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Baton Rouge Louisiana is a Wonderful Place To Call Home

by Pat Wattam

In light of the events one week ago today I wanted to take a moment to talk about this wonderful place we call home, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.   The senseless attack and murder of our policeman and deputies have brought this commuity together, instead of tearing it apart.  I had just sold a home in the subdivision, and across the street, from police office Matthew Gerald.  The first memorial service to him was on his street, his life celebrated by his neighbors.   In this modest neighborhood neighbors gathered together to surround his family with love and support.  

The location where the ambush occurred has become a shrine to the fallen heroes with flowers and memorials piling up.  I stopped by today and met 3 formally dressed Idaho State Police.  People were coming up to them, hugging them, and speaking with them.  I had hoped to meet a chaplin from New Jersey that had been there all week to meet and pray with people.  Unfortunately, he was not there today.

The outpouring of love for our fallen heroes can be seen as each funeral procession proceeds down the main highways lined with thousands of mourners - some who stood in the heat and then the pouring rain for hours waiting for the procession to come by so they could honor our fallen protectors.  Hundreds of officers from across the United States also came to pay their respects.

You would think this was a small town as this is what would have happened in my home town of Ozark, AR - population 3500.  But this is a huge city and people all have the same common goal - to show the solidarity of our city, to back our first responders.  We bury one more tomorrow and start the healing process. The community has come together to financially support the families as well as the one officer we have who is still struggling for his life.  What a lovely show of support.  You should see the streets lined in blue, LSU Stadium lit in blue, etc.




Baton Rouge Area Home Buyers Beware!

by Debbie Hanna


I hope the following items seem like common sense. But with all of the excitement surrounding your pending home purchase, you may sometimes forget the do’s and don’ts when you are “under contract”. Please don’t be like some recent Buyers, who saw their home loan turned down, all because they bought new furniture a week before closing. They couldn’t resist the great “deal” they were getting at the store. Unfortunately, that purchase changed their debt-to-income ratio & the buyers no longer qualified to purchase the home !!!!!

LESSON?  Once you get pre-approved for a loan and you are under contract, don’t do ANYTHING that might affect your credit !!!!

1. Thou shalt NOT change jobs, become self-employed or quit your job.

2. Thou shalt NOT buy a car, truck or van (or you may be living in it)!

3. Thou shalt NOT use credit cards excessively or let your accounts fall behind.

4. Thou shalt NOT spend the money you have set aside for closing.

5. Thou shalt NOT omit debts or liabilities from your loan application.

6. Thou shalt NOT buy furniture, appliances, etc.

7. Thou shalt NOT originate any inquiries into your credit.

8. Thou shalt NOT make large deposits without first checking with your loan officer.

9. Thou shalt NOT change bank accounts.

10. Thou shalt NOT co-sign a loan for anyone.

Once you are “under contract”, remember that your credit MUST NOT change or be affected in ANY WAY before signing the paperwork at closing and getting possession of your new home. Lenders will not only look into your credit when you first get pre-approved, they may check it a few more times while you are under contract.  If you want to buy new furniture, new appliances, new car, or even change jobs, the time to do any of that is after you have closed on your home!!



Debbie Hanna

RE/Max First


How TRID Affects Your Closing - in Baton Rouge

by Pat Wattam

When purchasing a home, the new TRID rules are supposed to make settlement statements easier to read and understand.  The closing documents need to be signed by the purchaser 3 days prior to closing.  This is all well and good EXCEPT - what do you do when you have sold your home, and are planning to purchase your new one on the same day - back to back as we say, and your buyer's CD is not ready timely.  Now you can't close until they do.  And what is happening with the seller of the house you are purchasing?  Is your seller willing to wait?  This is a question we face daily in real estate - and a prime reason you need a REALTOR when purchasing a home as we make our clients aware of the possible problems due to TRID.

The real solution to this problem is doing a lot of your homework BEFORE making an offer on a house.  If you have already met with the lender and provided them all the information they need, and the LENDER has given you the worst case scenario of how many days they need to close the loan, then you can easily write an offer and pick a closing date and be confident that you can meet that date.  If you haven't done this, then don't try to make a 30 day closing.  Select 45-60 days instead.  It isn't fair to your seller for you to select a closing date that your lender truly can't make - or will maybe just make it in time.  

AND the pittfall for you, as a buyer, in a hot real estate Market - as in some areas of the Greater Baton Rouge Real Estate Market - is you can't be sure that your seller doesn't have a better offer in a backup position.  Remember, the seller does not HAVE to extend the purchase agreement closing date just because the buyer's lender can't meet that date.  You ask for an extension to finish your loan, the seller declines and puts the back up offer in play.  AVOID THIS SITUATION by doing your homework first.  And, if you are in a multiple tier situation with buyers and sellers, make sure all buyers have done their homework up front or make sure you extend the closing date in your counter so that there is time to make all the closings coincide.

Is My House Ready For It's Closeup? -In Baton Rouge

by Pat Wattam

One of the first questions my sellers ask in the greater Baton Rouge Real Estate Market is "Is My Home Ready For Pictures"?  Here's a quick tip so that you know if your home is ready or not.  Remember, the marjority of buyers use their smart phones to look at houses.  That means, on a small screen, your house needs to look inviting.  Take a photo of each room with your cell phone camera and what jumps out at you?  You will quickly see how cluttered the house looks - even after you have removed most of the clutter!  What's the first thing you notice - BE HONEST!  Can you see the purpose of the room - or is all I can see in the guest bedroom is your furniture?  The buyers need to see how big the room is.  Are all your collectibles taking up the room?  The buyer doesn't want to see your but wants to be able to visualize theirs.  What about the color - is it something that would appeal to most people?  

I think if you are honest with yourself you will see what needs to be removed and changed to make the home inviting.  And by the way, if you have a beautiful outside, be sure not to block the view from the window!  If you have a nice big patio but not furniture, borrow some, rent some, buy something used - stage this area to make it inviting.  

Call on any of us at the Pat Wattam Team anytime and we'll be happy to look at your house and give you tips on getting it ready for us to sell!

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4




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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