Author Archives: semoninblog
The new school year is officially in full swing! Finally you have time during the day to get things done and maybe even enjoy some peace and quiet! But along with this daytime bliss, often comes afternoon chaos. The kids barge through the door like an out of control tornado, tossing backpacks and jackets onto the couch, kicking shoes off at the bottom of the stairs and in front of doors, and your kitchen counter is suddenly swimming in a pile of school handouts, graded papers, and homework assignments. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself looking around and asking, “What. Just. Happened?!”
Your home does not need to be a victim of this school year, with some creativity and some discipline you can maintain a tidy and organized home.
1. Create a Filing System for School Papers
Make a binder for each child you have in school, labeling it with their name and the school year or grade they are in. Use this binder to store any handouts sent home from school that you may need to reference throughout the year. For even better organization, use tabs to separate different groups. This binder can be used to collect things like:
- Course schedules
- Classroom rules
- School calendars
- Report cards and progress reports
- Event flyers
- Lunchroom menus
3. Set Up Assigned Cubbies or Hooks
Kids get excited about having lockers at school because it’s a space of their own. Recreate this idea at home by designating an area for each child to store their backpacks, shoes, jackets, and lunchboxes and encourage them to decorate and personalize the space. A good rule is to have your kids put their stuff away before doing anything else. This will help control the mess and keep things from getting misplaced or lost.
From hurrying out the door in the morning to rushing to get the kids fed, bathed, and in bed at night it is so easy to forget things. Keep a weekly or monthly calendar on the wall that you will be sure to see every day. Use this calendar to record things like doctor appointments, sporting events, after-school activities, field trips, etc. This will help you stay prepared for upcoming occasions and ensure everyone is where they are supposed to be when they need to be.
2. Use Storage Bins to Collect Keepsakes
It is neat to see your student’s progress throughout the year, but putting every returned assignment up on the fridge or in a pile on the counter can create a serious clutter problem. Use a bin labeled with your child’s current grade to store returned assignments, artwork, projects, and awards after you’ve displayed them for the whole family see. Remember that you do not have to keep every single worksheet or quiz, just a few items that will be fun for you and your student to look back on.
With your already full and chaotic schedule, you may think there is simply no time for these organizational tasks. However, when done regularly, these responsibilities can become second nature to you and ultimately save you time. As a good rule of thumb, when the kids are doing their homework, you do yours! Take the time each day to sort through anything the kids have brought home and put each item in their rightful place.
Southern Indiana and Greater Louisville have always had a sense of harmony as residents from both sides frequently commute back and forth for jobs, real estate, and leisure. While the current Ohio River bridge construction will provide easier passage across the Indiana-Kentucky border, it is going to come with a cost. Plans to implement a tolling system along the Ohio River bridges are underway and bridge project leaders have announced brief details of the operation.
The tolling system will be unlike traditional tolls where drivers wait in line to hand cash to an attendant or dig for spare change to throw in a machine. Instead the bridges will feature electronic monitoring and video cameras. Commuters will have the option to obtain a transponder, which will send an electronic signal whenever they cross the bridge and automatically deduct the toll fee from a prepaid account. For those without the device will be tracked via video recordings. Cameras will capture license plate numbers and drivers will later receive a bill in the mail.
The official toll rates have not been decided, but the proposals expected to be approved are ranging from $1 for frequent commuters who have for the transponder device all the way up to $10 for commercial trucks. Drivers in regular sized vehicles and without the transponder are expected to face fees from $2 to $5. The projected date to begin toll operation is still in the works as well. Bridge travelers should expect to face this new expense around 2016.
To sell your home quickly, staging is a must! But you don’t have to spend a fortune to get your house showcase ready. These 5 simple tips can make a huge difference to buyers and may only cost you a can of paint and some elbow grease.
During a showing home buyers are there to see your house, not your stuff. A cluttered home is a red flag to buyers that storage space is lacking and distracts buyers from actually seeing the home’s true space and potential. It is also important to remember that buyers are looking for a house that feels like home to them. Family pictures and other personalized items can make it difficult for buyers to picture the home as being their own. Many people have found renting a storage unit to store access furniture and clutter is worth every penny, given their house sold for a higher price and much quicker than expected.
Appeal to ALL Buyers With Gender- & Age-Neutral Décor
When selling your home remember that you don’t know exactly who you are selling to. Keep things neutral and simple so the home will appeal to buyers whether they are male or female, a young bachelor or a retired couple. Think of how hotel rooms are decorated, neutral and clean. Paint the walls a soft, neutral hue and use simple bed coverings and curtains. Bold wall colors can be overwhelming and make a space appear smaller than it is, and patterns like floral or camouflage can be too strong and unappealing to certain buyers.
When touring your home, potential buyers will be looking primarily at how they will be able to use the space and rooms. Clear all clutter and excess furniture and arrange furnishings to reflect how functional a space is. To avoid buyers becoming confused by extra rooms, give each room a clear purpose. For example, place a desk and bookshelf in a room to stage it as a home office. Open-concept layouts can also leave buyers puzzled when thinking about what to do with one large space. Group furniture to create sections; use couches and chairs to act as walls do and face them away from the dining table. Position furniture to make the traffic flow in a room practical and obvious.
Clean, Clean, & Then Clean Some More!
Prospective buyers are going to look at every room up and down, right to left, inspecting places you wouldn’t expect. Polish your appliances, clean inside cabinets and drawers, dust ceiling fans, vents, and blinds, you should even make sure your dishwasher and washer and dryer are empty and clean. Whether you decide to clean yourself or hire professional help, a clean house is vital. It gives buyers the impression that the home has been well maintained and cared for.
Just like many people judge a book by its cover, many buyers judge a house by its curb appeal. It is their first impression of the home and determines what kind of attitude buyers will have when entering your house. Poor exterior appearance can cause a buyer to right off the bat become doubtful and incapable of having an open mind. Major landscaping is not always necessary, but the lawn should looked nicely manicured with a fresh mow, trimmed hedges, raked leaves, and swept porches, decks, and walkways. A coat of paint on the front door and porch railings can also get the home looking clean and new.
Fried food, free concerts, and cows… oh my!
Can you believe it’s that time of year again? The annual Kentucky State Fair kicks off tomorrow night, and everyone from around the region is invited to partake in what has become one of the state’s biggest traditions since 1902. Visitors of all ages will flood the fairgrounds during this 11-day event to enjoy a world of agriculture, education, performing arts, animal showcases, thrill rides, one-of-a-kind vendors, and MUCH more!
After beginning the day with a quick chat and photo session with Freddy Farm Bureau (the 18-foot farmer who has been the official greeter of the Kentucky State Fair since 1958), stroll through the hay covered floors of the West Wing to hear a chorus of moos and oinks, pet plush wool sheep, and watch chickens relentlessly peck through scattered seeds. Next, take the time to admire blue-ribbon crops, tour the numerous art exhibits, and immerse yourself in a plethora of educational attractions that will leave you with a whole new understanding and appreciation for the state of Kentucky and all the organizations that make it great. And make sure you take the little ones for a stop at Kidz Biz for performances by various dancers, musicians, and comical characters; entertainment that is sure to bring laughter and excitement to everyone from 2 to 92.
For those of you more interested in the merchandise, head to the South Wing where hundreds vendors set up booths showcasing everything from jewelry, makeup, and clothing to hot tubs, furniture, and home improvement materials. Take the time to stop to “ohh” and “ahh” at impressive product demonstrations and artist performances.
Before calling it a day, head outside to Thrillway, buy some tickets, and hop on some exciting carnival rides! Click here for ticket prices and information. Or if you have already spent enough money on fried food and souvenirs, make your way to Cardinal Stadium for the nightly concert, free with your paid State Fair admission. Gates for the concert series open at 7:00 p.m. each night, with a scheduled start time of 8:00 p.m. Click here for a schedule of performances, which include hit music sensations like Vertical Horizon and Montgomery Gentry.
General Info: The 2013 Kentucky State Fair will take place August 15-25, with gates opening at 7 a.m. and entrances to exhibits beginning at 9 a.m. each day. Admission at the gate is $10 for adults and $6 for seniors over 55 years old and for children 3 to 12 years old. There is an $8 parking charge for all of the main lots, but fair-goers can get free parking on weekends at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium and use the complimentary tram service to get to and from the fair.
As a part of the Kentucky State Fair celebration, a number of today’s most popular entertainers will take the Main Stage, including country superstars Alan Jackson, Gary Allen, and Toby Keith, #1 hit artists The Wanted and Carly Rae Jepsen, hilarious ventriloquist and comedian, Jeff Durham, and even the stars of A&E’s hit show “Duck Dynasty”. For schedules and ticket information, click here.
It’s a place off-the-beaten-path where people walk amongst exotic animals, where chickens and ducks have zebras and camels as neighbors, and where children run up the dirt path to feed carrots to goats and donkeys—but to any passerby it looks to be just like any other ordinary Kentucky farm. What sounds like belongs in a fictional storybook is one of Louisville’s most unique and special attractions known as Henry’s Ark.
Tucked away in the city of Prospect, Kentucky, the simplicity of Henry’s Ark is what makes it unlike any other family attraction. There is no giant parking lot, no entry gate, and no ticket line. When visitors arrive at Henry’s Ark it feels no different than going to visit a friend’s house. Despite its growing popularity with local families and tourists, Henry’s Ark has preserved the farm’s rustic setting so that visitors can get a real taste of its natural environment. Being able to feed, pet, and walk beside the animals is an interactive experience that make visitors of all ages feel at home and free.
The owners of Henry’s Ark have always emphasized that they want to share their home, not sell it. There is no entry cost to visit, but donations are encouraged to help maintain the farm and keep it open to the public. It is not advertised on the radio, TV, or billboards but simply spread through word of mouth making Henry’s Ark one of Louisville’s best kept secrets.
Henry’s Ark is located off U.S. 42 in Prospect at 7801 Rose Island Road. Open Tuesday – Sunday from 10am to 6 pm. For more info call: 502-228-0746.
P.S. Don’t forget to bring some veggies for the animals!
It’s officially summer and the things are heating up and will only continue to rise through the autumn months. Keeping your home cool and your energy bills from skyrocketing doesn’t mean you have to sweat it out this season. Use these four tricks to beat the heat!
Block the Sun!
And we don’t just mean with the SPF 45 lotion. The sunlight that streams into your house is acting as the last thing you want during the smoldering summer months—a natural heater. By keeping the sunlight out of your home during the day, you’ll keep your home much cooler without having to crank up the AC. So close those blinds and drapes to reduce that solar heat and your energy bill.
Special Tip: Reflect the sun’s rays by using light colored curtains, and block excess air movement by letting them puddle onto the floor.
Flip on the Fans
Keep the air circulating through your home with ceiling and portable fans to maintain a cooler temperature that requires less energy than your AC. Many ceiling fans are reversible with one setting that will push air down and the other that will suck air up. During the summer months make sure your ceiling fan is set on the rotation that pushes air down to keep the cool air in the room instead of escaping through the roof. It is also important to remember that the motors of ceiling fans give off heat, so turning them off when you are not in a room is a good energy saver.
Special Tip: Set bowls of ice water in front of portable fans to chill the air that is being pushed out.
Avoid The Oven
To truly beat the heat, you should stay away from fueling it. Keep your home cool by avoiding using appliances that emit heat, such as your oven, range, or dryer, especially during the hottest time of the day. Try washing laundry during the day and using the dryer at night. Or better yet, take advantage of the summertime heat and hang them up on a line outside. As for not using the oven or range, just consider it a good excuse to order in or go out for meals!
A Clean Filter = A Working Filter
A clean filter is a working filter. The dirtier an air filter is the harder your air conditioning unit has to work to cool your home to the temperature you’ve set on the thermostat. Cleaning an air filter can be a dirty job, but it is vital when it comes to saving money. Many homeowners have found it easier to use the disposable filters that can be swapped out once a month or once every three months. This way you can simply throw away the old filter and avoid having to wash away the dirt and dust by hand.
There is no better way to understand how the real estate market is doing than taking a look at the numbers, both past and present. For Kentucky and Southern Indiana residents, or those planning to move to the area, click here to take a closer look at the region’s market activity.
To better identity exactly how the real estate market is now compared to how it was a month, 3 months, 6 months, and even a year ago click on the following links to view the statistics for each area:
Events all over Greater Louisville and Southern Indiana are being held this week to welcome the community to come together and celebrate Independence Day the way all Americans should!
If you are looking to join in on the biggest celebration in town head down to the Waterfront! The annual Fifth Third Bank Waterfront Independence Festival will kick off Wednesday, July 3rd and run through Thursday night.
If you are looking for a more unique setting, Louisville’s historic and infamous steamboats are also taking part in the holiday excitement. The Belle of Louisville and Spirit of Jefferson will welcome passengers to cruise the river during the Waterfront Festival’s fireworks displays on July 3rd and 4th. Concessions and drinks will be available and tickets can be purchased of the Belle of Louisville’s website.
Admission to all events is free and will start up at 5:00pm each night. Attendees can enjoy fireworks, food and cold beverages, browsing through tents and booths set up by various vendors, and dancing the night away with multiple musical performances including country star Justin Moore, R&B all-stars Kool and the Gang, and many more. With a number of activities and games for kids of all ages as well, this festival is perfect for a night of family fun.
For those searching to do something on the other side of the river, the New Pekin Fourth of July Celebration is the place to be. Americans have been celebrating our independence at the New Pekin festival for 183 years, making it the oldest consecutive 4th of July celebration in the nation! A variety of events and activities, including fireworks, rides, games, entertainment, a parade and flea market, and of course plenty of good food, will run from Wednesday, July 3rd through Saturday, July 6th. Join in on the tradition this year at Pekin Park in Washington County, Indiana.
Just in case the storm clouds decide to join us in celebrating our American freedom, the Kentucky Flea Market Fourth of July Spectacular will be taking place indoors at the Kentucky Fair & Expo Center. From July 4th through the 7th over 600 booths will be set up offering shoppers to browse through are sorts of one-of-a-kind treasures and goodies. Bring your kids and enjoy a number of fun & FREE activities in “Kids Zone” including mini golf, cornhole, movie making, and laser shoot. There is also no charge for admission!
These are just a few events around the area that will be happening during the holiday. However way you choose to celebrate remember to do it in honor and pride of our nation and our freedom!
Let’s compare the June 23, 2013 stats with the June, 24 2012 stats for the Louisville, Elizabethtown, and Southern Indiana real estate markets.
The Months of Inventory is 17.1% lower than this time last year. This is the amount of time it would take to sell all the properties that are currently listed in the area. On June 24, 2012, it would have taken approximately 7.0 months to sell every listed property in the area; on June 23, 2013 it was recorded to only take 5.8 months.
The amount of Unsold Residential Inventory is also down 11.5% from last year. As of June, 23 2013 there were 6,794 residential homes listed for sale in the Greater Louisville area. This time last year there were 7,679. This gives buyers less to choose from and become more competitive with each other to get the home they want.
On average homes are selling for prices 7.7% higher than last year, and it less time – 19 days less than in 2012.
Average Sales Price - 2012: $181,173 vs. 2013: $195,150
Average Days on Market - 2012: 82 days vs. 2013: 63 days
In the Elizabethtown market, the Months of Inventory is actually 1.1% higher than it was in 2012.
2012: 9.3 months vs. 2013: 9.4 months
Unsold Residential Inventory is 4.5% lower, with 1,481 unsold homes on June 24, 2012 and 1,415 properties still listed for sale on June 23, 2013.
Unlike what is being seen in the Greater Louisville area, real estate in Elizabethtown has an Average Sales Price that is 11.6% lower than what is was this time last year. In 2012, properties were selling for an average of $153,496, this year the average price is down to $135,760.
However, similar to the Louisville market, properties are on the market for less time.
Average Days on Market – 2012: 163 days vs. 2013: 143 days
Months of Inventory – 23.9% lower than last year
2012: 8.8 months vs. 2013: 6.7 months
Unsold Residential Inventory – Down 3.9% this year
2012: 2,101 vs. 2013: 2,186
Average Sales Price - Increased 15.0% since 2012
2012: $123,404 vs. 2013: 141,921
Average Days on Market – 1 days less than last year
2012: 116 days vs. 2013 115 days