Whether you prefer nature-inspired activities, love to play a round of golf, or prefer to visit museums and other cultural interests, Lake Charles is a terrific spot to call home. While Lake Charles boasts a small-town atmosphere, it has many of the perks and amenities of larger cities. Here are a few reasons our Realtors® encourage you to make Lake Charles your home in 2023.
Lake Charles attracts new residents from all across the country. Ready to find your new home in the Lake Charles area in 2023? Contact us to get started!
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.
Ready to begin your home search? Contact us today to get started!
If you're searching for a home with character and historical significance, a historic home is an excellent option.
A historic home is a property that retains a significant amount of the original construction and design, is at least 50 years old (potentially less if an event of historical significance happened on the property), and is connected to events that are historically important.
However, there are a few things that make owning a historic home different from owning a typical home. Our real estate agents suggest following these tips when buying a historic home to ensure it's a great fit for your needs and budget.
Ready to check out historic homes that you can call your home? Contact us today to get started!
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.
National Homeownership Month, which is recognized every year in June, is the perfect time to reflect on the meaning of owning a home and the benefits of this investment. Our real estate agents appreciate the value of homeownership, and we've put together 5 reasons to celebrate homeownership this June. Whether you're shopping for New Orleans homes for sale for the first time or are transitioning to a new home, here are a couple of the many reasons to celebrate homeownership.
Find your next home at our New Orleans open houses, or get in touch with our team to learn all of the ways that we can help you sell your current home. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the New Orleans, LA area.
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.
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.
If your 2022 plans include buying a home, our real estate agents know that working with an experienced agent will make a positive difference in your buying experience.
Here are a few of the ways our team can help with your 2022 real estate goals.
Ready to start working on your 2022 goals? Contact us today!
When you're listing your home for sale, you'll have your choice of many real estate agents to do business with. Before signing a contract, take the time to interview a few, so you understand exactly what they'll be doing to sell your home and to ensure you have a good rapport with them.
Our real estate agents suggest asking the following questions when you're interviewing agents:
Contact us today to put your home on the market with other Lafayette homes for sale or to visit homes for sale in the area. Our agents pride themselves on knowing the local market and making your real estate transaction experience an easy and pleasant one.
Choosing a real estate agent is an important part of ensuring your next real estate transaction is successful and as stress-free as possible. Before you consider buying or selling a home in the area, you want to make sure you find the right person to help you every step of the way. Our real estate agents suggest these 7 tips for finding the perfect fit.
We understand that choosing an agent is a big decision! To set up a time to chat with one of our agents, contact us today.
If you're purchasing your first home or ready to upgrade your existing residence, you're likely wondering if it's better to buy or build a home. Our real estate agents know that there is no "correct" answer to this quandary; the final answer depends on your specific needs and situation. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you make your decision.
Ready to start the homebuying process? Contact us to begin your search!
As the housing market continues to be competitive due to high demand and low inventory, many buyers are forced to act quickly and pay top dollar to secure the house of their dreams. As sellers continue to select the highest and best offer, it's all too common for bidding wars to break out between prospective buyers.
If you're in the market for a new home, it's important to prepare yourself for a potential bidding war when making an offer. Our real estate agents have extensive experience when it comes to creating compelling offers, and we've compiled some things to know if you're trying to secure a new home in this market.
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.
Contact us for expert guidance in the real estate market and start your search for the perfect home.
For 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:
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.
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!
During your final walk-through, a million things will be racing through your mind, and you may find yourself distracted. But this is your last important task before you become a homeowner! Consider making a checklist before sealing the deal on the house you've chosen among Lake Charles homes for sale. You don't want to overlook anything.
Here are some of the important points to keep in mind during your walk-through.
Moving is a very stressful event as you struggle to get everything done in time, make sure nothing falls through the cracks, and manage the physical demands of the task. Good thing all it takes is a bit of planning to make the process go smoothly.
Our real estate agents suggest the following ways to help you maintain your sanity during a move:
Brigitte Fredy has made a name for herself in the New Orleans residential market over the last 30+ years, and it's clear to see why. With her passion and dedication to her career, she has built an expansive network of happy clients and earned herself Top of the Latter for decades – Latter & Blum's most prestigious award presented annually to the top-producing real estate agents across all markets.
Born in Paris, France – Brigitte has always had an eye for beautiful architecture, which naturally led her to specialize in historic properties in downtown, uptown and the French Quarter of New Orleans. Licensed in 1983, Brigitte started off her real estate career with Latter & Blum and is still with the company to this day as one of the top-producing agents. From helping clients buy their first home, second home and even third home, more of Brigitte's wide-ranging specialties include home staging, luxury condos and investment properties. Trilingual in English, French and Spanish, Brigitte's background and decades of expertise in historical properties allows her to help prospective home buyers and sellers from all walks of life.
With all of her success, Brigitte didn't get where she is today on accident. She credits her hard work, patience and flexibility as the key to her success and what helped shape her into the top-producing real estate agent she is today. Offering advice to new real estate agents, Brigitte says it's important to start as early as you can, being a successful Realtor requires a lot of time, energy and work. Her favorite part of the job? Having the flexibility to create her own work schedule, which in turn creates a good balance in her life.
When Brigitte isn't basking in the thrill of navigating a successful real estate transaction, you can probably find her cooking some delicious cuisine in her downtown condo, exercising or entertaining clients and friends. She also owns an apartment in Paris, perks of all her hard work and dedication.
In the market for a home in New Orleans? Contact Brigitte for all your real estate needs.
How to Save Money for a Down Payment
Saving money is an important life skill to practice, especially if you are thinking of buying a home. In observance of National Savings Day, take a second and think of a reason for why you would enjoy homeownership. Is it for decorative freedom? Investment purposes? More space for your family? To have a backyard for your dog?
Whatever the reason may be, we all start this process the same way – by saving money. Questions that immediately may pop into your head are, "How do I save money? How much do I save? How much house can I even afford?" Overwhelmed? Don't be. We have answers to these questions and quick tips for you to learn how to save up for a down payment in no time.
1. Set Goals
Creating a goal gives you a target to reach for your savings and setting benchmarks toward your main goal keeps you motivated. The most common range for a down payment is 5-20% of the home's purchase price. Most people aim to put down 20% because then you won't have to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI), which is an additional insurance fee a lender adds to your monthly payment. Use this down payment savings plan spreadsheet to help you visualize your savings plan.
2. Trim Your Spending
Sure - a coffee from Starbucks or a scrumptious pizza delivery may not sound like a splurge, but added up over time can equal a sizable amount of money. For example, buying a $5 coffee each morning adds up to $35 per week which turns into $140 per month, which turns into $1,680 per year. That equates to most people's monthly mortgage payment! So what can you do to cut down on spending? Start with these most common money saving practices:
3. Open a Savings Account
Perhaps one of the best strategies to help you save money is to set up a savings account. Putting your money in a separate account makes it easier to shield those funds from everyday expenses. You can also set up an auto-draft feature that will automatically transfer a certain amount of money to your savings account each month.
4. Boost Your Income
If you have the time, starting a side hustle can help you save extra cash fast! Offer to babysit, take dogs on a walk, spend some time tutoring, etc. Earning just an extra $100 per week adds up to $9,600 in two years. That's almost half of the average down payment.
5. Talk to a Lender
Even if you have no money saved for a down payment or if you aren't planning on buying for another year or two, it's always beneficial to speak with a lender to get familiar with the home loan process. Don't know what to ask? Use this worksheet that has questions you should ask your lender. Don't know a lender? You're in luck because Latter & Blum also offers mortgage services through Essential Mortgage. Get in touch with a lender here.
Fast forward a bit and voilà, you've made it! All of your hard work paid off and now you can start searching for the home of your dreams. But before you dive into the home buying game, make sure you find the right person to help you. Purchasing a home is your biggest financial investment. You'll want to be represented by a trusted real estate professional that has your best interest at heart. Latter & Blum Realtors are the best agents in the state and they are ready to make your homeownership goals come true.
Being organized takes time and effort. But does it pay off? You bet, and nowhere more than when preparing for a move.
If you've listed your house among Baton Rouge homes for sale, you've probably already thought about your move and how to minimize the stress. Take it from our real estate agents good organization is the way to get there.
To start you off, here are five excellent ways to organize your move.
Whether you're leaving Baton Rouge or joining us, our team can help! Contact us today.
This is a great time to buy a home, with interest rates at all-time lows and many motivated sellers seeking the right buyer. Of course, that means you won't be the only person house-hunting right now, and a competitive real estate market means you may have to do a little extra to make your offer stand out above the rest. Our real estate agents know what it takes to land your dream home, and we've got some practical tips to help your offer outshine the competition.
Lead Off with Your Best Offer
So you've narrowed down your list of Lafayette homes for sale, found the perfect match, and you know other buyers are competing to purchase the property. With strong competition for the home, now is not the time to lead off with a low offer that has little chance of being accepted. Instead, work with your real estate agent to put together your best offer, and show the seller that you're serious about closing the deal. When there are multiple bidders on a home, your first offer may be your only chance to impress.
Secure Your Financing ASAP
If you're in a position to make an all-cash offer, then you likely already have a leg up on the competition. For most buyers, financing the purchase is a more practical option. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is a must if you want the seller to take your offer seriously, and benefits you by telling you how much home you can afford. If you can get fully underwritten before making your offer, that's an even stronger sign to sellers that you're ready to close the deal.
Be Ready to Have the Home Inspected
Some sellers have a tight timeline for finding a buyer and will want to know as soon as possible whether you will be negotiating for repairs based on what the home inspection reveals. So, the sooner you can have the home inspected, the better. Rather than wait out the inspection window (typically 5 to 10 days), get your inspector on the scene as soon as you can.
Offer a Quick Closing
Offering a faster closing is another way to make your bid stand out when the seller is facing a time crunch, and can still be an appealing perk even if the seller is on a more relaxed timeline. If you can make a quick closing happen, it can be a great option in competitive markets.
Work with the Right Real Estate Agent
The right real estate agent will be your greatest asset when putting together an offer because they can help you analyze the market, check comparable sales, and create an offer that catches the eye of the seller. They will also help you with all the little, important details of the transaction and keep things on schedule.
Add a Personal Touch
While money speaks loudest when making an offer, there are often sellers who have lived in the home for a long time and would like to see it sold to someone who will love it as much as they have. A hand-written, personal letter about why you love the home won't make up for a low-ball offer, but it can help make a difference when your offer is similar to the competition.
Searching for a real estate team that can take your home search to the next level? We can help you make a winning offer on your dream home. Contact us today.
When the global pandemic first started, Christopher and Sarra were living in Ohio and had just given birth to their first newborn daughter. Offered a new career opportunity in New Orleans, they had to quickly find a house and move.
Because of COVID-19 and their new baby, they didn't feel comfortable traveling to New Orleans and touring multiple homes in person. Instead, they reached out to Latter & Blum Realtor, Stephanie Burkett, who is highly experienced in virtual showings and selling of homes due to her experience working with military clients.
After several virtual tours, Christopher and Sarra finally found a place to call home in New Orleans without ever touring it in person. The family's experience of finding a home essentially "sight unseen" is not an uncommon one, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic. Below are some tips for prospective home buyers that are considering buying a home virtually.
1. Learn how to read about a listing online
Before you reach out to an agent and start an online search for your home, watch out for these red flags as you click through pictures:
2. Pick the right real estate agent
Like Christopher and Sarra, choosing an agent that is experienced in helping families relocate is a major plus when shopping for a home virtually. After all, your agent will be your eyes and ears during the entire touring process. Agents that specialize in relocation may understand more of the challenges that come along with buying a home sight unseen, especially since there are a lot more unknown factors and hand-holding involved.
Pro Tip: Don't hesitate to ask your agent the following questions: Can you help schedule movers and get different moving options and quotes? Can your agent help set up services at the home or at least provide contact information for water, gas, garbage, electrical, etc.?
Looking for a qualified Realtor? Visit here to help you find the right agent for your needs.
3. Request an in-depth video tour
Before going on a virtual tour, have the floor plan of the space handy to help with determining how big a room is or how high the ceilings are. Ideally, your agent should start the tour while driving up to the house, in order to give you a better sense of the neighborhood and local amenities. If you're a parent, you may also want to request that the agent drive to the nearby schools to give a sense of how long it would take the kids to get to school each morning. From there, the agent should show you every part of the home from every possible angle.
Pro Tip: Ask as many questions as possible — particularly about the things you can't learn just from looking at a home. Is the neighbor's dog barking all day? Can you hear planes overhead? Is there a fire station nearby? Does the house have a certain odor?
Visit our website to start your virtual home search today!
When you're ready to close on your home, you probably feel as though you're near the finish line. Although this is true, you'll need to be careful not to make a mistake that could delay closing or put your loan approval in jeopardy.
Our real estate agents warn against doing these 5 things during the closing process.
Contact us today at Latter & Blum if you're interested in looking at Baton Rouge homes for sale. We can guide you through the entire process, from pre-approval to closing, so it proceeds as smoothly as possible.
Buying a house can be an exciting process, but it can also be nerve-racking! Before you start your home search, here are five things you should know that will help you make decisions that are the best for you, your peace of mind and your wallet.
1. Know how much house you can afford. One of the biggest roadblocks for prospective home buyers is not calculating beforehand what kind of home you can afford and coming up with enough money for a down payment. Use these calculators as a guide to calculate how much you can afford in a monthly mortgage payment.
2. Know your credit history. The better your credit history, the better the chances you'll have of securing the best financing rates and terms. A good score can help save you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. See how to raise your credit score to get better loan terms.
3. Have a lender pre-approve you before house shopping. These days, houses can go off the market fast. In order to be ahead of the competition, you need to make sure you're prepared to make a strong offer and having a pre-approval in hand will position you as a serious buyer. "Buyers should feel comfortable with their budget before heading out the door with their Realtor to look at houses. Most of my buyers qualify for much more than they want to spend on monthly mortgage notes. I always have a lender walk my buyers through all of the costs of buying a home and together they will decide the purchase price range to fit the buyer's lifestyle!" - Penny Stettinius, Latter & Blum agent.
4. Make a checklist of your needs, must-haves and wants. Making a list of all your wants and needs is essential. Seeing many homes at once can be overwhelming and a checklist can serve as a guide to remind you what you're looking for. It also serves as a helpful reference for your Realtor. Not sure what you are looking for in a home? Download our Wants & Needs Worksheet. If you already know your wants and needs, tell one of our agents and start shopping today!
5. Choose a Realtor that best fits your needs. One thing most people don't realize is that you can meet with several Realtors to discuss your needs and see who is the best fit for you. An experienced agent can save you time and money by helping you find your dream home and negotiate with the seller on your behalf. "I tell my clients to hire a Realtor who is full-time and answers the phone when you call! Nothing is more important than being represented by an experienced agent who you can easily communicate with. I also tell my clients to look up Realtors online and read their customer reviews." - Cindy Bailey, Latter & Blum agent.
Ready to go house shopping? Buying a home is easy with Latter & Blum! Visit latter-blum.com for all the resources you'll need to help you find your dream home!
Our real estate agents know buying a house can consume a lot of energy. Expert advice helps, but when you get to closing day, you probably just want to relax. It's time to celebrate, but don't overlook the vital things you need to do now!
Whether you've been hunting for Lafayette homes for sale or houses elsewhere in Louisiana, the basics are the same. A few quick tasks help you get the most from your place.
Here are the most crucial things:
There are many stages of "moving." These simple tasks are easy to get done, but they'll help you make your house a home. To learn more about local real estate, contact us today.
2020 has been an unprecedented year in so many ways, and the current real estate market has created unique opportunities for many buyers shopping as a first-time buyer. A combination of low-interest rates and motivated sellers means that now is the perfect time to shop for a home in many markets! Our real estate agents are here to help with more info on the current market and some tips to help you prepare for purchasing your first home.
Mortgage Interest Rates Are at All-Time Lows
The interest rate on your mortgage is a crucial factor in how much home you can afford, and how much of your budget that mortgage payments will take up over time. At the time of publication, mortgage rates are at an all-time low of 2.98 percent. The Fed drops rates to stimulate the economy so that these low rates won't last forever. That's why now is the time to capitalize on this unique opportunity.
Motivated Sellers Are Ready to Make Deals
With social distancing measures and other restrictions in place in many markets across the country during 2020, sellers have had some unusual obstacles in their path when trying to find a buyer. Mix in an unsettled economy, and many sellers are more motivated than ever to make a deal. While the competition for homes is often still strong, motivated sellers make it easier for you to find the best deals as a first-time buyer.
Tips for Preparing to Purchase Your First Home
Check Your Credit and Pay Down Debts
Before you get serious about shopping for Lafayette homes for sale, it's wise to make sure that you're ready to secure a mortgage. Start by requesting your free annual credit report from the three major credit bureaus, and looking for every opportunity to improve your credit score. Paying down as many outstanding debts as possible before applying for a mortgage will help you get the best rates, and increase your purchasing power. Once your credit score is looking great, avoid making large purchases and opening new lines of credit until after purchasing your home.
Save for Your Down Payment and Closing Costs
The largest up-front costs in purchasing your first home will typically be your down payment and closing costs. Overall, you can expect these payments to be about 8 to 10 percent of the total cost of the home, at a minimum.
Get Pre-Approved to Discover Your Purchasing Power
Once your finances are looking strong, you'll be ready to get pre-approved for your mortgage. Pre-approval will give you an idea of exactly how much purchasing power you have as you shop for homes and shows sellers that you're a serious buyer with the funds to close the deal.
Find the Right Real Estate Agent
There are so many little details that go into purchasing your first home, and the process can be challenging to navigate when you haven't done it before. The right real estate agent will make your life easier in so many ways, from identifying homes that match your needs to negotiating the best possible deal with sellers.
Ready to take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity and find your first home? Our team is here to help. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Lafayette, LA area.
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.
The home buying process can be daunting. Understanding basic terms and concepts associated with real estate can help make the process less stressful, help you identify red flags, and save you money. Our real estate agents recommend that homebuyers and those with Lake Charles homes for sale familiarize themselves with a few common terms that often pop up during the process.
Need assistance with buying or selling a Louisiana home? Our experienced real estate professionals can help. Contact us today to get started.
Following established guidelines, Louisiana will begin Phase 1 of the opening plan on Friday, May 15th. Although this reopening is a bright beacon of hope, we must not forget that we are not fully free of the shadow of COVID-19. As we revive our sense of normalcy, our real estate agents want to assure you that we are collectively doing our part to safely serve our community as responsibly as possible.
FAQ About Louisiana Phase 1 Coronavirus Reopening
When will Louisiana reopen?
The state will enter Phase 1 of a three-phase reopening plan, as suggested by the federal government, on May 15th.
What businesses and services will be reopened in Phase 1?
Phase 1 of the reopening plan includes the opening of many services and businesses, such as barbershops/hair salons, bars that serve food, churches, funeral services, gyms and fitness centers, malls, movie theaters, restaurants, and many other non-essential businesses. However, many of these locations are only allowed to open if they follow strict guidelines dictating the number of individuals permitted to occupy the space and how employees, visitors, and customers must interact while following social distancing/PPE guidelines.
How long will Phase 1 last?
Currently, Louisiana is scheduled to operate under Phase 1 guidelines for 21 days, and into Phase 2 on June 15th. However, as we've seen over the last few months, the coronavirus situation can change quickly. While these dates are hopeful, they are not guaranteed and may be adjusted at any time.
How does this impact real estate services?
We want all of our associates and clients to know that Latter & Blum considers the safety and health of our community a number one priority. As essential personnel, our agents can continue to serve our community as safe, securely, and responsibly as possible. To do so, we have asked that all Latter & Blum agents follow these guidelines:
Although these guidelines are not forced upon the agents or buyers, many of our agents are voluntarily taking the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 out of respect to our friends, family members, and neighbors throughout the community.
If you are ready to purchase or sell property, we're ready to help. Contact us today to get started!
If you've been visiting some of the Lake Charles homes for sale, you know just how many great options there are on the market right now. Buying a home is a big commitment, so how do you know when you've found the perfect one?
Sometimes, your heart will skip a beat, and you'll feel a little flutter. Our REALTORS® love it when this happens! Other times, the decision will be a bit more challenging. You may be torn between several homes, or you might just feel unsure. In this case, you'll be looking for a sign that the home you're considering is the right one for you.
Don't worry! We've created the following list of the top nine signs that you've found your dream home.
If you haven't found your dream home yet, don't give up! Instead, contact us. We'll show you some of the best houses on the market and keep working until you're sure you've found the right one. Reach out to us today!
Open-houses and private showings are often the most exciting parts of your home search. Of course, many buyers don't always find their dream homes during the first few tours, especially if they're visiting from out of town. Thankfully, modern technology has revolutionized many aspects of the home buying process, including showings.
Prospective buyers can now virtually tour homes in Lafayette, New Orleans, and Baton Rouge from anywhere in the world without leaving their own house. Our real estate agents are excited to offer virtual tours of our many amazing Lafayette homes for sale — helping you find your Louisiana dream home from the comfort of your couch!
What is a Virtual Home Tour?
A home showing allows a prospective buyer to walk through a property they're interested in buying. Instead of walking the home in-person, a virtual home tour allows a prospective buyer to view the full interior and exterior of the property via the internet. There are two types of virtual home tours.
The first is a 3D walk-through. This function allows a viewer to explore a home through a first-person point of view with 360-degree angles. Imagine the same technology as Google Street View, only this time you're navigating your way around the interior of a home.
The second type is a custom virtual tour. Unlike standard video tours that are prerecorded and uploaded for a buyer to view at any time, a custom virtual tour employs video chatting apps to give buyers a real-time tour of the property. Real estate agents use convenient apps like FaceTime to walk each buyer through the home virtually. This allows the buyer to dictate which areas they want a closer look at and enables the agent to explain every element of the home to the buyer in exceptional detail.
Touring Lafayette Homes Virtually With Latter & Blum
Virtual tours are innovative and interactive ways for buyers to tour homes from anywhere at any time. Touring Lafayette homes for sale virtually with Latter & Blum is effortless:
If you don't have either of those applications, they're simple to download via these links:
Contact us today to schedule a virtual tour of our Lafayette homes for sale.
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.
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.
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 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.
It's no secret that packing all your belongings and moving them to a new home is always a little bit stressful. While most humans take this in stride, a move can wreak havoc on our furry friends. Luckily, there are ways you can help keep everyone calm and comfortable throughout the process.
2020 is nearly here, and there's no time like the present to start planning for your first home. Amazing Lafayette homes for sale are waiting!
There are lots of reasons people put off buying their first home. Our REALTORS® have the advice to give you a leg up in the new year.
These seven tips will clear the path to a home in 2020:
We've supported hundreds of first-time buyers throughout Lafayette, Acadiana, and the Gulf South. To get started, contact us.
We make it our duty to support and educate our clients. Our real estate agents are true experts helping people buy and sell homes!
One area that raises a lot of questions for buyers is closing costs. Closing costs consist of a variety of administrative fees involved in turning legal ownership of a home over from one person to another. Most of the professionals whose work supports the transaction, such as attorneys and tax experts, are paid from this amount.
Other matters are settled by your closing costs, too: For example, insurance payments.
Closing costs can add anywhere from 2% to 5% to the total cost of your transaction. Many buyers seek to shift the costs to the seller or add them to the mortgage package. That requires savvy negotiating and clarity on your goals. No matter how you approach them, some closing costs are unavoidable.
Below are the categories of closing costs you'll find in all transactions:
In general, the more cash you can bring to a transaction, the less you'll ultimately pay in closing costs. In addition to discount points, it's possible to get exemptions from some prepaid costs if you make a down payment, usually 20%.
You should discuss your financing and negotiation options with your real estate agent. Your agent can maximize your leverage in reducing certain costs or shifting them to the other party in the transaction. By comparing several different lenders, you're more likely to get the best deal.
Contact us today to find out more. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
There comes a time in most people's lives when they consider trading a lease for a mortgage. As the deadline for signing your next rental contract approaches, you may be wondering if now is the right time to buy a home.
Our REALTORS® know this is not a decision you can make overnight. However, most people who choose to invest in a home often have spotted the signs it's the right time. If any of the following signs have popped up in, it may be your golden opportunity for homeownership.
Your offer on a house just got accepted! Before you know it, you will be moving in! As a first-time homebuyer, you are probably anxious to start making changes and decorating your new home! Customizing your home is great, but it is easy to let your excitement and eagerness get the best of you and could leave you potentially underprepared. That's why our REALTORS® are here to help!
Let's talk about tools. Specifically, which tools you're going to need after purchasing your first home. All of the "to-do's" on your list, whether they involve maintenance, repairs, installations, or decorating, can only be completed with the help of certain essential resources. Here are eight tools we believe every first-time homebuyer needs:
Ready to pick out a fixer-upper and transform a Lafayette house into your dream home? Contact us today!
Buying a home is a huge decision. Selling a home is an equally important endeavor. Buying a home and selling a home at the same time? Now that's an impressive feat! It may sound overwhelming, but believe our REALTORS® when they say you can buy a new home while selling your current home. We've gathered our years of knowledge and experience with Lafayette homes for sale to help you buy a house while selling your existing home.
Are you interested in selling your current home and purchasing one of the fabulous Lafayette homes for sale at the same time? Contact us today, and we'll help you accomplish all of your real estate goals!
Buying a home seems like a process with an endless number of steps. But if you've made it far enough for your final walk-through, then congratulations are in order. You're really in the home stretch now, and our REALTORS® are here to make sure that your final walk-through is a success. Here's what you need to know:
Have Your REALTOR® With You
The main purpose of a final walk-through is to make sure that the house is in the condition you agreed to buy it in, and it's always best to have your REALTOR® with you. Doing your final walk-through alongside a professional will make this crucial step much easier, bringing an added understanding of the home buying process and a seasoned eye for detail.
Bring the Essentials
Don't arrive at your final walk-through empty-handed! Make sure you have all these essential items so you can ensure that your future home is in good shape:
You have a lot of items to check as you perform your final walk-through, so leave no stone unturned. This is one of the reasons it's great to have your REALTOR® with you – they can help keep you on track and make sure everything gets checked. Be sure to include these important items on your final walk-through checklist:
Contact us today to learn more about the final steps you need to take before your dream home becomes your own! From finding the perfect Lafayette home for sale to your final walk-through, our team is with you every step of the way.
While the Lafayette area is well-known for outstanding Creole and Cajun cuisine, the humble but satisfying plate lunch is an equally popular staple of the local restaurant scene. Our REALTORS® take you on a tour of some of our Lafayette locals' favorite places for plate lunch specials.
Whether it's dining, culture or entertainment you seek, Lafayette has something for everyone. Contact us for help buying or selling your Lafayette area home.
Buying a home for the first time is definitely a learning experience. There are a lot of details, new terminology and plenty of decision making. Many first-time buyers find the whole thing can be overwhelming at times. But it doesn't have to be. Remember you have control and can take actions that will greatly increase your chances of successfully purchasing one of the Lafayette homes for sale you've been dreaming of.
Start incorporating these seven home-buying habits today, and you'll be on your way to changing your house hunt from aggravating into awesome.
Buying a home is a big decision and it takes some effort to get there. But there is a lot you can do to help ensure your success. Contact us today to get started your home-buying journey.
In early 2019, Marie Kondo's Netflix series about "tidying up" went viral and sparked a nationwide decluttering trend. In the spirit of KonMari, celebrate National Give Something Away Day on July 15 by finding a new home for unwanted items at one of these donation centers around Lafayette suggested by our REALTORS®.
Whether you're buying or selling a home, our friendly and professional REALTORS® can help streamline the process. Contact us to learn more.