SIGN UP LOGIN

Articles Tagged "Home maintenance"

Latter & Blum REALTORS® Blog Home

rss logo RSS Feed
September
16

Kitchen

If you're looking to update your kitchen but think it would be costly and time-consuming, it may be easier than you think. There are several budget-friendly ways to update your kitchen that will not take long to achieve. They'll help quickly transform the room, so it's more attractive and pleasant to work in.

Our Realtors® suggest the following kitchen updates that won't break the bank:

August
17

DIY Projects

The DIY approach is not only affordable but also gives you more control over your results. At various Baton Rouge open houses, we've seen some lovely DIY remodeling jobs and decor projects. So, how do you ensure your own DIY project goes well and yields beautiful results? Here are a few tips to help you avoid a bad DIY project.

Click Here to Read More...

July
29

Window Planters

Is your home's exterior starting to look a little bland? A set of window box planters might be just what you need to make it come alive. Over the years, our real estate agents have seen hundreds of homes use these types of planters to great effect. But what should you plant in yours? Here are a few options to consider.

For Sunny Spots

Window boxes that will be placed in full sun are perfect for plants that love to soak up some rays. Try placing some of the following plants in these high-light areas. 

Click Here to Read More...

June
29

kitchen tips

The key to a functional, inviting kitchen is organizing it well. A well-organized kitchen will be an enjoyable space, whether you're cooking, snacking, entertaining, or just hosting a no-frills evening at home with your family. Do you feel like your kitchen is a cluttered and intimidating place to cook or relax in? Here are a few tips from our real estate agents for making this space more organized.

Click Here to Read More...

June
24

home decor

Worried that your home's furnishings don't complement one another? It's time to figure out your decor style!

While there's no rule that says you have to consistently stick to a specific decor style, it's usually easier to find pieces for your home when you know what style you find most appealing. Your home will also look more cohesive and put together. Our real estate agents suggest following these tips to help you determine your decor style. 

Click Here to Read More...

June
17

Pool on Your Property

During a hot Louisiana summer, a pool can be extra relaxing and provide a nice break from the heat!

Having a pool installed is a pretty big project, but if you do your work upfront, it's entirely manageable. Here are some things to know and consider before you add a pool to your property. 

Click Here to Read More...

May
25

Outdoor Kitchen

An outdoor kitchen is an excellent addition for maximizing your home's exterior spaces. Our real estate agents know that an outdoor kitchen is also an attractive feature to potential homebuyers. Here are a few outdoor kitchen trends that we expect to see take center stage this summer. 

Click Here to Read More...

May
20

Smart Home Tech

Smart home technology has made everyday life so much simpler. A decade or two ago, you probably could not have imagined asking your digital assistant to dim the lights or checking your security camera remotely while on vacation. But smart home technology is continually evolving, and it's important to ensure your home is up-to-date. Our real estate agents are excited to share 7 tips for updating your smart home tech.

  1. Start with the Thermostat
    If you don't already have a smart thermostat, this is the first smart appliance to invest in. A smart thermostat will allow you to adjust your home's temperature while you're away. It will also help you more closely monitor your energy consumption. This one upgrade can yield significant savings on your energy bill and pay for itself in no time.

  2. Add a Second Smart Camera
    If you don't already have a smart camera or video doorbell at your main door, then this is an important upgrade to make. Video doorbells give you so much security. You'll never have to guess who's on the other side of the door. 

    If you do already have a video doorbell at your front door, consider adding a second one at your side or back door. This will help you make sure nobody tampers with these entrances while you're away.

  3. Install a Smart Toilet
    Smart toilets keep themselves clean. They also have heated seats, deodorizer sprayers, and low-flush technology. 

  4. Keep Cool With Smart Shades
    In Louisiana, summers get hot. But you can keep your home cooler with smart shades. These automated shades roll up when it's dark out and down when it's sunny. They keep the heat outside where it belongs. You can control the shades remotely with your smartphone and set unique opening and closing schedules for each day of the week.

  5. Add WiFi-Compatible Lights
    WiFi-compatible lights are awesome because they're energy-efficient, but they're also a lot of fun. You can set these lights to flicker like a strobe light when you're having a party. Dim them down for a romantic evening, or turn them up when you're reading. You can even turn the lights on remotely to make it look like someone's home while you're away. 

  6. Install Smart Locks
    How many times have you pulled into the parking lot at work, then realized you forgot to lock your house? If you have smart locks, this won't be a concern. You can just pull out your phone and lock your home remotely. Smart locks are an incredible investment for busy parents. They also make it easy to unlock your home to let a guest inside. You won't have to hand out spare keys anymore.

  7. Invest in Smart Irrigation Systems
    There are several types of smart irrigation systems that make watering your plants so much easier. Self-watering pots are nice for potted herbs and flowers. If you have a larger flower bed, you may want to have a landscaper install smart sprinklers. You can even install smart sprinklers throughout your lawn, so your grass stays nice and green with less effort. We've seen these at some Lafayette open houses, and they're very convenient.

With the tips above, you can easily raise your smart home's IQ! If you're still looking for the perfect house to make your home, contact us. Our experienced real estate agents will happily guide you through the buying process and help you search Lafayette homes for sale

April
25

Storage Space Tips

Storage space makes a big difference in your home! Maybe you're staging a home and want to show off all the storage it can offer. Or maybe you'd like more storage so you can be more organized. In any case, there are plenty of options for adding more storage space to your home. Our real estate agents point out these areas where you can increase your storage space.

Click Here to Read More...

April
20

Kitchen Island

Looking at Baton Rouge open houses, one thing that tends to stand out in homes is the kitchen island. It's a great way to maximize efficiency and improve both your kitchen's aesthetic and functionality. What's more, once you've bought the home, there are all sorts of ways to customize the kitchen island to fit your own needs. Here are a few ideas to consider.

Click Here to Read More...

April
15

Steam Cleaning Tips

When selling your home, you need to make sure your home is ready for the market. While other activities like making repairs and updates are important, cleaning is the essential and cheapest step in getting your home ready. Besides killing germs, allergens, and pet odors, steam cleaning also helps make your home appear (and smell) new again. Our real estate agents know that a clean home makes a great first impression when potential buyers come to visit. If you're considering steam cleaning before your next showing, keep in mind these things.

Click Here to Read More...

March
30

Interior Design

Are you ready for a fresh take on interior design in 2022? As it turns out, what is old may be new again this year.

Our real estate agents have noticed a few older interior design trends coming back into the spotlight. Check out these retro interior design concepts that have caught homeowners' interest this year. 

Click Here to Read More...

March
25

Kitchen Tips

The kitchen is the heart of today's home, especially with many of us spending more time at home than we used to, so it's important for it to have all of the qualities that will help you love your kitchen. While what makes the perfect kitchen is subjective to you and your family's needs, there are several features most people will appreciate in this space. Fortunately, our real estate agents are here to take some of the guesswork out of it, so that you have a list of specific things to look for in your housing search or when you go to remodel.

Click Here to Read More...

March
18

Furniture Trends

Spending more time at home has created a strong desire for interior spaces with visual interest, creative energy, and stylish features. Our real estate agents are noticing some special interior design trends regarding furniture in 2022.

Click Here to Read More...

March
9

Home Improvement

When you think of home improvement projects, stressful renovations that cost lots of time and money may come to mind. But many projects that can improve the look and/or function of your home can be completed in just a weekend. You might be surprised at the number of easy projects that can make a big impact with a relatively small investment of time.

Whether you're planning on staying in your home for a while or are planning on listing it soon, our real estate agents suggest the following weekend home improvement projects:

Click Here to Read More...

March
4

Spring Cleaning

As winter begins to fade, ushering in the vibrant spring colors, you need to ensure your home is ready for the spring. Spring cleaning is a great way to refresh your home, and if you're planning on listing it soon, a thorough cleaning helps you get it ready for the market!

Besides showing you Houma homes for sale, our real estate agents also compiled these tips to help you prepare for spring cleaning.

Click Here to Read More...

February
9

Pet Home Tips

If you have a beloved four-legged friend in your house, you know that it's not really your house. It's their house. You just live there... and pay the mortgage. 

Our real estate agents know what it's like to share space with a canine or feline companion. We understand the rewards and also the challenges. It's not always easy to create a pet-friendly home that offers everything your pets require. 

Click Here to Read More...

January
7

Cleaning Schedule

Trying to think of a New Year's resolution for your home? Making a cleaning schedule helps you keep your home extra tidy all year long. Plus, if you are getting ready to sell your home, a cleaning schedule can help ensure your home is ready for any showings. Here are a few tips from our real estate agents to help you set a successful cleaning schedule for 2022. 

Click Here to Read More...

December
1

Home Upgrades Add Value

With the housing market soaring, many people are selling their homes at tremendous profit margins. But some sellers are maximizing their income even further by investing in a few upgrades. At this stage of the game, it's important to purchase items that will bring in a healthy return on investment. New appliances are a good option! Our real estate agents have a few recommendations to consider. 

Click Here to Read More...

November
12

Showing Tips

Our sense of smell can be a powerful influence over us. Certain smells carry with them emotions or even memories. Pleasant smells can also impact our first impressions of a place, which gives you a powerful tool you can use as you begin staging your home.

Making your home smell fresh and welcoming can help generate interest. Below are a few tried-and-true methods our real estate agents recommend for making your home smell good right before a showing or open house.

Click Here to Read More...

November
5

Sustainable Home

As environmentally conscious Americans look toward a more sustainable lifestyle, it quickly becomes evident that recycling is a critical part of the equation; so much so that we have recognized National Recycling Day on November 15th since 1997. Our real estate agents would like to point out some of the ways you can make your home more sustainable and how we can use recycling to improve our lives as well as the health of the planet. 

Click Here to Read More...

October
18

Home Decor Tips

When you first move into your new house, you might find it beautiful, but it may not quite feel like "home" yet. In order to make it feel like home, you need to give it some personality! Here are some fun and easy ways our real estate agents recommend bringing your own personality into your new space.

Click Here to Read More...

October
6

Household Items

Maintaining a clean and healthy household is an important part of homeownership, so our real estate agents always recommend replacing everyday household items on a regular basis. However, keeping track of when things need to be replaced can be challenging as there are so many items we use on a daily basis. To further complicate things, many household items need to be replaced more often than you'd think. 

Click Here to Read More...

September
16

Natural Light TipsSoft, warm, and hard to replicate, natural light is always better than artificial light. It brings a rich, full-spectrum hue that makes your room feel brighter, bigger, and more welcoming. Natural light also lifts your spirit, improves your wellbeing, and even helps cut down on your utility bills. Our real estate agents run through 5 easy ways to increase the amount of natural light in your home.

Click Here to Read More...

September
6

Litter Box Tips

No matter how much you love your cat, you have to agree — their litter box is not as cute as they are. Rather than keeping the litter box out in the open, many cat owners turn to various techniques and tactics to hide their litter boxes. Here are some options to keep in mind as you look at Baton Rouge homes for sale

Click Here to Read More...

August
25

Remove Pests From Home

Is there anything more challenging to Louisiana homeowners than the ever-present war on pests? No one wants to see a six-legged uninvited guest crawling across the carpet, least of all when invited guests are present! If you look into some of our beautiful Alexandria homes for sale, you might want to take note of some of the pest control measures the owners have taken. With this multi-pronged attack, you may be able to claim a permanent victory, even during the warm summer months.

Click Here to Read More...

August
11

Popcorn Ceiling

It's no secret that design trends come and go. One that was extremely popular in the 1950s was the popcorn ceiling. Since then this trend has fallen by the wayside, or shall we say, popped. If you're ready to update the look of your ceiling, removing a popcorn ceiling is a potential DIY project.

Our real estate agents know that properties without popcorn ceilings appear more updated and attractive to prospective buyers. Here are some helpful tips to assist you with this DIY project. 

Click Here to Read More...

July
30

Houma Driveway Tips

When you, a prospective buyer, or anyone else looks at your home, your driveway is one of the first things visible. As a result, it can contribute in a major way to curb appeal or lack thereof. If your driveway is damaged, outdated, or just a little too blah, our real estate agents recommend updating it. Here are a few questions to help you decide whether to update your driveway and how.

Click Here to Read More...

July
19

Patio Materials

A home with a patio provides opportunities for relaxation and various outdoor activities with family and friends. Whether you enjoy relaxing in the sun, tending to your garden, or grilling with the kids, a patio creates the perfect place to enjoy the outdoors.

Click Here to Read More...

July
14

Closet Space Tips

Storage is one thing we never seem to have enough of, which is probably why closet space is usually such a big selling point for homebuyers. If you feel like you're in cramped quarters, here are six suggestions from our real estate agents for adding to your closet space, ranging from minor adjustments to major renovations.

Click Here to Read More...

July
7

Kitchen Updates

There are Baton Rouge homes for sale that can meet all of your needs. However, that doesn't mean you can't still do a bit of work to make your new house your own. If you're a home chef, for instance, you might like to make a few changes to making cooking easier. From minor additions to major renovations, here are a few kitchen updates to consider.

Click Here to Read More...

July
2

Furniture Tips

Keep your furniture out of the landfill and revamp your home's look by upcycling some of your existing pieces. Upcycling your furniture is a cost-effective alternative to purchasing new furniture. Our real estate agents know that strategically adding a few upcycled pieces to your home can help it appeal to potential buyers. Here are some tips to follow to help you get started. 

Click Here to Read More...

June
23

Garden Bed Tips

Raised garden beds can be a great way to garden. They are often more successful because of factors like better drainage and soil quality, and they're easier to work in. Plus, they look tidy and attractive, which is an added bonus if you're getting ready to list your home in Baton Rouge homes for sale. Here are a few tips for starting a raised garden bed.

Click Here to Read More...

June
25

Sprinkler SystemIn-ground automatic sprinklers play an important role in maintaining a high-quality lawn. Evenly distributing water across your landscaping at certain intervals throughout the day helps promote healthy grass, great-looking shrubs, and beautiful flowers. Using a sprinkler system is much more efficient than manually watering your plants each day. However, installing sprinkler systems isn't always easy. If you're planning to install your own system, below are some tips to help guide you through the process.

Click Here to Read More...

May
28

DIY Houma Tips

As spring rolls into summer, it's time to roll up the shirt sleeves and get some of those home maintenance tasks out of the way before it gets too hot. Some chores are probably obvious, such as changing the filters in the HVAC system, but our real estate agents want to call attention to some often neglected areas for the benefit of newer homeowners. A few extra precautions can save you thousands of dollars in repairs you never have to make!

Click Here to Read More...

May
17

Historic Homes

Historic homes offer a step back in time to an era where houses had huge front porches, hand-carved details, and picturesque features. They have cozy rooms filled with charm and character, but they're not for everyone. Purchasing a historic home often comes with upkeep, maintenance, and repairs that can put a dent in your bank account.

Click Here to Read More...

May
14

Composting Lafayette

You hate throwing away all that kitchen waste: coffee grounds and tea bags, apple and potato peels, tops of strawberries, outer layers of an onion, and more. Most of it probably goes in the waste bin, right? 

Click Here to Read More...

May
5

Home Inspection Baton Rouge

When you've scrimped and saved to buy a house you may be tempted to forgo that three to five hundred dollars for a home inspection. But missing critical flaws in the property can cost you thousands in the long run. Our real estate agents will assure you that a trained observer can spot some of these pitfalls when you might not see them.

Click Here to Read More...

April
28

Organized Kitchen Tips

Even the most up-to-date kitchen can get cluttered! Not only is kitchen clutter unsightly, but it can hinder your cooking and food prep. How about taking fearless stock of all that stuff on your countertops and reducing it by half or more? Give it away; recycle it; sell it in a garage sale. Before listing your home among the Alexandria homes for sale, make sure your kitchen is neat and organized. Follow these tips.

Click Here to Read More...

April
16

Contractor Questions

Whether you're tackling a home renovation or building a new home from the ground up, working with a good contractor is essential for a good outcome. At Latter & Blum, our real estate agents understand what it takes to create beautiful Lafayette homes for sale with features that attract buyers. Before you hire a contractor, it's important to ask questions that separate the pros from the rest of the pack.

Click Here to Read More...

April
14

Spring Cleaning Baton Rouge

Spring is the perfect time to conquer your to-do list and get ahead on your cleaning and household maintenance chores. While you're working, take a few moments to declutter items from your home that you no longer need or use.

Our real estate agents know that decluttering is a simple way to help a home appear larger and more appealing to potential homebuyers. Here are some items to toss as you make your way through your spring cleaning to-do list. 

Click Here to Read More...

April
9

Home Office

Choosing paint colors for your home office is about more than just aesthetics and interior decor. The colors you choose can actually have an impact on your work habits. Whether you spend just a few hours a week in your home office or work from home regularly, set yourself up for success with the right decor. Here are a few common home office colors we see in Lafayette homes for sale and how they can benefit your work habits.

Click Here to Read More...

March
24

Accent Wall Tips

If your home's decor feels a little generic or looks too sparse for your tastes, consider painting an accent wall. An accent wall lends a pop of color to your space and helps you customize the style of your home. Our real estate agents know that an accent wall is often beneficial for staging your home when you put it on the market. Follow these do's and don'ts when adding an accent wall. 

Click Here to Read More...

March
17

DIY Projects for Home Value Increase

Renovations and keeping your home up-to-date can increase your home's value, not to mention it's a lot more fun to live in an updated house and enjoy those renovations while you live there. But not everyone has money to throw into a renovation, especially if you're planning on moving out afterward. Fortunately, there are many low-budget DIY projects you can do to increase your home's value. Here are a few easy upgrades our real estate agents recommend to get you started.

Click Here to Read More...

February
24

Renovation Tips with PetsChange is frustrating for everyone, and our pets are no exception. The turmoil of construction can be terrifying to them when they just can't understand what's happening! Since our real estate agents may recommend some renovations that will increase the value of your home, we want to provide you with some tips to make your animals more comfortable with the process. 

Click Here to Read More...

January
22

Caulking Baseboards Tips

Baseboards help give your home a neat, finished appearance, but they can often develop cracks and gaps at the top or bottom as well as other appearance issues. In addition to making your home look less than its best, these flaws can allow drafts to enter your home. They also serve as dust-collecting crevices that make it more difficult to keep your baseboards clean.

Caulk, which is flexible, can dry out over time, and become cracked. Fortunately, fixing the problem is a great DIY project that can be taken care of in an afternoon. Our real estate agents share the following tips and tricks for repairing and caulking baseboards:

Click Here to Read More...

January
20

Indoor Plant Tips

Whether you've just purchased one of the beautiful Baton Rouge homes for sale or you've lived in your current home for years, decorating with houseplants can go a long way towards making your space feel homey. Even if you don't have a green thumb, you can still keep beautiful plants in your home! 

The key is selecting plants that are hardy and easy to care for. Here are a few of the best starter plants. 

Click Here to Read More...

January
11

Upgrade Your Kitchen

The kitchen is often called the heart of the home since it serves as a gathering place for family and friends. It's used every day, multiple times a day, so it's important to make the room look its best while being highly functional. This is true whether you're planning to live in your current home for a while or you want to move since an appealing kitchen is especially important to homebuyers.

Our real estate agents share these 5 signs it's time to upgrade your kitchen:

Click Here to Read More...

January
7

Home Cleaning Latter

With the holidays behind us, now is the perfect time to start the New Year off with a sparkling clean home. Our real estate agents suggest that homeowners create a four-seasons checklist to keep the home clean and maintained year-round. Here are seven simple tips for getting your home as clean as possible this winter.

Click Here to Read More...

January
5

Smart Home 2021Our real estate agents want you to close your eyes and think about the home of the future. Do you envision full tech integration, voice commands to operate everything, and special features so dazzling that you'd think you were living in 3021? Well, open your eyes to the tech of the future, available in your home today! Smart home automation brings state-of-the-art technology right into your living spaces. From the kitchen to the living room, bedroom, and even bathroom, you can outfit your home with advanced software and hardware that dynamically changes the way you live. Here's how to make your home smarter this year in five easy steps:

Click Here to Read More...

December
30

After a year of uncertainty and wide-swinging emotions, the arrival of New Year's Eve means all sorts of good things: Celebration, Closure, the distinctive Clink of Champagne glasses. Although it's been hard to find a silver lining this year, if there's one good thing that's come from being quarantined, it's the fact that we are being forced to slow down, reflect and get reacquainted with our homes. With that in mind, Latter & Blum Realtors share the hottest home decorating trends to ring in the New Year.

High Style Accessories
For living rooms, we are seeing comfortable, plush seating with rich tones and layered styling. Thanks to all of the virtual meetings while working from home, your home background is now more important than ever and accessorizing and styling are finally getting the credit they deserve. We see accessorizing becoming bolder, more artful and more personal in 2021. 
Cindy Bailey, Latter & Blum Realtor 

Multifunctional Spaces
Workspaces have drastically changed this year and more people are opting to take back wasted space in their home offices. A closet can easily be combined with an office, since both spaces are able to disappear behind doors when not in use. A flexible workspace and fashion-forward decor help to blend these two functions seamlessly into a space that is both inspiring and productive.
Erynn Patania, Latter & Blum Realtor

Biophilia
Biophilia first hit the headlines back in 2018 and is one trend that's here to stay, especially when more people are inclined to stay home in 2021. Propelled by the sustainable living movement, homeowners have been upping their eco-credentials by filling their homes with an eclectic assortment of trailers, climbers and bloomers. From macramé pot holders to vertical gardens, biophilia is one trend that's here to stay. If you don't have time for watering, go faux.
Lisa Thomas, Latter & Blum Realtor


Bold Colors Mixed With Neutrals
While neutral tones are still popular, bold colors are on the rise in 2021. In fact, Pantone Color chose not just one but two colors of the year for 2021 – the neutral "Ultimate Grey" paired with a lovely yellow called "Illuminating". This marriage of bold and neutral colors conveys a message of strength, warmth and hopefulness that is uplifting during these times.
Vickie Karamales, Latter & Blum Realtor

Wellness Spaces
Let's be honest, it's been a rough year, and we could all use a little light relief from the stresses of 2020. Little wonder then that one of this year's top trends is wellness spaces – rooms designed with comfort and relaxation in mind. From soothing neutral palettes to cozy bouclé blankets, this trend has got you covered even in the most stressful of times.
Team Right Side, Latter & Blum 


Looking to buy or sell a home in 2021? Visit www.latter-blum.com for all your real estate needs.

December
22

Energy Efficient Home

Though the exact amount is subject to seasonal and regional variations, the average power bill is $118 a month. You can lower your power bill by making your home more energy-efficient. Our real estate agents know that homes with energy-efficient features are also more attractive to potential buyers. Here are some guidelines to help you evaluate the energy efficiency of your home so that you can take steps to improve it. 

  1. Look at Your Entire House
    When you're determining how energy-efficient your home is, it's easy to get caught up on certain aspects, like your old windows or dated appliances. However, it's important to look at your entire home rather than individual components when calculating your home's energy efficiency. A home constructed with energy-efficient materials in a resourceful design won't be impacted as much by smaller details, like older windows and doors. Instead of replacing these items, it might be more cost-effective to caulk and repair any holes or cracks creating drafts. Consult with your power company to see if it offers a free energy assessment. This will help you determine what areas of your home are using the most energy and what changes you can make to conserve energy. 
  1. See That Your Home Has Ample Insulation
    As prospective buyers are touring Alexandria homes for sale, they're searching for properties that will minimize their future out-of-pocket expenses. If your home has ample insulation, this will lower your home's energy bills, allowing you (and your potential buyers) to lower your heating and cooling expenses. Add insulation to any areas where your home might be lacking, such as your attic, basement, and crawl spaces. Check that your doors and windows are also properly insulated. A fresh layer of weatherstripping is a quick, easy way to boost your home's energy efficiency. 
  1. Seek Out Replacement Products with Favorable Energy Efficiency Ratings
    If you have components in your home using or wasting excessive amounts of energy, like an old HVAC system or single-pane windows, it's wise to consider replacing them. Focus on replacing one thing at a time, and seek out replacement products with favorable energy efficiency ratings. This will make it easy for you to reduce your energy costs. Don't forget the accessories in your home! Your window draperies are a powerful tool for blocking out the sun's hot rays during the warmer months and keeping frigid drafts out during the colder months. Utilize heat-reflecting window coverings during the hot months and insulating drapes in the chilly months. 
  1. Review Your Daily Habits
    A few changes to your daily routine can lower your home's energy consumption. If you forget to turn your lights and electronics off, use a smart plug so that you can put them on a timer or even cut them off when you're away from home. Close your draperies on hot days, especially in windows that face the sun. Try to run only full loads in your washing machine and dishwasher when possible. Use cold water, and utilize your device's moisture sensor to avoid overdrying your clothing. If you cook a lot of small meals, invest in a toaster oven or electric pan, as they use less energy than a full-size oven or stove. Check that your oven and stove are clean before using them; dirty appliances don't operate as efficiently. 

Ready to put your home on the market? Contact us to get started!

December
22

Houma Front Porch

Does your house have curb appeal? The term doesn't apply only to Houma homes for sale. When your home looks as good outside as it does inside, it projects a warm, welcoming ambiance to visitors. 

Dress up your front porch any time of year with these creative decorating tips from our real estate agents.

  1. Hang a Wreath
    There's no rule that says wreaths are only for the holidays. A charming, oversized grapevine wreath instantly transforms a front door. It can serve as a base that may be customized for different seasons and occasions.

  2. Paint the Ceiling
    Looking for unexpected ways to add a pop of color? A painted ceiling creates a striking visual and sets your front porch apart from others.

  3. Lay Graphic Tiles
    What's good for the ceiling is good for the floor. Make a statement with graphic travertine, porcelain, or slate tiles.

  4. Incorporate Vintage Furniture
    Vintage furniture is chic and trendy, plus it shows your commitment to eco-friendly practices. Consider classic rocking chairs or Adirondack chairs for seating. Period pieces like tables or trunks add function and beauty.

  5. Plant a "Garden"
    Emphasize the beauty of nature by adding flowers and green plants to your porch, which can easily accommodate pottery and containers of nearly every size and style. Take advantage of vertical space with a trellis or plant stands. Want a fun project for the kids? Start an herb garden, which will also pay off at mealtimes.

  6. Add a Screen
    Don't let mosquitoes or other insects prevent you from enjoying your front porch. Add a screen to keep pests out while allowing sunshine and breezes in.

  7. Channel the Tropics
    Island life is a timeless inspiration for outdoor decor. A color scheme of turquoise, coral, and pastel yellow conjures up views from a beach, while rattan or wicker furniture provides casual elegance.

  8. Update Porch Swings
    Like the idea of a traditional porch swing or glider, but want a more modern look? With a whole new range of shapes, materials, colors, and designs, today's porch swings don't bear much resemblance to the one on your grandparents' porch.

  9. Think Minimalist
    Porch furniture is not mandatory. Create a dramatic look by making the front door a focal point and using the rest of the porch to frame it. For example, put decorative tile down and place large matching planters on either side of the door.

  10. Let There Be Light
    Strategic lighting can create a mood outdoors just as easily as it does indoors. String and rope lights are easy to put up and take down, and they come in a number of different styles so you can adapt when you want to update the look. If you want something more permanent, options include sconces, lanterns, and pendant lights.

  11. Use Throw Pillows
    Indoors or out, throw pillows are a quick and effective way to change an entire look with little time, effort, and money.

  12. Paint the Front Door
    Whether you're aiming for a monochromatic effect or you want an element of bold color, a freshly-painted door immediately spruces up a front porch.

For more helpful tips on styling and staging a home, contact us at Latter & Blum.

December
18

 Lafayette Home Office

Whether you work from home full-time or sporadically need a spot to concentrate, a home office is a valuable addition to your home. If your home is lacking a space that encourages productivity, here are a few creative ways to add a home office to your property. Our real estate agents know that properties staged with a home office also show well with potential buyers. 

Click Here to Read More...

November
23

Retirement Years and Homeownership

For many individuals, their home is one of the most valuable assets they'll own during their lifetime. When it's time for you to retire, you may wonder how your home will impact your retirement. Our real estate agents know that some people choose to downsize their homes to properties that are easier to maintain, while others relocate to new locales. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare for your retirement. 

Click Here to Read More...

November
27

Lighting Upgrades

It's not uncommon for older houses to have substandard lighting, so if you want a relatively fast and easy upgrade that will give you the most bang for your buck, take a look at how you can improve the lighting. After all, no one wants to hang out in a dark house or struggle to see at night! Plus, if you are planning other home improvement projects, updating the lighting is a great way to highlight your decor. Here are a few lighting upgrades our real estate agents say are worth the investment.

Click Here to Read More...

November
25

Pet Owner Tips

It's hard to believe, but not everyone is going to love your precious Fido or Fluffy as much as you and our real estate agents do. Don't take a chance on their presence, affecting the marketability of your house. If you're a pet owner, follow these steps to prep before showing New Orleans homes for sale

Click Here to Read More...

November
20

Organize Your Home

Clutter. No one likes it, but sometimes it's hard to avoid. We could blame it on the fact we're home more than usual. Or if we're away at work, we could blame it on the fact we don't have enough time left in the day to tidy up. Either way, we wish we could find the magic trick that helps us avoid clutter. 

Most of us agree we have far too much stuff. It's easy to acquire things because buying gives us a rush, and it feels good. That is, until the moment, all that stuff ends up as clutter.

The key to decluttering is often throwing away, donating, or rehoming excess items. But if it's something you use, either regularly or irregularly, you need a place to store it. That can be challenging in a home where space is at a premium. Sometimes you need a quick fix to keep the stuff out of sight but easily accessed.

Click Here to Read More...

November
13

Laundry Room Upgrades

The average household does 8 to 10 loads of laundry every single week. Since your laundry room is such a high traffic area, it makes sense to upgrade the space to be more functional and aesthetically pleasing. Our real estate agents know that a charming laundry room is even attractive to potential homebuyers. Here are a few easy ways to upgrade your laundry room and make this space more appealing. 

  1. Add a Slide-Out Storage Tower
    Most laundry rooms have a little awkward space between the washer and dryer and between the appliances and the walls. Don't let this space go to waste; instead, add slide-out storage towers to these spaces. These towers are perfect for stowing laundry detergent, dryer sheets, and stain removers. 
  1. Use the Space Over Your Door for Storage
    One quandary of laundry day is that you likely have many spare hangers floating around until all your clothes are washed, dried, and hanging up. Solve this problem by installing a clothes hanger rack over your door. This cheap addition is simple to install and will increase the utility of your laundry room within minutes. You can even use it to hang up clothes that need to air dry. 
  1. Opt for a Hanging Ironing Board
    A conventional ironing board is an awkward item to store. It's big, heavy, and there's no clear place to stow it when you aren't using it. Swap your old ironing board for one that's designed to be hung on the wall or door when it isn't in use. This will free up your closet space and ensure that your ironing board always has a designated spot. 
  1. Replace Your Light Fixtures
    If your laundry room feels dark and dingy, give it an instant update by replacing your light fixtures. Before you add your home to the Lafayette homes for sale, making a few simple upgrades will help your home look its best. 
  1. Add Some Plants and Art
    Most homeowners don't think to decorate their laundry rooms, but it only takes a few pieces to transform the atmosphere of the space. With a couple of pieces of art or a lovely plant, your laundry room will be a more joyful, welcoming spot to spend time in. Feel free to add a few shelves to display some of your favorite pieces. 
  1. Incorporate Functional Furniture Into the Layout
    Depending on the size of the room, incorporate furniture that makes it more convenient for you to use your laundry room. A large table makes a perfect spot to quickly fold a load of laundry. Or, if you have a little more space, a cozy sitting chair provides an excellent area to read or work while you wait for a load to dry. 
  1. Rethink Your Laundry Sorting System
    Revamp your laundry sorting system so that it works better for your family. For example, if you have a large family, you might invest in a cube unit and purchase a laundry basket for each family member. This will make it easier for you to sort the laundry based on who it belongs to. Then, the family member just has to grab their basket when it's time to put their laundry away. 

Ready to purchase a home with a large laundry room? Contact us today to get started!

November
4

Removing Carpet

Removing old carpet can be a time-consuming DIY project, especially for those who lack experience. But knowing how to effectively remove carpet can definitely come in handy. If you're looking to switch to hardwood floors or simply looking to save a few bucks on new carpet installation, removing old carpet by yourself can have some benefits. If you're doing it for the first time, our real estate agents have outlined the best way to go about the process:

  1. Gather Tools And Supplies
    If you're planning a DIY carpet removal, there are a few items you'll need before you start the job. As far as tools go, you'll want to invest in a good utility knife, a hammer/pry bar, a sharp-bladed floor scraper, a pair of pliers, and some heavy-duty trash bags.

    You'll also want to be sure to have the right protective equipment as well. Use a good pair of work gloves as your hands may come into contact with sharp tack strips or rough carpet backing. You will also need a dust mask. The process is likely to disperse particles, allergens, and bacteria into the air, protecting your lungs is important. Protective goggles are also recommended to protect your eyes from flying nails or debris.

  2. Prepare The Room
    Before you begin tearing up the carpet, you'll need to prepare the room. You'll want to start by removing doors from their hinges (including closet doors). Next, remove all furniture from the room. Once the carpet is completely accessible, it's time to begin the work.

  3. Start The Work
    Once you begin removing the carpet, the process is fairly simple. We recommend starting in the corner of the room. Using pliers, grab the carper and pull it up until it detaches from the tack strips. Then, use your hand to continue pulling carpet along the wall.

    After you've detached two or three feet of carpet, begin to cut the carpet into strips using a utility knife. Roll-up the strips and remove the carpet from the room. Removing the carpet in pieces allows for easier disposal. If there is a carpet pad underneath, remove it by following the same process described above.

    After you've removed the carpet and any additional padding, you can begin to remove the tack strips and nails using your pry bar or hammer. Keep in mind, there will be hundreds or even thousands of nails. We recommend using your floor scrape (instead of pliers). Otherwise, the process can take quite a while.

  4. Cleaning Up
    After the carpet and carpet pad is removed, scrape off any glue stuck to the floorboards and give the floor a good sweep to capture any remaining debris. We also recommend cleaning your floor with a mop prior to installing any new carpet or flooring materials.

While it can be time-consuming, DIY carpet removal isn't complicated. Switching to hardwood floors is a great way to make your home stand out among these Baton Rouge homes for sale. For more tips on DIY projects, contact us today.

October
26

Staging Rooms

Room staging is one of the most important parts of the home selling process. With digital marketplaces playing such a large role in the real estate market these days, good pictures of properly staged rooms can make all the difference for your listing. Studies have actually shown that room staging can also lead to an increased offer value from prospective buyers. 

The process of properly staging a room is both an art and a science, and it's important to do it right. For many sellers, it can be difficult to know where to start. Luckily, our real estate agents are experts at room staging and can provide tips. Below are some of the most important rooms to stage when listing your home for sale.

The Living Room

The living room is arguably the most important room to stage. Not only is it where many families spend most of their time, but it's also often one of the first rooms potential homebuyers see when viewing a home. Make sure to have the carpet professionally cleaned and remove personalized items like souvenirs and photographs. Add a few minimal decorations such as flowers or neutral artwork. If your living room is small, consider opening shades or blinds in order to maximize light exposure, as this will help the room appear larger. 

The Kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of the home, so make it as attractive as possible to potential homebuyers. The key is to make your kitchen appear bright, sparkly, and clean. Consider having the room professionally cleaned before listing your home for sale. If you're looking to create a cozier look, consider adding an eat-in table with chairs or a kitchen rug. Be sure to remove all clutter except for a few decorative items (think flowers or a tea kettle). If you have the budget, consider updating your appliances as well.

The Master Bedroom

It's no surprise that the master bedroom is one of the most important rooms to stage when listing your home for sale. One of the keys to staging it is to keep things as neutral as possible. You want to allow prospective buyers to be able to envision themselves living in the space. Avoid any themes, as these can ultimately be distracting. Make sure to clean out closets and go out of your way to show off organization and storage. Also, be sure to keep most personal items out of sight. When it comes to the bed, decorative pillows and throw blankets can go a long way -- just be sure to use softer colors. Try to optimize the room's light exposure by keeping blinds and curtains open. Mirrors can also give off the appearance of depth.

The Bathroom

A well-organized bathroom can really help the staging process. Prospective buyers will be opening closets, so make sure to use stylish drawers, organizers, and hanging shelves to organize toiletries. Remove any personal items like toothbrushes or bath towels. Most importantly, make sure sinks, counters, floors, tubs, shower curtains, and mirrors are sparkling clean. Spring for a decorative, fluffy bath mat or a small rug for the middle of the room.

Staging your home can have a huge impact. For more inspiration on beautifully staged homes, check out these Lake Charles homes for sale or contact us today.

October
28

Organized Kitchen

Since the kitchen is known as the heart of the home, making sure it's organized is extra important. A cluttered kitchen not only makes preparing meals a hassle, but it can also turn away potential buyers. 

Get rid of kitchen clutter by better organizing your space. Our real estate agents encourage you to use these tips to organize your kitchen.

Click Here to Read More...

October
9

New Orleans Kitchen Backsplash

According to our real estate agents, kitchen updates are one of the top renovations you can do. A kitchen backsplash is, in many ways, the piece that ties together all of your hard-planned renovations. If the kitchen backsplash is too boring or too jarring, it can destroy the entire look. Here are a few tips for picking out a kitchen backsplash that will give your updates the most mileage.

Click Here to Read More...

October
9

Decorate Home Office

Many of us have moved our offices into our homes, where we're conducting business remotely. But just because you're officing on your own is no reason to forgo making your workspace comfortable and expressive of your personality. 

Our real estate agents advise that a creatively decorated home office can also help you sell your home when you list it among Lafayette homes for sale

Click Here to Read More...

September
30

Hanging Wall Art Tips

Does it feel as though hanging wall art takes as much talent as actually creating the art itself? Don't be intimidated when decorating Alexandria homes for sale and other houses. Use these valuable tips from our real estate agents to hang wall art like a pro.

  1. Location, Location, Location
    The #1 rule of real estate also holds true when decorating. Determine where you'll place each piece of art by considering room functions, existing furniture and accessories, and sizes and shapes.

  2. To Thine Own Self Be True
    Shakespeare's words are always good advice, including when it comes to choosing artwork. Don't be guided by trends or the need to impress others. A single picture you truly cherish is worth more than a museum full of masterworks.

  3. Don't Look Up
    According to design experts, hanging a piece of art too high is the most common decorating mistake. People shouldn't have to strain their neck, admiring the artwork in your home. The rule of thumb used in museums and galleries is to place the center of a wall hanging 57" above the floor, which equals eye level for most people.

  4. Strike the Proper Balance
    Wall hangings and furniture should neither fight for attention nor drown each other out. When proportions are correct, both elements create a sense of harmony. Aim for an artwork or grouping that's approximately two-thirds the length of adjacent furniture, with the bottom of the art no more than a foot above. If you're working above a fireplace, go with a piece that's slightly narrower than the mantle but slightly wider than the fireplace opening.

  5. Bigger Is (Usually) Better
    When in doubt about size, err on the side of bigger. An oversized piece of art can serve as a focal point, while one that's too small comes off as an afterthought and adds absolutely no interest to a room.

  6. Blend Form and Function
    "Art" doesn't have to be rigidly defined as something created solely for visual appeal. There's a wide range of shelving, storage units, and other organizational items that offer equal parts style and substance. Incorporate these "wall hangings" for some great multitasking design elements.

  7. Consider a Gallery Wall
    Grouping several small and mid-sized pieces can tell a striking visual story. When you have an even number of pieces similar in size and appearance, a grid arrangement works well. Another option is using several pieces of varying sizes, shapes, and mediums, placing them in a carefully-drawn "random" arrangement. 

  8. Measure Twice, Hammer Once
    "Measure twice, cut once" is a popular saying applied to home improvement projects that's easily adapted to hanging wall art. If you're using more than one piece in a specific area, place a piece of butcher paper on the floor and test different arrangements. Once you've found the right one, trace the outline of each piece and mark the spot of the hanger to create a handy template.

  9. Use Alternative "Hanging" Methods
    Maybe you want a more casual, contemporary look, or you just don't want any hardware on your walls. One popular option used by many designers is simply leaning a piece of art against the wall. Larger pieces can rest on the floor, while smaller ones can be placed on a side table, bookcase, or floating shelf.

Home, like art, is in the eye of the beholder. Contact us today and let Latter & Blum guide you on the journey to find your perfect house in Alexandria. 

September
11

Buying a Home Lafayette

Our real estate agents know buying a house can consume a lot of energy. Expert advice helps, but when you get to closing day, you probably just want to relax. It's time to celebrate, but don't overlook the vital things you need to do now!

Whether you've been hunting for Lafayette homes for sale or houses elsewhere in Louisiana, the basics are the same. A few quick tasks help you get the most from your place.

Here are the most crucial things:

Click Here to Read More...

September
4

Trends to Avoid When Selling

"Trend" is defined as something that's popular at a certain point in time. While decorating trends may be fun and fashionable, they can severely limit the appeal of Houma homes for sale. Improve the marketability of your home by avoiding these current style trends.

Click Here to Read More...

July
29

Natural Pest Removal

One of the few downsides of warm summer temperatures is that they create a prime environment for insects. While most Alexandria homes for sale have to deal with some type of summer bug, you don't have to agree to share your home with creepy crawlies. Keep summer pests from crashing your fun with these natural remedies. 

Click Here to Read More...

July
31

Pool Maintenance TipsOne of the best ways to stay cool in the Louisiana heat is to dive into your backyard pool. While you might think owning a home with a pool is a daily pool party, it's not all fun and games. Having a pool adds to your list of regular maintenance tasks. Here are a few maintenance tips our real estate agents recommend, that'll keep your pool in top condition all summer long.

  1. Skim and Scrub
    One of the best ways to make your pool stays in good shape is to take a few minutes every day to skim out leaves and debris. These leaves may get stuck in your pool filters, not to mention they encourage algae build-up. To tackle this task, you can use a skimmer net, a leaf rake, or a leaf vac. 
  2. Click Here to Read More...

July
13

Kitchen Improvements

Whether you're a longtime homeowner or you've recently purchased one of the many New Orleans homes for sale, your kitchen is the center of your household. Over time though, your kitchen's appearance may begin to look dull and outdated. When a complete remodel is not in the budget, completing small fixes can give your kitchen the new refreshed look you've been wanting.

The following are some ideas to get you started. While their cost is on the lower side, these projects can have a significant impact on the look and feel of your kitchen. 

July
8

Louisiana Flipping

Baton Rouge homes for sale have long been some of the most attractive for real estate investors. Whether you're new to the market or an experienced hand, you're sure to find plenty of properties perfect for house flipping.

And our real estate agents are happy to report another reason to be excited about Baton Rouge.

Click Here to Read More...

July
10

Home Maintenance Issues

Whether your home is an older house filled with character or a new property filled with trendy details, it's important to keep your space maintained. Not only will regular home maintenance save you money in the long run, but it will ensure your home is ready to put on the market when you call our real estate agents. Here are a few common home maintenance issues to address as soon as possible: 

Click Here to Read More...

June
22

Transplant During the Summer

Summer is never the ideal time to transplant garden plants, but there are situations when we don't have much choice. If you're getting ready to sell your home and want to spruce up your landscape, or if you've just moved in and are in a rush to get things planted, our real estate agents are happy to offer some advice for transplanting plants in summer. 

  1. Understand the Challenges 
    The hardest part about transplanting any landscape plant is keeping its roots cool and moist. This is especially challenging in summer, not only because weather conditions are often hot and dry, but because plants are actively growing at this time of year. Plants are easier to transplant when they are dormant, and the roots aren't sucking up as much water to feed their leaves. 

  2. Click Here to Read More...

June
19

Moving to a New State

Moving to a new state amplifies the stress of a move significantly. Fortunately, you can reduce the stress of your upcoming move by making a list of things that you need to research. Here are a few things that you should add to your to-do list before making your big move: 

  1. Research the State's Housing Market
    The local housing market can vary significantly from state to state. Make sure that you understand the market in the area that you want to move to so you know what to expect. In some areas, properties may only last a few days, or it might be normal for buyers to make offers over the asking process. Or, the opposite might be true. Buyers could have their pick of fantastic properties, and it might be normal for sellers to offer additional incentives. 
  1. Look at the State's Tax Policies
    Since the average household spends 14 percent of its income on tax obligations, it's a smart idea to understand your new state's tax policies. Understanding your new tax obligation will give you a better idea of how much income you'll have to spend on your housing expenses. You might also make financial moves that enable you to adjust your taxable income (such as increasing tax-deductible retirement contributions in a state with an income tax). Some states have high taxes that may rival the amount of your mortgage payment. It's essential to understand these property tax rates so that your new home isn't too expensive for your income.
  1. Check Out the Proximity to Local Medical Providers
    Take a few moments and review what kind of medical care your family regularly requires. If there's a specific kind of provider you know you'll need to see frequently, you might prefer neighborhoods that make it more convenient to attend your appointments. For example, if you know that you need to attend physical therapy, you may prefer a home that's close to multiple physical therapy providers. Or, a property with public transportation to nearby medical centers might suit your needs. 
  1. Learn About the Lifestyle in a Specific Area
    As you explore Lafayette homes for sale, keep in mind the lifestyle provided by a specific neighborhood. Even the most gorgeous home is a bad choice if it isn't suitable for your lifestyle preferences. If you value your privacy, home, or condo in a large neighborhood might not be right for your needs. However, if you love having a strong sense of community and want a home with numerous community amenities, a close-knit neighborhood is likely to be a terrific fit for your family.

Find the process of searching for an out-of-state home a little overwhelming? Our real estate agents will make the search as convenient as possible. Contact us today! 

June
5

Free Home Improvements

Is a tight budget keeping you from improving your home's interior? Fortunately, there are multiple ways you can make your home look better without spending a dime. Use these tips to prepare your home to sell before contacting our real estate agents, or utilize them to enhance the look of your dream home. 

  1. Get Rid of Clutter
    You don't always need to add new things to help your home look its best. Even the most stylish decorative pieces will look bad if they're sandwiched between too many knickknacks. Instead, you should take some things away to create a luxe, inviting atmosphere. Having too many items in one space will overwhelm the room and prevents visitors from being able to focus on any one piece. You can use the items to decorate another room or consider putting them in storage. 
  2. Stop Saving Your Good Towels for Guests
    There's nothing wrong with wanting to spruce up your home when you have visitors. However, the towels in your bathrooms can totally overhaul the look and feel of the room. Towels can add a pop of color, or they might lend a more luxurious feeling to the room. Stash your old, dingy towels and break out your best sets. Consider your towels a decorative display piece rather than hand-drying implements. 
  3. Mix Up Your Book Shelves
    To refresh the look of your bookshelves, add items other them books to the shelves. This doesn't mean you can't use them to house and display your reading material; instead, incorporate other items to break up the monotony of the space. For example, you might use two heavy decorative statues as bookends. Or, you could stack some of your books horizontally instead of vertically and have them share the shelf with a picture or plant. The end goal is a more varied look that lends depth to the space. 
  4. Give Your Furniture Space
    Make your home look better within minutes by checking that all your furniture has a little space around it. Even a few more inches between your furnishings will make a difference in the overall appearance of the room. You'll find that letting your furniture breathe will keep the room from appearing cluttered and can even make the room appear larger. If you have furniture along a wall, make sure to also pull it out a few inches. The room will have an airy feel that helps any decor scheme look its best. 
  5. Embrace Angles
    When arranging your furniture, don't feel as if everything has to be arranged in straight lines. Help your home stand out from other Lafayette homes for sale by placing a few pieces at an angle. Putting your furnishings at a diagonal helps the room look more interesting. 
  6. Let the Light In
    Take advantage of the room's natural light by ensuring that you don't block your windows with furniture. Any room looks better when it's bathed in natural light. See that you open the room's drapes or blinds during the day so that the space has as much light as possible. 

Interested in more home improvement tips from our agents? Contact us today!

June
3

Summer Patio

Summer is almost here, and everyone is eager to get outside and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. As the weather warms up, the following are some improvements our real estate agents recommend for your outdoor patio.

  1. Trim the Trees and Prune the Hedges
    If you have trees and hedges, grass or flowerbeds, now is the right time to cut them back. Removing dead branches and unruly growth will create a comfortable environment for rest and relaxation. Likewise, give the grass a good trim, fill in any dead spots, and green it up with a touch of fertilizer. 
  2. Powerwash the Patio
    A little soap, water, and a power brush will go a long way towards making the pavers, stones, concrete, and bricks of your patio look like new. Some elbow grease and a little time are all it takes to blast away years of grime.
  3. Light it Up
    String some patio lights or invest in the installation of a permanent lighting system. Illuminating your patio will help you better enjoy it in the evening hours when it's cooler and more refreshing to spend the evening outdoors. Outdoor lights, coupled with motion sensors or connected to your home automation system, will give you home security a bit of a boost. If you would like to add more natural light into the landscape, you can install torches or an outdoor fire pit to provide both illumination and a touch of heat for those chillier nights.
  4. Build an Outdoor Bar & Kitchen
    If you have always wanted to have your bar, this is the time to do it. Installing an outdoor bar or kitchen can give you a comfortable place to relax and enjoy the company of family and close friends without having to leave home. These create an extension of your indoor living space that you can use for most of the year in Baton Rouge. 
  5. Buy New Furniture
    If you have had your eye on a fabulous patio set, now is an excellent time to make the purchase. New patio furniture can completely transform the ambiance of your patio and enhance your enjoyment of the space. Whether you want glitz and glam, or elegant and refined, choose furniture that is a reflection of your personal tastes and the aesthetics of the interior of your home. Of course, if you have beloved patio furniture that is looking a little worn, refurbishing and refinishing can breathe fresh life into the piece. 
  6. Bring in the Color 
    Make sure your patio has sufficient contrasts that enhance the space. Monotone designs are tiring and not conducive to entertaining. Rather, you want to use a combination of throw pillows, flower beds, artwork, furniture, colored lighting, and other accessories to create a vibrant atmosphere.
  7. Add a Little Shade
    It's advisable to add awnings, pergolas, umbrellas, and other features that can shield you and your family from the sun. When adding shade, it's a good idea to use fixed and removable options that can help you control how much light shines on the patio. 

We encourage you to contact us to learn more about the Baton Rouge homes for sale this month. It is our pleasure to help you find the perfect place for you and your family to rest, relax, and enjoy plenty of time building memories out on the patio this summer.

May
27

Spring Cleaning

Spring is in full swing, and it's time to clean up! 

Our real estate agents have been using the opportunity to take spring cleaning to the next level. We've learned a trick or two in the process, and we're excited to share them!

Click Here to Read More...

May
13

Starting a Garden in Baton Rouge

Gardening is one of the most rewarding hobbies. If you've never tasted fresh vegetables straight from the garden, you'll be amazed by the vibrant textures and sweet, juicy flavors. For many, however, starting a garden can feel completely overwhelming at first, but it doesn't have to be. The most important element is a willingness and commitment to learn and try. The rest will fall into place. 

Our real estate agents are avid gardeners and have broken down the process into six easy steps to guide you into your gardening adventure.

  1. Know Your Zone
    It may sound obvious, but what you plant is determined by where you live. Every region has a different planting time, and every vegetable has its temperature preferences. Most vegetables should be planted after the danger of frost has passed. In Baton Rouge, the average last spring frost date is March 20.

  2. Click Here to Read More...

May
8

Home Improvement Apps

You may have started your home improvement project by opening your toolbox, and for some projects, that's the perfect place to start. But for projects that involve planning, measuring, and creativity, your best tool may already be in your pocket. Home improvement apps for your smartphone make it easy for you to plan and execute your home improvement projects. Our real estate agents know when a DIY project has been well planned. Plan for your next home improvement project with these apps. 

Click Here to Read More...

May
1

Home Improvement Projects

It's always fun to spruce up your house and make it feel more like home. However, while it may look easy on a YouTube video, some projects really should be left to the professionals. Our real estate agents recommend hiring a pro to do the following tasks.

  1. Electrical Work
    Leave electrical work to a certified electrician. This advice holds true whether you live in an old home that needs a wiring update or have a new home and would like to install a new light socket. Not only is there a risk of electrocution, but a simple mistake can cause your home to go up in smoke.
  2. Plumbing Repairs
    Never attempt to do plumbing repairs unless you are a certified plumber. There exist a bevy of pipes, hoses, and connections behind your walls and under the floors. One mistake, and you risk turning a small problem into a lake in the living room. If you notice leaks, drips, and other plumbing-related problems, call the professionals to handle the work. Likewise, while you may want to install an outdoor irrigation system, hot tub, swimming pool, etc., a licensed plumber can help ensure that everything is built to code and won't cause problems down the road.
  3. Additions
    Adding a little extra space can make your home feel more comfortable. However, it takes more than making sure your measurements are right, and the 2x4s are level. Building an addition requires adhering to building codes, securing permits, and completing inspections. Failing to secure the necessary permits and other tasks can diminish your home's value and create complications for a prospective sale.
  4. Roof Repairs
    While you may think it is alright to replace a few loose shingles or repair damaged gingerbread, it's best to leave these tasks to a reputable roofing contractor. This helps ensure that the work will be done according to code and that the shingles, tiles, and other repairs will properly protect your roof from damage.
  5. Window Replacements
    New windows can significantly improve the appearance and energy efficiency of your home. However, improperly installed windows can leak and suffer irreparable damage. This is best left to a contractor who can make sure the windows are plumb and properly secured to your home.
  6. Foundation Repairs
    Never attempt to repair a foundation on your own. You can cause significant damage to the home and threaten the structural integrity of the building. Further, if the repair is done wrong, it will show up on the home inspection and complicate a future sale. 
  7. Tree Removals 
    Tree roots can go deep beneath the soil. Sometimes, they can snake beneath fences and the foundation of your home. Improper tree removal can cause damage to the property that can cost far more to fix than the cost of hiring a professional tree removal specialist to do the work.

Contact us for more information about the repairs we recommend homeowners do on their Houma homes for sale. We will provide you some valuable suggestions and ideas you can use to make your home stand out in the marketplace.

April
22

Home Improvement Projects

A home improvement project doesn't need to last weeks or even months. There are numerous projects you can tackle in a single weekend that will have a huge impact on the look and feel of your home. Whether you're ready to add your home to the inventory of Baton Rouge homes for sale or just want to spruce up your space, check out these weekend-friendly home improvement projects. 

  1. Overhaul Your Entrance
    Your home's entrance is one of the first things guests or potential buyers see; make sure it gives off a fantastic first impression. If your deck is looking a little dingy, clean it using a pressure washer. Depending on the materials used to build your deck and its overall condition, you may want to stain or paint it. Once your deck looks its best, turn your attention to your home's entryway. Add a coat rack to ensure your guests have a place to put their outerwear. Make the entryway more welcoming with a coat of fresh paint and a new welcome mat. 

    Click Here to Read More...

February
24

Remodeling in Lafayette

Remodeling key areas of your home can improve quality of life while you're there plus help maximize value when you sell. Our REALTORS® know that choosing the right project is crucial to getting the best financial outcome, which is why we're sharing a closer look at the 2020 Cost vs. Value Report for Lafayette homes.

Remodeling Cost vs. Value 2020 – For Lafayette Homes

The Right Projects to Maximize Your Investment

  • Window Replacement – Wood or Vinyl
    Just about everyone shopping for Lafayette homes for sale will be looking for energy efficiency and a home with good climate control. Replacing old windows with new wood or vinyl windows edges out a few other projects for the top ROI on our list.
  • Minor Kitchen Remodel
    When it comes to remodeling the kitchen, more isn't always better. A minor kitchen remodel will cost significantly less out of pocket, and ultimately allows you to recoup more cash than most room remodeling projects.

    Click Here to Read More...

February
3

Declutter Before a Move

Like most people, you probably have stuff piled up around the house that you didn't even know you owned. Moving an overstuffed junk drawer or duplicate items you don't have use for doesn't make sense. 

Decluttering helps decrease the weight of the items you're moving, makes the process less stressful, and saves on moving costs. Our REALTORS® have six useful tips to keep moving day as stress-free and inexpensive as possible.

  1. Start Early
    Don't wait until moving day to decide what to pack and what to get rid of. It could take a couple of days to complete the decluttering process. So plan at least two weeks and spare a few hours every day to go through a different room or storage area in your home. By giving yourself enough time to go through all your stuff, you won't be tempted to throw everything in the boxes and be done with it.
  2. Start Small
    It can be disheartening to look at a house full of stuff you have to sort through. It can also be tempting to put it off and promise yourself you'll do it on moving day or even after you moved into the new place. This is why you need to start small. Start with a dresser, a closet, or a home office. Don't try to clear an entire room at once because it can be draining and might extinguish your motivation. 

    Click Here to Read More...

January
27

Improving Home's Scent

Our sense of smell is a powerful force! Smells can evoke many feelings and emotions either positive or negative. If you're thinking of adding your property to the local market of Lafayette homes for sale, it's important to ensure your home smells good as a critical component of staging it to sell. Our REALTORS® share some tips for making your home smell fresh, clean, and appealing to buyers.

  • Do a Deep Cleaning
    Cleaning your house from top to bottom is critical to ensure it looks its best, but it also helps get rid of stale, nasty odors. Make sure to wash down walls, especially in the kitchen, to get rid of grease and grime, which can make your home pretty smell stale and dirty. If you're short on time or hate to clean, hire professionals to get the job done right.
  • Have Carpets and Curtains Professionally Cleaned
    Steam-cleaning carpets, rugs, and drapes can help them look like new and eliminate odors you never even knew existed. Once your carpets are cleaned, take a few moments to sprinkle them with baking soda and vacuum right before a viewing or open house. Baking soda is also great for scrubbing sinks, toilets, bathtubs, and other items. If you don't care for cleaning products with lots of fragrance, baking soda can eliminate tough odors while keeping perfumes to a minimum.

    Click Here to Read More...

January
6

Prep for Open House

Hosting an open house is a tried and trusted method for selling your home. However, you need to do more than put a sign out front. Before you host an open house, the following are seven steps our REALTORS® recommend to prepare your home for prospective buyers.

  1. Clean Out the Clutter
    Cleaning out clutter opens up the floorplan and makes the home feel more spacious. You will also want to remove valuables such as jewelry, heirlooms, and other items that you don't want to include in the sale. Removing items helps protect your possessions. Further, if prospective buyers don't see appliances or fixtures they won't ask to negotiate these as part of the sale.
  2. Conduct a Thorough Cleaning
    Pay to have the carpets professionally cleaned. Dirty, dingy carpets will turn away even the most motivated buyer. Clean every corner, window, cabinet, and other surfaces so that the home looks as new as possible. You will want to organize closets, cupboards, and pantries so they appear neat and tidy. 
  3. Repair Damage
    You will want to take care of any cosmetic damage before the open house. Fixing broken tiles, repairing holes in walls, sealing drafts, etc. can go a long way towards enticing a prospective buyer to make an offer. Painting is also advisable, but you will want to make sure to do this as early as possible so that the home doesn't smell like fresh paint during the open house. 
  4. Make Arrangements for Your Pets
    Not everyone is a pet person. Having your pets running around during an open house can be a huge distraction to potential buyers. Consider sending your dogs, cats, and other pets on a mini-vacation. Take them to a friend's house or take your pup to a dog park. When they're gone, make sure the home is free of pet odors, dander, and toys when prospective buyers arrive. 
  5. Stage the Home
    It is worth every penny to pay for a consultation with a professional home stager. Often, a few simple changes in furniture positioning, curtain choice, or lighting can create a fresh, modern look that appeals to the types of buyers you want to attract.  
  6. Conduct a Final Spot-Check
    The day before, your open house is a big day. You will want to make sure the clutter is gone, the curtains are open, and the smells removed. You will also want to bake the cookies, prepare the refreshments, and make sure that all the marketing materials are ready to go when prospective buyers knock on the door.    
  7. Host a Broker and Agent Preview
    Agents and brokers are eager to find the best properties for their clients. Hosting a preview allows them to contact their clients who have expressed a desire for a property that matches your home's description, features, and location.    

Contact us to discuss the strategies we use to sell Lafayette homes for sale. It's our pleasure to develop a plan that will help you sell your home effectively!   

August
19

Final Walkthrough Checklist
Buying a home seems like a process with an endless number of steps. But if you've made it far enough for your final walk-through, then congratulations are in order. You're really in the home stretch now, and our REALTORS® are here to make sure that your final walk-through is a success. Here's what you need to know:

Have Your REALTOR® With You

The main purpose of a final walk-through is to make sure that the house is in the condition you agreed to buy it in, and it's always best to have your REALTOR® with you. Doing your final walk-through alongside a professional will make this crucial step much easier, bringing an added understanding of the home buying process and a seasoned eye for detail.

Click Here to Read More...

July
8

Lafayette Donation Centers

5 Area Donation Centers to Visit on National Give Something Away Day

In early 2019, Marie Kondo's Netflix series about "tidying up" went viral and sparked a nationwide decluttering trend. In the spirit of KonMari, celebrate National Give Something Away Day on July 15 by finding a new home for unwanted items at one of these donation centers around Lafayette suggested by our REALTORS®.

  1. ARC of Acadiana Thrift Store - 710 S. Union St., Opelousas, LA 70570
    Donations to ARC of Acadiana Thrift Store, located not far from Opelousas homes for sale, provide a two-fold benefit. Proceeds support ARC's mission to improve quality of life for individuals with developmental disabilities, and the store itself provides a place for ARC's clients to learn valuable work skills. Hours are 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. every day but Sunday.

    Click Here to Read More...

March
4

Spring MaintenanceWith the first day of spring just around the corner, it's time to start thinking about getting your home in tip-top shape for the days ahead. The arrival of spring presents an opportunity to take care of outdoor maintenance tasks, check on key systems in your home, identify maintenance issues you may have missed during previous months, and prepare your garden for warmer weather. Our real estate agents are here to help you get started, with our 2019 guide to spring maintenance for your home.

More than Just Cleaning: Our Guide to Spring Home Maintenance for 2019

Outdoor Spring Maintenance

  • Run the Sprinkler System
    Turn on your sprinkler system and let it run to check for any issues. Look for broken sprinkler heads, check for leaks, and make sure sprinkler heads are directed correctly.
  • Check Outdoor Faucets
    Test your outdoor faucets to make sure that no pipes have sustained damage over the winter from frozen water. If you suspect damage, call a professional.
  • Inspect Foundation and Siding
    Check for cracks in brickwork, damage to the foundation, and damage to siding. If the siding is damaged, check beneath for rotting and signs of leaks.

    Click Here to Read More...

Latter & Blum
430 Notre Dame St.
New Orleans, LA 70130
(866) 794-1022

Agency License Information: Latter & Blum is licensed in Louisiana by the Louisiana Real Estate Commission. Latter & Blum is also licensed in Texas and Mississippi.

Login to My Homefinder

Login to My Homefinder