And here's our Facebook post with video of the event:
Each year Team Tangie has a party at the Rock'n'Bowl to show our appreciation for our clients, and it is always a blast! We've got some awesome photos and video to share with you.
And here's our Facebook post with video of the event:
So you're thinking about buying or selling your home and you're trying to make an important decision: should I have an agent or not.
The short answer: absolutely.
The long answer: Yes. There are many advantages to having an agent when you buy or sell a home. Below are just a few:
1. The #1 reason to have an agent is the bottom line: money. Having a licensed real estate professional will help ensure that you get a fair price because they are qualified to negotiate a contract with your best interest in mind. Part of the home buying and selling process is negotiation, and your agent should be able to give you advice on how to get a fair price for your home. Oh, and remember: Buyer's Agents work at no cost to the buyer. And Seller's agents are certainly worth the value if you get top dollar for your home!
2. Advice. Your agent is there to be your coach and adviser during all stages of the process. For example, an agent will be able to advise you on what inspections are important during your due process, will help you understand all necessary paperwork and contracts, and will be able to explain to you any questions you have about a house (like, for example, how could I negotiate a new roof on this house? or will it help sell the house if I paint it?).
3. Exposure! Real Estate agents have better tools to help you find a home or to get your home on the market. A good seller's agent will do more than just stick a sign in the yard -- they will advertise online through sites like Trulia and Zillow, they will attract buyers through social media and websites, and they will give you reports on how many views your home is getting. And a good buyer's agent will know how to navigate through these sites to help you find your dream home.
There are of course other reasons to have an agent, and if you'd like to know them then feel free to give us a call any time at 504-338-7653 and we'll answer any questions you have!
When you apply for a real estate loan, your loan officer is going to be checking out your credit, your net worth, your employment, and your overall financial outlook to see if you are qualified to take out a loan. Because of this, there are a few basic rules that you should follow in order to make sure that everything goes smoothly in your loan application.
So here are a three big NOs that we suggest so that you can say YES to a new house:
1. Say NO to changing jobs, becoming self-employed or quitting your job while looking to get a loan. Not having employment will demonstrate that you don't have a steady income (or that your income is likely to change or be reduced).
2. Say NO to abnormal or large purchases. No new vehicles, no charging up those credit cards, and wait until the sale is complete to invest in new furniture -- all of these purchases will change your financial picture and could prohibit you from getting a loan. Also -- you need that money for the closing -- save the money you have for closing costs.
3. Say NO to any financial instability. While applying for a loan, you want to demonstrate that you are financially stable. This means that you should make sure all payments are on time, that you do NOT originate any inquiries into your credit, that you do NOT change bank accounts, that you do NOT make any large deposits into your accounts without first checking with your loan officer, that you do NOT co-sign a loan for anyone. Also, be sure to be honest with your loan officer -- an omissions of debts or liabilities from your loan application could cause big problems for you later!
It's the Mardi Gras! Let the good times roll!
Team Tangie is excited that this weekend is the best parades of Mardi Gras: Endymion, Bacchus, Hermes, Morpheus, Isis, Mid-City, Thoth!
It's a great weekend to be in the city. Make sure you camp out early if you want to catch the parades, bring plenty of water and sunscreen, and have a place to go to the restroom while attending the parades.
The crowds will be cheering "THROW ME SOMETHING, MISTER!"
Team Tangie's response: How about some keys to a new house?
2014 was a STELLAR year, and we're going to make 2015 even better!
To start, we should sum up some of the changes and accomplishments that the Team made in 2014:
1. We sold 131 PROPERTIES in 2014! That's an average of one every 2-3 days!
2. Tangie listed over 80 PROPERTIES!
3. Melissa Adamcewicz joined our team. She is an Exclusive Buyer Specialist, Associate Broker, and Realtor. with 17 years of realtor experience, Melissa has already made a splash with Team Tangie: "The most rewarding part about my job is when I get to hand the keys over to my clients, and they are smiling and thanking me for helping them purchase their new home," she says.
4. Christen Amick also joined our team as an Exclusive Buyer Specialist and Realtor. She is excited to join the team and prides herself with keen listening skills to ensure all requests and needs are met.
Team Tangie is proud of our accomplishments, and we are excited to have a wonderful 2015!
Mardi Gras is quickly approaching, which means that people all over New Orleans are starting to order their King Cakes and have King Cake parties. And it's easy to forget what the roots of this dessert are, so Team Tangie decided to write a blog dedicated to commemorating the importance of the King Cake to our city's rich history.
Here's an example of the importance of the king cake to New Orleans: in the year after Hurricane Katrina, orders of King Cakes rose in numbers as people both in and out the city wanted to show their support through the symbolic food.
The purple, green, and gold delicacy is an old New Orleans Catholic tradition that dates back several hundred years and was originally made from dried French bread dough with sugar on top; but the King Cake recipe has evolved to be more of a Danish-style dough with a glazed topping and sugar. In New Orleans today there are many different styles and flavors of King Cake, including traditional, cream cheese, praline, cinnamon, or even strawberry. But no matter what, a New Orleans King Cake is usually topped with the purple, green, and gold sugar.
Those three colors are important both to the king cake and to New Orleans. Traditionally the three colors are a reference to the three kings who visited baby Jesus during the Epiphany, which occurs on January 6th. This date is also when New Orleans generally starts to eat King Cake because it also marks the start of the period leading up to Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras. Generally, King Cakes have a small plastic baby hidden inside, which represents the finding of Jesus Christ by the three kings.
Here's an interesting fact, though: In other countries, namely Belgium, France, Quebec, and Switzerland, they eat king cake during Christmas instead of during Mardi Gras. In many Spanish-speaking countries, instead of using a plastic baby they place a piece of candy or a small bean inside the cake. The variances in the King Cake show just how important this tradition is to not only New Orleans, but also countries and cultures around the world.
If you're interested in making your own King Cake, check out this website that has a great recipe!
The Big Easy is a great place to celebrate any holiday, and Christmas is no exception. If you're looking for something to do this December, look no further -- Team Tangie has some great holiday-celebrating suggestions!:
St. Louis Cathedral Christmas Concerts: The Cathedral has concerts scheduled all throughout December, including Jazz by Ellis Marsalis, a Christmas Organ Spectacular concert, and even some Opera and French/Belgian Folk music! Click the link for dates.
Merry Fishmas!: The Audubon Aquarium has fun events all December, like the IMAX show Santa vs. The Snowman. But on Dec. 18-19 they have Merry Fishmas, where you can get a temporary holiday tattoo, make an aquatic craft, have your face painted, or have breakfast with otters for an additional fee from 8-9:30am. Pre-registration is required. Call (504) 378-2665 for more information or visit www.auduboninstitute.org. 10am-5pm.
Reveillon Dinners: A Creole New Orleans tradition, many restaurants will have Reveillon Dinners, including 5Fifty5, Court of Two Sisters, Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse, Galatoire's, Mr. B's Bistro, Tujague's, Antoine's, Broussard's, Muriels At Jackson Square, Rib Room Rotisserieand Cafe Giovanni
Celebration in the Oaks: A New Orleans tradition, walking through City Park to see the lights, like the reindeer gator above, is great family fun! Listen to live music, bring the kids on the rides in Storyland, or take the train and be amazed by the gorgeous lights!
And MANY more: Check out http://frenchquarter.com/events/decemberevents.php for a full list of events!
It is just starting to get cold in the Big Easy, with temperatures dropping and December coming up.
The cold brings in new challenges to home ownership -- pipes get cold, there' a chance for sleet or snow, and the heat finally turns on.
So to help you prepare for the season, Team Tangie thought we would share our top tips for Winterizing your home:
#1: Check your roofing and gutters
Cold rain, snow, or ice can really do damage to gutters if they are not in good shape or are clogged. Make sure to clean out your gutters, especially if a big ice or snow is coming.
Also, check for any damaged or missing roof shingles or tree branches that could cause damage to your roof. A damaged roof can lead to higher heating costs, leaks, or other money-sucking problems!
#2: Make sure your home heating system is ready
In New Orleans, your home heating system is probably off for several months of the year, so when you turn it back on there is a potential that something could have been damaged in the months off. For your heating system, it is never a bad idea to get an inspection before something really bad goes wrong and you're stuck with no heat in the coldest of winter. An inspection usually costs around $80 bucks or so.
And here are two tips that could save you some money on heating: the first is to switch your thermostat for a programmable thermostat. The second is to reverse your ceiling fans: in the summer, ceiling fans are meant to create a downward draft to cool a house. However, in winter you can create an upward draft that will push the heat down by reversing your ceiling fans' blade cycle. This is especially useful for homes with high ceilings.
Finally, make sure to get your chimney ready -- buy firewood or chop wood and store it in a dry place, make sure the chimney is clean and capped off from birds or rodents, and check mortar between bricks if necessary. Oh, and remove all flammable material from the area surrounding your furnace, chimney, or heating system -- the last thing you need is a house fire!
#3: Get your Doors, Windows, and Exterior ready
Did you know that during winter the average home loses 1/3 of its heat through windows and doors? Make sure to inspect your windows and doors for any damaged caulking and recaulk, to check for and cracks around entry points around pipes, and replace cracked glass in windows.
Weatherstripping or "draft dodgers" door stoppers can also be a great idea, and it is easy to make your own at home. And be sure to check your foundation and seal any entry points to keep animals out.
#4: Get your plumbing and landscaping ready
In New Orleans you may not expect the cold to dip so far down that it ruins plants and pipes, but it usually happens a few times each winter. Make sure to check the temperature to see if it is going to freeze at night; if so, pull any potted plants inside that may freeze. Check to make sure any concrete (driveways or paths) are sealed for the cold, too.
For your plumbing, make sure to know where your water main is in case you need to shut it off in an emergency. It never hurts to drain your garden hoses to prevent damage, and you should insulate any exposed pipes. Finally, if you go out of town, leave the heat on to at least 55 so that no damage occurs.
#5: Have an emergency kit
All New Orleans locals understand that you never know when a big storm is going to knock the power out, and this certainly can happen in the winter, too. Make sure to have indoor candles, bottled water, non-perishable food, and first aid supplies in an easily accessible places. Also, if you have any pets, you may want to keep supply for them as well.
As always, it is smart to have an evacuation plan in place in case of an emergency. Take some time to share this plan with any family members in the house. And keep the numbers to utility companies around -- we rely so much on the internet for such information that if it goes down, it would be a good idea to have those numbers handy!
In the Big Easy every season brings new traditions, new flavors, and new amazing entertainment. November is no different, and in Turducken month New Orleans is buzzing with amazing traditions, old and new, that keep our city great.
To honor this wonderful tradition and to help you find great entertainment, Team Tangie has compiled a list of our favorite things about city in November.
Enjoy the wonderful season, the great weather, and make sure to eat a lot of turkey ... or turducken!
There are a lot of reasons why we call our city "The Big Easy," and the amazing year-round weather is one of them. Just look at the gorgeous forecast for November, courtesy of Accuweather
Temperatures in the low sixties to low seventies -- I think I'm in heaven!
Our Football & Basketball Teams Are Winning!
As of today, the Saints are on top of their division, the Pelicans may have the 3rd best NBA player in Anthony Davis, LSU is #16 in the College Football Playoff Rankings though some believe they should be higher, and college football and basketball is alive at Tulane, UNO, and LSU.
Also, this month marks the 2014 Bayou Classic with all its wonderful events and traditions.
If you're looking to learn more about New Orleans Sports, check out SportsNola.com! And as always, WHO DAT!
SO MANY November Festivals
November is prime time for festivals in New Orleans, perhaps because the weather is beautiful and it is a great time to be outside. Here is a partial list of festivals in New Orleans this month:
Nov 5-9: Ladyfest New Orleans www.ladyfestneworleans.org
Nov 7: Boudin, Bourbon & Beer www.boudinbourbonandbeer.com
Nov 8: Patio Planters White Elephant Sale and Auction www.patioplanters.org
Fall Crescent City Classic: http://www.ccc10k.com/crescent-city-fall-classic
Nov 8-9: Treme Creole Gumbo Festival www.tremegumbofest.com
Nov 19-23: New Orleans Fringe Festival www.nofringe.org
Nov 22: 2nd District Blues Fest www.magazinestreetbluesfest.com
Nov 23: Oak Street Poboy Fest http://www.poboyfest.com/
Nov 29: Fleur de Lis Arts & Crafts Show www.facebook.com/fleurdelisartsandcrafts
Opening of Celebration in the Oaks www.celebrationintheoaks.com
The Fleur de Lis Arts & Crafts Show
Opening of Celebration in the Oaks!
OMG The Food
What do we do best in New Orleans? Food. And Thanksgiving is no exception.
There are a number of excellent restaurants open on Thanksgiving, including the famous Jazz Brunch Restaurant the Court of Two Sisters, the delicious City Park classic Ralph's on the Park, and more casual French Quarter dining at Vacherie.
For a bigger list of open restaurants on Thanksgiving click here.
And you can cook your own New Orleans Thanksgiving dinner, too! For some excellent New Orleans Thanksgiving Recipes, check out NOLA.com's List.
Houses are integral parts of Halloween, and we've all heard stories of haunted houses and trick-or-treating gone wrong. And real estate agents are no strangers to scary stories -- sometimes we stumble upon the gross, the eerie, and even the just plain terrifying.
Members of Team Tangie have encountered such "haunted houses" while on listing appointments, open houses, and other real estate business. Here's such a story from our own Tangie Stephens:
"I had just got a call to show a house in Old Metairie. The couple who owned the house were very nice, and the house was nearly empty -- they had already moved to their new home, so there was no furniture in most of the rooms. I was showing the house to an elderly couple who wanted a house to retire to with plenty of room for hosting grandchildren. We went from room to room, flicking on and off the lights, and the house seemed to empty that our voices echoed when we spoke.
Except one room. It was the smallest bedroom in the house, the last room I was showing, and it was the only room still decorated. We walked in the room, and didn't notice anything funny at first -- there was a desk, a Led Zeppelin poster, a laundry bin, and an unmade bed. 'This would make a great playroom,' I said.
Then we heard a sound. The bed shuffled and a teenage boy lifted his head out from under the covers. "WHO ARE YOU!?," he shouted, and I swear my elderly clients nearly fainted. Turns out the family let their son stay in the house for a few extra days before he left for college. It was quite the fright for everyone involved!"
That's Tangie's scary story -- do you have a scary story associated with a particular house? If so, let us know in the comments -- we'd love to hear about it!
Also, for more such stories, click here for an this article from MarketWatch.com in which other agents share real life horrors!: