The RealEstate3000.com Louisville Real Estate Blog

Landscaping Tips - Part Two

Here is Part Two of our Landscaping Tips for year-round enjoyment of your yard.

-Add Water Features: Every great landscape has a focal point, and an amazing focal point is any type of water feature, such as a pond or fountain. And not only are they grea looking, but the soothing sounds of the water is very appealing, as well! Water features don't have to break the bank, either...most home-improvement stores, such as Lowes, have inexpensive options and materials.

-Use Different Forms and Textures: You may be partial to flowers, but a non-flowering bush can add a very interesting look and feel to your layout.

-Make Sure the Yard is As Low Maintenance as Possible! You're creating an amazing landscape, and you want to enjoy it without having to spend every waking second maintaining it!

-Make Sure Your Plants Are Drought-Resistant: You don't want to spend all Spring creating a masterpiece, only to have it wither away during the Summer months.

-Buy the Right Flowers and Plants For Your Spaces: Just because you like the way a plant looks does not mean it's right for your yard. Be sure that you purcase plants and flowers that are right for the spaces, light and soil in your yard.

Now, take these tips, start planning out your new yard, and make your neighbors jealous!

Looing for a new home in the Louisville Area with a great yard? Contact us at Real Estate 3000!

READ PART ONE OF THIS STORY

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Landscaping Tips

Sure, it's still cold outside, and we'll probably get some more snow and ice. Who has time to enjoy their yard in this weather?

Well, a great landscaping plan is one that allows you to enjoy your yard year-round. Plus, Spring is right around the corner, and so is the perfect weather for putting your landscaping plan in action.

Here's some tips that may take your yard from ho-hum to amazing!

-Make Your Landscaping a Year-Round Hit: Make sure your yard has something to offer during all four seasons. You may have to do some research, but make sur you have plants that look great throughout the year: flowering trees and/or shrubs throughout spring and summer, fall foliage in autumn and good structure in winter.

-Layer Your Flower Beds When Planting: Layer your planting beds in 3 rows: a back row (facing north, preferably) with the tallest plants, a middle row with the next tallest, and a front row composed of your shortest plants. Use repetition, both in the planting bed and elsewhere in your yard, to provide unity.

-Use Evergreens and Other Foliage Plants for Continuity: Do-it-yourself landscaping tip #1 above focuses on deciduous trees and shrubs. But don't forget evergreens and other plants prized as much or more for their foliage as for their flowers. The deciduous specimens provide more color and variety, while the evergreens will provide continuity.

-Use Annuals to Supplement Perennial Color: Perennial flowers are wonderful for your planting beds, but they bloom for only so long. You may have perennials blooming in your bed in May, then nothing until July. Incorporating annuals into a do-it-yourself landscaping plan will "plug the gaps," giving you continuous color...

Christmas Safety Tips

Christmas is a time for celebration, and the last thing you need is an accidental fire. The Dallas Fire-Rescue Department came up with these great tips for keeping your home safe during the season.

Holiday Fire Safety

The winter holidays are a time for celebration, and that means more cooking, home decorating, entertaining, and an increased risk of fire due to heating equipment.

  • Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the U.S. When cooking for holiday visitors, remember to keep an eye on the range.
  • Provide plenty of large, deep ashtrays for guests who smoke and check them frequently. Cigarette butts can smolder in the trash and cause a fire, so completely douse cigarette butts with water before discarding.
  • After a party, always check on, between and under upholstery and cushions and inside trashcans for cigarette butts that may be smoldering.
  • Keep matches and lighters up high, out of sight and reach of children (preferably in a locked cabinet). When smokers visit your home, ask that they keep smoking materials with them.

Candle Fire Safety

December is the peak month for candle fires, with nearly twice the average number of incidents.

44% of reported candle fires in the home started in the bedroom....

12 Tips For Preparing Your House For Sale

In Louisville and considering selling your home? Here is a list of things to do that may make it much easier...

1.Have a moving sale

2. Give a bunch of stuff to Goodwill

3. Move a bunch of stuff to storage

4. Minor drywall repair

5. Minor paint touchups throughout the house

6. Wash all windows

7. Have a crapet cleaning company clean the carpets. For what its worth, you can find exceptional ideas on buying, repairing, restoring, or maintaining carpets online and save money that usually falls underfoot. Cleaners, installers, and professionals offering other flooring options are offering special pricing now in the distressed economy.

8. Repair any minor electrical issues

9. Re-paint your mailbox and lamp post

10. Replace exterior light fixtures on house and garage

11. Fertilize the lawn about two weeks before putting it on the market

12. Re-do the mulch beds with fresh pine straw

While this may take a few days to a week to get done, you may be surprised at how smooth it will make the sales process. Plus, you may make enough at the moving sale to cover the expense of actually moving!

And, when your ready to look at putting your house on the market, the professionals Real Estate 3000 will be happy to answer all of your questions!

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Identity theft and your home loan

Buying a home can be stressful enough, but what if your credit became a roadblock to your purchase?

Imagine walking into your Louisville bank and applying for a home loan, only to find out that you've been denied because of outstanding loans in another state...loans you know nothing about. Then imagine finding out that someone has been using your identity for a decade. Then imagine the government believing them over you, and forcing you to have burden of proof.

This is a true, amazing story that was recently reported on Good Morning America. And unfortunately, it's a story that could happen to almost anyone. That's why it is so important to monitor your credit on a regular basis. Did you know that you're entitled to a free credit report once a year? You should also practice good computer safety, especially when using wifi in a public space.

You can view the incredible story from Good Morning America HERE.

Please contact us for more info on what you may need before you look for a home in Louisville.

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Reasons to move to Louisville - Part Two

There are so many reasons to live in the great city of Louisville, Kentucky ( here's Part One of the article) and here are just a few:

5) Louisville Slugger Field: Slugger Field is home to The Louisville Bats, AAA team for the Cincinnati Reds. There is no better way to spend a Summer evening than to enjoy a hot dog while watching future big leaguers slug it out!

6) Fourth Street Live! This is a thriving retail and entertainment mecca in the center of downtown Louisville. Sports bars, an Irish Pub, a Rock 'n Roll bar, restaurants and shops make this THE spot to be!

7) Louisville Slugger Museum: Where do thos baseball bats come from? Take a tour of the factory, and trip through the decades of baseball history at this amazing museum.

8) World Class Arts: Enjoy the theater? Love concerts? Crazy about the orchestra, or opera? Louisville is home to an outstanding array of arts. There's something for everyone!

These are only a few of the amazing things about Louisville. Intrigued? Want to know more about real estate in this great city? Contact us!

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Reasons to move to Louisville - Part One

Considering buying a home in Louisville? There are some great reasons why it's a great idea to live in the Northern-most Southern Town:

1) The Expanding Skyline: Louisville has not stopped growing! With the addition of The KFC Yum Center, The Ali Center, and the future Museum Plaze, Louisville has just begun to grow!

2) The Parks: If you love living in a town full of life, but also want to be close to the outdoors, you'll love Louisville! The City is investing more than $60 million in public/private funds to acquire thousands of acres of green space and parkland in rapidly developing areas. It's the largest urban parks expansion in America!

3) The Muhammed Ali Center: Overlooking Louisville's waterfront, this $60 million, one-of-a-kind facility is drawing visitors worldwide by celebrating the deeply rooted values and worldwide influence of Louisville's most famous native son - Muhammad Ali.

4) Kentucky Derby Festival: Celebrating 51 years, the Festival turns the 'greatest 2 minutes in sports' into a two-week extravaganza that attracts 1.5 million people. Recognized as one of the premiere events of its kind in the world, it includes more than 70 special events requiring 4,000 volunteers - including the world's largest fireworks display.

More Reasons to Move To Louisville Next Week!

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Buying a home in Louisville - New vs Existing

This is the question: should you buy a new home, or an existing one? Let's take a look.

On the surface, because ofadvancing construction techniques and improving technologies, a new home is generally more expensive than an existing one of approximately the same size. Newer homes typically do not require any repair or painting, and many of them come with more "green" features which help to keep utility costs down.

Newer homes also will generally have more safety and security features, which could play an important factor when considering your family.

Now, older homes have benefits, as well. When dealing with the owner of an existing home, many may be more motivated to sell. Also, you're less likely to pay homeowners association fees in older homes, which could add hundreds of dollars to your monthly house payment.

Also, many older homes are in established neighborhoods which are the exact surroundings many homebuyers are looking for. Location, location, location!

Need help deciding between New vs Existing? We can help you trudge through the choices! Contact us at your convenience.

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What To Look For in a Realtor

Ready to find a realtor in Louisville? Here are 4 simple tips to finding the realtor that can help you find your dream home.

1) Good Chemistry is magic! You'll be spending a lot of time with your realtor, discussing finances, as well as your family's wants and needs. You need to feel comfortable with this person. Trust your instinct.

2) Examine your needs. Whether you're buying or selling, you don't need the "top" realtor, but you need to find one that has expertise in area you need.

3) Proven track record and credentials. Check professional credentials, talk to past clients, and select a realtor that understands mortgages and the Louisville neighborhoods you're interested in.

4) Customer service. Make sure your realtor has a track record of great service for their clients. Price is nice, but you should also have a great experience with the realtor you choose.

Want more info about Real Estate 3000? Contact us!

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Showing Your Home to Sell in Louisville

It's been your Louisville home for years. It was your first home, maybe you raised your kids there, and the memories are in every corner of the house. But now it's time to sell it and move on to your next home. How do you do it?

The first thing to remember is that the first impression a buyer has of your home is the most important. So, you'll want to make sure that the house is prepped:

  • Make sure the front entrance is clean
  • Is the front door faded? Maybe it needs painted...or replaced.
  • Clean and paint any trim or shutters that may need refreshing

Take a look at your home from the buyer's point of view...

  • Are the windows and floor clean?
  • Replace any faded wallpaper
  • Repair worn woodwork
  • Steam clean the carpet
  • Repair loose knobs, latches, broken light switches, and other minor repairs
  • How does the caulking look in the bathroom and kitchen?

Find out more tips for selling your home HERE

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So your looking for a house...here's some tips!

Are you considering buying a house in Louisville? Have you already found one that be be your dream home? Here’s some great tips to consider during the process!

1) Think about how long you’ll be there.

If you’re going to be in the house for 5, 10, 12 years or longer, then you may be in great shape for the purchasing process! However, if you think you’ll only be in the home for one or two years, then you may want to step back and think about it.

2) Take a look at your credit.

Since you’ll probably be looking at a mortgage, you may want to make sure your credit is up to par. Get copies of your credit report, and work on fixing any issues there may be. This is always a good time to talk to a mortgage loan officer.

3) Can you afford the house?

This is a BIG question! Again, this is a good time to talk to a professional.

4) Consider getting pre-approved.

This will often get you preferred treatment when purchasing a home.

5) Is the house in a neighborhood you like, with good schools and close to the places you need to be?

If you’ll be in the home for years to come, you better make sure it’s located in a great place for your lifestyle! Need more help? Real Estate 3000 is dedicated to helping you find the house of your dreams, and we'll guide you through the process from start to finish! Contact us HERE

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Tips to Save Energy and Add Value

When it comes to energy efficiency, look for smart features and expertise to help you save energy and money and add value to your home.

1. Begin with a Right-Sized Home.

If the home you buy is simply too large for you or your family’s needs or plans, you stand a good chance of wasting energy through excessive heating and cooling costs. If it’s too small, you’ll feel cramped and uncomfortable. It’s a big investment, so seek balance and buy it “right” from the outset. 

2. Purchase Energy Star Appliances Such as Your TV, Dishwasher, Washer and Dryer, and Microwave.

And especially the refrigerator, as it alone contributes about 10 percent of the energy use in a home. Also, unplug electronics not in use or turn off power strips to avoid phantom charges. 

3. Install Efficient Lighting Such as Compact Flourescent (CLF) or LED Bulbs in Every Fixture.

Lighting accounts for about 6 percent of an energy bill each year.

4. Get an Energy Audit and Have Tests Performed to Identify Ways of Improving Your Efficiency.

You can always upgrade your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system as well as your  thermal envelope, which includes insulation, windows, and doors  and the seals or weather stripping around them. Visit energy.gov/energytips for more tips.

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