Your Power Chef Next Door

Your Power Chef Next Door

Antonio Saladino is beind the counter paring meltingly tender Kobe beef for one customer and calling out to another just-arrived, “Mrs. Lee, we have those oysters you ordered, shucked and ready.” No charge for the shucking, of course. This is Antonio at his best: preparing outstanding food for the people he counts as customers, neighbors and friends at Antonio’s Gourmet Market sited in spectacular LaFayette Village.

Trained by Lagasse  amp; Prudhomme

Raised in New Orleans, Antonio trained under Emeril Lagasse and Paul Prudhomme. He honed his skills at The Double Musky and The Chesterfield cooking for Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Prince Ranier of Monaco and other luminaries. But, Antonio doesn’t want to talk about that. “If people are interested in that, that’s fine. But you won’t find any egos here. We’re all about great food,” says Antonio, sparking, instead, to the subject of the take-out dinner he’s creating for a group of women who want to share a gourmet evening without busting the calorie bank. He’s planned a superb braised southwest seafood sausage of fresh halibut, hog snapper and pumpkin swordfish drizzled with a sauce fume and a microgreen salad in a Modena Balsamic aged twenty years. The first course is, if anything, surpassed by the second course of baby tender spring chicken over shoe string vegetables and lemon-caper buerre blanc sauce paired with a Far Niente chardonnay. It’s all finished with a Chambord poached pear under cr¨me fraiche with fresh Italian figs.

Wander the Aisles

The Market stocks the world’s best: home made, Italian sausages, cheeses that range from well-known imported Reggianos to the less familiar French Explorateur Triple Cream Cow’s Milk. Foodies will happily lose themselves for hours here. And, the dishes Antonio and his team create reflect the worldly-yet-communal feel of LaFayette Village.

Dine In or Take Out

Prepared Foods: Daily menus of complex dishes.

Fresh Produce: Many from just up the road.

Specialty Pizzas: Like white pizza — whole wheat dough brushed with black truffle oil, topped with roasted garlic, sundried tomatoes, fresh spinach, fresh mozzarella and Reggiano Parmigiana.

Butchery: Real behind-the-meat butcher counter.

Soup Bar: Five fresh-made daily.

Wine Shop: Expert pairings.

Pastry Shop, Seafood Counter, and even a Cooking School to ensure you can confidently prepare anything on the shelves.

Gourmet meals in the heart of your neighborhood — Antonio’s embodies the idea that good food forges strong connections.

What Homebuyers Hate about your House

This can happen the moment her car drives up to the front of the house. While you may not be able to rectify issues with the neighborhood, address your house’s negative features before the potential buyer arrives.

Improve the Curb Appeal

While yard ornaments can dress up the front yard, some potential buyers perceive yard ornaments as tacky and a distraction. It is not necessary for the prospective buyer to appreciate your decorating ability; you simply do not want to turn off the buyer before he enters the house.


If you sincerely believe your ornaments add to the property, seek a second opinion from another person, such as your real estate agent. If they recommend you remove the ornaments, follow the advice and do not take offense. If you are not sure the person feels comfortable giving an honest opinion, remove the ornaments.

Prospective buyers do not appreciate the weeds and trash in the front yard or the dying bushes. They especially hate the pet droppings you failed to pick up. Freshly mowed green lawn welcomes the prospective buyer, while brown, dying and shaggy grass is a turn off. Instead of visualizing the possibilities of the front yard, they will simply see work.

It only takes a few minutes to wash the front door, removing smudges and fingerprints. Many buyers will never remember the front door, in spite of the fact this is typically where they first enter the house. The exception to this is if the door is especially attractive and dramatic, or if it is filthy. Entering a home through a dirty and neglected front door sets a poor tone for the showing.

Odor is a Major Turn Off

If the buyer hates the smell of your house, they will inevitably hate your house. Remove the smoke, pet and cooking odors. Since the person living in the home rarely notices the unpleasant odor, you might want to proceed as if it does smell badly, and take steps to improve the condition. Go lightly on strong smelling cleaning products, as those can trigger a negative reaction.

The buyer hates what you have done with the place. Sellers take offense at the fact the buyers may hate their décor, or the clutter of knickknacks and family pictures on display. Yet, if you really want to sell your property as quickly as possible, do not alienate potential buyers just because they are not capable of seeing beyond your stuff. Pack up the pictures and clutter. After all, you will be moving the stuff after you sale.

The buyers really hate the old car, RV and boat parked in your back yard. You know you plan to move the junk before escrow closes, but all buyers can think about is the hassle of hauling that junk away after they purchase your house. Remove all the old junk from your yard and house.

While not every potential buyer will love your house, it will take longer to find one that does, if your house gives a poor first impression.

Must Know Tips for Purchasing Bank Owned Homes

Real estate is local except when it comes to bank owned homes where it suddenly becomes national. This is because the lenders selling these homes are neither aware nor concerned with local nuances, instead opting for standardized addenda designed to amend the purchase contract into one appropriate across multiple states.

Differences still remain from state to state but these tips generally will smooth the way for those who wish to buy a lender owned property:

Know the Local Market

Market conditions vary wildly not just from state to state but from city to city. In many areas and at many price points, bank owned homes are selling in a matter of a few days at full list price or higher. Knowing the state of the local real estate market up front is the key to knowing how quickly a purchase offer need be made and at what price.

Recognize Price Has Meaning

Depending on the condition of the property, what seems like a bargain soon came become quite pricey once the additional costs of even cosmetic items such as new paint and flooring is added to the list price. Buyers need to recognize up front that homes priced below comparable properties likely are priced lower for specific reasons.

Understand the Lenders’ Motivation

While it’s true lenders don’t want to carry real estate owned – REOs – on their books, it’s also true that they are not willing to give homes away for pennies on the dollar regardless of the local cocktail party chatter. Lenders generally only will sell at close to market value, or what they perceive as market value, even if this means they reject offers at price points now that they would be happy to accept later. Illogical, but true.

Bank Owned Home Sales are As Is

Purchases of bank owned homes are nearly universally as is sales – what a buyer sees at the time a purchase offer is written is what they get at the close. Some lenders will make repairs required by the buyers’ lender in the case of FHA or VA loans but not all, leaving many foreclosed homes ineligible for those types of financing.

 Home Inspections are Critical

While lenders won’t make repairs to bank owned properties, it’s still vitally important for buyers to have a professional home inspection conducted to determine the home’s true condition. An up-front cost of a couple hundred dollars can save thousands in repair bills later.

While the basics of the transaction on a bank owned purchase are similar to buying a traditional resale home, there are distinct differences that can cost the unprepared buyer time and money. Buyers should take care to check with a local real estate professional who can guide them through the slightly more complicated bank owned purchase process.