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Mon Jun 19 00:24:53 UTC 2017

Welcoming a New Addition to Your Home

Posted by: Marilyn Boudreaux

Are you celebrating a new addition to your family?  I work with lots of  Lake Charles first time home buyers and repeat buyers who are looking for a larger home. It’s exciting to hear about their future plans and which room they plan to turn into a nursery. It is always joyful when I see [...]

Are you celebrating a new addition to your family?  I work with lots of  Lake Charles first time home buyers and repeat buyers who are looking for a larger home. It’s exciting to hear about their future plans and which room they plan to turn into a nursery. It is always joyful when I see newlyweds or expectant parents get the keys to their dream home. Well today is Father’s Day,  a day to celebrate and honor the Dad’s in our lives, so  I can’t help but think about parenthood today!

I also have pink on my  mind because today is the day that I became a Grandparent to a beautiful baby girl!  Last year on this same date (June 18) we were celebrating the wedding of my son and daughter in law! During  my own family special events, and holidays, it is always a challenge for me to turn my Realtor brain off.   I begin  to think of things that newlyweds and growing families will soon realize about their current home !  It doesn’t take long for New parents to quickly realize they have outgrown their space and decide its time for a move to gain room!

Mom and Dad will be spending lots of time in the nursery so in the planning stage they will  usually paint the room  and decorate with a theme.  If you are considering selling your existing Lake Charles home or currently have your home for sale, keep in mind that not all home buyers will love that adorable nursery, a color change may be necessary.  Babies may be small but their stuff takes up a lot of space as they require many stations around the house with, cradles, carriers, play pens etc.  All of a sudden those sleek granite counters become full of bottles/accessories and that gorgeous master suite may be in disarray!

If you already have your Lake Charles home for sale, here  is a reminder  and a checklist of tips to remember while your Lake Charles home is for sale.   While you are adjusting and loving that new bundle of joy it may become a challenge to keep your house clean and “show ready”.  My suggestion is to ask for as much advance notice as you can and request a time that you will be able to avoid baby’s nap or feeding schedule.

If you have decided to make a move to a larger Lake Charles home with your growing family,  give me a call to assist you and start the process! I will make it easy for you to view listings at home on your iPad or phone and do some of the previews for you!   Wouldn’t you want to work with Glamma?

Wed May 03 02:01:11 UTC 2017

The 5 Steps of Buying Your First Home

Posted by: Marilyn Boudreaux

Do you remember your first home purchase?   This was the first home I purchased in Lake Charles, LA  in 1983 and where I started my family. I can remember how rich it felt to have a 3 bedroom 2 bath brick home on a slab with a backyard, in a neighborhood with sidewalks!!!  There [...]

Do you remember your first home purchase?

 

This was the first home I purchased in Lake Charles, LA  in 1983 and where I started my family. I can remember how rich it felt to have a 3 bedroom 2 bath brick home on a slab with a backyard, in a neighborhood with sidewalks!!!  There are always sweet memories associated with the first home you settle into and this is the story of a memorable Lake Charles home purchase.

 

 

 

I work with first time home buyers all the time and it never gets old for me to share in the excitement of the adventure. This is the story my personal experience assisting Lake Charles First Time Home Buyers who are pretty special to me….my daughter and son-in-law.

After renting a house for several years, like many other young millinieals they decided the time was right to purchase a home and take advantage of low interest rates. Lake Charles continues to experience economic growth and with that our Lake Charles homes have risen in value.  Lake Charles Real Estate  is  currently experiencing a “sellers’ market and there is a lack of homes priced below $200,000. The challenge to find a home in good condition with very little repairs is daunting and many times buyers will run into multiple bids for a property.

 5 Steps of Buying your First Home

STEP ONE:  – GET PRE APPROVED/BEGIN HOUSE HUNTING

When buyers finally obtain a pre approval and decide on their affordability, that is when the Realtor goes to work searching for a match. Sometimes buyers become discouraged in the process when trying to stay within their budget and discover its not as easy as HGTV makes it seem! New construction was not an option given the price point my kids were searching in, so they realized that they would have to look for an older home. Viewing older homes is like visiting your Grandparents house…nothing is updated! So when you find that needle in the haystack and a house pops up that is a one owner home that doesn’t scream 1970’s with shag carpeting, gold/avacado earth tones it stands out as a contender. Thats exactly what happened when I was searching in the MLS and came upon a house that I suggested we go view. Lake Charles homes don’t stay on the market long and as a Mother I was sensitive to the need that my kids wanted to think about it over the weekend. My inner Realtor sense became nervous as I knew showings would continue over the weekend and they could miss out on this home. I always tell people that you just know when its the right house…you get a feeling and it sticks with you. Its like picking out your wedding dress, you just know after trying on 20 which one is going to be right for you.

STEP TWO:- MAKE AN OFFER

 

We excitedly put in an offer on March 17 and I hoped that the “luck of the Irish” would win out and get an accepted contract. St Patrick was working overtime for us that weekend because that weekend we negotiated back and forth with counter offers and by Monday had an accepted contract.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Escrow Deposit Check is Delivered

 

 

 

STEP THREE:- HOME INSPECTIONS

 

After a contract is accepted the buyers enter into their inspection period. It stands to reason that a 30-40 year old home is going to have some issues that we cannot see. The inspector discovered in the inspection that the Breaker Box was a Federal Pacific brand. Building codes have evolved over the years and the breaker box is not up to current code. The problem with Federal Pacific is you can no longer obtain parts to replace a breaker, and if you do they are very expensive. The inspector recommended changing/updating the breaker box to avoid a fire/safety overload. The second major thing that can be discovered is an old HVAC unit. It was discovered that the air conditioning was not cooling sufficiently and would not drop below 73. The furnace was also rusted out. Inspectors will usually defer to a professional evaluation of an electrician, roofer, HVAC for further evaluation.

 

 

We moved on to obtaining bids to discover what the cost would be for replacing the HVAC and electrical. The buyers submitted their inspection response and then had to wait for the Seller to respond. Air conditioning is important here in in SWLA and we have already experienced days in the 80’s during March/April. Our summer temperatures can get int the 100’s. It was evident that the HVAC needed to be replaced, however the Seller responded with no repairs and offered very little to be used toward closing costs. This was a disappointing blow to the buyers, who have a final response and can choose to withdraw from contract or pursue at this point. I notified the Seller’s agent that no matter what happened with the current contract, if these buyers pulled out the Seller would continue to experience issues with the air conditioning as we approached summer and it would come up in inspection again with another buyer. St. Patrick must have still been working some Irish magic because over the weekend, the Seller asked for an extension to obtain his own bids. This resulted in the same outcome, that the professionals recommended replacement, so our luck held out and the Seller agreed to $8,000 in repairs!!!

Repair allowances have to be handled very delicately. Most lenders will not allow a repair allowance, it raises a red flag. Therefore, the allowance is usually handled as a seller credit (used toward buyer’s closing costs) My buyers were doing FHA financing so they were only allowed a max of $6,500. We didn’t want to leave $1,500 on the table so it was negotiated that the sales price would be reduced. The buyers will have to make the repairs themselves after closing, but they get to keep the money they would have had to bring for closing costs in their pocket, so its a win/win.

STEP FOUR:- APPRAISAL

 

After two weeks of inspection dilemmas, appraisal could now be ordered. It was a happy day when the appraisal came in without issue and above the contract price!  At this point the Realtor’s job is finished and we all await the underwriter to give final approval and sign off on the loan.

 

 

 

 

STEP FIVE: CLEAR TO CLOSE/FINAL WALK THRU AT THE HOUSE 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE FINAL EVENT- CLOSING DAY!!!

 

 

On Closing Day, the Loan documents and the closing disclosure (CD) is sent to the Title Company and/or Closing Attorney for the Buyer to complete. The Deed is signed by Buyer/Seller and recorded at the Courthouse along with the Home Loan Promissory Note.  After all the paperwork the new owners get the keys and are proud new homeowners!

 

 

 

 

 

As a Century 21 Mike D Bono Realtor for over 10 years, I  have closed hundreds of homes however I never get tired of seeing the excitement and happiness of a first time home buyer.  It is a a rewarding experience to help facilitate a memorable event in someone’s life, especially when its your daughter!!!  Let me help walk you through the process and same excitement of your Lake Charles Home Purchase!

Wed Mar 29 21:53:07 UTC 2017

Lake Charles Homes Near the Lake Charles Country Club Golf Course

Posted by: Marilyn Boudreaux

   With mild temperatures in Southwest Louisiana golf is enjoyed  year round!   Lake Charles residents have enjoyed the Lake Charles Country Club located in South Lake Charles for many years.  Located on the beautiful and historic Prien Lake, Lake Charles Country Club is Southwest Louisiana’s premier private country club. Founded in 1919, the LCCC is a [...]

   With mild temperatures in Southwest Louisiana golf is enjoyed  year round!   Lake Charles residents have enjoyed the Lake Charles Country Club located in South Lake Charles for many years.  Located on the beautiful and historic Prien Lake, Lake Charles Country Club is Southwest Louisiana’s premier private country club. Founded in 1919, the LCCC is a first-class, traditional southern country club that offers a full range of amenities including an 18-hole Championship Golf Course, Driving Range and 6000 sq ft Putting Green.

The Lake Charles Country Club boasts of having one of the finest conditioned championship golf courses in the South. A major renovation, completed in 2003, brought the course to its current level with state-of-the-art Tif Eagle greens and Tif Sport fairways. The Lake Charles Country Club has played host to numerous USGA and Professional events with famous players such as Sam Snead, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Lee Trevino, Hal Sutton, Willie Wood, and Mike Heinen.

Over the years, many Lake Charles Homes have been built with golf course views all around the 18 hole course.

Here are some drone photos I took showing what a view might look like for a homeowner living along the fairways.

HOMES FOR SALE WITH LAKE CHARLES COUNTRY CLUB GOLF VIEWS

There are currently 2 homes listed for sale along the Lake Charles Country Club Golf Course ranging from $439,500 with 3,450 living space to $875,000 and 4,818 sq ft of living space. 

4845 Bellerive has views of the #1 Fairway and is a 2- story  Plantation style home.

 

6 Fairway Lane also has golf course views.  A contemporary style this 2-story home offers 3,450 sq ft of living

Here is another drone photo view of some of the homes along the Lake Charles Country Club fairway.  If you are searching for a Lake Charles home on the golf course, let me show you all the availabilities.  Those who live along the Lake Charles Country Club Golf Course will tell you they love the view of the sunsets from their balconies and patios, its a relaxed Lake Charles lifestyle!!

 

Mon Mar 13 19:37:54 UTC 2017

Answering Questions on HUD Homes

Posted by: Marilyn Boudreaux

First time home buyers and investors are attracted to foreclosures and HUD Homes because the price seems like such a good deal.   If you are a CASH buyer HUD Homes are a good deal if the return on your investment can be recouped with a “flip”.   As a Realtor in Lake Charles LA I find [...]

First time home buyers and investors are attracted to foreclosures and HUD Homes because the price seems like such a good deal.   If you are a CASH buyer HUD Homes are a good deal if the return on your investment can be recouped with a “flip”.   As a Realtor in Lake Charles LA I find myself answering the same questions about HUD Homes over and over.

  1. Explaining to buyers that bids are submitted online through the HUD website.

2.  Explaining to buyers that the property is Sold “AS IS” meaning its unlikely the Seller(Bank) will make any repairs.  Sometimes in the disclosures the Seller will indicate a dollar amount $ held in Escrow for repairs, so in essence they are disclosing there are issues that will need to be repaired and/or the working order of the utilities etc.

3.  Buyers will get an inspection discovery period however they are responsible for turning the utilities on/off.

4.  If repairs are evident it will be difficult to pass an appraisal necessary for the loan.

5.  Investors usually have to wait to submit a bid after 10 or more days the property has been listed.

6.  Once a buyer’s bid is accepted online the Realtor is sent the Addendum and Contract package that must be completed by a Buyer.

7.  The listing agent just lists the property in the MLS on behalf of HUD.  Any other agent may show the property however you must be registered with the HUDhomestore.com and have a NAID# to submit a bid on behalf of a Buyer.

Today is only Monday and I have already had two buyer inquiries for a Lake Charles HUD property listed for sale.  One buyer already submitted a bid and was calling me for advice.  Unfortunately if a Buyer is already Under Contract with another Realtor I cannot offer advice on the transaction.  This particular Buyer had concerns with the repairs and wanted advice on how to proceed and if her Realtor was telling her the truth.   I had to explain to the Buyer that I could not answer her that she would have to consult with the Realtor who was representing her, its a conflict of interest once she is Under Contract.

Sat Oct 22 02:32:21 UTC 2016

Highland Hills Subdivision in Iowa LA

Posted by: Marilyn Boudreaux

Located in Iowa LA, Shivers Brothers and Manuel Builders are building new construction homes in an  subdivision called Highland Hills Amenities of the Highland Hills Subdivision include a Neighborhood Lake. 6 Acre common area with a community pond.  Homes are located in an eligible area for 100% Rural Development financing.       Highland Hills [...]

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Located in Iowa LA, Shivers Brothers and Manuel Builders are building new construction homes in an  subdivision called Highland Hills

Amenities of the Highland Hills Subdivision include a Neighborhood Lake. 6 Acre common area with a community pond.  Homes are located in an eligible area for 100% Rural Development financing.

 

 

 

highland-hills-home

Highland Hills Phase 1 will  consist of  58 total lots. New Homes and lots are currently both available  for purchase and pre-build contracts.   Having sold homes constructed by both  Manuel Builders and Shivers Brothers I have experience to guide buyers through the new construction process.  Contact Marilyn Boudreaux, Century 21 Mike D Bono and let me show you what is available for sale in Highland Hills!

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS
From 210 Loop:
– Head S on Gerstner Memorial (approximately 1.5 miles)
– Take a left on E McNeese.
– Go approximately 3 miles and take a right on Hwy 397, heading south approximately 1 mile
– Take a left on Hwy 14 E
– Travel 1 mile and Highland Hills will be on your next just past Oak Grove Subdivision

Sat Oct 22 02:28:26 UTC 2016

Oak Grove Subdivision in Iowa LA

Posted by: Marilyn Boudreaux

Welcome to the country living of the Oak Grove community within minutes of  city convenience, located on Hwy 14 E in the South Iowa LA area and within Bell City School District.   Oak Grove offers  several floor plans of 3 and 4 bedroom homes priced in the 190’s-220’s.   These  beautiful homes are built [...]

Welcome to the country living of the Oak Grove community within minutes of  city convenience, located on Hwy 14 E in the South Iowa LA area and within Bell City School District.

 

Oak Grove offers  several floor plans of 3 and 4 bedroom homes priced in the 190’s-220’s.   These  beautiful homes are built by DSLD and  feature granite countertops, hardwood floors, crown molding and fireplaces.  Buyers can select colors, counters, brick and more upgrades at the model home. DSLD also has a home buyer incentive program offering prospective buyers $5,000 towards closing costs when buyers use DSLD Home Mortgage.

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Several of these homes are already under contract.  I have sold several DSLD homes and have the experience you need to guide you through the process.  Contact Marilyn Boudreaux, Century 21 Mike D Bono & Co’s and allow me to show the Oak Grove homes available for sale!

oak-grove-community

 

 

DRIVING DIRECTIONS
From 210 Loop:
– Head S on Gerstner Memorial (approximately 1.5 miles)
– Take a left on E McNeese.
– Go approximately 3 miles and take a right on Hwy 397, heading south approximately 1 mile
– Take a left on Hwy 14 E
– Travel 1 mile and Oak Grove will be on the left

Sat Aug 27 04:28:10 UTC 2016

Orleans Run Subdivision in Moss Bluff Expanding Building Homes for Sale

Posted by: Marilyn Boudreaux

      Orleans Run is a DSLD subdivision located in Moss Bluff LA is expanding with new construction homes being built by DSLD Homes. 3 and 4 bedroom homes for sale will be offered beginning at $190,000. All homes will include an amenities package including granite counters, hardwood flooring, a fully sodded yard and stainless [...]

 

 

 

Orleans Run is a DSLD subdivision located in Moss Bluff LA is expanding with new construction homes being built by DSLD Homes. 3 and 4 bedroom homes for sale will be offered beginning at $190,000. All homes will include an amenities package including granite counters, hardwood flooring, a fully sodded yard and stainless steel appliance package!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Listed below is the amenity package for ALL DSLD Homes

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Listed below are two of the spec homes that will be completed in November 2016!

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The success of DSLD homes sold and continued sales  in  Lake Charles Beau Blanc and Sulphur  Belle Savanne neighborhoods has been tremendous. The same type of homes will be built in Orleans Run by DSLD.
Home buyers can pick their lots and floor plans now. Don’t wait this Moss Bluff neighborhood is expected to sell out quickly with these affordable homes!

 

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Mon Aug 15 16:45:42 UTC 2016

Roof Issues in Southwest Louisiana

Posted by: Marilyn Boudreaux

One of the most common questions a Lake Charles Home Buyer will ask when viewing a house is “how old is the roof?”  Most all of Calcasieu Parish homeowners had new roofs installed in 2005-2007 due to Hurricane Rita (these are referred to as Rita Roofs).  Roofs usually have a lifespan of 30 years. During [...]

One of the most common questions a Lake Charles Home Buyer will ask when viewing a house is “how old is the roof?”  Most all of Calcasieu Parish homeowners had new roofs installed in 2005-2007 due to Hurricane Rita (these are referred to as Rita Roofs).  Roofs usually have a lifespan of 30 years.

During the buyers home inspection, the inspector will walk the roof and take note of any issues noted with missing shingles, nail-heads, decking etc.  The issue that has come up frequently with roofs is “loss of granules on shingles”.  A home inspector will always defer to an expert and recommend a roof inspection be done.  It is to the buyers benefit to have the roof inspection done during their inspection period.  I have run into this recently with an 8 year old home my buyer wrote an offer on.  The inspector noted granule loss and the buyer had a roof inspection done.  The roofing company recommended that the entire roof be replaced because patching the damaged shingles was not an option and a new roof was going to cost $23,000!!!  The roof was still serviceable with no leaks so the seller was not receptive to putting a new roof on as buyer requested.  However the buyer was able to re-negotiate and obtain a reduction in the price of the home.

Asphalt shingles are the most common roofing material seen in Southwest Louisiana.  Over the course of time and weather, the granules on the asphalt shingle will begin to come off and this can change the life expectancy of the roof.  Although we don’t get a harsh winter with snow and ice accumulating on our roofs here in Lake Charles, we do get our share of heavy rain and tropical thunderstorms.  Sometimes homeowners will detect a leak from the blowing rain and if the leak is not caught right away damage can occur to the wood decking under the shingles.

My neighbor across the street had two dormers on his home that continued to give him problems, so he decided to remove the dormers and re-roof those areas to correct the leaking!

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This is a one story home, the two dormers on the roof are decorative and caused re-occurring leak damage to the interior.

image image The dormers were removed and a roof patch was done with new decking.

It’s a good idea to have your roof checked once a year as a maintenance item so you are not surprised by any damage or re-occurring leaks!

Sun Aug 14 19:13:38 UTC 2016

Real Estate Work When You are Home Bound

Posted by: Marilyn Boudreaux

It is difficult to perform regular Realtor duties and be accessible to clients when you are home bound.  We all have those times when we have to take off from work or deal with an unexpected circumstance that requires time off.  However when you are a busy Lake Charles Realtor and your schedule is pretty [...]

It is difficult to perform regular Realtor duties and be accessible to clients when you are home bound.  We all have those times when we have to take off from work or deal with an unexpected circumstance that requires time off.  However when you are a busy Lake Charles Realtor and your schedule is pretty much 24/7 it’s not easy to do all your job tasks with showings, inspections, etc.  I have learned this first hand while I have been home for a week recovering from foot surgery!

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I did my best with scheduling my surgery and medical appointments between upcoming closings and inspections, however,  within 24 hours my email, and phone began to fill up with requests from buyers wanting to view property, potential sellers wanting to list their Lake Charles home, and new leads to follow up on!  Most of my clients are very patient and understanding but there is always a guilt that lies inside of you as a Realtor when you are passionate about your real estate job  and  you  may  not be readily available!

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Thank goodness for texts, email and a sophisticated MLS system that allows me to do behind the scenes real estate work and respond to my clients while I am out of the office!  I will always do my best to accommodate my clients when I am physically unavailable, thank you everyone for your patience!

 

Fri Aug 12 16:42:26 UTC 2016

New Multiple Listing Technology For Lake Charles Realtors!

Posted by: Marilyn Boudreaux

The Southwest Louisiana Board of Realtors has implemented a new MLS system called “Matrix”  Not only is this new MLS fast it can provide buyers and sellers with detailed information about listings. The best part about the new MLS technology is Realtors can access the MLS from their phone or iPad!   This is invaluable [...]

The Southwest Louisiana Board of Realtors has implemented a new MLS system called “Matrix”  Not only is this new MLS fast it can provide buyers and sellers with detailed information about listings.

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The best part about the new MLS technology is Realtors can access the MLS from their phone or iPad!   This is invaluable to the Realtor in the field because in the past when a buyer would ask about a Lake Charles Home for Sale or see a sign and inquire, the Realtor had no mobile access to depend on except Zillow which is not always accurate!

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Now when a Realtor sets a buyer up on a search and sends homes for sale to the buyer to view, the Buyer will have their own “Client Portal”.  The client portal provides private web pages for the client with personally branded information delivered straight to their email.  The client can then categorize listings according to their level of interest.  Through the client portal conversations between Realtor and Buyer is automatically recorded online.  The client can customize their portal experience by saving their own searches and view detailed statistics.  You will see to the right the buyer has the option of starting their own search.  The user may also save their favorites which would be shown under the heart icon.

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Under the display tab there are several options that allows the client to pick a display.  This one shown below is a map overlay showing the location of the home for sale.

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The client is able to view the full MLS sheet with all the pertinent information about the property including room sizes, photos, details etc.

Matrix offers multiple public record integration options that allows the client and Realtor to view tax record data.  In addition there is a map layer that will show flood zones and neighborhood addresses!

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I am diligently learning the ins and outs of this new Matrix system so I can be of the best service possible to my clients!