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Stephanie Villani
REALTOR®, GRI, ABR, SRS
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Articles Tagged "Saint Charles Parish"

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Community Guides | 50 Posts
Home Tips | 6 Posts
August
2

Explore These Lakes Near New Orleans

New Orleans

New Orleans is famously identified with the Mississippi River, but that's not the only notable body of water found around the Big Easy. Our real estate agents love making convenient getaways to enjoy these incredible lakes near NOLA. 

  • Lake Pontchartrain
    Any discussion of lakes around New Orleans homes for sale has to begin with Lake Pontchartrain. Technically, the largest inland body of water in Louisiana is an estuary, which is a mix of freshwater from rivers and saltwater from the ocean. By any definition, Pontchartrain is a prime location for a multitude of activities, from fishing and boating to walking and sightseeing. Crossing the 23-mile Causeway Bridge is an hour-long scenic trip on its own. Visit the New Canal Lighthouse on Lakeshore Drive to learn more about the past, present, and future of Lake Pontchartrain. 

  • Lake Borgne 
    Coastal erosion has turned Lake Borgne into a lagoon of the Gulf of Mexico. Lake Borgne is also the mouth of the Rigolets, which is the strait that connects the Gulf to Lake Pontchartrain. While the larger body of water grabs more of the spotlight, anglers recognize Lake Borgne as a plentiful source of trout, redfish, and catfish. The lake's signature attraction is Fort Proctor, also known as Beauregard's Castle, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in the 1850s to protect local water routes, the fort is now completely surrounded by water and accessible only by a 20-minute kayak or canoe ride. 

  • Lac Des Allemands 
    Lac Des Allemands is named for the German settlers who came to the area in the early 18th century. In 1978, the lake gained national attention thanks to an article in the New York Times about its status as "Catfish Capital of the Universe." According to locals, "little red worms" at the bottom of the lake provide the nourishment that makes the catfish so special. Above ground, Lac Des Allemands is surrounded by cypress tree-lined bayous that are home to great blue herons, alligators, bald eagles, and other wildlife. Swamp boat tours are a popular way to explore the 12,000-acre lake.

  • Lake Martin
    Thanks to its location in Cypress Island Nature Preserve, Lake Martin is one of the best places to view the amazing range of plants and wildlife that are native to the state. In particular, Lake Martin is the site of one of the state's largest colonies of water birds, including great blue herons, snowy egrets, and white ibis. While they're best viewed from a distance, the lake also features a large alligator population. Whether you stroll along the boardwalk or venture out in a canoe or kayak, you're bound to have an incredible experience.

  • Lake Maurepas 
    It may be difficult to think of 15,000 acres as "small," but Lake Maurepas is often referred to as the "little sister" of Lake Pontchartrain. Visitors appreciate the unspoiled beauty around the lake, which makes it a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. Stop in for lunch at nearby Middendorf's Restaurant and try their signature thin-fried Maurepas catfish as you relax on the outdoor deck overlooking the lake.

New Orleans open houses are a great way to find your forever home. Contact us at Latter & Blum for up-to-the-minute information on the latest listings.

March
22

5 Ways to Make Your Home a Standout This Spring

Lake Charles Sell Your Home

Spring has arrived, making it the perfect time to tackle your home to-do list. Whether you have plans to contact our real estate agents and put your home on the market or just want to get your home looking its best, a few chores will help your home stand out. Here are some tasks to ensure your home is appealing to visitors and potential buyers. 

  1. Declutter Your Home
    Most likely, spring cleaning is on your to-do list. Before you get started, spend some time purging your home of items that you no longer use, need, or that just don't fit your lifestyle. The fewer items in your home, the larger it will appear when you add it to the list of Lake Charles homes for sale. You'll also have fewer items to clean. If your plans do involve selling your home, take decluttering a step farther. You'll want to remove items that are overly personal, like framed photos, bulletin boards, custom knickknacks, awards, magazines, and most toys. There are a few options for handling these items. One solution is to box these items up and rent a storage unit to house them until you've sold your home. Another possibility is to store them in your attic, basement, or shed; just make sure the space appears neat and uncluttered if you opt for this method. 
  1. Wash or Paint Your Walls
    If your walls are in neutral hues and the paint is in good condition, you may be able to refresh them by washing them. You can wash your walls using warm water mixed with a quarter-teaspoon of white vinegar and a teaspoon of dish detergent. Use a microfiber cloth to gently scrub your walls with the solution. However, if your walls have a lot of dents and dings or you want to change the paint color, it's time for a fresh paint job. A new paint job will also help your home look clean and crisp with potential buyers. 
  1. Get Your Landscaping a Facelift
    Check that your home is ready to greet prospective buyers by enhancing its curb appeal. Mow your grass (and bag your clippings), pull any weeds, and remove any dead or dying vegetation. If your flower beds are bare, add some colorful flowers and shrubs to brighten them up. Get your home and driveway looking their best by pressure-washing them. 
  1. Complete Minor Repairs
    Typically, you don't want to embark on major renovations before putting your home on the market. However, it's a smart idea to take care of minor repairs so that your home appears well-maintained. Make sure that none of your faucets drip and that your lights, showers, and appliances are all functional. Replace any broken or worn-out hardware.
  1. Rearrange Your Furniture
    Rearrange your furniture so that your home is staged to maximize its appeal. A potential buyer should be able to see the utility of every space. No room or area should be left without a function. When moving furniture, leave a few inches between the furniture and the wall; this will help the room look larger and prevent the room from appearing cramped. 

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

March
17

DIY Projects That Increase Your Home's Value

DIY Projects for Home Value Increase

Renovations and keeping your home up-to-date can increase your home's value, not to mention it's a lot more fun to live in an updated house and enjoy those renovations while you live there. But not everyone has money to throw into a renovation, especially if you're planning on moving out afterward. Fortunately, there are many low-budget DIY projects you can do to increase your home's value. Here are a few easy upgrades our real estate agents recommend to get you started.

  1. Add light.
    A well-lit home shows better than a poorly lit home. Updating your light fixtures is a fairly easy upgrade you can do on your home with just a few tools and a little basic electrical know-how. Replace those vintage light fixtures with better, brighter ones. You might also look into updating your light switches to smart switches or installing dimmers to allow more control over lighting options. And while we're on the subject of lighting, if you're going to be listing your home for sale, be sure to clean the windows, both inside and out!

  2. Give your kitchen cabinets a face-up.
    Our agents have noticed that Baton Rouge homes for sale with updated kitchens are quick to get a buyer's attention! Not everyone has the money for a kitchen renovation, but you can freshen your kitchen's look with some paint, new matching hardware, and a weekend of your time. If you are selling the home, make sure to choose a fairly neutral color scheme. A new set of modern, matching hardware will put the finishing touches on your kitchen's new look. For extra style points, look into updating your sink and faucet, too.

  3. Refresh your bathroom.
    Just like kitchens, updated bathrooms can make a huge difference to a buyer. Repainting your cabinets and replacing the cabinet hardware is a good place to start. Bathrooms are just as likely as kitchens to have outdated plumbing fixtures, so consider replacing them with something more attractive and modern. If your bathroom's mirror and lighting aren't good, look into replacements for these as well. These are all fairly affordable projects that are easy to do yourself and can give your bathroom a brand-new look without the expense of a full renovation.

  4. Maximize your closet space.
    Storage space is another concern for you if you continue living in the house and for any potential buyers when you sell. Older homes tend to have fairly basic closets, but that single bar and shelf may be hiding a lot of wasted storage space. Look into a DIY closet shelving with adjustable shelving and other options to help you make the most of your storage space. If you're planning on selling the home, make sure you also declutter and put stuff into storage for staging, as a closet that's only partially full looks much bigger than one that's jam-packed!

  5. Boost curb appeal.
    Finally, don't forget the importance of first impressions. There are several easy DIY you can do that will dramatically improve your home's curb appeal, which is especially important if you're going to sell. Consider giving your door, the trim around it, and the porch a fresh coat of paint. Decorate that area around the door with planters. A little time spent on the landscaping wouldn't go amiss, either, particularly the part of the yard visible from the street.

Making a few choice updates can make a surprising difference in your home's value. Contact us today, and one of our agents will help you decide what DIY projects to focus on.

March
2

Eye-Catching Ways to Display Your Books

Book Display Ideas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

January
22

Try These Tricks for Repairing and Caulking Baseboards

Caulking Baseboards Tips

Baseboards help give your home a neat, finished appearance, but they can often develop cracks and gaps at the top or bottom as well as other appearance issues. In addition to making your home look less than its best, these flaws can allow drafts to enter your home. They also serve as dust-collecting crevices that make it more difficult to keep your baseboards clean.

Caulk, which is flexible, can dry out over time, and become cracked. Fortunately, fixing the problem is a great DIY project that can be taken care of in an afternoon. Our real estate agents share the following tips and tricks for repairing and caulking baseboards:

  • Get the right supplies   
    You'll need the following supplies before starting your project:
    - paintable silicone caulk made for trim
    - caulking tool
    - caulk scraper
    - plastic putty knife
    - scissors or utility knife
    - sandpaper
    - painting supplies (paintbrush/roller/tape)
    - denatured alcohol

  • Scrape off the old caulk  
    Use your caulk scraper to remove the old caulk. Clean up any residue left by the old caulk using denatured alcohol on a paper towel. Rub it along the areas where you removed the caulk, and let it dry completely. Then smooth the surface by using sandpaper.

  • Use painting tape   
    If you haven't done much caulking, apply specialty tape for multi-surfaces neatly and directly above and below the area you're caulking. This will ensure you get clean, crisp lines.

  • Get your caulking gun ready    
    Cut the tip of your caulking gun at a 45-degree angle using scissors or a utility knife. Make the hole in the tip only as large as the area you'll be filling so too much caulk won't come out as you're using the gun. Put the tip of the caulk tube into the gun and push the plunger back. Squeeze the trigger several times before you begin.

  • Apply new caulk   
    Start at one end of the wall, putting the tip of the caulk tube against the gap you're filling. Squeeze the caulk gun's trigger slowly as you pull the gun along the wall, so you get a thin bead of caulk. Go several feet before wiping off the excess with your index finger.

  • Remove the tape    
    While the caulk is still wet, peel off the tape.

For a small investment of time and money, you can give your home a more finished appearance by repairing and caulking its baseboards. Consider checking for cracks if you're selling your home since they can make your home look unfinished. This project will pay off whether you're planning to stay in your home for a while or are ready to sell and are looking to make improvements.

Contact us to find out more home improvements that can make your house stand out from other Lafayette homes for sale

Latter & Blum
430 Notre Dame St.
New Orleans, LA 70130
(866) 794-1022
Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 12/04/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 12/04/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of Houston Association of Realtors (last updated Sun 12/04/2022 12:32:26 AM EST) or Fort Polk MLS (last updated Sat 12/03/2022 11:30:06 PM EST) or Greater Southern MLS (last updated Sat 12/03/2022 11:35:12 PM EST) or Greater Baton Rouge MLS (last updated Sat 12/03/2022 11:30:40 PM EST) or GSREIN MLS (last updated Sun 12/04/2022 1:09:58 AM EST) or Bayou MLS (last updated Sat 12/03/2022 11:20:45 PM EST) or Pearl River MLS (last updated Sat 12/03/2022 11:24:17 PM EST) or GCLAR MLS (last updated Sat 12/03/2022 11:12:09 PM EST) or MGCMLS (last updated Mon 10/04/2021 9:31:53 AM EST) or Realtor Association of Acadiana (last updated Sat 12/03/2022 11:22:29 PM EST) or Southwest Mississippi MLS (last updated Sat 12/03/2022 11:15:23 PM EST) or MLS United (last updated Sun 12/04/2022 1:36:09 AM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Latter & Blum may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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Agency License Information: Latter & Blum is licensed in Louisiana by the Louisiana Real Estate Commission. Latter & Blum is also licensed in Texas and Mississippi.


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