The Houmas House Haunted Tour In Ascension Parish- Ascension Parish Coffee Talk #33


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Ascension Parish Coffee Talk #33
Let me start off by saying that I originally didn’t intend on taking the haunted tour of Ascension Parish’s Houmas House plantation haunted tour, but I’m glad my niece Jessica Robison and I did. We were able to tour the beautifully landscaped grounds for a good hour before the sun went down.  As it got darker, you could feel the atmosphere change. At every turn, it seemed much scarier when earlier it had seemed cheery and joyful.  The rivers that flow through the property became dark and murky, a perfect red sunset greeted us right as the bell rang for the Houmas House Haunted tour.

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Our guide is an older man dressed like an old-time butler and was able to give us vast details of many things in the home paying special close attention to the creepiest of items. One of them is a large cast iron sarcophagus, he joyed in recalling the story of one of these opening and the body inside was perfectly preserved.  Moments later playing an untuned piano which set the theme of the rest of the uncomfortable tour.  We weaved through rooms as he recalled the many stories of the past in this plantation home.  One is the fact that the inside of the home was set for the movie Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte.  A personal favorite movie of mine. The small cemetery at the front of the property is actually props that were left after filming was finished, the original family cemetery is now buried under the levy across the road, so no one will be visiting their grave sites for a very long time. Our tour guide brings us to many rooms but the creepiest place is not a room at all, its the spiral staircase where visitors say they see the ghost of a little girl named Mary.  Mary died of yellow fever and it has been said she likes to lean over the staircase to see the visitors that come to see the Houmas House.  As we crept up the tight staircase we were led to a room filled with dolls made in France, these dolls were made of the real hair and teeth of children and if that wasn’t disgusting enough there faces reminded you of every horror movie ever made.  Our butler tour guide said that at night after he turns off the lights he can see the dolls dancing around the room.  He smiles a sinister smile when he turns to the next room.

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If you have not been on the haunted tour at the Houmas House Plantation, I strongly recommend it.  I was unaware of its rich history and its spooky past.  It’s totally worth the trip. We didn’t personally meet the ghost of Mary but my daughter was creeped out throughout the tour. My 4k camera did quit working for no apparent reason but was this paranormal? Not really sure, You have to see for yourself.

If you’d like a home close to Houmas Plantation Home in Ascension Parish Please free to visit my website @

And I tell you about this haunted home in Ascension Parish “Because YOU Matter”

Kristina Smallhorn
(Your Real Estate Whisperer)
Cell 225-246-1812
Office 2254129982 ext#149
eXp Realty LLC.
2900 Westfork Dr.
Baton Rouge LA 70817
Kristina Smallhorn is a licensed REALTOR with the state of Louisiana, USA.

Bump in the Night – Supernatural Haunting by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (

Ascension Parish Coffee Talk #22, Louisiana Nursery Home & Garden Showcase.


Ascension Parish Coffee Talk #22, Louisiana Nursery Home & Garden Showcase

Located @ 39245 Highway 42 In Prairieville 70769

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John MacMillan was kind enough to let me stop in and give the people of Ascension Parish a private tour of Louisiana Nursery Home & Garden Showcase.  This is not just a place for plants, they have got a ton of items for your outdoor needs.
Their selection of outdoor plants will work perfectly with our Louisiana climate they also have pottery, outdoor decor, wind chimes and bird feeders, the list goes on and on. You can spend hours here just looking around but if you need more help with your outdoor garden and yard their friendly knowledgeable staff are more than eager to help.
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John also said that if you have any issues with your plants they can help you with the correct type of treatment for them. Bring a picture of the diseased plant and a clipping then they can prescribe the right kinds of chemicals to bring your plants back to life. Such a great service to offer the people of Ascension Parish.
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If you’d like to call before hand you can reach out to them at 225-677-7984, They also have a Facebook Page (click here to “like” and comment) or visit their website
If you haven’t been here, you have to stop by, When you do, Tell them the Your Real Estate Whisperer sent ya.

“Because YOU Matter”

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The Following Comes Straight From the Louisiana Nursery Home & Garden Website.

Louisiana Nursery:

Roger Mayes started the business from scratch as a family owned retail Garden Center in February of 1983 with his son Mitch, and wife Marilyn. In March, he turned over the lead position to Mitch, who now serves as President. Roger remains actively involved as Vice President. Their business has expanded to 3 locations over a 25-year span.

Louisiana Nursery has been selected as a Baton Rouge Favorite Store for 10 straight years by the readers of Parents Magazine. We are also recognized as a “Top 10 Southern Nursery” (#48 Nationally) by Nursery Retailer Magazine.

Louisiana Nursery is also proud of the 25 Louisiana Certified Nursery Professionals that we have on staff! Come to our experts for answers to your questions!

A Note from Roger Mayes:

LOUISIANA NURSERY was established in 1983 with one Baton Rouge location. The business has grown dramatically over the years to become one of the 10 largest independent retail gardening centers in the south. (45th in the US.)

We now have 3 Baton Rouge area locations, each with 2.5 or more acres, and each uniquely different. Our stores are definitely a fun place to visit at any time of the year.

Besides our year round stock of plants, we also offer a unique gift department, several collectible departments, and a huge Christmas decorating selection.

Our goals are to provide you with a good selection, good quality, and good service. We hope our web site will help you.


Roger Mayes

Kristina Smallhorn
Your Real Estate Whisperer
eXp Realty LLC
Office (225) 412-9982 ext# 149
Kristina Smallhorn is a licensed REALTOR® with the state of Louisiana

What Should I Do With My Pet’s When I Have A Showing?

What Should I Do With My Pet’s When I Have A Showing?

Let me start off by saying I LOVE animals. It doesn’t matter to me, from reptile to bird, dog or cat all of them I think of as a friend some of these animals don’t look at me in the same way. Over the years I have encountered some not so friendly animals. Most recently I tried to enter a home to be greeted by a mid-size mixed breed hound that was showing his teeth as the key slipped into the tumbler. The buyers and I agreed that we wouldn’t be taking a tour of that home that day. Too bad the sellers missed out on an opportunity to sell their home. So that brings me to my point of this blog post. What do you do with your beloved pets in Ascension Parish when you have a showing?

Pet Sitter? Is That Even A Thing?

Yes, Its is. Many veterinarian offices board your animals for the day and some dog grooming places as well. You can also ask around you’d be surprised at how many people know of someone who does this. The best reference to get is from someone who’s used them before.

To Crate or Not To Crate


If you have an old cat or dog that lazily walks around the house and really doesn’t bother you, you may think it’s ridiculous to put them in a crate but some people are truly frightened by animals and may just walk out of the home as soon as the see your precious fur baby. My best advice if you can’t really shell out the money to board your animal is to crate them during a showing. Most people put the crate in a laundry room or utility room so it doesn’t distract from the showing.

***Keep in mind if your animals are aggressive and can pose a danger to anyone you can be liable if your animal attacks anyone during the showing. It’s up to you the seller to handle your animals prior to confirmed showings.***



Many of your friends love your animals as much as you do. You can always ask a friend to pick up your pets for the times of the showing. You can always ask your agent for a window of time before the showing so either you or your friend can take care of the animals prior to the showing.

On A Side Note- The Nose Knows Everything

You may not think your home has a pet odor but people who do not like animals or do not have them can smell them immediately. Please clean your cat’s little box daily, the same goes for birdcage liners and the doggy dropping in the yard. Nobody even animal lovers likes having your pet poop on their foot after taking in your large backyard.



One Last Thing


Before you list your home you may want to check all to see if your fur babies have chewed or scratched any wood or painted areas. Nothing screams deferred maintenance like a backdoor that the door has ruined by an animal that includes the weather stripping as well. (I don’t know why animals love chewing and scratching at it)

Hopefully, these tips will help you out on deciding what to do with your animals.

“Because YOU matter

Kristina Smallhorn
Your Real Estate Whisperer
eXp Realty LLC
Office (225) 412-9982 ext# 149

How To Make The Most Out Of An Open House In Ascension Parish.

Open House tours have been around forever. Even with virtual tours, splashy professional photos, and interest marketing, nothing can beat the feel of a home like walking through it.   Open houses are here to stay for the long term which you will need to know so you can get the most from them when you tour on a Sunday afternoon.

Take This Time To Learn


When going out looking at open houses it is the perfect time to take some notes. You can see features that stand out and quickly after seeing a few, you’ll know when one feels overpriced or one is updated correctly. You will be able to compare home to home and be in a better position to gauge the local Ascension Parish market.

Best Way To Interview For A Possible Buyers Agent.


If you haven’t picked a REALTOR® yet, what better way to meet potential buyers agents than at open houses. You can shake hands, talk and get a feel of how your potential Ascension Parish REALTOR® will work with you. You will not connect well with all REALTOR®n and this is one way you can interview them before you take the leap to hire one to represent you.

If you are not feeling right about signing in at an open house here in Ascension Parish, there is nothing saying you have to. You can just fill out the seller feedback form as a courtesy to the seller and never give your name and information to the Ascension Parish REALTOR®.

Fallen In Love With A Home At An Open House?


If you walk into an Ascension Parish home and it’s checked off all your boxes, it’s best to stick around and watch the other potential buyers. Look for body language; see if they are just as smitten. This is a good way to size up your competition.  You can learn a lot just by hanging around admiring all the details of the home and take note of others who may be interested.

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions.


The Ascension Parish Agent’s job during an open house is to answer any questions, within reason. They can’t tell you how much the last offer was that wasn’t accepted. But they can tell you if the seller is negotiable. The REALTOR® can’t tell you how much the seller is willing to come down but they can tell you what other homes in the neighborhood sold for. Be sure to have your questions ready prior. It’s always good to ask how long the home has been for sale or why the seller may be wanting to sell. Knowledge is power when negotiating an offer.

When Is Open House Ascension Parish?


I’ve seen open houses happen every day of the week at virtually any time of the day. Generally, for the most part, Sunday between 1-6 you can find many listed homes have the Open House flags flying in the yard. Don’t be afraid to walk in and say “Hello” and take a peek around. Even if you are not in the market currently, it’s always a good idea to see what your neighbors are selling their house for.  Be sure to keep an eye out for the pending sign and/or sold sign to gauge how quickly housing is moving.  It may be the best time to list your home if the market is HOT!.

If you are currently interested in listing and want to know more about your home’s value, comment below, or better yet just call me and I can show you what homes are selling for in your neighborhood. The market is very good for sellers; the volume of homes is low, and the demand is super high.  Now could be your best opportunity to get the most money out of your home.

“Because YOU Matter”

Your Real Estate Whisperer

Kristina Smallhorn

eXp Realty LLC

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The 6 main reasons your Ascension Parish home isn't selling.

The 6 main reasons your Ascension Parish home isn’t selling.

We all have seen homes that have had a “For Sale” sign sitting in the lawn for way longer than it should. It makes you wonder what has happened to make this home sit on the market so much longer than other homes in the same neighborhood. Our minds swim with the idea that there may be something wrong with the home. We can sometimes even create some kind of scandalous scenario as to why the home listing gets as stale as last month’s news.

1. Price-

Most of the time when a home has been properly marketed, the main sticking point is the price. Sellers are often unwilling to come down to the price that market dictates. Everyone wants the best price for their home, but if the market rejects that price it can be hard for some sellers to drop the price. Some agents may say “I can get you top dollar,” but “top dollar” is only the top that the market and buyers are willing to pay for your home. If you only have a few showings and no offers, its simple math -you are priced too high.


2. Your home is taste specific-

I’ll give you a perfect example. You and your neighbor have the exact same floor plan. Your neighbor and you list your homes for the exact same price with the identical listing broker. Two weeks pass and your neighbor gets two offers, and you haven’t got a single one. It’s time to re-evaluate what was the difference. The neighbor’s house has neutral paint color throughout the home that compliments many peoples’ tastes. Your home has dark colors making it feel cold and uninviting. Your neighbor’s counter tops are light simple patterned granite. You chose the darker more interesting granite with loud gold flecks. The neighbor’s carpet is in fairly good shape that is in a neutral shag style. You also have carpet that is slightly worn, but you choose the less expensive carpet showing a worn treaded path and stains. You thought having a big storage unit in the back yard would be a good selling point, but it doesn’t match the home’s exterior and takes up half the yard. All of these things you love about your home, but buyers’ like what the masses like – decluttered, neutral and clean.


3. Deferred Maintenance-

This is my favorite verbiage to use when telling someone that they need to fix everything in the house that has been put off for years. For instance, gutters that are overfilled with leaves and debris, chipped paint in and outside the home, broken and fogged windows. This one is the most common one I see here. (Never pressure wash your double pane windows. It breaks the seal and causes moisture to fill the space making that foggy look). A good rule to follow before you put your home on the market is “If you can see it, they can see it.” You can save yourself a laundry list of repair request from buyers if you just get all those repairs done prior to putting your home on the market.


4. The area-

Your house is in pristine shape. You have taken meticulous care to ensure that when you go to sell your home, everything is in tip top shape. Your lawn is always the greenest. You always maintain the outside just as much as the inside; but your neighbors…… not so much. Before any buyer even sees your home, everything comes in to play prior to the showing. If your home is in an area that has been decreasing in value, it can make the most beautiful of home seem less desirable. Nothing is worse than having a neighborhood that has given up on caring for their homes. There really isn’t much you as a seller can do, but this could be a reason why your home isn’t selling.

5. Marketing-

This one is a touchy subject. Some agents love to throw stones at how the last agent marketed your home, but sometimes it’s the sellers that crush the marketing plan from the beginning. If you will not allow your home to be put out in every media outlet available, you are limiting its chance of exposure. I know some people have special cases and reasons for this, but you have to weigh the pros and cons of limiting your agent.
On the other hand if your agent only puts your home on the MLS for 6 months never to be heard from until your listing is about to expire, you should think about interviewing a new agent. The MLS alone doesn’t sell a home.

6. Timing-

Spring time is the best time to put your home on the market, traditionally. This is true of the Ascension Parish area as well. If you list your home starting in Mid-October through the month of May, your home will take a little longer to sell.

Some listings can be more difficult than others for reasons listed above and for various others. If your agent is truly working with you, you will be aware of how the market is working as your home is for sale. Your REALTOR® should be available for you to ask questions and get updates of showings along with feedback of those showings.
***BONUS**** A little known fact to sellers is “Open houses don’t sell your home.” We have all seen on TV that the agent gets a listing, has one open house where numerous couples walk through the home, and by the end of the day they have 3 offers. But that is Hollywood’s smoke and mirrors. In our area an open house does get potential buyers to preview your home freely on a Sunday afternoon, but in my experience, rarely at the end of the day do you end up with an offer in hand.

If you are having trouble with your listing and like would some expert advice please feel free to call me, I’d love to be a service to you and selling your home.

“Because YOU matter”
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