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Why You Need a Real Estate Agent

In today’s age of technology it’s easy to do things on your own that usually would’ve been done with the help of an agent or company 10 or 20 years ago. Many used to go through travel agencies to plan their vacations and trips but now you can book your flight, hotel, and activities on the same website. If you are a home owner and you are looking to sell your house it’s a lot easier to use various mediums to do it by yourself to avoid having to go through a real estate agent; many home sellers simply look at real estate agents as ‘the people in the middle.’

Many don’t realize, however, how big of an undertaking it is both financially and when it comes to time. If you are working a full time job and trying to satisfy other obligations in your life it will be very difficult to sell your home in a timely manner at 100% listing price. Real estate agents literally spend their time doing this for you and most don’t get paid until you sell your house, which is extra incentive for them to work harder.

Take a look at the info graphic below to learn more about how having a realtor on your side can be greatly beneficial to you.

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2013 Black Friday Guide

Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year for both customers and companies alike, is only days away. This year it seems as if the excitement of Black Friday has lost some luster due to the fact that most of the big retailers are in fact opening on Thanksgiving night. It gets confusing tracking where the deals are and when stores will be open so we decided to make a one-stop-shop guide for your Black Friday shopping experience here in Louisville.

What time will stores be open?

This may be the most important question to answer to kick off your Black Friday planning. If you live in Louisville here is a reference for what times store will be opening:

All stores in Mall St. Matthews will open at 12 a.m. on Black Friday, with the exception of Dillards and JCPenney which will both be opening at 8 a.m.

Stores opening at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving at Jefferson Mall include: American Eagle, Auntie Anne’s, Bath & Body Works, Best Buy Mobile, Body Central, Cell Phone Stylish, Champ Sports, Charley’s Grilled Subs, Charlotte Russe, Claire’s, Cosmic, Dairy Queen, Doc Popcorn, Finish Line, FootAction, F.Y.E., Hot Topic, JCPenney, Journey’s, Justice, KY Street Korner, Macy’s, Max Orient, Motherhood Maternity, New Image Hair, Old Navy (7 p.m.), P.S. from Aeropostale, Sbarro, Shoe Dept. Encore, Spencer Gifts, Things Remembered, Toys R’ Us Express, Underground Station, and Victoria’s Secret.

Stores opening at 12 a.m. on Black Friday at Jefferson Mall include: Foot Locker, GameStop, Gold & Diamond, Great American Cookies, J&A Carts, Kentucky Korner, Kid’s Foot Locker, Lady Foot Locker, Payless ShoeSource, Radio Shack, and Zales Jewelers.

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River Valley Weekend Report - 11/22/2013

Thanksgiving is among us and family and friends are starting to fly in town for the holidays. Luckily there are several events below that you can bring them to while they are here! In between reading the River Valley Group neighborhood guides and checking to see how much your home is worth be sure to get out this weekend and bask in the beauty of fall. The River Valley Group has compiled the events below for this week’s River Valley Weekend Report. No matter where your house in Louisville is located be sure to take time out of your day to get out and have fun with family and friends!

Weekend Events for the Weekend of 11/22/13:

Bells Are Ringing | November 22nd | The Kentucky Center

http://louisville.metromix.com/theater/performance/bells-are-ringing-gallery-district/3662709/content

St. Jude Give Thanks Walk 2013 | November 23rd | The Louisville Zoo

http://fundraising.stjude.org/site/PageServer?pagename=walk_home

3rd Annual NuLu Holiday Open House | November 23rd | East Market Street

https://www.facebook.com/events/154982008045449/

Holiday Brite Nite | November 23rd | Paddock Shops (Summit Shopping Centre)

http://www.paddockshops.com/assets/paddock/images/heros/holiday-ad-2-big.png

Middletown KY Indoor Market | November 23rd | First Baptist Church

http://www.middletownoutdoormarket.com/

UofL Football vs. Memphis | November 23rd | Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium

http://www.gocards.com

Biergarten...

33rd Annual Light Up Louisville

The day after Thanksgiving is commonly known as Black Friday, featuring amazing sales and waves of shoppers at stores around the coutnry. This year in Louisville the same day will also mark the 33rd Annual Light Up Louisville event in downtown Louisville.

The city will celebrate the beginning of the Christmas season by creating a 4-block festival of lights between the Galt House and 4th Street while listning to Christmas music. Santa Claus will arrive in Louisville and help light up the area with the help of Christmas cheer from the approximately 75,000 in attendance!

The Light Up Louisville parade will begin at 6:30pm and will feature festive lights, bands, carolers, floats, and every other thing that makes Christmas prades memorable. Santa Claus will arrive to the event around 8 pm, a half hour earlier than the usual 8:30 time slot. This year will feature an additional Christmas tree and a beautiful firework show, both firsts in the 33 year tradition.

Although all of this will be captured in one night it doesn't end there. 40 Nights of Lights will continue this year with nightly light shows through January 1st featuring a dancing light and music show along the 4th Street Live area. Also returning for its second year is the skating rink at 4th Street Live!

There are several beautiful condos in downtown Louisville. If you are interested in viewing any of these properties contact Lori Hernandez at (502) 377-9217 or Tim Mattingly at (502) 759-6355 to schedule your own private showing today!

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St. Matthews Area Guide

The St. Matthews suburb in Louisville is one of the most desired places to live in the entire state...and for good reason! With some of the most beautiful parks in the city, the 2nd largest mall in the state and some of the most delicious restaurants in the area, St. Matthews is respected as a city within a city. As of 2010 St. Matthews had a population of roughly 14,500 people, making it the 20th largest city in the entire state.

St. Matthews, KY is located in the east-end of Louisville and is one of the most conveniently-located suburbs in the entire city. No matter where you are in St. Matthews you will be relatively close to Shelbyville Road, Brownsboro Road, Seneca Park, Brown Park, Westport Road, Taylorsville Road, I-264, I-64, and much more! The boundaries of St. Matthews are Cannons Lane to the west, I-264 to the south and east, and Brownsboro Road to the north.

Key Statistics & Facts

*The median listing price for Indian Hills is approximately $278,000.

*The median selling price for Indian Hills is approximately $230,000.

*The median age of an Indian Hills resident is 43.

*The average price of homes currently on the market in St. Matthews is $204,870.

Top Restaurants

Havana Rumba | 4115 Oechsli Avenue, Louisville, KY 40207

Simply Thai | 323 Wallace Avenue, Louisville, KY 40207

Wild Eggs | 3985 Dutchmans Lane, Louisville, KY 40207

Café Lou Lou | 106 Sears Avenue, Louisville, KY 40207

Lotsa Pasta | 3717 Lexington Road, Louisville, KY 40207

Nearby Schools

St. Matthews Elementary School | 601 Browns Lane, Louisville, KY 40207

Dunn Elementary School | 2010 Rudy Lane, Louisville, KY 40207

Holy Trinity School | 423 Cherrywood Road, Louisville, KY 40207

Trinity High School | 4011 Shelbyville Road, Louisville, KY 40207

Waggener High School | 330 S. Hubbards Lane, Louisville, KY 40207

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5th Annual Raq'n Around the Christmas Tree

This year Thanksgiving falls on Thursday November 28th…but the day right before, November 27th, is certainly a date you will want to mark on your calendar!

The 5th Annual Raq’n Around the Christmas Tree will be celebrated next Wednesday from 6pm to 9pm in downtown New Albany. The admission price is 1 brand new toy or a $10 donation for the (AIM)AIDS Interfaith Ministries of Kentuckiana. The toy drive will be held at The Grand on 138 E. Market Street in downtown New Albany, Indiana.

The itinerary for the remainder of the night is as follows:

                6:00-7:30 – Taste of New Albany

                Tastings by La Bocca, Habana Blues, Louis/Le Francais, River City Winery & More

                Music by il Trobadore, Indianapolis Premier World Music Ensemble

                7:30-9:00 – Belly Dance Extravaganza Show

Performances by Al Hamsa & Friends and Raqia’s Stars led by Best of Louisville Magazine Award Winner Raqia.

For more information on the event or to make a donation contact Raqia at (812) 989-0821.

The city of New Albany has many spectacular homes for sale. Whether you are looking to buy or sell your home in New Albany be sure to contact Tim Mattingly with the River Valley Group…he knows Southern Indiana like the back of his hand! He can be reached at (502) 759-6355 or at tim@rivervalleygroup.com.

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Little Sisters of the Poor 22nd Annual Holiday Festival & Chicken Dinner

This Sunday November 24th the Little Sisters of the Poor in Louisville will be hosting their 22nd Annual Holiday Festival & Chicken Dinner from noon to 6 pm. The event will be held at St. Joseph’s Home in Louisville will be a great event you won’t want to miss!

This festival always has much fun to be had: games, bake sale, raffles, Grandma’s Attic, Chinese Auction, holiday music, and much more! Ticket prices are $9 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. For more information please contact Mary Ann Morgan at (502) 636-2300 or by email at dv2louisville@littlesisterofthepoor.org.

This amazing holiday festival is at 15 Audobon Plaza, Louisville, KY 40217 at St. Joseph’s Home. Nearby are several great neighborhoods and points of interested to check out if you are looking to buy your next home: Germantown homes, homes in the Highlands, downtown condos in Louisville, I-264, I-65, Cherokee Park, Bellarmine University, and much more!

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How to Stage Your Home During the Holidays

If you’re looking to sell your home you probably know at this point the importance of staging it correctly. It can especially be tricky during the holidays when you are trying to decorate in addition to keeping your home ready to sell.

There are two common schools of thought when it comes to decorating your home during the holidays:

*Less-is-more: little to zero decorations in an attempt to keep the house looking like it will during almost any time of the year*

VS

*The more the merrier: the idea that potential buyers will want to see how their home could look during next Christmas when they decorate with lights hanging throughout the house, a baby manger model in the living room, etc.*

Which choice is best? You guessed it: neither. Although neither gives you a 100% guarantee that your house is going to sell finding a middle ground will ensure the best possible outcomes and scenarios. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when decorating and staging your home during the holidays:

  1. Make sure your house is actually clean and staged before you decorate. Some may feel that holiday decorations can cover up certain potential downfalls of the home (home damage, uncleanliness, etc.); that is not the way to go about it. Beside the fact that it’s dishonest potential buyers will most likely get a sense of clutter if they notice that decorations are attempting to cover up messiness and it will turn them away. Be sure to clean and stage before you decorate.
  2. The holidays generate a sense of coziness in your home; do what you can to create that vibe. This is where the first school of thought comes into play pertaining to doing more by doing less. This doesn’t mean you have to deck your home out with Christmas decorations if you don’t celebrate Christmas but you don’t want to create a barren feel that makes buyers not want to be...

Christmas at the Galt House Hotel Begins November 16th

Although Christmas is over 6 weeks away there is good news for holiday lovers: the festivities begin in only a few days! There are several holiday events that you will want to experience here in Louisville but there is one event that runs from November until Christmas that you can’t miss: Christmas at the Galt House Hotel!

Starting November 16th the Galt House in downtown Louisville will be decked out with Christmas decorations, music, and exciting festivities for the entire family. Bring your children to see Santa Claus in person for FREE, which includes a video of your child’s encounter with Santa! There are also a few new attractions this year, including:

*KaLightoscope Christmas: Experience what the North Pole is like with lights, the Christmas Village,  Candy Cane Forest (featuring the Peppermint Express Kiddie Train), and life-size gingerbread houses!

*Lunch with Ernie the Engineer: Ernie will be transporting children around Candy Cane Forest on the Peppermint Express Kiddie Train. He will also be hosting an Express Lunch that includes a large model train display!

*Santa’s Sleigh Experience: Help Santa deliver presents in his sleigh!

*Make a Flake: Learn how to make extraordinary snowflakes in the Christmas Village!

Also featured as a part of Christmas at the Galt House is the Colors of the Season Holiday Dinner Show! The show will feature Christmas –themed singing and dancing as you enjoy a traditional holiday meal…with a twist! Show times begin on November 16th and will continue until December 14th at various times. Tickets start at $13.95 for children and $38.95 for adults.

The Galt...

The River Valley Guide to Indian Hills

Although the Indian Hills area of Louisville is almost indescribable it can be summed up with a lot of ‘Oohs’, ‘Aahs’, and a few ‘WOWs’! Although the Indian Hills community is only 15 years old it has historic character with a touch of modern beauty. In 2000 Indian Hills, KY ranked as the population with the highest-income in the state and 93rd in the entire country. Today Indian Hills still remains one of the most prestigious areas in the United States and has become a haven for young families as well as retirees looking for a comfortable area to settle.

Indian Hills simply has it all: the area is minutes away from the Louisville Country Club, Brownsboro Road, Blankenbaker Lane, I-264, I-71, Frankfort Avenue, the Ohio River, and is near other prestigious areas such as Mockingbird Valley, St. Matthews, Glenview and the Historic Locust Grove house. It will be tough to find homes in Louisville that can top the beautiful Indian Hills homes!

Key Statistics & Facts

*The median listing price for Indian Hills is approximately $270,000.

*The median selling price for Indian Hills is approximately $220,000.

*The median age of an Indian Hills resident is 43.

*The average price of homes currently on the market in Old Louisville is $719,737.

Top Restaurants

Café Fraiche | 3642 Brownsboro Road, St. Matthews, KY 40207

Gasthaus German Restaurant | 4812 Brownsboro Center, Louisville, KY 40207

Shiraz Mediterranean Grill | 2226 Holiday Manor Center #1, Louisville, KY 40222

Pat’s Steak House | 2437 Brownsboro Road, Louisville, KY 40206

Nearby Schools

Chenoweth Elementary School | 3622 Brownsboro Road, Louisville, KY 40207

Dunn Elementary...

UofL Athletics in November

November is an exciting time for sports fans, especially here in Louisville: college football, college basketball, NBA, NFL, and much more! In fact with so many choices it may be overwhelming keeping track of all the Louisville athletic events. Below are all of the events going on in November! Be sure to find time to support the university by checking out these exciting games.

11/6 – UofL Men’s Golf @ Warrior Wave Invitational | Macon, GA

11/7-11/10 – UofL M. Tennis @ National Indoor Individual Championships | Flushing, NY

11/8 – UofL Volleyball vs. Houston | KFC Yum! Center

11/8 – UofL Football @ Connecticut | East Hartford, CT

11/8 – UofL Field Hockey vs. Old Dominion | Storrs, CT

11/9 – UofL WBBall vs. Loyola Chicago | KFC Yum! Center

11/9 – UofL M. Soccer vs. Rutgers/Cincinnati | Cardinal Park

11/9 – UofL MBBall vs. College of Charleston | KFC Yum! Center

11/10 – UofL Volleyball vs. SMU | KFC Yum! Center

11/12 – UofL MBBall vs. Hofstra | KFC Yum! Center

11/15 – UofL Cross Country @ NCAA Southeast Regional | Charlottesville, VA

11/15 – UofL Volleyball @ UCF | Orlando, FL

11/15 – UofL MBBall vs. Cornell | KFC Yum! Center

11/16 – UofL Football vs. Houston | Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium

11/17- UofL Volleyball @ USF | Tampa, FL

11/19 – UofL MBBall vs. Hartford | KFC Yum! Center

11/21 – UofL WBBall vs. Ohio | KFC Yum! Center

11/22-11/24 – UofL S&D @ Michigan Invitational | Ann Arbor, MI

11/22 – UofL Volleyball vs. Cincinnati | KFC Yum! Center

11/23 – UofL MBBall vs. Fairfield | KFC Yum! Center

11/23 – UofL Football vs. Memphis | Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium

11/23 – UofL Cross Country @ NCAA Championships | Terre Haute, IN

11/24 –...

Opening Night of Lights Under Louisville at MEGA Cavern is Next Week!

We are well into November and the holiday season is officially underway! On November 15th the Louisville MEGA Cavern will begin their annual Lights under Louisville spectacular from 6:00pm to 10:00pm. The event will last every night until January 1st. The light show holds the honor as being the only underground holiday light show in the entire world, so you absolutely will not want to miss it!

Lights under Louisville is a 35-minute underground show in which attendees drive their cars through the Louisville MEGA Cavern to experience beautiful Christmas –themed lights. The public will get to see 17-miles of 800 lit characters and over 2,000,000 points of light, according to their cavern’s official website.

Admission to the show is based on your vehicle, so attempt to fit as many family and friends as you can in as few cars as possible. The prices are as follows:

                *Cars, trucks, SUVs, and Minivans- $25.00

                *Vans- $35.00

                *Limos and church busses (excluding school bus sizes) - $50.00

                *School bus- $75.00

                *Motor coach (20 or more) - $4/person (excluding driver)

There are also several options to get the admission price knocked down. You can get a $5 off coupon when you purchase a 2-liter of Canada Dry from Kroger, in which the Louisville MEGA Cavern will donate $2.00 to Dare to Care when redeemed. These $5 coupons will also be available at Wendy’s...

6th Annual I Thirst Dinner is This Thursday

According to Waterstep.org over 875 million people around the world don’t have access to clean drinking water. Contaminated water can lead to several waterborne diseases, including e.coli, salmonella, and hepatitis A. What if you could be a part of the solution? There is at least one opportunity right here in Louisville in which you can!

This Thursday November 7th is the 6th Annual I Thirst Dinner at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Louisville at 6:30pm. Tickets to attend the benefit dinner will be $125 per person or $2,000 for a corporate table of 10 individuals. This is a great event for companies to philanthropically participate as well as an excellent networking opportunity.

All proceeds from the event will be going directly to WaterStep, a company dedicated to providing sustainable solutions to the issue of waterborne diseases that exist all over the world through training and technology. For more information on the event or to buy your tickets call Michael Raus at (502) 568-6342, extension 404 or visit www.waterstep.org

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