New Construction In Ascension Parish By LEVEL HOMES, Germany Oaks Subdivision, Gonzales Louisiana

 

Ascension Parish Coffee Talk #36, A weekly show where I talk about nothing but the people and businesses here in Ascension Parish. This week I talk with Alicia Wilson a new sales counselor for LEVEL Homes in Germany Oaks Subdivision in Gonzales. We meet at one of the model homes on 15133 Germany Oaks Blvd. A 4 bedroom 3 bath home.

Ascension Parish Coffee Talk #36
Alicia Wilson With LEVEL Construction

Alicia takes the time to take us on a tour and discuss all the amenities LEVEL Homes has to offer. We begin in the kitchen where you’ll see that the standard home is above most standard homes in this price range, she tells us that you are able to choose the type of granite a buyer may want and appliance packages that are available. The tour continues with Alicia telling the Ascension Parish Coffee Talk viewers that granite in the master bath is standard as well even around the oversized garden tub. We then enter the Open floor plan living room area that boasts high ceilings and standard surround sound speakers. This particular floor plan has a massive dining room that is great for large groups, for entertaining. Off to the upstairs we go, the real wood stairs make it more durable over time. At the top of the stairs, Alicia shows a second living space or bonus room as some see it. Off from the bonus room area is two more large bedrooms and separate bath.

When we head back downstairs, Alicia explains LH Lending and how they can help finance your home and help assist in closing costs when using them to purchase your home. Along with LEVEL Homes preferred title companies as well.

Level Homes Website
LEVEL Homes Website

Level Homes, also known as Level Construction and Development, was established in 2000 to bring high-quality homes and neighborhoods to Baton Rouge, Louisiana and other leading Louisiana markets. Headquartered in Baton Rouge, Level Homes was founded by a visionary real estate developer, Todd Waguespack. Principals include John Engquist, Chairman; Todd Waguespack, Managing Partner; Ric Rojas, President; Ryan Engquist, Vice President and Charles Landry, Chief Legal Counsel.

Level Homes expanded to the Raleigh – Durham area of North Carolina in 2013, with homesites and well-located neighborhoods in the economically resilient Research Triangle Park region. The builder continued to grow in the North Carolina and Louisiana markets and was named to Business Report’s 2015 and 2016 Edition of Best Places to Work in Baton Rouge. In the summer of 2016, Level Homes was proudly recognized as both a Top 200 Builder in the nation and named to the coveted list of “Next 100 Fastest Growing Builders in the United States” by Builder Magazine. In the fall of 2016, Level Homes was named in the Triangle Business Journal (TBJ) Fast 50 List, recognizing the company as one of the fastest growing private companies in the Raleigh – Durham North Carolina area based on a revenue growth and profitability formula analyzed by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Developing communities and building a wide array of homes ranging in price from $169,900 to $600,000, Level Homes exceeds customer expectations in all phases of the home buying lifecycle, from first-time buyers to those moving up, to empty nesters. The award-winning company employs a knowledgeable and friendly team to assist in the home buying process from beginning to end, instilling a culture with its associates that promote’s homebuilding as a high-level customer service industry. From the day customers first walk into a model home or sales center to the day new home buyers receive the keys to their new home, the Level Homes’ team strives to make the experience seamless and enjoyable.

 

If you like to know more about LEVEL Homes you can visit their website @www.levelhomeslifestyle.com and if you like to know more about Germany Oaks, you can visit their Facebook page with the same name “Germany Oaks”

To know more about buying homes here in Ascension Parish download my FREE Ebook @https://goo.gl/ux3mYz

To look at all the homes available here in Ascension Parish visit my website @ https://goo.gl/TKYsDQ or yourrealestatewhisperer.com

And I Tell You All This, “Because YOU Matter”

Kristina Smallhorn
kristina.smallhorn@exprealty.com
Your Real Estate Whisperer
eXp Realty LLC
2900 Westfork Dr. Suite 401
Baton Rouge LA 70817
225-246-1812
Office (225) 412-9982 ext# 149
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Your Real Estate Whisperer Kristina Smallhorn "Because YOU Matter"
Your Real Estate Whisperer For Ascension Parish, Kristina Smallhorn.

Do You Have That Weird Toilet Ring In Your Ascension Parish Home?

 

The Royal Flush. 

Watch The Video Of My Toilet Ring Cleaning

 

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I don’t know about you and your home here in Ascension Parish but for the past two homes I have owned I have had nothing but issues with this weird ring in my toilet. I am a clean person, and this ring makes me feel gross. I have tried all the “do it yourself” products which include a pumicing stick, vinegar with baking soda, green scratch pads, you name it. I have also tried every blue, green and purple cleaning product with no resolution for this stubborn brown ring that haunts my toilet bowls. 

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Until last week!,  when by chance I saw a post on Facebook about a product at Goodwood Hardware on 7539 Jefferson Hwy, Baton Rouge, LA 70806 called Ring King. I normally hate driving out of Ascension Parish to buy things but I really really hate these rings in my toilet. So off I went, brought the stuff home, followed the directions to the letter and VOILA! The ring is FINALLY gone. This find was too good not to share. I found out later you can order online from them as well, Here is the link, https://goo.gl/N89WEU 

I have been in several homes throughout  Ascension Parish and have seen these pesky rings of grime in many of them. So I thought I really needed to share my wonderful find.  The bottle runs just under $10.00 and if you are like me you’ll be willing to make the trek to Baton Rouge to go get it or you can order it online with the link I provided above. Why? “Because YOU Matter”

PS- I am in no way getting paid as a sponsor for this product, I just know this stuff works!

 

Be Sure To Like, Share And Subscribe To My YouTube Channel!

Kristina Smallhorn

kristina.smallhorn@exprealty.com

Your Real Estate Whisperer

eXp Realty LLC

2900 Westfork Dr. Suite 401

Baton Rouge LA 70817

225-246-1812

Office (225) 412-9982 ext# 149

https://www.facebook.com/YRRealEstatWhisperer

https://twitter.com/RealEstateWhisp

https://www.instagram.com/prairievillerealestate

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH0LUzFvtwb5B8EfVCF5uwg

Kristina Smallhorn is a licensed REALTOR® with the state of Louisiana 

Did You Know You Could FREEZE Your Property Taxes In Ascension Parish?

Do You Know You Could  Freeze Your Ascension Parish Property Tax Assessment?

A few weeks back I was sitting in a closing with an older couple who were selling their home here in Ascension Parish and moving closer to their children. When the closing attorney was getting to the part about property taxes, he said something about their frozen property taxes.

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I had never heard of this before and was a little disappointed with myself being a REALTOR® in Ascension Parish I should know something about it. I leaned into the table and asked the listing agent across from me “Did you know about this, frozen taxes?” She shrugged and said “No”. After that, I felt a little better but wanted to know more so I can tell the people of Ascension Parish about how they could save money.

So what is “Freezing Your Taxes?”

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Homeowners who become 65 can permanently freeze their assessments if they have an adjusted gross income below the scheduled amount. How much is that amount? When my parents went to the tax assessors office in Ascension Parish it was $72,000.00. The woman at the office was extremely friendly and was really willing to answer all my parent’s questions about their property taxes.

So How Do I Go About “Freezing Them?

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It is simple to apply. You must go in person to the Ascension Parish Tax Assessors office with a copy of your latest tax return and your driver’s license. You only need apply once, as you do not have to reapply every year.

The special assessment is permanent as long as you continue to qualify: That means you continue to own and reside in your home. In addition, your adjusted gross income cannot exceed the scheduled amount and the value of your house does not increase more than 25% due to any new construction.

If the owner dies, the special assessment passes to the surviving spouse who has minor children or who is 55 or older and meets the other qualifications. Veterans who are at least 50% permanently disabled also qualify to for the special assessment freeze.

In Louisiana, a property is reassessed every 4 years, so don’t wait to freeze your tax assessment.

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If you do qualify this could save you money in the future. Please share this information with anyone you know that could possibly qualify. I want everyone in Ascension Parish to save money, Why? “Because YOU Matter”

Kristina Smallhorn

Your Real Estate Whisperer

eXp Realty LLC

2900 Westfork Dr. Suite 401

Baton Rouge LA 70817

225-246-1812

Office (225) 412-9982 ext# 149

https://www.facebook.com/YRRealEstatWhisperer

https://twitter.com/RealEstateWhisp

https://www.instagram.com/prairievillerealestate

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH0LUzFvtwb5B8EfVCF5uwg

Kristina Smallhorn is a licensed REALTOR® with the state of Louisiana 

 

Do You Have Deferred Maintenance Issues When Selling Your Ascension Parish Home?

Do You Have Deferred Maintenance Issues When Selling Your Ascension Parish Home?

 

When I complete a “feedback sheet” after previewing a home, my favorite words to use when describing perceived problems are,  “Deferred Maintenance.”  Deferred Maintenance means the practice of postponing maintenance activities such as repairs on both real property (i.e. infrastructure) and personal property (i.e. machinery) in order to save costs, meet budget funding levels, or realign available budget monies. In Ascension Parish, most sellers will repair obvious issues while others will not and this may cause their home to stay on the market much longer than the typical home in their Ascension Parish neighborhood.

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When I refer to “Deferred Maintenance” I’m talking about things like; hanging unattached gutters, weeds in flower beds, overgrown grass, fencing that is rotten and carpet that is frayed at the thresholds of doorways. Others may include, paint that is chipped on walls with numerous areas of visible dirt, missing appliances, damaged, chipped or cracked tile. Basically, those things that are very obvious, and could be easily repaired at the sellers’ expense. If your home is in a great neighborhood, in a great school district and in a seller’s market, these items, if not addressed, will clearly reduce the value of your home.

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If you are unsure if you have “deferred maintenance” issues, you can always take the advice of an Ascension Parish REALTOR®. We as agents know what items need to be addressed immediately before listing your home so you can get your home sold faster and at the best price. I know it can be tempting to say “I’ll leave it for the buyer to do,” but you may be eating those words after you’ve lost a lot of money and time for something could have been addressed beforehand. The payoff is much greater when you do these repairs prior to listing.

I’m telling you this as a possible seller “Because You Matter”

Kristina Smallhorn – Your Real Estate Whisperer

eXp Realty LLC., 2900 Westfork Dr. Suite 401, Baton Rouge LA 70817

225-246-1812

Office (225) 412-9982 ext# 149

https://www.facebook.com/YRRealEstatWhisperer

https://twitter.com/RealEstateWhisp

https://www.instagram.com/prairievillerealestate

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH0LUzFvtwb5B8EfVCF5uwg

Kristina Smallhorn is a licensed REALTOR® with the state of Louisiana 

I’m Not Buying A Home “As-Is” In Ascension Parish! FORGET IT!!!

 

I’m Not Buying A Home “As-Is” In Ascension Parish! FORGET IT!!!

So you’ve gotten to the point you and your Ascension Parish Realtor are writing up your first offer and when they get to line 222 you notice they have checked “As-Is” your mind begins to race of buying a home that is nothing but a nightmare and you’re stuck with a lemon of a home, being forced to own it because this has been checked. Well, that’s not really the case.

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There are many aspects to the Louisiana residential sales contract that can sound one way but mean something completely different. One thing that comes up often during discussions when preparing an offer for the buyer and seller is the “AS-IS” clause. Most people think it means that the condition of the home currently is how you buy it, no matter what’s wrong with it. In the state of Louisiana, it doesn’t mean that at all. In the simplest terms, the “AS-IS” clause means, after you have had inspections and the sellers have remedied repair issues. At the time of closing, the home is sold to you “AS-IS”. There is a caveat to this as well. For example, if you buy a home “AS-IS,” and you’ve had your inspections, everything was repaired and on moving day you notice a stain on the ceiling in the kitchen. You don’t think much of it – nothing a little paint can’t fix. The next morning you walk into the kitchen and that stain looks a little bigger, even a little wetter than it did yesterday. You decide to go in the attic to check out the issue. Sure enough, the air conditioning pan is leaking water, the floater switch hadn’t been working properly, and the pan isn’t draining. You immediately call an A/C repairman out. The repairman gets there with speed. When he walks in the door he says “I know this house.  This is the third time I’ve been out here, I told the last owners they needed a new drain line, drip pan and floater switch but they never would listen to me. Bells and alarms are going off in your head.  The sellers never mentioned this in the property disclosure. You may be thinking now “but I bought the home AS-IS”. Guess What? You are protected by Louisiana law. The sellers knowingly withheld pertinent information about the home. You can take them to court for this and the cost of the repairs.

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So the next time you purchase or sell your home here in Ascension Parish or anywhere in the state of Louisiana, don’t think you are stuck because the “AS-IS” box was checked on your contract. As a matter of fact, most resale property in Louisiana is sold “AS-IS” without warranty. You now know that you have rights after that box is checked, and nobody can pull the wool over your eyes because you bought a home “AS-IS”.

 

“Because YOU Matter”

Kristina Smallhorn, Your Real Estate Whisperer

eXp Realty LLC

2900 Westfork Dr., Suite 401, Baton Rouge LA 70817

225-246-1812

Office (225) 412-9982 ext# 149

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Kristina Smallhorn is a licensed REALTOR® with the state of Louisiana 

3 Myths About Home Inspections In Ascension Parish.

 

The Home Inspection in Ascension Parish- What you need to know.

Anytime you purchase a home in Ascension Parish you have the right to get a home inspection. There is no “Pass or Fail” to a home inspection. It just helps the buyers make a clear, knowledgeable decision to what problems, if any, may be wrong with the home. Some sellers have a pre-inspection done on the home so they can know of any unseen problems and make the repairs prior to listing. I’d still strongly advise getting your own inspector to look over the home when you have your inspection time. I’m listing some things you should know about the inspection period of a signed purchase agreement.

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Time Frame-

Most purchase offers state a ten day inspection period, but that time frame can be negotiated. During this time the buyers have the right to have the home inspected at their expense. This means they can hire or not hire anyone to go over the home to detect problems that may not be known to the seller.

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Who gets to inspect the home?-

Like I said before, anyone can inspect the home for the buyers. A licensed inspector holds more weight than let’s say your cousin who does home improvements for a living. The buyer can also have a structural engineer inspect the foundation, have another inspector check for mold, and another to take soil samples for various reasons. They can hire whomever they want during this ten day period to look over the home. These inspections are always approved by the sellers to allow the buyers to do this prior to the appointment. They can’t just show up during this time unannounced.

Does the seller have to do all the items the inspectors find?

The best answer for this is NO! Inspectors can find major problems and not so major problems. An A/C not working properly is an issue for concern. Chipped paint from a weed whacker along the hardy board on the side of the house – not so major.

How long do the sellers and buyers have to respond to the request?

In the state of Louisiana, they have 72 hours after receipt of inspection request to respond to the repair request. This time frame is for the sellers to make calls and get quotes for costs to them for the requested repairs. In turn, the buyers’ get 72 hours to respond to the sellers’ response to the report. This means that if the seller chooses to only make half of the repairs requested, then the buyer has the same amount of time to get quotes and make decisions to the items that were declined from repair.

Do I still have to buy the home if the seller doesn’t want to make repairs?

Unless stated in the agreement prior, the buyer does not have to buy the home if the seller is unwilling or incapable of making repairs as long as the inspections were done within the time frame allotted for inspection.

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Can the sellers negotiate the price if repairs aren’t going to be made?

Yes, the buyer can request, instead of the seller, to make the repairs so that either the sales price can be reduced or the buyer can receive closing costs. This part is something you can negotiate after you have determined the costs of the requested repairs.
Many things can and will happen during the inspection period. At a more recent inspection, I was in the kitchen as the inspector was checking the bathroom plumbing. As I sat, I began to feel water dripping on my head. I looked up, and the A/C drip pan was leaking from the ceiling. The inspection ended right there. The sellers had no idea that there was a problem, but the buyers didn’t want the home when they saw this. They thought the sellers were trying to dump their problems on an unsuspecting buyer. This wasn’t the case, but you can see how the buyers would feel like this.

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It’s important for buyers to hire a professional inspector since this example was more obvious than other problems that could come up. If you are concerned about issues with your home prior to listing you may want to consider a pre-inspection. I tell you all of this “Because YOU Matter”

Kristina Smallhorn

Your Real Estate Whisperer

225-246-1812

eXp Realty LLC, 2900 Westfork Dr. Baton Rouge LA 70827

Office (225) 412-9982 ext# 149

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Kristina Smallhorn is a licensed REALTOR® with the state of Louisiana 

5 Thing’s To Consider Before You Decide To Build Your Ascension Parish Home.

 

To Build Or Not To Build In Ascension Parish. 5 Things To Consider

That always seems to be the question here in Ascension Parish and all over the Greater Baton Rouge area. With so many new homes popping up with all the new upgrades, it’s hard not to be tempted by the “shiny new penny” home. Before you jump right into the idea of “new” here are a few things to consider when buying new in our area.

1. You’ll have to buy all new window treatments.dinner-table-663435_640

It doesn’t seem that a few blinds would cost that much but consider each window, some windows are not the “standard” size so you’ll have to pay for custom blinds on those windows. What about the front door windows that looked so pretty with that amazing arch, guess what? Those are custom as well (For the love of God, please don’t put straight blinds over the archway windows. Trust me, everyone notices and it looks like you were being cheap)

2. Sod.

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Many home builders here in the Greater Baton Rouge area, will only sod the front yard leaving the back yard looking like a giant mushy mud puddle. (don’t even think about walking back there after it rains, you’re gonna lose a shoe or possibly a small puppy) You could go the inexpensive route by seeding the backyard but I assure you you’ll spend the next ten years trying to combat the weeds and you’ll get very little “real” grass.

3. Appliances

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Sure you have a new stove, microwave, and oven that is part of the home purchase but what about the refrigerator? You have to buy one that fits the space the builder has made for the fridge. You could try to fit your old one in there but unless it’s stainless steel and matches the other appliances it will stick out like a sore thumb. Also note, most home builders will not provide a washer or dryer either.

4. Setting up your alarm system.

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When you buy a new home they sometimes have an alarm system already set up. This will have to be monitored by a company to be the most useful. Many homes built in Ascension Parish and the Greater Baton Rouge area have been prewired for alarms but you have to pay to have a company come out to add the system. This will cost you for initial setup and a monthly fee for monitoring. (We are talking hundreds of dollars)

5. “Dang it! My tire has a nail in it!”new-home-1664302_640

 

If you are moving to a new neighborhood with more construction being done, you can count on getting nails in your tires. I nearly have a standing appointment at the tire place to have roofing nails removed, worse yet, to have a whole new tire put on.

In closing, I’m not saying you shouldn’t buy a new home, I just got one myself in 2014 and couldn’t be happier. I just want you to be aware of added expenses that you may have not thought of.)

“Because YOU Matter”

Your Real Estate Whisperer-Kristina Smallhorn

Kristina Smallhorn

kristina.smallhorn@exprealty.com

Your Real Estate Whisperer

eXp Realty LLC

LAKE CHARLES, LA 70601

225-246-1812

Office (225) 412-9982 ext# 149

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Kristina Smallhorn is a licensed REALTOR® with the state of Louisiana 

Take A Tip Tuesday- 4 Tips On Why You Need An Ascension Parish REALTOR® When Buying New Construction.

 

It’s exciting to walk into a new home with the possibility of being your next home. All the finishes are polished, The carpet hasn’t been stepped on looking worn, The granite counter tops would make any of your friends jealous, so what could go wrong by just buying it from the builders themselves. I mean, it is new. Well, as you probably could have guessed many things can go wrong and do go wrong when you go at it yourself. Below Ive listed 4 reasons why you should really hire a licensed local Realtor®.

1. Contracts and Addendum’s

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When buying a new home in the state of Louisiana, many builders use their own contracts. Realtors® always have clients sign a state contract as well, so the buyer can understand their legal rights as buyer. Other builders do use the state contract but will add many addendum’s along with it. Those addendum’s vary from, explaining the elevation of the home, to explaining the flood zone the home is being built on. They can be extremely confusing especially if you haven’t seen anything like them before. Many buyers get so excited by the idea of the new home and just sign away before really reading through the papers they are signing. An experienced Realtor® knows the in and outs of what you should and shouldn’t be signing.

2. Finding a reputable builder.

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When a Realtor® has lived and worked in Prairieville like I have, we have seen the good, the bad and the really, really awful in home building. You should want to know who’s been building in the area for years, and who can be trusted to come back if you have any issues with your home after the closing date.

*** I have a list of builders that have built homes for my clients in the past, I know they are completely trustworthy, and stand by their work. If you’d like some more information on home builders in Prairieville feel free to call or email me.***

3. Assist you in negotiations.

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Generally here in Prairieville the listing price is the price and builders will not negotiate it lower but a savvy agent knows how to get you a sweeter deal with incentives. For example adding an appliance package or upgrading counter tops for the buyer to get a little extra for the same price. Some builders are still willing to work with agents to get the deal done.

4. When something goes wrong.

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Nobody likes to feel like they didn’t get what they paid for. When things go wrong your Realtor® should be going to bat for you. They know how to handle situations that can get pretty ugly if you don’t have someone in your corner protecting your best interests.

BONUS: When deciding on upgrades it can be difficult to know which one will give the best bang for your buck. Your Realtor® does, especially in our area. When it comes time to sell your home at a later date, it is always good to know what appeals to buyers to make your home sell quicker in the future.

New home buying can be smooth sailing, you just need to have someone on your side during the process. If you are looking in the Prairieville area and would like to talk, feel free to call or email me with your questions.
Kristina Smallhorn
Your Real Estate Whisperer
“Because YOU Matter”
eXp Realty LLC
LAKE CHARLES, LA 70601
225-246-1812
Office (225) 412-9982 ext# 149
https://www.facebook.com/YRRealEstatW…
https://twitter.com/RealEstateWhisp
https://www.instagram.com/prairievill…
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH0L…

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5 Tips For The Day You Close On Your Ascension Parish Home.

When waiting for your home to close, it can be a crazy time. The list of things “to-do” is lengthy. Packing, deciding what items to sell, changing your utilities, switching children’s schools, finding local shopping and last but not least, where the heck is the post office? These activities can often make you lose focus on the details of your closing and easy to forget things. Here are 5 tips to remember for your day of closing your home.

#1.Bring Your Drivers License.#1 Passport

Not just any form of ID will do, It must be a military ID, Passport or drivers license. Make sure your ID is still valid and not expired or you won’t be able to close.

#2. Call Ahead of Time.

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Make sure you call the title office to verify the office address and the dollar amount you will need to bring to the closing table. You CAN NOT bring a personal check to closing over $2500.00, be sure it is a cashier check made out to the title attorney’s office. Luckily, you have hired an Ascension Parish local realtor to handle the hiring of a closing attorney to help with the Ascension Parish title process; review the closing documents and calculate the amount of money you may have to bring to closing. Your loan officer will also be there to explain what some of those closing costs will add up to. A few days before closing (as many as 5 days) your Ascension Parish Realtor® will do a final walk-through of your new home to go over the items on the repair list to make sure they have been completed and the home is in the same if not better condition as at the time of the initial sales contract. (to read more about what buyer need to know click here ( https://yourrealestatewhisperer.com/2017/02/20/what-prairieville-home-buyers-need-to-know-before-closing-day/ )

#3. Switch Utilities-

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Make sure you have switch ALL the utilities in your name on the date of closing. You don’t want to be left in the dark minutes after you’ve closed on your new home.

#4 (My Favorite) Take the day off!

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Closings get delayed often or yours can take longer than anticipated. You don’t want to make your employer angry because you’ve missed half the day to close on your home.

#5 Keep Those Closing Docs. Close In Hand!

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After you’ve closed you are going to want to go to the local courthouse and file your homestead exemption. If this home is your primary residence you will get this state tax credit saving you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.


So What Does A Closing Look Like in Ascension Parish?
The closing is defined as a performance of all agreements made by you, the lender and the seller, a means to an end of the purchase of a home. If you are buying your home with all cash, you will not have lender requirements, but if you are financing your home with a loan, the financial arrangements will close at the same time.
A closing involves the simultaneous exchange of document and monies required to complete the transaction. You, as a buyer, pay the purchase price of the home to the seller and in exchange, the seller gives you the title and transferred documents to the home; simple as that.
(Both buyer and seller pay their respective fees and costs to the various parties who contributed funds, services, or documents to the closing.)
****A side note: Closings can take as little as a few minutes if buying cash, or take over an hour or more for financed homes, so don’t make firm plans and allow plenty of time for your closing.****
So Where Do You Go For Your Closing Of Your Ascension Parish Home?
Your closing of your home doesn’t have to be in the Parish you are buying in, although it definitely makes it more convenient, sometimes it could be a few Parish’s away! You can request a preferred title company from your lender unless the seller is paying closing costs, then the sellers make that choice. This can be part of your negotiations if you are adamant on a particular closing attorney.
Not all closings are the same, that’s a given. Some closings do not require a closing attorney for signatures and may only require a notary. The difference between the two is that notaries can only provide legal advice or services on very specific types of matters. Another difference between attorneys and notaries is that attorneys generally must obtain two university degrees in order to be certified to practice law; an undergraduate degree plus a law degree.
If you’d like to know more about the closing of a home in Ascension Parish, I’ve done a YouTube Video with a Title Attorney from Commerce Title on my weekly show, “Ascension Parish Coffee Talk.” (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH0LUzFvtwb5B8EfVCF5uwg )

“Because YOU Matter”
Kristina Smallhorn
Your Real Estate Whisperer
http://kristinasmallhorn.brl.exprealty.com/
eXp Realty LLC
LAKE CHARLES, LA 70601
225-246-1812
Office (225) 412-9982 ext# 149
https://www.facebook.com/YRRealEstatWhisperer/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH0LUzFvtwb5B8EfVCF5uwg

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Take A Tip Tuesday- 3 Things You Should Ask Yourself Before You Consider Buying A Home,

 

Take A Tip Tuesday-Are You Ready To Buy A Home In Ascension Parish?

3 Things To Ask Yourself.

If you have been sitting in your apartment wondering if you could possibly buy your first home, there are a few things you can ask yourself before you pick up the phone to call a mortgage company. Many people, not just in Ascension Parish, wonder if they can get a home of their own but they are either afraid of the answer or they think that the process is too difficult to take on. Before you choose your lender or Ascension Parish REALTOR®, ask yourself these simple questions.

Do I Pay My Bills On Time?

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Lenders look at few things when it comes to debt. First is debt to income ratio. In simple terms, how much do you make and how much of that is spent on paying your bills. If you make $1500.00 a month and $1200.00 is spent on bills then you probably aren’t ready to buy a home. Your credit score plays a big part as well. If you can’t pay your bills on time, this will affect your credit score and makes you look like you won’t be able to pay the mortgage on time. No lender wants their money late or have a payee not make a payment. The risk is too high for the lender/bank to want to take on.

Learn your credit score! There are so many sites that offer free credit reports. Even if you’re not looking to buy a home currently, it’s a good idea to know where you stand. You need to know if something needs to be removed from your credit report or if you need to close that old Bed Bath and Beyond credit card that you have never used.

Do I Pay More In Rent Than I Would For A Mortgage?

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If you are not sure, you can look for a mortgage calculator online. You can find one on my website, http://yourrealestatewhisperer.idxbroker.com/idx/mortgage to help you to make that determination. Make sure to consider the taxes, insurance, and monthly utilities. Many times, especially with rent being as high as it is here in Ascension Parish, the cost of a home will be lower than your current monthly rent, AND there are usually significant tax advantages to home ownership!

Do You Have Any Money Saved?

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There is a misconception that you won’t need any money to buy a home if your credit is good. While there are financial assistance programs, and even some 100% financing, you will still need some money! You will still need funds for the costs of appraisal (around $500) and the cost of inspections (around $350-450.) These fees are not typically added into the 100% financing plus you’ll want some extra reserves for things like the cost of your move, refrigerator, washer, and dryer or other unexpected costs that could arise during the home buying process.
Now that you’ve asked yourself these questions, are you ready to buy? If you feel pretty confident with your credit score and savings account, plus you know your rent is higher than a mortgage, it’s time to call a lender to get qualified. I have the names and numbers of local lenders that I have often used who would be happy to work with you and help evaluate your home loan needs. Every client is different and so are their home loans; let them speak to you about your unique situation.

I hope you found this information helpful. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me. You can always reach me by phone, email or text. I tell you all this, “Because YOU Matter”.

Kristina Smallhorn
Your Real Estate Whisperer
http://kristinasmallhorn.brl.exprealty.com/
eXp Realty LLC
LAKE CHARLES, LA 70601
225-246-1812
Office (225) 412-9982 ext# 149
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