Hot Spot Monday! Best Kept Secret in Livingston Parish….. Oak Point Fresh Market!


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20190115_113900Team Sisters had the privilege to get to visit with the owners and long time friends of Oak Point Fresh Market in Watson, La.  If you have not had a chance to stroll through the isles of this amazing market place, make plans to do so soon.  Not only will you find the store stocked with the freshest produce, but you will be delighted to know that they have one of a kind items… from family recipes, in the gourmet section, to the freshest specialty meats for all of your favorite occasions.  Above and beyond…. all that the Market has to offer, are the friendliest staff, eager and ready to serve with a smile.  You will love the dining section where you can grab a delicious meal, the deli meats aisle, fresh produce, home-maid cakes and cookies, and it’s Mari Gras time…..  so you will love the one of a kind specialty King Cakes that are made daily and served fresh! Check out the slide show and make sure to schedule your shopping day soon!                                                                         


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Hanging out with the owners and long time friends of Oak Point Fresh Market in Watson, Louisiana.. Great visit catching up on DTR stories from years gone by!


Fun visit with John & Carmel


Team Sisters taste test!! YUM











Mardi Gras in Baton Rouge


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Mardi Gras Day – Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Mardi Gras in Baton Rouge is an annual celebration attended by thousands each year who join in and experience the exciting activities hosted in the Red Stick. Baton Rouge offers a variety of parades, and it has become a favorite place for families celebrating Mardi Gras. 


Start planning your trip now to indulge in all of the Mardi Gras festivities, Baton Rouge restaurantsattractions and more! The family-friendly Baton Rouge Mardi Gras kicks off with traditional floats, fancy balls, excitement and entertainment for everyone. The annual parades include everything from beautifully designed floats, marching bands, costumed canines, lawn mower-pushing krewes and dancing for all to enjoy! Get here early so you don’t miss out on any of the fun and snag a front row seat to a fun-filled Baton Rouge Mardi Gras parade this year.

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And once Mardi Gras season rolls around, every bakery, restaurant and food store in Baton Rouge will create their own spin on Louisiana’s traditional King Cake – including King Cake themed bread pudding, martinis, cake balls, cupcakes, popsicles, ice cream, donuts and many more creative desserts. However, Baton Rouge’s dessert scene goes far beyond that, so come down and satisfy your sweet tooth, or bake this King Cake at home!


Source: 2019 Baton Rouge Mardi Gras Parade Schedule

10 BestWeekend Getaways in Louisiana


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“There are so many reasons to love Louisiana, from its fantastic food and jazz to moss-draped swamps and bayous, stunning mansions and more. No matter what type of getaway you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it among these great options.”

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Trips to Discover …


10 Home Trends That’ll Be Hot In 2019 (And 2 That Are OUT!)


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Each fall, decorators begin to share the interior design trends we can expect to see in the new year. Looking ahead to 2019, bold colors, metallics, and statement ceilings take center stage.

If you’re planning to put your place on the market and want it to appear like the freshest spot on the block, you need to know what’s hot and what’s not.

Reduce Refinancing Costs


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There is much more than a lower rate and payment to determine whether to refinance a mortgage.  Lenders try to make refinancing as attractive as possible by rolling the closing costs into the new mortgage so there isn’t any out of pocket cash required.

The closing costs associated with a new loan could add several thousand dollars to your mortgage balance.  The following suggestions may help you to reduce the expense to refinance.

?         Tell the lender up-front that you want to have the loan quoted with minimal closing costs.

?         Check with your existing lender to see if the rate and closing costs might be cheaper. 

?         Shop around with other lenders and compare rate and closing costs.

?         If you’re refinancing an FHA or VA loan, consider the streamline refinance.

?         Credit unions may have lower closing costs because they are generally loaning deposits and their cost of funds is less.

?         Reducing the loan-to-value so mortgage insurance is not required will reduce expenses and lower the payment.

?         Ask if the lender can use an AVM, automated valuation model, instead of an appraisal.

?         You may not need a new survey if no changes have been made.

?         There may be a discount on the mortgagee’s title policy available on a refinance.

?         Points on refinancing, unlike a purchase, are ratably deductible over the life of the loan ($3,000 in points on a 30-year loan would result in a $100 tax deduction each year.)

?         Consider a 15-year loan.  If you can afford the higher payments, you can expect a lower interest rate than a 30-year loan and obviously, it will build equity faster and pay off in half the time.

A lender must provide you a list of the fees involved with making the loan within 3 days of making a loan application in the form of aLoan Estimate and a Closing Disclosure Form.  Every dollar counts, and they belong to you.

Owning Makes More Sense

When comparing the cost of owning a home to renting, there is more than the difference in house payment against the rent currently being paid. It very well could be lower than the rent but when you consider the other benefits, owning could be much lower than renting.


Each mortgage payment has an amount that is used to pay down the principal which is building equity for the owner. Similarly, the home appreciates over time which also benefits the owner by increasing their equity.

There are additional expenses for owning a home that renters don’t have like repairs and possibly, a homeowner’s association. To get a clear picture, look at the following example of a $300,000 home with a 3.5% down payment on a 4.5%, 30-year mortgage.

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The total payment is $2,264 including principal, interest, property taxes, property and mortgage insurance. However, when you consider the monthly principal reduction, appreciation, maintenance and HOA, the net cost of housing is $1,218. It costs $1,282 more to rent at $2,500 a month than to own. In a year’s time, it would cost $15,000 more to rent than to own which is more than the down payment and closing costs to buy the home.

With normal amortization and 3% annual appreciation, the $10,500 down payment in this example turns into $112,00 in equity in seven years. Check out your own numbers using the Rent vs. Own or call me at (225) 291-1234. Owning a home makes sense and can be one of the best investments a person will ever make.

A Word Homeowners Need to Understand

Acquisition Debt is the amount of money borrowed used to buy, build or improve a principal residence or second home. Under the new tax law, mortgages taken after 12/14/17 are limited to a combination of $750,000 on the first and second homes. The mortgage interest on this debt is tax deductible when itemizing deductions.


It is a dynamic number that is reduced with each payment as the unpaid balance goes down. The only way to increase acquisition debt is to borrow money to make capital improvements.

Prior to the new law, homeowners could additionally borrow up to $100,000 of home equity debt for any purpose and deduct the interest when itemizing deductions. Mortgage interest on home equity debt is no longer deductible unless it is for capital improvements.

Acquisition debt cannot be increased by refinancing. Some confusion occurs because mortgage lenders are concerned in making home loans that will be repaid according the terms of the note and using the home as collateral. That does not include making a tax-deductible mortgage.

Another thing that adds confusion to the issue is that the lenders will annually report how much interest was paid in a year but only the amount that is attributable to acquisition debt is deductible.

Even if the interest on the cash-out refinance is not deductible, it may be advantageous to pay off higher interest debt such as credit card debt and replacing it with lower mortgage debt.

It is the responsibility of the taxpayer to know what part of their mortgage debt is deductible. The challenge becomes more difficult after a cash-out refinance. Homeowners should keep records of all financing and capital improvements and consult with their tax professional.