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The Louisville Gaines Real Estate Blog

The Louisville Gaines Real Estate Blog

Being Festive But Safe This Holiday Season

Now that it's the holidays, your beautifully decorated Louisville home sets the scene for making more wonderful memories. Unfortunately, the lights and candles you use can lead to the tragic stories we read every holiday about some poor family who lost their home or maybe even a child due to a fire caused by a tipped over candle or defective lights. Fire departments around the country report that menorahs gone awry can set the house on fire too. No matter what holidays you celebrate, it's very important to take extra safety precautions to make sure your family remains safe. 

The Perils Of Excessive Decorating 

At the holidays, many people get into the "more is better" philosophy when decorating their home and use multiple sets of lights, electrically powered decorations, and candles displayed in special holiday holders. Even if you want to make your home look like something out of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation or The Great Christmas Lights Wars, make sure that your strands of lights are in good condition, without damage sockets or wires. Don't connect too many streams together, use worn-out extension cords, or hide cords under rugs. Make sure the lights for your outdoor displays are rated for outdoor use, and then install them on a ground fault interrupt or circuit. 

Christmas Tree Cautions 

While the lights on both artificial and real Christmas trees pose hazards, live trees pose a special set of risks. Especially this year when the trend has been to put up the tree as early as Thanksgiving (or before), you must make sure your true remains fresh throughout the holiday season. When buying a tree, make sure it looks fresh, and then when installing in your home, make a fresh cut in the base to assure it will properly soak up the water. Make sure to water your tree daily. If you have pets, make sure they are not either drinking the water or peeing in it. Even if...

Are Your Kids Begging For A Puppy For Christmas?

dog, poppyAre your kids begging for a puppy or kitten for Christmas? Even if it's just you in your household, are you thinking that a pet would be a good companion for you now into the new year? The holidays are a popular time to add a pet, but you need to shop carefully for the best one just as you would when shopping for a tablet or a bike. You should plan to give your new pet a forever home, so proper research will increase the likelihood that a particular pet breed is right for your family.

First, Consider…

First, the disclaimers. Bringing a pet into your household is a serious commitment of your present and future time and money. Are you prepared to handle the expenses and the drain on your time? Having your kids share in pet care is a good way to teach them responsibility, but as most parents know, many aspects of pet care fall back on them. You still have an obligation to the animal to make sure it is fed, walked, trained, and groomed, even if the novelty wears off with your kids. Can you handle it?

Holidays are hectic. Since pets, especially puppies and kittens, are demanding and sensitive to excitement, you might be better off waiting until after the actual holiday to introduce your new baby into the mix. Cleaning up accidents and acclimating a new member into your family can add to holiday stress.  

Anyone who knows me or reads my newsletters knows that I have two dogs that I am crazy about – Joe Cocker, a blond, and Johnny Rotten, a black and white parti-colored Cocker Spaniel. I got each of them near the holidays in years past and strongly recommend adding a pet if you are ready to take the plunge.

What Type Of Dog Suits...

Louisville Holiday Events For Kids

Christmas is a busy time around Louisville, with plenty of activities for kids and families with kids. When you mix this with kids' Christmas programs, shopping, helping out the needy, tying up the loose ends of the year, December promises to be busy. With so much to do, the best way to enjoy yourself (and survive) is to target the events you would like to enjoy. (There is plenty to do for adults who want to soak in the best of Louisville, but that's another blog!)

You can get a full schedule of popular events here, but here are a few of the categories you might want to explore. Many holiday events take place on the site of well-known Louisville landmarks so you can mix a visit to a great attraction with a holiday event.

Breakfast  With Santa

If your kids want to meet Santa of close and personal and you want the cute pictures that will result from the meeting, you have many opportunities to arrange this

A New View Of Black Friday: Helping The Needy Of Louisville

In the words of Facebook pundits, Black Friday "is the day people trample each other for sales exactly one day after being thankful for what they already have." This year when many stores opened in the early morning hours of Thanksgiving and others started the Black Friday at 6 or 8 PM, the "thanks" had not even rolled off the lips of some people before the trampling began. Considering that we live in an online world, you could argue that Black Friday is more of a game that a necessity to get a "deal." 

The Real Black Friday 

Whether you think that Black Friday is an essential part of the holiday tradition or an unnecessary infringement on personal family time, there is another thing to think about. For many people in Louisville, celebrating Thanksgiving meant finding enough to eat for themselves and their family, not with positioning themselves to buy a 70 inch TV. Over the past three years, when the economy's been down and when people have been out of work, the need for food both at holidays and throughout the year has often outstripped the amount of donations. For many, the real black Fridays come toward the end of the month when the food runs out. 

During this past week, organizations such as the Salvation Army, the Wayside Christian Mission, and St. Vincent de Paul prepared holiday dinners for needy families. Students and faculty from Sullivan University even prepared for the 20 40 pound turkeys, 400 pounds of mashed potatoes, 40 gallons of gravy, and 800 servings of macaroni and cheese to the Salvation Army Center of Hope.   

More Holidays To Come 

Now that Thanksgiving is over, we have officially acknowledged the start of the holiday season by lighting up a tree in downtown Louisville. In December, there will be a host of holiday-themed activities around town. Now that the season has officially morphed into Christmas and Hanukkah, the need that many families feel has...

Enjoying Locally Grown Turkeys In Louisville

With Thanksgiving coming up this week, animal lovers have a problem. Assuming you are a meat eater, you may want a locally grown bird that was raised under humane conditions. You also want a turkey that is flavorful. If you have high blood pressure, you may also be concerned about the amount of sodium in the grocery store products. Locally grown Louisville birds might fill the bill. 

What Makes A Humanely-Grown Bird? 

What makes a turkey "humanely grown?" The difference is in how the birds are allowed to live their lives before they meet their fate. Unlike many grocery store birds, they are not confined. Enjoying a "free range" upbringing, they spend their days foraging pastures, but have a shelter to retreat to that shields them from sun, wind, and rain. Their food consists of grasses, bugs, locally-grown grains and organic supplements. In contrast, the birds most Americans eat have been pumped full of growth supplements, antibiotics, and liquids in the processing stage. By the time they are ready for slaughter, they are so top-heavy they can barely walk and spend their days eating, confined to one place. 

How Do They Taste? 

Local grown turkeys may have a different taste than the frozen varieties. Unlike their "broad breasted white" brothers and sisters in the grocery store, Heritage breeds, such as Narragansetts and Jersey Buffs, have a rich flavor with meat that is moist, more dense, and darker in color. Smaller than the white turkeys, they cook more quickly at 425-450° and should only be cooked until the internal side temperature reaches 140 after 150 F common 20 to 30° lower than white birds. 

Supermarket birds are injected with a mix of water, salt, food starch open) MSG), sodium phosphates, and natural flavors to plump them up. Even though some manufacturers such as Butterball advertise that their meat is free of hormones, a 4 ounce serving of their product contains...

Consider What Makes Sense Before Remodeling Your Louisville Kitchen

As you maneuver around your kitchen this holiday season, you may reach a decision: it's time to remodel! You've enough of the traffic pattern, or the dingy old cabinets, or the old decor. The only question you have is how far you go? What do you want vs. what makes sense to do? If you sell, what will you get back in resale value? 

Kitchen remodeling can be a costly project, especially if you're talking about knocking down walls, rerouting water and utility lines, and adding custom upgrades. Remodeling Magazine, which puts out an annual survey about remodeling payback, notes two interesting things. First, remodeling costs have dropped 10 to 15% over the last five years, even as materials rose 17%. If you are remodeling with an eye to making your kitchen a place that will serve you and your family better for years to come, this is a great deal. 

Consider The Rate Of Return 

On the other hand, the return on remodeling investment continues to erode in line with falling housing prices. As of 2005, an investment of $31,932 offered and 86.7% payback. This dropped 10% in 2006 276.1%. In that 2011 to 12, an investment of $44,734 brought back only 57.7% or $25,829 at time of sale. This means that if you are thinking about selling, you need to consider what you need to do in the kitchen to make it competitive with homes in your neighborhood. If you live in the only un-remodeled home in an upscale neighborhood of 40-year-old houses, you may need to put major bucks into the endeavor if you want to sell your house for a decent price. 

Consider A Midrange Remodel 

Renovating the kitchen always makes the list of top 10 remodeling projects that offer decent payback, but the magazine distinguishes between a midrange minor...

Don't Let leaves Lead To Leaks and 9 More Fall Maintenance Tips

As Louisville cleans up after a storm that watered down or delayed Halloween celebrations for many trick-or-treaters, threatened tornadoes, and knocked out power for over 11,000 customers in Jefferson County, we got a reality check. Winter is coming, and it's time to take care of a few household issues before the cold sets in for good. 

Don't Let Leaves Lead To Leaks 

Just look out your window, and you'll see a sign of fall that can cause you a great deal of trouble if you don't take care of it. Those fall leaves that looked so beautiful on the trees  not only cover your yard, but are clogging your gutters and downspouts. When gutters are packed with leaves and debris, they can't do their job of directing water away from the roof and sending it downward to the ground.  To prevent leaking that could back up gutters and overflow into your house, make sure to clean out gutters and downspouts. When winner comes, gutters also have a job to do when it comes to melting snow, so obstructed gutters can be a problem in coming months if you don't take care of them now. Live in a beautiful lot with lots of mature leaves? Consider getting a leaf guard system that prevents backup.

New Leaf Procedures Are Coming

As an aside, the city of Louisville is determining what to do about leaf waste. For several years, the city has had a program of collecting waste to be used for compost. Much of the waste has ended up in the Outer Loops Landfill, largely due to the plastic bags homeowners use for the leaves. This causes serious problems for landfills, who are not able to use the contents when they are bagged in plastic.  The city is considering banning plastic bags and forcing people to use reusable containers or even compostable paper yard waste bags. For this year, there are no changes in the law but they may be coming. This year is a good time to get in the habit of packing waste into reusable containers so that the...

Choosing The Best Fireplace For Your Louisville Home – Part 2

Love the look of a fireplace but don’t like the mess? Have limited wall space for fireplace? Lack a suitable chimney? Gas and electric fireplaces address many of your concerns. As a Louisville homeowner, you can choose a new unit that produces warmth with the touch of your remote and has no soot to clean up and no polluted air wafting through your house. 

Charming Gas Alternatives 

Wood-burning fireplaces offer a great aroma in the romance of a crackling fire, but there are other alternatives that produce heat and the look of fire. Gas fireplaces, for example, offer the radiant and conduction heat of an open fire but are vented to the outside through a tube in the wall rather than through a chimney. Using either natural gas or ethanol fuel, they feature incombustible logs that cover the gas vents and use glass doors to block air. The units utilize internal air movement channels to maximize warm air in the house, but do not pull warm air from it. 

Vented models are considered 65 to 95% efficient, while producing little smoke or pollution and no ash or creosote. Ventless models are even more efficient, but the carbon dioxide and water vapor they release into the room can deplete oxygen create excessive moisture and even lead to lung problems.

Installation of a gas fireplace is relatively easy, even in a small space. Using a gas fireplaces even easier, as you can warm your room and lower your heating bills with the flick of a remote. 

Versatile Electric Fireplaces 

Another popular fireplace choice is powered by electricity from a standard outlet. The “flames” are really light refractions from LED bulbs which create the effect of fire without combustion and without releasing greenhouse gases. Noted for their excellent zone heating capabilities, they can offer up to 5000 BTUs of heat and easily warm a 20’ x 20’ room. Since many electric fireplaces have...

Choosing The Best Fireplace For Your Louisville Home – Part I

Given the number of old Victorian homes in Louisville, there are many dwellings with functional wood-burning fireplaces
. Even in newer homes, the fireplace remains an important architectural detail, although it is a secondary heating source. The National Association of Home Builders claims that fireplaces are among the top three features that new homeowners love. Virtually all area homes are heated by gas, electric, hot water, or maybe even oil, so people light fires for ambience, for extra warmth, and for holidays, but do not rely on it as their primary heating source. 

Downsides Of A Raging Fire 

Despite the fragrant aroma and mesmerizing flames of a wood-burning fireplace, masonry units are out of favor with homeowners. The downside of the captivating fire is smoke that lingers in the air, gets in the people lungs, and dirties up the house. Few older fireplaces are energy efficient as 8 to 15% of their heat escapes up the chimney. A fireplace sucks in air from the room pushes it up the flu, and draws in air from the outside, which can create a “negative efficiency” effect. 

Fortunately, fireplace loving homeowners have several choices that enable them to get a great-looking, environmentally friendly fireplace that warms the room at a reasonable cost. There have been developments in wood-burning fire technology, as gas and electric fireplaces offer alternatives as well. 

New Trends In Wood-burning Fireplaces 

Many new wood-burning fireplaces are built in factories, set in the house opening and vetted to the outside. Many of these are rated by the EPA and qualifying for energy credits. Because they more effectively pull in the air from the outside, heat it, and recirculate it, they produce less than 5g of smoke per hour. Not only are these units 50% more efficient than older, built on site models, they even include a clean feature that keeps smoke and flames away from...

Scaring Up Otherworldly Halloween Events In Louisville

If modern life wasn’t scary enough, many people use Halloween as an opportunity to increase their scare factor. From now until Halloween, you can find haunted houses, haunted corn mazes, ghost tours, zombie themed events, parties, and more throughout Louisville, right alongside trick-or-treat events and alternatives. Here are a couple off-beat activities that adults might enjoy.

Haunting Entertainment In New Albany

Many of these venues are created to be frightening, but there are some Halloween events in Louisville that are based on historical reports of haunting right here. In New Albany, for example, you can sign up for walking tours to hear and reminisce about hauntings, murders, and paranormal events over the years. Led by Gregg Seidl, the Nefarious New Albany Walking Tour will visit the site of the city’s first murder victim, Frederick Nolte, in 1819 and conclude with one that occurred downtown in 1994. Seidl will tell you about reports of hauntings, always accompanied by tales of infamy, betrayal, and other horrible things.

He claims he is not a believer in ghosts, but as he puts it “things have happened on the tour that I can’t explain.” For example, guests who take pictures on the third floor of the old Central Hotel find strange streaks of light on the camera that they cannot see in person. Now the site of the Havana Blues Is Restaurant, the Central Hotel had many instances of supernatural activity, as current employees freely recount. A paranormal group known as PATH (Paranormal And Truth Hunters) has investigated the reports in New Albany, but found no scientific reason for her what happened.

Some of the ghosts noted in the tour are quirky. One spirit who lived at the hotel is a little old man in a top hat and cape. At the Café 27 on E. Main St., a ghost named Jasper...

6 Ways To Enjoy a Louisville In The Fall

Though the cooler weather indicated it was fall before the calendar did, now is officially time to celebrate the season throughout Louisville
. Before the excitement of the end-of-the-year holidays, there is plenty to do in our city that will get you out in the crisp air and enjoying your neighbors. The fall events in Louisville included in list offers something for everyone.

September Events T
hroughout Louisville.

Before the excitement of the end-of-the-year holidays, there is plenty to do in our city that will get you out in the crisp air and enjoying your neighbors. The fall events in Louisville included in list offers something for everyone.

  • IdeaFestival: Held at the Kentucky Center for that Performing arts from September 23-27, IdeaFestival offers discussions and exhibits put on by global thinkers in the world of arts, business, technology, design, science, philosophy, and education. Unlike many events and family-friendly Louisville this one has its main events each day from 9 to 5 and is more aimed at adults. If you feel you’re in a rut and need some new ways of looking at things, IdeaFestival is for you. There is a session on Friday from 9 AM to 2 PM that is geared to middle school children. The event finishes up on Saturday, September 28 with a 5K run/walk. For information and a schedule go to www.Ideaestival.com.
  • Ken-Ducky Derby: The big horse race in the Lou is over for the year, but you can
     potentially win prize money while you help Harbor House of Louisville, which helps people with disabilities find jobs and learn to live their lives to their full potential. Over 25,000 rubber ducks will be dumped into the Ohio River to race to victory. You can sponsor one duck for five dollars or 30 ducks for $100, with many support levels in between. The race is at 4 PM, but the festival goes from noon to 5 PM and includes live musical entertainment...

What Outdoor Home Improvement Projects Should You Attempt Yourself?

If you read our last blog, you'll remember that the newly-formed Home Project (HPC) surveyed homeowners about projects they thought were desirable and measured the response with those they said they'd attempt themselves. You can read the full survey here in the Council press release. 

Why Promote Does The Home Project Council Promote DIY Home Improvement? 

Why is this important to the HPC? DIYers feel proud when they complete home improvement projects, but many put them off as they await the day when they have money available to pay a professional to complete them. Tomorrow never comes for some homeowners, and they continue to live in their home without desired improvements they were unwilling to tackle on their own. Tackling outdoor improvements is DIY projects makes them affordable even for the inexperienced, so people are more likely to do them. HPC’s motto is “Remember that no one is perfect and mistakes will happen.” 

What Should You Attempt Yourself 

As a home show addict who also rehabs houses, I’m here to tell you that adding curb appeal to your home does add value. Poorly done projects take it away. The Council makes some great by encouraging homeowners to start small, get plenty of advice from DIYers and online sources, research both the technique and the materials you by, practice your technique, etc., but there are a few other things to consider. 

Some projects are very expensive to complete, plus have safety issues involved. An outdoor kitchen can be cheap if you’re talking about putting the grill and some chairs on the patio, but can cost tens of thousands of dollars if you’re talking about outfitting the area with durable all weather appliances, building coverings,...

Is It Time For Some Louisville Outdoor DIY Projects?

Now that fall has hit Louisville in full force, you might be thinking about some outdoor projects to increase the curb appeal of your home.
Whether you are planning to list your home for sale and want to instantly grab potential buyers or whether you want to increase the enjoyment of your home, adding attractive features to your yard will enhance the neighborhood too. As with any improvement, the question always is what you do yourself and what should you contract out for best results. 

Recently, a group of home improvement experts launched the new Home Projects Council (HPC) to promote DIY projects that are manageable for most homeowners. The goal of the Council, according to Frank Owens, HPC member and Vice President of Marketing for the QUIKRETE ® companies, is to “help homeowners increase the value of their homes by not only identifying trends, but by inspiring and steering them to successfully handle projects without they help or cost of a professional.” 

The Home Projects Council Survey 

As one of their first official acts, they surveyed 1, 278 homeowners about what exterior projects they had planned for 2013. The respondents were asked to prioritize the value of home improvement projects, indicate the resources they would use, and rate the perceived difficulty of various projects. The respondents were equally male and female. They assess their DIY skill levels as 36.6% beginner, 54.8% intermediate, and 8.6% expert. 

The results? 

  • The top five most desirable projects, in the eyes of survey respondents, included: plant a garden (49.1%), use decorative materials, such as pebbles, stones, or rocks, for landscaping (28.3%), build a deck 22.8%), create a fire pit or BBQ pit (20.5%), and build a patio or walkway with concrete pavers or bricks (19.2%). 
  • The top five projects respondents were very likely to tackle themselves included: plant...

Things To Chew Over In Louisville

If you grew up in Louisville, you know that the food is great here. Southern Living Magazine just confirmed this by including several Louisville restaurants to its Top 100 list of Places to Eat Now. This is great news, as it showcases some of the many fine eateries in our city.

Area restaurants on the list are Seviche restaurant located on Bardstown Road in the Highlands, 610 Magnolia in Old Louisville, and Milkwood and Proof on Main, both downtown. Seviche is a recent recipient of USA Today's "Ten great places for Latino flavor and flair." There are plenty more great establishments where you might enjoy meal for a special occasion.

From Fine Food To Fair Food

However, if you live here, you know that fine dining is not the only good food we have in town. As anyone who has been to the recently-ended Kentucky State Fair knows, what is offered at local fairs and festivals is pretty tasty though it wouldn't make Southern Living.  Much of what is served at the fair is on a stick, but decadent funnel cakes and burgers on a Krispy Kreme donut, make for a tasty handful. This year, even chicken and sloppy Joes are served with donut buns. Much of the food is what is served at any fair, anywhere, but specialties like Fried Derby Pie gives it a local flavor.

Food From A Truck

For the first time this year, the Louisville Food Truck Association was allowed to be at the Fair to offer an alternative to fried food. Offering a variety of sandwiches, fish, barbeque, pretzel rods, noodle bowls, and Bourbon Ball Brownies and other treats to cater to a variety of palates, the food trucks offered choices that were a bit healthier. These food trucks are a fixture at most Louisville events and even park downtown sometimes. You can see some of them at this weekend's this weekend on August 30 at the Maker's Mark ...

Consider A Functional Upgrade – A New Low-Flow, High Efficiency Toilet

In the world of home repair and remodeling, there are glamorous improvements you can make and there are functional ones. Unless you are transforming your bathroom into a spa, upgrading your toilet may seem like a ho-hum endeavor. This does not have to be the case. Why not? New high-tech toilets can save water and perform beyond your wildest dreams. If you do want high-style fixtures with lots of features, you have plenty to choose from. Even if have you have upgraded in the past to a low-flow model, you will be surprise by what's out there now.

Almost 20 Years of Low-Flow Toilets         

Even since 1994, low-flow toilets have been the norm for U.S. consumers. The government mandated that all toilets on the market must use no more than 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf) to do the job. Early models saved water but did not always clean the bowl in onr flush. Manufacturers went back to the drawing board to improve their designs.

Starting in 2003, researchers in the U.S. and Canada started to develop standards  for low-flow toilets. Using soybean paste to simulate solid waste, they developed the Maximum Performance Test (MaP) to test flushing abilities and water usage. They found that the best unit, tagged as WaterSense models, use on 1.28 gpf and handle two pounds of waste. Nearly 1.700 models are MaP rated.

The High-Efficiency Difference

The best models on the market today have high-efficiency features that make them deliver clog-free performance. Think of that commercial for an American Standard toilet where the kid is flushing away a box of golf balls and other inappropriate items. The toilet performs because it has other amazing features such as gravity–siphoning with super-charged rim wash to both move waste and clean the bowl, as well as a bigger trap and flush valve – all while using only 1.28 gpf.

Since over 40% of...

Are Stainless Appliances Really On The Way Out In Kitchen Design?

For the last couple years, designers have been predicting the end of the popularity of stainless appliances in kitchens. Whirlpool recently came out with a line called "Ice White," the designated heir-in-waiting. A combination of a glassy white finish  with stainless handles, the new appliance looks different from the white appliances of the past and it is catching on with designers. In addition, some manufacturers have been bringing color back to appliances and even designed some with a retro flair. Is stainless really on the way out in kitchen design, or are the rumors of its impending death premature? 

The Usual Kitchen Trends 

Most kitchen trends tend to lose popularity after 10-15 years. That is why if you look back at former decades, coppery brown was popular in the 60's, green and gold in the 70's, black in the 80's, white in the 90's, and stainless in the '00's. Based on history, stainless will soon be history in the trendy kitchen. Stainless is less popular these days in kitchens on display at international home shows. White, often combined with glass, is already trending in Europe and Israel. However, in the US, stainless is still popular. 

The Lure Of Commercial Flair 

Stainless has long been the standard in commercial kitchens. Rugged and resistant to stains, corrosion and bacteria, stainless can withstand heat, spills, and splatters in a hectic restaurant kitchen. For over a century, stainless was used on some upscale homes, before it came into the mainstream. The product has an industrial, sleek, high-tech look. Since many modern homeowners love to cook, upgraded stainless appliances in high-end brands like Viking and Wolf offer an in-home gourmet workspace. 

Stainless As Status 

Stainless has become a status symbol that leads some people to turn up their noses...

Boosting Attendance At The Upcoming Kentucky State Fair

Every August in Louisville, two events occur in a sequence so regular that even Pavlov's dog might see a pattern.  First, the Kentucky State Fair begins its two week run. Second, about a week later, Jefferson County Public Schools begin for the year. This year, the State Fair runs from August 15-25, while school starts on the 20th. Many families catch the fair during the first week as the last hurrah to summer vacation, and then visit at night and on the remaining weekend. Schools often incorporate field trips to the fair into the first week of classes.

Falling Attendance

Last year, fair attendance was off a bit. Fair officials made the point that the fair overlapped the start of school – but that is true most years. A more likely reason for the slightly lower attendance is due to external factors. Over the past couple years, the economy has been down. There are discount tickets available that knock a couple dollars off each ticket, but attending the fair is a substantial expense for a family, given the admission and parking fees, food costs, and tickets for additional events.

In addition, the admission fall off may have been tied to the closing of adjoining Kentucky Kingdom.  Many fairgoers enjoyed visiting the adjoining amusement park as part of their time at the fair. That park, formerly Six Flags, has been closed since 2010. Though the Fair has expanded its own rides to fill the gap, what they have cannot compare to the popular Kentucky Kingdom.

Weekend Parking Incentives

To attract more people this year, the fair is offering free weekend parking at the Green Lot of Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Free shuttles will drop people at the fairgrounds to allow patrons to save the $8 fee. There is also a $5 lot at the old Executive Inn site that also has free shuttles. Using the shuttles will help visitors avoid traffic congestion along Crittenden Drive and Phillips Lane. People can even sidestep long lines at the...

Tips For Handling Local Moves In Louisville

If you were to ask homeowners for the three best real estate moments in their lives, the answers would probably be closing on a home, selling their current home, and moving into the new home. The actual moving process would be near the bottom of the list. Even moving from one Louisville neighborhood to another can be a hassle, especially as you acquire more "stuff" and fewer friends who are willing to help you  move it. 

During a local move, you must keep your eye on the prize of your new home and be not be overwhelmed by the myriad details. There are plenty of online lists to make your move easy, but here are a few tips for handling local moves in Louisville. 

Planning The Actual Move 

Decide how you will move. The choices ranges from hiring professionals who can pack, move your possessions, and unpack them to using a rented truck, a bunch of friends, and a case of beer. Using professionals can be pricey if you require all the services, but for a local move you probably just need the pickup and delivery. Even if you can't afford to hire movers for the whole job, it might be worth it to call in the pros to at least move some items for a local move, especially for heavy pieces. 

Consider a POD. One of the newest ways to move is to hire a POD, a large container that is delivered to your home so you can pack it at your leisure. When you are ready, the moving company who provides them will pick it up and deliver the POD to your new location. This method can allow you to organize your move and make fewer trips on local moves. 

PODS will even store your load until you are ready – a great option if there is a gap between when you need to move out of your old house and can move into you new one. You can unload the POD on your own timeframe. If you are refinishing the floors and aren't ready to move in the furniture, you can leave the POD in...

Why Hardwood Floors Have Lasting Appeal Among Homeowners

Hardwood floors, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances are popular among buyers, even if they are not the major factors in deciding on what house to buy as they seem to be on TV. Any of these features can be added after the fact if the house you want to buy has "good bones." Of the three upgrades, both appliance colors and countertop surfaces are likely to be upstaged by the next best thing; in kitchen decor, finishes are popular for a cycle and then go out of vogue. 

Flooring Trends 

Hardwood floors are the most enduring preference, even though carpeting was the preferred floor covering starting in the 1950's. Carpeting prices fell, so it was economical to install, even in new homes.   New technologies made carpeting stain-resistant and easy to clean. By the 1970's, many new housing developments installed subfloors under the carpet instead of hardwood. Twenty or 30 years later, people wanted hardwoods again; currently the preference for hardwood vs. carpet runs about 50/50. 

Hardwood floors can scratch and do not give the cozy feel underfoot on a cold morning. These realities push some people to carpet, while others overcome these disadvantage with area rugs.  Small or even room size rugs can do the trick to prevent damage from furniture, provide a warmer, softer surface, and add color and style. They can be replaced more easily than wall-to-wall carpeting. Carpeting gives an area a lush look, so it has its supporters. For many of the pros and cons of hardwood vs. carpeting, see our previous blog Are You Part of the 51%? 

Why Hardwood Floors Have Lasting Appeal 

Why does hardwood appeal to so many people? 

They offer a timeless quality to a home. Though they need refinishing periodically, hardwood floors can last for centuries. This also makes them environmentally sound, in...

Pets On Vacation In Louisville

As you enjoy the summer, take in the local sites and festivities, and maybe even plan a trip away from home, you are never on vacation from your furbabies if you are a petowner. Should you take your pets on vacation with you? Whether you include your dogs in your plans or leave them behind when you take a trip, you must consider their wellbeing and make arrangements for them.

Should Pets Go On Vacation With You?

Many pet owners want their pets to go everywhere with them, but this is not always possible or even a good idea. Not all places are pet-friendly and for good reason. Loud, crowded environments can make your pets nervous, and in some settings, having your pet there can infringe on the rights of others. Before taking your pet to a new setting, plan carefully to make sure your pet will be welcome, as well as comfortable. Many public events, such as this weekend's Forecastle, as well as many events at Waterfront Park, prohibit pets.

Accommodations In Pet-Friendly Louisville

On the whole, Louisville is a pretty pet-friendly city as long as you are in control of your pet and clean up its waste. Here are a few things to consider if you planning to take your pet with you when you enjoy the city.

Walking your dog: Even if you have plenty of space for your pet to run at home, dogs are social creatures who benefit from interaction with other pets and who like to explore new things. Louisville has a chain of dog parks where you can let you dog run off leash, as long as you follow the dogpark rules. If you walk your dog on public streets or in Louisville parks, you need to keep him on a leash and pick up waste.

Dogs and dining. Most bars and restaurants do not welcome dogs (other than service dogs) indoors due to health regulations, but there are plenty of places where well-behaved dogs are welcome in their outdoor...

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