What Color Should You Paint Your Ascension Parish Home?

This weekend I took it upon myself to paint the inside of my home. I had it the same color in this home as in my last home, so I was tired of Sherman Williams – Utterly Beige. (Which totally looks grey on the walls). I switched to a lighter looking grey called “Shiitake,” again, a Sherman Williams color.  When I started painting,  I began to wonder what the new trends in paint are for 2017,  so I looked it up and now sharing that info with you so you don’t have to slave over the Internet like I did.

So What Color Do I Pick For My Ascension Parish Home?


The trend for this year is not to pick just one color or even one texture of paint for the whole house. Gone are the days of every room being the same boring beige.  Create an accent wall in any large room to give it a pop of color.  Dusky blues seem to be a new color for this year.  If you don’t want to use paint, wallpapers have been a trend for some time.  If you’d like to tackle that project I’d either have a partner help or hire a professional.

Pink? Really?IMG_0022.JPG

I’m not talking scream in your face PINK! This a very light, soft, romantic pink. It’s a trend that has picked up steam recently.  Again, we are not talking about changing every aspect of a room to pink, just the wall color and adding some pillows and decor to compliment the walls.

Needing Something Darker?IMG_0024.JPG

Many, will turn their nose up to pink walls in a home so why not go to the opposite side and try a dark mineral grey? These cool greys look amazing in a well-lit office, or as an accent piece in a kitchen island.  Another trend here in Ascension Parish is to paint the island a different color than the other cabinets.

Feeling A Little Green?

Well, you are in luck as two types of greens are carving a path into 2017. One color that really got my attention was a green that reminded me of years past, but this has a cleaner spin on it adding more of a blue-green cast. If you are bold, daring and love green it really does look amazing against dark cabinetry in a kitchen.  Once I saw it, I thought it might be something I might want to try.  After all, It’s just paint!

The second green that it trending is like the sage green of just a few years back, but this one has a more creamy look; almost a pastel sage. I have personally always preferred colors like this in bathrooms.

Sunshine Yellow.IMG_0025.JPG

When I heard this was a trend I nearly screamed “NOT ME!” but I would have been eating my words after I saw how they used this color in a room. They tied this bright sunshiny color with soft grey’s and creamy whites, making the room cheery and inviting.  I loved it so much that  I will be experimenting with yellows in my home,  mostly with accents, and painting the walls a soft grey.

A trend is just that, a trend.  Don’t think because its the newest and latest it’s a must for your Ascension Parish Home.  If you are thinking about selling your home in the next couple of years I would hold off on painting with a particular “trendy” color.  With that said, If you are going to be staying put for some time, PAINT AWAY!!

I tell you all this “Because YOU Matter”

Your Real Estate Whisperer

Kristina Smallhornyrew




Villar & Company Real Estate,37283 Swamp Rd.,Suite 102 Prairieville LA, 70769

Kristina Smallhorn is a licensed REALTOR with the state of Louisiana, USA.

Top 5 Things To Do In Ascension Parish With The Kids; Some FREE Or Not Too expensive.

As of a parent of two girls of my own I have heard from their cute whining little lips, “MOM…… I’m bored”. The battle cry for many children is that all the toys in their room no longer entertain them and video games are no longer keeping their attention. Treasure this, and view it as an opportunity to take them from their iPads, Social Media and Television and physically take them out to see the world. It’s a beautiful place here in Ascension Parish, We have some cool fun places, some even FREE. (My favorite price)

The Oak Grove Park.

It’s right on the corner of Highway 42 and Old Jefferson. It has playground equipment, sand volleyball net, picnic tables that are covered and the best part of all, for the scorching summer days, is the squirt park area. My kids have had hours of fun playing there while I just sat and read a book under the covered picnic area. The best part of all, it’s FREE!

The Public Librarybookcase-1869616_640

Who doesn’t love to curl up with a good book, and the kids love to go. It’s not just books!  They have videos you can take out and also provide some e-reader materials.  A public library is always a favorite place for our family and a great resource for kids projects for school. You would be surprised by how excited kids get by telling them “we’re going to the library today.” Their eyes just light up. Best of all… You guessed it, it’s FREE!

For locations for the closest to you visit this website http://main.ascension.lib.la.us/index.php?page=library-branches

The Jambalaya Park

jambalya park

Located at 1015 E Cornerview St; Gonzales, Louisiana 70737.

This place is a cool place to take your kids, Not only does it has a squirt park area, it always has a swimming pool. The pool area is not free but it’s not that expensive either. (Visit this link to get pricing and dates of opening https://jambalayapark.swimtopia.com/pool-fees) During the summer you can get a season pass to cut down on the expense and the kids will get to make new friends outside their neighborhoods. Great family fun and CHEAP! (my second favorite price) Note that the rest of the park is free so don’t miss out visiting there.

Premier Lanes Bowling Alley


Located at 1414 N. Airline Hwy. Gonzales, LA 70737 


Great place that has not only bowling; it has bumper cars, video games, laser maze and a small restaurant with good family food to snack on while you are bowling the afternoon away.  At night on a Friday and Saturday after 9 pm they have Cyber Bowling where they turn down the lights, turn up the music and it has a fun techno atmosphere with laser lights streaming around the bowling alley. It’s really fun.

To visit their website, click here. http://www.premierlanes.net/gonzalescopy.php

The Movies!


Right next door to the bowling alley. Is the Malco movie theater.  How convenient! The theater is clean, well kept and has great comfortable seating. I take my kids there often since it’s so much closer than Baton Rouge theaters, and they always have the latest movies playing and we have never found it overcrowded. Since this one had opened, our family hasn’t seen a movie anywhere else. This would be the most expensive place I’ve added but I wouldn’t count it out for family fun.

“Because You Matter”

Your Real Estate Whisperer

Kristina Smallhornyrew

Has The Housing Market Changed In Ascension Parish Since The Great Flood?

The very short answer is yes and no!  From a volume of sales, we are only speaking of the difference of 12 homes if we look at the same time period of January 1, to March 4th.  In 2016, 258 residential homes sold. This year from January 1st, 2017 to March 4th, 2017, 246 homes sold. The difference is so small enough it would not indicate any change in the market.  Our market can’t be determined by numbers alone. The market is still being driven by all the intangibles offered by Ascension Parish; schools, location, and lifestyle.

So what’s the activity currently? The market is great, but it seems to be leaning towards a seller’s market because inventory is very low and demand is higher due to the lack of homes available due to the Great Flood of 2016.graph-163712_640

(the picture above is not an actual housing number graph)

The energy is high but very optimistic.  Most of the others I’ve spoken to about our market say that they don’t feel like housing prices will spike up like they did after Hurricane Katrina. Most lenders, investors, appraisers feel that kind of spike won’t happen. The majority od people affected are wanting to stay in their current home instead of getting out of town to find a new place to live. While this makes a potentially stronger market for sellers, it doesn’t mean they are getting $10,000 over asking price cash like had happened before. Buyers are much savvier,  and they would rather wait for the correct price home to come along.  While multiple offers are happening,  I haven’t seen or heard of any buyer willing to pay thousands of dollars cash for a home that isn’t worth it. This is good news because it makes for a more healthy market.

We have been blessed here in Ascension Parish that our market, even in the housing crash, never fell out completely with loads of foreclosed homes. We have a lot to offer here other than a nice neighborhood, as we are sandwiched between two major cities making it convenient for people working in either; our home prices are not outrageous and we, of course, have amazing schools.

*** To see Ascension Parish top rated schools visit this link https://youtu.be/-OsYQG4v9ME ***

This is an exciting time in our housing market.  If you are thinking of selling and are trying to time the market to make the most money this might be the best time to get your house on the market. With summer right around the corner and school about to let out, I predict that this will be the busiest our Ascension Housing market has seen in many years, but again, I don’t think you are going to be getting a HUGE increase in price from last year, but your home will sell faster at the price that is fair for your neighborhood.  If you’d like to discuss with me about the value of your home today please feel free to comment below or you can fill out the contact form and I’ll reach out to you within a few hours

( Link to contact me https://yourrealestatewhisperer.com/personally-contact-me/).

“Because YOU Matter”

Your Real Estate Whisperer

Kristina Smallhornblog banner

“You’re Not From Here, Are You?!”

Throughout Louisiana, nothing makes you sound like an “outsider” than the mispronunciation of people’s last names, road names, town names and your inability to understand all the sayings you’ve never heard before!  You might as well wear a sign that states “You’re not from around here.”  Over the years there are some sayings and names I’ve learned that I would like to share with my fellow transplants.

What’s in a Name?

When meeting people of our awesome Parish, you’ll meet many with last names you’ve never seen before and the pronunciation will really trip you up. (Hooked on phonics rules defiantly do not apply)

Robert- Pronounced Row-BEAR this one is tricky only because if you are referring to the town of Robert it’s still said the way we foreigners know.

St. Amant- San-AmA

Robicheaux- Robe-a-shay I’ve seen this spelled a few different ways.

Aucoin- Oak-wan, This one really throws me for a loop.  I still can’t figure out how those combination of letters make that pronunciation.

Hebert- A-Bear-  Yep, the “H and T” aren’t even used when saying this name.

Thibodeaux- TIB-A-Dough

Boudreaux- BOOD-Dro

LeBlanc’s- La-BLAWNS

Richard- REECH-ard This one always throws me for a loop.

Melancon- MEL-AWN-sawn

These are just a few that have tripped me up, and I wanted my fellow transplants to make notes so you don’t get the hairy eyeball when you go and try to say one’s last name.

Louisiana saying’s I had never heard before I moved here.

I can’t call it”  example- “How’s your day man?” “I can’t call it”

Make Groceries“- Going to the store and get food to fill your pantry and refrigerator.

Lagniappe“- Pronounced, LAN-Yap..It means anything


Come See“- Which means come over here and do this thing for me that I either don’t know how to do or don’t want to do.

Sha“- I’ve heard this from mostly women.   It’s a term of endearment for something precious and adorably cute.

Catch a beating“- “I’d rather catch a beating than clean out my garage again” (This is a personal favorite of mine, it always makes me laugh”

Icebox“- It’s a refrigerator! I thought for a long time it was just a separate freezer, but it refers to the whole refrigerator not just the freezer part.

Dressed“- If you want to order a sandwich they are going to ask you “How do you want it dressed?” meaning, what extras do you want on your sandwich?

Pirogues- Pronounced PEE-Rows. It’s a type of flat-bed fishing boat that many Louisiana natives have.

Boudin- Pronounced Boo-DAN.  A Cajun sausage made with pork, rice and spices. 

This just touches on some of the funny words, names and expressions you will come across when moving here.  It’s what makes our area so rich with interesting people and dialect. Everyday I’m thankful to be here and enjoy all these little idiosyncrasies, and I know that I have  more to learn from the local natives.

Just know one more thing!   People around here love their football, and whenever they are rooting for a team they spell “Go” as “Geaux,” and when they are speaking of the LSU Tigers they say “L. S. SHOE” I got this wrong for years and was teased by my coworkers for my pronunciation.

I hope this helps you when you are out in our fine Parish, and perhaps you won’t hear “You ain’t from around here, are you?”

“Because YOU Matter”

Your Real Estate Whisperer

Kristina Smallhorn

Need a Romantic Touch in Your Prairieville Home for Valentine’s Day?

It’s that time of year when we put away our Mardi Gras Ball gowns and get in the mood for love. The one day a year that we can really show our significant others that they are truly important to us. Lets be honest here, We should always be demonstrating our love year round but with our busy lives it can sometimes get put on the back burner. So it’s nice if we add some romantic touches to our Prairieville homes. So how do we do that?


Add some warm light bulbs in the bedroom, and in living spaces allowing natural light to spill in your home making your loved one have that soft glow of romance. Candles at night are always a nice touch but please make sure to keep them away from anything flammable. A house fire is never romantic.

If the weather is cool, running a fireplace is a nice touch. For people with ventless fireplaces be sure to crack a window for proper ventilation.

Pillow Talk.

Nobody wants to rearrange their whole home for one day, wait….I take that back… Besides Christmas, Halloween, Easter and Mardi Gras. I guess what I’m saying is that we can do something as simple as adding nice, fluffy, snuggly, softly colored pillows to our living spaces and bedrooms to create a relaxing romantic mood that can be used after Valentine’s day has past.


It could be time to take a good look at your living spaces and take note if your home feels inviting now that you have the lighting, candles, pillows working. Do you need to move some furniture around? As I type this, I realized I probably need to do this myself!  Decluttering spaces can make your home feel cleaner and more inviting, so get rid of all that paperwork laying around, kid toys and other useless “stuff.”


A bathroom with soft large towels, canisters filled with romantic smelling bath salts and creamy bubble bath soaps makes for a romantic space. Candles in here is a must for mood making moments, A personal favorite of mine.

I hope all of my Prairieville neighbors have a wonderful Valentine’s Day and your home is filled with love.

“Because YOU Matter”

Kristina Smallhorn

Your Real Estate Whisperer

Thinking of Flipping A Prairieville Home? 5 Things to Consider.

With the recent Flood of 2016 in August many people have been considering taking on a home flip. A home flip is defined by www.investopedia.com/terms/f/flipping.asp as a type of real estate investment strategy in which an investor purchases properties with the goal of reselling them for a profit. Profit is generated either through the price appreciation that occurs as a result of a hot housing market and/or from renovations and capital improvements. In short, most people believe what they see on T.V.,i.e.,  buy a crummy house, for super cheap, in a decent area and within a few weeks  sell it for a HUGE profits making them tens of thousands of dollars within a 30 minute show.  As you can image television reality isn’t reality.  I’ve listed some pitfalls of doing your own flip so you can be better prepared before taking it on for yourself.

Cost of repairs.

Many people underestimate how much things cost.  My best advice is to make a list of all the visible items, and plan ahead for the unexpected. Make a list of each item, get online and shop prices and have a side budget for things that come up as you are doing your flip. Try to estimate cost of repairs for items you are not 100% sure will need to be replaced so you can remain within budget.

Make a proper plan.

You can’t just go for the deal of the century without having a proper plan of action. You need to plan for ups and downs in the market. You need to plan for the time of year the home will be complete; to list it and lastly you need to realistically evaluate  how much you can really handle.

Pricing your flip.

Every investor wants to get the most bang for their buck, but if you list your Prairieville home too high you may have priced yourself out of the market. If you are not seeing offers in a busy market within the first two weeks, the market has rejected your price and you have lost valuable time getting your flip home sold quickly.

“I’m Going To Be a MILLIONAIRE!

Slow down there! Just like most anything, this will not make you Donald Trump over night. For newer investors the dreams of making it big and doing it easily can be too much,

and they get in way over their heads. This is not a get rich quick kind of thing.  Take your time in a well coordinated pace, dedicate yourself to lots of hard work and you’ll do well.

But I can do it all by myself.

This is the biggest mistake most new investors make. They know how to lay tile, and had seen several YouTube videos on how to do some plumbing and now they feel like this will save them tons of money. This actually could be a very costly mistake which may delay your completion. It is best to call in experts to do these things and  get as many quotes as you can before settling on a particular tradesman.

A final thought…you CAN make money flipping houses in Prairieville. Many investors do and profit handsomely from it. Those that do, have made a budget, scouted the neighborhood, determined a level of profit, made a plan and had great contractors who will work with them on timing and prices. All of these things will help you.

If you’d like help finding homes to flip and personalized advice on our market in Ascension Parish please do not hesitate to call so we can talk about your investing goals. Why?

“Because YOU Matter”

Your Real Estate Whisperer

Kristina Smallhorn

Mardi Gras in Baton Rouge : Parade Dates and Krewe’s

Krewe of Artemis- February 17, 2017


see the above link to the parade route.

About: The Krewe of Artemis was founded in 2001 with the vision of bringing the Mardi Gras spirit and tradition to the Baton Rouge community with a female twist. Joanne Harvey, Krewe Captain, was born and raised in New Orleans and wanted to bring that city’s version of Mardi Gras to Baton Rouge. After experiencing the formation and success of the Krewe of Orion, through her husband, Charles Harvey (President of Orion), Joanne’s goal was to bring that same spirit and tradition but with a decidedly female angle to Baton Rouge. The Krewe made its parade debut in Baton Rouge in 2003 and has enjoyed tremendous support from the community.

Along with the Mardi Gras spirit comes service to community and the Krewe of Artemis is proud of its involvement with local charities. The Krewe has supported many community organizations, American Cancer Society, Baton Rouge Food Bank, Juvenile Diabetes Association, Race For the Cure and Dreams Come True to name a few.

Krewe of Mystique Mardi Gras Parade February 18th 2017




Founded in 1976, we are Baton Rouge’s oldest parading Mardi Gras krewe and throughout that time we have provided carnival fun for the whole family and people of all ages. We look forward to seeing you!

Krewe Mystique rides on Saturday February 18th, 2017 @ 2pm in downtown Baton Rouge.

Krewe of Mutts February 19th 2017


About: The CAAWS Mystic Krewe of Mutts parade is a fun filled way to spend an unforgettable day with your dogs Mardi Gras style while parading them in what has become one of Baton Rouge’s most beloved events. The parade is the largest fund-raiser for CAAWS and raises much needed funds for the CAAWS Community Outreach Spay/Neuter Program. This is a very special parade that allows dogs and their families to be a part of a Mardi Gras fun without spending a fortune. The parade is a walking parade where dogs and their owners stroll along North Blvd. in their finest Mardi Gras attire. Anyone can enter the parade. You only have to fill out an entry form and pay the entry fee. Dogs are also allowed to watch the parade on the sidelines, but it is not as much fun as being in the parade.

Parade entrants are encouraged to bring “throws” for the crowd. And don’t forget to register your FLOAT. Anything that you can push or pull such as a wagon is allowed but NO motorized floats. All dogs must be on a leash. FOR SAFETY PURPOSES, NO RETRACTABLE LEASHES ARE ALLOWED, NOR ANY LEASHES LONGER THAN 6′. Your dog should have a proof of current rabies vaccination tag. No puppies under 12 weeks, aggressive dogs, or dogs in heat are allowed.

Spanish Town Parade February 25th 2017


About: The Mystic Krewe for the Preservation of Lagniappe in Louisiana (doing business as SPLL – Society for the Preservation of Lagniappe in Louisiana) is a 501-C-3 non-profit corporation in the state of Louisiana. Its purpose is to undertake, develop, support and operate charitable, cultural and educational activities to unite all segments of the Baton Rouge community in the promotion of preserving and enhancing Baton Rouge and Louisiana traditions. SPLL is administered by a Board of Directors and sponsors 3 annual fundraisers. The Spanish Town Mardi Gras Parade, Ball and Golf Tournament. All proceeds, after expenses, are donated to local charities.

Your Real Estate Whisperer

Tankless Hot Water Heater Blues

Tankless Hot Water Heater Blues

I have a tankless hot water heater that I absolutely loved until the other evening when the temperature dropped into the 20’s. People up north are laughing at this I’m sure but here in Ascension Parish we don’t get this cold that often. With that being said my tankless water heater froze and I was panicked that it was going to explode. It didn’t, thank God but I was nervous for several hours.

For those of you that don’t know Ascension Parish is in the lower south area of the state of Louisiana and most new constructed homes with tankless water heaters have them mounted on outside of the home.

 I was told to wrap my pipes leading to the water heater and that should prevent it from freezing, which I did but it still froze for several hours and again the next evening. If anyone could tell me what I could do to make this not happen again during the next hard freeze please comment below. Any input would be appreciated to my clients and myself in the future.

What is an electronic signature, and is it legal?


What is an electronic signature, and is it legal?

An electronic signature, or e-signature, is defined as “referring to data in electronic form, which is logically associated with other data in electronic form and which is used by the signatory to sign”. This type of signature provides the same legal standing as a handwritten signature as long as it adheres to the requirements of the specific regulation it was created under.

In today’s world, contracts move at a much faster pace than they did five years ago. When I started in this business most contracts were sent and received by FAX… something that is considered nearly a dinosaur today. I can’t even tell you the last time I received a faxed contract. As the use of home computers and handheld electronic devices has exploded over the last ten years so have the ways we negotiate, sign contracts, addendum’s and disclosures; thus making it easier for everyone involved.

Anyone who has access to a computer can sign forms electronically. I have even had a whole home sale go through completely with the use of electronic signature. I never did meet the woman buying the house until the day of closing. She was a woman in her late sixties and just got her first iPad a month earlier. I was able to walk her through the whole process, and she laughed on how easy it was, tickled that she didn’t have to print out twenty-seven pages of documents.

Is it legal?


Yes, it is legal. In the state of Louisiana the buyer and seller must each sign a document verifying that the email addresses being used are the correct ones. This signature is the only one that is required to be a “wet” signature (done by hand). This insures that all parties are agreeing to the use of electronic signature and that the correct email addresses are receiving the documents that require a signature.
How does it work?


For the person receiving the documents that need signing, the process is extremely simple. You will receive an email requesting your signature on the document that requests you to click a link. The link will direct you to a secure website. You will then be asked how you would like your signature to look by either signing with your finger or mouse pointer. Once you’ve accepted the look of your signature you’ll be asked to follow the prompts to where your signature is needed. If you miss a spot, the site usually lets you know the areas you have missed. Once completed, you will be asked to push a “complete or accepted” button. This means you have completed the process, and a copy of the documents you just signed will be sent to the email address that was used for signing.

****If you are unsure of what you are signing please contact the person who is sending you the documents. Never sign anything you do not understand.*****

Don’t be afraid of using electronic signatures. They are safe, legal and extremely simple and self-explanatory to use. If you don’t feel comfortable with the idea just know that even the federal government uses them. Have you ever filed your taxes at places like H&R Block? They have been using electronic signatures for years. You have been signing via electronic signature, and didn’t even know it. The system I use for electronic signature is set up through the Greater Baton Rouge MLS, called Authentisign, and has been up and running for about a year. So far, I’ve used electronic signatures for about 5 years now. It saves a ton of time for the buyers and sellers when dealing with a home sale transaction. People are so busy, and this makes thing simpler for you, the clients. Why? “Because YOU matter”


Your Real Estate Whisperer

The HOA in Ascension Parish


What is a HOA? It’s a Home Owner’s Association, and many neighborhoods have them here in Ascension Parish unless your home is in an area marked “rural tract”.houses-1602021_1920-1

What you need to know?

If you have an “active” home owners association you already know that you have to pay dues at scheduled times of the year. Many HOA’s will have home owners’ pay quarterly and others yearly. You get a bill in the mail from the subdivision itself or from a property management company. If you are new to a neighborhood many times these dues are paid at the time of closing, and you will see them on your closing document (the HUD settlement statement), If not you may want to contact the home owners association to give them your information, so you don’t fall behind on payments and possibly incur liens on your home if the dues are not paid.

What does a HOA do for the home owner?golf-787464__340

All HOA’s are different for different neighborhoods, but generally they maintain the front entrance and common grounds for your neighborhood. If you have community retention ponds, playground equipment, swimming pools or a golf course, the dues are used to maintain those as well. They also regulate home owners’ from adding or subtracting from the overall appearance of the neighborhood. If you want to add a shed, cabana or swimming pool to your backyard you must have plans approved, not only by the Parish, but by your home owners association as well. Never start a large project like this without the approval of both of these entities to avoid possible fines and liens on the property.

Advantages and disadvantages of an HOA


I’ll be the first to tell you, I love an HOA after living in a community that didn’t have one prior to living in my current home. I can tell you first-hand how ridiculous some people can get when putting things in their yards and home. In my old neighborhood we had people put up plastic sheds that stuck out like a sore thumb and people who’d park on their front lawns. We had others who would take they’re fishing boats and lean them up against the fence so half of it was sticking up in the air. The final straw for me was a neighbor who absolutely refused to fix a broken fence between my yard and theirs even after we offered to pay for the missing panels.
We had small children and pets, and I didn’t want them wandering in the neighbor’s yard. After that I had enough of not being in a neighborhood without an HOA. It’s like the Wild West to me when you don’t have one in your neighborhood.

On the flip side of this, there are disadvantages – for example, the fact I have to have permission to do anything to my yard. What if the HOA doesn’t like my aesthetic, and I have to start all over? It’s the price I have to pay to live in a neighborhood that stays uniform and pleasing to the eye. Some of the rules in HOA’s can be ridiculous. For instance one of my all-time favorites of being silly is “you can’t have your garage door left up”. I have two children who constantly get bikes, chalk, hover boards, scooters, and various other outside toys from the garage and leave the garage door up a lot. I have been cited for this, but I still wouldn’t live in a neighborhood without and HOA.

If you are unsure if a neighborhood has an HOA please feel free to call me. I can get you that information and a copy of the neighborhood’s most recent covenants (rules) so you stay informed if the HOA is in line with how you would like your next neighborhood to be maintained. I strongly suggest becoming a member of your own HOA so you stay on top and become a part of your community. It’s a great way to meet people and make sure your neighborhood is maintained the way you see fit. I tell you all this, as always ………

“Because YOU matter”