Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Buying A House On Cash Or Through Bank Financing: Which Way To Go

Now that the real estate market is back in full swing, there is now a growing market for first time home buyers who want to take a bite and become home owners. Being a first time home buyer, there are so many questions to be asked. Even where to start becomes a question when it comes to buying a house and lot. One of the biggest factors in considering which house to buy is the available financial resources you currently have and the amount of money you can put into the monthly mortgages. For some first time home buyers, it can be really hard to secure a housing loan because they do not have collateral they can use to secure a loan or their credit ratings are not up to par yet with the minimum requirements set by local commercial banks. So, with this in mind, they start to shy away from buying a house and lot. For other people, they have already set a good amount of savings in their bank accounts and have made enough sacrifices to buy that first house to call their own. Is it better to buy a house using cold cash or through bank financing?

Buying A House Using Cash 

If you already have a sizeable amount of money saved and ready to splurge on that first house and lot, now would be the best time to check around property listings so that you know current prices of houses for sale in your chosen area. As a good tip, make sure to choose an area that you think you would want to live in and compare houses around that area. See the lowest priced homes and the most expensive ones. When you are able to compare the prices of houses for sale, it will be easier for you to decide how much you actually want to spend. A plus when you buy houses on cash is that most sellers will likely shave off a few thousand dollars from their asking price and everything will be easier to settle. 

Buying A House Using Bank Financing 

This is by far the most common way to buy a house these days because honestly, most people are not willing to part with a lump sum of money right away or they do not have the huge amount in their hands. Do not worry because this is perfectly fine. As a tip, make sure to contact a licensed real estate agent in your chosen area so that they will be able to help you out throughout the whole process.  You will also have all your questions answered thoroughly by them. It would also be best to write down everything on paper about any questions you come up with and even discuss these with the bank representative who will be handling your housing loan application. Be prepared to deal with a ton of paperwork and filing and also to give ample time before your loan gets feedback. 

Buying a house and lot is always a huge purchase; therefore, do not feel let down if some steps may be taking too long or your housing loan takes forever to be approved. Use this time to clear out your house and even set up a garage sale if you are sure that you will be moving out soon. Good luck on your house hunt!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Kim Shortt of TW Shortt Realty - Service Above Self Always

When times do not call for the need to own a house or if one cannot commit themselves to owning a house, renting is always the number one choice for couples and even families. Owning a house during a time full of uncertainty can sometimes be a security ticket or it can be a dream gone wrong. Finding that perfect house used to be so hard before the age of the internet and you would have to go through several ads in the paper to find listings. Nowadays, there are wonderful real estate companies that take the pain out of finding a house and help take away the worry of finding one to temporarily call your own.

This is Kim Shortt of TW Shortt Realty. As the principal broker of property management for TW Shortt Realty, she has been in the business for 11 years.

With a friendly and warm voice, you can tell that she really makes the effort to ensure that her clients will be able to open up to her and share what kind of house they are looking to rent. In TW Shortt Realty, she claims that:

“Business has been pretty good in general; we have a lot of local people renting from us and we have military renting from us as well. It’s pretty steady for this area.”

Being exposed to the real estate business from childhood, her family has been in the business for around 30 years; it is safe to say that real estate knowledge is her forte. Believe it or not, Ms. Kim started out her career in banking for over 8 years before she finally decided that the world of real estate business would be where she would be at home. She can give you BAH rates for a specific year without batting an eye, she confesses that her biggest challenge on a daily basis would be, “trying to find something (house) in a school district that a family would need. Typically, they're looking for a house to rent based on a certain school district.”

When talking about what makes her real estate career a blessing, she proudly says that it would be the internet because “it makes everything so much easier for clients that it's basically a self-service.” Of course that doesn't mean that Ms. Kim will not be there to help potential clients through the entire process.  In fact, she states that if she did not find herself in real estate, she would still want a career in:

“Customer service, helping someone else, maybe the accounting end of finding a property or being able to balance their financial goals…something in the financial world.”

Even as a Realtor, her main focus is property management. TW Shortt Realty gets around 85% of their business from their website, word-of-mouth, Google, previous clients who have rented from their listings and from a military off-post housing network that they are a member of. Having technology on her side, makes it easier for the business to be available for customers with a click of a button at any time.

With deep thought, she says that there are not any major costs aside from small things when it comes to running the business. She also states that “property management” is the number one strength of TW Shortt Realty.

When asked what makes TW Shortt Realty different from other property management businesses in the area, she proudly states,

“It’s our level of commitment to our clients, our technology, and the fact that we have a lot of contacts in the area that we have built up over the years…everything just really runs smoothly when you have a lot of  advocates and people working on your side…you have a good service level.”

Some advice from Ms. Kim Shortt that anyone can use when it comes to starting any business or just in life in general is,

 “To get up every day, be happy about what you are doing, and treat people how you want to be treated.”

Make sure to check out rental properties with TW Shortt Realty if now is not the time to buy a house. To end this article, a quote from a young actress Beth Behrs: 


Friday, August 16, 2013

A Talk With An Outstanding Realtor: Elisa Reed of

Aristotle once said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

In such a short sentence, this is probably what can be summed up about’s Realtor Elisa Reed.

You can tell by the way she speaks that she totally enjoys being her best on a daily basis. Always out and about helping clients with their closings and hunting for the best listings near Fort Knox, KY, we were given a chance to interview Elisa and ask how she is doing what she loves best: helping others find and secure their dream home.

The talk starts with how she has been a Realtor for over six years; of which three years of this is with She states that she was busy as a bank teller while finishing her college degree and by then, she had already three kids and wanted to spend as much time as possible watching them grow up. So, after going through real estate school and getting her license, she found herself in the land of real estate and this she calls her forte. She deals with a lot of first time home buyers and finds happiness when these families, especially military ones, are able to find houses they love.

Honestly, I think, with the situation with me, I think what sets me apart is that I never stop learning. I’m always learning the new technologies, or always advancing that way. I always surround myself with really positive people; intelligent people. Like to me, people and learning… Always surround yourself with good people. 

Having a degree in education and three kids, she has learned to always remain calm and positive. She calls herself more laid back and draws inspiration from her family and her grandmother.

I have a very close-knit family and my grandmother is a very wise person;  she’s very calm. So I guess it’s just the way I was raised, you know, I was raised to be respectful, and she [her grandmother] is a very inspiring person. I would have to say my grandmother is my inspiration to do everything…she’s amazing to me and also my family, I wouldn't even be doing this if it weren't for them.

When asked why she chose the path of being a Realtor, she is quick to say that, "There’s not a lot of jobs out there where you can have opportunities to raise your children and be a successful career person at the same time."
Testimonial from Emerald Kibbe

We got into talks about the local real estate scene here in Hardin County, KY and when asked for her opinion on the market, she proudly states:

Living so close to a military installation really helps our market. I read a lot about other markets and it seems they are pretty stagnant compared to the Fort Knox area. The market isn't the worst I've seen because when I got into real estate, like six years ago, it really wasn't that great. And working with certainly gives me an advantage. We focus so much on making things easy for our clients, especially taking advantage of technology. I think our website and all the other systems we use really make a great impression and clients seem to appreciate it...

For clients who usually like to go house hunting in the Fort Knox, KY area, she says that potential home buyers should set aside a few hours of the day to a whole day in order to properly check out houses available.

Elisa finds that one of the biggest blessings of being a Realtor is that she gets to meet people from all walks of life. She adds that some clients whom she has previously helped close houses have already become her close friends and acquaintances. Aside from getting to know these clients, Elisa also finds happiness appreciating the myriad of architectural designs on houses for sale in Fort Knox, KY area.

If Elisa Reed did not enter the real estate world, she points out that she would most likely be a teacher or in a perfect world, taking a professional culinary course so that she can whip up extravagant dishes for her family and friends.
A testimonial from Josh McKain on Ms. Elisa Reed

Her only advice to aspiring Realtors or anyone wishing to be in the real estate business is to go to a really good real estate school and join a company that continues to grow and helps you grow as a real estate agent.
If you would like to meet a positive Fort Knox, KY Realtor, Elisa will be your perfect candidate to help you find that dream house. Not only can she provide you in-depth information on any location around the area, her vast expertise in this real estate field is top-notch. Aside from this, she literally grew up in the area, too. Who wouldn't want to partner up with a Realtor who really knows the local Fort Knox area?

Ms. Elisa Reed can be contacted directly at 270-312-7053 or through

Monday, August 12, 2013

Radcliff KY The Bookstore: Jerry Brown Loves His Community

Getting a chance to talk with someone who overflows with love for his community is hard to come by these days but if one had to chance upon a person - Mr. Jerry Brown of The Bookstore definitely fits the bill. Giving back to the community has always been in Mr. Brown's heart; he started the The Bookstore way back in 1976 and has been in operation ever since. The Bookstore started as a quaint combination of a Hallmark© store,  a gift store, and bookstore. Several decades later it is still standing today mainly as a used bookstore and a venue for gatherings such as book signings. Mr. Brown proudly states that:
"We really know our community because we are adjacent to Fort Knox, we have a lot more military titles, a lot more military history than probably any other store in Kentucky for sure, and we have much more, we have a lot of gift lines, so we're still a combination bookstore and gift store, we have Tiny Beanie Babies, we have music boxes, and plush animals..."
When it comes to the business of having an independent bookstore, the biggest challenge Mr. Brown faces on a daily basis is the fact that he has a hard time getting the word out with regards to the promotions they currently have and rely mostly through word-of-mouth and social media sites to get news out. "We really depend on community involvement so it’s tougher when you can’t do as much advertising and things like that as you'd like to do." But, of course, the good side with having an independent bookstore is that he gets to know just about everybody who comes in. He says,  "that’s the best part of it!"

Mr. Brown says, "Because of my knowledge of books and authors, there’s probably not anything that a customer can ask me about that I won’t have knowledge of. Frequently, somebody will be looking for something obscure, something hard to find, and often I'll either have the book or know of it and be able to get it for them." If there is anyone who needs a few guides or books on anything, make sure to approach Mr. Brown because he confesses that, "... my extensive knowledge of all that, I’m really a great resource of what somebody is looking for."

(not intended to be an endorsement for Cards over Cats, lol)
One of the best perks of The Bookstore is that since it's mostly a used bookstore, prices start from a couple of dollars and nothing much is over five dollars. Most of the books for sale in The Bookstore are available for anyone who wants to bring it home and treasure it. They also have some titles that are first edition and special edition books. The Bookstore carries such an extensive variety of books that anyone who comes in will be in for a surprise when they find "the" book they are looking for. Mr. Brown also says that there are a lot of "romance book" readers and they do well with the title selections the store has.

If there were one thing that Mr. Brown wishes for people to realize when it comes to The Bookstore, he shares that, "I think that because we are a local business, we give a lot more back to the local community than the big chains like the Amazon, the digital stuff. You know the folks when they come to us, when they need a donation or a contribution and so... I’d wish they’d remember that... when they go and spend their money; that we’re local and that we give back to the community."

If you haven’t been to The Bookstore, Mr. Brown invites everyone and says:

"We’re such a wide variety; not only books and gifts... I think we just love our community and just enjoy seeing everybody, it’s something. We’re here because we love it and because we want to be and not because somebody pays us and we have to be."

As always, all of their new books are discounted 10% and their used books are competitively priced so people can save a lot of money when they shop there. Make sure you stop by The Bookstore today before and come home with books and gain a friend.

The Bookstore is located at 300 West Lincoln Trail, Radcliff, KY 40160. Their contact number is 270-351-1801. To get the latest news on The Bookstore, make sure to “LIKE” them on Facebook at The Bookstore.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

School Season: One Obstacle In Buying Or Selling A House?

As the school year begins this week for students, many families are wondering if it's a good time to sell their house or buy a new Elizabethtown, KY home. There are many reasons why buyers stay away from buying homes at the beginning of the school year and it’s not just because of the kids’ schedules. Usually, there are far greater things to worry about.

The school year should not prevent you and your family from buying or selling your house. Our children usually understand the reasons why we have to do some things and if they do put up a fight, then a family conference should be enough to hear their sides out. There might be some compromises you have to make with them and there will be times you will have wished that you had put off buying or selling a house. But, like almost all things in life, "this too shall pass".

One of the biggest mistakes most people make when they buy or sell a house is trying to get it all done in such a short span of time. Assuming there aren't any time constraints, buying or selling a house can take anywhere from a few short weeks to 4-6 months if you're building a new home near Fort Knox. For buyers, this is one of the biggest purchases you will ever make so make sure that all questions have been answered. Talk with your Fort Knox Realtor and mortgage lender

Another obstacle when buying an Elizabethtown KY house during school year is to make sure moving day doesn't conflict with exams or other major school events. When this happens, check to see if the buyer or seller is willing to move the closing date by a week or two. Hopefully, most will oblige and then your kids will be able to enjoy their school festivities or be able to concentrate on their exams.

Lastly, make sure you partner up with a great Elizabethtown real estate company. You want to partner with a Realtor who you can be honest with and be able to divulge confidential information such as how much your budget will be. For houses in the Fort Knox area, check out listings from to see which homes fit within your price range.

Have a great school year and may it bring new adventures to our kids and families.