Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Bluegrass Valuation Services: A Talk With Lance Shore, Appraiser

 “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” 
– Helen Keller

True to these words, we invited Lance Shore, a real estate appraiser and owner of Bluegrass Valuation Services, who graciously accepted our interview for this post. To many, a dream remains a dream and never gets off the ground; but to Lance, all his aspirations and hopes became a reality when he worked hard to really aim for them.

Bluegrass Valuation Services was born in 2009 as a company but Lance Shore had already been in the property appraisal business for several years. He was already working as an appraiser for another company and just decided to take things to the next level by starting his own business. The name of the company, Bluegrass, was actually taken from the state’s name (Bluegrass state), he also grew up on a street named Blue Rock Road, and his favorite color is blue. Since this is a family owned and run business, Lance opens up to say that it's really hard work but there are a lot of good reasons to be your own boss. There is a lot of competition in this industry and Lance shares that:
On a local level, competition is pretty much “par for the course”, there are several good appraisers in the area and we all compete for a limited number of local banks; not to mention national lenders. As far as regional competition, like in Kentucky for example, there’s an overall trend of decreasing number of appraisers in the industry. As a whole, there’s less and less competition but locally, it’s something like “status quo.” 
Lance shares that Bluegrass Valuation Services, as of late, has been getting a lot of business in Jefferson County. He also happily adds that historically, Hardin County ranks high up on their list for the most business that they have received. The company does a lot of appraisal business in Kentucky and the scope that they usually do is not limited to valuation services for residential properties (mortgage & finance, personal use, litigation, and portfolio analysis). They are also in the process of opening a technology division, which will allow them to offer an applications-based system in and around the real estate industry.

A lot of sellers may feel apprehensive when they need to get an appraisal in Hardin, Meade, Jefferson, Bullitt, Grayson, or Breckinridge Counties, because some think that it takes hours or that they really need to prepare. Lance happily shares that for a typical house, appraisals for personal use, the whole ordeal of getting the house "inspected" will only take about half an hour or so. For litigation purposes or divorce settlements though, he quickly adds that appraisals [the whole process] may take months.

To anyone wishing to get into the appraisal business, the process of getting certified usually takes a minimum of two years (as an apprentice or working with a superior) and current requirements now look for a Bachelors degree as the minimum. There are a lot of seminars and classes to attend and tests that one must take before they can actually venture out into the appraisal world. Aside from this, anyone is free to check out their website, it contains a lot of information that one will find very useful when getting in the appraisal business in Kentucky. Lance adds,
 “It’s quite an involved process…  it’s a very lengthy process to get into the real estate appraisal industry.” 
What many people may not know, is that Lance may be considered one of the “pioneers” in selling houses for HardinHomes.com back when they first opened in 2005. While he may have a real estate license, he is not active in the business of selling houses nowadays and keeps busy with his valuation services business located in Radcliff, KY. He tells us that the appraisal business cannot be called a lucrative business but rather a “satisfying” business.

Earning a living by working for himself since 2001/2002, he enjoys being his own boss the most. He adds that while it takes a lot of his time and keeps him busy from sun up to sun down, he really loves running the business. He personally takes care of the in-house duties and “the little things that makes running a business really hair-raising.” When asked what the biggest challenge that Bluegrass Valuation Services has faced, Lance said “the large amounts of legislature that really changed the industry for most appraisers, a lot of us had to completely retool our customer base and some of us had to start from scratch.”

When asked about what he thinks of the real estate market this year in Kentucky, Lance shares that:
The market as a whole has been fairly stable this year. Other states had been seeing a bit of appreciation since the national numbers are showing high [since the recession]. Kentucky has been fairly stable. We've seen some pockets of depreciation, but overall, it’s been pretty stable. 
Being a full-time IT student as well, his day is really loaded with a lot of work and Lance really appreciates being connected with the Radcliff Small Business Alliance. Now, if all these tasks were not enough, Lance is also actively writing a book about real estate appraisals. He says that he wants to share information with anyone who might want to get in the business and he writes this in article format. Everything from the introduction all the way down to how to run a valuation services business will be found in this book. On his website, he has written a series of articles on how the whole real estate appraisal world actually runs.

When an appraisal is what you are looking for, do not hesitate to contact Bluegrass Valuation Services because your house deserves to be appraised by the best. Check out their website at bvs-ky.com. Make sure to LIKE their page on Facebook: Bluegrass Valuation Services. You may also call Lance Shore directly at 502-264-1936.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Why Getting A Kentucky House Inspection Is Important

(Image credit to homeinspection247.com)
With the recent winter weather conditions, a lot of buyers are now being extra cautious before they close on house. Maintaining a house can get expensive if minor issues become even bigger (read: deferred maintenance). The benefit of getting a house inspected before you close on it, is that you will have a clearer picture of the value of a house and a better understanding of how the owners have taken care of the home. In this article, we will give you some insight on why this is an important step when buying a house.

House Inspections Can Save You Thousands But Only Cost You Hundreds
As a buyer, you, of course, want to make sure you get the best deal. You will be paying for the house for several years. Many homes have already had repairs, some major. You want your inspector to reassure you that these repairs have been made correctly. The typical Elizabethtown home inspection costs $300-$400 so it's absolutely worth the investment. Make sure the home inspector has a Kentucky home inspector's license.

SCHEDULING: House Inspections Do Not Take Long At All
Home inspections rarely take more than few hours. Make sure you have a list of home inspectors who work in the Elizabethtown, KY area. In many cases, you must schedule the inspection with the home inspector a few days or even a week prior to the date you want them to inspect the house.

Inspection Done, Now What?
Once the home inspector has given you his/her report, it is now up to you and the seller (negotiating through your agents) to agree on what repairs need to be made prior to closing. For minor repairs, give the seller a few days or a week to get them done. Major repairs may take some time to finish, such as a roof replacement, flooring, piping, and windows. If this is the case, you may be able to negotiate a lower price. Be sure to ask your home inspector to check the repairs once done.

Different Kinds of Inspections
Just like doctors, there are also different types of home inspectors; there are general home inspectors, termite and pest inspectors, RADON inspectors, water, oil tank, and septic inspectors. If you wish to thoroughly know the condition of a house prior to buying, make sure you get a thorough inspection and make changes and repairs as needed.

Consider House Inspectors Your Friend
Home inspectors are [should be] unbiased when doing their inspections so you should have peace of mind. If possible, you should be there while the home inspectors are inspecting and be sure to ask question.