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Maria A. Zuniga-Lott
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Articles Tagged "New Iberia"

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Community Guides | 20 Posts
June
10

Driving Ranges Near Lafayette

Driving Range Lafayette

Go to Lafayette open houses, and you'll be only a few minutes away from some of the best driving ranges and golf courses in the state of Louisiana. Most driving ranges are associated with professionally sized golf courses, and many offer classes to help you boost your skills even further.

Let's take a closer look at some of the places around Lafayette to perfect your golf swing:

  • North University Golf Center2305 North University Avenue, Lafayette, LA 70507
    As part of the Wetlands Golf Course, North University Golf Center is a convenient place to putt, chip, and drive minutes from a full eighteen holes. The Center is well known for its professional staff and its attention to detail, with modern facilities in a beautiful setting. To warm-up for the day or test out new clubs, you are invited to the driving range – where you can learn directly from friendly golf professionals.

  • Lafayette Golf Academy2231 Kaliste Saloom Road, Lafayette, LA 70508
    Lafayette Golf Academy is a top-rated local driving range with full educational courses to help golfers of any background to take their game to the next level. Adults, teens, and kids can get in on the action with classes divided by age. There are also special events that take place on a regular basis.

  • Cane Row Golf Club – 500 Darby Lane, New Iberia, LA 70560
    If you are looking for the fun and excitement of golf near New Iberia homes for sale, then you will not want to overlook Cane Row Golf Club. Formerly known as Squirrel Run Golf Club, this course stands by its long-time mission of offering you golf the way it was meant to be played. You can enjoy lessons at the driving range, get supplies at the complete pro shop, dine at the clubhouse, and even try out local food trucks that stop nearby.

  • Farm d'Allie Golf Club – 1235 Beau Bassin Road, Carencro, LA 70520
    With nearly 20 years in business, Farm d'Allie Golf Club is a haven for spending time on the links out by Carencro homes for sale. Golf clinics are available for men, women, juniors, and corporations. Detailed instruction helps you master the individual facets of the game, like short game and full swing. There's even an outdoor club fitting service for amateurs through professional players.

  • Muni Lafayette Golf Course1121 Mudd Avenue, Lafayette, LA 70501
    Muni Lafayette Golf Course (also called Herbert Municipal Golf Course) is a gorgeous and conveniently located golf course that frequently plays hosts to charitable events. The course was originally completed all the way back in 1926, but it enjoyed a major renovation in 2010. You can book a tee time right from the website or even join the official "e-Club" for the latest information on happenings near Lafayette homes for sale.

Contact us to find out more about what Lafayette has to offer.

February
25

Plan Ahead for the 6th Annual Books Along the Teche Literary Festival

Book Festival

Whether you prefer fiction, non-fiction, or a little bit of both, there's an upcoming event that you won't want to miss. The 6th Annual Books Along the Teche Literary Festival is scheduled for April 1 - 3, 2022, and is a favorite among local avid readers. It's one of the most exciting events for book lovers in Louisiana, and our real estate agents are happy to share some more details below.

  • What Is It?
    The Books Along the Teche Literary Festival is a celebration of the work of Southern and Louisiana authors. This year, the theme is Celebrating New Iberia, Dave Robicheaux's Hometown, and Great Southern Writers. Osha Gray Davidson, the author of Best of Enemies: Redemption in the New South, is also being honored as this year's Great Southern Writer. 

    While Davidson is the honored author for this year's festival, there are also many activities centered more broadly around literature that both readers and authors will enjoy.

  • What Activities Are Offered?
    In addition to lectures and literature, the festival will offer various walking tours, cooking demonstrations, and poetry workshops. There will also be a reader's theater where you can listen to various works being read out loud. The Jambalaya Cajun Band and Andy Smith Band will be playing live music for the crowd. Finally, there will be a special tribute to Ernest Gaines, the acclaimed author of Lessons Before Dying.

    This festival offers something for all ages. There will be several children's writing activities and workshops at the Parish Library and George Rodrigue Memorial Park. On Saturday, there's also a workshop on creating a Little Free Library, which will teach you everything from how to build the library to how to keep it stocked with books.

  • Where Is the Festival Held?
    The festival activities are being held at a variety of locations throughout historic New Iberia. You can see a complete list of activities and locations on the event website.

    Several lectures will take place at the Shadows-on-the-Tech Visitor's Center on Main Street. Sliman Theater is hosting most of the reader's theater performances, and Parish Library is hosting many author meet-and-greets and children's workshops. 

  • How Do You Buy Tickets?
    If you'll be in the area looking at Lafayette homes for sale or New Iberia homes for sale, then consider attending the festival while in town. Tickets are for sale on the event website, with several different ticketing options for attendees.

    You may purchase tickets for individual activities, or you can buy an all-inclusive package for $190 per person. The all-inclusive package gives you tickets to six separately ticketed events, along with free portions of the festival.

    Even if you don't want to buy tickets, there are plenty of free activities and performances you can participate in. All are welcome to listen to the bands and attend free workshops, such as the Little Free Library seminar.

Ready to write your own Louisiana story? If you happen to fall in love with the region while you're in town for the festival, don't hesitate to contact us. We can guide you in attending Lafayette open houses, helping you discover the perfect place to call home.

February
11

Historic Oak Trees Throughout Lafayette

Oak Trees Louisiana

Louisiana's live oak trees are special. They're more than just trees. They're tangible links to the past. Living history. Our real estate agents never get tired of gazing up through their majestic canopies. 

Some of the oldest and largest trees in Louisiana are these monumental live oaks in Lafayette. 

  • St. John Cathedral Oak - 515 Cathedral St, Lafayette, LA 70501 
    The tree known as the St. John Cathedral Oak is inarguably the most famous tree in Lafayette. One of the largest live oaks in the United States, it's estimated to be around 500 years old. The Cathedral Oak stands approximately 126 feet high and has a spread of 210 feet across. Measurements of its circumference vary but typically come in around 29 feet. You can see this awe-inspiring tree near Downtown and minutes away from many Lafayette homes for sale.

  • Twentieth Century Oaks - 104 E University Ave, Lafayette, LA 70503
    Dr. Edwin Stephens, the first president of what is now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, planted 18 live oaks on the university grounds on New Year's Day, 1901. He nicknamed them the Twentieth Century Oaks for their origin at the start of a new century, and they're still a fixture of campus. Located near the university entrance at the intersection of University Avenue and Johnson Street, they're neither the largest nor the oldest live oaks in town but are among the most celebrated. Be sure to stop and pay them a visit if you're in town visiting Lafayette open houses.

  • Evangeline Oak - 121 S New Market St, St Martinville, LA 70582
    The tree known as the Evangeline Oak has been the most-visited site in St. Martinville—a small city 15 miles southeast of Lafayette—since the late nineteenth century. It could very well be the most famous tree in Louisiana, despite not being particularly old or particularly large (at least by live oak standards). The tree gets its name from Evangeline, the 1847 poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, in which the titular character and her lover Gabriel are reunited. According to a combination of history and myth, the Evangeline Oak is the tree under which the characters' real-life counterparts once sat, inspiring Wordsworth's Poem. 

  • The Cleveland Oaks - Jefferson Island Rd, New Iberia, LA 70560
    Joseph Jefferson was an actor and comedian in the mid-19th century, and he was about as famous as a 19th-century comedian and actor could get. So much so that president Grover Cleveland—a fan and admirer of Jefferson—visited him on his property in Louisiana in 1892. While touring the areas that are now known as Jefferson Island and Avery Island, Cleveland noticed two majestic oaks that Jefferson later nicknamed in his honor. Today, the two Cleveland Oaks are still standing. Both trees are a short drive from many New Iberia homes for sale.

Contact us today to learn more about life in Lafayette, Louisiana. From rich history and incredible architecture to wild landscapes and outdoor adventures, it's a truly one-of-a-kind place to call home. Our real estate agents are dedicated to helping you find your dream home in Acadiana.

December
15

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. 

October
29

Charming Main Streets Throughout Louisiana

Louisiana Main Streets

A town's main street says a lot about the town itself and the people who live there. Louisiana is home to some of the most charming historic communities and main streets.

If you're looking for a place with a vibrant downtown and picturesque, old-fashioned main street, you'll certainly find it here. These are our real estate agents' favorite main streets in Louisiana, including some of the most unique and historically rich downtown districts in the state.

  • Natchitoches, LA
    The city of Natchitoches has the distinction of being the oldest settlement in the Louisiana Purchase. Founded in 1714, Natchitoches is home to a picturesque and historic main street district, with architecture that retains the flavor of the old French settlement it once was. In addition to these beautiful Natchitoches homes for sale, landmarks include the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, which was established in 1728, and Kaffie-Frederick General Mercantile, a general store dating back to 1863.

  • Covington, LA
    Nestled in the fork of the Bogue Falaya and the Tchefuncte River, Covington is a charming community dating back to 1813. Covington's Downtown Historic District is vibrant with activity, from charming eateries like LOLA to landmarks like H.J. Smith's Son General Store and Museum, which has been family-owned since 1876. There are also some charming Covington homes for sale nearby.

  • Saint Martinville, LA
    The parish seat of St. Martin Parish, Saint Martinville, is a quiet community overlooking the Bayou Teche. The heart of Saint Martinville is its charming Main Street. Main Street offers an opportunity to check out some lovely Saint Martinville homes for sale and savor some of the best authentic Creole food around at Josephene's Creole Restaurant

  • Crowley, LA
    Crowley is a small city of about 11,000 people, with a rich history and a beautifully preserved downtown district. Parkerson Avenue, which serves as the city's main street, cuts through the heart of the Crowley Historic District. The district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and includes 266 buildings constructed between 1887 and 1931. The seven-story First National Bank Building considered a skyscraper when it was built in 1920, is one of the most notable features, just minutes from many Crowley homes for sale.

  • New Iberia, LA
    New Iberia is the largest city-parish seat of Iberia Parish, with a charming downtown that includes vibrant businesses and unique historic sites. The city's East Main Street Historic District, located a stone's throw from many New Iberia homes for sale, stretches along East Main Street from Weeks Street to Philip Street and includes the 1896 Steamboat House and St. Peter's Grotto

  • Denham Springs, LA
    Around 10,000 people call Denham Springs home. This charming city is home to numerous Denham Springs homes for sale, along with a vibrant, historic downtown. Range Street is, for all intents and purposes, the main street of Denham Springs. It's here that you'll find the Denham Springs Antique Village, with its cozy streets lined with charming shops, galleries, and eateries. You can explore more than a dozen antique stores here, including Heritage House Antiques and the Rusty Rooster Antique Mall

Contact us today to learn more about life in Louisiana and talk to our real estate agents about finding your dream home within walking distance of one of the most beautiful main streets in the state. 

September
20

Cajun Recipes You Need to Try

Cajun RecipesOur real estate agents love everything that New Orleans offers homebuyers. Everything from friendly neighborhoods, outdoor activities, city nightlife, and spicy Cajun cuisine make NOLA a great place to call home.

While the dining scene in NOLA is excellent, you might want to consider cooking up some Cajun recipes from the comfort of your kitchen.

Whether you're a long-term New Orleans homeowner or are looking for New Orleans homes for sale, you'll want to experience the unique flavors of Cajun food. Take a look at some Cajun recipes that you need to try.

Appetizers

Angels on Horseback is the poetic name for Oysters en Brochette, skewered oysters wrapped in bacon. In classic recipes, oysters are often battered and deep-fried, but Cajun recipes usually call for grilled or broiled oysters. Appetizers are traditionally served with toast points, lemon juice, and baby spinach. Some recipes call for mustard vinaigrette as a topping.

Salads

Louisiana Sunburst Salad is a famous recipe that's served at the Palace Cafe in New Orleans. Salad greens are a mixture of baby lettuces, spinach, and Spring Mix. Greens are tossed and topped with dried cranberries, toasted almonds, and raspberry vinaigrette dressing. This salad has quite a kick with tangy flavors, and it's great for lunch or dinner.

Soups and Stews

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo is a Louisiana favorite. It combines flavors of baked chicken, andouille sausage, hot cooked rice, chopped vegetables, and a variety of Cajun spices. The recipe takes about an hour to prepare and about 3 hours to cook. The result is a flavorful Cajun stew with a hardy, robust flavor that will satisfy your hunger.

Red Bean Soup is a popular New Orleans soup that combines a variety of Cajun flavors. Red beans are a staple used in a variety of Cajun dishes. This soup includes a number of ingredients such as beans, vegetables, chicken stock, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. It will warm you up on a chilly night and makes great leftovers the next day if you make a big pot.

Main Entrees

Cajun Chicken Pasta goes from the stovetop to the dinner table in just 20 minutes. It's an easy recipe filled with delicious ingredients, including baked chicken breasts, linguine, sauteed mushrooms, green onions, bell peppers, and a creamy white sauce. It's the perfect blend of Cajun spices and flavors for a quick dinner on a busy evening.

Cajun Parmesan Crusted Salmon is a majestic combination of spices and flavors. Using preferably wild salmon fillets, this dish is broiled in extra-virgin olive oil, butter, and honey then topped with freshly grated Parmesan, lemon juice, and Cajun seasoning. If you like salmon, you have to try this recipe for a true experience with Cajun cuisine.

Desserts

Praline Cheesecake will make your mouth water. Made with softened cream cheese, sour cream, dark rum, praline liqueur, pecans, and vanilla extract, then topped with a graham cracker crust, this dessert is one that you won't forget. It takes a while to make it, but it's well worth the wait and then some!

Cocktails

Cajun Lemonade Cocktails are a favorite among New Orleans homeowners and visitors. These spicy cocktails are made with Citron or lemon-flavored vodka, light rum, one can of lemonade concentrate, and a dash of hot sauce. During Louisiana summer weather, this cocktail has a kick that will heat you up and cool you down all at the same time.

Searching for the perfect new kitchen for all your culinary adventures? Contact us for available homes with stunning kitchens in New Orleans and surrounding neighborhoods.

September
8

Orchards & Farms to Explore Throughout Louisiana This Fall

NOLA Orchards

New Orleans homes for sale stand out in part thanks to the thrilling outdoor experiences you can have right in your own backyard. But that isn't limited to the historic bayou. Our real estate agents want to remind you about the fun and fresh treats that come from visiting a Louisiana farm near you!

More than 60 different types of produce are grown all throughout Louisiana, including native fruits such as the fig, blueberry, pawpaw, pomegranate, and persimmon. Of these, the fig stands out as the undisputed king of Louisiana fruits. You will find them in all kinds of dishes, from sweet to savory.

Let's look at some of the farms you might visit when you buy a home here in The Pelican State:

  • Brookshire Farms – 8916 Brookshire Road, Abbeville, LA 70510
    Brookshire Farms is famous for chemical-free, pasture-based ways of raising animals. They call it an "artisanal" approach and the results shine through in everything Brookshire has to offer. For those who can't make it to the farm, pickup locations for its various delights are also available all across Louisiana. But when you explore Abbeville homes for sale, you could be within just minutes of the freshest farm products!

  • Windy Hills Farm – 8380 Highway 963, Ethel, LA 70730
    Ethel homes for sale are within a short journey of Windy Hills Farm. Best known in the area for its Christmas trees, wreaths, and garlands, it hosts visitors all throughout November and December, typically each Thursday through Sunday. Guests can choose and cut their own tree from throughout the property. They will also have the opportunity to visit with a wide variety of farm animals, fowl, and pets.

  • The Party Farm – 6001 North Market Street, Shreveport, LA 71107
    The Party Farm offers family-friendly events not far from Shreveport homes for sale. Kids love the petting zoo as well as the friendly riding ponies. Birthday parties and other bookings also include two hours of rental for the barn. Cows, goats, sheep, pigs, and many more are residents of The Party Farm always eager to greet guests and make new human friends. It's the perfect place to make memories that will last a lifetime!

  • Kemp Farms – 38511 Weiss Road, Denham Springs, LA 70706
    Nothing says "fun at the farm" like a good old-fashioned hayride, and that's the centerpiece of a visit to Kemp Farms. Kids and teens love Kemp for its wide range of activities suitable for all age groups, including group tours, birthday parties, animal visits and petting, horseback riding, and all kinds of games. It is the ideal family farm experience for any new resident settling into their choice of Denham Springs homes for sale.

  • Eddie Romero's Orchard – 5119 Freetown Road, New Iberia, LA 70560
    Eddie Romero's Orchard is the place to go when you want some of the best fresh heirloom tomatoes anywhere in Louisiana. A quick jaunt from some wonderful New Iberia homes for sale, Eddie Romero's is an experience well worth repeating every season of the year. Blackberries, blueberries, peaches, and figs are just a few of the treats grown here, along with all kinds of local citrus varieties.

Life is good in Louisiana in any season. Contact us to learn more about the best in Louisiana real estate.

September
17

What to Ask When Interviewing Real Estate Agents

Interview Real Estate Agents

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

  • What's included in your services?  
    Real estate agents typically list your home on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), complete with an accurate listing description and appealing photos. They should also help you price your home based on a comparative market analysis of similar homes in your area. 

  • How would you market my home?
    A real estate agent should be able to explain how your home will be marketed. How will photographs and videos of your home be handled? Will other marketing strategies, like direct mail, be used?

  • What steps will be taken to prepare your home for sale?
    You'll need to know what to do to prepare your home before it goes on the market, and a real estate agent's experience and expertise should be able to guide you. They may, for example, suggest improvements that will make your home more attractive to prospective buyers. If that's the case, the agent should be able to tell you what improvements are most popular with buyers in your area and which are likely to earn the highest return on your investment.

  • What type of experience do you have?
    Ideally, an agent will have experience in selling homes that are in the same neighborhood or area as yours. They should also have experience in selling the type of home you have, such as a starter home, home with acreage, or a historic home.

  • Can you help connect me with other professionals? 
    Selling your home often requires the help of professionals such as home inspectors and title companies. And if you're making repairs and improvements to your home, you may need recommendations for painters, plumbers, and other similar tradespeople. A real estate agent should have good relationships with these contacts and be able to recommend those who perform their jobs with honesty and skill.

  • What sets you apart from other agents?  
    Marketing your home is important, but an agent also needs to be able to successfully market themselves to you. Do they pride themselves on their experience or a successful track record? Are they particularly good at being available when you need them? They should be able to answer this question in a way that makes you want to do business with them.

  • How well do you know the area?
    Although agents who are new to the area can often do a great job, it's an extra advantage to have an agent who has lived around the area for a long time. That way, they'll understand the local market, know what's important to buyers in the area, be aware of all the amenities near your home, and more.  

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. 

September
16

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!

August
13

Build or Buy a Home?

Build or Buy a Home

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. 

  1. Your Moving Timeline
    While it takes an average of 7.7 months to build a new home, it isn't uncommon for the process to take more than a year. When you buy a home, once you locate a property that fits your needs and the seller accepts your offer, it takes an average of 56 days to officially close the deal. If your goal is to complete your move as quickly as possible, buying a home is definitely the quicker alternative. However, if you're not on a strict schedule and are more interested in having a home that's created specifically for your preferences, building a home may be the better option. 
  1. Your Budget for the Home and Overall Financial Situation
    In general, it's cheaper to purchase an existing home than it is to build a comparable property. It's often difficult to precisely estimate the exact cost of building a home, as the prices for labor and building materials can quickly change. Running utilities to land without the infrastructure in place is often expensive. The financing process for building a home is a little different than when you buy a home. First, you have to procure approval for a land loan to purchase the land for the home. Securing approval for a land loan requires excellent credit and available funds for a down payment. Then, you need to take out a construction loan to build your property. Once the property is complete, you'll consolidate both the land loan and construction loan into a traditional mortgage. If you don't have a ton of extra cash or stellar credit, you may have trouble securing the required financing to build a house.
  1. Your List of Must-Haves
    When you purchase a home, it's tricky finding everything that you like in a single property. A lot of Lafayette homes for sale will have most of the characteristics you want, and you can always renovate your home so that it's a better fit for your wants. However, if you have a specific floorplan in mind or want your home to have your ideal aesthetic from the day you move in, building a home lets, you accomplish these goals. When you build a home, you can customize every single detail about the property. Some homebuyers find the number of decisions overwhelming, while others value the opportunity to make a home completely their own. You even have the ability to personalize the setup and details of your home's landscaping and yard structures. 
  1. Your Tolerance for Stress
    Due to the longer timeline and many decisions to make and tasks to complete, building a home is typically viewed as more stressful than purchasing a home. There's a lot of time, effort, and money involved with building a home. You'll also have to manage the details to make sure everything is completed according to your wishes.

Ready to start the homebuying process? Contact us to begin your search!

July
14

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.

July
7

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.

June
9

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. 

June
11

5 Things Retirees Will Love About Living in Lafayette

Lafayette Retirees

Have you been searching for the perfect place to retire? Would you like to live in a city that offers countless amenities and attractions, with a cost of living that will make it easier to enjoy your retirement? Lafayette has so much to offer, from outdoor attractions to live entertainment and some of the best food that you'll find anywhere. The many attractions of the city mean that your family will love visiting almost as you love living here. Our real estate agents love Lafayette, and we've got 5 key reasons that retirees love calling the city home.

  1. Local Trails to Enjoy Nature
    Living in the city doesn't have to mean being far from nature, and Lafayette's robust trail system makes it easy to enjoy the city's natural beauty at any time. Walking the trails is a great way to stay fit, stay healthy, and spend time in nature. Trails are also perfect places for anyone who loves watching birds and seeing native wildlife in its natural environment. When you live in Lafayette, your next outdoor adventure is never far from your front door.

  2. A Low Cost of Living Means Your Retirement Budget Goes Further
    Lafayette is such a vibrant, exciting place to retire, but that doesn't mean that you'll have to pay a premium to live there. In fact, the cost of living in Lafayette is more than 12 percent below the national average, and housing costs are even more affordable compared to the rest of the country. Enjoy all of the perks of living in a modern city, with a cost of living that leaves plenty of money for enjoying all that Lafayette has to offer.

  3. Endless Outdoor Attractions to Enjoy
    Do you dream of spending your days exploring the great outdoors and experiencing the unique ecosystems that help make Lafayette such a vibrant place to call home? Outdoor attractions are always waiting for you in Lafayette, whether you love camping, hiking, fishing, or a little bit of everything. Paddling through the swamps is an incredible experience, with countless bird species to spot from your canoe or kayak.

  4. Fun Festivals and Fantastic Food for Every Season
    Variety is the spice of life, and there's always something new to experience when you call Lafayette home. The city's packed lineup of amazing festivals spans the whole calendar, with events to suit every taste and interest. Whether you love food, music, film, culture, or all of the above, there's a festival with your name on it in Lafayette. The world-famous Festival International de Louisiane is a highlight every spring, while Lafayette's family-friendly Mardi Gras celebrations provide something to look forward to every winter.

  5. Live Sports and Entertainment All Year Long
    Whether you love live sports, live music, or live theater, you'll find it all when you call Lafayette home. The University of Louisiana is located in the city, and the Ragin' Cajuns athletic teams offer excellent entertainment for sports fans all year long. With so many great bars, historic performance venues, and even outdoor performance spaces in the city, you can find live music every day of the week. So the festivals in Lafayette are amazing, but you won't have to wait for the big events to enjoy live entertainment.

Are you ready to start shopping for Lafayette homes for sale and retire in a city that you will truly love? Let our experienced, local real estate team help. Contact us to buy and sell homes in the Lafayette, LA area.

March
2

Eye-Catching Ways to Display Your Books

Book Display Ideas

If you're a heavy reader, chances are you have a relatively large book collection sitting at home collecting dust. Some of our real estate agents really dislike parting with good books after they've finished reading them. Instead of storing them in the attic, why not turn your book collection into a home library? 

Showing off your book collection is such a great way to add a touch of elegance to any room of your house. In fact, there are so many creative ways to put your books on display that you may never want to get rid of another book again! Below are some ideas on how to turn your collection into a stylish display.

  1. Line the Fireplace
    If you want to create a classic literary vibe in your living room, consider lining your fireplace mantle with your favorite books. You can group them into sections, separate them with decorations or photos, or organize them by color. Depending on the size of your collection, you may have limited space so be sure to select the titles that you really want to show off.
  2. Put Them in the Fireplace
    If you have a non-working fireplace that isn't being used for any other purpose, use it for book storage! Sorting your books into piles and stashing them inside your fireplace is a great way to create a chic, sophisticated Brooklyn vibe. 

  3. Fill-up a Dead Corner
    If you just can't figure out what to do with an empty corner, use it to show off your books. Add floating shelves or a sturdy bookcase to construct the ultimate corner library. If the room is large enough, you could even add a chair and some lighting to create a cozy reading nook.

  4. Build a Coffee Table
    Pick your sturdiest books, compile them into four even piles, and then find a strong flat surface to create the ultimate literary DIY coffee table. Not only is this a practical way to store your books, but it can also serve as a great conversation piece. Just be sure to include interesting titles. 

  5. Group By Color or Size
    If you have a truly large collection, there are many ways you can creatively show them off on a shelf. Forget alphabetizing -- instead, try creating interesting patterns with color or height. You can also alternative vertical groups with horizontal stacks. Your goal is to create a tidy, visually appealing bookshelf instead of an old stuffy look.

  6. Try Floating Cabinets
    We especially like this idea for a home office. Try adding some floating wall cabinets that are large enough to store a decent number of books. Alternate horizontal groups and vertical stacks, and be sure to break them up with some decorative elements. 

  7. Create A Gallery Wall
    If you have a lot of heavy, coffee table books that make for great conversation pieces, consider showing them off with a wall gallery. Just simply install a wall shelf with a decent-sized ledge and prop your books up against the wall. Be sure to pick the best books in your collection!

The owners of these New Orleans homes for sale are always looking for new ways to show off their book collections. Doing it the right way can create a unique, intelligent vibe. If you need advice on interior design, don't hesitate to contact us today!

February
19

7 Home Organization Apps You'll Enjoy Using

Home Organization Apps

Overwhelmed by the amount of clutter in your home? Or, are you struggling to get your roommates or family members to do their chores in a timely manner? Let technology give your efforts a boost!

There are numerous home organization apps that can help you get a handle on your to-do list. Our real estate agents know that a tidy, uncluttered home shows better than one that's overrun with stuff. Here are some apps that you'll enjoy. 

  1. Tody
    Find that you can't remember the last time you cleaned out your fridge or decluttered your bathroom cabinets? Keep track of when your chores and home organization tasks were last done with Tody. Tody lets you set due dates for your to-dos so that you can see when a task is overdue.
  1. OfferUp
    If it's time to get rid of some items in your home, use OfferUp to quickly list them for sale. This app lets you create a quick listing with a photo of your item and the essential details. OfferUp then makes your listings available to other users in your area. The app makes it possible to handle all communication through OfferUp so that you don't have to give your phone number to a stranger. Lafayette homes for sale that have been decluttered usually show better and look larger than those full of stuff. 
  1. Cozi Family Organizer
    Cozi Family Organizer is an excellent choice for busy households. Use Cozi to keep everyone up-to-date on your household's schedule, chore list, and grocery list. If someone makes a change (like marking off a chore or adding items to the grocery list), everyone else in the household will see these changes. 
  1. TaskRabbit
    If you find yourself facing a task that's outside your capabilities, use TaskRabbit to hire a pro to tackle the job. TaskRabbit can offer assistance with a slew of home tasks, such as completing home repairs, handling home maintenance chores, repairing plumbing problems, cleaning, decluttering, and setting up an organizational system. With TaskRabbit, you can search for help based on the details of your project, or you can view popular projects in your area. Before adding your home to the inventory of New Orleans homes for sale, it's best to complete basic home repairs and maintenance tasks, so your home is as attractive as possible. 
  1. LastPass
    Want a better way to keep track of all your usernames and passwords? Check out LastPass. LastPass lets you save all your log-in info in a single spot. You then access your info using a master password. If necessary, you can grant access to a friend or family member.
  1. Closet+
    Closet+ makes it easy for you to take control of your wardrobe. After uploading pictures of your clothing to the app, you can put pieces together to make different outfits. Use Closet+ to keep track of when you've last worn an item or what other pieces you like to wear it with. 
  1. Evernote
    Have a lot of inspiration for your home's decor and organizational systems? Use Evernote to keep track of everything in a single location. With Evernote, you can upload images, notes, and tasks. If you're in the middle of a project and discover that you need to pick up a few more things or want to further divide your tasks, Evernote will help you keep track of your progress. 

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

November
11

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. 

Latter & Blum
430 Notre Dame St.
New Orleans, LA 70130
(866) 794-1022
Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 08/17/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 08/17/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of Fort Polk MLS (last updated Wed 08/17/2022 12:50:29 PM EST) or Greater Southern MLS (last updated Wed 08/17/2022 12:50:16 PM EST) or Greater Baton Rouge MLS (last updated Wed 08/17/2022 12:48:42 PM EST) or GSREIN MLS (last updated Wed 08/17/2022 12:49:10 PM EST) or Bayou MLS (last updated Wed 08/17/2022 12:50:47 PM EST) or Pearl River MLS (last updated Wed 08/17/2022 12:47:15 PM EST) or GCLAR MLS (last updated Wed 08/17/2022 12:47:18 PM EST) or MGCMLS (last updated Mon 10/04/2021 9:31:53 AM EST) or Realtor Association of Acadiana (last updated Wed 08/17/2022 12:47:40 PM EST) or Southwest Mississippi MLS (last updated Wed 08/17/2022 12:45:31 PM EST) or MLS United (last updated Wed 08/17/2022 12:46:25 PM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Latter & Blum may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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