home, make plans to attend the Home Improvement Expo this weekend, January 10 – 12, 2014.

This Friday, Saturday, and Sunday homeowners from all over will come together at the Kentucky International Convention Center to visit with the most knowledgeable and experienced remodeling and building professionals. These experts will showcase the latest innovations and design trends for everything in the home from the smallest of details to the most expansive renovations. The home show will include things in all aspects of the home, inside and out, such as:

Home Improvement Expo

    • Countertops
    • Cabinetry
    • Home automation technology
    • Basement finishing
    • Sunrooms & Additions
    • Windows, doors, and roofs
    • Landscaping
    • Waterproofing & Insulation

…and MUCH more!!

Whether you are in the beginning stages of just considering, or simply wishing for, change around your home, or you have already started some remodeling projects the Home Improvement Expo is the perfect place to find inspiration and learn what it will take to bring your ideas to life.

Tickets to the show are $5 for adults, and admission for children under 18 is free. For more information, directions, and hours click here to visit the official home show website.

The 2014 Housing Market

It is always hard to predict the future in real estate, as you can never be absolutely sure what the housing market will do. However, based on past activity and current trends there are a few things believed to happen during 2014:

Interest Rates Will Rise

Throughout the year of 2013 we saw interest rates rise steadily. During the first quarter of the year, rates hovered around 3%, but as we closed out 2013 rates were just under 5%. It is believed that this trend will only continue on its upward slope throughout 2014, and interest rates on mortgage loans will begin to approach the mid-5% to 6% range.

Home Sales Will Increase

The numbers have shown the strength of the housing market is only getting better. More people are becoming increasingly optimistic about buying a home. Furthermore, Generation Y—the largest generation since the Baby Boomers—is moving into the “ready stage” when it comes to making an investment in real estate. With interest rates rising at a steady rate, many people are looking to buy sooner rather than later.

Demand Will Exceed Supply

The surge of homes sales will likely cause a shortage of inventory, similar, if not worse, to what we saw in 2013. To satisfy the demands of all the home buyers, it is probable that 2014 will bring excellent opportunity for builders and real estate professionals.

Happy New Year

Source: Keeping Current Matters: “KCM’s Housing Predictions for 2014”

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