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Attention Home Owners-Save Money!

by Blake Hanna

If you haven't already, don't forget to file for your homestead exemption!

Save money on your taxes!


What is the Homestead Exemption?

 

  • The homestead exemption is a tax exemption on the first $75,000 of the value of a person’s home. This exemption applies to all homeowners. The value of your home is exempt up to $75,000 from state and parish property taxes.
225-678-6403

 

Time to Grab your Retirment Home!!

by The Pat Wattam Team
Richard Allen, from Standard Mortgage, recently sent me a newsletter all about why now is THE time to buy your retirment home - which is what I have been saying for the past two years!  (Nice to be validated!!).  Anyway, the FIVE reasons he noted are below:

1. Owning real estate is Long-Term Wealth Building.  Home prices are almost certainly going to increase over the next 10 years so scooping up a second home at today's prices is a bargain, particularly if you are buying on the where prices are very depressed right now!!  (Call me for a referral to a top agent anywhere!).

2.  Affordability....for Now!  As above, the vacation home markets are bottoming out in many instances so take advantage today of the low prices because you might just be priced out of the Market tomorrow!!

3.  Timing is Everything!  Again, in many of these vacation home markets it is a 'buyer's market' so you get the vest value.  Also, when you buy well before you retire, you can spend time at your new location on vacation to see if you really like it, and rent it out to help defray the costs.

4.  Peace of mind....Your Retirement home in the mountains, on a lake, or on the can give you peace of mind as you get older.  also, since you are buying a lifestyle, not a 'stock, your projected rate of return shouldn't be the deciding factor!

5.  Opportunities Galore!  As  your friends and family move away due to obligations, having a retirement home or a vacation home as a gathering place for everyone to get together is a way to create memories to last a life time!

Of course, we always say "it's a great time to buy" - and it is, but the REAL question is, is it the right time for YOU to buy.  It all depends.  Call anytime to discuss your situation and let's see what is in your best financial interest!

Thanks for the tips, Richard!

Sunrise at Orange Beach, AL

by The Pat Wattam Team
There is nothing quite as spectacular as sunrise on the beach.  This photo was taken from my balcony at Seascape. Interested in owning your own vacation property on the beach?  Contact [email protected] and you can create memories for your family that will last a lifetime!

Rates Have Dropped to 5% and below!!

by The Pat Wattam Team

Who would have thought we would see these rates again!  We are getting quotes of 5% for 30 year fixed loans and 4.75 for 15 year!!!!  There are a lot of mortgage products out there - most are credit score driven for the best rates but even if your score isn't the best, with rates these low you will be able to secure an excellent rate and buy a house now! 

Although the Greater Baton Rouge Real Estate Market hasn't experienced the downturn of some of the major cities around the country, we still have a very affordable market.  Take advantage of these interest rates and it's like getting your home at a reduced price!!! 

Also, those of you considering buying a 2nd home/vacaiton property on the Gulf Coast, don't forget my company there, Go Realty, can help you take advantage of THAT real estate market!  Prices there are incredibly low and as we all know, as soon as those late spring/summer rentals start coming in, the sellers aren't nearly as motivated to sell.  It is a wonderful opportunity to buy that 2nd home and we have lenders there who are offering 100% financing to Professionals (to see if you qualify for what they term 'Professionals' just send me an email and I'll check it out with them).

No matter where you want to buy, call us today and see what we can do for you!

Gulf Coast Real Estate Market Update

by The Pat Wattam Team

It has been a very busy summer at the beach - and I'm specifically speaking of the Alabama Gulf Coast in the Gulf Shores/Orange Beach area.  Hurricane Ivan was three years ago, and we are all still holding our breath that we will get through this season without a hurricane!!  The rental that we own, in it's first year being used as a rental, has stayed full all summer.  As summer winds down, rentals are slower, as we expected.  But according to the leasing company, this has been a grand summer at the beach!

For those people who have considered buying a place on the beach, now is a fabulous time!  As we mentioned in a blog at the first of the year, the prices there have really come down and, in fact, looks like it is starting to turn back up - especially on properties in the $400K range.  We recently sold a property in the Phoenix, 2 BR, for $365K!!!!!  I found another unit in another nice condo with 3 BRs on the beach, for $420K!!!!  Folks, we haven't seen these prices in several years!!! 

Even if you are just curious about what you can afford, either send me an e-mail, or go to our web site at the beach:  www.GoBeachRealty.com and we'll set you up for an automated property search so that you can see what I'm so excited about.  What better place to create memories with friends and family! 

Prices Continue to Decline in the Beach Market

by The Pat Wattam Team
Wow!  What a great time to take advantage of the market on the beach!  Whether you want to go to southern Florida or the Alabama Gulf Coast, this is a great time to buy.  We have found some great deals from Go Beach Realty in Gulf Shores, AL.  They shared with us a cottage acorss the street from the beach in West Beach for mid $160's, a condo across the street from the beach at Romar for under $200K, and then a place on the beach for under $400,000!!!!  What a great opportunity to own a vacation home for you to enjoy!  When you realize that no matter what hurricanes bring, there is still only so much beach property - a limited supply- and if you ever wanted to buy, now is the time!  Call me today and tell me what you would like, and I will find a great Realtor for you in that area!

Boomers Starting to Retire

by The Pat Wattam Team

Not that it's any big news, but the first of the boomers are beginning to retire.  Many of them are choosing to retire to a nearby recreational area - someplace where they can be close to family, and a metropolitan area, but also a place where they get to kick back and enjoy the life they have worked so hard for! 

As beach front, lake front, and other water front properties dwindles in numbers, these boomers will search out other places that offer a great view!  Perhaps that is why Arkansas and N Carolina are doing so well!  The trend shows that boomers are starting to purchase homes in areas they have vacationed in for years, and perhaps even own a second home but now want to move there permanently.

Have you wondered where you would enjoy having a second home or retiring?  Check out www.bestplaces.net.  Fill out a questionaire and see what part of the country will help you select what part of the country to move to for that life of your dreams!

Time for a Vacation Home

by The Pat Wattam Team

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to own a vacation home?  Someplace to spend a relaxing weekend.  We bought our first vacation property about 2 years ago - a condo on the Diversion Canal.   looked at it as a great investment and now it's a place we really call home!  Because it is so close to home, we tend to go there many weekends.  This was unexpected - I always thought if we bought a vacation home it would be far away - someplace to take us away from it all.   I find that a lot of us really enjoy a water view and there are so many options for us around Baton Rouge.  I don't own a boat but love to go for rides when invited.  My favorite part is reading a book in a comfy chair on our balcony overlooking the water.  It's so peaceful and serene. 

In Baton Rouge we can go to False River, or the Tickfaw, or the Diversion Canal...so many choices and so many different price ranges.  Another place that would have also been fun would be a little place in the woods around St Francisville - a historic town where you can go hiking, or take nice drives out into the country side.  When some people had to evacuate to our area after Katrina and wanted to buy something, they decided to find a little vacation place out in the woods noth of here, a place that they would be able to continue to enjoy even after they rebuild back in New Orleans.

Dream a little bit!  With interest rates still hovering around 6%, this is a great time to take the next step.  A place for you to recharge your spirit, or a place that your grand children will want to visit often...a place for you to create memories to last a lifetime!

As we said in the 60's - Live for Today! 

Great Market for Vacation Homes!

by The Pat Wattam Team

You've worked hard and it's time to enjoy yourself.  It's time for a vacation home at the beach!  One of the favorite areas people love to vacation is Gulf Coast!  With Orange Beach/Gulf Shores only 3.5 hours from Baton Rouge, it is the idea place to buy a vacation property! 

Even though the Greater Baton Rouge Market has continued to appreciate in value since Hurricane Katrina, other markets have overbuilt and have gone down!  This is very true of the Gulf Coast!  It's prime time to purchase there before the prices rebound - as we expect to happen this summer.  I just previewed a 3 BR/2BA unit at Phoenix ! for under $500,000!!!  Great views of the ocean and a beautiful unit.  Check out www.GoBeachRealty.com for properties in that area. 

Displaying blog entries 1-9 of 9

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Photo of Pat Wattam Real Estate
Pat Wattam
RE/MAX First, Independently Owned and Operated
4750 Sherwood Common
Baton Rouge LA 70816
Office Direct: 225-298-6900
Office Main: 225-291-1234
Fax: 225-295-1234

RE/MAX First
Each Office Independently Owned and Operated
Main: 225-291-1234

Licensed by the Louisiana Real Estate Commission