Real Estate Information Archive


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How to Select a Home Lender in Baton Rouge

by Pat Wattam

One of the first steps in thinking about purchasing a home is to select a lender.  That can be a daunting prospect if you have never purchased a home before.  Every lender will have different criteria, such as credit scores, that they will accept to do a home loan. Each lender may have different programs than others.  Others are mortgage brokers who shop for the best deal for you.  So where do you start?

1.  If you have a REALTOR, ask them for names of lenders they have worked with whom they liked.   If they like the lender, I guarentee you the loan closed and they had happy buyers.

2.  Ask friends for recommendations.  Your friends who have bought more than one house may have more than one recommendation for you.

3.  On line lenders - STAY AWAY FROM THESE!  Especially if you are a first time home buyer or have any issues, you want someone you can talk to face to face, someone who is easy to reach (most local lenders give you their cell phone number).

How do you select the one you want to work with?  Remember, it isn't always about who has the best rate.  The difference of 1/8th percent isn't really a deciding factor.  You want to work with the lender that you feel a connection with, one that explains the process and stays in touch timely. 

At the Pat Wattam Team we have a number of lenders we regularly refer business too.  Give us a call and we'll help you get started!

Taking Advantage of the 'Flooded' Market in Baton Rouge Area

by Pat Wattam

Since the August 2016 flood many investors have flocked to our Greater Baton Rouge Real Estate Market to take advantage of the many homes that flooded.  They have the crews to come in and do the work so some will flip these homes and pocket the profit, others will keep the homes as rentals, and a few may actually make some of these their own new homes.  These investors come to town with cash so that they don't have to deal with any lender regulations regarding who can be the contractor on the repairs.  Unfortunately, the average home buyer doesn't have the cash available to buy one of these properties outright and then put in the sweat equity to turn it into a home with lots of equity.  However, there are several loan types available to homebuyers that DO allow you to buy one of these flooded houses and finance the cost of the remodel.  The catch is typically that you have to already have a bid from a contractor - one  that can complete the work within 6 months.  This is not as hard as it would have been 4 months ago.  I find many contractors now have the time to make bids and to complete the work timely.  There are also banks that will do loans for you to purchase a flooded house and then when you have the work completed, you can get a regular loan for any lender.  This would allow you to do some of the work yourself.  You also might find a contractor who would also allow you to do some of the work.  I highly recommend using a contractor that someone you know has also used and is happy with.  

This is a great opportunity for the right buyer to get instant equity in a home.  Doing your homework on the front end for a contractor will allow you to take advante of our market. If this is something that interests you, give us a call and we can help you find a lender to help you finance your dream home! 

What Is a Buyer Counseling Interview?

by Pat Wattam

Many times you will hear an offer for a FREE Buyer Counseling Interview or a Free Buyer Consultation.  What EXACTLY is that?  Let's say that you are ready to buy a house but don't know where to start.  And you hear about a FREE Consultation.  You figure, why not give it a try!  Sometimes it's just a gimmick to get you to  meet with a REALTOR and sign a buyer contract, with you agreeing to pay that agent whenever you find any house.  BUT, with the Pat Wattam Team, a Consultation or a Buyer Counseling Interview is just that - a real consultation or an interview for YOU to get to INTERVIEW US!  Yes, we welcome your interview.  We want to meet with every buyer - whether first time or a someone who has purhcased several homes.  Rules and regulations in our industry are constantly changing and part of our Consultation is to aquaint you with the current requirements to purchase and/or get a loan.  To help you with the process we have a Home Buyer Handbook that we have put together full of the information a lot of our clients have asked us about through the years - it's grown into it's own handbook and continues to evolve as people ask us new questions. 

At this meeting we will go over not only qualifying for a house but try to help you determine where you want to live and what price range you are comfortable with.  Part of our job is to educate you about our real estate Market so that your have realistic ideas on what your money can buy.  Sometimes your budget just doesn't work in your favorite location but many times, we can show you what you want in a different area!  For instance, my husband used to work at LSU.  We had never lived hear his job so when we purchased our last house I started out looking up and down Highland Road.  And you know what, we saved over $50K by not buying in that location.  Roger ended up having a bit of a drive to work but the savings were worth it to get a practically new home!  That was our choice.  I have other clients who would have made the exact opposite choice.  That's why these consultations are so important.  The more we understand about what is IMPORTANT TO YOU, the better we are able to help make that a reality for you!  

A side benefit of the Consultation is that you get a chance to know us.  Typically, after you spend 30-45 minutes visiting with someone you know whether or not you want to give this person your trust to find you a house.  You won't really know until you get into the negotiations but you have a pretty good feel.  We want you to come away from that meeting feeling like you know we are listening to you and that we have the skills to help you find the home that is right for you.  

So, when you are ready, give us a call at 225-298-6900 and let's set up that interview!  

Start of a New Year - Time to Make a Move?

by Pat Wattam

The start of a new year is a time to reflect on the past and decide where you want to be in the future.  Many times that will include making a move - either from a rental to home ownership, or moving up to a larger home or downsizing, buying a new home,  or investing in real estate.  All of these possible scenarios should start with a serious conversation with your REALTOR.  The Pat Wattam Team prides itself on taking the time to REALLY listen to what our clients needs are and help the clients really understand what THEY want to do.  Sometimes it takes an outside person asking a lot of questions to help a client figure out what they really want to accomplish.  We also have a nice selection of VIDEOS to download for free that might also help you!  

It's the start of the new year.  Why not give us a call now for a FREE consultation!  225-298-6900

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4




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Contact Information

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