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Extra Costs When Buying a Home- Baton Rouge Real Estate

by Blake Hanna

Many people are not aware that buying your house doesn't only cost the price of the house. 

So, for all the Lord of the Rings fans out there........

There are several additional costs when buying a house. You should be prepaired and budget for these costs. You will know ahead of time an estimate of what these additional costs will be. It will not be a surprise. In advance you will be given what is known as a "Good Faith Estimate," which is an estimate of all the fees associated with the purchase of your home.

There are 6 basic categories for the Good Faith Estimate

  • Loan Fees
  • Fees to be paid in advance 
  • Reserves
  • Title Charges
  • Government Charges
  • Additional Charges(such as HOA fees, repairs and pest inspections)
These may seem like a lot but don't freak out! Many of these these benefit you! We're here to HELP with all your questions and concerns. 
The Pat Wattam Team
RE/MAX First

Protecting your Baton Rouge home

by Roger Watttam

Protecting your Baton Rouge Home


Ever lose those house keys, come up with a key missing, didn’t remember who you had given keys to?   The cost of having a locksmith come to your Baton Rouge home to rekey your locks can be substantial  $50-$120 for the service call, and $25-55 per lock to rekey the existing locks….and if you’re one of us who loses keys frequently...well, you know!!   Several options are available to the homeowner.


Smart Key locks.

 “Smart Key” is a registered trademark of Kwikset locks.  The technology is used extensively by residential builders as original equipment in Baton Rouge Real Estate in their Kwikset and Baldwin lock hardware.  These locks are standard hardware that replace existing equipment with little or no door modification needed.   Often, only the deadbolt cylinder and knob are all that are needed if the latch is compatible.

The “Smart Key” allows you rekey the lock yourself.  The process is simple.

  1. Insert your key and turn it ¼ turn to the right
  2. Insert the rekeying tool into the rekeying slot and then remove
  3. Pull the old key straight out without turning it
  4. Insert the new key and turn to the left ½ turn
  5. Turn the new key back to the right ¼ turn and remove

The lock is now rekeyed—takes about 15-20 seconds for each lock and the only extra cost is for the new keys. 

Similar rekey systems are available from Schlage and other lock manufacturers.

Depending on the lockset, these run from $25 to $85.

This system works well for owners of rental properties.


Keyless locks.

Eliminate the key entirely and use a 3-5 digit entry code entry code. 

Older, mechanical style locks with push pins are usually restricted to one security code, but don’t require any batteries or hard wiring.

More recent electronic styles allow for up to 30 codes at a time and are powered by batteries (9V of AA) or are hard wired into the house current and have a backup battery.   These are opened with a keypad or, in newer technologies, by cell phone via Bluetooth and will relock themselves after a few seconds.  These fall into the $100-$250 range and most have an “override” key mechanism to use when the electronics fail.

Also available are locks with fingerprint recognition ((Currently in the $500-650 range) but without an override key. 

Contact us at the Pat Wattam Team for more homeowner tips.

Capital Heights - Creativity on Display

by Bill Arey

Capital Heights has a funky charm that draws creative people to live and work. An amazing amount of creativity is happening at the corner of Government and Hebert Streets in the heart of Capital Heights. I'm not sure who the artist is, but the work is wildly imaginative and impressive.

Bill Arey  REALTOR

The Pat Wattam Team

ReMax First

Baton Rouge Real Estate Rental Property

by Pat Wattam

With all the homes for sale in Baton Rouge, a lot of people think that now is not the right time to buy.  Baton Rouge real estate prices are higher than they were 10 years ago.  I hear people say all the time, "I wish I had bought real estate in Baton Rouge or Prairieville 10 years ago" - I'm sure they are all thinking pre hurricane Katrina!  Don't we all!

As an experienced investor, who bought before and after Katrina, I can tell you that TODAY is always the best time to buy.  in 10 years, you'll be heard lamenting 'I wish I had bought real estate in Baton Rouge in 2015"!!!!!  With prices as high as they are (and they are definitely lower than 2008), why should you buy today?  Buying rental property in Baton Rouge, in my opinion, is all about buying in the right school district, or the right price range, or in a historically stable area that people gravitate towards.  There is a price range than most people can afford whether they are just starting out, retiring, getting their first job, starting graduate school, etc.  That's a good starting point.  Also, multi-family properties help you hedge your bet because when one unit is vacant, the rest are rented.  These are more costly to purchase and to maintain.  If you are a first time investor, the easiest to manage on your own and to understand when buying, is a single family unit.  The more comfortable you are as an investor, the multi-family units are a good choice.  I say that with the acknowledgment that our first rental was a 6-plex!  My whole thought on the process is that when you buy a rental property, you have a tenant (tenants) who are purchaing the home for you!!  Yes, you have the expense in purchasing and maintaining the property but that is nothing compared to someone buying you a $150000 house!!!  Think about that.  Oh, and I did buy on the beach at the height of the Market.  One of my properties is worth less than half what I paid for it.  But guess what, it doesn't cost me ANYTHING to own it - the renters cover the note and more!!!!!  I'm not in the market to sell - I may someday when the prices go back up, but even if they never do, someone else is paying my note and my downpayment would have been the same so I haven't lost anything!!!

With the amount of homes for sale in Baton Rouge and the surrounding areas you really need a professional to help you narrow down your choices and explain the pros and cons of each.  Give us a call on the Pat Wattam Team and we'll help you get started on the road to creating wealth!

Mid City Baton Rouge

by Bill Arey

This week's Business Report (August 4 - August 17) is devoted to what is happening in the Mid City area of Baton Rouge. The good news is there has been some excellent commercial redevlopment of older buildings and there is a lot more to come in the future. I wondered what has happened to property values in the Mid City area in the last 10 years. I looked at three areas - Bernard Terrace, Ogden Park, and Capital Heights and pulled the median $$ per sq foot numbers for all houses sold in 2005, 2010 and so far in 2015.  

BERNARD TERRACE - 2005  $72.69 per sq ft living space   2010  $119.88 per sq ft   2015  $115.06 per sq ft  

OGDEN PARK - 2005  $96.00 per sq ft   2010  $120.78 per sq ft  2015  $151.00 per sq ft    

CAPITAL HEIGHTS - 2005  $108.56 per sq ft   2010  $155.70 per sq ft  2015  $169.20 per sq ft  

Makes me wish I had bought some investment properties in Mid City 10 years ago.


Bill Arey  REALTOR

The Pat Wattam Team

ReMax First

Displaying blog entries 1-5 of 5




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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