My Blog

October Fun - in and around Baton Rouge

10/17/2018

October 19-21                                   Hollydays                                           

https://www.juniorleaguebr.org/fundraisers/hollydays/

 

October 19-31                                   Fifolet Halloween Fest                                

www.fifolet.com

 

October 19 & 26                               Haunted Hikes at Bluebonnet Swamp  

www.BREC.ORG/HAUNTEDHIKES

 

October 20, 21, 27, 28                     BOO AT THE ZOO

www.brzoo.org

 

October 21                                          Capital City Beer Fest

www.caabr.org

 

October 21                                          Manship Theater presents The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

http://manshiptheatre.org/

 

October 21                                          Opera Louisiana presents Hansel & Gretel

www.operalouisiane.com

 

October 25-November 4               Greater Baton Rouge State Fair

BUY DISCOUNTED TICKETS AT www.gbrsf.com

               

 

October 27                                          Free Cancer Screenings @ St. Elizabeth Hospital

www.marybird.org/Ascension

 

October 27                                          Bayou Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival

www.foodtruckfestivalsofamerica.com

 

October 28                                          Manship Theater presents The Magic School Bus

http://manshiptheatre.org/

 

Now – Nov 3rd                                   The 13th Gate – Louisiana’s Ultimate Haunted House

www.13thgate.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seven Common Real Estate Misconceptions

10/17/2018

Common Real Estate Misconceptions

 

** Based on my experience**

 

  1. The first step is looking at houses.  Have you ever test driven a car, completely fell in love with it, only to be told that you can’t afford it? Or have been craving something for days,  only for the waitress to tell you they are sold out when you finally get the chance to order it? Determining how much house you can afford prior to looking ensures you can comfortably afford your new home. Speaking to a mortgage professional and getting approved for a home loan will help you determine what monthly payment you can afford, what down payment (if any) that you will need, and what type of mortgage best fits your needs. Your lender will also tell you what price range homes you should look at. Knowing this information up front will be helpful for both you and your Realtor. Also, when you find the perfect home, presenting your approval letter with your offer shows that you are qualified and serious.

 

  1. You don’t need an agent – While it is true, that you can buy a home without a Realtor, why would you? Your Realtor, much like your lender, will be a very important “partner” during your buying or selling process. Their knowledge of the process, negotiating skills, and overall experience is extremely valuable. Your Realtor will guide you every step of the way – from searching for homes, finding the right home and making an offer, home inspections and negotiating repairs, getting you prepared for closing, all while easing the process as much as possible.

 

  1. All real estate agents are the same – As either a buyer or seller, your Realtor will play a huge roll in your move. It is important to choose the BEST Agent, not just the most well known or largest company. While interviewing agents, look for a full time agent that is knowledgeable about both buying and selling. A true professional will be able to provide you with information on your market, negotiate on your behalf, anticipate and remediate problems, and overall make your buying or selling experience a good one. A few good questions to ask include – how long have you lived in the area, how long have you been in real estate, how many transactions a year do you average.

 

  1. You must have 20% to put down -  Most buyers are unaware of several loan options that will allow buying with less than 20% down. There are programs such as Rural Development and VA loans that require no down payment. In some cases, bond money or down payment assistance is available. FHA loans require 3.5% down. A simple, quick conversation with a local lender or mortgage company will tell you what programs you qualify for.

 

  1. The only upfront cost when buying is your down payment – During the buying process, there are a few things you will need to be prepared to pay for out of pocket. In most cases, you will need a deposit to secure the home you decide to move forward with. This deposit, also called “good faith” money, can range from $100.00 to thousands of dollars depending on the home you choose.

   Home inspections are strongly recommended and usually range from $350-$600 depending on the size of your new home.

   Your lender will have the home appraised by a licensed appraiser to ensure the home is worth the price you are offering to pay. This appraisal varies but generally is in the $400-$500 range.

   You will also have closing costs associated with your mortgage that will be due at closing. Closing costs include your lender fees, title attorney fees, and can include property taxes, and insurance. In some cases, during negotiations, the seller may agree to pay all or some closing costs for you, as long as your loan allows.

 

  1. You need an open house to sell your home –  Open houses are becoming less popular in today’s market. They were great prior to the internet and all of today’s technology. Don’t get me wrong, open houses still work, but are not as effective as in the past. Open houses today typically bring unqualified buyers, people “just looking”, and neighbors. In most instances, open house will not bring your buyer.

 

  1. Spring is the best time to sell – During my 17 years in real estate, I have seen slow springs, slow summers, insanely busy winters, and ups and downs regardless of the season. The truth is, it all depends on your local market! Speak to a qualified Realtor that can educate you and show you market patterns prior to listing your home. Don’t wait for the “best” time to list.

 

 

10 things you probably did not know about me.....

10/17/2018

 

  1. I’ve been in the real estate industry for 17 years. I started as a weekend secretary at RE/MAX Excellent Properties in Prairieville for Sandy Ogburn/Broker, and worked almost every position from scheduling appointments, MLS input, customer service, listing coordinator, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, and then Realtor. I am currently a Team Leader at RE/MAX FIRST in Baton Rouge. Top RE/MAX in the state!

 

  1. I have three sons, aged 23, 17, and 14. My oldest will soon graduate from LSU Nursing School. My middle son, Cameron, is one of the kindest, coolest teenagers ever, and my 14 year old is the most computer literate kid I know.

 

  1. I am a music junkie. Music is a major part of my life and in some ways has been therapeutic. I love the way a song can instantly take you back to a forgotten memory and brighten your day. I love all music genres. My playlist would probably shock you. My faves are Stevie Nicks, Dave Matthews, Incubus, Pearl Jam, anything that includes Maynard James Keenan, Blake Shelton, Kari Jobe, Hillsong, Alice In Chains, Radiohead, Chili Peppers, Aerosmith, Sublime, Chris Cornell, Linkin Park, Kenny, Zac, Old school hip hop…and pretty much all 70’s music thanks to my parents.

 

  1. I met my husband at a Coke machine. YEP!!! Told him that day that I loved him and would marry him one day. Many moons later….we are still here, together J

 

  1. I am from Zachary, Louisiana. I enjoyed growing up in a small town for the most part. I grew up in a neighborhood where the neighbors actually visited in the afternoons, shared dinner and company, and looked after each other. In my eyes, at the time, it was comparable to Mayberry. Ha ha ha.

 

  1. I am a Christian. I was raised mostly in a VERY Southern Baptist Church. My husband was raised Catholic. We attend Healing Place church and find that it is a perfect fit for our beliefs and love that their doors are open to everyone.

 

  1. I love the ocean and all things related. I lost my mother at a very young age. Many of my memories are of our family beach trips. The salty air and sand in my toes makes me feel closer to her – even if for a few moments. It’s also amazing for clearing my crazy mind.

 

  1. I believe in setting goals and working hard to achieve them. My office is filled with goal boards, vision boards, and motivational quotes to help me stay on track. Prior to setting goals (many years ago), I feel like I was just going through the motions and unsure why.

 

  1. I’ve hit rock bottom more than once. I’ve been helpless. I’ve been lost. I’ve been depressed. I’ve been poor, and I have been hungry. All of this has taught me compassion, gratefulness, and how to hustle and never give up. I may hit rock bottom again, but I will always bounce back. Pray. Lean on God. A great mentor once told me that 99% of the things we worry about never happen and it’s true! Be positive. Find a way…..and NEVER BE TOO PROUD TO ASK FOR HELP!!!

 

  1. I’m a complete night owl. In fact, I am writing this at 2am with an appointment scheduled at 8am tomorrow. I may not answer my phone one the first ring at 8am, but I will be up working on marketing for my clients and business late nights and early mornings. Now, If only I could show property to my night owl clients this late. J Why, oh, why, does my brain turn on at bedtime???

 

There you have it. 10 crazy, random, fun facts about me! Now, tell me about you!

New listing in The Lakes of Ascension

10/10/2018
This home in Lakes at Ascension is in pristine condition, conveniently located near I-10, in the popular Dutchtown School District, and ready for new owners! You are greeted by a spacious foyer, followed by the living room with crown molding, hardwood flooring, and double french doors leading out to the impressive 23x18 covered back patio. The kitchen has a huge quartz top island, new quiet stainless dishwasher, and plenty of storage; furthermore, it opens up to a dining area that can accommodate a large table and hutch. Laundry room features a utility sink and half bath near the garage entry. No carpet here, the master and additional rooms all have hardwood floors and neutral paint colors. The master bath features a custom tiled shower with a heavy seamless door, dual vanities, and soaking tub, while the additional bathroom has Corona Marble top vanity. The spacious back yard is nicely landscaped and the roof was recently replaced in 2015.   For more information - search www.brandysellslahomes.com for 13394 W. Lakeshore Drive, Prairieville. 


Attention to Detail with Waguespack Homes

10/10/2018

Oakbourne Subdivision in Dutchtown is coming along quickly! 

 

The difference between something good and something GREAT is attention to detail. Waguespack Homes is consistently focused on even the smallest details.....which is obvious from the moment you open the front door. Loved walking in and seeing this today! #cofferedCeiling#TicTacToe

For more information call me, Brandy Helms, or visit brandysellslahomes.com.

Country living in St. Amant, LA!

10/10/2018

Just listed in St. Amant, LA! 

 This Acadian style beauty sits on an acre and has been completely remodeled. You’ll notice attention to detail from the moment you walk in, including new hardwood flooring, crown molding, gorgeous light fixtures, and a neutral color scheme. Five bedrooms! Granite throughout including bathrooms. The oversized kitchen offers ample cabinet space, a large island/breakfast bar, double convection oven, and plenty of counter space. This home has a true formal dining room as well as a breakfast area off the kitchen. Mother in law suite has its own entrance and spacious bath. Jack and Jill bath separate the second and third bedrooms, each having its own vanity area. Master suite will accommodate large furniture and opens to spa like master bath. Master Bath includes double vanities, new shower, large soaking tub, and a closet with tons of built-ins. Laundry room has granite folding area, gas and electric dryer hookup,  and lots of cabinet/storage space. Enjoy the views from the full front porch or the large rear covered patio. 30x40 workshop has its own dedicated circuit, and plenty of room for storage and workspace. Seller pays $747/year for flood insurance and carries the max amount for contents. For more information call or text Brandy Helms, Realtor, with RE/MAX First at 225-445-5190 or visit www.brandysellslahomes.com

Ascension Parish Breaks Ground on New Primary School

9/6/2018
Ascension Parish School Board broke ground on it's newest school, Bullion Primary, on August 14, 2018. This two story, 82,000+ sq. ft school will sit on 12 acres off of Airline Highway near the Bullion Crossing Subdivision in Prairieville. This future home of the "Bear Cubs" is expected to open in the Fall of 2019. Ascension Parish School Board also has a middle school and two additional primary schools in the works. 

About Me

8/16/2018

  Home grown Louisiana mom, wife, and Realtor. I have worked for RE/MAX for nearly 20 years, and have been licensed since 2004. I was blessed to spend 12 years with one of the top teams in the state of Louisiana, the Sandy Ogburn Team at RE/MAX Excellent Properties located in Prairieville. I started working for Sandy as the weekend receptionist and was quickly welcomed aboard full time. During my 12 years there, I worked as the sales and marketing admin, the listing coordinator, Vice President of sales and marketing, and then became a full time Realtor. My experience and time with RE/MAX Excellent Properties allowed me to learn the ins and outs of real estate including marketing, the listing and selling process, teamwork, and the importance of exceptional quality care. During this time, Sandy represented several builders which gave me the opportunity to experience marketing a community from a simple concept – and seeing it through to sold out neighborhoods. 

  In 2012, RE/MAX Excellent Properties was sold to Pat Anderson and became RE/MAX PLUS. I stayed with the company and Pat and I formed The Anderson Team. From 2012-2015, we remained one of the top 10 teams in the state.

  Recently, I moved to RE/MAX First in Baton Rouge and have remained a top producing agent. My love for real estate and teaching inspired me to start “The Helms Team” in January of 2018. We are off to a great start and can’t wait to see what the future holds.

  I service the Greater Baton Rouge area including Ascension, Livingston, and East Baton Rouge Parishes. Whether you are looking to buy, sell, relocate, or build.....I can help. I network with a great group of lenders, insurance companies, and title companies and promise to make your move as easy as possible.   I consider myself lucky to have a job that I love. I constantly get to meet new people and watch their dreams become reality.

 On a personal note, I am happily married with three sons. My hobbies include cooking, spending time on the beach, and anything and everything that has to do with music.

 

  If you are considering making a move, I would love the opportunity to speak with you.

 

 Team & personal accomplishments:

2004 – Sandy’s team was the #1 team by commission, #2 by transactions

2005 – Sandy’s team was the #1 team by commission, #1 by transactions

2006 - Sandy’s team was the #1 team by commission, #1 by transactions

2007 - Sandy’s team was the #1 team by commission, #1 by transactions

2008 - Sandy’s team was the #1 team by commission, #1 by transactions

2009 - Sandy’s team was the #1 team by commission, #1 by transactions

2010 - Sandy’s team was the #1 team by commission, #1 by transactions

2011 - Sandy’s team was the #3 team by commission as well as the ofc was the #3 by avg trans/agt

2012 – The Anderson Team was the #4 team by commission

2013 – The Anderson Team was the #4 team by commission, #5 by transactions

2014 – The Anderson Team was the #10 team by commission and #5 by team transactions

2015 – The Anderson Team was the #9 team by commission and tied for #4 by team transactions

 

I received the Cooperative Spirit award in 2004, 2010, and 2014.

I achieved the 100% Club in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017.

In 2018 I was welcomed to the RE/MAX Hall of Fame.

 

 

Forget Mission Impossible.....check out Mission 6!!

8/16/2018

 

Mission 6 is a locally operated non-profit organization that honors and supports our veterans and law enforcement agencies. The organization began after founders Shawn Babin and Matthew Roberts sat next to a wounded combat veteran on a flight home and felt the need to take action and honor our heroes. Mission Six hosts fishing events at least once a month, which usually includes kayak fishing, good food, and good company. All room, board, meals, gear, tackle, kayaks, and safety equipment are provided & donated. What a way to honor those who serve and have served! This “mission” gives men and women who visibly carry stress and strain throughout their daily lives time to relax and enjoy the company of those who understand their struggle.

Kuddos to Shawn and Matthew for their thoughtfulness and for giving back to our community.

For more information or to donate please visit:

https://mission6.org/ or

https://www.facebook.com/MissionSixKayak/

 

 

 

It's here! Waguespack Homes has put the final touches on their model in Conway!

6/27/2018

 

Waguespack Homes has put the final touches on their model in Conway. If you think the pictures look good, wait 'til you see it in person! This four bedroom, three bath home has just over 2300 square feet of living area and amenities galore. Gorgeous interior brick and beam, touches of shiplap throughout, and a patio to die for. Conway is located in Gonzales off of Highway 44, minutes from the interstate. The community itself will consist of restaurants, shopping, a fitness center, parks, lakes, walking trails, clubhouse & private pool, and even an ampitheater for concerts and other entertainment. 

For more information or to schedule a private tour, call or message Brandy Helms, Realtor. 

 

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