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Why You Should Move to Lake Charles in 2023

Lake Charles 2023

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. 

  • You'll Enjoy Warm Weather Year Round
    If you dread the thought of frigid winter temperatures and having to shovel snow and ice, Lake Charles' climate is perfect for your temperature and climate preferences. You'll experience hot temperatures in the 80s and 90s during the summer months, while the winter months have an average high of 60 degrees Fahrenheit. As you explore Lake Charles homes for sale, you'll have a chance to experience this great weather firsthand! 
  • The City Has a Resilient History
    Though the Great Fire of 1910 destroyed seven blocks of downtown Lake Charles, the city persevered and rebuilt. This resiliency continues to inspire and impact the town's residents, creating a supportive community that embraces growth and tenacity. Some of the town's parks were even constructed almost entirely by volunteers who wanted to improve the lives of other Lake Charles residents. 
  • Options for Dining and Entertainment
    Lake Charles is referred to as Louisana's Playground, and with a name like that, you can expect there will be plenty of things to see and do in the area all year long. Lake Charles offers five public golf courses well-suited for both novice and experienced golfers. Or, take the family out for a friendly round of putt-putt. The Lake Charles Civic Ballet regularly holds plays, musical productions, and seasonal shows.

    After checking out some of the Lake Charles open houses, take a few minutes to visit Lake Charles' top attractions and eateries. Sample a plate of boudin, a tasty sausage-like combination of pork, rice, vegetables, and seasonings.

    Stop by the Historic City Hall Arts and Cultural Center to check out the current exhibits. There's also a children's museum, the DeQuincy Railroad Museum, and a Mardi Gras museum.

    Plus, Lake Charles is also no stranger to hosting fantastic annual events. The city also has three major casinos perfect for a staycation or celebratory night out. Lake Charles hosts an annual Mardi Gras celebration that attracts up to 150,000 people.

    The area also offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities! Visit The Creole Nature Trail for scenic outdoor activities, including boating, fishing, crab hunting, and bird watching. Thanks to the pleasant Lake Charles weather, you can utilize the Creole Nature Trail the entire year. For all the outdoor amenities the area offers, be sure to check out their parks and recreation department.

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!


Moving Tips: Should You Utilize a Storage Unit?

Lafayette Moving Tips

Moving definitely has its ups and downs. You spend weeks attending Lafayette open houses before finally finding the one. You get all excited to move in and set the home up the way you like. But then your start scheduling your move, and you realize how much there is to do. If you're like most people, you are looking for ways to simplify the process. Renting a storage unit is a good option. Here are some reasons to rent a storage unit during your move.

  • Get Delicate Items Out of the Way
    You might have some delicate items, such as paintings and special china, that you want to move yourself. You don't want these items to end up damaged when you're moving furniture and boxes all around them. Rent a storage unit, and you'll have a safe space to stash them until you're otherwise moved in, and life has calmed down.

  • Store Large Items Until You Know What Will Fit
    Do you have any large sofas, sectionals, or entertainment units that you're not sure will fit in your new home? Instead of selling them, you can store them in your storage unit until you're able to get into the new home and measure. Or, you might move in and realize you don't have space for these large items. Then, you can sell them directly out of the storage unit.

  • Stash Out-of-Season Items
    Chances are, you have some boxes or totes of seasonal items, such as sporting goods or holiday decor. These take up a lot of storage space in any home. If you rent a storage unit, you can move your seasonal items straight into it. You can keep the items there until you need them, at which point you can bring them into your new, freshly organized home.

  • Get a Head Start
    Once you find the perfect place for you among the Lafayette homes for sale, you can't wait to get started with the move. But it may still be a few weeks before you close on the sale and can get into the home. If you rent a storage unit, you can get a head start. Start packing things you use less often into boxes. Then, move them to the storage unit where they're out of the way. When you're ready to move in, you can easily take the boxes from storage to your new home.

  • Declutter
    Moving gives you the perfect opportunity to declutter. And if you are listing your current place for sale, decluttering helps you better stage the space to appeal to buyers. If you decide to rent a storage unit, you can place items you don't immediately need in there. That way, potential buyers won't see all your stuff. Instead, they'll just see a perfectly staged home!

  • Reduce Moving Costs
    Renting a storage unit and moving some of your items into it pre-move means you can get away with renting a smaller moving truck. Or, if you hire movers, they will have less to move. Either way, this approach can help keep your moving costs lower. You can move items from storage to your new home a few at a time in your own vehicle, which is more affordable.

Contact us if you're still looking for the perfect home to purchase. Our Realtors® can help you find a unique and enjoyable space in the New Orleans area.


5 Tips for Moving a Collection

Moving Tips

Have you contacted our real estate agents, reviewed Alexandria homes for sale, and found yourself a new home? Moving is stressful, and it gets even more stressful when you have a valuable collection you need to move.

In an ideal world, after identifying a suitable home, you would move in and begin buying new things. However, in the real world, you get attached to your belongings and collections. So, you need to ensure your collection moves safely from your old to your new home. Here are helpful tips for moving your collection.

  1. Prepare for the Move
    The most important part of moving a collection is preparing for the move. What needs to be moved? While you're likely attached to many of the items in your collection, take the time to see if there are any items you can part with. The fewer items you have to move, the easier your move. Plus selling some items from your collection might help with moving costs.

  2. Create an Inventory List
    Before contacting a moving company, you should begin by taking an inventory of your collection. The list should include the item's name, description, and value. An inventory list helps appraise your collection's value and verify that every item in the collection reaches the intended destination. It's also important to take pictures of your collection when taking the inventory. Your insurer may ask for the photos for verification. Additionally, you can send a copy of these pictures to experts to help value your collection.

  3. Get Collectibles Insurance
    If the collection you intend to move is of high value or sentimental value, you must safeguard it in every way possible. You can protect your collection by taking collectibles insurance.

  4. Pack Your Collection
    What type of collection do you intend to move? Different types of collections have different packing procedures. For example, if you are moving a record collection, you will need a plastic sleeve for each record. Since records are sensitive to heat, you need to avoid excess heat during the move. When moving a wine collection, box corked wines upside down to ensure the corks remain wet. You shouldn't pack any open wine bottles. Also, since wine is sensitive to temperature, consider hiring a refrigerated truck to move your collection. If you are moving a vintage toy collection, use bubble wrap and different zip lock bags to seal each toy. It's better if you can access the original toy packaging and gently wrap each item before storing them in the box. Correctly packing your collection means accounting for fragile items and goods sensitive to temperature or humidity. Remember to evaluate the unique concerns of your collection before packing to identify which packing supplies you need.

  5. Hire a Moving Company
    The best way to ensure your collection remains safe during the move is by seeking the services of professional movers. Before contracting a company, inquire if they have experience moving special collections. If they do, you can ask them about various measures they take to ensure your treasured belongings safely arrive in your new home. Remember to disclose the number of boxes you will be moving to help them determine the right vehicle to use during the day of the move. Professional movers have the experience, tools, and workforce to help move your collection.

Are you looking to relocate? Contact us today to view our listing and buy your dream home!


2022 Guide to Moving to Louisiana

Louisiana Move

There are plenty of Lafayette homes for sale, if you're considering moving to Louisiana, but first, it's important to know what the area is like, and what you can expect while living here. Here's your guide to moving to Louisiana in 2022.

  • Climate
    Louisiana is situated near the Gulf of Mexico, which gives it warm, moist air and a subtropical climate. This means warm, humid summers and mild winters. In the northern part of the state, temperatures can get down to the 30s, but around Lafayette, it averages in the 60s, making it perfect for enjoying the outdoors all year long!

  • Natural Beauty
    Another thing people tend to think of in connection with Louisiana is the bayou. Lafayette has Lake Martin, a beautiful piece of swampland, which contains the Cypress Island Preserve. The area is a haven for all sorts of wildlife, but particularly birds. There you can find snowy egrets, great blue herons, white ibises, spoonbills, and much more. There are also plenty of trails for hiking, plus boating, fishing, and other outdoor activities. If you like hiking, you'll also want to check out Driskill Mountain, the highest peak in Louisiana, at 535 feet above sea level. It's a fun hike and not too difficult, and the trail isn't too steep. Finally, Kisatchie National Forest is great for camping, hunting, kayaking, swimming, hiking, and more. There are a variety of trails for all different preferences and skill levels, and most of the campgrounds can be used without prior reservation.

  • Food
    One of the biggest perks of living in Louisiana is that it's home to some of the most amazing food on the planet. Most famous for Cajun cuisine, there's a wide variety of seafood available, from crabs to oysters to crawfish to shrimp. The state is also home to amazing pastries, like beignets - deep-fried fritters, covered in powdered sugar - and king cake - a hybrid of coffee cake and cinnamon rolls, topped with multi-colored icing and often filled with fruit or cream cheese.

  • Music
    There's a musical tradition in Louisiana that's easily as rich as its culinary tradition. Some of the best jazz in the country has come from here - particularly since it's been home to a variety of musical legends, from Louis Armstrong to Fats Domino to Harry Connick Jr. You can hear great music all year round, in clubs, bars, and concerts. Plus, 2022 will see the return of many of Louisiana's favorite music festivals. New Orleans' French Quarter even has street musicians that you can hear for free. In April and May, you can catch the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, which celebrates great jazz music and attracts some of the most talented musicians currently performing.

This is just a taste of what Louisiana has to offer. If you're ready to make this state your home, our real estate agents can help you find the perfect home. Contact us, and let us help you make 2022 the year you move to Louisiana.


9 Reasons You Should Move to Louisiana in 2021

Move to Louisiana 2021

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

  1. Party All the Time
    In Louisiana, everything is worthy of celebration. With literally hundreds of annual events paying tribute to food, music, and holidays, Louisiana has more than earned the nickname, "Festival Capital of America." Mardi Gras, the most iconic party in the country, draws nearly 1.5 million visitors worldwide. 

  2. Sports Fan's Paradise
    Are you ready for some football? People in Louisiana love their Saints, one of the elite teams in the NFL, along with perennial college powerhouse Louisiana State University. If you prefer roundball, pro basketball is represented by the Pelicans.  

  3. The Sound of Music
    While Nashville is the king of country music and Detroit has Motown soul, New Orleans is the beating heart of jazz in America. Names like Louis Armstrong, Al Hirt, and Harry Connick Jr. are all synonymous with the city's rich musical heritage. Louisiana is also responsible for popularizing niche musical genres such as Zydeco, Cajun, and Creole.

  4. Food, Glorious Food
    Decades before Food Network, Louisiana's Paul Prudhomme became one of the first celebrity chefs and put the state on the culinary map with his inventive Creole and Cajun cooking. Plentiful access to fresh seafood, generous use of spices, and regional traditions led to popular dishes such as gumbo, boudin, and beignets.

  5. Breathtaking Architecture
    Louisiana is known for its numerous stunning, French-influenced homes. But you may be surprised to know that Louisiana leads all states in the number of sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including the former and current state capital buildings in Baton Rouge. The French Quarter in New Orleans has long been admired for its architectural style that has remained relatively intact since the 1800s.

  6. Clang, Clang, Clang Went the Trolley
    San Francisco's got nothing on New Orleans, which is the only other city with a streetcar line designated as a National Historic Landmark. Stretching just over 13 miles, the St. Charles line runs 24 hours a day.

  7. Higher Education
    Colleges and universities in Louisiana are more than just an excuse for sports. Tulane University is in the top 50 of the prestigious national university rankings from U.S. News & World Report. Other highly-regarded schools include Louisiana State University, Louisiana Tech, Loyola University, and Grambling State.

  8. Hit the Beaches
    Louisiana has many scenic white-sand beaches that rival better-known ones in California and Florida. In addition to the so-called Cajun Riviera, sun worshippers head to North Beach on Lake Charles, the only inland white-sand beach on the Gulf Coast. 

  9. The Wheels Go 'Round
    A wide variety of terrains and some beautiful scenery make Louisiana a popular destination for mountain bikers. Top-rated trails include family-friendly Lincoln Parish Park in Ruston and the challenging Beast in St. Francisville. 

Start out 2021 from your wonderful new home in Louisiana. Contact us at Latter & Blum for dedicated and experienced help with Lafayette homes for sale.


How to Maintain Your Sanity During a Move

New Orleans Moving Tips

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

  • Decide whether you need professional movers  
    Consider how much time and effort it will take to move your belongings and how far away they'll need to be moved. Based on these answers, decide to either ask friends for help or hire professional movers. If you ask friends, go ahead and firm up a date with them, and if you need professional movers, get written estimates from three different companies.
  • Keep good records
    Get a binder or notebook to keep track of your moving timeline as well as your paperwork. Check items off your timeline as you complete them and keep paperwork such as your contract with the movers and your lease agreement or documents related to the sale of your home.
  • Budget for your move  
    It may be tempting to prioritize saving for furnishings or other items for your new home, but that's not what should come first. Instead, make sure you've budgeted for the costs of your move, including any supplies you may need to buy, renting a moving truck, or the cost of a professional mover.
  • Go through your belongings and purge what you don't need  
    There's no need to move items you no longer want into your home, so before you start to pack your belongings, sort through them and keep only what you truly need or enjoy or what holds sentimental value.
  • Start to pack – but do it in the right order  
    Start packing the belongings you don't frequently use, such as seasonal clothing and décor. The very last things to pack include your personal documents, any pet-related items, and essentials such as toiletries. Label each box with a description of its contents as well as the room you'll be putting it in at your new home.
  • Transfer your insurance and utilities   
    Make sure you have insurance arranged for your new home and set a cut-off date for utilities at your current home. Also, arrange for utilities to be turned on at your new home before your arrival.
  • Have your address changed  
    Fill out change of address forms at the Post Office to have your mail forwarded to your new home. You'll also need to change your address with agencies such as the Social Security Administration and the IRS.
  • Arrive at your new home before the movers   
    Get to your new home before the movers arrive so you can make sure all your belongings are accounted for. This also lets you direct the movers to ensure that boxes are put in the correct rooms, which makes it much easier to unpack and organize your belongings.  

Contact us at Latter & Blum if you're interested in looking at New Orleans homes for sale. We'd be happy to help you find your dream home! 


How to Save Money for a Down Payment


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: 

    • Cook meals at home   
    • Use discount codes or coupons 
    • Cancel memberships you aren't using
    • Reduce your cable bill 
    • Buy generic where you can


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.


5 Ways to Make Your Move More Organized

Organized Move

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.

  1. Make a Moving Schedule
    Create a moving schedule, on a printed document, or on the calendar feature of your phone or computer. This will give you the big picture of your move, as your schedule when you want to hire movers; create a packing schedule (schedule a couple of hours a day to pack, if you're going to do it yourself); note deadlines for getting rid of stuff; note dates for contacting utilities; mark known dates for events pertaining to the sale of your current home or the acquisition of your destination home, and note details about the move itself.

  2. Declutter
    You will be amazed at how much of your stuff you will not want once you move it to your new home. Save money by saying goodbye to a quarter of your stuff before you move. Hold a garage sale; sell items through the app LetGo, on eBay, or on Facebook Marketplace. Offer what you can't sell to friends or co-workers, or give it away. You may have to leave some things on the curb for pickup. 

  3. Create a System
    Make your move organized by using a color-coding system, so you know what box goes in what room. Apply circular, different-colored stickers to boxes; create color-coded cards to match the stickers. Cards should be hung in the doorways to rooms where boxes go. Create a master copy of your moving legend, complete with color codes and instructions. Make more than one copy, to be dispersed throughout the destination home. Finally, create or buy self-adhesive moving labels, on which you list the contents of each box. Stick the stickers on the label and on top of the box.

  4. Gather Packing Supplies
    Get packing supplies from the home store or a moving store. Get boxes in different sizes, but mostly the smaller size boxes where you can pack fewer but heavier items such as books. Get packing tape and a dispenser, wide felt markers and packing material such as bubble wrap.

  5. Be Careful with Fragile Items
    You don't want to show up at your new home with boxes of broken items! Boxes should be full, but weigh no more than 50 pounds per box. If packed items don't fill up the box, fill the space with newspaper or bubble wrap or air pillows, so they don't shift around when moved. Mark boxes that contain fragile items. Use arrows on boxes if it's important they stay upright.

Whether you're leaving Baton Rouge or joining us, our team can help! Contact us today. 


5 Things to Know Before Going House Shopping


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 for all the resources you'll need to help you find your dream home!


5 Things to Consider When Picking a Neighborhood

New Neighborhood

There are whimsical stories of people randomly choosing vacation spots by throwing a dart at a map. While that might make for some interesting trips, this method is not recommended for finding a top neighborhood with Lake Charles homes for sale

Picking a new neighborhood for your family requires a bit more planning than just throwing a dart at a map!

So how do you go about deciding on a neighborhood to settle in? Our real estate agents share five features to consider when planning a move to a new neighborhood.

  1. Commuting Time
    If you're one of the 4.7 million people who work from home at least part of the time, commuting time may not be relevant. But if you travel to the workplace, you'll want a reasonable commute. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average daily commute time is just under one hour. Take a trial run from your potential neighborhood to your workplace, preferably during rush hour. The availability of public transportation options can help mitigate commuting issues.

  2. Cost of Living
    Whether you are moving across the country, state, or just a neighborhood over the cost of living can change. Even if it's only a little bit higher, your family will feel this change in your wallet. Do your research and see what your essentials cost in the neighborhood you are planning on moving to. Better yet, if you can, do your grocery shopping around the neighborhood so you can scope out prices firsthand. 

  3. Urban or Suburban
    Your general lifestyle helps determine which type of environment you're likely to prefer. Urban areas offer a density of shops, services, and entertainment options, while they may be lacking in terms of quiet and privacy. On the other hand, suburban areas may require some effort to visit grocery stores, doctors' offices, and other amenities, but the trade-off is more space and a greater degree of tranquility. Whether you choose an urban or a suburban area, keep in mind what amenities are important to your family and make sure your new neighborhood offers them. 

  4. Crime and Safety
    Chances are this is one of the first things you thought to research when looking at potential neighborhoods. After all, everyone wants to feel safe in their neighborhood. Websites such as U.S. News & World Report, AreaVibes, and BestPlaces provide safety ratings for most cities and neighborhoods. In some cases, you can drill down to the zip code level. Visit the local police station or contact neighborhood watch groups for firsthand information.

  5. Housing Market
    The number one consideration in finding a home is locating that sweet spot where desirability meets affordability. But a home is more than just a place to live. As the biggest-ticket item most people will ever purchase, a house is also an investment. Take a look at the change in a neighborhood's housing values over the last few years. Have they appreciated at a higher rate than homes in comparable neighborhoods? The length of time on the market is another sign of a robust or stagnant market. 

As the largest independently-owned residential real estate company in Louisiana, Latter & Blum offers an elite level of knowledge and experience. Whether you're buying or selling a home around Lake Charles, contact us for cheerful and dedicated assistance with your needs. 


Moving to a New State? Don't Forget These Things!

Moving to a New State

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

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

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


7 Tips for Moving with Pets

Moving with Pets

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. 

  1. Update Their Tags and Chips
    Our REALTORS® always like to remind homebuyers with pets about the importance of updating their tags and microchips. Before your move, make sure both have your current cell phone number. This will help you reunite with your pet if something happens on moving day. Once you're moved into your home, don't forget to update everything with your new address. 
  1. Talk to the Vet
    There are several reasons to talk to your vet before a move. First, if your pet is overly anxious, you may consider asking for some medication to help smooth the transition. If you're moving out of town, you'll also want to get a copy of your pet's medical records. Consider asking the vet if he or she can recommend a practice in your new hometown. Ideally, you'll want to find a new vet before you move, so you're prepared in case your pet needs treatment soon after you relocate.  
  1. Pack Their Bag
    Keep your pet as comfortable as possible by packing a bag or box with everything they'll need during the first few nights in your home. This includes at least a few days of food, dishes, toys, treats, bedding, crate, and any medications.
  1. Keep Them Away from the Action
    During the hustle and bustle of moving day, there are far too many opportunities for your pet to escape or get injured. Don't take this chance! Instead, consider bringing them to a boarding facility for the day or asking a friend to care for them. If this isn't an option, make sure to keep your pets crated or in a safe place while the move is taking place. 
  1. Take Them in Your Vehicle
    When it's time to leave the house, plan to bring your pets with you in your vehicle. Cats and small dogs can easily be restrained in a crate while larger dogs may need to go in a kennel in the back seat. Make sure to add plenty of blankets or bedding to keep them comfortable. 
  1. Slow Adjustment
    It's best if you can get your house set up as much as possible before bringing home your pets. This means having furniture in place and setting up their food and water bowls, bed, and (for cats) their litter box. Remember that your pets don't understand what's going on and may need some time to get comfortable. Allow them the space to do so. When they're ready, slowly start to introduce them to the neighborhood. 
  1. Maintain a Routine
    To help calm your pet's nerves, do your best to keep things as normal as possible. If they were used to eating at a certain time or going for walks every morning, try to maintain that schedule. With just a bit of patience and some extra TLC, your pets will handle the move like champs and quickly settle into their new home. 

When it comes to finding Lafayette homes for sale your whole family will love, we're here to help. Contact us and will help you find a home for you and all your pets to enjoy in Lafayette! 


How to Make a New Town Feel Like Home

New Town Feel Like Home

Congratulations on your new house! Our REALTORS® love welcoming new neighbors to Lafayette and want you to feel at home as quickly as possible. Whether you've moved from across the street or state lines, we understand any change of residence is a significant milestone in your life. As you settle into your new life, we've gathered together a few tips you can use to make this new town feel like home.

  1. Take a Breath
    Before you do anything, take a moment to slow down, take a breath, and take in this special situation. You've just purchased your dream home and have begun the next chapter of your life! This will be a proud, happy moment you'll remember for the rest of your life — take a few minutes to savor it and celebrate.

  2. Unpack Your Belongings
    Now that you've taken a few moments to appreciate this experience, it's time to start making this house a home. This could take between a few days to over a month, depending on various factors. Don't let yourself feel too rushed or overwhelmed — everything will find its place in time. Unpack the necessities first then work room by room. Knock the kitchen out so you can cook with ease. Set up the children's bedrooms and your living room so the whole family can be entertained and relaxed.

  3. Locate Important Places
    You may be tempted to explore every twist and turn of your surroundings, but we first recommend figuring out where specific places are. Locate the nearest grocery store, urgent care facility, clothing store, veterinarian office, your place of employment, churches, your child's school, etc. These are places that you may need to visit at any time of the day or night, which means it's important to know where they are and how to get to them before you need to.

  4. Wander Without a Plan
    Once you know where the necessary spaces are, feel free to explore the rest of your area however you want. Though you can drive around to get your bearings, we recommend taking the time to either walk or bike around these neighborhoods. Discover cozy coffee shops and popular eateries. Check out the vibrant arts, culture, and nightlife within each community. Who knows — some of the spots you find may turn into your favorite spaces!

  5. Explore Online
    Do you feel a little hesitant about venturing out without a plan? Go online and research what's around your neighborhood. You can read reviews, get directions, and make a game plan of places to visit before you head out of your home.

  6. Get Involved
    One of the best ways to discover activities, friends, and places in a new town is to get involved in any capacity possible. Volunteer, join a recreational sports league, sign up for a class at the community center, visit a museum, attend a sport's game or concert — whatever you choose to do, getting involved in an activity where you can meet and get to know the city will help you feel one with the community.

  7. Introduce Yourself to Your Neighbors
    Many of your neighbors will have lived in their homes for years, maybe decades! Introduce yourself and begin building strong relationships with those closest to your home.

  8. Relax & Rest Assured
    Moving to a new house can feel scary at times, but rest assured, it will feel like home before you know it! Just try to relax, stay positive, and enjoy the excitement and discovery that comes with living in a new town!

Contact us today and let us show you our great Lafayette homes for sale!

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