S&B Construction In Oakland Crossing-Ascension Parish Coffee Talk #34

 

Ascension Parish Coffee Talk #34 S&B ConstructionFacebook Thumb

 

Ascension Parish Coffee Talk is a weekly show featuring nothing but the people and businesses here in Ascension Parish. This week I thought it would be a great idea to meet up with one of the many great builders here in Ascension. Mike Smith of S&B Construction tells us a little about his company and all the subdivisions he has been building in. Some of them I’m sure you have driven past, like Oakland Crossing, Maplewood Estates, and Oak Alley Estates to name a few.

S&B Construction-Ascension Parish Coffee Talk #34
Some Of The Subdivisions In Ascension Parish Where S&B Construction Build.

I met up with Mike at his newest fully constructed home that happened to be in the Parade of homes this year, Oakland Crossing in Prairieville. Mike takes the time to give us a small tour of the home showing the features that his company S&B Construction offers as a standard. Many builders would consider these items as an upgrade but S&B Construction likes to go above what others call “standard”. Each room in this spec home looks anything but spec, from the high-end appliances with standard wine chiller to the extra care to add detailed herringbone accents in the flooring, more details flow throughout the home including tongue and groove ceilings under the porches, with their signature outdoor kitchen. You can see why people would want to see more of this home in Ascension Parish.

S&B Construction Ascension Parish Coffee Talk #34, Amenities
Some Of The Standard Amenities From S&B Construction.

If you’d Like more information to S&B Construction you can visit there website sandbgroup.com they are also on Houzz: To Visit Their Houzz Page Click Here

If you are more a social media person they have Facebook (Click Here To “Like” Their Page) and Instagram as well.

If you are looking for information on buying a home here in Ascension Parish, be sure to download my  FREE E-Book Click Here>> Free Buyers E-Book To Ascension Parish

If you like to do a full home search of Ascension Parish you can visit: “Full Home Search Here

To read my weekly blogs with videos you can visit: My Weekly Blogs

My name is Kristina Smallhorn, Your Real Estate Whisperer For Ascension Parish, And I Tell You All This “Because YOU Matter”

Kristina Smallhorn
(Your Real Estate Whisperer)
Cell 225-246-1812
Office 2254129982 ext#149
Website www.yourrealestatewhisperer.com
Email Info@YourRealEstateWhisperer.com
eXp Realty LLC.
2900 Westfork Dr.
Baton Rouge LA 70817
Kristina Smallhorn is a licensed REALTOR with the state of Louisiana, USA.
Your Real Estate Whisperer Kristina Smallhorn "Because YOU Matter"
Your Real Estate Whisperer For Ascension Parish, Kristina Smallhorn.

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 

 

Gorman Bros.-Ascension Parish Coffee Talk #27

 

Have You Been To Gorman Bros.?,  Yet In Ascension Parish?

Gorman Bros. In Ascension Parish is a local appliance store that has been in business for the last 21 years. Originally in the city of Gonzales on Burnside Rd., but eventually moving its location to Prairieville. I was able to meet up with the owner Doug Gorman and he gave us a tour of his awesome facility.

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Inside the large showroom, you’ll see beautiful lighting fixtures for an Ascension Parish resident to pick from, along with many refrigerators, ranges, cooktop stoves, washers, dryers, microwaves, countertops, and outdoor kitchen appliances, this truly is a one-stop shop for your home decorating ideas. If you haven’t stopped by in a while you have to see their selection of home decor, there are so many cute options for you. If you are not sure what will work in your home the have specialist who will work with you so all of your lighting and decor flows from room to room and they are super friendly too.

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When you stop by to see Doug Gorman don’t forget to mention that “Your Real Estate Whisperer” sent ya! Why? “Because YOU Matter”

***Oh Just For FYI! Gorman Bros. in upping to usually 12-month financing to now 24 months and all of their pricing is competitive with all the box stores**

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Be Sure To Share This Post AND LIKE My Page!

“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
https://www.facebook.com/YRRealEstatWhisperer
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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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
https://www.facebook.com/YRRealEstatWhisperer/
https://twitter.com/RealEstateWhisp
https://www.instagram.com/prairievillerealestate/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH0LUzFvtwb5B8EfVCF5uwg

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Ascension Parish Coffee Talk-What Happens When You Apply For A Home Loan?

 

Ascension Parish Coffee Talk Episode #13

I wanted to show the people of Ascension Parish the in’s and out’s of the loan process when buying a home. There is so much that goes on behind the scenes that we never get to see. Even as a realtor, I was unaware how all their systems worked.

In today’s episode, I was able to go to GMFS lending again and meet the family of employees that work there. Ryan Larussa discusses the process a new home buyer goes through when he meets them for the first time and introduces his team of employees to us. We also meet other members of  GMFS Lending, Carol Gremillion discusses with us the reverse mortgage programs that GMFS has to offer, Aaron Taravella, Doug Bickley and Toby Arceneaux pop in to say “hello” to the Ascension Parish Coffee Talk Family. My daughter, Aubrey Smallhorn does the audio duties this week as she takes on her new role as “Your Real Estate Assistant”

Make sure to watch this all the way to the end and don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss any new episodes. I post every Friday at 8:30 am every Friday. Why? “Because YOU Matter”

“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://twitter.com/RealEstateWhisp
https://www.instagram.com/prairievillerealestate/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH0LUzFvtwb5B8EfVCF5uwg

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