Which Northshore parade(s) are you most looking forward to and why? Comment below! Laissez les bon temps roule!
Wondering where you can ring in New Years Eve 2020 on the Northshore? Here’s a list of some amazing (adult-only) parties to consider!
- New Years Eve Roaring 20’s Speakeasy Party at Mandeville Social
- Includes small plates, appetizers, house special alcoholic beverages, music, beer tasting, giveaways, roaming photographer, midnight champagne toast and MORE!
- 800 N. Causeway Blvd., Suite 1D, Mandeville, LA 70448
- Advanced Tickets are $40pp or $70 per couple (plus EventBrite Fee)
- Tickets at the door are $50pp or $80 per couple
- Visit https://www.facebook.com/events/2593533677542851/ for more information
- New Years Eve Great Gatsby Costume Party @ St. Ann Wine & Whiskey Bar
- VIP Party Package is $125pp and includes open bar, cocktail buffet, and champagne toast. Seating is at 8PM
- Doors open at 6PM for general admission- full bar and appetizer menu is available for purchase
- Features live music by The Blenderz Band as well as Ny’s Special Effects
- 22 St. Ann Drive, Suite 2, Mandeville, LA 70471
- Learn more about it here https://stannwinebar.com/
- Roaring Back to the 20’s: New Years Eve at the Southern Hotel
- Ring in the new year with live music by the Jimmy Maxwell Orchestra, party hats and favors, “pine cone drop,” and champagne toast @midnight
- Includes open bar and a 1920’s-inspired cold supper
- $175pp plus EventBrite fees
- visit http://www.southernhotel.com/ for more info or to purchase tickets
- Roaring 20s Great Gatsby, Harlem Renaissance New Years Eve Costume Party @ Jazz’Mines of Slidell
- Tickets are $35pp
- Includes dinner buffet and toasting champagne
- 1398 Front Street, Slidell, LA 70458
Looking for something holiday-related to do on the Northshore this weekend? Check out these fun activities!
- Mandeville- Winter on the Water: This is the 22nd year of Mandeville’s Winter on the Water– presented by The City of Mandeville and the Old Mandeville Business Association. The fun begins at 11AM this Saturday, December 7, at the lakefront gazebo. Gather ’round to listen to the Mandeville Elementary bell ensemble play Christmas tunes. You can also take pictures with Santa, have your face painted, and listen to Benny Grunch and the Bunch! Santa’s Walking Parade will begin at noon. This is a free activity that’s fun for the whole family!
- Mandeville- Holiday of Lights @ the Koop Drive Playground: Celebrating its 20th year, the Holiday of Lights is a free, fun-filled event for the whole family. Festivities begin at 5:45 the nights of 12/6-7 and 12/12-14. Come out to the Tammany Trace Kids Town Pavilion & Kids Konnection Playground to enjoy spectacular holiday decor, twinkling lights, and free performances and kiddie rides. Santa pictures will be available and printed onsite for $20. While admission and rides are free, refreshments will be available for a charge.
- Slidell- Christmas Under the Stars: On December 6 & 7 and 13 & 14, head down to Griffith Park in Olde Towne Slidell from 6-9PM for the 31st annual Christmas Under the Stars Celebration. You’ll have a chance to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, tour life-size Christmas cottages, sing songs, and enjoy lights, decorations and the Parade of Trees. Admission is free!
- Covington-Christmas at TerraBella: This friday, 12/6, from 6-8:30, head out to TerraBella Village for their annual Christmas at TerraBella celebration. Featuring free admission, live music, hot chocolate, Christmas crafts, letters to Santa, and rides on the TerraBella express, this is a holiday event that’s sure to please everyone! For $10, you can take a pic with Santa, too!
- Madisonville-Merry Madisonville: This Saturday, 12/7, from 2-8PM, you can celebrate the 11th annual Merry Madisonville, a day of fun for the whole family. Head to the Madisonville Town Hall because Santa arrives by boat from the Lake Ponchartrain Maritime Museum. Admission is free and you will also be able to enjoy caroling, activities and photos with Santa.
Do you know of any activities we haven’t mentioned? Comment below!
52628 Hwy 90, Slidell, LA70461
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!
Looking to celebrate the 4th on the Northshore? Here are a few great options!
- WED. JULY 3 from 6-9PM: SPARKS IN THE PARK- COVINGTON- BOGUE FALAYA PARK.
- According to their website: “This fun, family event includes patriotic music and fireworks at Bogue Falaya Park in downtown Covington. Festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. Attendees will an exciting fireworks display beginning at dusk (approximately 8:45 pm). Free for kids are face painting and balloon twisting, and concessions will be available for purchase. You can also join in the 2nd annual Hot Dog Eating Challenge, starting at 7:30 p.m. Attendees are welcome to bring their own chairs and picnic. This event is free and open to the public.”
- WED. JULY 3 @6PM: PEARL RIVER 4TH OF JULY CELEBRATION– PEARL RIVER- DOWNTOWN
- Opening celebration is at 6PM and fireworks will begin at dusk. Admission is free and there are multiple activities for children.
- Click here for all the details!
- THURSDAY, JULY 4 11AM- TIL 10PM: MADSIONVILLE OLD FASHIONED 4TH OF JULY CELEBRATION– WATER STREET ON THE MADISONVILLE RIVERFRONT
- Fireworks begin at 8:30PM, admission is free
- parade, pageant, kids activities, contests, prizes and food!
- Schedule of Events
- THURSDAY, JULY 4 4-6PM: THE MANDE MILKSHAKERS INDEPENDENCE DAY EXTRAVAGANZA– MANDEVILLE LAKEFRONT
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.
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:
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.
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.
Hi all! With Easter quickly approaching, I thought it might be helpful to share some of the upcoming local opportunities to take pictures with the Easter bunny. We are lucky to live in an area that affords us ample opportunities to carry out this much-loved tradition. Please note that the popular Southern Hotel in Covington’s bunny photo sessions have completely SOLD OUT. Here are some other local opportunities that are still available:
Friday April 5 from 5-10PM-OLDE TOWNE CRAWL– located in Olde Towne Slidell across from the soda shop. Pictures are free!
Saturday April 6 from 1-4pm- THE CANDY BANK– 201 Carroll Street in Old Mandeville. Photographer Steve Randon will be offering 4×6 photos.
Saturday April 6 from 9-11AM- CROSSGATES SPRING FLING– Gause Blvd location in Slidell. The bunny will be available for photos and an $8 admission includes lots of other fun activities!
Saturday, April 13 10-12:30AM- EASTER AT THE MARKET– located at the Mandeville Trailhead. Photos and many other activties for the family to enjoy.
Saturday and Sunday, April 13-14 from 12-4PM- PETSMART– The Mandeville PetSmart will offer free bunny photos with your pet and the rest of your family!
Saturday April 13 from 10-12- NORTHSHORE PARENT EASTER EGG HUNT- your $5 admission (for everyone over age 6 months) will include activites and a picture taking station with the Easter bunny.
LEARNING EXPRESS MANDEVILLE– will host a second round of bunny pics at a date and time to be announced, so stay tuned for that information.
Did I miss one? Fill us in below! Take care and Happy Easter!
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