Many people are confused by the HOA and the management company that runs the neighborhood’s community. This has been causing a battle with the homeowners association and its residents but many HOA’s are not run by the homeowners themselves but by management companies, even though some residents may hold titles with the HOA. In this video Kristina Smallhorn, Your Real Estate Whisperer will explain what the homeowners association can and can’t do and what your homeowner’s association does to protect your interest when you have a management company as well.
I recently got a message from a past client after seeing my video for the American Flag and your HOA https://youtu.be/gYr-SO8gYAw and The HOA and Fireworks https://youtu.be/cpBwWVATY2Y videos. She asked that I make this video since she is on an HOA that is run by a management company. She asked if I could explain to my followers what is the role of the HOA when you have a management company with a true and false style approach. So let play along when you watch and see if you knew the answers before I give the answer. I hope you found this video about The HOA and The Management Company, useful if you’d like to read more real estate buying and selling tips you can visit my blog at yourrealestatewhisperer.com
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The battle is on with many homeowners has become all on war with the HOA and the American Flag. With the 4th of July being right around the corner, now is the perfect time to talk about the American Flag and your HOA. I had a client call me to ask can the HOA ban the American flag from being flown on her property? She also wanted to know, can the HOA tell you can not have an American flag? In this blog post, I will tell you what rights you have when displaying your American Flag when it comes to your HOA. I will also tell you your right for various other flags like ones that support sports teams. I know from personal experience that HOA’s can get power hungry and silly about rules but it is important to know the rights you have as an American and not let your HOA’s bully you into submission when it comes to the Amercian Flag.
I have read stories recently and seen in the news how the HOA has been preventing homeowners displaying their own American Flags on their own property. Of course, homeowners are shocked by this and I was too. (WATCH This News Story Of A Woman Told To Remove Her American Flag From Her HOA ) I couldn’t believe that an HOA wouldn’t want the American flag shown year-round proudly in their yard. Some HOA’s believe that the American flag is a season item and need to be taken down after Federal Holidays. Many homeowners, myself included challenge this with the Federal law that was set in place called: The Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005 (Pub.L. 109–243, 120 Stat. 572, enacted July 24, 2006) is an Act of Congress that prohibits real estate management organizations from restricting homeowners from displaying the flag of the United States on their property.
So you CAN have a flag on your property but with that being said the HOA can still dictate the size of the flag and the location of the flag on your home. As an example, you can not have the flag intruding on walkway or sidewalks. Another example: you can’t have a flagpole taller than 10 feet and must be 15 feet from the property line. (To watch a video about flag poles and location of them from the HOA/City https://youtu.be/BEhCrmEGFU0)
Other flags have rights to be displayed as well but are not covered in the American Flag Act of 2005. Any flag displaying a persons religion, race, heritage, disability or sexual orientation are covered in discriminations laws and the Fair housing act. If you run an HOA you need to know and understand these laws so you do not discriminate against any one person or people. (To watch a new story about how this woman’s rights were violated https://youtu.be/A1nguvEzbCw)
I hope you display your American Flag proudly this 4th of July as you have the right to do so no matter what your HOA states. Be sure to check the restrictions to know where and the size of the flag that falls in line with the bylaws.
God Bless The United States Of America
Kristina Smallhorn (Your Real Estate Whisperer)
Last week I told you about bidding wars (To Read That Article https://bit.ly/2LoaC7X ). This week I will be telling you when is the right time to lowball an offer on a home. This video will provide 5 useful tips to know when the perfect time is to lowball an offer on a house. There is often real estate lowball offer mistakes people make when making an offer and know how to construct your offer in a way not to offend the sellers by providing facts to why you made the lowball offer in the first place can be the reason why you win the deal of the century.
The first tip to consider if you are going to home buying with the idea you are going to lowball every home you make an offer on is not to be picky. DO NOT ask for items that are not important to the structure of the home, like washer, dryer, and refrigerator, Do not ask for lawn maintenance or items to be removed. Basically, you are purchasing the home as in the condition that it’s currently in and not anything more than that.
The second tip that can work in your benefit is knowing if the home you’re considering lowballing is grossly overpriced. Many sellers will have illusions of grandeur when it comes to pricing their home. If you can prove with comps that the home is overpriced to the seller they may see things your way.
The third tip that’s important to know when giving a lowball offer is to see how many times the home has been on and off the market within the last couple years. This could be a sign that the seller is in financial trouble and needs to get out. Check with your Realtor to see if the home has been put up on the sheriff’s sale website for delinquent payments or back taxes. This information could help leverage your lowball offer.
the fourth tip is to talk with the neighbors, neighbors love to dish out any secrets the sellers may not have disclosed that wouldn’t be pertinent to the structure of the home like a divorce, loss of a job or financial issues. Sometimes the neighbors can be the sellers biggest nightmare but a lowball buyers dream!
The fifth tip is to take a good look at obviously outdated items in the home to leverage your lowball offer. If the carpet is old and smelly, the kitchen looks like it from the set of the Golden Girls and every room needs a fresh coat of paint add up the cost to have those items that need remodeled and show the seller why your lowball offer was made. This could be the tip that seals the deal.
I hope you found these tips useful if you like to watch more video tips on buying your next home, check out my home buying video playlist here. https://bit.ly/2sw5Pu1
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Nobody wants to be a bidding war loser. When making bidding war offers you want to come on top. The best offers during a home bidding war are the ones that don’t ask for extra items like, refrigerator, washer, and dryer. The trick to winning a bidding war on a home isn’t just asking for the “extras”, it’s also what loan you chose, how long will it be until you close and the way you construct your purchase offer in a way that is the strongest to the seller’s eyes but not breaking your budget for a home. This article will show you 5 tips to making your bidding war offer stronger so you won’t end up being a bidding war loser.
Do not ask for extras like refrigerator, washer, dryer and silly items that are cosmetic like asking for the home to be painted. Nothing will make a seller pass over your offer like asking for extras that have nothing to do with the value of the home.
Up the amount of your deposit, normally in the state of Louisiana, the deposit amount is pretty minimal to the amount of the home. The typical amount is as little as 250-2500 depending on the price of the home. If you’re in a bidding war you may want to consider upping that amount to 2500-5000 so the sellers know you are a serious buyer that has skin in the game.
Decrease the number of days for inspection. When you write a purchase offer most ask for a 10 day inspection period. If you reduce the number of days for inspection to 5 days your offer may look stronger to the seller due to the fact it will be fewer days off the market if the buyer will be removing the offer after the inspections are completed. With that said many realtors may suggest a pre-inspection prior to writing an offer if you use this tactic you may lose precious days that someone else can beat you to the punch to make an accepted offer and you will never get a chance to make yours.
Consider a different loan type. If you are not paying cash and you have not chosen a loan package you will need to discuss with your lender the best option for you to get the loan closed fast but still has your best interests.
Go with your highest and best offer with the first offer you come in with. This is not the time to test the seller on there willingness to come down in price. If you are serious make your strongest offer the first offer you make.
It doesn’t hurt to add a little human emotion to your offer, sometimes we forget that families are involved so if you add a letter stating why this home is so important to you, this may be the deciding factor when it comes to a bidding war.
This past weekend kicked off the Parade of Homes In the Greater Baton Rouge area. Even if you’re not in the market for a brand new home if a great way to get fresh ideas on remodeling your own home. Throughout many Parishes, you will be able to see the latest trends in new home building, like flooring design, colors for walls and the style in kitchen design.
For a full list of homes on the Parade Of Homes Tour, Click Here. >>Map Of Homes
2018 Parade of Homes, May 12-13 and 19-20. This is your chance to preview up and coming communities, different floor plans, new ideas and innovative products. The Parade is free to the public with homes open on Saturdays from 11am-5pm and on Sundays from 1pm-5pm.
The 2018 Parade of Homes will show many homes of all sizes, layouts, and architectural styles. The tour has a little bit for everyone with homes ranging from the starter home all the way up to luxury homes in exclusive neighborhoods. This will be a great way to get idea’s for your own home or preview a home to purchase in the near future.
Your Real Estate Whisperer For Ascension Parish, Kristina Smallhorn.
I hope you found this tip useful if you’d like some more tips you can always visit my website at yourrealestatewhisperer.com To View Properties For Sale, Click Here https://goo.gl/Aiwxjm To Get My FREE EBook On Buying Homes In Ascension Parish, Click Here https://goo.gl/ux3mYz To Send Mail: Kristina Smallhorn PO BOX 1271 Prairieville LA 70769 Kristina Smallhorn (Your Real Estate Whisperer) Cell 225-246-1812 EXP REALTY, LLC,2900 Westfork Dr., Baton Rouge, LA 70827 225-412-9982 ext 149 Info@YourRealEstateWhisperer.com Kristina Is a Licensed Realtor® with The Greater Baton Rouge Board of Realtors@ in the State of Louisiana. License #0912122918
It’s Take a Tip Tuesday. Do you know what to do with your house when you’re going out of town? This is what you need to know when you are selling your home when you go on vacation, Hi, my name is Kristina Smallhorn, your real estate whisperer for Ascension Parish and we’re getting ready to go out of town. But do you know what to do with your house if it’s listed for sale and you’re going out of town? You’re going to want to know these tips.
Make sure you don’t leave any wash in the washing machine. Imagine leaving clothes in the washing machine for three days and what that smell would be like. Buyers wouldn’t really like that when they walk into your laundry room. I think we got everything. Oh, wait one second. You see this right here? These plugins that make your house smell so good? Either turn them all the way off or just take them straight out of the wall. The thing is is that when you’re not in the house and the air is not circulating a lot, when the buyers walk in the house the smell is just overwhelming and then they smell nothing but floral and they think that you’re hiding some kind of smell. So when you’re going out of town, just either turns them all the way down or just pull them straight out of the wall and put them in a safe drawer until you get back into town. So when you’re heading out of town you’re going to want to turn off your water. I’m going to give this case in point. That picture has been floating around Facebook since Christmastime and somebody left their water and of course, the water came through the ceiling and caused quite a problem. Even if you’re in a frozen tundra area where it’s going to freeze like a glacier, you’re still going to want to turn off your water. Look, you know if you have a ceiling the pipes are above you, anything can happen. Just turn off the water. All right so we’re going to attempt this, okay? Did it. All right so I nearly killed myself but I did get the water off. And when you turn the water off you’re going to want to let your real estate agent know that you turned the water off. ‘Cause what if your house goes under contract and you have an inspection? And then inspector goes in and says, “The water doesn’t work.” So you’re going to want to let your real estate agent and the home inspector know where that water turn on is. There’s one more thing I forgot to tell you. Make sure that you go ahead and give an extra key to a neighbor or to your real estate agent. If you don’t have time to go over to your real estate agent’s office, it’s always good to give it to a neighbor. Not only can they pick up the mail and the newspapers that have been left out, they can also water your plants. Sometimes these electronic lockboxes technology doesn’t work the way we want it to and it’s good to have an extra key that you’ve given to a neighbor so that way they can let in a buyer’s agent to show your home. I know when you’re heading out of town you are probably going to want to set your alarm system to your house. Make sure that your real estate agent has that alarm code ’cause it’s happened before that a buyer’s agent walks into the house, the alarm goes off and they didn’t give the alarm code to the selling agent. So make sure that you give that to them. All right, one last tip. When you’re getting on your flight, make sure you let your real estate agent know what time your flight’s at. You don’t want to miss any contract deadlines when you are on a flight and you never know if you get a contract when you’re on that flight, you don’t want to miss that deadline either. Bye. Bye. If you’d like some more information about buying homes in Ascension Parish area you can always visit my website at yourrealestatewhisperer.com. My name is Kristina Smallhorn, your real estate whisperer for Ascension Parish. And I tell you all this because you matter.
firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com eXp Realty LLC,2900 Westfork Dr. Suite 401, Baton Rouge LA 70817 225-246-1812,Office (225) 412-9982 ext# 149 Kristina Smallhorn is a licensed REALTOR® with the state of Louisiana
I took a day listing a home here in Ascension Parish. This super cute home for sale is a new listing for me, This week I will be showing you how listing a home for sale can be a little more trouble than just sticking a sign in the yard. Listing a home in Ascension Parish takes a lot more work than you think. I will be answering the questions you may be having about home listing when they go up for sale like, What are the steps in listing a home? What happens when you list a home? and why would you want to pay someone to measure a house? I meet up with Snap-Shot Photography to measure the home and take photographs. I’ll show you what it takes to get a home on the market but spare you the paperwork (which takes you the longest and would not make for a great video.) Let me show you more about the resale of this existing home be sure to watch the video of this week’s vlog.
The property is almost an acre! You get the best of both worlds with this home, You’ll be a part of an awesome neighborhood and you’ll have a HUGE backyard. When you step into the foyer you’ll fall in love with the cool modern grey color scheme that leads you to the large open concept living room and oversized traditional style kitchen with attached dining area. From the living room, you walk down the hall to the enormous master bedroom, plenty of room for a California King bedroom set. The ensuite master bathroom has a stand-alone shower, jetted tub and double sink with plenty of cabinetry to store bath towels and toiletries. Out from the master, the paint color scheme continues and down the hall has two more large bedrooms with fantastic closet space for each of them. Once you step into the backyard you won’t get over how big it is. You will have plenty of room to have a massive crawfish boil, Backyard barbecues or put in the large swimming pool you have been dreaming of, the possibilities are endless. I know once you walk through this home you won’t want anyone else to have it. (Please note: This home DID NOT flood during the 2016 floods, Window curtains and hooks in children bedrooms will not remain with the home)
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firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com eXp Realty LLC,2900 Westfork Dr. Suite 401, Baton Rouge LA 70817 225-246-1812, Office (225) 412-9982 ext# 149 Kristina Smallhorn is a licensed REALTOR® with the state of Louisiana
It’s Take A Tip Tuesday, Do you Know Why you don’t see “Sale Pending Signs”? You may have driven up to a home recently only to find out the sale of the home is “pending”. What is a pending sale sign anyway? It just means the home has a contract that is waiting to close on the purchase. So why don’t realtors put the sale pending sign up? You want to know is the sale pending, right? The reason why most realtors don’t put the sale pending sign up is to capture possible leads in case the home sale falls through. There are many reasons why a pending home sale could fall through as an example, credit check comes back off from the application, the buyer has been let go of their job, one of the buyers on the loan has passed away or taxes were filed incorrectly, these are just some of the ways that a pending home sale could fall through. there are many other ways this was just an example. I know it can be frustrating for you as a possible buyer to be looking in a neighborhood and find the home of your dreams only to see the home with the for sale sign now has a pending contract. You may feel like the agents are just wasting their time not putting up the sign but we are trying to represent our sellers in the best way possible. If the pending sale sign goes up and the pending contract happens to fall through we have missed out on all those possible leads that could put in a contract or even a backup offer.
firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com eXp Realty LLC,2900 Westfork Dr. Suite 401,Baton Rouge LA 70817 225-246-1812,Office (225) 412-9982 ext# 149 Kristina Smallhorn is a licensed REALTOR® with the state of Louisiana
On February 22, 2008, our family became guardians of a second chance dog named Static. He was a little black Pomeranian, almost 2yrs old, born with a deformed foot, a heart murmur, and a skin condition that caused him to be partially bald. Despite these issues, or maybe because of them, Static and our eldest daughter, Aubrey, had a connection like I’ve never seen before. He was Her Dog, and She was His Girl, and that was that.
At 4:30am this past Tuesday, I heard Static coughing. This was not unusual, as in his 12yrs of life, he’s always had allergies this time of year. However, this time, the cough was different. He wasn’t able to “cough it out” like a cat coughs out a hairball. Instead, I could hear fluid moving as he breathed in and out, and his breathing was labored. I’d already made the decision to take him to the vet when my husband awoke shortly after.
When Static and I arrived in Cypress Lake Animal Hospital, the man that greeted us had a look in his eyes that told me my dog was much sicker than I thought he was. You know how people working in the business can just tell these things? This man knew, and my heart sank a little.
As I waited for the test results, I kept thinking “Maybe this isn’t really that bad. Maybe it’s just his allergies.” Then the Veterinarian came in and said: “Static has congestive heart failure and his lungs are filled with fluid.” Wait, what? Where did this come from? What did we do? What can we do now? How much time does he have? Months? Weeks? Days?
The vet gave me a few options for interventions that could keep Static going a little longer, all of which involved him staying at least overnight in the hospital. All I could think about was how terrified our sweet boy would be, all by himself, feeling sick, possibly thinking we’d abandoned him, leaving him to die alone! Given that he was in full crisis, and there was no guarantee any medical intervention would be successful, my husband and I made the difficult decision to let Static go that very day.
When they wouldn’t let me take Static out of the vet office, as distraught as I was, I screamed at the Veterinarian “You’re NOT keeping my dog! I have to let my kids say goodbye! You’re NOT keeping my dog!” God Bless him, in the calmest voice, he kept repeating back to me, “You can’t take him, he’s drowning in his own fluids.” Despite this truth, I had visions of dodging everyone in my way, busting through the front and back office, grabbing my dog, and running out the back with him! Fortunately, in a moment of clarity, I said to the Vet very calmly “I’m going to get my kids. Please don’t let him die before my kids say goodbye.”
It was the longest drive of my life, first picking up Static’s Sydney, Then Statics Favorite girl Aubrey. It felt like it took us hours to get back to Cypress Lake Animal Hospital. My husband was there waiting for us when we arrived, and they let the four of us take Static to a room. We had one last hour with our sweet boy, during which he took turns saying goodbye to each of us. First to Aubrey, His Girl, the Love of his Life. Then to Sydney, even doing the “puppy” pose, the one and only trick he knew that she’d taught him. Next, he came to me for our ritual brushing that he absolutely loved. And, finally, he cuddled with my husband Eddie. Once he’d made his rounds, Static looked over at me and smiled his smile, as if to say “I’m ready.” I snapped a photo of that smile.
We let the Doc come back in, and while Static was surrounded by his family, he received a medication that made him fall asleep very quickly. The second medication stopped his already worn out heart. It was all over in just a few minutes. We wrapped him up in a towel. He didn’t look any different than just a few moments before, but he felt limp. I rocked him in my arms, “ssh, sssshh, sssshhhing” him like he was a crying infant, wanting to comfort him, tell him “I’m sorry”, unable to shake the thought that maybe I’d made the wrong decision. Sydney left the room first, as he was gone to her now. Aubrey stayed a little longer, and told him everything she loved about him, and how she’d remember all the crazy times they had together. The room fell so quietly after that, and it was time to go. We carried Static’s body to the front desk, and we left because we were supposed to just move on.
The house just doesn’t feel the same. He didn’t even weight 8lbs, but Static’s presence could be felt, and it sure is missed. My daughters have waves of grief, each experiencing it differently. Sydney is more expressive, while Aubrey prefers to be alone with her thoughts. As for Eddie and myself, we are both more heartbroken than we thought we’d be. I mean, we’d had to put a dog down before, but she was REALLY old, blind, lethargic, and we had made the decision some time prior to taking her in. This was so sudden, so final, and we weren’t ready to let him go. But maybe that’s the way Static wanted to be remembered. Not old and worn out, but happy and peppy, and HIMSELF! My heart wants that to be so.
Now, I hope that as a family, we heal. Sydney, my youngest, keep saying “I know it’s corny, Mom, but he’s gone, but will never be forgotten.” And she’s right. Static is gone, but he will never be forgotten. Rest in Peace, Good Boy.
There are many homeownership mistakes that happen when you buy a house. Often people unknowingly do more damage to their home when they believe they are doing the right thing after they buy a house. In this video, I show some of the biggest mistakes that homeowners make.
Have you ever been in a bathroom that had a weird black line around the bottom edge of the mirror? There is a reason for that, it’s from an overuse of cleaning products and moisture getting behind the mirror allowing it to lose its reflection and cause that yucky black clouds. The solution, just be aware when you are spraying your mirror to not use too much product and when getting out off the shower make sure to wipe down the mirror so no moisture gets trapped.
Another mistake in home ownership is using bleach on everything. I know I love bleach but it can really do damage on some of the most expensive things in your home like granite countertop (did you know that it will strip the sealant right off of stone?) Also, never use bleach products on vinyl it could possibly yellow or stain it. Another area to avoid bleach is wood flooring, it too can strip the finish off the flooring making it pretty expensive to restore down the road.
I’ve been to enough home inspections to know that many homeowners make the mistake of using the wrong kind of caulk in certain areas of the home. They make different kinds a caulk for a reason and make sure you are buying the right kind for bathrooms and outside windows. Not all caulk is made the same.
Over sealing countertops is another costly mistake homeowners make. I know you think you’re doing the right thing by applying it often but if do it too much it will cause a milky white film that can be tough to remove and repair. To test to see if your countertops are ready for another spray of sealant, just drip a few drops of water on the countertop and see if it beads up if it doesn’t its ready for a treatment.
So when was the last time you had your HVAC system look at? So many homeowners ignore this maintenance requirement. When I represent the buyer I always ask for it to be done and inevitably the homeowner hadn’t had it done the whole time they had lived in the house. The cost of this is too inexpensive to ignore and can help stretch out the time for replacement.
Do you have any home ownership tips? Be sure to comment them below, They make it in my next video.
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My Name is Kristina Smallhorn, Your Real Estate Whisperer For Ascension Parish, And I tell you all this “Because YOU Matter”
Kristina Smallhorn is a licensed REALTOR® with the state of Louisiana in The Greater Baton Rouge MLS, license # 0912122918,eXp Realty LLC,2900 Westfork Dr. Suite 401
Baton Rouge LA 70817, Cell Number: 225-246-1812, Office (225) 412-9982 ext# 149