It is our goal at The Parks at Plaquemines to keep our buyers informed about the latest information from the local, state-level, and national real estate industry. We post content to our blog that we hope that you as our custom home buyer will find helpful. Look here for information about financing your new home, building restrictions for new homes, and real estate legislation that will impact you as you are looking to buy or build a new home in the Greater New Orleans area.

Corian or Quartz Countertops, What Is Right for You?

When renovating your kitchen, your countertops are a big part of it. In fact professionals will tell you that one of the most important design elements in your kitchen is your countertops. It is important to choose something that looks good but also something that is low-maintenance and durable. Corain and Quartz are two popular choices, so which is best? Here are some differences from the experts.

What is Corian and Quartz Materials?

Corian is a brand name and not a type of material, but is is often referred to as the name of a general solid surface material. Corian comes in many colors and the pigments are added to the resin so the color goes all the way through.
“Corian countertops are made of solid surface material, which is a blend of acrylic polymer and natural minerals, offering a seamless, non-porous surface,” explains Kerrie Kelly of Kerrie Kelly Design Studio.

Quartz is a bit different from Corian and can actually look a lot like natural stone surfaces such as granite or marble. “Quartz countertops, are engineered from natural quartz crystals and resins, providing exceptional durability and a wide range of colors and patterns,” says Kerrie.

Which Is More Durable?

Quartz is pretty durable and resistant to stains. Quartz will not scratch, mold and mildew like Corian sometimes will. Corain is still durable but is not as resilient. High tempatures will damage Corian so you cannot put a hot pan directly on Corian counters.

“While hot items shouldn’t be placed directly on quartz, it can withstand some heat as compared to Corian, says Jane Lockhart, founder of Jane Lockhart Design. It can be noisy when placing hard objects on the surface and it can be perceived as hard and cold if you regularly sit at a quartz counter when dining.”

Which Looks Better?

Quartz comes in many more styles and professionals say that is in one of the best countertops for cooking. “Quartz is mostly polished, but there are some options in a matte finish, says Jane. There is a multitude of patterns, colors, and finishes available with quartz, and many that have a layering of colors. Some quartz even has metallic-like gold and silver embedded within them.”

Which Is More Stain-Resistant?

Quartz is more resistant to stain but Corian counters are also resistant. Both are hygienic because there are no seams on the countertops. Both of these types of counters are non-porous and do not have to be sealed. These low maintaince materials do not need to be polished and spills are cleaned off easily.

Which Is Easier To Design With?

Corian is definetly the easier of the two to design with. This material has a higher percentage of binding resins that allows for greater flexibility in terms of shape.  “Corian is very moldable, allowing you to create a seamless sink or rounded corners, says Jane. There truly are no seams, so the opportunities are endless in terms of what length can be used or shape created. It is soft to the touch and relatively quiet when placing dishware or hard items on top. It is matte sheen, making it less of a visual statement than a glossy finish.”

Corian cost between $45 to $65 per square foot and quartz cost from $50 to $200 per square foot. “While Quartz can be more expensive than some other materials and may not withstand high heat as well as natural stone, their resistance to etching and staining is unmatched,” says Kerrie.

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Setting Up Your Home Office

The pandemic brought out the importance of having a space for a home office, whether it is in a nook or a whole room, setting up a well-designed home office will have many benefits for your work and home life. Here are some tips on setting up your home office so you can have the perfect work-from-home experience.

Room Selection

This is the most important part of setting up your office space. This space will directly go hand in hand with your ability to concentrate. You do not want to set up your home office in the middle of your living room because of distractions, but you also do not want to choose a space with poor natural lighting.

To select the right room, you need to think about natural lighting, the room layout, and how close or far it is from the kitchen or the bathroom. You never want to pick a space that will have high noise levels, so make sure the space you choose is a quiet room where you can focus.

Furnishing the Space

You will be spending a good amount of time sitting in this space so you want comfort and a productive area. Office furniture can help with minimizing physical strain along with providing a seamless workflow.

They say that office furniture can be described as the backbone of your at-home office. When choosing a chair, go for an ergonomic chair. Make sure you have a spacious desk and tons of storage. Standup desks are popular nowadays, allowing you to both sit or stand to work.

Enhance Your Lighting

Office lighting is important when it comes to work productivity. Eye strain can be a problem and make you both fatigued and not alert. Lighting can also make your mood a little better and help you tackle your task with a positive attitude.

The perfect spot will have natural light but this can not always be in the space you choose. Setting different lighting levels and colors can help with your work mood. To reduce eye strain, ensure you have enough light over your writing and reading area, as well as move lights that could cause glare or a reflection on your computer screen.

Automate Your At-Home Office & Get Things Organized

Smart home devices are a must in your home office. They will help automate repetitive tasks such as adjusting the light levels and regulating the temperature in your home office. Wi-Fi, and smart doorbell cameras are great devices for your smart home office.

Having things organized can make your workspace more efficient. You want to have a clutter-free area that has storage for paper so no documents go missing. Also use a cord management system so you will not have your wires everywhere.

Remember a home office, is your space, and will look like you. Using these key factors can help ensure your office space is an efficient area.

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Common Reasons To Sell Your Home

“No matter what interest rates and home prices do next, sometimes homeowners just have to move—due to a new job, new baby, divorce, death, or some other major life change,” from A life change is a big reason for you to sell your home. It is not the ideal time or market but sometimes that just doesn’t matter. Here are several reasons why now would be a good time to sell your home.


There are many different things to cause you to have to relocate. They include a job change, needing to be closer to loved ones, or just needing a change of scenery.


You have an addition to your family, or you might just want a larger home. During the pandemic, stay-at-home orders made outdoor living spaces, home offices and home gyms more important spaces. An upgrade could be a move to another home so you have one or all of these features.


If you are soon to become an empty nester, then you might need to downsize. If you have too much space and not all of it is being used, then it probably would be a good move.

Change in Relationship Status

This is not a fun event but it does happen. Divorce, separation or on the brighter side marriage can push someone to sell their home.

Health Concerns

If something changes such as a homeowner that is now immobile, might need to change their living space to accommodate.

Remember selling your home and figuring out the right time to sell your home is a personal choice. “Deciding whether it’s the right time to sell your home is a very personal choice. There are numerous important questions to consider, both financial and lifestyle-based, before putting your home on the market,” says Bankrate.

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The Ins and Outs of a Home Appraisal

A home appraisal is a big part of the home-buying process. Having a better understanding will allow you to better negotiate and avoid the stumbling blocks. A home purchase is a financial obligation but it also is a very emotional decision. When it comes to the appraisal of your home, this is what the mortgage lenders will be most concerned about.

A home appraiser is a middle man literally speaking. An appraiser will always be your neutral opinion. In order for you to obtain a mortgage, your home must pass an appraisal. An appraisal is an assessment of the property’s value by an unbiased third party.

The unbiased third party is known as the appraiser who is state-licensed or certified. They will look at the home as a neutral party taking into consideration the home’s location, age, condition, additions or renovations and recent sales of comparable homes.

When you are in the midst of your home purchase, you the buyer will be the one who is responsible for paying for the appraisal. The appraisal fee is usually bundled in with your closing costs. A typical fee would be anywhere from $330 and $440. The cost will depend on the home’s square footage and if it has an unusual floor plan.

Once the appraiser completes the appraisal, they will present you with a report. The report will give an analysis of the property and data on comparable homes. Once your appraisal goes to you and your lender. If the appraisal matches the value of the price you and the seller agreed upon, then your loan will go to process. If the appraisal comes in higher, then you gain immediate equity. If the appraisal comes in lower, you will have to come up with the difference between what the lender will lend you and the amount you agreed upon with the seller.

Remember going at this alone is very stressful. Go with a local sales agent who can help you with the homebuying process from start to finish. A local agent will also be a great source for the perfect lender for your needs.

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Secrets to Finding a Home in Any Type of Housing Market

The ever-changing housing market will always keep the buyer and seller guessing. If you are a buyer, it is always nice if the market is a buyer’s market. Even when the market is up, down, or somewhere in between, professionals in the industry have some tips on how to buy a home in any market.

1. Help Your Offer Stand Out

In a seller’s market, there will almost always be multiple offers on the home you are making an offer on. To get ahead of the game, it is a good idea to get pre-qualified for a mortgage. This will give you a rough estimate of how much you can afford. To ensure that you are able to purchase the home you want to make an offer on, get a verified approval letter from your lender. This will let a seller know that you are a serious contender and you can go through with the offer.

2. Partner With an Experienced Agent

A local real estate agent will be able to battle for you in any kind of market. They have extensive knowledge in the local market and can also refer you to a local lender. You can go into a home showing with the knowledge of the comparable property selling prices in the area and an agent can get you into pocket listings. Pocket listings are usually sold privately and are not listed on MLS. Agents also keep up with one another, so your agent can get the scoop and help you make an informed decision on which way to go.

3. Check Out Affordable Alternatives

Your budget might not be in line with your dream home, so you may want to shift your focus. Focus on your must haves and share these with your real estate agent. If you can move into another area that is cheaper, that can also be a way to get the home of your dreams. To check out other areas, use a cost-of-living calculator which can help you compare housing costs, and other factors in different areas.

4. Sweeten Your Offer

You want to get your offer a second glance, so you want it to stand out. You don’t just have to work with the purchase price on a counter offer, you can also negotiate other factors. An example would be if a seller is still shopping for a home, you can rent back their home after you purchase it. This will make your offer more attractive over others.

Remember purchasing a home is a big deal no matter what kind of housing market we are in. Be sure to choose a lender and a real estate agent who will help you with the home buying process from start to finish.

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