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The Louisville Gaines Real Estate Blog

The Louisville Gaines Real Estate Blog

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...

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...

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...

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...

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