Real Estate Information Archive


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Will Mortgage Rates Rise in 2015?

by Blake Hanna

Every year one concern for home buyers is what their interest rate will be.  Mortgage rates for 2015 are predicted to rise, but when and how much?  For most of 2014, the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has fluctuated between just above 4% and 4.5%. 

Here are four trends to watch for in 2015:

The demographic wave of Millennials will help boost prices.  

Baby Boomers made up the largest population for the past decade.  However, as of late last year, the now 23 year olds make up the largest population, followed by 24 and 22 year olds, respectively.  As this generation ages another year, they will begin to settle down, start families and begin to look for homes.

Young people will continue to demand housing where it's tough to build.  

Single-family home construction has been so subdued in part because the Millennial generation as a whoe prefers to live where housing is expensive and where building in difficult.

Mortgage rates will rise.  

The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, or Freddie Mac, predicts rates will rise to 5% in late 2015.

Home price increases will decelerate, but affordability will decline.  

It is predicted that home values will rise, but even slower than last year.  A survey of homeowners suggested that more of them will look to sell their home next year, putting more downward pressure on prices.

If you're thinking of buying a home, now may be the time since even a modest increase can increase monthly mortgage costs, depending on the size of the loan.

Blake Hanna, Realtor


[email protected]

Selling Your Home In 30 Days

by Pat Wattam

Here are some tips that make some homes sell in 30 days or less!  And why is that important?  People who sell their home in 30 days or less are the ones who actually get TOP DOLLAR for their home.

1.  Be committed to Selling.   Don't 'test' the Market, or think "We aren't in a hurry", or my favorite "We're not going to GIVE it away", oh, or "If it's meant to will sell!"   These responses are not from sellers who want to sell their home in 30 days.

2.  Be willing to PRICE the home AT market value.  If you are priced under market, and your house is in demand by the public, then multiple offers will drive the price up.  If you are priced at market value and still have to negotiate, you weren't really at market value.

3.  DO NOT have ANY obstacles or handicaps to showing the house, which means you must have a sign and a lockbox, let the neighbors know the house is for sale,  vacate the house for showings, make the house available to be shown at any time, and definitely do not require 24 hour notice, 

4. Be willing to STAGE the house.  People love model homes because they present an idealized vision of what it would be like to live in this house.  Making minor cosmetic improvements can make a house show in it's best light.

5.  Help me find your buyer.  Take flyers to all the places you go that has a bulletin board!  Put on social networks.  Let all your friends know!

Homes that are in the BEST condition, priced right, and readily available will quickly attract those buyers who have been looking for a house and have been unsuccessful.  When your house hits the market, these buyers are READY to buy NOW - and if your house fits the bill, then, BOOM, SOLD in 30 days!!!

Save Money!!!

by Pat Wattam


Automatic thermostats can lower your monthly utility costs while conveniently regulating your comfort by adjusting temperatures on your heating and cooling systems. These can be particularly effective in homes with zoned systems where you live in one area during the day but sleep in a different zone.


There are programmable thermostats available at home improvement stores that can make the adjustments for specific times during the day and specific days of the week. They'll allow you to override the setting when needed without tampering with the programming. They'll even remind you to change your filter.

An exciting development is the Wi-Fi enabled thermostat that allows adjustments from any Internet connection such as computer or Smartphone. Imagine how convenient it can be to change your temperature from the car before you get home.

Reasonably priced under $100 for most models, it makes it easy to recapture the cost of the thermostat quickly. Most of the thermostats are designed for do-it-yourselfers; however, you can always have a heating and cooling professional install it for you

Baton Rouge Mardi Gras Parades

by Pat Wattam

Mardi Gras 2015 is right around the corner!  Wondering when the parades in Baton Rouge will roll?  Click here to see the schedule. Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!

Are You Getting Ready to Move?

by Pat Wattam

Moving can be stressful especially if you've lived in your home for a long time!  An efficient, well-managed move not only saves you time and money, it can also make the transition easier.  Below is a checklist that might be helpful:


  • Retain a reliable moving company as early as possible.
  • Take a room-by-room inventory of your home.
  • Clean and sort your possessions and set aside unwanted items for a garage sale.
  • Arrange for the shut-off or transfer of your phone and other utilities.
  • Complete the change-of-address kit at your post office.
  • Give your friends and relatives your new address and phone number.

New Restaurant in Baton Rouge

by Pat Wattam

A New Orleans based restaurant, The Velvet Cactus, has opened in Baton Rouge.  The restaurant opened Monday and is located at 7655 Old Hammond Highway in the former location of Another Broken Egg.  Initial  hours will be Monday-Sunday from 4:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.  

Click here to check it out!

Ways to Improve Your Credit

by Blake Hanna
  1. credit score takes into account years of past behavior.  Still, there are some simple ways to increase your credit score today.
  2. Take These Steps to Improve Your Credit Score
    1. Pay your bills on time. Delinquent payments and collections can have a major negative impact on a credit score.
    2. Keep balances low on credit cards and other "revolving credit."  The “credit utilization ratio” should be no more than 30% and ideally even less.
    3. Apply for and open new credit accounts only as needed.  Don’t open accounts just to have a better credit mix. It probably won’t improve your credit score.
    4. Don't cancel any credit cards. Canceling a credit card will cause your available credit to drop, which doesn’t look good to a bureau. One way to keep a card active is to use it for a recurring charge such as a utility bill.
    5. Pay off debt rather than moving it around.

Blake Hanna, Realtor


[email protected]

Space Heaters

by Pat Wattam

A lot of people use space heaters during the winter months and, if used properly, can be very effective.  Protect your home during the colder months by following these space heater safety measures.


  • A space heater with a guard around the flame area or the heating element will help keep children, pets and clothing away from the heat source;
  • Select a space heater that has been tested and certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory;
  • Make sure the space heater is the correct size for the area you want to heat;
  • Always turn the space heater off when you go to sleep or leave the area;
  • Specially designated heating equipment is required for mobile homes.
Stay warm but stay safe!


Saving on Energy Costs as a Homeowner

by Blake Hanna

The following tips are just a few ways to keep your home energy costs down


Cooling and Heating

  • Install and use ceiling fans. Fans are a great replacement for using air conditioners, which use a lot of energy.
  • Air Filters should be replaced in heaters and air conditioners regular basis.
  • Turn the thermostat down at night or when no one is home.
  • Install a programmable thermostate to help regulate the temperature.

Attic Insulation

  • Make sure an adequate amount of insulation is installed
  • Replace any damaged insulation


  • Check under all sinks and faucets to make sure there are no leaks
  • Make sure there are no tiolets sonstantly running.

Energy Efficient Bulbs

  • CFL and LED light bulbs are more energy efficient and have longer lives.

Windows and Doors

  • Use caulk to seal all edges and cracks of your windows
  • Apply weatherstrips to your doors

Responsible Use

  • Turn of lights when they are not needed
  • Turn of computers when they are not in use
  • Unplug chargers when not in use, as they continue to consume energy even when not plugged into your device.



 Blake Hanna, Realtor

The Pat Wattam Team

       RE/MAX First


[email protected]

This Thursday - Baton Rouge Symphony

by Blake Hanna

                   DON'T MISS OUT!

This Thursday 7:30PM at the River Center



  Bion Tsang, cello

Thursday, January 22 at 7:30; River Center Theatre

Paulus: The Age of American Passions

 Tchaikovsky: Variations on a Rococo Theme, op. 33, TH 57

 Beethoven: Symphony No. 6, op. 68, F major (Pastorale)


Bion Tsang, cello 

Thursday, January 22 at 7:30; River Center Theatre

Paulus: The Age of American Passions

Tchaikovsky: Variations on a Rococo Theme, op. 33, TH 57
Beethoven: Symphony No. 6, op. 68, F major (Pastorale)MASTERWORKS IV Bion Tsang, cello Thursday, January 22 at 7:30; River Center Theatre Paulus: The Age of American Passions Tchaikovsky: Variations on a Rococo Theme, op. 33, TH 57 Beethoven: Symphony No. 6, op. 68, F major (Pastorale)MASTERWORKS IV Bion Tsang, cello  Thursday, January 22 at 7:30; River Center TheatrePaulus: The Age of American PassionsTchaikovsky: Variations on a Rococo Theme, op. 33, TH 57Beethoven: Symphony No. 6, op. 68, F major (Pastorale)


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 17




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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