Agents: Macon Mayeux, Travis Smith, Devin Triche, and Geneva Compton
Employees: Heather Lambert and Sara Fields
Happy Birthday Heather. Celebrating at Chucky E. Cheese like true kids!
Keller Williams Agents, Michelle Cobb and Geneva Compton, and employee Sara Fields support local brewers at the Iron Brew Competition on a rainy night!
Have you ever strolled through the DIY aisle in Barnes and Noble? Ever notice those Do-It-Yourself books at the checkout line at Lowes showing you how to build your own deck or lay new flooring? It looks so easy. It even looks less expensive.
So you purchase the book. Then, you go home and read the book. Next step, go back to Lowes and buy materials. Go home. Start renovations. Forgot the primer. Go back to Lowes. Go home. Not enough primer. Go back to Lowes. Three months later, the project still is not finished and you have a big hole in your wall.
We all have been there. We all though that we were carpenters, chefs, mechanics, etc. And sometimes we can “do-it-ourselves” but, more than likely, if you need a license or degree to practice…there is a reason.
In real estate, we run across this all the time. Sellers believe that selling their own home will save them time, money, and stress. Many of them learn, it does quite the opposite. I’m sure everyone has “that” friend who once sold their own home in less than a month. But for that one friend, there are 10 others who had a dreadful experience attempting to sell their own home.
A smart person once told me, “You wouldn’t go to court without a lawyer. Why would you attempt real estate without a licensed agent?”
For Sale by Owners have to put money into their own signs, open houses, inspections, appraisers, and anything else they believe will help their home sell. I have met FSBO who have even forked out money *ranging from $500 to $1000* to brokers for a one time, six month entry into the MLS system (Multiple Listing System, a database that all agents use to search homes on the market). This is a perk that usually is free when listing with an agent.
Another list of marketing outlets you can receive with no cost to you include: signs, open houses, social media marketing, unlimited access to databases reaching out to agents in all agencies in all areas. Dave Ramsey, author of many financial expertise books, says he has had an active real estate license for 30 years but since he has never really used it…he would even use an active real estate agent.
“Now, why would I do that if I could just sell it myself and save the commission cost? For starters, if I do a for-sale-by-owner, or FSBO, I’m only getting my place in front of buyers I can attract from seeing a newspaper ad, Craigslist, and anyone who happens to drive by the house. If you go with a high-octane real estate agent, you’ll have the advantage of being exposed to their entire pool of buyers. More importantly, you’ll be in the MLS, or Multiple Listing Service, database. There, you’ll immediately have thousands of potential buyers. So, who do you think will have the best chance of selling your house? Market exposure is everything in the real estate game!”
More on this FAQ by Dave Ramsey here: http://www.cbn.com/finance/ramsey060710.aspx
With Spring weather approaching, many people are considering the market and listing their home. Save yourself the time AND money…list with an agent.
You hear a lot of contradicting advice on real estate. Should I rent? Should I buy? But one of the most controversial discussions about real estate is land. Is land a good investment or not?
Some myths about purchasing land is upkeep is difficult or that you won’t ever see a return for your investment. Well, let me break down those myths for you, and open your eyes to the wonderful world of purchasing and owning land.
First myth: Land upkeep is difficult. False. Large land upkeep is much more affordable than keeping up a larger home with maintenance issues or landscaping a front yard. Especially if you are lucky enough to find property where the original owners have taken care of their land like a gem.
For instance, I am listing a property right now where the owner has not only taken care of the 9.78 acres (What an investment!), but has also built a beautiful country road guiding you through the entire acreage. It also is already under contract for a tranquil pond to be built behind the home, using the dirt to help build up the property. Located in scenic Pride, Louisiana, this property is the sight for country, peaceful living.
Taking care of land is also not to be dreaded. You hear a lot of country songs talking about “riding the land”, driving “back roads”, or cruising on the tractor. These aren’t just good ole lyrics that make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, but is actually a doctor recommended form of therapy. As John Milton said, “Make hay while sun shines.” Imagine watching your children playing out in the a huge yard with a trampoline, pool, or simply riding bikes (or fourwheelers!) on the country road. How relaxing of a picture is that?
Second myth: I’ll never see my return on my investment. Totally false. If life has taught us anything, it has taught us that nothing is for certain. Many people will find creative ways to see returns on their large land investment. The more creative, the more of a profit they see. One man in North Carolina, named Keith Brouillard, started off with a smaller purchase of land which eventually turned into 280 acres of timber and hunting land he calls Carolina Forestry. You can now go on his website and purchase one acre properties at a time for $20,000.
Now imagine if you owned about 10 acres that was originally purchased for 149,000 this year. Then, you turn around in 5-10 years, when the market slightly changes, and sell for $20,000 to $30,000 an acre. That’s a $51,000 to $151,000 profit. Doesn’t sound like a poor investment now, does it?
Imagine what you could do with a wonderful piece of well taken care of land like that? Not to mention it has a great mobile home with an adorable front yard gate for curb appeal. This particular property is not only a peaceful new home, it’s great investing at it’s finest.
Land investment is not only a good investment, it’s a great investment. As the Mark Twain said, “Buy land. They’re not making it anymore.”
Interested in the property mentioned about. Research it under 16529 Pride Baywood, Pride, Louisiana 70770. Pictures shown of actual property. Call Geneva Compton at (225) 938-0556 for private showing.
This is the second weekend of Parade of Homes where local builders will have their best work on display. This 2 weekend long event is put on every year by the Capital Region Builders Association. 45 homes are included and 7 parish region in and around Baton Rouge.
It’s free and open to the public May 12-13. Homes will be open on Saturday from 11:00am – 5:00pm and on Sunday 1:00pm – 5:00pm. Organizers have created a special bus tour on May 11, from 8:30 – 3:30. Anyone interested can call CRBA at 225-769-7696 for details.
The Parade of Homes features 55 homes open to view, representing 29 builders in 43 subdivisions. The Parade will include 15 homes in Ascension Parish, 32 in East Baton Rouge Parish, 5 in Livingston Parish and 3 in West Baton Rouge Parish. Prices of the homes in the parade range from $164,000 to $795,000.
The 2012 Parade of Homes sponsors include: (Gold Level) Atmos Energy and Southern Bath & Kitchen, (Silver Level) Whitney Bank and ProSource Wholesale Floors Inc., and (Bronze Level) Dow Louisiana Federal Credit Union, Jimstone Co. and Stanton’s Appliance. The media sponsor is Cox Communications.
We are expecting rain this weekend, so grab your umbrella and enjoy the tour on Saturday or Sunday with Mom!
For more information and details visit the website: CRBAParade.com
The Louisiana Family Homecoming Celebration festival attracted several hundred people to the State Capitol grounds Saturday to enjoy traditional Louisiana food, music and art in honor of the state’s 200th birthday weekend.
Louisiana became the 18th state to join the United States on April 30, 1812.
The festivities continue on Sunday with the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame’s “Bayou Bicentennial Birthday Bash,” from 1 p.m. until dusk in the Hollywood Casino’s parking lot at 1717 River Road North, which promises live music and free ice cream. Another celebration, the “Bicentennial Blues Concert,” will be held at the Old State Capitol on Sunday starting at 1 p.m.
Throughout the day Saturday, chefs from around the state demonstrated how to cook a variety of Louisiana fare, including jambalaya, pork rinds, deep-fried king cake and crawfish etoufee.
Susan Daigle, of Jennings, who operates “Gator Chateau,” a shelter for baby alligators who fishermen find to have been abandoned by their mothers, brought baby alligators for festival-goers to hold.
“It’s Louisiana’s 200th birthday and we’ve got to celebrate our own great state,” said Baton Rouge resident Kent Smith, as his seven-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter played with a baby alligator. “Plus, it’s good family fun.”
Dozens of artists were selling handmade crafts that highlighted the state’s heritage.
Artist Kellie Austin, of Baton Rouge, said she had sold much more than she had expected of her jewelry, made from recycled French Quarter coins and bottle caps.
“People always say Louisiana is a sportsman’s paradise but it’s truly an artist’s paradise,” Austin said. “We have so much here to draw from, you don’t have to go anywhere to find beautiful studies. Just look out your front door.”
Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne said the highlight of his time at the festival was joining Zydeco musician Chubby Carrier and The Bayou Swamp Band on stage to play the frottoir, a zydeco washboard musical instrument.
“This is a wonderful slice of Louisiana and everything that makes Louisiana great: food, music, festivals and family,” Dardenne said.
On Monday, the state’s actual birthday, a tree-planting ceremony will be held at 9:30 a.m. in A.Z. Young Park at the corner of Third and Lafayette Streets.
In the afternoon, the Bicentennial Commission will unveil the state’s new “Gumbo Forever” postal stamp at the State Capitol.
The stamp, which will go on sale Monday at post offices, features a sunset photograph of Flat Lake in the Atchafalaya Basin showing cypress trees hung with Spanish moss.
Starting Monday, an exhibit depicting Louisiana’s path to statehood will be up all week in the State Capitol.
by naomi martin
Advocate staff writer
April 30, 2012
A rose by any other name may smell as sweet. But would the Highlands of Olney sell as well if it were peddled as Barry’s Neglect? Or Shepherd’s Misfortune? Probably not. And therein lies the reason most builders think naming their subdivisions ranks up there in importance with high-quality construction. They also find the chore to be a traumatic event that one builder once compared to “trying to name your firstborn.”
Now there’s a bit of science that shows just how much a couple of key words can add to the typical developer’s bottom line. Not just any two words like “valley” or “mews,” but the old standbys “country” and “country club.”
According to a study by two researchers at the University of Georgia, homebuyers pay an average of 4.2 percent more when the development has the word “country” in the name. And if it has the term “country club” as part of its name, buyers will pay 5.2 percent on top of that.
That’s a total of almost 10 percent more that people are willing to pay for the prestige associated with the term “country club.”
A joke? Hardly. The study, the results of which were published last year in the Journal of Real Estate Research, is a serious investigation of sales in the Baton Rouge, La., area over 15 years. It carefully controlled for such variables as location, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and days on the market, among others.
“This is the first study to find through empirical research that buyers are willing to pay more for certain property names, with all other attributes of a house being equal,” the paper said. “In fact, buyers of more expensive houses may be willing to pay more for a name that conveys prestige than they are willing to pay for a good school for their children.”
No wonder, then, that the naming process is often a psychodrama, with builders and their marketing teams becoming more hung up over what they will call their communities than they are over the copy for a $10,000, full-page ad in the local newspaper.
But there is no tried-and-true naming method. The Fifield Cos. took an interesting approach in naming K2, its new 34-story apartment tower in downtown Chicago. K2, in Asia, is one of the tallest mountains on Earth. The Chicago building, while certainly not the tallest in the city, will have “the highest level of amenities, architecture and finishes,” the developer said.
K2 is one of the most difficult peaks in the world to climb — it has the second-highest fatality rate — and the building was one of the most challenging financing deals the developer had ever put together. It took a consortium of five commercial banks to fund the project.
Less imaginative builders resort to the old standards — station, park, commons, woods, village, farms, hunt, square and gardens. Some look to history for a name, while others use location or a characteristic of the property. A few pick a name that immortalizes themselves or their loved ones.
Reston, one of the country’s original “new towns” in Virginia, takes its name from the initials of its founder, Robert E. Simon, as in “RES-town.” The Irene, an apartment building in Chevy Chase, Md., was built by Abe Pollin, who went on to own Washington’s professional basketball and hockey teams. Pollin named the building after his bride.
The nearby Elizabeth also was named for its builder’s wife. Glad he didn’t use the more familiar form of her name, though. Somehow, “I live at the Betsy” doesn’t sound nearly as chic.
Then there are the guys who — no kidding — have named one project after their wives and the next after their girlfriends.
Simplicity often rules the naming process. But sometimes the simplest name doesn’t work. For example, a place that was originally called Crimson Oaks had to change its name to Crimson Oak when it was discovered there was only a single oak on the property. Hey, the tract wasn’t exactly wild with foliage in the first place. But Orchard Pond never did have a pond.
Speaking of change, one builder changed the name of his northern Virginia project several times while his marketing materials were at the printer. It went from Chip ‘N Dale to Valley View Estates to Heritage Valley.
Name changes sometimes do wonders for a project. While named Andrews Manor, a town-house community near Andrews Air Force Base in suburban Maryland was a slow seller. But as Canterbury Court, which it later became, it really took off. The builder’s ad agency swore the name was the only change.
Other times, though, nothing works. Levitt & Sons was wildly successful with its Levittowns in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, but a project in Maryland had four names in five years. According to the company, each name corresponded with a different section of the project, but truth be told, the company couldn’t sell its upscale houses at that location and kept changing the name to boost sales.
Of course, a community’s name should meet certain criteria. One is that it should be easy to pronounce, which is where a New England-bred developer who prided himself on building authentic colonial houses went wrong. For one of his projects he picked the name Falmouth, which is pronounced “fall muth” in Massachusetts. But locally, the community became known as “foul mouth.”
The name of a community also should be able to stand the test of time by remaining descriptive as the place ages and matures. Thousand Oaks failed that test early on. There may have been 1,000 oaks at the site before the builder broke ground. But after he completed the project, the number of trees left standing — not just oaks, but trees — could be counted on one hand.
Lew Sichelman has been covering real estate for more than 30 years. He is a regular contributor to numerous shelter magazines and housing and housing-finance-industry publications. Readers can contact him at lsichelman aol.com.