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Time to Grab your Retirment Home!!

by The Pat Wattam Team
Richard Allen, from Standard Mortgage, recently sent me a newsletter all about why now is THE time to buy your retirment home - which is what I have been saying for the past two years!  (Nice to be validated!!).  Anyway, the FIVE reasons he noted are below:

1. Owning real estate is Long-Term Wealth Building.  Home prices are almost certainly going to increase over the next 10 years so scooping up a second home at today's prices is a bargain, particularly if you are buying on the where prices are very depressed right now!!  (Call me for a referral to a top agent anywhere!).

2.  Affordability....for Now!  As above, the vacation home markets are bottoming out in many instances so take advantage today of the low prices because you might just be priced out of the Market tomorrow!!

3.  Timing is Everything!  Again, in many of these vacation home markets it is a 'buyer's market' so you get the vest value.  Also, when you buy well before you retire, you can spend time at your new location on vacation to see if you really like it, and rent it out to help defray the costs.

4.  Peace of mind....Your Retirement home in the mountains, on a lake, or on the can give you peace of mind as you get older.  also, since you are buying a lifestyle, not a 'stock, your projected rate of return shouldn't be the deciding factor!

5.  Opportunities Galore!  As  your friends and family move away due to obligations, having a retirement home or a vacation home as a gathering place for everyone to get together is a way to create memories to last a life time!

Of course, we always say "it's a great time to buy" - and it is, but the REAL question is, is it the right time for YOU to buy.  It all depends.  Call anytime to discuss your situation and let's see what is in your best financial interest!

Thanks for the tips, Richard!

100% Financing is Back!!

by The Pat Wattam Team
Well, it's official!  I saw advertisements in today's Sunday newspaper.  100% financing is back!!!  Everybody has been waiting for this.  Of course, we still have the rural development loans, but those are for specific areas.  This new program is not confined to any particular area, and doesn't have limits on income, and  allows the borrow to finance up to 103% so they can pay their PMI up front.  This is going to open up the housing market once more to people who have good credit scores, just no savings.

I was talking to some people the other day and they thought this was horrible news.  They remember when everyone had to put down 20% to buy a house and think we need to go back to those days.  That would be nice, but it just isn't realistic.  A lot of people have good jobs, but with the cost of cars, gas, student loans, it is hard for young people to get together that down payment.  With homeownership, that same person can build equity in a house for themselves, not for their landlord, so we should have money available to help them get started.

On the other hand, I think it makes sense to go back to qualifying as we did when I first got in the business...25-28% of your gross monthly income for housing and 36-40% for housing plus recurring debt!  It just makes sense.  That prevents people from getting the kinds of loans that are causing a lot of the housing problems we are seeing today.

If you want to know more about these programs, just give me a call at 225-298-6900!!

Ever Wonder What It's Like to be Handicaped?

by The Pat Wattam Team
Many of you have heard about the fall I took on the tennis court this summer where I broke my right elbow.  I now have a plate and 4 screws in that elbow and am in the painful part of the deal - you know, therapy!!!  I call it pain and torture sessions, trying to make this elbow bend and straighten!  Do you know how hard it is to do my hair with just my left hand?  And let's not even begin talking about putting on liquid eye liner with my left hand!  It's amazing how good I have gotten doing things one handed...but now I am starting to get better and can use my right hand to do some things.  I can ALMOST eat with my right hand but I still can't cup my hands together to put water on my face, can't put my hands together to do a yoga pose (can't really do any yoga anyway since my balance is off!), can't put any weight on that hand to get up off the floor (so I don't get on the floor), can't take a bath because I can't use that arm to get out of the bath by myself.....all kinds of things we take for granted.  But you know, I will get better....maybe even 100%!  That makes me stop and think about all the people out there who will live with these problems the rest of their lives.  Maybe they had a stroke, or an accident, or went to war and they no longer have the use of a limb - if they even have the limb.  These people are considered handicapped and they deal with all this stuff everyday.

Reminds me of a hike Roger and I went on when we were in Kauai - actually, we tried 3 times - once each visit - and each time we got a little father down the trail.  It's a pretty scary trail and we have met people who fell down the side of the mountain - you can get pretty beat up and seriously hurt - but the views....the VIEWS!!!  The best photo I have ever taken was on this hike.  Anyway, this time we made if over the mountain to the .  It takes me about 2.5 hours to make the trek - the locals do it in about 45 minutes.  So, try to picture this, I am in my hiking boots with my hiking poles, carefully deciding where to put my foot, when I have to step aside to let these 4 teenage girls (about 13 years old) in their bikinis and FLIP FLOPS skip ahead of us.  Imagine my surprise when one of them turns out to be that one armed surfer girl from Kauai - the one who had a shark bite off her arm while surfing one day.  There she is, practically running down the trail and there I am, slowly inching my way down the trail!!!  Most people would consider her handicapped, but I'll bet she thought I was pretty handicapped with all my gear!!!

So the next time you see someone who is 'handicapped', think of all the things they have learned to do that we just take for granted, and think of the limitations you put on yourself...and then think who really had the handicap!

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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