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Monday, November 10, 2014

Historical Holy Cross Subdivision - Next Hot Area of #NOLA

Blogging From The Desk of Alicia Lagarde-Craig

Are you a homebuyer who is NOW looking for yesterday's deal in Mid-City or Bywater? Well...It doesn't exist, and I know how hard it is to convince YOU, the possible homebuyers of this, but this is the reality for many pocketed areas of New Orleans.

The REALITY is this: New Orleans homebuyers are typically looking for the Old New Orleans home that has all of the charm of a hundred year old home, but is completely renovated on the inside with a price tag under $300,000.

News Flash: There are hardly any historic homes that are on the market in Excellent Condition in New Orleans between the price range of $150,000 - $300,000. With the growth that New Orleans is experiencing, especially with the completion of the new VA Hospital around the corner, we are seeing a resurgence of people flocking to our amazing city. With the numbers steadily climbing, we are witnessing an inverse relationship of potential homebuyers versus a housing shortage. The ugly truth is there are more buyers in the market than there are excellent condition listings.

So what's the alternative?: The Historic Holy Cross neighborhood is a great alternative for buyers. The typical buyer of renovated homes in Holy Cross is educated, youngish, creative, professional and on the savvy side. Holy Cross subdivision is positioned East of the Inner Harbor Canal, between St Bernard Parish and the French Quarter. Conveniently located and just 15 minutes to anywhere in the city.

Want to see more homes in Holy Cross neighborhood? Click Here:

SELLING? Our Team of Experts will work closely with you, listening to all your needs. For each of our clients, we extensively research the market to come up with the best selling price and marketing strategy to insure that your home is listed at the proper price to sell in a timely fashion. We are highly motivated and organized people putting your best interest as our TOP priority.

BUYING? We would LOVE to assist you in finding your “dream home.” We pay excellent attention to your housing needs as we search for the perfect home for you. We know the area well and will give you insight on what might work best for your family and personal interests. We will devote our time to help you and your family find your dream home as if we were looking for our own. There are so many lovely homes in the New Orleans Metro & Northshore Areas, Our Team is sure they can find the perfect one for you within your price range!

We would be honored to earn your trust and help you find your own place to call HOME!

Buying or selling a home is one of the biggest financial decisions you will probably ever have to make. Having the right real estate agent by your side representing you is very crucial to having a successful real estate transaction. Experience matters. When you choose to do business with Craig Realty Group of Keller Williams Realty New Orleans, you are choosing a team of experts with 20 years of combined real estate, marketing and sales experience. Our agents truly care about YOU and your needs. Give us a call today and let us guide you through the real estate process 504.382.3724.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Want to Search the MLS for Free? Try it here!

Blogging From The Desk of Alicia Lagarde-Craig

Want to search the MLS for free? Search away:

Thursday, June 5, 2014

What must a buyer provide in order to qualify for a home loan?

Blogging From The Desk of Alicia Lagarde-Craig

Have you ever wondered if you could qualify for a home loan? Here is a list of items that you will need when trying to get prequalified by a lender.

1. Driver's License & Social Security Card. If the address on your driver's license does not match the address you gave to the lender, please include a letter of explanation for the difference in the address.

2. Most recent 30 days of paystubs.

3. Most recent 60 days of bank statements with EVERY page, even if the page is blank. If you do not have the most recent bank statements, you can get a 60 day printout from your bank, but make sure to get your bank to sign, date and stamp ALL pages. If you have any deposits (other than payroll) that are over $500.00, you must address each deposit with a letter of explanation and provide a copy of the check.

4. 2013, 2012 and 2011 W2/1099 Forms

5. 2013, 2012 and 2011 Federal Tax Returns with all schedules

6. Bankruptcy Discharge Paperwork (If Applicable)

7. Divorce Decree and Child Support Court Documents (If Applicable)

8. Most recent Mortgage Statement for all properties owned (If Applicable)

9. Homeowner's Insurance Declarations page for all properties

10. Flood Insurance Decalrations page for all properties (If Required)

11. Most recent property Tax Bill for all properties owned

12. Copy of ALL documents from your SBA loan (If Applicable)

If you have any questions about anything real estate, do not hesitate to call me at 504.382.3724 or visit me on the web at www.myNOLAhomes.com

~Alicia Lagarde Craig, REALTOR LA# 77342

Friday, October 18, 2013

10 Money Saving Tips pertaining to Indoor Lighting

Blogging From The Desk of Alicia Lagarde Craig

Indoor Lighting: 10 Money Saving Tips

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Lighting is critical for comfort and security and would you believe that it accounts for up to 15% of your annual electricity costs? By reducing lighting energy consumption
is one of the fastest and most effective ways to lower your utility bill. There are many things you can do to improve the energy performance of your home's lighting, including the following:

1.Turn the lights off in any room you are not using and throughout the house when no one is home.

2.Instead of lighting an entire room, focus low-power light exactly where you need it aka task lighting. For example, try using a portable lamp for your home office, or use under cabinet lighting in your kitchen area.

3.Use high-efficiency fluorescent tube lights in garages, work rooms & laundry rooms.

4.Clean light bulbs regularly to maximize light output. Who would have thought to clean their light bulbs?

5.Taking advantage of natural light during the day is one of my favorites. You can open blinds, shades and other window coverings.

6.Use three-way lamps as they make it easy to save energy by reducing light levels when a bright light isn't needed.

7.Install dimmer switches to reduce the intensity of light in a room which will always helps to save energy.

8.Replace low-efficiency incandescent light bulbs with ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). They use a lot less energy and last up to 10 times longer.

9.Use high-performance, light-emitting diode (LED) lamps for decorative lighting, holiday lighting & under kitchen cabinet lighting.

10.Consider installing occupancy sensors to control when & how long the lights in garages, storage rooms and other areas of the house will stay on.

When shopping & purchasing light bulbs....Think Lumens, Not Watts.

Lumens measure the light output of a bulb, while on the other hand, watts measure the amount of energy they use. For decades, consumers have purchased bulbs based on watts. In today's lighting market, with such a large variety of energy efficient lighting products available, it is more economical to compare lumens rather than watts.

Source: http://www.energystar.gov/

To view ALL HOMES in any Louisiana Parish, visit:

Let us know how our Real Estate Team can help you!!! Call Today 504-382-3724 or 504-352-6190

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

5 Tips to Make Your Yard the Greenest on the Block and Keep It That Way

Blogging From The Desk of Alicia Lagarde-Craig

Transform a so-so lawn into the kind of lush, green expanse any neighbor would envy. Five simple tips can help you get there:

1.Give it some air: Each spring, when the soil temperature is above 65 F, aerate your lawn. You do this with an aerator, a machine that punches small holes into your soil to let air, water and nutrients reach the grass roots. Many hardware and home improvement stores offer aerators for rent.

2.Mow often, stay sharp and follow the "one-third rule": Mowing stimulates growth. So the more you mow, the faster and thicker the grass will grow, choking out weeds. Be sure to check your lawnmower's blades, and have them sharpened at your local hardware store when they begin to dull. Dull blades that don't cut cleanly can leave grass damaged and more vulnerable to disease. For a healthier, greener lawn with deep roots, mow no more than the top third of your lawn's height; so if it's three inches high, cut off no more than an inch.

3.Water only as needed: Watering too often can lead to shallow, unhealthy roots, which form thatches of unsightly tangles above the soil. If you can see your compressed footprints on your lawn after walking on it, it could use an inch of even sprinkling (use an empty tuna can to measure when it's had enough). Otherwise, let it be.

4.Apply elbow grease—not chemicals—to weeds: If you use a weeding tool to pull up weeds by the roots, you shouldn't need to use any chemical herbicides, which can damage your lawn.

5.Embrace science: By getting your soil tested in a laboratory every few years, you can find out if it has appropriate levels of organic matter, phosphorous, nitrogen and other materials for your local climate. A garden or landscaping shop can help you find a lab (soil tests usually run about $20), and can review the results with you to see if a particular kind of fertilizer or treatment might help keep your lawn in tip-top shape.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Tips on Reducing Your Homeowners Insurance!!

Blogging From The Desk of Alicia Lagarde-Craig

With consistent increases to our insurance premiums, we are always looking for ways to reduce the impact to our wallets.

Many insurance carriers offer credits for wind mitigation.

Recently, a client was able to save $1500.00 on a LA Citizens Fair Plan Policy. Keep in mind the credits may not always be this high depending on what credits are applicable.

It is recommended that you acquire this wind mitigation form for a newly built home or a fully renovated home as they SHOULD be built to code.

Each Insurance Company has their own wind mitigation form and it must be completed by a qualified professional.

If a wind mitigation form cannot be completed, some insurance companies are providing credits for having a “Hip” Roof. Description attached. (See 'Hip VS. Gable Roof, What's The Difference')

The cost is between $95.00-$175.00 to have the wind mitigation form completed. Keep in mind there is no way to guarantee any credits until a wind mitigation form is complete.

Most of the affluent insurance carriers will allow their form to be completed by a licensed residential contractor or licensed engineer.

Hip VS. Gable Roof, What's the Difference

A gable is the triangular portion of a wall between the edges of a sloping roof. The shape of the gable and how it is detailed depends on the structural system being used (which is often related to climate and availability of materials) and aesthetic concerns. Thus the type of roof enclosing the volume dictates the shape of the gable.

A hip roof, or hipped roof, is a type of roof where all sides slope downwards to the walls, usually with a fairly gentle slope. Thus it is a house with no gable or other vertical sides to the roof. A square hip roof is shaped like a pyramid.

The first mandatory statewide building code, the Louisiana State Uniform Construction Code, was passed during the 2005 First Extraordinary Legislative Session, immediately following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Act 335 of the 2007 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature provides resources for training and enforcement of the code. The Legislature sought to encourage implementation of the code by providing incentives to home owners who are willing to strengthen their homes against storms and hurricanes.

Mitigation Incentives Include:

*Insurance premium discounts when a homeowner builds or retrofits a structure to comply with the Louisiana State Uniform Construction Code, or installs mitigation improvements demonstrated to reduce the amount of loss from a windstorm or hurricane.

*Tax deductions for voluntarily retrofiting an existing residential structure to bring it into compliance with the new building code.

*Exclusions from local sales and use tax when purchasing storm shutter devices for hurricane protection.


Act 323 of the 2007 Regular Session provides insurance premium discounts for insureds after insurers file rates with the Louisiana Department of Insurance between March 31, 2008 and January 1, 2009. This rate filing will include the new premium discounts when:
* an owner builds or retrofits a structure to comply with the requirements of the State Uniform Construction Code, and/or
* an owner installs damage mitigation improvements or retrofits their property utilizing construction techniques demonstrated to reduce the amount of loss from a windstorm or hurricane.

Premium discounts apply to one or two-family owner occupied homes and modular homes. They do not apply to commercial or commercial residential properties with three or more units, or to manufactured or mobile homes. Discounts are granted based on damage litigation improvements and construction techniques listed on the Louisiana Hurricane Loss Mitigation Form. Contact your insurance company or agent for more information.

These damage mitigation improvements and /or construction techniques include, but are not limited to:

* building design
* roof bracing
* secondary water barriers
* opening protection
* roof-to-wall strength
* roof deck attachment
* roof covering and roof covering performance
* wall-to-floor-to-foundation strength
* window, door and skylight strength
* other mitigation improvements and/or construction techniques that the insurer may determine to reduce the risk of loss due to wind.

Inspection and certification must be performed by a building code enforcement officer, registered architect or engineer, or a registered third-party provider authorized by the Louisiana State Uniform Construction Code Council to perform building inspections. For a list of registered third party providers, visit www.dps.louisiana.gov/lsuccc or call (225) 922-0817.

Proof of eligibility for premium discounts must be provided by the insured. The insurer may require completion of the Louisiana Hurricane Loss Mitigation Form or other documentation to demonstrate compliance with the State Uniform Construction Code, such as permits, certificates of occupancy, inspection reports or receipts. If deemed necessary, the insurer may also perform its own
independent inspection.

Act 467 of the 2007 Regular Session allows tax deductions for insureds who voluntarily retrofit an existing residential structure to bring it into compliance with the State Uniform Construction Code. This construction code retrofitting deduction is an amount equal to 50 percent of the cost paid or incurred for the retrofit on or after January 1, 2007, less the value of any other state,
municipal or federally-sponsored financial incentives for the cost paid. The taxpayer must claim the homestead exemption for the home being retrofitted and the home cannot be rental property.

The tax credit can be no more than $5,000 per retrofitted residential structure and is claimed on the tax return for the year in which the work is completed. Proof that the retrofit complies with the State Uniform Construction Code, documentation of the cost of the project, and assurance that the project was voluntary as defined by the law, must be submitted with the state tax return. This became effective in the 2007 tax year.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Money Saving Tips for Heating Your Home During the Winter

Blogging From The Desk of Alicia Lagarde-Craig

Money-Saving Tips for Heating Your Home

Space heating accounts for more than 40 percent of annual energy use in a typical home, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. By taking action before and during the heating season, you can reduce your heating costs and make your home more comfortable during those cold winter months.

Get your home ready for winter

•Have a qualified technician inspect and clean your heating system before the start of cold weather to ensure your system is running efficiently.

•Inspect the ductwork in exposed areas such as the basement or attic, and repair any leaks or disconnections.

•Caulk and weatherstrip doors and windows to prevent heat loss.

•Make sure your home is insulated to levels recommended for your climate zone.

•Seal gaps and air leaks in your chimney, plumbing access and other often-overlooked areas of the home. For more information, see Hidden Sources of Home Heat Loss.

•If your heating system is more than 15 years old, consider replacing it with a newer, more efficient unit. If you install a new system, make sure it is ENERGY STAR qualified. ENERGY STAR, which is a joint program of the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency, tests and certifies products for energy efficient performance.

Saving energy during the heating season

•Change the air filter on your furnace once per month during the heating season. A dirty filter restricts air flow and causes the system to run less efficiently.

•Save energy by setting your thermostat at the lowest comfortable temperature. Optimize savings by lowering your thermostat setting when you are sleeping or away from home. Afraid you might forget? A programmable thermostat can make the adjustments for you.

•Reverse the airflow direction of ceiling fans, forcing warm air to bounce off the ceiling down into the living space where you need it.

•Open window treatments on south- and east-facing walls during the day to let in warming sunshine. At night, close them to keep cold air out and maintain the heat inside your home.

For Market Information in your Neck Of The Woods, visit: http://www.mynolahomes.com/mimarket

If you or anybody you know needs assistance with real estate, please call me at (504)382-3724. Thanks, Alicia