Monday, October 20, 2014

Living in New Orleans - 10 Places to Eat in Mid City

1. Ralf's on the Park
900 City Park Ave. (504)488-1000
Rehearsal dinners, bridal luncheons and wedding receptions can be staged here, with a professional staff helping couples create customized menus and a personalized party plan. All party rooms have access to a wrought-iron balcony overlooking City Park, there's elevator access to the second floor, and complimentary valet parking.
(photo from gonola.com, description from bestofneworleans.com)







2. Katie's Restaurant & Bar 
3701 Iberville St. (504)488-6582
The bar at this Mid-City eatery offers original creations including the Mid-City punch, in addition to offering nightly specials on wine and beer. Stop in for brunch and enjoy Cajun takes on egg dishes. Open daily. No smoking. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 3 p.m.-6 p.m. Tue.-Sat.
(photo from restaurantneworleans.com, description from bestofneworleans.com)




3. Angeletto's Pizzeria & Pub 
220 S. Robertson St. (504)581-3500 
Artichoke and spinach dip is served with garlic bread. Angeletto’s special pizza is topped with house-made garlic sauce, grilled chicken, mozzarella, spinach, feta and roasted red peppers. Reservations accepted. Lunch Mon.-Fri.
(photo from plus.google.com, description from bestofneworleans.com)







4. Avery's Po-boys 
2510 Tulane Ave. (504)821-4110 
Avery's is the biggest surprise of 2012-13. For my money, this family operated po-boy shop/restaurant is the best overall po-boy shop in greater New Orleans. Their oyster rockefeller po-boy is worth a trip across town for a taste. No reservations. Lunch Mon.-Sat
(photo from averysontulane.com, description from bestofneworleans.com)




5. Chickie Wah Wah 
2828 Canal St. (504)304-4714
This spacious music club plays host to an array of local bands, especially roots music and singer/songwriters, as well as touring Americana musicians. The club's small kitchen is run by Blue Oak Barbecue, which serves barbecue, burgers and smoked chicken wings. Open daily. No smoking. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 4:30 p.m.-6 p.m. daily
(photo from bourbontobeale.com, description from bestofneworleans.com)




6. Felipe's Taqueria 
411-1 N. Carrollton Ave. (504)288-8226 
Latin-inspired craft cocktails as well as a range of fresh margarita options are always within arm's reach of a basket of salty tortilla chips. Drink specials change daily but there's one every night, from $2 off specialty cocktails to $4 margaritas. Open daily. Smoking on patio.
(photo from tripadvisor.com, description from bestofneworleans.com)




7. Parkway Bakery & Tavern 
538 Hagan Ave. (504)482-3047
This Mid-City landmark is known for its roast beef po-boy, but such a sandwich never stands alone without proper libation. The Parkway Pimm's Cup and the Mid-City Streetcar are popular mixed drinks, while buckets of beer are as little as $9 during NFL games. Open Wed.-Mon. Smoking on patio. Full restaurant menu. Happy hour 3 p.m.-7 p.m. daily.
(photo from tablehopper.com, description from bestofneworleans.com)






8. Angelo Brocato 
214 N. Carrollton Ave. (504)486-1465
House-made cannolis feature fried cinnamon pastry shells and sweet ricotta cheese filling. House-made stracciatella gelato is made with a vanilla cream base and imported Italian chocolate chips. No reservations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner Tue.-Sun
(photo from neworleansonline.com, description from bestofneworleans.com)






9. Cafe Degas 
3127 Esplanade Ave. (504)945-5635
For brunch, butternut squash and corned beef hash is topped with two poached eggs and bearnaise sauce. Braised veal stew with carrots and pearl onions fill a puff pastry topped with wild mushroom and white wine bechamel. Reservations recommended. Lunch Wed.-Fri., dinner Wed.-Sun., brunch Sat.-Sun.
(photo from nolafrancaise.com, description from bestofneworleans.com)





10. Doson Noodle House
135 N. Carrollton Ave. (504)309-7283
Lemon grass tofu features stir-fried tofu and vegetables served over vermicelli. Grilled chicken salad is grilled chicken over shredded carrots, cabbage, tomatoes, mint and house sauce. Reservations accepted. Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat
(photo from foursquare.com, description from bestofneworleans.com)



Questions about buying or selling a home?
Call Terez B. Harris at 504.297.2619






View Homes For Sale in Metairie
View Homes For Sale in New Orleans



Terez B. Harris
Terez Harris NOLA Real Estate Group
(504)297-2619
www.TerezHarris.com
TerezHarris@kw.com


Search the MLS! 
(multiple listing service)


Search Terez's Active Listings!







      








Terez B. Harris   Terez Harris NOLA Real Estate Group   504-297-2619   www.TerezHarris.com
Keller Williams Realty New Orleans 8601 Leake Ave. New Orleans, LA 70118 504-862-0100
Each office independently owned and operated. All brokers and agents licensed in the state of Louisiana.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Metairie and New Orleans Comparables: Close to a Science Fiction Adventure!


Establishing the asking price for a Metairie or New Orleans home may not quite qualify as science fiction, but it can be a bit of an adventure in time and space—at least when it comes to establishing the Metairie and New Orleans comparables.

The logic behind valuing a property by looking at recent Metairie and New Orleans comparable sales—the Metairie and New Orleans “comps”—is immediately clear. You don’t have to study economics to realize that the value of something (including a Metairie or New Orleans house or condo) will ultimately be the amount that someone is actually willing to shell out for it. So recent sales of comparable Metairie and New Orleans homes should be the best benchmark.  

But like so many things that are wonderfully simple in theory, when it comes to establishing Metairie and New Orleans comparables for the purpose of setting a fair asking price or mortgage amount, practical matters can complicate things. So for anyone looking to buy or sell a Metairie or New Orleans home, demystifying the factors that come into play as appraisers and bank loan officers identify valid comparables is good background information.

Among the most important factors are size of the dwelling and (this never gets old) location, location, location! So comparables are same-size homes or condos that have sold recently, close by. What could be simpler, right?
Not so fast—it’s much more of an adventure.

First, the space part. The fact is, there are different ways to look at the size of a property. Square feet may be a number you can measure, which might be total square feet…but there is also taxable living area, which could be more important. The difference is that anything below grade (for instance, a half-finished basement or tricked-out man cave garage) may not be counted—or may be partially counted (an “adjustment”). For condos, one of those half-height storage areas may be another “adjustment,” as could be a balcony or parking space—valuable to some buyers, but not part of the “taxable living area.”

There’s another aspect to the space part of the adventure. Even within a single neighborhood, some streets have homes that are more upscale (and pricey) than others. Or there can be nearly rural parts of a suburban (or even an urban) community—so using the distance from one point to another may not be an accurate way to determine if nearby neighborhood comparables are really, well, comparable. In other words, although within a short distance, to be truly comparable a nearby sale could call for yet another ‘adjustment.’ Furthermore, even though one dwelling might be only a block away from another, they might fall into different school districts. Even if you don’t have kids, school quality can be an important factor for prospective buyers…and another adjustment…

Then there’s the time part of the adventure, which comes when we try to figure out what qualifies as a ‘recent’ comp. Within 90 days definitely qualifies as an ideal. But what if there aren’t enough of those? Some lenders will go back 6-12 months—a warping of the time-space continuum (and where would science fiction writers be without those?)


If you will be buying or selling anytime soon, the Metairie and New Orleans comparables will come into play. Call me to explore what they look like in your own immediate real estate future!



Questions about buying or selling a home?
Call Terez B. Harris at 504.297.2619






View Homes For Sale in Metairie
View Homes For Sale in New Orleans



Terez B. Harris
Terez Harris NOLA Real Estate Group
(504)297-2619
www.TerezHarris.com
TerezHarris@kw.com


Search the MLS! 
(multiple listing service)


Search Terez's Active Listings!







      








Terez B. Harris   Terez Harris NOLA Real Estate Group   504-297-2619   www.TerezHarris.com
Keller Williams Realty New Orleans 8601 Leake Ave. New Orleans, LA 70118 504-862-0100
Each office independently owned and operated. All brokers and agents licensed in the state of Louisiana.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fall Decorating Ideas Liven Metairie and New Orleans Homes for Sale


Having a Metairie or New Orleans home for sale as autumn swings into full bloom has more than one advantage. First off, this is definitely not looky-loo season—the majority of home shoppers this time of year tend to be serious-minded (perhaps because many are hoping to be comfortably moved in by the holidays). Whatever the reason, because many other owners will wait until spring to put up their own Metairie or New Orleans home for sale, if you are listing now, you can usually count on a narrower amount of competition.
A subtler reason why fall is an exciting season to put up a home for sale has to do with what can be a presentation advantage—the same reason home décor professionals like this time of year. It’s the Autumn Advantage: a time of year loaded with eye-catching decorating ideas. When the leaves start to change, it’s time to take advantage of the autumnal decorations that can make any Metairie or New Orleans home for sale extra inviting.
·         Pumpkins aren’t Just for Jack-o’-Lanterns
Modern Man may have cracked the atom and devised telescopes that can see to the very edge of the Universe, but it has still failed to come up with a way to spruce up a home for fall without adding a pumpkin or two. Why fight it? There are a thousand ways to use the ubiquitous squash in arresting placements. One example is to cut a generous hole in the top, then drop a fall-appropriately planted pot (think gold, red, orange and brown) through it, flowers and all. This “pumpkin plant pot” can work to add color both inside and outside any home for sale in Metairie or New Orleans.

·         Re-purpose an old Window

Where a rustic touch is appropriate, another autumnal planter idea is to find a discarded wooden window (the more thoroughly weathered, the better: decorators call it ‘up-cycling’), secure a potted plant to it, then hang it on the wall in place of a family picture (remember: when you have a home for sale, it’s recommended to remove as many of the personal mementos as possible). This “outside inside” décor trick creates a seasonal feel you can add to by embellishing further with dried leaves and berries.

·         Scents of Autumn

Using scents can be central to fall decorating. These seasonal aromas can be counted upon to trigger positive memories for the visitors to your home. Scented candles are an appropriate way to add ambiance to your house. You can go further by tying cinnamon sticks around your candles, or adding a few drops of clove and cinnamon oil to your potpourri or fall arrangements (just don’t overdo it)!

·         Fall: a Season for Comfort

If you’re thinking warm fires, plump cushions and plush throws to emphasize the coziness of the season, you’ll make it happen. A comfortable home highlighted with fall colors sets a scene that boosts the beauty of a home for sale unlike any other time of the year.  

Whether you have already listed your Metairie or New Orleans home for sale, or are just now setting the stage, give me a call to put together a marketing blitz that will use the season to make that sale happen!




Questions about buying or selling a home?
Call Terez B. Harris at 504.297.2619






View Homes For Sale in Metairie
View Homes For Sale in New Orleans



Terez B. Harris
Terez Harris NOLA Real Estate Group
(504)297-2619
www.TerezHarris.com
TerezHarris@kw.com


Search the MLS! 
(multiple listing service)


Search Terez's Active Listings!







      








Terez B. Harris   Terez Harris NOLA Real Estate Group   504-297-2619   www.TerezHarris.com
Keller Williams Realty New Orleans 8601 Leake Ave. New Orleans, LA 70118 504-862-0100
Each office independently owned and operated. All brokers and agents licensed in the state of Louisiana.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Is a Metairie or New Orleans Homeowners Association Friend or Foe?


Homeowners Associations (HOAs) are not a new idea. They were first formed in nineteenth century America, as the Industrial Revolution spurred migration from rural to urban living. Owning real estate has always been considered a big deal, so it’s right to think of Homeowners Associations as exclusive clubs. Sort of.

Metairie and New Orleans Homeowners Associations are open to membership only for those who own a home in a Metairie or New Orleans HOA development—definitely an exclusive group! (The reason for the ‘sort of’ is because of the other qualification: homeowners are required to join). 

 Exclusive membership has its advantages, to be sure, and also some disadvantages. For instance, members have to pay fees and dues for the privilege of belonging. And, like membership in any legendarily snooty club, members have to behave themselves. Unlike most of those, the rules of an HOA are legally binding for all residents in the development. Homeowners Association covenants can specify things like exterior paint colors and what kinds, if any, of fences and/or hedges an owner can install. They also may specify whether things like swing sets or basketball hoops are allowed. There will almost certainly be vague language in any Metairie or New Orleans Homeowners Association covenant to require things like “reasonable” standards of repair for a property.

In general, the whole idea can be a good thing, because when working as intended, it protects everybody’s property values. Indeed, a March study by the Association Management Group showed that 70% of HOA residents are happy with their HOA experience. However, if you are ever in the mood for some HOA horror stories, the web is where you’ll find some really juicy ones.

For example, there’s the one about the 77-year-old Arizona condo owner who was fined repeatedly for allowing her dog to walk through the lobby. The HOA rules specified that dogs must be carried through the lobby. Then there was the case of a California widower whose home was seized by the HOA because he owed $600 in dues and fees. It was sold at auction to a third party for a mere $2,000 (okay—even the Internet admits that he eventually did reclaim his house).

So, on balance, what’s a buyer to do? Below are a few ways to approach the decision before you buy a house in an HOA development (if I’m your Realtor®, I’ll be able to help with these):

·   The easy part: get a copy of the covenants and bylaws. The hard part: read them. Make note of the restrictions, and pay close attention to the sanctions the HOA can invoke.

·   Review the details of recent actions and pending changes to the rules (they’re probably posted on the HOA website). Request copies of any past and present actions or notices filed by the HOA against the selling homeowner.

·   See if you can talk to Homeowners Association board members to get a feel for whether the rules are strictly enforced or a more laissez faire regime is in place. There aren’t any guarantees, though—board membership and attitudes can change.


If you do decide to buy into a HOA development, remember the best defense is a good offense. Get involved in the HOA by attending meetings and keeping up-to-date with proposed changes to the covenants. 



Questions about buying or selling a home?
Call Terez B. Harris at 504.297.2619






View Homes For Sale in Metairie
View Homes For Sale in New Orleans



Terez B. Harris
Terez Harris NOLA Real Estate Group
(504)297-2619
www.TerezHarris.com
TerezHarris@kw.com


Search the MLS! 
(multiple listing service)


Search Terez's Active Listings!







      








Terez B. Harris   Terez Harris NOLA Real Estate Group   504-297-2619   www.TerezHarris.com
Keller Williams Realty New Orleans 8601 Leake Ave. New Orleans, LA 70118 504-862-0100
Each office independently owned and operated. All brokers and agents licensed in the state of Louisiana.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Home Selling - Increasing Your Home's Appeal


Remember the 60-second rule: That's all the time you have to create a winning first impression. Here are some simple to significant ways to maximize your home's appeal. 


Exterior

* Keep the grass cut and remove all yard clutter.
* Weed and apply fresh mulch to flower beds.
* Apply fresh paint to wooden fences.
* Tighten and clean all door handles.
* Clean windows inside and out.
* Powerwash home's exterior.
* Ensure all gutters and downspouts are firmly attached and functioning.
* Paint the front door.
* Buy a new welcome mat.
* Place potted flowers near the front door.

Interior

* Evaluate the furniture in each room and remove anything that interrupts "the flow" or makes the room appear smaller. Consider renting a storage unit to move items off-site.
* Clean and organize cabinets, closets and bookshelves.
* Clean all light fixtures and ceiling fans.
* Shampoo carpets.
* Remove excessive wall hangings and knick-knacks.
* Repair all plumbing leaks, including faucets and drain traps.
* Make minor repairs (torn screens, sticking doors, cracked caulking).
* Clean or paint walls and ceilings.
* Replace worn cabinet and door knobs.
* Fix or replace discolored grout.
* Replace broken tiles.
* Replace worn countertops.

Special details for showings

* Turn on all the lights.
* Open all drapes and shutters in the daytime.
* Keep pets secured outdoors.
* Buy new towels for bathrooms.
* Buy new bedding for bedrooms.
* Replace old lamps or lampshades.
* Play quiet background music.
* Light the fireplace or clean out the ashes and light a candelabrum.
* Infuse home with a comforting scent, such as apple spice or vanilla.
* Set the dining room table for a fancy dinner party.
* Vacate the property while it is being shown. 

Questions about buying or selling a home?
Call Terez B. Harris at 504.297.2619






View Homes For Sale in Metairie
View Homes For Sale in New Orleans



Terez B. Harris
Terez Harris NOLA Real Estate Group
(504)297-2619
www.TerezHarris.com
TerezHarris@kw.com


Search the MLS! 
(multiple listing service)


Search Terez's Active Listings!







      








Terez B. Harris   Terez Harris NOLA Real Estate Group   504-297-2619   www.TerezHarris.com
Keller Williams Realty New Orleans 8601 Leake Ave. New Orleans, LA 70118 504-862-0100
Each office independently owned and operated. All brokers and agents licensed in the state of Louisiana.