Construction Starts on Bridge to Connect Downtown Louisville and Jeffersonville

After a very long multiple year wait, the groundbreaking took place on the bridge that will connect downtown Louisville and Jeffersonville. The governor, community leaders and many residents were on hand to witness the beginning of the construction of the bridge. The downtown crossing is half of the $2.6 billion Ohio River Bridges Project.

The other half is an East End bridge that will connect Prospect Kentucky with Utica, Indiana. Both bridges are scheduled to be completed  in 2016. The new downtown bridge will carry six lanes of northbound Interstate 65 traffic, working in tandem with a revamped Kennedy Bridge, which will be converted to six lanes of southbound traffic. The downtown bridge project is expected to employ about 500 people.

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Home Maintenance Tips For All Year Long

As responsible homeowners, we all know that there are certain things that must be done routinely with regards to the proper maintenance of our most prized possession, our home. 

Unfortunately, most of us don’t have the time or the monetary resources to do the job correctly or even address some of the types of preventative maintenance that's required. Most of us don’t know the most important items that need to be checked routinely, so we wait until something goes out, or doesn’t work anymore, then we do something about it. Sometimes, that isn’t even an incentive to act, or react. This is not a good way to maintain your most expensive possession, and it is a good way to get your homeowners insurance policy cancelled if you ever try to make an insurance claim on repair costs after the fact. Regular attention to key areas will save money over the life of the home and help to preserve the integrity of the home insurance policy.

 This isn't a big list, but there are some key areas to pay attention to:

    Besides the roof itself, the gutters are probably most important to good water drainage all year long. Most people never look or check the gutters on their homes or garages. What happens to the water once the gutters take it from the roof and deposit the water on the ground is also important. All of the gutters should be checked for leaks, and buildup of leaves, branches and dirt  at least once a month in the winter and at least every few weeks during the summer. Accumulated moisture due to a build-up of leaves, dirt and debris can lead to damage on the roof, in the attic insulation, soffits, and behind any siding, and can affect both inside the home as well as the outside. Also make sure that the water is draining away from the foundation where very serious issues can develop, affecting the stability of the entire structure of the house or garage. Check your roofs on a regular basis. Roofs sometimes take a long time to reveal a leak or any problem. Go into the attic and look for tell-tell signs of leaking, like staining of the roof boards, or damage to the insulation in the attic. This is one area that you might want to call in an expert if you have no idea what to look for. It could save you thousands of dollars in roof repairs or replacement.
    We all could lower our energy bills by spending a couple of hours every few months to make sure that our windows, doors and other house openings are properly sealed off from the outside weather. Over time, caulking will dry out and crack and sometimes it is not obvious that moisture is leaking into the house through these cracks. The caulking will start to let in outside air and eventually cause mold or mildew problems inside the house. If the doors and windows don’t have weather stripping, you should invest a few dollars and put the stripping on all windows and doors so they do not leak air and moisture into the house. This also prevents insects and other pests from entering the home. You should routinely check for any damage from termites throughout the entire building,  including under the house too if the house. This is important.
    All appliances in the home should be carefully checked to see if they are operating  safely and properly. Gas appliances can be checked by calling the gas company on a routine basis. They will come out and check for any leaks in the appliances as well as in the gas lines and check for carbon monoxide leaks coming from the water heater or heating system. Check all plumbing fixtures like leaky faucets, sinks, garbage disposals, toilets, etc. Save yourself a lot of time and money and headaches by fixing plumbing leads as soon as they are discovered. Check the furnace and air conditioning filters every other month or so and replace them often for best results.
    Routinely check the condition of your garage (s) and any other outbuildings you have on the property. We tend to take our garages for granted and hardly ever clean them. This too is dangerous and could cost you your insurance  policy through a cancellation due to a fire, or even a flood caused by a faulty washer, or sink or plumbing problems in the garage. Check and clean the floor once in a while, including the driveway. Check for concrete cracking, or broken glass in any of the windows in the garage. Do you have a work bench or work shop within the garage?  Clean it up once in a while and be sure that any saws, drills, table saws, etc., are always unplugged when you are finished with them. If you have storage in the garage, make sure it is clean and neat and not a fire hazard. Patio enclosures should also be checked out to be sure there are no roof or patio cover leakage. The trees and shrubs around the house and garage should be trimmed regularly with any overhanging limbs from large trees cut off or cut back so if they fall they won't damage the roof or side of the building, or crack concrete areas.

IN SUMMARY:Neglecting to routinely inspect your home for needed repairs or replacement of certain items is not just a gamble with your  budget, but a serious risk in the event of a homeowners insurance claim. Standard policies include disclaimers for damage caused by neglect of the policy holder, and guess who that is You!! In Louisville we are fortunate to have many trained and experienced home repair people that you can depend on for any type of construction service or repair. Look in the Yellow Pages for the type of service you need. You can also go online and type in the appropriate service at, or use Yahoo search, Bing or which ever search you like. But don’t put off checking out these important maintenance issues.


The Pros and Cons of Reverse Mortgages

More and more seniors are opting for the reverse mortgage to help offset retirement expenses and healthcare costs. I hope to answer some questions regarding reverse mortgages as best I can but advise those who may be interested in a reverse mortgage to seek the counseling of an attorney before making any decision on taking out a reverse mortgage.

                          A good family meeting to talk about the subject is also advised.

What is a reverse mortgage? A reverse mortgage is basically a loan that is available to people who are generally over the age of 62 that enables a borrower to be able to convert part of the equity in their home into cash. Reverse mortgages were originally conceived as a means to help people who were nearing their retirement, and had limited income, to be able to use the money they have put into their home to help pay off debts and/or help cover their basic living expenses, or help pay for their health care, etc. There are no restrictions on how the money is used. The reverse mortgage money does not have to be paid back to the lender until the home is either sold or is vacated for some reason. As long as borrower lives in the home, they are not required to make any monthly payments towards the loan balance, but must remain current on any property tax and insurance payments.

There are qualifications that the borrower must meet such as the age requirement is  62 years old. These qualifications are subject to change.

  • The reverse mortgage must also be the primary lien on the property.
  • Any prior mortgages must be paid off in full.
  • The borrower can us reverse mortgage funds to help pay off any existing mortgages.
  • The property must be the borrower’s primary residence.
  • The borrower is required to remain current on any real estate taxes, home insurance, and, if applicable, condo fees or the borrower will be susceptible to default.
  • The borrower is also responsible for maintaining the property in good order and for making any and all necessary repairs.
  • The borrower always retains title and ownership of the home.
  • The amount of funds that the borrower can receive depends on the age of the youngest borrower, the value of the home, the interest rate and upfront costs. The funds can be delivered to the borrower as a lump sum, as a line of credit or as fixed monthly payments, either for a fixed amount of time or for as long as the borrower remains in the home. Sometimes the borrower can opt for a combination of ways to receive the funds. There are very little fees involved with getting a reverse mortgage and usually the fees can be paid out of the funds received.
  • The only up front fee us usually the appraisal fee. Usually counseling is required by most lenders and there might be a counseling fee over and above the appraisal fee, but both usually are not much more than $200.00 to $250.00 total. 

There are various types of reverse mortgages being offered today and it is advisable to talk to several lenders who specialize in reverse mortgages about the different requirements and guidelines that are involved.


Meet The Brad Long Group

Meet Louisville's finest Realtors from the Brad Long Group of Keller Williams Realty Louisville East. Our Realtors know and believe strongly in our fiduciary responsibilities to our clients and we treat their decisions, assets and time as if it were our own.


How the Housing Market Affects Individual Homeowners

As goes the Louisville housing market, so goes household finances. At least, that's the way it is for homeowners. For most homeowners, their house is a primary component and the single greatest ticket item in their financial portfolio. As such, their level of wealth fluctuates with the ever-changing price of housing.

When housing costs are stable and trending upward, the equity in houses increases, as was the case during the housing boom from 1995 through 2006. When this happens, homeowners gain wealth, are able to borrow against the increased value (through an equity withdrawal), and experience greater freedom to spend and invest.

When housing costs recede, however, the equity decreases as wealth disappears. If home values plummet dramatically—as occurred when the housing bubble burst in October of 2007—it is possible for a homeowner to find himself or herself in a negative equity position with a mortgage that exceeds the value of the home. In such a case, the homeowner may decide to simply walk away and allow the creditor—usually a bank—to foreclose on the house.

Additionally, due to the interconnectivity of the economy, the price of housing impacts the cost of other goods, the value of currency, the rate of inflation, interest rates, and the overall economic health of the nation. Indeed, fluctuations in one market can have ramifications around the world. These are not merely issues for accountants; they can greatly affect the household expenses for virtually every member of society.

For those seeking to purchase a home in a volatile housing market, they may have difficulty acquiring the necessary financing. Even though the cost of a home may be relatively low (adding to the loss of the current owner), potential creditors may demand a pristine credit rating before agreeing to loan money. Ultimately, a poor housing market can negatively affect homeowners and buyers alike.

The good news is that the economy tends to be cyclical. What goes around comes around. The housing market has always endured ebbs and flows, so it is inevitable that poor market conditions will improve over time. By budgeting wisely, living within self-imposed margins, and taking the necessary steps to endure an economic downturn, it is possible to emerge safely on the other side.

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Spring is here Louisville! What to do first...

Ah we did it; we survived another Ohio Valley winter.  Now that we made it to the light at the end of the tunnel, let’s get outside, enjoy the sunshine and have some fun.  So, what is there do to around here.  A lot actually, let’s look at some options.

It’s Derby Time! - Derby season brings so much excitement and energy to Louisville you can practically feel it in the air.  The Kentucky Derby Festival brings an amazing lineup of outdoor events that is unlike anything else in the world.  Thunder Over Louisville kicks off the festival on April 16th with one of the best firework shows in the nation.  There is also live music, airshow and the famous Chow Wagon.Thursday, April 28th begins the spectacular lineup of events called Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville on the Waterfront which carries on all the way to the big race on May 7th.  Some of the events include the Great Balloon Glimmer & Glow, the Marathon/mini Marathon, Chow Wagon, Pegasus Parade, Great Steamboat Race and a variety of live music throughout the week.  The main events are the Kentucky Oaks and Derby which are tons of fun that everyone should attend at least once.

Waterfront Wednesday - Waterfront Wednesday begins April 27 and runs until September.  This event is presented by 91.9 WFPK and is held on the last Wednesday of the month.  The show is on the Harbor Lawn at Waterfront Park and usually features two to three acts from around the country.  This event is fun and casual, great for socializing and best of all its FREE!

Louisville Bats Games - The Louisville Bats open their 2011 season on April 7th with the first of many Thirsty Thursday’s aka Budweiser Happy Hours, which offers $1 Budweiser and Bud Light from 5:30-7:00.  During happy hour you can enjoy live local music on the Overlook Deck.  Tickets for Bats games cost $7-$11.

Shakespeare in the Park - This annual, free event takes place at Delacorte Theater in Central Park, which is located in Old Louisville on 4th Street. Classic Shakespeare plays are reenacted in the evenings in June and July.  'All’s Well That Ends Well' and 'Measure for Measure' are the two classics on the line-up for the 2011 year, which feature Tony Award Winners John Cullum and Tonya Pinkins.  Enjoy your summer nights supporting your Louisville art scene in its 51st year by attending Shakespeare in the Park

Jefferson Memorial Forest - Did you know Jefferson Memorial Forest is the nation’s largest urban municipal forest?  With over 6,000 acres this is a great place to spend the day or the weekend.  Some outdoor activities include hiking, camping, fishing, birdwatching, horseback riding and picnicking.

So on a nice spring day there is no excuse, get out and find something to do.  Get out in your back yard and plant some flowers or play corn hole with some friends.  The options are really endless on a sunny day in Louisville.

To read more about our wonderful city and perhaps find your perfect Louisville, KY Home visit Louisville KY Real Estate


Like to Ride? Bicycle Magazine Ranked Louisville 21st in America's Top 50 Bike-Friendly Cities


Cycling in Louisville KYCycling has always been a part of Louisville’s culture.  In 1890, Louisville formed a cycling club called the Louisville Wheelman which led structured rides around the city.  Today this club, currently called the Louisville Bicycle Club, is one of the most dynamic and advanced cycling clubs in the country.   Their website is very informative and has any and everything you would need to know about cycling in Louisville.

Louisville has developed many cycling organizations over the years to promote and develop this sport in the city.  Bike Louisville is a community program to progressively make Louisville even more bike friendly.  In 2005, Mayor Abramson held Louisville’s first annual bike summit which set out a plan for Louisville to be awarded the gold-level status as a cycling city by 2015.  In order to reach this cycling status the city will be judged in five categories and demonstrate advancements in each.  The categories include engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement and evaluation and planning.  At this rate, by 2015 Louisville might be in the top 10 in the nation of the best cities for cycling.

Louisville has cycling options for every type of rider.  Whether you want to ride around your neighborhood, ride to work or in one of the cities lovely parks, Louisville works hard to give its riders safe and diverse options.  A large reason Louisville is a premier city for cycling is the abundance of bike lanes and paths currently in use; there are many paths currently under construction as well.  Louisville also has organized rides throughout the year such as the Memorial Day and Labor Day Mayor’s Hike and Bike.  Last year over 7,000 people participated in this event.

The city of Louisville also contains some smart and savvy bike shops for its cycling citizens.  St. Matthews in particular is home to some of the local favorites like Scheller’s Fitness and Cycling off Shelbyville Road, Bicycle Sport on Breckenridge Lane and Mountain Bike Depot in the new Westport Village Shopping Center.  Cycler’s Café located off Lexington Road in the Highlands is a unique shop in that it is also a diner/deli which offers delicious homemade meals like burritos, BBQ and salads.  After a long weekend ride, stop into the Cycler’s Café, check out their gear and enjoy a quesadilla and cold beverage on their deck.

With spring just around the corner, this is a great time to learn more about cycling in Louisville and why Louisville is the 21st best city in the nation for cycling.  The Bike Louisville page on the site is full of helpful information, maps and routes, safety tips, and cycling events.  Ride the City of Louisville is another helpful tool to map the safest bike route for your next ride.  With all the cycling opportunities the city of Louisville has to offer get ready to dust off your bike, strap on your helmet, get out on the road and enjoy!

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Downsizing to St Matthews

Less is more— right?

   People today are quickly realizing they don't need as much space in their home or on their property. More space equals more to take care of, more to dust and more to move from A to B. It means more to store, more to label and more to give away or sell eventually. Having more may also mean a commute from the suburbs or a surrounding county far from urban life. So far everything we've talked about takes more time for sure. It takes time away from the truly meaningful things you'd like to do with your life. For each of us this is different. For you, maybe it's more time with your friends and neighbors. For others, it could be more time for leisure or hobbies. To some, it's more time to relax and enjoy a good meal or some entertainment. It could be more time to exercise or more time outdoors. Well a home in St Matthews may not promise you all these things, but it's a good start.

   If this 'less is more' mantra or life philosophy characterizes you, then a home in St Matthews could be for you. Homes in St Matthews offer lots of positives and we'll be presenting them here on at home in St Matthews.

   A home in St Matthews gives you that cottage feel (there are tons of cape cod's in the area) with less to take care of but tons of community options. It's also superior to living in a condo or town home when it comes to control. You still have a yard to mow, and take care of— just not one that takes all day to finish. A home in St Matthews also puts you close to some of the most popular parks in the city of Louisville. Many in the area are within walking or biking distance from Seneca Park. We'll do a future post talking discussing the activities available at one of Louisville's most noted parks.

   Stay tuned for many other reasons why you need a home in St Matthews.

To search for your perfect home please visit: Homes for Sale in St. Matthews and let us know how we can help you in your search.

   P.S. In the meantime you can follow @loumetroparks on Twitter to get lots of great information like: ideas, promotions, contests and activities going on at Louisville's Metro Parks.


Why Some Houses Sit While Other Houses Sell

St. Matthews Lifestyle

Since you live in St. Matthews you know our area is quickly turning into the new “hot spot” in Louisville. On any given summer evening it’s a safe bet that the outdoor patio of Molly Malone’s and Bluegrass Brewing Company is a buzz with locals having fun in the sun. Molly Malone’s opened in January  of 2010 smack in the heart of town, the corner of Breckenridge Lane and Shelbyville Road, and has been the spot where everyone is meeting for happy hour or enjoying a delicious dinner al fresco. 
The Vogue Theater has always been a Louisville landmark. More recently the Vogue has turned into the fashion district of St. Matthews. Most of the boutiques in the Vogue are on the higher end, but no matter the prices the atmosphere and eclectic goodies you see make window shopping a pleasure. Check out Clodhoppers and House of Denim for items you would see on the cover of In Style.

St. Matthews is one of the most desired places to live in Louisville, as a result, new and different restaurants and shops are popping up all the time. We are eagerly anticipating the newest “hot spot”! 

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