What are you Thankful for? Wednesday, Nov 25 2009 

Wow!  What a year this has been!

As I have thought about the things that I have to be Thankful for this year, I think about those that have really suffered.  The economy has really hit some folks hard.  I don’t know that I can say that I know of anyone that hasn’t had to make a change in one way or another because of the state of our economy.  Being in this profession I have seen a lot of heart-ache.  I have had to help sellers to sell their homes because they were no longer able to afford their notes.  I have seen families loose their homes for the same reason.  Families have had to sell extra cars and carpool.  Loved ones have been lost.

Watching the world take its lick at people, I have wondered why. Why are these good people suffering?  I don’t know why but I have seen some wonderful things happening even through the blanket of rain.   Families have become stronger; grown together in ways they never thought they could. Family game nights are not as seldom as they once were.  Attendance is up in the churches; nothing like seeing the smiling faces of children as they leave Sunday School.  Friendships have grown stronger as well.

Even families that seem to have lost everything have found something to be Thankful for.

It has been a tough year, yes.  But if we all dig deep, we can come up with a list much longer than we everknew possible.  Isn’t that what Thanksgiving is all about?  I am asking you to take some time tomorrow… reflect back on the year.  No matter how bad it was…find something good.  Find lots of things good.  Be Thankful! 

I am thankful for all of you… for being such a source of strength for me.  For being my friends, my mentors, my shoulders to cry on, my inspirations.

From my family to yours…Happy Thanksgiving!

ps.  If you would like to share with me what you have to be Thankful for, please do so!  I would love to be Thankful with you for the blessings you have in your life!


Should I List My Home During The Holidays? Tuesday, Nov 24 2009 

I have recently had a few potential sellers ask me if they should list their home during the holidays.  My first response is “Why shouldn’t you?”  Here are five reasons that I believe the holidays are a great time to list your home.

  1. Families like to take advantage of their children’s semester break to make a move.
  2. The buyers that are out looking are serious about making a move.  These are different buyers than the “looky loos” we get in the springtime.
  3. The tax credit has been extended for first time home-buyers and expanded to include “long time residents”.  This means more motivation to actually make a decision.
  4. Lots of people new to the area will be driving around while they are visiting loved ones.  Your home may be perfect for your neighbor’s Cousin Sally!
  5. Honestly, when is your home more beautiful that when it is decorated for the holidays?

I know that schedules are hectic during this time.  That is the number one objection I receive when speaking with a prospective seller.  If you will be out of town a lot.  This actually makes the showing process a lot easier.  You won’t be bothered with having to leave for showings.  If you will be home and have company staying with you, we will do our best to accommodate both you and the prospective buyer.

What about those holiday decorations?  Make your home beautiful!  Keep in mind that you want the prospective buyers to see your home, not your stuff.  You want your home to feel roomy so be careful not to over-do the decorations. We can help you to decide how much is too much.

Typically, there is a smaller inventory during the holidays.  Take advantage of this and have your beautiful home sparkle on the top of a buyers list!

Ascension Parish Market Stats for October 2009 Tuesday, Nov 17 2009 

Ascension Parish Market Stats for October 2009

Monthly Sales were 88  units. Comparison to last month:  Decreased 27%  from 121 units.  Comparison to this month last year: Decrease 6% from 94 Units.

Average Sold Price was $205,143.  Comparison to last month:  Increased  7% from $191,622.  Comparison to this month last year: Decreased 5% from $215,793.

Current Inventory is 6.56 months.  Comparison to last month:  Increased from 4.76 months.  Comparison to this month last year: Decreased from 8.54 months.

Average Days on Market were 86.  Comparison to last month:  Increased from 83 days.  Comparison to this month last year: Decreased from 97 days.

So what do all these numbers mean?  In a nutshell, it means that the historic fall/holiday slow down has begun.  Most of the first time home buyer’s purchased earlier because the tax credit was due to expire on November 30, 2009.  I think we will continue to see our slow down over the holidays.  On November 6, 2009  it was announced that the tax credit was extended until April 30, 2010 and there was an expansion for “long time resident” purchasers of $6,500.  This should spark some more interest but I wonder if people will wait until after the holidays.

The good thing about the holidays coming up is this.  The sellers putting their homes on the market are serious sellers.  They need to move and will price their properties appropriately.  The buyers that are out looking are also serious.  They are not the spring time buyers just out enjoying the weather.

Average Sales prices are back up.  They are closer to the 12 month average which is $211,985.

Enjoy your holidays and don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have.

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.

Thinking of our Veterans Today Wednesday, Nov 11 2009 

Today, I woke with a sense of gratitude. Gratitude for all of the Veteran’s that have sacrificed so much for me.  Without these men and women, I would not be able to sit here and enjoy the laughter of my children while they are getting ready for school, kiss my husband goodbye as he leaves for a job that he loves, or help a young couple find their first home.  Think of all the small everyday tasks that we enjoy.

We get to experience these moments because a Veteran fought for our freedom.

I ask you this… Next time you see a Veteran, shake their hand, say thank you, buy them a cup of coffee.  A small gesture of kindness is just a drop in the bucket for what they have done for us.  With that being said, I think I will make my way to the local donut shop to buy a round of coffee and donuts for the gentlemen that I know hang out there in the morning.

Happy Veteran’s Day to all who have served and fought for our freedom.  Thank you!

American Flags

Happy 234th Birthday Marine Corp! Tuesday, Nov 10 2009 

Today, November 10, 2009, the Marine Corp turns 234.  Happy Birthday Marines!

Thank you to all who have served for your tireless dedication in keeping our country safe.

Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world.  But, the Marines don’t have that problem.  [Ronald Reagan, U.S. President; 1985]

Marine in front of US Flag

Three Ascension Parish Bands Perform at Showcase of Marching Bands Monday, Nov 9 2009 

Saturday, November 7, 2009, Ascension Parish had a strong showing from their parish.  Three of the local high schools, Dutchtown, East Ascension and St. Amant competed in the Showcase of Marching Bands at ULL’s Cajun Field in Lafayette, Louisiana.

All three bands had excellent performances.  It was such a pleasure to watch our Ascension Parish band students excel in what they do.  The crowd loved what they saw!

A huge round of applause is needed for all of the band directors, students and parents.  All of your hard work certainly showed on Saturday night.  I personally thank the band directors for their dedication and genuine care of the students that they teach. You have inspired these young people to excel at so many levels.  Each of you are truly special.  I also would like to thank all of the parents that help the bands.  Without the help you all give, much of this would not be possible.  From the bottom of my heart…THANK YOU.

It is no secret that I am a St. Amant High School Band Fan…  I have a special interest there. With that being said, you can click the video below to view the performance of the St. Amant Golden Gator Band.

I will monitor YouTube and as I see the other schools performances uploaded I will provide a link for those as well.

First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit Has Been Extended and Expanded! Friday, Nov 6 2009 

The first time home buyer’s tax credit that was scheduled to expire on 12/01/2009 has been extended until April 30, 2010.  The income limits for this have also been increased!$8,000 First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit

Here are the specifics:

  • Purchasers must be first time home buyers.  This means that you must not have owned a home in the past three years.
  • The credit is for 10% of the purchase price up to $8,000
  • Adjusted Gross Income limits are now $125,000 for single filers and $225,000 for joint filers
  • Purchasers must have a contract signed by April 30, 2010 and will have until June 30, 2010 to close
  • The credit is only available for the purchase of principal residences priced up to $800,000 or less

There is also a new tax credit for “long time resident” homeowners!

Here are those specifics:

  • Purchasers must have lived in their primary residence for five consecutive years in the past eight years
  • Tax credit for existing “long time resident” homeowners will be 10% of purchase price up to $6,500
  • Stipulations for dates, Adjusted Gross Income limits and purchase price remain the same as for First Time Home buyers

This is good news. Many people will now be able to purchase their first home or possibly move up to a bigger home.  The move up part of this is crucial to the continued growth real estate market .

Please note:  I am NOT a tax professional!  These are the rules and regulations as I understand them as a Real Estate Professional.  If you have any questions or unique situations, please contact your tax professional.  If you do not have one, I will be glad to give you some recommendations.

St. Amant High School Golden Gator Marching Band Attends Louisiana Showcase of Marching Bands Friday, Nov 6 2009 

Marching season is coming to an end…  The St. Amant High School Golden Gator Marching Band will culminate the season in Lafayette, Louisiana on Saturday November 7, 2009 at the Louisiana Showcase of Marching Bands. The event will be held at ULL Cajun Field in Lafayette, Louisiana

Over 30 high school bands from across Louisiana come to compete.  The first performance begins at 9:00am and the awards will be presented at 7:30pm.  All day admission is only $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for children ages 5-12, children 4 and under are free.

I heard someone the other day describe this event as “being like Drumline (the movie) only with more class”.  This is a pretty good description of the event.  The best bands from the state come to one place to comptete for their bragging rights. Marching bands are surely different from what I remember so many years ago!

Good luck to the St. Amant High School Golden Gator band. You guys Rock!

St. Amant High School Golden Gator Marching Band