Home Trends

Louisville Area Home Sales Up in 2016

The Greater Louisville Association of Realtors® (GLAR) reported that in March 2016 sales were up 14% with 1,346 homes and condos sold versus 1,180 last March. "The sellers' market is continuing in Louisville with inventory down in some areas over 20% compared to last year. This has also led to some fluctuations in the month to month statistics, , but in general our members are seeing steady single digit appreciation gains versus last year" said Greg Taylor GLAR President. 

Home sales are up this year 15.1% from January - March compared to the same time in 2015. Median prices for Louisville during the same time are up 4.3% and the average price is up 1.1%. 

There are just not as many houses on the market for the demand in Louisville. In some cases, homes are selling in a matter of hours. In Jefferson County, there are 24.7% less inventory of homes an condos for sale this March than in March of 2015. 

We expect this trend to continue the next few months as inventory levels are not increasing enough to cover the demand. Contact us and our professionals can help you get set up on an email alert so you know as soon as houses that meet your criteria are listed. 


Avoid Dated Decor

The beautiful paint color on the walls. That perfect accent chair in the corner. The window treatments that pull the whole room together. Each of these is part of our decorating style, and few things are more satisfying than knowing that every room in your house is decorated in style. But no matter how great and fresh our style may seem today, the décor of Louisville homes is sure to become dated if we don’t freshen things up a bit from time to time. By definition, “style” doesn’t last forever.

An outdated look may not trouble you too much if interior design just isn’t an interest or yours. But a dated décor becomes a serious real estate liability if you’re putting your house on the market. Potential buyers who visit need to be able to envision themselves living in your home in the very near future, and they aren’t able to do that when its rooms appears stuck in the past.
Fortunately, it doesn’t take a major financial investment or a great deal of decorating skill to update your home’s look. By simply getting rid of some outdated decorating touches like these, you’ll be able to bring your home into the 21st century.

Move Over, Mauve – In the 80s and early 90s, light rose colored walls and upholstery were all the rage. But mauve’s 15 minutes of fame is long gone, so if this color is in your house, you’ll want it to be gone from there too. Not sure what color to use in its place? Just take an accent pillow or wall hanging that you want to match to a paint store and ask the experts there. That way you’re sure to have a color that is not only fresh and up to date but also perfect for your particular room.

Light With Lamps – When it comes to lighting a room, track lighting used to be the ultimate in vogue style. But today, breaking up a lovely ceiling with track or can lights seems to take away rather than add to a room’s ambiance. Floor and table lamps are now the preferred way to light up a room, and with the millions of designs and colors available for both the lamp itself and its decorative shades, the design possibilities are truly endless.

Bring Down Borders – The stylish wall covering must-have in the 80s was the wallpaper border. Whether your walls were painted or covered floor to ceiling in wall paper, a border in a complimentary color and style was thought to be a decorating dream. But this dream is one that it’s time to wake up from. Borders are definitely out.

Free the Flowers – If the iconic 1985 home had mauve-colored walls with a matching wall paper border accented with track lighting, then it also had a sofa or chair upholstered in a fabric with huge, bright flowers. This kind of floral pattern was thought to be a great way to add a dramatic color to even the most drab room. But these floral pieces are now considered too loud. Today’s designers prefer to cover major furniture pieces in soft neutral fabrics and instead bring in color in smaller doses with decorative accents like pillows, vases or art pieces.

Interior design doesn’t have to be your top priority most of the time, but if you want to sell your house, it becomes a necessary strategy for enticing prospective buyers into making an offer. By simply getting rid of these types of dated décor, you can bring your Louisville home into the 21st century.

For all of your real estate needs in the Louisivlle, KY area, please visit Louisville, KY Real Estate.

Creating a Beautiful Home on a Budget

I wouldn’t consider myself a “Susie Homemaker” although other people have referred to me as her. I just take pride in my home and feel the more comfortable my home feels the happier I am living in it. Before I bought the home I am currently living in I used to love watching home decorating shows and flipping through high end interior designer magazines to get ideas on how I would style each room in my house. The reality hit me when we moved into our “dream home” with two young children that not only were most of the design choices unrealistic for our family, but also unrealistic for our budget. I wasn’t ready to give up my dreams on a beautiful house, so I have been on a mission since I moved in to find cheaper ways to get the same looks for less.

This designing on a budget and do it yourself trend is huge right now, creating many opportunities for people like me to make their beautiful homes on the cheap a reality. What I have learned so far is that there are a ton of hidden places spread throughout Louisville, filled with everything you need to make your home what you want it to be. The hard part is finding these places. 

The first place I am going to talk about is the most mainstream; Craigslist. Nowadays, most everyone uses www.Cragslist.com, whether it is to buy or sell goods or services. The key to Craigslist however, is getting good at using it. On the buying side, look for specifics, I have had the best luck on the site when I search for something particular. Most people don’t know what they have or are eager to get rid of it, so negotiate. Also, make sure you check out the product in person before you get suckered in to buying it. If you don’t know what you are looking at, bring someone who does. You don’t want to get it home only to realize you paid $50.00 dollars for something that is falling apart. 

A huge secret in Louisville is George’s on 7th and Market. When I first showed up to George’s on a Sunday morning I had to wait outside the gate for George to finish watching his Church programming. Exactly at 9:30am his handyman opened the gate and I entered what looked like a junk yard, and I immediately questioned what I had gotten myself in to. I continued to scour the outdoor yard filled with appliance, furniture, bicycles, and basically anything you could imagine. I told George I was looking for dining room chairs for my new kitchen table and he lead me inside. The inside of George’s is packed with collections of everything for the home. There are three floors filled with whatever you could need, all in rough shape of course, but with a little TLC most anything at George’s could come back to life. I went into the basement and found four wooden chairs that with a little bit of a wipe down looked fine enough for my purposes. George took $5.00 each for them and I was on my way. A quick sanding and coat of baby blue spray paint and I have four beautiful and modern chairs that add color and a bit of whimsy to my breakfast area for about $30.00! There are some things you have to be careful for at George’s. With any big warehouse style place, mold and wet furniture can be a problem, so make sure the furniture you pick is in good shape. Also, NEGOTIATE! People like George would rather sell four chairs for peanuts than let them sit for another five years. George’s is a great place to go, but know that you will have to put some work into whatever you buy.

Michaels is one of my favorite places to go for the décor in the kids rooms. If you check out the Pottery Barn Kids catalog you will find them selling some of the same products that I have made for crazy prices. Michaels sells wooden letters that can spell our your kids’ names, add a little paint, hang them with fun colored ribbon, or nail them to the wall and you have a cheap and striking addition to their room. My opinion is that your children are going to want to change their room so many times throughout their life, so why spend a lot of money on it anyway? Kids rooms should be fun, so let them be a part of it, let them paint a picture and frame it for their room.  Michaels has a million ideas for the kids’ rooms. 

I believe in mixing high and low pieces. We splurged on our staple pieces in the house, like our dining room table, couch, chairs, and bed, but everything else can be questionable. When you mix and match, people don’t know the difference. This allows you to change your room when you want to and allows your budget to breath a little!

Search for your perfect home on Louisville Real Estate the areas easiest to use search site.

Learn New Design Tips at Homearama 2012

It’s that time of year again . . . Homearama 2012. This year’s new homes showcase runs from July 14 – 29 at Rock Springs and Shakes Run. Even if you aren’t interested in that particular area, the size or style of the homes on display, or ever building a home yourself, the best thing about Homearama is all of the great decorating ideas you can get just by visiting. Home owners in Louisville are doing just that and learning great new design tips for their own houses.

The key to learning from what you see inside these homes is to deconstruct the various parts of a room you like to figure out just what it is that works for you. Too many folks take one look at the professionally decorated rooms and think, “I could never do that,” or “I don’t have that kind of money.” You don’t have to be wealthy or have a degree in design to learn things that you can do in your own home from the pros. Just keep these simple tips in mind when you visit.

Separate the substance from the overall style. A room you see at Homearama may be far too contemporary for your more traditional tastes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pick up a few great decorating tips from how that room was put together. Focus on design elements – like color, texture, and furniture placement – rather than the style of the individual pieces you see in the room. They may not appeal to your tastes, but perhaps the mix of wall colors or the clever way accents are used to add drama is something you can replicate in your own space.

Remember that color is king. Designers of showcase homes spend a lot of time choosing colors that will make a statement. Many will try new techniques and color combinations to see what kind of reaction they will get. Even if the paint colors aren’t ones you would choose for your own home, you can still learn a lot about how the pros use color. For instance, notice if a room has walls painted different colors or shades and which walls were chosen for the different hues. Also, pay attention to any paint treatments you notice as you’ll see some experimental techniques on display that might be all you need to update a room in your home without a major overhaul.

Don’t forget the details. While many visitors to Homearama are overwhelmed by the visual display from one room to the next, the savvy design-minded spectator will remember to focus on the details. For instance, how are accents, like throw pillows, wall hangings, or other art pieces, placed? How many are there and where are they situated? And how does their color play off of the rest of the room’s décor? Learning from the Homearama pros about how to wisely use accent pieces can help you transform a room on a very limited budget.

Homearama 2012 is a great opportunity to learn ways to freshen up the look of your own home from the work of professional designers. If Louisville home owners separate the style and furnishings of the home they visit and focus instead on the essential elements of design, like color and the use of accents, then it’s easy to use those design tips to liven up their own spaces.

Check out Louisville Real Estate for the latest happenings or to search for your dream home.


Louisville Home Owners Love Cost of Living News

The latest release of the Cost of Living index brings more good news for Louisville home owners. The cost of purchasing goods and services in Derby City is roughly 11% lower than the average across the country. To put that into some context, it’s about two and half times less expensive to call Louisville home than it is to live in Manhattan. These figures come from the work of the Council for Community and Economic Research, a non-profit group that analyzes the prices of a wide range of consumer goods and services in 306 major metropolitan cities on a quarterly basis.

The biggest bang for the buck that Louisvillians see comes when buying a house. Based on data from the first quarter of 2012, buying a home in Louisville is close to 23% less expensive than the national average. For example, a 2,400-square-foot new home would cost an average of $231,573 in Louisville while the national average is $251,247. But housing isn’t the only area where Louisville home owners are saving money. Groceries, gasoline, and just about all common consumer goods are also significantly lower in Derby City than other urban centers.

Some will argue that a lower cost a living also goes along with lower average wages. And others contend that larger, more expensive cities are worth the higher price because of their ability to showcase top level professional sports teams and other marquis entertainment events. But for those of us looking for the most value for our hard-earned money, Louisville stands out because of its affordable cost of living.

Want to find out just how much? Check out CNN Money’s Cost of Living Calculator. Just enter a salary and home city and state. Then enter a comparison city and state. The calculator will tell you what a comparable salary in the comparison city will be and how a move to that city will affect common costs you will have there. For example, let’s compare the cost of living of someone in Louisville making a salary of $55,000 annually to what it would be if he or she moved to Boston. That $55,000 salary would have to be $82,350, and housing there would cost a whopping 92% more. Utilities, groceries, and healthcare will run 44%, 35%, and 39% more in Bean Town respectively. With number like these, Louisville home owners definitely love the latest cost of living news!

To start your search over, visit Louisville Real Estate and you can eassily restart your search for homes.


Louisville Homes Find New Life in Old, Repurposed Items

Home decorating for some involves purchasing brand new furniture, wall décor and other accents. But for others, finding an old piece and giving it new life is more than just a practical, environmentally friendly way to update a home’s look. For many Louisville home owners, repurposing old items found around the house can add both beauty and character. Consider these do-it-yourself ideas for turning the "no longer useful" into the "can't live without."

  • Mason jars are some of the most versatile items for repurposing. Add a push pump to the to one for a rustic-looking soap dispenser, or place colored light bulbs inside several and line them outside for a festive glow when entertaining outdoors.
  • Cheese graters can also add a touch of functional whimsy to the home. Use it as the base for a mobile, and hang pictures or other collectables from yarn attached to its many holes. Or paint it a fun color and sit it on your dresser. You can use the holes for decoratively holding your earrings.
  • Wooden shutters can serve an amazing array of purposes. Attach large ones together to create a screen divider that can be used indoors or outside to define different spaces. Painting them in bright hues will add a bold splash of color to your space. Hang smaller wooden shutters above a desk or other workspace, and use the open slots to organize to-do lists, greeting cards, mail or recipes.
  • Palates used in industrial settings can end up being a clever accent in a home. Hang one on an empty wall in the kitchen and use it as a plate rack. Or turn it into a “living wall” by planting flowers in it. If a whole palate is too big for your space, cut off just one section and use it as a planter box, or hang part of it on a wall to use as a magazine rack or book shelf.
  • Cabinets contain a wealth of repurposing potential once they are no longer needed to hold dishes in the kitchen. Hang up a painted cabinet without its door on a wall, and use it as a shelf or shadow box containing decorative items. Try painting inside the frame of a cabinet door with chalkboard paint, and hang it for family notes and reminders.
  • Maps can be used in hundreds of different ways that have little to do with geography. Cut a large map into three sections, frame each of the three pieces, and hang them creatively on a wall. Maps can also make a great mat covering inside a frame, especially for travel pictures.

Simply finding items around the house that have already served their intended purposes and applying a little creativity to them can result in clever new decorative accents. Louisville home owners know that “old” doesn’t have to mean “useless,” and by repurposing old items, they are adding new life and a sense of playfulness to their homes this summer.

Brad Long is a real estate Realtor based in Louisville, KY. You can contact him and search for Louisville Real Estate through his website.


Louisville Homes Spruce Up For Summer with Container Gardens

One of the many advantages to owning a home over renting an apartment is the ability to have a garden. Tending to beautiful flowers or harvesting vegetables is part of the traditional vision of home ownership, and few things seem more downright American than being able to pull a tomato off the vine or pluck a red rose from a garden you tended on land you own yourself. But today, many of us lack the time, space, and patience to be true gardening aficionados even though we’d like to be able to grow something of visual beauty or culinary value on our little parcel of the Earth without backbreaking work, lots of time, and money. And fortunately, we can. Many Louisville homeowners achieve this very dream through the use of container gardens.

A container garden refers to the growing of plants—flowers or vegetables—in containers rather than directly in the ground. They can often be more convenient for someone new to gardening or folks who don’t have a great deal of time to devote to it because they can be located right outside the door on the deck or patio which makes the chore of daily watering relatively easy. Also, having plants confined to pre-defined containers can keep a gardening project from getting out of hand. And having even a small container garden can offset grocery expenses by providing vegetables for summer meals or flowers for our centerpieces that we don’t have to purchase at high prices. Plus, the feeling that comes from eating something you grew yourself or enjoying the scent of a flower you planted on your own can’t be compared to anything that is bought in a store.

Growing a container garden is really pretty simple, even for those of us who wouldn’t know a green thumb if poked us in the eye. Keep these simple tips in mind if you choose to try starting your own.

  • The potting soil is important, but not enough to spend time creating your own soil mixtures. Lots of gardening resources will provide you with various recipes for the perfect soil in which to sow your seeds, and many of them are truly wonderful. But for the part-time deck or porch gardener, it’s not worth the time and expense to experiment with different ones because pre-packaged potting soil is usually quite good and very cost effective. Unless you are going to start your own greenhouse, pass on those soil recipes and purchase a professional blend that takes the guess work completely out of it. 
  • Be sure to choose the right kind of plants. If you want to harvest vegetables, make sure the seeds you purchase are for the season during which you intend to harvest them. If you want greenery or flowers, check to ensure that the plants’ needs match your environmental conditions. For instance, if your deck gets direct sun most of the day, make sure you choose a plant that doesn’t crave the shade. 
  • Consider a “top dressing” for your soil once you have planted the seeds. A common top dressing is mulch with fertilizer that will cover the top of the container bed. This allows the plant to keep as much moisture near the roots as possible. 
  • Be vigilant about maintenance. Make sure you know how much water your flowers or vegetables need. And be sure to water them accordingly. 

You don’t have to be a horticultural expert to produce beautiful flowers or edible vegetables this summer. All you need are a few containers, a couple packets of seeds, and a tiny bit of know-how. Louisville homes are sprucing up this summer with container gardens. Shouldn’t yours be one of them?

If you find yourself curious about the local real estate market, please visit Real Estate Louisville, KY to learn about the greater Louisville area.


Louisville Homes Look Light and Airy This Spring

They say that a person’s eyes are "the windows to the soul," but what about the windows themselves? Surely, windows are the very soul of a home as they connect inside and outside into one harmonious whole. Without them, we would feel far too enclosed, perhaps even trapped. The windows in our Louisville homes unite us with nature, each other, and the rest of the world. As Derby City residents are now throwing open the sashes to let the spring sunshine and warm breezes in, they’re also making some clever changes to their window treatments in ways that lift the soul of home and homeowner alike.

Gone are the days of heavy valences and cornices with layer upon layer of fabric used to make a statement. This season, light, soft, and simple is definitely "in" when it comes to decorating windows. A few simple and inexpensive updates can make a world of difference.

    • Get rid of your old three-inch thick wooden rods with their huge drapery rings. Replacing them with thin rods freshens up the look.

     • Instead of heavy fabrics, try sheer curtains. Their light, gauzy look – especially when a gentle breeze blows through – is the perfect accent for conveying a sense of lightness and ease. If you’re worried about privacy, just add a thin cotton lining to the sheers.

     • Consider saving money while enhancing style by purchasing pre-packaged panels that you can have lined by a seamstress. Have them cut to a length that will very lightly touch the floor.

     • When it comes to patterns in window fabrics, less is definitely more. Using all one color or a tone-on-tone pattern are more stylish today than the bold, dramatic look of the past. If you are concerned that a solid color might be too boring in your room, try livening things up through texture rather than color. Panels in a rougher linen fabric add extra some extra dimension that flat cotton alone doesn’t have.

Louisville homes are looking light and airy this spring, and not just because of the great weather or a fresh coat of paint. By updating how we adorn our windows, we’re lightening not only the "soul" of our homes but our own spirits as well.


Louisville Luxury Homes Love Leather

Louisville Luxury HomeHome designers have preached it for years – when it comes to decorating a home, the most important characteristic in addition to color is texture. And when it comes to upholstery, luxury homes in Louisville often choose leather as their furniture covering of choice. When home owners choose a full leather living room set or just accent a room with a single chair, leather has a way of exuding a high-dollar, first class look.

One reason for leather’s appeal is that it’s amazingly durable and lasts about four times as long as fabric. Also, people prone to allergies and asthma generally prefer leather because fabrics can harbor lots more dust mites. But let’s face it – the main appeal of leather is its look and feel. It simply feels good against the skin because leather is able to release moisture through its fibers into human pores. Because of this, it becomes even softer over time, and many people feel the aging process makes leather look better with each passing year. When we used to refer to “leather furniture,” we meant brown couches or recliners. But today, leather dining chairs, decorative ottomans and even cowhide rugs in a wide variety of colors are easy to find for any size home.

But it’s true that not everyone is a great fan. Leather can puncture when sharp shoe buckles or jewelry scratch its surface, and failing to clean the armrests can result in wearing from the build-up of body oil over time. Also, some people simply don’t find it as comfortable as fabric. Depending on the clothing a person wears, leather can be very slippery and cause a person to have to struggle to sit up straight. In the summer, bare legs in shorts of skirts can feel sticky against it, and in the winter, some folks prefer the warmth of fabric when cuddling up on the sofa under a blanket. Also, people concerned about the use of animal parts in manufacturing probably won’t choose leather either. But perhaps the biggest downside is the price. Leather can cost 25%-50% more than fabric, so this alone will keep some consumers away.

Despite the high costs and potential negatives though, leather continues to be a popular upholstery choice. And making that investment pay off over the long run takes some care. Here are a few tips for keeping your leather furniture in excellent condition:

  • Regularly dust leather furniture with a dry cloth. In fact, keep a couple dry cloths set aside simply for this purpose so that any residue from other surfaces in your home don’t get back on your leather. 
  • Keep an eye out for sharp objects – buckles on shoes, pointy jewelry, and even your pet’s nails. Leather does scratch, so the only way to prevent this is to make sure sharp objects don’t come in contact with it. 
  • Always remove spills as soon as possible with a clean cloth. Never use soap or try to soak stains with water. 
  • A couple times each year, wipe your leather furniture down with a damp cloth. Use only a tiny bit of distilled water, not tap water because it can stain. Afterwards, add some moisture by using a conditioner without color that is specifically made for leather. Just rub a few drops into the upholstery with a soft cloth and wipe dry with a clean one. 

Although some folks may not choose leather for their homes, many luxury home-owners in Louisville find leather to be the most attractive, classic, comfortable upholstery available. As home designers have told us for years, texture is a vital element in room design, and for many, leather provides not only amazing texture but an excellent long-term investment as well.

Search Louisville Luxury Homes for all available upscale homes, condos and farms for sale.


Outdoor Living in Louisville

Louisville has been blessed this year with a mild winter (at least so far), and the warmer temperatures of late have made us all anxious for spring. Along with more hours of daylight and beautiful flowers in bloom, spring also brings with the enticing invitation to spend as much time as possible outside. But a moldy, unadorned deck is no setting for springtime fun. An outdoor oasis is more the ticket this season. Whether your goal is to enhance your affordable real estate in Fern Creek by updating your current deck, or you have grander plans in mind—such as adding a sumptuous outdoor living room to your luxury home in Lake Forest—many of us who live in Derby City are now beginning our outside-of-the-home improvements. 

Designers everywhere have one important piece of advice when it comes to improving outdoor spaces—make it like the inside! We spend countless hours picking out just the right curtains for our great room or finding the perfect kitchen table for the inside of our home but then be content to go to the local home improvement warehouse to purchase a sale-priced patio set and call it a day. But our outdoor spaces need every bit as much attention as our indoor rooms. Taking a few simple indoor design practices outside can make all the difference.

An essential item in outdoor design is fabric. Gone are the days of uncomfortable, sticky patio cushions in less-than-attractive colors. Today, there are countless options for fabrics to use on outdoor furniture that are able to both withstand weather and provide a great way to extend an indoor color scheme outside. And just as we accent our indoor sofas and chairs with pillows, we can now adorn our outdoor furniture in the same way.

Another decorating element that we often forget when designing outside is lighting. Indoors, we carefully choose floor and table lamps, ceiling mounted chandeliers and recessed lighting. The same should be true for our outdoor living spaces as well. Those that are enclosed can be appointed with the same kinds of lighting features, including chandeliers. But even our open-air decks and patios need lighting accents, too. Today, a variety of floor and table lamps specially designed to hold up to the elements provide a great way to turn an outdoor space into a cozy outdoor living room.

Finally, we need to consider the art work outside. Certainly, nature provides a lot of beauty by itself, but adding a few other touches can soften an outdoor space. We would never be content with completely bare walls indoors, so we shouldn’t accept the same outside either. Here again, the choices for outdoor art and accents are virtually unlimited today.

Spring will soon be upon us, and those who are anxious to spend quality time outside know that creating an outdoor space that is as warm and inviting as the inside of our home is essential. Whether we want to spend just a couple hundred dollars on our affordable real estate in Fern Creek or add an expensive, elegant outdoor living room to our luxury home in Lake Forest, Louisville is ready to make outdoor living both beautiful and fun.


For all of your real estate needs in the Louisivlle, KY area, please visit Louisville, KY Real Estate.