Buying a New Home

Deciding on Your Perfect Home with Your Spouse or Partner in a Hot Market

a couple looking at a house to buy

Getting On The Same Page

With the real estate boom creating a high demand for homes, it's important to know precisely what you want so you can jump on the right opportunity. Couples who iron out their home preference differences early in the game often fare better in a low-inventory housing situation. Most people don't think about home-buying compatibility when falling in love. Fortunately, defining your perfect home with your spouse or partner isn't too complicated. Even if one person dreams of a low-maintenance small yard and the other yearns for an acre, it's possible to get on the same page.

Of course, the first step is to decide to own instead of rent. SmartAsset named the top 10 metro areas where renting is not as attractive as owning. Louisville, Kentucky took second place as one of the best areas to own a home. Researchers with the financial technology company point out the average monthly mortgage in Louisville, KY, is less than average rental costs.

Owning a home versus renting has other serious advantages beyond the financial side. In addition to building wealth through equity, homeowners have more freedom to decorate and no landlords raising the rent or placing restrictions. After choosing to buy a home as a couple, it's time to negotiate, compromise and create a shared vision. While on the house hunt, make separate notes about favorite aspects of the homes to discuss at a later point.

Deciding on a price range

Figuring out a budget is not a completely subjective decision. Most couples rely on a mortgage lender to afford a home. A lender will pull credit reports and look at the debt-to-income ratio to...

7 Tips for Finding the Perfect Home for You and Your Pets

A growing number of Americans are considering the needs of their pets as they search for a new home. In particular, younger homebuyers are increasingly searching for a house where their pets will feel at home. A recent survey of millennials conducted by SunTrust Mortgage showed that one-third of millennials were motivated in part to purchase a house because they wanted more space for their dogs. Regardless of your life stage, your pet's safety and comfort is likely a top priority. Below are seven tips to help you find the perfect home for you and your four-legged family members. 

1) Seek a home with a fenced yard.

A home with a fenced yard offers a variety of advantages to home buyers. In addition to offering privacy, a fenced yard helps keep your pets safe and out of the path of traffic. Fences also prevent wild animals from harming your dog or cat. As you compare homes with fenced yards, remember not all fences are created equal. A fence that is only four feet high will offer scant protection if you have a large dog such as a Labrador, a German Shepherd, or a Golden Retriever that could easily jump over a short fence. 

A fenced yard helps keep your pets safe and out of the path of traffic.

2) Consider a home with hardwood floors.

In addition to bolstering a home's resale value, hardwood floors are easier to keep clean than carpet. Homes with hardwood or linoleum flooring are especially advantageous for people who have pets with long hair or pets that are prone to shedding. Floors with a smooth surface...

Shopping for a Louisville area home with pet friendly features

Recently I had the opportunity to work with a couple who had very specific needs for their family.  This family included not just their children, but their pets as well.  I'm sure it will come as no surprise to those of you who have pets, but the needs of our pets weigh fairly heavily on our home buying decision.  Some of the more common requests I get are things like the obvious... a fenced in yard.  Having a fenced in yard lets your pet have free roam of the backyard while also reducing your liability of an unfortunate interaction with the pet and someone else.  It also protects the pet from wandering off into the road and roaming too far away from the house.

Dog looking through fence window.I've also gotten requests for screened in porches so cats can be outdoor, but NOT outdoor.  Outside of screened in porches and fences, the most common modification I see for homes with pets are "doggie doors" or pet doors since some cats do use them.  When I asked a few friends on Facebook for some other criteria that they used when buying their home I was surprised to hear that having carpet on the steps was something important to them.  After thinking about it, it totally makes sense!  But not something I would have thought about.  Have you seen the "Pet Peeks" that are basically windows in fences so the pets can see out?   There is one in an adjacent neighborhood that I walk by all the time and again, something that makes a lot of sense, but I wouldn't have thought of.

A common request for people with children is that one of the bathrooms have a tub, not...