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Do You Have a "Housing" Plan?

by The Pat Wattam Team

Most people have some kind of retirement plan, financial plan, business plan, career plan, etc.  But have many have a houseing plan?  By that, I mean, are you maximizing your financial future with your housing plan?

I met with some of my sellers last week who had been in the same house for over 20 years and the house is over 30 years old.  Unfortunately, over that time, their neighborhood had gone down a bit - it has capped off at what homes are worth, no matter how nice they are or how large they are, the neighborhood has a ceiling on prices.  Of course, since they have a larger home than most, and it's nicely updated, they will sell faster than other homes in the subdivision.  If they had sold that house at least 10 years ago, and bought in a newer subdiviision, that home would have increased in value more than their current home has, over the same time period.

You know, there is a reason that people move on average about every 6 years!  The plan I came up with for Roger and me was to move every 6 years, and kept buying a nicer home,  more poplular area each time, and now I'm in the part of the plan where we stay in this house for 15 years, and then the next house for 10-15, and then go to a condo or maybe retirement village.  The plan is to keep buying into an area that will give me the best appreciation.  I know, people like to have a paid off house, and so do I - I just don't mind moving!!!

I know there are some areas of the country where the buyer/seller would cringe at this idea due to the way their Market has crashed.  But historically, even in the wrost market back in the 80's, it took California only 9 years to go from peak to valley and back to peak.  In the 25 years I have been selling homes in the greater Baton Rouge Real Esate Market, this scenario works like a charm.   Make a plan for your future with your house!   if you need any advice with this idea, just give me a call anytime to discuss!

Time is Running Out for the $8000 Tax Credit

by The Pat Wattam Team

We are getting questions from buyers asking how much longer do they have to take advantage of the first time home buyer $8000 tax credit.  They think they can wait until the end of November to close, as that is when the tax credit expires.  At the Pat Wattam Team, we STRONGLY believe there will be a rush at in November, and the lenders, appraisers, underwriters and title companies will quickly bog down in, and due to the Thanksgiving holiday, many of these loans will not close in time and there will be buyers who miss out on the tax credit just because they waited to late to start the loan process.

We are recommending to our clients that they actually close on their new home by November 1!!!!  We are having them all get their credit approval now, while we are shopping for homes for them, so that we can make sure that they do not miss out on the $8000.

If you are a first time home buyer and are not sure where to start, please call the Pat Wattam Team anytime and we will counsel you on the home buying steps, where to start, and make sure that YOU don't miss out on the Tax Credit. 

Contact Info:

Pat Wattam    225-298-6900    [email protected]

Kyle Petersen   225-298-6901   [email protected]

Debbie Hanna  225-298-6899    [email protected]

Karen O'Pry   225-298-6902      [email protected]

Baton Rouge Real Estate Heating Up!!

by The Pat Wattam Team

Either it's been a slow news week, or Baton Rouge Real Estate is heating up!!  In several articles this week, both in the newspaper and on line business report, it was reported that the Baton Rouge Real Estate Market was down 18%, comparing July '08 to July '09. However, the median sales price has gone up, AGAIN!!! That is interesting because I have found that the average sales price for Ascension, East Baton Rouge, and Livingston Parishes combined, had never gone down! In fact, since hurricane Katrina, the market, as a whole, has continued to increase in value, but the days on the market have gotten longer and longer.  I also know, that before Katrina, you needed to own your property for about 3 years to break even when selling (considering fees, etc.).  That same stat holds true today.  The people who bought in 2006-early 2007 really brought at the height of the market.  And many paid over full value for their homes.  In many cases, they will have to hold those properties for about 5 years to break even.  Each case is unique and should be analyzed that way.  This is just food for thought, as they say.

On a even more interesting note, we all have been aware that the upper end of our market has been very stalemated - and we think this had a lot to do with the economy in general, and the stock market, in particular. However, the Pat Wattam Team has received contracts, THIS week, on an $800+K, $600+K, $500K properties - all in the same week!!!! This has been unheard of for the past year. Does this mean that there is confidence in the Baton Rouge Real Esate Market, or confidence in the economy as a whole? We don't know. Once these homes get past the home inspections, appraisals, ect. and get closed, it will boost the upper end market once more!!!  It will be interesting at the end of the 4th quarter to compare sales in the upper end and see if they have come back to normal. 

Remember this time last year, Baton Rouge Market was humming along quite nicely, then hurricane Gustav hit, then the stock market and economy basically took a nose dive!  If you look at last years stats you will see the market drop in half starting in October.  Not surprising after the hit our area took from Gustav!!!  I always wondered if Gustav had not hit, what would our market have looked like - would we have weathered the stock market hit??

For a final thought, this time of year, just as school starts back up, is generally a very slow time in real estate - in fact, many Realtors take off a couple of weeks at this time of year. This year, my team is working like crazy, showing houses, writing offers, and closing properties. Something is going on in our market, and I'm glad that we are, so far, still not in the distress situation many cities our size find themselves facing! Good news for Baton Rouge!!

$15,000 Tax Credit Proposed

by The Pat Wattam Team

While attending the Star Power Conference in Denver recentlly, I heard the owners of the top real estate franchises speak.  One of the group has been working with Washington on trying to get a $15,000 tax to anybody who buys a house, regardless of whether or not they’re first time home owners or their income.  Seeing how the housing crisis led us into this recession, it will lead us out of the recession, and it’s critical that every means possible is used to jump start the housing Market.

Something I always suspected but didn't have the real stats on was also revealed.  National statistics indicate that each home sale generates approximately $63,000 worth of cash infused into the local community, based on an average sales price of $300,000. This includes the fees that are paid to Real Estate Agents, banks, title companies as well as the vendors and business who sell things most new homeowners make when they move into a house such as curtains, appliances, flooring, paint, furniture, etc; and the ripple effect from all of that spending that spreads throughout the local economy.

I encourage everyone to contact their senators and representatives in Washington to encourage them to pass this bill should it come to a vote. In my opinion, a $15,000 tax credit is well worth the $63,000 of local economic activity that is created with each average home sale, not to mention the benefit to the home buyer.

If you would like to know more about the $15,000 tax credit and buying an property in the Greater Baton Rouge Area, give me a call, I’d be happy to talk to you about it!

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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