Creating curb appeal on a budget

The arrival of summer has many homeowners outside planting, preparing the patio for cookouts, and taking evening strolls through the neighborhood. Often, this extended outdoor time brings on a desire to improve a home’s curb appeal.

But home improvement projects can be expensive, and many homeowners are still wary about spending money on renovations, despite the improving real estate market. So what’s the best way to spruce up the appearance of your house without breaking the bank?

There are many budget-friendly exterior changes that will make a big difference in curb appeal. A fresh coat of paint can work wonders, whether it’s applied to the entire house or just on the front door. If your house is painted a neutral color like white or cream, be adventurous and try an energizing red or soothing aqua on your front door; the pop of color will add appealing interest.

While a landscaping overhaul can be very expensive, window boxes or planters are an easy and cost-effective way to add natural beauty to your home’s facade. Learn how to build a container garden that will provide extra dimension and color to a front porch or patio.
Take a look at your house from the street. Do your windows look bare? Try adding shutters, but make sure they are appropriately sized. Buying shutters that are smaller than the windows they flank is an all-too-common mistake homeowners make, which leads to the windows looking disproportionately small.

And if you have a garage, don’t overlook the importance of a good-looking garage door. A garage door can account for up to 30 percent of a home’s exterior that is seen from the street, so having an attractive one is vital to good curb appeal. But, like shutters to a window, a garage door should be appropriately matched to its house’s architectural style. Not sure which door fits your home the best? Try out the handy Door Designer tool at, which lets you choose from six different home styles and then matches an appropriate garage door based on that style.

Of all these budget-friendly improvement projects, a new garage door will give you the best return on your investment and provide the most value for your home. Over the last few years, surveys conducted by the Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report indicate that installing new garage doors has been the project moving up the most in the rankings.

Most people, to some degree, factor in resale when making their home improvement decisions. Both structural and decorative curb appeal is important when it comes time to sell a home, bringing in a larger number of prospective buyers and making it more likely that they will make the purchase.

According to principals at Smykal Renovations, a contracting firm in suburban Chicago, curb appeal projects “may not have the ‘wow’ factor of a major kitchen remodel, but [they] pay off more in the end.”

So don’t let budget constraints keep you from improving the appearance of your home’s exterior. There are many low-cost changes that can be made that have a big impact on how your home looks. Whether you’re making these changes to enjoy for yourself, or to make your home more marketable, the summer is a great time to get outside and focus on curb appeal.

Courtesy of BPT



Sometimes buyers become frustrated while attempting to buy a home in today’s market, feeling powerless in the process.  There is no doubt that today’s real estate market is extremely difficult to navigate, especially alone. However, we want you to know that
thousands of homes sold yesterday, thousands will sell today and thousands will sell each and every day from now until the end of the year.

Look at the simplicity of the well-known
Serenity Prayer and apply it to buying a home in today’s real estate market.

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Accept the things you cannot change

  1. the current economy and home prices
  2. the rise in interest rates

(We will explain the current market conditions to you and it's impact on the homebuying process.  For example, did you know that homes in the Greater Baton Rouge area are selling for 97% of asking price?)

Have the courage to change the things you can

If you are a buyer and you believe now is the right time for your family to purchase a home – DO IT!  Your monthly housing expense will be lower than almost any time in the last 50 years –
and probably lower than your current rent payment.

(Thru our comprehensive buyer consultation we will determine your needs, as well as the costs associated with a new home.  Together we will decide whether today is the right time for you to buy a new home and which home is the RIGHT home.)

The wisdom to know the difference

The question is whether or not it makes sense to delay moving on with your life until everything gets ‘better’.
This is where your wisdom must kick in. You already know the answer. You have the power to take control of the situation by moving forward. Has the time come for you and your family to move on and start living in the home you want?  

(Put our experience to work for you.   Like the 80 homebuyers we have already served this year, we will lead and guide you towards making a wise and fully informed decision.)

Helping you achieve your dream of a new home is our mission.



Area  2

6950 Oak Cluster

4br/4ba w/ guest & pool house

In Central – 1 mile from new thruway!

Area 6

1834 Ingleside


In Glenmore Place


Area 6

7950 Jefferson Apt. 104

2br/2ba Condo

In Jeffersonian


10 tips to help you save home energy

Before you spend money on the latest energy-efficient gizmo that’s supposed to save you money, let’s look at some energy saving ideas that will really help you save home energy. The strategies that we will look at will maximize the effort you put in, and help reduce your home energy consumption.

First sit down and think about all the different ways your family uses energy around the house. Now put an approximate type and cost of energy used. You may have trouble breaking down the cost but try to do it. Now all you have to do is find ways to save on your resources at the same time cut your costs. You may have to think creatively but it can be done.

So here are some tips to get you started:

– Turn the lights off when you’re not using them. This is really simple and easy to do. Do you really need your bedroom light on when you’re in the living room? Do you leave lights on when you leave the house? Do you even need more than one light on in a room for what you are doing? Believe it or not it makes a big difference.

– Turn all electronics and other appliances off when you’re not using them. No one can do everything at the same time. Can you really listen to a radio, watch television, and use your computer all at the same time?

– Set your thermostat down a couple of degrees in winter, or up in summer, to conserve energy. And dress appropriately indoors for the time of year it is. For instance in winter, put on a sweater or some extra clothing, or may snuggle under a blanket to stay warm. In the summer, wear less and stay cooler naturally.

– Only turn an appliance on when you have a full load. This is true especially for the washing machine, dryer and even the dishwasher. It is amazing how much extra energy is used doing multiple small loads in comparison to one full load.

– Do regular maintenance on your appliances. Keeping them clean means they don’t have to work as hard. Changing filters reduces the energy needed to accomplish a task. Regular care will also mean any maintenance bills that you might come up against may well be cheaper.

– Be careful how you use your water. Like when brushing your teeth or washing your hands, use only the water you need. Don’t let the water run the entire time. Also, try and use less water if you take a bath, or control your shower times.

– Simply let your hair air dry, instead of using a blow drier every day.

– Lower the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees F.

Don’t forget the bigger projects as well.

– Seal the cracks around your doors and windows. You are paying for your hot air that escapes through cracks all around your house. You need to make sure you are doing all you can to keep the warm air you’re paying for inside your house.

– You also need to check your house’s insulation. Though this has been done by many homeowners nevertheless you still need to do it before you pass it over. It is probably the biggest thing in reducing heating costs.

Now some of these things may seem trivial to you but let me assure you that even the small things add up over time. And really most of them you won’t even notice the difference to your life except your bills.

These tips and suggestions will make your home more affordable, and take some strain off of our world’s resources. Just think if all of us would make a few of these changes, it would make a huge difference.

by: Dave McIntosh 

3 Bedroom Home in Gated Community in Baton Rouge

elegant homes is found in one of the most convenient locations in Baton Rouge, and a
gated community as well! Just minutes from the Jefferson/Bluebonnet corridor off Inniswold lies quaint Parlange. But that is just the beginning… Lush landscaping and a slate covered courtyard entry greet as you approach the home. French architectural features include gas lanterns and arched front doors that welcome you into the open living and dining area with 10 foot ceilings and a wall of windows overlooking the backyard. The master bedroom is on the first floor, also with views of the
landscaped backyard. It is SPACIOUS, and flows to the master bath that has 2 closets, jetted tub, separate shower, and double vanities. On the opposite side of the house is the large kitchen with island, slab granite countertops, gas cooktop, and open breakfast/keeping area. From the breakfast area, enter your private backyard retreat, complete with vine-laced arbor and swing. Enjoy the evening breezes and sunset from this special spot. Walk-in pantry with storage, laundry and half bath complete the downstairs living. Upstairs are 2 bedrooms joined by a Jack and Jill bath, sitting area, and a special room that is currently being used as a closet, but can also serve as a private home office (has electricity and cable). Perfect arrangement for your out-of-town guests! Double garage has a large storage room as well. The character and charm of this home will impress you — you won't want to leave!

Call or text 225-335-5395 for more info.

9622 Prytania

Baton Rouge, LA 70809

3 Bedroom Condo for Sale in Baton Rouge

This is not condo living — this is
neighborhood/community living! Set amongst mature trees and an abundance of green spaces is this
spacious 3 bedroom, 2 bath ground floor condo. Completely renovated with real wood flooring, stylish paint choices, granite countertops & ceramic tile in the kitchen and baths, charming screened porch overlooking trees and green lawn (that YOU don't have to maintain!), plus a master bath that has been custom renovated with a beautiful walk-in stone shower and framed mirror. The other two bedrooms are large and light. Open to the dining room and foyer, the living room has a three windows for natural light and a fireplace. Dining room has a stunning chandelier and outdoor view. Light and bright, the kitchen is beautifully appointed with stainless appliances and flows to a quaint & bright breakfast space that the owner uses as a sitting area for guests while dinner is cooking. Enjoy the quiet mornings on the private back porch with your favorite book and cup of coffee. The development is great for walking, and also offers a beautifully decorated clubhouse with fitness center and pool. Great for throwing a party. This home is tucked away near the front of the complex, making it a quiet retreat. Walk to CCs and De'Angelos on Jefferson, or even to Towne Center if you are feeling energetic! Great location close to everything. Call or text 225-335-5395 for more info.

7884 Jefferson Place Apt. A

Baton Rouge, LA 70809


2 Bedroom Home on Large Lot in Baton Rouge


What a location! Just off Old Hammond Highway, and mere minutes from Town Center, you will find this
ranch home that sits on nearly an acre of land! Remodeling of this house has begun, and it has great potential for the next homeowner to complete. With lots of natural light, crown molding, cased door entries, parquet floors, vintage tiled baths that are charming, an open living/dining and den area with a wall of storage, plus two bedrooms. The
kitchen is bright and offers plenty of room for cooking and entertaining, including space for your breakfast room table! Outside is the
large backyard that allows room for outdoor play and for future expansion. The renovation is almost finished, but will not be completed by the owner. In the heart of the Jefferson Highway corridor. Call or text 225-335-5395 for more info.

2225 Brentwood

Baton Rouge, LA 70809


Get the Price Right the First Time!



Price It Right from the Beginning


ellers may think they can list their homes at a higher price and adjust if necessary. That  is not a good strategy. This excerpt  from a recent article published by KCM supports our approach to Proper Pricing. 

"Are there any negative effects from changing the listing price of a property? This question haunts Agents as well as sellers of property every day. This question was scientifically investigated by  Professor John R. Knight.

The findings from this research indicate that, on average, properties which experience a listing price change take longer to sell.

 Seller should be aware of the critical necessity of getting the price correct from the start.  Sellers wanting to overprice will ultimately take longer to sell and will sell their property for less, on average, according to Knight."

 Therefore, get the price right from the beginning.  Our detailed market analysis and recommendation is always to price it to sell, not to sit.  Price adjustments must be  5-10% in order to be effective.    Let's price it right the first time.   It is best for all.

For more on how we properly price–

call us today ( 225.337.1861)!

Open House

This Sunday from 2-4pm

In Westminster


3BR/2BA Updated Home

3BR/2BA Renovated Home


4160 Strand
4720 Fleet

Carefree Living!  


1BR/1BA Condo

at Perkins Rowe

2BR/2BA   Condo

in Jefferson Hills

2BR/2.5BA Townhome

in Jefferson Towne


7707 Bluebonnet Blvd. Apt. 312 9851 Jefferson Hwy Apt. H1 10062 Jefferson Hwy Apt. B



Area   6

9622 Prytania


In Gated Community Parlange

Area 6

7884 Jefferson Place Apt. A

3br/2ba Condo

In Jefferson Place

Area 6

2225 Brentwood

2br/2ba on large lot

In Country Club Terrace

Start shopping now…

the link to YOUR new home-




Roof insulation makes your home more comfortable

 My son-in-law, Lance, installed new insulation in his and Allison's townhome shortly after they were married.  This summer their utility bills are HALF the cost of what they were last summer!  In just two short months, they have recouped the cost of the insulation (minus Lance's sweat equity, of course!).  A great return on investment and a great savings for everyone.  Hope this article helps you in your quest for reducing your energy costs, too!

If you are considering taking the plunge and having your home insulated, you may want to consider roof insulation. Just what is roof insulation? It is a product that lives up to its name, and could be called the hidden insulation, because many people do not even know that an outdoors form of it exists- they do research about the best kind of insulation for their home, and make a choice without becoming informed about roof insulation.

Roof insulation works silently to make your living space more comfortable. It has been tested and found to reduce the overall cost of heating your house by an astonishing 13%! This type of insulation can also help to keep your house a great deal cooler during the summer months. That can add up to a nice amount of money in a few years time, perhaps even enough to pay for your roof insulation and installation!

There are two types of roof insulation. One of these types goes on the outside of your home in the area between the roof's shingles or tiles, and the sheathing used on top of the rafters as a place for the roofing. Normally, a type of foam board is stapled to the sheathing, and the roofing material is then installed on top of the foam board. This gives you a layer of protection from hot and cold air drifting into your home's attic and then into your living space. Rigid fiberglass insulation can also be used for this purpose. It is a lot easier to install this type of insulation when you are also replacing your roof shingles or tiles, but it can definitely be used on a roof that is already in place or a flat roof as well.

It may only be necessary to place roof insulation in your attic space, which some contractors will call loft insulation. This is the more common type of roof insulation, and you will find that more people have heard of this alternative. Rafter vents are needed to keep any build up of moisture from getting the insulation wet. Once this has been accomplished, the space between the rafters can then be filled with insulation.

Spray foam insulation is one choice that the homeowner has for roof insulation in their attic space. A smaller attic, such as one you cannot stand up in, is a good candidate for this type of insulation. Professionals spray the foam into all the spaces, cracks, and crevices, and it does an excellent job of keeping out air.

Another type of attic roof insulation is that familiar pink colored roll that looks a bit like a huge roll of carpet. These are known as batts, and are usually made of fiberglass, but can also be made from rock wool. The pink batts are flexible, and it is easy to cut and fit them into the needed spaces. It is best to leave this type of installation to a professional, for fiberglass can be rather tricky to work with. It is easy to get some of the fibers embedded into your skin, or even in your eyes. As you might imagine, this is quite painful, and potentially dangerous to your eyesight. There is also the risk of breathing in the glass fibers.

The various types of roof insulation that are available will make your home a comfortable place to live, whether it is winter or summer.

 by: Simon Shannon


Looking for Good Eats in Baton Rouge?

Check out Keyfinders’ Top 5 Restaurants in Baton Rouge:

1. Tsunami- Located at the top of the Shaw center in downtown Baton Rouge overlooking the Mississippi River. Tsunami offers delicious sushi bar experience all while enjoying Baton Rouge’s skyline.
View menu here!

2. Juban’s- Local favorite Juban’s offers upscale Créole dinning.  View menu here!

3. Ruffino’s- Owned by former LSU lineman and New Orleans born Italian chef, Ruffino’s offers the only Italian-creole fusion restaurant.
View menu here!

4. Sullivans- Offers a beautiful dinning experience, live music, hand shaken cocktails, and an award winning wine bar.
View menu here!

5. J. Alexanders-  is a contemporary American restaurant. Specialty items here include prime rib of beef, steaks, fresh seafood, sandwiches & and entree salads.
View menu here!

Also we are good at finding new homes-
Click here to view our inventory!