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Date Archives: September 2021

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Home Buyer Tips | 34 Posts
Home Seller Tips | 47 Posts
Homeowner Tips | 39 Posts
Moving Tips | 3 Posts
Press Release | 4 Posts
Shreveport, LA | 5 Posts
Uncategorized | 1 Posts
September
29

When Should I Refinance?

Low-interest rates have many homeowners wondering if it's a good time to refinance. Refinancing can save you a lot of money in the long term when done correctly. It's important to consider the drawbacks as well. Here are some reasons why you might want to refinance, and a few things to be cautious of.

Reasons you may want to refinance:

1. To lower your monthly payment. If today's interest rates are lower than when you purchased your home, refinancing to a lower rate will reduce your monthly payment down, freeing up cash to help with other bills, your children's education, or to save towards retirement.

2. To pay off your mortgage earlier. A great way to use the money you save with a lower mortgage payment is to apply it right to your principle, which will help you pay your loan off earlier.

3. To take advantage of a better credit score. If your credit score has increased significantly since you bought your home, you may get a better loan if you refinance.

4. To save on total interest. For some, the desire to pay less interest overall makes refinancing an attractive option. Reducing the interest rate and/or the loan term will save you money long term.

5. To change loan types. If you have an adjustable-rate mortgage that has been increasing or is nearing the end of the fixed period, you may want to switch to a fixed-rate mortgage.

If you have extra cash on hand to make larger monthly payments, it may make sense to change to a 15-year mortgage so you can pay it off earlier.

6. To consolidate debt or take cash out. If you have built up equity in your home, you may be able to borrow against your home to obtain cash to pay off higher-interest debt, to make improvements on your home, or for things like your children's education or medical expenses.

Be careful when borrowing against your home. If the cash you take out goes to increasing your debt rather than resolving it, then you could end up putting your home in jeopardy.

Don't forget about the closing costs involved in refinancing. You will have fees associated with your new loan just like you did when you purchased your home, so remember to figure the closing costs when you do the math.

Also, be cautious about extending your loan term. If you refinance with a 30-year mortgage when you are 10-15 years or more into your current mortgage, you'll end up paying way more in interest overall, and have extended your payments for many more years.

Of course, a mortgage lender is the best resource for answering your financing questions. If you need someone to talk to further, our experienced agents will be  happy to give you a referral.

September
28

12 Tips for an Easier Move

As exciting as it is to move into a new home, not many people look forward to the actual moving day. Whether you are moving across town or across the country, moving is stressful. Here are some helpful hints from expert movers to make the big day a little more bearable.

1. Schedule your move well ahead of time. Moving companies get booked up weeks in advance, so don't wait until the last minute to schedule your move. Make sure they know ahead of time if you have any very large or heavy items to move. The last thing you want is for the movers to show up with a truck that isn't big enough or without enough people to move your belongings safely.

2. Consider letting the moving company pack your items. If it's within your budget to hire packers, it may be money well spent. Packers are usually very efficient and take time to wrap fragile items securely. Packers will usually pack you the day before your move, so you don't have to pack items away that you may need up until the day of your move.

3. Schedule services. Don't forget to have services transferred or started at your new home. These may include:

Power

Water

Trash service

Internet/TV/Phone

Gas

Lawn service

Pool service

Security system monitoring

4. Have your new home professionally cleaned. If your seller is not arranging for cleaning to be done prior to closing, arrange to have it done before you move in so that you won't arrive to a dirty house.

5. Pack a moving supply box. Your moving supply box should contain items you may need while you are unpacking and getting settled in your new home, such as:

Toilet paper

Paper towels

Sponge

All-purpose cleaner and glass cleaner

Shelf liner paper

Scissors

Furniture moving pads

Tape measure

Cordless screwdriver

Hammer

Picture hanging kit

Bottled water, snacks, pet food

Paper plates, cups, and disposable utensils

Dish Soap and Hand Soap

   

6. Make Your Bed. As soon as your bed frames and mattresses come off the truck, put them together or have the movers put them together, and make them up. Pack your sheets, blankets, and pillows together in well-marked boxes so you can find them easily. When you are ready to collapse at the end of moving day, you'll be thankful the beds are made up and ready to fall into.

7. Same for your towels and bath soap. Pack bath towels and soap with your bed sheets so you can jump in the shower before retiring without having to search for towels.

8. Make Plans for Your pets. The last thing you need on moving day is a stressed-out pup or kitty, or worse, one that escapes in an unfamiliar neighborhood. Make plans for your pets to spend the day with family or friends, a pet sitter, or boarding facility until you are ready to introduce them to their new home.

9. Say Yes to Helpers. Sometimes it's hard to accept extra help from family or friends if you aren't sure what they can help with. Here are some tasks you can delegate:

Lay shelf liner in the kitchen and bathroom cabinets and drawers

Unpack and put away your kitchen items (you can rearrange later!)

Babysit or keep your children occupied

Make up your beds, place towels in the bathrooms

Wipe down cabinets and counters

Break down packing boxes

Hang clothes in closets

Organize tools and equipment in the garage

Pick up lunch or dinner

10. Hire a Sitter. If you have little ones, they will be very excited about their new home, new rooms, and yard. They will want to be with you, but they will not be interested in unpacking boxes! Make plans for someone to be available just for them, so you can concentrate. A family member, friend or hired sitter can help them explore their new surroundings, build a box fort, or organize their toys in their new rooms without you worrying about where they are.

11. Hire someone to hang your art. Unless you love to hang things yourself, you might consider having a handyman scheduled to come in and hand your wall art and window treatments for you. This can save you a great deal of time getting settled. If you need help deciding where to hang art or portraits, a decorator may be a better choice than a handyman. They can help you decide on placement and hang items themselves or direct a handyman where to hang items.

12. Check out of the old house. Prior to closing, you should have submitted a change of address form with the post office. You'll also need to remember to leave all keys and garage door or gate openers, and make sure the movers don't pack up things like ceiling fan remote controls or other loose items that stay with the house. Don't forget to clean out spaces like the attic, backyard sheds, crawl spaces, or any other hideaway spaces you might have stored items. It's always nice to have the home professionally cleaned for the new owners, and, if you feel inclined, leave a list of recommended local vendors for household services.

September
27

THINGS ARE STAYING THE SAME

I've always loved how our President Brad Gosslee called Northwest Louisiana a "steady Eddie" real estate market. We kind of just chugged along never having the high and low price fluctuations that might be seen on the East and West Coast. And while we might mirror national trends, we never saw severe shifts in home sale trends or price declines/increases.

The last 18 months, as we endure the pandemic, have changed all of that. And this month's Coldwell Banker Gosslee Real Estate Report shows how drastic a change we are facing in the real estate market.

We remain in one of the most challenging markets we have ever seen. In fact, it's almost impossible to navigate buying or selling without a well-trained agent like ours! And it's been this way for a while. In fact, here is what I wrote last year at this time:

Do you remember when the coronavirus hit? Toilet paper and hand sanitizer became scarce. Now, more than six months later, I've read reports about similar shortages of canned soup and, believe it or not, laptops. Put homes on the market in that same category. Demand has strongly outpaced supply.

Last August, we were already entrenched in the changing market. We sold 497 homes, which was a second-straight month of record sales. This was at the start of the pandemic-led buyer frenzy that was also fueled by record low mortgage rates. The pace of sales has never slowed here.

This August we set another record with 542 sales in Caddo, Bossier and Desoto Parishes. We are just about 100 homes above a rolling five-year average of 456 August home sales.

There is a surprising twist to these sales. The largest increases are at the higher price points. Clearly, we are seeing first-time buyers taking advantage of record-low mortgage rates to buy "more home" for the money while "move up" buyers continue to take advantage of their equity – along with the mortgage rates. Looking at this chart, you see that our most affordable sector is off dramatically in sales, while the $200,000-$400,000 range has seen an increase in 96 homes sales in August over 2018. We are also plus 26 in the above $400,000 price point:

Price Range

August 2021 Sales

August
2020
Sales

August
2019
Sales

August
2018
Sales

August
2017
Sales

Total

542

497

479

447

460

Under $100,000

65

77

90

91

106

$100,000-$200,000

201

177

209

174

189

$200,000-$300,000

166

147

108

117

126

$300,000-$400,000

66

59

49

41

30

$400,000-$500,000

26

21

12

18

10

$500,000+

18

16

11

6

8

 

Totaling homes sales in Northwest Louisiana for all of 2021 shows that we are up 20% over last year with a whopping 4,105 home sales. And this includes the drag of Desoto Parish were the severe lack of available homes for sale has caused sales to drop dramatically. There are currently fewer than 30 homes available in the entire parish.

Outside of the major lack in sales in the $100,000 or less price point, the percentage increases in the mid-to-higher ranges in Caddo and Bossier is remarkable. It really shows how accessible these tiers became for buyers.

This chart illustrates how things have changed in our three parishes:

Price Range

YoY Number of Home Sales in Caddo Parish (% change over 2020

YoY Number of Home Sales in Bossier Parish (% change over 2020

YoY Number of Home Sales in Desoto Parish (% change over 2020

YoY Number of Home Sales COMBINED (% change over 2020

Total

2,343 (+24%)

1,634 (+20%)

128 (-28%)

4,105 (+20%)

$100,000 & less

450 (-8%)

132 (-19%)

21 (-31%)

603 (-11%)

$100,000-$200,000

973 (+26%)

477 (+2%)

46 (+10%)

1,496 (+17%)

$200,000-$300,000

574 (+44%)

594 (+21%)

     26 (-37%)

1,194 (+28%)

$300,000-$400,000

169 (+46%)

279 (+69%)

20 (-20%)

468 (+53%)

$400,000-$500,000

90 (+53%)

104 (+79%)

11 (+83%)

205 (+67%)

$500,000-
$600,000

35 (+25%)

29 (+38%)

3 (0%)

65 (+30%)

$600,000+

52 (+86%)

19 (58%)

3 (100%)

74 (+85%)

 

We are trending much differently in sales than the rest of the nation. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently shared its Existing Home Sales report that found there were 1.5% fewer homes sold in August compared to last year. The U.S. is still at a strong pace of 5.88 million home sales for the year. We will see if this trend continues or if it was a result of the traditional summer lull filled with vacations and the start of school around the nation that impacted home sales.

Now that I have shared that the demand for homes continues, we now turn to the lack of inventory – the number of homes on the market.  NAR reports that nationally there are only 1.29 million homes on the market, a decrease of 13.4% from last August. This equates to a 2.6 month supply with homes selling in 17 days – down from 22 last year – with 88% selling in less than 30 days.

Locally, our lack of homes on the market is even more dramatic. But it seems like we are headed in the right direction with slightly more homes now available. We ended August with 957 homes for sale. We have climbed from the 774 we had at the end of April. This has allowed us to go from a 1.6 month supply to today's 1.9 month supply. But remember, this is drastically low. In just one year, we have dipped from 1,305 available homes and a 3.2 month supply.

Homes are selling in just 8 days in Northwest Louisiana, down from 20 a year ago. That is one of the quickest we've ever recorded and one of the lowest numbers for the entire nation.

We still need more homes to come on the market to meet demand. Take a look at this chart to see how severe our lack of supply remains, especially compared to the highs of 2018. It is stunning to see how inventory has tumbled in the higher price points, especially in the luxury categories where a two-year surplus has dwindled to just five months:

Price Range

Number of Available Homes

August 2021 Supply

August
2020
Supply

August
2019
Supply

August
2018
Supply

August
2017
Supply

Total

957

1.9

3.2

5.2

5.7

6.1

Under $100,000

312

3.8

2.7

4.6

4.9

5.7

$100,000-$200,000

290

1.6

2.8

4.4

4.5

5.4

$200,000-$300,000

133

0.9

2.4

5.0

5.5

5.1

$300,000-$400,000

91

1.6

4.6

6.0

8.9

8.1

$400,000-$500,000

47

2.1

6.4

11.9

12.4

15.0

$500,000+

84

5.0

12.1

16.5

24.6

20.9

 

As our early economics classes in school taught us, prices rise when supply doesn't equal demand. Welcome to 2021 real estate. When we look at the national scene, NAR shared that the median home sale price nationwide is $356,700, up 13.4% from a year ago. Putting this in perspective, this is up from $253,100 in August 2017. In just four years, the median price increase is more than $103,000!

Our median price – the middle of all August homes sold – is $202,750, up 4% over a year ago. And for all of 2021, we are up 9% in prices. While we are much more affordable here, we are still following the same pattern of increases. At this time back in 2017, our median price was about $166,000.

While I've been focusing on only the August numbers, here is a look at how we've fared for all of 2021 so far. You can see the impact of supply vs. demand driving prices up:

 

Total

% Change of 2020

Homes Sold

4,105

+21%

Current Supply of Homes

957

-27%

Median Days on Market

20

-47%

Median Home Price

$197,000

+9%

 

And here is a look at how we compare against the U.S:

 

U.S.

(change over August '20)

Northwest LA

(change over August '20)

Median Price

$356,700/+14.9%

$202,750/+4%

Number of Sales

5.88 million/-1.5%
(annualized)

542/+9%

Inventory

1.29 million/-13.4%

957/-27%

Months' Supply

2.6/3.0

1.9

 

I'll close this month's discussion reminding those who are thinking about selling their home to contact one of our Coldwell Banker Gosslee agents. Even if you just need to ask a few questions, learn how much your home might be worth, or learn about how we can help you buy a home in your next destination, don't hesitate to ask. That's what we are here for.

If you are considering buying a home, the same is true!

And, as always, you can reach out to me at jessica@cbgosslee.com.

 

 

 

September
24

Q: What is a homeowner's association (HOA) and how does it work?

If you're thinking about buying a condo, townhome, or home in a subdivision, you need to know how an HOA works. Officially, HOA's are governing bodies that enforce regulations designed to preserve and maintain shared spaces or structures in a community. HOA's are governed by a set of bylaws that spell out what the HOA is responsible for and what each unit is responsible for. 

HOA's are typically responsible for green space, gyms, rooftop decks, garages, lobbies, and hallways. Beyond communal amenities, the condo association is also responsible for shared structural components such as the building's façade, roof, windows, plumbing, electric and more. As a condo owner, you are responsible for paying a percentage of the total cost of upkeep, which is where things can get a little complicated.

There are two ways that, as a homeowner, you'll contribute to your HOA:

Regular dues: Most HOA's require all owners to pay a monthly maintenance fee (typically referred to as dues or assessments). HOA fees can range anywhere from $100 to $1000 or more, depending on the property.

Special assessments: In the event of an emergency, your HOA may require a special assessment, where the total bill for a service is divided up between all property owners. Special assessments are not always a given, so before you buy a home in an HOA, it's important to review its books and budget to ensure that there are enough cash reserves to pay for an emergency like a roof replacement or burst pipes.

If you're considering buying a home with an HOA, we will always help you review the HOA bylaws, recent meeting minutes, budget and any other necessary documents to be sure that there are no red flags. If you have any questions about HOAs, give us a call. Our experienced agents will be happy to help you!

Bossier City Office (318) 747-5411

Shreveport Office (318) 861-2461

September
22

August 2021 Market Overview
Shreveport/Bossier, LA – (Caddo, Bossier, Desoto Parishes only)

August Summary: Strong sales continue. Average price rising. Inventory levels increasing slightly.

Sales: August sales posted another historical best with 542 closings. This is the first time ever we've recorded over 500 sales in August. Last year was a record at 497 and the 5 year trailing average is only 456. Pending sales though have been falling for the last 4 months which will translate into slower closed sales in the upcoming months. This correction isn't much of a surprise though since unit sales are up 20% for the year. Looking at the data tables below, you will see that Caddo is up 24% and Bossier up 19% versus last year. Sales in Desoto parish have lagged this year. This is primarily due to the very low inventory available  for sale in Desoto Parish. Currently, there are only 31 available listings on the market in all price ranges in Desoto parish. Caddo and Bossier parishes are beginning to see their inventory levels grow slightly so supply constraint should not be an issue in Caddo or Bossier. Strong sales activity in the higher price ranges continues to be the surprise factor for 2021.

Unit Sales YTD by price range vs. last year:

Inventory: As homes sold at a record pace this year, inventory levels fell to record lows in Q2 of 2021. Now inventory levels are back on the rise. After leveling off in the high 700's a few months ago, active listing  inventory is now at 957. This is still extremely low compared to historical levels but the new inventory coming on-line will allow buyers a little more choice than they had just a few months ago. With 542 homes sold in August and only 957 currently on the market, the Monthly Supply (using the 12 month trailing average) of homes is now 1.9 which is up slightly from the 1.6 level it held a couple months ago. This is still  incredibly low though for the Shreveport-Bossier market. Just 12 months ago, the monthly supply was 3.2, and two years ago it was 5.2. In the $200k-$300k price range, there were still more sales in August than  we currently have actively available on the market. This means we must have ample new inventory coming on the market each month or we will run out of homes in this price range for buyers to buy. There were  674 new homes that came on the market in August in all price ranges but the majority were put under contract shortly after hitting the market. This pending and new listing activity will be important metrics to  watch as the remainder of the year unfolds.

Prices: With the continued low inventory and strong sales activity in the higher price ranges, the average home price continues to rise. The average home price in August was $224,618 versus $213,511 last year.  On a price per square foot basis, sale prices in July averaged $112.61 per sq.ft. versus $104.14 last year.

August 2021 Comparative Market Statistics
Shreveport/Bossier, LA – (Caddo, Bossier, Desoto Parishes Only)

August 2021 Absorption Rates
Shreveport/Bossier, LA – (Caddo, Bossier, & Desoto Parishes Only)

The following figures are through the month of August 2021

Currently, there are 957 total homes for sale in Shreveport/Bossier.
Over the last 12 months, 511 homes have sold per month on average.
That's a 1.9 month supply of homes if no more homes come on the market.
Last month 674 homes came on the market.

Currently there are 312 homes priced below $100,000 for sale in Shreveport/Bossier.
Over the last 12 months, 81 homes have sold per month on average in this price range.
That's a 3.8 month supply of homes if no more homes come on the market.
Last month 132 homes came on the market in this price range.

Currently there are 290 homes priced between $100,000 and $199,999 for sale in Shreveport/Bossier.
Over the last 12 months, 186 homes have sold per month on average in this price range.
That's a 1.6 month supply of homes if no more homes come on the market.
Last month 254 homes came on the market in this price range.

Currently there are 133 homes priced between $200,000 and $299,999 for sale in Shreveport/Bossier.
Over the last 12 months, 148 homes have sold per month on average in this price range.
That's a 0.9 month supply of homes if no more homes come on the market.
Last month 163 homes came on the market in this price range.

Currently there are 91 homes priced between $300,000 and $399,999 for sale in Shreveport/Bossier.
Over the last 12 months, 57 homes have sold per month on average in this price range.
That's an 1.6 month supply of homes if no more homes come on the market.
Last month 62 homes came on the market in this price range.

Currently there are 47 homes priced between $400,000 and $499,999 for sale in Shreveport/Bossier.
Over the last 12 months, 23 homes have sold per month on average in this price range.
That's a 2.1 month supply of homes if no more homes come on the market.
Last month 34 homes came on the market in this price range.

Currently there are 84 homes priced above $500,000 for sale in Shreveport/Bossier.
Over the last 12 months, 17 homes have sold per month on average in this price range.
That's a 5.0 month supply of homes if no more homes come on the market.
Last month 29 homes came on the market in this price range.

Important Note: A 6 month supply is considered to be a balanced market.
Under 6 months is a seller's market.
Over 6 months is a buyer's market.

Data Source: Northwest Louisiana Association of Realtors MLS, Inc 9/16/2021
Author: Brad Gosslee of Coldwell Banker Gosslee
Information believed to be accurate but not guaranteed.
September
16

Considering a fix-and-flip property? Got questions? You're in the right place. We are here to tackle some of the most common questions we get about this real estate strategy. Let us know if you have others we don't touch on here.

Q: Is real estate still a good investment in 2021?

A: Real estate is a great investment. Why? It almost always appreciates over time. While there are occasional fluctuations, the rate of appreciation typically outpaces annual inflation.

Q: What is a fix and flip?

A: Fixing and flipping is when someone purchases a property, remodels it to add value and then lists it to sell. Think HGTV's Flip or Flop.

Q: What's the best way to find a fix and flip?

A: You'll want to do your homework. Research the area, study sold prices, and get a feel for what buyers are looking for. Network with agents and attorneys who may be aware of properties in your area.

Q: What should I look for in a fix and flip house?

A: If it's your first flip, look for a decent floor plan (nothing too quirky), a newer build, the right location, and easy value-add potential (new flooring, paint, appliances, yard work, etc.).

Q: What do I do if I want to learn more?

A: So glad you asked! All you need to do is reach out to use today. We love helping new investors purchase their first investment properties—plus,  We know our area like the back of our hands. Reach out and let one of our experienced agents pull some properties for you to look over today!

Bossier City Office (318) 747-5411
Shreveport Office (318) 861-2461

September
8

Upsize or Downsize: Which is Your Best Move?
Deciding if it is time for your family to upsize or downsize is not always a clear choice. There are factors to consider that might push you to take the leap or stay put for a while longer. Whether you are thinking about upsizing so your family can spread out or purging possessions so you can downsize, here are some questions to ponder.
1. How are you using your current space?
Do your family members feel like they don't have adequate privacy or space to do their own thing?  Are you tired of working at the dining table and really need an office or workshop? Is having the kids share bedrooms just not working out? Maybe an upsize is warranted. On the other hand, do you have rooms that aren't being used, or are you tired of paying property taxes on more house than you need? Check for the downsize column!


2. Have you considered the maintenance costs?


If upsizing is on your mind, consider the added costs for maintaining a larger home and property, whether in money or time. Will you be able to keep up with cleaning, lawn care, and general maintenance issues that come with owning a home? If you are ready to cross maintenance off your to-do list, perhaps you are ready to downsize to a more manageable property or one where the HOA handles part of the job.


3. What are your outdoor space needs?
Are you ready to give up having a yard or garden to downsize to a maintenance-free space? Do you have pets that need outdoor space? Do you need more outdoor space for your children to play or your dog to run around in? The size of the house is one thing, but the property is important also.
4. Have you looked to the future?
What do you expect your needs to be in the next five, ten, or twenty years? Do you want a large home where your children and grandchildren will come for vacations and holidays, or will you be spending those times at their homes? Will you want to entertain groups of friends, or do you foresee going out for your entertainment? What will happen if your spouse passes; will you want to stay in the home on your own?


5. Do the financial implications add up in your favor?
Can you handle the higher costs involved with a larger home, or are you ready to cut costs with a downsize? Consider where you stand on your current mortgage. Are you alright with starting a new mortgage at this point in your life, or are you in a position to purchase in cash? What are the tax implications for your move?  


6. Is it the right market to upsize or downsize?
A seller's market is hot for those looking to sell a larger home and downsize. Upsizing may be riskier in a big seller's market, but if your family would be happier in a larger home, it might be worth the leap.



Whatever questions you have about purchasing your next home, I'd be honored to assist you. So let's work together to make sure your next move is the right one.
September
7

It's been a page-turner of a year and time once again to start hitting the books. With back-to-school in mind, help your kids get ready to make the grade by giving them all the tools they'll need to rock their school days.

High-Demand Supplies. Stock up on all the essentials that will help them ace their classes – keep their focus on schoolwork instead of searching for paper, pens and pencils, pocket folders and printer ink. Create a school supplies station in a file cabinet, fill it with all the necessities for the new season and clearly label each drawer's contents so your student will have easy access to all the tools they need to start out strong.

Carve Out a Niche. Set aside an area in the house exclusively devoted to concentration and contemplation. Whether that means a single desk in a solitary spot, or a remote corner of a room where traffic never treads, a place of quiet and calm will enhance their ability to learn and stay on task. Outfit the book nook with a comfy computer chair, second-screen monitor, wireless computer mouse and a power strip to avoid storm blips. Then sit back and watch the As roll in.

Ramp Up the Resources. Keep a list of invaluable learning sites on hand where students can get up-to-date information for specific classes, reference materials and resources such as m-w.com (an online dictionary) to aid them in their studies and elevate their learning quotient.

Give your kids the opportunity to hit the ground running this school year. With a little preparation and outstanding support from you along with a good amount of determination from your student, success is only a report card away.

Post by Tracy Ellison at Coldwell Banker

September
6

Raise your hand if you've been binge watching The Home Edit?

No need to be ashamed! We all have! Who doesn't want to be more organized?! (Or at least pretend that we have big plans to be!)

Buyers definitely want to see an organized home when they are on the house hunt, so today we are sharing the top 3 spaces to organize first if you are planning on selling. Let's get started!

The Mudroom

From lack of storage to spacious laundry areas, the goal is to make this space functional! Simply adding a combination of shelves, baskets, and trays for storage can help organize utility items, extra towels, and cleaning products. If you have the space, incorporate a shoe rack, coat rack and basket for extra accessories. Selling a family home? Showing a space to keep backpacks and lunch boxes will definitely score you some bonus points! Store rarely used items on higher shelves or upper cabinets.

The Home Office

With the massive increase in work from home setups, the home office space is becoming top priority for home buyers (and homeowners living and working in sanity)! Invest in acrylic boxes and file folders for office storage. Create a docking station for electronics, a command center for keeping things that need to get done and add compartments to drawers for maximizing your space while also staying organized.

The Closets

Goal when selling: You want buyers to see how much SPACE you have vs how much STUFF you have. Goal when living: Letting go = Freedom. Remove overwhelm and mental clutter through an organized home. Pro Tip: Remove half of what is in your closet and then organize. Start with items you haven't worn in over 1 year - create a pile. Then move on to shoes. Sort by color, style (sleeve length) and shoe type. Designate spaces for bags, purses and accessories. 


If selling your home is on your to-do list, give us a call! Our experienced agents can guide you to home selling success! 

Bossier City Office (318) 747-5411
Shreveport Office (318) 861-2461

September
3

When it's summertime, homeowners are usually too distracted by the lure of beaches and festivals to focus on home improvement projects. By the time the fall season arrives, there's usually a long list of things that you want to do at your home. The pressure to fix up your house can be overwhelming, so start by focusing on these four fall home improvement musts.

Give Your Rooms a Fresh Coat of Paint

Temperatures can reach 90 or 100 degrees during the summer, so it's usually too hot to embark on a home painting project. But when the fall season arrives, the weather gets cooler and it's the perfect time to get some painting done. Pick out the two or three rooms in your home where you spend the most time and add a fresh coat of paint to the walls in new colors. If you have a porch that has become weathered over the summer, give it a new look with a couple of coats of exterior paint.

New Lighting Fixtures

You probably don't pay much attention to the condition and appearance of your lighting fixtures until you start to spend more time indoors in the fall and winter. You'll significantly improve the appearance of your home by simply changing the lighting fixtures in your living room, dining room, and bedrooms. Get slightly brighter bulbs to brighten up your rooms. Also, remember that it starts to get dark earlier in the fall, so make sure that your outdoor lights are fully functional and the bulbs are replaced to last throughout the season.

Garage Cleanup

One smart fall home improvement project to take on is a thorough garage or basement cleanup. Sweep away the grass trimmings, soil, and dirt that you may have tracked in after a long summer of yard work. Take the time to organize your tools and supplies that are in storage in boxes, drawers, and bins. Toss empty bottles and expired products. If the floor has seen better days, apply epoxy-coating — it will give your garage or basement a clean, fresh look. Also, hire someone to do a routine check of your heating system, plumbing, and other units that are located in the garage or basement before the winter.

Apply Weather Seal or Replace Old Windows

If you have old windows in your home (a common trait of many Shreveport homes that were built in the 1800s and early 20th century), apply weather seal to them to save on your energy bills. Old wooden windows often leave a crack at the bottom where cold drafts get into your house, so add adhesive weather stripping. Also, gently sand and put a fresh coat of paint on frames that look worn down. This may also be the year that you'll want to invest in a new set of energy efficient vertical slider windows with vinyl frames to replace your old wooden ones.


Get in gear early in the season by taking on these relatively simple but practical fall home improvement projects. They will help you to enjoy your NWLA home more this fall and also save some money as you head into the winter season.

September
2

Our house hunting super power has always been finding the hidden potential.
You've seen the shows on HGTV where they buy the ugliest house ever and 30 minutes later it's straight out of West Elm and you're like "I think I could do this!"
What happens is, sometimes that potential is hard to spot. When you're looking at multiple homes, you start comparing the ones filled with oak cabinets, funky kitchen layouts and overgrown backyards to the ones that are updated and decorated with furniture from Crate & Barrel. That can make it difficult to favor the ones that need the elbow grease and paint jobs.
But the ones that look like they're straight out of Instagram might have a higher price tag and cause you to sacrifice some of the features that were initially most important to you. This is where we come in. We want to help you keep your top priorities in mind when looking at homes and work around what you might not love about a house!
So maybe you find a house in the perfect location. It has a great layout and the yard you've dreamed about, but inside you're already making a list of all the changes you'd have to make. What we can do is sit down and make a good pros and cons list of the changes vs the positive features and see what makes most sense. Maybe just a few simple updates could give the space a makeover that you'd be really happy with.
A fresh coat of white paint, new rugs, swapping out the pendant lights and adding new cabinet hardware in the kitchen could make the space look entirely different and wouldn't require taking the kitchen down to its studs or starting from scratch!
What is one home feature or design style you could not look past? We want to try and spot the hidden potential.

Ready to start your search? Call us today! 

Bossier City Office 318-747-5411
Shreveport Office 318-861-2461
September
1

If you've been thinking about selling your home, or you're suddenly compelled to do so given today's explosive sellers' market, you're not alone. Many savvy homeowners are taking advantage of the moment and there's no time to waste in getting your home in tip-top shape and ready to sell. Here are a few things you can do to make your home stand out from the crowd, appeal to more buyers and sell quickly.

  1. Clear the Clutter. Clean out closets and storage areas to make these spaces seem more spacious. In each room, decide which items to keep, donate, store, sell or toss.
  2. A Fresh Perspective. Help prospective buyers envision your home as theirs. Depersonalizeit by removing family photos, sports memorabilia and personal knickknacks.
  3. At Face Value. Think about what minor home repairs and improvements you can implement to make a big impact on the selling price, such as replacing caulk or grout, updating ceiling fans and light fixtures or changing doorknobs and switch plates.
  4. Sparkle and Shine. Now is the time to put a little elbow grease into tidying up and reaping the rewards later. Showcase a well-maintained home to potential buyers by deep cleaning from top to bottom, including windows, ceiling fans, countertops, cabinets, appliances, carpets and floors.
  5. Neutral Territory. Return to neutrals when you're ready to sell. A home accented in bold, bright colors or plain-Jane builder-grade white may leave some buyers feeling flat. Warm up the walls with welcoming neutrals and appeal to a broader audience. Read about Foolproof Paint Colors That Will Sell Your Home. 
  6. At First Glance. The moment potential buyers see your home, an impression is formed, so make sure it's a good one. Capture their attention with curb-appeal ideas: refresh exterior paint , pressure-wash walkways and patios, clean out gutters; trim trees and shrubs; weed and freshen mulch and add a pop of color with flowering plants.
  7. Scents of Smelliness. Don't ignore unpleasant odors in the air. Pet smells, smoke-laden fabrics and mustiness inside a home can discourage buyers. Freshen up the atmosphere by steam cleaning sofas and chairs, dry cleaning window treatments, shampooing rugs and carpets, washing down surfaces and adding aroma dispensers to keep rooms smelling clean and fresh.

Turn these simple tips into more money in your pocket at selling time. A few quick fixes and some easy updates and you'll be good to go.

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