First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit Extension – Update Friday, Oct 30 2009 

There is a lot of mis-information being posted and talked about. 

The extension for the first time homebuyer tax credit has NOT yet been passed.  The Senate is not expected to vote on this until next week sometime at the earliest.  It is my understanding that after the vote passes the Senate, it will go to the House of Representatives for their vote.  From there, it will go to the President for his signature. 

Here is the proposal as it stands today:  The $8,000 tax credit for first time homebuyers will be extended until April 30, 2010.  Income limits for this tax credit will also be raised.  They are also wanting to add benefits of $6,500 for homeowners wanting to sell that have been in their homes for at least 5 years.  They have also added that this extension is final… it will not be extended again.

Remember all of this is still a dream….nothing has been voted on as of yet.

To read more about the bill click here.

I am monitoring this and will report changes to you as they happen.  If you have any questions, feel free to let me know!

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The Car Shopping Terror Continues… Thursday, Oct 29 2009 

For those of you following my new car shopping experiences…the terror continues.  For those of you not familiar with my past horrors, you can catch up here…https://kristinacusick.wordpress.com/2009/10/21/did-you-just-label-me/

Well, I have decided on a Honda Pilot.  After speaking to the local Honda dealership’s salesman and asking him to get me his best price…one shot deal…we found ourselves at the dealership looking at the vehicle they “ordered for me”.  Good sales tactic on their part if you are an emotional buyer.  Bad thing if you are like me and feel as if they are pushing you.  Strike One  Our salesman wanted us to speak to his sales manager.  Upon walking into the showroom we were met by a man that we had seen just a few minutes earlier.  He saw my husband’s shirt which had our boat logo and asked us if we had boat.  He then asked how big our boat was.  After telling him he proceeded to wave his hands in the air and dance around chanting “Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!  I have a 30!”  I was dumbfounded! So many things raced through my mind…”Is he taunting us that he has a bigger boat?  Seriously?”  I could not speak. I looked at my husband and his reaction was about the same.  I finally heard the word “WOW” come out of my mouth.  Strike Two  Ok…now I am really regretting my decision to be here.  The more this man spoke, the more irritated I became.  In the course of the next couple of minutes, my husband senses my aggravation and tells the sales manager that we have not made a commitment and if someone comes to look at the vehicle that he “ordered for us without our approval”, to please go ahead and show it, sell it.  We understand that it is a chance we will take.  His response was this “Oh, Don’t worry, I will.  In fact, don’t be surprised if you come back this afternoon and it is gone”.  Ok, dude, have you not yet figured out that you will not win me over with the hard sell?  Strike three We said our goodbyes and made our way out the door.  I was still in shock over the way we were spoken to.  As I spoke to people around the community, I have learned that this is not the first time this sales manager has acted this way. So sad.

We have now done what we should have done in the first place.  We called our friend who is a Honda guy 80+ miles away.  Asked him to order what we have decided on.  I am a firm believer in keeping the business close to home.  Well, I tried, but the businesses close to home didn’t seem to care about me…they just wanted my money. 

This whole experience has opened my eyes.  As a salesperson, I hope that I have never treated any of my clients this way.  I pride myself on not being pushy or using hard sales tactics and I would never label someone or taunt them in any way. I want you to buy a home because you love it.  Not because it will help my numbers for the year.  I want you to love that home and be able to tell your friends and family that your experience was not only fun but enjoyable.  This is the biggest purchase of your life…let’s make it a great memory.

If you are a car guy reading this… Change your tactics.  Learn to read your customers. This is the 21st Century, we are educated and don’t want to play your games.

Turn Back the Clock Wednesday, Oct 28 2009 

Don’t forget to turn your clock back one hour before you go to bed on Saturday, October 31. 

Enjoy your “long” weekend!

Ascension Parish Band Night 2009 Monday, Oct 26 2009 

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Come out to Dutchtown High School for Ascension Parish Band Night!

This annual event is free to the public. (Although, donations for the bands are accepted :))

The middle and high school bands will all be performing for your listening enjoyment.

The High school bands will each get to present their half time shows.  If you haven’t seen a high school marching band half time show lately, you will be surprised in how the marching bands have progressed over the years.  Ascension parish holds some of the best marching bands in the state!

This event is usually held at East Ascenion but because of some field conditions we will be entertained at Dutchtown High School.  The event starts at 6:00 pm on Tuesday October 27, 2009.  See you there!

Did you just label me? Wednesday, Oct 21 2009 

Control freak

It has been 10 years since I bought a new car.  After the last couple of weeks, I have been reminded of why it has taken me 10 years to even have the desire to look at a new car.  During my search I was called a “soccer mom” and a “control freak”.  These labels were not put on me by my husband…they were given out by two different car salesmen!  While test driving a Chevy, the car salesman told me that this was the vehicle for all “soccer moms”.  I proceeded to tell him to “shut his mouth”.  Maybe he doesn’t know what a “soccer mom” is and if not, he should gather his facts before labeling every woman with children that walk through the front door.  Just because I have children and take them to their after school activities does not make me a soccer mom.  I am a Real Estate Agent.  I work long hours and make my own money.  I run my household, keeping up with everyone’s schedules and making sure that my family has food on the table and clean clothes to wear.  I feel a rant coming on so I will stop.  To end this episode, I was offended. I don’t like labels and immediately turned the car around and told the salesman thank you for his time.  He is out…next.

 

Next…This is not much better.  I went to GMC to look at the sister vehicle of the Chevy.  I liked it.  We started to gather more information about this car.  From the very first meeting, I told this salesman that I liked the vehicle but was concerned because I didn’t think it would tow our boat and that we (my husband & myself) had not decided if that would be a deciding factor in our decision.  As I continued to do my research, I was feeling less likely that I would be happy for the long haul with this vehicle.  Let me interject here that upon meeting each and every salesperson they were told that we were shopping each and every brand since it had been 10 years since we had looked at a new vehicle.  With that being said, we did ask the GMC salesman to give us a price.  Not a negotiation, a final price.  I negotiate each and every day.  You know your bottom line, I know the range of your bottom line and I know my bottom line.  Let’s don’t waste time!  I wanted to compare pricing on this GMC and a Honda (which I knew would pull my boat).  Full disclosure on the table, the salesman gave me a price.  When I told him that I was just really concerned about the towing issue because I want to know that I can hook up to my boat and go if I want to I was responded to with this. “You are a control freak aren’t you?”  My response, “Yes and don’t you forget it.  It is what makes me exceptional at what I do.”  Guess what… he’s out…Next!

 

I am a woman…no doubt.  Am I a clueless?  Absolutely not!  I have done my research for a few months before getting the nerve to actually step foot on a lot.  (for above obvious reasons) Anyone that knows me, knows that I am a research addict.  I am also a “motorhead”.  A quality that my husband loves 🙂  I think the funniest thing that happened is while test driving I made the statement that this vehicle didn’t have the torque that my Durango has.  The salesman looked at me with a puzzled facial expression and said, “What?”

 

Purpose of this post?  Don’t make the assumption that because I have boobs that I am stupid and don’t know about cars.  Don’t make the assumption that because I drive my children to their after school activities I am a soccer mom. Don’t make the assumption that because I have done my research and know more than you think I do that I am a control freak.  Two dealerships lost my respect and possible business because of their sexist salesmen.   

Dutchtown Marching Festival Thursday, Oct 15 2009 

Looking for something to do Saturday? 

The Dutchtown Sound is holding its annual fundraiser, The Dutchtown Marching Festival. 

The marching festival will feature over 10 South Louisiana marching bands that will perform their half-time marching shows. 

The Festival will be held on Saturday October 17 from 11am-9pm at Griffin Field.   If you have never had the opportunity to watch some of the best marching bands in our area, you are in for a treat.  It is amazing to see what these high school students can do.  All of the proceed will support the Dutchtown High School Band. 

Come out and say hello!Fairview camping 110907 017

September 2009 Market Stats Tuesday, Oct 13 2009 

Housing Graph

Ascension Parish Market Stats for September 2009

Monthly sales were 120  units. Comparison to last month:  Increase 8%  from 110 units.  Comparison to this month last year: Increase 50% from 55 Units.

Average Sold price was $191,387.  Comparison to last month:  Decreased  14% from $221,891.  Comparison to this month last year: Decreased 10% from $213,272.

Current inventory is 4.69 months.  Comparison to last month:  Decreased from 5.53 months.  Comparison to this month last year: Decreased from 14.87 months. 

 Average Days on market were 78.  Comparison to last month:  Decreased from 93 days.  Comparison to this month last year: Increased from 116 days.

So what do all these numbers mean?  First let me say, “Don’t Panic!”  I can tell you this because while I was working these numbers, I felt a wave of panic flow through me.  How will I report this?  Then I did a little investigating.

Yes, Average Sales prices are down.  Let’s take a closer look.  The units were up.  First Time Homebuyers are buying right now to get their $8,000 stimulus monies.  The biggest range of homes sold were in the $140,000-$149,900 and the $160,000 to $169,900 range.  Throw a few of these in the mix and the average sales prices go down.  As I have been saying…homes in this price range that are in good condition and are priced right are SELLING!

Remember, this month last year we were hit with Hurricane Gustav.  You see the effects by looking at units sold and the inventory.  We are doing much better, thank goodness!

Our inventory is declining and the sellers are getting 98.32% of their asking price!

Happy Buying and Selling 🙂

These stats are for areas 90,91 & 92 in Ascension Parish. Information used from Greater Baton Rouge MLS.  They include only single family dwellings.  Mobile home and land sales are not part of these numbers.  If you would like information on either of these, feel free to let me know.

Customer Service DOES Make A Difference Friday, Oct 2 2009 

I am not one to usually write reviews or even fill out comment cards for that matter.  But for a week now I have had a strong urge to share my recent hotel experience with anyone that will listen to me!

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This past weekend, I took my husband for a surprise birthday weekend in New Orleans.  We stayed at Le Pavillon on Poydras Street.  I can’t begin to say enough wonderful things about this hotel.  Upon our arrival we were greeted with a room upgrade and a tray of fresh fruit, cheese, crackers and wine.  There was also a card.  Now the upgrade and cheese tray were nice…but the card was what made the most difference.  While speaking to Katrina, while making my reservations, I told her that this weekend was a surprise for my husband’s birthday.  The card was to Thank us for our stay and to wish my husband Happy Birthday!  She actually listened to what I had to say to her and then took it one step farther!  Impressive

Cheee tray

As we ventured out one night for dinner, I confirmed the location of a restaurant we were walking to with the doorman, Louis.  He confirmed my directions but then asked me if we had reservations.  We did not.  He left his post, went to the phone and called the restaurant to make them for us.  They were only taking walk-ins at this point in the night.  It was about a mile and a half away and it was getting late.  He offered to get us a cab but we really just wanted to walk…see the sights.  He then suggested another restaurant that was much closer and offered to get us reservations.  He could have easily confirmed my question and let us be on our way.  The fact that he chose to make the steps he did was incredible to us. 

The whole weekend was filled with moments and service like this.  We are already making plans to bring our girls back in November to see the city decorated for Christmas.

As a special treat, every night they serve peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with ice cold milk or hot cocoa from 10:00-11:00 pm.  There is a story behind this tradition that is quite heartwarming.  I can’t wait for my youngest to get to make herself a PB&J before bed when we go back!

Customer Service is what made the difference this weekend.  The hotel was beautiful and everything else was wonderful..but nothing that would have made me feel like I do still today.

You can find Le Pavillion on the web at www.LePavillon.com  They also have a Facebook Page or you can follow them on Twitter @lepavillon

41031 Villa Court South Thursday, Oct 1 2009 

This home is perfect for someone that doesn’t want a lot of maintenance yet live in a nice home without sharing the walls with neighbors. 

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  • Split 3 bedroom floor plan
  • 2 bathrooms
  • Open kitchen/den/dining
  • Cypress cabinets in kitchen
  • Granite tile counter tops in kitchen
  • Center Island
  • Wood laminage flooring
  • Carpeting in bedrooms
  • Master bath has jetted tub and separate shower
  • Upgraded fixtures in bathrooms
  • Fenced backyard
  • Great location
  • Excluisvely offered at $170,000

For more information and pictures go to:  http://www.cjbrown.com/RLNet/Listings/ListingDetails.aspx?ListingId=1227661&List=Y

No longer available for sale