Category Archives: Uncategorized

Fireplace Safety & Maintenance

Thanks to the arctic blast that made its way into our area last night it feels like the winter cold has officially arrived. When outside temps are low, there is nothing better than cozying up by the fireplace. A fire’s warmth and ambiance is alluring, but it is important to not overlook the potential dangers of your fireplace. Now that the heating season has begun, let’s review some fireplace safety and maintenance tips.
Fireplace Safety

  • Ensure your fireplace is clean and working property. It is a good idea to have your fireplace inspected and cleaned annually to avoid the threat of chimney fires.
  • Clean around your fireplace and remove any items that are too close to the fire’s heat. Keeping a nonflammable rug in front of the fireplace is also a good idea. These can be purchased at fireplace-supply stores and can keep sparks from damaging your carpeting.
  • When lighting a fire, only burn wood and be sure to place logs near the back of the fireplace, preferably on a grate. Overloading the fireplace with too many logs should also be avoided.
  • Keep the glass doors open while the fire is burning. This will allow air to filter up to cool the chimney. With the glass doors open, pull the screen closed to avoid sparks from jumping out and onto your carpet or flooring.
  • The glass on gas fireplaces will become extremely hot during when a fire is burning. Be sure to keep children and pets supervised and at least 3 feet away from the fireplace to keep them from touching the glass.
  • Be sure a well-maintained fire extinguisher is always easily accessible and test your smoke detectors regularly. Pay attention to manufacturing notes on your extinguisher to be sure to understand how to operate and maintain it, as well as when replacement is recommended.
  • Wait at least three days before removing the ashes from your fireplace. This is how long coals can potentially remain hot enough to start a fire and should only be removed when they are cool enough. However, do not let ashes build up, so clean the firebox at least once a week during the months you are using it.
  • Most importantly, never leave a fire unattended. Always be sure an adult is home at all times when a fire is burning and keep children and pets a safe distance away from the fireplace and the fireplace tools.

Coming Soon: A Brand New Semonin.com!

Later this month, visitors to www.semonin.com will get to experience an entirely new website. The new platform that Semonin.com will be operating on will have a whole new look and feel, new innovative tools, and unique capabilities that will take online home buying and selling to a whole new level of ease and efficiency. Semonin has always been a company that is proud to keep up with our ever-changing world, and our new Semonin.com will provide you with the technology and resources you want and the power and accuracy you need in a dynamic and rapidly changing real estate environment. The new website will feature unique tools, including a custom Market Watch and Property Watch, convenient informational videos, cutting edge search capabilities, and much more! At Semonin, we not only strive to give you the guidance and information you need to succeed in your real estate endeavors, but we work to exceed your expectations along the way. The launch of the new and improved Semonin.com will be an exciting change for the Kentuckiana real estate market.The New Semonin.com

 

An Addition to Semonin Realtors Charitable Giving Campaign: The Parklands

Semonin Realtors® is proud to announce that we are beginning to support The Parklands (21st Century Parks) as a corporate sponsor. For over 10 years, Semonin’s charitable contributions have been dedicated to benefit Habitat for Humanity, United Way, and Fund for the Arts, and we are thrilled to now add the Parklands to our mix! Louisville is a city known for its outstanding park system. Rooted in the city’s century-old legacy designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, the approach of 21st Century Parks, as stated on their website, “reflects a passion for Louisville’s parks that includes a respect for both people and nature, an insistence on publicly-accessible lands, and a belief in accountable management”. This project of Louisville’s parklands is one that will connect people with each other and with nature, bringing back a world of exploration and excitement, and a renewed appreciation of community and the great outdoors. Semonin Realtors® could not be more excited to support such a great and unique project, one that will surely make our city stand out from others and attract residents and visitors from all over.

For more information about 21st Century Parks, visit their website at www.21cparks.org.

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What Is In My Credit Score?

It is common knowledge that your credit score is important, but many people are unclear on exactly how their score is calculated. Your credit report is made up of many different pieces of credit data. All of these pieces can be group into five main categories—but these five slices of the credit score pie are not all equal. Some components influence your score more than others. Here is a pie chart to break it down:

Your Credit Score consists of:Credit Score

As you can see, the largest contribution to your credit score is your payment history. The first thing any lender wants to look at is your past credit cards and loan accounts to see if payments were made on time.

The second largest factor is the amount of money you owe. Using credit cards can help you build credit, however, it is important to keep balances low. Having a couple of credit cards that all have low balances is better for your credit score than having one credit card that is maxed out or multiple that are near their credit limits. Lenders want to know how you utilize your credit, and borrowers that keep their balances low are considered to be smart and responsible borrowers.

The rest of your credit score is influenced by the length of your credit history, the types of credit you use, and new credit. The longer your credit history, the better it is for your score. This factor contributes to about 15% of your credit score. When someone has an older account that they no longer use, the first thing people assume is the right choice is to close it. However, this older account can be a good reflection on your credit. Your credit mix accounts for 10% of your credit score. Lenders like to see a mix of different types of credit (credit cards, mortgages, etc.) because it signifies that the borrower can handle all sorts of credit. Lastly, new credit contributes to 10% of your credit score. Opening two many accounts in a short amount of time could harm your credit score because it could suggest to lenders that you are facing financial trouble.

The importance of each category may vary for certain people, but these percentages give a good indication of the level of influence each has of your overall score.

Bowling to Build 2014

The Semonin Realtors® all-company event held yesterday, August 20th, at Kingpin Lanes was nothing less than a huge success and a whole lot of fun! From 10a.m. to 2p.m., Semonin staff, agents, families, and clients put their bowling shoes on and enjoyed a great afternoon of fun, food, and strikes! Funds raised by bowlers, raffle tickets, and a bake sale exceeded $2,500 for Habitat for Humanity.

We had over 90 participates and gave away over 60 raffle prizes. We would like to thank everyone who helped us make this great event a success, with a special shout out to King Pin Lanes and their wonderful staff and to 2-10 warranty for sponsoring this event and allowing us to give 100% of all the proceeds to Habitat for Humanity. We can’t wait to start building our 17th Habitat home next month!!

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To view the full photo album visit our Facebook Page!

Buying in a Bidding War: Give Your Offer a Personal Touch

Couple writing a letterIn low-inventory market the number of home shoppers exceeds the number of homes on the market. As a result, a number of properties are receiving multiple offers and homebuyers are finding themselves in a bidding war. In this kind of situation the strongest offer usually wins. To make an offer stronger and more appealing to a seller, the obvious answer would be to simply offer more money and ask for less in return, such as closing costs or allowances for appliances or repairs. Unfortunately, as the buyer, you will only know that there are multiple offers on the table, but you will not know exactly what those offers are. If you have already offered everything you can to best match or exceed the seller’s requests, there is another technique you, as the buyer, can use to appeal to the sellers.

In a multiple-offer situation, many real estate agents will advise their clients to strengthen their offer with a little personal touch by including a letter addressed to the sellers explaining how much they love the property and why they should be the ones chosen to buy it. The personal value this kind of letter can add will make your offer stand out from the others.

Selling a property can be a very emotional process for many sellers. Whatever their reason for selling, they are still having to let go of the home they have built and the memories they have created there. Including a personal letter in your offer is a way to express to the sellers that they will be leaving the house to someone who wishes to create the same kind of memories for themselves, that they have valued so much. The bottom line, the sellers are not just selling a house, they are selling their home. Respect this feeling in your letter by expressing to the sellers how you would be purchasing more than just any other house; you would be purchasing the home where you want to begin the next chapter of your life.

Including a personal letter is not a guaranteed strategy. Sometimes other buyers will simply out bid you. However, the additional value a letter brings can be extremely powerful. You may find that even if another buyer offered a little bit more money, or asked the seller for a little bit less, this personal touch can win over the hearts of the sellers, leading them to consider you as the most deserving new owner.

Poll: What’s Important to You?

People choose the home they buy for all kinds of different reasons. Some consider space to be their top priority; some would rather give up square footage to have a home with more high-end finishes or architectural detail. We would like to know what is most important to you in a home!

The 61st Semonin Realtors Winner’s Circle $10,000 Drawing

After winning the last $10,000 drawing, Phil Miller, of Semonin Realtors, never thought he would win it AGAIN at the very next event! But that is exactly what happened at the 61st Semonin Realtors Winner’s Circle drawing, held July 15, 2014. Thirty agents from around the area were entered into the drawing after selling a property registered in the Semonin Realtors Winner’s Circle program. Phil won the grand $10,000 prize, plus a $500 bonus for being both the listing and selling agent on the property drawn as the winning entry.Phil and Tim with Check

Celebrate this Independence Day in Louisville!

For many, 4th of July weekend is always a highlight of the summer. Some leave town, some stay at home to light sparklers with the kids. Whatever you do, it is a holiday worth celebrating! For those of you who have yet to make plans, there are tons of things going on around town! Click here for a couple of events taking place in the Louisville area this holiday weekend.  4th of July Weekend

Louisville Market Snapshot: Months of Inventory

Months of Inventory as of June 15, 2014

What is Months of Inventory? This term considers the amount of inventory currently on the market and the recent demand shown by buyers. As you can see from the graph in the image, the months of inventory in the Louisville market is currently around 5.3. This means if no more inventory were to come of the market, it would take approximately 5.3 months for buyers to purchase everything that is currently listed. This number indicates that we are in a seller’s market right now. Often in this kind of market, seller’s experience multiple offers and sell their homes in less time and for more money. If you have been thinking about selling, now is the time to get your house listed!

Greater Louisville Months of Inventory 6-15-14

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