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What Do Your Readers Want to Know?

Do you write for a blog?

Do you post status updates on Facebook or tweet on Twitter?

Do you know what your readers, friends, and followers want to read about?

Maybe it’s time to ask.  So do this.  Write a letter (blog), post (Facebook), or tweet (Twitter), etc., asking your readers, friends and followers what they want to hear about from you.  Perhaps something like this:


Dear Reader,

If you’ve been reading these blog entries for any period of time, you know we try to consistently bring you up-to-date real estate information.  We give you online polls to cast your vote in, Kentucky and Indiana mortgage rates, real estate statistics for these areas, and timely real estate articles.  But, Dear Reader, is that enough?  What is it you want from the Semonin Real Estate Blog?  What information can we deliver to keep you coming back for more?


The Semonin Real Estate Blog

How the Serenity Prayer Applies to Real Estate

You may be wary of either buying or selling a home in today’s market. You may feel powerless to the process. How could YOU possibly know whether the current good news about housing will continue? There is no doubt that today’s real estate market is extremely difficult to navigate. However, we want you to know that thousands of homes sold yesterday, thousands will sell today and thousands will sell each and every day from now until the end of the year.

It is totally within your power to decide whether it is the right time for you and your family to move. Even in the current market.

“How?” Let’s look at the simplicity of the famous Serenity Prayer and apply it to selling a home in today’s real estate market.

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”

Accept the things you cannot change


The two main concerns many talk about when discussing the housing market are:

  1. the current economy
  2. the election later this year

As an individual, there is very little you can do to impact either of those two situations (outside of voting on Election Day). The best think-tanks in the country are struggling to discover what impact each of these items have on real estate.

Have the courage to change the things you can

If you are a seller, there are plenty of buyers in the market for a home they consider priced correctly. You have to decide what the correct price is for your home if you truly want to sell. If you want your house sold, you must list it at a price a buyer will pay for it. Not a buyer from 2006 but today’s buyer who has plenty of homes from which to choose. It will take courage to sit with a real estate professional and honestly decipher the true value of your home. If you want to sell, you must have that courage.

If you are a buyer, and you believe now is the right time for your family to purchase a home – DO IT! Prices are back to pre-bubble prices and interest rates are at historic lows. That means that your monthly housing expense will be lower than any time in the last 50 years – and probably lower than your current rent payment.

The wisdom to know the difference

We all realize that the economic situation will take some time to correct. The question is whether or not it makes sense to delay moving on with your life until everything gets ‘better’. Should you not sell your home and delay reconnecting with friends and relatives that have all moved to another part of the country? Should you not buy a house and enable your kids to attend the school you have already decided is best for them? Should you spend another winter up north even though your doctor recommends you move to a climate better suited to your current medical situation?

This is where your wisdom must kick in. You already know the answers to the questions we just asked. You have the power to take back control of the situation by moving forward. The time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire. That is what is truly important.

Harmful Effects from Changing the Listing Price?

by Ken H. Johnson,

This is a post we originally ran this time last year by Ken H. Johnson, Ph.D. — Florida International University (FIU) and Editor of the Journal of Housing Research as our guest blogger. To view other research from FIU, visit – The KCM Crew

The Research 

Are there any negative effects from changing the listing price of a property?  This question haunts Brokers/Agents as well as sellers of property every day.  At present, there does not seem to be a consensus answer to this question within the professional real estate community.  Fortunately, this question was scientifically investigated by John R. Knight. Unfortunately, few know the results of Professor Knight’s research.

In Knight, the impact of changing a property’s listing price is investigated.  Additionally, the types of property that are most likely to experience a price change are also estimated.  The findings from this research indicate that, on average, properties which experience a listing price change take longer to sell and suffer a price discount greater than similar properties.  Furthermore, bigger price changes are found to experience even longer marketing times and greater price discounts.  Finally, as for which properties are most likely to experience a price change, Knight finds that the greater the initial markup; the higher the likelihood that any given property will experience a listing price change. 

Implications for Practice

Sellers as well as Brokers/Agents should therefore be aware of the critical necessity of getting the price correct from the start.  Sellers wanting to over list will ultimately take longer to sell and will sell their property for less, on average, according to Knight.  Brokers/Agents’ desire to take a listing and get the price right later will ultimately lead to their working harder according to Knight, and they are not doing their sellers any favors.  Thus, an initial and detailed analysis of the proper price is much more critical than many originally thought.  

Interestingly, I have found in my own research that the direction (up or down) of the listing price change does not matter.  A listing price increase and decrease both lead to similar results found in Knight’s work – longer marketing times and lower prices.  Therefore, get the price right from the beginning.  It is best for all.


[1] Knight, John, R.  (2002).  Listing Price, Time on Market, and Ultimate Selling Price: Causes and Effects of Listing Price Changes.  Real Estate Economics.  30:2, 213-237.

Regional Market Snapshot for January 22, 2012

You can find great local real estate information right here.  By reading this week’s regional market snapshot, you will see that there is a total of 10,874 homes for sale in the Greater Louisville real estate market, Southern Indiana real estate market, and the Elizabethtown real estate market.

The average list price of homes in these areas, including Shepherdsville real estate, Charlestown Indiana homes for sale, and Prospect real estate ranges from just over $157,000 to under $217,000.

In these two Kentucky real estate markets and the Southern Indiana real estate market, a total of 771 homes were sold in the past month.

Click on the image below for more real estate statistics in the area.

Regional Market Snapshot for December 25, 2011

Let’s compare last year to this year.

• Last year we had snow on Christmas Eve.  This year we didn’t.

• Last year, one of the top Christmas gifts was a Nintendo Wii.  This year, it was the XBox with Kinect.

• Last year, there were 12,700 active residential listings on the market.  This year, there were 11,237 active residential listings on the market.

There are lots more comparisons you can make between real estate last year and this year.  Click here, or on the image above to see Greater Louisville area real estate, Southern Indiana real estate, and Etown/Ft. Knox real estate statistics from this past weekend.  Click here to take a trip back to last year’s real estate statistics from December 26, 2010.

Regional Market Snapshot for November 27, 2011

Take a look below for some current statistics for three of our local real estate markets.  You might not believe what you read!

  • Currently, the average list price of homes for sale in Southern Indiana is $163,262.
  • In the last 30 days, 94 homes were sold in the Elizabethtown/Fort Knox area.
  • Homes in the Greater Louisville Kentucky area sold for 95.1% of the list price in the past 12 months.

For even more current statistics, click here or on the graphic to the left.

As always, to search thousands of properties for sale around Oldham County and Jefferson County Kentucky, Southern Indiana, and Elizabethtown, Kentucky, visit


Americans Still Believe in the Value of Homeownership


Last week, Fannie Mae released their National Housing Survey for the third quarter of 2011. They survey the American public on a multitude of questions concerning today’s housing market. Each quarter, we like to pull out some of the findings we deem most interesting. Here they are for the most recent report:

Most Important Reasons to Buy a Home

The study shows that the four major reasons a person buys a home have nothing to do with money. The top four reasons, in order, are:

  • It means having a good place to raise children and provide them with a good education
  • You have a physical structure where you and your family feel safe
  • It allows you to have more space for your family
  • It gives you control of what you do with your living space (renovations and updates)

When we talk about homeownership today, it seems that the financial aspects always jump to the front of the discussion. There is no doubt that families must justify a home purchase from a financial point of view today. However, the reasons they actually buy are the same reasons our parents and grandparents purchased their home – to create a better lifestyle for their families.

The Home as an Investment

Though most people purchase a home for non-financial reasons, everyone realizes there is a money component to homeownership. Here is what they said on this issue:

  • 64% of the general population (and 69% of homeowners) believe that homeownership is a ‘safe’ investment.
  • 55% believe that homeownership has more potential as an investment than any other traditional asset class.
  • 68% think that now is a good time to buy a home

Rent vs. Buy

We are always interested in the difference people see in renting vs. owning.

  • 63% of renters have aspirations to someday own their own home
  • 70% of renters think that owning is superior to renting
  • 96% of homeowners see homeownership as a positive experience (4% see it as a negative experience) while 83% of renters see renting as a positive experience (15% see it as a negative experience)
  • 97% of homeowners live in a single family residence while 53% of renters live in a multi-unit building

Bottom Line

Even in these difficult times, Americans still realize the value of homeownership both from a financial and social standpoint.

This Time We Are Sounding the Alarms

by Steve Harney on October 12, 2011

Occasionally, Steve Harney, our founder and lead content creator, asks us permission to share his personal feelings on a current real estate issue. Today is one of those times. – The KCM Crew

One of the things I often hear from people I meet is that real estate and mortgage professionals should have seen the current housing crisis coming and done something to prevent it. We should have realized that easing lending practices would lead to millions of families buying a home they could never afford. We should have warned our neighbors not to use their homes as ATMs. We should have realized that the economy could never withstand such growth and was about to crash.

Maybe these people are correct. Looking back, perhaps we could have been better stewards of the home buying process. We are committed to not making that same mistake again. Now, if we see a possible challenge in the future, we will speak up. That is what caused the writing of this blog post.


ALARM: Homeownership Percentage Has Dropped Dramatically!!, in an article entitled Housing Bust Worst Since Great Depression reported:

“The analysis by the Census Bureau found the homeownership rate fell to 65.1 percent last year… analysts say the U.S. may never return to its mid-decade housing boom peak in which nearly 70 percent of occupied households were owned by their residents.”

ALARM: People Are Losing Hope in the American Dream

In the same article, Patrick Newport, economist with IHS Global Insight is quoted saying:

“The changes now taking place are mind-boggling: the housing market has completely crashed and attitudes toward housing are shifting from owning to renting. While 10 years ago owning a home was the American Dream, I’m not sure a lot of people still think that way.”

ALARM: The Safety and Well Being of the Family Being Sacrificed

If we look at Fannie Mae’s quarterly National Home Survey, as far back as we can go, the top four reasons for buying a home are the same. The top four reasons people buy a home are:

  1. It means having a good place to raise children and provide them with a good education
  2. To have a physical structure where their family feels safe
  3. It allows for more space for their family
  4. It gives them control over what they do with their living space including renovations and updates.

Are children no longer important? Is safety less of a consideration today? Is the pride of homeownership soon to be forgotten? We must look at the long-range consequences of being a renters’ society.

ALARM: Building Family Wealth Being Threatened

Let’s look at homeownership as an investment. The Federal Reserve does a survey every 3 years. In 1998 the average Homeowner’s net worth exceeded that of renters by 31 times. In 2001 it was 36 times and eventually in 2007 it was all the way up to 46 times that of renters. Now, homeownership isn’t about a guaranteed financial short-term return – the market goes up, down and back up again. We have to be prepared for the long-term and a key component to wealth is homeownership. Even in these toughest of times, the wealth of the homeowner is over 30 times that of renters.

At a time when we are discussing the gap in wealth between the top 1% and the other 99%, how does the less fortunate paying rent to pay off the mortgages of the more fortunate make any sense?

Bottom Line 

Homeownership is important to the American family. If we lose this as a basic concept, what else do we lose? We didn’t realize the consequences when it was too easy to buy a house a few years ago and we are paying a price for that. We will pay an even larger price if we don’t realize the consequences of it being much too difficult for many to own a home today. SOUND THE ALARMS!

Regional Market Snapshot for September 4, 2011

Local real estate (Louisville homes for sale, Southern Indiana homes for sale, Elizabethtown homes for sale, etc.) keeps on keepin’ on.  The last month of real estate is no exception.  Read below for real estate statistics from the last 30 days.  Then click here: to take a look at the past year in real estate, past month in real estate, and current real estate. 

Number of properties sold:

• Greater Louisville area: 853

• Southern Indiana area: 197

• Elizabethtown/Ft. Knox area: 158

Average days properties spent on the market before selling:

• Greater Louisville area: 87 days

• Southern Indiana area: 105 days

• Elizabethtown/Ft. Knox area: 187 days

Average sales price:

• Greater Louisville area: $163,252

• Southern Indiana area: $125,386

• Elizabethtown/Ft. Knox area: $137,883

Now visit to see thousands of local, active listings, get mortgage information, and tons of information about your home buying or selling journey.

Regional Market Snapshot for August 28, 2011

Take a look at the current active inventory statistics for the Greater Louisville area, Southern Indiana area, and Etown/Ft. Knox area. 
You can also download the complete Regional Market Snapshot by clicking below.

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