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Stephanie Villani
REALTOR®, GRI, ABR, SRS
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Community Guides | 50 Posts
Home Tips | 6 Posts
November
18

Holiday Events and Markets Near Lafayette

Lafayette Holidays

Are you ready for a helping of holiday cheer? Once again, Lafayette is pulling out all the stops for a bright and festive season. Mark your calendar for these special events and markets that are recommended by our Realtors®.

  • Christmas at Couret Holiday Market - Couret Farms, 300 Flores Ct., Lafayette, LA 70507
    Take in the rich historical ambiance around Lafayette homes for sale when you attend the Christmas at Couret Holiday Market. The stunning grounds of Couret Farms make a beautiful backdrop as you shop for gifts from more than 60 vendors on hand. Products for sale range from clothing and jewelry to delicious baked goods. Bring the kids to have their picture taken with Santa. When you're ready for a break, enjoy lunch from one of the area's popular food trucks as you listen to live music. Hours are 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Saturday, November 26, and admission is free.

  • Dolly's Lemonade Holiday Market - RustiQue Rose Event Centre, 200 Midway St., Lafayette, LA 70506
    While it's not quite as seasonal as hot chocolate, Dolly's Lemonade Holiday Market is as festive as it gets. Dolly makes the best old-fashioned lemonade around, but she'll be sharing center stage with numerous local vendors selling adult and children's clothing, jewelry, bath products, and personal items that make great gifts. Bring your appetite and get your fill of all the tasty food and beverages that will be available as well. The market takes place on Sunday, December 4, from 1 p.m. - 4 p.m., and admission is free.

  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical - Heyman Center, 1373 S. College Rd., Lafayette, LA 70503
    Dr. Seuss's beloved holiday classic was turned into an animated TV special and a live-action movie. Now you can experience the magic of Whoville firsthand with How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical. The show played to record-setting audiences on Broadway, and now it's taking the stage at the Heyman Center. Showtimes are 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 12. Tickets are $36-$75.

  • A Merry and Bright Holiday Series - Parc International, 200 Garfield St., Lafayette, LA 70501
    Brightly-lit trees, caroling, and parades: all the traditional holiday elements are part of A Merry and Bright Holiday Series. Since 2019, Parc International in downtown Lafayette has hosted this series of family-friendly events designed to share the holiday spirit. Festivities kick off at 5 p.m. on Saturday, December 3, with the Lighting of the Tree Concert. The Christmas Carnival, featuring Santa's parade, takes place the next day at 2 p.m. Candlelight Christmas sing-along is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Thursday, December 8, while a screening of The Polar Express is scheduled for Saturday, December 10 at 3:30 p.m.

  • Fa-La-Lla-Ma Family Day - Painting with a Twist, 107 Energy Pkwy., Suite B, Lafayette, LA 70508
    Don't feel up to fighting the Black Friday crowds? Spend a relaxing and creative afternoon at Fa-La-Lla-Ma Family Day. You and the kids can each put your own spin on a whimsical portrait of a llama wearing a Santa hat and surrounded by holiday lights. The event takes place on Friday, November 25, from 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. Admission is $29 per person.

Lafayette open houses are always in season. Contact us at Latter & Blum for more information.

November
11

Lafayette Restaurants: Southside District Dining

Lafayette Dining

Lafayette is known for its Creole and Cajun cooking, but that's not the whole story. You can find any world cuisine in Lafayette, and our real estate agents will be glad to introduce you to the best places to sate your cravings. After a day of Lafayette open houses, why not enjoy a refreshing dinner?

From downhome classics to unique fusion concepts, you're only steps away from an unforgettable meal when you choose Lafayette homes for sale. The biggest question is where to begin your culinary journey!

Let's take a look at some of your many dining options in Lafayette's Southside District:

  • The Cajun Table – 4510 Ambassador Caffery Parkway, Lafayette, LA 70508
    The Cajun Table has fresh seasonal seafood that sets a high bar in a place known for it. Platters like the boiled blue point crab or Gulf shrimp are big enough for the whole family to share. Catering is an option when you want to give guests a meal they won't soon forget. Burgers, wraps, salads, and plates run the full gamut of surf and turf. For a classic experience, don't overlook the crawfish etouffee.

  • Chris' Poboys – 703 Robley Drive, Lafayette, LA 70503
    Chris' Poboys is a local mainstay when it comes to the unofficial sandwich of Louisiana. A po'boy is filled with your choice of fried shrimp, oysters, or other local seafood alongside lettuce, tomato, pickles, and roast beef. Piled high on French bread and slathered with your favorite homemade sauce or mayo, it is meant to be a hearty meal you can take almost anywhere.

  • The Churros Boutique – 5725 Johnston Street, Lafayette, LA 70501
    The Churros Boutique is out to create the best dessert in Lafayette. Its approach? Gourmet churros that you can't get anywhere else. Flavors like "Tropical," "Strawberry Cheesecake," "Cookies n' Cream," and "Rainbow" are just a few of the many lip-smacking selections. You can even get a whole churro cake for special occasions. 

  • Mae Sone Noodle House – 4807 Johnston Street, Lafayette, LA 70503
    Mae Sone Noodle House bills itself as one of the first true Asian cuisine restaurants to open its doors in Lafayette. Its Asian fusion menu includes all of your favorite rice and noodle dishes as well as specialty creations of the chef. You can't go wrong with your choice of beef, chicken, fish, seafood, or any of the delicious combinations. It's filling food that will keep you coming back again and again.

  • Masala Indian Kitchen – 2208 Kaliste Saloom Road, Lafayette, LA 70508
    Masala Indian Kitchen is celebrating the recent re-opening of its dining room and welcomes visitors from far and wide. This restaurant lovingly showcases what North Indian cuisine has to offer, from meat to seafood to delectable vegan and vegetarian dishes. Halal and gluten-free options are also represented. A reservation is recommended for this highly popular date spot.

  • Rickey Meche's Donut King – 2605 Kaliste Saloom Road, Lafayette, LA 70508
    Rickey Meche's Donut King is open from 4 a.m. for all of your donut cravings. In addition, it is known for its king cakes, which can be ordered online during Mardi Gras season. With loads of memorable flavors, you won't regret getting up early to enjoy the freshest batch in town. Pair it with your favorite coffee or tea, including hot or iced varieties, and savor a truly sweet start to the rest of your day.

Contact us to find out more about Lafayette, LA, real estate.

October
21

Halloween Decorating Trends for 2022

Halloween Decor

Halloween is just around the corner, so it's time to get your home ready for those ghosts and goblins who will be knocking at your door. With Halloween decorating trends from our Realtors®, you can create an atmosphere where yummy treats and spooky creatures come together for a fun-filled night.

Whether you're planning a Halloween party, a night of scary movies, or just passing out candy, you can make your night more festive with decorations. Take a look at some Halloween decorating ideas that are sure to add an extra layer of spooky fun.

Create a Spooky Yard

Whether you're into fright night or something a little less spooky, start by creating a Halloween atmosphere. It's easy to find a variety of Halloween decorations that you can add to your yard:

  • Paper ghosts

  • Woden bats

  • Fuzzy black spiders

  • Plastic skeletons and skulls

  • Halloween lanterns and string lights

To create an eerie atmosphere, place some foam tombstones in the yard and hook up a fog machine, but be careful not to cause any tripping hazards that can injure little trick-or-treaters.

Invite Goblins to Your Door

To set the stage, hang a Halloween wreath on the front door and black paper bats from the porch ceiling, then place different-sized pumpkins and gourds on the porch, steps, and railings. To dim the light, replace your porch light with a black bulb, then scatter jack-o-lanterns filled with candles around the porch and along the front walkway. For extra fright, buy a life-size skeleton and put him in a rocking chair on the porch, then add a spooky black cat and some scary sound effects.

Make Special Treats

Halloween is meant for kids, so why not give them some special treats with Halloween decorations to take home? You can decorate a special treat bag filled with Halloween candy, favors, toys, and surprises they will love. Along with safely packaged candy, you can add Halloween stickers, fuzzy bats and spiders, finger puppets, and small coloring books to treat bags. If you're creative, you can include a hand-painted burlap trick-or-treat bag they can use next Halloween.

Throw a Spooktacular Party

If you're hosting a Halloween party, get your house ready with decorations that set the mood. First, pick a color palette that works with your home's interior. Choose limited colors like black and white, black and orange, or black and gold, so it's easier to decorate with pumpkins, flowers, candles, plates and napkins, and special Halloween effects.

If your party extends to the backyard, add some comfortable seating, Halloween lanterns, spooky string lights, and spider webs in the bushes. If the weather permits, consider some outdoor games like pumpkin tic-tac-toe, jack-o-lantern can toss, and a candy corn pinata that's sure to top off the night.

Decorate a Halloween Tree

Although it may be a little unconventional, decorating a Halloween tree at home can be a lot of fun. If you have an artificial tree or even a large floor plant, you can create a Halloween tradition this year.

You can decorate the tree with orange lights, black and white ribbons, straw brooms, paper pumpkins, skeletons, spiders, bats, candy, or whatever else you choose to celebrate the season. If you have kids, this is a great way to kick off Halloween with age-appropriate decorations and activities.

If you're thinking about a new home in the Lafayette area, contact us to explore Lafayette homes for sale and Lafayette open houses that fit your schedule.

October
14

Downtown Lafayette Upcoming Events

Lafayette Events

When we have clients looking at Lafayette homes for sale, we always get excited for them. Lafayette is such a wonderful community. One thing we love, in particular, is all of the community events the town holds throughout the year. Here's a look at some of the events coming up in downtown Lafayette this fall. There truly is something for everyone!

  • Boudin Cook-Off and Acadian Bacon Fest: 200 Garfield St, Lafayette, LA 70501
    Your tastebuds are in for a treat when you attend the Boudin Cook-Off and Acadian Bacon Fest on October 22, 2022, this year. Both festivals are taking place at the same time at Parc International in downtown Lafayette. 

    This event kicks off at 10:00 am. Culinary vendors include Acadian Slice, Bosco's Specialty Bites, Broaddus Burgers, Chop's Specialty Meats, and Kernis Louviere. In addition to great food, there will be carnival games with prizes, a bacon-eating contest, and live music on stage.

    Admission to the Boudin Cook-Off and Acadian Bacon Fest is free. You can purchase food-tasting tickets on-site at a price of 10 for $10. After you sample, you get to rate dishes, and your opinion will be taken into account when the dishes are judged.

  • Movies in the Parc; Wizard of Oz: 200 Garfield St, Lafayette, LA 70501
    Movies in the Parc 
    is the perfect event for families with kids. On October 29th, gates will open at 4:00 pm at Parc International. You may enter and take a seat on the lawn; bring your own blanket or chairs to sit on. 

    The featured movie on October 29th is The Wizard of Oz, a classic that appeals to all ages. Admission is free, and there will be fun children's activities, including crafts and train rides, before the movie. Costumes are not required but consider dressing up like a character from the movie for some extra fun.

  • Rally for Rozas:  200 Garfield St, Lafayette, LA 70501
    Take a break from attending Lafayette open houses, and spend a few hours at the Rally for Rozas. This event, which is scheduled for Saturday, November 5th, is a fundraiser to support Officer Rozas. The officer was injured on the job in late August, and he is currently recovering at home. The funds raised will help pay his medical bills and support his family as he continues to heal.

    Rally for Rozas begins at 10:00 am. Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band will take the stage at 12:00 pm, followed by Geno Delafose and French Rockin' Boogie. There will also be lots of delicious gumbo and other Louisiana favorites for sale.

    Tickets for the event are $15 each and include a gumbo tasting. 

  • Movies in the Parc; The Lion King: 200 Garfield St, Lafayette, LA 70501
    On November 12th, there will be another Movies in the Parc event at Parc International. This time, the featured film will be The Lion King. Admission is still free, and the gates open at 3:30 this time, which should allow for plenty of fun before dark.

    As usual, there will be some fun activities for kids before they play the film. Face painting and snacks will be available for an extra charge.

Which one of these events are you most looking forward to? If you're new to the area and are still looking for the perfect house to make your home, contact us soon. Our real estate agents will be happy to help you navigate the market and make an offer.

October
7

National Cookie Month: Lafayette Bakeries

Lafayette Bakeries

In case you missed the news, October is National Cookie Month. As anyone with a sweet tooth would agree, that's a holiday that our Realtors® can definitely get behind!

We also have some truly exceptional bakeries here in the Lafayette, LA, area. Whether your treats of choice are macarons, pralines, or good old-fashioned chocolate chip cookies, you'll find plenty of places to enjoy them near Lafayette homes for sale.

  • Keller's Bakery Downtown - 1012 Jefferson St, Lafayette, LA 70501
    Before they immigrated to America in the late 1700s, the Keller family were bakers in the Alsace region of France. The family still brings all those generations of experience to Keller's Bakery Downtown, a direct successor to the original Keller's Bakery, which was established in 1895. They offer a dizzying array of sweet baked goods, including classic cookies like oatmeal, shortbread, butter pecan, and sugar cookies.

  • Poupart Bakery Inc. - 1902 W Pinhook Rd, Lafayette, LA 70508
    Poupart Bakery, Inc. is an authentic French Bakery that's been in business since 1967. Located a stone's throw from many Lafayette open houses, they offer a wide range of breads, pastries, and cakes (including king cakes, of course). If you're looking for something a little more "bite-sized," their macarons and iced shortbread cookies are simply perfection. You can always count on Puopart Bakery when you need a quick sugar rush!

  • Caroline's Cookies - 1921 Kaliste Saloom Rd #124, Lafayette, LA 70508
    You can experience some of the best cookies in Acadiana at Caroline's Cookies, a cozy bakery that focuses entirely on unique and delicious cookies. Caroline's Cookies started as a hobby that grew into a successful home bakery and eventually led to the opening of a brick-and-mortar storefront in Lafayette. The cookies here are thick, fluffy, and decadent, and the menu of seasonal flavors changes every month. 

  • Gambino's Bakery - 3802 Johnston St C, Lafayette, LA 70503
    A family-owned Louisiana bakery since 1946, Gambino's Bakery is arguably best known for their amazing custom wedding cakes and king cakes. But they have an incredible array of other offerings on their menu, including dessert trays loaded with cookies and other bite-size treats like brownies, eclairs, petit fours, and turtles. Gambino's Bakery has also grown to include locations in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, as well as right here in Lafayette. 

  • Bonne Vie Macarons - 607 Kaliste Saloom Rd Suite A, Lafayette, LA 70508
    You'll find Lafayette's best macarons at Bonne Vie Macaroons, a quaint and cozy shop that offers a welcoming atmosphere as well as decadent desserts. The authentic French Macarons are available in any quantity and combination of flavors, with options ranging from classic vanilla-almond or chocolate ganache to lemon meringue or creme brûlée. And while macarons are certainly the stars of the show, Bonne Vie Macarons also offers other sweet treats, like brownies, mini cream tarts, end even espresso drinks. 

  • Bouki's Baker - 319 N Sterling St, Lafayette, LA 70501
    When you need custom cookies for any occasion, check out Bouki's Baker. A local business founded by cookie artist Robin Bostick, Bouki's Baker offers beautifully decorated custom cookies that truly look almost too good to eat. But rest assured, they're just as tasty as they are pretty! Keep an eye on their calendar too; Robin occasionally teaches cookie decorating classes where you can learn to make your own. 

Contact us today to learn more about life in the Lafayette area! And be sure to ask us how we can help you find the perfect home for you and your family in Louisiana. 

September
23

Spend the Day at Moncus Park

Parks in Lafayette

If you're looking for a relaxing, fun-filled activity for the whole family, consider taking a trip to Moncus Park. You and your family can enjoy a ton of different activities and events in this well-kept municipal park near our Lafayette homes for sale - and best of all, you'll pay next to nothing for the experience. Let's take a look at what Moncus Park has to offer and how you can plan the ultimate park day trip. 

About the Park

Moncus Park is located at 2913 Johnston Street in Lafayette and is open 7 days a week from 5 AM to 10 PM. The play areas are open from 9 AM to 9 PM.

If you want to access the dog park, your dog will need a special park tag. You can get this tag by submitting your dog's vaccination records to park officials and paying a $13 annual fee. This tag system ensures that all dogs can use the park safely.

Amenities

Moncus Park encompasses several acres of green space crisscrossed by miles of hiking trails and walking paths. These paths take you through the park's open areas and the stunning ravine forest on the far end of the entrance. You're sure to have a great time exploring the area and discovering all the natural beauty of this space. When you're done, you can take a seat on the rolling hills by Lake Reaux to relax and catch your breath. 

Have a furry friend or two in your life? Take them to the Giles Automotive Dog Park, a paradise where you can let your dog off his leash to explore the park's paths, hills, tunnels, and other features. All dogs must have park tags to visit the park, and for safety's sake, small and large dogs are only allowed in the park on specific days. Dogs under 16 inches tall must visit on odd days, while dogs that are taller than that can visit on even days.

Kids will have a great time swinging, climbing, and sliding down the equipment at the state-of-the-art Ochsner Playground. The playground includes activities for kids of all ages, so even the youngest visitors will have no trouble finding something fun to do.  

Programs and Events

Moncus Park is a great place to hang out anytime, but it also hosts a huge roster of programs and events for residents to enjoy. Options include yoga classes, CrossFit training, youth gymnastics classes, sign language classes, children's painting, and storytime sessions, and more. 

One of the park's most popular events is its Food Truck Fridays tradition. Every Friday from 11 AM to 2 PM, a collection of local food truck vendors assembles at the park to serve lunch to hungry residents. The lineup is constantly changing and includes local favorites like Big Belly Sandwiches, Yo Daddy's BBQ and Blues, and Beignet Box. Drop in for a delicious lunch you can eat right there in the park. 

On Saturdays, you can also visit the Lafayette Farmers and Artisans Market. Stationed near the park's entrance, this is the perfect place to pick up some fresh produce or one-of-a-kind gifts!

Ready to move to an area where excellent parks are always nearby? Our Realtors® are here to help! 

Contact us today to talk to our real estate team or sign up for one of our Lafayette open houses – you're sure to love the many properties we have up for sale right now. 

September
16

Budget-Friendly Ways to Update Your Kitchen

Kitchen

If you're looking to update your kitchen but think it would be costly and time-consuming, it may be easier than you think. There are several budget-friendly ways to update your kitchen that will not take long to achieve. They'll help quickly transform the room, so it's more attractive and pleasant to work in.

Our Realtors® suggest the following kitchen updates that won't break the bank:

  • Add a Rug 
    Bring in a rug from another room to give your kitchen a nice dose of color, pattern, and texture. Neutral colors in just one or two variations create a subtle look, while using more colors in more vibrant hues creates a bolder look. This update couldn't be easier, and if you'd like a change, you can always choose another rug from your home or buy one.

  • Paint Your Cabinets
    Giving your kitchen cabinets a new coat of paint gives them a fresh, clean look. Remove the hardware (making sure to number them, so you'll know where everything goes) and clean and sand the cabinets' surfaces. Use two or three coats of self-priming paint, and if you'd like some variation, paint your upper and lower cabinets in contrasting colors.

  • Add Character With Artwork
    Use a poster, painting, or photo to add some color and character to your kitchen. This can be achieved with a large single piece, or you can add some smaller pieces on open shelves or above the kitchen cabinets.

  • Update Your Backsplash
    A dated, dingy tile backsplash can be easily addressed to help modernize and brighten your kitchen. Tile can be painted a bright color and then sealed. Or you can also use peel-and-stick tiles, which can be applied over your existing tile. It's simple to install and can help give your kitchen a more expensive appearance.

  • Swap Out Your Hardware
    Your kitchen hardware may be showing its age, so why not replace it for an easy update? Metal and glass are two popular options, but if you choose metal, use just one finish for everything. You can find a wide variety at a home improvement store, but if you want something more unique, try looking for handles, knobs, and pulls at a flea market.

  • Install New Lighting Fixtures
    New lighting fixtures can make your kitchen more attractive as well as more functional. Swap out your older lighting for brighter hanging lights in an interesting shape, size, and/or style to add more personality to your kitchen. You can also add lower hanging lights, sconces, and other types of lighting to brighten up dark areas of your kitchen, making meal prep easier.

  • Hang New Window Treatments
    A fresh window treatment can add style to your kitchen for under $100. Consider woven shades that can, if you'd like, be layered with drapery panels. Don't cover too much of the window, however, since you'll still want to let natural light shine in.

  • Add Molding
    If your kitchen lacks molding, adding it can add architectural interest to the room. It doesn't have to be complicated or fussy-looking since a simple piece of molding with a single shape, and single depth will achieve what you're looking for.

Contact us if you're ready to find a new home and would like to see Lafayette homes for sale and visit Lafayette open houses. Our firm is the top real estate company in the Gulf South, and we have over a century of proven results. We'd be happy to help you find your new home in the area! 

September
9

Recreation Centers Throughout Lafayette

Lafayette Recreation Centers

Lafayette is such a lovely place to live and grow. The city offers a lot of public resources, including several recreational areas where you can take a walk, have your kids play on the playground, or play a round of disc golf. If you've been busy looking at Lafayette homes for sale lately, we recommend taking a break and visiting one of these local recreational areas.

  • Corneaux Recreation Center: 411 W. Bluebird Dr., Lafayette, LA 70508
    The Corneaux Recreation Center is one of the largest in the area, offering both indoor and outdoor facilities. Outdoors, you can play with your dog in the dog park, play a game of soccer, practice in the batting cages, or walk on the track. There are also covered picnic areas and restrooms.

    Inside the Corneaux Recreation Center, there is a gym and workout area with instructor-led classes like Zumba and Aerobics. There are even karate lessons taught on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday nights. The Youth Volleyball and Basketball programs are very active, too.

  • Heymann Recreation Center: 1500 South Orange Street, Lafayette, LA 70503
    The Heymann Recreation Center offers everything you need for a productive indoor workout. There's a weight room and gymnasium inside with free-play basketball Monday - Friday. 

    If you prefer to be outdoors, the 0.5 mil jogging track at Heymann is a fun choice. Or, you could toss some discs around the 18-hole disc golf course. 

  • Girard Recreation Center: 500 Girard Park Dr., Lafayette, LA 70501
    If you're in the area attending Lafayette open houses, stop by the Girard Recreation Center for some fun activities. This center offers a lot of indoor activities, which are perfect for the cooler fall and winter months. Take square dancing lessons, enroll in karate classes, or play basketball.

    Outside, the Girard Recreation Center has a 1.25-mile jogging track, tennis courts, a fishing pond, and a kids' playground. There's even a special needs playground on-site, along with a splash pad where kids can cool off on hot days.

  • Bowels Activity Center: 120 Dawn St., Lafayette, LA 70501
    Bowles Activity Center
    is a good place to hold a community meeting or group activity. There are activity rooms you can rent to suit your needs. This center also has a large outdoor area with a lit soccer field and an 18-hole disc golf course. 

    The playground equipment at Bowles Activity Center is modern and a favorite with kids. There's also a full-size pavilion, which is great for hosting birthday and graduation parties, plus other celebrations. 

  • Martin Luther King Recreation Center: 309 Cora St., Lafayette, LA 70501
    The Martin Luther King Recreation Center is home to the Butler Memorial Library. Here, you can check out books, DVDs, and other materials to bring home. The library also offers free WiFi and public computers. 

    In addition to the library, this center has a weight room and an indoor game room. There are aerobics classes for seniors Monday - Wednesday, and piano lessons Monday - Friday. Outside, a 15-acre park offers an array of amenities, including a ball park, tennis courts, an outdoor pool, and a jogging trail. The children's playground area has equipment for all ages.

Each of these recreation centers has something unique to offer, but they are all lovely places to spend a few hours. Visit a few, and see which one you like best. If you're new to the area and still looking for a home, contact us soon. Our Realtors® are local experts and would love to help.

August
19

About the EatLafayette Passport

EatLafayette Passport

If you haven't spent much time in Lafayette, you might find the city's incredible wealth of restaurants and eateries a bit overwhelming. How do you pick just a few places to eat at during your time in the city?

Our Realtors® are excited to see a program drawing more attention to Lafayette's excellent restaurant scene. Here are a few more details about this passport program showcasing Lafayette's local restaurants and the benefits you get from using it when you dine out. 

What is the EatLafayette Passport? 

The EatLafayette passport is your access key to the EatLafayette program and is available through the city's official website. To sign up, simply enter your name, email address, phone number, and a few other personal details. You will then receive a link to your passport via email or text message.

Tap the link to download it, then save it to your home screen. You can then use it to check which restaurants are participating in the EatLafayette program and check in to each when you arrive there for a meal. 

Participating eateries offer all kinds of different dishes, including seafood, burgers, pizza, fine dining, and even macarons. You'll find many of Lafayette's best restaurants on the passport list, including Judice Inn and Charley G's Seafood Grill. It's an excellent resource for tourists and newcomers to the area near our Lafayette homes for sale, and its additional benefits only make it more worthwhile. Be sure to check their website for the full official list of participating restaurants.

Save On Your Restaurant Bill

In addition to gaining prize drawing entries, the EatLafayette passport also offers a more immediate benefit: discounts. Some of the restaurants involved in the program are offering special perks to people who participate, including reduced prices on specific menu items, discounts you can apply to your whole order, or freebies you can enjoy with a purchase. 

Not all of the eateries participating in the passport program are also offering these perks. Be sure to check your passport to find out what you can expect at each restaurant you plan to visit. You'll find the relevant details included under each restaurant's listing. You'll also need to check in before you can get access to the offer, so remember to do that right away when you arrive. 

Get a Taste of Louisiana's Best

So many great restaurants are just waiting to be tried in the Lafayette area! Lafayette's world-class food is worth savoring, and the EatLafayette passport gives you a great excuse to sample more of it. If you move into a home in the area, it will all be right outside your front door. Contact us today to learn more about any of our Lafayette open houses and find out just how easy it can be to settle down near your favorite Lafayette restaurants.

August
12

Moving Tips: Should You Utilize a Storage Unit?

Lafayette Moving Tips

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August
5

7 Reasons Why You'll Love Living in Lafayette

Acadiana

Moving to a new city often includes equal parts of excitement and apprehension. But Our Realtors® know the Lafayette area is truly something special. Here are just some of the reasons people move to this area.

  1. Diverse Population and Culture
    Lafayette embodies the modern-day version of the "melting pot" ethic that formed the foundation of our country. Niche, the noted site that reviews cities based on a wide range of criteria, ranks Lafayette as the most diverse place to live in its namesake parish. 

  2. Pleasant Weather
    No need to be a snowbird in Lafayette. According to Best Places, the city averages zero inches of snow per year versus the U.S. average of a whopping 28 inches. While Louisiana's humid summers are well-known, the other seasons make up for it. Spring and fall temperatures usually sit comfortably in the upper 70s and lower 80s, and even winter temperatures are relatively mild in the 40s.

  3. Low Cost of Living
    Your hard-earned dollar goes further in Lafayette. On a scale of 100, which represents the national average, Best Places calculates Lafayette's cost of living at 87.7. The city ranks considerably lower than average nearly across the board, with the biggest savings in the categories of groceries, healthcare, and utilities.

  4. Affordable Housing
    Housing is the biggest item in nearly everyone's budget, and Lafayette delivers great values. The median home cost is $180K-$190K, about $100K less than the national average. The property tax rate is roughly half the national average, which adds to the attractiveness of homeownership. In addition, there's a neighborhood in Lafayette to suit everyone, featuring historic homes and urban apartments, quiet suburban areas, and rural properties. 

  5. Family-Friendly
    Niche also recognizes Lafayette as a great place to raise a family, awarding the city a B+ grade in "Good for Families" and B- in "Public Schools." Many local attractions, such as Vermillionville and the Children's Museum of Acadiana, provide a mix of entertainment and education. Families can also enjoy outdoor fun with opportunities for paddling, fishing, camping, and hiking in the city known as the "Sportsman's Paradise." Acadiana Park Nature Station is a particular favorite for its programs and activities, including night hikes, nature talks, and Young Naturalist Clubs.

  6. Year-Round Festivals
    Festivals are a great way to meet people and learn what makes a community special. Lafayette loves to party, as evidenced by the full calendar of festivals. The headliner is the Festival International de Louisiane, which has been held each spring for 37 years. Other popular events include fall's Festivals Acadiens et Creoles, along with countless festivals celebrating Lafayette's food, culture, and history.

  7. Eclectic Food Scene
    It goes without saying that Cajun and Creole food reign supreme in Lafayette, but the restaurant scene has a surprisingly diverse representation of cuisines. In July, Food Network named Johnson's Boucaniere to their list of "50 States of Barbecue," applauding their flavorful brisket and pulled pork, while the Lafayette Daily Advertiser turned a spotlight on the city's robust offering of tacos and Mexican street food

Need any more reasons to visit Lafayette open houses? Get the inside scoop when you contact us at Latter & Blum.

July
22

Drive-Thru Daiquiri Stands in Lafayette

daiquiri stands

Many first-time visitors to Louisiana are shocked when they see their first drive-thru daiquiri stand. Our real estate agents always get a kick out of watching people's reactions! 

You might just pass a daiquiri stand or two if you're out visiting Lafayette open houses. Understandably, you might want to learn a little more about this uniquely Louisiana phenomenon.

How is This Possible?

To make a long story short, there's a particular loophole to Louisiana's open container law that allows frozen alcoholic beverages to be kept (but, importantly, not consumed) inside a moving vehicle, as long as the container is unopened. 

In the case of daiquiris, the word "unopened" is generally defined as having the lid intact and no straw protruding out of it. Locally, daiquiris are usually sold with tape over the straw hole to show that it's "closed". 

Best Daiquiri Stands in Lafayette

The upshot of all this is that drive-through daiquiris in Louisiana are not only wildly popular but also completely legal. That's why we're eager to share our favorite daiquiri stands near these Lafayette homes for sale:

  • Cupid's Daiquiri - 109 Louisiana Ave, Lafayette, LA 70501
    You can choose from well over 100 varieties of daiquiri at Cupid's Daiquiri, which has been serving the Lafayette area since 2007. Their signature drink is the Mary Jane, which is a bold, piña-colada flavored concoction made with melon liquor, spiced rum, coconut rum, and blue curaçao. 

  • Daiquiri Depot - 241 Donlon Ave, Lafayette, LA 70501
    Although it has recently re-opened in a new location (the former Wendy's on Donlon Avenue), Daiquiri Depot is actually the oldest drive-thru daiquiri establishment in Lafayette. Owner Heather Louvierre was forced to move after the original location on the Evangeline Thruway, open since 1984, was damaged by fire. Luckily, they still serve up the same delicious daiquiris and excellent boiled seafood. 

  • New Orleans Original Daiquiris - 5601 Johnston St, Lafayette, LA 70503
    A beloved local chain that now has dozens of locations across the state of Louisiana, New Orleans Original Daiquiris is certainly one of the most recognizable drive-thru daiquiri stands out there. The Lafayette location serves up all their classic flavors, like Jungle Juice, Crawgator, Margarita, and Banana Banshee. 

  • Daiquiris Supreme - 4680 Johnston St, Lafayette, LA 70503
    Whether you want to grab daiquiris through their drive-through window or sit and sip awhile in their indoor bar area, Daiquiris Supreme has some great options. In addition to classic flavors like piña colada and margarita, they also offer some high-octane choices like "Blue Diesel," which is made with Everclear 190, tequila, vodka, and blue curaçao.

  • Frankie's BEST Daiquiris - 110 14th St, Lafayette, LA 70501
    Does Frankie's BEST Daiquiris make the best daiquiris in Lafayette? It's hard to say, but they put the word "BEST" right their in their name in all-caps, so we're not going to argue. They serve up to 60-plus flavors and are best known for their weekly gallon-sized daiquiri special for "Wild Wednesday," and for offering a free Jell-O shot with every order. 

  • Mandez's Seafood Bar & Grill - 110 Doucet Rd, Lafayette, LA 70503
    Unsurprisingly, Mandez's Seafood Bar & Grill is a seafood establishment first and foremost. They serve up some excellent po'boys, shrimp tacos, and fried fish, and are a popular Lafayette lunch spot. But Mandez's also makes tasty daiquiris for either dine-in or to-go, and their rotating monthly specials always offer unique and tasty flavor combinations. 

Contact us today to learn more about life in Louisiana! If you're looking for your dream home in Lafayette and the surrounding areas, our real estate agents are here to help every step of the way. 

July
14

Where to Order Sushi in Lafayette

Lafayette Sushi

Louisiana is known for Cajun and Creole cooking, but the local restaurant scene includes a number of international cuisines. Our real estate agents get their sushi fix at these incredible restaurants near Lafayette homes for sale

  • Tsunami Sushi - 421 Jefferson St., Lafayette, LA 70501
    Get ready for a wave of fresh flavor when you visit Tsunami Sushi. This funky yet fancy restaurant honors Japanese cuisine while adding a touch of Southern flair. The house specialties are as much a treat for the eyes as for the taste buds. Try box-style sushi, pressed in a mold for a unique shape, or sashimi tuna in ponzu sauce arranged in a sunflower pattern. Side dishes include fusions such as collard greens with kimchee and sweet potato hash with bok choy and shiitake mushrooms. Hours are 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. Friday, and noon - 11 p.m. Saturday.

  • Rock-n-Sake - 107 Stonemont Rd., Lafayette, LA 70508
    Looking for a party? Head over to Rock-n-Sake, where the tunes are pumping, the sake is delicious, and the fresh sushi "swims to your plate." Supplement your sashimi and rolls with creative small plates such as sushi deviled eggs, topped with tuna tartare and black tobiko, or beef tataki, thinly-sliced flat iron steak with five-spice seasoning. Save room for some tempura cheesecake, a customer favorite. Rock-n-Sake is open for lunch Thursday and Friday and dinner Tuesday through Sunday.

  • Kirin Sushi Steak House - 3366 Verot School Rd. #102, Lafayette, LA 70508
    Dining with friends or family members who aren't adventurous eaters? Keep everyone happy at Kirin Sushi Steak House. In addition to a fabulous selection of nigiri, sashimi, and rolls, the menu features hibachi-prepared seafood, steak, and chicken. Those with bigger appetites go for the combo dinners, such as chicken & filet mignon or shrimp & scallops. Customers give Kirin high marks for cleanliness and friendly service. Hours are 11 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. daily except Friday and Saturday when closing time is 10:30 p.m. 

  • Tokyo House - 1505 Bonin Rd., Suite 200, Broussard, LA 70518
    You've been viewing some great Broussard homes for sale, and you're ready for a break. Tokyo House has a fantastic lunch special that can't be beaten. Choose two from a list of nearly three dozen sushi rolls for only $8. Add a third roll for just $3 more. Dinner is equally budget-friendly, with combos that serve one to four people for approximately $15 per person. Don't be surprised to find the owner among the cheerful staff offering a gracious welcome. Tokyo House is open Monday through Saturday. Lunch hours are 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., and dinner hours are 3 p.m. - 10 p.m.

  • Osaka - 2809 Johnston St., Lafayette, LA 70503
    The beautiful sushi dishes, considered some of the best presentations in town, are certainly enough reason to visit Osaka. But if you need more, Osaka is also the only restaurant in Lafayette serving authentic Korean food. The menu features japchae, a beloved dish of stir-fried sweet potato noodles, veggies, and your choice of protein, and bibimbap, the classic rice bowl topped with chili sauce and a fried egg. Weekday hours are 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. Saturday hours are noon - 10 p.m., and Sunday hours are 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.

Ready to work up an appetite touring Lafayette open houses? Get up-to-the-minute info when you contact us at Latter & Blum.

July
8

Tips for Buying a Historic Home

Historic Home Tips

If you're searching for a home with character and historical significance, a historic home is an excellent option.

A historic home is a property that retains a significant amount of the original construction and design, is at least 50 years old (potentially less if an event of historical significance happened on the property), and is connected to events that are historically important. 

However, there are a few things that make owning a historic home different from owning a typical home. Our real estate agents suggest following these tips when buying a historic home to ensure it's a great fit for your needs and budget. 

  • Realize That Historic Homes are Ideal for Buyers Interested in Preserving the Home
    If you want a home that you can modernize or make a lot of structural changes to, a historic home isn't the right fit for your design preferences. When you purchase a historic home, there are typically guidelines that specify what changes you can make to the property. As the owner, you're expected to maintain the original charm and design of the home. There are countless properties that you can renovate or redesign, but a historic home should be accepted as is. When you're checking out Lafayette homes for sale, look for a property that has a layout and design that meets your family's needs. For example, historic homes tend to have multiple small rooms rather than an open floor plan. If you want space for gathering with your family, you might look for a layout with multiple small rooms in close proximity to one another. You can then use each room for a specific function. 
  • Embrace the Uniquely Distinct Architecture and Charm of a Historic Home
    Purchasing a historic home often ensures that your home has a style and design that stands out from other homes in your area. This historic, authentic charm simply can't be replicated by more modern homes; many historic homes even experience higher than average appreciation in their property values thanks to the distinctiveness of the craftsmanship and features. 
  • Know That Updates to the Home Will be More Expensive
    You'll need to make occasional updates and maintenance repairs to the home that adhere to the original design. This means that you might spend more money on home maintenance and renovation than you would on a newer home. A historic home often requires specific materials and specialized labor to ensure that the repairs are as authentic as possible. To help cover the cost of the repairs, you can utilize a federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit. There are also state programs that assist with defraying the expenses associated with maintaining a historic property. 
  • Explore Financing Programs Designed for Historic Homes
    A historic home can be a terrific investment, but it can also be difficult to procure financing through traditional mortgage programs. This is especially common if the home requires a lot of repairs or has structural problems. Fortunately, there are programs available that offer financial resources for restoring and caring for historic homes.

Ready to check out historic homes that you can call your home? Contact us today to get started!

June
24

Helpful Tips for Finding Your Decor Style

home decor

Worried that your home's furnishings don't complement one another? It's time to figure out your decor style!

While there's no rule that says you have to consistently stick to a specific decor style, it's usually easier to find pieces for your home when you know what style you find most appealing. Your home will also look more cohesive and put together. Our real estate agents suggest following these tips to help you determine your decor style. 

  • Use Your Current Home's Architecture
    Take a cue from our home's architecture to learn more about your decorative preferences. For example, if your home is a craftsman with a simple design that seems to blend in with nature, you'll likely prefer minimalist, nature-inspired decor or rustic furnishings. Or, if your home has a more flashy Queen Anne design with steep roofing, towers, vertical windows, and numerous decorative features, your decor style may lean towards traditional pieces (think classical, elegant items) or even art decor that embraces ornate home furnishings. 
  • Take a Home Decor Style Quiz
    A fast, effective way to learn your preferred home decor is to take an online quiz. Then, your results will tell you what your preferred decor style is. 
  • Flip Through Magazines
    Another way to determine your ideal home style is to flip through magazines. Don't look for anything in particular; instead, flip through the magazine and mark any rooms or pieces that are appealing to you. Go back through the pages you saved to get a better idea of why style you tend to gravitate towards. 
  • Check Out Other Homes
    Drive around your town, and make a note of any homes with an exterior that you instantly love. When you go to Lafeyette open houses, look for rooms or homes that you find appealing. Seeing specific decor styles in real life can assist you with narrowing down your home decor tastes. 
  • Examine Your Wardrobe
    Your wardrobe offers a lot of insight as to what style you tend to prefer. Are most of your clothes neutral, or do you tend to gravitate towards cheery prints and bright colors? Does your clothing have clean, straight lines, or do you prefer flowy, romantic pieces? If you like a specific style for your wardrobe, you're likely to prefer pieces with a similar style in your home. 
  • Take a Tour Through Your Home for Inspiration
    Go through each room in your home, and look for pieces that you like and would select again for your home. Use these furnishings and decorative items to figure out what they have in common and help you get a better sense of your style. You can also use these items to help you stage your home's rooms before adding it to the list of Lafayette homes for sale

Finding your home decor style can be tricky, but once you know your stylistic preferences, it's easier to find items that fit your aesthetic preferences and budget.

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

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.

May
20

7 Tips for Updating Your Smart Home Tech

Smart Home Tech

Smart home technology has made everyday life so much simpler. A decade or two ago, you probably could not have imagined asking your digital assistant to dim the lights or checking your security camera remotely while on vacation. But smart home technology is continually evolving, and it's important to ensure your home is up-to-date. Our real estate agents are excited to share 7 tips for updating your smart home tech.

  1. Start with the Thermostat
    If you don't already have a smart thermostat, this is the first smart appliance to invest in. A smart thermostat will allow you to adjust your home's temperature while you're away. It will also help you more closely monitor your energy consumption. This one upgrade can yield significant savings on your energy bill and pay for itself in no time.

  2. Add a Second Smart Camera
    If you don't already have a smart camera or video doorbell at your main door, then this is an important upgrade to make. Video doorbells give you so much security. You'll never have to guess who's on the other side of the door. 

    If you do already have a video doorbell at your front door, consider adding a second one at your side or back door. This will help you make sure nobody tampers with these entrances while you're away.

  3. Install a Smart Toilet
    Smart toilets keep themselves clean. They also have heated seats, deodorizer sprayers, and low-flush technology. 

  4. Keep Cool With Smart Shades
    In Louisiana, summers get hot. But you can keep your home cooler with smart shades. These automated shades roll up when it's dark out and down when it's sunny. They keep the heat outside where it belongs. You can control the shades remotely with your smartphone and set unique opening and closing schedules for each day of the week.

  5. Add WiFi-Compatible Lights
    WiFi-compatible lights are awesome because they're energy-efficient, but they're also a lot of fun. You can set these lights to flicker like a strobe light when you're having a party. Dim them down for a romantic evening, or turn them up when you're reading. You can even turn the lights on remotely to make it look like someone's home while you're away. 

  6. Install Smart Locks
    How many times have you pulled into the parking lot at work, then realized you forgot to lock your house? If you have smart locks, this won't be a concern. You can just pull out your phone and lock your home remotely. Smart locks are an incredible investment for busy parents. They also make it easy to unlock your home to let a guest inside. You won't have to hand out spare keys anymore.

  7. Invest in Smart Irrigation Systems
    There are several types of smart irrigation systems that make watering your plants so much easier. Self-watering pots are nice for potted herbs and flowers. If you have a larger flower bed, you may want to have a landscaper install smart sprinklers. You can even install smart sprinklers throughout your lawn, so your grass stays nice and green with less effort. We've seen these at some Lafayette open houses, and they're very convenient.

With the tips above, you can easily raise your smart home's IQ! If you're still looking for the perfect house to make your home, contact us. Our experienced real estate agents will happily guide you through the buying process and help you search Lafayette homes for sale

May
13

Local Shopping: Lafayette Boutiques

Local Shopping

Shopping local is a great way to boost the local economy and invest in your community, and it couldn't be easier in Lafayette. We take shopping seriously -- our area has so many glamorous boutiques and fun shops where you're sure to find your favorite new outfit. In fact, you could easily spend an entire weekend rummaging through all the trendy clothes and accessories our local shops have to offer.

Our real estate agents are always in tune with the latest deals. After all, local shopping is one of our favorite weekend past times. Here is a quick list of some of the best local boutiques:

  • Glamour Chic Boutique - 216 E Willow St, Lafayette, LA 70501
    You're sure to find some glamorous clothes, shoes, accessories, and more at Glamour Chic Boutique. This small local shop features unique apparel, and they also have one of the best curvy selections in town. If you're planning to head out with friends this weekend, Glamour Chic is a great place to grab an outfit.  If you like shopping here, you might be interested to know there are some beautiful Lafayette homes for sale just down the street.

  • Jewelies Boutique - 407 Rena Dr, Lafayette, LA 70503
    You never know what fun dresses and accessories you'll find at Jewelies Boutique. This large, local independent shop makes it a goal to help women find their own unique style. Shop tops, bottoms, dresses, curvy, and even baby clothes. Most items are casual and contemporary. New products arrive daily, and there are always new deals, so you'll always want to check back frequently or checkout their website. 

  • Elle Rae - 125 Arnould Blvd, Lafayette, LA 70506
    Need a new party dress or swimsuit? Find it and more at Elle Rae Clothing. Located in The Boulevard Shopping Center, this cute store offers a huge collection of high-quality boutique styles. They also have plenty of plus-size options. Need help finding something? The friendly staff can help you locate the perfect item. Shop in-store or online.

  • Swoon Lafayette - 1700 Kaliste Saloom Rd building 1 suite 100a, Lafayette, LA 70508
    Swoon
    is the perfect little shop to find the perfect spring outfit. Shop dresses, jumpsuits, tops, jackets, sweaters, and more -- they have such a creative, unique collection and great prices. With a huge collection, you can really find something for everyone. Check out their website to see what's on sale or swing by the store to shop in person.

  • Marcella - 201 Settlers Trace Blvd Suite 3010, Lafayette, LA 70508
    You'll find on-trend, cute clothing and accessories at this downtown women's boutique. Marcella's inventory always includes new, versatile pieces that are high quality, stylish, and affordable. Make sure to stop by for $20 Tuesday, where you'll find a number of great items on sale. Prices are reasonable, and in-store shopping, curbside pick-up, and delivery options are all available.

No matter your style, you can find something trendy and on point at one of our amazing local boutiques. For more recommendations on Lafayette businesses, contact us today.

May
6

Try Lafayette's Crawfish with a Crawfish Passport

Crawfish Louisiana

Take your taste buds on a delicious journey just minutes from Lafayette homes for sale. Sign up for a Crawfish Passport and plan your travels to these delicious restaurants and shops along the way.

  • Café 20.3 on the Bayou - 1500 General Mouton Ave., Lafayette, LA 70501
    At Café 20.3 on the Bayou, the owners and staff urge their guests to "Eat, Drink, Chill." Get your fill of boiled crawfish from 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 3 p.m. - 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Call ahead to place your order for dine-in or carryout. Start your meal with a hearty bowl of chicken & sausage gumbo or seafood bisque. Hours are 6 a.m. - 9 p.m. daily except weekends when doors open at 7 a.m.

  • Chez Francois Seafood & Specialty Meats - 139 Tissington St., Lafayette, LA 70501
    For nearly half a century, Chez Francois Seafood & Specialty Meats has been selling the freshest crawfish, shrimp, fish, crabs, and oysters straight from local waters. Each day, crawfish are graded by size and boiled, peeled, and packaged in their own on-site processing plant. The tails are available both fresh and flash-frozen. Hot boiled crawfish is also sold in-season by three- or five-pound orders. Chez Francois is open 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Sunday.

  • Crawfish Connection - 405 Duhon Rd., Lafayette, LA 70506
    Too tired to cook? Pick up dinner without leaving your car from the convenient drive-thru window at Crawfish Connection. Depending on your appetite, choose from three-, four-, and five-pound crawfish meals with two potatoes and tangy, housemade crawfish dipping sauce. If you prefer, purchase crawfish by the pound along with a la carte sides. Crawfish Connection is open seven days a week from 4:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

  • Krazy Klaws - 3221 W. Pinhook Rd., Lafayette, LA 70508
    With its whimsical name and colorful cartoon character, Krazy Klaws is sure to be a standout. Customers rave about the balanced seasoning and the generous portions. Be sure to try the hearty Sailor's Special, which includes three pounds of crawfish, a half-pound of shrimp, two potatoes, two ears of corn, and two dips. Enough to feed a pair, but you don't have to share! Hours are 4 p.m. - 9 p.m. daily.

  • Prejean's Restaurant - 3480 NE Evangeline Thruway, Lafayette, LA 70507
    Crawfish and Cajun cooking go hand-in-hand, and no one does it better than Prejean's Restaurant. Under the new family ownership, the dining room has received an upgrade, but they're still serving up the same classic Cajun flavors that date back more than 40 years. The menu includes traditional favorites such as crawfish etouffee, gumbo, and po'boys. Crawfish takes on some global flavor in enchiladas, pasta, and bon temps rolls, which are a take on Asian egg rolls. Prejean's is open 10:30 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10:30 a.m. - 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sunday.

Work up an appetite touring some amazing Lafayette open houses. Get the latest information from our real estate agents when you contact us at Latter & Blum. 

April
22

Lafayette Patios for Outdoor Dining

Lafayette Dining

Outdoor dining has become much more popular in recent years, but it has always been a big part of the experience of dining in Lafayette. Named after the famed French officer who played a decisive role in the Revolutionary War, beautiful Lafayette homes for sale are a celebration of Louisiana's second city.

When you drop in to attend Lafayette open houses, the natural next step is to enjoy one of the city's many amazing restaurants. You will never be short of choices in Lafayette. Options range from your classic Cajun and Creole cuisine to sophisticated fusion concepts.

The mild weather and beautiful surroundings of Lafayette mean that almost every restaurant that has the opportunity provides at least a few tables for outdoor seating. Our real estate agents are confident you will find places to suit anything you have a craving for. Let's visit some of Lafayette's leading outdoor dining spots:

  • Spoonbill Watering Hole & Restaurant – 900 Jefferson Street, Lafayette, LA 70501
    Spoonbill Watering Hole & Restaurant is known for some of the best burgers in Louisiana. Be warned – it doesn't take reservations, so you may want to show up early to this hopping local mainstay. As you'd expect from some of the best of Lafayette, the menu is also bursting with delicious seafood.

  • Half Shell Oyster House – 109 Old Camp Road Suite #114, Lafayette, LA 70508
    Perfect for those who know what they want, Lafayette's own Half Shell Oyster House provides you with the freshest bivalves at great prices. The iconic oysters anchor a chef-led menu also featuring seafood pasta, crab cakes, fried green tomatoes, Lafayette quesadillas, and a range of gumbos.

  • Bon Temps Grill – 1211 West Pinhook Road, Lafayette, LA 70503
    Open seven days a week for both lunch and dinner, Bon Temps Grill promises its guests good food and fun times. It is also lauded for its weekend brunch selection. A down-to-earth lunch menu is replete with comfort food like the meatloaf po'boy sandwich, French dip, and smoked Cuban sandwich.

  • Social Southern Table & Bar – 3901 Johnston Street, Lafayette, LA 70503
    The multiple award-winning Social Southern Table & Bar has a strong claim to some of the best organic food in Louisiana and pairs it all with an expansive drinks menu. Available for lunch, brunch, dinner, and catering, it is the place to celebrate any special occasion.

  • Drago's Seafood Restaurant Lafayette – 3151 Johnston Street, Lafayette, LA 70503
    Drago's Seafood Restaurant Lafayette is one of the biggest regional names in seafood and bills itself as the home of the original charbroiled oyster. It also stands out as it is among the few restaurants serving a full half-dozen or dozen raw oysters on the half shell, along with robust gumbos and surf and turf specials.

  • Tsunami Sushi Lafayette – 412 Jefferson Street, Lafayette, LA 70501
    In a region synonymous with seafood, you can hardly get fresher than sushi. Tsunami Sushi Lafayette is the local answer to the Japanese classic, with creative rolls that put a local spin on a delightfully flavorful experience. Baked salmon and diverse small plates are also available.

Contact us to discover more about Lafayette today.

April
15

Should You Steam Clean Before a Showing?

Steam Cleaning Tips

When selling your home, you need to make sure your home is ready for the market. While other activities like making repairs and updates are important, cleaning is the essential and cheapest step in getting your home ready. Besides killing germs, allergens, and pet odors, steam cleaning also helps make your home appear (and smell) new again. Our real estate agents know that a clean home makes a great first impression when potential buyers come to visit. If you're considering steam cleaning before your next showing, keep in mind these things.

  • Buyers Will Notice Your Flooring
    Chances are you don't pay much attention to your flooring at the moment. But potential buyers certainly will. The first impression a potential homebuyer gets about your home significantly contributes to their purchasing decision. If your carpet or floors appear stained or discolored, your potential buyers will notice, and that could negatively affect their first impression.

    A popular belief is that steam cleaners are only ideal for carpeted flooring. However, you can use a steam cleaner for your floors. A steam cleaner is highly effective, especially for hard-to-access corners around your house
    .

  • Steam Cleaning is a Cost-Effective Option
    You would like your home to attract a potential buyer, but what do you do when you are on a tight budget and cannot afford to replace the carpet? Steam clean it. Steam cleaning changes the look of your carpet, making it appear new.

    It maximizes the value of your home while minimizing expenses. Besides, it helps eliminate the need to get a new carpet since steam cleaning helps achieve the same objective.


  • Helpful When Repainting Your Home
    As you prepare your home for sale, ensure the house is well painted. If a year has gone by since you last painted your home, the house might need some touching up. Repainting or touching up paint can help make your home appear new.

    If you have wallpaper that you need to remove before painting, you can remove it using a steam cleaner. Some wallpapers use glue that comes off with paint, forcing you to repaint the entire wall. Using a steam cleaner helps you remove wallpaper quickly and effectively without damaging the wall.


  • Say Goodbye to Pet Odor
    Although you love your four-legged companion, you shouldn't assume your potential buyer loves pets. Therefore, you need to eliminate pet odor, and the best way to do so is by steam cleaning. Steam cleaning removes urine odors from any carpet or upholstery around your home. It ensures the house is clean, smelling fresh, and ready for your next showing. Make sure to target the spaces your pet normally lounges throughout the day!

Are you looking to sell your home or buy a dream home? Go through these Lafayette homes for sale. You can also stop and view our Lafayette open houses or contact us to learn more about the local real estate market.

April
8

Rock Climbing Gyms in Louisiana

Rock Climbing Louisiana

Indoor rock climbing has become a hot trend in recent years, and climbing gyms are popping up all over the country. That includes several awesome climbing and bouldering gyms right here in Louisiana. While there aren't many mountains to explore in Louisiana, indoor rock climbing gyms allow you to have a similar experience without leaving the state. 

Our real estate agents are excited to share our favorite indoor rock climbing gyms in Louisiana. That includes some great places to climb near these Lafayette homes for sale.

  • Southern Stone Indoor Climbing - 109 Grand Ave, Lafayette, LA 70503
    Lafayette's premier rock climbing facility, Southern Stone Indoor Climbing offers routes for beginners and experienced climbers alike. From bouldering and top roping to auto belays and spot climbing, there are facilities here to support all rock climbing styles. This gym is one of Louisiana's oldest rock climbing facilities, having served Lafayette for 20 years as Rock Haus before re-opening as Southern Stone in 2016. With a convenient location minutes from these Lafayette open houses, it's open to climbers of all ages and experience levels, and walk-ins are always welcome. 

  • Uptown Climbing - 10505 Coursey Blvd, Baton Rouge, LA 70816
    Louisiana's largest indoor rock climbing gym, Uptown Climbing, is the premier rock gym in Baton Rouge. This place is a giant playground for climbing fanatics, offering a 90-foot long bouldering wall and more than 60 rope stations up to 35 feet tall. This state-of-the-art facility also includes a dedicated sport lead climbing wall, speed wall, and six auto-belay stations. Affordable membership rates are available, and first-timers can also walk in any time and climb with a day pass. 

  • New Orleans Boulder Lounge - 2360 St Claude Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117
    New Orleans Boulder Lounge is an awesome resource for the NOLA area climbing community. It's also a very beginner-friendly gym, with climbing that's suitable for all skill and experience levels. New Orleans Boulder Lounge is open to members and guests, and the friendly and experienced staff is always great when it comes to helping newcomers find their footing. With a sole focus on bouldering, the Boulder Lounge has no ropes or harnesses but instead offers free climbing at shorter heights that require no specialized equipment. 

  • 318 Climb - 731 American Way, Shreveport, LA 71106
    With more 80-plus top rope routes, 60-plus boulder problems, and nine auto belays, it's safe to say that you won't quickly run out of new climbing experiences at 318 Climb. This exciting indoor rock climbing gym in Shreveport also introduces new top rope and boulder routes weekly and often hosts parties and glow-in-the-dark climbing events. 318 Climb also offers climbing classes and private lessons for all ages, including instruction on top rope and belay climbing. Affordable day passes are always available, but consistent climbers can save big with a monthly membership. 

Contact us today to learn more about life in Louisiana! If you're looking for your dream home in Lafayette and the surrounding areas, our real estate agents are here to help every step of the way. 

March
25

What Makes the Perfect Kitchen?

Kitchen Tips

The kitchen is the heart of today's home, especially with many of us spending more time at home than we used to, so it's important for it to have all of the qualities that will help you love your kitchen. While what makes the perfect kitchen is subjective to you and your family's needs, there are several features most people will appreciate in this space. Fortunately, our real estate agents are here to take some of the guesswork out of it, so that you have a list of specific things to look for in your housing search or when you go to remodel.

  • Functional Layout
    A kitchen that is well laid out will have a nice flow to the casual observer, but more importantly, the layout should be functional, so that everything you need is close at hand while you cook. Avoid crowded-looking or maze-like kitchens. Instead, look for a kitchen with storage cabinets, spice racks, pantries, prep space, cooktop, and a sink that are all easy to access while you cook.

  • Layered Lighting
    Lighting is important everywhere in the house, but especially in the kitchen. The ideal kitchen should have several layers of lighting, such as overall lighting that lights the entire room, plus focused task lighting that brightly illuminates your prep spaces in the kitchen.

  • Traditional Touches
    Many of the most popular trends right now in Lafayette homes for sale, in kitchens as well as in the rest of the house, pull in vintage and traditional aspects to soften the cleaner, more modern look we're accustomed to. This eclectic style tends to look more warm, homey, and comforting, which fits well in a room that doubles as a gathering place for family and friends.

  • Multi-Functional
    If your kitchen is to serve several different functions in your home, from a food prep space to a gathering spot, it's important that it's designed to accommodate the different kinds of traffic. In addition to food prep areas being laid out for the cook's convenience, there should also be places where family and friends can gather, such as an island with seating, usually close to food prep areas.

  • Minimalism
    While traditional and vintage touches have become trendy, homeowners and buyers may still prefer a clean, uncluttered space. This means cabinetry that provides easy storage for hiding appliances such as coffee machines and toaster ovens. Appliance cupboards can be installed with roll-up doors and power receptacles, so that you can easily access your appliances and still hide them when they're not in use, preserving the simple lines of a clean counter space.

  • Smart Appliances
    As kitchens get more simple and minimalistic, they're also becoming more complex, but in ways that simplify our lives. Smart appliances can track the contents of your fridge, add items to your grocery list before they run out, and even allow you to run the dishwasher, preheat the oven, or make sure you turned everything off from your phone.

Finding a house with the perfect kitchen might seem impossible, but it's totally doable once you understand what goes into making a kitchen "perfect." Not to mention, the kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the house, since it's a multifunctional space that is responsible not only for feeding the entire family but bringing everyone together, family and friends alike. For more information on what homebuyers want in a kitchen, contact us today or stop by one of our Lafayette open houses.

March
18

5 Furniture Interior Design Trends

Furniture Trends

Spending more time at home has created a strong desire for interior spaces with visual interest, creative energy, and stylish features. Our real estate agents are noticing some special interior design trends regarding furniture in 2022.

  1. Return to Traditional Style
    In 2022, you can expect to see a return to a traditional design style. Look for traditional furniture elements like English rolled-arm sofas, wing-back chairs, and accent pieces with elaborate details. Organic materials including real wood, stone, marble, and wool will make a strong statement on floors, walls, countertops, window treatments, and upholstery. The days of "buy it and throw it away" are gone. Homeowners want lasting, quality furnishings that are beautiful, unique, and good for the environment.

  2. Mindful Spaces
    Homeowners are designing interiors that promote a healthy lifestyle. Interior spaces will reflect the owner's personality and personal interests. Many Lafayette homes for sale offer personalized spaces such as:

    • Home Gyms – Rooms dedicated to physical fitness are big design trends. Spare bedrooms, garage spaces, attics, guest homes, and outdoor sheds are being filled with home gyms and fitness equipment for homeowners who want to stay in shape.

    • At-Home Spas – Homeowners are investing big bucks in features that promote well-being and relaxation. Many homes now have outdoor spas, hot tubs, saunas, and lap pools, as well as bathroom features like walk-in jacuzzi tubs and rain showers that promote relaxation.

    • Wine Rooms – Current design trends show a big demand for dedicated wine tasting rooms and storage spaces. With more people entertaining at home, elaborate wine tasting rooms with cold storage and comfortable seating areas for tasting parties are big business.

  1. Bold Color Palettes
    Bold colors and patterns with rich textures are trending. Homeowners are stepping out of their comfort zones and taking risks with bold paint colors and wallpapers that inspire creativity. You can expect to see this trend impact furniture as well! If bold colors are a bit much for you, try using them on accent walls in larger spaces.

  2. Comfortable Smart Beds
    Emotional health is on everyone's mind, so it's no surprise that quality sleep and comfortable beds are in the design spotlight. Homeowners can now choose from a variety of smart bed designs that raise and lower mattress areas, sense movements while sleeping; adjust mattress firmness and support; adjust heating and cooling for body temperatures, and track sleep quality throughout the night. Queen and king beds have split mattresses and dual controls so two sleepers can easily program their side of the bed without affecting the other sleeper.

  3. Something Old, Something New
    In 2022, interior designers are predicting a renewed interest in antique and vintage furnishings and accessories. Design trends are showing old antique rugs, draperies with tassels and fringe, and upholstery with tufting and buttons. To keep things fresh, antique and vintage furnishings are mixed with modern light fixtures, colorful paintings, black-and-white photography, sculpture, and accessories. Emphasis is placed on natural lighting, natural ventilation, and fresh greenery.

Contact us to see available properties that match your lifestyle and financial needs or to learn more about Lafayette open houses.

March
11

New Restaurants in the Lafayette Area

Lafayette Restaurants

In Louisiana, food is more than just sustenance. It's embedded deep in the local culture. When our real estate agents are ready to relax after one of their Lafayette open houses, they head to one of these wonderful new restaurants making their mark in the community.

  • Catalon Legacy Food Truck Park - 8105 Maurice Ave., Maurice, LA 70555
    One of the hottest culinary trends comes to Lafayette in a big way with Catalon Legacy Food Truck Park. The family-owned spot is also a tribute to patriarch Eldridge Catalon, who in 1947 opened his grocery store on the same land where the food truck park now stands. The rotating list of participating trucks includes Nina Creole, Mouthful of Goodness, and G&G Quality Catering. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram for information about hours and truck lineup, especially if you'll be in the area looking at Maurice homes for sale.

  • LUNA Bar and Grill - 533 Jefferson St., Lafayette, LA 70501
    While LUNA Bar and Grill is new to downtown Lafayette, the pet-friendly, celestial-inspired restaurant already has a stellar reputation. For years, the original LUNA has been a popular gathering spot in downtown Lake Charles. Chef/owner Dave Evans isn't messing with success, bringing the same casual ambiance and first-class food and drinks. Don't miss the Remoulade Trio, a zesty mix of crab, crawfish, and shrimp, and the Anthony Bourdain, a wedge salad topped with shrimp, pickled red onions, chopped bacon, and goat cheese. Hours are 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sunday.

  • Poppa's Fried Chicken - 810 SE Evangeline Thruway, Lafayette, LA 70501
    Do the words "too much-fried chicken" exist around Lafayette homes for sale? Not when the food is as tasty as Poppa's Fried Chicken. Serving up homestyle cooking in a fast-food setting, Poppa's is no one-trick pony. Customers love the burgers and sandwiches such as the Mac Tsunami, a double-patty burger covered with mac & cheese. If you can't make it to the restaurant, check out their food truck at 1416 Moss St. Restaurant hours are 10:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. every day but Sunday.

  • Vestal - 555 Jefferson St., Lafayette, LA 70501
    Looking for a new spot for date night or a special occasion? Located in a historic building in downtown Lafayette, Vestal has an intimate ambiance and upscale menu that will make any night memorable. Named after Vesta, the Roman goddess of hearth and home, the restaurant features a stunning 14-foot fireplace where food is cooked over the open flame. In addition to high-quality steaks and seafood, Vestal offers a delicious raw menu that includes ceviche, Crudo, and tartare. Vestal's kitchen is open 5 p.m. - 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 5 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, while the oyster and cocktail bar stays open until 11 p.m. and midnight, respectively.

  • Priya's J&J Indian Foods - 4807 Johnston St., Suite L, Lafayette, LA 70503
    Spice up your dining experience with the bright flavors of Priya's J&J Indian Foods. Priya Joseph is already a beloved figure in the community since selling her homemade food at the Lafayette Farmers and Artisans Market. Now customers can enjoy her samosas, curries, and signature Better Butter Chicken at the cozy and colorful brick-and-mortar restaurant. Lunch is served weekdays from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m., and dinner hours are 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

There's always something new to see and do around Lafayette. Contact us at Latter & Blum for the latest news and information about the real estate market.

February
18

Where to See the Azaleas Bloom in Louisiana

Azaleas Louisiana

Louisiana's natural beauty gains additional splendor from March through May, when colorful azaleas bloom throughout the state. When our real estate agents want to see azaleas start to bloom for the spring season, they head to these delightful floral displays.

  • Wild Azalea Trail - Kisatchie National Forest, 352-398 Castor Plunge Rd., Woodworth, LA 71485 
    With more than 600,000 acres stretching across seven parishes, Kisatchie National Forest is one of the largest pieces of natural landscape open to the public. Located in the forest's Calcasieu Ranger District, not far from Woodworth homes for sale, the Wild Azalea Trail is just under 24 miles of floral bliss. The pet-friendly trail passes through hardwood forests and over gently rolling hills. Don't be intimidated by the length! Several access points make the trail suitable for hikes of any length. Wild Azalea Trail is open 24/7 with no entrance fee.

  • New Orleans Botanical Garden - 1 Palm Dr., New Orleans, LA 70124
    Azaleas are one of more than 2,000 plants showcased at the New Orleans Botanical Garden. Enjoy the sense of serenity as you stroll the winding paths through the Zemurray Azalea and Camellia Garden, including stunning magnolias. Still not enough azaleas? Walk the grounds of New Orleans City Park, right down the street from New Orleans homes for sale, which surrounds the Botanical Garden. Hours are 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for ages 3-12. 

  • Historic Azalea Trail - 132 Oakview Blvd., Lafayette, LA 70503
    What better way to view Lafayette homes for sale than to follow the spectacular Historic Azalea Trail? This exquisite blossom is so ubiquitous that the General Lafayette Azalea was proclaimed the official city flower in the 1950s. In 2016, Lafayette earned the Azalea City Certification from the Azalea Society of America. Stretching approximately 25 miles from start to finish, the Historic Azalea Trail travels through downtown and several historic districts and the university and oil center. 

  • Houmas House - 40136 Hwy. 942, Darrow, LA 70725
    Known as the "crown jewel of Louisiana's River Road," stately Houmas House has undergone numerous remodels to accommodate each owner's specific taste. The lush 38-acre grounds are designed to showcase the specific flowers and plants of each season, including azaleas in the spring. The popular pet-friendly attraction, near Darrow homes for sale, is open daily from 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. Visit the web for pricing and reservations.

  • Briarwood Nature Preserve - 216 Caroline Dormon Rd., Saline, LA 71070
    In 1888, Caroline Dormon was born in her family's summer home on what is now Briarwood Nature Preserve. Caroline went on to become a noted botanist and the first woman to be hired by the United States Forest Service. Briarwood, just minutes from Saline homes for sale, remained Caroline's home for most of her life, and today it's a place where people can view azaleas and other wildflowers in their natural habitat. In March, April, and May, Briarwood is open 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday and noon - 5 p.m. Sunday. 

Lafayette open houses are a great way to find the home of your dreams. Contact us at Latter & Blum to learn more. 

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.

January
21

Features First-Time Buyers Want in 2022

Buyers 2022

First-time buyers are looking forward to becoming homeowners in 2022, and like all potential buyers, they have their list of preferences. Making a list of "must-haves" and "want to haves" is, after all, an important early step to take before you actually start to look at homes. In some cases, what they're looking for may differ from what other buyers prioritize.
  
Our real estate agents share some of the features first-time buyers want in 2022:

  • Large Backyards
    Many first-time homebuyers put large backyards at or near the top of their list of most-desired features. This can help extend their living space by creating a comfortable area in part of the backyard where friends and family can spend time together. And if the buyers have children or plan to have them in the near future, a large backyard offers them a safe, convenient place to play.

  • Garages  
    Garages help keep cars safer and warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. They also provide added storage space for items like sporting goods and lawn equipment. After all, when first-time buyers find a home with a big backyard, they're going to need to store a mower and other tools to care for it.

  • Open Floor Plan
    Open floor plans still appeal to many buyers, including those buying their first homes. This type of layout creates a more spacious and multi-functioning space. It allows for better traffic flow and makes it easier to communicate with family and guests if, for example, you're preparing a meal and they're in the adjacent space.

  • Updated Kitchen
    The kitchen is one of the most important rooms, and first-time buyers want a modern, updated look. This can include a neutral color scheme, modernized lighting, and stainless steel appliances.

  • Walk-In Closets
    They may not be the first thing homebuyers think of when it comes to features they're looking for, but walk-in closets are important to first-time buyers. No matter what square footage they're looking at, more storage space that's easy to keep organized is always a good thing.

  • Eco-Friendly Materials and Appliances  
    First-time buyers love to see sustainable materials used in a home and Energy Star appliances that will help lower their energy costs month after month. Solar panels are also a big plus. These features are important to many buyers, but they're generally more important to first-time buyers than to others.

  • Quiet Location  
    As the old adage says, the three most important things in real estate are location, location, and location. For first-time buyers, that means a quiet location where they can relax and not have to worry about the sounds of traffic or noisy neighbors.

  • Updated Bathrooms
    Current bathroom trends include floating vanities, large-format wall tiles, quartz countertops, back-lit mirrors and medicine cabinets, and wood-look flooring. Smart toilets are also popular, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. They have self-closing lids and touch-free flushing, which reduces contact with germy surfaces. 

  • Guest Room  
    First-time buyers prefer homes that have guest rooms, which can be used for different functions depending on the buyers' preferences. Some may want a traditional guest room as a bedroom for friends or family to stay in overnight, while others may want to repurpose the space into a home office or gym.

Contact us to see Lafayette homes for sale or visit one of our Lafayette open houses. We love to work with first-time buyers to help them achieve their real estate goals, and if you're selling your home, we can suggest some ways that you can appeal to this set of buyers. 

January
14

Explore Lafayette: 6 Places to Visit this Year

Lafayette 2022

When buyers approach us looking for Lafayette homes for sale, we always get a little excited for them. Lafayette is such a great place to live. Not only does the city have a rich history, but it's full of fun things to do and places to explore. Whether you're already a local, or getting ready to make Lafayette your new home, make sure to check out these Lafayette destinations in 2022.

  1. Jefferson Street and University Avenue, Lafayette, LA
    The area around Jefferson Street and University Avenue in downtown Lafayette is one of the best parts of the city to shop, explore, and visit local restaurants. You'll find a little of everything from bridal boutiques to local delis. This area is very walkable. The large, 3D letters that spell out "Lafayette" in Sans Souci Park make for great photo ops!

  2. Vermilionville Historic Village: 3000 Fisher Rd., Lafayette, LA 70508
    Vermilionville is a historic village consisting of several 18th and 19th-century homes that have been maintained and restored. Here, you can learn about the region's Cajun and Creole history. Take a self-guided tour or join one of the guided tour groups for an additional charge. Vermilionville also offers cooking demonstrations, boat tours, and dance lessons. 

  3. Buck & Johnny's: 100 Berard St., Breaux Bridge, LA 70517
    Buck & Johnny's
    serves incredible Cajun cuisine all around, but they're really known for their Zydeco Breakfast. At Buck & Johnny's, you can enjoy breakfast while listening to and learning about Zydeco music. Try the Zydeco omelet, the Cajun Boudin Breakfast, or the Troubled Water, which is grits topped with crawfish etouffee. 

  4. Hilliard Art Museum: 710 East St. Mary Boulevard, Lafayette, LA 70503
    Hilliard Art Museum
    is an art museum at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. It's open to the public Tuesday - Saturday, and admission is only $7.50 for adults. Notable collections at Hilliard Art Museum include Twenty Years of Marais Press, Universe of the Mind by Master Shen-Long, and Sanctuary: New Work by Linda Alterwitz. The museum offers guided tours, and visitors are welcome to write or sketch in the galleries if desired. 

  5. Avery Island: Avery Island, LA
    Avery Island
    is a collection of five tiny islands that rise above the water level of the salt marshes about 20 minutes outside Lafayette. It's well worth taking a quick drive to the islands when you have a free Saturday. Avery Island is home to several unique species of birds. You can also visit the Tabasco Brand Factory and Museum and learn how this infamous sauce is made.

  6. Lagniappe Antique Mall: 124 W. Bridge Street, Breaux Bridge, LA 70517
    The town of Breaux Bridge is just a 10-minute drive from Lafayette. Here, you'll discover the Lagniappe Antique Mall, an incredible 17,000 square foot shopping center. The place is packed with antiques, collectibles, and local artwork. The Lagniappe Antique Mall is located inside the historic Domingue Motor Co, which was built in the 1920s. It's open to shoppers Tuesday - Saturday from 10 am - 6 pm. This is the perfect place to buy gifts or decor for your new Lafayette home. 

These are just six of the many amazing things to do in and around Lafayette. Venture out there, and discover the best the region has to offer. If you're still looking for a home in the area, don't hesitate to contact us or stop by one of our Lafayette open houses. We'll tell you how our real estate agents can help.

January
7

New Year's Resolution: How to Make a Cleaning Schedule

Cleaning Schedule

Trying to think of a New Year's resolution for your home? Making a cleaning schedule helps you keep your home extra tidy all year long. Plus, if you are getting ready to sell your home, a cleaning schedule can help ensure your home is ready for any showings. Here are a few tips from our real estate agents to help you set a successful cleaning schedule for 2022. 

  • Make a Master Task List
    Part of the problem with keeping your house clean is forgetting how many things you actually have to do. It's easy to get into a routine of keeping the kitchen clean, and then next thing you know, you've got dust piling up on all your surfaces. Sit down and make a comprehensive list of all the things you need to clean regularly in order to keep your house clean, noting the frequency of each task on the list. If you need to do a deep cleaning of anything, for instance, before your house joins other Lafayette homes for sale, put that on the list too.

  • Pick Your Cleaning Style
    There are a few different approaches to cleaning the house. For instance, are you the type who likes to do a little every day to avoid lengthier cleaning days? Or do you prefer to get it done all at once? One approach to a daily cleaning schedule is to focus on speed cleaning everything lightly every day to prevent the need for deep cleaning. Alternatively, you can set a timer every day for 30, 60, or 90 minutes, and when the timer goes off, you're done for the day. For those who like a more rigid approach, you can actually schedule all of your tasks on a monthly calendar. Or, if you're an all-in-one-day kind of person, pick a day each week or every couple of weeks where you have the time to devote an entire day to cleaning.

  • Assign Tasks
    Once you've figured out how you'd like to schedule your cleaning, it's simply a matter of assigning tasks to fill in the time. If you're speed cleaning daily or doing timed cleaning, pressing or frequent tasks come first, and other tasks from your master list can be added as time allows. If you're the calendar type, fill in your cleaning calendar with tasks throughout the month according to how often they need to be done to stay on top of a clean house. If you're a one-big-cleaning-day type of person, do the regular tasks first, and fill in with an alternating schedule of less frequent tasks where you have time.

  • Regroup as Needed
    The biggest problem with New Year's resolutions is that people often don't reassess and adjust their original goals. Try out your new cleaning schedule, and if it obviously isn't working, change it! Do you have busy days where you don't have time to clean? Does something need to be cleaned more often? Can something else be cleaned less often to make life easier on you? Change what needs to be changed, and don't be hard on yourself when you don't get something done. Just pick it back up next time.

Most people don't love cleaning, so setting a schedule can help you stay on top of it. If you're planning to sell your house soon, on the other hand, you may need to devote time to a more thorough cleaning. For more information on what should be cleaned to stage your home for sale, contact us today.

December
22

2022 Guide to Moving to Louisiana

Louisiana Move

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. 

December
17

How Our Team Can Help With Your 2022 Real Estate Goals

2022 Louisiana

If your 2022 plans include buying a home, our real estate agents know that working with an experienced agent will make a positive difference in your buying experience.

Here are a few of the ways our team can help with your 2022 real estate goals. 

  • We'll Negotiate a Deal with Better Terms
    We'll negotiate with the seller to get the best possible terms for your new home. Our team knows when a home isn't priced fairly, and we'll advocate on your behalf for a better price. Price isn't the only detail of your purchase. Other items that need to be negotiated include your closing date, any contingencies for your deal, and what items remain with the home. Our real estate agents will work to secure the terms that you need. 
  • Our Agents Have Access to the MLS Listings
    The MLS is a comprehensive collection of homes for sale, regardless of what realtor or agency is handling the property. It's much more efficient to use MLS listings to search for Lafayette homes for sale than trying to monitor multiple real estate businesses for potential homes. Access to MLS listings can reduce the amount of time that it takes you to find your ideal home and provide early notifications about open houses, new listings, and price reductions.
  • Our Team Knows How to Make Tactful Requests
    There's a good chance that your home inspection report will include a few items that need repairs. Some sellers balk at doing any repairs, and it can be tricky trying to save the deal. Our agents know what repairs are important and which ones aren't necessarily worth losing the home over. We can make a tactful request for the seller to complete the repairs that are necessary for you to purchase the home. Or, if there's a disagreement about what repairs should be completed, we'll help you come to a resolution with the seller. 
  • We'll Work to Get Everything Done Before Your Closing Date
    For the deal to close, there are a few things that have to be done, like an appraisal and property inspection. There is a lot of paperwork going back and forth, and it's easy for a document to be misplaced by the various companies involved in your purchase. We know how to locate missing documents and what to do if something has to be replaced. We'll also assist with scheduling the necessary appointments for your closing to happen. Or, if a problem arises (such as an issue with the title search or the home not appraising for the needed amount), we have the experience to efficiently deal with these problems. We also know when a problem is a minor roadblock and when it's a potential dealbreaker.
  • We Know A Lot About Neighborhoods and Communities
    When you're purchasing a home, you're buying more than the structure. You're also buying the neighborhood and community where the home is located. Our agents have a lot of market knowledge about potential neighborhoods and communities. We'll help you locate a home in an area that's perfect for your lifestyle and preferences.

Ready to start working on your 2022 goals? Contact us today!

December
10

Gift Ideas From Local Lafayette Shops

Lafayette Local Shops

Running out of ideas for meaningful gifts? Our real estate agents are always inspired by the many independent small businesses in our community. Take a break from viewing Lafayette homes for sale for some holiday shopping at these delightful shops.

  • Lagniappe Records - 311-B Jefferson St., Lafayette, LA 70501
    Vinyl has made a big comeback in recent years. Treat the audiophile on your list to some classic discs from Lagniappe Records. Part of the fun of shopping at Lagniappe Records is that old-school thrill of flipping through albums in search of a hidden gem. If you need some help, the husband-and-wife owners are friendly and knowledgeable. Hours are noon - 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

  • The Bougie Bar - 403-B S. Buchanan St., Lafayette, LA 70501
    "Bougie" is a French term for "candle," and this unique shop is a great source for DIY gifts. Make your own custom-blended candle while sipping on your favorite wine at one of The Bougie Bar's classes. Sign up for an existing session or assemble a group of friends for a private party. Cost is $40 per person, which includes all materials and a souvenir wine glass, and a 15 percent discount on retail purchases.

  • Pavy Art + Design Studio - 100 E. Vermilion St., Suite 108, Lafayette, LA 70501
    Share Louisiana pride with a special gift from Pavy Art + Design Studio. The shop's pillows, prints, jewelry, and accessories are based on "Pavicons," the visual vocabulary and iconic imagery of local artist Francis X. Pavy. As an accomplished artist who has worked in ceramics, painting, block-printing, and mixed media, Pavy draws inspiration from music, folklore, and other elements of Cajun and Creole culture. Pavy Studio is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

  • Deuxième Vie Creative - 549 Jefferson St., Lafayette, LA 70501
    Do you have a friend or family member who's an avid crafter? Maybe you want to nurture a child's imagination and creativity. Deuxième Vie Creative, which translates to "Second Life," offers a wide range of craft kits that incorporate repurposed materials. The recipient of your gift will have fun making a wall hanging from an old 45 record or a wind chime with colorful beads. If you prefer, pick up a ready-made gift at their on-site boutique. Hours are noon - 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sunday.

  • Beausoleil Books - 302-A Jefferson St., Lafayette, LA 70501
    In this digital age, there's still nothing like the comforting feel of holding an actual book. Head to Beausoleil Books for a thoughtfully curated selection of best-sellers, classics, and special-interest titles. It's also a good excuse to spend time in the Whisper Room, the cozy adjoining lounge that offers wine and cocktails, charcuterie, and desserts. Relax with a glass of wine and a plate of cheese while diving into a new book. Hours are 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday.

  • Genterie Supply Co. - 408 Jefferson St., Lafayette, LA 70501
    Genterie Supply Co.
    may have an industrial sound, but the "supplies" are actually stylish clothing, accessories, and home decor products. Follow them on Instagram for updates on all the latest arrivals. Hours are 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. daily except Sunday when doors close at 3 p.m.

Gift yourself and your family with a beautiful home in Lafayette. Contact us at Latter & Blum to get started on your search.

November
26

Cajun & Creole Holiday Events 2021

Holiday Events

Lafayette is known for its Cajun and Creole influences. In the winter months, these traditions really come alive with many festive celebrations. In fact, there are several Cajun and Creole holiday events that are well worth attending if you're in the area looking at Lafayette homes for sale.

  • Merry & Bright: Downtown Lafayette
    Merry & Bright is a collection of Christmas and holiday activities taking place in downtown Lafayette throughout the month of December. There will be more than 500 trees decorated for the public to view, and many of them will feature Creole-inspired decorations. Decorated wreaths will also be hung throughout the downtown area.

    Stroll along the sidewalk, admiring the decorations as you go, and don't forget to snap a few photos.

  • Carencro Country Christmas: 5115 N. University Avenue, Lafayette, LA 70506
    This Christmas festival is organized by the Carencro Business Association and is scheduled for December 4th, 2021. It will last from 9 am - 3 pm, featuring various holiday crafts for sale, tasty treats, and performances by local choirs. There's sure to be some Cajun and Creole-inspired music performed.

    This is a great low-key event to attend if you have older loved ones in your family, or if you just want to listen to some holiday music in a quiet atmosphere.

  • Christmas in the Park: 2913 Johnston St., Lafayette, LA 70506
    Christmas in the Park is an annual Christmas festival held in Moncus Park. This year, it is scheduled for December 16th - 29th. Activities will take place daily between 5:00 and 10:00 pm.

    At Christmas in the Park, you can see live reindeer, enjoy a visit with Santa, and shop at an artisan's market featuring local vendors. There are also a few specialty events scheduled throughout the festival. A Teddy Bear Tea is scheduled for December 18th, and there are several kids' fun runs that take place with characters like Rudolph and Buddy the Elf.

  • Deck the Halls: 412 Travis St., Lafayette, LA 70503
    Deck the Halls - A Christmas Home Tour is a magnificent performance by the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra & Conservatory of Music. It's scheduled for Sunday, December 5th between 5:00 and 8:00 pm this year. Tickets are available for $45 per adult and $10 per child. Proceeds go to benefit the Acadiana Symphony Youth Orchestra.

    At Deck the Halls, you get to see some of Lafayette's most stunning Cajun architecture, all lit up for the holidays. You'll join a group and stroll from home to home, listening to symphony performances along the way. There will be treats and snacks at some of the homes and fun kids' activities at others. 

Lafayette really comes alive during the holiday season. Each of these local events has something wonderful and unique to offer. If you're thinking of moving to Lafayette or the surrounding areas, contact us soon. Our real estate agents can help you find the perfect home.

November
5

National Recycling Day: Tips for a Sustainable Home

Sustainable Home

As environmentally conscious Americans look toward a more sustainable lifestyle, it quickly becomes evident that recycling is a critical part of the equation; so much so that we have recognized National Recycling Day on November 15th since 1997. Our real estate agents would like to point out some of the ways you can make your home more sustainable and how we can use recycling to improve our lives as well as the health of the planet. 

  • Recycled Building Materials
    These fall into two main categories: reusing existing materials and products made from recycled materials. Many Lafayette homes for sale have been repaired or remodeled with reclaimed materials. Supplies reclaimed from tear-down sites often find their way into barbecue pits, fences, and walls. A frugal shopper can find useable materials in donation outlets such as Habitat for Humanity Restore. Online sites such as Craigslist and Offer Up are also great resources for materials while protecting local landfills. Barn wood is a perfect option for a decorative material thanks to its unique weathered appearance. Even old blue jeans make excellent insulation material. Recycled materials that are transformed into entirely new products are newspaper wood, ecobricks made from waste plastic, and glass bricks made from recycled glass. All it takes is a little creativity! 
  • Household Products
    Homeowners can support recycling by purchasing goods made from recycled materials. Some items you use every day are made from recycled materials. The most common are paper products. Look for the recycled symbol on copy paper, facial tissue, toilet paper, and paper towels. While in their earlier days, some of these items were inferior to products made from new materials, production processes have improved dramatically over the years and you will find it difficult to recognize which is which. That's why it's important to read the labels to make sure you support the companies that give materials a second life. Plus, when possible opt for products that are reusable compared to disposable ones. This adds up over time and can save you money in the long run! 
    • Refurbished Furniture
      You don't have to feel guilty about hating that old dining room table your grandmother gave you when you got your first apartment. You can find some items like that new homes simply by putting a "free" sign on them and setting them in the front yard (Do check HOA regulations first!) or consider donating your old furniture when possible. Prefer to keep your old furniture and take on a DIY project? You can also have couches reupholstered, refinish dressers and chests of drawers, and so much more. Get creative!
    • Explore DIY Options Before Buying New
      Whether you need a birdbath for the backyard, a headboard for the bed, or more storage in the den, you can find do-it-yourself ideas on the internet. Very few require significant carpentry skills. A little spray paint may be all you need to turn an old tv stand into attractive storage. Prop your feet up on your beautiful new ottoman made by padding an old coffee table. 

    Looking for a home with eco-friendly features? If you're in the market for a new home, contact us. There are plenty of gorgeous options in Lafayette, waiting just for you!

    October
    22

    Housewarming Gift Ideas That First-Time Homeowners Will Love

    Gift IdeasOur real estate agents know that a housewarming gift is a fantastic way to congratulate a first-time homeowner on their new purchase. When selecting a gift, you want to choose something that the recipient will find useful. Here are some housewarming gift ideas that new homeowners are sure to love. 

    1. A Bottle of Wine in a Wine Cooler Bag
      If the new homeowners enjoy wine, gift them a bottle in a wine cooler bag. A wine cooler bag is one of those items that you don't realize how useful it actually is until you own one. Wine cooler bags are produced using water-resistant materials that provide insulation. They make it easy to transfer a chilled bottle of wine without worrying about the bottle sweating or getting warm during your travels. Thanks to the similarity in the size of their bottles, you can often use a wine cooler bag to transport a chilled fifth-sized bottle of liquor. 
    1. A Weighted Blanket
      Using a weighted blanket is an excellent way to encourage a more restful night of slumber, decrease the amount of time it takes to fall asleep, reduce anxiety, and improve restless leg syndrome. Some individuals even like to use them when they're lounging and relaxing. Consider gifting a weighted blanket with a removable cover. This makes it easy to handle spills and drips without having to launder the weighted portion of the blanket. 
    1. A Letter and Key Holder
      Make sure that the new homeowners never misplace their keys by gifting them a letter and key holder. The hooks are perfect for keeping keys and pet leashes in a designated location, while the mail holder portion provides a place to stow mail so that it doesn't pile up on a table or counter. 
    1. A Folding Step Stool
      Unfortunately, there are likely to be areas within their new home that the homeowners simply can't access on their own. A folding step stool gives them the lift they need to reach light fixtures and the top shelves of cabinets. When the stool isn't needed, they can fold and store it. 
    1. An Indoor Plant
      An indoor plant is a gift that suits nearly any style of home decor and improves the air quality inside the home. Individuals who are adding their homes to the list of Lafayette homes for sale are even encouraged to add a couple of plants because they've been shown to freshen the air and enhance the overall appearance of a room. Succulents, cactuses, aloe vera plants, spider plants, snake plants, and orchids are a few low-maintenance options. 
    1. A Video Doorbell
      A video doorbell is a versatile selection that makes their new home feel more safe and secure. They can see who's at the door before they answer it, and they're handy for remotely keeping an eye on front porches and driveways (serving as a potential deterrent to porch pirates). 
    1. A Gift Card to a Local Restaurant
      The new homeowners likely have some busy days ahead as they unpack boxes and organize their new home. Make it easy for them to have a delicious dinner, even when their schedule is full, and their budget is maxed out, with a gift card to a local restaurant. To make the gift card even more convenient to use, look for a restaurant that delivers. 

    Ready to become a first-time homeowner? Contact us today to get started!

    October
    20

    Your Guide to Louisiana Distilleries

    Louisiana Distilleries

    Craft beer may be a relatively new trend, but Louisiana has a long and distinguished tradition of distilling fine liquors perfect for craft cocktails or just sipping. When you're looking for some high-quality rum, whiskey, or vodka, check out these top distilleries that are recommended by our real estate agents.

    • Atelier Vie - 1001 S. Broad St., New Orleans, LA 70125
      According to Jedd Hass, founder of Atelier Vie, "Liquor is art you can drink." It's only appropriate that his distillery has made a name producing absinthe, the exotic, anise-flavored spirit favored by creative types such as Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, and Edgar Allen Poe. In addition to traditional green absinthe, Atelier Vie produces red absinthe that gets its distinctive color and flavor from hibiscus flowers. Atelier Vie's tasting room, not far from New Orleans homes for sale, is open weekends from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. reservations are required.

    • Baton Rouge Distilling - 11616 Industriplex Blvd., Suite 21, Baton Rouge, LA 70809
      A trip to the Bourbon Trail in Kentucky inspired LSU grads Ricci Hull and wife Natacha Krzesaj to open Baton Rouge Distilling, only minutes from Baton Rouge homes for sale. Ricci, an electrical engineer by trade, handles the distilling process, while Natacha takes care of the creative side. A 52-gallon pot serves as the testing ground for experimentation, including their debut spirit, Strawberry Brandy. Visit the website or Facebook page for tasting room hours.

    • Bayou Terrebonne Distillers - 8043 Main St., Houma, LA 70360
      It's all in the family at Bayou Terrebonne Distillers, located in a renovated shrimp processing plant near Houma homes for sale. Cousins Noah Lirette, Nick Hebert, and Rodney Lirette opened their distillery in 2017. A century earlier, their grandmother Lily Lirette supported her family by making and selling moonshine. Today, Bayou Terrbonne's small-batch white whiskey is named Contraband in honor of Lily. Bayou Terrebonne is open 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. - 10 p.m. Saturday, and noon - 5 p.m. Sunday. Place an order on the website for pickup by appointment during the week.

    • Sugarfield Spirits Co. - 481 W. Eastbank St., Gonzalez, LA 70737
      Owner Thomas Soltau may be a native of South Carolina, but the liquor produced at Sugarfield Spirits Co. reflects his deep affection for the flavors and traditions of Louisiana. Many of the liquors are distilled with herbs that are grown right outside the building. Stop in for a Daiquiri or Honey Badger after a day of viewing Gonzalez homes for sale. Hours are 3 p.m. - 9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and noon - 9 p.m. weekends.

    • Wildcat Brothers Distilling - 2601 SE Evangeline Thruway, Lafayette, LA 70508
      Wildcat Brothers Distilling maybe just down the street from Lafayette homes for sale, but its reputation extends across international borders. Fans from as far away as France have come to enjoy the award-winning rums, including white Sweet Crude, barrel-aged Noire, and spiced Fifolet. Wildcat Brothers is open Wednesday through Friday from 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.

    • Yellowfin Distillery - 1716 E. Burton St., Sulphur, LA 70663
      A discovered passion for distilling led Jamison Trouth to sell his home and leave his engineering career to start Yellowfin Distillery. Jamison filters, distills, and packages his exquisite vodkas in Yellowfin's HQ, right by Sulphur homes for sale. Hours are 11:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Friday.

    Life in Louisiana keeps everyone in high spirits. Whether you're buying or selling a home, contact us at Latter & Blum for all your real estate needs.

    October
    15

    Ghost Pepper Hunting: Louisiana-Made Hot Sauces

    Louisiana Hot Sauce

    Louisiana is known for many things—Creole culture, Jazz music, Mardi Gras—but hot sauce definitely belongs on the list. All across America, Louisiana hot sauce is pretty much the gold standard when it comes to zesty, spicy, smoky goodness. 

    Ask a bunch of folks from Louisiana what the best local hot sauce is, and you'll get a bunch of different answers. Our real estate agents are here to weigh in on the matter and suggest you go on a ghost pepper hunt this October. These are some of our favorite hot sauces that could only come from Louisiana! 

    • Crystal Hot Sauce
      Made in New Orleans since 1923, Crystal Hot Sauce (or, more properly, "Louisiana's Pure Crystal Hot Sauce") has been Louisiana's premier hot sauce for close to a century. With a flavor profile that puts the hot peppers front and center, Crystal Hot Sauce packs a punch but is never overwhelming. It's great for splashing on eggs or adding some kick to a bloody Mary. Crystal also makes several variations on their classic recipe, including an "Extra Hot" version for those who demand a little more heat. 

    • D.a.T. Sauce
      A family-owned hot sauce company based in Morgan City, Louisiana, D.a.T. Sauce is a twist on classic hot sauce, made from a secret family recipe. It's the kind of sauce you can put on just about anything. And while D.a.T. Sauce certainly has some heat to it, it's not blow-the-doors-off hot. It's more about flavor, with a balance of garlic, onion, and tomato along with a generous dose of red pepper. 

    • Slap Ya Mama Cajun Pepper Sauce
      Famous for its cheeky name, Slap Ya Mama Cajun Pepper Sauce is an all-around solid hot sauce that offers a balance of peppery punch and salty, savory goodness. A few drops of it adds a little heat to a slice of pizza or a plate of eggs and home fries. Slap Ya Mama also makes a killer Cajun seasoning blend, as well as some tasty Jalapeno hot pepper sauce. 

    • Tabasco Pepper Sauce
      The Tabasco Brand is arguably the most famous Louisiana hot sauce, the one that's spread far beyond state lines to become ubiquitous pretty much everywhere. There's a good reason for that. Tabasco sauce is perfect in its simplicity, with just the right level of heat. They make about a dozen varieties at this point, but the Original Tabasco Red Pepper Sauce is still king. It's also still made right here in Louisiana using red pepper, vinegar, salt... and that's it. 

    • Cajun Power Spicy Garlic Sauce
      Cajun Power's original Garlic Sauce doesn't have much spice at all (but it's great on barbecued shrimp). But thanks to popular demand, the folks at Cajun Power introduced a version with more kick. Their Spicy Garlic Sauce adds some satisfying red pepper heat to the traditional garlic-centric flavor profile, and the result is a spicy sauce that's great for marinating, grilling, or dipping. It's also perfect for chicken wings with a punchy Cajun twist. 

    Contact us today to learn more about all the things that make Louisiana unique. It's a special place to call home, and our team is here to help you find the perfect Lafayette homes for sale

    October
    8

    Fall Festivals Coming to the Lafayette Area

    Lafayette FestivalsFall is here! Our real estate agents are looking forward to it. Are you?

    Crisp weather, colorful foliage, and hot cocoa are just a few of the reasons to enjoy fall. When you're in the Lafayette area, there are plenty more to discover. Lafayette is known for a busy social calendar that combines Cajun cuisine and family-friendly entertainment into a fall you won't soon forget! And it's not just about Halloween – in Lafayette, folks get creative with their events.

    There's so much to see and do, let's dive in and take a look at some of Lafayette's top fall festivals:

    • Spooktacular Fall Fest – 817 Albertson Parkway Suite H, Broussard, LA 70518
      Sponsored by Saketini Sushi and Hibachi, the annual Spooktacular Fall Fest brings fun and excitement to the scary season. Kids in costume can enjoy trick or treating and the costume contest. Adults can visit plenty of booths by local artists and artisans. At the end of the night, Saketini will be offering free kids' hibachi with adult purchase. It might just become your favorite near Broussard homes for saleTo be first in line, be there at 11 a.m., Saturday, October 23!

    • Boudin Cook-Off and Acadiana Bacon Fest – 200 Garfield Street, Lafayette, LA 70501
      The Boudin Cook-Off and Acadiana Bacon Fest is your chance to get familiar with boudin, a beloved Cajun-cooked sausage dish made from pork meat, rice, vegetables, and seasonings. Now entering its thirteenth year, this is considered the premier boudin event and attracts chefs from Louisiana and Texas. Sample, vote, and enjoy, all for free on Saturday, October 16 between 10 a.m. and 4! Plus, it's a short drive from Lafayette homes for sale.

    • Gulf Brew 2021 – See Website for Location Details, Jefferson Street, Lafayette, LA 70501
      The biggest fundraiser led by Acadiana Center for the Arts all year round, Gulf Brew 2021 is the largest and oldest craft beer festival in the area. On Saturday, October 16 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., tasters will get to visit with dozens of breweries and enjoy more than 200 beers, filling out their "Brew Book" along the way. Visit local shops and restaurants as you go, knowing that your contribution makes a difference for a true community institution!

    • Gumbo Festival – Bouligny Plaza, 102 West Main Street, Lafayette, LA 70506
      Where else would you go for America's most iconic Gumbo Festival than Lafayette? Running on October 12 and 13, this family-friendly shindig includes the Cajun Creole Foodfest, Roux Run, and Meanest Beans Cookoff on Saturday, capped off with the Youth Gumbo Cookoff. Sunday brings the World Championship Gumbo Cookoff itself. You won't want to miss a second of the fun, friends, and delicious food!

    • International Rice Festival – 303 North Parkerson Avenue, Crowley, LA 70526
      The International Rice Festival is the biggest agricultural festival in Louisiana and has a long and storied history dating back to 1937. Held to honor the rice industry and all those who contribute to it, it now doubles as one of the biggest live musical events in the state. Featuring two sound stages plus a Classic Car Show and Fiddle and Accordion Contest, it's all happening between October 14-17, minutes from Crowley homes for sale.

    Contact us at Latter & Blum today to discover Lafayette real estate.

    September
    24

    Antique Shopping in Lafayette

    Lafayette Antique StoresIf you're looking at Lafeyette homes for sale, then you've probably noticed: there are a lot of fun and unique things to do in the area. Lafayette is especially well known for its antique stores. Ready to go on an antique treasure hunt? Be sure to stop by these local stores. 

    • Jenni B's Antiques: 510 Eraste Landry Rd., Lafayette, LA 70506
      Jenni B's Antiques is a small, welcoming antique shop located inside a quaint brick building. They are open Thursday - Saturday from 10:00 am - 4:30 pm. Inside, you'll find a little bit of everything, from antique silverware to artwork.

      This is a great shop to visit if you're looking for antique flower vases to decorate your table, or for some cookie jars or pitchers for your dining room. They even have some antique luggage, gorgeous wood bookshelves, and a wide array of figurines.

    • Revival Antiques & Etc.: 910 Alfred St., Lafayette, LA 70506
      Revival Antiques & Etc. 
      opened in 2010 and has since become a favorite among antique shoppers in Lafayette. The shop is located in a historic, 1880s building, which gives it an authentic vibe. Their inventory is always growing, with new items added every day.

      This shop has a great selection of antique furniture. You'll find oak chairs, armoires, sideboards, and more. They have a whole section of blue and white china, along with rugs and mirrors. The store is open Thursday - Saturday from 10:00 am - 5:30 pm, and Sunday from 11:00 am - 4:00 pm. 

    • Vintiques: 414 Heymann Blvd., Lafayette, LA 70503
      Vintiques 
      is an antique store located inside The Oil Center. They focus on offering antique furniture, but they also carry a lot of decor. Inside, you'll see gorgeous, handmade wooden armoires, framed art, hand-painted china, and more. The store is open Tuesday - Friday from 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, and Saturday from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm.

      Vintiques has a great selection of lamps and chandeliers. Visitors love the warm and welcoming atmosphere and the high quality of the items. This is the perfect place to visit when furnishing a new home.

    • Lafayette Antique Market: 3108 Johnston St., Lafayette, LA 70503
      Opened in 1993, the Lafayette Antique Market is one of the most popular antique stores in the area. It's a larger store than most on this list and a great place to spend an afternoon browsing. You'll find all sorts of antique dining furniture and china. They carry a lot of Florentine items and blue and white china.

      This shop is open Tuesday - Saturday from 10:00 am - 5:00 pm. Visitors often comment on how friendly the staff is and how often new treasures are added to the shelves.

    • Reflections of Olde Antique Mall: 700 West Congress St., Lafayette, LA 70501
      Reflections of Olde Antique Mall 
      is a larger antique store with several different rooms to explore. One room houses larger tables and other antique furniture. Another room has a lot of artwork, and still another is filled with glassware and figurines.

      Shopping at this antique store can really feel like you're on a treasure hunt. You may find the perfect piece of art for your living room wall or a gift for that special someone. The shop was established in 1999. They are open Tuesday - Saturday from 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, and Sundays from 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm.

    If you love shopping for antiques, our real estate agents highly recommend visiting these shops. Contact us if you're looking for a home in the area and need a real estate agent to guide you.

    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
    7

    Explore Public Art Spots in Downtown Lafayette

    Public Art Lafayette

    What would our cities look like without public art? We've been fortunate to have some truly gifted artists contribute to our city's growing collection of murals and sculptures. If you're looking for the best of Lafayette's public art, our real estate agents are happy to provide this handy guide!

    • Downtown Reawakening - 121 E. Vermilion St, Lafayette, LA 70501
      One of Lafayette's oldest murals, Downtown Reawakening was completed in 1984. It's the work of local artist and gallery owner Tanya Falgout and depicts a birds-eye view of the city as it appeared in the early '80s. It's a fitting place to start your tour of Lafayette's public art and is located within walking distance of many Lafayette homes for sale. The Downtown Reawakening Mural is tucked away just inside the entrance to Parc Auto du Centre-Ville parking garage. 

    • Fields of Study Mural - 433 Jefferson St, Lafayette, LA 70501
      The mural known as Fields of Study is located on an exterior wall of the Lafayette Science Museum, and what could be a more fitting place? Completed in 2016 by artist Chris Pavilk, Fields of Study is really a series of murals depicting the many disciplines contained within the museum—everything from dinosaurs and undersea life to geology and outer space. 

    • Bicycle Sculptures - 201 E. Vermilion St, Lafayette, LA 70501
      Pat Juneau's whimsical Bicycle Sculptures add a splash of color to Lafayette's Vermillion Street. Perched high atop a series of light poles, the metalwork sculptures are also a great reminder that Lafayette is an amazingly bike-friendly city. Juneau is one of Louisiana's foremost metalsmiths, and he's also responsible for the Dinosaur Pole Sculptures at the Lafayette Science Museum. 

    • Horizon Mural - 200 W. Vermilion St, Lafayette, LA 70501
      Horizon is the work of acclaimed mural artist Robert Dafford. Completed in 1988, it's a tribute to Louisiana's landscape as well as its musical heritage. This mural is also part of Dafford's "Flying Violin" series of murals, which includes similar murals in locations around the globe, including Ottawa, Canada, and Suresnes, France.

    • Thalassa - 113 Clinton St, Lafayette, LA 70501
      The eye-catching Thalassa mural at Basin Arts spans two stories and is the work of local multimedia artist Susan David. The mural is a dramatic depiction of Thalassa, a primeval spirit of the sea in Greek mythology. It was created in 2016, and its painter has been responsible for several great public art projects around town. 

    • McComb-Veazey Neighborhood Living Legends Wall - 713 LA 728-8, Lafayette, LA 70501
      Completed in 2016 by artist Adrian Fulton, the McComb-Veazey Neighborhood Living Legends Wall is a loving tribute to nine members of the local community who have made great contributions to education, government, culture, and activism in Lafayette. The mural is on the side of Kirk's U-Needa-Butcher Shop, a reminder that great art can be anywhere.

    A hub for art and culture in Louisiana, Lafayette is a one-of-a-kind place to call home. Contact us today to learn more about life in Lafayette!

    August
    18

    7 Tips for Picking the Right Real Estate Agent

    Real Estate Agent Tips

    Choosing a real estate agent is an important part of ensuring your next real estate transaction is successful and as stress-free as possible. Before you consider buying or selling a home in the area, you want to make sure you find the right person to help you every step of the way. Our real estate agents suggest these 7 tips for finding the perfect fit.

    1. Ask for Recommendations
      The best place to start is to ask for recommendations from your friends, family, neighbors, and others you know personally. It's an easy way to launch your search and it's a good way to find local, trustworthy agents with a positive track record.

    2. Look for Local Specialists
      Especially if you are buying or selling in a hot neighborhood, it's important to look for an agent who specializes in your neighborhood. This agent will be knowledgeable of sales in your neighborhood, which for a seller means a better listing and pricing. For a buyer, it means they'll be able to alert you faster to new listings.

    3. Visit Open Houses in your Area
      One of the best ways to find an agent who specializes in your area is to visit an open house in the same neighborhood. Check listings of Lafayette homes for sale close to your home or in the neighborhood where you wish to move, and find out when their open houses will be. Dropping in during the open house will give you an opportunity to chat with the agent face-to-face, so you can get a feel for their approach, their experience with your neighborhood, and how well your personalities click.

    4. Check Reviews
      It can't be overlooked that online reviews are an excellent way to research an agent. Look for reviews that provide lots of detail and feedback about things like how effectively an agent markets a home, how skilled they are at negotiation, and how easy they are to get in touch with. 

    5. Interview Multiple Agents
      Every agent isn't going to be right for you, even if they were recommended by someone you know and trust. That's why it's important to interview a number of agents before signing with one. Meeting with agents takes a lot of time, though, so do your research first and narrow your list down to three or so agents to interview.

    6. Discuss Marketing Strategy
      One of the most important things you'll want to discuss with a potential agent when you interview them is their marketing strategy. Some agents might not want to do an open house, for example, while others don't give a lot of guidance for staging your home. Use this opportunity to ask about the agent's marketing strategies, discuss your communication preferences, ask about contract terms, and mention anything else you are hoping to get from this partnership.

    7. Trust Your Instincts
      If you find yourself particularly drawn to one agent, there's probably a good reason for it. Chemistry is an important consideration when choosing a real estate agent because you're more likely to work well with someone with whom you just click. If one agent appeals to you more than the others, go with your gut!

    We understand that choosing an agent is a big decision! To set up a time to chat with one of our agents, 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!

    August
    2

    What to Pay Attention to When Your Neighbors Sell Their Home

    Selling Your Home

    With the current rise in real estate prices, many homeowners are putting their homes on the market to take advantage of big profits. If you're considering the same thing, our real estate agents at Latter & Blum have professional expertise that can help you get a great return on your investment.

    If you're noticing a lot of New Orleans homes for sale in your area, you may be wondering if it's time to sell while sales prices are up, inventory is down, and interest rates are at an all-time low. Before following your neighbors' actions, it's important to do some research.

    Pay Attention to the Local Market

    Before you list your home for sale, you should research local market trends that may impact your listing price. Neighborhoods often take on personalities of their own by attracting more singles, young families, or retirees. Although listing prices may play a role in demographic trends, neighborhood attractions like transportation services, shopping malls, movie theaters, schools, and parks also play a role in attracting certain types of buyers.

    If for-sale signs are popping up in your neighborhood, take a closer look at the listings through online real estates sites or talk to a real estate agent for more information. By researching available properties online, you can investigate important information about the property:

    1. Scroll through the interior and exterior photos

    2. Compare the home's total square footage

    3. Check for home upgrades and amenities

    4. Check the age of the home

    5. Find out how long the home has been on the market

    Go to Open Houses

    If your neighbor is hosting an open house, take the time to stop by. As you tour the home, make mental notes of valuable upgrades such as new flooring; new plumbing and fixtures; new kitchen cabinets and appliances; bathroom whirlpools and soaking tubs; interior and exterior lighting; property landscaping; and home security systems. If your home doesn't have all of these amenities, you likely won't get the same price as your neighbor.

    If you still want to list your home, you may need to drop your price or work out discounts for the buyer, rather than sinking money into home upgrades and repairs. Buyers who like the home and the area are more likely to work out some type of agreement with discount incentives so they don't lose the home, especially when other neighborhood listings are priced much higher or over the buyer's budget.

    Investigate the Time on the Market

    In today's real estate market, properties can sell overnight or sit on the market for months before they sell. If your neighbor's house recently sold, investigate how long it was listed on the market prior to the sale. Most online real estate listings tell you the number of days a house has been on the market. If you notice that your neighbor's house was on the market for 6 months or longer when other homes in the area sold right away, there's likely a good reason. Common reasons include:

    • Roofing with signs of damage, leaks, or mold

    • Showers, tubs, and sinks with leaks and low water pressure

    • Heating and AC systems that don't heat or cool property

    • Lack of interior upgrades or repairs

    • Lack of outdoor maintenance and sprinklers

    • No home security system

    Before you decide to list your home, contact us for professional guidance on ways to quickly sell your home for maximum profits in a seller's market.

    July
    23

    7 Ways to Improve Your Outdoor Lighting

    Outdoor LightingOur real estate agents know that a stylish outdoor space is a valuable addition to your home. A well-planned exterior space provides a place for al fresco dining, gathering around the firepit with a refreshing beverage, or enjoying your favorite TV show or podcast. Making sure your outdoor spaces are well illuminated ensures that you can enjoy them and helps add an extra level of safety and security. Here are a few ways you can enhance the overall effect of your outdoor lighting. 

    1. Use a Variety of Lights
      To create a cozy, welcoming outdoor space, use a variety of lights. If you have an overhead structure, like a gazebo or pergola, add lights that illuminate your entire deck or patio. Then, select some tabletop lamps so that you have lights nearby when you're reading, working, or relaxing. 
    1. Select Lights That are Functional
      Even the most elegant outdoor lights will go to waste if they're not functional and easy for you to use. For example, if you know that your access to electricity is limited, integrate some battery-operated lights into your setup. Or, if you hate having to turn a bunch of lights on and off each time you use them, look for products that you can put on a timer or operate with your smartphone. 
    1. Consider Motion-Activated Lights
      Motion-activated lights are an excellent alternative that can also help you reduce your energy usage. These lights only come on when they detect activity, and they'll turn off once movement is no longer detected. 
    1. Illuminate Your Walkways
      Make it safe to walk around your property at night by adding pathway lights around your driveway and paths. Solar-powered lights are a fantastic option that you won't have to worry about connecting to an electrical outlet. 
    1. Opt for Some Portable Lights
      Want to make sure that you always have access to light, regardless of where you're hanging out in your yard? Add portable lights to your outdoor setup. Table lanterns and candles are easily moved so that you can adapt their configuration to your entertaining plans. 
    1. Decorate Your Space with String Lights
      When you're exploring Lafayette homes for sale, you'll notice that decorative lighting effortlessly improves the look of your deck or patio. Instantly add ambiance to your outdoor spaces by adding a few strands of string lights. String lights instantly lend a romantic touch to your outdoor areas, and you can even select lights with different color or pattern options. Want to add a lot of light to your outdoor area but don't want to spend hours setting up a bunch of different strands of lights? Look for curtain lights! Curtain lights are easy to hang and instantly add whimsical lighting to a large area. 
    1. Illuminate Your Water Features
      If your property has a pool, hot tub, or pond, this is a fantastic spot to incorporate decorative lights. A light reflecting off the water looks beautiful, and you'll have light to enjoy nighttime activities.

    Want a home with more space for your outdoor activities? Contact us today to get started!

    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
    16

    Your Guide to Downtown Lafayette

    Downtown Lafayette

    Whether you're looking for a quiet evening out on the town or lively entertainment, our real estate agents agree that Downtown Lafayette is the place to be. Have fun exploring these fascinating places and activities, just minutes from Lafayette homes for sale

    • ArtWalk
      Immerse yourself in the boundless creative energy of Acadiana at ArtWalk. On the second Saturday of each month, Downtown Lafayette's museums, galleries, and studios stage events designed to showcase local artists and performers. 2021 brings two new participants to the festivities. Lafayette Arts & Fleas will have a market in Parc de Lafayette, while Louisiana Crafts Guild is hosting Marché Sans Souci along East Vermilion Street. ArtWalk is a delightful outing for couples, families, and anyone who appreciates art. Hours are 5 p.m. - 9 p.m., while Marché Sans Souci opens at 2 p.m.

    • Alexandre Mouton House- 1122 Lafayette St., Lafayette, LA 70501
      The long and distinguished history of Alexandre Mouton House dates back to the turn of the 19th century when it was built by Jean Mouton, one of the area's first settlers. From 1825 to 1836, the home was occupied by his son Alexandre, who later became the first Democratic governor of Louisiana. Today, Les Vingt-Quatre Club maintains the home as a museum featuring historical and cultural artifacts that tell the story of Lafayette's past. Alexandre Mouton House is open 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for students.

    • Children's Museum of Acadiana - 201 E. Congress St., Lafayette, LA 70501
      Learning doesn't have to be dull. The Children's Museum of Acadiana combines the entertainment factor of games with knowledge- and skill-building in a number of valuable areas. Kids have a blast "designing" structure in Architecture Alley, caring for stuffed animals in Happy Paws Hospital, and running their own news show in Le TV des Enfants. Check the museum calendar for information about programs such as S.T.E.A.M. Kids Sundays. Admission is $7 and must be reserved online. The museum is open every day but Monday. Visit the website for times.

    • Rock 'n' Bowl - 905 Jefferson St., Lafayette, LA 70501
      Bowling to a musical backdrop has become a popular pastime, but this activity takes on some Lafayette flair at Rock 'n' Bowl. Live music from top local zydeco, blues, swamp pop, and country performers keeps the party going. Fuel up beforehand with dinner at Ye Olde College Inn, only steps away from Rock 'n' Bowl. The menu ranges from fried oysters and cheeseburgers to pan-seared duck breast and crawfish Delacroix. Bowling alley and restaurant hours are 4 p.m. - 11 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, with Ye Olde College Inn closing at 10 p.m. on Thursday and Sunday.

    • The Wurst Biergarten - 537 Jefferson St., Lafayette, LA 70501
      The Wurst Biergarten might best be described as a culinary amusement park. This family- and the pet-friendly open-air venue has food trucks along with a wide assortment of local and regional craft beers. Between live music, open mic comedy, and trivia, there's always something special going on. You're also likely to find pop-up craft booths selling vintage and unique items. The Wurst Biergarten is open 4 p.m. - 1 a.m. Wednesday, 4 p.m. - 2 a.m. Thursday, noon - 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon-midnight Sunday. Times may change due to weather, so check Instagram or Facebook.

    Ready to buy or sell a home around Lafayette? Contact us at Latter & Blum to get started. 

    July
    9

    5 Places to Take Your Kids This Summer in Lafayette

    Lafayette Kids Activities

    There comes a point in every summer when the fun starts to wind down, and the return to school is just around the corner. Fortunately, we're not quite there yet! There's still a lot of adventure waiting in the Lafayette area.

    If you're looking for fun ways to spend time with your kids in Louisiana this summer, our real estate agents have more than a few ideas. These are our favorite places for family fun and excitement in Lafayette!

    • Children's Museum of Acadiana - 201 E Congress St, Lafayette, LA 70501
      Offering hands-on exhibits and entertaining educational programs for kids of all ages, the Children's Museum of Acadiana is a great resource for parents in the Lafayette area. A real highlight of the museum's summertime schedule is their weekly Camp STEAMOLOGY events. These immersive summer camps are held on Sundays throughout the summer and give kids an opportunity to explore STEAM subjects (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) through firsthand experience. The museum is located just minutes from many Lafayette homes for sale.

    • Kart Ranch - 508 Youngsville Hwy, Lafayette, LA 70508
      Kart Ranch Family Fun Center is the place to go for a good time in Lafayette. They offer a full range of indoor and outdoor activities for the whole family, from go-karts and laser tag to miniature golf and arcade games. They also have a kiddie train ride and inside playground for younger kids, and a water war zone for cooling off on hot summer days. Kart Ranch also hosts birthday parties and other events. 

    • Clayfish Bisque: A Pottery Painting Place - 5520 Johnston St F, Lafayette, LA 70503
      Kids of all ages can express their artistic side at Clayfish Bisque: A Pottery Painting Place. This local pottery painting studio embraces creativity, and hosts groups as well as individuals. It's also a great place to schedule a birthday party or play date. Walk-ins are welcome at this locally owned studio, but you can also reserve a table at Clayfish Boutique online. 

    • Kid's World Indoor Play Arena -110 Production Dr, Lafayette, LA 70508
      For younger kids, it doesn't get much more fun than Kid's World Indoor Play Area. With a two-story indoor playground structure spanning 1,700 square feet, Kid's World is a great place to let kids (and their imaginations) run wild. With classic features like obstacle courses, slides, swings, and ball pits, the play area is built big enough for parents to play along. There's a separate play area for toddlers as well. Kid's World also has a great selection of kid-approved snacks, like popcorn, pizza, and ice cream. 

    • Acadiana Park Nature Station - 1205 E Alexander St, Lafayette, LA 70501
      Outdoor adventure in Lafayette begins at the Acadiana Park Nature Center! Spanning 150 acres of rich wetlands and forests, the park offers abundant opportunities for kids and grown-ups alike to reconnect with the natural world. Activities include camping, kayaking, and hiking, with more than 6 miles of trails and boardwalks to explore. Acadiana Park also offers guided hikes and hosts annual Young Naturalist Club programs every summer for kids of various age groups. 

    Lafayette and the surrounding communities offer limitless potential for summer fun and adventure. Contact us today to learn more about life in the Lafayette area, and be sure to ask our team about finding your Louisiana dream home!

    June
    25

    Helpful Tips for Installing a Sprinkler System

    Sprinkler SystemIn-ground automatic sprinklers play an important role in maintaining a high-quality lawn. Evenly distributing water across your landscaping at certain intervals throughout the day helps promote healthy grass, great-looking shrubs, and beautiful flowers. Using a sprinkler system is much more efficient than manually watering your plants each day. However, installing sprinkler systems isn't always easy. If you're planning to install your own system, below are some tips to help guide you through the process.

    1. Mark Your Pipe And Sprinkler Heads 
      The first step is determining your ideal irrigation plan. The right distribution of water at the proper intervals is critical for maintaining a healthy lawn. If you need some guidance, our real estate agents can refer a number of professional landscapers that can help.

      Once you've determined your plan, you'll need to mark the locations of your planned sprinklers with stakes or flags. Then, use string to mark the locations of your pipes.

    2. Dig Trenches
      After you've mapped out your pipe and sprinkler heads, you'll need to dig trenches 6 to 12 inches deep. The actual size will depend on the size of your pipe. Make sure to allow for more than enough room as you don't want to end up with exposed pipes in your yard. When digging trenches, we recommend placing soil on one side and sod on the other. It's usually easiest to rent a power trencher as digging manually can take quite some time.

    3. Connect Your Water System
      The next step is hooking up your sprinkler system to your water supply. The easiest thing to do is to connect your system directly to a spigot (you can also connect to your main water line if necessary, but this work may be best suited for a plumber). When connecting to a spigot, you'll need to shut off your water supply. Then, swap out the original spigot with a brass tee. After that, you'll need to match the outlets with the faucet and irrigation pipe and connect them by fitting the short pipe with threads into the tee stem. 

    4. Install Valve Manifold and Lay The Pipe
      Next, in order to install the valve manifold, create a hole that is just big enough to hold the valve manifold box. Then, attach the water supply to one end of the manifold. Afterward, lay your PVC pipe along your trenches and your sprinkler heads at the designated markers.

    5. Assemble Your Pieces
      Begin at your first sprinkler and assemble your pipes and pieces (except for the sprinkler heads). Connect the parts at each sprinkler location. It's easy for dirt to find its way into your pipes, so you'll want to adequately flush your pipes by turning your water on and opening up each value. Be sure to close each valve before moving on to the next one. After you've flushed out the entire system, you can attach your sprinkler heads.

    6. Connect The Wiring
      Lastly, place the programmable timer on the wall and wire the connection box. If you're not experienced working with wires or electricity, it's a good idea to consult an electrician. You'll need to attach your 24-volt wires to the timer terminal. After the wiring is set up, you can set the timer to match your desired irritation plan.

    After you've connected the wiring, then you can test your system and fill your trenches.

    Many owners of these Lafayette homes for sale use a good sprinkler system to maintain beautiful-looking lawns. For more lawn care tips, contact us today.

    June
    18

    Where to Stock up in Lafayette For Your Summer Grilling

    Lafayette Butcher Shops

    Grilling season is upon us, and our real estate agents are here for it! And we don't want to brag, but down here in Louisiana, we happen to know a thing or two about grilling. 

    Whether you're starting the day-long adventure of smoking a whole hog in your barbecue pit or just throwing a few burgers on the grill, one thing is for sure: you need quality meat. Here's where to get it in the Lafayette, LA area.

    • Took's Market - 3103 Johnston St, Lafayette, LA 70503
      The folks at Took's Market have more than 30 years of experience in the meat business. Their specialty is deboned stuffed chicken, but you'll find an incredible variety here, from bacon-wrapped filet mignon and stuffed pork chops to 14 varieties of sausage, all made fresh in-house. With a location convenient to many Lafayette homes for sale, Took's also offers a wide variety of side dishes, as well as pre-made lunch plates and a weekly Sunday BBQ if you don't feel like cooking.

    • Kirk's U Need a Butcher - 713 LA 728-8, Lafayette, LA 70501
      All your grilling needs are covered at Kirk's U Need a Butcher. They offer an incredible variety, from beef short ribs and pork steaks to whole chickens and house-made sausage. If you're looking for something a little out of the ordinary, just ask. Kirk's also offers various smoked and pre-marinated meats, along with their own brand of special seasoning. 

    • Little Veron's - 403 Rena Dr, Lafayette, LA 70503
      Little Veron's first opened their doors in 1962, making them one of Lafayette's longest-running specialty grocers. Bringing nearly 50 years of experience to the table, they offer a fantastic selection of custom-cut meat, fresh seafood, pork, and poultry. And although Little Veron's is famous for their meat and deli counter, the store has grown over the years to include a dairy section, fresh produce, a wine and liquor shop, and home goods of all kinds. They also carry all your BBQ essentials, from lighter fluid and charcoal to ice and paper plates.

    • Billy's Boudin and Cracklin - 523 Apollo Rd, Scott, LA 70583
      Unique specialty meats are the name of the game at Billy's Boudin and Cracklin. Looking for spinach and pepper jack-stuffed chicken breasts? How about marinated pork tenderloins stuffed with crawfish and wrapped in bacon? You'll find those and dozens of other delicious Cajun goodies at this bare-bones establishment near Scott homes for sale, which is so popular among locals that there's often a line out the door. 

    • Chops Specialty Meats - 1019 Albertson Pkwy, Broussard, LA 70518
      Family-owned and operated for 13 years, Chops Specialty Meats is your one-stop shop when you need food for the grill in Broussard, LA. The folks at Chops offer just about every cut of beef and pork you can think of, along with poultry and a lot of cool specialty meats (elk, buffalo, rack of lamb, frog legs, the list goes on). You'll also find prime grill-ables, including seasoned beef patties, marinated chicken, and 15 varieties of sausage. They cater too, and their in-store deli is a popular lunch spot near Broussard homes for sale.

    Contact us today to learn about life in Lafayette and the surrounding area. We're proud to call it home, and we can't wait to help you find your dream house in Louisiana!

    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.

    May
    21

    Where to Find Local Brews in Lafayette

    Lafayette BreweryThe craft brewing scene in Lafayette is vibrant and growing, with local breweries creating unique flavors that you won't find anywhere else. Local bars, restaurants, and beer shops are also serving up all of the best brews from throughout the Acadiana region. Spring is the perfect time to enjoy a local craft beer in an outdoor dining space and pair your favorite brew with some of the best food that Lafayette has to offer. Our real estate agents have the details on the best places to find delicious local brews around Lafayette.

    1. Parish Brewing Co. – 229 Jared Dr., Broussard, LA 70518
      For a fantastic local brew from a truly local source, make the quick trip to Parish Brewing Co. and get ready to treat your taste buds to something special. The beer lineup here includes flagship brews like Ghost in the Machine, Parish Pilsner, and Reve Coffee Stout, along with dozens of other selections. Stop by to enjoy a drink in the art-filled taproom or to pick up your favorites to enjoy at home.

    2. The Tap Room – 201 Settlers Trace Blvd. #4001, Lafayette, LA 70508
      The Tap Room 
      is one of the most popular bars near Lafayette homes for sale, and one look at their list of local craft brews will show you why that's the case. This local bar also has an eclectic dining menu that's packed with unique hot dogs that are loaded with toppings and delicious flatbread pizzas that pair perfectly with all of your favorite brews.

    3. Marcello's Wine Market – 2800 Johnson St., Lafayette, LA 70503
      Looking to stock your own fridge with some of the best brews that Acadiana has to offer? Then don't let the name of Marcello's Wine Market fool you. While this is certainly a great place to shop for local wine, it's also well-stocked with a huge variety of local craft beer, including some hard-to-find brews that aren't available at every shop.

    4. Wurst Biergarten – 537 Jefferson St., Lafayette, LA 70501
      Food, music, and local craft brews are always on the menu at Wurst Biergarten, which features a large outdoor dining area that's perfect for enjoying a pleasant spring night on the town. This venue is both dog and child-friendly, with a rotating selection of food vendors that is sure to offer something for every taste. There are also fun-themed nights that offer live music, open mic comedy, and trivia contests.

    5. Social Southern Table & Bar – 3901 Johnson St., Lafayette, LA 70503
      A chic, modern bar with a fantastic selection of craft brews, Social Southern Table & Bar, offers an upscale dining and drinking experience ideal for celebrating the special days in your life. The award-winning menu here is filled with fresh, farm-to-table takes on your favorite Southern dishes, with a rotation of local beers on tap and a long lineup of craft cocktails.

    Ready to find your next home close to all of the delicious drinks, delightful dining, and excellent bars in Lafayette? Let our local real estate team help. Contact us today.

    May
    14

    Start Composting This Summer with These Tips

    Composting Lafayette

    You hate throwing away all that kitchen waste: coffee grounds and tea bags, apple and potato peels, tops of strawberries, outer layers of an onion, and more. Most of it probably goes in the waste bin, right? 

    But what if you could turn that waste into good garden soil by composting it? Let's take a look at what's involved with composting and how to get started.

    1. What Can You Compost?
      You can compost most vegetable scraps, grass clippings, leaves (it's better if big, tough leaves have been cut up first by a lawnmower), and even eggs shells (wash them first). Avoid adding cooked or oily food, meat, so-called compostable bags and wipes, and bones. Protein and oily foods can attract rodents. Store compostable bits in the fridge or freezer in a bag until you're ready to add them to the mix.

    2. Choose Your Composting Site Carefully
      A backyard compost site should be in at least partial sun so that it will "cook" faster. But the compost may also dry out faster, so be sure to wet it now and then. Beware of starting a compost pile in the backyard if you have a dog.

      Or buy a compost bin, where you can add the compostable stuff, and if it's the turnable type, mix it up a couple of times a day. Another method is to place the compostable material in a sealable container with some Bokashi mix, which is a colony of bacteria that ferments food scraps.

    3. Add Your Greens and Browns
      There are two types of material to compost. Green material is nitrogen-rich and includes fruits and vegetables, coffee grounds, grass clippings -- all crucial for microbial growth.

      But you also need browns to provide carbon. Typical sources are paper, such as egg cartons and newspaper, dried leaves, and other dried plant material.

      Greens are wet, and browns are dry. You generally should have more browns than greens, with browns layered on the bottom and greens on top. Typically layers are 2 inches each, and you continue to create new layers as you go so that aeration can take place between them and break the material down. If it doesn't break down, you will have a stagnant mess. Stir the compost or toss it after a time with a pitchfork. If you're using a compost bin, give it a turn a couple of times a day.

    4. How Long Does it Take?
      In cold weather, it could take six months or so for compost to break down, but in hot weather, compost can break down in two months.

      Be mindful of the smell of your compost. If it starts to stink -- like a landfill or a dumpster -- you may need to add brown material. Compost, when finished, should smell woody and earthy and may have a sweet or even somewhat sour smell -- but never rotten. When you've achieved fluffy compost, then it's ready to put in your garden or even to donate to a community garden.

    Need more tips on improving your property to get it ready to sell among the Lafayette homes for sale? Our real estate agents can help. Contact us today. 

    May
    7

    National Shrimp Day: Where to Order Seafood Near Lafayette

    Lafayette Seafood

    Monday, May 10th is National Shrimp Day. And as we're sure you know, Louisiana is a pretty great place to be if you're a seafood lover. Our local waters from the Gulf to the Bayou produce some of America's freshest, tastiest seafood. 

    So if you're looking for great places to dine in celebration of National Shrimp Day, our real estate agents have a few ideas. Be sure to check out these incredible seafood restaurants in the Lafayette, Louisiana area!

    1. Lagneaux's - 445 Ridge Rd, Lafayette, LA 70506
      A Lafayette favorite for more than 40 years, Lagneaux's is known for its generous seafood platters and deep Cajun roots. In addition to a fish market where you can pick out all your favorites to cook at home—including 5-pound boxes of shrimp—Lagneaux's offers a warm, welcoming sit-down dining experience in a laid-back setting. They have an amazing Cajun seafood buffet that includes crab, crawfish, and shrimp. Plus, they're just minutes from many Lafayette homes for sale

    2. Drago's Seafood Restaurant - 3151 Johnston St, Lafayette, LA 70503
      Drago's Seafood has become so popular that they now have several locations, and it's not hard to see why. They serve some of Lafayette's best seafood, from shrimp and corn chowder to seared tuna and avocado salad. Their specialty is smoky, savory char-broiled oysters straight off the grill. If you really want to try something you can't get anywhere other than Louisiana, try the blackened alligator tacos. 

    3. Fiery Crab - 2330 Kaliste Saloom Rd, Lafayette, LA 70508
      With a name like The Fiery Crab, it's a safe bet that you're going to get some serious Louisiana seafood. Their menu does not disappoint, with locally sourced seafood including shrimp, crawfish, oysters, mussels, snow crabs, and blue crabs. The folks at the Fiery Crab specialize in 'Low Country Boil' style cooking, with bold flavors and complex spice blends handed down through generations. Your seafood of choice is served with corn, potatoes, and sausage, with the seasoning and spice level of your choice. 

    4. Louisiana Crawfish Time - 2019 Verot School Rd, Lafayette, LA 70508
      As much as we love shrimp, we have to show some love to Louisiana's other favorite crustacean: the crawfish. They're the star of the show at Louisiana Crawfish Time, a home-style crawfish joint in the heart of the Atchafalaya Basin. Whether you order boiled crawfish, shrimp, or a half-and-half combo plate, you're in for an unforgettable meal. This place gets packed during crawfish season, and they even also have a drive-through window if you're in a hurry! You can also buy shrimp and crawfish by the pound if you'd rather have your own seafood boil at home. 

    5. Dwight's Restaurant - 4800 Johnston St, Lafayette, LA 70503
      Dwight's Restaurant has a diner-like vibe and serves truly next-level seafood. From Gulf shrimp and local crawfish to amazing fried catfish, you simply can't go wrong. And if you don't happen to be in a seafood mood, they make a mean meatloaf and some killer barbecue as well. Dwight's offers different lunch specials every day of the week, so you'll definitely want to stop back in more than once. 

    From its rich history and vibrant musical heritage to its one-of-a-kind cuisine, Louisiana is a very special place to call home. Contact us today to learn more about life in Louisiana, and talk to our team about finding your dream home in the Lafayette area. 

    April
    23

    Why Lafayette is Known as the Happiest City in America

    Lafayette Happiest City

    When folks call Lafayette the happiest city in America, it's not just a marketing slogan meant to drum up tourism. It's the real deal. 

    Our real estate agents don't need statistics and data to tell you that Lafayette is a happy city filled with happy people (although it is nice to get some national recognition). Here's how we can tell that living in Lafayette makes people happy:

    It's a Foodie Dream

    If you're looking for a rich culinary scene, you'll definitely find it in Lafayette. We happen to be home to some of Louisiana's most legendary Cajun and Creole restaurants, like T-Coon's, Poor Boy's Riverside, and Cafe Vermilionville. And contrary to what you may have heard, it's not all crawfish and barbecue. We have cuisine from all over the world, along with great options for anyone looking for vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free cuisine. And for everyday fare, check out the Hub City Diner, one of the best retro '50s diners in America.

    Lafayette is Affordable

    One thing that surely cheers people up in Lafayette is that we have a very low cost of living. Based on a national average of 100, the cost of living in Lafayette comes in at 87.7, according to Best Places. Everything from groceries and utilities to Lafayette homes for sale cost less here than in most places around the country. The median cost of a home in Lafayette is just $159,100, compared to the $231,200 national average.

    Your Dog Will Love It

    It's a proven fact that dogs make people happy, and we have it on good authority that dogs are happy in Lafayette. For starters, we have two great dog off-leash dog parks at Brown Memorial Park and Beaullieu Park, plus awesome on-leash trail adventures at the Acadiana Park Nature Station. Many of our local restaurants—Taco Sisters, Central Pizza, and Borden's Ice Cream in particular—also go out of their way to accommodate pooches (and their humans). 

    Some Like it Hot

    If you like warm weather, we have good news for you. In Lafayette, the average day in January has a high of 61°F and a low of 43°F. Granted, the summers get pretty toasty (July has an average high of 91°F and an average low of 74°F). But for those of us who thrive in warm climates, we find plenty of ways to beat the heat. For example, Lafayette has some pretty awesome pools and splash pads

    Big City Amenities, Small Town Charm

    Lafayette has everything you would expect in a major city. It has a vibrant nightlife and a rich music scene, along with endless shopping and dining options. But Lafayette also has small-town charm and a friendly neighborhood atmosphere. It's easy to make connections and get to know each other here. Plus, Lafayette is a stone's throw from some of America's most wild and beautiful landscapes, including incredible opportunities for fishing, camping, paddling, hiking, and bird watching.

    Contact us today to learn more about life in Louisiana. Our team can't wait to help you find your dream home in Lafayette and the surrounding areas. 

    April
    16

    8 Interview Questions to Ask Before Hiring Contractors

    Contractor Questions

    Whether you're tackling a home renovation or building a new home from the ground up, working with a good contractor is essential for a good outcome. At Latter & Blum, our real estate agents understand what it takes to create beautiful Lafayette homes for sale with features that attract buyers. Before you hire a contractor, it's important to ask questions that separate the pros from the rest of the pack.

    1. Are you a licensed contractor?
      Most states require licensed general contractors to register with the state where they do business. A license shows that the contractor has passed certain tests that examine state laws and building requirements. In Louisiana, you can search online for licensed contractors on the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors website.

    2. How long have you been in business?
      The number of years in business equates to professional experience and a good track record with clients. Contractors who lack work skills, experience, and satisfied clients don't stay in business very long. A long list of clients and a successful track record indicates a contractor who listens to clients, gets jobs finished on time and stays within the budget.

    3. Are you insured?
      Generally, a professional licensed contractor carries liability insurance, as well as workers' compensation insurance for workers. During an interview, ask for proof of insurance to verify coverage and liability limits. If a contractor isn't properly insured, you could be liable for accidents and injuries that occur on your property, as well damage if something goes wrong on your project.

    4. How much will my project cost?
      Prior to starting your home project, you should have a discussion with your contractor to clarify project tasks, details, and costs. A professional contractor should give you a written proposal that outlines work to be done, material costs, and labor costs. Read the proposal carefully before signing it, because it will serve as a legal agreement between you and the contractor.

    5. How long will my project take?
      The timeline of a home project from start to finish is important, because you may not be able to access certain areas while construction in underway. It's especially important if you have a busy household with children and pets or work from home on a regular basis. To ensure the timeline is met, ask your contractor to note a start date and completion date in your proposal agreement.

    6. What is your payment schedule?
      To properly budget for your project, talk to your contractor about payment terms and schedules before construction begins. The Better Business Bureau advises against paying in full upfront, and reputable contractors should not ask. Typically, an upfront payment is 30% to 50% of the project costs with additional payments in bi-weekly or monthly amounts until completion.

    7. How will you handle clean-up?
      A professional contractor will make sure that his/her crew takes care of daily clean-up duties such as removing trash and debris, putting away tools, and leaving areas in the house clean and clutter-free. If tools or equipment need to be stored on your property, a designated area should be discussed.

    8. What's the best way to reach you?
      At the beginning of your project, make sure you get your contractor's contact information including a business address, business or cell phone number, and normal work hours. If a contractor is hesitant to give you contact information, look elsewhere for someone who's more professional.

    If you're interested in buying or selling in the area, contact us for more information. We can help you with your real estate needs and make sure your results are successful.

    April
    9

    Best Paint Color Options for Your Home Office

    Home Office

    Choosing paint colors for your home office is about more than just aesthetics and interior decor. The colors you choose can actually have an impact on your work habits. Whether you spend just a few hours a week in your home office or work from home regularly, set yourself up for success with the right decor. Here are a few common home office colors we see in Lafayette homes for sale and how they can benefit your work habits.

    1. Blue 
      Blue is famous for being a soothing color, so if you struggle with anxiety during your workday, try combating that with lots of blue. The shade of blue you choose can range from a low-distraction blue-gray to an intensely introspective dark blue. Choose a shade that works well with your goals when you work from home.

    2. Pinks and Reds
      You may have heard that red is an energizing color, but the truth goes somewhat deeper than that. They may seem like an unlikely choice for your office walls, but shades of pink, coral, peach, and red can boost creativity. If you work at a creative job from your home office, painting your walls in one of these shades may lend energy and inspiration to your day.

    3. Yellow 
      Another color that seems unlikely due to how bright it is, yellow can actually help you work by energizing you. Yellow is a cheerful color that may help to brighten a difficult workday or invigorate your work mood. Yellow also comes in various shades, from colors so pale that they're almost cream to bright, bold tones.

    4. Gray
      If staying focused is your struggle, opt for a soft neutral such as gray. Grays can lean toward bluish tones, which will also help to soothe, or brighter grays for energy, depending on the mood you want to strike in your home office. Gray is also a great neutral color, which our real estate agents recommend if you are planning on selling the house soon.

    5. White
      While it might seem overly sterile in the rest of the house, white can actually create a better workspace by minimizing distractions around you while you work. It also mimics the feel of a corporate office, helping you stay focused and providing a place to put whiteboards and other tools to aid you in your work. This is also a good neutral tone to use if you're planning to sell the house soon.

    The color you paint your home office walls can impact how you work, but it can also affect how your house sells, so it's important to know your goals before picking up a paintbrush. Buyers tend to gravitate toward neutral tones because they can more easily imagine themselves living in a home that isn't decorated with someone else's favorite colors. For painting tips and other easy ideas for making your house stand out, contact us today.

    March
    19

    Where to Take Your Dog for a Walk in Lafayette

    Lafayette Dog Walking Trails The city of Lafayette is a great place to spend some quality time in the great outdoors. With beautiful parks and endless streets lined with historic buildings, there's always something new to discover.

    And if you have a four-legged friend along for the journey? So much the better. These are our real estate agents' favorite places to take your dog for a walk in the Lafayette area. 

    1. Acadiana Park Nature Station - 1205 E Alexander St, Lafayette, LA 70501
      Spanning 110 acres and offering 6 miles of trails, Acadiana Park Nature Station offers a rich landscape that's ripe for exploration. The trails meander through a diverse landscape of forests, meadows, and creek bottoms, all of which harbor an amazing variety of plant and animal life. Located just minutes from these Lafayette homes for sale, the trails and nature station are open daily, free of charge, from dawn until dusk. Pets are welcome but must be leashed at all times. 

    2. Beaulieu Park Dog Park - 411 W Bluebird Dr, Lafayette, LA 70508
      One of Lafayette's newest dog parks, the Beaulieu Park Dog Park, was unveiled in 2019 and quickly became a favorite local destination for dogs and their humans. The park provides a large, fully fenced-in area where dogs can run freely, along with features like benches, a shady pavilion, and canine agility and exercise equipment. 

    3. Chicot State Park - 3469 Chicot Park Rd, Ville Platte, LA 70586
      Less than an hour from Lafayette, Chicot State Park is like a giant, 6,400-acre outdoor playground. In addition to being a well-known destination for camping and fishing, the park's greatest feature may be its 18-mile hiking trail, which completely encircles Lake Chicot and offers a handful of primitive backcountry campsites along the way. The trail is open to hikers and cyclists, and leashed pets are permitted. 

    4. Brown Memorial Dog Park - 1234 E. Pont des Mouton Road, Lafayette, LA 70507
      Offering great opportunities to let Fido run free off-leash, the dog park at Brown Memorial Park is a popular spot among Lafayette Locals and their pets. The dog park provides a large, fenced-in grassy area that is generally mowed, well-kept, and free of bare, muddy patches. Dogs are also welcome throughout the surrounding 50-acre park, as long as they are kept on a leash. 

    5. Girard Park - 500 Girard Park Dr, Lafayette, LA 70503
      Girard Park is nestled in the heart of Downtown, not far from the campus of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Encompassing 33 acres, the park's picnic areas, shady lawns, and picturesque walking trails are popular places to enjoy the cool spring breeze, preferably with a furry friend. Dogs must be leashed, but they're welcome throughout the park. Girard Park is also home to a rec center and fishing pond and hosts numerous local events and festivals throughout the year. 

    6. Moncus Park - 2913 Johnston St, Lafayette, LA 70503
      A lovely green space in the heart of Lafayette, Moncus Park is a work in progress that promises to be a perfect spot to take Fido for a long walk. The park offers wide-open fields, towering shade trees, and a 2.5-mile walking trail. Leashed pets are welcome throughout, and there's also a fenced-in dog park with artificial turf where dogs can run off-leash.

    Contact us today to learn more about life in Lafayette, Louisiana. It's a truly unique and special place for you and man's best friend to call home. 

    March
    12

    Go For a Bike Ride on These Lafayette Trails

    Lafayette Mountain Biking

    Louisiana's wild natural beauty is no secret, but you miss a lot when you travel by car. To really get a sense of what Lafayette and the surrounding areas are all about, the best way to explore is by bicycle. 

    Fortunately, there are a lot of great bike trails in the Lafayette area. Our real estate agents are delighted to share some of their favorites, from smooth cycling paths to rugged mountain biking trails. 

    1. Acadiana Park - E Alexander St & Lajaunie Road, Lafayette, LA 70501
      Lafayette's go-to destination for mountain biking, Acadiana Park is home to a meandering network of singletrack mountain bike trails that provide a thrilling and challenging ride. At present, 1.8 miles are completed, with more in development. Expect to tackle berms, bridges, jumps, and quick descents, all in a beautiful, wooded setting. Located just minutes from many Lafayette homes for sale, Acadiana Park also offers hiking, camping facilities, picnic areas, and the Acadiana Park Nature Center. 

    2. Atchafalaya Basin Wilderness Trail - 1050 Henderson Levee Road Breaux Bridge, LA 70517
      The Atchafalaya Basin is the largest wetland in the United States, and it's truly one of Louisiana's most fiercely beautiful landscapes. Exploring it by bicycle is an unforgettable experience. You can do just that on the Atchafalaya Basin Wilderness Trail, a multi-use hike and bike trail that follows the Mississippi River levee for 55 miles. The Bayou Amy Boat Landing in Breaux Bridge, LA, marks the beginning of the trail and offers parking and restrooms. There are numerous additional access points before the trail reaches its endpoint in Bayou Teche. 

    3. Atakapa-Ishak Trail - 201 E Vermilion St, Lafayette, LA 70501
      The Atakapa-Ishak Trail is a work in progress, but don't let that deter you from exploring it. Named for the Atakapa-Ishak Indian Tribe who once inhabited this area of Louisiana, the trail will one day stretch over 100 miles and connect cities and towns throughout the region, seldom encountering roads along the way. For the time being, the completed section of the trail begins in Parc Sans Souci in downtown Lafayette and takes cyclists on a picturesque ride to Beaver Park in Vermilionville. This initial section utilizes off-road sections as well as some roadways and shared bike lanes. 

    4. Chicot State Park - 3469 Chicot Park Rd, Ville Platte, LA 70586
      A little under an hour from Lafayette, Chicot State Park is a splendid destination for outdoor adventures of all kinds. Beloved by hikers, campers, bird watchers, and fishermen alike, Chicot State Park's greatest feature is an 18-mile trail that completely encircles Lake Chicot. The trail is open to mountain biking and hiking and offers a wild landscape ripe for exploration. Fall and winter are the best times to ride the trail, as the area can get a bit waterlogged in spring. 

    5. Wild Azalea Trail - 9363 Hwy. US165 South, Woodworth, LA 71485
      Marked by yellow blazes and open to bike and foot traffic only, the Wild Azalea Trail is a 31-mile pathway that offers great scenery and a richly varied view of southern and central Louisiana's pine hills and hardwood bottomland forests. The trail begins at Town Hall in Woodworth, LA, a little over an hour from Lafayette. From there, it meanders in a generally northwestern path, ending at Valentine Lake Recreation Area. The trail has been designated a National Recreation Trail.

    Contact us today to learn more about life in Louisiana. Our team is here to help you find your dream home in Lafayette and the surrounding areas.

    March
    5

    National Day of Unplugging: Outdoor Retreats in Lafayette

    Outdoor Retreats Lafayette

    Eager for a taste of the great outdoors? Our real estate agents can help!

    At Latter & Blum, our real estate experts spend hours every week exploring the best Lafayette homes for sale. But every now and then, even we feel the call of the wild. Louisiana's iconic bayous have shaped culture and history here for centuries, and they promise adventure for new residents and long-time locals.

    What better time to reconnect than during National Day of Unplugging?

    National Day of Unplugging is an awareness campaign that provides 24 hours of rest away from technology on the first Friday in March. 

    There are all kinds of outdoor escapes to choose from around Lafayette!

    Let's look at a few of them now:

    1. Avery Island – 30 Miles South of Lafayette, See Website for Location Details
      Avery Island is one of the area's five salt domes, striking features formed over thousands of years. It was settled in the 1800s by the Avery family and became the birthplace of Tabasco hot pepper sauce. Your visit will include the 170-acre Jungle Gardens, a protected botanical garden rich with local plants and wildlife that is open seven days a week. You can go on a five-mile scenic drive or explore the walking trail.

    2. White Lake Woods Conservation Area – Southwestern Louisiana, See Website for Location Details
      White Lake Woods Conservation Area was donated to the state of Louisiana in 2002. About 75% of the land is freshwater marsh. The rest consists of farmland, wetlands, wooded areas, and camping grounds. Waterfowl, shorebirds, and even alligators dwell in the freshwater marsh. Fishing, boating, birding, and wildlife viewing are popular activities. A two-mile nature trail wraps the north side of the wetlands.

    3. LARC's Acadian Village200 Greenleaf Drive, Lafayette, LA 70506
      LARC's Acadian Village sits on 32 acres of land administered by the LARC nonprofit, which provides support to those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Village highlights the pioneer lives of the area's early settlers. The early 1800s recreation centers around a number of authentic period buildings, including the home of the first resident dentist in Lafayette. The village is a popular place for school field trips and weddings.

    4. Acadiana Park Nature Station – 1201 East Alexander Street, Lafayette, LA 70501
      Not far from Acadiana Park's beautiful campgrounds, you'll find the Acadiana Park Nature Station. This 150-acre facility is wheelchair accessible and incorporates a six-mile trail system. Since 1974, it has been known in the region for its Fourth Grade Environmental Education Program. Public tours are available every day of the year and guided Night Hikes on the last Saturday of each month.
       
    5. Atchafalaya Swamp Base – 2266 South College Road Suite E, Lafayette, LA 70508
      Created in 2010 as a national conservation site and "high adventure recreation base," Atchafalaya Swamp Base has a history intertwined with the local Boy Scouts. The Swamp encompasses an astounding 1.4 million acres, and the Swamp Base offers an accessible entry point. Its two iconic "treks," which consist of canoeing up to 75 miles, are regularly undertaken by experienced Scouts and guides. Weekend paddling trips are also available.

    Living in Lafayette puts you at the crossroads of natural wonders. Imagine all that and the history, culture, and cuisine of one of America's most beloved cities. Contact us at Latter & Blum to learn about Lafayette real estate opportunities.

    February
    12

    Lafayette Restaurants Perfect for Your Valentine's Day Plans

    Valentine's Day Restaurants Lafayette

    No matter if you plan to dine in or carry out, our real estate agents know Lafayette restaurants will delight with memorable dishes.

    Through a rough 2020, the community has banded together to support the restaurants that give Lafayette and the surrounding area so much character. Many of the most iconic restaurants are making their dining rooms available for limited guest parties. 

    Let's look at some of the most popular Valentine's date spots all around beautiful Lafayette:

    1. The Cajun Table – 4510 Ambassador Caffery Parkway Suite D, Lafayette, LA 70508
      The Cajun Table delights with the best dishes from the heart of Cajun country. Its story started in 2015 with a food truck promising good food and a good time. Embraced by the people of Lafayette, it is now a local culinary institution in its own right. You'll enjoy zydeco tunes and the invigorating scents of authentic Cajun cuisine as you chow down on entrees such as boiled crawfish, Cajun nachos, fried pickles, and fried crab claws.

    2. Blu Basil Wine & Grill – 5451 Johnson Street, Lafayette, LA 70503
      Blu Basil Wine & Grill blends Vietnamese roots with culinary ideas from around the world in a healthy and flavorful fusion that suits every taste. The menu runs the gamut from signature rice entrees and noodle soups to salads, stir fry, and the inimitable hot pot. There's even a dessert selection featuring fresh cheesecake and a kid's menu with rice, kimchee, lo mein, and chicken nuggets. Everyone will feel welcome at Blu Basil.

    3. Veronica's Cafe – 302 Hector Connoly Road, Carencro, LA 70520
      Veronica's Cafe bills itself as the place for comfort food in Carencro. Familiar American dishes meet home-cooked Creole and Cajun specialties here. Be on the lookout for such taste sensations as the grilled shrimp salad, barbecue pork steaks, and the crawfish etouffee. You can finish off your meal with a specialty cake baked fresh right on the premises. It's all just a few minutes from some of the most desirable Carencro homes for sale.

    4. Yoka Japanese Sushi Bar & Steak House – 930 Rees Street, Breaux Bridge, LA 70517
      Yoka Japanese Sushi Bar & Steak House draws sushi aficionados from all over Louisiana to Breaux Bridge. The chefs at Yoka have made it easy to order your favorites for dine-in and pickup. The all-day menu is packed with sushi bar classics, but there's also a full suite of hibachi entrees including chicken, salmon, shrimp, New York strip steak, and much more. It's one more fantastic reason to look at Breaux Bridge homes for sale.

    5. Pamplona Tapas Bar – 631 Jefferson Street, Lafayette, LA 70501
      Pamplona Tapas Bar is open for dinner on Tuesday through Saturday, with lunch available on Friday afternoon. Inspired by Ernest Hemingway's love for Pamplona, Spain, the bistro-style surroundings offer small plates of the most succulent seasonal products, as well as fresh seafood and meats. Popular entrees include the grilled Gulf fish, duck breast, paella, and wagyu steak. Flan, churros, and truffles are some of the top dessert offerings.

    This is just a sample of the many amazing restaurants that await in Lafayette. To find out more or get started with your home search, contact us at Latter & Blum.

    February
    5

    National Pizza Day: Where to Order a Pie Near Lafayette

    Louisiana Pizza

    National Pizza Day is on February 9th, so spend part of your day enjoying a slice at a restaurant around Lafayette. Whether you're looking for traditional toppings and crust or variations like a gluten-free crust or upscale toppings, you'll be able to find what you love at the local shops and pizzerias.

    Our real estate agents suggest paying a visit to one of the following restaurants on National Pizza Day and keeping the rest in mind for another time: 

    1. La Pizzeria Lafayette – 3809 Ambassador Caffery Parkway, Lafayette, LA 70503  
      La Pizzeria Lafayette has served the area delicious handmade pizzas for 25 years. In addition to a 10 or 14-inch pie made with a traditional crust, you can also choose a gluten-free low-carb cauliflower crust. Choose your own toppings, or order from a creative specialty pizza that's listed on the menu, such as Crab Amore, with lump crab meat in a white wine sauce with mushrooms, onions, and cheddar cheese topped with fresh diced green onion. 
        
    2. Alesi Pizza House – 4110 Johnson St., Lafayette, LA 70503
      Alesi Pizza House
      has kept ownership in the family since its opening in 1957, and their tradition of homemade sauces has continued over the years. Order a 12 or 14-inch pie with your choice of toppings, or try a specialty pizza like Pizza Alesi, which is topped with cheese, onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, pepperoni, and bacon. If you'd like to nosh on something other than pizza, the restaurant serves a long list of Italian favorites, including several types of fettuccine and veal dishes. 
        
    3. Pizza Village – 2340 Kaliste Saloom Rd., Lafayette, LA 70508 and 1935 Moss St., Lafayette, LA 70501   
      Pizza Village
      has served up pizza to the Lafayette area for nearly 50 years, specializing in a thin crust that's very crispy. They make their own sauce daily and are committed to using high-quality ingredients, such as cheese made to the restaurant's specifications in Wisconsin and delivered to them directly from the dairy. Order an 8, 11, 13, or 16-inch pizza, or try one off the menu like the Dupe Special, topped with hamburger, shrimp, and crispy pepperoni.
        
    4. Bread & Circus Provisions – 258 Bendel Rd., Lafayette, LA 70503 
      If you'd like to try wood-fired Neapolitan pizza with uniquely upscale ingredients, Bread & Circus Provisions is definitely worth visiting. You'll find ingredients that are a step up from what you'll usually see, such as grated Reggiano, chopped clams, spicy German-style smoked ham, and burnt garlic oil. The restaurant also has a nice selection of sharables to start your meal with, including chicken skins and eggplant hummus.
        
    5. Pizzaville USA – 1540 Johnson St., Lafayette, LA 70503 and A Derek Plaza Dr., Carencro, LA 70520   
      Pizzaville USA
      has been a popular family-friendly destination near Lafayette and Carencro homes for sale for 40 years. Their pizzas are baked with a crispy crust and come in themed pies like Uncle Sam's Special, which is topped with shrimp, Canadian bacon, jalapenos, extra mozzarella, and pineapple (upon request). And if the crust isn't your favorite part of the pizza, order a crustless version of a pizza in which sauce, cheese, toppings, and more cheese are layered in a souffle dish and then baked.

    Contact us to find out more places to visit in Lafayette or to see Lafayette homes for sale. We'd love to help you make the area your home!

    January
    15

    9 Reasons You Should Move to Louisiana in 2021

    Move to Louisiana 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    January
    5

    Your Guide to Making Your Home Smarter This Year

    Smart Home 2021Our real estate agents want you to close your eyes and think about the home of the future. Do you envision full tech integration, voice commands to operate everything, and special features so dazzling that you'd think you were living in 3021? Well, open your eyes to the tech of the future, available in your home today! Smart home automation brings state-of-the-art technology right into your living spaces. From the kitchen to the living room, bedroom, and even bathroom, you can outfit your home with advanced software and hardware that dynamically changes the way you live. Here's how to make your home smarter this year in five easy steps:

    1. Consider Your Needs
      Before you make any decisions, you must first consider whether smart home technology is right for you. There are endless options for upgrading your home, but your lifestyle may not benefit from the inclusion of certain systems. Ask yourself questions, such as if voice-controlled lighting, enhanced video security, or theater-quality AVL builds are right for your home.


    2. Learn About Smart Home Technology
      Now that you're able to identify which areas of your lifestyle would benefit from smart home integration, it's time to learn about the many options. Technology changes rapidly, so much so that even your neighbor's smart home tech may already be a little outdated. It's best to first discover what the top smart home tech upgrades are for the current year. For instance, if you're interested in smart home security, find out which systems are most popular and offer the most reliable software.


    3. Create A Budget
      Don't buy that cool piece of smart home tech just yet! It's always wise to create and stick to a budget when making any home modifications. Because smart home technology can become outdated even within a year, it's essential that you make sure your investment is as solid as possible. If needed, consult a professional, smart home automation technician to help you gauge how much equipment and setup charges would be for various installations. Then compare that to the DIY cost and determine which integrations will fit into your budget.


    4. Plan for the Future
      Again, technology is ever-changing, so you want to outfit your home with tech that can be easily upgraded or modified if necessary. Consider integrating smart tech that doesn't require extensive installation, such as smart hubs. If you're serious about heavy installation, consider consulting a real estate agent for advice, especially if you're planning to sell your home soon. You'll want to choose the smart home tech that adds the most resale value to your home.


    5. Enjoy Your Smart Home
      Finally, sit back and enjoy your new smart home. Seriously, use it. You'd be surprised how many homeowners have trouble breaking old habits. With so much integration available to control from your smartphone, you can enjoy your smart home without ever leaving the couch.

    Would you like to live in a new house that's already equipped with smart home technology? We can help. Contact us today to tour our Lafayette homes for sale.

    December
    18

    5 Creative Ways to Add a Home Office

     Lafayette Home Office

    Whether you work from home full-time or sporadically need a spot to concentrate, a home office is a valuable addition to your home. If your home is lacking a space that encourages productivity, here are a few creative ways to add a home office to your property. Our real estate agents know that properties staged with a home office also show well with potential buyers. 

    1. Set Up an Office in a Spare Closet
      An unused closet is a perfect spot to set up a home office. Depending on the size of the closet, you might have room to add a full-size desk, or you may want to install a shelf to act as your desk. If you want to have the option to quickly hide your work, leave the door to the closet intact. When you're done working, just close the door to conceal your hard work. Or, if you prefer a more open atmosphere, remove the door. 
    1. Partition Off Part of Your Open Concept Living Room
      Open concept living spaces are often popular in Lafayette homes for sale for multiple reasons, one of which is their versatility. It's easy to turn a wall or corner into an office space. While you can't easily add a wall to define your workspace, a room divider is an excellent way to partition off your office so that you have a little privacy. 
    1. Use the Space Under Your Stair
      If you reside in a home with multiple floors, don't let the space under your stairs go to waste. Instead, set up a desk and chair in the space. Sometimes, this space might be closed off, but it's usually possible to open up the space by removing the wall.
    1. Hide a Home Office in Your Cabinets
      Have a few spare cabinets in your media room, mudroom, or even your kitchen? They're a fantastic spot to set up a home office! Set your computer and work supplies up inside of the cabinet and pull up your chair. You can add or remove shelving as needed so that your office suits your needs. 
    1. Move Off-Sight to Your Storage Shed or Detached Garage
      Maybe you need a little space from your household's activities so that you can focus; if so, consider setting up a home office in your storage shed. If your shed doesn't already have electricity, an electrician can run power to it for a reasonable cost. You'll likely need to do a little decluttering and cleaning, but you'll be left with a private, tranquil spot where you can retreat when you need silence for your work. 

    Want to explore homes with more space? Contact us today!

    December
    11

    Bird Watchers Guide to Lafayette

    Lafayette Bird Watching

    Louisiana is a paradise for those who love nature! One of the best outdoor activities to do in the area is bird watching. With so many trails and parks within a few miles of the city center, Lafayette provides bird watchers with plenty of opportunities to spot some of the most beautiful birds in the state. If you're interested in bird watching around Lafayette, our real estate agents are here to answer your questions.

    Where can I go bird watching around Lafayette?

    Just one visit to Lafayette is enough to inspire you to venture into our many wonderful green spaces. Many of these protected spaces are home to a variety of plants and animals, particularly birds. Start your bird watching adventure at these four sites:

    • Atchafalaya National Heritage Area — 2022 Atchafalaya River Hwy, Breaux Bridge, LA 70517
      Follow I-10 northeast out of Lafayette, and you'll hit the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area near the Atchafalaya River. The American Birding Association has a partnership with this area, and since there are over 400 species of bird in the Atchafalaya Basin, we recommend reading the ABA Birdfinding Guide series, which provides directions to the best birding areas in Lafayette and around the state.


    • Cypress Island Preserve — 1264 Prairie Hwy, St. Martinville, LA 70582
      Just east of Lafayette, Cypress Island Preserve sits on the shores of Lake Martin. Thousands of birds flock to this preserve in the winter. A 2.5-mile trail is easily accessible and offers exceptional viewing through the spring.


    • Acadiana Park Nature Station— 1205 East Alexander St., Lafayette, LA 70501
      Located right outside of the city, the Acadiana Park Nature Station is a wonderful place to discover the local wildlife. There is a six-mile trail system where you can stroll through the Gulf Coastal Tallgrass Prairie and the Mississippi River Floodplain. 

    For a more extensive bird-watching trek, we suggest making a weekend of one of two Louisiana Birding Trails: The Vermilion Loop and The Atchafalaya Loop. The Atchafalaya Loop is a 100-mile trail running from Baton Rouge through Lafayette then down towards Iberia. The Vermilion Loop runs south from Lafayette through Abbeville, then nearly to the Vermilion Bay.

    What kind of birds and waterfowl can be found around Lafayette?

    Grab your camera and get ready to snap photos in all directions. There are dozens of native species that call the Lafayette area home, including:

    • Snowy Egrets
    • Great Blue Heron
    • Black-Crowned Night-Heron
    • Roseate Spoonbill
    • Anhinga
    • Wood Duck
    • Bald Eagles
    • Pileated Woodpeckers
    • Barred Owls
    • Brown Pelicans

    What do I need to go bird watching around Lafayette?

    Whether you're an avid bird watcher or have just taken up the activity while exploring new hobbies this year, you'll want to be prepared for your excursions. Here are a few recommend items that all bird watchers should have on them as to not run afowl of the best practices:

    • Binoculars for easy bird spotting
    • A field guide to help you identify the different species
    • A field journal where you can write your observations
    • A backpack that can fit everything you need yet still be lightweight and easy to carry
    • Comfortable clothing and shoes, preferably made from durable materials that protect you from heat and UV rays

    Bird watching is a wonderful activity that you can do alone or with others. If you're also on the lookout for a new home, let us be your eyes. Contact us today to tour our best Lafayette homes for sale.

    December
    11

    What Buyers Notice During a Virtual Tour

    Our real estate agents understand what buyers are looking for and help homeowners with Lafayette homes for sale create virtual tours that make their houses shine. What are buyers paying attention to most when virtually looking at your home? Here are some of the things to focus on if you want to catch a buyer's eye.

    What's in the Kitchen?

    Traditionally, the kitchen is one of the major selling points of a home. Although a shiny stainless fridge or state-of-the-art dishwasher is attractive, the stove is what catches the attention of buyers first. During in-person tours, many buyers even open it up, take a look inside, and turn on the burners to make sure they work. Point is, if you're selling your home, make sure your oven is sparkling clean and everything works. 

    Stage the Bedroom

    The average American sleeps nearly 230,000 hours in their lifetime, which translates to about one-third of their life. And guess what a buyer's eye goes to right away? The bed, of course. Most buyers check out the bed to see how their own bed will fit in the space and how the rest of their furniture will fit as well. Although it's important to declutter your whole house before putting it up for sale, making the bedrooms a priority is definitely a good strategy.

    Outdoor Access

    You may think that a buyer is only checking out the backyard when the tour moves outside, but this isn't always the case. Whether it's a virtual or in-person tour, when a buyer enters a room that opens out into the backyard, their eyes go straight to the doors that lead outside. That's why it's important to make sure windows and glass doors are sparkling clean, especially when filming a virtual tour. Sparkling clean glass can help your buyer get a good look at what's outside.

    Tips for Creating an Engaging Virtual Tour

    A 3-D virtual walkthrough isn't the same as simply shooting a video on your smartphone. It's best to leave this task to the professionals to make sure it's done right. Some important things to consider before creating your virtual tour include:

      1. Easy navigation—being able to move through different rooms and pan 360 degrees easily will keep their attention.
      2. Clear, high-definition picture—Make sure the quality of the tour is top-notch. A blurry view will turn buyers off and may even make them click away.
      3. Ability to freeze frames—Ensuring that potential buyers can stop or go back and freeze the frame to check out specific areas is critical.
      4. Keep it clean—Just like when you show your home in person, do a deep cleaning and remove clutter and personal items. Buyers want to envision their stuff in the home, and clutter can keep them from doing so.
      5. Highlight your home's best features—Getting great shots of outdoor spaces and other areas that may be selling points of your home can make it stand out from the rest. Shots of each room and feature should be taken from a vantage point that shows them in their entirety.
      6. Device compatibility—Your virtual tour should work well on all types of devices, including mobile phones, tablets, desktops, and laptops.

    Are you ready to create a breathtaking virtual tour for your home? Our experienced real estate professionals can help. Contact us today to get started.

    November
    20

    6 Creative Ways to Hide Clutter in Your Home

    Organize Your Home

    Clutter. No one likes it, but sometimes it's hard to avoid. We could blame it on the fact we're home more than usual. Or if we're away at work, we could blame it on the fact we don't have enough time left in the day to tidy up. Either way, we wish we could find the magic trick that helps us avoid clutter. 

    Most of us agree we have far too much stuff. It's easy to acquire things because buying gives us a rush, and it feels good. That is, until the moment, all that stuff ends up as clutter.

    The key to decluttering is often throwing away, donating, or rehoming excess items. But if it's something you use, either regularly or irregularly, you need a place to store it. That can be challenging in a home where space is at a premium. Sometimes you need a quick fix to keep the stuff out of sight but easily accessed.

    But if you need clutter to go away fast because your house is listed among Lafayette homes for sale, read on. We've got six great ways to hide clutter.

    1. Throw some shade on your bookshelves.
      Don't you love those tidily arranged bookshelves with books alternating with tchotchkes and negative space? Lovely to look at, but it doesn't do much to declutter. What might help is a shade installed from the top to pull down and hide the items you don't want to show in one deep shelf. The shade adds a little mystery. Invest in a nice fabric or rice paper shade. 

    2. Hide charging cords. 
      They're everywhere, aren't they -- tripping you up and looking unsightly. One solution is to gather up the charging cords and stow them in a box decorated with fabric. Cut some holes in the sides to run the cords through. Or, you can buy a manufactured charging station all ready to neatly store your extra cords in one place. 

    3. Draw the curtain on kids' clutter.
      Toys and games, even when they're stored on a shelf, are hard to hide. You can hang a pretty fabric curtain over the shelf, so the contents are out of sight.

    4. Stock up on bins and baskets.
      Bins and baskets should be your best friend when it comes to organizing your household. Arrange them on a shelf in closets; place them on countertops to hold those odd bits that don't go in a drawer; stow them in kitchen cabinets to hold dust rags, sponges, cleaning products, and more. Buy plastic containers in attractive colors and patterns, or acquire vintage-looking metal tubs or baskets. 

    5. Build a roll-out pantry in the kitchen.
      If you have a little extra space, say, next to your refrigerator, you might be able to create a roll-out pantry. You'll need some construction lumber, casters, hardware, molding, dowel rods, and plywood, but it's not hard to make if you're handy. Or hire someone to make it for you. You can also repurpose a shelf into a sliding pantry. Who wouldn't like some extra space to stow the cooking supplies that we've had to stack awkwardly in our fixed-space pantry?

    6. Create hidden cabinets.
      Mount attractive picture frames displaying family pictures or art. But behind them, affix cabinets of equal size. This will provide storage space for plenty of smaller items throughout the house.

    Our real estate agents can offer some great tips to hide clutter in your home while prospective buyers look at it. Contact us today.

    November
    13

    7 Ways to Upgrade Your Laundry Room

    Laundry Room Upgrades

    The average household does 8 to 10 loads of laundry every single week. Since your laundry room is such a high traffic area, it makes sense to upgrade the space to be more functional and aesthetically pleasing. Our real estate agents know that a charming laundry room is even attractive to potential homebuyers. Here are a few easy ways to upgrade your laundry room and make this space more appealing. 

    1. Add a Slide-Out Storage Tower
      Most laundry rooms have a little awkward space between the washer and dryer and between the appliances and the walls. Don't let this space go to waste; instead, add slide-out storage towers to these spaces. These towers are perfect for stowing laundry detergent, dryer sheets, and stain removers. 
    1. Use the Space Over Your Door for Storage
      One quandary of laundry day is that you likely have many spare hangers floating around until all your clothes are washed, dried, and hanging up. Solve this problem by installing a clothes hanger rack over your door. This cheap addition is simple to install and will increase the utility of your laundry room within minutes. You can even use it to hang up clothes that need to air dry. 
    1. Opt for a Hanging Ironing Board
      A conventional ironing board is an awkward item to store. It's big, heavy, and there's no clear place to stow it when you aren't using it. Swap your old ironing board for one that's designed to be hung on the wall or door when it isn't in use. This will free up your closet space and ensure that your ironing board always has a designated spot. 
    1. Replace Your Light Fixtures
      If your laundry room feels dark and dingy, give it an instant update by replacing your light fixtures. Before you add your home to the Lafayette homes for sale, making a few simple upgrades will help your home look its best. 
    1. Add Some Plants and Art
      Most homeowners don't think to decorate their laundry rooms, but it only takes a few pieces to transform the atmosphere of the space. With a couple of pieces of art or a lovely plant, your laundry room will be a more joyful, welcoming spot to spend time in. Feel free to add a few shelves to display some of your favorite pieces. 
    1. Incorporate Functional Furniture Into the Layout
      Depending on the size of the room, incorporate furniture that makes it more convenient for you to use your laundry room. A large table makes a perfect spot to quickly fold a load of laundry. Or, if you have a little more space, a cozy sitting chair provides an excellent area to read or work while you wait for a load to dry. 
    1. Rethink Your Laundry Sorting System
      Revamp your laundry sorting system so that it works better for your family. For example, if you have a large family, you might invest in a cube unit and purchase a laundry basket for each family member. This will make it easier for you to sort the laundry based on who it belongs to. Then, the family member just has to grab their basket when it's time to put their laundry away. 

    Ready to purchase a home with a large laundry room? Contact us today to get started!

    November
    6

    Painting Projects You Should Complete Before Listing

    Painting Lafayette Home

    As you prepare to sell your home, a detailed to-do list will save you time, money, and frustration in the long run. One of the important home renovation tasks your to-do list should include is painting. Various painting projects can dynamically improve the appearance of your home and potentially even raise its value. Our real estate agents encourage you to consider completing these painting projects before listing your home for sale.

    1. Paint Your Exterior
      With so much focus on your curb appeal, you may choose to paint the exterior of your home. Unless you're placing a fresh coat of the same color on the surface, you'll need to be cautious of which new color you choose. The color should complement the home and blend in with most other houses in the neighborhood. You should also choose a high-quality exterior paint to increase your chances of adding value to your home.


    2. Apply a Fresh Coat Indoors
      When it comes to your interior spaces, you shouldn't neglect the walls. It may seem like your walls are clean, but you'll be surprised just how fresh and vibrant your walls become after a repaint. One option is to place a fresh coat of the existing color on the walls. Another option is to paint all rooms in a neutral color such as white, beige, or gray to cater to the widest number of buyers.


    3. Repaint Special Spaces
      Although, in many cases, a neutral color scheme is a preferable option, you shouldn't be afraid to add a splash of color where appropriate. You can choose to add an accent wall in the master bedroom, office, or main living space. You can also design your kitchen or bathroom aesthetic with a particular color palette in mind. Just make sure you don't go overboard with color; you want buyers to view your home as a blank canvas as often as possible.


    4. Touch Up Interior Features
      After you've addressed the walls, it's time to hone in on the details of your interior. There are plenty of features that you may overlook, but buyers will notice with a close eye. Crown molding, door, furniture, window trim, and other painted elements of the home receive their share of wear and tear over time. Chips, scratches, or other blemishes are distracting and may make a buyer wonder how well the home was cared for. By touching up these areas, you ensure that everywhere they look appears as presentable as possible.


    5. Don't Neglect Outdoor Features
      Just as you shouldn't ignore your interior features, you can't neglect the painted elements of your exterior. This is especially important if you repaint the exterior of your home. Consider touching up your porch, stairs, and railings. Freshen up any shutters or planters on your windows. Attention to detail is key, as even simply repainting your front door or mailbox can potentially add value to your home.

    Are you ready to list your home? We can help. Contact us today to list your house alongside our Lafayette homes for sale.

    October
    9

    Where to Find Great Gumbo Near Lafayette

    Gumbo in Lafayette

    When new residents come into the Lafayette area, our real estate agents love showing them around and making sure they know about all the best local traditions. This includes highlighting area restaurants to enjoy the official state soup -- a steaming bowl of gumbo!

    There are many variations of this tasty dish, which is why it's so much fun to try each chef's unique take on it. If you're in pursuit of the perfect bowl of gumbo, you're in luck. Here's a round-up of our favorite places to find great gumbo in the Lafayette area. 

    1. Charley G's: 3809 Ambassador Caffery Parkway, Lafayette, LA 70503
      Famous for their smoked duck and andouille gumbo, Charley G's has been a longtime favorite among Lafayette locals. In fact, they've been serving up this incredible dish for over 30 years! They've listed the recipe on their website, but we recommend heading over there for the chef-prepared version. While you're there, you can also enjoy their fresh Louisiana seafood and grilled aged beef, both of which are cooked over southern hardwoods. Spending some time in this relaxing and welcoming restaurant is the perfect way to end a long day of exploring Lafayette homes for sale. 
    1. Dooky Chase's Restaurant: 2301 Orleans Ave., New Orleans, LA 70119
      If you've been looking at New Orleans homes for sale, you know that there's no shortage of great restaurants here. Dooky Chase's Restaurant is no exception! This family-owned and operated establishment has been serving up delicious food since 1941. It's truly a New Orleans treasure. On Tuesday through Friday, they serve a delicious lunch buffet that features many New Orleans staples, like hot sausage and beans and rice. You'll have to order the gumbo separately, but it's well worth it! Friday nights they have a regular menu with favorites like chicken creole, stuffed shrimp, and shrimp Clemenceau. 
    1. Prejean's: 3480 North Evangeline Throughway, Lafayette, LA 70507
      If you want to enjoy award-winning Cajun cuisine, look no further than Prejean's. This fun and friendly local restaurant has been pleasing residents for over 40 years. Their chicken and sausage gumbo is a three-time world champion! They also offer a delicious seafood gumbo made with shrimp, crawfish, and crabmeat and a gumbo made with smoked dixie duck and Acadiana andouille. When you've finished your gumbo, you'll want to enjoy some of their other amazing menu items, like fried green tomatoes, a crawfish enchilada, or the incredibly popular Prejean's Poboy. 
    1. Don's Seafood: 4309 Johnston St., Lafayette, LA 7050
      A Cajun tradition in Lafayette since 1934, Don's Seafood has some of the best gumbo around. You'll want to try both the chicken and andouille sausage gumbo and the delicious seafood gumbo made with shrimp and crab meat. We recommend pairing your gumbo with some charbroiled oysters and a side of hush puppies or adding a cup of gumbo to the Seafood Combo. This amazing dish comes with stuffed shrimp, fried catfish, fried shrimp, fried oysters, shrimp étouffée, french fries, and coleslaw. It's a feast that's truly one to remember! 

    The great food is just one of the many things to love about living in Lafayette. If you're ready to find your dream home here, we can help. Contact us today to get started. 

    August
    28

    7 Things We Love About Living in Lafayette

    Living in Lafayette

    Thinking about a move to Lafayette? Get ready to enjoy some great Cajun and Creole cuisine, southern hospitality, and a variety of live entertainment. In addition to a unique culture, The Hub City also has a good local economy and low housing costs, which make it a great place to settle down and start a family. Our real estate agents compiled the top 7 things that love about living in Lafayette. 

    1. The Warm Weather
      If you dislike cold weather, then Lafayette is the place for you. Those who enjoy the great outdoors can bike, hike, boat, or camp nearly all year round. Summers can be a bit steamy, but fall, winter, and spring can often be very comfortable. While summer is hurricane season, Lafayette is far enough from the coast that it can usually avoid the most severe impacts from large storms.
    2. Trying New Restaurants
      If you're a fan of Cajun food, you'll never run out of new restaurants to try in Lafayette. Cajun restaurant food tours will give you the best opportunity to experience a number of the best, most authentic Cajun, and Creole restaurants in the area. Not only will you get to taste authentic gumbo to fresh seafood, but you'll also have a chance to learn more about the area's rich history. 
    3. It's Bike-Friendly 
      Over the last 10 years, biking has become an increasingly popular way to get around town. Many major city streets are now equipped with bike lanes, and the Atakapa-Ishak Trail connects Lafayette to many nearby towns and neighborhoods.
    4. Strong Job Market
      Lafayette has a strong local economy, which makes it a great place for young professionals to establish a career. Oil & gas, healthcare, and education are some of the city's leading industries, and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and Lafayette Regional Medical center are two of the area's largest employers.
    5. Rich, Deep-Rooted Culture
      There is no shortage of art and culture in Lafayette. The must-see Vermilionville Historical Village is a 23-acre park dedicated to the history of Cajun, Creole, and indigenous culture. The Acadiana Center for the Arts is one of the top art and culture centers in the area, while the Hilliard University Art Museum at the University of Louisiana is a great place to see work from both local and international artists. The Lafayette Science Museum & Planetarium also offers a variety of exhibits and a completely digital planetarium. 
    6. Live Music is Everywhere
      Live music and dancing are deeply ingrained in the southern Louisiana culture. With live music at so many restaurants, bars, and venues across the city, you won't have to travel far to hear a wide variety of live performances. The city also hosts the Festival Internationale de Louisiane, a free four-day music festival with great music and the best Cajun food.
    7. Experience Mardi Gras
      New Orleans isn't the only Louisiana city that knows how to celebrate Mardi Gras. Lafayette's celebrations include up to five days' worth of parades. Masked balls and parties are commonly held throughout the season in various neighborhoods across the city.

    Lafayette is a unique, beautiful place to live, but the best way to experience it is to see for yourself. While you're visiting the area, be sure to check out some of these beautiful Lafayette homes for sale. For more information on what it's like to live in the Hub City, contact us today!

    August
    21

    Thinking of Buying Your First Home? Why Now is the Perfect Time!

    Buying a First Home

    2020 has been an unprecedented year in so many ways, and the current real estate market has created unique opportunities for many buyers shopping as a first-time buyer. A combination of low-interest rates and motivated sellers means that now is the perfect time to shop for a home in many markets! Our real estate agents are here to help with more info on the current market and some tips to help you prepare for purchasing your first home.

    • Mortgage Interest Rates Are at All-Time Lows
      The interest rate on your mortgage is a crucial factor in how much home you can afford, and how much of your budget that mortgage payments will take up over time. At the time of publication, mortgage rates are at an all-time low of 2.98 percent. The Fed drops rates to stimulate the economy so that these low rates won't last forever. That's why now is the time to capitalize on this unique opportunity.

    • Motivated Sellers Are Ready to Make Deals
      With social distancing measures and other restrictions in place in many markets across the country during 2020, sellers have had some unusual obstacles in their path when trying to find a buyer. Mix in an unsettled economy, and many sellers are more motivated than ever to make a deal. While the competition for homes is often still strong, motivated sellers make it easier for you to find the best deals as a first-time buyer.

    Tips for Preparing to Purchase Your First Home

    • Check Your Credit and Pay Down Debts
      Before you get serious about shopping for Lafayette homes for sale, it's wise to make sure that you're ready to secure a mortgage. Start by requesting your free annual credit report from the three major credit bureaus, and looking for every opportunity to improve your credit score. Paying down as many outstanding debts as possible before applying for a mortgage will help you get the best rates, and increase your purchasing power. Once your credit score is looking great, avoid making large purchases and opening new lines of credit until after purchasing your home.

    • Save for Your Down Payment and Closing Costs
      The largest up-front costs in purchasing your first home will typically be your down payment and closing costs. Overall, you can expect these payments to be about 8 to 10 percent of the total cost of the home, at a minimum. 

    • Get Pre-Approved to Discover Your Purchasing Power
      Once your finances are looking strong, you'll be ready to get pre-approved for your mortgage. Pre-approval will give you an idea of exactly how much purchasing power you have as you shop for homes and shows sellers that you're a serious buyer with the funds to close the deal.

    • Find the Right Real Estate Agent
      There are so many little details that go into purchasing your first home, and the process can be challenging to navigate when you haven't done it before. The right real estate agent will make your life easier in so many ways, from identifying homes that match your needs to negotiating the best possible deal with sellers.

    Ready to take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity and find your first home? Our team is here to help. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Lafayette, LA area.

    August
    10

    Lafayette Named One of the Best Cities for Indoor/Outdoor Living

    Indoor Outdoor Living

    Our REALTORS® are excited to announce that Lafayette has been named one of the best cities for indoor/outdoor living. Ranked #7 on a top-ten list including other desirable U.S. cities like Naples, Phoenix, and Medford, Lafayette contains a high percentage of home listings with features that conveniently accommodate indoor/outdoor living. 

    Lafayette: One of the Best Cities for Indoor/Outdoor Living

    Anyone who's set foot in Lafayette has certainly been captivated by the culture, cuisine, and community created by the city's location in Cajun and Creole Country. Lafayette's frequently mentioned as a wonderful place to live, with it being named one of the Happiest Cities in America and one of the top growing cities where millennials are purchasing a property. We're hardly surprised to discover how well-suited Lafayette is for indoor/outdoor living:

    • Over 54% of listings in Lafayette include outdoor amenities.
    • Nearly 40% of listings in Lafayette feature patio space.
    • Almost 20% of listings have a pool.
    • Average prices for homes in Lafayette that have outdoor amenities or features is $265,000

    Living in Lafayette means backyard barbeques and boils, suntanning and stargazing, poolside dining, and parties on the patio. Each year, Lafayette is greeted with an average of 217 sunny days, above the U.S. average of 205. Although the city does see higher-than-average rainfall, 62 inches per year compared to the national average of 38 inches per year, Lafayette's warm annual weather prevents snow from falling.

    Throughout the year, residents of Lafayette are treated to temperates in the 90s and 70s during the summer and winter temperatures hovering between the mid-40s and mid-60s. These annual temperatures are ideal for homes featuring indoor/outdoor living amenities.

    Outdoor fireplaces or fire pits and four-seasons rooms with a furnace make even the chilliest winters enjoyable cozy outdoors. During the peak of summer, outdoor kitchens, covered patios with ceiling fans, and refreshing pools make it effortless to enjoy the sunshine and shade comfortably no matter how high the temperatures climb.

    If you're searching for a new home in the Hub City, we recommend that you tour a home with indoor/outdoor amenities and discover how well a transitional space suits you.

    Benefits of Indoor/Outdoor Living

    There are many benefits of owning a home that offers indoor/outdoor living space. Although this trend has been gaining popularity over the last two decades, indoor/outdoor living spaces can be found in civilizations dating back thousands of years. If you've ever visited a home with such transitional spaces, then you're already familiar with the many benefits indoor/outdoor spaces provide, including:

    • Increased airflow to cool and refresh your home.
    • More natural lighting.
    • Expanded living spaces.
    • Greater space for hosting guests and entertaining.
    • Opportunities to install unique amenities like outdoor kitchens and poolside cabanas.
    • Potential increases in home value.
    • The ability to enjoy the outdoors comfortable no matter the season.

    With such wonderful weather throughout the year, owning a home in Lafayette with exceptional indoor/outdoor spaces is a wise investment. If you'd like to discover the many Lafayette homes for sale featuring pools, sunrooms, outdoor fireplaces or kitchens, and patios perfect enough to create your own luxurious staycation, contact us today to begin your search!

    July
    17

    National Ice Cream Day: Ice Cream Shops in the Lafayette Area

    Ice Cream in Lafayette

    If you are looking for an excuse to check out some of the local ice cream shops in the Lafayette area, look no further! National Ice Cream Day is coming up on July 19th and is the perfect time to celebrate with a cone or cup of your favorite flavor of ice cream.

    Lafayette is home to many wonderful local businesses serving up tasty, homemade ice cream. Our real estate agents suggest you pull into these local favorites on National Ice Cream Day or any hot summer day. 

    1. Carpe Diem - 812 Jefferson St., Lafayette, LA 70501
      Seize the day by starting your adventure off at the best gelato-espresso bar on this side of Europe. At Carpe Diem, you can dine upon a crepe piled high with fruit and ice cream, sip a glass of wine, and savor the flavor of fabulous food and espresso. It's a great place to rest and relax in a fun, friendly atmosphere any day of the week.
    2. Jammin' Java - 3366 Verot School Rd., Suite 100, Lafayette, LA 70508
      At Jammin' Java, they take great pleasure in shattering the mold with every scoop. Their menu is the result of taking the traditional and twisting it, turning it and molding it into unique flavors. From frappes and milkshakes to ice cream sandwiches and more, you can find plenty of fabulous treats that will have you coming back for more. 
    3. Marble Slab Creamery - 3500 NW Evangeline Trwy G, Carencro, LA 70520
      Ready to get out of town for a little bit? Head on over to the Marble Slab Creamery for a little rest and relaxation. You can order a customized ice cream cake, sample some of their superbly decorated cookies and cakes, or mix and match your favorites to create a bowl of ice cream so large you'll need two spoons to eat it all. Black cherry and banana rum, peanut butter, and mango, if you can think of the flavor, they've already created it. They have more than 70 different flavors of ice cream, sorbet, and low-fat yogurt to choose from.
    4. Yogurtland - 104 E. Kaliste Saloom Rd., #100, Lafayette, LA 70508
      Looking for a slightly healthier alternative to celebrate National Ice Cream Day with? Venture over to Yogurtland. If you have meant to give them a try, now is a great time to pull in and discover just how sweet the Orange Blossom White Peace Light Ice Cream, Birthday Cupcake Batter, Almond Midnight Mocha, and more really taste. With so many flavors and combinations to try, this just might become your go-to place for a sweet treat at the end of the day.

    It is our pleasure to help you discover the many businesses that make our city one of the sweetest in the south. Looking for a home near your favorite local businesses in Lafayette? Contact us to learn more about Lafayette homes for sale.

    July
    10

    Don't Wait to Address These Home Maintenance Issues

    Home Maintenance Issues

    Whether your home is an older house filled with character or a new property filled with trendy details, it's important to keep your space maintained. Not only will regular home maintenance save you money in the long run, but it will ensure your home is ready to put on the market when you call our real estate agents. Here are a few common home maintenance issues to address as soon as possible: 

    1. Any Leaks or Drips
      It might not seem like a huge deal if your pipes drip a little water or if your roof has a small leak when it storms. Unfortunately, it only takes a small amount of water to cause a lot of damage to your home. When left on its own, a leak will continue to add water and keep the same area moist. If you notice an area of unexplained moisture or if your water bill seems higher than usual, contact a plumber ASAP to diagnose the problem. You want to take care of any water-related damage before adding your home to the list of Lafayette homes for sale. This moisture can lead to a host of issues, including:
        • Mold or mildew
        • Cracks
        • Damage to your foundation or ceilings
        • A prolonged musty smell
    1. Dirty Air Ducts
      Your home's air ducts transport the cool or warm air from your home's heating and cooling systems throughout your home. Over time, it's possible for contaminants to get trapped in your air ducts. Pet hair and dust are some of the most common culprits. When the air passes through the air ducts, these contaminants will be released back into your home, lowering your air quality and causing respiratory irritation. Make sure that you regularly change your air filters and have your air ducts inspected annually. During this cleaning, you can also have your air ducts inspected to ensure that they're structurally sound. 
    1. A Sewage Backup
      If you have a sewage backup, this is a problem that calls for a quick remedy. Overflowing sewage will cause your property to have a horrid smell that will prevent you from using your outside spaces. Should you notice that you have multiple drains clogged or if your toilets aren't flushing correctly, you might have a sewage backup. A rank odor is another common sign that it's time to call a plumber. 
    1. A Broken Kitchen Exhaust Fan
      When you cook, your kitchen's exhaust fan helps remove smoke, grease, and odors from your kitchen. If these items aren't collected, they'll remain in your kitchen's air, causing your kitchen to smell and accumulate a film of grease on the walls and cabinets. Fortunately, replacing a wonky exhaust fan is a quick, simple repair. If your exhaust fan works but doesn't seem like it's clearing the smoke from your cooking very efficiently, this may indicate it's time for an upgrade. 
    1. Buildup in Your Chimney
      There's nothing like a warm, cozy fire on a chilly night. If you notice that your fire leaves more wood than ash or if there's a lot of soot, this can indicate that your chimney has creosote buildup. Creosote is a byproduct produced by the combustion of wood. When creosote accumulates, it increases your home's chance of a chimney fire. Have your chimney cleaned once a year to remove any buildup. 

    Ready to explore properties that are for sale? Contact us today to find a fantastic home for your family!

    June
    19

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

    Moving to a New State

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

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

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

    June
    12

    DIY Backyard Fire Pit Ideas

    Fire Pit DIY

    A fire pit creates a cozy backyard destination for family and friends, and there' s no end to the styles, shapes, and sizes you can create. Whether you have a large yard or just a deck, a do-it-yourself firepit can make it into a gathering spot. Many DIY firepits cost around $100 or even less to make, even if you have to buy all the materials new. 

    Our real estate agents suggest the following backyard firepit ideas to create a gathering spot in your yard this summer:

    1. Modern Concrete Fire Pit
      From manmadediy.com
      Who knew a large plastic salad bowl and a stainless steel mixing bowl - combined with concrete, grill grate, and other elements - could be used to make a sleek-looking backyard fire pit for less than $100? This creative project uses gel fireplace fuel cans that are designed for fireplaces and are also effective for creating nice flames in a fire pit. 

    2. Square Fire Pit
      From dealstealsandheels.blogspot.com
      The directions for this square fire pit are simple, and the cost comes in at about $75. Start by digging a hole and then adding sand, pavers, and more sand. The walls are built from cement blocks.

    3. Modern-Style Metal and Glass Fire Pit
      From theartofdoingstuff.com
      A contemporary take on the fire pit from The Art of Doing Stuff is made from glass, a metal or terracotta planter, and a metal grate. It's mini-sized, so it won't take up much space, and the cost is less than $25. Gluing the sheets of glass together with silicone is the most challenging part of the project, with the rest coming together more easily. As with many smaller fire pits, this one also utilizes gel canisters.

    4. Stone Fire Pit
      From diynetwork.com
      This fire pit is on the larger side and is even built with room for seating. It's made using palletized stone, which consists of pre-sorted premium stone. It costs more but will help save time since these stones are more uniform in appearance and quality.

    5. Concrete Tree Ring Fire Pit
      From instructables.com
      Concrete tree rings - circular sections of concrete used for flower beds at the base of a tree - help form the basis of this fire pit and were found at a bargain at a home improvement store. A small Weber grill and inner firepot were also used, with the total project cost coming in between $50 and $80, depending on how much you spend on stones.

    6. Adirondack Fire Bowl Table
      From interiorfrugalista.com
      If you have Adirondack chairs, this table - which is made from fence boards - can blend in perfectly with them. It's designed to be used on a deck and has an interesting hexagon shape.

    Contact us to learn more about popular improvements that can make your home more enjoyable. And if you're looking to sell your home or check out Lafayette homes for sale, our agents will be happy to help! 

    May
    15

    Phase 1 Reopening in Louisiana: The Impact on Real Estate Services

    Reopening Louisiana

    Following established guidelines, Louisiana will begin Phase 1 of the opening plan on Friday, May 15th. Although this reopening is a bright beacon of hope, we must not forget that we are not fully free of the shadow of COVID-19. As we revive our sense of normalcy, our real estate agents want to assure you that we are collectively doing our part to safely serve our community as responsibly as possible.

    FAQ About Louisiana Phase 1 Coronavirus Reopening

    When will Louisiana reopen?
    The state will enter Phase 1 of a three-phase reopening plan, as suggested by the federal government, on May 15th.

    What businesses and services will be reopened in Phase 1?
    Phase 1 of the reopening plan includes the opening of many services and businesses, such as barbershops/hair salons, bars that serve food, churches, funeral services, gyms and fitness centers, malls, movie theaters, restaurants, and many other non-essential businesses. However, many of these locations are only allowed to open if they follow strict guidelines dictating the number of individuals permitted to occupy the space and how employees, visitors, and customers must interact while following social distancing/PPE guidelines.

    How long will Phase 1 last?
    Currently, Louisiana is scheduled to operate under Phase 1 guidelines for 21 days, and into Phase 2 on June 15th. However, as we've seen over the last few months, the coronavirus situation can change quickly. While these dates are hopeful, they are not guaranteed and may be adjusted at any time.

    How does this impact real estate services?
    We want all of our associates and clients to know that Latter & Blum considers the safety and health of our community a number one priority. As essential personnel, our agents can continue to serve our community as safe, securely, and responsibly as possible. To do so, we have asked that all Latter & Blum agents follow these guidelines:

    • Reduce the number of physical showings by only touring homes with buyers who are prequalified for properties that meet their search criteria (for example, size, price, style, wish list, location, etc.)

    • All agents should conveniently provide documents describing floor plan, property amenities, flood information, home improvements, termite contracts, and other relevant information on the MLS listing. Furthermore, agents should also execute any paperwork electronically when possible.

    • Agents should practice social distancing by remaining six feet apart from others when possible and by limiting showings to a maximum of five people at once. Agents should also drive to each property in separate vehicles from the buyers.

    • All agents are encouraged to wear a mask in public places, including during property viewings, wear gloves, and wash their hands when entering and exiting the property. All agents should also sanitize any surface that they touch and open/close all doors, cabinets, and other property elements for the buyers

    Although these guidelines are not forced upon the agents or buyers, many of our agents are voluntarily taking the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 out of respect to our friends, family members, and neighbors throughout the community.

    If you are ready to purchase or sell property, we're ready to help. Contact us today to get started!

    May
    22

    How to Host a Remote Game Night in Lafayette

    Game Night Lafayette

    Do you miss those fun and fabulous game nights with family and friends? Social distancing doesn't mean you have to sacrifice these popular events. Host a remote game night via FaceTime, Skype, and other virtual gathering platforms with these helpful tips and games suggested by our real estate agents. Don't forget the popcorn!

    How to Host a Remote Game Night

    • Send Invitations
      Anticipation is part of the excitement, so do it up right by sending invitations. Evite and Paperless Post have free digital invitations designed specifically for online parties.

    • Choose Your Platform
      How many guests are you expecting? For video chats, Google Hangouts accommodates up to 10 people, while Skype handles as many as 50. FaceTime allows up to 32, but Apple devices are required for use. 

    • BYOB
      One of the benefits of hosting a virtual party is that everyone handles their own food and beverage. Create an extra measure of camaraderie by selecting a theme or sharing a particular recipe for everyone to add their own flair. 

    Digital Games

    Will your group include adults, kids, or a mix of both? Be sure to pick a game that's suitable for the appropriate ages.

    • Big Boggle
      You loved it as a kid, and now Big Boggle takes the classic word game to a new level. Players still have to scramble to form the longest words possible during the time limit, but the new version has a larger grid that lets you score more points. The size also makes for better visibility online.

    • Codenames
      Unleash your inner James Bond with Codenames, a spy game suitable for adults and teens. Two rival spymasters head up groups of 25 "agents" known only by codenames. Teams use one-word clues from the spymasters to identify their "agents" while avoiding those of the other team. Complicating the mission is the "assassin" lurking in the shadows. Codenames comes in both hard-copy and online versions that can be played by as few as four people. 

    • Catan Universe
      Since its debut in 1995, Settlers of Catan has remained a popular board game for all ages. Players compete to establish their own settlement on Catan, which leads to a lot of thrilling wheeling and dealing. The digital version, Catan Universe, is faithful to the original, with plenty of opportunities for interaction.

    • Psych!
      Psych!, released by talk-show host and noted game enthusiast Ellen DeGeneres, adds a unique twist to classic trivia challenges. Players make up outrageous answers to trivia questions from some categories. Earn points for guessing the correct answer as well as for each person you fool with your answer. You can even get Ellen herself to join in! Psych! is available for both Android and iOS.

    • Charades
      With no equipment or skill required, Charades is the ultimate low-tech game, yet it's perfectly suited for high-tech playing by all ages. The goal is to get people to guess names, titles, and phrases by physically acting out the words or syllables. Include one digital element by using an online Charades generator to ensure a steady stream of random suggestions without having to put in too much thought.

    When it comes to Lafayette homes for sale, we don't play games. Contact us at Latter & Blum for professional and dedicated help with your real estate needs.

    May
    8

    7 Apps to Help With Home Improvement Projects

    Home Improvement Apps

    You may have started your home improvement project by opening your toolbox, and for some projects, that's the perfect place to start. But for projects that involve planning, measuring, and creativity, your best tool may already be in your pocket. Home improvement apps for your smartphone make it easy for you to plan and execute your home improvement projects. Our real estate agents know when a DIY project has been well planned. Plan for your next home improvement project with these apps. 

    1. Paint Tester
      You may love that shade in the store, or even when you tape a swatch to the wall, but it can look very different in large doses or in the lighting around your home. Paint Tester allows you to test out thousands of shades against a photo of the room you wish to paint. The app includes settings for painting walls in different shades, so if you want to try an accent wall, try it on Paint Tester before you lay down the drop cloths. Available at iTunes or Google Play
    2. Photo Measures
      Getting exact measurements is essential for many home improvement tasks. Buying materials or furniture that's the wrong size can result in returns and delays. Photo Measures uses your phone's camera as the ultimate tape measure. Measure the dimensions of rooms, doorways, furnishings, and more. Get it for Android or Apple
    3. Ruler
      If you need to get fine measurements for smaller objects, Ruler is the perfect tool. If you need to check the dimensions of a medicine cabinet, Ruler is what you need. Available for iOS only. 
    4. Handyman Calculator
      Determining how much tile you'll need for the bathroom or what lumber cuts you'll need used to involve a lot of calculation by hand. This app will allow you to skip the fractions and keep all the information you need for your project at hand. Get Handyman Calculator at the Google Play store. 
    5. iHandyCarpenter
      Keep your shelves level, and your angles correct with iHandyCarpenter. It lives up to the "handy" part of its name as it serves as a level, plumb bob, protractor, and ruler. Don't hang a picture frame without it. Get it for your Apple or Android device. 
    6. The Home Depot
      The Home Depot has two locations near several Lafayette homes for sale, but their most convenient location is right in your home. Official Home Depot apps help you locate what you need in-store, consult consumer ratings and reviews, and watch videos for the products you're considering. It's a great guide to a store with such varied offerings. Get it at the Google Play store or on iTunes
    7. Pinterest
      Sometimes, you know exactly what you want for your home. But if you're still looking for ideas, Pinterest is there to help. Creative people of all stripes share their hacks and design ideas for homeowners to try and sometimes improve upon. You can get new ideas or see ideas you've considered executed in a variety of settings—download Pinterest for your Apple or Android device. 

    Modern tools can sometimes put homeowners on a bit of a learning curve, but apps designed for DIYers are user-friendly. Your phone or tablet can help ensure accuracy in planning, saving you time, money, and headaches. We'd like to help you with any concerns you have with preparing your home for sale if you contact us today. 

    April
    24

    How to Virtually Tour Homes in Lafayette

    Virtually Tour Lafayette

    Open-houses and private showings are often the most exciting parts of your home search. Of course, many buyers don't always find their dream homes during the first few tours, especially if they're visiting from out of town. Thankfully, modern technology has revolutionized many aspects of the home buying process, including showings.

    Prospective buyers can now virtually tour homes in Lafayette, New Orleans, and Baton Rouge from anywhere in the world without leaving their own house. Our real estate agents are excited to offer virtual tours of our many amazing Lafayette homes for sale — helping you find your Louisiana dream home from the comfort of your couch!

    What is a Virtual Home Tour?

    A home showing allows a prospective buyer to walk through a property they're interested in buying. Instead of walking the home in-person, a virtual home tour allows a prospective buyer to view the full interior and exterior of the property via the internet. There are two types of virtual home tours.

    The first is a 3D walk-through. This function allows a viewer to explore a home through a first-person point of view with 360-degree angles. Imagine the same technology as Google Street View, only this time you're navigating your way around the interior of a home.

    The second type is a custom virtual tour. Unlike standard video tours that are prerecorded and uploaded for a buyer to view at any time, a custom virtual tour employs video chatting apps to give buyers a real-time tour of the property. Real estate agents use convenient apps like FaceTime to walk each buyer through the home virtually. This allows the buyer to dictate which areas they want a closer look at and enables the agent to explain every element of the home to the buyer in exceptional detail.

    Touring Lafayette Homes Virtually With Latter & Blum

    Virtual tours are innovative and interactive ways for buyers to tour homes from anywhere at any time. Touring Lafayette homes for sale virtually with Latter & Blum is effortless:

    • First, select the listing you wish to tour virtually.

    • Then, click the "Tour This Home" button.

    • Next, select "Tour via Video Chat" and choose your preferred video chat app. Options include FaceTime, Goggle Duo, Skype, Zoom, and WhatsApp.

    • Enter your contact information, including your name, email address, and phone number.

    • Select a date and time that best fits your schedule.

    • Finally, tell us whether email or text messaging is the best way to contact you and click "Send Request". Our agents will call you shortly to schedule a virtual tour of this specific property.

    If you don't have either of those applications, they're simple to download via these links:

    Contact us today to schedule a virtual tour of our Lafayette homes for sale.  

    April
    10

    Curbside and Takeout Options in Lafayette

    Takeout in Lafayette

    Dine-in table service at Lafayette restaurants has been restricted since March 17. That's the day shelter-in-place directives were issued by the governor here in Louisiana.

    Staying at home as much as possible is vital to weathering the coronavirus threat. However, the Lafayette dining community is working hard to make meals available. It is permitted to visit local restaurants for carryout service, and many are offering delivery.

    Just remember, parking in front of many Lafayette dining locations is limited to 20 minutes. If you decide to order carryout, be sure to order and pay in advance online or by phone.

    Here's where to chow down around Lafayette:

    1. Blaze Pizza – 111 Meadow Farm Road #100, Lafayette, LA 70508
      Offering carryout and delivery with special deals through the Blaze Pizza website, this mainstay is known for artisanal ingredients, dough made from scratch, and crisp, fast-fired pizzas. It also boasts a selection of salads, desserts, and drinks.
    2. Antoni's Italian Cafe – 1118 Coolidge Street Suite A, Lafayette, LA 70503
      Antoni's Italian Cafe is cooking up its full menu for takeout service. Locally owned and operated, it's been a favorite for over 20 years. Available for lunch and dinner, you won't want to miss hearty meals like lasagna Bolognese, chicken parmesan, grilled quail, and baked salmon.
    3. Burgersmith – 1314 Camellia Boulevard, Lafayette, LA 70506
      Burgersmith will tantalize your taste buds with takeout, curbside, and delivery orders featuring all your favorite juicy burgers. You can also enjoy the chili cheese dog, fried egg sandwich, Cajun bratwurst, blackened or grilled fish sandwich, and many more.
    4. Judice Inn – 3134 Johnston Street, Lafayette, LA 70503
      Dating to 1947, Judice Inn has seen tough times and always rises to the occasion. Delivery and pickup orders are being taken through the app, website, and Facebook. Call in when you arrive, and orders will be brought to your car. Now's the perfect chance to try its famous burgers!
    5. TEA-Rex – 120 Curran Lane Suite B, Lafayette, LA 70506
      Known for the classic tearoom experience right in the heart of Lafayette, TEA-Rex delights its fans by offering delivery through the Waitr app. Takeout is also available. New drinks such as the coffee milk tea with handmade coffee foam are continuing to debut!
    6. Bisbano's Pizza Parlor – 1540 Johnston Street, Lafayette, LA 70503
      Bisbano's Pizza Parlor is ready for to-go orders, curbside, and delivery through DoorDash while still serving up some of the best pizza in Lafayette. Soups, salads, and a whole slew of po' boys are brought hot and fresh alongside pizzas with all your favorite toppings.
    7. SHINTO Japanese Cuisine – 3810 Ambassador Caffery Parkway, Lafayette, LA 70503
      Beloved for its romantic atmosphere and great food, SHINTO may not be able to offer its exciting table-side show, but its food is as good as ever. Japanese classics run the gamut from steaks to ultra-fresh sushi. Takeout and delivery orders are available.
    8. Twins Burgers and Sweets – 2801 Johnston Street, Lafayette, LA 70503
      Twins Burgers and Sweets is open for curbside service and will provide a surprise bag of sweet treats to customers to show their appreciation. Cupcakes, cookies, shakes, and specialty desserts are still on offer after you enjoy your mouthwatering signature beef or crab burger.

    Now's a terrific time to support local businesses by ordering from your favorite Lafayette restaurant. For questions about real estate opportunities and Lafayette homes for sale, simply contact us.

    April
    3

    COVID-19 Update From Our Agents

    COVID-19 Update

    At Latter & Blum, our REALTORS® have worked hard to protect the safety of our clients and co-workers during the COVID-19 outbreak. We are following all social distancing and safety guidelines issued throughout Louisiana.

    The measures affect all Lafayette homes for sale and New Orleans homes for sale as well as properties elsewhere in the state. In addition to state and federal guidelines, real estate associations have issued industry-specific guidance for protecting clients.

    In light of all the available information, Latter and Blum is doing our part to flatten the curve with the following measures:

    1. All of Our Real Estate Offices Are Currently Closed
      Social distancing is the most important step most people can take to ensure the well-being of family, friends, and neighbors. With this in mind, all Latter & Blum offices throughout our service area are closed. We are still working every day and remain available by phone, Skype, Zoom, or FaceTime.
    2. Virtual Open Houses Are Now Available to Buyers
      In-person open house events are suspended for the foreseeable future. Our agents have been implementing Virtual Open House technology. We recommend Virtual Open Houses and showings be conducted by appointment only.
    3. New Home Search Technologies Are Being Introduced
      Latter & Blum will be rolling out cutting-edge technologies to make every aspect of buying and selling easier in this challenging time. That includes virtual showings, high-definition video tours, and 3D tours of new listings, digital document signing, and online transaction management.
    4. We Are Updating Current Listings With Safety Precautions
      Real estate agents around the country have been developing best practices for health and safety. We will update all of our current listings to request that visitors to homes maintain a safe distance from countertops, door handles, appliances, and lighting, and refrain from using bathrooms.
    5. We Recommend Screenings for Clients Who Want to See a Home
      Our agents will be asking buyers and sellers some simple questions to assess health risks. Please let us know if you are experiencing any symptoms, have been exposed to an infected person or have one in your care, or have recently traveled to areas with high coronavirus risk.

    What to Know About All-New Virtual Tours

    A virtual tour is the next best thing to being there! It's safe, convenient, and even fun.

    During a virtual tour, you will have the opportunity to walk through a property with the help of your real estate agent. You can ask questions and get them answered in real-time. Our smart mobile technology gives you a clear view of every area of the home.

    For your convenience, we are leading appointment-only virtual tours with the most popular telepresence software. Our agents are experienced in FaceTime, Skype, and Zoom. All you need to do is set an appointment time and then wait for our call. Tours last less than an hour.

    Here's how to get set up on these convenient platforms:

    You can use the above software on your favorite smartphone, tablet, laptop, or even on a desktop computer. For questions about how to best enjoy your virtual tour, contact your agent directly.

    Latter & Blum is Here for You in This Difficult Time

    If you decide not to buy or sell right now, that's okay! Latter & Blum will be here when you need us, and so will the right Louisiana home for you. We care about you and your family's health and safety. 

    Remember, we are all in this together. If you have any questions for our team, don't hesitate to contact us.

    March
    9

    How to Celebrate St Patrick's Day in Lafayette

    St Patricks Day Lafayette

    St. Patrick's Day is the second most popular party in Lafayette! This year, there are plenty of ways that you can get out and join in the fun with your family and friends. So put on something green and get ready to make some memories that will last a lifetime.

    1. St. Patty's Day National Bubble Day - Royal Day Spa, 302 Coyote Trail, Maurice, LA 70555
      There is nothing better than spending a day at the spa relaxing with your children and closest friends. This St. Patty's Day, head on over to the Royal Day Spa on March 13th from 6 pm to 8:30 pm. They will have green and gold nail painting, a green tea party, some mini-massages, karaoke, bubbles, and much more. It is also an excellent time for you to meet other parents in the area and talk about the Maurice homes for sale that have caught your eye.
    2. Patty in the Parc - Parc International, Garfield St, Lafayette, LA 70501 
      Sir Mix-A-Lot, Wayne Toups, and L.A. Roxx are headlining this year's celebration of Patty in the Parc on March 14th at 5:30 pm. This party is one of the hottest in town, and it's one that you don't want to miss if you enjoy good music and great times. Music starts at 6 pm, and you need to make sure to leave the coolers, food, and outside beverages in the car. Children under 10 get in free and be sure to wear some green so you will fit into the crowd that you can expect to gather.
    3. Celtic Bayou Festival - Warehouse 535, 535 Garfield St, Lafayette, LA 70501
      Europe may seem like a world away, but the fact is that you can get a taste of it right here in Lafayette. All you have to do is make your way into the Celtic Bayou Festival on March 14th. This family-friendly event will feature a Guinness Cook-Off, Bailey's Bake-Off, Jameson Pub Crawl, and so much more. Who knows, you might see a few Lafayette homes for sale on your way to the party. 
    4. 8th Annual St. Pat's Comedy for a Cause - Magdalen Place, 2 S Magdalen Square, Abbeville, LA 70510
      Each year for the past eight years, the Rotary Club of Abbeville brought together some of the funniest talent this side of the Mason-Dixon line. If you enjoy a good laugh, then you won't want to miss the 8th Annual St. Pat's Comedy for a Cause. This year's hilarious celebration will take place on March 21st at 5 pm. Funds raised will go towards local causes and groups! Stop by after checking out Abbeville homes for sale

    We encourage you to contact us to learn more about the many festivals and celebrations that happen in the area each year. Our REALTORS® are happy to tell you about the fun you and your family can have when you move into Lafayette or Maurice. From parks to parties, there is never a dull moment when you are ready to find a good time. 

    March
    2

    6 Places to Play Basketball in Lafayette

    Basketball in Lafayette

    Time to turn off the basketball games on TV and hit the basketball courts! In addition to improving agility, endurance, and other physical skills, basketball helps develop hand-eye coordination, confidence, and social skills. Perfect your layup or three-point shot at these six basketball courts near Lafayette homes for sale.

    1. Girard Park Recreation Center - 500 Girard Park Dr., Lafayette, LA 70503
      While you might head to Girard Park Recreation Center for a game of hoops, you'd be forgiven if you ended up getting distracted. There's a 1.25-mile trail circling the perimeter of the park along with a 1/3-mile paved walkway around a tree-lined pond with a pavilion. Girard Park also has tennis courts, a pool and rec center, a softball backstop, a disc golf course, and a large playground. Hours are 6 a.m. - 8 p.m., seven days a week.

    2. Comeaux Recreation Center - 411 W. Bluebird St., Lafayette, LA 70508
      Everyone can stay active at the Comeaux Recreation Center with the center's aerobics, karate, and kids' fitness classes. Comeaux also gets high marks for their summer camp during June and July that includes several fun field trips. Rec center hours are 7 a.m. - 9 p.m. daily except weekends when closing time is 4 p.m.

    3. Domingue Center - 901 Mudd Ave., Lafayette, LA 70501
      Domingue Center uses basketball and other activities as a means to create a greater sense of community. Their basketball court is the site of Hoop Dreams, an annual game between Northside High School students and the Lafayette Police and Sheriff Departments. Build strength and stamina in the "Dungeon," an on-site gym fully equipped with free weights and machines. Domingue Center is open at 2 p.m. - 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

    4. George Dupuis Recreation Center - 1212 E. Pont Des Mouton Rd., Lafayette, LA 70507
      Basketball is just one of the great activities offered at George Dupuis Recreation Center. Their Stretch-n-Grow program for kids aged 4-12 gets them away from the video games and into aerobics, nutrition, and behavioral skills. The center also hosts community events such as brunches, athletic competitions, and even a group baby shower. Hours are 3 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. on weekdays.

    5. Thomas Park Recreation Center - 301 Geraldine Dr., Lafayette, LA 70503
      A stunning Louisiana sunset makes a beautiful backdrop for basketball, tennis, and other outdoor activities at Thomas Park Recreation Center. Don't be surprised to see a lively kickball game taking place on the spacious grounds. When it's raining, head inside to the indoor court or Zumba classes. The center is open at 3 p.m. - 9:15 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Sunday.

    6. Heymann Park Center - 1500 S. Orange St., Lafayette, LA 70501
      Thanks to its location near the Vermilion River, you might get a bonus wildlife sighting during your visit to Heymann Park Center. The basketball court is across the parking lot from a full-size baseball field, and the park is well-known for its 18-hole disc golf course. If the tennis court is full, there's a tennis wall where you can practice your backhand while waiting your turn. Hours are 2 p.m. - 9 p.m. on weekdays.

    When it comes to helping you buy or sell a home, our REALTORS® sink a three-pointer every time. Contact us today!

    February
    24

    Remodeling Cost vs. Value 2020 - For Lafayette Homes

    Remodeling in Lafayette

    Remodeling key areas of your home can improve quality of life while you're there plus help maximize value when you sell. Our REALTORS® know that choosing the right project is crucial to getting the best financial outcome, which is why we're sharing a closer look at the 2020 Cost vs. Value Report for Lafayette homes.

    Remodeling Cost vs. Value 2020 – For Lafayette Homes

    The Right Projects to Maximize Your Investment

    • Window Replacement – Wood or Vinyl
      Just about everyone shopping for Lafayette homes for sale will be looking for energy efficiency and a home with good climate control. Replacing old windows with new wood or vinyl windows edges out a few other projects for the top ROI on our list.
    • Minor Kitchen Remodel
      When it comes to remodeling the kitchen, more isn't always better. A minor kitchen remodel will cost significantly less out of pocket, and ultimately allows you to recoup more cash than most room remodeling projects.
    • Garage Door Replacement
      You want buyers to be impressed from the moment they arrive at the property, and an old, worn down garage door can dampen their enthusiasm. Garage door replacement is a relatively low-cost project, with a strong return.
    • Roofing Replacement – Asphalt Shingles
      Most buyers will head for the hills if the roof of the home appears to be in rough shape, and fresh shingles go a long way toward making your roof look its best. For Lafayette homes, asphalt shingles offer a much better return than metal roofing.

    Remodeling Projects with Solid Return on Investment

    • Bathroom Remodel – Mid-range or Upscale
      In Lafayette, upscale remodels of the bathroom, kitchen, or master suite offer better ROI than in many other cities. Whether you go mid-range or upscale, a bathroom remodel is often an excellent place to invest.
    • Master Suite Addition
      A master suite addition is the most expensive item on our list, but when done right, it can also add major value. Opting for mid-range over upscale will typically cut the cost in half, but both options should allow you to recoup a significant portion of your investment.
    • Major Kitchen Remodel
      While a minor kitchen remodel may offer the best bang for your buck, a major kitchen remodel still finishes very close behind. The cost will be significantly higher than a minor remodel, but getting the kitchen just right can be worth it.
    • Deck Addition – Wood
      Most people shopping for Lafayette homes will appreciate a well-maintained outdoor deck, and adding a wood deck is one project that won't break the bank. 
    • Siding Replacement – Fiber-Cement
      Curb appeal is a key ingredient in selling any home, and siding is the perfect place to start. Updating your home with fiber-cement siding is the most cost-efficient option, while vinyl siding finishes a close second.

    Think Twice Before Undertaking These Remodeling Projects

    • Grand Entrance/Entry Door Replacement
      The entrance to your home is important for curb appeal, but a full remodel of that area doesn't offer a great return. Instead, try smaller projects.
    • Deck Addition – Composite
      When adding a deck to your home, choosing the right material is key. While wood decks are popular in Lafayette, decks made with composite materials have a significantly lower ROI due to the cost of materials.

    When you're searching for the best ways to maximize the value of your home, you want a real estate team that you can trust. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout Lafayette.

    February
    17

    10 Fun Facts About Living in Lafayette

    Living in Lafayette

    Living in Lafayette is a truly unique experience, with a mix of history, culture, entertainment, and community that you won't find anywhere else. It's a city where songs always fill the air, and life moves at its own pace. Wondering what it's like to call Lafayette home? Our REALTORS® have you covered, with ten fun facts about life in Lafayette.

    1. Mardi Gras Is Outside Your Door
      You won't have to travel far to enjoy a traditional Mardi Gras celebration when you shop for Lafayette homes for sale. Lafayette has its parades, parties, and performances for Mardi Gras that rival anything in New Orleans.

    2. Cajun Culture Has Deep Roots in Lafayette
      Cajun culture began in Lafayette when thousands of French Canadians were forced to find a new home in 1755 and were offered refuge in the area. The Acadians, as they were known, embraced their new home and established a culture that still stands strong today.

    3. Warm Weather All Year
      The swamps, bayous, forests, and parks around Lafayette are a magnet for anyone who enjoys the outdoors. With warm weather all year long, you'll soon see why Lafayette is an outdoor paradise.

    4. Yes, You Can Buy a Daquiri at a Drive-Thru...
      While you can't take a sip until you get home, there are drive-thru daiquiri shops located around the city, serving cold, delicious drinks when you want to unwind.

    5. Practice Your French
      While you certainly don't have to know French to enjoy all that Lafayette has to offer, the city is a great place to practice if you're a French-speaker. You'll even have the chance to pick up unique regional dialects.

    6. Bring Your Dancing Shoes
      Live music can be found around every corner in Lafayette, and that means dancing is never far behind. If you love to break out your dancing shoes, then this is the city for you.

    7. Root for the Ragin' Cajuns 
      The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is a huge part of the culture in the city, and everybody roots for the Ragin' Cajuns athletic teams all year long. One trip to the Swamp, the stadium where college football games are played, will have you cheering for the Ragin' Cajuns, too!

    8. Lafayette's History Is Truly Alive and Well
      This is a city that loves its history, and you'll find examples of that history around every corner. If you want to get in touch with the past, plan a trip to Vermilionville, a living history museum where you can experience what life was like here in the 1700s and 1800s.

    9. The Best Music Festival in Louisiana Is Free to Attend
      Lafayette is home to the Festival Internationale de Louisiane, a free four-day festival that attracts some of the world's best musicians, and features Lafayette's best cajun food.

    10. A Diverse Cultural Mix
      In many ways, Lafayette got its start as a city of transplants from far-flung locations, who created their beautiful community around the bayous. That pioneering spirit is still on full display today, and newcomers who embrace the city are welcomed with open arms.

    We could keep going with dozens of more facts about why Lafayette is such a unique place to call home, but nothing beats experiencing the city first-hand! Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the area.

    February
    10

    Mardi Gras Celebrations in Lafayette

    Mardi Gras Lafayette

    What's the most wonderful time of the year? Some may say Christmas, or perhaps Thanksgiving. Louisianians, however, will agree that the most wonderful time of the year is Mardi Gras! If you've never experienced Mardi Gras in Lafayette, 2020 is the perfect time to immerse yourself in this festive culture that's unlike any other. Our REALTORS® insist that you plan your visit to Lafayette during Mardi Gras this year so you can enjoy every minute of fun! 

    Friday, February 14th, 2020

    • Krewe de Canailles Walking Parade — Corner of Cypress & Jefferson, Lafayette, LA 70501 | 7 – 9 PM
      Inclusivity, sustainability, and creativity — those are the values of the Krewe de Canailles Walking Parade, known this year as A Parade Without Barriers. Anyone can create their own krewe and join the parade as long as their float is powered by people, and anything thrown is eco-friendly.

    Saturday, February 15th, 2020

    • Krewe de Chiens — Lafayette & Vermilion Streets, Lafayette, LA 70501| 2 PM
      The Krewe de Chiens is a parade for dogs that seeks to reduce the number of unwanted animals in Lafayette. Grab your four-legged krewe and join the parade through downtown Lafayette.
    • Carencro Mardi Gras Parade — Carencro High School, 721 W. Butcher Switch Rd., Lafayette, LA 70507 | 11 AM
      Join the Carencro Mardi Gras Association for this family-friendly parade running from Carencro High School to Carencro Community Center. This is the 37th edition of the Carencro Mardi Gras Parade and has been regarded as one of the highlights of the Mardi Gras season in the upper Lafayette area.
    • Krewe of Carnival en Rio Mardi Gras Parade — Cajun Field, 2351 W. Congress St., Lafayette, LA 70506 | 6:30 PM 
      Experience Mardi Gras with a Brazilian flair with the Krewe of Carnival en Rio Mardi Gras Parade. This premier Mardi Gras event in Acadiana will keep you dancing all night long!

    Friday, February 22nd – 25th

    • Le Festival de Mardi Gras — Throughout Downtown Lafayette 
      The Le Festival de Mardi Gras a Lafayette, hosted by the Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras Association, hosts a variety of parades, celebrations, and festivals leading up to Fat Tuesday, including a Children's Parade, King Gabriel's Parade, Lafayette Mardi Gras Festival Parade, Independent Parade, and Queen Evangeline's Parade.

    Saturday, February 22nd, 2020

    • Krewe of Bonaparte Mardi Gras Parade — 698 E. Simcoe St., Lafayette, LA 70501 | 6:30 PM
      The Krewe of Bonaparte was founded to encourage young people to get involved in Mardi Gras festivities in Lafayette. Along with their Mardi Gras Parade, they also host a Pre-Parade Party before the parade with food, drink, and face painting for those in the krewe.

    Fat Tuesday, February 25th, 2020

    • Grand Marais Mardi Gras Parade — Grand Marais, 7304 Hwy. 90 E., Jeanerette, LA 70544 | 11 AM – 3 PM
      The family-oriented Grand Marais Mardi Gras Parade takes place during the afternoon of Fat Tuesday and features the most original costumes in Lafayette.

    Would you like to live in the center of the best Mardi Gras parade routes? Contact us today, and we'll help you find Lafayette homes for sale!

    February
    3

    How to Declutter Before a Move

    Declutter Before a Move

    Like most people, you probably have stuff piled up around the house that you didn't even know you owned. Moving an overstuffed junk drawer or duplicate items you don't have use for doesn't make sense. 

    Decluttering helps decrease the weight of the items you're moving, makes the process less stressful, and saves on moving costs. Our REALTORS® have six useful tips to keep moving day as stress-free and inexpensive as possible.

    1. Start Early
      Don't wait until moving day to decide what to pack and what to get rid of. It could take a couple of days to complete the decluttering process. So plan at least two weeks and spare a few hours every day to go through a different room or storage area in your home. By giving yourself enough time to go through all your stuff, you won't be tempted to throw everything in the boxes and be done with it.
    2. Start Small
      It can be disheartening to look at a house full of stuff you have to sort through. It can also be tempting to put it off and promise yourself you'll do it on moving day or even after you moved into the new place. This is why you need to start small. Start with a dresser, a closet, or a home office. Don't try to clear an entire room at once because it can be draining and might extinguish your motivation. 
    3. Set Up Four Piles- Keep, Donate, Sell, Trash
      Before you begin decluttering, have trash bags, markers, and a shredder ready to help with the process. Have four labeled boxes handy as you tackle one area after another. The boxes should be for items you want to keep, sell, donate, and throw away. Take out the trash immediately after the decluttering session. You can take pictures of things you wish to sell, list them online, or hold a garage sale. For the things you're going to keep, try to pack as much as you can.
    4. Practice Letting Go
      It is not always easy to know what to keep and what to let go of as you go about decluttering your house. As a general rule of thumb, throw it away if it's damaged. If you haven't worn some clothes for over a year, think about donating or selling them. When it comes to seasonal clothing, sort through all of them and evaluate what you should keep and what you should let go. Decluttering also offers an excellent opportunity to let go of duplicate items and gifts you'll never use. If you're a keeper, maybe you should find a "tosser" to help you make the not-so-easy decisions.
    5. Check Expiration Dates
      Go through your pantry and bathroom and throw out anything past its prime. Check for expiration dates or think to when you purchased a certain item. Things like spices can last for several years, but their potency doesn't last longer than six months or so. Use this time to toss cookbooks you haven't opened for years and any strange appliances you don't have use for.
    6. Keep Going
      Set aside time, at least every day or every weekend to declutter. And make it fun. Reward yourself after you're done with a weekend session. You'll be motivated to put in more effort and feel better prepared when moving day comes.

    Are you looking for Lafayette homes for sale? Our team can help streamline the process. To learn more, contact us.

    January
    21

    15th Cinema on the Bayou Film Festival: Event Spotlight

    Cinema on the Bayou

    If you're a cinephile who can't get enough of the silver screen, then you'll love Cinema on the Bayou! This annual event is celebrating its 15th year and will once again take over theaters throughout Lafayette. For eight days, over 180 films will make you laugh, cry, and perhaps see the world around you through a new lens.

    The 15th Annual Cinema on the Bayou Film Festival: Louisiana's Reel Festival

    As the second-oldest film festival in the state, Cinema on the Bayou is an event that garners casual movie-goers, filmmakers, and critics alike. The festival screened domestic and international films, with one even winning an Academy Award — The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. Each year, the non-profit corporation the Cinema on the Bayou Film Society selects films that will offer viewers a better understanding of Creole and Cajun culture, encourage discussion on important contemporary matters, and bring together movie lovers of all backgrounds. For those who want to maximize their viewing experience with a minimal budget, screenings taking place at the Lafayette Public Library are free.

    • When: Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020 – Wednesday, January 29th, 2020

    • Ticket Prices:
      General Admission: $5 (Free for Lafayette Public Library Screenings)
      Full-Day Passes: $20
      Opening Night World Premiere and Reception: $20
      All-Access Pass: $100
      Friend of the Festival Sponsorship: $250
      Closing Night U.S. Premier Film and Reception: $15

    • Where: Screenings will take place throughout the following five venues.
      Acadiana Center for the Arts — 101 W. Vermillion St., Lafayette, LA 70501
      Vermilionville — 300 Fisher Rd., Lafayette, LA 70508
      Lafayette Public Library South Regional Branch — 6101 Johnston, Lafayette, LA 70503
      Cite des Arts — 109 Vine St., Lafayette, LA 70501
      Acadiana Cinemas' St. Landry Cinema — 1234 Heather Dr., Opelousas, LA 70570

    • Film Categories:
      Narrative Short Films
      Narrative Feature Films  
      Documentary Short Films
      Documentary Feature Films
      Animated Short Films  
      Experimental Short Films

    With nearly 200 films on the schedule, you'll have to be selective with your screenings. Here are a few film suggestions from our real estate agents in each category:

    • Narrative Feature 
      The Last Earth Girl - Jan 24th at Cite des Arts
      Pour Mieux T'Aimer (To Better Love You) – Jan 29th at Vermilionville

    • Narrative Short 
      Camilla, Keep Your Word – Jan 27th at Cite des Arts
      Three Days Till Marrakesh – Jan 23rd at Vermilionville

    • Documentary Feature
      Felix in Wonderland – Jan 24th at Cite des Arts 
      Sushi & Sauce Piquante: The Life and Music of Gerry McGee – Jan 25th at Acadiana Cinemas' St. Landry Cinema

    • Documentary Short
      My Tuesdays at Catherine's – Jan 25th at Lafayette Public Library
      Train Hopper – Jan 24th at Vermilionville

    • Animation 
      My Little Goat – Jan 26th at Cite des Arts
      Lost Thing Is Here – Jan 26th at Cite des Arts

    • Experimental Short
      How To Explain Performance Art To My Teenage Daughter – Jan 24th at Cite des Arts
      Ceci Est Un Poeme D'Amour – Jan 24th at Cite des Arts

    Would you like to have a film festival in your own home? Contact us today, and we'll show you the Lafayette homes for sale with perfect spaces to put your home theater!

    December
    23

    Lafayette Nightlife For Your New Year's Eve

    Lafayette Nightlife

    When it comes to celebrating New Year's Eve, people in Lafayette know how to party! 

    New Year's Eve marks one of the biggest parties of the year, so why not celebrate in style? Go out on the town and party all night at these local venues.

    Let's visit some of the top places for Lafayette nightlife where you can kick-off 2020 in the best way possible! 

    • The Wurst Biergarten – 537 Jefferson Street, Lafayette, Louisiana 70501
      The Wurst Biergarten is known and loved as the first restaurant of its kind in Lafayette. A top-ranked place to relax with a beer and enjoy good conversation, its robust selection includes a variety of beverages from across Louisiana and around the world. This downtown fixture also features classic German pub food and an authentic European setup.
    • The Tap Room – 201 Settlers Trace Boulevard #4001, Lafayette, LA 70508
      Found in beautiful River Ranch, The Tap Room has a warm pub atmosphere with food, drink, and sports among friends. Chili cheese dogs, Reubens, and pastrami are joined by a handful of surprises like the delicious banh mi. You'll enjoy the enticing array of rotating taps and the seasonal mix of both foods and cocktails. The Tap Room is also heavily involved in local charities.
    • Blue Moon Saloon & Guesthouse –  215 East Convent Street, Lafayette, LA 70501
      Every day is a party at this saloon! Blue Moon is known far and wide for its weekly Cajun Jam, which takes place on Wednesday evenings. There's always someone new to meet at the Blue Moon, recognized as one of the 100 Best Bars in the South. If you're in the area for New Year's Eve, consider celebrating at one of the best bars in the South.
    • The Greenroom – 229 Jefferson Street, Lafayette, LA 70501
      The Greenroom is a place to sample local craft brew selections while shooting a game of pool or playing some fast-paced foosball. Pieces by local artists adorn the walls, and there's always something going on. Trivia nights, karaoke, and theme parties liven up the event schedule along with live music and – of course – holiday get-togethers such as New Year's Eve.
    • Artmosphere – 902 Johnston Street, Lafayette, LA 70501
      Ring in 2020 at a venue that offers an artistic spin on Lafayette nightlife. Artmosphere can best be described as a neighborhood bar, meets an art gallery, meets a cozy music venue. Not only can you get a great drink at the bar, but you can also take in some of the art on display or check out the local shows going on. Perfect for Lafayette residents who love supporting local artists!

    New Year's Eve or any time of the year, Lafayette has plenty to offer.

    If 2020 is the year you plan on looking at real estate in the area, we can help you search among the Lafayette homes for sale. Maybe next year, you'll be hosting your own New Year's Eve party!

    Contact us to find out more. Our REALTORS® look forward to assisting you in 2020! 

    December
    16

    7 Helpful Tips for Buying Your First Home in 2020

    Buying a Home in 2020

    2020 is nearly here, and there's no time like the present to start planning for your first home. Amazing Lafayette homes for sale are waiting!

    There are lots of reasons people put off buying their first home. Our REALTORS® have the advice to give you a leg up in the new year.

    These seven tips will clear the path to a home in 2020:

    1. Start Saving for a Down Payment Early
      If you only save for a few months, it's better than nothing! A more significant down payment offers all kinds of benefits. It may net better rates on your mortgage loan, and it will give you more flexibility about the amount you borrow. If your down payment is around 20%, you may even be able to skip certain types of mortgage insurance.

    2. Pay Off Any Debts You Can
      The debt you carry has a big impact on how lenders view your loan. As a rule, housing expenses should not cost more than about 30% of your income. Even a few small debts – a $35 credit payment here or there – can change the equation in your favor. Don't take on new loans or mortgages, but don't close credit card accounts: Your total credit eligibility works in your favor.

    3. Determine How Much You Can Afford
      Deciding how much house you can afford is a multi-step process. It not only includes the cost of buying and maintaining your home but also your other obligations and any income fluctuation. A holistic view of your finances is essential. It's a good idea to set up a detailed budget and have everyone who will contribute money to the household review and comment.

    4. Get Preapproval From a Lender
      Preapproval is an essential step toward securing your mortgage loan. This is when you submit documentation of your finances and learn the loan amount you're qualified for. Although this isn't a formal loan agreement – that comes after you select a home – it is close enough that you can bid on homes without delay.

    5. Connect With a Great Real Estate Agent
      A real estate agent will help you navigate all the best neighborhoods in your area of choice. Take your time with the decision of which agent to work with. Asking plenty of questions will leave you with a better sense of an agent's knowledge and whether you feel comfortable.

    6. Stick To Your Budget (Or a Little Less!)
      Once you have preapproval, you have a reasonably good idea about your price range. However, always leave extra in the budget for closing costs. Closing costs can range from 2% to 5% of the property's sale price. It is crucial to leave room for closing, so you don't have to scramble for last-minute financing.
       
    7. If An Opportunity Arises, Negotiate
      There are times when negotiation can save you thousands of dollars. For example, a home inspection may turn up issues that need to be fixed immediately. Or, you may discover the other party is motivated to sell and will trim the price to accelerate the process. Your real estate agent can help you choose the right approach.

    We've supported hundreds of first-time buyers throughout Lafayette, Acadiana, and the Gulf South. To get started, contact us.

    December
    9

    Cajun Country Run Race Spotlight

    Cajun Country Run

    Lace-up your favorite running shoes — the Cajun Country Run is racing back into Lafayette to go the distance for another year. Acadian's oldest half-marathon is the second race in the Le Courir des Cadiens race series and one exciting morning that you do not want to miss! If you're planning a visit to browse Lafayette homes for sale, our REALTORS® encourage you to pay a visit to Acadian Park to watch — or even run — in this annual holiday event.

    • Date: December 14, 2019
    • Starting Location: Acadiana Park 1205 E. Alexander St., Lafayette, LA 70501
    • Distance: 5K, 10K & Half Marathon

    Race History

    The Cajun Country Run was founded in 2002 and 2010, became a substantial supporter of Transportation Recreation Alternatives In Louisiana. TRAIL helps the running community of Louisiana blaze new trails by enhancing opportunities for outdoor recreation. A 10K race was added in 2012, and the 5K was added a year later. The race has evolved over the years and now offers runners five individual options for competing on both paved roads and dirt trails. Certified by the USA Track & Field, the 5K, 10K, and half-marathon of the Cajun Country Run are part of the Courir des Cadiens series of racing events.

    The Courir des Cadiens Race Series includes three annual races that increase in distance at each subsequent event. The first race of the year is the Tour des Atakapas, which occurs during the Festivals Acadiens et Creoles. The Tour des Atakapas hosts distances of 3, 5, and 7 miles and also includes a run-paddle-run duathlon. Festivities follow this October event.

    Cajun Country Run 2019

    The Cajun Country Run follows the Tour des Atakapas. The third and final race in the Courir des Cadiens Race Series is the Zydeco Marathon. This event challenges racers to endure a half marathon or marathon run to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

    This year's event will bring tidings of great joy to winners of the race. One of the hallmarks of this event is the Special Gator Head trophy awarded to the winning male and female in each category. The fastest winners dressed as Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus, as well as the best dressed Claus couple, will receive special prizes. All winners will walk away with a Santa's sack full of goodies from local sponsors.

    For nearly 20 years, the Cajun Country Run has been a beloved holiday race for Lafayette runners. Warm food and cold beer will be served after the race, so gather up some friends and get to know the community.

    For more information on the Lafayette community and buying homes in the area, contact us today!  

    December
    2

    Here's What to Do if You're Inheriting a House

    Inheriting a House

    Our REALTORS® handle all types of real estate transactions and are experienced in helping those who have inherited a home wade through any potential issues. Our team recommends following these steps in order to ensure a smooth process. 

    Take Care of Business

    Updating the homeowners insurance policy right away is vital. Making sure your coverage is current, and all necessary changes are taken care of ensures your property is protected. If there's a mortgage on the home, contact the lender and stay current with payments. This goes for property taxes as well. 

    Contact all utilities to update account and contact information. You can cancel unnecessary ones but make sure the bills for other utilities are paid on time every month. If you're not around to take care of cutting the grass or yard work, you may want to hire someone to do upkeep until the house is sold or occupied.

    Empty it Out

    When someone passes away, some of the toughest tasks include going through their things, deciding who gets what and getting rid of the things no one wants. If you and your siblings have inherited a home, gather everyone there, and take turns choosing the items you'd like to keep. Let the grandchildren have a turn and include any other relatives that you think are appropriate. Once everyone has had a chance to take what they want, the rest can be sold at an estate sale or donated. Try to take care of it as soon as you can. Although this process can be painful, putting it off can be costly, both financially and emotionally.  

    Decide What to Do

    It's also important to make a decision about whether you want to move into the house, sell it, or keep it as a rental property. There are a few important points to consider when weighing your options. Before you take action, get a home inspection to make sure you're aware of any repairs or needed maintenance. It's also important to find out if local municipalities will reassess the home's value. If so, the property taxes may be much higher, which is an important factor to keep in mind.

    When siblings inherit a home as joint owners, things can get tricky. You'll all need to agree on what to do, or the issue could end up in court. If you want to live there, you can buy your siblings out by mortgaging or refinancing the property. You may also come up with another arrangement, like paying them in monthly installments until they are paid for their share in full. Another way to resolve the issue is to make the house part of your share of the total estate. It's also important to talk to a professional about the income tax implications of each option.

    Whether you decide to occupy the home, rent it out, or listing it among the Lafayette homes for sale, each option has its advantages and drawbacks. Seeking the advice of an experienced real estate agent is an excellent way to find out which choice meets your needs and lifestyle.

    Still, have questions about what to do when inheriting a home? We can help. Contact us to learn more.

    November
    25

    Guide to Closing Costs for New Home Buyers

    Guide to Closing Costs

    We make it our duty to support and educate our clients. Our real estate agents are true experts helping people buy and sell homes!

    One area that raises a lot of questions for buyers is closing costs. Closing costs consist of a variety of administrative fees involved in turning legal ownership of a home over from one person to another. Most of the professionals whose work supports the transaction, such as attorneys and tax experts, are paid from this amount.

    Other matters are settled by your closing costs, too: For example, insurance payments.

    Closing costs can add anywhere from 2% to 5% to the total cost of your transaction. Many buyers seek to shift the costs to the seller or add them to the mortgage package. That requires savvy negotiating and clarity on your goals. No matter how you approach them, some closing costs are unavoidable.

    Below are the categories of closing costs you'll find in all transactions:

    1. Lender Fees
      This can be expressed as a single "origination fee" or include an itemized list with processing fees, a credit check, taxes related to title transfer, flood certification as needed, courier fees, appraisal costs, administrative fees, and others. All of these represent different costs incurred by the mortgage loan provider that is recovered from the homeowner.
    2. Title Company Fees
      The vast majority of your closing fees are related to the title, the legal document that proves ownership of a property. You can reduce these costs by comparing different title services in your area. The title company is responsible for issues like title search, title insurance, and settling. In effect, they ensure that nobody else can claim to own the property later.
    3. Prepaid Costs
      Insurance obligations related to buying a home are usually set up through an escrow account. Prepaid costs include homeowners insurance and property taxes. One year of your homeowners insurance must be paid upfront along with about two months of premiums. You may also be required to pay anywhere up to six months of property taxes, which can be prorated.
    4. Discount Points
      Discount points are an optional expense equal to 1% of the loan amount. You can choose to buy them when you are settling your closing costs. The discount points you purchase are converted to lower your interest rate. Buyers with strong cash flow may wish to pay more upfront to maintain a lower cost of ownership, but it is entirely up to you.

    In general, the more cash you can bring to a transaction, the less you'll ultimately pay in closing costs. In addition to discount points, it's possible to get exemptions from some prepaid costs if you make a down payment, usually 20%.

    You should discuss your financing and negotiation options with your real estate agent. Your agent can maximize your leverage in reducing certain costs or shifting them to the other party in the transaction. By comparing several different lenders, you're more likely to get the best deal.

    Contact us today to find out more. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    November
    18

    Bakeries in Lafayette for Your Thanksgiving Desserts

    Bakeries in Lafayette

    Freshly baked bread, sweet pastries, and delicious treats of all shapes and sizes can be found at bakeries throughout Lafayette. With the holidays right around the corner, you can skip the baking for your holiday meals, and count on these Lafayette bakeries for a variety of treats! 

    1. Buttermilk Sky Pie Shop - 454 Heymann Blvd, Lafayette, LA 70603
      If you want to find the best pies in the south, look no further than the shelves of the Buttermilk Sky Pie Shop. You can order everything from apple and cherry to chocolate meringue and key lime. Everything is made to order, which ensures you always have a fresh piece to enjoy. 
    2. Langlinais Baking Company - 815 South Saint Antoine St, Lafayette, LA 70501
      Langlinais Baking Company is legendary for its po'boy's, breadsticks, burger buns, and hot dog rolls. Each has just the right amount of sugar and spice to make a nice meal. Their bread is always soft and served straight from the oven and make the perfect addition to every Thanksgiving meal.
    3. Bake My Day - By Appointment Only
      The folks at Bake My Day take great pride in delivering the very best pastries and treats for your holiday celebrations. You will fall in love with everything from their ragin' cajun chocolate cake spiked with cayenne and cinnamon, to the banana-rama laced with dark rum and brown sugar. You can also schedule classes where they will teach you the tips and tricks that will help you make your family's favorite treats. 
    4. Poupart Bakery, Inc. - 100 E. Vermilion St, #103 Lafayette, LA 70503
      With 40 years of experience under their chef's coats, the team at Poupart Bakery, Inc. are masters of the kitchen. They are experts at beignets, make a genuinely astounding bisque, and can create cakes and pies that will make everyone in the family smile. They can cook up a full catering order that includes everything from dinner rolls to fruit, vegetable, and cheese platters.
    5. Champagne's Market - 454 Heymann Blvd, Lafayette, LA 70503
      Champagne's Market is your one-stop-shop for everything on your Thanksgiving shopping list. From the savory to the sweet, they have a broad selection of fresh-baked foods. You can even pick up the champagne to go along with the Thanksgiving toast.    

    Our real estate agents invite you to contact us to learn more about the many bakeries, delis, and shops in the area for the perfect Thanksgiving feast. We will even help you find the perfect new home for you to celebrate the holidays with your family and friends this year, next year, and for many years to come.    

    November
    11

    Open House Checklist for Sellers

    Open House Checklist

    An open house is a perfect opportunity to showcase your home and make a good impression on potential buyers. Our real estate agents have hosted hundreds of open houses with clients and understand the pitfalls that can arise when preparing for the big event. This checklist can help you avoid common mistakes and allow you to stay competitive with others who are offering their Lafayette homes for sale.

    Declutter and Organize

    Getting rid of clutter and depersonalizing your home is a must for any open house. This process allows potential buyers to envision themselves in your home. Remove items like family photos, collectibles, and any pet beds or toys.

    It's a good idea to leave pets with friends or family during an open house. Clean and organize closets and other storage spaces so potential buyers can get a good look.

    Also, consider putting excess furniture in storage. It will make rooms appear bigger and give them a more refined look. Your real estate agent should be able to offer some staging tips before your open house. 

    Do a Deep Cleaning

    Whether you're a DIY type or prefer to hire a service, deep cleaning your home before an open house is vital. Make sure all carpets are cleaned, and hardwood and other surfaces shine. Baseboards, trim, ceiling fans and other hard-to-reach places should be free of dirt and dust. Wash the windows inside and out, and don't forget to tidy up the garage, yard, deck, and front entrance.

    A good power washing and a fresh coat of paint on the front door can work wonders for curb appeal.

    For the finishing touch after you clean, a little scent goes a long way. So avoid overdoing candles and air fresheners. Your home should smell naturally fresh.

    Take Care of Maintenance and Repairs

    Painting the inside of your home in neutral colors such as beige or gray is one of the most affordable ways to make your house more attractive. Patch and sand any holes in the walls or ceilings before painting. Another inexpensive way to make your home look updated is by replacing plate switches, drawer and cabinet pulls, and light fixtures. If any major work like roof repairs needs to be done, take care of it before putting your home on the market.  

    Promotion, Promotion, Promotion

    If you want your open house to be successful, it's essential to get the word out. There are several ways to do this, including old-school and online methods. Have your real estate agent create brochures highlighting the features of your home listing vital info like property taxes, school district, and acreage.

    Your agent should also add the open house to your MLS listing, so it shows up on multiple real estate sites. Don't forget to post the listing on social media a day or two before the open house. Also, put an open house sign in the yard and at the end of your road to help people find your open house more easily. For eye-catching flair, tie some balloons on the signs the day of the open house.

    Do you need help organizing the perfect open house? Our experienced real estate professionals can help. Contact us to get started.

    November
    4

    Fall Hiking in Lafayette You Won't Want to Miss

    Lafayette Hiking

    Fall is a wonderful time of the year in Louisiana. With the cooler weather moving in, there are many spectacular opportunities to enjoy the outdoors comfortably. Our real estate agents love to lace up a pair of comfortable walking shoes and venture off into the green spaces of Lafayette for a brisk stroll. We've picked out a few of our favorite fall hiking trails around Lafayette that you'll want to go on!

    1. The Acadian Park Nature Trail — 1205 E. Alexander St., Lafayette, LA 70501
      Head over to the Acadian Park Nature Station for a wonderful day outdoors. The Acadian Park Nature Trails consists of nearly six miles of walkable trail within the 150-acre park. Residents and visitors alike enjoy these unspoiled trails because all wheeled traffic is restricted, giving walkers a peaceful stroll. Some of the pathways are dirt, and there is a boardwalk that is wheelchair accessible. For those who want to spend a few moments surrounded by stunning wildlife, Acadian Park Nature Trail should be at the top of your hiking list.

    2. Palmetto Island State Park — 19501 Pleasantville Rd., Abbeville, LA 70510
      The Palmetto Island State Park is a favorite outdoor destination for many Louisiana natives. Next time you're browsing Abbeville homes for sale, consider spending a few days along the Vermilion River. You'll get the full Louisiana outdoors experience as you stay in a vacation cabin among the trees and wildlife. With plenty of space to hike, Palmetto Island State Park offers an up-close view of Louisiana wildlife at its finest.

    3. Beaver Park — 500 Fisher Rd., Lafayette, LA 70508
      Beaver Park is a fantastic outdoor space to enjoy, particularly because it connects you to the Atakapas Ishak Trail. Take advantage of its proximity to the Vermilion River, Spreafico Lake, and Historic Vermilionville Village and see plenty of what this area has to offer. On the opposite end of Beaver Park, just up the road from the Acadian Cultural Center, is the Bayou Vermilion Nature Trail. With two great trails in one location, Beaver Park is the perfect place to get two hikes in one.

    4. Heymann Park — 1500 S. Orange St., Lafayette, LA 70501
      This sprawling park located on the north side of the Vermilion River, Heymann Park is great for families who love to run around and play. The multi-purpose trail running through part of the park is short and sweet, getting you the fresh air you need without venturing too far off of the beaten path. 

    Are you interested in walking through many more Lafayette homes for sale? Contact us, and we'll help you on your journey to find your dream home!

    October
    29

    Pumpkin Spice Season: Lafayette Coffee Shops to Try

    Lafayette Coffee Shops

    With the fall weather comes delicious fall flavors! Lafayette has many local coffee shops for getting not only your caffeine fix but your fix of flavors you can only get in the fall. The following are some coffee shops our REALTORS® are sure you will want to check out. 

    1. Zuhause Bakery & Coffee - 6774 Johnston St, Lafayette, LA 70503
      It may be a long way to Munich, but you won't have to travel far to enjoy your favorite German pastries. At Zuhause Bakery & Coffee, they are busy brewing some of the finest artisan coffees and strudels, twists, and Danish's this side of the old country. This makes Zuhause a fabulous place to sit back, relax, and read the paper as you search through Lafayette homes for sale.

    2. Classic Cup - 2627 Veterans Memorial Dr, Abbeville, LA 70510
      You can always find your old favorites at Classic Cup Abbeville. You will also find plenty of new treats to enjoy as you head into work or stop off for a Sunday chat with friends. One trip here and you will understand why everyone is so eager to buy Abbeville homes for sale and move into the community.

    3. Java Square Cafe - 103 W Landry St, Opelousas, LA 70570
      Java Square Cafe is where the cool cats like to hang out. They are happy to serve you an Americano when you want to keep it simple. They can also pour you a hot and spicy Chai Latte when you want to mix things up. A favorite in all seasons, you will love their milkshakes and gelato in the summer, and their hot chocolates and drip coffee in the winter. A few trips here and we guarantee you will want to take a look at Opelousas homes for sale so you can enjoy their coffee every day of the week.

    4. Black Cafe - 518 S Pierce St #100, Lafayette, LA 70501
      Black Cafe is located in the heart of Lafayette, which makes it a perfect place to stop in on your way to work. They brew each cup to perfection and feature a wide selection of breakfast items, including the ever-popular beignets. From the Cafe Au Lait to the Espresso, it is easy to find a morning pick-me-up that will perk up your ears and keep you going strong until closing time. 

    5. Johnston Street Java - 3123 Johnston St, Lafayette, LA 70503
      Johnston Street Java is the place to go when you want a pure cup of coffee with a side of all-American service. Their flavor selection is one of the largest in the south, and you will want to drop in week after week just so you can try them all. You will also love their simple yet delicious breakfast sandwiches, muffins, and cookies they cook up fresh every day of the week.

    We invite you to contact us to learn more about the fantastic coffee shops and amenities these communities have to offer. It is our pleasure to answer your questions and help you find the perfect property for your future. 

    October
    21

    Rent No More: Signs It's Time to Buy a Home

    Rent no More

    There comes a time in most people's lives when they consider trading a lease for a mortgage. As the deadline for signing your next rental contract approaches, you may be wondering if now is the right time to buy a home.

    Our REALTORS® know this is not a decision you can make overnight. However, most people who choose to invest in a home often have spotted the signs it's the right time. If any of the following signs have popped up in, it may be your golden opportunity for homeownership.

    1. You believe you're wasting money renting…
      Are you paying a high sum each month approximately similar to mortgage payments in your area? Does your rent pay for amenities you don't need or use? If you keep signing monthly checks yet feel like you're not getting your money's worth, it may be time to invest in the space with features you desire.
    2. …Especially if your rent keeps increasing.
      No matter where you live, monthly rental prices will likely continue to climb. Some will only rise a few dollars each cycle while others jump astronomically with your renewal contract. If you're not getting the most out of your complex and your increasing rent is costing you hundreds, purchasing a home becomes a more financially sound option.
    3. You move every few years to find cheaper or larger apartments.
      Of course, you can always try to find a complex with specials or incentives to reduce your payments, but that involves moving. Even if you're moving solely to increase your space, too many moves can wear on your family and finances.
    4. Your family is growing.
      If your family is growing, you'll need space to accommodate these new needs.
    5. Your financial situation is secure…
      Purchasing a home takes significant financial planning. However, if you've increased your credit score, paid down your debts and saved up for a down payment and closing costs, you may be in the best financial position to make an offer.
    6. …As well as your career.
      If you've been at your office for years and plan on staying, you've undeniably developed roots in your career. Now it's time to consider planting those same roots in a house.
    7. You are at a transitional period in your life…
      There are milestones in life that open up ideal opportunities to make a significant life decision like buying a home - like graduating or getting married. Either way, it might be time to take a step toward homeownership.
    8. …And so are your kids.
      Moving can be tough on children, but it can be made easier by moving them as their school years come to a close. By moving before the start of elementary, middle, or high school, you allow your kids to adjust to new surroundings and make new friends.
    9. The market is in your favor.
      The real estate market is in favor of the buyer, presenting opportunities to match your dream home to your budget. If the market looks promising, now may be the time to score a deal.
    10. It feels like the right time to settle down.
      Sometimes, it feels like the right time in your life to settle down and have a home to call your own. 

    If now is the right time for you to stop renting and start owning, contact us. We'll show you Lafayette homes for sale that cater perfectly to your unique needs!

    October
    7

    10 Reasons to Move to Lafayette

    Reasons to Move to Lafayette

    Why are Lafayette homes for sale so desirable? In 2014, the Wall Street Journal's "MarketWatch" named Lafayette the happiest city in America. Here are 10 main reasons why living in Lafayette puts a smile on everyone's face.

    1. "The Hub City" 
      Lafayette is the fourth-largest city in Louisiana. Its eclectic local culture has earned Lafayette the nickname of "The Hub City" as the center of Cajun French culture as well as the regional technology industry.

    2. Water Wonderland
      As Leonardo da Vinci once said, "Water is the driving force in nature." With its seemingly infinite number of lakes, ponds, swamps, and bayous, Lafayette offers endless opportunities for fishing, boating, swimming, and wildlife-spotting.

    3. The Sound of Music
      It's hard to travel anywhere around Lafayette without hearing the catchy sounds of Cajun and zydeco, the driving pulse of rock or the lilting strains of country. The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival may get the publicity, but many in the know prefer Lafayette's four-day Festival International de Louisiane.

    4. Foodie Paradise
      New Orleans has a reputation as one of the country's culinary meccas, but did you know Lafayette has more restaurants per capita? Not surprisingly, seafood and Cajun/Creole are staples of several menus, while Asian fusion has been making its mark on the Lafayette dining scene.

    5. Knowledge Is Power
      Education is a top priority with residents of Lafayette, home of the prestigious University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Nearly 88 percent have at least a high school diploma, while one-third have a bachelor's degree or higher. The public school system is ranked among the highest in the state.

    6. Affordable Housing
      The Value Index, or Housing Affordability Index, is one of the criteria used by U.S. News & World Report in their Best Places to Live rankings. On a scale of 1 to 10, Lafayette ranks an impressive 8.1 in terms of how comfortably residents can live within their means. The overall cost of living is also lower than the national average.

    7. Rich in History
      Vermilionville, a history museum and folklife park sharing Lafayette's original name, and Acadian Village, a private cultural park featuring restored Cajun homes and a replica blacksmith shop, are just two of the incredible attractions keeping Lafayette's heritage alive.

    8. Easy Accessibility
      While Lafayette is a vibrant city full of cultural and entertainment options, everything is situated on one of three main highways. So there's no frustrating time to spend on interstates. Also, average commute time is 21 minutes as opposed to the national average of 26 minutes, which gives you back nearly five hours each week.

    9. The Sun Always Shines
      Who needs down jackets, wool hats, and boots? The average annual low temperature in Lafayette is a moderate 59.6°F, well above the temperature required for snowfall. Lafayette also registers nearly two weeks more sunny days per year than the national average.

    10. Family-Friendly
      If you have a family, you're in good company in Lafayette where families make up two-thirds of total households.

    Our REALTORS® think Lafayette is the perfect place for anyone to make their home. Contact us for friendly and experienced help finding the place of your dreams.

    September
    23

    How to Buy a House While Selling Your Current Home

    How to Buy a HouseBuying a home is a huge decision. Selling a home is an equally important endeavor. Buying a home and selling a home at the same time? Now that's an impressive feat! It may sound overwhelming, but believe our REALTORS® when they say you can buy a new home while selling your current home. We've gathered our years of knowledge and experience with Lafayette homes for sale to help you buy a house while selling your existing home.

    1. Ask For & Accept Help 
      Before you list or make an offer, you probably already realize that dual real estate transactions will leave you with your hands full. The best first step you can make in this process is to request and accept assistance from a qualified REALTOR®. You don't want to be stuck with two mortgages, and you don't want to chance jeopardizing either sale. Enlist the help of a trusted REALTOR® who will go above and beyond to help you navigate these separate real estate transactions.
    2. Decide Whether to Buy or Sell First
      This decision is up to you. If you can reasonably afford the cost of two homes, then locking in your dream home before you sell your current home may be the right move. If you decide to sell your home first, you can negotiate with your buyer to allow you to rent back your former home until you close on your new home. This will enable you to complete the sale of your old home while still buying you time for finding and securing your new home. Alternatively, when you sell your home, you can delay the closing if the buyer agrees to give you a month or so to purchase a new home.
    3. Prepare for Buying & Selling
      Depending on which option you choose, you're now ready to either make an offer on a new home or list your current home. To reduce the gap time between the two, you should immediately prepare your home for buyer offers. Have the home inspected professionally and stage it appropriately so it's ready for the market and no surprises will pop up later during an inspection. Price your home reasonably and get ready to consider diverse offers. To prepare to buy a home, you should have your finances in order. Get pre-approved for a mortgage and identify what funds you'll use as the down payment.
    4. Let Your REALTOR® Help You Facilitate Both Transactions 
      As you venture further into the buying and selling process, you may be juggling a lot of paperwork, deadlines, and requests. Thankfully, an experienced REALTOR® can help you navigate each of these transactions, ensuring everything goes according to plan. They'll guide you through the process, step by step, communicating with all parties fluidly. Most importantly, they'll be there for you through thick and thin, resolving any hurdles and celebrating both successful sales with you!

    Are you interested in selling your current home and purchasing one of the fabulous Lafayette homes for sale at the same time? Contact us today, and we'll help you accomplish all of your real estate goals!

    September
    30

    Most Haunted Places in Acadiana

    Haunted Places in Acadiana

    Fall is on its way and 'tis the season for scary screams and fearful frights! Louisiana is shrouded in centuries of spooky tales ranging from voodoo and vampires. Our REALTORS® love a good ghost story — especially Acadiana area tales. We triple dog dare you to check out a few of the most haunted places in Acadiana and see if you'll live to tell your own scary story.

    1. Oaklawn Manor — 3296 E. Oaklawn Dr., Franklin, LA 70538
      Not far from Franklin homes for sale is Oaklawn Manor. This massive estate features a beautiful mansion which was built in the 1830s by Alexander Porter. In the 1840s, Henry Clay — a founder of the National Republic Party — stayed in the mansion for a short time and his room eventually kept his namesake. While you can visit Oaklawn Manor, you should know that some locals believe that the ghost of Henry Clay haunts this estate. It seems Oaklawn Manor's famous guest may have never truly left.

    2. Café Vermilionville — 1304 W. Pinhook Rd., Lafayette, LA 70503
      Lafayette is a lovely town, thanks in part to its gorgeous architecture. Café Vermilionville is a beautiful building that was built in the early 1800s. Visitors are welcome to stop by and enjoy a delicious meal — but be warned! It may have a haunted history dating back to the Civil War. The tale tells of a Yankee officer who was killed in the lobby by a jealous husband. Since then, bottles have mysteriously fallen to the floor, boarded up rooms have been wrecked by unknown forces and a mysterious man with a handlebar mustache has been seen in the bar. Some guests have never seen this man, but they have witnessed a small child in a blue dress wandering the grounds who locals believe is the ghost of a young girl who died of scarlet fever within the building many years ago.

    3. Charles Burr Lane Bridge — 2832 Charles Burr Ln., Opelousas, LA 70570
      Not all ghosts haunt buildings, which is the case on the Charles Burr Lane Bridge just up the road from Opelousas homes for sale. Legend says that an old man with a lantern haunts the bridge. Some have seen him on the bridge, others have felt his presence in the backseats of their car. Those brave enough to walk the bridge hear strange noises, feel cold shivers run up their spines and can feel the man watching their every step.

    4. T'Frere's House Boutique Bed & Breakfast — 1905 Verot School Rd., Lafayette, LA 70508
      T'Frere's House Bed & Breakfast is a wonderful place to stay when you're searching for Lafayette homes for sale — if you don't mind sleeping among ghosts, that is. This is by far, one of the most haunted places in all of Lafayette. The well behind the house is said to be the final resting place for a young widow named Amelie. Some say she jumped into the well after losing her spouse and child. Others say she took ill with a fever and fell in accidentally. One version of the story says that she and her husband were thrown into the well by disapproving family members. She's reportedly still in the bed and breakfast. Spend the night, and you may hear a woman faintly speaking French. If you feel something touch you gently in the dead of night, don't worry — it's just Amelie tucking you in…

    5. Harris Hall, University of Lafayette — 544 McKinley St., Lafayette, LA 70503
      Ask faculty at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette about the nightly hauntings of Harris Hall, and they won't dare utter a word. Students, however, will tell you all about the tragic death of a young coed named Lily who was killed by a malfunctioning elevator in the Hall. At 11:46 PM each night, you can hear weird sounds coming from the elevator. It will even drop from the third floor to the first at that time, regardless of what button you press. Don't believe the story? Visit Lily yourself, and she'll take you on the creepiest elevator ride of your life…

    Looking for a scary-good deal on a house? Contact us today, and we'll show you the best Lafayette homes for sale — that aren't haunted, of course!

    September
    18

    How to Make a New Town Feel Like Home

    New Town Feel Like Home

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    September
    9

    Fall Festival Season Around Lafayette

    Lafayette Fall Festivals

    Autumn is around the corner, and our REALTORS® are excited for the return of the fall festival season! Throughout the Lafayette area, our towns come alive with festive food and fun to celebrate the harvest season. We invite you to come and join us at one of our fall festivals around the community.

    1. Great Painted Pumpkin Festival — Parc International 200 Garfield Street Lafayette, LA 70501 Saturday, October 12
      Head Downtown at 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 12 for Van Eaton & Romero's first Great Painted Pumpkin Festival. It's fun for all and all for fun! If you want to enter the competition, register on www.eventbrite.com. If you just want to join the fun and celebrate the painted pumpkins that your friends and neighbors create, head down to the Parc International area in Downtown Lafayette and see all the fantastic designs!  

    2. Louisiana Cattle Festival & Fair — 2901 Rodeo Rd., Abbeville, LA 70510 | Oct 10-13
      Eight-time winner of the Fair of the Year award, the Louisiana Cattle Festival & Fair is a barnful of fun! Taking place at its new location, The Red Barn, you can immerse yourself in Cajun culture and party until the cows come home! View the livestock show, eat delicious beef, and have a blast with all of the fun games and rides! The best part about it--all this is happening just around the corner from Abbeville homes for sale

    3. 21st Annual Franklin Merchants Association Harvest Moon Festival — 300 Iberia St., Franklin, LA 70538 | Oct 26
      The annual Harvest Moon Festival takes place throughout Main Street in Franklin each year. An easy walk from Franklin homes for sale, this event features live music, activities for kids and a classic car show. The Harvest Moon Festival was created to celebrate the local merchants of Franklin and this year they'll be offering special discounts and promotions throughout the event! Stop down and start your holiday shopping early while supporting Franklin's local business owners!

    4. Blackpot Festival & Cookoff — 300 Fisher Rd., Lafayette, LA 70508 | Oct 25-26
      For over a decade, the Vermilionville Historic Village has hosted the delicious Blackpot Festival & Cookoff to celebrate the music, food, and culture of Southwest Louisiana. This two-day event features a mouth-watering cookoff where cooks of all skill levels compete for bragging rights by serving up their best gumbo, cracklins, jambalaya, and gravies. Be sure to buy a ticket or go all-out and camp the entire week at Lakeview Park & Beach to celebrate Blackpot Festival in style!

    5. Holy Ghost Creole Festival Bazaar — 788 North Union St., Opelousas, LA 70570 | Nov 1-3
      The Holy Ghost Creole Festival Bazaar is the tastiest way to celebrate Creole culture this fall! Taking place at the Holy Ghost Catholic Church, this weekend event features live music, a Creole heritage parade, and plates on plates of mouth-watering food. Be sure not to pass up some of their famous sweet dough pies! You'll find this fall fun near Opelousas homes for sale.

    6. Festivals Acadiens et Creoles — 500 Girard Park Dr., Lafayette, LA 70503 | Oct 10-13
      The annual Festivals Acadiens et Creoles has a long and proud history in the city. Taking place at Girard Park across from the best Lafayette homes for sale, this event is a beautiful blend of culture, food, and music that celebrates Cajun and Creole lifestyles. The Louisiana Craft Fair also takes place at this festival, offering you a full weekend up festivities and fun!

    7. Bayou Round Up — 2330 Johnston St. Lafayette, LA 70503 | Oct 18-19
      Hot rods, vintage cars, live music and delicious food — the Bayou Round Up is celebrating its 5th year in style. Held outside of the Blackham Coliseum, this event brings big fun to the bayou that you do not want to miss!

    8. Boudin Cook-Off — 201 E. Vermilion St., Lafayette, LA 70501 | Oct 19
      The premiere boudin event in the state, the Boudin Cook-Off is held in downtown Lafayette in the Parc International. This year, the Acadiana Bacon Fest joins the cook-off for a full day of food and family-friendly fun! Sign up for the boudin ball eating contest or sample the best bacon and boudin from around the state!

    Looking for a great place to call home in Lafayette? Contact us today, and we'll show you all of the Lafayette homes for sale in the area! 

    August
    5

    You Can Buy a Home with Student Loan Debt

    Home Buying and Student Loan Debt
    Americans owe $1.5 trillion in student loan debt. And if you're one of the 44 million Americans still trying to pay off their student loans, you've probably wondered how it will affect your ability to own your own home. 

    Buying a house – especially if it's your first house – is stressful enough without having to worry about whether your student loan debt will squash your dreams of homeownership. Our REALTORS® are here to help, and to let you know that yes, it is still possible to become a homeowner if you have outstanding student loans.

    • Know where you stand with student loans
      As surprising as it may sound, many people don't know what's going on with their student loans. It's essential that you know exactly how much you owe, whom you owe it to, and what your payment options are. Keeping track of these important points will make it easier to stay on top of your loans and manage your finances well. 
    • Keep an eye on your credit score
      Your credit score is one of the main factors that lenders use to determine whether they will be willing to offer you a home loan. The good news is that your student loan debt probably won't have any adverse effect on your credit score, as long as you've been keeping up with your payments. To maintain a good credit score, remember to pay your bills on time, diversify the types of credit you use, and work on improving your credit utilization (the ratio between the amount you owe, and the amount of available credit you have). 
    • Talk to a lender
      Before you start looking at houses, it's a good idea to talk to a mortgage lender about your options. Most lenders will be perfectly willing to give you advice based on your current situation without any obligation to apply for a loan. Doing this early on will give you a more accurate picture of how you can work on your finances, and what your price range may be for a new home. 
    • Work on your debt-to-income ratio
      Your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio reflects your monthly debt payments as a percentage of your monthly income. Lenders will use this ratio to determine if you would have enough income left over, after all, your other payments, to pay back a home loan. Many lenders use what is known as the "28/36 qualifying ratio," which essentially means that you should spend no more than 28 percent of your gross monthly income on housing, and no more than 36 percent on debt. Because your DTI has two components – debt and income – you can improve it in two ways: pay back existing debt, earn more money, or both.
    • Look for down payment assistance
      A number of down payment assistance programs are acceptable to lenders, and many are available even to first-time homebuyers with student loan debt. You may be able to qualify for federal programs like an FHA Loan through the Federal Housing Authority, which would mean a down payment of as little as 3.5 percent. You could also qualify for a VA loan if you have served in the military, or a USDA loan if you're buying a home in a rural area. 

    If you're trying to buy a home with student loan debt, we're here to help. Contact us today to learn more about your options. We've helped countless families find Lafayette homes for sale that match their needs and budget. We can get you on the right track on your road to homeownership.

    August
    19

    A Final Walk-Through Checklist for Home Buyers

    Final Walkthrough Checklist
    Buying a home seems like a process with an endless number of steps. But if you've made it far enough for your final walk-through, then congratulations are in order. You're really in the home stretch now, and our REALTORS® are here to make sure that your final walk-through is a success. Here's what you need to know:

    Have Your REALTOR® With You

    The main purpose of a final walk-through is to make sure that the house is in the condition you agreed to buy it in, and it's always best to have your REALTOR® with you. Doing your final walk-through alongside a professional will make this crucial step much easier, bringing an added understanding of the home buying process and a seasoned eye for detail.

    Bring the Essentials

    Don't arrive at your final walk-through empty-handed! Make sure you have all these essential items so you can ensure that your future home is in good shape:

    • Your final contract, so you know what should and should not be in the house when you buy it.
    • Notepad and pen, so you can quickly jot down any questions or observations as you walk through the house. 
    • Your phone, so you can take pictures of anything you need to make a record of.
    • Phone charger, in case your phone dies, but also so that you can make sure the electrical outlets are functional.
    • Inspection summary, to double-check that all necessary repairs have been completed.

    Be Thorough

    You have a lot of items to check as you perform your final walk-through, so leave no stone unturned. This is one of the reasons it's great to have your REALTOR® with you – they can help keep you on track and make sure everything gets checked. Be sure to include these important items on your final walk-through checklist: 

    • Verify repairs. If the seller was required to make any repairs, carefully check that they have all been made. 
    • Check items included in the sale. Home sales can include anything from appliances and furniture to carpets and window blinds. Make sure everything is there that's supposed to be. 
    • Test windows and doors. Make sure all the windows and doors open and close without sticking, and also that all the screens are present and the locks work properly. 
    • Inspect bathrooms thoroughly. Inspect for mold and water damage. Make sure all toilets run and flush properly without leaking. Check all faucets and showerheads, and make sure all drains flow freely. 
    • Check the condition of the kitchen. Mold and water damage can be issues in kitchens too; be sure to check under sinks, inside cabinets, and behind the fridge.
    • Make sure all the appliances work. Any appliances included in the house should be in good working order, from microwaves and stoves to washers and dryers.
    • Try out the heating and A/C. Turn on the furnace to make sure it works, even if it's the middle of summer; same goes for the air conditioning. 
    • Test the electricity. Plug a phone charger into each outlet to make sure it works.
    • Look for signs of pests. Check every room in the house, but especially the attic and basement, for signs of mice, insects and other pests. 
    • Tour the property. Make sure the landscape looks like you remember it, and check all hoses and irrigation to make sure they're functional. 

    Contact us today to learn more about the final steps you need to take before your dream home becomes your own! From finding the perfect Lafayette home for sale to your final walk-through, our team is with you every step of the way. 

    August
    12

    Lafayette Living: Discover the Plate Lunch Paradise

    Lunch in LafayetteWhile the Lafayette area is well-known for outstanding Creole and Cajun cuisine, the humble but satisfying plate lunch is an equally popular staple of the local restaurant scene. Our REALTORS® take you on a tour of some of our Lafayette locals' favorite places for plate lunch specials.

    • Soulful Eats - 1815 Charity St., Abbeville, LA 70510
      When you serve the kind of delicious, homemade food found at Soulful Eats, you don't need a trendy name. Everything on the menu is indeed full of the heart and soul that comes from people who are passionate about cooking. Weekday plate lunch specials feature items such as smothered turkey necks and fried pork chops, while BBQ plate lunches are available on Sunday from 11 a.m. until they're sold out, so stop in before viewing Abbeville homes for sale. Soulful Eats is open for lunch and dinner every weekday but Monday.
    • Blazin Wings - 1015 Main St., Franklin, LA 70538
      Not surprisingly, chicken is the main event at Blazin Wings, just minutes from Franklin homes for sale. But they also put a creative spin on the classic plate lunch by incorporating Louisiana seafood and Southern favorites like hush puppies with global dishes such as hummus and fried rice. The plate lunches, along with the chicken, shrimp and fish meals, are perfect for take-out.
    • Kelly's Diner - 1531 S. Union St., Opelousas, LA 70570
      The retro-50s decor at family-owned-and-operated Kelly's Diner creates the perfect ambiance to enjoy their tasty plate lunches. Many of the main items come from Kelly's Country Meat Block, the adjacent butcher shop and market. Several items are prepared using proprietary sauces created and made in Kelly's kitchen and sold next door. Be sure and save room, because the plate lunches at Kelly's include dessert. Hours are 10-:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. daily, making it easy to fit in a visit as you tour Opelousas homes for sale.
    • Glenda's Creole Kitchen - 3232 Main Hwy., Breaux Bridge, LA 70517
      No less an authority than the late Anthony Bourdain proclaimed Glenda's Creole Kitchen as serving "the gravy of the gods." Glenda opened her restaurant in 2000 after co-workers began paying for her home-cooked lunches. Each Monday through Saturday, the menu features a different pair of side dishes to accompany a rotating selection of four to six plate lunch options. On Sunday Glenda's serves a BBQ dinner with your choice of entrée and sides for $11. Hours are 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. daily, and there's a handy drive-thru window to swing by before or after visiting Breaux Bridge homes for sale.
    • Dwight's - 4800 Johnston St., Lafayette, LA 70503
      If it's variety you're looking for, you don't have to travel far from Lafayette homes for sale to find it at Dwight's. A different assortment of plate lunches is offered every day and they're served cafeteria-style, so you can order half-and-half to sample other options. Dwight's is also known for crawfish, and during the season you can enjoy a traditional boiled dinner each evening. On Sunday it's time for Dwight's popular BBQ lunch, which begins at 11 a.m. and lasts as long as the food does. Weekday lunch hours are 10:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.

    Whether it's dining, culture or entertainment you seek, Lafayette has something for everyone. Contact us for help buying or selling your Lafayette area home.

    August
    26

    Downtown Lafayette Galleries

    Art Galleries LafayetteCreativity at Every Corner

    Lafayette has a uniquely vibrant culture and nowhere is it more evident than in the profusion of artistic creativity in the area. Whether you're looking to decorate Lafayette homes for sale or you just want to admire expressions of talent, pay a visit to these great galleries in and around Lafayette.

    • The Cajun Picasso - 102 Woodvale Ave., Lafayette, LA 70503
      With a name like The Cajun Picasso, how could you resist taking a peek inside? Dusty Reed, who shares his nickname with the gallery, is a lifelong resident of Southern Louisiana who finds endless inspiration in his hometown of Lafayette. His mixed-media Louisiana folk art, or as he dubs it, "colk art," is distinguished by vivid images and bright colors. Gallery hours are noon - 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday or by appointment.
    • Sans Souci Fine Crafts Gallery - 219 E. Vermilion St., Lafayette, LA 501
      It's appropriate that Sans Souci Fine Crafts Gallery, home of the Louisiana Crafts Guild, should be housed in what is believed to be the oldest commercial building in downtown Lafayette. If you're looking for a gift or a treat for yourself, Southern Living Magazine named the gallery as one of the top places to shop in the South. Browse one-of-a-kind items of pottery, textiles, glass, and other media, all created by the 250+ members of the Guild. The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
    • Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum - 710 E. St. Mary Blvd., Lafayette, LA 70503
      The Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum may have its roots in academics, but its broader vision is that "viewing art promotes dialogue and understanding between individuals, families, and communities." In addition to a permanent collection of European, Asian and American works, the museum presents exhibits featuring a wide range of artists with local ties. The museum is open 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday with extended hours of 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. each Wednesday, during which admission is free. Regular admission is $5 for adults and $3 for kids aged 5 to 17.  
    • Abbeville Cultural and Historical Alliance Center - 200 N. Magdalen Square, Abbeville, LA 70510
      Abbeville homes for sale have enviable access to the Abbeville Cultural and Historical Alliance Center, a remarkable multi-layered facility honoring the city's rich heritage. Within the Center, the Vermilion Arts Council maintains a gallery with a changing display of original works, predominately from local artists. The Council's Carousel of Arts is a popular annual event. Hours at the Center are 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
    • Todd Art Gallery - 700 Main St., Franklin, LA 70538
      Photographs can make you see even familiar objects from a whole new perspective. Todd Art Gallery features stunning photographic images of local and regional scenes taken by Francis Todd, father of gallery owner Glenn Todd. Many prints are available framed or on canvas, ready for a place of honor in Franklin homes for sale
    • Cajun Palette Art Gallery - 2942 Grand Point Hwy., Breaux Bridge, LA 70517
      Cajun culture is an integral part of Louisiana's heritage, and some of its artistic contributions are on view at Cajun Palette Art Gallery. Original works are available as well as limited edition prints along with jewelry, ornaments, and photographs. The gallery is open noon - 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, so take a break from touring Breaux Bridge homes for sale and drop by.

    Our REALTORS® have the inside scoop on the events, activities, and amenities that make the Lafayette area such a special place to live. Contact us for more information on selling or buying a home.

    July
    22

    7 Habits of Successful Home Buyers

    Successful Home Buyers

    Buying a home for the first time is definitely a learning experience. There are a lot of details, new terminology and plenty of decision making. Many first-time buyers find the whole thing can be overwhelming at times. But it doesn't have to be. Remember you have control and can take actions that will greatly increase your chances of successfully purchasing one of the Lafayette homes for sale you've been dreaming of. 

    Start incorporating these seven home-buying habits today, and you'll be on your way to changing your house hunt from aggravating into awesome.

    1. Look at the financial big picture. Take the steps necessary to financially prepare to purchase a home. Check your credit report, get educated about the types of financing and interest rates available, and figure out your budget. These steps all lead up to getting a mortgage pre-approval before you shop.
    2. Educate yourself about the process. There are a lot of steps to buying a home and a lot of new terminology and concepts to learn about. Familiarizing yourself with them before you start will help you know what to expect, when to ask questions, and when to make changes.
    3. Have the right team behind you. There are several professionals you'll need so it is important to take the time to find the right ones. Our REALTORS®, your lender, a home inspector, insurance agent, an attorney can save you time and headaches with their expertise. They can give recommendations and advice, and confirm that everything is correct.
    4. Be methodical and organized. Have a plan. Think about your wants and needs in a home before you shop. Have financial paperwork in order and available when you need it. Plan out when you will be able to look at homes and meet with your agent. The structure will keep you accountable and allow the process to move forward as quickly as possible.
    5. Have realistic expectations. Expecting to find a pristine mansion in an exclusive neighborhood, far under the price you'd pay for something much smaller will set you up for disappointment. When you start house hunting, it can seem like everyone has some incredible story about an amazing deal. There are exceptions, but keep in mind most people end up with a great home that meets most of their needs for a fair price. Knowing what kinds of homes and amenities are available in your price range and what a reasonable asking price is will ultimately help you reach your goal of purchasing a home. It will also help you recognize a good deal and a good investment when you see one.
    6. Flexibility is key. It's important to remember that you may have to give up something to get something else. Know ahead of time where you're willing to compromise. Many buyers change their minds about their wants and needs after seeing several houses, and that's okay. Be willing to negotiate on price, inclusions or repairs. Being flexible will help you find win-win situations that can make the deal happen.
    7. Be proactive. Being focused and engaged during all parts of the process and realizing that you will have to make a consistent effort to achieve your goal. You will routinely need to communicate with your real estate agent and other professionals, schedule appointments and showings, gather information, express opinions, and ask questions. Consistently moving forward and taking the next step will help you tremendously.

    Buying a home is a big decision and it takes some effort to get there. But there is a lot you can do to help ensure your success. Contact us today to get started your home-buying journey.

    July
    15

    Move-in Ready vs. New Construction Homes in Lafayette?

    Move in Ready

    Our REALTORS® spend much of their time showing prospective buyers new home developments around Lafayette. One of the first decisions many buyers make is whether to pursue new construction or move-in ready Lafayette homes for sale.

    There are pros and cons to each approach, but no wrong way to go. Your decision will depend in large part on your goals and the lifestyle you plan to lead here in Louisiana. Either way, a local real estate expert is an essential ally in finding the right home with the best price and timeline.

    Here are the four significant differences between new construction and move-in ready:

    1. Time
      The question of time is the biggest one since it affects all of the others.

      Purchasing an existing home is by far the faster of the two options. If you're in a time crunch – for example, starting a new job soon – you'll usually want the option that leaves you with solid, reliable housing faster. Moving into an existing home should take no longer than 60 days.

      Building a home from scratch, on the other hand, is something of an undertaking. With the right home building company, a lot of the hard work will go on behind the scenes with no extra worries for you. Still, you should expect to wait somewhere between four and six months.

    2. Budget
      On average, custom homes will cost more per square foot than prebuilt ones. If you're willing to compare builders, however, you can find deals that may reduce costs to nearly the same levels. For example, builders working within their own subdivision can control costs better.

      On your own parcel of land, there's a unique environment for builders to contend with.

      Prebuilt homes are less expensive overall because the structure and amenities are all in place. Still, you should factor into your decision in the quality of the house and the land. Get a professional home inspection before you commit to bidding on any home.

    3. Location
      When building, you have the option of purchasing your own lot or building in a new construction community. The latter tends to be easier, with a streamlined buying process that can take the sting out of both the wait and the expense.

      The location also affects the available housing. For example, building your own home is common in small towns since properties for sale may be few and far between. On the other hand, finding undeveloped land in urban centers is difficult, but older homes are placed on the market regularly.

    4. Complexity
      Buying a prebuilt home is a more straightforward choice. In most cases, you can get much of what you want without having to grapple with decision fatigue. This is crucial for people who have busy, hectic schedules – raising a family, dealing with a challenging career, or both.

      Yes, there's a lot to think about when you buy any home. That said, a real estate agent can highlight prebuilt homes that meet your needs. On the other hand, complexity is part of what you're investing in when you choose new construction. You have control over the floor plan, colors, and finishes.

      Either option can be fulfilling, so your priorities determine what matters most.

    When you get started buying a home, the options can seem limitless. Narrowing them down is the first step in deciding on an approach that will satisfy your needs best. A real estate agent with deep insight into the local market can get you started on the right foot.

    Contact us today to learn more.

    July
    8

    What to Do When It's Jam-Packed with Junk

    Lafayette Donation Centers

    5 Area Donation Centers to Visit on National Give Something Away Day

    In early 2019, Marie Kondo's Netflix series about "tidying up" went viral and sparked a nationwide decluttering trend. In the spirit of KonMari, celebrate National Give Something Away Day on July 15 by finding a new home for unwanted items at one of these donation centers around Lafayette suggested by our REALTORS®.

    1. ARC of Acadiana Thrift Store - 710 S. Union St., Opelousas, LA 70570
      Donations to ARC of Acadiana Thrift Store, located not far from Opelousas homes for sale, provide a two-fold benefit. Proceeds support ARC's mission to improve quality of life for individuals with developmental disabilities, and the store itself provides a place for ARC's clients to learn valuable work skills. Hours are 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. every day but Sunday.

    2. Chez Hope - 801 Main St., Franklin, LA 70538
      Chez Hope offers shelter and support services to victims of domestic violence. The organization, founded in 1982, also operates an outreach program to raise public awareness and promote social change. Items needed at Chez Hope include new and used linens, full-size bath, beauty and hair care products, feminine hygiene supplies, trash bags, and disposable tableware. Make an appointment to drop off your donation during a break from viewing Franklin homes for sale

    3. Goodwill Industries - 1811 Rees St., Breaux Bridge, LA 70515
      Over the years, Goodwill Industries has helped so many individuals and families that it ranks in the top five in the most recent Brand World Value Index, which identifies brands that inspire consumers with their mission. The organization has a local donation center and retail store just minutes away from Breaux Bridge homes for sale that accepts clothing and household goods in usable condition. 

    4. Vermilion ARC Resale Clothing Store - 104 N. St. Charles St., Abbeville, LA 70510
      Kids grow out of clothes so quickly they're often barely worn. Recycle wearable items by taking them to the Vermilion ARC Resale Clothing Store. Proceeds from all sales fund ARC's work with developmentally disabled individuals. Hours are 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Saturday, making it convenient to stop by while touring Abbeville homes for sale

    5. Habitat for Humanity ReStore - 3123-1/2 Johnston St., Lafayette, LA 70503
      Homeownership provides a valuable feeling of self-sufficiency, and Habitat for Humanity makes the dream attainable for individuals and families in need. Habitat for Humanity ReStore, close to Lafayette homes for sale, funds the organization's mission through sales of donated building materials, furniture, and selected housewares. Hours are 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. If you're pressed for time or items are too bulky to move, contact the store to schedule a pick-up.

    Whether you're buying or selling a home, our friendly and professional REALTORS® can help streamline the process. Contact us to learn more.

    July
    1

    5 Acadiana Picnic Spots Lafayette Locals Love

    Picnic Spots in LafayetteNothing says summer like a picnic. July is National Picnic month, so what better time pack a basket and head outdoors to exceptional Acadiana picnic spots.

    Whether you're looking for a place to take a quick break, planning a romantic afternoon out, or want to get together with family and friends, fun times are sure to be had! Lafayette homes for sale are right near some of the best picnic spots in our city. So take the opportunity to get to know your new neighborhood, enjoy a meal and summer fun at these prime locales.

    1. Girard Park, 500 Girard Park Dr. Lafayette, LA 70503
      Girard Park is one of the most well-known and popular picnic spots in town. There's plenty of covered picnic areas as well as wide open spaces to put down a blanket and enjoy the scenery. Girard Park has no shortage of scenic regions either, with a bridge, pond, fountains, ducks, fishing and a hiking trail.
    2. Veteran's Park, 200 Feu Follet Rd., Lafayette, LA 70508
      In addition to the Veteran's memorial, the small, quiet, and pleasant Veteran's Park has covered picnic tables, grills, benches overlooking the pond, and a fishing pier. There's plenty of wildlife to watch and a small play area to make your afternoon picnic with the kids complete.  
    3. Parc Sans Souci, 201 E. Vermilion St., Lafayette, LA 70501
      If you'd prefer a more urban setting for your picnic Parc Sans Souci is right in the heart of downtown. It's family friendly with plenty of benches, a few grassy areas, a fountain, and splash pad for the kids.
    4. Acadiana Park, 1005 E. Alexander St., Lafayette, LA 70501
      There is something for everyone at Acadiana Park. There are nature, hiking and biking trails, boat dock, and plenty of nature's best scenery to make your picnic relaxing. With a nature station and plenty of open spaces and sport's fields, you could make a picnic just part of your fun-filled day.
    5. Beaullieu Park, 410 W. Bluebird Dr., Lafayette, LA 70508
      Beaullieu Park has plenty of open spaces and shady areas great for picnicking and beating the summer heat. If your furry friend is a constant companion, you'll appreciate the dog park too.

    A picnic with family, friends, and neighbors is always a pleasant way to enjoy the outdoors and the summer. Our REALTORS® can help you find the perfect Lafayette home to fit your lifestyle. Contact us to get started.

    June
    24

    6 Tips to Sell Your Vacant Home

    Sell Vacant Home

    Our REALTORS® have helped many people put Lafayette homes for sale on the market that would be vacant during the selling process. In many ways, it can be more convenient than the alternative – but there are some things that sellers should know.

    In most cases, houses become vacant because the owner has already moved out. Sellers in this situation are highly motivated because they do not want to continue paying for associated bills. It's crucial not to let this translate into a lack of preparation or caution.

    Let's face it: A vacant home is under more risk from burglary and vandalism than an occupied home. Still, there are steps that will both protect the property and make it appealing to buyers.

    1. Stage the Home to Reflect an Occupied Space
      When buyers show interest in a home, they need to be able to imagine themselves in the space – which means de-cluttering rooms and emptying closets. A completely empty house, however, is often more distressing than welcoming. Leave some basics like key furniture items and lighting. This is more "homey" and helps you showcase the potential of the rooms.
    2. Let Your Neighbors and Law Enforcement Know
      If you will be leaving a home unattended for extended periods of time, it's a great idea to let your local law enforcement know. That way, there'll be other eyes looking out for any suspicious activity around the home, especially at night. If you have strong relationships with your next-door neighbors, tell them as well for added vigilance.
    3. If You Do Open Houses, Make Sure Space is Secure
      Open houses are among the most powerful tools you have in selling any home. Unfortunately, thieves have been known to use these to case homes in the past. If you will be holding open houses, do not discuss the fact you have already moved out. You will be most secure if you have an active security system that can defend the house in off-hours.
    4. Provide for a Sense of Activity Within the Space
      Many of the tips you'd use when taking a long vacation also apply to a vacant home. For example, leaving some lights on is advisable – and all the better if they are timed so they reflect a pattern of activity inside the house. Security devices can be used that will simulate TV chatter. Do not let newspapers, catalogs, or mail accumulate while you are gone.
    5. Get an Appraisal and Repair Estimates Early
      Sometimes, prospective buyers will wonder if something is "wrong" with the house because you have moved out already. You can soothe their worries by providing them with a recent appraisal and inspection report. If an inspection uncovers any necessary repairs, also provide estimates for any of the work that you will not complete before closing day.
    6. Focus on Curb Appeal
      Whether a home is empty or full, curb appeal remains the all-important first impression. It is extra vital for vacant homes, as scraggly, overgrown lawns will tip off those with ill intentions. Keep your lawn in tip-top shape with weekly maintenance. Also be sure any other outdoor features, such as pathways, continue looking neat and tidy.

    Having a vacant home to sell is no reason to change your plans. These simple tips can help you ensure that your sale will go off without a hitch. An experienced real estate agent will provide you with personalized advice that will make the whole process even easier.

    Expert help from real estate pros like our team of REALTORS® accelerates time to sale and maximizes your earnings. Contact us to find out more today.

    June
    10

    9 Tips for New Home Buyers in Lafayette

    New Home Buyers in Lafayette
    It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of finding the perfect property. This can distract you from the crucial details you should focus on before making your first home purchase. Our REALTORS® are here with nine tips to making your dreams of homeownership come true.

    1. Start Saving Early.
      The more you save, the less you will pay in interest and private mortgage insurance throughout the life of your mortgage. Depending on the type of loan you want, you will need to save between 3% to 20% as a down payment. In addition to saving, research your loan options to determine whether a VA, FHA or conventional mortgage is best suited for your purchase.
    2. Polish Your Credit
      Cleaning up your credit takes time, and it is advisable to start this process long before you start looking at listings for Lafayette homes for saleYou should dispute errors and pay down balances on credit cards and installment loans. It is also recommended to hold off on applying for new credit until after you have purchased your home.
    3. Calculate Your Budget
      You don't want all of your income going towards your home. Most people spend between 25-30% of their monthly budget on housing expenses. Any more than this can make it difficult for you to enjoy your home and address any emergency expenses that may pop up in the future.
    4. Get Preapproved
      Securing a mortgage pre-approval can help you determine "how much home" you can afford to purchase. It also helps give you leverage during the negotiations because home sellers will know you are capable of buying the property or walking away from the deal.
    5. Research the Market
      You should thoroughly review real estate trends so that you know what neighborhoods are increasing in value, what features/amenities are popular in the region, and what developments are occurring in the community that will affect home prices in the future. 
    6. Attend Open Houses.
      Attending open houses lets you take a peek at the types of properties on the market that fall within your budget. It allows you to pick up ideas regarding landscaping, and interior design to incorporate into your new home.
    7. Save for Settling in.
      There are always expenses that arise when you start to move into a new home. In addition to setting up utilities and conducting minor repairs, you will want to budget for rugs, appliances, furniture, etc. so that you can make the home your own.
    8. Focus on the Future.
      Find a home that fits not only your present lifestyle but also your future needs. Will your home be large enough if you're planning to start a family or if an elderly family member moves in with you. Make sure the home has sufficient space and is in the right proximity to schools, shopping, healthcare facilities, and other amenities.
    9. Protect Yourself
      Shop for the best homeowners insurance policy. Make sure that you are protected against fires, "Acts of God," and other disasters that can unfold like floods, tornadoes or infestations, 

    It is essential to find a real estate agent with experience helping first-time homebuyers. Contact us for help taking the steps towards buying a home in Lafayette.

    June
    3

    Spending a Saturday in Lafayette

    Spend Saturday Lafayette
    Whether you're interested in food, culture, nightlife or family fun, there's nothing quite like spending a Saturday in Lafayette. The city's deep, diverse roots, fascinating history, beautiful outdoor spaces, and legendary dining spots provide something for every taste. Lafayette is a warm, welcoming place whether you're a long-time resident or newcomer to the city. Our REALTORS® are here to help you experience the city, with our guide to spending a Saturday in Lafayette.

    1. Brunch at Prejeans – 3480 NE Evangeline Thrwy, Lafayette 70507
      Start your Saturday with a trip to Prejeans, one of Lafayette's most acclaimed dining spots, for a classic Cajun brunch. Prejeans has been a popular spot for decades, earning awards for its creative dishes while serving everyone from local families to international dignitaries. The menu draws heavily from French and Cajun cultures, with a delightful list of desserts to enjoy after a delicious, filling brunch.
    2. Living History at Vermilionville – 300 Fisher Rd., Lafayette 70508
      With a full stomach from a great brunch, you'll be ready to start seeing the sights. Begin your tour with a trip to Vermilionville, a living history museum where you can experience the language, music, dance, culture, and everyday life of the unique cultures that created the city we all enjoy today.
    3. Downtown Museums on Jefferson Street – Jefferson St., Lafayette 70501
      Craving more info on the unique culture, art, and history of Lafayette? Head from Vermilionville to Lafayette's dynamic downtown, where you'll find a collection of museums geared toward every age and interest. Popular museums downtown include the Acadiana Center for the Arts, the historic Alexander Mouton House, the Lafayette Science Museum, and the Children's Museum of Acadiana.
    4. Stop at the Lafayette Sign – 201 E Vermilion St., Lafayette 70501
      While you're hanging out downtown, be sure to make a stop at the famed L-a-f-a-y-e-t-t-e sign, where you can take a photo to commemorate your Saturday in the city. There is no "y" in the actual sign, but that's where you come in.
    5. Lafayette Jockey Lot Flea Market – 3100 NW Evangeline Thrwy, Lafayette 70507
      Looking for a great souvenir from your Saturday in Lafayette, or shopping for Lafayette homes for sale and searching for the perfect decorations for your future home? Make time on your Saturday to visit the Jockey Lot Flea Market, a huge, family-friendly market with great deals on unique items that you won't find anywhere else.
    6. Dinner at Dat Dog – 201 Jefferson St., Lafayette 70501
      With a full day of fun, you're probably starting to feel pretty hungry once more. Why not enjoy a quick, casual, and delicious meal at Dat Dog? Customize your own hot dog from a dizzying list of options, and enjoy a true Lafayette treat. Dat Dog serves nearly every type of sausage you can imagine, including vegan options.
    7. Music and Drinks at Artmosphere – 902 Johnston St., Lafayette 70501
      Cap off your busy Saturday with a trip to the Artmosphere bistro, for great drinks, delicious snacks, and live local music. Of course, Artmosphere is also one of the best places in the city to enjoy some dancing, with a welcoming local crowd.

    Enjoying all that Lafayette has to offer is so much easier when you have a home in the city, and our team is here to help you find the perfect fit. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Lafayette, LA area.

    May
    27

    6 Favorite Doughnut Shops in Lafayette

    Donuts in Lafayette

    While Lafayette might be best known for its Cajun cuisine, city residents also have an affinity for the occasional sweet treat. Our real estate agents love to stop and grab a doughnut or beignet before they set out for a day of showing potential buyers the best Lafayette homes for sale

    National Doughnut Day is coming up on June 7th, and whether you prefer a bear claw, eclair, glazed, or something in between, there's a great area doughnut shop where you can find what you want. Check out this list of our favorite sweet spots in Lafayette. 

    1. Meche's Donut King: 402 Guilbeau Rd. Lafayette, LA 70506
      It only takes one stop at Meche's Donut King to understand why patrons use words like "spectacular" and "life-changing" to describe the experience. Stop by and enjoy hot, fresh doughnuts that melt in your mouth, fresh-made kolaches, and their nationally-famous king cakes. 
    2. Cajun Market Donut Co.: 1812 W. Pinhook Rd. Lafayette, LA 70508
      Whether you prefer a traditional, filled, or cake donut, donut holes, or something more savory, Cajun Market Donut Co. has got you covered! Bring your little ones in for the "donut decorating" kid's meal so they can make memories while enjoying their sweet treat. Also, make sure you don't leave without grabbing a stuffed bread to enjoy later in the day.  
    3. Home Cut Donuts & Kolaches: 5611 Johnson St. Lafayette, LA 70503
      Home Cut Donuts & Kolaches may be a bit difficult to find, but it's well worth the effort. Whether you choose to go through the convenient drive-thru or come in for counter service, you're sure to love the fresh and perfectly-frosted doughnuts, savory kolaches, flaky croissants, and delicious breakfast sandwiches. 
    4. Honey's Donuts Coffee and More: 4300 Moss St. Lafayette, LA 70507
      Super-friendly, family-owned Honey's Donuts Coffee and More is well known for their fresh, melt-in-your-mouth sweet treats. The apple fritters and breakfast sandwiches are two of the most popular menu items. If you're in a hurry, you'll also love the fast and convenient drive-thru. 
    5. Crispy Donut: 2700 N. University Ave. Lafayette, LA 70507
      A hidden gem in Lafayette, Crispy Donut is famous for their unique cake doughnuts that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Their doughnuts are also lighter and a bit less sweet, making them perfect for those days when you don't want to feel weighed down. The apple fritters and breakfast croissants are also excellent choices. 
    6. Jak's Donuts: 3200 Verot School Rd. Lafayette, LA 70508
      If you prefer your doughnuts lighter with a more "bready" texture, then Jak's Donuts is the place for you. They're also known for having some of the best icings around. The fritters, cake doughnuts, and breakfast tacos are just a few of Jak's most popular menu items. 

    Let Us Help You Find a Sweet Real Estate Deal! 

    If you're looking for a sweet real estate deal in Lafayette, we're here to help. Contact us to discuss your goals and how together we can make them a reality. 

    May
    20

    Living in Lafayette - Outdoors Adventures in Cajun Country

    Lafayette Outdoors

    When the sun is shining, birds are singing, and fish are biting, you'll find few better places to spend time outdoors than Lafayette. From swamp tours to fishing, paddling, and live sports, there's something for everyone around Lafayette. The area is filled with natural sites and wildlife, with a tradition of exploration that dates back centuries. Explore the wilderness with the help of knowledgeable, local guides, or plan your own adventure at one of many vibrant parks in the area. Our real estate agents are here to help you plan your next outdoor excursion, with a guide to six fun, family-friendly outdoor adventures in the Lafayette, LA area.

    1. Couret's Swamp Tours – Interstate 10 Exit 121, Butte La Rose 70517
      Lafayette is surrounded with natural beauty, so sometimes it helps to have a local guide to explore unique spots. Couret's Swamp Tours is a third-generation, family-owned business offering tours of the Atchafalaya Basin area. Explore the best of Lafayette's outdoor scenery, with an expert guide at your side.
    2. Cajun X Cables – 2211 Mills St., Lafayette 70507
      Interested in trying your hand at wakeboarding, but don't have a boat? No problem! Cajun X Cables is a full-size cable wake park, where you can spend time on a wakeboard or kneeboard without ever needing a boat. You can bring your gear, or rent from the helpful staff at the park.
    3. Lamson Park – 194 Cajundome Blvd., Lafayette 70506
      Lafayette homes for sale make it easy to reach a ton of great outdoor destinations, including Lamson Park, home of the Ragin' Cajuns. More specifically, Lamson Park is home to the Ragin' Cajuns softball team, a perennial powerhouse that routinely contends on the national level. The park has seen many renovations over the years. It is a favorite spot for residents to enjoy live sports, and witness some of the best young softball players in the world close to home.
    4. South Louisiana Redfishing Charters – 306 Beach Ln., Franklin 70538
      Looking for some fun on the water? The waterways around Lafayette are home to a wide variety of gamefish, including Redfish, Flounder, Speckled Trout, Drumfish, Sheepshead, and much more. South Louisiana Redfishing Charters makes it easy to find the best fishing spots locally, with help from an experienced guide. Schedule a half-day, ¾ day, or full-day trip, with all-inclusive prices that cover bait, equipment, tackle, and fuel.
    5. Pack & Paddle – 601 E Pinhook Rd., Lafayette 70501
      Established in 1974, Pack & Paddle has been Lafayette's one-stop shop for outdoor fun ever since. Shop for a kayak of your own, schedule a rental, and learn about local kayaking areas. Pack & Paddle also features gear for hiking and fishing, along with guides on the best spots in the area.
    6. Swamp Tours of Acadiana – 1321 Rookery Rd., Breaux Bridge 70517
      Located just minutes from Lafayette in Breaux Bridge, Swamp Tours of Acadiana offers laid-back tours, with boats that seat six or eight people. Explore local wildlife, and learn more about local natural sites from your guide. You can also schedule a private tour, geared toward bird-watching and photography.

    Still searching for the perfect home that allows you to enjoy all of the outdoor attractions around Lafayette? Our team is here to help. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Lafayette, LA area.

    May
    13

    Lafayette Shopping at These 6 Local Malls and Markets

     

    Shopping in Lafayette

    Whether you're shopping for fun or picking up the necessities, there's no doubt that Lafayette is a fantastic place to shop. The area is filled with both the big-name businesses you know and smaller, local shops that offer everything you need close to home. "Laissez les bons temps rouler," or "let the good times roll," as you explore all that the Lafayette shopping scene has to offer. Our real estate agents have all the juicy details on the best places to shop throughout the Lafayette area.

    1. Acadania Mall – 5725 Johnston St., Lafayette 70503
      If you're looking for your favorite big-name retailers close to home in Lafayette, then the Acadania Mall is the place to be. The mall is home to nearly 100 retailers, along with dining and entertainment destinations. There are special events to be found at the mall regularly, including plenty of sales from the biggest names in retail.

    2. Lafayette Jockey Lot Flea Market – 3011 NW Evangeline Throughway, Lafayette 70507
      Shopping for Lafayette homes for sale, and looking for furniture, art, or other household goods for your next home? The Lafayette Jockey Lot Flea Market is your one-stop shop for home goods, collectibles, food, unique treasures, and so much more. The market features more than 500 booths and is open every weekend.

    3. Lafayette Farmers and Artisans Market – 2913 Johnston St., Lafayette 70506
      Whether you're hungry for good food or a great deal, you'll have no trouble finding it at the Lafayette Farmers and Artisans Market. The market is open every Saturday from 8 am to noon, with dozens of local vendors offering fresh ingredients for your own creations, prepared meals, juice, arts, crafts, and so much more. Pick up some fresh seafood, enjoy a premium cup of espresso, and explore all that the market has to offer.

    4. Lafayette Art Association and Gallery – 1008 E St. Mary Blvd., Lafayette 70503
      Searching for unique art, or a store where you can spend hours browsing and enjoying yourself? The Lafayette Art Gallery is the city's top destination for art of all types, featuring original art, photography, and crafts for you to explore. There are regular art exhibitions to enjoy, along with a busy schedule of special events, art classes, and even opportunities to share your own art with the world.

    5. Lagniappe Antique Mall – 124 W Bridge St., Breaux Bridge 70501
      Located just outside of Lafayette in Breaux Bridge, the Lagniappe Antique Mall is one of the top places in the state to shop for antiques. With more than 35 vendors offering antiques from a wide range of eras, styles, and locations, Lagniappe Antique Mall is a fantastic place to pick up a truly unique gift or find the perfect items to decorate your home.

    6. Louisiana Hot Stuff – 449 Ambassador Caffery Pkwy. Ste. 200, Lafayette 70518
      Looking for items with a Louisiana theme, in a shop that stocks a little bit of everything? Louisiana Hot Stuff has been in business for more than 20 years and offers all of the Louisiana essentials. Pick up barbecue sauce or hot sauce created by local artisans, grab a unique gift or stock up on Louisiana-themed apparel. This store is also the perfect place to shop if you're looking for gear representing the Saints, LSU, and other local teams.

    Are you still searching for the right home close to all of these great, local shopping destinations? Our team is here to help. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Lafayette, LA area.

    May
    6

    5 Favorite Breweries Around Lafayette

    Lafayette Breweries

    Cajun Country has some of the best food on the planet. Crawfish boils and etouffee. Jambalaya the way mom used to make it. Gumbo, boudin, po' boys, gator tail, maque choux — so many mouthwatering choices. When you're eating your way through town as you view Lafayette homes for sale, you're going to need a cold, tasty brew to wash all of this delicious food down. Our real estate agents are here to point you in the direction of five favorite breweries in Cajun Country.

    1. Parish Brewing Company – 229 Jared Dr., Broussard, LA 70518
      You'd better believe that beer in Cajun Country is not going to be like the tasteless taps found in other cities. Parish Brewing Company is the second largest brewery in the state and pushes the boundaries on beer until they craft some of the finest ales you've ever sipped. Parish is a hop, skip and a jump north from Franklin homes for sale, so there's no excuse not to visit.
       
    2. Bayou Teche Brewing – 1106 Bushville Hwy., Arnaudville, LA 70512
      If you shop for Breaux Bridges homes for sale long enough, you'll definitely hear plenty of locals talk about Bayou Teche Brewing. These brewers aspire to craft the perfect beers that complement the delicious Cajun and Creole foods Louisiana locals love so much. Live music every Friday and Sunday invites you to kick back and try their stouts and IPAs made with local ingredients like Louisiana honey and rice.
       
    3. Crying Eagle Brewing Company – 1165 E. McNeese St., Lake Charles, Louisiana 70607
      We wouldn't send you west of Abbeville homes for sale without good reason so trust us when we say a visit to the Crying Eagle Brewing Company is worth the trip! Not only does their taproom feature over a dozen new beers, but they've also got a bistro ready to whip you up something to snack on while you drink. Grab some boudin, baked oysters or an order of their twisted cornbread and make your way back to Abbeville with a satisfied smile.
       
    4. Southern Craft Brewing Company – 14141 Airline Hwy, Ste 4J, Baton Rouge, LA 70817
      One of the advantages of buying one of the great Franklin homes for sale is that it's a perfect distance between the cities of Lafayette, New Orleans and Baton Rouge. While we do think you'll love a day trip to NOLA, we also think you should take a quick drive up to Southern Craft Brewing Company instead. This fantastic brewery has mixed up award-winning beers that you've got to sip to believe. Take a free tour while you're there and hear the story of how two engineers turned their passion for brewing into a true Southerner's beer.

    5. Tin Roof Brewing Company – 1624 Wyoming St., Baton Rouge, LA 70802
      Of course, if you're picking out Opelousas homes for sale, you'll be tempted to take the short drive over to the Atchafalaya River. However, for the ultimate river relaxation spot where you can get an amazing beer, we encourage you to drive a little further east to Tin Roof Brewing Company. Tin Roof has a national following for a reason – their beer has won a coveted gold medal from The Great American Beer Festival in Denver Colorado. From gose and Weisse to porters and lagers, Tin Roof has a beer for every taste.

    We love Lafayette, and we could spend hours telling you about all of our favorite restaurants, breweries, and bars around town. Contact us and tell us what Lafayette beers we should try next. We can even show you what new Lafayette homes for sale are on tap if you're interested! 

    April
    15

    2019 Cycle Zydeco - Lafayette, LA

    Cycle Zydeco

    It's almost time for the festival season in Lafayette, with warm weather, fabulous food, and lifelong memories waiting around every corner. So what could be better than a "festival on wheels," which allows you to tour many of the popular local festivals, attractions, and historic sites in the region? The 2019 Cycle Zydeco festival is your chance to do just that, with fun-filled days of biking, sightseeing, delicious dining, culture, and camaraderie. This popular, local event is coming up at the end of April, and our real estate agents have all the details on what to expect from Cycle Zydeco in 2019.

    Lafayette's 2019 Cycle Zydeco: A Festival on Wheels

    The Event: Cycle Zydeco 2019
    Dates: 
    April 24 – 28, 2019
    Admission: Register Early Online

    Celebrate Cajun and Creole Culture with Lafayette's "Festival on Wheels"

    Cycle Zydeco is a race in one sense, but for most participants, the true race is getting from one attraction to the next. So while cycling is naturally part of the package, seeing the sights – from Lafayette homes for sale to local attractions – is a huge part of what makes the event special. It's a festival on wheels, and you'll even have the chance to visit other festivals along the way.

    • Two Route Options Each Day
      Thinking of participating in Cycle Zydeco, but not experienced with cycling? There are two route options each day: the main route, which is typically around 38 miles, and the long route, which checks in at 62 miles or more. It's a casual ride, so you don't have to race for a top time, and there will be plenty of support along the way.
    • A Four-Day Casual Cycling Festival
      Cycle Zydeco is known as a casual cycling festival because the riding is only part of the package. You can certainly push for a top time or try to achieve your personal best, but there's no pressure at all. If you want to take your time, soak in the sights, and enjoy some fantastic food, you'll have plenty of company doing the same.
    • The Priorities of Cycle Zydeco
      Yes, cycling makes the list, but you might be surprised where it shows up. Festival organizers suggest that you eat, drink, and dance at every stop along the way. By the time you cycle to the next destination, you'll be hungry, thirsty, and ready to start the fun all over again.
    • Cajun and Creole Cuisine
      Cycle Zydeco is also a celebration of Cajun and Creole cultures, which means that you can expect to sample some of the best food and drink in Louisiana throughout the event. Every day will take you to a new destination, where food, drink, culture, and history await.
    • Explore Local Attractions, Music, and Events
      When organizers call Cycle Zydeco a festival on wheels, they're not kidding. Throughout Cycle Zydeco 2019, you'll have the opportunity to visit other unique, local festivals. Stops include the popular Festival International de Louisiane, along with the New Iberia Spanish Festival. There will also be a fun scavenger hunt, with clues scattered along the routes that make up Cycle Zydeco. Even when you're not stopping at another festival, every stop during Cycle Zydeco is a chance to listen to some of the best live music in the area, while sampling Cajun and Creole cuisine.

    Cycle Zydeco is an excellent chance to explore the culture, history, and attractions that make Lafayette such an excellent place to call home. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Lafayette, LA area.

    April
    1

    Lafayette Dining - Prejean's Restaurant - Food for the Soul

    Prejean Restaurant
    If you've been searching for Lafayette homes for sale, you might have noticed Prejean's Restaurant alongside the Evangeline Throughway. If you haven't made your way inside yet, you're missing out! Our real estate agents are here with the details why this a local favorite. 

    A Fun, Family-Friendly Atmosphere
    As the area's only theme restaurant, Prejean's offers visitors a true Cajun experience. The entrance is a replica of a bayou, complete with Cyprus trees and a small bridge you'll need to cross to get inside. Here, you're welcomed by "Big Al," a 14-foot alligator, and an array of other taxidermied swamp critters including alligator garfish and catfish. A painted mural of Bayou Chene, created by Cajun artist John Pourcio, creates the perfect backdrop for an evening of family-friendly fun.

    Authentic Cajun Cuisine
    While the restaurant's unapologetically-kitschy decor might make you wonder if it's a tourist trap, there's no need to worry. Prejean's serves up authentic Cajun and Creole food, seafood, steaks, and wild game. You can't go wrong with their rich gumbos, alligator cheesecake, and three-time gold-medal-winning crawfish etouffee. If you're feeling adventurous, try the seafood platter with alligator bites, frog legs, shrimp, oysters, catfish, and stuffed crab! 

    Live Music and Entertainment
    Perfect for a lively night out with family and friends, the restaurant also offers live Cajun music every night from 7 to 9 p.m. and during brunch on the weekends from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Don't make the mistake of thinking these are no-name bands, either. They pull in big names including The Clarence Denias Band, Woody Daigle and the Cajun Five, and more! 

    Getting There
    Prejean's Restaurant is located at 3480 NE Evangeline Throughway in Lafayette. They're open Sunday through Thursday from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m.

    Walk-ins are welcome, but since the restaurant is often very busy, reservations are suggested. If you get there and it's packed, don't worry. There are plenty of repurposed church pews set up for guests to relax while waiting for tables. You can also pass the time wandering around the gift shop where you can find clothing, sauces and spices, dishware, and toys and stuffed animals for the kids. 

    Your Lafayette Real Estate Professionals

    If you're thinking about making Lafayette your home, we can help! Contact us today to discuss your goals and get started! 

    February
    18

    How Lafayette Celebrates Mardi Gras

    Mardi Gras Lafayette
    Every year, our real estate agents hit the streets to celebrate Mardi Gras here in Louisiana.

    If you're interested in Lafayette homes for sale, you should definitely know about Mardi Gras!

    Mardi Gras, also known as Fat Tuesday, is one of the most important days of the entire year in many French-speaking areas. No surprise that the centerpiece of the celebration here in good old Louisiana is none other than historic Lafayette.

    Mardi Gras is the Biggest Tuesday of the Year ... Literally

    Known as "Fat Tuesday" due in part to the delicious food that's always on offer, Mardi Gras was historically a celebration to help people get prepared for the more solemn religious observances of March and April. These days, everybody is invited!

    Mardi Gras is a party with revelers all over the United States, but many of the traditions people associate with it actually originated right down in southern Louisiana. Here, Mardi Gras is a major holiday people look forward to all year around.

    In towns like Lafayette and Opelousas, you'll see get-togethers that have been going on in a similar form for hundreds of years. Although there are many different places you could go to get your Mardi Gras fun on, Lafayette is a frequent choice of guests from outside the state.

    One thing you're sure to notice is the celebrations don't wait for Tuesday, March 5.

    According to the official Mardi Gras itinerary, many parishes will be holding Mardi Gras events starting all the way back in early February. This helps to accommodate many community events, such as charity runs, that cannot take place on the same day as the "big" parade.

    What Can You Expect to See as a Mardi Gras Participant?

    Mardi Gras is a party that draws thousands of spectators every year. It's fun for the whole family, and there are days dedicated to given events so you can plan the right experience for you.

    In Lafayette, there are tons of parades taking place on Mardi Gras itself. Most of these launch from historic downtown and go to Cajun Field – the football stadium nicknamed "The Swamp."

    The four biggest parades begin their journey at 6 p.m. Monday, March 6, starting with Queen Evangeline's parade. Then, you'll be able to catch the Mardi Gras show at Clark Field before it's time for King Gabriel's Parade, the Lafayette Mardi Gras Parade, and the Independent Parade.

    Those parades kick off at 10:00 a.m., 1 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. respectively.

    Leading up to the big day, you can get involved in a wide range of other activities. For example, there's the legendary Mardi Gras run on February 17 beginning from old Vermillionville. There are also walking parades, a children's parade, and a dog show leading up to March 5.

    Lafayette is known for a truly family-friendly Mardi Gras. The local community has a great relationship with the police, and there's been very little nuisance behavior at past events. Parade areas are child-friendly and there are special viewing areas for people with mobility issues.

    Costume contests are one of the most beloved parties of Mardi Gras, so consider participating if this is your first time. Also, don't forget to try the signature treats of gumbo and king cake!

    "Fat Tuesday" Isn't the Only Thing Worth Celebrating Here in Lafayette

    If you enjoy Mardi Gras, why not see it every year? With our expert advice, you can!

    Our team will help you find your Lafayette dream home faster than you ever imagined.

    Contact us to find out more. We look forward to meeting you.

    February
    4

    Lafayette's Historic Azalea Trail Begins February 23

    Azalea Trail
    If you're visiting Lafayette homes for sale in late February and March, you can't help but notice the gorgeous blooms of the city's many Azalea trees.

    Locals and visitors can enjoy the full splendor of the event by walking, biking, or driving along the 20-mile stretch known as the Azalea Trail

    The History of the Azalea Trail

    The Azalea Trail begins at the Lafayette Visitor center located at 1400 NW Evangeline Thruway and winds through the city's streets, historic districts, and grand boulevards. Along the trail, you'll find a stunning number of Azalea bushes blooming in an array of pinks, reds, whites, and purples. Ranging in size from dwarf to jumbo, some of these bushes are more than 50 years old!

    The trail has been a popular destination since the 1930s and records suggest as many as 40,000 visitors drove through the city in the mid-1940s. In the 1980s, it was named one of the "Top 20 Tourist Destinations in the South" by Southern Living magazine.

    In 2015, the group Scenic Lafayette began revitalizing the trail. The following year the city of Lafayette was named one of the nation's 15 "Azalea Cities" by the Azalea Society of America. At that time, February 23rd was declared the official opening day of the blooming season.

    The Azalea Trail Bike and Classic Car Cruise

    While there's no bad way to visit the trail during blooming season, our real estate agents recommend attending the Azalea Trail Classic Car Cruise & Bike Ride. This event, held on March 9th, features a 1-mile family bike ride, 5- and 10-mile options, and an escorted classic car cruise.

    The event ends with a car cruise social complete with food and drinks and an awards ceremony where prizes will be given for the best vintage costume and best Azalea display. Cruisers will also receive free admission to The Hilliard Museum on the day of the event. Bicycle rentals are available from TRAIL, making this fun event accessible to everyone.

    No matter how you choose to take in the scenery of the Azalea trail, make sure, you take the time to do it. This is a memorable event that you must see to believe.

    Learn More About the City of Lafayette

    Are you interested in learning more about what it's like to live and work in the city of Lafayette? Our agents love helping potential new residents explore the city. Contact us today to discuss your home-buying goals and learn how we can help. 

    January
    28

    5 Spots to Spend Valentines Day in Lafayette

    Valentines Day LafayetteSearching for the perfect place to take your special someone for Valentine's Day this year in Lafayette? Whether you're shopping for Lafayette homes for sale or you're already a long-time resident, you'll find plenty of great places to celebrate the big day in our city. 

    Lafayette is known as a great foodie town, with many local restaurants that go above and beyond to provide an elegant, romantic setting for a Valentine's Day meal. Our real estate agents have the details on five fantastic restaurants in Lafayette where you can celebrate Valentine's Day this year.

    Love Is in the Air in Lafayette

    1. Marcello's Wine Market Cafe – 340 Kaliste Saloom Road Suite C, Lafayette
      With an extensive wine list, rustic atmosphere, and authentic, Sicilian-inspired cuisine, Marcello's Wine Market Cafe provides the perfect backdrop for a romantic Valentine's Day meal. Choose from a wide variety of affordable, carefully selected wines to pair with a meal that will make you feel like your dining in a cafe in Sicily. The team at Marcello's works hard to provide a setting that is both elegant and inviting while going above and beyond to help you celebrate the big day.

    2. Cafe Bella – 301 Heymann Boulevard, Lafayette
      Cafe Bella has a unique philosophy when it comes to creating authentic Italian food, and have traveled across Italy to sample dishes that eventually make their way to the restaurant's menu in Lafayette. The result is an authentic Italian dining experience that will make you feel like your pulling up a chair at a table in the Old Country. At Cafe Bella, the setting is quiet, relaxing, and ideal for a romantic night on the town.

    3. Antoni's Italian Cafe – 1118-A Coolidge Street, Lafayette
      Comfort and class. That is the guiding philosophy behind Antoni's Italian Cafe, one of the most popular lunch and dinner spots in Lafayette for Valentine's Day meals. Select your meal from an extensive collection of authentic Italian dishes, then pair it with one of the many fine wines available on the menu. The team at Antoni's strives to treat every guest like family, by providing fresh, delicious food, friendly service, and a lovely, laid-back atmosphere that inspires you to savor every bite.

    4. Imonelli Restaurant – 4017 Johnston Street, Lafayette
      Looking for a Lafayette restaurant that locals love? Imonelli Restaurant often has some of the hottest tables in the city, thanks to its elegant atmosphere and a menu packed with Italian dishes and seafood favorites. The cozy setting and friendly staff at Imonelli Restaurant make it the perfect setting for an enchanting evening. Enjoy a wide variety of classic Italian fare, choose from a diverse wine list, and be sure to leave some room for the legendary desserts at Imonelli.

    5. Social Southern Table and Bar – 3901 Johnston Street, Lafayette
      Take your Valentine's Day date to the next level with a meal at Social Southern Table and Bar, a dining destination known for its understated elegance and an incredible selection of whiskey. Social Southern offers an upscale dining experience with a friendly atmosphere, and a menu with flavors inspired from around the world. Enjoy craft cocktails, food made from fresh, local ingredients, and delicious desserts. Social Southern is also open for brunch if you're looking to try something different for Valentine's Day this year.

    Still searching for the perfect place to call home close to all of the excellent dining options and attractions of Lafayette? Our team is here to help. Contact us to buy, sell, and learn about homes throughout the Lafayette, LA area.

    January
    21

    Dancing Your Way Through Lafayette

    Dancing in Lafayette

    When checking out Lafayette homes for sale, potential buyers often ask our real estate agents about the local entertainment scene. While there are plenty of fun things to do in the area, dancing the night away is a favorite pastime for Lafayette locals.

    Whether you're an experienced dancer or you're just learning the art of the two-step, you're sure to find a venue in Lafayette that's perfect for you. Next time you're ready to blow off some steam and shake your tailfeather, pay a visit to one of these popular local dance halls.

    1. Blue Moon Saloon and Guest House - 215 E Convent St.
      Voted one of the 100 best bars in the South by Southern Living magazine, Blue Moon Saloon is one of the most popular music venues in Lafayette. With live bands every day of the week, this world-famous honky-tonk is the ideal place to hear all types of roots music while meeting interesting people, enjoying a cocktail, and showing off your dancing skills. If you're not yet a Lafayette resident, or you don't want to worry about driving home, you can book a room at the Blue Moon Guesthouse and keep the party going all night long.
    1. Randol's - Seafood Restaurant: 2320 Kaliste Saloom Road
      Deeply rooted in traditions of Cajun culture, Randol's Seafood Restaurant prides itself in providing superior quality food, entertainment, and a hopping good time. With live Cajun and Zydeco bands every day of the week, there's no bad time to come to Randol's. Sit down to one of the best dinners you'll ever have, then stick around for a toe-tapping good time.  
    1. Artmosphere - 902 Johnston St.
      A combination bar and grill, art gallery, and music venue, Artmosphere offers something for everyone. With live music six nights a week ranging from Cajun and Zydeco to funk, rock, jazz, and blues, there's never a dull moment here.

      This location offers plenty of room for dancing in the art gallery area, cozy booths for diners, and an outdoor seating area. While you're there, be sure to check out the garden-fresh menu featuring home-grown ingredients and specialties from local markets. 
    1. Feed & Seed Lafayette - 106 North Grant St.
      If you want plenty of room to show off your dance moves, plan to pay a visit to Feed & Seed Lafayette. This 100-year-old building was formerly Broussard's Feed and Seed Store. It's now a spacious music and events venue with a huge wooden dance floor and an outdoor patio. Here you'll find great bands, friendly staff, and a rustic Creole atmosphere that appeals to visitors and locals alike.
    1. Grant Street Dancehall - 113 W Grant St.
      Built in 1878, the historic Grant Street Dancehall is now a 9,000 square foot event venue that turns into a bar/nightclub on Wednesday and Friday nights.

      Located in downtown Lafayette, this venue gives visitors the option to dance the night away on the nightclub side of the bar or relax in the adjoining saloon. Hugely popular among local college students, the live DJ spinning R&B and hip-hop tunes is sure to have you kicking up your heels all night long.

    Your Lafayette Real Estate Pros

    Are you thinking about buying or selling a home in the Lafayette area? Don't do it alone! Contact us today so we can show you how easy things can be when you have a qualified real estate professional by your side.

    January
    14

    Turn Your Clutter into Cash at the Lafayette Jockey Flea Market

    Lafayette Flea MarketWhether you're looking to shop for unique treasures, find fabulous deals, or turn some of your clutter into cash before you move, there's a local Lafayette market with your name on it.

    The Lafayette Jockey Lot Flea Market has been a hot shopping spot for the community every weekend for many years and remains one of the best places in the region to make a deal. It's easy to get involved as a vendor, and even easier to head to the market for a day of shopping, food, and fun. Our real estate agents have the details on the Lafayette Jockey Lot Flea Market, for shoppers and vendors alike.

    Lafayette Living: Lafayette Jockey Lot Flea Market

    The Attraction: Lafayette Jockey Lot Flea Market
    Location:
    3011 NW Evangeline Throughway, Lafayette, LA 70507
    Hours: Open Every Saturday and Sunday from 8 am to 5 pm, Rain or Shine

    Shop for Great Deals on Unique Items from More than 500 Booths

    Yes, the Lafayette Jockey Lot is a great place to clear out some clutter, but it's also just as good for finding unique new items for your home. Whether you're shopping for antiques, handmade items, collectibles, sports memorabilia, furniture, clothing, or so much more, you're sure to find fabulous deals at the flea market. New Vendors appear at the market regularly, and there are more than 500 booths to explore every weekend. You never know what sort of treasures you might find as you explore the wares of a diverse group of local vendors.

    Food and Family Fun at the Flea Market

    Even if you're not in the mood to wheel and deal, there's plenty to do for fun when you visit the Lafayette Jockey Lot Flea Market. No matter what time of day you visit, you're sure to find plenty of great food available, with fresh, local ingredients and all of the culinary flair that's common to Lafayette's best dining spots. Kids love exploring all of the unique items at the Jockey Lot, and there are also special events at the market for many major holidays. A visit from Santa is a highlight during the holiday season, and you'll find plenty more fun events for all ages throughout the year.

    Rent Vendor Space at the Jockey Lot to Clear Out Clutter and Earn Some Cash

    Are you shopping for Lafayette homes for sale, and need to clear out some clutter before you head to your new home? Do you already live in the area, and have a garage that could use some downsizing? No matter your motivation, it's easy to rent vendor space at the Lafayette Jockey Lot Flea Market, and turn your clutter into cash. There are affordable outside booths and covered spaces available on a first-come, first-serve basis, along with reservable spaces for planning ahead and lockable spaces for anyone planning to make a repeat appearance as a vendor.

    A Friendly, Affordable Place to Launch a New Business

    If you're working to establish a small business of your own, the Lafayette Jockey Lot can be a great place to get started. Renting space is very affordable, and the market always draws a crowd every weekend. It's a great place to sell the handmade items you work hard to produce or simply to introduce a large audience to your new business.

    Still searching for a home that allows you to enjoy all of the many attractions in the Lafayette area? Our local real estate team is here to help. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Lafayette, LA area.

    December
    19

    Best of the Bayou: Locals Love Lafayette

    Lafayette Locals
    Billed as the "happiest city in America," Lafayette, LA is a truly unique city, and locals wouldn't have it any other way. Lafayette, the fourth largest city in Louisiana, is known as the Hub City for its diverse population, rich cultural history, and busy schedule of events all year long. But Lafayette is so much more than a big, bustling city – it's also a place where people like to slow down, smell the roses, and savor everything that makes life in Louisiana so unique. Our real estate agents have the details on why locals love calling Lafayette home, and why you will too once you experience the city.

    A Laid Back City Where You Can Savor the Simple Things

    Lafayette is a large city with a ton to see and do, but that doesn't mean that people here are always in a rush. Quite the opposite! Lafayette is a city where residents enjoy slowing down to savor the simple joys of life, whether that's a great conversation, a delicious sit-down meal, or a moment to take in the beautiful natural scenery around the city. When you live in Lafayette, life moves at a comfortable pace.

    A Festival for Every Occasion

    Living in Lafayette means that you will never be without something fun to do on the weekends, and there is always another big festival coming around the corner. Whether you're interested in dining, drinks, history, culture, athletics, or simply a great party, you're sure to find a festival to enjoy around Lafayette.

    Enjoy Cajun Cuisine with