3 similar neighborhoods for any budget

What if you want a big lot, close in, something older, maybe Tates Creek Road area.  Well, you have three good options at 3 different price points.

All these neighborhoods are either just inside or just outside New Circle Road by Tates Creek Road.  All are close to things like The Lansdowne Shoppes, Malones, Fresh Market and The Signature Club.  One of the best things about this area is that you can get about anywhere in town easily.  UK/Downtown/Chevy Chase are close.  You are between Hamburg and all that the Fayette Mall/Nicholasville Road corridor offers…..plus, this is arguably the prettiest part of Lexington.

1.  Lansdowne

This is where you go if you have $300-700k to spend.  You’ll get one of the swankiest locations from the 1960s that use to be on the on the edge of town.  I’m taking about roads like Cahaba, Kirkland, Overbrook, etc.  Getting a half acre lot is no sweat here, some are even larger.  Overbrook Circle and Brookhill Circle are my two favorite streets since some of the houses have a view over The Lansdowne Shoppes.

Most of the houses are ranches, but there are 2 story and split foyer/split levels too.  Here is what is typical:

But sometimes you get lucky and find some real architectural gems like:

2.  Lans-Merrick

This is where you land if you want to stay in the $200s-$300s, although there are a few super nice ones that have gone for over $400k.  This neighborhood is right across Tates Creek Road from Lansdowne.   You get a great city park in the middle of the neighborhood which is right beside Julius Marks Elementary school.  Lots out here are usually in the 1/4-1/3 acre range.  Still big by Lexington standards.  Most of the houses were built in the 70s.  Lots of ranches, splits and traditional two stories.  The main roads are Pepperhill and Montavesta.  Fleetwood and Heritage are my favorite streets.


Here is what to expect:

But there are some that are like:


3.  Gainesway

This neighborhood is beside Lans-Merrick, but is just across New Circle.  It seems just as close in though, so don’t let being outside the circle mess with you.  The oldest part of Gainesway harks back to the 50s.  All the streets were named after local horse farms.  Getting a 1/4-1/2 acre lot is easy here.  Most are ranches.  The beauty of this neighborhood is that you get a similar location and lot size as the other two, but you’ll only drop $150-250k for a house.  Castleton Hill and Castleton Way are my favorite streets here.

This is what to expect:

And you might get lucky and find one like these:


So there you have it.  Whether you have $150k or well over $500k, you can enjoy an older home on a large lot in Lexington.

LEXington market trends

Ok, we all know there is a shortage of inventory and houses are selling fast….but there is more going on in this town than just that.

Here is what I am seeing in 2016:

  •  Waiting.  Lots of waiting in line to see a new listing it’s first day on the market.  Everybody is so focused on new listings.  Granted, you do want to see them before they sell, but I think there has been more of a shift in how the public gets listings.  Everybody has saved searches and gets alerts when there is a new listing.  If it doesn’t interest them at that very moment, they rarely will consider seeing it later.  They just wait for the next new listing.  That is bad news for sellers who don’t sell their houses immediately, and proof that starting out with the best presentation and the right list price is critical.
  • Not ALL houses are selling as fast as you would think.  Only the good ones are selling immediately.  In Fayette County, there are 555 houses for sale priced between $100k and $500k.  Of those, 152 have been on the market for more than 90 days.  That is almost 1/3 of the available houses.  Savvy buyers go back and look at those 152 to see if they can get it for cheaper and avoid the multiple offer frenzy.
  • New construction on the edge of town isn’t doing so well.  I think Lexington is finally big enough that people see a big difference between being closer in town and on the edge of town.  I am seeing more and more people wanting to be closer in to town….heck, I feel that urge too since I live just past Hamburg and am always stuck in traffic.  One of the most successful new construction neighborhoods has been Summerfield.  I think it is about location more than anything.  You are 10 minutes from downtown and 5 minutes to Hamburg.  The best of both worlds really.
  • Smaller ranch houses in nice neighborhoods are getting amazing money.  I’m seeing 1200-1400 square foot houses getting close to $170k in neighborhoods like Cooper Trace, Ashbrooke, Wyndham Hills, Wyndham Downs and Harrods Point.
  •   Lots of people retiring in Lexington…..even Clint Eastwood is moving here, if you believe everything you see on Facebook 😉  An area super popular with retirees is Brookhaven and Lansdowne.  There are lots of nice ranches on good lots in this area.  You are close to downtown, can hop on New Circle at Tates Creek and go anywhere, cut across roads like Regency, Larkin, Zandale or Reynolds to get to anything on Nicholasville Road.  Plus you have cool places like The Lansdowne Club, Lansdowne Shoppes and are 1o minutes to Chevy Chase.

It sure will be interesting to see what comes for the rest of this year.  I am hearing from other realtors that they are having a hard time getting on a photographer’s schedule.  That either means we have a lot of new listings about to hit the market or realtors are just really impatient to get a house on the market!


Want to know what LEXington buyers are doing??

The real estate scene in Lexington sure is changing.  Guess it always has, but this years it seems to be doing it quicker.

What’s hot and what’s not has been pretty static around here for a long time.  Other than Kenwick getting trendy and all the flopped new downtown condo projects, this town has always been about the middle of the road, safe and predictable neighborhoods in decent school districts.  People who wanted older houses wanted in 40502 or the older neighborhoods on the south end of town that were inside New Circle.  People who wanted newer homes looked around Man O War.  There was always plenty of new construction going on all over town.

Now it seems that new construction has slowed down.  You’d think since we are running out of room inside of Fayette County, that new construction would be on fire right now.  Especially after all the slow years of the bad market.  It did bounce back strong in 2013, but has slowed since.  All the national news I read about it indicates the same is happening everywhere.

I am seeing more and more people wanting older houses.  They are rejecting the cookie cutter neighborhoods.  Many are considering neighborhoods on the north end of town.

All this is pretty interesting to me, both professionally and personally.  I have to keep up with it so I can give my clients the good advice they deserve.  I also like to think about why we are seeing this shift?

I think a lot of this has to do with shows like Property Brothers and sites like Houzz.com.  People want a house with character more than ever now.  After several years of a bad economy, people now feel safe to renovate their houses.   I think people are spending more time at home due to being so connected online.  It only makes sense that people want to create their own oasis to be in while they spend all their time connecting with the world through their phones.

I once had an out of town client tell me that the Lexington market is very broad but not deep.  We tend to have the same 10 floor plans build by the same builder throughout all of Lexington.  It is almost like 3 easy step:  1)  Pick your floor plan.  2)  Pick which part of town you want to be in.  3)  Pick if you want that house to have been build in the 90s or 2000s.   I had another client from New York tell me he wanted a contemporary or modern house.  He didn’t get one because we have so few.  People today are just not excited about living in a modern day Levittown.  (Google that if you don’t know what I mean.)

Lexington doesn’t have the sprawl like a real city does.  We keep adding people but we don’t expand the geographic boundaries of the town.  That means more density, which means more traffic.  People are wanting more than ever to be closer to amenities they frequently use.  That is one reason the older neighborhoods are doing so well right now.

As prices have returned to 2005 levels but wages have not, you don’t get as much for your money.  That is why we are seeing some people look on the north end of town.  You get more for your money there.  This is especially true for many first time buyers.  An older house on the north end of town is a real bargain today.   Also, the north end of Lexington is a great spot for younger buyers who want to be close to all the new spots along North Limestone.

Well, I’m over 600 words now.  I could go on and on.  Bottom line is that buyer tastes are shifting in this town and it is kind of exciting to me.

NOW is the time to get into Lansdowne Merrick


Lansdowne-Merrick.  Kind of reminds me of Kenwick in a way.  I mean, here are two neighborhoods that have an awesome location and have been the bargain of the 40502 zip code.  Kenwick was underpriced all the way up until the late 90’s.  It has arrived.  Lansdowne-Merrick on the other hand, is about to arrive.

What makes this neighborhood so right?  The location.  Just like Kenwick, it is surrounded by super desirable neighborhoods costing much more.  Check out a map and you’ll see what I am talking about.  You’ve got Lansdowne Estates and the Glendover area just across Tates Creek Road.  Across Alumni Drive is Turkey Foot and Lakewood.  Warrenton Woods is right beside you.  Castlegate is across Chinoe Road.  Oh, and you have a large park and elementary school in the neighborhood too.  Throw in being 5 minutes to The Lansdowne Shoppes, Chinoe Shopping Center and the Romany Road area, and you can see how you are getting the 40502 lifestyle everybody wants for half price.  I’ve always considered this neighborhood to be the “Lite” version of Turkey Foot.

This is a 70’s neighborhood.  You get some ranches, 2 story houses, a few split foyers.  You will see some wood sided contemporary homes too.  Most range from 1800 square feet to 2500 square feet.  Some have basements.  Some have finished basements that would add to that square footage.

The value range is mostly $200-300k.  Towards the lower end, you’ll get a solid house that may need some updating.  On the higher end, you should expect either a nicely updated house or a larger one with a basement.

I have been saying for a long time that this place will pop like Kenwick did.  I’ve noticed a few super updated houses on the market lately.  Today, I saw this house that is undergoing an extensive renovation.  They are blowing out the back of the roof to add more space.  When you start seeing this, you know it is a good time to get in the neighborhood.  You just cannot beat this location.  As prices in surrounding neighborhoods have gone up, this is the last undervalued spot to be in 40502.

Other neighborhoods on my watch list:  Meadowthorpe, Idle Hour and the front part of Gaineway.