Q & A with Your Ascension Parish Real Estate Agent – Maria Cardwell Thorn

Why did you become a real estate agent?     I initially became an agent to be able to buy my own Investment properties.  Then “life happened”, I got divorced and had recently passed my Real Estate exam, so I started selling Real Estate – and absolutely LOVE it !

Why should I work with you?    You should work with me because I am passionate about what I do because I do love it so much. I am the lead agent with a team of professionals that work along side of me – consisting of an Assistant and a Buyer Specialist.  I also have a proven track record as being one of the top Realtors in my Keller Williams office, in the Greater Baton Rouge Board of Realtors and was also  recognized by Keller Williams Realty in 2012 as being in the top 200 agents in the Gulf States Region and in 2013 I was in the top 5 teams in the Keller Williams Gulf States Region.

What do you do better than other real estate agents?   My team and I are genuinely concerned with helping our clients finding the PERFECT home!   We love working with people and being a part of helping them with one of the biggest purchases in their lifetimes is quite rewarding.

We also have true state of the art technology available to us for helping you search for homes.  You will be given a mobile website that you can use to search properties directly from you smartphone and given instructions on how you can be alerted of any  new properties that come on the market almost the minute they are listed.

You can start that search here www.mariathorn.com

Download Smartphone APP to search for Property.. text KW2LKSJ09 to 87778 for a free “property search” app.

What process will you use to help me find the right home for my particular wants and needs?  We meet with our clients to do a Buyer Consult before actually showing any homes.  During this consult we go over the whole buying process from searching for homes to getting you in touch with a lender for pre-approval to the inspection process and then the closing.  We will be with you throughout the entire process and will always remain in touch with you for the ongoing Real Estate needs of yourself and your friends and family.

What are the most common things that go wrong in a transaction and how would you handle them?   Even the smoothest of transactions have a “hiccup” now and then.

When  purchasing a home of course, one of the biggest factors  is  the price. We will negotiate with the buyer or sellers agent to get you the best possible deal.

Inspection time can also be a bit stressful.  Again, we will negotiate on your behalf what repairs are needed and how those repairs will be handled.

Appraisals can sometimes come in a bit lower than expected.  This can be a problem for the seller and again, we will be here to do what needs to be done to make a deal work for you.

What are some mistakes that you think people make when buying their first home?   I think sometimes when buyers get an initial preapproval – they push that number to the limit and buy more of a house than they really need, which can cause financial difficulty.  Just because you are pre-approved for $200K doesn’t mean you need to buy a $200K house.  If you are more comfortable with the note on a $175K home – that’s what we should look for.

Doing an inspection is a VERY important step in the home buying process.  It will cost you approximately $275-$450 to get an inspection done by a licensed home inspector.  However, in my opinion, this is very well spent money.  The inspector may find something in the house that if not found during this inspection – could cost you $1000’s of dollars after you have already purchased the home – at this point of course, the seller would no longer be responsible and you cannot go back to the seller “after the fact”.  Doing an inspection in the allotted inspection period can save you from potentially buying a “money pit” and also we can negotiate these things in the inspection repair request and have the issues resolved before closing.
What other professionals do you suggest we work with and what are their credentials?  I have a list of trusted Lenders, Inspectors, Licensed Contractors that I work very closely with.  This list will be provided to you during our initial consult.

Can you provide me with references or testimonials from past clients?   YES… Here are a few:

    My husband and I had very poor credit and were working to improve it for over 2 years before we could actually purchase a home. Maria stuck by our sides, offering advice and market knowledge the whole time. When it came time to buying our home, Maria and her fabulous team (especially Aimee), exceeded our expectations and made a very stressful situation so much easier. Our original loan fell through and they managed to convince the sellers to sign an extension on our purchase agreement so we could secure another loan and get the home of our dreams. My husband and I had all but given up, but not them. If you’re looking for a team that will help you realize your dreams without pushing you to do more than you really want, then Maria Thorn is the way to go!                                       Steven and Tracy Babin purchased home in 10/13

  What we enjoyed most about working with Maria was the level of comfort we felt.  We always felt Maria was truly concerned about getting us what we wanted.  Maria was very patient in helping us find just the right home even when out needs changed.  She helped us with any obstacles.  We never felt like she was pushing us toward any specific home or location            Rhett and Jennifer  purchased 12/13

Mrs.Maria and her team (Sheryl and Aimee) were very attentive to our home sale, when they took over after 3 months of us trying to do FSBO everything went very quickly. That being said, they had my home sold in under 14 days, they had the pictures done in less than 24 hours and on the market immediately! Technically they sold my house within 7 days of signing with her and her team if you look past the initial “entering” period where they have to input info and get pictures, etc. The pictures she had taken of my home were AMAZING, they made me want to STAY!!! She was available at all hours of the day (and night) to answer any questions or concerns i had. They worked with our schedules for showings since we had 4 dogs and 2 kids (keeping the house show ready was a bit difficult, especially with our work schedules) Mrs.Maria was ready to help in any way possible! Closing was the easiest I have ever experienced (whether it be buying or selling). She always has your best interest in mind. She really loves her job and is an absolute go-getter! Wish I would have never wasted 3 months trying FSBO and had went with her from the beginning! I am someone who tries to do everything on my own, strong headed and independent, but after having a wishy washer buyer drag us around on our FSBO contract, its just not worth the hassle when a realtor can handle everything and make sure you have the right kind of buyers entering your home! STRESS FREE experience with her team! I will use her to buy my next home/land and if I ever sell again, I will be using her then too!                                                                                                              G. and B. Sellars   Sold home in 2014

Maria Thorn is very professional yet personable and made the process of searching for and purchasing my home so easy! She is an amazing realtor and a wonderful negotiator!                                                        Kristen Rivet   Purchased in 2014

Let Maria Thorn be the agent you call for your Ascension Parish Real Estate Needs

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Would you like to be a Real Estate Agent ?                                            Call me at 225-933-9542 for details

Maria C Thorn                                                                                                Keller Williams Realty First Choice                                                            37325 Market Place Dr., Prairieville, LA 70769                                               225-744-0044 (office)  225-933-9542 (Cell)                                  maria@mariathorn.com                                                                             Licensed in State of Louisiana                                                                       Each Office Independently Owned and Operated


So You Want to Buy a Home

Here are a few steps to follow:

1. Decide to buy.
Although there are many good reasons for you to buy a home, wealth building ranks among the top of the list. We call home ownership the best “accidental investment” most people ever make. But, we believe when it is done right, home ownership becomes an “intentional investment” that lays the foundation for a life of financial security and personal choice. There are solid financial reasons to support your decision to buy a home, and, among these, equity buildup, value appreciation, and tax benefits stand out.

Base your decision to buy on facts, not fears.
If you are paying rent, you very likely can afford to buy
There is never a wrong time to buy the right home. All you need to do in the short run is find a good buy and make sure you have the financial ability to hold it for the long run.
The lack of a substantial down payment doesn’t prevent you from making your first home purchase
A less-than-perfect credit score won’t necessarily stop you from buying a home
The best way to get closer to buying your ultimate dream home is to buy your first home now
Buying a home doesn’t have to be complicated – there are many professionals who will help you along the way

2. Hire your agent.
The typical real estate transaction involves at least two dozen separate individuals-insurance assessors, mortgage brokers and underwriters, inspectors, appraisers, escrow officers, buyer’s agents, seller’s agents, bankers, title researchers, and a number of other individuals whose actions and decisions have to be orchestrated in order to perform in harmony and get a home sale closed. It is the responsibility of your real estate agent to expertly coordinate all the professionals involved in your home purchase and to act as the advocate for you and your interests throughout.

Seven main roles of your real estate agent

A Buyer’s Real Estate Agent:
Educates you about your market.
Analyzes your wants and needs.
Guides you to homes that fit your criteria.
Coordinates the work of other needed professionals.
Negotiates on your behalf.
Checks and double-checks paperwork and deadlines.
Solves any problems that may arise.

8 important questions to ask your agent

Qualifications are important. However, finding a solid, professional agent means getting beyond the resume, and into what makes an agent effective. Use the following questions as your starting point in hiring your licensed, professional real estate agent:
Why did you become a real estate agent?
Why should I work with you?
What do you do better than other real estate agents?
What process will you use to help me find the right home for my particular wants and needs?
What are the most common things that go wrong in a transaction and how would you handle them?
What are some mistakes that you think people make when buying their first home?
What other professionals do you suggest we work with and what are their credentials?
Can you provide me with references or testimonials from past clients?

3. Secure financing.
While you may find the thought of home ownership thrilling, the thought of taking on a mortgage may be downright chilling. Many first-time buyers start out confused about the process or nervous about making such a large financial commitment.

From start to finish, you will follow a six-step, easy-to-understand process to securing the financing for your first home.

Six steps to Financing a Home
Choose a loan officer (or mortgage specialist).
Make a loan application and get preapproved.
Determine what you want to pay and select a loan option.
Submit to the lender an accepted purchase offer contract.
Get an appraisal and title commitment.
Obtain funding at closing.

4. Find your home.
You may think that shopping for homes starts with jumping in the car and driving all over town. And it’s true that hopping in the car to go look is probably the most exciting part of the home-buying process. However, driving around is fun for only so long-if weeks go by without finding what you’re looking for, the fun can fade pretty fast. That’s why we say that looking for your home begins with carefully assessing your values, wants, and needs, both for the short and long terms.

Questions to ask yourself
What do I want my home to be close to?
How much space do I need and why?
Which is more critical: location or size?
Would I be interested in a fixer-upper?
How important is home value appreciation?
Is neighborhood stability and priority?
Would I be interested in a condo?
Would I be interested in new home construction?
What features and amenities do I want? Which do I really need?

5. Make an offer.
When searching for your dream home, you were just that-a dreamer. Now that you’re writing an offer, you need to be a businessperson. You need to approach this process with a cool head and a realistic perspective of your market. The three basic components of an offer are price, terms, and contingencies (or “conditions” in Canada).

Price-the right price to offer must fairly reflect the true market value of the home you want to buy. Your agent’s market research will guide this decision.

Terms-the other financial and timing factors that will be included in the offer.

Terms fall under six basic categories in a real estate offer:
Schedule-a schedule of events that has to happen before closing.
Conveyances-the items that stay with the house when the sellers leave.
Commission-the real estate commission or fee, for both the agent who works with the seller and the agents who works with the buyer.
Closing costs-it’s standard for buyers to pay their closing costs, but if you want to roll the costs into the loan, you need to write that into the contract.
Home warranty-this covers repairs or replacement of appliances and major systems. You may ask the seller to pay for this.
Earnest money-this protects the sellers from the possibility of your unexpectedly pulling of the deal and makes a statement about the seriousness of your offer.

6. Perform due diligence.
Unlike most major purchases, once you buy a home, you can’t return it if something breaks or doesn’t quite work like it’s supposed to. That’s why home owner’s insurance and property inspections are so important.

A home owner’s insurance policy protects you in two ways:
Against loss or damage to the property itself
liability in case someone sustains an injury while on your property

The property inspection should expose the secret issues a home might hide so you know exactly what you’re getting into before you sign your closing papers.
Your major concern is structural damage.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Things that are easily fixed can be overlooked.
If you have a big problem show up in your inspection report, you should bring in a specialist. If the worst-case scenario turns out to be true, you might want to walk away from the purchase.

7. Close.
The final stage of the home buying process is the lender’s confirmation of the home’s value and legal statue, and your continued credit-worthiness. This entails a survey, appraisal, title search, and a final check of your credit and finance. Your agent will keep you posted on how each if progressing, but your work is pretty much done.

You just have a few preclosing responsibilities:
Stay in control of your finances.
Return all phone calls and paperwork promptly.
Communicate with your agent at least once a week.
Several days before closing, confirm with your agent that all your documentation is in place and in order.
Obtain certified funds for closing.
Conduct a final walk-through.

On closing day, with the guidance of a settlement agent and your agent, you’ll sign documents that do the following:
Finalize your mortgage.
Pay the seller.
Pay your closing costs.
Transfer the title from the seller to you.
Make arrangements to legally record the transaction as a public record.
As long as you have clear expectations and follow directions, closing should be a momentous conclusion to your home-searching process and commencement of your home-owning experience.

8. Protect your investment.
Throughout the course of your home-buying experience, you’ve probably spent a lot of time with your real estate agent and you’ve gotten to know each other fairly well. There’s no reason to throw all that trust and rapport out the window just because the deal has closed. In fact, your agent wants you to keep in touch.

Even after you close on your house, you agent can still help you:
Handle your first tax return as a home owner.
Find contractors to help with home maintenance or remodeling.
Help your friends find homes.
Keep track of your home’s current market value.
Attention to you home’s maintenance needs is essential to protecting the long-term value of your investment.

Home maintenance falls into two categories:
Keeping it clean: Perform routine maintenance on your home’s systems, depending on their age and style.
Keeping an eye on it: Watch for signs of leaks, damage, and wear. Fixing small problems early can save you big money later.

Let us help you to buy your new home.  Click here to start your online search NOW !

You local Ascension Parish Real Estate Agents

KW185205 - f1594 ext gray

Maria Cardwell Thorn 225-933-9542 maria@mariathorn.com

Aimee Cardwell Norton

Aimee Cardwell Norton  225-229-0406   aimee@aimeecnorton.com

Keller Williams Realty First Choice                                                                 37325 Market Place Dr.     Prairieville, LA 70769                                       225-744-0044 (office)                                                                          Licensed in State of Louisiana                                                                     Each Office Independently Owned and Operated

13343 Parwood Ave., Baton Rouge, LA 70816

! Charming Home In a Wonderful Community !

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Maria Thorn

Keller Williams Realty First Choice


Schedule a Showing!

Licensed In:

License #:

13343 Parwood Ave

Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70816

Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms : 2 ( 2 full )

List Price: $165,000

Living Area Approx :

Welcome home ! Entering through the front door of this super cute home in Fairwood Estates, you walk into a spacious and comfortable family room with a cozy fireplace and beautifully stained concrete floors. In the kitchen you will find nice (and new) slab granite countertops, coordinating black appliances, ample cabinets and a small breakfast area. The dining room is a great space for any size or shape dining room table and features hardwood floors. This dining room is also very open to the family room, making it an excellent space for entertaining. The split floor plan has the two extra bedrooms in the front of the home, sharing a bathroom and the master bed/bath are to the back of the house. The master bath has great closet space, a nice big bathtub and separate shower. Step out of the back door and you will find a wonderful brick patio to relax and enjoy the outdoors. The covered carport also serves as a great spot for any outdoor entertaining and the white picket fence across the driveway adds just enough character and charm to make this house feel like HOME! Additional notes: New outside AC and new roof in 2013.


37325 Market Place Dr.
Prairieville, LA 70769
225-744-0044 – Office
225-933-9542 – Cell
Licensed in State of Louisiana
Each Office Independently Owned and Operated

12380 Legacy Hills Dr., Geismar, LA 70734 has JUST SOLD !

You Missed This One !

Visit http://www.mariathorn.com to look for another !


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Maria Thorn

Keller Williams Realty First Choice


Licensed In:

License #:

Extras For You!>>>
Property VIDEO

12380 Legacy Hills

Geismar, Louisiana 70734

Bedrooms: 5

Bathrooms : 4 ( 4 full )

List Price: $425,000

Living Area Approx :


Your DREAM HOME – FIVE bedrooms, FOUR full baths in Legacy Hills. Fantastic  floorplan, great living/dining/kitchen/keeping area. Den and dining area feature beautifully stained pine floors, cypress beams, custom built-ins, 12ft. ceilings, gas burning (or wood burning) fireplace and fresh paint. In the spacious gourmet kitchen you’ll find slab granite counters, custom cabinets, gas stove, built in wine rack, Travertine tile back splash, under mount sink, an island to die for and a pot-filler at the stove for your convenience.  The master suite is HUGE and the master bath/closet – simply luxurius ! The 5 bedroom is the only room upstairs over the garage.  This room, with it’s own full bath and a closet could also function as an incredible game room, media room, “man-cave”, even a mother-in-law suite.  This room has it’s own AC unit as well.  Call me today for your private tour – 225-933-942

VISIT OUR FACEBOOK PAGE at www.facebook.com/livinginascension

To Search for property – http://www.mariathorn.com



37325 Market Place Dr.
Prairieville, LA 70769
225-744-0044 – Office
225-933-9542 – Cell
Licensed in State of Louisiana
Each Office Independently Owned and Operated

5 bedroom home for sale in Ascension 12380 Legacy HIlls Dr., Geismar, LA 70734

WHAT A BEAUTY and a RARE find!  Make this house at 12380 Legacy Hills Dr., Geismar, LA your next home !

Custom 5 bedroom, 4 bath home in Legacy Hills Subdivision.   Beautifully landscaped and two car garage with full size boat port – providing loads of storage or a 3rd garage stall.

Truly breathtaking.  Nice open floorplan, great picture window in the formal dining room, very spacious family room with windows across the back wall looking out onto the patio.

Den and dining area feature beautifully stained pine floors, exposed cypress beams, custom built-in entertainment center, 12ft. ceilings, gas burning fireplace and fresh paint.

What fantastic workspace in this gourmet kitchen – you’ll find slab granite counters, custom cabinets, gas stove, built in wine rack, Travertine tile back splash, under mount sink, an eat-at island to die for and a pot-filler at the stove for your convenience.

The keeping area features a very nice built-in entertainment center and makes a great place for everyday family meals, game nights, birthday parties……

Triple split floor plan with 4 bedrooms downstairs, Hollywood bath between two of the bedrooms downstairs.

The 4th bedrooms is conveniently located on the opposite side of the home, having access to it’s own bathroom and making it a great office or guest room, mother-in-law suite, playroom… ‘

The 5th bedroom having a separate bathroom and closet is upstairs over the garage (could be an awesome “man cave”, party room, craft room, movie room…)  This room – minus a kitchen – is almost it’s own little one room apartment

The oversized Master suite has it’s own sitting area and access to the patio.

The bath features an extended length jetted tub, separate shower, his/her vanities with slab granite counters and oil rubbed bronzed fixtures, Built-in shelves, drawers and other storage features make this a DREAM COME TRUE closet.


Nothing was left out in this home, there is even a computer desk with cabinet space at the end of the hall. The utility room has ample space and includes a deep basin sink, built-in cabinets and a broom closet.

Outside you’ll find a fully fenced in backyard with a extended slate patio and cable hook-ups for a television.  A MUST SEE !

Local amenities – all within a 2 mile radius – Harvest Supermarket – daily lunch specials, produce, meat, wine/beer, deli, crawfish (in season) – also a childhood favorite of everyone and the best you’ll find around – Snoballs (in season and OPEN now) !

 On the opposite corner of the supermarket is a Walgreen’s, a Chevron gas station, Local drugstore, Smoothie King, Notary Public, Dutchtown Primary, Dutchtown Middle School and Dutchtown High School (Dutchtown School District).  

On the way to the I-10 entrance, you’ll find a Racetrac gas and convenience store, Sonic, Burger King, McDonalds, Subway, Popeyes, Las Palmas Mexican Restaurant, HotWok, Pizza Hut, LaChic Nails, Kaminari Sushi, John Michaels Good Eats, plus a nice selection of other retail shops.  

Welcome to Ascension Parish and the Geismar/Dutchtown area.

  Not looking for such a large home –  Search for more Homes here.

Contact me to preview this lovely home or any others you may be interested in – 225-933-9542

Maria Cardwell Thorn, Realtor, ABR, SFR, SRES, CDPE
Keller Williams Realty – First Choice
37325 Market Place Dr.
Prairieville, LA 70769
225-744-0044 Office
225-933-9542  Cell
Licensed in Louisiana
Each Office Independently Owned and Operated



What a precious home for a “starter”  or a great investment property !   3 beds and 1.5 baths, cozy den and eat-in kitchen.  The outside features a nice storage building/workshop and nicely landscaped patio area.  The house backs up to a playground and tennis courts





Nov. 2013 Featured Agent AIMEE C NORTON


Aimee Cardwell Norton has been a licensed Realtor in the state of Louisiana since 2009.  Her specialty is assisting buyers to find the home of their dreams;  including professionally taking them from the selection phase, to working with lenders, through inspections and appraisals, then the the final part of the buying process – the CLOSING table.  Aimee is able to help clients throughout the state of Louisiana and can direct you to a quality agent throughout any part of the country.

Before a career in Real Estate, Aimee has worked as a licensed Interior Designer in Dallas and Baton Rouge.  This comes in handy when clients want some assistance envisioning what it might take to make that house their home!

Aimee and her family are residents of Ascension Parish.  She enjoys taking part in community events and enjoys participating in her children’s lives and activities.

In the past month, Aimee has helped 6 families find their dream homes.

To search for your next home – visit www.mariathorn.com or call Aimee at 225-229-0406