Real Estate Information Archive


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What To Do When You've Been Hacked

by Pat Wattam

Reset All Passwords

Don't wait to do this. Change the password on the hacked account, all associated accounts, and any other account which uses the same password or any variation of that password. DO NOT reuse passwords. Reusing passwords or changing it to something like your_name123.....not a good idea.


Run Scans

Run whatever anti-virus and/or malware programs to scan for any infected files or programs on your computer. Make sure these programs are up to date and that you are running the most recent version of your operating system.


Check for Backdoors

Good hackers will get you with backdoor programs that allow them back into your system, applications, or email even after you've done the steps above. Check your email rules and filters and make sure nothing is being redirected to another account you didn't set up.


Account Recovery

Check your accounts to make sure your security questions have not been change. If things seem off, go through the steps of resetting security questions.


Inform Contacts

Most of the time, one of your contacts will let you know you been hacked before you figure it out after they've received a strange email from you. Once you know, send out an email to your contacts and let them know. You may save one of them from being hacked themselves.


Check Browser Extensions and Installed Programs

How to check web browser extensions varies depending on which browser you use. When you get to the extension page, double check that you recognize all the extensions. Some extensions are okay. An example is Google Docs. If you see something you didn't install or have no idea what it is, get rid of it. Don't just click disable, delete or uninstall it.


Once you've gone through these steps, refer to the blog on how to avoid being hacked at:


Blake Hanna, Realtor

The Pat Wattam Team

[email protected]

What Drives Interest Rates?

by Pat Wattam

Andy Aucoin from Essential Mortgage sent this to me today.  I found it fascinating and wanted to share if with you.  

Thaw Out With Art

by Pat Wattam

Just when you think spring has arrived, another cold snap happens!  So, "Thaw Out With Art" is the theme of the MidCity Art Thaw, Thursday, March 27th from 5:30-i p.m. in Baton Rouge.  Mid City Merchants participating:

Brewbachers Grill on Government

Decor Roug, on Government

Elizabethan Gallery, Jefferson Highway by Capital Heights

LamPost Antiques and Gifts, Jefferson Hwy

Mosaid Garden on Government

Rue Cou Cou on Government

Sally's Circa 1857 on Government

Studio c on Government

Wooden Haven Furniture on Government

For more information call 225-924-6437

Are You Feeling Wicked??

by Pat Wattam

The Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra presents a concert of showstoppers from Broadway, opera and popular music, highlighted by selections from the Tony Award-winning musical WICKED. This program features Julie Reiber (Elphaba) and Laura Woyasz (Glinda) from the Broadway production of Wicked and will showcase the breadth of their high-flying talents. In addition to favorites from the "untold tale of the witches of Oz", the program also includes favorites from Gypsy, Ragtime, Titanic plus Opera selections from George Bizet's Carmen.


March 28,2014 at 7:30PM

River Center for the Performing Arts

Things to Do in Baton Rouge Sunday, March 23, 2014

by Pat Wattam

So many things to do on a potential rainy day!  Here are a few choices:

1.  Sesame Street Live, Make a New Friend at 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. at the Baton Rouge River Center, 275 S River Road.  

2.  River Road African American Museum Presents Ovation:  3 p.m. at the Manship Theatre, 100 Lafayette Street.  This is a fundraiser for Ovation:  Celebration 20 years of Preserving History and Culture.  Semi Formal Attire.  $100  225-344-0334

3.  SPILL, a play and visual installation inspired by the aftermath of the Deepwater HOrizon/BO oil spill.  2 p.m. at the Reilly Theatre on Tower Drive on LSU campus. Presented by Swinepalace

4. Brush with Burden - if it's too rainy to walk the grounds, attend the Brush with Burden Art show features new works of art and photography - a juried show.  Today 1-4.  Open whenever the Burden Gardens are open daily. LSU AgCenter at 4.  Of course, I do have a one of my oil paintings in the show - which won an award at the opening ceremonies yesterday!

5.  Attend a concert at LSU Union Theater with Wycliffe Gordon, Trombonist of the year, performing with the LSU Jazz band!  7:30 p.m.

6.  I heard great reviews of the Theatre Baton Rouge production of Mel Brooks "Young Frankenstein.  Today at 2 p.m. at the Theatre Baton Rouge at 7155 Florida Blvd.  225-924-6496

Have a Great Sunday!

University Lake Bike Path

by Pat Wattam

As the weather turns warmer, a really fun way to spend the day is around University Lake near LSU.  The lake has a beach, picnic table, and a wonderful walking/bike path that goes around the lake.  The best part about the bike path is that it is separate from the highway so that it is much safer.  A great way to spend a couple of hours with everyone - young and old.  Or, if you just want to laze around, bring a picnic and enjoy the ducks (who will probably enjoy your food!) and the lake view.  Or for the more active, bring your kayak - the ducks will follow you around!


Burden Rural Life Harvest Festival

by Pat Wattam

Fall in Baton Rouge brings a bunch of festivals - and one of the most fun ones where you can step back in time is the Fall Harvest Festival at the Burden Rural Life Museum off Essen Lane.  People stroll the grounds in period costumes, play historic games, re-enactors demostrate a civil war battle, and there's music and people showing how things were done in the good old days!  This is a great place to bring the whole family - have fun and receive a little education too!

If you have other fun things you like to do in Baton Rouge, add you events to

How To Avoid Being Hacked

by Pat Wattam

Update your passwords. It may be a hassle to do so, but changing them is a good habit to get into. Having the same password for everything may open you up for attack. If the hacker gets your password from one of your accounts, guess what? The hacker can get into any of them.

Make the password complex. Don't use your name and don't use easy to guess passwords. Hackers will use your social media to figure it out, so don't use your name or birthday. Using your pet's name may be a bad idea, especially if your pet's name and pictures are all over your Facebook or other social media. Using 123456 etc. is the worst.

Log out of accounts when you are finished with them. Just because you close your laptop does not mean you are logged out. When you are in a public place, log out of your accounts and lock your computer before walking away from it.

Check your sent mail occasionally. Make sure everything being sent from your email address is actually you. If you see emails with links that you've never seen or heard of, chances are you have been hacked.

When in public, be careful when signing into public Wi-Fi networks. These tend to not be secured networks. Airports, coffee shops, etc. Make sure your security and/or virus protection programs are up to date and don't use your bank accounts or any other sensitive material when on a public network.

If you receive an email with just a link, DON'T click on it even if you know the sender. Their email could have been hacked and is sending these emails to everyone on that person's contact list. The best thing to do is check with that person to make sure they meant to send it. They may be unaware. If you see an email with "the money making opportunity of a lifetime" or something like it, DON'T click on that either.

Don't download anything from sites you don't know. You don't know what is attached to that program or picture.

After installing a "legit" program you downloaded from the internet, when installing don't just hit OK or Accept when you see them. These days you need to read each of those pages. Yes, that can be annoying, but some of those may be having you agree to install other applications and/or browser toolbars. Having to go back and uninstall these specific things can be a hassle.

Don't click everything you see on the web just because it looks interesting. This cannot be emphasized enough.

Blake Hanna, REALTOR

The Pat Wattam Team

[email protected]

Things to Do In and Around Baton Rouge

by Pat Wattam

Looking for some fun this weekend?  (March 14-16)  Sooo much going on!  Why not start out tonight at the Theatre Baton Rouge with their performance of the Mel Brooks classic, "Young Frankenstein" play.  7:30 Friday and Saturday and 2 P.m. Sunday.  225-924-6496.

And of course, Saturday morning is the St Patricks Day Parade - always a big hit!  The parade rolls through the Hundred Oaks area - you can catch beads along Perkins Road form Around S Acadian to Terrace Ave.  The parade starts at 10 am.

Saturday evening you can take in the Cirque de Soleil Show at the Baton Rouge River Center. at 7:30 Friday and Saturday, or Sunday at 1:30 or 5 p.m.  

Or, take a ride up to New Roads on Saturday to see the Spring Festival and Classic Car show - 9 am -5 p.m. - a very family oriented festival.  There will be about 300 car owners from around the state showing off their vintage cars - and then, there's always the food and live music!!!

And if jazz is more to your liking, the Unitarian Church at 8470 Goodwood Blvd hosts singer Ciny Scott from New Orleans.  The jazz vocalist draws from eclectic genres with abundant warmth.  $15 Saturday Night at 7:30

History more your style?  Then Saturday John Hickey will present a talk focusing on soldiers in the Battle of Baton Rouge, titled "They Chose America".  10 am Saturday at the Bluebonnet Regional Branch Library, 9200 Bluebonnet Blvd.  Free!  Presented by the Baton Rouge Genealogical and Historical Society.  

A Guide to General Mortgage Terms

by Pat Wattam

SORTING OUT THE ACRONYMS: A Guide to General Mortgage Terms

Collected below are a few of the more common terms used in lending today. If you feel like you and your lender are speaking different languages, reading the definitions listed below can help you get on the same page. Most importantly, when discussing mortgages, make sure you talk to a professional you can trust.

APR (Annual Percentage Rate)  APR is a number that the Federal government calculates to show the total yearly cost of a mortgage expressed by the actual rate of interest paid. This number is calculated using a standard formula, which includes the base interest rate, points and any other add-on fees and costs of your mortgage.

Conventional Loan  Any non-governmental loan program is a conventional loan – most of which are provided by banks, savings and loans, mortgage bankers and mortgage brokers. Basically – the private sector.

FHA (Federal Housing Administration)  An agency of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The FHA guarantees certain loan programs for all Americans, insures loans that are made by approved lenders to qualified borrowers and allows low income and/or low down payment borrowers the opportunity to purchase a home that they might not have been eligible for under conventional loan programs.

GFE (Good Faith Estimate)  Within 72 hours of signing a residential loan application, the federal government requires that a good faith estimate be sent to the borrower outlining the costs and charges a borrower is likely to incur in connection with the loan closing. However, the GFE is not a guarantee that the applicant will be approved for the loan or that the final amount will be the same figure. The amount (interest rate, terms, conditions) may change pending final loan approval and down payment terms

MIP (Mortgage Insurance Premium)  The amount that the FHA charges up front when they insure a loan under one of their programs. The FHA pays the money into a fund where the money is held until it is needed in the event of a default by a borrower.

PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance)  If a mortgage loan exceeds 80% of the sales price of a home, lenders require insurance coverage that will protect them in the event that a buyer defaults on their loan. The cost of PMI is typically charged to the borrower when the loan to value ratio is greater than 80%.

Points  An upfront cash payment required by the lender as part of the charge for a loan, expressed as a percent of the loan amount – example, 3 pts means a charge equal to 3% of the loan amount.

Pre-approved  A general term that means that a borrower has completed a loan application and provided their debt, income, and savings information which an underwriter has received and approved.

Prequalification  A preliminary step in the loan application process – a prequalification is a lender’s written opinion of the ability of a borrower to qualify for a particular loan amount. The amount prequalified by the lender is determined based on inquiries into the borrower’s debt, income and savings, and may or may not require a credit check.

TLS (Truth in Lending Statement)  A federal law that requires lenders to fully disclose in writing the fees, terms and conditions associated with the loan – including the annual percentage rate (APR) and other charges

Bill Arey, REALTOR

The Pat Wattam Team

[email protected]

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 12




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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