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The Market for Foreclosed Properties

by Bill Arey

3,587 properties (houses, townhomes, condos) have sold in the last 6 months in ourlocal  MLS area. Out of those - 526 were FORECLOSED......... that is almost 15% of the total sold!!!. Approximately 60% of the properties sold for under $100,000. On the other end of the price range, about 3% sold for $300,000 or more. There is obviously a demand for foreclosed properties and can be excellent investment opportunities. There are several types of foreclsoures - Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, HUD, bank owned. If you would like more information on foreclosed properties contact Bill Arey at 225-298-6900.

Baton Rouge Symphony Performs Mahler's 2nd Symphony

by Pat Wattam

We are in for a real treat on March the 13th, 2014 as the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, joined by the Acadiana Symphony, the Baton Rouge Chorus and other signers, perform Mahler's 2nd Symphony - the Resurection Symphony - my personal favorite orchestral piece!  This work is BIG!  It requires a huge orchestra and chorus and it drives you to the depths of despair and then to the heights of estacy in the resurrection!  It is such a powerful piece.

Mahler's "Resurrection" Symphony was first performed in 1895. The inspiration for the work came from music that Mahler heard at the funeral of Hans von Bülow, a conductor he revered. It's a massive and utterly awe-inspiring work, which begins with an often-terrifying funeral march and ends, more than 80 minutes later, with a blazing choral hymn celebrating the ultimate rebirth of the spirit. The adjective "life-changing" is overused to describe many things, but Mahler's Second genuinely has that kind of transformative power. Some fans of the symphony have a religious, almost cultish devotion to it. For many orchestras and conductors, it is a musical Everest, a benchmark, and a go-to piece for momentous occasions. It is simply one of the greatest works of art ever created, and it is exactly the music that we need to listen to right now."  Albert Imperato

TIckets can be purchased online at http://www.BRSO.org  The Pat Wattam Team will be there and we hope to see you there too!

Gustav Mahler

Galitoires Bistro in Baton Rouge

by Pat Wattam

The one place we have had a hard time getting a reservation since it moved to it's new location on Perkins Road is Galatoires Bistro.  Finally had a chance to eat lunch there today.  They have a great lunch special - a 3 course meal for $19!!!!!  it was great.  From their web site, here is some history of the eatery:

Located at the corner of Acadian Thruway and Perkins Road in the vibrant Acadian Village neighborhood, Galatoire’s Bistro is celebrated by its loyal patrons for an unrivaled dining experience and serving the finest French Louisiana cuisine Baton Rouge offers. Whether visiting for the largest of celebrations, most intimate occasion or a comfortable meal with family and friends, guests can look forward to all of the traditions – old and new – that make Galatoire’s Bistro the ultimate dining experience in Baton Rouge.

Offering “al fresco” dining throughout the year, guests can enjoy all the sights and sounds of Baton Rouge while indulging in authentic Louisiana fare and classic cocktails out on the 40-seat patio. Whether preparing your palette for an enjoyable meal or unwinding after a long day, patrons can pair exquisite bar delights with hand-crafted signature cocktails at the Galatoire’s Bistro bar.

Adorned with gold trimmings, patterned tiled flooring and crisp, white table cloths, Galatoire’s Bistro features a 150-seat dining room and two luxurious private dining spaces that can seat up to 64 guests. What 225 magazine named “Best French Dining in Baton Rouge,” Galatoire’s Bistro serves traditional Louisiana classics daily, such as Crabmeat Maison, Chicken Clemenceau and Turtle Soup au Sherry. Galatoire’s Bistro also offers exclusive featured dishes including BBQ Shrimp and Grits, Steak au Poivre and Grilled Gulf Provencal – all meticulously prepared by Executive Chef Kelley McCann.

The newly renovated Webb Park Playground recently had it's grand opening. Several small neighborhood BREC parks have had similar updating in the last few years.

This is a result of neighborhood residents coming together to raise money and partnering with BREC to have their playgrounds made new again.

The result is and enhanced desirability of the neighborhood which in turn helps property values. The kids love it too!

Mardi Gras Parades!

by Pat Wattam

It's Mardi Gras Season and my krewe, Krewe Mystique, rides this Saturday, Feb 22, 2014 at 2 pm.  This fun parade is full of floats, bands, marching units and lots and lots of beads!  Come out and join us

!    

Spring is in the Air!

by Pat Wattam

The spring real estate Market in the Greater Baton Rouge area is starting to kick in!  Homes with pools are not coming on the market, such as this wonderful new listing in White Oak Estates in Baton Rouge.  This updated home features a design that takes full advantage of the view of the pool from many rooms.  If you have always wanted a home with a pool, but didn't want to pay the price to put one in, then this would be a good home for you to come see.  $354,900

     

Call us today at 225-298-6900 and summer will be here before you know it!

Items Needed for Loan Approval

by Pat Wattam

Got these tips today from Andy Aucoin at Essential Mortgage.  Read all the way through.  When you are thinking about buying a house, the first step is to get pre-qualified.   We will find you the house that you want to buy.  Follow Andy steps below to understand what is next!  

From Andy: 

Here is a shorter list of items needed once you are ready to proceed with a pre-approval, NOT a pre-qualification, but an actual approval. Also, please make sure you read the Do’s and Don’t list below the checklist.

 Documentation REQUIRED for loan application:

 

It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it!

 

***Green highlights are needed to get me started on a preliminary approval for your loan. 

**Red highlights are needed once you have an executed purchase agreement. 


o    ***Most recent paycheck stubs from the last 30 days.

o    ***W-2 statements and 1099’s for last two years on all borrowers.

o    ***Last 2 years SIGNED tax returns – ALL pages, ALL schedules, K-1’s etc. (personal & corporate if applicable)

***If self-employed YTD P&L may be required. The tax returns requested NEED to be the ones submitted to the IRS.

o    ***2 most recent bank statements on ALL accounts- ALL pages even if blank. ALL Large deposits must be sourced

ANY DEPOSITS OTHER THAN PAYROLL WILL NEED TO BE DOCUMENTED?

o    ***Most recent quarterly statements on savings, 401k’s, stock, CD’s etc. (ALL pages)

o    ***Legible copy of driver’s license (s) For FHA, VA, Bond and RD, I also need social security cards.

 

Other information needed once you have a contract and or a refinance:

 o    **Name & phone # of your Homeowner’s Insurance Agent?  ______________________            

If you have any questions, please email me at [email protected]               

These documents are needed back ASAP to be able to start the process for approval.

***Important Note: Please be prepared if we happen to ask for additional documentation or clarification once your file has been processed and submitted. Your patience will be deeply appreciated by all of us.***

 

Pay Particular Attention to These Tips:

THINGS to DO and THINGS NOT to DO

Please carefully read the items below. If ANY of it pertains to you, please let me know upfront so that we can plan accordingly and not be surprised down the road when it may be too late. Many of the items such as credit, income, assets and employment WILL be verified again after loan approval. Better safe than sorry. Pay very close attention to how you sign the initial disclosures and final doc’s at closing. It needs to match your signature on your Driver’s License.

If you have ANY 2106 un-reimbursed business expenses on your tax returns, it is important for me to know early!

DO keep ALL accounts current (mortgages, credit cards, auto loans etc.)

DO contact me anytime a questions or concern arises.

DO keep copies of ALL paperwork with ALL pages of everything pertaining to your loan.

DO make sure to make ALL payments on ALL accounts on or before the due date.

DO have patience with me. It may seem that I am asking for your life history? I am only because I have to.

 

DO NOT make ANY large deposits into your bank accounts WITHOUT proper documentation.

DO NOT quit your job for any reason. Please call me to discuss any changes that may occur to your employment.

DO NOT allow anyone to make an inquiry on your credit report during the process of your loan.

DO NOT change Banks or transfer money within your accounts. If you do, a paper trail will be needed.

DO NOT co-sign for anyone, period.

DO NOT purchase a vehicle of any kind or take on additional debt.

DO NOT purchase any other real estate.

DO NOT apply for credit anywhere or complete any other credit application.

DO NOT charge any additional debt on any credit cards. That includes appliances, furniture etc.

DO NOT start any home improvements that are not a condition of your loan.

DO NOT max out your credit card limit. See below.

 

Factors that influence your credit scores are as follows:

  • Payment History (35%)

Delinquent payments can have a major impact on your scores.

First time delinquency can drop a score 100 points or more.

  • Amounts Owed (30%)

Higher credit utilization will negatively impact a credit score

  • Length of Credit History (15%)

The longer the history, the higher the score.

  • New Credit (10%)

High number of inquiries in 12 months is negative.

  • Types of Credit Used (10%)

Higher percentage of secured (versus unsecured) credit is better.

 

 

Andy Aucoin

Mortgage Loan Originator

NMLS# 83261 * NMLS# 80850

Essential Mortgage Company

3029 S. Sherwood, Suite 200

Baton Rouge, LA 70816

Phone: 225-297-7741

Direct Fax: 225-236-9133

Cell: 225-485-8433

Email: [email protected]

Apply on-line: www.essentialmtg.com

 

So, hope this helps clear up some of the confusion on getting your loan approved.  Call The Pat Wattam Team at RE/MAX First today and we'll help you get on the road to home ownership! 

A Few Reasons Why You Should Buy Instead of Rent

by Pat Wattam

1. Savings and Equity

When you are renting a home, you pay your monthly rent check and that money is gone forever. When buying a home, every mortgage payment you make builds equity in your home and gets you closer to full ownership.

 2. Interest Rates

With interest rates still low, now is a great time to buy and take advantage of the rates before they rise.

 3. Tax Breaks

Everyone dreads tax season. The homeowner can deduct the real estate property tax, some or all of the interest on the mortgage, and the cost of insurance for the property.

 4. Stability

A homeowner pays the same every month/year when they have a fixed rate mortgage, giving the owner a sense of stability. A renter may be faced with rent increases with the cost of living. Owning a home gives you stability in that your payment will not change regardless of the increase of cost of living.

 5. Freedom

Unlike renters, homeowners have the right to make structural and aesthetic changes to their home and yard as they want.

 6. Pride!

There is nothing like the feeling of owning your own home. You worked hard to get there so take pride in the accomplishment.

Investing in Real Estate - Know Your Numbers

by Bill Arey

Investing in Real Estate – Know Your Numbers

 

Real estate investments should be part of your overall investment portfolio. Why?

Return on investment – plain and simple. In looking for investment property properties the first factor I look for is the 1% rule. Will the possible monthly rent be at least 1% of the investment basis (purchase cost plus any renovation cost).

Example: a client recently bought a one bedroom condo for $58,000, the monthly rent will be $750, monthly condo fees are $100…….. so net income is $650 which is 1.12% of the purchase price. Again anything 1% and above should easily be cash flow positive.  Besides positive cash flow, I look for properties that have the potential to appreciate in value over time and the key to that is the proverbial “buy low”. Recently I have found the best values in foreclosed condos.

Example: a client recently bought a Fannie Mae foreclosed two bedroom condo for $45,500. Comparable units sell for $80,000 - $85,000.

 

There are plenty of opportunities out there and it is possible to start with a modest initial investment. Most importantly – Know Your Numnbers!

Louisiana State Museum Mardi Gras Exhibit

by Pat Wattam

We are so fortunate in Baton Rouge to have a wonderful State Museum.  This is the perfect time of year to check out the special Mardi Gras Exhibit.  One a rainy day in the winter, what's a better place to go!!  

Mardi Gras: It's Carnival Time in Louisiana is a permanent exhibition.The Presbytere is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for senior citizens, students and active military and free to children 12 and under. The Museum is wheelchair accessible. Individuals with other special needs are asked to call in advance to make arrangements. 

For more information or to make reservations, call the Louisiana State Museum at 504-568-6968 or, toll free, 800-568-6968.

Here is a sample of what you will see there:

 

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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