Articles Tagged "Baton Rouge, LA"

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National Cheese Lover's Day: Where to Find Cheesy Dishes in Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge

The culinary scene in our corner of Louisiana always impresses! January 20th marks National Cheese Lover's Day and offers the perfect excuse to try out a new restaurant serving up cheesy favorites. Celebrate this delicious occasion with some of the best cheesy dishes in Baton Rouge. Our Realtors® suggest checking out some of these Baton Rouge eateries. 

  • Bites & Boards - 8201 Village Plaza Ct. #1A, Baton Rouge, LA 70810
    Bites & Boards is a popular cheese boutique that serves cheese, meat, wine, and other charcuterie favorites. You can order cheese boards and boxes of various sizes and flavors to celebrate National Cheese Lover's Day at home or at your preferred gathering spot. Or, take a break from browsing Baton Rouge homes for sale and learn how to make your own delicious cheese board. Bites & Boards hosts private classes to teach you the tricks you need to know to make a memorable cheese board. These private sessions are an excellent alternative for a friend's night out or birthday gathering. 
  • The Chimes - 3357 Highland Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70802
    The Chimes Restaurant & Tap Room is a fine dining establishment that offers a relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere. Bring the family after checking out Baton Rouge open houses for a meal full of flavorful, cheese-filled dishes. Start your meal with cheese fries layered with toppings or with an order of mozzarella cheese logs. The crawfish mac and cheese puts a Cajun spin on this popular cheesy dish. Or, try a bowl of tasty cheesy grits. In addition to Highland Rd., The Chimes also has a location at 10870 Coursey Blvd.
  • Cheesecake Bistro by Copeland's - 6171 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70809
    While Cheesecake Bistro by Copeland's is known for their cheesecake, this isn't the only thing on the menu perfect for marking National Cheese Lover's Day. Chicken parmesan, French onion soup, and crawfish ravioli are just a few selections that feature cheese. When you're ready to order dessert, you can pair a slice of original cheesecake with your choice of toppings, including brownies, strawberries, and white chocolate raspberry sauce. Chef-crafted cheesecake flavors, like red velvet, killed by chocolate, and black and white tuxedo, are also offered.
  • Curbside Burgers - 4158 Government St., Baton Rouge, LA 70806
    If you prefer to pair your cheese with a juicy hamburger. Curbside Burgers is the place to go. Several varieties include cheese, including the classic cheeseburger, the bacon cheeseburger, and the Smokin' Joe (adds fried onion strings and smoke sauce to a bacon cheeseburger). The spicy chicken sandwich also includes cheese. You can even customize your tots or fries with your preferred cheese topping, like pepper jack fondue or shredded cheese. 
  • Our Mom's Restaurant and Bar - 250 West Lee Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70820
    Our Mom's Restaurant and Bar serves several dishes that incorporate cheese, including burgers, chicken sandwiches, and poboys. Begin your meal with one of their cheesy appetizers, like Your Mom's Cheese fries (includes bacon, jalapenos, and a blend of cheeses) or the chili mac fries (topped with Our Mom's Restaurant and Bar's homemade chili and mac and cheese). 

Ready to live near your favorite Baton Rouge restaurants? Contact us to get started!


Take Your Dog For a Walk in Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge Dog Walking Trails

What's better for you than a brisk walk outdoors? How about a walk with your devoted pet? Join our Realtors® in observing Walk Your Dog Month during January. Take a stroll with your beloved pooch at one of these great locations near Baton Rouge homes for sale.

  • Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center - 10503 N. Oak Hills Pkwy., Baton Rouge, LA 70810
    With 103 acres filled with plants and wildlife, Bluebonnet Nature Center offers much to see on every visit. More than a mile of gravel paths and boardwalks wind through the grounds that feature a number of different types of habitats. Snakes, turtles, rabbits, deer, and otters are only a few of the wildlife species that have been spotted, along with hundreds of bird species. Contact the center for information about Dog Days, when visitors may bring their pets along. Hours are 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon - 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for ages 3-17.

  • Milford Wampole Memorial Park - 901 Stanford Ave., Baton Rouge, LA 70808
    Tucked alongside the LSU Lakes, Milford Wampole Memorial Park is a charming spot for the whole family. The park has undergone a number of recent improvements, including a new asphalt parking lot that allows for more green space. Benches and a water fountain have been added to complement the quarter-mile of walking trails. Wampole Memorial Park is open daily from sunrise to sunset.

  • City-Brooks Community Park - 1515 Dalyrmple Dr., Baton Rouge, LA 70808
    Fido loves you, but he likes to socialize with other pets as well. Give him some quality time at Raising Cane's Dog Park, the off-leash site at City-Brooks Community Park. Of course, the two of you can also enjoy walks together along the park's greenway trail that connects to City Park Lake, where bank fishing is permitted. Hours are sunrise to sunset, seven days a week.

  • Burbank Dog Park - 12400 Burbank Dr., Baton Rouge, LA 70810
    Burbank Dog Park
    , adjacent to the popular sports complex of the same name, consists of a spacious six-acre section where dogs can romp freely. There are separate areas for large and small dogs, along with pavilions. When you're ready for a break from the other pets, stroll down the quarter-mile dog walk. Take your pet for a spin through the washing station to get him squeaky clean before heading home. Burbank Dog Park is open from sunrise to sunset, Tuesday through Sunday.

  • LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens - 4560 Essen Ln., Baton Rouge, LA 70809
    The LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens form an incredible natural oasis in the heart of Baton Rouge. Burton Woods, which makes up one-third of the center's 440 acres, features Trees and Trails and three miles of pathways that serve recreational and educational purposes. The trails also lead to the Barton Arboretum, home to the serene Palmetto Walk and the stunning Crowder Camellia Collection. Several specialty gardens include the interactive Children's Garden, the colorful Rose Garden, and the exotic Tropical Garden, filled with gingers, bromeliads, and plumeria. Leashed dogs are welcome throughout the grounds, which are open daily from 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Admission is free.

Looking for a new home for you and your four-legged pal? Contact us at Latter & Blum for the latest information on Baton Rouge open houses


National Christmas Movie Marathon Day: How to Prepare Your Home for a Watch Party

Baton Rouge Movie Marathon

One of the best things about this season is all of the holiday movies. So many of them have this warming, comforting appeal that makes you want to curl up in your pajamas and snack on sugar cookies. Did you know there's actually a holiday dedicated to watching Christmas movies? National Christmas Movie Marathon Day is December 23rd, 2022. This is the perfect opportunity to host a watch party for your friends and family members. Our Realtors® have some tips to help you plan.  

  • Explore Your Streaming Service
    Almost every streaming service offers holiday movies this time of year. So, there is no need to pay for a movie or sign up for an additional streaming service if you're on a budget. Before your party, explore the movies that your streaming services are offering. Make a short list of options – just three or four. When your guests arrive, you can discuss these options and pick one together that you want to watch. Narrowing down the options prior to your party will simplify the movie selection process.

  • Make Snacks
    What would a movie party be without snacks? Some homemade holiday snacks are sure to make guests smile. Consider dipping some pretzels in melted chocolate and then decorating them with red and green sprinkles. Or, pop some popcorn and drizzle some melted white chocolate – tinted with red or green food coloring – over it. Of course, there's nothing wrong with making and serving a variety of sugar cookies, either.

  • Set Up a Hot Chocolate Bar
    Sipping hot chocolate will make your movie-viewing experience warm and cozy. A hot chocolate bar gives your guests an opportunity to make their own warm drinks. Some great ingredients to include on your hot chocolate bar include crushed candy canes, mini marshmallows, red and green sprinkles, whipped cream, cinnamon, and chocolate chips.

  • Decorate With Characters
    Look for decorations that feature characters from your favorite holiday movies. Perhaps you want Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer characters on your wall, or perhaps characters from Elf make your heart light up. You don't have to use characters from the same movie as the one you'll be watching at your party, although you certainly can.

  • Send Ticket Invitations
    Handmade invitations will make guests smile before the party even starts. Why not make your party invitations look like movie tickets? Start with some cardstock, cut into long, ticket-shaped rectangles. Write "Admit One" at the top. You can also include the title of the movie if you have selected one. Then, add some holiday-themed stamps or stickers to make the invitation feel festive. Don't forget to also write down the date and time!

  • Ask Guests to Bring Blankets
    Cuddling under a blanket makes watching holiday movies feel cozier, but chances are, you don't have enough holiday-themed blankets for all of your guests. So, ask them to bring their own. Just write "bring your own snuggly blanket!" on the invitations. Some guests might forget, so if you have extra blankets, get them out in preparation.

  • Craft Signature Cocktails
    Think up a cocktail that goes along with the movie you've chosen. For instance, if you're watching Elf, you could make a World's Best Cup of Coffee Martini. Mix up a round halfway through the film.

Ready to start your search for a new home where you can host all your holiday gatherings? If you're still looking for a home for the holidays, contact us. Our agents will help you find the best Baton Rouge homes for sale and Baton Rouge open houses to attend.


Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre's 2022-2023 Season

Ballet in Baton Rouge

Our Realtors® are proud to say that Baton Rouge has long been a hub for art and culture in Louisiana. And there's no better way in the city to experience live music and dance than with the Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre

For more than 60 years, the Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre has been presenting world-class productions and bringing talented artists to Baton Rouge. Let's take a closer look at the theatre's history and what we can expect in the year ahead. 

About the Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre

The Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre was established in 1960 and has been a cultural force in Louisiana ever since. Hundreds of talented local dancers and choreographers have been trained and nurtured by the organization, which has been under the artistic direction of Molly Buchmann and Sharon Mathews since 1976. 

Every year, the theatre presents a season of three outstanding stage productions. The Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre is also known for its community outreach programs and contributions to dance education. 

Most performances of the Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre take place at the River Center Theatre for the Performing Arts or the Manship Theatre at the Shaw Center for the Arts. Both are beautiful state-of-the-art facilities within minutes of many Baton Rouge homes for sale

Baton Rouge Ballet 2022-2023 Season

Every year brings new and exciting things to the Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre. Here's what we can look forward to as the 2022-23 season gets underway: 

  • The Nutcracker – A Tale from the Bayou (December 17-18, 2022)
    The original Nutcracker has been delighting audiences since 1892 and become a holiday favorite across generations. The Baton Rouge has created their own spin on this classic production with The Nutcracker - A Tale from the Bayou, which debuted in 1992 and has grown to be a beloved tradition of its own here in Louisiana. This year, the show will be held December 17 and 18 at the Baton Rouge River Center Theatre for Performing Arts, and it's a great way to not only celebrate the holidays but also mark the beginning of a great ballet season. 

  • PILOBOLUS Big Five-Oh! (March 4 and 5, 2023)
    One of the most renowned dance ensembles in the world, Pilobolus has been touring the globe for a half-century now, performing at events ranging from the Olympics to the Oscars. In 2023, they're touring in celebration of their 50th anniversary, which will include a stop in Baton Rouge for two performances at the Manship Theatre at the Shaw Center for the Arts on March 4 and 5. 

  • Dimensions in Dance (March 31, 2023)
    The final celebration of the 2022-2023 season, Dimensions in Dance promises to be a thrilling performance that celebrates dance from all angles. The full range of styles, approaches, and moods of contemporary and classical dance will be highlighted on March 31 at the River Center Theatre for the Performing Arts, including a grand performance of Paquita. 

Contact us today to learn more about life in Baton Rouge. It's a truly unique place to call home, and if you're looking for the perfect home in Baton Rouge, our real estate agents can connect you with some amazing Baton Rouge open houses


Upcoming Hockey Games in Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge Hockey

Is professional hockey ready to make a comeback near Baton Rouge homes for sale? Three showcase games taking place at Raising Cane's River Center may help pave the way. Our Realtors® take a look at hockey's past and future in the Red Stick.

  • History of Hockey in Baton Rouge
    In 1996, Baton Rouge gained its first professional hockey team when the minor-league Erie Panthers moved to town. As a transplant, the team initially remained in the East Coast Hockey League.

    A contest was held among fans to determine a new name. The winning entry was "Kingfish," chosen as a nod to Louisiana history as the nickname of former governor and U.S. Senator Huey P. Long. Raising Cane's River Center, then known as the Riverside Centroplex, served as home to the Kingfish, who were affiliated with the NHL's St. Louis Blues.

    Kingfish coaches included noted hockey figures such as Pierre McGuire, Dave Schultz, and Cam Brown, who pulled double duty as a player. The Kingfish spent most of their years in the Southwest Division, along with teams from Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, and Florida.

  • Federal Prospects Hockey League
    The Class A Federal Prospects Hockey League (FPHL) marks its 12th season in 2022-23. The league currently numbers 10 teams located throughout the Eastern and Southern United States. Two new teams, the Motor City (Detroit) Rockers and Mississippi (Biloxi) Sea Wolves are having their inaugural season. After a year's absence, Elmira (NY) is returning to the FPHL with a name change from Enforcers to Mammoth.

    FPHL management will be watching the upcoming Baton Rouge games closely. Based on the level of interest, Baton Rouge could be awarded an FPHL franchise for 2023. Each team in the fan-friendly league streams games on their own YouTube channel.

  • Upcoming Hockey Games in Baton Rouge
    As part of their first season, the Mississippi Sea Wolves will be playing in all three games scheduled at Raising Cane's River Center. On Thursday, December 8, the Sea Wolves take on the Carolina (Winston-Salem) Thunderbirds. Their opponent on Thursday, December 15, and Monday, January 2, will be the Port Huron (Michigan) Prowlers. All three teams compete in the FPHL's Continental Division. Game time is 7 p.m., and tickets range from $10-$20 on Ticketmaster and at the River Center box office.

  • Louisiana Ice Sports Association
    Not content just to watch? The Louisiana Ice Sports Association (LISA) is dedicated to providing the Baton Rouge community with high-quality facilities for youth and adult hockey, figure skating, and Learn to Skate programs.

    For the 32nd year, LISA will be holding their popular holiday event, Ice Skating on the River. Public skating sessions lasting 75 minutes each take place at the River Center between Friday, December 16, and Tuesday, January 3. Admission is $20, which includes skate rental. Visit the website for full schedule of times.

No matter what time of year, Baton Rouge homes for sale are always in season. Contact us at Latter & Blum for up-to-the-minute information.


Baton Rouge's Festival of Lights

Baton Rouge Lights

This December, our real estate agents are excited to welcome back Baton Rouge's oldest holiday tradition, the Festival of Lights! There's simply no better way to kick off the holiday season. 

If you're in the area checking out Baton Rouge open houses, you'll definitely want to make time to experience all the festivities. Read on to learn more about this year's Festival of Lights celebration!

Festival of Lights 2022

Every year, the Festival of Lights transforms the night sky above baton rouge into a sparkly winter wonderland. The 2022 Festival of Lights takes place on Friday, December 2nd, beginning at 4 pm. The event is open to the public free of charge, and all are welcome to attend. 

The festivities take place at North Boulevard Town Square. This spectacular green space lies between North Boulevard and River Road in the heart of Baton Rouge and is a year-round setting for events and festivals just minutes from many Baton Rouge homes for sale

What to Expect

The Festival of Lights is a little different every year, but each occurrence marks the official start of the holiday season in Baton Rouge. There's always a good time to be had! Here's what you can look forward to: 

  • Tree Lighting and Fireworks - Mayor Broome will begin counting down to the lighting of the Baton Rouge Christmas Tree at 6:20 pm! Every year, the lighting of the 25-foot tree with 250,000 sparkling lights is a true highlight of the evening. The tree lighting will be followed by a spectacular fireworks display over the Mississippi River, so be sure to pick a spot with a view!

  • Santa Makes an Appearance - None other than Santa Claus himself will assist Mayor Broome with the lighting of the Christmas tree. Afterward, guests will be invited to take pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Old State Capitol from 6:30 to 8:30, followed by a Christmas film in the old House Chamber. 

  • Snow Village and Ice Skating - Yes, you read that right! Ice skating in Baton Rouge! 10 tons of real snow will be brought to Repentance Park (located between the Old State Capitol and River Center), where kids aged 5 to 15 will be able to go snow tubing starting at 5 pm. An ice skating rink will be located on the first floor of the River Center Plaza and will be open to kids 5 to 10 years old, starting at 4 pm. 

  • Artist Village - The Festival of Lights also brings an opportunity to do a little shopping! Numerous local vendors will be on hand at the Artist Village with a wide variety of arts, crafts, and handmade goods of all kinds. There will also be a bake sale, food vendors, and more than enough hot chocolate to go around! 

Contact us today to learn more about celebrating the holidays in Louisiana. If you're looking for your dream home, our real estate agents are dedicated to helping you find it in the Baton Rouge area!


Get Creative in Baton Rouge: 5 Paint Studios to Visit

Baton Rouge Painting

Whether you fancy becoming the next Van Gogh or you're simply looking for an exciting way to engage your creativity, visiting a paint studio is a fun way to spend a day. Baton Rouge offers a wide range of classes for all experience levels and artistic tastes. Our Realtors® have the details on 5 Baton Rouge paint studios that offer fun, creative experiences for you to enjoy.

  • Mid-City Artisans – 516 Moore St., Ste. 101, Baton Rouge, LA 70806
    If you enjoy creating art with different mediums, few studios offer more variety in their classes than Mid-City Artisans, all from a convenient location near Baton Rouge homes for sale. Classes here cover painting, drawing, paper arts, crochet, mixed media, resin, glass, pottery, clay, and even jewelry making. In addition to a wide variety of beginner classes and kid-friendly classes, Mid-City Artisans offers on-demand classes for more experienced artists.

  • Painting with a Twist – 711 Jefferson Hwy., Ste. 3A, Baton Rouge, LA 70806
    Painting, wine, and good times are the name of the game at Painting with a Twist, the perfect destination for a memorable, creative night out with friends. In addition to a busy schedule of regular classes, perhaps the best way to enjoy Painting with a Twist is by booking a private party. You'll get to choose from more than 8,000 works of art to find the perfect painting and leave with a wonderful work of art created by your own hands.

  • The Hampton Canvas – 10066 S. Choctaw, Ste. B, Baton Rouge, LA 70815
    Owner Maia Anderson created The Hampton Canvas as a way for everyone, regardless of their artistic experience level, to express their creativity in an inspiring, welcoming setting. You will start with a pre-drawn, black & white sketch, then learn how to add color and customize it to suit your unique style. Regularly scheduled classes include Ladies Night, Date Night, Kids Corner, Guys Night, and Sunday Social. You can also schedule a private class, team-building event, or even an art-themed field trip.

  • Throw Me Something – 257 Lee Dr., Baton Rouge, LA 70808
    Interested in painting on something other than canvas? Throw Me Something offers pottery painting classes for all ages, where you pick out a blank ceramic sculpture or piece of pottery, then learn how to paint it in a way that expresses your unique creativity. After you're done, your ceramic art will be fired in a kiln, prepared for a week, then be ready to take home and decorate your shelves for many years to come.

  • Painting and Pinot – 7248 Perkins Rd., Ste. B, Baton Rouge, LA 70808
    As the name hints, classes at Painting and Pinot are all about having a great time. Painting classes here include everything from painting your own wine glasses to creating art on a blank canvas themed around all of your favorite holidays. There are also classes for kids and more traditional classes for adults where you'll learn to create your own versions of famous paintings. If you want to paint a particular picture, booking a group of 8 or more allows you to choose from any painting in the archive.

Fantastic studios are just the start of the many ways that you can exercise your creativity when you call Baton Rouge home, and our local team is here to help with everything from Baton Rouge open houses to closing on your next home. Contact us to buy and sell homes in the Baton Rouge, LA area.


Bring Your Dog Along to These Baton Rouge Spots

Baton Rouge Pets

Our real estate agents are very attached to their dogs. This is why we're always on the lookout for new dog-friendly restaurants and shops around our area. From parks to pet-friendly cafes, you and your pup can easily have a fun day out. Here are some of the best dog-friendly destinations around Baton Rouge:

  • La Divina Italian Cafe - 3535 Perkins Rd #360, Baton Rouge, LA 70808
    Grab a meal or a beverage at La Divina Italian Cafe, and order one of their famous Dog Gelato's for your pup. This great local spot has delicious foods, tasty beverages and is very pet friendly. Sit with your dog on their gorgeous outdoor patio and indulge in some tasty (and healthy) Italian-inspired cuisine. If you fall in love with this cafe, you might be interested in touring one of the fantastic Baton Rouge homes for sale just down the street.

  • Raising Cane's Dog Park - 1442 City Park Ave, Baton Rouge, LA 70808
    Looking for somewhere to let your pup run around and socialize with other dogs? Raising Cane's Dog Park is the perfect place. This 1.2-acre park has a section for small dogs and one for large dogs, plus a water supply, plenty of benches, and a pavilion for picnics. The park is also conveniently located right next to the Greenwood Community Park, so the whole family can enjoy a day outside.

  • Cypress Coast Brewing Co. - 5643 Government St, Baton Rouge, LA 70806
    If you're in need of a pet-friendly hangout spot with great food and beer, check out Cypress Coast Brewing Co. With plenty of beers on tap, indoor and outdoor seating, and a dog-friendly gathering space outside, this brewery is a great place to hang with friends on the weekends. After your meal, you'll definitely want to check out these Baton Rouge open houses.

  • Highland Coffees - 3350 Highland Rd, Baton Rouge, LA 70802
    Pups are permitted in the outdoor seating area at this fantastic local coffee shop, which is located at the north gates of LSU. Highland Coffees has a charming outdoor patio area with lots of seating and greenery. It's a great place to recharge, so stop by and grab a cup of coffee and your favorite baked good. 

  • The Overpass Merchant - 2904 Perkins Rd, Baton Rouge, LA 70808
    The Overpass Merchant is a classy yet casual restaurant with great food and drinks; however, their outdoor patio, which is situated underneath an Interstate 10 underpass, is one of the main highlights of this restaurant. Plus, the patio is pet-friendly! It's one of the best hangout spots in town, especially when the weather cools off.

Life is better with your furry best friend by your side. It's easy to plan a whole day out on the town with your pup, thanks to our wide range of dog-friendly parks, cafes, and restaurants. Contact us today for more information on living in Baton Rouge. 


Tour the Old and New State Capitols

Baton Rouge Capitol Buildings

Louisiana has a rich history. One of the best ways to learn all about the state's 300 years of history is to visit one of its two amazing state capitol buildings in Baton Rouge.

The old and new state capitol buildings are two of the most spectacular buildings in the state, and each encapsulates the state's history and culture in different ways. Our Realtors® can spend an entire day touring each building. Here are some of the best ways to explore each one:

The New Capitol Building
The tallest US capitol building is Louisiana's new (and current) state capitol building which has 34 floors and stands 460 feet tall, and holds the capitol chambers for the Louisiana State Legislature. It's a beautiful building, and there are a few different ways to see it:

  • Schedule A Tour - The new capitol building's staff host numerous guided tours throughout the year, which give you the chance to get an inside look at many of this building's features. Additionally, many of Baton Rouge's city tours, such as Red Stick Adventures or All About Baton Rouge, will take you by this amazing building.
  • Visit The Observation Deck - The Louisiana State Capitol has a 27th-floor observation deck that offers stunning views of Louisiana, the Baton Rouge skyline, and the Mississippi River. You might even catch a glimpse of some of these beautiful Baton Rouge homes for sale while you're up there!
  • Shop At The Top - The building's 27th floor is also home to a wonderful gift shop, where you can purchase Louisiana and Baton Rouge souvenirs, postcards, and more. 

The Old Capitol Building
Louisiana's former capitol building (also known as Louisiana's Old Capitol) is now a National Historic Landmark and is home to the Old State Capitol Museum of Political History. This building is often referred to as Louisiana's "castle-on-the-river" due to its beautiful Gothic and Victorian architecture. You can experience this building in many ways:

  • Schedule A Tour - Louisiana's Old State Capitol offers guided and self-guided tours throughout the week. Tours are free; however, if you wish to view the immersive 12-minute "The Ghost of The Castle" film, there is an additional $3 charge.
  • Explore The Museum - The Old State Capitol Museum of Political History features rotating exhibits that showcase local art, history, and culture. It's always worth stopping by to see and learn something new.
  • Visit The Gift Shop - The Old Capitol Building also features a gift shop with souvenirs and works from local artists, stationery, fashion accessories, and more. 

If living near these beautiful buildings sounds appealing, there are some Baton Rouge open houses planned for this weekend.

Louisiana's Old and New State Capitols give you the chance to gain a new appreciation for the culture and architecture of our area. Learning about an area's history can be a lot of fun! 

Contact us today to explore Baton Rouge listings. 


Museums Your Kids Will Enjoy in Baton Rouge

Kids Museums

If you're moving your family to the area, our Realtors® know educational opportunities are around every corner in Baton Rouge.

After a full day of looking at Baton Rouge homes for sale or attending Baton Rouge open houses, your little ones may be hankering for a break. Around here, you'll have plenty of options for an educational outing full of fun and excitement. Some of America's leading kids' museums are just minutes away.

Let's visit just a few of the Baton Rouge museums kids are sure to love:

  • Preserve Louisiana – 502 North Boulevard, Baton Rouge, LA 70802
    Headquartered at the site of the Old Governor's Mansion, Preserve Louisiana is a nonprofit educational organization that helps to maintain and manage historic buildings throughout Louisiana. In that effort, it offers guided tours through the Old Governor's Mansion as the cornerstone of its campaigns. Volunteers also work to organize other events like lectures and historical recreations throughout the year.

  • USS Kidd Veterans Museum – 305 South River Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70802
    Open from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. every day, the USS Kidd Veterans Museum is a family-friendly way to learn about World War II by touring Baton Rouge's very own "Pirate of the Pacific." The USS Kidd is one of just four Fletcher class destroyers still extant today and the only one that has been preserved in its original World War II service configuration, making it a unique learning opportunity for children of all ages.

  • Burden Museum & Gardens – 4560 Essen Lane, Baton Rouge, LA 70809
    Burden Museum & Gardens is a Louisiana State University facility with acre after acre of carefully tended gardens aimed at preserving the botanical uniqueness of the area. With 440 acres total, it is home to the award-winning LSU Rural Life Museum, plus the LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens and the Windrush Gardens. LSU's Rural Life Museum was recently named one of the "Top 10 Outdoor Museums in the World."

  • Knock Knock Children's Museum – 1900 Dalrymple Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70808
    Knock Knock Children's Museum was designed from the ground up to feature interactive exhibits that will entice young imaginations. Open every day, typically from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., it is the place to go for learning through play. There are 18 themed "Learning Zones," and you can come and go throughout the day whenever it's convenient for your family. Knock Knock even hosts children's birthday parties.

  • Louisiana Art & Science Museum – 100 River Road South, Baton Rouge, LA 70801
    Louisiana Art & Science Museum is the state's flagship public museum and has one of the region's top art collections. "Family Hour Stargazing" is among the most popular attractions for young visitors, with Saturday sessions at the Irene W. Pennington Planetarium teaching children about the stars and their constellations. There are dozens of exhibits to choose from, including some featuring Sesame Street.

Ready to move to an area that the whole family is sure to love calling home? Contact us to learn more about Baton Rouge real estate opportunities.


Where to Order Beignets in Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge Beignet

Few states have produced more iconic foods than Louisiana. There are a lot of unique dishes to savor in the Baton Rouge area. One thing you simply can't pass up is an opportunity to try some authentic beignets. 

Beignets are a type of deep-fried dough pastry that originated in France before becoming a Louisiana staple. If you're in the area checking out Baton Rouge open houses, be sure to make a pit stop at one of these amazing local beignet shops.

  • Rue Beignet - 18135 E Petroleum Dr, Baton Rouge, LA 70809
    You can smell the unmistakable aroma of beignets being prepared for blocks around Rue Beignet every morning. Their bakers are up well before the sun, preparing each day's batch, which is one of the reasons this beloved establishment is one of the most popular places for fresh beignets near our Baton Rouge homes for sale. Rue Beignet also offers their signature treats with a wide range of toppings, from classic powdered sugar to cinnamon, Nutella, and caramel.

  • Coffee Call - 3132 College Dr, Baton Rouge, LA 70808
    The house-roasted beans at Coffee Call are some of the best in town, but this coffee shop isn't just one of our Realtors®' favorite spots for their morning joe. They also have a great selection of baked goods, and beignets are very much the stars of the show. In fact, Coffee Call has been one of the best spots for beignets and cafe' au lait in Baton Rouge since 1976, and they show no signs of slowing down! The beignets here have been called the best in Louisiana, beating out even the top spots in New Orleans.

  • The Vintage - 333 Laurel St, Baton Rouge, LA 70821
    Now with two locations in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, The Vintage offers classic beignets as well as some unique twists on the old formula. Share a flight of beignets with various toppings, or try a savory beignet smothered with bacon gravy with a poached egg. The Vintage also makes some killer espresso drinks and serves an excellent selection of wines and cocktails to go with their lunch and dinner menus. 

  • Beignet Done That - 14241 Coursey Blvd b1, Baton Rouge, LA 70817
    A popular family coffee shop as well as a student study spot, Beignet Done That is a great locally-owned beignet joint. In addition to classic beignets and slimmed-down beignet "fingers," they also offer a full range of hot and iced coffee and espresso drinks. Beignet Done That has a warm, welcoming atmosphere that will definitely make you look forward to visiting again. 

  • The Ruby Slipper - 3535 Perkins Rd #375, Baton Rouge, LA 70808
    A cheerful lunch and brunch spot in Baton Rouge's Highlands/Perkins neighborhood, The Ruby Slipper serves up Southern specialties like shrimp and grits, biscuits and gravy, fried green tomatoes, and seasonal beignets. The Ruby Slipper also makes out-of-this-world mimosas and bloody marys. Their menu includes a great selection of vegetarian, keto, and gluten-free options (the beignets, for the record, are vegetarian but very much not keto-friendly or gluten-free). 

Contact us today to learn more about living life to the fullest in Baton Rouge! If you're on the hunt for your dream home, our real estate agents are dedicated to helping you find it here in Louisiana!


Historic Hotels Near Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge Hotels

The rich history surrounding Baton Rouge homes for sale extends to many of the local hotels. Whether you're a resident or just visiting, immerse yourself in the city's fascinating past with a visit to one of these great hotels recommended by our Realtors®

  • The Heidelberg Hotel - 201 Lafayette St., Baton Rouge, LA 70801
    While it no longer bears its original name, the Heidelberg Hotel still plays a significant role in Baton Rouge's history. Built in 1927, the hotel gained fame as a favored hangout of Huey P. Long, one-time governor and U.S. Senator of Louisiana. Ironically, the Heidelberg became the de facto state capital for Lieutenant Governor Paul Cyr when Long tried to serve as both governor and senator simultaneously. Named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982, the Heidelberg underwent a $70 million restoration in 2006, when it reopened as the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center

  • Watermark Baton Rouge - 150 Third St., Baton Rouge, LA 70801
    As the city's first skyscraper built in 1927, the Watermark Baton Rouge was a giant step toward creating a modern urban setting. At the time, the Watermark was home to the headquarters of Louisiana Trust & Savings Bank. In a nod to tradition, many locals still affectionately refer to the hotel as the Old Louisiana National Bank building. Celebrate special occasions at The Gregory, the elegant on-site restaurant at the Watermark and one of Baton Rouge's more popular dining destinations. The restaurant is named after local artist Angela Gregory, whose exquisite murals adorn the walls of the dining room.

  • Dauphine Orleans Hotel - 415 Dauphine St., New Orleans, LA 70112
    Discover the many attractions of the iconic French Quarter during a stay at the Dauphine Orleans Hotel. The cottage-style guestrooms are located in three historic buildings, including Hermann House, the one-time home of a wealthy New Orleans merchant, and an 18th-century carriage house. Even though you're just steps away from the French Quarter and right down the street from New Orleans homes for sale, the luxurious rooms provide a peaceful oasis where you can relax and recharge. 

  • The Southern Hotel - 428 E. Boston St., Covington, LA 70433
    For much of its existence, dating back to 1907, the Southern Hotel has been deeply woven into the community around Covington homes for sale. The charming hotel has been the site of many special occasions, from wedding receptions and honeymoons to birthday and anniversary parties. Furniture, paintings, and other works by local artists are prominently displayed throughout the building. 

  • The Hotel Bentley - 200 Desoto St., Alexandria, LA 71301
    The Hotel Bentley was built in 1908, but its philosophy is to "remain faithful to the past while keeping an eye on the future." Legend has it that founder Joseph Bentley, a wealthy lumberman and noted eccentric, built the hotel out of spite when he was refused a room at the Ice House Hotel. The location, just minutes from Alexandria homes for sale, provides convenient dining opportunities at the Bentley's three upscale restaurants.

Touring Baton Rouge open houses? There's no better reason to enjoy a stay at one of these special hotels. Contact us at Latter & Blum for more information.


How to Avoid a Bad DIY Project

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.

  • Know What You're Capable Of
    It's okay to challenge yourself a little with a DIY project, but you don't want to take on something so outside of your abilities that you end up doing a poor job. Before you take on a project, make sure you have the tools necessary to complete it. Also, make sure you have the skills necessary or can learn them easily.

    A good rule of thumb is that plumbing, HVAC, and roofing work should always be left to the pros. These fields require licenses and certifications for a reason; they're technical, and mistakes can be costly.

  • Measure Twice, Cut Once
    Getting measurements wrong is one of the most common ways to mess up a DIY project. You don't want to cut an expensive piece of flooring or wallboard to the wrong size and have to start over!

    Those in the building industry use the phrase "measure twice, cut once." If you're someone who often makes mistakes with numbers, have a friend or family member check your work before you make the cuts.

  • Prepare Your Surfaces Properly
    This is a common mistake homeowners make when painting. If you're painting, make sure you sand and prime the surface first. If you're putting down a floor, make sure the subfloor is level. Or, perhaps you're re-staining a deck. If so, you'll want to sand down rough spots and remove any oily residue before applying the stain. 

    Usually, finishing products like paints and stains will tell you how to prepare your surface prior to application. Read and follow these instructions closely.

  • Use a Level
    When you walk into a Baton Rouge home for sale, you notice whether pictures are level and the furniture is sitting evenly. Of course, you want your own home to have this same balance. So, use a level when tackling any DIY project that involves hanging wall art, positioning furniture, and the like.

    If you don't have a physical level, there are level apps you can download to your smartphone.

  • Have Your Paint Matched
    If you are painting something to match an already-painted surface, don't just go buy another gallon of paint you assume is the same color. Instead, bring a sample of the old paint with you to the paint store. The technicians can match it, so you end up with the perfect match.

    Pay attention to paint finishes, not just color. If the surface you're trying to match has an eggshell finish, for example, your new paint needs to have an eggshell finish, too.

  • Use a Stud Finder
    So many DIY projects involve hanging or mounting things on the walls. When you do this, you need to make sure you're drilling into wall studs, not just into the drywall.

    There are a number of stud-finding tools you can purchase, and also some stud-finding apps for smartphones. Use them to locate wall studs so you can mount things to them securely.

If you follow these tips, you should have better luck with all of your DIY projects. Contact us if you're still looking for a new home to live in. Our Realtors® can help find you a place worthy of your DIY efforts. 


Where to Grab Lunch in Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge Lunch

Baton Rouge has an incomparable culinary scene. Just minutes from Baton Rouge homes for sale, you'll find world-class restaurants in a medley of styles. Some are known throughout the U.S., while others are local favorites. Our Realtors® can introduce you.

Between Baton Rouge open houses, try these intriguing lunch spots:

  • Milford's on Third – 150 3rd Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70801
    Although Milford's on Third is best known for its breakfast, the promise of classic delicatessen fare "without all the fanfare" means you can stop in any morning and appreciate the sandwiches and pastries all afternoon long. Lunch is served alongside breakfast from early in the morning until the 3 p.m. closing time, seven days a week. This family-owned spot also offers curbside and takeout service.

  • The Chimes Restaurant and Tap Room – 3357 Highland Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70802
    Offering some of the best Southern cuisine and soul food in a city known for it, The Chimes Restaurant and Tap Room is so popular that it has three nearby locations to choose from. For over 25 years, it's been a mainstay among students, faculty, and visitors to Louisiana State University. Offering Cajun and Creole cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere that welcomes families, it is lauded for its extensive list of spirits.

  • Beausoleil Restaurant & Bar – 7731 Jefferson Highway, Baton Rouge, LA 70809
    Beausoleil Restaurant & Bar is the place to go for innovative coastal cuisine. Creative dishes with fresh, local ingredients run the gamut from the indispensable raw oysters to tuna tataki to the spicy crab and crawfish maki roll. In addition to the brunch and lunch every day, it offers lavishly appointed spaces for all your most memorable group events. Reservations are strongly recommended.

  • Louie's Cafe – 3322 Lake Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70802
    Louie's Cafe is beloved in the local area as an LSU tradition dating all the way back to 1941. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all available from open to close – that is, 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. seven days a week. Among the lunch offerings are the famous Louie's Combos, the legendary Big Louie Burger, and Louie's Super Club. The menu is updated regularly!

  • Tony's Seafood – 5215 Plank Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70805
    Tony's Seafood bills itself as Louisiana's largest seafood market, with "Catering to Geaux" any time of the day and night. The most popular items to pick up in bulk include fresh-caught Louisiana blue crabs, Tony's signature broiled crawfish, and domestic wild-caught shrimp caught in local waters. Don't miss out on the Cajun boudin balls and fried whole catfish for a lunch you won't soon forget.

  • Mason's Grill – 13556 Jefferson Highway, Baton Rouge, LA 70817
    Mason's Grill blurs the line between lunch and brunch. Boldly calling itself Baton Rouge's Favorite Restaurant, it has something new every day of the week. You can enjoy the original Taco Tuesday, create your own burger with a huge range of buns, cheeses, and meats, or stop by for champagne brunch every weekend from 9 a.m. to 3 in the afternoon. There's simply nothing Mason's can't do.

  • Zorba's Greek Bistro – 5713 Essen Lane, Baton Rouge, LA 70810
    Zorba's Greek Bistro stands out as one of the top Mediterranean restaurants in Baton Rouge. The menu is packed with delectable finds centering on the cuisine of Cyprus Island. Lunch guests can savor a slew of appetizers, soups, salads, gyros, souvlaki, and specialty sandwiches – the lamb halloumi sandwich is the headliner here. Dinner will not disappoint, with plenty of large shareable plates and hearty entrees.

Contact us to discover more about Baton Rouge real estate.


Hidden Culinary Gems in Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge

The culinary delights of Baton Rouge are legendary, but a number of incredible restaurants fly under the radar. Our real estate agents share the secrets of their favorite hidden gems around the Capital City.

  • Crown Bistro - The Royal Standard, 16016 Perkins Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810
    Treat yourself like royalty with a majestic meal at Crown Bistro. This charming restaurant is tucked inside The Royal Standard, a British-inspired lifestyle shop featuring a curated assortment of fashion accessories and home decor from around the world. Enjoy the sophisticated selection of soups, salads, and sandwiches at your table with a view of the lovely patio and lawn. Be sure to stop at the candy counter for some gourmet chocolates to go. Crown Bistro is open from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday. Brunch is served 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. weekends.

  • Heather V's Cafe - The Foyer, 3655 Perkins Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70808
    With 75 merchants across 8,000 square feet, The Foyer is the perfect place to find furnishings, accessories, and artwork to fill Baton Rouge homes for sale. When you're ready for a break, grab a bite to eat at Heather V's Cafe. Order a classic muffuletta or a fresh salad with their signature lemon parmesan dressing, which is also available by the bottle. Follow Heather V's on Facebook for information about daily soup and sandwich specials. Hours are 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

  • Waterfront Cafe - Greenwood Community Park, 13350 LA-19, Baker, LA 70714
    So it's a beautiful day in the Red Stick, and you're in the mood for an impromptu scenic meal near Baker homes for sale. Head to Greenwood Community Park for lunch at the Waterfront Cafe, located in the Dumas Memorial Pro Golf Shop. Dine on summertime favorites such as burgers, hot dogs, and deli sandwiches from your lakeside table. There's candy and soda for the kids, as well as ice-cold beer for the grown-ups. Waterfront Cafe is open 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

  • Louie's Cafe - 3322 Lake St., Baton Rouge, LA 70802
    When a restaurant's clientele includes both college students and families, you know they're something special. Louie's Cafe has been a Baton Rouge institution since 1941. Over the years, Louie's has grown from a 10-stool diner to their current, more spacious building on Lake St. One constant has been proximity to the LSU campus. The comfort food-laden menu includes Eggs Louisianne, the cafe's take on Eggs Benedict, featuring locally-caught shrimp and crawfish. Louie's is open seven days a week from 6:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

  • Smoke & Boil - Baton Rouge, LA
    Feel like a true insider when you attend one of the lively events from Cajun food vendor Smoke & Boil. They describe their pop-ups at various Baton Rouge locations as "social gatherings" celebrating the city's culinary, brewing, and artistic communities. During recent months, Smoke & Boil has served a crawfish boil at Cypress Coast Brewing Co., farm-fresh egg sandwiches at Agile Brewing, and gourmet hot dogs at Sugarfield Spirits. Follow Smoke & Boil on Facebook for details about their current schedule.

Fuel up at these great places while you're touring Baton Rouge open houses. Get the inside scoop when you contact us at Latter & Blum. 


Your Guide to the Closing Process

closing process tips

Before you officially become a homeowner, the closing process is one of the last steps in the purchase process. Our real estate agents recommend that homebuyers understand what the closing process consists of so that they know what to expect. Here's what you need to know. 

  • Closing is When the Property Officially Becomes Your New Home
    Closing is the portion of the home purchasing process where ownership of the property transfers from the seller to the buyer. After checking out Baton Rouge homes for sale, you'll make an offer to the seller. While you'll likely include earnest money with your offer to purchase the home, the home isn't officially yours until you close on the property. It usually takes between four to six weeks to close on the purchase of a home, though the process can take longer if an issue arises. For example, if the property doesn't appraise for the necessary amount, this may slow the purchase down. Or, if the home inspection returns with a lot of issues, it may take time for the buyer and seller to resolve this problem. 
  • Your Closing Date is Included in Your Home Offer
    A property's closing date is included in the home offer that the buyer and seller ultimately agree to. It's customary for the buyer to propose the initial closing date, but the seller can propose a different closing date if desired. Some sellers may prefer a quick or prolonged period before they close on the home to better suit their own homebuying needs. During Baton Rouge open houses, home sellers may advertise their willingness to agree to a fast or extended closing period. 
  • You Need to Complete Certain Tasks to Close on a Home
    Before your closing date, you need to confirm that certain tasks have been completed. Your mortgage lender will require an appraisal to confirm that they can fund the mortgage for the home. If the property's appraisal falls short, you'll need to renegotiate the deal with the seller or potentially make a larger down payment. A home inspection is highly recommended to make sure that the home doesn't have any expensive problems. Your lender will require you to submit forms verifying your assets and income to approve and fund your home loan. You'll also need to purchase homeowner's insurance for the property. Before your closing date, you'll complete a final walkthrough to confirm that the property is in the expected condition before your actual closing appointment. If you notice any issue with the home, you'll need to let your real estate agent know immediately. 
  • Closing Requires a Lot of Paperwork
    There's a lot of paperwork required to purchase a home; you can expect to sign between 50 and 100 pages during your closing session. Take the time to go through each document so that you understand what you're signing and that the forms are consistent with what you're expecting. You'll also bring money to the closing appointment (usually in the form of a certified check or a wire transfer) to cover your down payment and closing costs. About three business days before your closing appointment, you'll receive a Closing Disclosure that details your closing costs and states who is paying for each item. 

Ready to begin your home search? Contact us today to get started!


Trivia Nights in Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge Trivia

Looking for a fun way to test your knowledge, enjoy a night out with friends, and maybe even take home some great prizes in the process? Some of the best bars, burger joints, and pizza parlors near Baton Rouge homes for sale offer regularly scheduled trivia nights where you can compete for prizes while enjoying great specials on your favorite menu items. Our real estate agents have all the details on where to find trivia nights around Baton Rouge.

  • Mid Tap – 660 Arlington Creek Centre Blvd., Ste. D, Baton Rouge, LA 70820
    With 48 self-serve taps, a full-service cocktail bar, and a delicious menu of bar bites, Mid Tap offers everything you need to enjoy a night out with your favorite people. There's also a busy lineup of special events every week, starting with an all-day happy hour on Mondays which includes trivia night beginning at 7:30 PM.

  • City Slice – 124 W. Chimes St., Baton Rouge, LA 70802
    The team at City Slice is known for serving up some of the best pizzas and craft brews in Baton Rouge. But did you know that they also offer delicious tacos? Tuesday Trivia N' Tacos is a regularly scheduled event at City Slice that kicks off every Tuesday at 6:00 PM. Test your knowledge to compete for City Slice gift cards and enjoy some delicious tacos while you compete.

  • The Smiling Dog – 4215 S. Sherwood Forest Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70816
    For the classic Baton Rouge pub experience, it's tough to top the atmosphere at The Smiling Dog. This local pub features pool tables, darts, a dog-friendly patio where you can dine outdoors, and plenty of TVs to watch all of the biggest games. Every Monday at 8:00 PM you can participate in the Pub Olympics, where you will compete in rounds of trivia, darts, and pool to win outstanding prizes.

  • Pluckers Wing Bar – 4225 Nicholson Dr. #101, Baton Rouge, LA 70808
    While it doesn't feature a weekly trivia night like some of the other entries on our list, the Pluckers Wing Bar Facebook page will keep you up to date on all of their latest trivia nights. Past topics at Pluckers Wing Bar trivia nights include Star Wars, HBO, Disney, and Sitcom Night, so this is a great place to visit if you love pop culture trivia.

  • Burgersmith – 3613 Perkins Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70808
    Another great destination for pop culture trivia is Burgersmith, which features trivia at its Perkins Road location on Tuesday nights, and at its Denham Springs location every Wednesday evening. This summer will feature trivia themes related to some of your favorite classic TV shows, including The Office, Friends, and Seinfeld. Grab a gourmet burger and a cold drink, then let the fun begin.

  • Rally Cap Brewing Company – 11212 Pennywood Ave., Baton Rouge, LA 70809
    Trivia Tuesday is the name of the game at Rally Cap Brewing Company, which hosts trivia every Tuesday night from 6:30 to 8:30 PM. It's free to play every week, and the top three teams will win prizes from the bar. Doors open at 3:00 PM, leaving plenty of time to sample the craft brews and tasty food on the menu here.

Searching for a home that makes it easy to enjoy all of the outstanding food and fun events around Baton Rouge? Our Baton Rouge open houses make it easy to find the right match. Contact us to buy and sell homes in the Baton Rouge, LA area.


Long-Distance House Hunting Tips

house hunting

Looking for a house can be challenging under any circumstances. It's even more difficult when you're looking somewhere far away from the city where you currently live. There are plenty of Baton Rouge homes for sale, but how do you know which one is right for you when you're that far away? Here are a few tips for long-distance house hunting.

  • Plan Ahead
    When you're looking locally, you have the time to browse casually and get a feel for what's available before you commit to anything. When you're hunting long-distance, you don't have that luxury. Make a comprehensive list of everything you're looking for in a house, including both your wants and your must-haves.

  • Be Flexible
    Keep in mind that your new area might not be like your old one. You may have your heart set on a particular style, but that style might not be as popular or widely available in your new city as it is in your current one. This is where your list comes in handy. It's important to know which features you absolutely need in your new home, and which ones you can compromise on.

  • Browse Home Listing Sites
    Looking at house listings online is no substitute for actually being there in person, but they can still provide helpful insight into the area where you're searching. Online listings can give you an idea of what's available in the area and how much you can expect to pay for it. This will help you as you plan your budget, and allow you to house hunt more efficiently.

  • Get a Good Agent
    This is important no matter where you're looking. But especially long-distance house hunting is something you shouldn't do alone. An agent who knows both the area and your needs can guide you through the process, helping you find places that meet your standards and fit your budget. That way, if you do manage to plan a brief trip to Baton Rouge, you can make the most of your time there.

  • Plan a Trip
    Carve out at least a couple of days to experience the new area for yourself. Find out from your real estate agent what Baton Rouge open houses are going on, and see if you can visit a few of them while you're there. However, the trip is important, not just for the houses themselves, but for the neighborhoods. Where are the schools, grocery stores, and other amenities, and how easy are they to get to? What's the traffic like? These are the sorts of things you can only find out by visiting a place in person. Be sure to go in with a clear plan and a clear objective, to make efficient use of your limited time there.

  • Understand What You're Doing
    Moving to a new city is a big step. It can also be a rewarding one, but make sure you're ready to do it before taking the plunge.

These are your first steps toward finding a new home in a new city. It's not an easy ordeal, but our real estate agents can help you through it. Contact us to get started.


Disc Golf Courses Throughout Louisiana

 disc golf

Looking for something new to do this summer? Grab your friends and family and go play a round of disc golf! Disc golf is pretty similar to regular golf. The major difference is players throw a flying disc instead of using balls and clubs, and the objective is to land the disc in a basket instead of a hole.

Our real estate agents have been really getting into this fun summertime activity, so we're up to date on all the best disc golf courses around the great state of Louisiana. You'd be surprised at just how many great courses there are around:

  • Bob Rodgers Memorial Disc Golf - 107 Sutherland Rd, Lake Charles, LA 70611
    Located in Sam Houston Jones State Park, the Bob Rodgers Memorial Disc Golf Course contains 21 challenging wooded holes spread out over 4,353 feet. Fees are $1 per person and loaner discs are available at the park office. The park also contains plenty of camping and rental cabins if you're planning to make a whole weekend out of it.

  • Ward 3 Recreation Disc Golf Course - 3210 Power Center Pkwy, Lake Charles, LA 70607
    This 9-hole, 28-par disc golf course near Lake Charles is great for beginners. Ward 3 Recreation offers a mostly open course with a few obstacles that mostly consist of park amenities (playgrounds, picnic tables, etc.). Certain sections do have a few trees. The course is a lot of fun, and if you like the area, there are some great Lake Charles homes for sale just a few miles away. 

  • City Park Disc Golf Course - 65 Diagonal Dr, New Orleans, LA 70124
    This popular disc golf course is 18-holes and contains many obstacles including live oak trees, lagoons, and bridges. The City Park Disc Golf Course is actually the only course in New Orleans. Located in City Park, each hole is a par 3, making it great for players of all skill levels. 

  • LHC Disc Golf Park at Scotlandville 3100 Monte Sano Ave, Baton Rouge, LA 70807  
    You'll find a challenging and well-maintained 61-par course at LHC Disc Golf Park with 18 total holes (including two par 5's). It's actually the second-largest course in the state. The terrain is mostly flat, yet you will find your fair share of subtle rolling landscapes. The course is open from sunrise to sunset. 

  • Highland Road Park Disc Golf Course - 14024 Highland Rd, Baton Rouge, LA 70810
    Highland Road Park Disc Golf Course has two basket locations per tee (purple baskets are the short course, gold baskets are the long course). You'll find beautiful hilly and woodsy terrain, as well as a scenic creek that runs right through the course. There is even a tiny pro shop onsite making this location perfect for disc golf fans near Baton Rouge homes for sale

Have fun ringing those disc golf baskets, as it's one of the many fun things to do around Louisiana. If you're in the market for a new home, contact us today.


Historical Sites Near the Mississippi Riverfront

Mississippi River

Since Baton Rouge formed around the Mississippi River, it's no surprise that many of the city's historical sites are close to the waterfront. Immerse yourself in the rich history around Baton Rouge homes for sale at these fascinating locations.

  • Louisiana's Old State Capitol - 100 North Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70801
    When Baton Rouge was selected as the capital of Louisiana in 1845, plans began for an impressive Gothic-style statehouse equal to the city's new stature. Today, Louisiana's Old State Capitol is a National Historic Landmark that serves as a museum to promote education and awareness of the democratic process over the years. Exhibits include a look at the legacy of Huey Long and a gallery of Louisiana statehouses of the past. The museum also hosts a series of visiting exhibits on a variety of topics. Hours are 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and admission is free.

  • USS Kidd Veterans Museum - 385 S. River Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70802
    Military history comes alive at the USS Kidd Veterans Museum. The ship is named for Rear Admiral Isaac Campbell Kidd, Sr., who lost his life while serving on the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor. First launched in 1943, the USS Kidd is the only remaining Fletcher-class destroyer restored to its original configuration. Visitors can see the dented helmet of an infantryman who participated in the D-Day invasion and read the names carved on the black granite walls of the Louisiana Memorial Plaza. The museum is open daily from 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Admission is $12.53 for adults and $8.36 for ages 5-12.

  • Riverfront Plaza - 300 S. River Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70802
    No matter how many times you visit Riverfront Plaza, there's always something new to see. This 5.4-acre greenspace, right on the banks of the Mississippi River, offers endless opportunities for historical exploration, physical activity, and live entertainment. Examine maps that depict the evolution of the Mississippi's course over the years and marvel at Frank Hayden's "Red Stick" sculpture that pays tribute to the city's namesake. Water pools and gardens, levee terraces, and a dock overlook provide a scenic backdrop. The park is accessible 24/7. Alternatively, you can explore this area on your bike when you travel along the Baton Rouge Mississippi River Levee Bike PathThe trailhead for this 4.31-mile path is located under the Mississippi Bridge and makes for a fun and active way to explore the area. 

  • Beauregard Town - Government St., Baton Rouge, LA 70802
    Located just a few short blocks from the riverfront, Beauregard Town brings a charming European feel to the streets of Baton Rouge. The city's second-oldest neighborhood dates back to 1806 and follows French colonial architectural traditions. Thanks to the beautiful homes and "Catfish Town," a warehouse district separating the residential area from the riverfront, Beauregard Town was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

Let our real estate agents help you plan a tour of Baton Rouge open houses. Get started when you contact us at Latter & Blum.


Plants to Grow in Your First Garden

Garden Tips

Gardening is more than just a relaxing and enjoyable hobby. It's also a great way to improve your yard's appearance and boost your home's curb appeal. Even if you don't have a green thumb, you can put together an amazing garden by choosing plants that are easy for beginners to grow. Here are a few types of plants that our real estate agents recommend, carefully chosen for gardeners of all skill levels.

  • Marigolds
    These cheerful flowers are frequently seen in the gardens of Baton Rouge homes for sale, and they have some great benefits, too, such as keeping pests out of your garden. Marigold seeds can be planted once the nights are over 50 degrees and will continue to bloom into late summer and even early fall.

  • Pansies
    Pansies are also surprisingly easy to grow and come in a variety of colors and sizes. It's best to plant the seeds in the fall, but in a pinch, you can also plant in the spring, so right now is a perfect time to get those pansies started.  These flowers thrive in areas where the winters aren't too cold, so you'll often see them in gardens and planters at Baton Rouge open houses.

  • Mint
    If you want a fragrant garden that's easy to care for, mint is perfect for you. Mint is a hardy plant that can grow in almost any soil and with almost any amount of moisture. If you want to control it, be sure to remove it from unwanted areas of your garden and harvest the leaves before the plant goes to flower.

  • Basil
    While not quite as unstoppable as mint, basil is still easy to grow. The biggest thing to note with basil is that it doesn't hold up well to cold temperatures, so wait until the overnight temperatures are on the warmer side before planting and cover it in case of an unexpected frost. Because of this, basil is also a great herb to put in small planters so that you can bring it inside in bad weather.

  • Sunflowers
    Sunflowers are majestic plants to have in your garden, and you have the added bonus of being able to enjoy their seeds at the end of the season, too. They're surprisingly easy to grow, too, as they are not very picky about the soil they're in. The one thing they do require is a lot of sunlight, so you'll want to plant them along a southern wall of your home, or somewhere they'll have sun all day long and won't throw shade on the rest of your garden.

  • Zucchini
    If you're wanting the experience of growing not only herbs but also your own food, zucchini is a great place to start. Be sure to mark out a large space in a well-irrigated area, as zucchini plants take up a lot of space and suck up a lot of water. Make sure you pick them while they're small, too, or you may end up with more zucchini than you can eat!

  • Potatoes
    Potato plants may not be pretty, but they'll satisfy your desire to grow some of your own food. Potatoes are hardy crops that are easy to start and care for and a perfect use for that bag of potatoes you forgot about until they sprouted. Plant in the spring, and you'll be ready to harvest your crop by midsummer.

Even if you're not an experienced gardener, you can dress up your home's landscaping with easy-to-grow plants like these. For more ideas on boosting your curb appeal before selling your home this summer, contact us today.


Florists in Baton Rouge for Mother's Day

Baton Rouge Florists

Mother's Day is around the corner, and now is the time to start planning a special gift for all of the wonderful moms in your life. Fortunately, Baton Rouge is home to some amazing florists that offer everything you need for Mother's Day this year, from simple yet beautiful arrangements to elegant gift baskets that are packed with items that mom is sure to love. Our real estate agents have the details on five local Baton Rouge florists where you're sure to find a great gift for Mother's Day.

  • Heroman's Florist – 2291 Government St., Baton Rouge, LA 70806
    With more than 140 years of experience selling flowers near Baton Rouge homes for sale, it's safe to say that the team at Heroman's Florist knows how to put together a truly memorable Mother's Day gift. You can do all of your shopping online with local delivery/in-store pickup or head to one of their two Baton Rouge locations to get help picking out your gift from the very knowledgeable staff. From lavish arrangements with four-dozen roses to blooming plants that mom can enjoy all year long, you're sure to find something special at this experienced florist.

  • Billy Heroman's – 10812 N. Harrell's Ferry Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70816
    Another well-known experienced local florist, Billy Heroman's has four locations around Baton Rouge, including the 10,000 square foot flagship Harrell's Ferry store. As the flagship location, the Harrell's Ferry store is staffed by some of the team's most experienced designers, who will be happy to help you pick or design just the right arrangement. You can even opt for the special "Flowers for a Year" gift, with new flowers delivered once per month all year long.

  • Blushing Blooms Floral & Gifts – 3482 Drusilla Ln., Ste. G, Baton Rouge, LA 70809
    In addition to a great selection of both custom and pre-made floral arrangements, Blushing Blooms Floral & Gifts offers a diverse selection of themed gifts to pair with your Mother's Day flowers. Gifts include fun home décor, special teas, LSU-themed items, and plenty of great baby gifts for the new moms in your life. Of course, there are also tons of beautiful floral gifts, including roses, tulips, lilies, orchids, hydrangeas, and dahlias.

  • Trey Marino's Central Florist & Gifts – 13561 Hooper Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70818
    Now in its second generation of local family ownership, Trey Marino's Central Florist & Gifts offers both in-store shopping and convenient local delivery for its artistic, colorful floral arrangements. For Mother's Day, the team at Trey Marino's has put together two special floral packages, with the Mother's Day Designers Choice and Premium Designer's Choice arrangements. These arrangements are sure to be popular, so ordering ahead of time is recommended.

  • Comeaux's Florist – Prairieville, LA 70769
    Proudly owned and operated by an all-women team, Comeaux's Florist is an online, delivery-only florist located in Prairieville which offers delivery throughout Baton Rouge. If you're shopping for a mom who loves to garden or care for houseplants, this is a great place to shop. They offer herb planters, dish gardens, and a wide variety of traditional houseplants, along with their extensive selection of custom, hand-crafted floral arrangements. Find their full selection online, or give them a call to discuss your custom arrangement before Mother's Day.

Searching for your next home in Baton Rouge? Our team is here to help, starting with Baton Rouge open houses to help you find the perfect home. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Baton Rouge, LA area.


Where to Buy Locally Roasted Coffee

Coffee in Louisiana

When choosing a place to live, easy access to high-quality, locally roasted coffee is always a priority for our real estate agents. When coffee is roasted locally, it's guaranteed to be fresh and flavorful -- and once you start drinking great coffee, it's difficult to accept just any alternative. 

One of the many great things about Baton Rouge is our vast number of amazing coffee shops all around town. These shops roast locally and also source the finest beans from all over the world. If you'll only drink the very best coffee in the morning, we recommend checking out some of these Louisiana coffee destinations:

  • River Road Coffees - 11569 Investor Dr #4261, Baton Rouge, LA 70809
    One of our favorite coffee brands is headquartered just down the street from these beautiful Baton Rouge homes for saleRiver Road Coffees sources the finest Arabica beans and roasts them using the perfect temperature while monitoring for the appropriate color. Then, they perform in-house cuppings every Friday for quality assurance. The Baton Rouge blend is one of the most popular choices. You can find River Road Coffee across dozens of local Baton Rouge grocery stores.

  • Congregation Coffee - 240 Pelican Ave, New Orleans, LA 70114
    One of New Orleans' best coffee brands is Congregation Coffee, which roasts high-quality beans at its roastery on Tchoupitoulas Street. You can order coffee online, sign-up for a monthly subscription, or stop by Algiers Point, their flagship cafe. After buying your beans, be sure to swing by these amazing New Orleans home for sale just around the corner. 

  • Flamjeaux Coffee - 2012 Jefferson St, Mandeville, LA 70448
    Named for the flames used during many Mardi Gras parades and celebrations, Flamjeaux roasts all beans locally in Old Mandeville. Order your coffee online or stop by the store to pick up your order and try some samples. If you visit during a roasting, you'll be pleasantly surprised by the wonderful smell. If you like the area, you might be interested in exploring some of these Mandeville homes for sale.

  • Orleans Coffee - 3445 Prytania St Suite B, New Orleans, LA 70115
    Orleans Coffee has been roasting coffee every morning in New Orleans since 1985. This shop sells dozens of premium blends and often features monthly specials. You can also find tea and other merchandise. Purchases can be made online, or you can stop by their espresso bar, which is located not too far from these Kenner homes for sale

  • Abita Roasting Co. - 1011 Village Walk, Covington, LA 70433
    For some of the best local coffee at a reasonable price, check out Abita Roasting Co. The beans are roasted locally and brewed at their local cafe in Convington, where you'll also find great breakfast foods and a comfortable atmosphere. If you're on the go, you can also head through the drive-thru. After purchasing some beans and enjoying a cup of coffee, make sure to check out these nearby Covington homes for sale

For many of us, access to good coffee in the morning is non-negotiable. For more recommendations, contact us today.


Rock Climbing Gyms in Louisiana

Rock Climbing Louisiana

Indoor rock climbing has become a hot trend in recent years, and climbing gyms are popping up all over the country. That includes several awesome climbing and bouldering gyms right here in Louisiana. While there aren't many mountains to explore in Louisiana, indoor rock climbing gyms allow you to have a similar experience without leaving the state. 

Our real estate agents are excited to share our favorite indoor rock climbing gyms in Louisiana. That includes some great places to climb near these Lafayette homes for sale.

  • Southern Stone Indoor Climbing - 109 Grand Ave, Lafayette, LA 70503
    Lafayette's premier rock climbing facility, Southern Stone Indoor Climbing offers routes for beginners and experienced climbers alike. From bouldering and top roping to auto belays and spot climbing, there are facilities here to support all rock climbing styles. This gym is one of Louisiana's oldest rock climbing facilities, having served Lafayette for 20 years as Rock Haus before re-opening as Southern Stone in 2016. With a convenient location minutes from these Lafayette open houses, it's open to climbers of all ages and experience levels, and walk-ins are always welcome. 

  • Uptown Climbing - 10505 Coursey Blvd, Baton Rouge, LA 70816
    Louisiana's largest indoor rock climbing gym, Uptown Climbing, is the premier rock gym in Baton Rouge. This place is a giant playground for climbing fanatics, offering a 90-foot long bouldering wall and more than 60 rope stations up to 35 feet tall. This state-of-the-art facility also includes a dedicated sport lead climbing wall, speed wall, and six auto-belay stations. Affordable membership rates are available, and first-timers can also walk in any time and climb with a day pass. 

  • New Orleans Boulder Lounge - 2360 St Claude Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117
    New Orleans Boulder Lounge is an awesome resource for the NOLA area climbing community. It's also a very beginner-friendly gym, with climbing that's suitable for all skill and experience levels. New Orleans Boulder Lounge is open to members and guests, and the friendly and experienced staff is always great when it comes to helping newcomers find their footing. With a sole focus on bouldering, the Boulder Lounge has no ropes or harnesses but instead offers free climbing at shorter heights that require no specialized equipment. 

  • 318 Climb - 731 American Way, Shreveport, LA 71106
    With more 80-plus top rope routes, 60-plus boulder problems, and nine auto belays, it's safe to say that you won't quickly run out of new climbing experiences at 318 Climb. This exciting indoor rock climbing gym in Shreveport also introduces new top rope and boulder routes weekly and often hosts parties and glow-in-the-dark climbing events. 318 Climb also offers climbing classes and private lessons for all ages, including instruction on top rope and belay climbing. Affordable day passes are always available, but consistent climbers can save big with a monthly membership. 

Contact us today to learn more about life in Louisiana! If you're looking for your dream home in Lafayette and the surrounding areas, our real estate agents are here to help every step of the way. 


Boat Launches in the Baton Rouge Area

Boat Launches

There are a lot of things our real estate agents love about life in Baton Rouge. It's a unique cultural city and the capital of Louisiana, with distinctive music and food scenes. Just as importantly, it's a prime jumping-off point for outdoor adventures. 

Providing access to the Mississippi River and several other waterways, Baton Rouge is the perfect place to begin a fishing and boating trip in Louisiana. If you're looking for just the right place to get out on the water, be sure to check out these great boat launches in the Baton Rouge area:

  • Glass Beach Boat Launch -  River Rd S, Baton Rouge, LA 70802
    The only free, public boat launch on the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge, the Glass Beach Boat Launch is located just south of the I-10 bridge, just minutes from downtown. There are no developed facilities here; just a no-frills boat ramp and parking area for vehicles and trailers. The spot gets its name from the rounded pebbles of smooth "beach glass" that were used to pave the landing. The Glass Beach Boat Launch is just minutes from many Baton Rouge homes for sale.

  • Floyd's Morley Marina - 7675 Choctaw Rd, Brusly, LA 70719
    Just a few miles west of Baton Rouge and close to Brusly homes for sale, Floyd's Morley Marina has been a popular local boat launch since it was established in 1992. The marina overlooks the Port Allen Lock, a canal system that connects the Mississippi River to the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and the Gulf of Mexico. Floyd's Morley marina is a great starting point for boating and fishing trips and is also known as a local hot spot for food, drink, and entertainment. 

  • Kayak Launch at Highland Road Community Park - Baton Rouge, LA 70810
    Spanning a little over 144 acres, Highland Road Community Park is one of the best places in Baton Rouge for hiking, cycling, and other outdoor recreation. It also features a kayak launch on Bayou Fountain, a meandering stream that is part of the Atchafalaya Water Heritage Trail. It's a great place to go for an afternoon paddle after visiting these Baton Rouge open houses. Although Bayou Fountain is typically a calm, slow-moving stream, it has numerous downed trees and other hazards that require caution from paddlers. 

  • Broussard Landing - Plaquemine, LA 70764
    There's not much to see at Broussard Landing, a bare-bones boat launch in Plaquemine, just a few miles south of Baton Rouge. Located just off Louisiana State Route 988, Broussard Landing is little more than a gravel road that dead-ends at the Mississippi River, but it's an effective if somewhat under-developed launch site that offers plenty of room for vehicles with boat trailers to park. There's also a stretch of open bank here where anglers can fish from shore. 

  • Bayside Bait Shop & Marina - 18795 LA-16, Port Vincent, LA 70726
    A favorite among anglers in the Baton Rouge area and conveniently close to Port Vincent homes for sale, Bayside Bait Ship & Marina is a great place to begin your next fishing trip. Located along the Amite River southeast of Baton Rouge, Bayside Bait Ship & Marina offers boat ramps and a full line of fishing and boating gear and supplies. There's also a campground onsite for tents and RVs. The Amite River is a great place for catfish fishing and is easily navigable by larger motorboats as well as small craft like boats and kayaks. 

Contact us today to learn more about planning your adventures in the Baton Rouge area! And be sure to ask our real estate agents about how we can help you find your dream home in Louisiana. 


About the Shaw Center for the Arts

Shaw Center

Located at 100 Lafayette Street in the heart of Downtown Baton Rouge, the Shaw Center for the Arts deserves a place on anyone's must-see list. It's one of our real estate agents' favorite spots in the city, and we're excited to shed a spotlight on this unique institution!

About the Shaw Center for the Arts

The Shaw Center for the Arts is a major hub for art, culture, and theater in Baton Rouge. Encompassing 125,000 square feet, this massive museum, venue, and education center first opened its doors in 2005. It received the American Institute of Architects Gulf States Honor Award for architecture the year it opened. 

Several unique art spaces and venues collectively make up the Shaw Center for the Arts. Located just minutes from many Baton Rouge homes for sale, these are some of the can't-miss highlights of the Shaw Center:

  • Manship Theatre
    Arguably the centerpiece of the Shaw Center for the Arts, the Manship Theatre is the premier non-profit theatre venue in Baton Rouge. The Manship Theatre seats 325 and is an intimate space with state-of-the-art sound and lighting, hosting the finest in theatre, music, film, dance, and the performing arts.

  • LSU Museum of Art
    Operated by Louisiana State University, the LSU Museum of Art is the only museum in Baton Rouge dedicated exclusively to art. The museum's permanent collection includes a comprehensive overview of Louisiana art, as well as unique works from all over the world. In addition to their permanent collection, the LSU Museum of Art also features ever-changing exhibitions by local, regional, and international artists. 

  • Glassell Gallery 
    The Glassell Gallery is one of the most compelling spaces within the Shaw Center for the Arts. The Glassell Gallery is part of the LSU School of Art, and features rotating selections of student art, works from the art school faculty, and exhibitions by artists from around the world. The gallery is always open to the general public free of charge. 

  • The River Terrace
    Offering one of the best views in Baton Rouge, The River Terrace is an indoor and outdoor space perched at the top of the Shaw Center for the Arts. It's mostly known as an incredible wedding venue, capable of wowing up to 400 guests with its views of the Mississippi River from its outdoor sculpture garden and terrace. 

Dining at the Shaw Center for the Arts

Between visiting Baton Rouge open houses and exploring the Shaw Center for the Arts, there's a good chance you might get a little hungry. Fortunately, there are several great dining options within the Center for the Arts:

  • Capital City Grill
    Steak and seafood are the stars of the show at Capital City Grill, a classic American eatery with a healthy dash of Creole spice. Everything is made from scratch in-house, and many of their ingredients are locally sourced. 

  • Tsunami
    Tsunami is the Shaw Center for the Arts' in-house sushi restaurant, and everything here is fresh, flavorful, and artfully presented. In addition to sushi, Tsunami also offers small plates and craft cocktails, and their indoor and outdoor spaces offer a great view of the Mississippi River. 

  • PJ's Coffee Shop
    You're never far from a great coffee in Baton Rouge, thanks to PJ's Coffee Shop. This beloved local chain has several locations in and around the city, including one on the ground floor of the Shaw Center for the Arts.

Contact us today to learn more about life in Baton Rouge! Our city is the heart of Louisiana art and culture, and our real estate agents are dedicated to helping you find your dream home in Baton Rouge. 


Start Your Day at These Baton Rouge Brunch Spots

Baton Rouge Brunch

Baton Rouge homes for sale are known for all kinds of advantages. One of them is the amazing dining scene, packed with an array of Creole and Cajun treats. But no matter if you're in the mood for surf, turf, or lighter breakfast fare, you can enjoy it all at a Baton Rouge brunch spot. There are so many to choose from, you will never really run out of options.

Let's take a closer look at just a few of the best brunch spots in the Capital City:

  • Milford's on Third – 150 3rd Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70801
    Milford's on Third is a classic delicatessen with a long history in Baton Rouge. On the grounds of the historic Watermark hotel, it's a little slice of New York City in the middle of Louisiana. Whether you want a hearty bowl of oatmeal, a breakfast sandwich, or warm pastries, Milford's has you covered.

  • Tallulah Crafted Food & Wine Bar – 7000 Bluebonnet Boulevard, Baton Rouge, LA 70810
    Tallulah Crafted Food & Wine Bar, led by Executive Chef Andy Papson, is all about indigenous cuisine of the Baton Rouge area. Visit around breakfast time and you'll find tables replete with signatures like catfish boil benedict, beignets Tallulah, shrimp and grits, and – yes – avocado toast.

  • Soji Modern Asian Restaurant & Bar – 5050 Government Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70806
    Who says you can't have Asian food for brunch? Soji Modern Asian Restaurant & Bar is a delightful place to sate your cravings for signature raw fish or small plates like kung pao bao, dumplings, lemongrass edamame, salt, and pepper calamari, and even your choice of ramen bowls.

  • Bistro Byronz – 8200 Village Plaza Court, Baton Rouge, LA 70810
    Bistro Byronz has a little bit of everything, so you never need to worry that you might be missing out. Lunch, dinner, famous Sunday brunch, a complete kids' menu, and a wine list all await you. You won't want to miss the corn and shrimp soup, which attracts visitors from miles around.

  • The Gregory – 150 3rd Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70801
    The Gregory is a diverse and luxurious dining spot that epitomizes the best of haute cuisine. Local, sustainable ingredients combine with deep insight into southern cooking to give you a truly unique experience. Big plates like garden ravioli, chicken piccata, duck, and redfish are among the stars.

  • Another Broken Egg Cafe – 2531 Citiplace Court, Baton Rouge, LA 70808
    With two locations to choose from, Another Broken Egg Cafe boasts an expansive menu of more than 130 items. In addition to the traditional selection of brunch favorites, the cafe offers a full gluten-free menu, signature cocktails, and seasonal specialties with fresh local ingredients.

  • Beausoleil Coastal Cuisine – 7731 Jefferson Highway, Baton Rouge, LA 70809
    Beausoleil Coastal Cuisine is a place to eat, drink, and enjoy a variety of cuisines with local and global inspiration. You'll have the chance to sample a wide range of chef-driven Louisiana favorites as well as sushi, a full raw seafood bar, and much more. 

Contact us to discover more of what Baton Rouge has to offer.


Home Improvement Tips: 7 Projects You Can Do This Weekend

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:

  1. Create an inviting entrance to your home.
    A spruced-up entrance can boost your home's curb appeal and make it more inviting for guests. Paint your front door a bold color like one from the red family and add some spiffy new hardware. Add some potted plants near the entrance for a touch of color and greenery, and replace your welcome mat with one you've painted yourself or buy a new one that makes a statement.

  2. Add crown molding.
    Almost any room can look better with the addition of crown molding, but this is especially true for rooms that have high ceilings. The molding creates a unifying effect that makes the ceiling feel like part of the room's overall design. And if you have just a few hours, adding crown molding is a good project, even if you don't have any woodworking experience.

  3. Replace the light fixture in your eating area.
    A fresh light fixture can create a new look in your eating area. Choose one that has the look you want and emits the right amount of light, so you have the right combination of design and function. To replace your existing lighting, turn off the power at your home's breaker box and connect the wires.

  4. Add a window box.
    Add a window box to your home's exterior and fill it with colorful annuals, perennials, or succulents. Best of all, you can enjoy the flowers outside or inside your home, since the tops of plants and flowers will be visible above the window frame. Buy a window box ready-made and add plants, or make your own. Some home improvement stores sell materials in pre-cut sizes, but if not, most will cut the materials for you, so you don't have to.

  5. Replace your cabinet hardware.
    Choose hardware for your cabinets and drawers that reflects your personal taste. Simple metallic hardware is also a good choice, but if you're looking for a unique hardware, check antique shops.

  6. Install a new showerhead.
    If you don't have a low-flow showerhead, install one to save money on your water bill. Even if you already have one, it may not have the features you want. Many new versions are more efficient than previous ones and have features like multiple spray styles, pivoting angles, and temperature settings.

  7. Update your walls with paint or wallpaper.
    Paint and wallpaper are easy ways to transform the look of a room. You can use both if you'd like and freshen your walls with paint while using wallpaper on a single feature or accent wall. You'll also find paintable wallpaper available, with raised details and a wide variety of texture effects and designs.

Looking for Baton Rouge homes for sale? Stop by one of our Baton Rouge open houses or contact us to get the help you need.


Order the Catch of the Day at These Baton Rouge Restaurants

Baton Rouge Restaurants

Oysters, crawfish, and po' boy sandwiches are mainstays of Louisiana Creole cuisine, and our real estate agents know just where to find them. Fresh seafood is just one more reason why Baton Rouge homes for sale are so popular.

Here's a handful of local restaurants where the catch of the day is always worth trying:

  • Parrain's Seafood Restaurant – 3225 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70808
    Parrain's Seafood Restaurant offers a delectable combination of surf and turf, including what it touts as the freshest seafood in town. Steak and chicken dishes complement crawfish, shrimp, seafood gumbo, and more. You can order up a succulent grilled duck breast or a whole fried hen to go with specialties like catfish perdu and crawfish etouffee.

  • The Original Krab Queens Baton Rouge –  5260 Corporate Boulevard, Baton Rouge, LA 70808
    The Original Krab Queens Baton Rouge bills itself as the home of the best butter sauce you'll find in Baton Rouge. You'll be using plenty of it when you order up the boiled seafood platters from this classic crab shack. The popular "Just Crab Platter" delivers on the name with two snow crabs alongside fixings: Corn, egg, sausage, and potatoes make for a hearty meal.

  • Phil's Oyster Bar and Seafood Restaurant – 4335 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge, LA 7080
    Phil's Oyster Bar and Seafood Restaurant has a history dating back to 1950 and remains family-owned and operated. It features brunch, lunch, dinner, and a full bar menu, as well as catering and hosting for private events. Entrees run the gamut from po' boys on local French bread, barbecued shrimp fettuccine, trout almondine, and – of course – heaping fried or grilled crab cakes.

  • The Juicy Seafood Restaurant & Bar – 3132 College Drive Suite B, Baton Rouge, LA 7080
    With new specials every day, The Juicy Seafood Restaurant & Bar always has something new to tempt your taste buds. Starters, sides, veggies, and seafood are the mainstays here, in a space that's casual but always hip and happening. Blue crab, crawfish, shrimp, snow crab legs, sea scallops, and other delights from the sea come fully dressed in corn, potatoes, and optional boiled egg.

  • Drusilla Seafood Restaurant – 3482 Drusilla Lane D, Baton Rouge, LA 70809
    Coming to you from the heart of Baton Rouge for nearly 40 years, Drusilla Seafood Restaurant has a full selection of your favorite fried, boiled, and blackened seafood dishes. Its goal is to serve the most authentic Louisiana cuisine in the city and has been named "Best Seafood in Baton Rouge" by a number of local critics and publications. The famous seafood gumbo anchors a mouthwatering menu.

  • Drago's Seafood Restaurant – 4580 Constitution Avenue, Baton Rouge, LA 70808
    The claim to fame for Drago's Seafood Restaurant is the original charbroiled oyster. With six locations, including one in Baton Rouge, it is a true Louisiana success story. In addition to the half dozen or dozen charbroiled oysters, you can choose raw oysters on the half shell or fried oysters Voisin. Other house specials include the sautéed alligator, seafood pasta, and shrimp and eggplant stack.

  • John's Seafood – 2750 Scenic Highway, Baton Rouge, LA 70805
    You'll have plenty to choose from at John's Seafood, where reviews acclaim both the hot wings and the oysters. Besides the usual po' boys, chicken, oysters, and shrimp, you'll discover a number of unexpected treats. It's a great way to enjoy a little bit of everything for lunch or dinner.

Contact us to find out more about Louisiana real estate or stop by one of our Baton Rouge open houses.


New to Baton Rouge? Take One of These Tours

Baton Rouge Tour

There's so much to see, do, and experience when you're new to Baton Rouge that it can be hard to decide where to start. So why not let a local expert be your guide? Whether you're interested in history, food, drink, culture, or the great outdoors, there's a local tour with your name on it. Our real estate agents have all the details on some of the best Baton Rouge tours to help you get familiar with your new home city.

All About Baton Rouge Tours – 750 Florida St. Unit #4644, Baton Rouge, LA 70801

If you're looking for a diverse selection of different tours close to Baton Rouge homes for sale, then All About Baton Rouge Tours is the perfect place to start. They offer a tour for every interest, with expert guides who will take you to see some of the city's most fascinating destinations.

  • Baton Rouge City Tour
    For a general overview of some of the interesting places around the city, the Baton Rouge City Tour is a great option. This guided and narrated tour is perfect for getting to know Baton Rouge.

  • Baton Rouge Food Tour
    Sure, food is the focus of this tour, but you'll also experience plenty of other unique things along the way. The Baton Rouge Food Tour seamlessly blends food, art, culture, and history to give you a local's view of the city.

  • Haunted Tour
    Feeling brave? This fun, quirky tour will take you to see some of the spookier historic places around Baton Rouge.

  • Swamp Tours
    Travel beyond the city to experience the vast natural beauty, native plants, and local wildlife that make Louisiana such a special place to call home.

Enjoy Baton Rouge Walking Tours – Baton Rouge, LA 70802

All you need to participate in Enjoy Baton Rouge Walking Tours is your own two feet and a desire to explore the city. Food tours tend to be the most popular offerings from this tour company, but they also offer plenty of other ways to experience Baton Rouge. Try a historical tour, an art tour, or take a sightseeing tour to get acquainted with local landmarks. Enjoy Baton Rouge Walking Tours has no physical location, but you can easily schedule your tour in advance online.

Three Roll Estate Distillery Tour – 760 Saint Philip St., Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Three Roll Estate Distillery is an award-winning producer of fine spirits located in the heart of Baton Rouge. You can enjoy the Three Roll Estate Distillery Tour every Thursday through Sunday to learn more about how the distillery creates its spirits from sugarcane that's grown and pressed on-site. The tour includes a look behind the scenes at the distilling process from start to finish and ends with a tasting.

Tin Roof Brewery Tour – 1624 Wyoming St., Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Known for its taproom, outdoor dining space, and commitment to producing some of Louisiana's most distinctive craft brews, Tin Roof Brewing Co. is more than worth the trip for any beer enthusiast. Every Friday, the team here hosts the Tin Roof Brewery Tour. During the tour, you'll get to see the art and science that goes into creating every unique beer at Tin Roof.

Still searching for your next home in the city? Our local team has you covered. Visit one of our Baton Rouge open houses, or simply contact us to buy and sell homes in the Baton Rouge, LA area.


How to Create a Pet-Friendly Home

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. 

One of the most common things our clients always ask for when they're looking for Baton Rouge homes for sale is a place that's pet-friendly. Here's what to look for in a pet-friendly home and how you can make your place more accommodating. 

  • Consider the Stairs. Some pets take stairs like a champ. Others, not so much. If you have a senior dog, for example, maybe a 5th-floor apartment with no elevator isn't for you. A single-family home where your pooch can live like a queen on the first floor might be more your speed. 

  • Color Code Your Space. Interior designers use colors in countless creative ways. Pet owners use them to disguise their pets' constant shedding. When it comes to furniture and flooring, choose colors that are close to the tone of your pets' fur. If you have dark floors and a white dog, you're going to see little white tumbleweeds everywhere. 

  • Don't Overlook Wall Texture. Furry walls are a real thing, and many homeowners fail to consider them. Highly textured walls are like fur magnets, so paint with a satin or semi-gloss finish that repels fur instead of attracting it. 

  • Give Them a Boost. Some pets have a hard time getting up on beds and couches. Assuming yours are allowed up there, arrange the room with a smaller piece of furniture, like an ottoman, nearby that they can use to make the leap more easily.

  • Choose Hardwood Floors. Hardwood is infinitely easier to clean compared to carpet, and it doesn't absorb pet odors the way carpet does. Tile and linoleum are pretty good too. If you do get carpets or area rugs, look for colors that match your pets' fur.

  • Create a Pet Storage Space. Pet toys, treats, and accessories have a way of ending up... well, everywhere. Cleaning them up and keeping them organized is a never-ending battle, but a smart storage solution can help. A ground-level basket for toys, an out-of-reach bin for treats, and hooks for hanging leashes and collars will help keep the mess in check. 

  • Offer a Place to Rest. A plush, comfortable dog bed is a staple of any canine household. Look for one that's well-made, comfy, and matches the overall decor in your home. 

  • Stow Bowls and Litter Boxes. Choose a litter box location where you don't have to see (or smell) it. Laundry rooms and garages are perfect. If you don't want to always see your pet's food bowls, they too can be placed out of sight or even designed to slide in and out of your kitchen cabinets at mealtime. 

Explore Pet-Friendly Homes in Baton Rouge

Check out these exciting upcoming Baton Rouge open houses to explore your next pet-friendly paradise in Louisiana. Baton Rouge also has a reputation as an amazingly pet-friendly city, with numerous dog parks, doggy daycares, pet-friendly restaurants, and top-notch veterinarians. 

Contact us today to learn more about life in Baton Rouge, and be sure to ask out real estate agents about how we can find your pet's next great home. Don't worry, you can live there too. 


Where to go Biking in Baton Rouge

Biking in Baton Rouge

Whether for exercise, exploration, or your daily commute, Baton Rouge is a bike-friendly city with ample options for getting around on two wheels. There are plenty of bike paths, both paved and off-road, along with a great collection of bicycle clubs that make it easy to connect with other riders. Our real estate agents have the key info on some of the many ways that you can enjoy biking in Baton Rouge.

  • Baton Rouge Levee Bike Path – Between River Rd. and Mississippi River, Baton Rouge, LA
    We start with a trip along the riverfront on one of the more popular bike paths located near Baton Rouge homes for sale. The Baton Rouge Levee Bike Path travels from downtown Baton Rouge past Tiger Stadium, with great views to enjoy while you ride. The bike path is 4.31 miles long, and offers a wide variety of local attractions where you can stop along the way. There are plans to expand this bike path significantly, with a Downtown Greenway that will connect all of the downtown parks.

  • LSU Lakes Loop – 901 Stanford Ave., Baton Rouge, LA 70808
    For another pleasant ride along the water, try a trip around the LSU Lakes Loop which can be accessed from Milford Wampold Memorial Park. The park itself has about .25 miles of paved trails, but the LSU Lakes Loop stretches considerably further than that. Sandy beaches along the lakes make for the perfect place to stop and take in the view, especially around sunset and sunrise.

  • Perkins Road Community Park – 7122 Perkins Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70808
    A trip to Perkins Road Community Park offers a variety of options for biking. The park is connected by a series of paved trails open to bikers, skaters, runners, and walkers, ideal for a leisurely ride. Perkins Road Community Park is also home to the BMX Raceway when you're in the mood for something more adventurous. There's even a velodrome, a 333-foot paved track that allows cyclists to reach speeds that wouldn't be possible on other trails. These attractions are free and open to the public, with the BMX Raceway and velodrome requiring helmets to enter.

  • Hooper Road Park – 6261 Guynell Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70811
    Mountain biking is on the menu in Baton Rouge as well, thanks to the trails at places like Hooper Road Park. This 200-acre, wooded park is home to more than 5 miles of mountain bike trails and is open from sunrise to sunset. This is a great place to get a taste of local natural beauty without leaving Baton Rouge.

  • Comite River Park – 8900 Hooper Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70818
    Another popular place for getting in touch with nature, the 5.5-mile mountain bike trail at Comite River Park is located along the edge of the Cypress Bayou and Comite River. This is a more advanced trail, perfect for mountain bikers looking for a fun challenge.

  • Baton Rouge Bike Club – P.O. Box 253, Baton Rouge, LA 70821
    There are quite a few bike clubs around the city as well, and the Baton Rouge Bike Club has been connecting local riders for more than 50 years. Become a member to enjoy a busy schedule of events and plenty of other perks.

Ready to find a home that makes it easy to explore your favorite city on two wheels? Our local real estate team is here to help. Visit one of our Baton Rouge open houses or contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Baton Rouge, LA area.


Music Venues Throughout Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge Music

Baton Rouge and live music go hand-in-hand. It's one of the things our real estate agents love most about life in this historic city overlooking the Mississippi River. Baton Rouge has always been at the intersection of American music traditions, and it remains that way today. 

These days, the best live music venues in Baton Rouge host everything from national touring acts to promising up-and-comers. You might see a hot new indie rock band or a local blues legend, sometimes on the same stage on the same night. 

  • The Texas Club - 456 N Donmoor Ave, Baton Rouge, LA 70806
    One of the premier venues in Baton Rouge, the Texas Club is known for hosting major country and rock acts while maintaining an intimate atmosphere. This 1,000-capacity music venue provides a truly unique musical experience, and legends ranging from Garth Brooks to the Allman Brothers Band have graced its stage. Located a stone's throw from these Baton Rouge homes for sale, the Texas Club is, without a doubt, one of the best places in town to catch a show. 

  • Boudreaux & Thibodeaux - 214 3rd St # 2D, Baton Rouge, LA 70801
    Just two blocks from the banks of the Mississippi River, Boudreaux & Thibodeaux is a hotbed for live, local music in Baton Rouge. This hopping bar and nightclub includes two spaces on two floors that offer live music, drinks, and food. On many nights, there's an acoustic happy hour band up on the balcony, followed by a bigger dance band downstairs. This is one of the best places around to see local Cajun and blues bands, and there's never a cover charge. 

  • Mid City Ballroom - 136 S Acadian Thruway, Baton Rouge, LA 70806
    There's no other venue in Baton Rouge quite like the Mid City Ballroom. Located in an old church that's been renovated and re-opened as a live music venue, the Mid City Ballroom has incredible acoustics and offers performances by local, regional, and national touring acts in a relaxed, intimate space. The ballroom also shares its space with Pop Shop Records, a great local record store where you can browse new and vintage vinyl. 

  • Teddy's Juke Joint - 16999 Old Scenic Hwy, Zachary, LA 70791
    Nestled among the fields and farmlands on the outskirts of Baton Rouge and near Zachary homes for sale, Teddy's Juke Joint is the type of place you could easily miss if you didn't know what you were looking for. Opened in 1979, the juke joint is a labor of love for owner Teddy Johnson, a musician himself, who often performs here on the weekends and DJs during the week. Teddy's Juke Joint is an amazing hole-in-the-wall where you can hear authentic Louisiana music, including a regular Tuesday night blues jam. The beer is always cold, and the kitchen turns out amazing traditional Southern soul food. 

  • Red Stick Social -1503 Government St, Baton Rouge, LA 70802
    You'll find Red Stick Social inside Baton Rouge's renovated Electric Depot building, and live music is just one reason to visit this unique space. Equal parts bar, bowling alley, event space, and music venue, Red Stick Social presents live music every Friday and Saturday night on indoor and outdoor stages. It's a great place to hang out, grab drinks with friends, bowl a few rounds, and enjoy a killer live band.

Looking for more information about life in Baton Rouge? Our real estate agents are here to help. Contact us today to learn more about finding your dream home and living life to the fullest in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 


Louisiana Gumbo: Where to Try Gumbo This Winter

Louisiana Gumbo

There's no one way to make gumbo. Cooked with a dark roux, thickened with okra or filé, packed with sausage or shrimp, flavored with the Creole "holy trinity" of celery, bell pepper, and onion, there are endless possibilities. 

Despite its many variations—or perhaps because of them—gumbo is a dish that our real estate agents will never grow tired of. It's the official state dish of Louisiana, and if you want to savor some of the finest gumbo our state has to offer, we recommend these amazing stops. 

  • Luke - 333 St Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130
    Since opening its doors in 2007, Luke has established itself as an amazing Creole-influenced Brasserie that draws inspiration from French and German cuisine as well as traditional Cajun fare. Their Seafood Gumbo à La Creole is deep and flavorful, with generous portions of andouille sausage and chicken. Luke is located in New Orleans' Central Business District, a stone's throw from these New Orleans homes for sale

  • Chef Ron's Gumbo Stop - 2309 N Causeway Blvd, Metairie, LA 70001
    Chef Ron's Gumbo Stop serves up gumbo by the pint (or by the quart, if you're feeling ambitious). Don't make the mistake of driving right past this place without stopping on your way to check out Metairie homes for sale. They make several types of gumbo, but their flagship specialty—known as "mumbo gumbo"—features filé, chicken, shrimp, crabmeat, crawfish, sausage, okra, and tomato. It's on a whole other level. 

  • Poche's - 3015 Main Hwy # A, Breaux Bridge, LA 70517
    An old-fashioned restaurant and meat market, Poche's has been serving the community of Breaux Bridge since 1962. The establishment has been family-owned since day one, and their traditional Cajun recipes have been handed down through generations. Chicken and sausage gumbo is a seasonal menu item, but when it's available, it's known far and wide as some of the best around. 

  • Landry's Cajun Seafood & Steakhouse - 2318 US-90, New Iberia, LA 70560
    Not to be confused with the similarly-named seafood chain, Landry's Cajun Seafood & Steakhouse was founded in 1969 near New Iberia homes for sale, and like so many of the great Cajun food establishments, has been locally and family-owned ever since. They have two gumbos on the menu: seafood and chicken and sausage. Either one will make your day, and if you get there between 11 am and 2 pm, you can make it a soup-and-sandwich combo with a catfish or shrimp po'boy. 

  • T-Coon's - 1900 W Pinhook Rd, Lafayette, LA 70508
    T-Coon's was established in 1993 near Lafayette homes for sale. The restaurant's founder and cook David Billeaud, draws on six generations of Cajun and Creole cooking experience. Chicken and sausage gumbo is available only during the colder months at T-Coon's, but there are always delicious Louisiana specialties on the menu, like crawfish etouffee and catfish courtbouillon. 

  • Parrain's Seafood - 3225 Perkins Rd, Baton Rouge, LA 70808
    Baton Rouge has no shortage of great seafood restaurants, but Parrain's Seafood ranks near the top. The seafood specialists here source the freshest seafood imaginable from fishermen far and wide. That effort pays off in dishes like their seafood gumbo, rich, hearty, and packed with flavor. It makes a great appetizer for the iconic "Whole Shebang" seafood platter. Perrain's also has a welcoming rustic ambiance, with a great outdoor patio perfect for visiting after viewing Baton Rouge homes for sale

Contact us today to learn more about living life to the fullest in New Orleans and the surrounding areas. Great food and unique culture are just part of what makes Louisiana a truly unique and special place to call home. 


Start Training for the Louisiana Marathon

Louisiana Marathon

Whether you're already a dedicated long-distance runner or you're brand new to the sport, here's some news you'll be excited to hear: The Louisiana Marathon will be in town next month. This upcoming event is scheduled for January 15th and 16th. And yes, there will also be a half marathon, quarter marathon, and 5k race for those who aren't big fans of the 26.2-mile distance.

Put on your running shoes and experience Baton Rouge in a whole new way! Get to know more about the Louisiana Marathon with the information below and consider signing up for this upcoming event.

  • History of the Event
    The Louisiana Marathon was founded in 2012. The goal of the marathon was to encourage physical activity and a healthier lifestyle throughout the community. Over the years, the race has also become a way to celebrate Louisiana's culture, food, music, and many other traditions. The Baton Rouge community gets very involved in the race, with spectators lining the streets to cheer on the runners. With a course route that weaves through the downtown area, and through the LSU campus, runners get to fully see and experience Louisiana's capital city.

  • Race Details
    The full marathon itself is scheduled for January 16, 2022. The gun will go off at 7:00 am, and the course will remain open until 2:00 pm, meaning runners must finish within 7 hours in order to have their official time recorded. The half marathon starts alongside the full marathon at 7:00 am, with the course remaining open until 2:00. Both the quarter marathon and the 5k take place one day earlier on January 15th. Both races start at 8:00 am with the finish line remaining open until 10:30. On January 15th, there will also be a marathon for kids beginning at 10:15.

  • Rules and Amenities
    The Louisiana Marathon does plan on having pacers for both the full and half marathons. These pacers should be visible in the start corral, and participants are asked to cede themselves between the pacers based on their projected finishing times. Strollers, rollerblades, and bikes are not allowed on the course, but runners will be allowed to wear headphones if they so desire. There will not be a virtual option for the race in 2022.

  • Registering for the Race
    Take a break from looking at Baton Rouge homes for sale, and sign up for the race! It should only take a few minutes. The easiest way to register is to visit the Louisiana Marathon website directly. The registration fee for the full marathon is $150, and the fee for the full marathon is $140. You can also enter the quarter marathon for $55 or the 5k for $35.

  • Course Details
    The full and half marathon course starts and finishes in Arsenal Park. Runners then travel through downtown to Louisiana State University. After running past the stadium, they travel around the lake. Half marathon runners then work their way back to the start, and full marathon runners run a few more miles through downtown before heading north back to Arsenal Park. The Louisiana Marathon is known for its flat, fast course. Many choose it as their Boston Qualifier for this reason! 

Baton Rouge is a beautiful city, and our real estate agents know that running the Louisiana Marathon is a great way to experience this beauty. If you decide you want to move here, contact us to learn about our real estate services.


5 Things You'll Love About Baton Rouge During the Holidays

Baton Rouge Holidays

Baton Rouge is a vibrant area with plenty to do all year long! This is especially true during the holiday season when so many traditions fill up the calendar. Opportunities abound to explore the neighborhood, feel festive, and maybe even meet new people. Here are five things you'll love about Baton Rouge during the holidays.

  1. Meet Santa - Santa Rocks the Rowe - 10000 Perkins Rowe, Baton Rouge LA 70810
    Santa Rocks the Rowe has taken this holiday tradition and turned it into an event with something for everyone. On Saturday, December 11th, starting at 5 pm, Santa will be at Perkins Rowe shopping mall for photo opportunities. Plus, there will also be live music, face painting, letters to Santa, games, and more. It's a fun, fantastic, free event that the whole family can enjoy near Baton Rouge homes for sale.

  2. Catch a Christmas Parade - 2021 Cortana Kiwanis Christmas Parade - Downtown Baton Rouge
    The Cortana Kiwanis Christmas Parade is an annual Baton Rouge tradition. Sadly, it had to be put on hold last year, but this year it's back, in all of its holiday glory! The event starts on December 11th with a Battle of the Bands at 4 pm, featuring local marching bands displaying their talents. Then comes the parade itself, where beautifully designed floats represent some of the local businesses and organizations in the area. The parade will be broadcast on TV throughout the season, but it's much better live - and a great way to get into the holiday spirit.

  3. Perfect Your Holiday Baking - Leisure Classes at Louisiana Culinary Institute - 10550 Airline Highway, Baton Rouge, LA 70816
    One of the best parts of the holiday season is all the fantastic food! Book a leisure class at Louisiana Culinary Institute and take your holiday menu to the next level. Current class offerings include Warm Winter Breads, Cider-Braised Chicken Dinner + Dessert, and Holiday Buche de Noel. Find a class that works for your schedule or gift a cooking class for friends and family to partake in the fun.  

  4. Festive Local Shows - The Nutcracker - A Tale from the Bayou - 275 South River Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70802
    Baton Rouge offers many chances to enjoy a live theater performance. Add some holiday fun to your calendar when you check out this performance from the Baton Rouge Ballet! This Christmas tradition from the Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre brings Louisiana style and flavor to the beloved holiday classic. The Nutcracker - A Tale from the Bayouperforms on December 18th and 19th at the River Center Ballroom. This dynamic, multimedia performance is a must-see for any ballet lover.

  5. Shop Local - Holiday Mini Market - 1509 Government St, Baton RougeLA 70802
    We love to shop local whenever possible and the Baton Rouge area is home to many talented makers and crafters. Each Saturday leading up to Christmas the Holiday Mini Market will be offering one-of-a-kind finds made right here in Louisiana. Be sure to stop by, support local businesses, and score memorable gifts for everyone on your list. 

This is just a taste of what Baton Rouge has to offer during the holidays. Our real estate agents can help you get familiar with the area and show you where some of the other fun events are this season. Contact us if you're ready to make Baton Rouge your new home, and let us help you find your dream house in time for the holidays.


Baton Rouge Bakeries for Holiday Treats

Bakeries in Baton Rouge

Serving baked treats over the holidays is a festive, welcoming touch, but it's hard to find the time to create all the goodies you'd like to offer. And you won't be able to create the variety of flavors and designs you can get at a local Baton Rouge bakery.
Our real estate agents suggest visiting the following bakeries for some sweet holiday treats:

  • The Ambrosia Bakery - 8546 Siegen Lane, Baton Rouge, LA 70810
    Whether you're looking for an impressively delicious cake to serve to your holiday guests or want some small treats to set out on a platter, The Ambrosia Bakery has it covered. A Fall Cupcake Wreath makes a beautiful Thanksgiving display, with dozens of cupcakes arranged in the shape of a wreath and finished with fall decorations. Or try a selection of petit fours decorated with a whimsical scarecrow, pumpkin, and fall leaf designs in icing. If the cupcake wreath is a hit on your Thanksgiving table, you'll also want a Christmas wreath version with vibrant green icing on the cupcakes and a red ribbon made of icing. 

  • Cupcake Junkie - 12240 Coursey Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70816  
    As you might expect, Cupcake Junkie sells many of these treats - both full-sized and mini versions - in a wide variety of flavors. But your choices certainly aren't limited to these sweets, since the bakery also offers cake slices, whole cakes in several different sizes, brownies, lemon bars, and cookies in flavors including chocolate chip and caramel pecan. Cupcakes come in vanilla, chocolate, and salted caramel, and cakes come in an almost endless list of flavors like brown sugar cinnamon, almond, red velvet, and more. You can also choose from different icing and filling options. 

  • SmallCakes Cupcakery - 18135 E. Petroleum Dr. Suite D, Baton Rouge, LA 70809  
    At SmallCakes Cupcakery, it's all about the cupcakes and ice cream. Their cupcakes have been featured on the daytime talk show "The View" as well as the Food Network's "Cupcake Wars." Each morning 18 creative signature flavors of cupcakes are baked and frosted from scratch using quality ingredients, with seasonal flavors like pumpkin and maple bacon included. If you'd also like to offer your holiday guests - or even yourself - an extra treat, order some ice cream. They're based on the cupcake flavors, and 15 flavors of small-batch ice cream are made each day.

  • CounterspaceBR - 3753 Perkins Rd., Suite D, Baton Rouge, LA 70808  
    CounterspaceBR bakes treats like cakes, pies, breads, whoopie pies, and cookies from scratch at its location in the heart of Baton Rouge. Order the take-and-bake cinnamon rolls for breakfast or lunch and give your guests or your family a weekend treat. Or offer a variety with an assorted box of salted chocolate chip cookies, cinnamon roll blondies, lemon oat bars, black-and-white cookies, and chewy gingerbread cookies. After Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, set out a Mississippi Mud Pie or Aunt Elnora's Pecan Pie.

  • Brew Ha-Ha - 711 Jefferson Hwy. Suite 2-A, Baton Rouge, LA 70806  
    Opened as a coffee shop in 2004, Brew Ha-Ha added cake balls to its menu in 2006. It then expanded to a full bakery serving cake balls in various sizes and a long list of flavors including caramel apple, banana pudding, carrot, and chocolate mint. This allows you to mix and match and serve your holiday guests a wide variety of flavors. The bakery also offers a cake ball cake, puff pops, and Oreos.

Local businesses are one of the many features that make life in Baton Rouge extra sweet, especially during the holiday season! Contact us to see Baton Rouge homes for sale or to sell your home in the area, and we'll put our skills, expertise, and market insights to work for you! 


Aquariums to Visit Around Louisiana

Aquariums in Louisiana

Louisiana is a pretty wild place. From the Gulf Coast to the Bayou Country, it's a state filled with all kinds of unique plants and animals. Many of the most fascinating live below the water's surface, and you don't have to go deep into the wilderness to see them. 

Louisiana is home to numerous world-class aquariums and marine life exhibits where you can see sea creatures from all over the world, and from right here in Louisiana. Our real estate agents are excited to share some of their favorites.

  • Audubon Aquarium of the Americas - 1 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70130
    Regularly ranked among the best aquariums in the United States, the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is offers a truly remarkable array of marine life. Located alongside the Mississippi River adjacent to the French Quarter and convenient to many New Orleans homes for sale, the aquarium is home to more than 250 species of animals ranging from sharks and stingrays to otters and sea turtles. The African penguins are the undisputed stars of the show, and you can observe the penguin feeding at 10:30 am and 3:00 pm daily.

  • Barn Hill Preserve - 11342 LA-955, Ethel, LA 70730
    The Barn Hill Preserve isn't exactly an aquarium, but one of its animal attractions is so unique that we just couldn't leave it off our list. After all, there aren't many places where you can swim with otters! The preserve houses a group of Asian small-clawed otters who reside in a climate-controlled pool, and visitors have an opportunity to swim with them daily from 2 pm to 5 pm (reservation required). Barn Hill Preserve is located just minutes from these Ethel homes for sale

  • Natchitoches National Fish Hatchery - 615 South Dr, Natchitoches, LA 71457
    While many aquariums display sea creatures that are unique and exotic, the Natchitoches National Fish Hatchery focuses on aquatic life that's a lot closer to home. The hatchery raises native fish species like alligator gar to help reestablish wild populations, as well as more common fish like largemouth bass and blue catfish for sport fishing. Located just a few miles from many Natchitoches homes for sale, the hatchery also includes a large aquarium exhibit where you can observe some of Louisiana's most fascinating native fish, reptiles, and amphibians. 

  • Blue Zoo Aquarium - 6401 Bluebonnet Blvd Suite 1123, Baton Rouge, LA 70836
    The main thing that makes Blue Zoo Aquarium stand out is that it offers more than a chance to merely see some interesting sea creatures. The zoo creates an immersive, interactive experience in which you can touch and feed stingrays, birds, and other animals. It's a thrilling experience for kids and adults alike, which makes Blue Zoo the best aquarium near these Baton Rouge homes for sale. The zoo includes dozens of interactive attractions and exhibits, and annual and daily passes are available. 

  • Alexandria Zoological Park - 3016 Masonic Dr, Alexandria, LA 71301
    Originally founded in 1923, the Alexandria Zoological park has been one of Louisiana's top animal attractions for nearly a century. Located a stone's throw from these Alexandria homes for sale, the zoo is home to over 500 animals, including birds, reptiles, mammals, and, of course, fish. Keep an eye out for clownfish—you might recognize them from 'Finding Nemo'—and alligator gar, perhaps Louisiana's most impressive native freshwater fish species. The zoo also includes five species of alligators and crocodiles. 

Contact us today to learn more about life in Louisiana. From amazing animal attractions to the wild landscape all around us, it's a truly one-of-a-kind place to call home. 


About the Louisiana Brewery Trail

Louisiana Brewery

Louisiana is famous for its Creole cuisine, beignets, and toe-tapping jazz music. What you might not know is it also has one of the most vibrant craft brewery scenes anywhere in the United States. Our real estate agents will be happy to tell you all about it when you're checking out Baton Rouge homes for sale.

Breweries, wineries, and distilleries of all kinds were already developing before the official Louisiana Brewery Trail got started. Since its inception back in 2013, the Louisiana Brewery Trail has grown to become the best in the whole region, showcasing over 30 breweries across the state. New Orleans and the North Shore area of Lake Pontchartrain have the most, but they are also distributed over many towns and cities.

Let's visit some now:

  • Tin Roof Brewing Company – 1624 Wyoming Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70802
    The brainchild of owner Charles Caldwell, Tin Roof Brewing Company was designed to bring craft brewing lessons of the American West home to the South. Joined by award-winning brewmaster Tom Daigrepont, Tin Roof now offers three year-round beers and a slew of rotating seasonal specials.

  • Port Orleans Brewing Company – 4124 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70115
    Port Orleans Brewing Company started with a bang in 2017 near New Orleans homes for sale. Within months of opening its doors for the first time, it was running on a 30-barrel system with more than 100 taps. As you enjoy its eight flagship and many seasonal brews, you can snag a taco from Avo Taco, found right in-house.

  • Red River Brewing Company – 1010 Marshall Street, Shreveport, LA 71101
    Red River Brewing Company is Shreveport's first hometown brewery in more than a century. Three friends started this nanobrewery together and then went commercial in 2013. Brewmaster Robert McGuire is a science teacher by trade and applies his knowledge to this new craft.

  • Broken Wheel Brewery – 109 Tunica Drive E., Marksville, LA 71351
    Broken Wheel Brewery is one of the most popular stops on the Louisiana Brewery Trail and has had a noteworthy jump in business. You'll find it on the grounds of the Fresh Catch Bistreaux, allowing you to pair its lagers, stouts, and more with classic Creole cuisine all within a short drive of Marksville homes for sale.

  • Abita Brewing Company, LLC – 21084 Highway 36, Covington, LA 70433
    Near Covington homes for sale, you'll find Abita Brewing Company, LLC. Unique among area breweries, it uses water from nearby springs. It's had plenty of time to perfect its flavor profile, getting started well before the craft brewing craze, in 1986.

  • Gnarly Barley Brewing Company – 1709 Corbin Road, Hammond, LA 70403
    Gnarly Barley Brewing Company started with one of owner Zac Caramonta's other passions, skateboarding. Now Zac and wife Cari have brought two visions to life, with one of the area's leading craft breweries sitting not far from one of its top skate parks, benefiting both communities. Plus it's close to Hammond homes for sale.

  • Flying Tiger Brewery – 506 North Second Street, Monroe, LA 71201
    Flying Tiger Brewery has a winning combination of flavorful, personality-packed brews alongside some fascinating World War II history. James Earl Simpson and Robert Brewer have created a curated menu of brews in a taproom using a WWII-era fighter plane motif and honoring local hero Gen. Claire Chennault. 

No matter what your tastes are like, there's something on the Louisiana Brewery Trail for everyone. And Baton Rouge is one of the best home bases to explore it all. Contact us to find out more or get started with Baton Rouge real estate.


Your Guide to Louisiana Distilleries

Louisiana Distilleries

Craft beer may be a relatively new trend, but Louisiana has a long and distinguished tradition of distilling fine liquors perfect for craft cocktails or just sipping. When you're looking for some high-quality rum, whiskey, or vodka, check out these top distilleries that are recommended by our real estate agents.

  • Atelier Vie - 1001 S. Broad St., New Orleans, LA 70125
    According to Jedd Hass, founder of Atelier Vie, "Liquor is art you can drink." It's only appropriate that his distillery has made a name producing absinthe, the exotic, anise-flavored spirit favored by creative types such as Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, and Edgar Allen Poe. In addition to traditional green absinthe, Atelier Vie produces red absinthe that gets its distinctive color and flavor from hibiscus flowers. Atelier Vie's tasting room, not far from New Orleans homes for sale, is open weekends from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. reservations are required.

  • Baton Rouge Distilling - 11616 Industriplex Blvd., Suite 21, Baton Rouge, LA 70809
    A trip to the Bourbon Trail in Kentucky inspired LSU grads Ricci Hull and wife Natacha Krzesaj to open Baton Rouge Distilling, only minutes from Baton Rouge homes for sale. Ricci, an electrical engineer by trade, handles the distilling process, while Natacha takes care of the creative side. A 52-gallon pot serves as the testing ground for experimentation, including their debut spirit, Strawberry Brandy. Visit the website or Facebook page for tasting room hours.

  • Bayou Terrebonne Distillers - 8043 Main St., Houma, LA 70360
    It's all in the family at Bayou Terrebonne Distillers, located in a renovated shrimp processing plant near Houma homes for sale. Cousins Noah Lirette, Nick Hebert, and Rodney Lirette opened their distillery in 2017. A century earlier, their grandmother Lily Lirette supported her family by making and selling moonshine. Today, Bayou Terrbonne's small-batch white whiskey is named Contraband in honor of Lily. Bayou Terrebonne is open 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. - 10 p.m. Saturday, and noon - 5 p.m. Sunday. Place an order on the website for pickup by appointment during the week.

  • Sugarfield Spirits Co. - 481 W. Eastbank St., Gonzalez, LA 70737
    Owner Thomas Soltau may be a native of South Carolina, but the liquor produced at Sugarfield Spirits Co. reflects his deep affection for the flavors and traditions of Louisiana. Many of the liquors are distilled with herbs that are grown right outside the building. Stop in for a Daiquiri or Honey Badger after a day of viewing Gonzalez homes for sale. Hours are 3 p.m. - 9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and noon - 9 p.m. weekends.

  • Wildcat Brothers Distilling - 2601 SE Evangeline Thruway, Lafayette, LA 70508
    Wildcat Brothers Distilling maybe just down the street from Lafayette homes for sale, but its reputation extends across international borders. Fans from as far away as France have come to enjoy the award-winning rums, including white Sweet Crude, barrel-aged Noire, and spiced Fifolet. Wildcat Brothers is open Wednesday through Friday from 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.

  • Yellowfin Distillery - 1716 E. Burton St., Sulphur, LA 70663
    A discovered passion for distilling led Jamison Trouth to sell his home and leave his engineering career to start Yellowfin Distillery. Jamison filters, distills, and packages his exquisite vodkas in Yellowfin's HQ, right by Sulphur homes for sale. Hours are 11:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Friday.

Life in Louisiana keeps everyone in high spirits. Whether you're buying or selling a home, contact us at Latter & Blum for all your real estate needs.


Plan Ahead for the Greater Baton Rouge State Fair

Baton Rouge Fair

If you're new to the Baton Rouge area, our real estate agents can help you find all the best things to see and do in the area. For instance, the Greater Baton Rouge State Fair is a tremendously fun event for both individuals and families, and locals look forward to it.

Last year, the fair was, unfortunately, canceled due to COVID. This year, however, it's back, running Thursday, October 28th through Sunday, November 7th. Anytime you go will be fun, but certain shows and attractions only run on certain days. Here's some of what you can expect, so you can plan your trip to the fair.


The first thing to know is how much a trip to the fair will cost you. Due to the nature of many of the rides at the fair, admission is based on height. Anyone under 48 inches gets in free. For fairgoers 48 inches and above, it's $5 Monday through Thursday, or $10 Friday through Sunday. Parking is free.

Once inside, however, in order to go on the rides, you'll need ride coupons, which are sold separately from admission tickets. Ride coupons are $1 each, but some rides may require multiple coupons to get on. Or, you can purchase a wristband for $25, which allows you unlimited rides on any attraction at the fair. Being that the fair has over 40 rides for all different age groups if thrills are your thing, this is probably the best option.

All stage shows, concerts, and other non-ride attractions at the fair are included in the price of admission.


Many of the shows and attractions will be at the fair every day. Magician Tim Spinosa performs hand magic with a variety of everyday items, though his skills at illusion and charisma in front of an audience ensure that no two shows are alike. Meanwhile, Washboard Willy performs unique rhythm and music, with the help of his audience. There's also a petting zoo, piglet racing, and more.

There are also a few concerts you'll have to plan ahead for. Bands like Careless Whisper, Old Sole Band, Justin McCain Project and Groupon Sensacion will be playing on the first weekend. Blue Crab Redemption, Rusty Yates Band, and others will be performing on different days throughout the week. 


One of the biggest draws at any fair is the food! The GBRSF has a variety of food stands and food trucks to choose from. Corky Westmoreland has rolled ice cream and slushies in two locations around the fair, while Jeremy Westmoreland has funnel cakes, nachos, corn dogs, and more, in three locations. And Roger Westmoreland has all the decadent fair food you've come to love and expect, from deep-fried Snickers, Twinkies, and pecan pie to turkey legs, pork chops on a stick, and more.

If you want to check out the food trucks, Smokin' Like Ya Like It has barbecue sandwiches, wraps, tamales, and their brand new Smokin' Spaghetti. Allo Girls Catering has golden chicken, hurricane fries, and banana pudding. And Jambalaya by Shake has gumbo, boudin balls, etouffee, and more!

And that's just a taste of the different food items the fair has to offer this year.

Want to live right near all the fair festivities? There are plenty of Baton Rouge homes for sale right near the fair. Contact us to help you get settled into the perfect home for you.


Ghost Pepper Hunting: Louisiana-Made Hot Sauces

Louisiana Hot Sauce

Louisiana is known for many things—Creole culture, Jazz music, Mardi Gras—but hot sauce definitely belongs on the list. All across America, Louisiana hot sauce is pretty much the gold standard when it comes to zesty, spicy, smoky goodness. 

Ask a bunch of folks from Louisiana what the best local hot sauce is, and you'll get a bunch of different answers. Our real estate agents are here to weigh in on the matter and suggest you go on a ghost pepper hunt this October. These are some of our favorite hot sauces that could only come from Louisiana! 

  • Crystal Hot Sauce
    Made in New Orleans since 1923, Crystal Hot Sauce (or, more properly, "Louisiana's Pure Crystal Hot Sauce") has been Louisiana's premier hot sauce for close to a century. With a flavor profile that puts the hot peppers front and center, Crystal Hot Sauce packs a punch but is never overwhelming. It's great for splashing on eggs or adding some kick to a bloody Mary. Crystal also makes several variations on their classic recipe, including an "Extra Hot" version for those who demand a little more heat. 

  • D.a.T. Sauce
    A family-owned hot sauce company based in Morgan City, Louisiana, D.a.T. Sauce is a twist on classic hot sauce, made from a secret family recipe. It's the kind of sauce you can put on just about anything. And while D.a.T. Sauce certainly has some heat to it, it's not blow-the-doors-off hot. It's more about flavor, with a balance of garlic, onion, and tomato along with a generous dose of red pepper. 

  • Slap Ya Mama Cajun Pepper Sauce
    Famous for its cheeky name, Slap Ya Mama Cajun Pepper Sauce is an all-around solid hot sauce that offers a balance of peppery punch and salty, savory goodness. A few drops of it adds a little heat to a slice of pizza or a plate of eggs and home fries. Slap Ya Mama also makes a killer Cajun seasoning blend, as well as some tasty Jalapeno hot pepper sauce. 

  • Tabasco Pepper Sauce
    The Tabasco Brand is arguably the most famous Louisiana hot sauce, the one that's spread far beyond state lines to become ubiquitous pretty much everywhere. There's a good reason for that. Tabasco sauce is perfect in its simplicity, with just the right level of heat. They make about a dozen varieties at this point, but the Original Tabasco Red Pepper Sauce is still king. It's also still made right here in Louisiana using red pepper, vinegar, salt... and that's it. 

  • Cajun Power Spicy Garlic Sauce
    Cajun Power's original Garlic Sauce doesn't have much spice at all (but it's great on barbecued shrimp). But thanks to popular demand, the folks at Cajun Power introduced a version with more kick. Their Spicy Garlic Sauce adds some satisfying red pepper heat to the traditional garlic-centric flavor profile, and the result is a spicy sauce that's great for marinating, grilling, or dipping. It's also perfect for chicken wings with a punchy Cajun twist. 

Contact us today to learn more about all the things that make Louisiana unique. It's a special place to call home, and our team is here to help you find the perfect Lafayette homes for sale


When to Replace These Household Items

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. 

To keep a clean, safe, and healthy home, we recommend replacing these household items at regular intervals throughout the year:

  • Hand Towels - If you leave wet hand towels in your bathroom for an extended period of time, you're really creating a space for germs to thrive. Hand towels should be swapped out and washed every 2 to 3 days at a minimum. However, if they see a lot of use, it's not a bad idea to replace them daily. 
  • Bath Mats - Similar to hand towels, bath mats collect a lot of moisture over time. To keep them germ-free, you'll want to wash them regularly and replace them every 18 to 24 months. Plus, who doesn't love shopping for a new bath mat?
  • Toothbrush - Brushing your teeth is a part of your daily routine, but it's easy to forget to swap out your toothbrush. However, your toothbrush actually becomes less effective as the bristles start to wear, so you should replace it every 3 months. 
  • Refrigerator Water Filters - Your water filter in your refrigerator is responsible for clean drinking water and clean ice, but it also collects a significant amount of bacteria. Change it every 6 to 8 months. 
  • Toilet Brush - You might think your toilet cleaner is keeping your toilet brush clean, but the truth is toilet brushes accumulate a significant amount of bacteria after each clean. The longevity of your brush will ultimately depend on how often you clean your toilet, but you should probably swap it out every year at a minimum.
  • Kitchen Sponges - Dirty kitchen sponges should be replaced on a weekly basis. When reused repeatedly over an extended period of time, they can leave germs and bacteria on your dishes and countertops, which can then make their way into your food.
  • Air Conditioning Filters - Your air conditioning filter prevents dirt, particles, and allergens from circulating throughout your home. It also protects your air conditioning unit from ingesting these harmful particles as well, which can ultimately shorten its lifespan. As a result, your best bet is to replace it every 4 months. 
  • Pillow Cases - Pillowcases do not last forever, and over time they can accumulate dust mites. Unless you're using special allergen covers, you should wash your pillowcases weekly and replace them annually. 
  • Vacuum Cleaner Filters - When your vacuum filter starts to overflow, you'll want to take care of it right away to prevent the particles it sucks up from reemerging into the air. As a result, be sure to change it out every three to six months.

No household item lasts forever, but the ones listed above need to be replaced relatively frequently to keep your home clean and healthy. For more tips on home maintenance, or to start searching Baton Rouge homes for sale, contact us today.


Fall Season Decorating Tips

Decorating Tips

The cooler fall weather means we can turn the air conditioner off in the mornings, fling the windows open, and enjoy some fresh air. What's more, the change of seasons gives homeowners permission to launch some stunning decor changes inside and outside the home.

If you're listing your home among Baton Rouge homes for sale, you might want to look into some decorating ideas to help potential buyers see your home at its best. Welcome the fall season with these decorating tips. 

  1. Welcome Fall at the Front Door
    Start your fall decorating at the front door by putting out a falling leaves-themed welcome mat and some container plants with bright fall chrysanthemums in yellow, rusty red, and orange. Don't forget the wreath of dried leaves, pumpkins, pine cones, small apples, and pomegranates. 

  2. Boost Your Curb Appeal with Fall Flowers
    Once the weather cools down in October, Baton Rouge front yards come alive with cheerful pansies and violas in a rainbow of colors. Mix yellows, oranges, whites, violets, and maroons, or plant a swath with purple bordered by yellow. Plant them in flower beds or containers.

  3. Change Your Entryway Rug
    Out with the bold summer colors, and in with the striking hues of autumn for your entryway rug. Choose an accent rug with blocks of colors: rust, gray, orange, and brown. 

  4. Bring out the Autumn Scents 
    You want to avoid strong scents while showing your home, but subtle essential oils or candles are fine. Citrus, cucumber, thyme, and rosemary are good. Pine and cinnamon are two fall scents that potential homebuyers generally respond favorably to.

  5. Set out Your Copperware
    Fall's a good time for showing off your copperware in your kitchen. Hang pots and pans from a heavy-gauge copper-finished chandelier rack. Copper vases are also a nice touch. Make sure to polish, so it shines!

  6. Clear out Clutter
    If you're listing your house and getting it ready to show, take a good look in every room and minimize all those personal items, like photos and anything that might be construed as clutter, such as a rack full of magazines, stacks of books, or clusters of pillows. Minimalist is the way to go. It is, however, just fine to put out a couple of fall accents, such as a simple fall arrangement on a coffee table or entry table. Go easy on the pumpkins -- but a couple of unique choices would not be amiss: experiment with navy blue or white wooden pumpkins and some dried foliage.

  7. Spruce up the Patio or Deck
    Potential buyers viewing your home will, of course, want to see the patio or backyard entertainment area. Drape a fall blanket on a chair or chaise longue for a cool evening. Got an extra mum or two? Set them on outdoor tables. The backyard entertainment area is also a nice setting for decorative fall gourds and, yes, even a pumpkin or two. 

Even if you're not selling your home, these tips will help you greet the fall season in style. If you are listing your Baton Rouge house for sale, our real estate agents can help. Contact us today. 


5 Ways to Add More Natural Light

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.

  1. Use Lighter Wall and Ceiling Paints
    Color can either absorb or reflect light. Lighter colors bounce light around the room, while dark shades absorb light and make a room dreary than it really is. Banish dark block colors and statement wallpaper in favor of a soft shade of white paint. If you really don't like the brightest white, look into off-white shades or other lighter color tones. Choose a paint with a glossier finish to enhance the reflective properties of the surface color. Also, consider painting the ceiling a few shades lighter than the walls to make the room feel brighter, larger, and airier. A matte finish is preferred for ceilings because it reduces glare.

  2. Add Reflective Surfaces and Accents
    Mirrors and other shiny surfaces can help reflect and amplify the amount of light in your space. So, consider hanging decorative mirror walls, metallic light fixtures, and faucets, furniture with glass, metallic, or chrome finishes. In the bathroom and kitchen, you can incorporate ceramic or glass tiles into your backsplash. And when it comes to décor elements, go for light-colored furniture pieces, linens, accents, and window treatments to help bounce natural light around your space.

  3. Do Some Exterior Work
    While you're outside, give your glass doors and windows a thorough clean to ensure light can filter through the glass and into your home. Also, take a look around your home's exterior to see if there are any obstructions that may be blocking the sun. Trim any overgrown trees, hanging vines, and shrubs that are growing around your windows and doors. 

  4. Install Larger Windows or Doors
    If there's an opportunity to install new windows, especially those facing east, west, or south, this should be considered. Advances in window manufacturing allow for more exposed glass and minimal framework. Choose bow, bay, or picture windows for the greatest impact. Also, replacing a solid exterior door with a garden or patio door can help transform your space into a "sunroom." Bi-folding doors are also a good choice because they can transform an entire wall into glass for ultimate light levels and breathtaking views.

  5. Add Skylights to Bring in Top Light
    Skylights are a unique and effective way of pulling in natural light. They come in a variety of sizes and configurations and can be installed easily and quickly. They often work great in windowless rooms and high-traffic areas like family rooms and bathrooms. Skylights bring in "top light," which is three times brighter than the light that penetrates windows. But if your roof cannot accommodate a skylight, consider installing a solar tube or sun pipe. These ingenious, twisty pipes travel from the roof to the ceiling and bring natural light with them.

Looking for Baton Rouge homes for sale with inviting natural light? Planning to get your home ready to sell shortly? Whatever your real estate needs are, our experts at Latter & Blum are here to help you navigate the housing market and make things easier for you. Contact us today!


Clever Ways to Hide a Litter Box

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

  • Cat Door in a Cabinet
    You could turn a lower cabinet, perhaps in the laundry room, into a litter box haven. Put a cat door on one side of the cabinet. This way, your kitty can have easy access. Plus the door closes behind them, keeping odors and litter inside.

  • Wicker Basket Litter Box
    Look for a large, wicker basket. You want the type with a fold-back lid. Ideally, it should be at least two feet wide and three feet long, so there's lots of room for a litter box inside. Cut a hole in one side of the wicker, and line up a small cat door into the hole. Your cat can access the litter box via this hole, and you can swing the top of the basket open to clean the litter box.

  • Under-Sink Litter Box With a Curtain
    One of the simplest ways to hide a litter box is to place it under your sink. Remove the cupboard doors, and instead, mount a curtain to the underside of the cabinet. The curtain will keep the litter box out of view, but your cat will be able to push past it easily, to access their litter.

  • Skirted End Table Litter Box
    If you can manage to find a small, square end table, push it up against a wall, and then drape a curtain over it. You could even use a shower curtain for this purpose. Then, add something heavy to the top of the table to hold the curtain in place. A potted plant or decorative figurine works really well here. Place the litter box under the end table. Your cat can easily access it through the curtains, but it will remain out of sight.

  • Entryway Bench Litter Box
    Covered benches are really popular in entryways. If you put a hole in one end of a covered bench and put the litter box inside, you'll have a very covert litter box setup. People can still sit on the bench as they put their shoes on and such. This solution works well in smaller homes where you really need to use space efficiently.

  • Litter Box Cube
    If you or someone you know is handy and can make a basic wooden box, then this idea works well. The box will need a lid that you can lift, along with a hole in one side. You can lift the lid to clean the litter box, and your cat can access it via the hole in the side. Since this is a custom-made cube, you can paint or stain it any color you want to match your decor.

Cats are lovely pets, but their litter boxes aren't fun to deal with. When you don't want your litter box displayed out in the open, then one of these clever hiding techniques is sure to come in handy. Contact us if you and your kitty are still looking for a house to call home. Our real estate agents are ready to help guide your search.


New Restaurants to Check out in Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge Food

Everyone has a few tried and true favorites — restaurants you visit again and again because you love them so much. But sometimes, instead of visiting a restaurant you know, it's fun to try something new. Although 2021 has been challenging for the restaurant industry, there are some enticing new places to eat in Baton Rouge. Stop by one of these new restaurants while you're looking at Baton Rouge homes for sale.

  • Rio Tacos & Tequila: 333 Third St., Baton Rouge, LA 70801
    Rio Tacos & Tequila is a new Mexican restaurant in the downtown area. They're open daily for lunch and dinner, offering dishes and drinks made from fresh, quality ingredients.

    Start your meal at Rio with an appetizer to share. The queso, made with hatch chiles, is a top option. Guests also love the pork empanadas. When the time comes to order entrees, you can't go wrong with the fajitas or the sizzling chicken. And don't forget to pair your meal with a cocktail, like the Rio house margarita or a strawberry Mexican mule.

  • Rêve Coffee Lab: 8211 Village Plaza Ct. Bldg. 4 Ste 1A, Baton Rouge, LA 70810
    If you're looking for a quick place to stop for some coffee and a pastry or a quick lunch, then Rêve Coffee Lab is a perfect choice. This new cafe has a modern atmosphere with large, sunny windows and green plants.

    In addition to a selection of espresso beverages and cold brew, which guests love, Rêve offers a selection of sandwiches and small plates for lunch. The Drunken Goat Cheese Dip is a favorite, as is the New School Caesar Salad. 

  • Leola's Cafe and Coffee House: 1857 Government St., Baton Rouge, LA 70802
    Leola's Cafe and Coffee House
    is a new restaurant serving weekday lunch and weekend brunch. If you stop by on a weekday, you'll be greeted with a lovely menu of salads and handhelds. The Adultish Grilled Cheese, made with cheddar and brie, is a fan favorite.

    If you visit Leola's for weekend brunch, you'll be greeted with more breakfast options. Try the bagel and lox or the Crustless Vegetarian Quiche. If you're in the mood for something more savory, the Turkey and Brie sandwich is a great choice.

  • Maker's Greek & Mediterranean Cuisine: 216 Lee Dr. Suite D, Baton Rouge, LA 70808
    If you're in the mood for something different, then Maker's Greek & Mediterranean Cuisine is a great new restaurant to try. They blend modern ideas with traditional Middle Eastern and Lebanese cuisine to create unique and satisfying dishes.

    One favorite at Maker's is the Seared Halloumi, which is flambéed cheese with garlic sauce and tomatoes. Guests also love the beef shawarma salad and the beef kabobs. Make sure you don't leave without enjoying some baklava. 

  • Kolache Kitchen: 15168 Airline Hwy., Baton Rouge, LA 70817
    Kolache Kitchen has been a Baton Rouge mainstay for a few years, but they recently opened this new location. Kolaches are a stuffed, doughy snack traditional in Central Europe, and Kolache Kitchen serves them in many varieties.

    Favorites here include the classic sausage and cheese kolache, the ham and cheese kolache, and the mushroom, red pepper, and provolone kolache. Don't forget to finish your meal off with a cinnamon roll and maybe a frozen Vietnamese coffee.

There are always fun and delicious new restaurants opening in Baton Rouge. It's one of the reasons our real estate agents love the area so much. Contact us if you're moving to Baton Rouge and need a real estate agent to guide your home search.


Popcorn Ceiling Removal Tips

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. 

  1. Confirm That Your Ceilings are Asbestos-Free
    Before you get started, test your ceiling to confirm that it is free of asbestos. Some ceilings in older homes may pose an asbestos risk. You can test the ceilings yourself with a kit from your local hardware store, or you can hire a professional to conduct the testing. Should you decide to do the testing yourself, wear protective gear, including gloves, eye protection, and a dust mask. If your ceiling tests positive for asbestos, you'll need to hire a professional to handle the removal. 
  1. Assemble Your Tools Before You Start
    Once you've ruled out potential hazards, you should gather the tools that you'll need to remove the popcorn ceiling before you begin the project. This includes drop cloths to protect the surfaces and floors in the room, a sprayer, a putty knife, painter's tape, protection, and a ladder. 
  1. Get the Room Ready
    Once you start removing the popcorn ceiling, the ceiling will get all over the room. Protect the walls and floors by taping up plastic sheeting or drop cloths. Remove any ceiling fans and light fixtures in the room; use painter's tape to cover and protect the electrical boxes. If possible, remove the furniture from the room. Removing a popcorn ceiling is an insanely messy job, and you don't want to worry about your furniture getting dirty. It's also easier to move your ladder and supplies if you don't have to work around furniture. 
  1. Wet the Ceiling Before You Start Scraping
    It's often easier to remove popcorn texture when it's wet. Use your garden sprayer to wet a small section of the ceiling. Wait 15 minutes and then scrape the popcorn texture away using your putty knife. Don't wet too large of a section, or the water will dry before you get a chance to scrape the ceiling. 
  1. Watch How You Maneuver the Putty Knife
    When you're scraping with the putty knife, make sure that you don't damage the ceiling. If your putty knife has sharp or jagged edges, file them so that they're smooth and not as sharp. 
  1. Have a Plan in Place for Your Ceiling
    Once the popcorn texture is removed, you'll need to paint it. Fill any damaged portions of the ceiling with joint compound. Then, sand the ceiling so it's smooth. Apply primer to your ceilings according to the instructions. Once the ceiling is properly primed, you can paint it your desired color. 

Ready to sell your home? Contact us today to start learning more about Baton Rouge homes for sale!


Local Events to Check out in Baton Rouge

Local Events Baton Rouge

Late summer and early fall are busy times for special events around Baton Rouge, with a variety of fun, local activities geared toward every taste. Whether you're interested in cooking, art, music, or fun activities that the kids will love, you will always have something fun to look forward to when you live in Baton Rouge. Our real estate agents have the exciting details on 5 upcoming Baton Rouge events that you won't want to miss.

Local Events to Check Out in Baton Rouge

  • Summertime Peaches Leisure Class – Aug. 12, 2021 – 10550 Airline Hwy., Baton Rouge, LA 70816
    Enjoy a fun, unique cooking class close to Baton Rouge homes for sale when you attend the Summertime Peaches Leisure Class at the Louisiana Culinary Institute. This class celebrates the peach season by teaching you how to create some truly tasty dishes with peaches as the main ingredient. Settle in for an evening of teaching and delicious dining with chef Jeanne Mancuso, then bring home some recipes that you can use to celebrate peach season every summer.

  • Louisiana's Lionhearted Ladies: Championing the Right to Vote – Every Weekday through Dec. 17, 2021 – 100 North Blvd. at River Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70801
    The fascinating Louisiana's Lionhearted Ladies: Championing the Right to Vote will be on display at Louisiana's Old State Capitol for the rest of the year, to mark the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment being passed. The exhibit delves deep into the experience of the many brave women in Louisiana who helped advance the cause of suffrage, dating back many years before the 19th Amendment was passed. Learn more about that history through fascinating stories, unique historic artifacts, and a variety of special programs at the museum.

  • The Boneyard: Ceramics Teaching Collection – Every Weekday through Oct. 15, 2021 – 100 Lafayette St., Fifth Floor Shaw Center for the Arts, Baton Rouge, LA 70801
    The LSU ceramics teaching program consistently ranks as one of the best in the country. The Boneyard: Ceramics Teaching Collection is a rotation exhibition that takes you behind the scenes of the creative process of visiting artists, ceramics instructors, and talented student artists. The Boneyard refers to the many collected works of bisque pottery used for teaching at the Shaw Center for the Arts, and this special exhibit features more than 200 bisque works for visitors to enjoy.

  • Shark Feeding at Blue Zoo – Every Wednesday (4:00 PM) & Saturday (2:00 PM) – 6401 Bluebonnet Blvd., Suite 1123, Baton Rouge, LA 70836
    Blue Zoo Baton Rouge is a great, family-friendly attraction located at the Mall of Louisiana, with Wednesday and Saturday afternoons being the perfect time to visit. Those are the days that Shark Feeding at Blue Zoo events take place, allowing visitors to get up close and personal with some of the aquarium's most fascinating creatures. This recurring event will be taking place for the rest of the year and is free with admission to the aquarium.

  • Baton Rouge Blues Festival – Sept. 18, 2021 – Downtown Baton Rouge, Baton Rouge, LA 70801
    A fast-growing blues festival that is now attended by more than 50,000 visitors annually, the Baton Rouge Blues Festival is one local event that music lovers definitely won't want to miss. The event is free for everyone to enjoy, with performances from both local blues legends and internationally known touring artists. This year's festival is headlined by local legend Robert Finley, with performances from more than 20 other artists spread throughout the day.

Are you searching for a home that makes it easy to enjoy all of the amazing events in Baton Rouge all year long? Let our local real estate team help you find the perfect home. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Baton Rouge, LA area.


National Chicken Wing Day: Where to Order Wings in Baton Rouge

Chicken Wings in Baton Rouge

If you're anything like our real estate agents, you can't resist a plate of savory chicken wings. Order to your heart's content on Thursday, July 29 as you celebrate National Chicken Wing Day at one of these favorite restaurants near Baton Rouge homes for sale.

  • Empire Wingz - 9402 Burbank Dr., Baton Rouge, LA 70810
    Crispy on the outside, melt-in-your-mouth on the inside: that's how fans describe the main attraction at Empire Wingz. With more than a dozen different sauces to go with the regular and boneless wings, you'll keep returning to try them all. Do you dare to go with the appropriately named Danger, or will you choose the popular spicy garlic Parmesan? Hours are 11 a.m. - midnight, every day but Sunday.

  • Sauce & Bones - 2696 S. Sherwood Forest Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70816
    Experts agree that Sauce & Bones are key factors in the tastiest wings, and this restaurant nails the basics. Wing combos come in three to 15 pieces with your choice of a traditional side, such as mac & cheese, baked beans, and potato salad. There's a wide range of sauces on the menu, but customers particularly love the sweet heat of the signature Bones sauce. For a twist on French fries, order the PotatoSaurus topped with bacon, sour cream, cheese, butter, and chives. Add chicken or other BBQ meat for an additional charge. Sauce & Bones is open daily from 11 a.m. - 9 p.m., with extended hours until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

  • Valley Wings - 2679 Highland Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70802
    When someone refers to a restaurant's wings as "life-changing," you know they must be doing it right. Valley Wings is a relatively new player in the Baton Rouge restaurant scene, but in less than a year they've developed a devoted following. All of the sauces can be added to French fries, and the loaded fries are a meal by themselves. The daily special of five wings, fries, grilled Valley Bread, and a can of soda is bargain priced at $9.50. Hours are 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

  • TJ Ribs - 2324 S. Acadian Thruway, Baton Rouge, LA 70808
    From day one, TJ Ribs has been on a quest to set themselves apart from standard Louisiana BBQ. In the late 1980s, founder TJ Moran created his own unique recipe for baby back ribs, something that was relatively rare in typical BBQ joints. Today they offer a full selection of brisket, beef, pork, and other BBQ meats, along with two types of chicken wings. In addition to Buffalo-style wings, TJ Ribs serves crispy Southern fried chicken wings that are also available as an option in their family pack to-go meals. Hours at TJ Ribs are 10:30 a.m. - 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10:30 a.m. - 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

  • BullChicks - 11135 Coursey Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70816
    Burgers and wings are two of the more crave-able foods around, making them the primary focus of BullChicks. Up to four people can eat well with the combos of five to 25 wings, served plain or flavored with one of 12 sauces. All combos include fries, toast, and dipping sauce. Hours are 7 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. weekdays, 11 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. Sunday.

Incredible restaurants are just one benefit of living in Baton Rouge. Contact us at Latter & Blum to learn more. 


How to Add More Closet Space to Your Home

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.

  1. Get Creative
    Not all storage spaces have to be tucked away into a closet. There are plenty of creative storage options you can use to make more storage space out of nothing. For example, reclaim that lost space under your bed by getting a bed frame with under-bed storage drawers or shelves, or check out furniture such as storage ottomans, cube shelves, and freestanding wardrobes.

  2. Maximize Current Closet Space
    Sometimes the issue isn't really a lack of storage space, but under-used closet space. The traditional approach of a single clothing bar with a shelf above it tends to leave a lot of wasted space. Look into organizational design options to customize and make full use of your closet space, from recessed nooks to the backs of the doors. Consider installing custom shelving, drawers, or a second clothing bar to utilize your unused spaces. Closet upgrades like these always make a good impression in Baton Rouge homes for sale.

  3. Install Open Closets
    The concept of open closets might seem unappealing, but you may already have some of these spaces without realizing it. For example, a mudroom setup with coat hooks, a bench, and cubbies with bins represents an open closet design that is a popular and attractive part of many homes. You can build similarly designed open closets in bathrooms that lack linen storage or in craft rooms for supply storage.

  4. Find Unused Spaces
    Houses often have unused spaces in them that can be given new life as reconverted closet spaces. For instance, you might have unused space under your stairs. It's often easier and requires less remodeling to convert those spaces into closets than building closets from scratch. Another option is to convert a small bedroom into a walk-in closet and dressing room. This can easily be turned back into a bedroom when it comes time to sell the house.

  5. Build a Closet
    If you've exhausted all the creative options available to you and still find yourself pressed for storage space, it might be time to consider building a closet or expanding on an existing one. This does mean more involved renovations and may cut into the size of the room where you're adding the closet space. In some cases, however, you may find that it's worth the expense.

  6. Declutter
    When all else fails, remember that much of the stuff we keep and store we don't really need. Make it a habit of going through your closets regularly, getting rid of things you don't need or haven't used in a while, and reorganizing to make the best use of the space. This is especially important if you're getting ready to sell your home! 

Storage is an ongoing issue for many households, and there's a reason why storage is often toward the top of our clients' wish lists. If you've outgrown your current space and you're ready to move onto something bigger and better, contact us today.


Kitchen Updates to Make Cooking Easier

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.

  1. An Induction Cooktop
    A regular electric or gas-powered range can work well for your basic needs, but an induction cooktop can make cooking so much easier and more precise. It lets you regulate temperature more accurately, for perfect browning, boiling, and steaming, every time. It's also more energy-efficient than your regular stovetop.

  2. A Warming Drawer
    If you're cooking multiple things at once, the dish you finish first will sit around getting cold while you work on the ones that take longer. A warming drawer lets you get dishes out of the way as soon as you finish them while keeping them warm and ready for serving. If you're a fan of the Great British Baking Show, you can also use your warming drawer as a proofing drawer to let bread doughs rise.

  3. A Produce Washing Station
    You can wash your fruits and vegetables in the sink, but that's the same place where you're putting your dirty dishes. If you happen to drop something, it will end up even dirtier than it was. Consider installing a second, smaller sink off to the side, just for washing produce. It will help keep your prep work separate from your cleanup and keep your food a lot cleaner and more sanitary.

  4. Lighting
    There are three types of light you want in the kitchen. Ambient light is like what you have in every other room - a simple overhead fixture to illuminate the room in general. Accent lighting adds more illumination to a specific area of the kitchen. If you have a kitchen island, you may want a light above it to turn on when the family is sitting around it to eat. Finally, task lighting is a direct light that shines on a particular workspace to help give you a better view of what you're doing. You may have a task light above the counter for when you chop vegetables or above the stovetop to help you see what's on the back burner. 

  5. Storage
    There's nothing more frustrating in the kitchen than having to take apart an entire cupboard to find the one pot or pan you're looking for. Fortunately, there are plenty of simple ways to make container storage more convenient. Install a few sturdy hooks a couple of feet above the stove, and hang your pots and pans from them for easy access. You can add extra shelving to the kitchen walls, too. Try putting in a single shelf, right at eye level, that goes all the way around the kitchen. Use it for herbs, spices, flour, sugar, and other non-perishable ingredients that you want at hand. It will make things easier to find and make cooking easier and quicker.

These are just a few of the ways you can update the kitchen in your new home. Whether you want to add a few finishing touches or a complete remodel, our real estate agents can help you find the best way to make your new kitchen your own. Contact us and let us help you find the perfect house for you.


The Tricks to Starting a Raised Garden Bed

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.

  1. Decide how many raised beds you need.
    Keep in mind that raised beds enable you to plant a little closer together, so you're maximizing your available gardening space by raising the bed. Most casual gardeners will only need one or two raised beds. If you're planning to grow a lot of your own vegetables, or if you're planting sprawling or vining plants such as squash and melon, you might need more space.

  2. Choose the best location.
    Plan the location of your raised beds very carefully, noting which areas of your yard get the best sunlight throughout the day. Most vegetables need about eight hours of sunlight, and many, such as tomatoes, do best if they get a lot of morning sun rather than afternoon sun. How it looks is a secondary concern, but it's still important, especially if you're planning on selling the house. Raised beds and well-planned landscaping looks great to potential buyers, according to our real estate agents.

  3. Choose the depth.
    In general, the deeper the bed, the better it is for your plants (and your back). Deeper beds will retain moisture and need less watering, but they'll also drain better so that they don't just become a pool of standing water. Of course, a deeper bed may not always be ideal because of the cost of the dirt to fill it. If you have soil underneath the raised bed, you can get away with a shallower raised bed, but if you are building the bed over a concrete or another hard surface, you'll need as deep a bed as you can get.

  4. Prepare the ground underneath.
    If you're building the raised bed on top of a regular yard, be sure to prepare the surface. You'll need to weed and get rid of the grass, and you can actually give your plants' roots more growing room by breaking up the dirt underneath your raised bed. If it's an extremely weedy or grassy area, you can stop existing plants from taking over your bed by laying down cardboard underneath, but you'll lose some of that root real estate.

  5. Build the bed to last.
    Especially if you plan on using the bed for multiple years, it's important to do a good job of building your raised bed. You can buy pre-packaged raised beds that are ready to install, or you can find a plan online to build one yourself. Just make sure you give some thought to preventing the bed from shifting over time. Many gardeners recommend a stake midway down each side to help stabilize the walls.

  6. Get the right soil.
    You've already put a ton of planning, energy, and probably some money into these raised garden beds, so make sure they'll succeed by filling them with high-quality soil. A mix of compost and topsoil will ensure proper drainage and sufficient nutrients.

With a couple of raised garden beds and a trip to the nursery for some plants to fill them with, your yard will be transformed. For more ideas to improve your curb appeal before selling your home, contact us today.


Summer Learning for Your Kids in Baton Rouge

Summer Learning Baton Rouge

Does summer vacation mean cries of, "Mom, there's nothing to do?" Our real estate agents share some great summer programs around Baton Rouge homes for sale where kids can participate in fun activities and even learn a few things along the way.

  • Piano Pathways Summer Camps - 9270 Siegen Lane #304, Baton Rouge, LA 70810
    Playing a musical instrument is a skill that provides creative expression while boosting self-confidence. Piano Pathways Summer Camps offer sessions for students of all levels. Beginners can learn the basics, while more experienced students can challenge themselves by playing in competitions and ensembles. There's even a camp that combines music with science, technology, engineering, and math. Camps run through July 23. Private lessons are available for students who want to continue developing their abilities.

  • Kid-Possible Summer Camps - Jefferson United Methodist Church, 10328 Jefferson Hwy., Baton Rouge, LA 70809
    Youngsters can develop mind, body, and spirit at Kid-Possible Summer Camps. Each one-week session features a balance between art, science, and physical activities, focusing on a specific theme with a mission to be solved. The highlight is a field trip corresponding to that week's theme, such as "Adventure to the Animal Kingdom." Sessions run through August 6 and fee is $190. Lunch and pre-and post-care are offered for an additional fee.

  • Painting and Punch Summer Camps - Painting and Pinot, 7248 Perkins Rd., Ste. B, Baton Rouge, LA 70808
    Every child has a creative spark that makes them unique. Painting and Punch Summer Camps allow them to nurture their individual personality through a variety of art projects. Each day's agenda explores the style and period of a noted artist. Campers then use the inspiration to create their own piece with watercolors, chalk, and other media. At the end of the week-long session, campers hold an art show where their work is displayed for parents. Groups are divided into K-4th and 5th-9th. Sessions are scheduled through July 23 and fees are $135-$150, which includes supplies and snacks.

  • Episcopal Summer Camps - Episcopal School of Baton Rouge, 3200 Woodland Ridge Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70816
    Is your child a budding Bobby Flay or J.K. Rowling? Episcopal Summer Camps cover an amazing variety of interests, from musical theater to sewing and fashion to creative writing. Inventive weekly themes include, "Desserts, Desserts, Desserts," "The Mathematical Mind: Fractals," and "Go for the Gold," in which campers stage their own Olympic Games. Sessions run through July 29 and each one is geared toward a different age group from K-10th. Fees start at $175.

  • YMCA Summer Camps - Various locations
    The YMCA may be the gold standard for family-friendly activities, and they really ramp it up during the summer months. YMCA Summer Camps are offered in five exciting categories: Adventure, Arts and Creativity, Mind, Discovery, and Sports. Week-long camps through August 6 let kids participate in one, two, or all five. Themes are designed for certain age groups ranging from 4-13. Weekly fees are $125 for members and $175 for non-members, with $25 registration fees waived for Household/Family members. With camps being held at five different Baton Rouge locations, there's one located conveniently close to you. 

Every season of the year is a wonderful time to be in Baton Rouge. Contact us if you're ready to buy or sell a home.


When Should You Go Over Asking Price?

Asking Price

You looked at Baton Rouge homes for sale and found the perfect house for your family. You're getting ready to make your offer and are considering going over the asking price. Should you? Our real estate agents encourage you to consider these things. 

  1. Multiple Offers
    Your agent can discuss with the seller's agent whether there are other offers on the table or if more offers are anticipated in the near future. If that's the case, you'll have to make a better offer to compete for the property.
  2. Below Fair Market Value Price
    The seller may have intentionally priced the property at an attractive price to attract multiple buyers initiating a bidding war. By looking at recent home sales in the area, you can see whether the property is underpriced. This process will help you calculate a reasonable offer. 

  3. Unmotivated Seller
    Change is difficult, and sometimes, even if they know it is the right decision for them, sellers will drag their feet. They may have listed the home, not really anticipating buyers so quickly. You can sweeten the pot by offering them more than they thought the house was worth. Just be careful that you don't overpay for the property. 

  4. It's Your Dream House
    You made your list of everything you wanted in a new home, from location to architecture. It even has some awesome features you hadn't even considered. When you absolutely have your heart set on the property, your willingness to pay a little extra can ensure that it's yours. 

  5. The Market Belongs to the Sellers
    This is a simple matter of supply and demand. In a buyer's market, there are more homes available for sale than buyers to fill them. But when real estate inventory drops, prices rise. The subsequent bidding wars can drive prices far above fair market value. When you find the house you want in a seller's market, it is important to act fast. This is not to say, settle for something less than you want, but when you do find it, don't hesitate. 

  6. The Buyer Can Afford a Higher Price
    It's important to remember that when a buyer must acquire a mortgage, the lender sets the maximum loan amount based on the appraisal. Any amount over and above that comes from the buyer's pocket. Cash buyers don't have to concern themselves with these limits, which is a definite advantage. Even if a mortgage is still necessary, a sizable down payment can mean the loan is well within the limits of the appraisal. Older sellers who are trading a large family home for a condominium or townhouse often have the liquidity to pay cash.

  7. The Cash Buyer Advantage
    As previously mentioned, buyers who are downsizing to a smaller home often have a significant financial advantage over first-time buyers. Companies that offer immediate cash with no showings also often snatch up properties quickly. But they tend to buy at a high discount. A buyer who can afford to compete with a slightly higher offer will often secure the property. 

Contact us for expert guidance in the real estate market and start your search for the perfect home. 


Food Trends: Where to Order Birria Tacos in Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge Tacos

The Baton Rouge food scene is on point, so it's no surprise that one of the hottest food trends is popping up around town. Our real estate agents have become fans of eating birria tacos served at these great restaurants around Baton Rouge. 

  • Birria & Barbacoa De Chivo Los Compadres - 10457 Airline Hwy., Baton Rouge, LA 70816
    Good things come in fours at Birria & Barbacoa De Chivo Los Compadres. Their birria special includes four tacos and a bowl of consomme, which will probably leave enough for you to enjoy later at home. People rave about the flavorful, piping-hot consomme that makes a perfect complement for the tender, marinated meat, and gooey cheese. Beef is the most popular choice, but adventurous diners can try the goat. Hours are 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. weekends.

  • Aztecas - 9375 Florida Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70815
    Looking for lunch or dinner while you're out viewing Baton Rouge homes for sale? Head over to Aztecas, a food truck located outside Monterey Plaza Shopping Center. In addition to birria tacos, Aztecas offers another trendy variation known as vampiros, which is described as a cross between a taco, a tostada, and a quesadilla. Follow up your meal with one of their refreshing fruit cups. Aztecas is open 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and noon - 8 p.m. weekdays.

  • Modesto - 3930 Burbank Dr., Suite F, Baton Rouge, LA 70808
    How authentic is Modesto? Their motto is, "Más Mex, Less Tex." Their birria tacos are made with high-quality prime brisket and served with a side of guajillo tomato consomme. If you want your beverage to be traditional as well, Modesto has you covered. Their bar stocks nearly five dozen brands of top-shelf tequila. Margaritas are served in the classic style as well as fruit-infused flavors such as blood orange, mango, and blackberry pomegranate. Order online for easy carryout. Hours are 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Sunday.

  • Secret Birria - 323 Octavia St., New Orleans, LA 70115
    Want to be a real birria insider? When you're in New Orleans, check out Secret Birria, a taco stand that's so under the radar you could easily pass right by. Patterned after the speakeasy-style for an air of mystery, Secret Birria keeps the menu simple, with a focus on birria tacos and their equally acclaimed fish tacos. Their birriarito features birria meat wrapped in a tortilla with a splash of creamy white queso. Many customers order their birria tacos with a must-have side of cracklings and queso dipping sauce. Secret Birria is open Thursday through Sunday from 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.

  • BR Guilty Pleasures - Baton Rouge, LA 70812
    Valencia Labostrie, owner of BR Guilty Pleasures, doesn't do anything halfway. When Valencia decided to add birria tacos to the offerings of her mobile cocktail service, she went all-in. In addition to traditional birria tacos, the menu includes birria pizzadillas, birria taco nachos, birria burritos, birria tortas, and even birria ramen. Pair your food with a berry sangria, mojito, Margarita, or V's freestyle cocktail, which is whatever Valencia feels like mixing up that day. Follow BR Guilty Pleasures on Facebook or Instagram for information on ordering and pickup.

When you call Baton Rouge home there are many local restaurants to enjoy! If this sounds like the setting of your dream home, contact us at Latter & Blum to learn more.


5 Places to Play Disc Golf Near Baton Rouge

Disc Golf Baton Rouge

Disc golf has become an increasingly popular sport and is a great way to connect with nature while you get some exercise. Bring a few friends along to compete against as you explore different disc golf courses near Baton Rouge, each of which has its own unique layout and characteristics.

Our real estate agents recommend trying these 5 places to play disc golf near Baton Rouge:

  1. Highland Road Park Disc Golf Course – N. Amiss Rd. and Bullrush Dr., Baton Rouge, LA 70810 
    Highland Road Park Disc Golf Course, located near Baton Rouge homes for sale, has an 18-hole disc golf course, and each hole is equipped with a short course (purple) basket and a long course (gold) basket. Tees are marked with orange-painted bricks in the ground. Disc golfers report that length and accuracy are key to doing well on the Highland Park courses. Pick up a scorecard at the park's Tennis Center before starting and navigate your way up and down gently rolling hills and wide, grassy fairways. A creek also runs through the course, further adding to its natural beauty.

  2. Scotland Parkway Disc Golf Course – 3200 Harding Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70813 
    Reviewers describe Scotland Parkway Disc Golf Course as a fun, challenging course with a unique design. The course's tee pads, baskets, and signage are all praised. It's lightly wooded, with a deep, wide creek in play on half the holes. Since a few fairways are close to one another, be on the lookout for errant drives.

  3. LHC DiscGolfPark at Scotlandville – 3100 Monte Sano Ave., Baton Rouge, LA 70807  
    The first disc golf course in Louisiana and the third in the country, LHC DiscGolfPark at Scotlandville, is known for its natural beauty. The holes weave through oak trees and rolling hills as well as Monte Sano Bayou. It's the second-longest course in the state, coming in at 7,610 feet. LHC at Scotlandville is also a very challenging course with fairways that are lightly wooded. The baskets are very easy to spot since they have bright yellow bands.

  4. Flanacher Park Disc Golf Course – 864 E. Flanacher Rd., Zachary, LA 70791 
    Located on a flat, secluded course just around the corner from Zachary homes for sale, Flanacher Park Disc Golf Course has a variety of open/wooded fairways. Due to its seclusion, it has a serene atmosphere that makes you feel as though you're getting away from the hustle and bustle. Several turns are 90 degrees or more and add to the course's difficulty, and since some fairways are very narrow, accuracy is more important than distance. Be sure to keep an eye on your disc since an errant throw could leave you fishing it out of the bordering woods.

  5. Pelican Park Disc Golf Course – 63350 Pelican Dr., Mandeville, LA 70448  
    Located on the Northshore near Mandeville homes for sale, Pelican Park Disc Golf Course is long and spread out and has alternate pin placements on each hole, with blue designating short and gold designating long. It's characterized by open fields, although some holes are more heavily wooded. If you live in the district and don't have your own disc, you can take your driver's license to the Castine Center park office and borrow one for free.

Contact us to see homes for sale near Baton Rouge. This area of the country has plenty of natural beauty and recreational opportunities, and we'd love to share more about what makes the Baton Rouge area such a special place to call home. 


5 Reasons You Shouldn't Skip a Home Inspection

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.

  1. Neglected Roofing
    Inspectors will look for broken shingles and evidence of leaks that could mean the roof is nearing the end of its life. Replacement costs can be more than $10,000, and the damages resulting from leaking could cost even more to repair. If an inspector believes roofing problems exist, and you still want to buy the house, a reputable roofer will generally be happy to provide a detailed evaluation to help you negotiate the sale price of the home to allow for roof repair. Some things you can spot yourself that indicate roof deterioration include black spots on the roof and coarse granules in the gutters or on the ground along the edge of the exterior walls. 

  2. Improper Grading
    The ground should slope away from all structures at a rate of one inch per foot. Otherwise, standing water can create mildew problems and worse. Spongy soil beneath the foundation can cause it to shift, leading to cracks in the walls and sloping floors. Once these problems arise, they may cost more than $10,000 to correct. Adding topsoil to grade the ground, plus the addition of gutters and downspouts, can address drainage issues before they create serious damages. The ground should never slope toward the house.

  3. Outdated Plumbing
    Cracked pipes, backed-up sewage, and leaking water heaters all spell expensive repairs ranging from a few hundred dollars to thousands for the unsuspecting homeowner. Polybutylene pipes and other outdated materials are indications to a home inspector that problems may arise in the near future. At the very minimum, any visible leaks and clogs should be corrected immediately. Reseating toilets and replacing wax rings can also help avoid extensive plumbing issues.

  4. Mold Infestation
    Mycotoxins cause serious health problems which are far worse than financial damages. Before you can smell it, some obvious signs of a potential problem are watermarks on the base of walls or near windows and plumbing fixtures. Most home inspections do not include mold in order to avoid liability for missing a hidden problem, but seasoned inspectors will certainly point out warning signs they observe. Small cracks and separations around the windows should be addressed immediately upon discovery to prevent water from entering the walls and creating an environment ripe for mold growth.
  5. Inferior Wiring
    The age of the house can signal aluminum wiring, used frequently in house construction between 1965 and 1973. Aluminum expands and contracts more quickly than copper, leading to loose connections. Also, connections between copper and aluminum can cause oxidation, heat, and ultimately, a fire. Inspectors will check for damaged receptacles, missing junction boxes, and reversed polarity. Polarity is measured with a hand-held tester. Improperly connected wiring can mean electricity continuously flowing through appliances that appear to be off. At best, this means burning out appliances. At worst, it can mean the possibility of a severe electrical shock.

          Armed with your newfound knowledge of things to consider when buying a home, are you ready to go house shopping? Contact us today to arrange a tour of our stunning Baton Rouge homes for sale.


          Baton Rouge Boutiques for Your Next Shopping Trip

          Beton Rouge BoutiquesRetail therapy is a vibrant way of life around Baton Rouge homes for sale. Thanks to a diverse assortment of boutiques in the area, you can shop 'til you drop and still find fresh new items. Our real estate agents head to these favorite shops when they want to give their credit cards a workout.

          1. Lulu & Bean - 2935 Perkins Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70808
            Lulu & Bean knows that kids want to be stylish too. They benefit customers and the environment by carrying both new and gently-used clothing from top apparel brands. Personalize your selection with monogramming from their embroidery service. The shop also offers a number of eco-friendly toys, gifts, and accessories. Get cash on the spot for your high-end baby and children's items in good condition. Hours are 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday or shop their online store.

          2. Merci Beaucoup - 7539 Corporate Blvd., Suite 150, Baton Rouge, LA 70809
            Walk into Merci Beaucoup and leave with a complete outfit, from clothing and footwear to jewelry and accessories. The locally-owned shop features vinyl monogramming and engraving services to add your personal touch to your selections. Brides who register at Merci Beaucoup receive a 15 percent discount on all purchases by the entire bridal party. Shop online or visit the store from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday.

          3. Mothers and Daughters Gift Shoppe - 215 N. Range Ave., Denham Springs, LA 70726
            Shopping for a friend? You won't be able to resist picking up something for yourself as well at Mothers and Daughters Gift Shoppe. The charming apparel, accessories, and home decor items give the boutique a delightful shabby-chic vibe. Follow them on Facebook for notifications about the arrival of new merchandise as well as exciting sales and promotions. Mothers and Daughters is open 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday.

          4. Kiki - 1660 Lobdell Ave. #101, Baton Rouge, LA 70806
            The mother-daughter team behind Kiki has a goal to bring global designer flair to Baton Rouge. Located in the fashionable arts district of Studio Park, Kiki features a stark, minimalist decor that keeps the focus on high-end jewelry, clothing, and accessories. On a typical visit, you might find a Proenza Schouler handbag, Tom Ford fragrance, and Eileen Fisher dress. Hours are 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, or you can visit their convenient online shop.

          5. Swap Boutique - 7643 Jefferson Hwy., Baton Rouge, LA 70809
            Your shopping habit can pay for itself at Swap Boutique. The shop accepts consignment items in good condition from names and brands such as Marc Jacobs, J. Crew, and BCBG. Receive a competitive commission rate or store credit, or pay it forward and donate your earnings to the non-profit organization of your choice. Swap is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon - 5 p.m., while their online shop is open 24/7.

          6. The Foyer - 3655 Perkins Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70808
            Is your home in need of a little TLC? Updating the decor is the easiest way to transform a house, and The Foyer is the perfect place to jump-start your creativity. More than 75 merchants and artists are represented in the shop's comprehensive selection of furnishings, lighting, accessories, and artwork. Recharge with a light lunch of salads and sandwiches at the onsite cafe. Hours are 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon - 5 p.m. Sunday.

          Ready for the ultimate shopping experience? If you're buying or selling a Baton Rouge home, contact us at Latter & Blum for cheerful and experienced assistance.


          Toss These Items While Spring Cleaning

          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. 

          1. Expired Medication
            When tidying your medicine cabinet, take a moment to check the dates on your medication and ointments to ensure that you're not holding onto expired products. Over time, the chemical composition of medication changes. These changes mean that the medication may not work as well at treating or managing your symptoms. 
          1. Old or Unmatched Tupperware
            Over time, Tupperware becomes less sturdy. This makes it more likely to break, crack, or potentially leach chemicals into your food. Dispose of any Tupperware that appears worn, damaged, cloudy, or warped. Check that all of your remaining pieces have a matching lid and are in a size and shape that you'll regularly use. 
          1. Old or Extra Cables
            It's not uncommon for the average household to accumulate an astonishing collection of charging cords and USB cables. Spend some time confirming that you know what each individual type of power cord or cable goes to. If necessary, label it so that you know what it goes to. For more multifunctional cables, like USB and Apple cords, keep only a reasonable amount for the number of devices you have. Throw away any cords or cables that are frayed, worn, or damaged. 
          1. Old Paperwork and Papers
            Keep your filing cabinets in order by getting rid of old papers. Most information, like a credit card, utility, and bank statements, is available online. There's little reason to keep a slew of paper copies on hand. Get rid of old manuals and instructions. Many companies now have their instruction manuals online if an issue does arise. You should also sort through more sentimental items, like old greeting cards, school work, and programs. Keep only a few items that have significant meaning and store them in a dedicated container or scrapbook. 
          1. Outdated or Seldom Used Electronics
            If your old VCR or small kitchen appliance is used primarily as a paperweight, it's time to throw it out. Remove anything that you haven't used in the past year. Make sure to also get rid of any accessories, like VHS tapes or appliance attachments. When preparing to explore Baton Rouge homes for sale, you'll appreciate having less stuff to move when you find your ideal home. 
          1. Worn-Out Towels
            When your towels wear thin or become riddled with strings, it's time to let them go. Old towels aren't nearly as efficient at drying, and the rough fabric is sure to provide an uncomfortable drying experience. See that you also go through your washcloths, hand towels, and cleaning rags. 
          1. Board Games with Missing Pieces or Those That You Seldom Play
            If you've been holding onto board games with missing pieces, either reorder the missing pieces or throw the game out. Some manufacturers do allow you to order only the pieces or cards that come with games. Donate any games that your family doesn't enjoy playing.

          Feel like your family needs more space? Contact us today to check out your options!


          Baton Rouge a Top City of First-Time Homebuyers

          first time homebuyersFor several years running now, Baton Rouge has distinguished itself as one of the top places to move. Baton Rouge homes for sale are especially popular among first-time homebuyers. In fact, it was recently named one of the Top 10 Metros for First-Time Homeowners.

          What's the secret that makes Baton Rouge so attractive? Our real estate agents love the Baton Rouge area because of the following features that make it truly one of a kind:

          1. Baton Rouge Is Amazingly Affordable
            If you want to be surrounded by world-class amenities that don't demand a premium price, Baton Rouge is the place to be. Many of its dozens of museums offer free days, the public libraries are bustling with free programs for kids and adults, and there are nearly 200 parks, many along the 4.31-mile Mississippi River Levee Path.

          2. A City on the Grow
            Over the last decade, the area along the Mississippi River has been revitalized to make it walkable and family-friendly. Downtown is a blend of historic properties and all-new construction totaling millions of dollars in very recent investment. The Shaw Center for the Arts is just one example of fresh, state-of-the-art facilities.

          3. Unbeatable Cajun Cuisine
            Inspired by New Orleans but spiced by vibrant immigrant communities originating from all over the world, the Baton Rouge dining scene presents you with a mouth-watering blend of classic and contemporary cuisine. You'll always be close to ribs, gumbo, and soul food, but also Honduran, Vietnamese, and fusion restaurants.

          4. Birthplace of the Blues
            The unique blues tradition of Baton Rouge reaches even further back than modern jazz and has influenced that style at many points. True to this history, the Baton Rouge Blues Festival is one of the oldest anywhere in the country and completely free of charge. And, of course, countless blues clubs dot the city.

          5. A Busy Social Calendar
            The blues aren't the only thing to celebrate in Baton Rouge. There's always something new to discover – all you have to do is look. LSU is the tailgate party capital of the world, and there are frequent free festivals. You won't want to miss out on the Louisiana International Film Festival, Crawfish King Cookoff, or Spanish Town Mardi Gras.

          6. The Best of a Big City and a Small Town
            Baton Rouge has many of the perks you would expect from the biggest cities, such as a thriving startup scene and numerous universities that pump out groundbreaking research. Despite it all, though, it remains a close-knit community with small-town charm. In Baton Rouge, you can really get to know your neighbors.

          7. Kids Love Baton Rouge
            This is a city where young minds can soar. The new Knock Knock Children's Museum is just one of the many interactive learning experiences that can help children embrace imagination and develop a love of learning. The region also boasts top-ranked public and private schools catering to students of all ages.

          8. Diverse Home Options to Suit Any Lifestyle
            Baton Rouge neighborhoods each have their own character. You'll find historic buildings dating all the way back to the 1880s in one area with modern, luxury high-rise condos in another. Younger neighborhoods like Perkins Rowe and Longfarm Village are known for convenient access to work and retail spaces.

          Ready to own your first home in the Baton Rouge area? Contact us today at Latter & Blum to find out more about real estate opportunities in the Baton Rouge area.


          The Do's and Don'ts of Making an Accent Wall

          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. 

          1. Do Embrace Bold Colors
            Since an accent wall is meant to stand out, it's best to utilize a bold color. Even if you prefer neutrals or are trying to stick with colors that will appeal to homebuyers looking for Alexandria homes for sale, it's fine to embrace a darker hue. Just make sure that the color you select will complement the decor and furnishings in the room. 
          1. Do Pick the Right Wall
            Before you buy your paint, make sure you pick out the best wall for your project. In general, you'll want to avoid areas with a lot of windows, a door, or a large fireplace. These items tend to "cut" your accent wall, making it look choppy and disjointed. The wall needs to be large enough to stand out so that it appears like a purposeful addition to the room. 
          1. Do Choose a Shade That Compliments Your Other Walls
            As you peruse potential shades for your accent wall, check that your hue suits your other paint colors. Otherwise, you risk picking a shade that's too "warm" or "cool" for your other walls. An accent wall often compliments walls painted in light or medium hues the best. 
          1. Don't Limit Your Options
            Don't feel like your only option is to paint an accent wall. There are multiple gorgeous alternatives for your space, including wallpaper, tile, stone, or painted shiplap. Just make sure that whichever material you select looks cohesive with the rest of the room. 
          1. Don't Be Afraid to Get Creative
            Can't pick out the right wall for your accent wall? Make your ceiling your accent wall! Painting your ceiling an eye-catching color is a trendy way to incorporate an accent wall into areas with minimal wall space. Should you opt to paint your ceiling, consider adding crown molding to the room. This will help break up the ceiling from the walls and even make the room appear larger. 
          1. Don't Pick a Room That's Already "Busy"
            If a potential room already has a lot going on, you may want to forgo an accent wall. The addition of an accent wall can make the space look busy and cluttered. For this reason, it's tricky and incorporating an accent wall into a kitchen, just because this space already has a lot of things in it.

          Interested in a home with more space? Contact us today to start your search!


          DIY Projects That Increase Your Home's Value

          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.

          1. Add light.
            A well-lit home shows better than a poorly lit home. Updating your light fixtures is a fairly easy upgrade you can do on your home with just a few tools and a little basic electrical know-how. Replace those vintage light fixtures with better, brighter ones. You might also look into updating your light switches to smart switches or installing dimmers to allow more control over lighting options. And while we're on the subject of lighting, if you're going to be listing your home for sale, be sure to clean the windows, both inside and out!

          2. Give your kitchen cabinets a face-up.
            Our agents have noticed that Baton Rouge homes for sale with updated kitchens are quick to get a buyer's attention! Not everyone has the money for a kitchen renovation, but you can freshen your kitchen's look with some paint, new matching hardware, and a weekend of your time. If you are selling the home, make sure to choose a fairly neutral color scheme. A new set of modern, matching hardware will put the finishing touches on your kitchen's new look. For extra style points, look into updating your sink and faucet, too.

          3. Refresh your bathroom.
            Just like kitchens, updated bathrooms can make a huge difference to a buyer. Repainting your cabinets and replacing the cabinet hardware is a good place to start. Bathrooms are just as likely as kitchens to have outdated plumbing fixtures, so consider replacing them with something more attractive and modern. If your bathroom's mirror and lighting aren't good, look into replacements for these as well. These are all fairly affordable projects that are easy to do yourself and can give your bathroom a brand-new look without the expense of a full renovation.

          4. Maximize your closet space.
            Storage space is another concern for you if you continue living in the house and for any potential buyers when you sell. Older homes tend to have fairly basic closets, but that single bar and shelf may be hiding a lot of wasted storage space. Look into a DIY closet shelving with adjustable shelving and other options to help you make the most of your storage space. If you're planning on selling the home, make sure you also declutter and put stuff into storage for staging, as a closet that's only partially full looks much bigger than one that's jam-packed!

          5. Boost curb appeal.
            Finally, don't forget the importance of first impressions. There are several easy DIY you can do that will dramatically improve your home's curb appeal, which is especially important if you're going to sell. Consider giving your door, the trim around it, and the porch a fresh coat of paint. Decorate that area around the door with planters. A little time spent on the landscaping wouldn't go amiss, either, particularly the part of the yard visible from the street.

          Making a few choice updates can make a surprising difference in your home's value. Contact us today, and one of our agents will help you decide what DIY projects to focus on.


          Learn About Butterflies Day: Butterfly Gardens Near Baton Rouge

          Baton Rouge Butterfly Gardens

          The journey from caterpillar to butterfly is one of nature's most fascinating and inspiring transformations. On Sunday, March 14, spend some time observing these beautiful insects during National Learn About Butterflies Day. Get an up-close and personal view of these delightful spots around Baton Rouge suggested by our real estate agents.

          • Children's Garden - 4560 Essen Ln., Baton Rouge, LA 70809
            All ages are welcome at Children's Garden, where kids are encouraged to interact with the various exhibits. Taste the freshness of blackberries, carrots, and other fruits and vegetables are grown throughout the year. The butterfly section provides a look at all phases of development, from eggs and caterpillars to chrysalis to full-grown butterfly. Admission is free for all visitors. Children's Garden is open daily from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

          • Independence Botanical Gardens - 7950 Independence Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70806
            As part of their mission to make the city's natural resources easily accessible to the local community, BREC founded the Independence Botanical Gardens. One of the more recent additions to the site is the Butterfly Garden, completed in 2018. The garden includes cassia, echinacea, fennel, and other plants known to attract butterflies. The colors of the butterflies and the plants combine for a true visual delight. There is no charge for admission. Hours are 7 a.m. - sundown daily.

          • Laurens Henry Cohn, Sr. Memorial Plant Arboretum - 12206 Foster Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70811
            Laurens Henry Cohn, Sr. Memorial Plant Arboretum is another jewel in BREC's crown of scenic parks. With 16 acres of trees and shrubs, a fruit orchard, and a butterfly garden, the arboretum is a favorite destination for anyone who's seeking a peaceful oasis just minutes from Baton Rouge homes for sale. Besides butterflies, you can enjoy other flying creatures from the numerous bird-watching viewpoints throughout the grounds. The arboretum is open to the public free of charge. Hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., seven days a week.

          • Louisiana State Arthropod Museum - 5th Floor, Life Sciences Building, LSU, Baton Rouge, LA 70803
            Sixteen natural history collections housed on the LSU campus have been officially designated as the Louisiana Museum of Natural History. One of the more popular collections is the Louisiana State Arthropod Museum, featuring approximately one million insect specimens. Exhibits, including butterflies, are pinned, fluid-preserved, or slide-mounted, with new specimens added on a regular basis. Staff members are available to answer questions. 

          Create Your Own Butterfly Garden

          Another fun option is to create your own butterfly garden! It's a family-friendly activity that benefits the environment and boosts the curb appeal of your home.

          • Choose plants such as zinnias, coneflowers, and petunias that attract butterflies with vivid colors and a plentiful supply of nectar. Stagger plants of different heights to draw a wider variety of butterflies.

          • Be sure to include host plants, such as asters, milkweed, and passionflower, that will provide a nutrient-rich base for caterpillars.

          • Place a shallow dish filled with pebbles or sand and water in the garden to serve as a drinking station.

          • Avoid pesticides as much as possible. 

          • Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Monarch, Duskywing, and Black Swallowtail are some of the butterfly species that are native to Louisiana. If there are butterflies you're particularly interested in, research their habits and tailor your garden accordingly.

          When it comes to "cocooning," there's no place better than a home of your own around Baton Rouge. Contact us at Latter & Blum for help from our cheerful and experienced real estate agents.


          6 Ways to Improve Your Home Theater System

          Home Theater System

          With all of the streaming options these days, people are making trips to the movie theater less often. Instead, it's common to have a media room or home theater and enjoy the big screen experience with all the comforts of home. Home theaters are a nice feature that we sometimes see in Baton Rouge homes for sale. Here are six tips for improving your home theater system.

          1. Arrange for a dedicated space.
            Many homes have a family room or media room that might be set up with a big-screen TV and surround sound, but the best home theaters our real estate agents see are the ones that are located in a dedicated space for minimal distractions. This might be a finished basement or even a spare room, as long as all the other requirements are met. 
          2. Install comfortable seating.
            Trying to recreate the movie theater experience is a lofty goal, but with seating, you actually have the ability to go above and beyond what you'd get at the theater. Sofas and reclining seats can be much more comfortable than at a true theater. If you plan to have two or more rows of seating, be sure to choose something with low backs or even consider building risers for the back rows.
          3. Minimize distractions.
            Everything about your home theater should be designed around limiting distractions, from the location to the design of the actual room. For instance, your home theater will be best located away from all the foot traffic and noise of the home. A finished basement is excellent for this reason, plus it'll block some of the noise and sound from the outside. Insulated curtains will also help. Also, consider little touches like dark paint colors and avoiding shiny fixtures.
          4. Non-intrusive lighting.
            Lighting is very important in your home theater. Dimmer switches will allow you to set the lights at whatever level you want them. Recessed lighting and soffits are a couple of options that are ideal for a home theater since they won't shine directly in the viewers' faces.
          5. Invest in superior sound.
            Now consider the sound. It's not enough just to get a big-screen TV or projector. A big picture needs a big sound to go with it, and a soundbar just isn't going to cut it if you're going for the full experience. A high-quality surround sound system will do the best job of mimicking the immersive movie theater experience.
          6. Hide cords.
            Finally, remember to make the most of the "magic" of your home theater by hiding the cords that make it all possible. You can get pretty creative about how you hide cords. There are easy DIY kits you can use to hide your cords in the wall, for instance, so that a wall-mounted big-screen TV doesn't have a bunch of ugly cords dangling from it. Hiding cords will give your home theater a finished, professional look.

          Of course, the best reason to install a home theater is so that you can enjoy it yourself, but if you're handy with DIY projects and have the time to invest in it, a well-planned home theater can generate interest with buyers who love the features but wouldn't want to put one in themselves. For more information about the draw of a well-executed home theater system or other home improvement projects, contact us today.


          5 Tips for Getting Your Home Ready for Spring

          List Your Home This Spring

          Spring, being the time of fresh starts and renewal, just seems like the right time to clean up the home and grounds and get ready for a bright new beginning.

          Plus, if you are getting ready for a new beginning and listing your home for sale, spring is a great time to do so! 

          Here are some tips to help you spring forward as you get ready to list your home among the Lake Charles homes for sale.

          1. Clean your rain gutters.
            Rain gutters on Lake Charles homes get plenty of use with our heavy annual precipitation, so homeowners should make sure those gutters are free and clear of leaves and other debris. If you don't have guards on your gutters, you definitely need to see about a spring cleaning. Even with guards, animals can make nests, and other debris may clog them up as the fall and winter pass. If you clean gutters yourself, you'll need a tall ladder and someone to hand things to as you clear them out.

          2. Clean the yard to prepare for spring gardening.
            Curb appeal is extra important in the spring, so don't slack on your post-winter clean-up. Clean up around your air conditioner compressor, clearing weeds, leaves, and other debris, in preparation for turning it on as the humidity and temperature rise. Clear flower beds of dried plant stalks, then add compost and mulch in preparation for planting. Prune summer-blooming flowering shrubs. Inspect trees and shrubs for any winter or wind damage and trim it back.

          3. Check the HVAC system, as well as smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
            Spring is a good time to change your HVAC filters. Dirty filters can slow down your HVAC and make it run inefficiently, leading to higher bills and HVAC breakdowns. Make sure vents are free and clear of obstructions such as furniture and rugs. Schedule a preventative maintenance visit for your air conditioner. Also, test your smoke and CO alarms to make sure they are in good working order. Check wires or change batteries if needed.

          4. Check for dampness and mold.
            In our climate, mold and excess humidity are problems every season, but more so during spring rains. Always check your house for signs of moisture from roof or plumbing leaks, window condensation, plugged air conditioner condensate drain, or moisture from the ground seeping into the home. Check fixtures such as toilets and faucets for leaks and repair them or replace them as needed. If you don't fix problems as soon as you find them, moisture and mold may damage drywall, wood, and flooring, so that you need to replace them.

          5. Inspect and clean windows.
            Moisture, high winds, and UV rays can be hard on your window treatments. Inspect your windows, and if need be, repair crumbling caulk and worn-out weatherstripping to keep conditioned air inside and unconditioned air out. Clean your windows inside and outside with a solution of vinegar and water to get them bright and shiny for spring.

          Our real estate agents have many more spring tips to get your home ready to list. Contact us today.


          How to Keep Your Pet Safe During Renovations

          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. 

          1. Make Introductions
            While cats may be warier of strangers than dogs, both will benefit from brief interactions with workers who will be in and out of the house. Allow them to experience the scents and sounds of new people to help put them at ease. Your pet will see that you are not concerned by the visitors, which will help alleviate their stress. 

          2. Secure Your Pets
            Pets who are used to the comforts of a crate are rarely concerned when they are locked in briefly for their safety. This keeps them out of harm's way and still lets them see what's going on around them. If this isn't an option, consider putting them in a room with the door closed so that they are not underfoot of the workers. Cats tend to search for the safety of a confined space. A large cardboard box in the room might be just the sanctuary they are seeking. Be sure you leave them with plenty of water and food and check on them as often as possible.

          3. Keep Them Occupied
            Providing your pets with toys and treats will provide welcome distractions from unusual sights and sounds. Soothing music diminishes the intensity of loud noises they find upsetting. Treats help communicate the affection you hold for them, reassuring them that you have not abandoned them. Whether it be a large bone for your dog to gnaw or a catnip mouse for your feline friend, a treat can help them pass the time more comfortably.

          4. Take Them Outdoors
            They may be most comfortable in their own backyard. If this is an option, spend as much time as you can playing with them outside. Long walks or trips to the dog park are pleasant diversions that will remove them from the property for a time. 

          5. Hire a Pet Sitter
            Local pet sitters offer various services, from walking and drop-in visits to caring for your pet in your home and boarding them overnight. Many people avoid such options, assuming the cost is prohibitive, but with a little research, you will be pleasantly surprised. If your renovations are extensive and will last several days, this option may mean the best care for your pet with the least trauma. 

          6. Inform Everyone Concerned of the Plan
            Whatever you decide to do to keep your pet safe, share the information with everyone in the home. Take particular care to make sure that younger members of the family understand what you are doing and why. Otherwise, they may make decisions that can endanger their furry friends. If the animal is to be kept on the property, be sure to warn workers so that they do not inadvertently release your pets or leave dangerous items in their reach. 

          If you are preparing your home for the market or buying a new one, contact us at Latter & Blum for expert assistance with Alexandria homes for sale


          Love Reading? Baton Rouge Bookstores to Explore

          Baton Rouge Bookstores

          If you love to read, you're in luck! Baton Rouge has several independent bookstores that carry unique selections and are wonderful places to browse before you buy. From comic books to centuries-old collectible titles, you're likely to find what you're looking for at these local bookstores.
          Our real estate agents suggest exploring the following bookstores around Baton Rouge:

          1. Cottonwood Books – 3054 Perkins Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70808  
            Locally owned and operated, Cottonwood Books has served the area for 35 years and has gained many loyal customers throughout the years. It's a booklover's paradise that's filled with around 35,000 used and rare books as well as 7,000 handpicked new titles. You'll even find books that are centuries old and a robust collection of Louisiana-based books. And if you have kids, let them browse and pick out a few titles in a section just for them.
          2. Recycled Reads – 3434 North Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70806  
            Recycled Reads
            has books that are being sold by the East Baton Rouge Parish Library. So, in addition to scoring some great books, you're also helping the Friends of the Library, which supports children's programs throughout the year, such as the author/illustrator program. All types of books are for sale, including fiction, textbooks, cookbooks, history, and many more. You'll even find DVDs, CDs, and LPs to buy. Everything's a bargain since you'll pay only $1 for hardbacks, large-format paperbacks, DVDs, and audiobooks, and pocket paperbacks are only 25 cents. Bring cash since that's the only form of payment accepted.
          3. The Bookcellar – 9702 Florida Blvd., Walker, LA 70785  
            For a great selection of used books, stop by The Bookcellar, located just around the corner from Walker homes for sale. Customers have praised the store's reasonable prices as well as its excellent and knowledgeable customer service. Many books of general interest fill the shelves, and if you find titles you love, you'll be able to score a deal since they're used.
          4. Cavalier House Books – 100 N. Range Ave., Denham Springs, LA 70726  
            The entire family can find books to love at Cavalier House Books, located near Denham Springs homes for sale. The shelves are stocked with a wide variety of titles for kids, teens, and adults, so prepare to spend some time browsing. The shop sells new and used books, so if you have titles you've already read, bring them in to exchange for credit toward other books. In addition to its many books, the store also hosts various reading clubs and other events, such as the "Low and Slow" book club, which reads and discusses long, intimidating titles.

          5. Southeast Cards & Comics – 1152 S. Acadian Thruway, Baton Rouge, LA 70806
            The books at Southeast Cards & Comics are mostly – not surprisingly – comics, and it has a treasure trove of titles. You'll find new comic releases on the shelves weekly and trade paperbacks and comics from Marvel, DC, Image, IDW, Dark Horse, and others. You'll also be able to browse and shop for popular board games as well as collectibles and sports cards.

          Contact us to look at Baton Rouge homes for sale and find out about the local shops, restaurants, recreational opportunities, and more, our area a unique local flavor. 


          Using a VA Loan this Year? 2021 Changes to Know About

          VA Loan Louisiana

          If you're thinking about buying one of the beautiful Baton Rouge homes for sale, a VA loan is a great option! These loans come with excellent benefits. They offer flexible credit underwriting and low-interest rates. In addition, buyers using a VA loan won't have to come up with a down payment or carry mortgage insurance (PMI).

          A portion of these loans is guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs (VA). However, the loans are issued by mortgage lenders and banks. Our real estate agents regularly meet with lenders to learn more about any updates to loan programs and how they could impact their clients. 

          There have been some changes to VA loans that go into effect in 2021. Here's what you need to know. 

          Benefits for National Guard Members

          The biggest change affects National Guard members. Previously, VA loans were not available to members who did not have at least 90 days of active service.

          Beginning in 2021, all Guard and Reserve members who have at least 90 days of service are eligible for a VA home loan, even if the service wasn't active. However, there is one caveat. At least 30 of the days of the service must be consecutive. 

          Increased Loan Limits

          As of 2020, service members with "full entitlement" are not subject to a VA loan limit. You'll have full entitlement if you've never used a VA loan benefit, have paid off a VA loan and then sold the property, or had a foreclosure or short sale and repaid the VA in full.

          However, if you have "remaining entitlement," you are subject to a limit. This can occur for several different reasons. The most common is that you have an active VA loan, they're still paying back.

          The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced that the upper limit for their loans was increasing in 2021. VA loans follow these guidelines, so all VA loans closing after January 1st, 2021 also have increased loan limits. The new limit for a single-family home located in the lower 48 states is $548,250. This is an increase of 7.4% compared to 2020. 

          In Alaska or Hawaii, the upper limit is now $822,375. If you're buying a home in a high-cost county, you might also have some extra wiggle room. These areas will have their own limits, which are set on a local basis. This limit may be anywhere from $548,250 and $822,375. 

          Explore Baton Rouge Homes Today! 

          Whether you're planning on using a VA loan or another type of financing, now is a great time to buy a new home. There are many beautiful options on the market, and we would love to help you find the perfect one. Contact us today to get started! 


          Not a Green Thumb? These Indoor Plants Are For You!

          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. 

          1. Pathos 
            If you're looking for a virtually indestructible plant, the Pathos is it! While this plant will do best in front of a large window, it can also do just fine in lower-light environments. The Pathos will quickly grow long vines that reach outward, so it does well in a hanging pot. 
          2. Snake Plant
            The Snake Plant, also known as Mother-In-Law's Tongue, is another highly tolerant houseplant. This is a true low-light plant that doesn't require much water. Not only are these plants beautiful, but they're also known to purify the air, removing potentially dangerous toxins like formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene.  
          3. Monstera
            If you want a plant that promises to make a real impression, you can't go wrong with a Monstera Deliciosa, also known as the Swiss Cheese Plant. It can grow anywhere from 6.5 to almost 10 feet tall and produces leaves that can be up to 3 feet long. These hardy plants do best in medium to bright indirect light and only need to be watered when the soil is dry. 
          4. Cacti 
            A cactus is easy to care for by design. They're great at holding water, which means you rarely have to do anything with it. If you happen to notice the soil is dry, give it a drink. Other than that, there really isn't anything else to do. There are many different cacti varieties, which makes it easy to create interesting displays or place different kinds around your home. 
          5. Spider Plant 
            A beautiful and interesting hanging plant, the Spider plant is super easy to care for. All you need to do is keep it out of direct sunlight, water it when the soil is partially dry, and occasionally cut off any parts that turn brown or yellow. If you're lucky, your plant will reward you with babies, also called spiderettes, that hang from the mother plant. 
          6. ZZ Plant
            A very low-maintenance plant that does great in low-light conditions, the ZZ plant has become extremely popular in recent years. Traditional ZZ plants have green, wax-like leaves, while the new Raven ZZ darkens to a stunning black color when it matures. These plants don't like humidity and only need to be watered when the soil is completely dry, making the ZZ a perfect set-it-and-forget-it plant.
          7. Succulents
            Are you too busy to deal with plants? If so, a succulent is perfect for you! These plants are generally happiest when left alone, and some would even say they thrive on neglect. The easiest way to kill a succulent is to over-water it, so you're best off giving it a little drink once a month and then forgetting you have it. There are endless varieties of succulents to choose from. Just be careful — collecting these beautiful plants can become a bit addictive. 

          Are you still looking for the perfect place to call home? Our real estate agents are here to help! Contact us today to discuss your goals and schedule an appointment. 


          Raise a Glass at These Baton Rouge Wine Bars

          Baton Rouge Wine Bars

          Raise your hand if you could use a tall glass of wine right now. Our real estate agents understand that this year has been unlike any other. Raise a glass to the end of 2020 with a drink from one of these Baton Rouge wine bars.

          1. Duvic's — 2854 Kalurah St., Baton Rouge, LA 70808
            Duvic's is Baton Rouge's favorite neighborhood overpass bar where your preferred martini is waiting. For over twenty years, their bartenders have mastered the art of the martini and paired them with amazing burgers, sandwiches, and more. Those seeking wine will be pleased with their wine list, though beers and nonalcoholic drinks are also on the menu.

          2. Sullivan's Steakhouse — 5252 Corporate Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70808
            Are there any finer pleasures in life than a full-bodied glass of wine and a juicy steak? Pour over the wine list at Sullivan's Steakhouse featuring hundreds of options from around the world as you munch on cheesesteak eggrolls or jumbo lump crab cake appetizers. Enhance your house-cut steak with a broiled lobster tail and a side of three-cheese mac. Add a slice of New York cheesecake and another glass of wine to finish the night off in style.

          3. Mid Tap — 660 Arlington Creek Centre Blvd. Suite D., Baton Rouge, LA 70820
            Eat, drink, and celebrate your health at Mid Tap. White and red wines sit alongside classic cocktails and a rotating tap of domestic beers. Munchies like loaded beer-battered waffle fries and wings will tempt you to refill your wine glass hour after hour.  

          4. Bin 77 — 10111 Perkins Rowe, Baton Rouge, LA 70810
            Never order a bad wine again! Bin 77 Bistro & Wine lets you taste any wine you wish before you order it, so you'll always be satisfied. Live music fills the air most nights as couples and friends split plates like crawfish and kimchi empanadas and grilled lamb lollipops. Whether you desire a full meal like grilled pork chops or if you just want to nibble on a cheese and charcuterie board with your wine, you'll love this adults-only wine bar.

          5. Olive or Twist Bar + Kitchen — 7248 Perkins Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810
            Olive or Twist Kitchen and Bar will have you asking, "Please, sir, may I have some more wine?" This upscale Baton Rouge bar features exceptionally crafted cocktails and your favorite bottles of wine. A lively spot that's perfect to begin or end the night, good times and good wines await you at Olive or Twist.

          Would you like to stay in and have a drink in your own cozy home bar? Let us help you find the perfect space to display your wine collection. Contact us today to tour our latest Baton Rouge homes for sale.


          Holiday Light Displays to Visit

          Photo Courtsey of Paul Broussard

          Holiday light displays are a tradition that we look forward to all year round. Each twinkling bulb warms the heart and brings about a sense of awe and wonder no matter how old you are. And if there ever was a year when we could use a little inspiration, kindness, and a reminder of how good life is, it's this year. So, grab your coats and warm up the cocoa, it's Holiday light season again!

          New Orleans

          The Crescent City loves each holiday, and this time of year is certainly no different.

            • Celebration in the Oaks  |  City Park  |  November 26th – January 3rd (closed December 24th and 31st)
            • Supernova on the Greenway  |  Lafitte Greenway | December 9 - 20th 5 - 9pm Wed-Sun


            Baton Rouge

            Just like Mike the Tiger, this season is still roaring with lights.


            The Northshore shines just as bright as its big city neighbor during the holidays.

            • 18th Annual Holiday of Lights  |  21490 Koop Drive, Mandeville  |  December 6 – 14
            • Christmas Under the Stars  |  Griffith Park – Slidell  |  December 6 – 14
            • Bayou Christmas  |  Heritage Park – Slidell   |   December 18 – 23

            Mississippi Gulf Coast

            These gorgeous beaches are lit up with the gift of lights all month!

            • Gulfport Harbor Lights Winter Festival  |  Jones Park – Gulfport  |  November 29 – December 31
            • Christmastime at Beauvoir  |  Beauvoir  |  December 20 – 23
            • Christmas on the Water Boat Parade  |  Biloxi  |  December 7

            Classic Louisiana Food and Where to Find it in Baton Rouge

            Classic Louisiana Food

            Love classic Louisiana cooking, or interested in sampling our region's many delicacies for the first time? Then you'll feel right at home in Baton Rouge, where local restaurants bring the best of Louisiana to your table every day. From beignets to po'boys, king cakes to gumbo, you'll find it all at the best local dining spots. Our real estate agents are here to help you start your culinary adventure with our guide to 5 local restaurants where you can find classic Louisiana cooking in Baton Rouge.

            1. Rue Beignet – 18135 E Petroleum Dr. Suite H, Baton Rouge, LA 70809

              A sweet, simple treat made from fried dough and a generous sprinkling of confectioner sugar, a beignet pairs perfectly with your morning coffee. The team at Rue Beignet starts baking before the sun rises, and you'll be greeted by the welcoming smell of warm, fresh beignets before you even walk through the door. Everything is made with old-fashioned recipes and the freshest ingredients, with a wide variety of toppings available. Of course, the coffee is always hot, fresh, and delicious as well.

            2. Best Po'Boy and Seafood – 9330 Greenwell Springs Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70814

              The po'boy is a Louisiana staple, and it's so much more than just a sandwich. As you'll see, when you peruse the menu at Best Po'Boy and Seafood, a po'boy can feature a truly diverse range of ingredients, sandwiched between warm, fresh French bread. Best Po'Boy and Seafood is conveniently located close to Baton Rouge homes for sale and serves some of the best sandwiches in the city. Order yours with fresh, fried seafood or delicious roast beef, then grab the perfect Louisiana side dish.

            3. Anthony's Italian Deli – 5575 Government St., Baton Rouge, LA 70806

              Brought to Louisiana by some of the early Italian immigrants to the area, muffuletta refers to both a sandwich style and the type of Italian bread that it's served on. The sandwich is made with a loaf of muffuletta bread, served with ham, salami, a mix of Italian cheeses, and a special olive salad that ties the whole delicious creation together. Stop by Anthony's Italian Deli for some of the best muffuletta in Baton Rouge, and be sure to try the toasted version for an extra treat.

            4. Ambrosia Bakery & Deli – 8546 Siegen Ln., Baton Rouge, LA 70810

              Especially popular during Carnival season but also available to satisfy your sweet tooth year-round, the king cake is a classic Louisiana dessert that comes with some unique traditions. Many bakeries will bake a small, plastic baby into the cake, and whoever finds the baby brings the king cake for the next celebration. You can find king cakes and so much more at Ambrosia Bakery & Deli. The bakery here is fantastic, and the deli churns out delicious sandwiches that are perfect for enjoying before your cake.

            5. Rice and Roux – 2158 O'neal Ln., Baton Rouge, LA 70816

              Gumbo is a classic Louisiana soup that is also our state's official cuisine. It can include many different ingredients but almost always relies on a base of roux, bell peppers, onions, and celery, along with meat or shellfish. When you're in the mood for gumbo, Rice and Roux has you covered with delicious Cajun cooking in a relaxed, casual atmosphere.

            Do you dream of delicious Louisiana delicacies waiting outside your front door in Baton Rouge? Then it's time to find your next home. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Baton Rouge, LA area.


            How to Start an Indoor Herb Garden

            Indoor Herb Garden

            In our warm region, we're lucky to grow certain types of herbs all year long in a protected place outdoors. However, there is always the risk of a cold snap, when temperatures plunge below freezing. That's why learning the ins and outs of indoor herb gardening is well worth your time -- not to mention, having herbs growing indoors provides an attractive accent to your home when it's listed among Baton Rouge homes for sale.

            Further, growing plants indoors can help clean the air, which is oh-so-important when your home is shut up tight during the cold season. It's also lovely to have culinary herbs within snipping distance for cooking. 

            Here's what you'll need to get started.

            What You'll Need

            The greatest challenge for growing indoor plants is giving them the 6-8 hours of sunlight they need. If you have a big window, that may be enough light for a healthy garden. Otherwise, you may need to supplement it with a grow light. 

            You'll obviously need containers, so think about how many herbs you want to grow and what your indoor garden will look like. Kits are available that make it easy to grow three or so seeds or seedlings. If space is limited, you might acquire a multi-tiered plant stand that will hold pots. 

            Pots can be plastic or clay, but some pros lean toward today's higher quality plastics. They last longer, without worries about chipping and breaking, and they hold in water quite well, so there's less worry about drying out. Always look for recyclable plastic. Further, plastic is lighter and easier to move around. Containers should have a hole in the bottom to allow water to drain. 

            If you don't opt for a kit, you will need potting soil, plants, or seeds (buying seedlings will get you going faster unless you love growing plants from seeds), fertilizer, a watering can, and some mat or drip tray to keep water off the floor.

            What to Grow?

            If you're an indoor gardening novice, you might want to start with herbs that are easy to grow. The following are some culinary herbs that you're probably used to using in recipes.

            Mint: Grown outdoors, mint will take over, but indoors, it's likely to be a little better contained. Grow mint from seed, cuttings, or store-bought container plants. It's used in cooking, to make cocktails and other drinks, to freshen breath, and for an upset stomach.

            Basil: One of the easiest herbs to grow, basil is used in Italian cooking, particularly pesto. Start it from seed with ease. It's also pleasingly aromatic.

            Chives: Chives are quite easy to grow; plus, they can be frozen for later use. They're often added to soups and dips and are a well-known addition to sour cream when served with potatoes. 

            Parsley: Sow parsley directly from seed in the container you are going to grow it in. Grow it in the brightest light possible. Add parsley to soups and salads. It's rich in antioxidants and vitamins.

            Rosemary: Rosemary will start as a fragrant herb you can snip but will turn into a woody plant. The key to growing rosemary is sandy soil in the container. And refrain from overwatering.

            Take time off from your indoor projects and let our real estate agents help you get your home ready to list. Contact us today. 


            Where to Train for a 5k in Baton Rouge

            Baton Rouge Running Trails

            Are you ready to lace up your running shoes for a 5k in the Baton Rouge area? Then you'll find no shortage of great places to train for your next run! Between beautiful city parks, well-established nature trails, and trails running through popular local attractions, Baton Rouge offers a little bit of everything. Get ready for your next 5k, and enjoy some great natural scenery while you train. Our real estate agents have the details on some of the best places to train for a 5k around Baton Rouge.

            1. Milford Wampold Community Park – 901 Stanford Ave., Baton Rouge, LA 70808

              Located on LSU lake with beautiful views of the water, Milford Wampold Community Park is a lovely place to train for a 5k close to Baton Rouge homes for sale. There are paved trails running throughout the park, along with a sandy beach that allows you to add a different type of surface to your training.

            2. Highland Road Community Park – 14024 Highland Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810

              With more than 144 acres to explore that include paved trails and activities for family members of all ages, Highland Road Community Park makes it easy to fit some 5k training into a full day of outdoor family fun at the park. In addition to a variety of connected trails, the park features athletic fields of all types, a playground, picnic pavilions, a boat launch, and an air-conditioned indoor gymnasium.

            3. Baton Rouge Downtown Greenway – Downtown Baton Rouge, LA 70802

              The Baton Rouge Downtown Greenway connects with a number of downtown parks, outdoor attractions, and existing trail systems with views of the Mississippi River all around you, making it a great way to mix some variety into your 5k training. Currently, the loop connects the levee bike path, town square, and Brooks Park, with even more trails expected to be added in the future.

            4. Comite Park Trail – 8900 Hooper Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70818

              Looking for a trail that will allow you to put your training to the test? The Comite Park Trail is an excellent choice, with elevation changes that will add a little spice to your next run. This trail rates as moderate by popular hiking standards, with a 4.9-mile loop along the river that offers beautiful views while you run.

            5. Dawson Creek Trail – 7122 Perkins Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70808

              Located at the well-lit Perkins Road Community Park, the Dawson Creek Trail offers a convenient, paved running trail that can still be enjoyed even after the sun goes down. The trail runs for just over four miles with offshoots into the woods where you can extend your run, while the park also features a rock climbing wall, skate park, BMX bike trails, and a playground perfect for entertaining younger visitors.

            Living in Baton Rouge means that your next outdoor adventure is never far from your front door, and our team is here to help you find your next home in the city. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Baton Rouge, LA area.


            5 Tips for Picking Out a Kitchen Backsplash

            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.

            1. Do Your Research
              Updating or renovating is all about doing your research. Choosing a backsplash is no different. There is a variety of different materials to choose from, and each one is different in terms of durability and care requirements. For instance, ceramic and porcelain may seem like the same thing, but they are made differently in a way that makes porcelain much denser and more durable. Some materials will also require more care, such as natural stone and marble, that need to be sealed once a year.
            2. Try Out Your Options
              You can't tile your entire backsplash before deciding whether it's going to work for you, but you can bring home samples. Hang them up in your kitchen, where you can see them as you go about your day. Sometimes materials or colors can look one way in the store or catalog and completely different when you have them in your home. Watch what happens as the light changes throughout the day, for instance. It's also not a bad idea to surround them with samples of other options you're considering, such as countertops, so that you can also think about what looks best together.
            3. Mix, Not Match
              When it comes to backsplashes, remember what this is supposed to do: make a splash. While it might be very tempting to match everything perfectly, a backsplash should be coordinating but also noteworthy, something that goes but will also stand out. That might mean a splash of color, but it also might mean different lines, such as tile set on the diagonal.
            4. Highlight Focal Points
              Like with any other form of art, you can also use a backsplash as an accent to draw attention to the kitchen's focal parts. For instance, the area over the sink and over the range are often enhanced with something special, an accent within the overall theme of the backsplash. This might be a special material or color, or a change in the tile pattern.
            5. Budget Wisely
              If you have to make your choices carefully to ensure your kitchen updates stay within your budget, that's understandable. Just be smart about where and how you cut corners. For instance, you might opt for ceramic tile, which is more affordable yet still a perfectly respectable choice for a backsplash. But it's not wise to skimp on the grout's quality, which is literally the glue that holds your renovations together. High-quality grout will last longer and look better.

            The kitchen is one of the most central rooms of a home, so having one you love is important. If you're in the market for a home, contact us today to discuss what you're looking for and to tour Baton Rouge homes for sale.


            5 Bakeries in Baton Rouge Your Sweet Tooth will Love

            Baton Rouge Bakeries

            If you've been in the area looking at Baton Rouge homes for sale, you've probably noticed that there's no shortage of great dining options here! In addition to the huge variety of upscale and casual restaurants, Baton Rouge is also known for its outstanding bakeries. 

            Our real estate agents often enjoy stopping by their favorite local shops for a cup of coffee and a sweet treat. Here are a few that you'll want to check out. 

            1. Les Amis Bake Shoppe: 11826 Coursey Blvd, Baton Rouge, LA 70816
              For specialty desserts in an array of both traditional and unique flavors, you can't go wrong with Les Amis Bake Shoppe. They offer a diverse selection of cake balls and cupcakes in flavors that change each week. They also sell cake and cheesecake by the slice, which is perfect for those sweet cravings. Some of the incredible cake flavors you'll find here include Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel (their signature cake!), Strawberry Silk, Coconut Cream, German Chocolate, and Mocha Espresso. Whether you need a custom cake for a special occasion or just want to satisfy your sweet tooth, you'll find exactly what you're looking for here. 
            1. Baum's Fine Pastries & Chocolate: 8046 Florida Blvd, Baton Rouge, LA 70806
              A Baton Rouge tradition since 1934, Baum's Fine Pastries and Chocolate is the go-to option for cake and pastry delivery. They specialize in birthday and wedding cakes, but you don't need a special occasion to order their delicious confections. To order, simply visit their website, scroll through their photo gallery, and send them a picture of the treats you want. They'll create them for you and deliver them right to your door! 
            1. Cake Goddess: 14241 Airline Hwy, Ste 108, Baton Rouge, LA 70817
              Cake Goddess creates stunning custom cakes for all types of special occasions. Browse through their Facebook page, and you'll be blown away by their cake decorating skills! The best thing is, the cakes taste just as great as they look! You can also stop by the bakery at any time to enjoy a variety of tasty treats. You'll love their unique cupcake creations with flavors Banana Foster, Pina Colada, and S'mores. 
            1. Rosch Bakehaus: The Garden District, Baton Rouge, LA 70808
              If you love fresh-baked bread, you'll definitely want to check out Rosch Bakehaus. This "cottage bakery" specializes in small-batch handcrafted bread (including sweetbreads and sourdough), traditional pretzel bread, pastries, custom cakes, and German-style pretzels. They use only unbleached flour, organic cage-free eggs, and organic, local, and seasonal produce whenever possible. You can visit their site, order online, and pick up your treats on the day you choose. It's super convenient and will soon become one of your favorite places to visit! 
            1. Cupcake Junkie: 12240 Coursey Blvd, Baton Rouge, LA 70816
              Are you a cupcake fanatic? If so, you're going to love Cupcake Junkie! They specialize in "boldly decadent" cupcakes made from premium ingredients. The offerings vary each day, but some of the amazing cupcake flavors you might find there include Pineapple Cream Cheese, Strawberry Lemonade, Peach Cobbler, and Key Lime Cheesecake. In addition to cupcakes, they also offer cakes, cake slices, cookies, brownies, lemon bars, and "Junkie Juice." Place a custom order or stop by and browse their daily selection, either way, you're sure to leave happy! 

            Are you looking for a sweet deal on a new home? There are a lot of great options on the market right now. Contact us today to discuss your goals and get started. 


            5 Kid-Friendly Hiking Trails Near Baton Rouge

            Hiking Trails Baton Rouge

            Are you looking for a way to get your kids off the couch? Gathering up the entire family and heading out to some of the area's beautiful nature trails is a great way to get everybody's heart pumping and get some fresh air. 

            Many of our real estate agents have started spending their weekends visiting local hiking trails with their families. Here are a few of their favorite kid-friendly options you'll want to explore. 

            1. Learning Tree Trail: LSU Botanical Gardens Steele Forest - 4560 Essen Ln, Baton Rouge, LA 70809
              Learning Tree Trail is a super-easy trail. It's a half-mile loop that sees moderate foot traffic. Here you'll find lots of beautiful wildflowers and opportunities for birdwatching and spotting other wildlife. The wildlife placards located throughout the trail are a great way to combine education and exercise. The kids are sure to love stopping to learn more about some of the animals they may see.  
            1. Black Swamp Trail: LSU Botanical Gardens Steele Forest - 4560 Essen Ln, Baton Rouge, LA 70809
              The Black Swamp Trail is located near the interstate right in the heart of Baton Rouge. This makes it a great place to explore after spending the morning looking at Baton Rouge homes for sale. It's a 2.2-mile out-and-back trail that offers plenty of shade, crushed rock paths, and a wooden bridge that goes through a swamp. This trail also has plenty of placards for the kids to read and benches to sit and rest if you want to take a break. 
            1. Barton Arboretum Loop: LSU Botanical Arboretum Loop - 4560 Essen Ln, Baton Rouge, LA 70809
              The 2.3-mile Barton Arboretum Loop is an easy trail with light traffic. It's well-kept and very shaded. There's a lake along the trail and a wide variety of plant life. Your kids will enjoy this "storytime trail" that allows them to read a book as they walk around. The little chapel with a pulpit and benches offers an unexpected surprise that everyone is sure to enjoy. 
            1. Arrowwood Trail: Kendalwood Conservation Area - 24700 Kendalwood Rd, Baton Rouge, LA 70817
              If you want to get some substantial exercise, gather up the family and head out to the 3.0-mile Arrowwood Trail. This loop is lightly trafficked. It features a river and is great for catching a glimpse of wildlife, including plenty of banana spiders and a few snakes. Despite the length, it's an easy trail to walk with minimal elevation. This makes it a perfect adventure for the entire family.
            1. Hardwood Forest Loop Trail: Frenchtown Road Conservation Area - 17819 Frenchtown Rd, Greenwell Springs, LA 70739
              Perfect for nature trips and bird watching, Hardwood Forest Loop Trail features a river, forest, and plenty of beautiful wildflowers. This 2.1-mile loop is moderately trafficked and the perfect length for when you only have an hour or so to enjoy your hike. The dirt trail runs through a fairly dense forest. Along the way, you'll come across an interesting section of giant bamboo. There's also two rivers, a beach area, and a swamp. Your kids may also enjoy getting a look at the train, which often passes by. 

            Beautiful scenery and plenty of outdoor adventures are just a few of the reasons why so many people love living here! If you're looking for your dream home in the Baton Rouge area, we can help. Contact us today to discuss your goals and get started. 


            Food Trucks You Can Find in Baton Rouge

            Baton Rouge Food Trucks

            Don't feel like cooking, but you're not in the mood to dine out either? Food trucks offer portable restaurant-quality food that can be eaten outdoors or back home. Feed yourself or the whole family with delicious food from these great trucks near Baton Rouge homes for sale

            • The Kolache Kitchen - 7930 Jefferson Hwy., Baton Rouge, LA 70809
              Central Europe meets the bayou at The Kolache Kitchen, a food truck located in Baton Rouge's upscale Bocage neighborhood. A kolache is a soft-baked pastry that perfectly accommodates a wide variety of sweet and savory fillings. Options include mushrooms and red pepper, turkey, smoked sausage, or fruit. Since this IS Baton Rouge, there's also a Boudin kolache. Other tasty menu choices are tacos, sandwiches, and empanadas. A second truck can be found at 4245 Nicholson Dr. near the LSU campus. Both locations serve breakfast and lunch from 6 a.m. - 2 p.m. daily.

            • Basel's Market Food Truck - Various locations
              Kaylyn Lindsly, the founder of Basel's Market Food Truck, is the daughter of Calvin Lindsly, who worked his way up from bagger to become the owner of Calvin's Bocage Market. Kaylyn runs Basel's Market, named after her Australian shepherd, with that same work ethic and emphasis on customer service. The truck serves up homemade comfort food such as crawfish pie, mac 'n' cheese, and chicken salad. Craft your personalized gourmet sandwich with your choices of bread, meat, cheese, veggies, and condiments. Follow Basel's Market on Facebook for daily locations and times.

            • Boo's Best BBQ - Various locations
              In the South, BBQ is truly a family affair. Ivory Brown learned to love grilling from his father, and Ivory's subsequent marriage inspired him to focus his passion by starting Boo's Best BBQ. The truck features traditional favorites such as chopped chicken, pork ribs, salmon, and sausage. Complement your meal with a rotating selection of green beans, boiled corn, potato casserole, and other sides. Order ahead for pickup of full pans and family meals. Follow Boo's Facebook page for the current schedule.

            • Cou-Yon's - 3653 Perkins Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70808
              Keeping with the family BBQ tradition, brothers Paul and Michael Mladenka teamed up to start Cou-Yon's, a brick-and-mortar restaurant in Port Allen. Their Cajun-meets-South-Texas style was so popular that they opened a new trailer at the corner of Perkins and Acadian in Baton Rouge. In addition to the classic BBQ meats and sides, Cou-Yon's features their signature loaded baked potatoes that are a meal in themselves. Customers line up for the waffle fries served nacho-style, topped with queso, bacon, sour cream, jalapeños, onions, and your choice of meat. Hours are 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. 

            • Geaux Cuban - Various locations
              Enjoy some island flavor with one of the namesake sandwiches from Geaux Cuban. The popular sandwich is made with pulled pork, ham, Swiss cheese, mayo, mustard, and pickles between two slices of pressed Cuban bread. Other traditional favorites on the menu include roasted pork or chicken sandwiches and tacos, ham croquettes, and plantains. Try the Cuban nachos, with classic toppings served on crunchy corn chips. Visit Geaux Cuban's Facebook page to find up-to-date information on times and locations.

            Our real estate agents love grabbing lunch on the go from one of these top food trucks. Learn more about why Baton Rouge is such a wonderful place to call home when you contact us at Latter & Blum. 


            Shop Local: Baton Rouge Farmers Markets

            Baton Rouge Farmers Markets

            Are you focusing more on healthy eating these days? Start with quality ingredients for meals that are good for your body and taste buds. Find fresh fruit, vegetables, and more at these great farmers markets, just minutes from Baton Rouge homes for sale

            1. Fresh Pickin's Market - 10375 Coursey Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70816
              In 1993, friends Paul Ferachi and Russell Saia wanted a way to provide the community with fresh produce at low prices. The result was Fresh Pickin's Market, which offers "14 Carrot Produce" directly from farmers and shippers. By sidestepping distribution centers, Fresh Pickin's is able to sell a wide selection of items at affordable prices. In addition, more than 50 varieties of fresh-frozen fruits and vegetables are available to enjoy year-round. Use the Waitr app for delivery or curbside pickup. 

            2. Southside Produce Market - 8240 Perkins Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810
              For Harry and Andy, father-and-son co-founders of Southside Produce Market, selling fruits and vegetables runs in the family. Harry's father opened the first fresh fruit stand in Baton Rouge back in the 1930s. Today, Harry and Andy operate the largest hybrid produce market in the South. One-touch of a button takes the 28,000 square-foot facility from an open-air market to an indoor climate-controlled shop. Southside supports local farmers by participating in the "Louisiana Grown, Real Fresh" program.

            3. Red Stick Farmers Market - 501 Main St., Baton Rouge, LA 70801
              The first farmers market in Baton Rouge originated as a student project? Yes, Red Stick Farmers Market was developed as part of LSU student Chris Company's master's thesis. Originally located in the parking lot of the downtown government building, Red Stick moved to Main Street Market in 2002 when they joined forces with the Big River Economic and Agricultural Development Alliance, or BREADA. Each Saturday from 8 a.m. - noon, Red Stick sells locally-grown produce, artisan food products, and prepared meals along with staging cooking demonstrations. Red Stick also has a year-round site on Thursdays from 8 a.m. - noon at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center and a seasonal location on Tuesdays from 8 a.m. - noon at the EBRP Main Library.

            4. Sprouts Farmers Market - 4841 Rouzan Square Ave., Baton Rouge, LA 70808
              For years, big-name supermarkets carried mostly national brands and processed foods. Healthy, organic foods were hard to find and expensive to purchase. That changed with the opening of Sprouts Family Market, which is dedicated to making healthy eating accessible and affordable for all. At Sprouts, you'll find the highest quality produce, meats and seafood, baked goods, dairy products, and bulk foods. Stop by the deli counter for convenient prepared meals and ready-to-eat soups, salads, and sandwiches. Hours are 7 a.m. - 10 p.m. daily.

            5. Grow Dirt - 1947 Cunard St., Baton Rouge, LA 70807
              How fresh is the produce from Grow Dirt? Their motto is, "If it don't come out the dirt, it ain't food!" Grow Dirt uses a "pop-up" format to sell fruits and vegetables grown in their own garden, which also serves as a community teaching tool. Order the weekly "Fresh Box" or select à la carte items. Want to plant your own garden? Grow Dirt has plants, seeds, and supplies to get you started. Market hours are 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Wednesday and 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Saturday.

            Let our real estate agents help you plant roots in a new home. Contact us at Latter & Blum for all your Baton Rouge real estate needs.


            5 Benefits of Working With a REALTOR®

            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.

            1. Their knowledge and experience are invaluable.
              Just as you're an expert in your professional field, REALTORS® have extensive knowledge of your market thanks to years of experience. They understand the complex legalities involved with the process and know-how to complete transactions in the most ethical way possible. Most importantly, they know how to spot and avoid potential problems that may delay or outright nullify your transaction.

            2. Hiring a REALTOR® gives you access to a team of professionals.
              When you enlist the help of a REALTOR®, you're gaining the assistance of more than a single individual. Their network of professionals includes other REALTORS®, licensed contractors, professional staging companies, certified appraisers, honest inspectors, and other resources that will help you throughout the home sale.

            3. REALTORS® are motivated with your best interest in mind.
              Buying or selling property is a huge milestone, personally and financially. Rest assured that your REALTOR® recognizes how important these transactions are and will conduct this process with the utmost priority. They are dedicated to helping you succeed, putting your interests first to ensure that you are completely satisfied with the process and results. Your REALTOR® is your personal advocate for your home sale and will stand beside you through thick and thin until you've achieved your real estate goals on your terms.

            4. Your REALTOR® handles many frustrations for you.
              Selling or buying a home, while exciting, can be a stressful experience without expert assistance. What if an element of the home fails inspection or doesn't appraise as expected? What if a buyer doesn't secure a mortgage loan or if a seller tried to play hardball? Instead of juggling these stressful problems alone, your REALTOR® manages them for you. They've encountered a variety of problematic issues during their career and know the best ways that you can overcome them. More importantly, they have the foresight to prevent some obstacles from arising, such as adding contingencies to your contract to protect you if challenges arise.

            5. REALTORS® can save you money before, during, and after the real estate transaction.
              Too many property owners are focused on the sale itself and forget about the miscellaneous expenses in addition to the purchase price. Thankfully, your REALTORS® know how to save you money throughout the process, even after they've expertly negotiated to save you money. From remodeling tips and tricks to the best advice for local services in your new area, your REALTOR® is committed to helping you save every penny possible.

            Are you considering buying or selling a home in Baton Rouge? We can help. Contact us today to learn more about the ways our REALTORS® can help you achieve your real estate goals.


            Dine Out on the Patio at These Baton Rouge Restaurants

            Baton Rouge Dining

            As the nation begins to open up, it's clear that social distancing and other basic precautions are going to be the "new norm," at least for a while. If you've been craving a sit-down meal at a restaurant but are worried about safety, you may want to consider visiting one of the many local restaurants with outdoor patio seating. 

            Our real estate agents have been gathering a list of their favorites, and now we're ready to share it with you. We guarantee you'll have trouble deciding which of these local hot spots to visit first.  

            1. The Velvet Cactus: 7655 Old Hammond Hwy., Baton Rouge, LA 70809
              From their classic Mexican and Mexican-inspired dishes to the fresh lime and cane sugar margaritas and gorgeous patio with a scenic view, there are plenty of reasons to love The Velvet Cactus. This trendy restaurant is a popular destination for both lunch and dinner and also has an excellent brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. If you're feeling adventurous, make sure you try some of their unique offerings like the Crawfish Boil Queso and the Vodka Frosê. 
            2. Flambêe Cafe: 8210 Village Plaza Court, Baton Rouge, LA 70810
              French restaurant Flambêe Cafe offers patrons a delicious menu, pleasant atmosphere, and excellent service. Even better, it's just a short walk from some of the best Baton Rouge homes for sale. The menu features baguette sandwiches, burgers, salads, and "Tartes Flambêes." When you visit, make sure to ask about the chef's creation of the week, and don't forget to order some French onion soup. You won't be disappointed!
            3. Willie's Restaurant: 11260 Coursey Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70816
              Family-owned Willie's Restaurant is the perfect spot for Louisiana classics like crawfish platters, po'boys, catfish, etouffee, and gumbo. They also have an excellent brunch menu on Saturdays and Sundays. If you're looking for a friendly place to kick back and relax, this is it! 
            4. Mid City Beer Garden: 3808 Government St., Baton Rouge, LA 70806
              The Mid City Beer Garden is a beautiful outdoor space where you can enjoy amazing food and a frosty beer. This is a 21+ venue, so leave the kids at home -- but feel free to bring your furry friend! They carry a huge selection of beers and have a delicious food menu. Make sure you check out Taco Tuesdays and don't miss out on the weekend brunch. Mid City Beer Garden will be reopening for service on July 24th. Be sure to stop in for a pint when they reopen! 
            5. Bldg 5: 2805 Kalurah St., Baton Rouge, LA 70808
              Tucked right under the Perkins Road Overpass, Bldg 5 is the go-to spot for fresh, seasonally-inspired food, craft cocktails, and a trendy, upscale vibe. In addition to traditional menu items, this restaurant also offers a selection of small plates and unique dinner boards that are meant to share. It's the perfect place to enjoy dinner, drinks, and good times with family and friends.

            The great dining options are just one of the many things to love about living in the Baton Rouge area. Want to explore some of the local neighborhoods? Contact us today! We would love to show you around and help you find your dream home. 


            7 Ways to Beat the Louisiana Heat This Summer

            Summer Tips

            Louisiana has a wonderful climate, but temperatures can soar over the summer. Fortunately, residents of our area have learned some tips and tricks that can help make you more comfortable. Our real estate agents suggest the following seven ways to beat the Louisiana heat this summer:

            1. Wear the Right Clothing
              You may be tempted to wear as little as possible during hot weather, especially when you go outside. But wearing light, loose-fitting clothing made of natural fabrics keep you more comfortable. And when you go outside, your covered skin won't be absorbing as much of the sun's heat, and you'll be more likely to avoid getting a scorching sunburn.

            2. Chill Your Sheets
              As strange as it sounds, put your top sheet and pillowcase - and even your bottom sheet if you have room - into large zip-lock bags and put them in the fridge during the evening. Put them back on your bed when it's time to go to sleep, and you'll have sheets that let you stay cooler at night.

            3. Stay Hydrated
              Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them, but drink plenty of water. If you put a bottle of water in the freezer, you'll always have a cold bottle to take with you when you go out. Many people get tired of plain water, so infuse it with fruit like cucumbers or strawberries to give it a shot of flavor.

            4. Use Your Fans
              Fans help move air, which makes your body feel cooler. Use ceiling fans set to turn counterclockwise as well as pedestal or table fans to help you beat the heat. Turn them off if you'll be leaving a room for a long period of time, since they help cool you off, but not the room.

            5. Shut the Blinds
              Letting natural light in your home can make it pleasant to be inside on most days, but during the summer, you're also letting heat into your home. Shut your blinds or draperies during the day and take the extra step of turning off unnecessary lights to avoid the heat they generate.

            6. Cool Off with Water
              Taking a cool shower can be very refreshing, especially before bedtime. You can also mist yourself with water throughout the day or sit in a lawn chair and soak your feet in a kiddie pool.

            Contact us if you're looking to sell your home or would like to find out about Baton Rouge homes for sale in the area. Our real estate agents have a great deal of experience buying and selling homes in Louisiana and can help you sell your existing home and find the right one for you!


            International Yoga Day: Baton Rouge Yoga Studios

            Baton Rouge Yoga Studios

            Get ready to strike a pose – a yoga pose that is! Sunday, June 21st, is International Yoga Day, and our real estate agents are looking forward to finding zen in a peaceful, uplifting yoga session. Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years and has gained popularity around the globe. If you're looking for a place where you can strengthen your mind, body, and soul, check out these yoga studios around Baton Rouge.

            1. Preservation Yoga – 8775 Jefferson Highway, Suite C, Baton Rouge, LA 70809
              Change your life today at Preservation Yoga. The Original Hot Yoga Studio offers classes designed to improve your life physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, with session times ranging from one hour to ninety-minutes. Stop in and sign up for a hot yoga class, Yin Yoga session, or an Inferno Hot Pilates lesson and leave feeling rejuvenated. As an added perk, new students can receive 30 days of lessons for only $30.

            2. One Heart Yoga Center – 340 St. Joseph St., Baton Rouge, LA 70802
              A yoga studio uniting heart, body, and soul, One Heart Yoga Center promotes yoga classes for everybody. No matter your ability or skill level, you are welcomed with open arms to share in the healing and transformative powers of yoga. One Heart Yoga Center has certified yoga instructors as well as a massage therapist, a sound healer, a hypnotherapist, and an aesthetician at their facility to help you restore balance to every aspect of your wellbeing.

            3. Yoga Path – 711 Jefferson Highway, Baton Rouge, LA 70806
              Yoga Path
              has been a favorite studio for Baton Rouge yoga enthusiasts. Though times are changing, Yoga Path is adapting in new ways and will now solely be a yoga school for those who want to complete their yogi training. Thankfully, there are still online classes available via videos on the website, and you can also sign up for private yoga lessons if you are interested in continuing with Yoga Path without becoming a certified yogi.

            4. Yogalates II – 3753 Perkins Rd., Suite A, Baton Rouge, LA 70808
              Yogalates II
              blends yoga, Pilates, and calisthenics into a complete workout. Everything from your muscles and joints to your organs and soul will be strengthened. They "train outside the box," allowing individuals from every walk of life to reap the benefits of these exercises no matter their skill level or physical limitations. Build, burn, and balance your way to a healthier life with Yogalates II.

            5. Parish Pilates & Yoga – 2931 Government St., Baton Rouge, LA 70806
              Tradition meets innovation at Parish Pilates & Yoga. This Mid City studio offers a comprehensive yoga program that includes some classes covering traditional, modern, and alternative yoga classes. As the only studio in the city that specializes in Springboard equipment Pilates, this studio offers a unique opportunity to challenge your body, mind, and spirit with support from a diverse community.

            Would you love a serene space to practice yoga in your house? Contact us today to learn more about our Baton Rouge homes for sale.


            World Blood Donor Day: Donation Spots Near Baton Rouge

            Baton Rouge Blood Drive

            Of the many volunteers who generously donate their kindness to society, blood donors are a group of heroes that save lives with each precious drop of blood that they give. Believe it or not, a single hour spent donating blood can save up to three lives. Not only do these blood donations preserve the wellbeing of those in our own Baton Rouge community, but they also safeguard the health of men, women, and children around the world.

            To honor these individuals and continue raising awareness for the dramatic need for blood, the World Health Organization created World Blood Donor Day. This event is celebrated around the globe and applauds the selfless service of donors while highlighting the importance of consistent blood donations. Now in its 16th year, World Blood Donor Day continues to remind us that, although all of us have blood, more than half of us are actually unable to donate. In fact, only 38 percent of the population is eligible to donate. This becomes more concerning when you realize that every two seconds, someone in the United States is in desperate need of a blood donation.

            Blood is not a resource that can be artificially manufactured or taken without permission. Blood donations rely on the kindness and consent of donors to keep blood banks stocked around the world. Donor blood is used for more than blood transfusions. It is also used to treat a number of diseases and is used for research to combat other life-threatening health conditions. Nearly 80 countries around the globe use voluntary blood donations to stock 90 to 100 percent of their blood supply. By donating even just once, you're immediately improving the lives of individuals around the world.

            World Blood Donor Day is on June 14th and we can't think of a better way to celebrate these volunteers than by doing our part to help those who need it most in our world. If you are interested and able to donate blood, our real estate agents encourage you to please consider visiting these blood donation centers around Baton Rouge.

            Of course, these are not the only locations where you can donate blood around Baton Rouge. There are many facilities and mobile blood donation drives occurring throughout the year. We encourage you to reach out to these additional resource to learn more about upcoming opportunities to donate blood around the Baton Rouge area:

            To learn more about Baton Rouge homes for sale, please contact us to discuss buying or selling properties in the area.


            Random Acts of Kindness You Can Do in Baton Rouge

            Random Acts of Kindness Baton Rouge

            Finding it hard to occupy your time these days? Our real estate agents have some ways to stay active nourishing the soul and brightening someone else's day. Keep busy with these simple but powerful random acts of kindness that enrich the community around Baton Rouge homes for sale

            1. Adopt a Pet - Friends of the Animals, 8476 Highland Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70808
              Sadly, more animals than usual are finding themselves displaced at a time when people need companionship. Over its first decade in operation, Friends of the Animals has placed more than 5,000 dogs and puppies in forever homes. While the center is currently closed, you can view available pets on the website or Facebook page and submit an online adoption application. If you want to offer support but can't currently take in a pet, donations are gratefully accepted.

            2. Send Letters to Healthcare Facilities - Flannery Oaks Guest House, 1642 N. Flannery Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70815
              Residents in healthcare facilities have to forgo visitation that's a crucial element of their physical and emotional well-being. Flannery Oaks Guest House cares for people who have short- or long-term health issues requiring skilled medical attention. Imagine how much a thoughtful card or note would mean to them. Contact Flannery Oaks or the healthcare facility of your choice to confirm their preferred procedure for sending letters.

            3. "Chalk Your Walk"
              Do you have kids who are going stir-crazy? Join residents from NYC to Oahu and "Chalk Your Walk" with pictures, words of encouragement, and other visual images demonstrating solidarity with your Baton Rouge neighbors when you're finished, post pictures of the completed work on the project's Facebook page for everyone to enjoy.

            4. Feed a Family - Isabella's Pizzeria, 10330 Airline Hwy., Baton Rouge, LA 70816
              With inventory levels strained to the limit, grocery shopping can be unreliable, making mealtime a challenge. Surprise a family member, friend, or neighbor and support small business one night with dinner delivered to their door. Pizza is relatively inexpensive, feeds several people, and satisfies just about anyone. Isabella's Pizzeria is open daily from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. for delivery or curbside pickup. You can also pay it forward by purchasing gift cards from your favorite restaurant and distributing them for use now or later.

            5. Run Errands
              After watching the news one day, British freelance writer Becky Wass was inspired to create a clever way of letting her neighbors know she was willing and able to provide help. Becky and her husband shared her ingenious postcard template online, with the sensible instructions to "wash your hands" before printing and distributing.

            6. Thank Essential Workers
              Essential workers have been supporting the Baton Rouge area, and it's time to show them your appreciation. A simple thank you while in the checkout aisle can mean the world. Tell them how much you value the work they do for the community. Being kind goes a long way! 

            In good times and bad, Latter & Blum is proud to support the vibrant Baton Rouge community. Contact us for help with all your real estate questions.


            Tips for Starting a Garden in Baton Rouge

            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. Pick the Right Location
              Before you run out to the garden store, choose a spot that optimizes what plants need to thrive - light, good soil, water, and nutrients. Most vegetables need at least 6 hours of full sun per day. So you need to survey your sun situation in the morning, middle of the day, and evening. You should also plant in moist, well-drained soil. If you have rocky or poorly drained soil, you can grow plants in containers or build raised beds. 

            3. Start Small
              One of the most common mistakes that novice gardeners make is planting too much too soon. The last thing you want is to feel overwhelmed or frustrated from the get-go. Plan your garden with care and start small. If you avoid setting up something too elaborate, you will have the time to get a better feel of your space and gauge the design and size that you'd prefer in the long run. 

            4. Choose Your Veggies
              When starting a vegetable garden, choose what you and your family like to eat. If radishes are no one's favorite, don't plant them. It can be tempting to want to grow all the things, but you need to be realistic about how many vegetables you will eat. Top vegetables for beginners include tomatoes, onions, peppers, zucchini squash, lettuce, carrots, beets, radishes, chard, cabbage, and cucumber.

            5. Plant and Water Carefully
              An easier method of starting your garden is to buy transplants. Based on tag instructions, dig holes in your bed and set the plans in. If the roots have grown into a ball, use your fingers or a fork to untangle the roots. Pat soil into place and then soak with water. To avoid crowding, read about your plants first to understand how you should space them out based on how big they will get. It's also important to mindful of how high your plants will grow. Creeping and shorter plants would be planted towards the front and edges of the garden bed. You want to avoid a situation where taller plants would block smaller ones or those that prefer a lot of sun.

              Make sure to give your plants a consistent and ample amount of water, especially early morning, so your plants can soak up the water before it gets too warm.

            Contact us today for more gardening tips. Our team will be happy to show you some of the Baton Rouge homes for sale that have plenty of outdoor space.


            Home Improvement Projects You Can Tackle in One Weekend

            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. 
            2. Replace the Flooring in One Room
              If your home's flooring is showing its age, you don't have to replace it all at once. Instead, try to tackle one room each weekend. Look for a flooring option that's easy for DIYers to install, like peel and stick vinyl flooring or laminate plank flooring. Maybe you have fairly new carpets that are riddled with stains. Instead of replacing them, rent a steam cleaner, and clean them. You'll need to stay off them until they dry, but you can clean your house in sections over the weekend.
            3. Upgrade Your Bathroom Vanity
              A new vanity can give your bathroom a brand new look. It's possible to replace your existing bathroom vanity in a matter of hours. However, you do need to make sure the new vanity is compatible with your bathroom flooring. If you currently have a floor-mounted bathroom vanity, you may not have flooring underneath the vanity. You'll want to make sure you select another floor mounted vanity with the same dimensions. Free-standing vanities have flooring underneath them; you can replace a free-standing vanity with another free-standing unit, a floor-mounted piece, or a wall-mounted vanity.  
            4. Revamp Your Closet
              A gorgeous closet is a strong selling point. Start by getting rid of pieces that you no longer wear; a good rule of thumb is to get rid of any in-season items that you haven't worn in six months. Once you've gotten rid of pieces, you no longer wear, make sure that your closet has a superb organizational system. You can install a pre-designed closet organizer, or you may design your own with different shelving units, drawers, and closet rods. 
            5. Set Up a Fantastic Outside Space
              A charming outside space makes your home feel larger. Don't let a great deck or patio go to waste; instead, set up a space that's functional and aesthetically pleasing. Start by giving the area a thorough scrubbing. Then, add your deck furniture. A dining table with chairs is one option, or you can add a conversation set that includes chairs and end tables. Add an outdoor area rug to make the space feel more inviting. 

            Need more advice on preparing your home to sale? Contact us today. 


            7 Things You Didn't Know About the Louisiana State Capitol Building

            Lousiana State Capitol Building

            There's history on every corner in Louisiana. Much of that history converges on the magnificent corners of the Louisiana State Capitol Building. When the building was first envisioned in 1928, it was the physical manifestation of the state's spirit. Today, it remains one of the most beautiful and storied buildings in the country, and there are seven facts about the structure that our REALTORS® think you just might be interested in knowing.

            1. The Tallest Capitol Building in the United States. 
              Towering high at 450 feet, the 34 floors of the building were completed in 1932. From the observation deck at 350 feet in the air, you can see a significant part of the state and catch some of the most exquisite views in the south at sunrise and sunset.
            2. Huey Long Brought it to Life. 
              The building was born from the grand visions of the state's most famous politician; and, Governor Long made the construction of the building a central plank on his platform. He remained intensely proud of the completion of the building long after he was elected to represent the state in the U.S. Senate. After he was assassinated in the building in 1935, Senator Long was buried on the building's grounds, and the statue place above his grove looks towards the building so he can admire it for eternity.
            3. It is a National Landmark. 
              The Louisiana State Capitol Building is listed as a National Historic Landmark. In fact, you can even take a virtual tour of the building. Taking your family for a trip through time in the building is an excellent opportunity to drop in and wander the halls of history. It's a place where you can admire the artwork and learn more about the fabulous, interesting, and sometimes quirky history of our state.
            4. From Design to Construction Took Just 36 Days. 
              That's fast by even the fastest standards. However, Governor Long was adamant that construction shouldn't miss a beat, and he wanted that building up just as quickly as they could erect the scaffolding. George A. Fuller Company from Washington, D.C. did the construction. It took just over 18 months for the dust to clear and the building to celebrate its grand opening on May 16, 1932.
            5. One of the Finest Art Deco Structures in the World. 
              The building was completed in Art Deco style with a hint of highly simplified classicism thrown in for good measure. Of all the buildings of that era, the Louisiana State Capitol reflects the hope, simplicity, and elegance of our state at the time. And, while design tastes have evolved and changed, that spirit is still very much alive in Baton Rouge's residents.
            6. Memorial Hall is Perfect for History Lovers. 
              Memorial Hall is 124 feet long and 40 feet wide. It's filled with relief maps of the state, artwork depicting famous men and women, and more than a few hints at the myriad of flora and fauna in the state.
            7. It's Not Used Everyday. 
              Legislators only meet for 120 days a year. The rest of the time, they're back in their parish with their constituents. 

            Contact us for more fun facts about life and living in Baton Rouge. It's our pleasure to tell you more and show you some of the Baton Rouge homes for sale that fit your budget and desired lifestyle. 


            COVID-19 Update From Our Agents

            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.
            2. Virtual Open Houses Are Now Available to Buyers
              In-person open house events are suspended for the foreseeable future. Our agents have been implementing Virtual Open House technology. We recommend Virtual Open Houses and showings be conducted by appointment only.
            3. New Home Search Technologies Are Being Introduced
              Latter & Blum will be rolling out cutting-edge technologies to make every aspect of buying and selling easier in this challenging time. That includes virtual showings, high-definition video tours, and 3D tours of new listings, digital document signing, and online transaction management.
            4. We Are Updating Current Listings With Safety Precautions
              Real estate agents around the country have been developing best practices for health and safety. We will update all of our current listings to request that visitors to homes maintain a safe distance from countertops, door handles, appliances, and lighting, and refrain from using bathrooms.
            5. We Recommend Screenings for Clients Who Want to See a Home
              Our agents will be asking buyers and sellers some simple questions to assess health risks. Please let us know if you are experiencing any symptoms, have been exposed to an infected person or have one in your care, or have recently traveled to areas with high coronavirus risk.

            What to Know About All-New Virtual Tours

            A virtual tour is the next best thing to being there! It's safe, convenient, and even fun.

            During a virtual tour, you will have the opportunity to walk through a property with the help of your real estate agent. You can ask questions and get them answered in real-time. Our smart mobile technology gives you a clear view of every area of the home.

            For your convenience, we are leading appointment-only virtual tours with the most popular telepresence software. Our agents are experienced in FaceTime, Skype, and Zoom. All you need to do is set an appointment time and then wait for our call. Tours last less than an hour.

            Here's how to get set up on these convenient platforms:

            You can use the above software on your favorite smartphone, tablet, laptop, or even on a desktop computer. For questions about how to best enjoy your virtual tour, contact your agent directly.

            Latter & Blum is Here for You in This Difficult Time

            If you decide not to buy or sell right now, that's okay! Latter & Blum will be here when you need us, and so will the right Louisiana home for you. We care about you and your family's health and safety. 

            Remember, we are all in this together. If you have any questions for our team, don't hesitate to contact us.


            Baton Rouge a Top Metro Area for Gen Z Buyers

            Gen Z Buyers

            Recent data indicates that the Baton Rouge metropolitan area is a hit with Gen Z homebuyers. Though exact date ranges vary, the Gen Z label usually refers to someone born between the years of 1995 and 2010. Those early Gen Zers are the ones starting to emerge in the Baton Rouge market with purchase power.

            Besides the obvious factor of age, there are several other noticeable differences between Gen Z and other types of buyers. This includes the prices of the homes they purchase and what attracts them to a potential property. 

            A Look at the Gen Z Buyer

            The average purchase price for a property bought by a Gen Z buyer is $160,600. This is significantly less than the $256,500 average purchase price of a property purchased by a millennial homebuyer. On average, listing prices for homes that Gen Z buyers purchase are 25 percent less than the national median asking price. Gen Zers are forgoing the conventional 20 percent downpayment; instead, the average downpayment for a Gen Z homebuyer is only five percent of the home's purchase price. 

            Understanding Gen Z's Buying Preferences

            The markets that Gen Zers are attracted to tend to have affordable housing options that make the dream of homeownership an attainable reality.

            Most Gen Z homebuyers are early in their careers and don't have the purchasing power of other generations who have had time to grow their salaries. They're drawn to affordable housing markets in part due to necessity. 

            Since it appears Gen Z homebuyers are comfortable making smaller down payments, this enables them to become homeowners sooner rather than later. As a whole, Gen Z tends to value individual expression. They are willing to purchase a more affordable home that allows them to customize the property to their unique needs and stylistic preferences.

            The Appeal of Baton Rouge to Gen Z Buyers

            The Baton Rouge metropolitan area ranks as the tenth top housing market for Gen Z buyers. Baton Rouge is a growing area that has a median age of 36. Approximately 46.52 percent of people who reside in the Baton Rouge area are under 34 years of age. Baton Rouge boasts a median home value of $156,400, making it a top choice for budget-conscious Gen Zers. 

            There are a lot of other traits that make Baton Rouge homes for sale a hit with Gen Zers. Baton Rouge has a lot of fantastic restaurants and attractions, and it's a highly walkable city. Gen Zers looking to live an eco-conscious lifestyle or lower their vehicle-related expenses appreciate housing that enables them to walk to their job and favorite hangouts. 

            Ready to make the move to Baton Rouge? Our REALTORS® can help clients find great homes that span a variety of price points. Contact us today to learn more about homes that fit your budget and have the traits that you're searching for.


            Take a Walk in the Park Day: Best Parks for a Stroll in Baton Rouge

            Parks in Baton Rouge

            National Take a Walk in the Park Day is observed every year on March 30. What better time to take a stroll through one of Baton Rouge's many beautiful parks? You'll find each park to be unique with amenities such as sand beaches, fishing ponds, rock climbing walls, and more!

            Our REALTORS® suggest going for a stroll in the following 6 Baton Rouge parks:

            1. Milford Wampold Memorial Park - 901 Stanford Ave., Baton Rouge, LA 70808
              Milford Wampold Park has .25 miles of hard-surface walking trails, a new pedestrian bridge, plenty of green space, a sand beach on the LSU lake, and a pier and boat launch. You can also get moving some more with the park's new exercise station or take part in a special event like a kayaking class.

            2. Perkins Road Community Park - 7122 Perkins Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70808
              Perkins Road Community Park has an outdoor walking loop and walking trails to use on your walk in the park. It also offers exhilarating fun with a skate park and a rock climbing wall, as well as tamer amenities such as tennis courts and a fishing pond.

            3. Independence Community Park - 7500 Independence Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70806
              If you walk the 1.8 miles of trails available in Independence Community Park, you'll be treated to beautiful views of the park's Botanical Gardens, which are free and open to the public. You'll be able to see the Louisiana Iris Garden, The Parterre Color Display Garden, The Day Lily Garden, and more. After your walk, enjoy a break at The Garden Cafe, which overlooks the gardens. The cafe has indoor and outdoor seating and serves coffee drinks, smoothies, salads, and other offerings.

            4. City-Brooks Community Park - 1515 Dalrymple Dr., Baton Rouge, LA 70806
              Take a walk on the outdoor walking track or bring your dog and head to the dog park at City-Brooks Community Park. Or if you'd rather enjoy a meditative, relaxing walk, try the labyrinth that's also located in the park. You can also browse through the greenspace, passing a golf course and splash pad along the way.

            5. Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center - 10503 N. Oak Hills Parkway, Baton Rouge, LA 70810
              Walking over the gravel paths and boardwalks in the Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center will let you experience varied habitats, including the cypress-tupelo swamp, beech-magnolia, and hardwood forests. Keep your eyes open for plenty of birds and other animals such as white snakes, turtles, raccoons, rabbits, armadillos, and deer.

            6. Anna T. Jordan Community Park - 1750 Stilt St., Baton Rouge, LA 70807
              Walk on the outdoor track at Anna T. Jordan Community Park, and if you'd like to work up a sweat, try out the park's fitness center. It's available with a monthly membership, and you won't have to sign a contract. The park also has plenty of other ways to exercise, including an indoor and outdoor basketball court, a swimming pool, and a tennis court.

            Contact us to learn about the many advantages of living in the Baton Rouge area. Whether you're buying a home, selling a home, or both, we can help. Want to view properties in the Baton Rouge market? Check out Baton Rouge homes for sale.


            7 Ways to Reclaim Your Unfinished Space

            Reclaim Unfinished Space

            Whether it's an attic, basement, or extra room in your home, you don't need to spend big bucks on a full renovation to make it a warm, welcoming space. Lots of people searching for Baton Rouge homes for sale look for additional space like an attic room or finished basement. Below, Our REALTORS® share some helpful tips on how to make unfinished spaces livable and lovable.

            1. Clean Out the Space
              Remove all boxes, tools, and everything else you have in your attic or basement, including appliances. If you're finishing your attic and replacing insulation, take out all the old insulation as well. Having a clean slate to work with and plenty of room to move around can help you plan and complete your project more efficiently and quickly.   
            2. Dry Out a Damp Basement
              If you're looking to cozy up your basement, it's important to make sure it's dry and smells good. Unless you have a problem with water entering or flooding your basement, a dehumidifier should do the job nicely.
            3. Paint
              A fresh coat of paint can transform a room. Cinder block and poured concrete can end up looking pretty stylish if you choose the right colors or get creative and paint a bright mural on the wall. If you're painting an attic, using a light, neutral color like gray, greige, or beige can make it feel more open and expansive.
            4. Add String Lighting
              Nobody likes the stark look of a naked bulb hanging from the ceiling. With just an electrical outlet or two, you can bring more light to your space and create a warm glow by hanging strings of lights. Not only that, they look super cool hanging from the rafters.  
            5. Accessorize
              Throwing down some area rugs will keep your feet warm and make the floor pop. If you're in a dark area like a basement, don't be afraid to use bold colors for furniture, cushions, pillows, and other decorations. Hanging curtains in strategic places can divide a room and help create cozy nooks that are perfect for reading or napping. You can also soften the look of the ceiling by hanging swaths of fabric to create an attractive canopy.
            6. Add Storage
              Regardless of which room you're fixing up, you can always use more storage. Shelving, plastic bins with lids, and even tension rods can give you a ton of space to store stuff, so you have more room to enjoy your new space.
            7. Research Building Codes and Permits
              If you're making significant changes, you may need a building permit before you to get to work, especially if you're knocking down or building any walls. Find out the local building code specifications for ceiling height requirements, exits, electrical wiring, ventilation, and other important elements you may be modifying. If you decide to install or upgrade the electricity in the room, make sure to have a licensed electrician do it to ensure all wiring is up to code. While saving money by doing it yourself sounds nice, having a professional take care of it ensures it's done correctly and avoids fire hazards.

            Whether you're looking to buy or sell a home in Baton Rouge, our knowledgeable real estate professionals can help. Contact us to learn more and get started on finding your new Louisiana home.


            Where to Buy Crawfish in Baton Rouge

            Crawfish Baton Rouge

            While some areas mark the arrival of spring by robin sightings or flowers blooming, people in Baton Rouge eagerly await the beginning of crawfish season. March is prime time to enjoy Louisiana's iconic treat at these popular seafood restaurants and markets that are favorites with our REALTORS®.

            1. Tony's Seafood Market & Deli - 5215 Plank Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70805
              Surprisingly, Tony's Seafood Market & Deli began its existence in 1959 as a produce stand. But founder Tony Pizzolato quickly realized he could draw many more customers around Baton Rouge homes for sale by adding fresh crawfish, shrimp, and crab to his offerings. That decision led to Tony's becoming the largest seafood market in the Gulf South, selling up to 50,000 pounds of live and boiled crawfish per day during peak season. In a hurry? Pick up one of their famous plate lunches to go. Hours are 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. daily except Friday and Saturday when hours are extended to 7:30 p.m.

            2. Heads & Tails Seafood - 2070 Silverside Dr., Baton Rouge, LA 70808
              However you like to enjoy crawfish, you'll find it on the menu at Heads & Tails Seafood. Try it in étoufée, on a po' boy or fried to a tasty crunch. Specialties include Cajun crawfish eggplant and Poor Sloppy Pierre po' boy with fried crawfish tails topped with étoufée and pepper jack cheese. Before you leave, get some fresh, boiled or frozen crawfish to go along with fixings like a crawfish boil, roux, or étoufée base. Heads & Tails is open from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. 

            3. Crawfish Xpress - 57965 Laville St., Plaquemine, LA 70764
              After viewing Plaquemine homes for sale, stop in at Crawfish Xpress and take home some delicious seafood. Corn and potatoes are available as sides to go with the live or boiled crawfish, shrimp, and crab. Can't wait till you get home? Get an order of crawfish nachos to nibble on in the car. Crawfish Xpress also has a convenient drive-thru window. Hours are noon - 8 p.m. seven days a week.

            4. Rouses Market - 58440 Belleview Hwy., Plaquemine, LA 70764
              Anthony J. Rouse, Sr. opened the first Rouses Market nearly 60 years ago. Today the third generation of the family is running the 64-store company with the same commitment to responsibly sourced seafood as their grandfather. Over the years, Rouses has developed and maintained relationships with top local fishers. The market carries seafood that is either wild-caught in natural habitats or raised in quality aqua farms. Hours are 7 a.m. - 10 p.m. daily.

            5. Montalbano's Seafood & Catering - 12740 Florida Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70815
              Montalbano's Seafood & Catering is a true labor of love for the father-and-son team for whom the company is named. Randy, Sr. spent more than 25 years working in the wholesale food industry, while Randy, Jr. managed his own crawfish catering company after graduating from college. Their namesake business is both a sit-down restaurant serving lunch and a market selling fresh and boiled seafood as well as fully-prepared meals for carry-out. Montalbano's is open 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

            Jambalaya, crawfish pie, filé gumbo, you'll have big fun on the bayou living in Baton Rouge. Contact us for experienced help with all your real estate needs.


            Home Improvement Tips for Beginners & New Homeowners

            Home Improvement Tips

            Even with all the home improvement shows out there, getting started on your own home improvement project for the first time can be intimidating. 

            Our REALTORS® know home improvement can be especially frightening for new homeowners! Make sure to follow these six tips if you are working on your first-ever home improvement project. 

            1. Start with a Plan
              You should take the time to go around your new house to make a note of any potential improvements you wish to complete. Consider what order these items should be completed in and a potential timeline. For example, you may decide you want to replace windows before you paint a room to make sure you like that color with your new style of windows. 

              Also, make sure you are realistic with your timeline. It's always best to assume a project will run over on time or money. 

            2. Consider a Budget
              Speaking of money, a budget will help you visualize your finances so you don't overspend. Once you have a plan for improving your home, a budget will help you account for the specific items and supplies you'll need to complete your tasks. Keep in mind what projects you want to allocate more of your budget for. Maybe you'd like to save money on painting your rooms by DIYing but would like to splurge on smart appliances. It's completely up to you and your budget! 

            3. Do One Part of the Home at a Time
              Simple, right? Pick one part of your home that is on your plan and work on it to your satisfaction. If you are planning on a bathroom and kitchen remodel, wait until the one is completed to start the other project. You don't want to overwhelm yourself and bite off more than you can chew physically and financially. 

            4. Always Look for Inspiration
              Remember those home improvement shows we mentioned? Watching them can serve as great inspiration for your bathroom or kitchen remodel. Seeing how nice dark cabinets look after a remodel of someone's home on TV might be one of the reasons you opt for a darker hue for your new cabinets.

              Plus there are many ideas you can find online on sites such as Pinterest. Most of them will even provide tips for completing the project.  

              Another good source of inspiration could be your family and friend's homes. If you've had a friend recently complete a remodel in their home ask them for tips, what they DIYed, and if they used a contractor for certain aspects of their project. 

            5. Improve to Increase Value
              If you just moved in, you might not be thinking of your resale value at the moment. But, if you work on home improvement projects that are known to increase value, you'll thank yourself later if you end up listing it among the other Baton Rouge homes for sale. Projects that are known for increasing value are energy-efficient updates, new windows, or adding a bathroom. 

            Looking for more home improvement tips or help finding your first home in the Baton Rouge area? Contact us today! 


            7 Tips for Moving to a New State

            Moving to a New StateAny move - even if it's just down the street - requires a great deal of time and organization. But when you're moving to a new state, your list of things to do becomes longer and more complicated.

            Our REALTORS® suggest the following seven tips to help you make your move to another state as smooth as possible:

            1. Start with a Checklist
              Keep an ongoing checklist of what needs to be done and give each item a deadline. Add to your list as you think of additional tasks, so you'll stay organized and focused on what you need to do and when you need to do it by.

            2. Do Your Research
              Find out everything you can about your new home before you move. You'll be able to learn what the average high and low temperatures are, how much in taxes you'll pay, the quality of local schools, and places you may frequent, such as shops and restaurants. This research will help you feel at home more quickly after you make your move.

            3. Find a New Home
              A real estate agent in your new state can help you find a home before you make your big move. He or she will know the area well and have inside knowledge of its housing market. This can help your home search go more quickly and will leave you more time to take care of all your other moving tasks. Also, when you make your move, you'll get to know your neighbors and will get to explore what your new community has to offer.

            4. Secure a New Job
              If you don't already have a job lined up out of state, search job sites and contact any friends and family already in the area to try to secure employment. This can take a massive weight off your shoulders and give you a way to quickly meet people and become a part of your new state. It can also make your finances more stable after you move.

            5. Let Your Friends Know
              Send an email to your friends sharing news of your move, also including your new address. You can also post your plans on social media, text them, or go old school and mail cards containing the pertinent information.

            6. Understand New Requirements
              States often give you a certain amount of time after you become a new resident to get a new driver's license and license plate. The requirements vary by state, so you'll need to check their Department of Motor Vehicles website or give them a call to see what documentation you'll need and how much time you'll have to get your new license and car tag.

            7. Hire a Reputable Moving Company
              Ask friends, co-workers, and family members for moving company recommendations. Depending on your budget and on how much of the move you'd like to take care of yourself, you can hire help for large items or for everything in your home. 

            Contact us if you're moving to Louisiana and are looking for Baton Rouge homes for sale. Our knowledge and experience can help make your move go as smoothly as possible as you become a Louisiana resident. 


            8 Things You'll Love About Living in Baton Rouge

            Living in Baton Rouge

            Home is where the heart is, and there's a lot to love about Baton Rouge. In honor of Valentine's Day, our REALTORS® share the top features that make Baton Rouge such a lovable place to live.

            1. Vibrant and Diverse Neighborhoods
              Whether you're a college student, young professional, parent, or retiree, you'll find Baton Rouge homes for sale in a neighborhood that suits your lifestyle. The city has a thriving downtown area with good walkability. Other popular neighborhoods include Spanish Town, Garden District, Bocage, Hundred Oaks, and Broadmoor.

            2. Low Cost of Living
              On the cost of living index, 100 equals the national average. Baton Rouge has a score of 96, making it lower than the U.S. average as well as cities of similar size, such as Boise, ID, and Richmond, VA. Also, experts at renowned business and personal finance website Kiplinger rank Louisiana in the top 10 tax-friendly states based on income and property taxes, so you retain more of your paycheck living in Baton Rouge. 

            3. Plentiful Amenities
              Who wants to travel for miles because you forgot to pick up milk, or you need to get a flu shot? AreaVibes, an online site that rates cities based on several liveability factors, gives Baton Rouge their top score of A+ for easy access to grocery stores, retail shopping, medical facilities, and other desirable amenities.

            4. Lively Music Scene
              While Louisiana is home of the blues, Baton Rouge made its contribution to the genre with the birth of swamp blues, a unique style incorporating elements of zydeco and Cajun music. Several night clubs and concert venues around the city feature swamp blues as well as other popular music styles. Highlight of the year is the Baton Rouge Blues Festival, a free, family-friendly two-day event that draws iconic musicians such as Mavis Staples, Charlie Musselwhite, and local legend Buddy Guy.

            5. Short Commute Time
              According to Sperling's Best Places, which has been analyzing and publishing data about people and cities for more than 30 years, average commute time in Baton Rouge is 21.4 minutes. That's a full five minutes less than the national average of 26.4 minutes. 

            6. Warm Climate
              With summer temperatures sometimes topping 90°F, air conditioning is a must. But with an average temperature of 68°F and an average snowfall of zero inches, Baton Rouge is far removed from the bitter winters found in many other parts of the country. Baton Rouge also enjoys an average of 214 sunny days each year, well above the national average of 205.

            7. Food Lover's Paradise
              It's no surprise that Baton Rouge offers the finest in classic Creole and Cajun cuisines, along with the freshest seafood around. If you want to expand your culinary horizons, the city is home to a rich and varied assortment of ethnic restaurants serving Middle Eastern, Asian, Latino, and other global fares.

            8. Football Frenzy
              Football is America's #1 sport, and Baton Rouge is passionate about its LSU (Louisiana State University) Tigers, a perennial powerhouse frequently found at the top of the SEC (Southeastern Conference) and national rankings. On football Saturdays, LSU tailgating is a de facto food and beverage festival, giving Baton Rouge a national reputation as the tailgating capital of the world.

            Contact us and let us help you find the home you'll love in the Baton Rouge area. 


            8 Tips for Remodeling Your Kitchen

            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. 
            2. Choose Your Appliances First
              Many homeowners make the mistake of waiting too long to choose their appliances. Make this decision early, so you have exact measurements to work with. Otherwise, you'll find that it's difficult or impossible to get a proper fit. 
            3. Don't Scrimp on Storage
              When remodeling a kitchen, it's always a good idea to incorporate as much storage as possible. Look for creative solutions like corner lazy Susan's, pull-out drawers, or strategically placed hanging racks. 
            4. Add Extra Outlets
              Don't forget to add plenty of electrical outlets throughout the kitchen. Not only is an overloaded outlet inconvenient and unsightly, but it's dangerous. 
            5. Don't Forget the Trash
              Like it or not, a trash receptacle is an important part of your kitchen. Make sure you plan appropriately, or you'll find yourself with a nasty garbage can in the middle of your beautifully redesigned space.  
            6. Avoid Indecisiveness
              Remodeling your kitchen is a big project, and it's easy to get excited or overwhelmed. Make sure you make all of your plans before you start and commit to them. You might see a feature you love when you're half-way through the project, but making a change mid-way is rarely worth it. Not only will changing your plans extend the time it takes to complete your project, but it will likely cost you more as well. 
            7. Go with the Pros
              A kitchen remodel is a big project that the average person shouldn't try to take on themselves. Although you may think you'll save money by doing your own work, it's likely to cost you in the long run. Professional contractors have the skills, knowledge, and tools to do the job right. 
            8. Don't Take On Too Much
              Beware of taking on a kitchen remodel project that's just too much to handle. If your kitchen needs that much work, you may want to consider foregoing the remodel and looking for a new home that already has the features you're looking for. 

            Have you decided that it's time to make a change? Whether you're thinking about buying or selling a home, we can help make it a smooth and pleasant experience. Contact us today. 


            How a Real Estate Agent Determines Home Value

            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.

            • Having Experience in Sales Negotiations

              Home sale prices don't always tell the entire story. Experienced real estate agents know that finalized deals may involve some concessions. So although a comparable home may have sold for a particular amount, it doesn't reveal the fact that the seller may have helped pay closing fees. Or they may have made other concessions, such as providing a flooring allowance to help the buyer upgrade out-of-date carpeting.

              A real estate agent's experience and knowledge can help him, or her know about some of the concessions that may not be reflected in the sale price. They may have helped broker the deal, or they can often get information by talking with another agent who handled the sale.

            • Adding Price Adjustments

              Although a CMA yields some invaluable information, your agent won't depend solely on formulas. Adjustments in prices will be made because each home is different. And these differences can influence the value of each home.

              For example, your home may have slightly more square footage than a comparable home, so your real estate agent may adjust your home value to consider this difference. Or it may have nicer landscaping that will help command a higher price. On the other hand, another similar home may have had upgraded appliances included with the home, so your home may be valued somewhat lower.

            • Being Aware of Other Factors

              Factors that are beyond your control can affect the value of your home. Your real estate agent knows that when mortgage interest rates fall, more people can afford to buy a home and can afford a higher price tag. Of course, the opposite is true when interest rates rise.

              The time of year your home is on the market can also affect your asking price. 

            Contact us if you're interested in selling your home. Our real estate agents know how to determine your home's value, so it's comparable with similar Baton Rouge homes for sale.


            New Year New Hobbies to Try in Baton Rouge

            Hobbies in Baton Rouge

            The New Year has arrived, and our REALTORS® want you to kick off the decade with a bang! As we move into the 2020s, make a resolution to learn a new skill. From dancing and cooking to art classes and more, here are a few of our favorite places around Baton Rouge, where you can fall in love with a new hobby!

            1. Ric Seeling Dance Studio — 10776 N. Harrells Ferry Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70816
              We're in the Roaring '20s now — surely, you need to know how to dance for such an occasion. Head to the Ric Seeling Dance Studio and get your feet moving! All adults — from classically-trained dancers to those with two left feet — are invited to this premier studio for group or private lessons. You'll receive top of the line instruction in country, hustle, Latin, ballroom, and of course, swing dancing! It may take two to tango, but rest assured you can come alone and get matched with a partner of the same experience level.

            2. Create Studios — 546 Bienville St., Baton Rouge, LA 70806
              Do you have a creative passion but struggle to find the medium that's right for you? Create Studios is the perfect place to express yourself while learning different art forms. They offer classes in a diverse array of arts, including etched glass, stained glass mosaics, metal stamping, jewelry design, and painting. Paint an Andy Warhol-inspired pop art of your pet or design your own Mardi Gras chandelier out of beads for your new home. Bring your imagination and a few beads — Create Studios will take care of the rest!  

            3. Louisiana Culinary Institute — 10550 Airline Highway, Baton Rouge, LA 70816
              Anyone who's lived for a day in Baton Rouge knows Louisiana has some of the best food. If you've ever wanted to learn how to make a few of our hometown favorites in your own kitchen, now's your chance! The Louisiana Culinary Institute offers adult classes specializing in Creole and Cajun dishes. Imagine whipping up your own tasty batch of boudin, gumbo, maque choux, or jambalaya without ever leaving home! Sign up for classes and make 2020 the year of amazing dinner parties!

            4. LSU Museum of Art — Shaw Center for the Arts 100 Lafayette St. 5th Floor, Baton Rouge, LA 70801
              Art is part of Louisiana's lifestyle, and the LSU Museum of Art invites adults to immerse themselves in this world of creativity and culture at the Shaw Center for the Arts. Their interesting and educational programs teach you about art while helping you create your own. Along with lessons, they have other weekly events such as free admission to the museum on Friday nights and Yoga in the Galleries. Whether you're an artist or merely appreciate beautiful works, the LSU Museum of Art will quickly become your new favorite hangout.

            5. BREC — 6201 Florida Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70806
              Here's a great resolution — make an effort to spend time surrounded by Louisiana's wonderous natural spaces this year! BREC makes it easy to enjoy the great outdoors with its engaging programs. Belly aerobics, badminton, BMX, and ballroom dancing are among the many heart-pumping classes offered. For a more relaxing experience, you can attend an astronomy lecture, watch a movie in the park, and enjoy one of their many weekly special events. 

            Looking for a new home in 2020? For help scheduling appointments to tour Baton Rouge homes for sale, contact us today!


            How to Stage Your Home for Real Estate Photos

            Real Estate Photos

            You only get one chance to make a first impression! Today's homebuyers do most of their decision making before they see the property in person. Photos of a home for sale, in most cases, will be the first impression buyers will get of your property. So staging for these photos is crucial!

            Our real estate agents have gathered these tips to help you stage your home like a pro:

            1. Kick Clutter to the Curb
              If you want your house to stand out from the other Baton Rouge homes for sale, the first thing you need to do is declutter. Make sure all countertops and other surfaces are clear. Put children's toys and other items away in closets or storage, and remove all personal items like family photographs. 
            1. Think Like a Photographer
              When staging your home, think about how it looks for the camera, rather than worrying about comfort or function. In this case, you'll want to focus on things like lighting and angles. Your photographer and your real estate agent should be able to help you with this. 
            1. Present a Clean Home
              It's also important to make sure the entire home is as clean as possible before the photo session. Things like dust bunnies or streaks on the windows can make a poor impression. If you're not sure you can do it on your own, consider hiring a cleaning company. 
            1. Pay Attention to Details
              Small details, like forgetting to put the toilet seat down, can also ruin your photos. Take a moment before the photographer starts shooting to look through the home one last time. Make sure to fluff pillows, smooth out wrinkles on the beds, open the blinds, and turn on the lights.  
            1. Less is More!
              It's great to have some furniture and decor in the home, but be careful not to overdo it. Keep things simple and stick with neutral colors or a single color scheme in each room. When decorating, strive for symmetry and repetition as this is naturally aesthetically pleasing. You want potential buyers to envision the space as something they can personalize. 
            1. Boost Your Curb Appeal
              Remove all vehicles from the driveway, make sure trash cans and children's toys are put away, and remove anything else that pulls attention away from your home's curb appeal. Mow the lawn a day or two before the photoshoot, make sure your edges are neat, freshen up your mulch, and sweep the sidewalks. Consider adding some potted plants on the porch and a simple wreath on the front door. 
            1. Add Some Fresh Flowers
              Never underestimate the power of adding some fresh flowers to your home. This will add a splash of color and some class. Choose a simple vase and strategically place the flowers on your kitchen countertop or the coffee table. 
            1. Consider Hiring a Professional
              While it certainly is possible to stage your own home, this is a task that's often best left to the pros. Great staging can mean the difference between selling your home quickly for top dollar and having your house linger on the market for far too long. In most cases, this is a service that's well worth the investment. 

            If you're thinking about listing your home, don't go it alone! Contact us today to get started. 


            Where to Celebrate the New Year in Baton Rouge

            New Years in Baton Rouge2019 was a fantastic year around Baton Rouge. Whether you are celebrating a new job, new family member, or still searching for the best of the best Baton Rouge homes for sale to settle into, there are plenty of reasons to party. 

            1. New Year's Eve Under the Stars - Tsunami Sushi - 100 Lafayette St, Baton Rouge, LA 7080
              What's better than a tsunami of sushi and champagne at midnight? We can't think of anything, and this New Year's Party is the perfect opportunity to fill up and let off steam at Tsunami Sushi. The evening will feature a 5-course meal, champagne, and one of the best buffets and cash bars in the city. VIP table reservations are recommended, but you are still guaranteed to have a great time with a general admission ticket to this talk of the town terrace party.

            2. 4th Annual Ryan Foret Tradition New Year's Eve Party - Lamar Dixon Expo Center, 9039 Saint Landry Rd, Gonzales, LA 70737  
              Grab the kids and get ready to have some fun at the 4th Annual Ryan Foret Tradition New Years' Eve Party. This family-friendly event will start at 8 pm and go into the early morning hours. There will be plenty of soda, jambalaya, and fun to be had as the live band sets the beat for an evening everyone will enjoy. Those who wish are invited to BYOB as there will not be a cash bar on-site.

            3. Pants Party - L'Auberge Casino & Hotel - 777 L'Auberge Ave, Baton Rouge, LA 70820
              Those who get the most out of life are those who live it by the seat of their pants. If you want to be a part of the hottest party in Baton Rouge, then don't wait to get tickets to the Pants Party at L'Auberge Casino. This year's soirée will feature multiple bands that will have your toes tapping 'till dawn. There will be a stunning light show that organizers guarantee will leave you in awe. At $40 a ticket, it is the hottest ticket on the bayou. 

            4. Roaring 20's New Year's Party- Lyceum Ballroom, 124 3rd St, Baton Rouge, 70801
              One of the best things about New Year's Eve is taking a look back at where we've been. It is a great way to see where we're going. You can do just that at the Roaring 20's New Year's Party on January 1st, 2020. It has been 100 years since the roaring 20's swept across America. Much has happened in the century since. However, one thing remains the same; folks still look back to the 1920s when they want to know how to plan the wildest party in town. Space is limited, so get your tickets for this much-anticipated event before the sequins dry on your flapper dress.      

            Our REALTORS® encourage you to contact us for more information about the many sights, attractions, and events you can enjoy around Baton Rouge. It is our pleasure to answer your questions and help you discover the many reasons residents celebrate living in this jewel of the South.  


            Alissa Jenkins - Million in a Month October 2019


            Shop Small Saturday: Where to Shop in Baton Rouge

            Shop Local Baton Rouge

            Living in Baton Rouge means you're never far from some excellent shopping. Local small businesses are a big part of what makes the city such a popular place to call home. With Shop Small Saturday around the corner, this is the perfect time to get out and explore all the Baton Rouge small businesses in the area. We've got the details on some great Baton Rouge businesses to visit on Shop Small Saturday!

            1. Bella Bella – 3064 Perkins Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70808
              Baton Rouge homes for sale
              allow you to visit so many unique local businesses, like the Bella Bella women's clothing shop. Bella Bella stocks all of the latest styles, allowing you to keep up with the latest trends and find the perfect gift for anyone on your list who loves fashion. There's a huge selection of shoes, along with excellent looks for both formal occasions and everyday wear.

            2. The Market at Circa 1857 – 1857 Government St., Baton Rouge, LA 70802
              Searching for one-of-a-kind art and amazing antiques? Visit The Market at Circa 1857 to shop for home décor and so much more. Part art gallery, part antique shop, this unique local destination is a fantastic place to grab items for your own home or someone else.

            3. Little Cajun Village – 6490 Hwy 22, Sorrento, LA 70778
              Interested in exploring history and culture as you shop for unique items? The Little Cajun Village will take you back to another era, with great shopping and plenty of fun surprises. This little village features restored Acadian homes, each with a shop inside. You can pick up crafts, spices, artwork, hand-made decorations, and so much more. There's also a delicious little dining spot located on-site.

            4. Mid City Craft Wine and Brew – 711 Jefferson Hwy, Suite 1C, Baton Rouge, LA 70809
              Whether you're stocking up for holiday parties or shopping for the perfect gift, Mid City Craft Wine and Brew has precisely what you need. This local bottle shop stocks a massive selection of craft beer, both local and national, as well as craft wine. Stop by for a weekly tasting, and experience what Mid City has to offer. If you're looking for flavors you won't find anywhere else, this is the place to be.

            5. Red Stick Spice Co. – 660 Jefferson Hwy, Baton Rouge, LA 70809
              Preparing to cook your own holiday meals, or looking for the perfect gift for the amateur chef on your list? Red Stick Spice Co. has you covered. This shop stocks nearly every spice under the sun, along with a selection of teas from around the world.

            6. Cottonwood Books – 3054 Perkins Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70808
              If you love books both new and old, then Cottonwood Books is more than worth a visit on Small Business Saturday. Cottonwood Books may be a small business, but it has an unmatched selection of books from across eras. There are more than 40,000 books in stock, including many rare finds. The team is also happy to help you order any books.

            Shop Small Saturday is a great chance to visit the many local small businesses that make Baton Rouge such a unique place to call home. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Baton Rouge, LA area.


            5 Things to be Thankful for in Baton Rouge

            Baton Rouge Area

            We count our blessings every day, and one of them is to get to call Baton Rouge home! From its vibrant culture and rich history to fun-filled summers and blissfully warm winters, Baton Rouge a fantastic place. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, now seems like a good time to consider some of the things we're most thankful for here in Baton Rouge. 

            1. Amazing Food
              Baton Rouge is barely an hour from New Orleans, and we share many of our neighbor's culinary traditions. The city has fully embraced Southern and Cajun influences, and you'll be able to savor amazing gumbo, Jambalaya, boiled crawfish, and other Louisiana Staples. But Baton Rouge isn't just about Soul Food. As the state capital and a major seaport, it's a melting pot of cultures and flavors from around the world. We're also home to a growing craft brewing and distilling scene and have fantastic farmer's markets where you'll find produce and local foods. 

            2. Affordability
              For a city its size, Baton Rouge is highly affordable. And if you're looking for a New Orleans vibe without the New Orleans price tag, you've come to the right place. The cost of buying a home in Baton Rouge is also well below the national average. On top of that, Louisiana's low state and local income taxes make it one of the most tax-friendly states in the country. Plus, residents don't have to pay property tax on the first $75,000 of their primary residence. 

            3. World-Class Music
              Some cities think they have the market cornered on music history—we're looking at you, Nashville—but our town has a musical heritage spanning genres. Blues, country, zydeco, and jazz are all parts of Baton Rouge's musical pedigree, and those traditions are alive and well today. Every year, thousands of music fans flock to the city to attend the Baton Rouge Blues Festival, one of the oldest blues festivals in the country. On any given night, you can head to local juke joints and music clubs to hear everything from swinging jazz and swampy blues riffs to blistering indie rock. 

            4. Family Fun
              Baton Rouge gets a lot of attention for its vibrant nightlife and party atmosphere, but it's a family town too, with entertainment for all ages. We have dozens of great parks and museums for family fun, like the recently-opened Knock Knock Children's Museum next to the wide-open green spaces of City-Brooks Community Park. You could also spend a day reconnecting with your wild side at BREC's Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center or steep yourself in the culture at the Louisiana Art and Science Museum. 

            5. Endless of Options
              If you're looking at Baton Rouge homes for sale, you've probably already noticed that there are many options. Baton Rouge is a city that embraces its rich past while keeping an eye toward the future. You can find incredible historic homes with beautifully preserved architecture and centuries' worth of lived-in charm. On the other hand, you can find newly constructed 21st-century houses with all the modern amenities. 

            Contact us today to learn more about life in Baton Rouge. We've helped countless families find their dream homes in the Baton Rouge area, and we're committed to helping you find yours. 


            10 Tips for Saving up for a Down Payment

            Saving for a Down Payment

            Saving up for a down payment can seem like a daunting challenge at first. However, with a little planning and some adjustments in your spending patterns, you can save up for a down payment using these tips from our REALTORS®.

            1. Set a Savings Goal & Benchmarks to Reach
              You will want to save between 5-20% for your down payment. Creating a goal gives you a target for your savings. Plus, having benchmarks along the way will help you track your progress and motivate you to continue saving.
            2. Set up a Separate Account
              Setting up a separate account for your down payment savings makes it easier to shield those funds from everyday expenses. Another suggestion is to have money automatically deposited into this account each month.
            3. Trim Your Spending
              It is vital to cut unnecessary spending from your budget. Cutting down on that daily coffee shop trip, cutting the cord on your cable, turning the thermostat down, etc. generates substantial savings. Saving a few hundred dollars a month on discretionary spending may not seem like much, but it can add up to thousands of dollars per year.
            4. Investigate Home Buying Programs
              There are numerous programs available for first-time homebuyers. These programs vary by state and county. Many offer housing discounts, low-interest loans, and grants that you can use to save a bundle.
            5. Take on Side Gigs
              Doing a little extra work on the side can boost your savings. Freelancing, taking a second job, or renting a room out can increase your income from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars more per month.
            6. Research the Market
              While you are saving, you will want to watch the market closely. You will want to keep a close eye on real estate values in the area. This will help you narrow your search to properties that fit within your budget.
            7. Pay off Credit Cards
              Credit cards can have extremely high interest rates that can sap your ability to save money. Pay off credit cards with the highest interest rates first, and then chip away at the rest until the balances you carry are as low as possible. This will also help boost your credit score and lower your debt-to-income ratio, which will help you qualify for a better loan package.
            8. Ask for Cash
              Instead of coffee makers and clothing, ask family members to give cash gifts for birthdays, Christmas, weddings, etc. Deposit these gifts directly into your down payment savings account. If applicable, you can also ask for an advance on any inheritance, distributions from life insurance policies, etc.
            9. Shop Strategically for Food
              Food is one of the most significant expenses each month, and you can cut your spending by shopping strategically. Cutting coupons, buying in bulk, and buying food when it's on sale can add up.
            10. Reward Yourself
              It is easy to start saving; it is much harder to keep saving. Reward yourself when you achieve savings benchmarks. For every milestone reached, set a small reward to help keep you motivated towards your goal.

            Contact us to learn more about real estate trends and saving up for Baton Rouge homes for sale


            11 Victorian Home Remodeling Tips You'll Want To Try

            Victorian Home Remodeling

            There's nothing quite like the beauty of a Victorian-style home! Many people fall in love with these homes for their one-of-a-kind details and charm. 

            Do you have your eye on a stunning Victorian-style house among the Baton Rouge homes for sale? Here are some helpful remodeling and decorating tips to update a Victorian home incorporating your taste while maintaining its original beauty and charm. 

            1. Don't Rush It
              No matter how excited you are about getting started, hold off on major renovations until you've lived in the home for at least a year. Take some time to see how you feel about the design elements after being around them day-to-day.

            2. Revisit the Past
              Do some research into your home's background as well as general style conventions around Baton Rouge during the time the house was built. Having historical context helps you make more informed decisions.

            3. "First, Do No Harm" 
              Moldings, trim, brackets, staircase banisters, and other elements of Victorian homes reflect an incredible level of craftsmanship deserving respect. Consider repairing rather than replacing these details whenever possible. Each altered feature takes the home further away from what spoke to you in the first place. Should you end up removing any pieces, store them carefully.

            4. Understand What's Permanent and What Isn't
              Alterations such as paint, fabrics, stains, carpeting, and window treatments are cosmetic and easy to remove or modify. Think twice before tearing out a staircase or making other structural changes that are impossible to restore.

            5. Prioritize the Practical Side
              You may be chomping at the bit to update the kitchen or add some luxury to the master bedroom, but aesthetic changes can wait. The first order of business is repairing current problem areas and preventing future damage.

            6. Lighten Up
              Victorian homes often include wood and dark colors creating an interior ambiance bordering on oppressive. Adding a coat of paint in white or another light neutral shade opens everything up without eliminating molding and other attractive details.

            7. Wide Open Spaces
              Avoid a claustrophobic feel by widening doorways and other narrow passages. Sometimes doorways can even be created where they previously didn't exist. This step also extends sightlines, making the home appear larger.

            8. Repurpose Rooms
              The original owners of Victorian homes had different lifestyles from those of today, which means room usage wasn't the same. For example, a Victorian home may have a small, cramped bathroom and a spacious, formal dining room. Instead of tearing rooms apart to suit your purposes, think about how to repurpose them.

            9. To Add or Not to Add?
              As your family grows or you undergo other life changes, you may come to a point where your lovely Victorian home isn't large enough. If you do build an addition, make the design compatible with the home's architecture. Be sure not to disturb the integrity of the original house in case a future owner wants to remove the addition.

            10. Choose the Right Help
              Review portfolios and references of architects, contractors, interior designers, or other professionals you might hire. Check to see if they have experience working with Victorians and other historic home styles.

            11. Plan for Contingencies
              Working on older homes carries a greater possibility of running into unexpected snags. Build a cushion into the schedule and budget to absorb any delays and cost overruns.

            Whether you dream of a classic Victorian or more modern home, our REALTORS® can help you! Contact us to get started!


            Maintenance Tips for Your Waterfront Home

            Waterfront home tips

            A home on the lake is the perfect place to spend quiet evenings with family and fun weekends with friends. Some of the finest Baton Rouge homes are no more than a stone's throw from the most beautiful lakes in Louisiana. However, a waterfront home requires routine maintenance. The following are some maintenance tasks you will have to tend to on your waterfront property.

            Take Care of the Dehumidifier

            Every waterfront home in Louisiana should have a reliable dehumidifier. This will help protect wood and other elements in the home from the buildup of moisture. You should plan to clean the dehumidifier every couple of weeks to ensure effectiveness and extend the unit's operational lifespan.

            Secure the Dock & Boat Lift

            Most waterfront homes in Louisiana have a dock or a boat lift. Be sure that any floating debris is removed from around the structure. If you have a floating dock, be sure that it is properly tied down. When cold spells are brewing, it is a good idea to remove the dock from the water.

            If you have a boat lift, you will want to inspect the electrical components and wiring at least once per month. During your inspection, be sure to check all gears, pulleys, and cables for proper lubrication. 

            Tend to the Sewage System

            If the home has an aerated treatment system or septic system, you will need to clean it properly, pump it out (every 3-5 years) and chlorinate the system. You will also want to prepare it for when the temperature starts to drop. In the fall, make sure it is properly insulated and be sure to run warm water into the system if you see signs that it is starting to freeze.

            Look out for Radon

            Radon is more prevalent around waterfront properties. You should make sure your home is properly monitored and should take any abatement steps required if radon exposure rises above safe levels.

            Shore up the Seawall

            You should rigorously remove plant growth from seawalls and regularly spray them with herbicides to keep roots from causing damage. It is also vital to make sure weep holes don't clog up. At a minimum, you should inspect your seawall at least once per month and promptly repair any cracks or damage you discover.

            Guard Against Pests

            Louisiana is home to termites, alligators, snakes, and bugs of all shapes and sizes. If you are not careful, these pests will move into your home. Keeping landscaping properly trimmed, repairing damaged foundations and siding, caulking holes in woodwork, and removing debris from around the property will help keep these pests at bay. It is also vital to remove any pools of standing water or they become breeding grounds for mosquitoes.    

            Stay Compliant

            Multiple layers of legislation protect wetlands in Louisiana. You will want to make sure you have the appropriate permits and adhere to all coastal use guidelines. Failure to comply with all applicable regulations can result in significant fines.

            Contact us for more information about waterfront living in Louisiana. Our REALTORS® can answer your questions and help you find the waterfront property where you can fish, swim, and boat to your heart's content.  


            7 Habits of Successful Home Buyers

            Successful Home Buyers

            Our REALTORS® work to ensure every transaction is a success for their clients. But did you know showing Baton Rouge homes for sale is only part of what we do?

            We also provide clients with strategies to get to closing day faster and easier.

            Buying a home can seem complicated, and it's an exceptionally tall order for those who've never done it before. Luckily, we have some steps to improve your odds of buying your dream home.

            Here are seven habits of highly successful home buyers:

            1. Clarify Your Goals Early On
              What are the most important features you want in a home? What about surrounding amenities? Make a list of 3-5 "must-have" items. Your partner and any older children should do the same. This way, you can find areas of commonality and focus on properties that satisfy everyone.
            2. Find an Amazing Real Estate Agent
              Even if you don't choose us, make sure to select your real estate agent carefully. Find someone with plenty of local experience which provides prompt attention and answers all your questions. If you're not entirely comfortable with an agent, keep looking.
            3. Get Organized
              The early stages of getting a mortgage loan to involve paperwork. This is an uphill slog at first, but you only have to do it once. You'll need 3-6 months of recent pay stubs and 2-3 years of tax filing paperwork for most lenders to evaluate your financial health.
            4. Comparison Shop on Everything
              When buying a home, absolutely everything is up for negotiation. Start by making sure you talk to several real estate agents before picking the right one for you. Then, do the same with lenders, neighborhoods, and finally, homes. This is what puts the power in your hands.
            5. Be Proactive About Credit
              Most people have imperfect credit, but even if your credit is stellar, you can make tweaks that may improve your loan. Pay off any credit cards or other debts you can. Avoid closing or opening any credit accounts. And check your credit report for inaccurate info you could get removed.
            6. Know What You Can Afford
              Many home buyers find themselves with a range of loan options. Some discover their maximum loan offer is much more than planned! To choose a sustainable loan, start with a detailed household budget, including all your mortgage and other home expenses. Home expenses should be less than 30% of your take-home pay.
            7. Be Ready to Walk
              Even if you find the perfect home, it's crucial to be ready and willing to walk away during your negotiations. Combined with your real estate agent's negotiation skills, this mindset will protect your interests. Remember, there are many homes out there you'll love to call your own.

            No Matter What Stage of Buying You're In, Expert Advice is Essential

            For first-time buyers, navigating real estate can be like wandering a hall of mirrors.

            Even if you're months away from being ready to make an offer on a home, don't hesitate to reach out to your friendly local real estate agents. Expert advice can get you on track, dispel worrisome real estate myths, and save you time in the long run.

            Contact us to find out more. 


            Best Coffee Shops in Baton Rouge

            Baton Rouge Coffee ShopsGrab your favorite mug and get ready to fill it to the brim with caffeinated goodness. National Coffee Day is September 29th and our REALTORS® are excited to head out around Baton Rouge to spend a little time at our favorite cafés. Whether you're grabbing a quick cup before work or if you have the time to relax and sip in serenity, we invite you to celebrate National Coffee Day at one of these great cafés in and around Baton Rouge homes for sale.

            1. French Truck Coffee — 2978 Government St., Baton Rouge, LA 70806
              You can't go far in Louisiana without running into a French Truck Coffee location. This favorite coffee shop believes that the freshest coffee beans should be roasted in small batches and served immediately to the coffee lovers of Baton Rouge. Stop into their café for a fresh cup and be sure to bring your own bag home so you can drink French Truck Coffee without ever leaving one of our great Baton Rouge homes for sale.

            2. Strands Café — 226 Laurel St., Baton Rouge, LA 70801
              Looking for a European style patisserie without ever needing to leave Baton Rouge? Head over to Strands Café for a boutique café experience unlike any other in the city that is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. Come in and enjoy delicious coffee with a scrumptious side of chocolates or pastries. Join their Pineapple Club to receive a discount on all pastries and coffee! There are plenty of cafes near Baton Rouge homes for sale for you to visit on National Coffee Day but only Strands Café will welcome you in like family!

            3. Light House Coffee — 257 Lee Dr., Baton Rouge, LA 70808
              Light House Coffee is more than a humble café — they're trying to make an impact on the world. From the ethical sourcing of their coffee to hosting educational classes that enable immigrants and refugees to obtain higher-paying jobs, Light House Coffee is truly a coffee experience that impacts our world. Stop in and try one of their great brews near Baton Rouge homes for sale. Signature cups like the Cinnamon Roll Latte and Sparkling Cardamom Cold Brew are just as good as their au laits, cortados, and espressos.

            4. PJ's Coffee — 20103 Old Scenic Hwy, Zachary, LA 70791
              Not far from Zachary homes for sale is PJ's Coffee, one of the original specialty coffee brands. Their famous blends like the Maple Street Blend, French Breakfast, and Carnival Blend are just a few of the cups that have made PJ's famous throughout the state.

            5. Rue Beignet — 18135 E. Petroleum Dr., Baton Rouge, LA 70809
              Coffee and beignets — if that's not the perfect start to any morning then we don't know what is! Rue Beignet bakes fresh hot beignets before daybreak every morning so you can start your day with a delicious batch of beignets and a hot cup of their tasty café au lait near Baton Rouge homes for sale.

            6. CC's Coffee House — 2200 S. Range Ave., Denham Springs, LA 70726
              CC's Coffee House believes that any time is a good time for coffee! Stop by their location near Denham Springs homes for sale and try their coffee house classics. The fresh-brewed Cypress Sunrise Blend, Uptown Jazz Blend, and Southern Sunset Blend will make you wish every day was National Coffee Day!

            7. Birdman Coffee & Books — 5687 Commerce St., St. Francisville, LA 70775
              There's no better way to spend National Coffee Day than with a brew and a book. Head on over to Birdman Coffee & Books for fresh coffee, homemade baked goods and a new novel that's sure to find a high place on your bookshelf. This cozy café near Saint Francisville homes for sale will quickly become your favorite hangout spot!

            Would you like to find your dream house near the best Baton Rouge coffee shops? Contact us today and we'll show you plenty of great homes in and around the Baton Rouge area!


            Setting the Bar - Baton Rouge Breweries on National Drink Beer Day

            Baton Rouge Breweries

            National Drink Beer Day is on September 28th and our REALTORS® want to raise a glass to the Baton Rouge breweries that set the bar high for Louisiana brews! The Bayou State has plenty of delicious homebrewed beer selections, and Baton Rouge isn't without its own acclaimed brewhouses. See what's on tap at one of these five awesome breweries where you can have rounds of fun on National Drink Beer Day!

            1. Southern Craft Brewing Company - 14141 Airline Hwy Ste 4J, Baton Rouge, LA 70817
              A brewery built from the ground up, Southern Craft Brewing Company is serving up a true Southerner's beer. You can taste everything from Southern hospitality to Southern ingredients in every sip of their cold, frothy beers. Try their mainstays like the Red Stick Rye, Pompous Pelican or Swamp Sting. Ask them about their seasonal or limited release beers to try.

            2. Tin Roof Brewing - 1624 Wyoming St., Baton Rouge, LA 70802
              Tin Roof Brewing Company invites you to get to know their beers in one of the best brewhouses in the city. The Voodoo has won an award from the Great American Beer Festival, so we suggest meeting that hoppy wonder first. Although they do have daily happy hours, Tin Roof also has Yoga On Tap. Come to this weekly meetup for an hour of evening yoga and discounted beers to help you truly find your Zen.

            3. The Bull Dog Baton Rouge - 4385 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70808
              The Bull Dog Baton Rouge is centrally located in our Southdown neighborhood. On National Drink Beer Day you'll have a selection of 81 draft beers (mostly craft and local) or 150+ bottled beers. While many go to The Bull Dog Baton Rouge for their extensive craft beer and cocktail selections, their dining selection is popular too.

            4. BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse — 6401 Bluebonnet Blvd #740, Baton Rouge, LA 70836 
              You may know BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse as a favorite franchise eatery, but if you have never been inside then you'll be surprised to learn that their extensive beer list includes over a dozen of their own unique brews. Stop in for lunch or dinner and make your way across their drafts on tap. BJ's Tatonka Stout, PM Porter or Committed Double IPA are great for dark beer drinkers while lighter lovers will enjoy BJ's Casa de Cerveza, Harvest Hefeweizen and Brewhouse Blonde.

            5. Cypress Coast Brewing - 5643 Government St., Baton Rouge, LA 70806 
              Mid-City's newest brewery was recently founded right across the road from Baton Rouge homes for saleCypress Coast Brewing Company's reopening after summer 2019 will bring their artfully brewed craft beers back to the Baton Rouge area.

            Looking for a great Baton Rouge home near one of these fantastic breweries? Contact us today and we will show you everything the Baton Rouge real estate market has on tap!


            Baton Rouge Free Concert Series Live After 5 Fall Lineup

            Baton Rouge Fall Concerts

            Live After 5 Concert Series in Baton Rouge

            When our REALTORS® show clients Baton Rouge homes for sale, they're often asked about the area's social scene. We could spend all day talking about the great dining and entertainment options in Baton Rouge, but one of our favorites is the Live After 5 Concert Series

            This free, family-friendly event is guaranteed fun plus a great way to get to know your new neighbors. Here's everything you need to know so you can make the most of it. 

            What is Live After 5?

            Live After 5 is a community event sponsored by the Downtown Business Association. It's held for six weeks every spring and fall and is the largest free concert series in the city. The event attracts over 5,000 people every weekend. The crowd always enjoys unwinding after a long week, and you can expect to see lots of singing, dancing, and smiles. 

            In addition to great music, you'll also find local food, adult beverages, art vendors, and a kid's area complete with an obstacle course. Bring a blanket or chairs so you can relax and enjoy the evening, but leave your pets, coolers, and tents at home. 

            Getting There

            Live After 5 is held at North Boulevard Town Square on Friday nights from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. There's plenty of free street parking in the area. 

            The fall season will begin on September 20th and continues each Friday through November 1st. If the last season is any indication, we're in for a treat! It featured popular performers including Chase Tyler Band, Werewolf, Rebirth Brass Band, and River City Hit Squad. 

            About the Downtown Business Association

            The Downtown Business Association of Baton Rouge is a nonprofit organization funded by members. It's the only organization that represents all downtown businesses. Their mission is to encourage economic growth and cultivate downtown's community culture. The Live After 5 Concert Series supports this goal by attracting thousands of visitors both from the city of Baton Rouge and nearby areas. 

            The DBA also provides members with support in a variety of ways, including sponsoring business networking events throughout the year. 

            We know that the community you live in is just as important as the home itself. While we're helping you find your dream home, we'll also introduce you to some of the best things to do nearby. Contact us to get started touring some of the best Baton Rouge homes for sale in our area.


            New to Baton Rouge? 9 Ways to Meet Your Neighbors

            Baton Rouge Neighbors

            Once you move into one of the wonderful Baton Rouge homes for sale, meeting your neighbors is the next step in putting down your roots. Mister Rogers greeted his "neighbors" with a musical invitation, but in real life, the singing ability is not required.

            Use these simple but effective tips to meet your new neighbors and begin establishing a positive presence.

            1. Smile
              A genuine smile is one of the most basic yet powerful tools of personal interaction. Smiling demonstrates that you're warm and approachable, and it instantly brightens the other person's day. Be sure to smile and say hi with everyone you encounter.
            2. Scope Out the Neighborhood
              If you observe carefully, patterns regarding your neighbors begin to emerge. Which homes include kids? Who spends a lot of time on gardening and yard work? Any cycling enthusiasts? Not only does this give you an opening for conversation, but you'll quickly determine if you have any common interests.
            3. Hit the Streets
              Walking is the best way to explore your new neighborhood. As you encounter others, ask relevant questions such as where to find the best pizza joint. People generally appreciate a chance to be helpful and share their opinions. Getting out and about also helps turn you into a familiar face in the neighborhood.
            4. Keep It Short and Sweet
              Few things turn people off as much as someone who doesn't know when to quit. No need to share your life story when first meeting your neighbors. Also, stay away from intrusive personal questions which could mark you as a nosy neighbor. Keep initial conversations brief and let relationships develop at their own natural pace.
            5. Pay Attention to the Little Things
              So it's late in the evening on trash pickup day and your empty bins are still sitting at the curb. It may not seem like a big deal to you, but those are the kinds of things that can grate on neighbors' nerves. Take your cues from others in the neighborhood and learn the "unwritten rules."
            6. Leverage Social Media
              Many neighborhoods are using sites such as Nextdoor and Facebook to create online groups for information sharing. Find out which groups are established in your area. Once you join, don't be a "lurker." Membership is more valuable when you participate.
            7. Take an Active Role
              Show your commitment to making the neighborhood a great place to live. Sign up for neighborhood watch, join a carpool group, or take part in local Meetup events.
            8. Lend a Helping Hand
              Seemingly minor tasks such as helping a neighbor unload groceries can pay big dividends in goodwill points. Conversely, ask a neighbor for a small favor, whether it's the loan of a tool or the classic cup of sugar. When thanking them, make sure to express your willingness to respond in kind.
            9. Throw a Party
              Inviting neighbors into your home is a nice way to get to know them without the pressure of one-to-one conversations. It doesn't have to be a big, formal blowout. Select a few people to come by for a casual get-together. Post-move is a good time because no one will expect you to go all out. You can even get away with asking guests to bring extra chairs or snacks.

            Our REALTORS® go the extra mile to make sure you're comfortable in your new home. For friendly and experienced help with your Baton Rouge real estate needs, contact us.


            6 Places to Celebrate with Your Friends in Baton Rouge

            Baton Rouge Places to Hangout
            "Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends leave footprints in your heart." ~ Eleanor Rosevelt

            August 1st is National Girlfriends' Day, and it's the perfect time to celebrate that special relationship you share with your best friends. Our girlfriends are always there for us through thick and thin, and there's no better way to show them how much you care than by planning a day filled with fun adventures in Baton Rouge. 

            Whether you're in the area searching for Baton Rouge homes for sale or you've made your way here for a weekend getaway, there's no shortage of great things for you and your friends to do together. From the moment you wake up until it's time for bed, our REALTORS® have planned out the perfect day for you!  

            1. Brunch at Juban's Creole Restaurant: 3739 Perkins Rd. Baton Rouge, LA 70808
              Nothing says "Girl's Day" like bottomless brunch, and Juban's Creole Restaurant is the place to do it! Their brunch menu features plenty of decadent seafood options, unlimited Champagne, Mimosas & Bellinis, and great drink specials. You'll need plenty of energy to get you through the day, so go ahead and indulge.

            2. Paddleboarding at Muddy Water Paddle Company: 4355 Perkins Rd Baton Rouge, LA 70808
              Once you and your girlfriends are fueled up, it's time for some adventure! Head on over to Muddy Water Paddle Company for a paddleboard lesson or book a party and enjoy a day on the water. Whether you're experienced paddleboarders or absolute beginners, this is guaranteed to be an adventure you won't soon forget. 

            3. Tour and Rum Tasting at Three Roll Estate: 760 St. Philip Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70802
              After playing on the water, you'll definitely be ready for something a bit more low-key. A tour and rum tasting at Three Roll Estate is a great way to unwind while enjoying another unique experience.

              Learn how the spirits make their journey from the sugar cane farm to the distillery and into your glass. Tours last 45 minutes and end in the tasting room where you'll get to try some of the distillery's premium rums. 
            1. Relaxing Massage at Healthcare Gallery and Wellness Spa: 3488 Brentwood Dr. Suites 102 & 103 Baton Rouge, LA 70809
              Part art gallery and part wellness spa, Healthcare Gallery is the perfect spot for you and your girlfriends to rejuvenate before your night out. Book yourselves some aromatherapy relaxation massages to help ease muscle tension and leave you feeling great. 

            2. Dinner at Tsunami:100 Lafayette Street, 6th Floor, Baton Rouge, LA 70801
              Since you're celebrating a special day, you don't want to slack on your dinner plans. Tsunami restaurant will give you the memorable experience you're looking for.

              Located on the rooftop terrace overlooking the Mississippi River, the only thing better than this restaurant's view is the food. The menu includes a huge selection of sushi as well as steaks, dinner entrees, and, of course, sake. 
            1. Nightcaps at Olive or Twist: 2122 Perkins Palm Ave. Suite A Baton Rouge, LA 70808
              There's one more stop you need to make before you call it a night. That's because you won't want to miss out on the awesome atmosphere and unique drink options at Olive or Twist. Choose from a huge selection of spirits, order a specialty cocktail from the menu, or play "cocktail roulette" by choosing from a list of options and letting your bartender create a unique surprise. Trust us when we say this is the perfect ending to your unforgettable girl's day. 

            Once you've spent some time exploring Baton Rouge with your besties, you'll quickly see why so many people love living here. Are you ready to start looking for your dream home in Baton Rouge? Contact us today to get started. 


            10 Tips for Buying a Waterfront Home in Baton Rouge

            Waterfront Home Baton Rouge

            Our REALTORS® get a lot of questions about waterfront property in Baton Rouge.

            Buyers often wonder: Is it challenging to get to closing on such valuable property?

            Typically, waterfront properties command a premium. A home by the water provides amenities others don't, from a beautiful view to a cool breeze that can take the edge off hot summers. Listings for waterfront property can be competitive.

            Here's what you need to know to be successful buying waterfront property in Baton Rouge:

            1. Work With a Specialist
              Connect with an agent you can trust early on. Ask plenty of questions and be sure you're working with a real expert who recognizes the opportunities – and pitfalls – of waterfront living.
            2. Examine the Property
              You can do just about whatever you want with your structure, but the land it stands on is forever. With that in mind, be wary of falling in love with a house and overlooking the land quality. Consider factors like privacy and view.
            3. Match Land to Lifestyle
              The odds are good you're looking forward to getting out on the water regularly. How easy it is to access, navigate, and use the water will make a big difference in how much you enjoy your new home.
            4. Get Preapproved
              Loans for waterfront properties can be tricky because of the high asking price. "Jumbo mortgages" that cover these transactions are available only to ultra-qualified buyers. Gathering your documentation and getting preapproved may take longer, so start early.
            5. Check for Wind-Proofing
              The water can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Get a professional inspection done so you'll be aware of any necessary repairs or structural weaknesses. Storm shutters are a must for areas subject to significant wind storms. Stainless steel locks can beat corrosion from the salty air.
            6. Explore Insurance Early
              Insurance represents a significant piece of your housing expenses on the waterfront. Remember wind policies don't cover damage from water and vice versa. You may need both, along with a general hazard policy, and all three could come from different insurers.
            7. Review Rules and Restrictions
              Towns and cities are more careful about protecting waterfront resources, so there could be some restrictions on renovating the property. Talk to relevant government agencies to fail-proof your plans before you commit. Ensure the water sports you want to enjoy are permitted, too.
            8. Talk It Over With Neighbors
              When it comes to waterfront property, few others know better than the neighbors. They'll be able to tell you whether the area is all it's cracked up to be – and whether they've heard anything you should know about the property you're interested in buying. Forewarned is forearmed.
            9. Double-check Utilities
              If you're scouting for properties in rural areas, don't take anything for granted when it comes to utilities. Go through a checklist: electricity, clean water, septic, cable, and internet to understand which utilities do and do not come with the home. Scrutinize both the installation costs and ongoing fees.
            10. Reach Out to Your HOA
              If you will be part of a homeowners' association, read the community covenants carefully. They will tell you all about the upkeep and maintenance you'll be expected to perform. If you have questions, bring them to the HOA's management company early in the process.

            Contact us to find out more about waterfront property near Baton Rouge. We're here to help.


            Baton Rouge Downtown Development District and Its Passion for Progress

            Baton Rouge Downtown

            Our REALTORS® stay current with all the exciting developments going on in Baton Rouge.  Because of community organizations like the Downtown Development District, buyers of Baton Rouge homes for sale benefit from a thriving economy, a diverse list of employers, and a downtown like nothing else you've ever seen.

            The Downtown Development District – "DDD" to just about everyone – sponsors cultural events, business initiatives, and resident get-togethers aimed at benefiting the community. It's one of the most active community associations in the entire United States.

            What is the Downtown Development District?

            The DDD is a political subdivision of the state with a focus on fostering business and community partnerships in Historic Spanish Town, Beauregard Town, the Central Business District, Capitol View North, and Downtown East.

            The DDD is a forum where residents, business owners, and civic leaders talk and work together. It helps locals get the most of Baton Rouge's 20 entertainment venues, eight art museums, and many green spaces. It also coordinates with out-of-town visitors, like movie studios.

            Key players in the community are always soliciting feedback, and locals are always welcome to make their voices heard. That's a significant reason why Baton Rouge has one of the fullest social calendars of any big city. There's always something to see and do around here!

            What Does the Downtown Development District Do?

            Its original goal was to fight urban sprawl, but it has done so much more.

            Operating for more than 30 years, the Downtown Development District is known for lots of things. It presents a monthly award to local businesses, recognizing unique contributions to the Downtown area. It supports and publicizes events, and helps steward the city's natural resources.

            Some of its proudest achievements include:

            1. Capitol Park
              Back in 2000, Baton Rouge set out an ambitious vision to consolidate municipal offices in the city and beautify the area at the same time. Now, Capitol Park is rich with striking examples of Art Deco architecture and boasts the nation's tallest state capitol building.
            2. Historic Preservation
              The DDD has been behind dozens of restoration and conservation projects. One of the largest centered on the Old State Capitol, which dates to 1847. It's known as the Castle of Baton Rouge thanks to its striking appearance, and now welcomes visitors as the Museum of Political History.
            3. Revitalizing the Riverfront
              The Baton Rouge Riverfront is one of the city's most beautiful resources, but it was underused until a new development plan was put together in 1990. Now, it hosts spectacular annual events like Baton Rouge's Fourth of July Fireworks Celebration. Millions of tourists enjoy the area, too.
            4. Arts & Entertainment District
              The Baton Rouge Arts & Entertainment District is home to world-class galleries, shops, the best local nightlife, annual festivals, and free concerts. You'll also find farmers markets and the beloved Shaw Center for the Arts.
            5. The Downtown Greenway
              Preserving green spaces in central Baton Rouge is a key goal of the DDD. It's currently in the midst of a plan to launch a 2.75-mile network of bicycle and pedestrian paths. These will connect parks, cultural institutions, and neighborhoods, all without adding to congestion.

            That's not all: In the next few years, more than 500 new housing units are expected to become available in downtown Baton Rouge. If you want to live in a forward-looking city where things are always getting better, there's never been a better time to plan your move.

            To make the most of Baton Rouge, you need real estate experts with true local insight. Contact us today to find out more.


            Live Music Venues in Baton Rouge

            Baton Rouge Music VenueOne of the best things about choosing from Baton Rouge homes for sale is knowing that you'll be living in one of the music capitals of the south.

            Baton Rouge is the stomping grounds of top musicians from a number of genres. Ranging from hip hop to Dixieland to blues to country, you can find just about everything in Baton Rouge.

            Our REALTORS® love to introduce clients to the music scene here. On any given afternoon or evening, you can choose from a wide range of live music venues. They run the gamut all the way from the biggest auditoriums to cozy local bars where karaoke night is always on tap.

            Let's look at some of the best places to catch live music throughout Baton Rouge:

            1. Texas Club – 456 North Donmoor Ave, Baton Rouge, LA 70806
              Texas Club bills itself as the premier live music venue in Baton Rouge. That's a big claim, but it makes a strong case with its spacious, comfortable surroundings and a long history of some of the nation's top acts. Such stars as Garth Brooks, George Strait, Luke Bryan, Chris Stapleton, and Jason Aldean have been in attendance, not to mention rockers like Styx and Kansas.
            2. Varsity Theatre – 3353 Highland Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70802
              The Varsity Theatre is always hopping with a full roster of live music almost every single day. Top national acts are attracted on a regular basis, and it's known to be one of the bigger and better venues for music fans who like to party with the energy of a whole crowd. Upcoming acts include Astronomy on Tap, Issues, Jaryd Lane, Loudness War, and Citizen Cope.
            3. Red Dragon Listening Room – 2401 Florida Boulevard, Baton Rouge, LA 70802
              The Red Dragon Listening Room is the place to go when you want a laid back and intimate atmosphere for your listening pleasure. You won't sacrifice comfort – most of the seating is on plush sofas – yet the acoustics are top notch. The Red Dragon welcomes a mix of national acts and local up and comers who are defining their genres for the next generation.
            4. Henry Turner Jr's Listening Room – 2733 North Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70802
              Henry Turner Jr's Listening Room is a venue that has been dedicated to introducing the people of Baton Rouge to fresh new musical talent. Established in 2014, it is now open on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday every week. Local, regional, and national touring acts have dropped by, all of them closing with a headline performance by Henry Turner Jr. and Flavor. Admission is always just $10!
            5. MidCity Ballroom – 136 South Acadian Thruway, Baton Rouge, LA 70806
              The MidCity Ballroom is one of the hottest venues in Baton Rouge and took on the overflow acts from a popular bar, The Spanish Moon when it closed for renovations. Even though it's only been around since 2017, it has made a big splash thanks to its combination of live music, lessons, and unbeatable atmosphere. Shows average about one or two each week, but they're worth the wait.

            Ready to rock out in Baton Rouge? Contact us to learn about the local real estate opportunities!


            Best Catfish Restaurants Around Baton Rouge

            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.
            2. Drusilla Seafood Restaurant – 3482 Drusilla Lane D, Baton Rouge, LA 70809
              Drusilla Seafood Restaurant is where to go for the classic Cajun-fried catfish fillets, in both adult and kids' menu form. You can complement your dinner with your choice of fried oysters or fried shrimp. Several of the house specialties also come with catfish, including the "Taste of Louisiana" platter: Delectable shrimp au gratin, fried popcorn shrimp, and more.
            3. Crawford's Restaurant – 1980 Staring Lane, Baton Rouge, LA 70810
              Crawford's Restaurant – that's Crawford, not crawdad – is the one and only home of the infamous c-fish. What makes it so unique? It's fried "the Ken Sr. way," and has attracted a bevy of five-star reviews from locals and visitors alike. In addition to the catfish plate, you can also enjoy Crawford's catfish po'boy, easily one of the best seafood dishes in town.
            4. Dempsey's – 13580 Coursey Boulevard, Baton Rouge, LA 70817
              Dempsey's prides itself on authentic Louisiana cooking. Jambalaya with fried catfish is right there on the weekly specials menu (it's the headliner for Monday), so you know it's got to be good. Other specials include Cajun meatloaf, chicken-fried steak, and ... once again, on Friday, jambalaya with fried catfish. Go get some!
            5. George's Southside – 8905 Highland Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70810
              George's Southside will tempt your taste buds with catfish dishes whipped up by "the original" South Baton Rouge catfish restaurant. Known as the first on the internet in Baton Rouge (dating all the way back to 1996), George's has a fun and friendly atmosphere nobody else can match. It's open seven days a week, and you can even get a souvenir bumper sticker on request.

            Catfish isn't the only thing unique about Baton Rouge. With sage advice from an expert real estate agent, you can tap into all Baton Rouge's great real estate opportunities. No matter your budget, style, or timeline, our team supports you with reliable knowledge and attentive customer service. It has never been easier to find Baton Rouge homes for sale that are right for you ... and get to closing the easy way.

            Contact us to find out more today. We look forward to meeting you.


            How to Spend Fathers Day in Baton Rouge

            Father's Day Baton Rouge

            Sunday, June 16 is one of the biggest days of the year: Father's Day!

            Our REALTORS® decided to take a little break from showing the best Baton Rouge homes for sale to compile a short list of things you can do to celebrate Dad on Father's Day. When you explore the historic city of Baton Rouge, you'll find something for every type of father.

            Let's look at five of the best ways to enjoy Father's Day in Baton Rouge this year:

            1. Walk-On's – 3838 Burbank Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70808
              Walk On's Bistreaux & Bar has been named one of the top sports bars in the United States, and it lives up to that reputation! Dad will have a unique experience here. Every dish is made from scratch, from the traditional gumbo to the seared ahi tuna, wraps, and burgers. It's a great place for a festive family dinner – and, of course, you'll always see the game playing on the big screen.
            2. Tin Roof Brewing Company – 1624 Wyoming Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70802
              Tin Roof Brewing Company is just one of the many local breweries you'll discover dotting the Big Easy. Dad can sample plenty of fresh, local options made from the best malts, freshest hops, and well water right from the parish to give it that unique Baton Rouge flavor. In addition to the five regular brews, there's always a seasonal brew on tap. Live music happens every month, too.
            3. The USS Kid – 305 South River Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70802
              What could be better for Father's Day than visiting a living piece of history docked right in the Mississippi? The USS Kid dates back to 1945 and has been lovingly restored to its original appearance. When you drop by, you can inspect 50 different interior spaces or take the standard 90-minute tour. You'll also want to peruse all the full-scale replicas in the Veterans Museum.
            4. Audubon Golf Trail – 18460 Santa Maria Parkway and Throughout Baton Rouge
              The Audubon Golf Trail is a collection of top quality golf courses all around Baton Rouge and the surrounding area. It's a fun-filled way for dad to hit the links and practice his putt in a wide range of luxurious, well-kept surroundings. To get started right in the heart of the city, check out the Santa Maria Golf Course, one of the top-ranked municipal courses in the United States.
            5. 2019 Father's Day 5K and 10K Race – (Just About) Anywhere in Baton Rouge
              The 2019 Father's Day 5K and 10K Race will mark the continuation of a proud Baton Rouge tradition. This is its sixth year in action! But it's not a traditional race: It's a virtual one. You pick the course and complete your race any time in June, then report your time to the organizers. At least 15% of each race registration will go to help disabled children build confidence and character.

            Spend a little time in Baton Rouge and the city is sure to grow on you. With a little help from us, Dad could be spending Father's Day 2020 doing DIY projects in the home he's always wanted.

            Contact us to find out more. The best Baton Rouge real estate awaits!


            Meet Five Local Tailors in Baton Rouge on National Tailors Day

            Baton Rouge Tailors

            June 5 is National Tailors - Meet Five Local Businesses in Baton Rouge

            Our REALTORS® know that your home is a reflection of your personal style.

            When you go looking for Baton Rouge homes for sale, we will help you find one that fits you like a glove. Unfortunately, gloves (and other articles of clothing) aren't quite what they used to be. Off-the-rack clothing can never fit quite as well as something made just for you.  June 5 is National Tailors Day, and now is the best time to discover just how great custom-tailored articles can be. Although every tailored piece is a bit more expensive, they will also have a tendency to last much longer. Plus, an experienced tailor will make every item look more flattering.

            Whether you're in the mood for a custom suit or just a simple alteration, a good tailor is hard to find. Demand is growing and expertise is shrinking ... but not here in beautiful Baton Rouge.

            In honor of National Tailors Day, let's meet local tailors in Baton Rouge, Louisiana:

            1. Ann's Tailor – 8723 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70810
              Ann's Tailor can help you with all your custom tailoring and sewing needs for men, women, and children. With more than 35 years of experience, their results are top notch. What's more, they can also help with custom interior decorating elements like drapes and cushions.
            2. El Bengal Tailor – 2771 Highland Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70802
              El Bengal Tailor is a family-owned business that has been in operation since 1972. Now on its second generation, it specializes in men's alterations, women's alterations, denim, and leather. El Bengal is beloved by a coterie of repeat customers who have been visiting it for years.
            3. AB Fashion Tailoring and Alterations – 6010 Jones Creek Road Suite H, Baton Rouge, LA 70817
              AB Fashion Tailoring and Alterations brings more than 16 years of expertise to the realm of hand-tailored formalwear. Alterations and custom-made clothing are available for men, women, and children. They will even help you with next day service for those "fashion emergencies!"
            4. Helen's Tailor & Alterations – 12046 Coursey Boulevard, Baton Rouge, LA 70816
              Helen's Tailor and Alterations is prized for its reasonable rates and quick, courteous service. Located right in the heart of Baton Rouge near Parklawn Park and several local landmarks, it's a terrific place to get back to basics on your tailoring and alteration needs.
            5. Stitch Baton Rouge – 9880 Bluebonnet Boulevard Suite C-3B, Baton Rouge, LA 70810
              Stitch Baton Rouge operates its own full-fledged fashion blog that complements the on-trend tailoring and alteration services you'll find here. Not only can you get the finest clothing alterations, there are also personal style consultants and private fittings so you'll always look your best.

            Are you ready to find a home in Baton Rouge that will truly be a perfect fit?

            Contact us to get started. We look forward to helping you.


            Best Swamp Adventures Baton Rouge

            Swamp Adventures Baton Rouge

            Louisiana is a state unlike any other. From our food and wildlife to our people and our culture, life among the swamps and bayous is something special. Baton Rouge homes for sale are always getting scooped off the market because of their proximity to the adventure and fun that the surrounding wetlands offer. Next time you're browsing homes in the area, our REALTORS® insist that you check out these five great attractions.

            1. Brec's Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center – 10503 North Oak Hill Parkway, Baton Rouge, LA 70810 
              A stroll through the swamp can be an educational exercise. Over a mile of trail weaves you through the forests and swamps as you keep a lookout for snakes, otters, deer, turtles, armadillos, foxes and other critters that roam the area. The large conservation facility at the Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center has loads of exhibits featuring the plants, minerals, and animals that call Baton Rouge home. With programs and activities for all ages, the whole family can spend the afternoon learning about the wild world that surrounds the South Baton Rouge homes for sale.
            2. Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge – St. Francisville, LA 70775 
              Don't let the name fool you – Cat Island is not the stomping grounds of our favorite furry felines. The Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge is an ecological sanctuary that protects the habitats of many plants and animals that are threatened or endangered. Different species of wintering waterfowl, wading birds and hardwood trees call this swamp home, as do crawfish, white-tailed deer and songbirds. Cat Island is great for kayaking, hiking, photography and wildlife viewing but you should also know that fishing and hunting is permitted at certain times of the year to help the refuge maintain sound wildlife management. There are plenty of Saint Francisville homes for sale in the area if you'd like to call these swamps home too.
            3. Last Wilderness Swamp Tours – 33115 LA-75, Plaquemine, LA 70764 
              If you're looking at Prairieville homes for sale, you may wonder what adventure awaits you on the opposite side of the Mississippi River. Head on over to Last Wilderness Swamp Tours and find out! This father and son team will give you a Louisiana swamp tour like no other. Their small, quiet boats will take you deep into the Atchafalaya Basin where you'll explore one of the largest wetlands in the country. See the swamp the way it was meant to be seen – from the seat right atop the water!
            4. Atchafalaya Basin Landing Airboat Swamp Tours – 1377 Henderson Levee Rd., Breaux Bridges, LA 70517 
              Drive a short distance west of Port Allen homes for sale, and you'll discover Atchafalaya Basin Landing Airboat Swamp Tours. With one of the largest airboat fleets in the southern end of the state, there's plenty of room for you to bring a group of family or friends. For 20 years, locals and visitors alike have been spending their spare time in the swamp with Captains Tucker, Nick and Craig as they explored the bayou together. These 90-minute tours are available seven days a week all year long.
            5. Attakapas Adventures Swamp Tours – 1324 Hwy. 401, Napoleonville, LA 70390 
              All of our Highlands homes for sale are within an hour or less of scene Louisiana swamplands. For an ecological and historical tour of the swamps in South Louisiana, take a drive south to Attakapas Adventures Swamp Tours. You'll ride along the bayous in their pontoon boats sneaking peeks at alligators, pelicans and bald eagles lounging in the area.  

            Contact us for directions to other great swamp tours in the area or for help buying one of the charming Baton Rouge homes for sale.


            Spending a Perfect Day in Baton Rouge

            Baton Rouge Spend a Day
            Take a break from searching for Baton Rouge homes for sale and spend a day enjoying our lively community. There are many places to grab a bite, learn something new, or just enjoy a pretty day outside. Our REALTORS® have these tips on how to spend a day in Baton Rouge.

            • Brunch - Simple Joe Café, 3057 Government Street
              Start your day with a leisurely brunch at Simple Joe Café, no matter if you prefer breakfast or lunch food for brunch. For those breakfast people, you can order up a three-egg omelet with a wide range of choices for fillings. Or try their blueberry quinoa for a different twist. Lunch people can dig into the Pow Burger, where the beef is mixed with pork sausage to make an awesome patty. 
            • Mid-morning Stroll - Riverfront Plaza & City Dock, 300 S. River Road / USS Kidd
              After a big meal, nothing is better than walking it off by exploring the area on foot. Riverfront Plaza & City Dock is a terrific place to watch the mighty Mississippi, wander around the fountain and a beautiful 4-panel mural, or just sit in the sunshine and watch the people watch the river. You can also tour the USS Kidd Fletcher Class destroyer. Explore the mission of the 'Pirate of the Pacific' and learn about the men who served on her.
            • Satisfying Small Bites - Magpie Café, 3205 Perkins Road
              After a big meal, you may not want a traditional lunch, but a little bit of something could tamp down the "hangries." Make your way to the Magpie Café, which specializes in local, organic ingredients and extra good coffee. There is a downtown location, but you might want to visit the original in the Perkins Road Overpass District. Here's where the coffee-loving owners transformed a former tattoo parlor into an expresso bar café. Do not skip the coffee! Magpie has its own "director of coffee" as well as an in-house roaster assuring coffee lovers a divine experience. 
            • At One with the Animals and the Stars - BREC Baton Rouge Zoo, 3601 Thomas Road
              For your afternoon in Baton Rouge at the BREC Baton Rouge Zoo. Here you can make friends with a Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula or get to know a Kirks Dik Dik. Open for almost 50 years, the zoo hosts a range of animals, from reptiles to birds to mammals. However, it doesn't just house the animals, the Baton Rouge Zoo also is active in conservation work and educational programs.
            • Louisiana Art and Science Museum, 100 River Road South
              For indoor entertainment, visit the Louisiana Art and Science Museum offering exhibits on subjects from ancient Egypt to the solar system. Perhaps, the best reason to visit the museum is to go to a planetarium show. Their 60-foot domed theater and 15,000-wat digital surround sound will let you get lost in the stars. 
            • An Evening Out - Tsunami, 100 Lafayette St. 6th FloorThe Varsity Theater, 3353 Highland Road
              For dinner, head out to Tsunami on Lafayette Street where you can set aside crawfish and Cajun, and indulge in some delicious sushi. Using fresh ingredients and flavors with flare, the chefs at Tsunami offer up dishes they call "edible art." After dinner, wrap up your lovely day in Baton Rouge with some live music and drinks at The Varsity Theater.

            Once you've gotten to know Baton Rouge and are ready to buy a home, contact us and we will be happy to guide you in finding just the right place.


            Celebrate National Wine Day at These 5 Wineries Near Baton Rouge

            Baton Rouge Winery
            Wine lovers, mark your calendars! Saturday, May 25 is National Wine Day, and our REALTORS® have some great ideas about how you can celebrate the occasion in and around Baton Rouge. Be sure to check out these incredible Louisiana wineries and vineyards.

            1. Dubois Winery - 417 E Ascension St, Gonzales, LA
              A cozy little winery nestled in a beautiful historic house in Gonzales, Louisiana, Dubois Winery has always been a labor of love for proprietor Rick Dubois, who opened up shop after restoring the building in 2015. The winery is just down the road from many Prairieville homes for sale and offers tours and tastings by appointment every Saturday. It's a great place to sample and learn about local wines.

            2. Pontchartrain Vineyards - 80158 Louisiana 1082, Bush, LA
              Offering up fine table wines in the classic French tradition, this establishment's greatest asset (other than great wine) is its gorgeous tasting room overlooking the rolling landscape of the vineyard. In addition to tasting some truly exceptional Louisiana wines, Pontchartrain Vineyards serves up live music most weekends in spring and fall, and their wine club offers some serious discounts and benefits for members. 

            3. Casa De Sue Winery - 14316 Hatcher Rd, Clinton, LA
              This family-owned winery is best known for its tasty vitis rotundifolia varietal and blueberry blends and has a long and storied past to go along with every bottle. The land that Casa De Sue Winery sits on, just minutes from these Zachary homes for sale, was purchased and planted in 1972, but Louisiana law made it illegal to produce and sell alcohol until two decades later when Casa de Sue Winery opened to the public as the first licensed Louisiana winery since prohibition.

            4. Amato's Winery - 12415 W Blackcat Rd, Independence, LA
              Located in the small town of Independence, LA, Amato's Winery is just under an hour from numerous homes for sale in Baton Rouge, and well worth the trip. It's the only licensed winery in Tangipahoa Parish, specializing in sweet and semi-sweet strawberry wine made from local strawberries. Their blackberry and even orange wines have been a big hit with customers too, making Amato's Winery a great place to sample something new. 

            5. Milicevic Family Vineyards - 28480 LA-435, Abita Springs, LA
              Milicevic Family Vineyards began way back in 1950 in Hercegovina, and when the family came to America, the wine came with them. Ivan Milicevic purchased land in Abita Springs, Louisiana in 2015 to start a new chapter in the family business, and now produces some of the finest wine in the state. Be sure to ask about wines made from Blatina and Zilavka grapes, which exist nowhere in the world except Hercegovina and now Louisiana. 

            From local wineries and breweries to incredible restaurants and vibrant nightlife, we think Baton Rouge is a great place to call home, and our team of dedicated REALTORS® are committed to helping you find your dream house here. Contact us today to learn more about living life to the fullest in Baton Rouge, Louisiana!


            Bayou Country Superfest Returns to Baton Rouge

            Kenny Chesney
            Grab your boots, pull on your jeans, and mark your calendar for a weekend of no shirt, no shoes, no problems. For ten years, Bayou Country Superfest has brought together some of the biggest names in country music over Memorial Day weekend. This year SuperFest returns to Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, after spending two years in the New Orleans Superdome. It's events like Superfest that make shopping for Baton Rouge homes for sale a great idea. 

            Headliners Rockin' Tiger Stadium

            For two fabulous days, Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean, and Florida Georgia Line will be joined by Kane Brown, Chase Rice, and Cassadee Pope among others. Chesney is sure to fill Tiger Stadium with songs from the 20 albums he has recorded over his storied career. He has sung his way to the Top Ten Singles 40 times with 29 of those songs reaching number one, including Til It's Gone, Wild Child, and of course, No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problems. Chesney's live shows regularly sell out, so Saturday's SuperFest crowd is in for a fantastic night. 

            Baton Rouge Countryfest Headliners

            Sunday, Jason Aldean will take the stage. Known for songs like Big Green Tractor, When She Says Baby, and Tonight Looks Good On You, Aldean boasts 19 number one hits, with eight others reaching the top ten. He has been named the ACM Entertainer of the Year in 2016, 2017, and 2018. His latest album, Rearview Town, debuted in 2018.

            Baton Rouge Countryfest 2019

            Talent Upon Talent 

            Other artists featured over the weekend also promised to bring a Stetson-worthy show.  

            • Chart-topping Florida Georgia Line will be showing off tunes from their newly released album Can't Say I Ain't Country. FGL has a shelf-full of awards, including CMT Music Awards 2018 Performance of the Year, and Billboard Music Awards Top Country Duo-Group Artist.
            • Cassadee Pope was the first female winner of The Voice in 2012 and has released such hits as One More Red Light, and her newest, If My Heart Had A Heart.
            • Kane Brown was the first artist to have number ones on all five main Billboard country charts at once. His hit single What ifs was released from his first full-length album, Kane Brown, in December 2016. He released his second album in November 2018. 
            • Dan + Shay is one of country music's newest duos. They started as songwriters in 2013 and quickly become both a songwriting and music team. They have performed on The Ellen Show and the Grand Ole Opry, and have been opening numbers for Hunter Hayes and Blake Shelton.

            Entire Weekend Experience

            To make the weekend complete, make time to go to Fan Fest where fun and food come together to create a huge tailgating experience. If you like to take your home on the road, your RV is welcomed at Bayou Country Superfest as well. There's RV parking in Touchdown Village, and special parking passes for those wishing also to bring a car. For hotel options and travel packages, check out the event's website.  

            After a fun-filled weekend, it may be time to make Baton Rouge your home. Our REALTORS® are experts at putting all the notes together that will have you two stepping your way through the buying process. Contact us to start your search for Baton Rouge homes for sale.


            5 Ways to Compete with All-Cash Home Buyers

            Contract with AgentYou found the perfect house to start your homeownership journey. It has a spacious kitchen, fenced back yard, and the cutest patio sitting in the afternoon sun. You are ready to make an offer, but in this competitive Baton Rouge real estate market, how can you make sure you have the advantage to seal the deal?

            A real challenge when you're ready to buy one of our Baton Rouge homes for sale is competing with all-cash home buyers. All-cash buyers typically have greater leverage because of sellers like not having to navigate the added steps that come with working with a lender.  

            Here are some tips from our real estate agents on how to compete with all-cash home buyers:

            1. Know When to Hold 'Em; Know When to Fold 'Em  - Competing against cash buyers is not the time to be coy about what you can offer. Don't wait for the third volley to give your best offer; that chance may not come. Additionally, if the seller hesitates, be willing to go up on your offer, even if it is just $1,000. That kind of flexibility may be the tipping point to win you the house. Finally, be prepared to pay as much down payment as you can make.
            2. Make Them Happy - Another positive point for you could come in meeting the sellers' needs. While you may not have ready cash, maybe you are more flexible as to when you want to move in. If you know that sellers need additional time to buy their next home, consider offering to give them the time they need. Of course, the other way may be valuable also. If you can close quickly, that could be the incentive a seller needs. You can work with your real estate agent to identify what will help the seller and see if you can provide it.  
            3. Prove Your Worth - Sellers like cash offers because they don't have to be a part of the mortgage lending process. If you can get that process managed before you make an offer, this may be enough of an incentive to be competitive against a cash buyer. Prove you have good credit by presenting them with a pre-approval letter from your lender. Be willing to provide proof of funding from a financial advisor that shows you have the money for a down payment.  
            4. Put Pen to Paper  - Another almost old-fashion option to boost your appeal is to write a letter to the sellers. Describe who you are and why you want the house. Be genuine in your language. Tell them about your family, and even your hopes for your life in the house. Let them get to know you as people, and they may be more inclined to want to work with you.  
            5. Be Patient - Finally, as in all things home-buying, be patient. In a competitive market, you may have to make offers on four or five houses to find the right one.

            Buying a house through a traditional lender might put you at a disadvantage against all-cash buyers, but with a few steps, you might swing the deal your way. When you are ready to take the plunge into homeownership here in Baton Rouge, contact us and we will help guide you on the journey.  


            Baton Rouge Louisiana Earth Day April 28

            Earth Day in Baton Rouge
            The beauty of the bayou and the rolling waves of the mighty Mississippi are Louisiana's most famous sights. Located not much more than a stone's throw from anywhere in Baton Rouge, these natural landmarks seem magical. 

            For generations, the bayous and rivers that course through the region have provided plenty of grist for the writer's mill. They have served as a powerful force driving the state's economy forward. These realities are never far from the minds of the folks at Louisiana Earth Day, Inc. and our real estate agents who make their own homes in the region. 

            Celebrate Earth Day 2019

            This year's celebration will take place at the LSU Parker Coliseum on April 28 from 1 pm to 5 pm. It is free to attend, and plenty of parking is available. There will be ample food and lots of fun activities for everyone in the family to enjoy. This Earth Day at LSU is a fantastic opportunity for you to learn about the region's ecology.

            Earth Day is an opportunity to discover more about the many critters and creatures that depend on the health of the habitats around Baton Rouge. You can discover what to do when you are toe-to-toe with the four-toed salamander or learn how to spot a submerged manatee. Event organizers promise plenty to learn and something for everyone to enjoy. 

            Challenges Facing Louisiana

            Louisiana is battered by hurricanes and bruised by pollution. There are numerous environmental issues facing the state as the 21st century moves forward. Sea levels are rising, the shoreline is eroding, and garbage is flowing through the Mississippi. Over the past 100 years, nearly 2,000 square miles of coastline have vanished beneath the waves. The loss of coastline poses enormous challenges and has changed the disposition and distribution of nutrients, sediments, and freshwater within the wetlands and bayous.    

            Learn More About the "Master Plan"

            Legislators aren't sitting on their laurels as Louisiana slips beneath the waves. In 2012, the legislature passed the "Master Plan." This plan will inject tens of billions of dollars in funding to repair the coastline and protect regional habitats. As the plan enters the next phase, these efforts are showing positive results.

            In all, there are more than 100 projects which are scheduled to receive more than $50 billion in funding over the next 50 years. These projects include funding for the EPA Superfund Program in Louisiana. This program aims to clean up toxic sites. The plan also addresses the Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone which threatens the regional fishing economy. 

            When you celebrate Earth Day 2019 at LSU, the staff of Louisiana Earth Day, Inc. will tell you all about the plan to brighten Louisiana's future. They are eager to discuss the things you can do at home to help preserve the delicate balance between progress and environmental protection.        

            Our real estate agents invite you to contact us to learn more about the beauty of Baton Rouge and to schedule showings of the fabulous Baton Rouge homes for sale awaiting you. It would be our pleasure to answer your questions and help you discover the many reasons that Baton Rouge is the perfect home for your family. 


            6 Spots for Crawfish in Baton Rouge

            Crawfish Baton Rouge

            Louisiana--including our locals in Baton Rouge--loves crawfish. Historically, from February through mid-May it's crawfish eating time!  These freshwater crustaceans have long been a culinary staple in Louisiana--a traditional food that symbolizes the Cajun culture of the state. Crawfish have been designated as the state's official crustacean, and have become an important industry in Louisiana, which provides most of the crawfish consumed throughout the United States.

            While you may be able to get crawfish all over the country these days, there is nowhere better to sit down to a plateful of authentic Cajun crawfish than Louisiana. If you're in town looking at Baton Rouge homes for sale during crawfish season, you won't want to miss the opportunity. Local folks will tell you that peak crawfish season is in the spring, from late February through May. That's when wild-caught crawfish are largest, most succulent and most abundant. So where do Louisianians eat crawfish in Baton Rouge?

            1. Capital City Crawfish & Cajun Specialties, 5355 Government St Suite D., Baton Rouge
              A favorite local spot during crawfish season, Capital City Crawfish offers authentic Cajun crawfish boils, crawfish pie, crawfish boudin and lots of other traditional dishes – made to order and served fresh.
            2. Sammy's Grill, 8635 Highland Rd, Baton Rouge
              Whether you're ready for a traditional crawfish boil or a delicious crawfish etouffée, crawfish fettuccine, or fried crawfish po'boy, Sammy's Grill can satisfy your crawfish craving.
            3. The Chimes Restaurant, 3357 Highland Rd, Baton Rouge
              A local fixture that offers a great selection of made-from-scratch dishes, Chimes is known for its unique crawfish specialties. These include crawfish etoufée, crawfish omelets, crawfish three-cheese mac & cheese and cream of crawfish soup.
            4. Tony's Seafood Market & Deli, 5215 Plank Rd, Baton Rouge
              A local hot-spot during crawfish season, Tony's Seafood is famous for its boiled crawfish, crawfish pie, boudin balls, and many other delicious kinds of seafood and traditional Cajun dishes.
            5. Parrain's Seafood Restaurant, 3225 Perkins Rd, Baton Rouge
              Known as a top-shelf seafood restaurant in Baton Rouge, Parrain's is a local favorite during crawfish season. You can indulge in crawfish dishes that include crawfish tails, crawfish etoufée, fried crawfish, and their delicious crawfish po'boy.
            6. Willie's Restaurant, 11260 Coursey Blvd, Baton Rouge
              Known for quality, homemade Louisiana cuisine, Willie's Restaurant is a prime spot during crawfish season, serving up delicious dishes featuring these tasty little crustaceans that include crawfish boils, fried crawfish tails, crawfish etoufée, and shrimp & crawfish bisque.

            This is just a small sampling of the many great local spots where Louisianians eat crawfish in Baton Rouge. If you're looking for more recommendations or have any other questions about the local area, contact us. Our real estate agents are a font of knowledge about all things Baton Rouge, and we're always happy to help.


            Baton Rouge Entertainment: Live After Five Begins April 5

            Baton Rouge Live Music
            When our real estate agents take a break from showing clients the best Baton Rouge homes for sale, they love to relax and unwind while enjoying the city's excellent live music scene. Every spring, locals, and visitors flock to downtown Baton Rouge to attend the area's premier seasonal music event series, Live After Five.

            The free concerts, which are hosted by the Downtown Business Association, draw crowds of over 5,000 music lovers every week. The 2019 spring series kicks off on Friday, April 5th from 5 to 8 p.m. in North Boulevard Town Square. The lineup has just been released, and it might be the best one ever! Here's a round-up of this year's incredible talent. 

            • April 5th: Chase Tyler Band
              Opening night promises to be a hit with the Chase Tyler Band playing country and southern rock music. Expect a large crowd and a high-energy performance featuring Tyler's unmistakable rich, smooth vocals.  
            • April 12th: Chris LeBlanc and Friends
              A mainstay in the Louisiana music scene for more than 20 years, Blues and Rockband Chris LeBlanc and Friends never disappoint. After touring across the United States and Europe and performing with bands like ZZ Top, Vince Gill, and Hank Williams, Jr., they're thrilled to be coming back to Louisiana to perform for you. 
            • April 26th: River City Hit Squad
              The River City Hit Squad brings an entirely new experience to downtown as they perform hits from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and more. Plan to dance the night away as these seven popular performers come together to bring you a variety of musical styles including Soul, Funk, Pop Rock, Hip Hop, and Modern Alternative. 
            • May 3rd: Werewolf (Super-Event with Crawfish Cook-Off) 
              You won't want to miss the Super-Event on May 3rd when popular 80s band Werewolf rocks the stage alongside the 6th Annual Crawfish King Cook-Off. Dust off your 80s-themed costume and get ready to enjoy an unforgettable evening! 

              Make sure you purchase your tickets to the cook-off ahead of time so you can enjoy the all-you-can-eat crawfish and help choose the winner! 
            • May 10th: Mike Broussard & Night Train + Van and Grace Broussard
              Enjoy a taste of Louisiana's Southern music traditions with Mike Broussard & Night Train + Van and Grace Broussard. There will be plenty of dancing as crowds enjoy the band's performances of Old Rock 'n Roll, Country, Swamp-Pop, R&B, and Old Soul. 
            • May 17th: Rebirth Brass Band
              Grammy-award-winning Rebirth Brass Band began playing together in 1983 and has since played at music festivals worldwide. You'll love the combination of traditional brass band style and plenty of hard funk that gives this band a modern twist. Their performances are always a hit among concert-goers of all ages. 

            Tips for Getting There

            When you come to the event, make sure to bring your dancing shoes and leave your pets, tents, and coolers at home, as they're not allowed. The event is located at City Hall Plaza Crest Stage, 100 North Blvd. in Baton Rouge. Look for street parking or grab a spot at the Third St. garage.

            Are you interested in learning more about what makes Baton Rouge a great place to live and work? We would love the opportunity to show you around! Contact us today to schedule a meeting. 


            Baton Rouge Parks and Outdoor Spaces

            6 Baton Rouge Parks to Celebrate Take a Walk in the Park Day

            Baton Rouge Park

            Are you ready to celebrate the start of spring in Baton Rouge? Kick off the season in style by celebrating National Take a Walk in the Park Day, which takes place every year on March 30th, at one of the many vibrant parks and green spaces located throughout Baton Rouge. From BMX tracks to secluded trails and astronomical observatories, the parks and green spaces of Baton Rouge truly feature something for every member of the community to enjoy. The outdoor spaces of Baton Rouge are popular during every season, and spring is the perfect time to explore the city. Our real estate agents have the local perspective, with a guide to enjoying Take a Walk in the Park Day at six beautiful Baton Rouge parks and green spaces.

            1. Burbank Park – 12400 Burbank Dr., Baton Rouge
              Looking for the hottest spot for soccer in Baton Rouge? Burbank Park features 22 soccer fields, including six with lights, and buzzes with activity every weekend. There is also a dog park with separate areas for dogs of different sizes, and even a swim area where pups can cool off. It's the perfect place for a walk in the park with your furry friend.
            2. Highland Road Community Park – 14024 Highland Rd., Baton Rouge
              Baton Rouge homes for sale make it easy to reach a wide variety of fun, educational attractions, including Highland Road Community Park. In addition to 144 acres of outdoor space ideal for taking a walk in the park, the grounds are home to the Highland Park Observatory. The Observatory features a 20-inch telescope, with weekend programs and summer camps for stargazers.
            3. Greenwood Community Park – 13350 LA-19, Baton Rouge
              Spend Take a Walk in the Park Day by the water at Greenwood Community Park, which features a walking trail surrounding a scenic, 18-acre lake. There is also a waterfront cafe, along with disc golf, tennis courts, and watercraft rentals. The Dumas Memorial Golf Course, which hosts a number of local tournaments, is also located in the park.
            4. Independence Community Park – 7500 Independence Blvd., Baton Rouge
              Visit the beautiful botanic gardens and extensive cultural facilities located at Independence Community Park, which features 1.8 miles of paved paths for enjoying a walk in the park. The park is also home to the gorgeous, modern main library for Baton Rouge, along with a water park, internet cafe, and the popular Independence Park Theatre.
            5. Perkins Road Community Park – 7122 Perkins Rd., Baton Rouge
              Interested in exploring a truly unique local park? Perkins Road Community Park is your one-stop shop for extreme sports, with a skate park, BMX track, rock climbing, and so much more. The park also features extensive trails for biking, walking, and skating, so you can celebrate Take a Walk in the Park Day however you like. The public playground at the park is perfect for entertaining younger visitors.
            6. City-Brooks Community Park – 1515 Dalrymple Dr., Baton Rouge
              With paved paths surrounding a variety of lakes, City-Brooks Community Park is a great place for a walk at any time of day. It's also a popular gathering place for the community year-round, thanks to the golf course, tennis center, playground, and dog park found on site. During the summer, kids enjoy the park's fountain and splash pad.

            Searching for the perfect home close to all of the outdoor attractions in the city? Our local team is here to help. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Baton Rouge, LA area.


            6 Ways to Add Spring Curb Appeal to Your Baton Rouge Home

            Baton Rouge Historic Home

            Your home may have the most fantastic kitchen and the cutest back porch, but if potential buyers don't get past the curb, they may not get to enjoy the delightful breeze on the porch. If yours is one of our Baton Rouge homes for sale, it is essential to make sure its curb appeal is top-notch. Start by standing on the curb yourself and making a fair assessment of what needs upgrading. Then tackle these six steps to boost your curb appeal.  

            1. Clean 
              Start with a good old-fashioned cleaning. If you can, the best way to get this done is to use a pressure washer to clean the siding or brick, plus the driveway. Then get out your elbow grease and wipe down windows, doors, and other parts of the outside. You want those windows to shine, and don't forget the cobwebs hiding in the nooks and crannies of your doorways and porches.
            2. Freshen 
              Another method to freshen your home's look is to give your door a new coat of paint. Adding a pop of color to your door is also pleasing to the eye, so maybe a bold red or daring yellow. Clean and polish the door handle and any hinges that can be seen. Changing your door handle and the welcome mat is another way to add freshness.
            3. Landscaping 
              Next, take a good look at your lawn or front area. Are there leaves to be raked? Bushes to be trimmed? Edging to be neatened? You should look at the trees to make sure there are not any dead branches that should be removed. If you have bare spots in your lawn, a trip to the garden shop may be to get seed or sod. Look for areas that could use some living color and plant some nice seasonal plants. Putting flowers in flower boxes or container gardens is an easy way to add some life to your home's look. 
            4. Mailbox 
              Perhaps the place that is closest to your potential buyers needs some love too. The mailbox should be cleaned and revived. Go ahead and paint the post with a complementary color. Make sure the box numbers are legible. This area can also be enhanced with some strategic flower plantings.
            5. Lighting 
              Another view of your home that is often overlooked is how it looks at night. Is your home welcoming once the sun goes down? Consider adding low voltage landscape lighting to add to its evening sparkle. Clean any porch lights and of course, make sure you have a fresh bulb in place.
            6. Balconies, Porches or Patios 
              If your home has an outdoor gathering place such as a balcony or porch, make this an inviting place where potential buyers can imagine sitting and enjoying their new house.  Get rid of that bicycle you are storing there and remove any dead plants sitting out. Invest in comfortable patio furniture or clean what you have. You should repaint or re-stain the railings around these areas and make any necessary repairs.

            When you're interested in placing your home on the Baton Rouge real estate market, contact us. Our real estate agents are experts at getting the job done.


            7 Favorite Antique Shops in Baton Rouge

            Baton Rouge Antique Shops
            Whether you've just found your dream home among Baton Rouge homes for sale or are still shopping for the perfect one, chances are good you'll be in the market for a few things related to home furnishing and décor in the near future.

            If you're partial to antiques, that means you'll want to know where locals go when they're shopping for just the right pieces for their own homes. To help you get started, here are seven favorite Baton Rouge antique shops:

            1. The Pink Elephant Antiques - 2648 Government Street
              The Pink Elephant is a collective made up of more than 35 dealers. It's a top spot in Baton Rouge for all things antique and vintage, with an ever-changing selection of items to peruse.

            2. Fireside Antiques - 14007 Perkins Road
              You'll find a lovely selection of 18th, 19th and 20th century French, English, Italian and Continental antiques at Fireside Antiques. Each piece is expertly restored before being placed for sale in their 18,000 square foot showroom.

            3. Vintage Soul - 12455 S Harrells Ferry Road
              A multi-vendor mall full of antiques and vintage items, Vintage Soul carries a bit of everything. You'll find furniture, home décor items, vintage dishes, Pyrex, linens, and tools, along with many one-of-a-kind items. They also carry a great selection of Orleans Candle products and their own line of chalk paints.

            4. The Royal Standard - 16016 Perkins Road
              A fixture in Baton Rouge, The Royal Standard carries a number of products for the home. From home dinnerware to table linens, glassware to silverware, bedding to window treatments, you'll find what you need to make your new house a home.

            5. The Market at Circa 1857 - 1857 Government St.
              The Market is more than just an antique shop; it's a popular local destination. It has more than 50 unique vendors, each with their own tastes and styles. You'll find a vast selection of antiques, vintage items and artwork, along with a variety of services offered onsite, such as upholstery, interior decorating and graphic design.

            6. Central City Antiques - 8857-D Sullivan Road
              A premier Baton Rouge shop, Central City Antiques has a lot going on. You'll find a great selection of vintage items, including furniture, décor items, jewelry, and collectibles.

            7. The Foyer - 3655 Perkins Road
              With more than 75 merchants spread over 8,000 square feet, The Foyer offers a lovely selection of antiques, artwork, lighting, furnishings, accessories, and gifts.

            If you need more information on where to shop for antiques in Baton Rouge or have any other questions about our area, please feel free to contact us. Our REALTORS® are your "go-to source" for all things Baton Rouge, and we're always happy to help.


            Real Estate Pros Explained: Agents and REALTORS®

            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.