• CHANGE RESULTS VIEW
  • SORT BY

Date Archives: August 2022

Blog Home

Subscribe and receive email notifications of new blog posts.




rss logo RSS Feed
Home Buyer Tips | 43 Posts
Home Seller Tips | 53 Posts
Homeowner Tips | 43 Posts
Moving Tips | 3 Posts
Press Release | 6 Posts
Shreveport, LA | 5 Posts
Uncategorized | 1 Posts
August
12

Picnicking in the park is a great way to spend an afternoon with family. You can eat some of your favorite foods, sit back and watch the wildlife, and go for a walk after your meal. Shreveport, Bossier City, and the surrounding areas are home to several parks perfect for picnics. Here are a few top options our real estate agents recommend. 

  1. Shreveport Riverview Park: 601 Clyde Fant Pkwy., Shreveport, LA 71101
    If you're looking at Shreveport homes for sale, stop by this park for a picnic while you're out. Shreveport Riverview Park is located on the banks of the Red River, which makes for some beautiful views. There are fountains, flower gardens, and sculptures throughout the park too.

    Kids will love playing in the splash pad at this park. When they're done splashing, you can take a walk and admire the outdoor amphitheater used for summer concerts and plays.

  2. North Bossier Park: 4307 Old Brownlee Rd., Bossier City, LA 71111
    North Bossier Park is a prime place to visit if you're looking at Bossier City homes for sale nearby. This is another lovely park with a splash pad for kids. It also has some climbing rocks and a playground, so you'll have plenty of things to do after your picnic.

    There are four pavilions at North Bossier Park, which means you can enjoy shelter from the sun while eating. Jogging trails wind through the park, and the on-site restrooms are kept clean.

  3. Mike Woods Memorial Park: 2200 Dennis St., Bossier City, LA 71112
    Mike Woods Memorial Park is a small but lovely park hidden away in a residential neighborhood in Bossier City. Within the park, a dedicated picnic area is a great place to eat lunch or dinner. There are three pavilions for shelter.

    After eating, enjoy a walk on the park's jogging trail, or play a few holes of disc golf with the family. Mike Wood Memorial Park also has tennis courts if you're feeling up for a friendly game. The park has a river view, which makes for some nice family photos.

  4. Betty Virginia Park: 3901 Fairfield Ave., Shreveport, LA 71106
    Betty Virginia Park is a small neighborhood park that's great for kids. You can have a picnic in the dedicated picnic area, nicely shaded by trees. Then, the kids can spend time on the modern playground, with plastic tunnels, several slides, and a climbing wall.

    Betty Virginia Park also has baseball and softball fields. Even if you don't play yourself, watching a local game while you're picnicking can be fun.

  5. East Kings Highway Park: 1200 E. Kings Highway, Shreveport, LA 71105
    East Kings Highway Park is the perfect picnic spot for families who love nature. The park offers a huge duck pond where you can see ducks swimming, bobbing for fish or food, and playing in the water. There's also a modern playground where kids can play.

    East Kings Highway Park has a short pedestrian path winding through it. There are several benches where you can stop, take a break, and perhaps snap a photo or two to remember your picnic.

From the Red River to its natural tree cover, the Shreveport and Bossier City area has many great views to enjoy during picnics. Stop by one of the parks above for a meal in nature, and enjoy. Contact us if you're still looking for a home nearby. We'd love to tell you more about our real estate services.

August
10

(August 11, 2022) Sydney Done has joined Coldwell Banker Gosslee, the #1 real estate brokerage in Northwest Louisiana. 

"I chose to become a real estate agent because everyone deserves quality representation from someone willing to go above and beyond for them in one of life's biggest events - purchasing and/or selling a home. I knew that becoming a real estate agent would allow me to provide others with this level of care. I wanted to be a part of the process of helping others begin the rest of their lives in a home that would provide them with valuable memories. There is no greater joy than knowing that I will get to spend the rest of my life helping my community create the lives they deserve."

Sydney is no stranger to helping others: She served in the U.S. Army Reserves as a combat medic specialist. Outside of the U.S. Army Reserves, Sydney has worked as a Certified Nurse Assistant and has volunteered much of her time to Heifer International (a non-profit that helps end world hunger), March of Dimes and Walk MS.

When she is not working in real estate or helping others, she enjoys spending time with her two small children, cooking, reading, writing, and creating abstract art.  She is also working towards mastering her Spanish so that she can better serve the people in our community. 

You may contact Sydney at 737.281.4074 or you can email her at thesydneydone@gmail.com

To find out how Coldwell Banker Gosslee has remained #1 for the 29th straight year, go to CBGosslee.com.

August
9

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, one of our experienced agents be honored to assist you. So let's work together to make sure your next move is the right one!

August
8

Is It Time To Break Up With Your Home?

Remember the first time you laid eyes on your home? Your jaw dropped at the beautiful front yard. You were amazed at how all those windows sparkled as you walked up to the door. After you moved in, you thanked your lucky stars for sending you your dream home. You loved your house when you first bought it and knew you would live there forever. Wait a minute... Forever? That's an awfully long time to live at the same address. Here's what to do when you think you've fallen out of love with your home. 

There are different reasons people fall out of love with their dream homes. The good news is more often than not, it's possible to identify the issue and fall back in love with your home all over again.

Before selling your home, you need to answer a few questions:

  • Have you really given your house a chance?
  • Would you fall back in love with your house if you invested a little into some home improvement projects?
  • Is the house the problem, or are you secretly dissatisfied with your life and laying the blame on your home?

If you've only been in your house for a few months, it's likely that you haven't actually fallen out of love with the place but are simply suffering from either a case of buyer's remorse or feelings of being unsettled. In this situation, the best thing to do is give things some more time. The chances are good that you'll relax and fall in love with your home all over again. If you discover that your emotional detachment from your house stems from it needing work or remodeling, you need to come to a few decisions. You can choose to invest the time and money into making the improvements your happiness relies on, or speak to a real estate agent about selling your home. It's important to note that sometimes finding your dream home means making improvements.

If you decide that it's not your house but rather something else triggering your sense of dissatisfaction, look around the community. You may find that it holds the secret to helping you feel fulfilled. The odds are that there are volunteering opportunities and clubs near your home to help you fill up your life and feel happier.

If you absolutely can't stand the idea of spending any more time in your house, then it's time to talk to a real estate agent about selling your house. When shopping for a new house, remember the issues that caused you to fall out of love with your house and avoid those pitfalls with your next purchase.

When you decide that selling your home is the best solution, always make sure you deal with a real estate agent you trust to get you the best price for the home.

August
5

Buying Your First Home Might Be Closer Than You Think

Buying a house is one of the biggest parts of the American dream, but that doesn't mean you have to wait for it your whole life. If you take the right steps, you can start on the path to homeownership right now.


Each step builds on the last, and you'll learn more about your needs and challenges as you go. If you run into something you need to reassess, advice is a call or email away. Real estate agents help first-time buyers like you every day.


Here's how to get off to a good start when buying a house:

  1. Work on Building Your Credit
    Strengthening your credit can help you get a better interest rate on your mortgage and may save you thousands of dollars. Aim to pay off (but not close!) any high-interest credit accounts you may have. Don't start on any new financial obligations, such as a car loan.
  2. Gather Financial Information
    Any loan provider you work with will want details of your financial situation. That usually includes three months of pay stubs and two years of tax filings. If you are self-employed or your income varies for other reasons, you may need to submit a longer income history. If you have past issues such as bankruptcies or charge-offs, prepare to explain them.
  3. Develop a Budget
    Tally up your monthly expenses and income sources to figure out how much disposable income you'll have for home expenses. You might find costs you can cut so you can save for your down payment. Remember, you shouldn't spend more than 30% of your monthly income on housing.
  4. Talk to a Real Estate Agent
    Before you talk to a lender, reach out to a real estate agent you can trust. He or she will help you get clear on your needs and develop realistic expectations for the process. A real estate agent will be your best ally throughout the process, answering your questions and steering you toward the resources you need to get to closing day without a hitch.
  5. Get Prequalified for a Loan
    Prequalification is a process where you submit financial information to your lender of choice so a loan package can be issued as soon as you need it. This is essential if you are dealing with "motivated sellers" or putting in a bid on a home that has attracted a lot of prospective buyers.
  6. Assess Your "Must Haves"
    It's time to start making your dreams a reality. Everyone who will be living in the home should come up with a list of five features that they most want from it. Although it's hard to find a perfect home, this will help you zoom in on areas where everyone agrees. You'll also know at a glance which properties don't match your priorities, saving you time.
  7. Compare Homes and Neighborhoods
    This is where your real estate agent shines. He or she should get you off to a running start with a list of neighborhoods that suit you. From there, make time every weekend to attend open houses, tour properties, and look at current listings. You can do it!
  8. Get a Home Inspection
    A home inspection gives you a complete report on the home's condition from top to bottom. Most buyers choose to walk away from homes with electrical, plumbing, or pest issues, and mortgage programs for first-time buyers will not finance homes with certain serious defects.

Buying a house is a lot to wrap your mind around at first, but it's easier than it looks. 

August
3

Is It Time To Replace Your Windows? These Are The Top Signs

Next to your home's outer envelope and insulation, your windows are the biggest factor in reducing heating and cooling costs. When windows are warped or damaged, a huge amount of thermal energy can be lost through them in a single day. The total cost of faulty windows may total in the hundreds or even thousands per year if several windows have issues.

Watch for these five signs that it may be time to replace those windows:

  1. You Notice Windows Are Damaged, Warped, or Broken
    Sometimes, damage to a window might be very superficial. If all the window needs are some new weather stripping, for example, you might invest in repairing it. In most cases, however, simply replacing the window provides the most value in the long run. This is especially true for warped or broken windows that will contribute to higher energy bills and a greater likelihood of accidents.

  2. Your Energy Bills Are Creeping Up
    No matter what kind of climate you live in, most homes have a steady rhythm in terms of their energy needs. You might find yourself cranking the air conditioning to cool down or warm up during peak seasons, but changes in your bills should be predictable. Energy bills that gradually increase are a sign that your heater or AC must work harder to maintain temperatures. Time for home improvement.

  3. You Want to Increase Your Home's Value
    Relatively minor repairs and replacements, like windows, can become a sticking point for buyers. When they think "move-in ready," they want to imagine that everything will be perfect. Even if the home is in good condition, it's a great idea to take care of superficial issues like this: If you don't, potential buyers might wonder what else might have gone wrong around the home.

  4. You've Been Through a Major Weather Event
    No matter whether it's a winter blizzard, a tornado, or a hurricane, it's usually best to replace the windows afterward. Even windows that appear unscathed after a storm might develop mold, water damage, or other issues that can go unnoticed at first. At the very least, replacing the windows will help ensure the home is structurally sound when the next storm rolls in.

  5. You Want to Restore Your Home's Historic Charm
    It's not unusual for the owners of historic homes to replace old-fashioned windows for various reasons: For example, concerns about the use of lead paint. However, it's important to make sure the replacement windows fit in with the architecture and aesthetic charm of the house. Budget replacement windows should be upgraded – modern technology can still be stylish.

It's easy to overlook the importance of your home's windows, but be sure to "check in" with them every few months. Make sure they offer a tight seal when closed and are free from minor defects that can develop into more serious problems with time and use.

If you are happy with how your windows perform but still want to curb energy loss in your home, consider installing energy-efficient windows. These windows typically consist of multiple panes of glass with the space between filled with air or gas.

This can be the perfect way to appeal to buyers: You get to be friendly to the environment and budget-conscious at the same time. That's a great selling point for an upgrade that may cost as little as a hundred dollars, depending on your local market.

Next time you think "home improvement," think windows first!

August
2

Run Don't Walk! 5 Things to Do When You Find a House You Love

Sometimes, you just know. Perhaps it's the location, the layout of the home, the backyard, or more likely a combination of many factors. But when you know that a home is the one, it's time to get serious about buying a house you love. Before you can make a competitive offer, it pays to be prepared. That's why you should do these five things when you find a house that you love.

  1. Arrange a Showing to See the Home Firsthand
    With detailed listings, neighborhood guides, property photographs, and more, it's easy to fall in love with a house online. But there's still no substitute for a full tour. If possible, arrange a showing so that you can tour the home in person before you get serious about making an offer. If a showing isn't possible, see if there is a virtual tour or virtual open house available. Getting as much information as possible is critical when buying a home.
  2. Make Sure That Your Finances Are in Order
    Buying a house is so much easier when you prepare your finances in advance, and that starts with your credit score. In the past, you could request a free credit report from the three major credit bureaus annually, and use what you learn to improve your score. However, due to the impact of COVID-19, the three major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, are now offering free credit reports to all Americans on a weekly basis through April 2021 so you can protect your financial health. These free credit reports will be available on www.annualcreditreport.com.

    Pay off old debts, and avoid opening new lines of credit before securing a mortgage and buying a house. Save as much as possible for your down payment, to increase the appeal of your offer and keep mortgage payments as low as possible.
  3. Develop a Competitive Offer
    Once you've gotten an up-close impression and decided that this home is the one, it's time to create an offer that catches the seller's attention. Having pre-approval for a mortgage, or better yet, being fully underwritten upfront – is a must for buying a house. Beyond that, in a competitive market, you will want to make a serious offer that comes close to the buyer's asking price, as long as the asking price is reasonable for the current market. A low-ball offer is likely to be ignored and may cause the seller to take you out of the bidding entirely.
  4. Request a Home Inspection to Identify Underlying Issues
    No matter how much you love a property, you should always have it inspected before buying a house. The inspection may reveal hidden maintenance issues that need to be addressed, and the cost of repairs will have an impact on your final offer. In extreme cases, an inspection can uncover serious issues that may make you reconsider buying a house, but typically the cost of repairs can be covered in negotiations.
  5. Consider a Personal Touch to Supplement Your Bid
    While the financial nuts and bolts of your offer have the most significant influence when buying a house, some sellers are also looking for a buyer who truly loves the home and will work to improve it. Sending a personal letter to let the seller know exactly why you love the house and how it fits your family can help tilt the competition in your favor.

Every negotiation is unique when buying a house, but taking the right steps after falling in love is key to landing your dream home. Learn as much as you can about the property; make sure your finances are in order and make an offer that separates you from other buyers.

August
1

What Every First-Time Seller Should Know

You might think selling a home is similar to buying one, but they actually have little in common. Buying a house for the first time is something that many of us look forward to throughout our lives. No matter how much you love your first home, there will likely come a day when you're ready to move on to something new.

Selling your home is a totally different experience from buying a home. Buying a home involves feelings and sentiments, while selling one centers on dollars and cents. However cut and dry the selling experience might seem, there is still a period of confusion involved in the selling process. Many first-time home sellers have no idea where to start. Here are some of the most important tips for first-time home sellers to help you get started.

Just as with buying a home for the first time, you can remove a lot of the mystery from the equation by taking the time to read, study and learn. There's a lot to learn from your real estate agent and other experienced home sellers. Since you're here, it's safe to say you're already taking steps in that direction.

  1. Set a Reasonable Price
    The value of a home is not set in a vacuum, and market factors play an important role in setting the right price. Ask your real estate agent for a comparative market analysis (CMA). A CMA breaks down the value of your home in great detail, along with the market history of homes in your area. Understanding the realities of the local real estate market is crucial in setting a price that is as attractive for buyers as it is for your budget.

  2. Work with a Trusted Real Estate Agent
    Working with a real estate agent you can trust will make life much easier when it's time to sell your home. A skilled agent will help you set the right price, attract the right buyers, and find a deal that works for everyone involved. If you enjoyed working with the agent who helped you purchase the home, now is a great time to rekindle that relationship.

  3. Major Marketing
    Identifying the right buyer is much easier when you do what's necessary to help the right buyer find you. Work with an agent who understands how social media, email marketing, and search engine marketing fit into the modern real estate purchasing process. A bit of targeted marketing is key to reaching the right audience.

  4. Consider Curb Appeal – No matter how great the interior of your home looks, it's the exterior that makes the first impression. Add curb appeal by updating your landscaping, keeping your yard as clean as possible, and putting a fresh coat of paint on areas that need it. You want them to be impressed from the moment they arrive. Be sure to tidy up and declutter inside too.

  5. Prepare to Compromise – If you're holding out for the deal that checks every single item on your priority list, you may be in for a long wait. The selling process has the same give-and-take as the buying process, so you may need to compromise in some areas to get what you want in others. Consider the areas where you're willing to compromise as you get started with the process, and you'll be better prepared to make a deal.

One advantage of selling your home for the first time is that you'll likely have experience sitting on the other side of the table as a buyer, so you'll already have some idea of what to expect. With a willingness to keep learning and the help of an experienced real estate agent, you'll be ready to tackle the process of selling your home for the first time.

Login to My Homefinder

Login to My Homefinder