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June
6

homeownership

National Homeownership Month, which is recognized every year in June, is the perfect time to reflect on the meaning of owning a home and the benefits of this investment. Our real estate agents appreciate the value of homeownership, and we've put together 5 reasons to celebrate homeownership this June. Whether you're shopping for New Orleans homes for sale for the first time or are transitioning to a new home, here are a couple of the many reasons to celebrate homeownership.

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September
17

Interview Real Estate Agents

When you're listing your home for sale, you'll have your choice of many real estate agents to do business with. Before signing a contract, take the time to interview a few, so you understand exactly what they'll be doing to sell your home and to ensure you have a good rapport with them.
  
Our real estate agents suggest asking the following questions when you're interviewing agents:

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August
4

This week's Agent Spotlight shines brightly on John Schaff, a fifth-generation New Orleanian with over two decades of experience in the real estate industry. For over 10 consecutive years, John has achieved Top of the Latter – Latter & Blum's most prestigious honor, awarded annually to the top 30 producing real estate agents across the Gulf South. 

John obtained his real estate license in 1994 and with a background in sales, he immediately had a knack for it and quickly became successful, amassing over $250 million and selling over 700 properties during his career. John attributes his success to setting goals, hard work and remaining committed to achieving those goals. His first year at Latter & Blum he made it his goal to become Top of the Latter, which he achieved within his second year.

John credits his strong sales and negotiating background, patience, and being an empathetic listener attuned to his clients' needs – as the key to his success as a top producing agent.

Offering advice to new real estate agents, John says to just go for it and take the leap! Everyone wants a place to call home and he says it's the most rewarding experience to help someone find their dream house.

Accredited as a residential specialist, John specializes in selling condos, historic homes and investment properties in New Orleans. The area he concentrates mostly on is the "Sliver on the River" area focusing on Uptown to the Bywater in New Orleans. In 2021, John formed a team with Jared Briley – the Schaff Home Krewe – and despite the challenges from the pandemic, they have been helping their clients find their dream homes across Greater New Orleans. 

Interested in buying or selling a house in New Orleans? Visit Schaff Home Krewe or call (504) 343-6683 for all your real estate needs.

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.

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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.

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March
22

Lake Charles Sell Your Home

Spring has arrived, making it the perfect time to tackle your home to-do list. Whether you have plans to contact our real estate agents and put your home on the market or just want to get your home looking its best, a few chores will help your home stand out. Here are some tasks to ensure your home is appealing to visitors and potential buyers. 

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February
15

Property Value Tips

Purchasing a new home is one of the biggest life decisions you can make, so learning how to protect your investment is an essential part of homeownership. However, many buyers aren't aware of all of the factors that can impact what your home is actually worth. Luckily, our real estate agents are familiar with the little things that can make a home sell for far less than market value. While some may seem obvious, others are not.

If you're in the market for a new home, keep in mind the following factors that can actually decrease a property's value.

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January
15

Move to Louisiana 2021

"La-La Land," referring to a state of bliss, is usually associated with Los Angeles. But our real estate agents believe the term could just as easily apply to Louisiana, thanks to a lifestyle that gave rise to another nickname, "The Big Easy." Consider these nine compelling reasons why you should move to Louisiana in 2021.

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December
18

New Orleans Moving Tips

Moving is a very stressful event as you struggle to get everything done in time, make sure nothing falls through the cracks, and manage the physical demands of the task. Good thing all it takes is a bit of planning to make the process go smoothly. 
  
Our real estate agents suggest the following ways to help you maintain your sanity during a move:  

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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. 

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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.

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November
6

Painting Lafayette Home

As you prepare to sell your home, a detailed to-do list will save you time, money, and frustration in the long run. One of the important home renovation tasks your to-do list should include is painting. Various painting projects can dynamically improve the appearance of your home and potentially even raise its value. Our real estate agents encourage you to consider completing these painting projects before listing your home for sale.

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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.

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October
16

 

Brigitte Fredy has made a name for herself in the New Orleans residential market over the last 30+ years, and it's clear to see why. With her passion and dedication to her career, she has built an expansive network of happy clients and earned herself Top of the Latter for decades – Latter & Blum's most prestigious award presented annually to the top-producing real estate agents across all markets.

Born in Paris, France – Brigitte has always had an eye for beautiful architecture, which naturally led her to specialize in historic properties in downtown, uptown and the French Quarter of New Orleans. Licensed in 1983, Brigitte started off her real estate career with Latter & Blum and is still with the company to this day as one of the top-producing agents. From helping clients buy their first home, second home and even third home, more of Brigitte's wide-ranging specialties include home staging, luxury condos and investment properties. Trilingual in English, French and Spanish, Brigitte's background and decades of expertise in historical properties allows her to help prospective home buyers and sellers from all walks of life. 

With all of her success, Brigitte didn't get where she is today on accident. She credits her hard work, patience and flexibility as the key to her success and what helped shape her into the top-producing real estate agent she is today. Offering advice to new real estate agents, Brigitte says it's important to start as early as you can, being a successful Realtor requires a lot of time, energy and work. Her favorite part of the job? Having the flexibility to create her own work schedule, which in turn creates a good balance in her life.

When Brigitte isn't basking in the thrill of navigating a successful real estate transaction, you can probably find her cooking some delicious cuisine in her downtown condo, exercising or entertaining clients and friends. She also owns an apartment in Paris, perks of all her hard work and dedication.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the market for a home in New Orleans? Contact Brigitte for all your real estate needs.

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

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September
25

competitive market

This is a great time to buy a home, with interest rates at all-time lows and many motivated sellers seeking the right buyer. Of course, that means you won't be the only person house-hunting right now, and a competitive real estate market means you may have to do a little extra to make your offer stand out above the rest. Our real estate agents know what it takes to land your dream home, and we've got some practical tips to help your offer outshine the competition.

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September
9

 

If you're a Realtor, then you know the importance of adopting safe procedures in every aspect of your real estate business. Whether you are holding an open house, showing property or meeting with a client for the first time, it's of the utmost importance to always be safe and think a few steps ahead. 

In observance of National Realtor Safety Month, here are several safety tips that all Realtors should know: 

  1. Only show property when it's light out. 
  2. Don't park in the driveway, park in the street. 
  3. Leave valuables in your car during an open house or while showing property such as your purse, wallet, etc. 
  4. If you're meeting a client for the first time, ask for a copy of their driver's license and notify someone of where you will be during the meeting. 
  5. Team up with a fellow agent and have them accompany you while showing a vacant home. 
  6. Allow prospects to walk in front of you when showing a home.
  7. When possible, drive your own car to an open house or showing. 
  8. Take a basic self-defense course or keep self-defense equipment on you at all times. 
  9. Plan an escape reroute before showings and open houses.
  10. Pause, look and observe your surroundings before entering a property. Does anything look suspicious? Always trust your gut!

By following these safety tips, you can protect not only yourself but your clients too. Review these tips every day and download our Realtor Safety Tips document. Pro tip: print it out and keep it by your desk!

Learn more about Realtor safety on NAR's safety resources page.

August
10

Working With REALTOR

Today's real estate industry presents you with many options when it comes to buying and selling Baton Rouge homes for sale. Our REALTORS® want your real estate transaction to be as swift, smooth, and successful as possible. Before you choose to hire a broker or simply conduct the property sale with only an escrow agent, we encourage you to discover the many ways that working with a REALTOR® can benefit you.

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June
8

Golf in Nola

Known for smooth jazz, delicious food, and a lively culture — New Orleans is a destination unlike anywhere else in the country. Plus, avid golfers will love the links surrounding the Crescent City. Our REALTORS® invite you to grab your clubs and take your dad to one of these five challenging NOLA golf courses for Father's Day.

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May
26

Real Estate Terms

The home buying process can be daunting. Understanding basic terms and concepts associated with real estate can help make the process less stressful, help you identify red flags, and save you money. Our real estate agents recommend that homebuyers and those with Lake Charles homes for sale familiarize themselves with a few common terms that often pop up during the process.

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May
15

Reopening Louisiana

Following established guidelines, Louisiana will begin Phase 1 of the opening plan on Friday, May 15th. Although this reopening is a bright beacon of hope, we must not forget that we are not fully free of the shadow of COVID-19. As we revive our sense of normalcy, our real estate agents want to assure you that we are collectively doing our part to safely serve our community as responsibly as possible.

FAQ About Louisiana Phase 1 Coronavirus Reopening

When will Louisiana reopen?
The state will enter Phase 1 of a three-phase reopening plan, as suggested by the federal government, on May 15th.

What businesses and services will be reopened in Phase 1?
Phase 1 of the reopening plan includes the opening of many services and businesses, such as barbershops/hair salons, bars that serve food, churches, funeral services, gyms and fitness centers, malls, movie theaters, restaurants, and many other non-essential businesses. However, many of these locations are only allowed to open if they follow strict guidelines dictating the number of individuals permitted to occupy the space and how employees, visitors, and customers must interact while following social distancing/PPE guidelines.

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May
11

New Orleans Home Virtual Tour

COVID-19 has created considerable disruptions across the country. Many states have placed significant restrictions on home showings, open houses, etc. However, that doesn't mean you can't sell your house in the meantime. Our real estate agents can help you harness the power of technology to reach an even broader audience without ever having to leave the couch. Hosting a virtual tour of your home gives you a chance to show off the features around your property and present details about the house in a polished, professional manner.

Preparing Your Home for a Virtual Tour

Clean everything out so that the home looks open and spacious. This means cleaning the cupboards, clearing out the garage, polishing the fixtures, cleaning windows, and removing debris from the yard. Essentially, give your home the super spring cleaning treatment. Potential homebuyers will want to see every possible angle of their potential new home, so leave no dust bunnies behind!

When shooting a virtual tour, you can also remove furniture from rooms while filming. This can open the room up and give you time to decide which pieces of furniture you want to move with you, and which pieces you will donate or sell before you make your move.

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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
29

Neighboring Properties

You've completed your staging and cleaning and have your home buyer-ready, inside and out. Unfortunately, sometimes surrounding properties can turn off prospective buyers, even if your home is a showplace. From messy yards to roaming dogs, neighboring properties could affect how your home shows while on the market.

Our REALTORS® outline 5 solutions if you have neighboring properties that could affect the sale of your home.

  1. The Loud Property
    In the case of noisy neighbors, they may not realize that they're disturbing you. Ask them nicely to be a little quieter, especially during showings. If this doesn't work, you could talk to your homeowners' association, if you have one, or ask other neighbors who are bothered as well to have a similar conversation.

  2. The Abandoned Property
    An empty house near yours could be the result of bankruptcy or foreclosure. If the home's exterior condition is unsightly with newspapers piling up, household items left on the porch, and an overgrown lawn, it's time to do some research. Try to find out who - such as a financial institution - has a vested interest in the property and ask if they can have basic maintenance taken care of. If not, explain the situation and ask if you could mow the lawn yourself, pick up the papers, and dispose of outside debris.

  3. Nosy Neighbor
    A nosy neighbor might try to catch a potential buyer to share some of the unsubstantiated neighborhood gossip. Notify your real estate agent about this situation so he or she can try to head off the nosy neighbor. You may also want to approach your neighbor and stress how important it is to have only your agent give information to prospective buyers.

  4. Roaming and Loud Animals
    A neighbor who has dogs who constantly bark or have allowed to roam free can be problematic. Talk to him or her and be honest about the fact that you're trying to sell your home and are afraid this will turn buyers away. If a conversation doesn't work, call your local city or parish about noise ordinance violations with a constantly barking dog. It can help to record the dogs for evidence of your complaint.

  5. HOA Rule-Breakers
    A homeowners' association community is meant to draw up and enforce rules that govern the neighborhood. When there is an HOA, homebuyers expect their neighbors to follow the rules. However, neighbors who break the HOA rules can lead a prospective buyer to assume that neighborhood rules aren't enforced. If that's the case, take your complaint to the HOA and enforce the rules. 

In most of these cases, the solution is to have a polite conversation with those in your neighborhood on your goals of selling your home and how they can help. Most people will be understanding since chances are they've had to sell a property before too! 

Contact us when you're ready to sell your home. We've closed deals on many Alexandria homes for sale and can help advise you on sticky issues that could interfere with your sale.

April
13

Commercial Properties New Orleans

If you've ever played Monopoly, you know the benefits of owning commercial property. Ready to skip Park Place and the fake money and become an investor in real life? Our REALTORS® share six useful tips to get you started on the road to becoming a successful commercial property owner.

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April
3

COVID-19 Update

At Latter & Blum, our REALTORS® have worked hard to protect the safety of our clients and co-workers during the COVID-19 outbreak. We are following all social distancing and safety guidelines issued throughout Louisiana.

The measures affect all Lafayette homes for sale and New Orleans homes for sale as well as properties elsewhere in the state. In addition to state and federal guidelines, real estate associations have issued industry-specific guidance for protecting clients.

In light of all the available information, Latter and Blum is doing our part to flatten the curve with the following measures:

  1. All of Our Real Estate Offices Are Currently Closed
    Social distancing is the most important step most people can take to ensure the well-being of family, friends, and neighbors. With this in mind, all Latter & Blum offices throughout our service area are closed. We are still working every day and remain available by phone, Skype, Zoom, or FaceTime.

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April
17

Multiple Offers

When listing your home for sale, you might be fortunate to receive multiple offers for your property. If you find yourself in this situation, it's important to know what steps to take to ensure you choose the best offer for your specific situation. Know how to weigh your options with these tips below. 

Stick with the Facts

Many sellers have an emotional attachment to their home, and buyers may try to take advantage of this to encourage a seller to accept their offer. You might receive offers that include personal photographs or letters that suggest the buyer will take great care of your home. However, it's essential to stick with the facts.

A touching family narrative doesn't put one buyer in a better financial position to purchase your home. Instead, focus only on the facts of the offer to decide which option is best for you. 

Consider Details Other Than Price

It's tempting to go with the offer with the highest price. After all, it seems reasonable to end the sale with as much money as possible in your bank account. However, it's vital to consider details other than price when comparing the offers. Some other elements to keep in mind include:

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February
10

Buying a Condo

If you want to own your space, but don't want the upkeep associated with a single-family home, a condo is a terrific alternative. A condo is a single unit property that shares walls and structural aspects with other units. Condos have minimal exterior upkeep, and you often have access to a slew of convenient amenities. Here are a few things you need to look for when buying a condo to make sure it's a great fit for your needs:

Check That the Condo is Right for Your Lifestyle

An advantage of buying a condo is that there's a slew of different options that fit some various lifestyles. Before you contact one of our agents, take a few moments to contemplate the lifestyle that you live or want to live.

Perhaps you like to live an active lifestyle and want a unit in a complex with walking trails, a dog park, and a fitness center. You should look for a unit that fits your preferred lifestyle. Conversely, maybe you don't value a lot of extra amenities or don't need them. In this situation, you don't want to pay for amenities that you're unlikely to use. 

Research the Effectiveness of the Condo Association

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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. 

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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.

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January
21

Before Listing Figuring out which steps to take before putting your home on the market can be daunting. If you're unsure about how to prepare, our real estate agents can provide the guidance you need to get your home ready for listing. 

  • Research the Value of Your Home
    It's vital to do your homework to determine the value of your home. Check out listings of comparable New Orleans homes for sale in your neighborhood. Make sure you are comparing homes similar to yours in size, location, and features. Save this list of comparables and discuss them with your real estate agent.
  • Find a Real Estate Agent
    One of the best ways to find a good real estate agent is by word of mouth. Ask friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors if they've worked with someone they'd recommend. Interview a few agents and ask them about their experience selling homes in your area, the steps they'll take to sell your home, and how many homes they've sold. Don't be afraid to ask for references from former clients as well.
  • Make Minor Repairs
    Replacing hardware like knobs, drawer pulls, towel racks, light switches, and lighting fixtures is an easy and inexpensive way to make your home look updated. If any major repairs need to be done, talk with your real estate agent about the most effective way to take care of them.
  • Paint
    A fresh coat of paint throughout the house does wonders for its appeal. You don't have to do anything fancy—make sure you choose neutral colors like taupe, beige, or greige. Depending on the condition of the outside of your house, you may want to consider having it professionally painted.
  • Declutter & Depersonalize
    Clearing clutter and depersonalizing your home will make it more appealing to buyers, and you'll have less stuff to move when you're ready to go. A good rule of thumb is to donate, sell, or pitch items you haven't used or worn within the last year. Packing up family photos, books, knick-knacks, and other personal items makes it easier for potential buyers to visualize living there. 
  • Clean
    You'll be surprised at what a difference a deep cleaning can make when it comes to the look and smell of your home. Shampooing rugs and carpets helps get rid of stains and odors. Make sure to get windows and trim sparkling clean. If you don't have the time or desire to DIY, hire a professional cleaning company to come in and clean it for you.
  • Stage Your Home
    Staging your home can help it sell faster at a higher price. Take out any excess furniture and create cozy sitting areas in spaces like the living room. Remove all small appliances from the counters in the kitchen, take any magnets off the fridge, and accessorize with fresh, new tea towels. The same thing goes for the bathrooms—remove or hide away all toiletries and invest in new rugs and towels. And don't forget the outside— curb appeal is the first thing that draws potential buyers in. Make your yard, landscaping, and your home's exterior look neat and tidy. 

Are you ready to buy or sell your home in the New Orleans area? Contact us to get started.

January
27

Home Staging

We've all watched those HGTV shows where a home is renovated and transformed before being listed for sale. The last step before the open house is "staging" the home. Most real estate agents agree that staging is the most important element when selling your home.

Staging a room that sells means creating an environment that will have buyers thinking about curling up on the couch with a good book, hosting a game night with friends, or spending quality time with the family.

Here are some tips to help you set the perfect stage to sell your home!

  • DeClutter! - Both professional home stagers and top real estate agents agree clutter is the biggest problem when selling a home. While you may be fine with the pile of magazines on the coffee table, or the mantle full of family photos, a buyer will only see it as clutter. The goal is to make your living room feel fresh, clean and open.
  • Deep Clean - After decluttering, it's a good idea to deep clean the room. Hiring a professional cleaning service will not only make your life easier but in just a few short hours, you can get the job done without spending a fortune.
  • Use Simple Colors - It's best to stay away from "danger colors" like oranges, pinks, reds, and fluorescents as these can turn off a buyer. Keep it neutral, think grays, whites, and beiges. These classic colors are always in style and have mass appeal. 

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January
21

Kitchen Remodel

When Our REALTORS® bring potential homebuyers out to explore Baton Rouge homes for sale, there are always a few details that can make or break the buying decision. The design and layout of the kitchen is one of them. 

Whether you're thinking about putting your home on the market soon or you're planning to stay for years, a kitchen remodel is almost always a great investment. However, if you're not well-prepared, this is the type of project that can take on a life of its own. 

The following tips will help you make sure that creating your dream kitchen doesn't turn into a real nightmare.

  1. Pad Your Budget
    Despite best intentions, home remodeling projects almost always end up coming in over budget. This is particularly true if you're taking on a DIY project. Make sure you're prepared to deal with unexpected issues by adding 10 to 15 percent of the amount you plan to spend. If you don't end up spending it, you'll come out ahead, but if you run into a bump in the road, having the extra cushion will help you avoid financial stress. 

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January
14

January
14

Real Estate Agent Determine Home Value

If you're selling your home, you want to price it reasonably, so it doesn't languish on the market, but you don't want to price it for less than you could sell it for. Our REALTORS® use research, knowledge, and experience to determine your home's value. The following are some ways we can determine this value:

  • Using a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)

    Real estate agents can run a comparative market analysis that will look at comparable homes that have sold in the area within the past 90 days. The most accurate comparisons will come from homes that are close to yours geographically, are similar in square footage, and have the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms.

    CMAs can be quite detailed, including the average and median sale prices for comparable homes, the number of days they were on the market, and other information that will help your real estate agent most accurately determine your home's value. Also, he or she can look at comparable homes currently for sale. If other houses in your neighborhood are on the market, you'll want to be competitive unless your home has attributes that set it apart.

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January
14

Staging and Selling with Kids

Parents know that clean and kids can mix like oil and water. While it adds an extra hurdle to adding your house among the New Orleans homes for sale, it's entirely possible to sell and stage a home with kids -- and our REALTORS® are here to help.

Try these four kid-friendly tips for staging your home and getting your whole family on board for selling your home. 

  1. Move Kid Things to Kid Rooms
    Most potential buyers will want to see a living room full of potential, not a packed den with the playpen, tummy time mat, forts, and a train track. While buyers won't want these items front and center, a home is often a family purchase, so it's okay to have these items in the right place. A tasteful nursery or second bedroom with bunk beds still opens the door for new home buyers to plan and dream.

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December
23

Choosing an Agent

Is buying or selling a home on your list of New Year's resolutions? One of the first steps to take is finding the right agent to help guide you through the process. 

Find the right agent for the job with this list of tips. 

  1. Get Referrals and References
    Talk to friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors who have bought or sold real estate and find out about their experience with their real estate agent. Were they happy with the service and guidance they received? Would they recommend the real estate agent they used to you? Ask detailed questions, including what they liked best and least, and how well the agent handled communication.

  2. Talk to Several Agents
    Interview several agents and ask about their experience, education, and background. If you're interested in a specific neighborhood or type of house, ask about their experience and knowledge with these. Listen to their questions and feedback, and after the interview, think about whether you were comfortable. You'll want to feel at ease asking questions and expressing any concerns throughout the process.

  3. Local Knowledge
    How long has your potential agent lived in and worked in real estate in your community? Local knowledge is fundamental, so look for an agent who knows about specific neighborhoods, ordinances, market trends, recreation, schools, and more in your community. He or she should be an expert in local information and trends that can affect real estate.

  4. Ask about Their Specialty
    Over time, real estate agents start to have more knowledge and experience with certain situations. For example, if you're looking for high-end homes, one real estate agent may specialize more in this area than another. Others may specialize in different types of properties, such as those with a lot of land, starter homes, or foreclosures, so choose one that has special knowledge and interest in what you're looking for.

  5. Look for Someone Responsive
    During a real estate transaction, you'll have pressing deadlines and will need someone responsive. He or she won't always be available to take your call right at the moment, but you should expect a return call within a reasonable time frame. One way to judge how responsive they'll be once you're a client is to determine how long it takes them to return your call or online request when you're starting your search for an agent. If they don't respond to your call or message relatively promptly, you should consider contacting another agent.

  6. Find an Agent Who Cares
    Overall, they should care about finding the right home for you or selling your current home. You're looking for someone who will understand your specific needs and goals for finding a new home or selling your current one. He or she should answer any questions you have, offer suggestions, and work to help you sell your home for the best possible price or find a home within your budget that has the attributes you're looking for.

If you're looking for Baton Rouge homes for sale, our real estate agents have the experience, knowledge, and caring attitude to help you find the right home for you. Contact us today to get started. 

December
9

Sell During Winter Months

It's no secret that fewer people are looking at New Orleans homes for sale once the seasons change. After all, most buyers aren't excited about home shopping or moving taking up time in their holiday schedule. 

However, if you're thinking about selling your home soon, not all hope is lost! Our REALTORS® sell homes all year long and know exactly what you need to do to make your home more appealing during the winter months. If you follow these tips, you have a great chance of selling your home well before the spring thaw. 

  1. Crank Up the Cozy
    Play up the winter season and make your house extra cozy and appealing. Remember, though, that the goal is to keep the house warm and comfortable without being stifling. If it's a colder day, make sure the heat is on, but not in an overwhelming way. You want to prove to buyers that the heating unit works when it needs to. 

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December
2

Inheriting a House

Our REALTORS® handle all types of real estate transactions and are experienced in helping those who have inherited a home wade through any potential issues. Our team recommends following these steps in order to ensure a smooth process. 

Take Care of Business

Updating the homeowners insurance policy right away is vital. Making sure your coverage is current, and all necessary changes are taken care of ensures your property is protected. If there's a mortgage on the home, contact the lender and stay current with payments. This goes for property taxes as well. 

Contact all utilities to update account and contact information. You can cancel unnecessary ones but make sure the bills for other utilities are paid on time every month. If you're not around to take care of cutting the grass or yard work, you may want to hire someone to do upkeep until the house is sold or occupied.

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November
18

Avoid Home Appraisal Issues

Through your eyes, your home may be priceless and perfect! However, buyers and appraisers view your home a little differently. Data from the National Association of Realtors indicates 25 percent of delays on real estate closings are due to appraisal issues.

There is no magic formula to predict appraisal results, but these useful tips will help you avoid appraisal problems.

  1. Understand the Difference Between Appraisal and Inspection
    While home sales generally involve both appraisals and inspections, they serve different purposes. An inspection is a detailed report about the physical condition of a house with a particular focus on structural problems, safety issues, and building code violations. While an appraisal takes these factors into account, it's intended to provide an objective opinion on the value of the home.

  2. Study the Market
    What are the going sale prices for similar homes in your area? These comparable properties, or comps, are useful in setting the asking price for your home. Our real estate agents are a valuable source of information on this subject.

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October
14

Energy Efficient Home

Our REALTORS® know there are many ways to increase the value of a home. One of the most valuable ways for New Orleans residences to increase the value of their home is by improving energy efficiency.

Energy-efficient home improvements benefit you, the environment, and future homeowners. "Green" renovations can also help you financially with lower bills and in some cases, get you a tax rebate.

However, you don't have to buy an entire set of solar panels to move forward on your energy goals. Some of the most effective changes you can make are small, costing a few hundred dollars. 

Let's take a look at some of the best ways to increase your energy efficiency:

  1. Replace or Update Your Thermostat
    The thermostat serves as the brains of your air conditioning and heating system. As it begins to age, it no longer registers the temperature accurately, leading to poor performance – for example, running too long or cycling on and off. A programmable thermostat is a modern alternative.
  2. Seal or Upgrade the Windows
    Windows gradually become warped over time and lose their seal. If you've never replaced the windows before, then it's probably time. Glazing your existing windows can be inexpensive. To maximum energy savings, consider special insulating glass.
  3. Improve Attic Insulation
    Over time, the insulation in an attic deteriorates. This affects the natural flow of heat throughout the home, making it hotter in the summer and colder in the winter. Hire a trusted roofer to replace the insulation and check on the health of your roof.
  4. Replace Your Existing Roof
    If you have a larger budget, you might want to consider replacing your roof. Traditional shingle roofs can be made with energy-saving composite shingles. You can also consider residential metal roofing, which can keep your home cool by reflecting up to 80% of solar radiation.
  5. Invest in Air Conditioner Maintenance
    New Orleans is hot, hot, hot ... in more ways than one! The air conditioner is the biggest user of electricity in many homes. Instead of buying a new unit, have a certified technician make your existing AC more efficient by replacing worn-out components.
  6. Update Your Hot Water Heater
    A hot water heater is another common culprit when it comes to electricity use. Energy-efficient water heaters do not usually run constantly, but they are still able to provide hot water on demand.
  7. Update or Move Your Refrigerator
    The refrigerator can be a huge energy hog. If you haven't checked out the latest fridges in more than five years, there's probably an efficient model available. If you are not in the market to buy a new refrigerator, move your current refrigerator to a cooler spot in the room to lower energy consumption.

Instead of renovating your kitchen or bathroom, make a lasting impression on buyers and update your home with energy-efficient improvements that will help buyers and the environment.

Our team at Latter & Blum can help you come up with even more smart ways to create value in your home. Contact us to find out more!

July
8

Baton Rouge Student

The media, financial advisors, and even real estate experts are calling the current $1.5 trillion national student loan debt anything from a "crisis" to an outright national emergency.  While there's certainly cause for concern, living a normal life, having a family, and even owning a home isn't out of the picture even if you have student loans.

Our REALTORS® are plenty familiar with the challenges that student loan borrowers face as they enter into the workforce including homeownership.  The bottom line is, you can buy a home with student loan debt, and here's how.

Monitor Your Credit and Improve It
If you're a first-time homebuyer, chances are you haven't looked too deeply into your credit and perhaps have never had to.  This is a great place to start if you're looking to buy a home with student debt on the books.  

It's estimated that on average, student loan borrowers owe somewhere in the neighborhood of $35,000 each.  This sort of debt obligation can hurt your credit, but it can also show that you're worthy of credit if you make timely, regular payments on your loan note.  Additionally, if there are places you can improve your credit such as reducing or eliminating credit card debt, then you can improve your credit score relatively easily.

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June
17

Catfish Baton Rouge

Our REALTORS® love a good catfish fry-up ... and we think you will, too!

June 25 is National Catfish Day, and there's no better place to celebrate it than right here in the middle of all the action, Baton Rouge. Baton Rouge is the epicenter of Cajun cooking, and there are few bigger stars in that culinary tradition than the catfish.

Not surprisingly, you'll find that the streets of Baton Rouge are dotted with famous catfish restaurants. Today, we'll help you pick out some of the very best.

If you want to experience true flavor, check out these Baton Rouge restaurants featuring catfish on their menus:

  1. Parrain's Seafood Restaurant – 3225 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70808
    Parrain's Seafood Restaurant has been serving up mouth-watering seafood selections since all the way back in 2001. Specialties include the catfish perdu: Catfish fillets served with shrimp and crawfish etouffee on a bed of rice. You can also have catfish as one of the fried platters, in a standard or thin-sliced form. Whole fried catfish is also available.

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March
4

REALTOR vs Agent
Whether you're buying or selling a home in Baton Rouge, you'll likely hear discussions about "real estate agents" and "REALTORS®" as if they're one and the same. While their primary functions overlap, there are specific differences between designations.

How do you decide which type of real estate professional will best fit your needs? Let our REALTORS® remove some of the confusion between the two and help you make an informed choice.

Click Here to Read More...

January
22

January
17

January
17

January
17

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.

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