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The Louisville Gaines Real Estate Blog

The Louisville Gaines Real Estate Blog

Events in Louisville, Brought To You By Louisville Workers


This Labor Day, as you enjoy the many holiday events in Louisville because you are off work, is a good time to think about all the people who help put on the events. For event organizers and managers, construction crews, food vendors, cleanup crews, security guards, medical personnel, and musicians and other performers, this is not a day of rest.

The State Fair By The Numbers

You can get a perception of the workers involved in event staging if you examine the recently ended Kentucky State Fair. An interesting article in the Courier-Journal by Sheldon S. Shafer throughout some numbers that made you think of the people behind it. When you think of all the disposable items that someone also had to manufacture, get an even better view of the labor involved. You can read the whole article at article here, but here are a few interesting tidbits from his article "The Kentucky State fair by the numbers."

  • The state fair had 39 rides on its midway, each operated by several different people each day.
  • 91 artists played over 100 knee hours of music in entertainment tents and at Cardinal Stadium and Freedom Hall during the fair
  • Over 100 cases of pork shoulder, processed by meatpacking employees, were cooked at The Q Tent from Swift Processing in Butchertown. This was just part of the 100,000 pounds of pork prepared and cooked by fair vendors in total.
  • Workers from Newton's Homemade Ice Cream made 180 gallons of a screen each day on-site, while other fair labor cooked 25,000 corn dogs per vendor.
  • Bingo callers managed over 500 games of bingo on Senior Day.
  • Stable hands prepared over 2,500 horse stalls and newly 1200 pages for poultry, pigeons, and rabbits.
  • Factory workers somewhere produced large quantities of disposable products, such as about 25,700...

Give The Summer A Good Sendoff With Labor Day Activities In Louisville

Labor Day weekend is always the last hurrah of summer and there are always plenty of Labor Day activities in Louisville to enjoy. With weather forecasters predicting that another hard winter is ahead, it's a good time to get out and enjoy the best of Louisville.

For the record, it is the Farmer's Almanac making the dire predictions, but Live Weather Blogs has backed up the warnings by reporting that the Jet Stream and El Nino will lead to some extreme weather. In "Weatherspeak," this means that you will have some days are in early winter, followed by colder temperatures and more snow than usual, although not as much snow as last year. None of that is happening this weekend, so despite a little rain, you can give official summer a good sendoff.

Labor Day Activities In Louisville

This weekend offers a variety of interesting activities. Here are seven you might enjoy.

1.       Mayor's Hike Bike and Paddle. Celebrate the holiday with your favorite sport and hike at Waterfront Park, bike through downtown, Portland, and West Louisville, or paddle through McAlpine locks. Opening at 8 AM on Labor Day for pre-event yoga, tai chi, and Zumba, the event is free, except for what you might spend with vendors located at spots throughout the venue. Hikers and bikers start at 10 AM, while the boaters get started about 10:30. Paddle boaters will make their way to the New Albany boat dock, where TARC shuttles will offer a free ride back to Waterfront Park where vehicles are located. For the full itinerary details, see the city website 

2.       Four Roses Bourbon Kentucky Bluegrass &...

onsider Cost Of Rewiring When Buying An Older Home


Louisville is a city known for its great respect for old buildings. In any of the nearly 150 recognized neighborhoods in the city, there are architectural marvels you might enjoy restoring. When you buy an older home, there are many expensive upgrades that lie ahead of you, so it's best to go into both searching for a home and closing on a deal with potential expenses in mind. One of the biggest "money suckers" that may lay ahead is replacing old wiring and the electrical panel. 

Louisville has at least 73 communities recognized by the White House's Preserve America Initiative and has the fourth highest number of total listings in the National Register of Historic Places. For many people who want to give an old property some love, there are several realities to consider about the wiring and electric panel that takes the "juice" that comes into your home and distributes it throughout your home to switches and outlets. 

Potential Electrical Panel And Wiring Problems 

Electrical panels are made to last 20 to 30 years. That means that if you look at a home built in the 1980s or before, your electrical panel could fail to pass code, show some degree of corrosion, or be insufficient to meet your needs. 

Homes built in an earlier era can contain wiring that is dangerous. For example, wiring in homes built between 1900-1940 used knob and tube (K&T), which permitted wiring connections at various points in the home rather than in a junction box. There was no ground wire, but separate wires handled supply and return. Nowadays, if the knob and tube wiring is intact, you may still be safe, but many insurance companies do not want to cover it. This type of wiring was frequently modified by amateurs. If you buy a house where there may be no rhyme or reason to how wiring was installed, updating it can be difficult. You may have to hire...

Welcome To The Revitalized Kentucky Kingdom


Whether you live in Louisville or just love to travel to amusement parks, you are probably happy to hear that Kentucky Kingdom is open again after five years and several futile attempts to revive it. Although some parts of the park are not open yet, investors have spent nearly $44 million to date to add 20 new attractions and double the size of the water park at the old facility. The prime attraction which has drawn attention from roller coaster lovers everywhere is the new Lightning Run, a blue GT-Hyper coaster developed by ride manufacturers Chance Morgan Coasters.

A New Park Rises From The Ashes Of Rundown Six Flags

Last known as Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, the park was operated by Ed Hart until it was sold to Premier Parks in 1990, which in turn bought Six Flags and turned the local park into part of its chain. In 10 years, attendance dropped to half of what it was in 1998 and as the LA Times put it, turned the park into a used ride lot as it sucked off popular attractions for its other properties. The company put virtually no money into it, so it lost visitors to Kings Island in Cincinnati and to Holiday World in Santa Claus, Indiana. During a corporate bankruptcy in 2010, Six Flags closed the park and located popular rides such as the Chang Stand Up Coaster and the Road Runner Express to other parks.

After closure, there were several attempts, including one unsuccessful one by Hart investors, to reopen the part. The last hot prospect were the owners of Holiday World, who backed out after claiming the park was in too much disarray to economically restore. Hart was finally successful in obtaining rights from the Kentucky State Fair Board to reopen the park.

Aside from the new coaster, the park, which we opened May 24, includes many old favorites, plus a few new surprises. So far, the park has met with great reviews, with...

Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch


As someone who sells a number of ranch homes in Louisville, I was interested in a recent article in Realtor® Magazine that discusses the "return of the ranch." This classic American style home may have fallen out of vogue with buyers and builders for time, but ranches have served many families for years. Now they are more sought after than ever before.

The History of The Ranch Home

Ranches, which became popular in the 50s 60s and 70s, took their design clues from American Spanish architecture in the 17th to 19th century. Often characterized by one-story construction with low roofs, wide eaves, interior courtyards, and large front porches, ranches were very common in southwestern states. After World War II, they lost their rustic styling and became the classic tract home - the very "little boxes on the hillside" memorialized in folk music.

The styling of the ranch house changed a bit region to region. In California, ranches accounted for 90% of new homes in the 50s and often reflected latest building trends to give them a modern look. Famous architect such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Joseph Eckler, and Robert and George Alexander put their touch on the style. In the Midwest and East Coast, the ranch acquired colonial trim to reflect regional tastes.

Characteristics of Ranch Styling

What united most ranch homes in style were certain characteristics:

  • Single-story construction with a long, low roofline
  • Rectangular, L-shaped or U-shaped designs
  • Simple, open floor plans
  • Attached garages
  • Living area separate from the bedrooms
  • Sliding glass doors...

Are Parades, BBQ, And Pesticides On Your Schedule This Weekend?


If you are like many homeowners, your Memorial Day weekend involves parades, BBQ, and lawn care. You might have started your weeding and fertilizing efforts weeks ago, but if not, the three day weekend is a good opportunity to get the lawn in shape through hard work and chemicals. Unfortunately, this springtime ritual of using pesticides has many downsides. 

Problems With Pesticides 

Your lawn cannot absorb all the chemical input, so 40 to 60% of the nitrogen in the product runs off in surface water or ultimately leaches into the ground. You can do the math, but Americans apply million tons of fertilizer and 70 to 90,000,000 tons of pesticides to their lawns each year, which means widespread exposure to chemicals. 

While some people are very sensitive to these chemicals and develop allergic reactions to them, most of us absorb the chemicals into our body with uncertain effects. Studies done by BeyondPesticides.org have shown high rates of asthma, bronchitis, and other respiratory problems among farmers use large quantities of pesticides, households who frequently use insecticides, and among children exposed to herbicides before their first birthday. 

There is growing evidence that pesticides are harmful to wildlife. Honeybees are dying off while 60 to 70,000,000 birds in the U.S. die each year from pesticide poisoning. What makes the problem even worse is that besides the run off into land and water, pesticides are over applied, applied to adjacent areas where pesticides are not needed, can impact people, wildlife, and air quality far from the source. 

Few Pesticide Bans In Place, So Take Care 

While some pesticides have been banned in the United States by the EPA, there are plenty of toxic chemicals that are still available for lawn care. This is in strict contrast to Canada where certain provinces have banned pesticides used for...

Consider Location, Location, Location Within The House You Buy


Every time the economy gets bad, the size of new homes goes down a bit. Once the economy improves, we seem to  creep upwards in our preferences again. According to the National Association of Home Builders, the average house built in 2013 was 2,679 square feet, an increase of 160 square feet from 2012. Trends about where people want the space distributed in a home have changed, however, even as the overall varies. Even for those looking to buy a an existing home instead of new construction want a home that is laid out to accommodate their own lifestyle and the size of their family. 

What Ikea Found Americans Want 

As a study by Swedish retailer IKEA pointed out, people want space where they spend time in the home. Having extra rooms for special uses is not as important as having room to enjoy activities and store their stuff where they spend time. They recently surveyed 4,000 male and female U.S. consumers between 25-54. Here are a few of their conclusions:

  • People feel cramped in the kitchen and long for kitchen storage, elbow room, and counterspace. 
  • In the kitchen, people love technology, but what they use is not high-tech cooking gadgets, but the TV, computer or music system. 
  • Bedrooms also lack enough storage space, so 54% of the survey respondents stored things under the bed. 
  • 65% of respondents felt the living room was the most popular spot in the house, especially when connected to the kitchen to make it open space.

Location, Location, Location 

The survey responses may not hit on what you feel is important in your home, but does serve as a reality check for homebuyers. ...

Enjoying The Kentucky Derby From The Infield


Are you going to the Kentucky Derby? If you wanted to hob knob with the rich and famous or even have a seat at the Derby, you probably planned your trip long ago. Traditionally, Derby tickets for the next year's race go on sale the day after the current race is run. Now, a week before the Derby, there are 4,200 tickets available in Lower Clubhouse 110 that range from $500-$1270 each, and random tickets available throughout the park that can cost well into the thousands. The most widely available tickets are General Admission tickets for standing in the infield.

 Your Derby Experience In The Infield

The infield tickets are $50, each plus parking. They are offer access to first-floor paddock and infield areas, but not to reserved seating areas or hospitality areas. As a general admission ticket holder, you cannot actually see the race and received no program unless you buy one. You can enjoy the party like atmosphere and even wear a hat. If you are the type of person who goes to an event for the experience, general admission tickets might appeal to you.

Derby veterans suggest that if you are opting for the infield, arriving early is the key to a good space along the fence. In the past, people have started to form a line at 3am, but the gates to not open until 8 AM. If you get there by 7:30 am, you have a good chance of getting a decent fence spot.

Infield Attire

For those who have tickets for the grandstand, bleachers, or "millionaires Row," dressing up is part of the Derby experience. Fancy hats are the order of the day. If you stand in the infield, you are likely to be amidst pockets of inebriated college students, so there is no dress code. Many people in this area tend to wear hats, that often caricature the hats worn in the fancier sections. Many make political or social statements and are whimsical. Aside from the optional hats, it is wise to dress for the infield based on the weather. Typically this means to dress in layers so that...

Up, Up, And Away As Great Balloon Race Sets Off Derby Week



Today, the last Sunday in April, 30 hot air balloons lifted off into the sky from Bowman's Field as part of the Great Balloon Race, the first event in the week leading up to the Kentucky Derby. The winners of the race are determined by which crew member throws a bag of Kentucky bluegrass closest to a big white X on the ground, but the crowd-pleasing event is a great way to promote Louisville and community fun. 

Many families start off the day at the race and then continue on to the ongoing Kroger's Fest-A-Ville on the Waterfront, a series of events involving music, food, and the outdoors that will run through May 2. 

What's On Tap For Today? 

Highlights for Sunday include: 

The Low Down On Trash Pickup And Waste Disposal In Louisville

 Warning! This is a trashy blog! 

Now that spring is here, you will soon be drumming up plenty of trash. When cleaning your yard after a long winter, you will have bags of yard waste. As you clean and declutter your house, what you don't give away, you may pitch in the trash. You may even have old tires, construction debris, and appliances as you clean out the garage and basement. What are the rules for disposing of these items in Louisville? 

The city of Louisville, which became larger in 2003 through annexation of the rest of Jefferson County, only picks up trash from people who live in the old city of Louisville or in the newly created Urban Services District. If you live in an incorporated city, your own locale will have its own rules for waste disposal. If you live in an unincorporated area, you may have to contract with a private waste hauler. 

Rules For Waste Disposal In Louisville 

Within the Urban Services District, there are criteria for each type of trash you need hauled away. 

Household Trash

  • Household garbage is collected weekly at the curbside. You must place your waste in a city issued cart, unless you have an exemption to use cans. All your waste must be placed in the cart. If you have more trash than what your cart will hold, you can purchase additional carts or a larger one that holds 95 gallons from the city.

Recycling

  • Want to recycle? You can obtain an 18 gallon orange plastic container at no charge from the Division of Solid Waste Management or purchase a 95 gallon recycling cart for $50. If you rent, your landlord will sell you a bin for $10. You can place your bin...

What Should You Consider When Buying New Construction?


If none of the prebuilt homes in the Louisville housing market appeal to you, you might want to consider new construction or build a new custom home. Whether you are looking for a home in the development or you take your plans to a custom builder, what should you include in the home? 

What To Consider In Your Newly Built Home 

According to George Davis from Pro Built Homes in Mentor, Ohio here are a few things to consider. 

  • Go green. To keep your utility bills out of the stratosphere, consider and Energy Star rated home that will offer the best features for keeping your heating and cooling bills low and your energy usage socially responsible. Click here to find builders who are Energy Star partners in our area. 
  • Consider energy efficient options. If you are looking for a home in a development, look for one that is energy efficient and consider any upgrades the builder offers that might improve efficiency. Such upgrades might include water-saving showerheads, low-e glazing, Energy Star appliances, whole-house ventilation,  framing with engineered lumber more efficient air conditioning equipment, rigid insulation on exterior basement walls, 1 inch of closed-cell foam in exterior walls followed by blown-in fiberglass, and an upgrade from open-cell to the higher-performing closed-cell foam in the roof.
  • Right size your home. What you want to ensure the proper amount of living space for your family, don't over buy. Though some recent surveys indicate that home size is increasing a bit, keep in mind that extra space means more house to heat, more house to maintain, and more house to clean. Ask yourself this: Do you really...

How Do Your Wants Match Up To Those Of The Average Homebuyer?


If you're looking for your first home in Louisville this spring, you are putting into action the dream of many Americans. According to a survey by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Better Homes & Gardens Magazine, most people value buying a home. Regardless of ethnicity or age, most buyers surveyed had many of the same things on their mind when they went home shopping. How do your dreams match up with what buyers want in the home? 

The Homeownership Dream 

The survey looked at a group of white, black, Hispanic, and Asian homebuyers between 18 and 64 and determined that between 79 and 82% saw buying a home as part of the American Dream. In the 18 to 34 group of Millennial buyers, there was a concern as to whether they can reach the goal. 

  • 35% said they had no down payment
  • 28% said that what they wanted to buy with out of reach
  • 21% said they could not qualify for financing due to credit problems or lending standards. 

What Buyers Want In A Home 

What were people looking for in a home? Across the board, desirable features included: 

  • A walk-in closet in the master bedroom
  • Laundry room
  • Great room
  • Energy star rated appliances
  • Programmable thermostat
  • 2.5 bath
  • Energy star rated windows with low E properties
  • Proximity to parks and walking and jogging trails

 What Buyers Don't Want

 What were they not looking for? 

  • Laminate countertops
  • An outdoor kitchen or outdoor fireplace
  • A two-story family room or a two-story foyer
  • A media room
  • A whirlpool in the master bathroom

Survey respondents...

Don't Let What Your Homeowners Insurance Covers Surprise You


Is it finally Spring in Louisville?
As you look around home and yard, you  may be thinking of some repairs you need to make from the winter and some improvements you want to make for the spring. This is a good time to look over your home insurance policies and make sure that they are up to date. In case of loss, you don't want to be unpleasantly surprised about what it doesn't cover. 

Would Your Home Insurance Cover This? 

A recent amusing article in MSN Money points several unusual things that home insurance policies did end up covering. The homeowners noted in the examples below may not have thought to ask about coverage in advance to the incident mentioned, but they raise legitimate questions about your policy. What exactly does your home insurance cover? Here are some surprise items that some homeowners found were covered by their policy. 

  • "The dog ate my ring." When a homeowner claimed the dog ate a valuable piece of jewelry, the insurance company wanted to buy the dog to salvage the jewelry. The insurer ended up paying the claim after a call from the insured's lawyer. The homeowner got to keep his dog, which would not be covered under home insurance if he were lost or stolen. 
  • "My yard burned up and I couldn't have a wedding there." Homeowners who planned the backyard wedding for their daughter had to move to a hotel when fire destroyed the yard. A Massachusetts company paid the cost of moving the celebration to a hotel. Even if you are thinking about having festivities in your yard, this is a good reminder to make sure you have additional living expense if your home is damaged and you have to live elsewhere. 
  • "Cut a check to my decorator." Philadelphia homeowners whose home was decorated by a professional got reimbursement after a disaster so they could have a decorator redecorate after the repairs. Even if you're your own decorator, this example reminds...

Should You Consider A Moving Pod - Part Two


Using a pod or portable storage unit can revolutionize your remodeling or moving by offering space, convenience, and accessibility at a reasonable price. The beauty of using a portable storage unit for either of these undertakings is that you can load or unload at your leisure. When remodeling, you can bring back groups of furniture a room at a time. When moving you can take a time to bring in just what you need for particular area of your home. If there is a delay getting into your new house, you can keep the unit packed until you need to unload it and can even have it stored off-site. How much do they cost? Are there any disadvantages? 

Cost Considerations

How costly is it to use a portable storage unit? Prices vary, of course, but just to give you an idea, one Louisville company will deliver a 12 foot unit to your home for $225, a 16 foot for $250, or a 20 foot for $275. This price will cover a month of usage. A move to your new location might cost $50 more. If you need storage, add another $50 on to the cost. If you need the unit for more than 30 days, monthly rental rates are reasonable.

Using a pod can add a couple hundred dollars on to your moving or remodeling bill. Regardless of how long you use them, pods are rented by the month, which give you plenty of time to get your full value. Considering the cost of gas and aggravation involved in making many trips back and forth between locations or the possible damage to your furniture from moving it around in your house, the cost might be well worth it, even if you only need it for week or two. Convenience comes at a price that might well be worth it.

If you anticipate that your possessions will need to be in storage for a few months before you use them, you might be better off renting a storage unit and results served storage facility. The only disadvantage is that you will have to do an extra loading and unloading...

Moving Pods - A Revolutionary Way To Move Or Remodel - Part One

Whether you're talking renovation or moving, the logistics can kill you. In either case, you are trying to clean out a space either so you can work on it or because you want to take the contents to another location. Portable storage units could be the answer to your prayers. 

A Great Answer For Remodelers

Picture this. You are replacing the flooring in your home, either because you can finally get the hardwood you've always wanted or because you trying to create an open floor plan that potential buyers will love. Or maybe you are removing that old popcorn ceiling and then painting the room. Your downstairs is filled with living room and dining room furniture, plus what's in your office and first-floor guestroom. As the work is being done, you dread piling up the furniture in one part of the area and then having to move it again to accommodate getting at the area of the room where you have furniture. 

The alternative? Rent a moving pod or portable storage trailer. You can have one delivered to your home, move the furniture into it, do your renovation, and bring the furniture back into the house. You remodeling is done and so is your need for the extra storage. You simply call the company and they will retrieve it. Many of the same companies also offer dumpsters, so if you're remodeling and pulling out flooring, walls, appliances, and more, you can have the crew put the materials directly into the dumpster. 

Simplify Your Next Move 

Or think of this. You're moving. You've gotten past the age where you can call upon your old college buddies to make a day of it, so you've decided to get movers. You resign yourself to making 1 million trips back and forth in the car to carry your good china, lamps, your computer, 1 million other things that you'd prefer the movers didn't take. Now, with portable storage available, you can move all the small stuff into the trailer and simply have it delivered to your new home. If you want to skip the movers, you can use one or more of these...

Smart Phone Apps For Louisville Buyers, Sellers, And DIYers


In a digital age, that smart phone in your pocket does a lot more than make calls. Depending on your age, it may be your only phone. You may use it more for texting, playing games, and running useful apps that for actual conversations. It is invaluable for those things. As a Realtor®, mobile apps are a great way to show homes; if you're looking for one, using Zillow or Trulia app makes it easy to see what's available in your area. There's also a number of apps that make it very convenient when you're shopping for home, trying to sell one, or even doing home improvement projects on one that you own now. 

As a seller, when you're gathering measurements and pricing what you need to upgrade your home. The same thing is true if you're a buyer trying to visualize how your furniture will looking a new home or if you're doing some home improvement and want to make sure that your colors are right. No matter what you need to do, as the saying goes, "there's an app for that." 

Protect And Visualize That Space 

Here's an example for some of the many useful apps you can find in your local Apple Store, Google Play, or other app stores.                                                                                  

  • Houzz. Looking for ideas of what you could with unlimited time, money, and creativity? Houzz has 150,000 pictures of every room in the house along with design tips, and product suggestions. This app can save you time, especially as many decorators are posting to this site. 
  • Feng Shui Bagua Map. Staging home? Buying a new one? If you think that Feng Shui principles of room design will help you become prosperous and directed,...

Getting What You Crave: White Castle In Louisville


If you are from Louisville, dining at White Castle was probably one of your earliest dining experiences
. The classic chain, founded in Wichita, Kansas in 1921 and now based in Columbus Ohio, has been a Louisville institution since 1927. It's even likely that, back in the day, your grandparents stopped by early locations on West Broadway, West Liberty, E. Market St., or South Third Street to "buy 'em by the sack." 

These square little hamburgers grilled with onions on a steamed bun are considered by Time Magazine to be  the most influential burger of all times and to generations of Louisville college students, the most affordable. 

Back To St. Matthews' Steaks 

No longer five cents each, these little slider burgers, once called "St. Matthews steaks," are now very trendy. A new White Castle restaurant will open in March at 420 Shelbyville Rd. with amenities new to the porcelain clad castle-shaped building that characterizes the restaurant. There will be flat screen TVs, Wi-Fi, and a kitchen island where patrons can watch their food being made. This will make the 24th White Castle in Louisville. 

Though this seems like a far cry from the company's humble roots, the chain has always been ahead of the curve on what people wanted and is known for its innovation. Here are a few interesting facts about the restaurant that has fed us: 

  • Designed to evoke an image of cleanliness, the buildings were actually white castles with a white porcelain enamel on a steel exterior. As gentrified as the amenities are becoming, the design has stuck over the years. 
  • Walt A. Anderson, one of the founders, invented the hamburger bun and was among the first to apply assembly-line thinking to sandwich making. He and his partner Edgar Waldo "Billy" A. Ingram developed standard instructions for making their hamburgers that restaurant in the chain used. White Castle is still owned by the Ingrams family, as Ingram bought out Anderson. ...

Adding A Mudroom To Your Louisville Home

mudroom, hallway, entry,

Are you sick of winter yet? Even if you love cold and snow, you may be sick of seeing people track up your hardwood floors with their boots and then throw their wet coats on the chair. When you look at your home, you may realize that even in better weather, shoes, coats, and other outdoor paraphernalia gets the best of you. Your answer may be in setting up a mudroom. 

A Handy Transition To Your Home 

The mudroom is a designated area for outdoor wear, including not just jackets, coats, boots, and shoes, but also hats, gloves, scarves, and even sports equipment and backpacks. Ideally located in the side or rear entrance, the mudroom can be a transition into your home and a way to keep dirt and clutter out of your living space. 

When you look at the layout of your home, there may be an area you can transform into a mudroom without much work. It might even be a matter of adding some hooks to the wall, with shoe racks down below. The trend these days is to have it separate form the laundryroom. 

Even if you need to do some major or minor reorganizing to create a functional mudroom, it might be worth it. Not only will it make your house more functional, but it will be a good selling point to a future owner. A mudroom might not be in the top of the list for potential buyers, but is definitely one of those things that they're happy to get.

 A Nice Complement To Open Floor Plans 

Why? Even people who claim to be in love with open floor plans want a sense of order in their homes. Having a mudroom, a designated area for coats and other things that people have when they enter or leave the house, keeps these items out of other living spaces. While the homeowner has to keep family members on task to put everything in its proper place, at least there is a place for...

Don't Get Too Trendy When You Are Remodeling To Sell Your Home


January is traditionally a slow month for real estate. Although I've been fairly busy, I know that when spring comes, life will become even crazier, as buyers want to buy a house that they can close by June, so they can spend the summer in their new home before school starts in the fall for the kids. Meanwhile, sellers want to list, in hopes of finding a perfect match with a potential buyer. 

Preparing Your Louisville Home For Sale 

If you're getting ready to sell your Louisville home, you may need to put some money into it to make it more attractive to buyer. What exactly are buyers looking for, especially those looking for "move up" houses? When they buy the second or third time around, people may have different expectations than first-time buyers. In any case, they most likely have more money to work with so their expectations of amenities may be more reasonable. 

Top Designer Trends 

What do you need to do to make your home appeal to one of these move-up buyers in 2014? According to a remodeling firm from Portland, Oregon featured on the National Association of Realtors blog recently here are several bold trends that buyers like. Here they are: 

  • Embellished showers: With glass frameless enclosures, glass tile walls, and curbless design, separate showers rock!
  • Built-in USB ports (U-sockets): Equipped with USB ports to power up phones, tablets, cameras, and more, these sockets are often coupled with an AC plug and will turn off the porch when the device is charged
  • Standalone bathtubs: Louisville has loved clawfoot tubs for ages, but other standalone designs are popular as well.
  • Bold appliances: Though stainless is still popular, brighter colors such as cobalt blue and red, along with Whirlpool's new White Ice, make a dramatic statement.
  • ...

Seven New Year’s Resolutions For Buying A Louisville Home In 2014


Is buying a new home on your list of resolutions 
 for 2014? You might not want to face Louisville's bitter cold and snow right now, but it's a good time to think carefully about what is on your list of "must haves." Based on what we've  picked up  from watching The Property Brothers, Love It Or List It, and other TV home shows here are a few things to keep in mind.

 7 New Years’ Resolutions To Remember When Buying A Louisville Home

  1. Keep in mind that Louisville offers good housing values, but as the real estate market recovers, prices are increasing a bit. You want to get a deal, but the seller wants a fair price for their home too. Just as we counsel sellers to be realistic about their asking prices, as buyers, you need to offer a fair price as well. 
  2. Your perfect home may be out of your price range, but is often attainable if you're willing to do some renovations. By obtaining a 203 mortgage rehab loan, you can have much of the work done before you move in. The total amount for the property and the renovations cannot exceed what your lender will offer you. If you have a long list of renovations, choose the ones that will make the house functional and that will be more difficult to add later.
  3. Another way to get the home you want is to be flexible with where you live. While you want good schools, convenience, and amenities, you may be able to find a good mix of these assets in a neighborhood a few blocks away from your dream location.
  4. Compromise is usually a part of settling on a new home. In the process of compromising, however, be aware of what you need. If you or your spouse make most of the family income from home, you need a decent office that offers privacy and quiet. This means that you should not settle for a home that offers just a little office space in the master bedroom or in the midst of the family room or other noisy location. If you have five kids, a two-bedroom home is not for you. Not to be repetitious here, but if you...

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