NEW LISTING!

$179,900 in Mandeville

  • 3Bedrooms/2 baths
  • 1560 sqft
  • ONE STORY! NO STAIRS!
  • Spacious den with fireplace
  • Split floorplan
  • Master bedroom with garden tub and separate shower
  • Covered patio and small fenced yard
  • Washer, dryer and fridge to remain
  • Condo fee includes exterior lawn maintenance and insurance, flood insurance, lawn care and termite contract
  • Located in premier Mandeville school district
  • Close proximity to Causeway, shopping, restaurants, churches and schools

Call Lynn @ 504-577-6802 or Lauren @985-602-9597 to arrange a private showing or message us on facebook at http://m.me/TheLarterTeam

New Listing!

52628 Hwy 90, Slidell, LA70461

$595,000

Waterfront Living at its Best!

Do you love the idea of crabbing and fishing off your own dock? Come home to this stunningly picturesque fishing retreat in Slidell! This amazing home was custom built by the contractor/owner for his personal use, and it features dozens of high-quality upgrades and additions. It boasts 4 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms and 2,079 sq ft of living space. The home is raised and the ground floor features a 1000lb capacity cargo elevator in addition to the stairs. It sits on a 1.5 acre lot. The covered carport area leaves ample space for cars and storage. The home, with a like-new feel, features an open floor plan, high ceilings, and 4′ double insulated windows that allow for a beautiful and serene water view. The kitchen features stainless steel appliances, wooden cabinetry, granite countertops and a huge center island. Entertain on the ample balcony overlooking the Geoghagen Canal, which is a short 8 minute boat ride to Lake Pontchartrain and 1/4 mile to the Rigolets Marina. Additionally, the home features a private pier made of synthetic concrete to withstand the elements for years to come. The dock, with boat lift, features electricity as well as water, and upgraded lights for nighttime fishing. This home really does have it all! 

Interested in viewing this home? Contact us below and we’ll set up your private tour!

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Are you interested in a particular property? Do you have some questions about the market or buying/selling? Just let us know. Leave a phone number above if you’d like us to call you. Otherwise, we will reach out via email.

Northshore Neighborhood Spotlight: Greenleaves

Mandeville, LA, 70448

Front entrance of Greenleaves

The northshore is filled with so many beautiful neighborhoods! All are unique, which is great because what appeals to one person in a neighborhood might not appeal to another. You don’t have to look far to find a neighborhood offering what you’re seeking on the Northshore! The options are plentiful.

Today we are going to spotlight Greenleaves subdivision in Mandeville. We will admit- we are somewhat biased when it comes to Greenleaves because I (Lauren) grew up in Greenleaves and my mom (Lynn) still lives in our family home of 30 years. Whenever I reflect on my childhood, it is filled with the happiest memories of growing up in Greenleaves. I spent many a summer day fishing in the pond right around the corner from my house and riding my bike along the bike/walking paths. I made so many wonderful friends in my neighborhood– many of those friendships still strong today.

When you enter Greenleaves, you immediately notice the abundance of mature trees and the park-like setting. Not surprisingly, each side of Greenleaves Boulevard is flanked by gorgeous greenery. In addition, Greenleaves is home to 3 picturesque ponds, one at the front entry and two a small way from the front entrance. These ponds are home to families of ducks and, quite often, geese. Greenleaves also offers 2.6 miles of walking paths! At any point in the day, you can find families taking walks together along the paths, as well as runners and joggers out for exercise.

So, what else makes Greenleaves unique? Greenleaves is home to 1041 residences and, unlike most subdivisions on the Northshore, Greenleaves encompasses a group of 16 separate and smaller subdivisions referred to as parcels. A Greenleaves parcel is like a neighborhood within a neighborhood. Each parcel has its own representative board, but is ultimately under the governance of the Greenleaves Master Association. The GMA sets the deed restrictions and covenants by which all residents of Greenleaves must abide.

Each of these parcels is different from the other, and home sizes and prices within each parcel are similar to each other. So, for instance, the parcel of Cornerstone offers some of the largest homes within Greenleaves, while the parcel of Manor offers lovely condominiums that are smaller than detatched, single-family dwellings. Greenleaves parcels include single family detached homes, townhomes, condominiums and apartments. This means that Greenleaves can be an option for many people with a wide array of housing needs! Look through the pictures below to see how beautiful Greenleaves really is.

Do you live in a parcel within Greenleaves and love it? Tell us which one and why!

Northshore Neighborhood Spotlight: Riverwood

(Covington, LA, 70433)

The Northshore is filled with so many beautiful neighborhoods! We want to spotlight different neighborhoods each week to show what the Northshore has to offer. What’s so great about our area is the ability to choose between newer neighborhoods and older, more established neighborhoods. There are benefits to both and it ultimately comes down to your personal preference. Love mature trees and a mixture of architectural styles? An older neighborhood might be for you. Prefer the low maintenace of fewer trees and more modern homes? You might want to concentrate your home search on a more recently built subdivision.

The Neighborhood of Riverwood

Today we are going to spotlight Riverwood subdivision. Riverwood is one of the most established subdivisions in Covington, having been founded 1964, but it is one of the most beautiful neighborhoods, as well. It borders both the Pontchitolawa Creek and the Tchefuncte River and its 344 homes are all situated on at least 1/2 acre lots. Located in Covington, but close to Mandeville and the Causeway, Riverwood offers great convenience to New Orleans commuters, as well. Driving through Riverwood, its easy to see why its one of the most beloved Northshore neighborhoods. The beautiful, mature trees make for a serene and park-like setting while the large lots lend a feeling of openness and space.

Tree canopy in Riverwood

Amenities

Riverwood offers many amenities to its residents, including a pool, clubhouse, playgrounds, boat dock and boat launches. Riverwood does have a governing body called the Riverwood Improvement Association. Membership is mandatory for residents and the annual dues are $160. The pool, however, requires an additional annual fee of $230 for a family membership and $130 for a senior/single membership- not a bad price for the convenience of swimming right down the street from your home!

Home Ownership in Riverwood

As the square footages of homes in Riverwood vary greatly, so do the home prices. Currently, there are homes listed in Riverwood between $240,000 (with 2085 sq ft) and $620,000 (with 5307 sq ft)! So Riverwood presents home ownership opportunities for a wide range of potential homeowners. But one thing is common among every Riverwood resident- pride of ownership!

Check out some pictures of Riverwood and its great amenities!

Playground area with basketball court
Playground
clubhouse with pool
gated entry to clubhouse/pool/boat docks/playground

Do you live in Riverwood? What else is special about it? What other neighborhoods would you like to see spotlighted? Leave us a comment below!

5 Low or No Money Down Home Loans in 2019

Buying a house is a major decision. It might be the biggest financial decision you’ll ever make. However, I’m often suprised when people tell me they’ve just assumed they cannot afford to buy a house due to not having a ton of cash saved up. If you’ve been on the fence about buying a home because you fear you’ll need a hefty down payment, read on. You might discover buying is more within your reach than you’d originally thought.

But aren’t big down payments required?

Nope, not necessarily. One of the major factors keeping many from buying is the (often incorrect) mindset that it’s simply not financially attainable. The average down payment for first time home buyers, according to the National Association of Realtor’s Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, is only 6%. Yet, when polled, 87% of people think at least a 10% down payment is needed. But did you know there are loans that require a down payment even less than that? Some even require ZERO down payment. Let’s talk about 5 of the major options in 2019.

FHA Loans

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which was created to make home ownership more attainable to the average American after the Great Depression, only requires a 3.5% down payment. FHA loans are guaranteed (insured) by the federal government and are a very popular option because federal backing allows lenders more flexibility in the challenging and often frustrating underwriting process. These loans require not only lower down payments but also a less stringent (580) credit requirement. Many people who assume they can’t afford the down payment on a house might actually be within easy reach of home ownership because of the FHA option.

USDA Home Loans

Maybe you feel like you’re ready to be a homeowner but would prefer not to put anything down at all. If that’s the case, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has the USDA Rural Development Guaranteed Housing Loan Progam that requires zero down payment. These loans are available to eligible to persons buying houses in rural or suburban communities. Besides requiring no down payment, the interest rates are low, as well. Like FHA loans, participating local lenders issue these loans and the USDA guarantees the mortgages. Also like FHA loans, Rural Development (RD) loans will require buyers to pay a mortgage insurance premium. The USDA also issues loans directly (not through a lending institution) for low and very low income applicants. The interest rates on these loans can be as low as 1% after subsidies are factored in. To qualify for one of these loans, income limits apply and are different according to where you live and the size of your household. To find out more about RD loans, and to determine eligibility, follow this link:
https://www.rd.usda.gov/la

VA Loans

Guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, VA loans are available to active duty and honorably discharged service personnel, spouses of service members killed in the line of duty, and men and women who spent 6 or more years in the Reserves or National Guard. VA loans require zero down payment and no mortgage insurance. They also allow for loan sizes of up to $726,525 in high-cost areas.

HomeReady Loan

This loan is different from the previous 3 in that it is a conventional loan; meaning it is not government insured. The goal of the Fannie Mae HomeReady loan program is “to put low- to moderate- income borrowers with good credit in homes for as little as 3% down.” According to Fannie Mae, the ideal HomeReady borrower-

  • has low-to-moderate income
  • is either a first time or repeat home-buyer
  • has limited cash for a down payment
  • has credit score greater than or equal to 680
  • has supplemental boarder or rental income
  • is looking for low-cost refinancing option

Unlike FHA and USDA loans, the HomeReady loan has mortgage insurace that is cancellable once the borrower’s equity in the home reaches 20%.

Conventional Loan 97

While at least 5% down was once a standard requirement by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, borrowers can now acquire a conventional loan with as little as 3% down. While FHA loans can be a great option, it’s nice to have an alternative with lower upfront fees and non-permanent mortgage insurance. Here are the guidelines to qualify for this loan:

  • debt-to-income of 41% or lower
  • $424,100 maximum loan limit
  • minimum credit score of 620
  • one of the borrowers can not have owned a home within the past 36 months
  • owner-occupied buyers only (you can’t buy it to flip or rent out)
  • can be single family, PUD, condo, town homes and CO-OP
  • maximum loan-to-value ratio of 97%

For the Conventional 97, a friend or family can gift the cost of the down payment, which is not allowable under certain other loans.

So, there you have it. These loan programs are current and some are relatively new and gaining popularity. It’s easy to see why. Gone are the days of parting with every penny you have saved for your down payment. I hope you’ve found this article enlightening. Questions about any of these programs? We’d be happy to assist. We want to make home ownership a reality for as many people as possible!

*all information contained in this article is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

St. Tammany Parish Public Elementary Schools: Quick Reference Table

St. Tammany Parish has one of the top rated public school systems in the state.  According to the STPPS official website, 100% of teachers are certified and 53% have a masters degree or higher. Every classroom is internet accessible and all campuses are wireless.  What’s more, all schools have perimeter fencing and a visitor photo ID system, and there are 1,250 security cameras in schools throughout the parish. Additionally, every bus is equipped with security cameras with 2 way radios.  Last year, the 2, 419 St. Tammany Parish graduates were offered more than $100 million in scholarships and TOPS funding, and the average composite ACT score was 21.7, which exceeds the national average.

We are often asked for information on the various public schools within the parish.  For many, public schools are an important factor in deciding where to purchase a home. In fact, people often make the move to St. Tammany specifically to access high quality public education.  However, with 55  public schools, it can be an overwhelming task to compare each school. We have compiled data from various sources into a concise table, so that each public school within each city can be easily referenced. Included is the school name, location, rating (as assessed by greatschools.org; 10 being the highest and 1 being the lowest), grades served, total number of students, and the number of students to each teacher. The table presented below contains the public elementary schools in St. Tammany Parish.  Middle School, Junior High and High School tables will be presented in subsequent articles, so stay tuned!

Do you have information on any of the schools that are currently unrated, or would you like to add something about any of the schools? Drop a comment below!

**The ratings for each school are from greatschools.org, a nonprofit organization whose mission is, “to help all parents get a great educaton for their children and for communities to ensure that all students receive a quality education.” While these ratings are backed by the research of this nonprofit, they do not necessarily reflect our opinions; we are providing them as an objective way to assess each school. All information contained in these tables is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Sources for this content include www.greatschools.org, www.schooldigger.com, and www.stpsb.org

10 Home Staging Tips


Staging your home is crucial to selling your home quickly and for the highest price. A well-staged home allows potential buyers to see everything your home has to offer and really picture themselves in the space. This makes home staging a critical pre-listing first step. Below is a list of helpful and easy to execute tips for staging your home for maximum impact:

  1. DECLUTTER: Nobody likes a crowded, disorganized space. In fact, research shows that clutter actually contributes to anxiety and stress. The last thing you want is for buyers to enter your home and immediatly feel overwhelmed by “stuff.” If it seems as though your house is packed full, buyers might perceive the home doesn’t have enough storage space or is simply too small. If you’re having a hard time deciding what to part with, consider renting a storage unit temporarily. It might be an added expenense, but just think about the fact that a cluttered house will most likely increase your house’s time on the market. Time is money, right?
  2. REMOVE EXCESSIVE PERSONALIZATION: There’s no need to remove every single family photo. After all, there’s nothing wrong with buyers seeing a happy family currently resides in the home they’re considering purchasing. But, take a look around and see if perhaps you have too many personal artifacts about. Remove children’s artwork from the front of your fridge; pare down from 10 picture frames on your mantle to a couple of well-positioned frames; move collections of personal memoriabilia to storage for the time being. We want buyers to know it’s a happy space, but we also want them to be able to picture themselves in the space, and that’s hard if they’re seeing signs of someone else at every turn.
  3. ERASE SIGNS OF PETS: Every pet owner loves his/her animal. I, myself, have 2 toy poodles I adore. But our love for our pets can’t blind us to the fact that pets are animals and thus create odors and mess. Try to objectively look at your house for signs of pets living there and do all you can to mimimize the impact they leave on your home. Because you might be so used to the smell of your own house, ask your most honest friend to come over and tell you if your house has a pet odor. If she says yes, take steps to remedy the problem. You might need to rent a carpet cleaner. Consider getting an essential oil diffuser with a fresh, pleasing aroma. Erasing signs of pets will go far in leaving a postive impression upon potential buyers.
  4. GO NEUTRAL: Neutral colors have a broader appeal than bold, loud colors. While you might love your bright orange accent wall, not everybody will, and that could cost you a potential buyer. Most buyers have a difficult time seeing past certain design choices and might outright elimitate your home based on one dramatic feature.
  5. INCREASE NATURAL LIGHT: Natural light greatly improves the look and feel of any space. You might love your dupioni silk drapes and want to showcase them, but you’d be far better off opening the drapes and allowing natural light to flow through. Go through rooms and look to see where you can increase natural light. Be particularly mindful of this in your living space, as it’s usually the first area a buyer will see and first impressions are lasting impressions.
  6. REPLACE OLD FIXTURES AND DECOR: You want your home to feel as fresh and new as possible. Walk through your house and look at the lighting fixtures, faucets, door knobs, etc. Are they old, tarnished and dated? If so, consider investing in some updates. Updating fixtures is a relatively inexpensive way to aesthetically improve your home and will go a long way in making your home feel fresh and clean. Look at your kitchen and bathroom towels. Are they stained and ragged? Even if they look OK but have been used for a long time, you might consider getting some plush new towels. Even the seemingly smallest thing could help create a favorable impression of your home.
  7. ENLARGE THE SPACE: Now that you’ve decluttered your space, you should look around and find subtle ways to make your space appear larger. Does your table have a leaf in it? Consider removing it to make your dining room or kitchen feel more spacious. Do you have several accent chairs or large recliners in your living room? Remove some to open up the space. You’d be shocked what removing just one large chair can do to increase the feeling of size. Also, mirrors are a good way to make space feel larger because they reflect light. Purchase a couple and arrange throughout your space.
  8. ORGANIZE TOYS/BABY GEAR: If you have a house with children living in it, you undoubtedly have tons of toys and baby gear. Buyers will appreciate a well-organized kids’ or playroom. If they see you can keep a tidy, organized space with your kids living there, they’ll be able to envision themselves doing the same. Buy cubbies with baskets, bookshelves, or maybe some under-the-bed storage bins to help contain everything. Make sure baby gear, such as swings and pack-in-plays, are folded and put away prior to showings. Even though these things are functional and necessary for you, buyers might not be able to appreciate their necessity and only see a cluttered, tight space.
  9. STAGE EXTRA ROOMS: If you have extra rooms that aren’t in use, try to find a way to make them functional. Put in a small bed with a night stand, or an office desk with filing cabinet, rather than keeping a room completely empty. Although it seems counter-intuitive, the right amount of furnishings can actually make an empty space look larger.
  10. ENHANCE CURB APPEAL: The exterior of your home is equally important. It’s the first thing a buyer sees and can make or break a house showing. You want buyers to pull up and see a well-manicured lawn and garden and a fresh house facade. Go outside and, with an objective eye, look at the entire exterior of your home. Pull weeds and trim errant branches on bushes. If your garden is sparse and dull, consider spreading some fresh mulch. It’s a relatively inexpensive way to make your garden look fresh and new. If you don’t feel like planting flowers directly in your garden bed, purchase some potted plants and flowers (in pretty planters and pots) and arrange them throughout for pops of color. Pressure wash the exterior of your house and driveway/sidewalk. This is a surefire way to make your house look fresh and clean. Also, remove debris from your roof. Buyers are usually wary of roofs because they are such an expense to replace. If they see collections of leaves and pine needles on your roof, they might assume the roof hasn’t been properly cared for and need replacing.

This list is an excellent starting point if you’re considering selling your home. Take it one step at a time and you’ll be on your way to show-stopping showings. Do you have any staging ideas I haven’t suggested? Please share them in a comment!