Real Estate Information Archive


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Tips on Things to Avoid Before Buying a Home

by Pat Wattam

Did you know there are some things you should avoid doing before buying that new home?  Because you've may have been preapproved for a mortgage, doesn't mean you can change your financial status.  Below are some tips to keep you on track:

1.  Don't change jobs, become self-employed or quit your job.  This could delay the process for closing on a home.  Your lender will need proof of employment along with paystubs to confirm your new income.

2.  Don't buy a car, truck or van.  By depleting your savings or adding a new car loan, this could derail your mortgage application.  Wait until after you've moved into your new home.

3.  Don't apply for new credit cards.  Applying for credit can actually lower your credit score.  

4.  Don't close any credit accounts.  This can also lower your credit score.

5.  Don't spend money you have set aside for closing.  You will need cash on hand at the closing for the down payment and closing costs.  Your lender may even want to veryify your cash reserves so make sure the funds stay in place.

6.  Don't fall behind in making payments on accounts.  One of the most important elements of your credit score is your history of on-time, in-full payments for all accounts.

7.  Don't make large deposits or move money around.  Your lender will require the most recent bank statments before going to closing.  This might cause you to go above the maximum acceptable debt-to-income ratio.

8.  Don't increase your debts.  You may think buying new furniture for the new home is a great idea.  Actually your debt-to-income ratio is extremely important to a loan approval.

9.  Don't omit debts or liabilities from your loan application.  This could possibly prevent you from buying that new home and going to closing.

10. Last but not least, do not co-sign a loan for ANYONE!

Why Should I Get Pre-Approved for a Loan?

by Pat Wattam

As a home buyer, here are a few reasons you should apply for a loan and obtain approval before you begin looking at homes:

1.  You will know in advance what your monthly payments will be.

2.  You won't waste time considering homes you can't aafford.

3.  You can select the best loan package without being under pressure.

4.  Sellers will view your offer more favorably if they know in advance of your ability to secure financing.

5.  Peace of mind!

What You Should Know About Title Insurance

by Pat Wattam

Here are a few tips that might be helpful regarding title insurance:

1.  Your mortgage lender will require it.  Title insurance protects the lender from defects in the title to your home and property.  

2.  It protects your ownership right to your home.  

3.  The seller usually pays for the insurance.

4.  It is based on the price of the property and is a one-time cost.

5.  Discounts on premiums may be available if you purchased your home within only a few years.  You can check this out with the title company.

Family Entertainment

by Pat Wattam

Looking for something fun the family with enjoy?  Mary Poppins begins playing at the Baton Rouge Little Theater tomorrow, Friday, for only $28 per ticket.  The play runs through Oct. 5th with Saturday and Sunday matinees.  Don't miss out!

Should I Use a Realtor?

by Pat Wattam

Let's face it, buying or selling a home can be a major financial and emotional undertaking. To take away some of that stress, enlisting the services of a Realtor can be of great benefit.  Here are a few reasons to work with a Realtor:

1. A Realtor can guide you through the process. You want to avoid costly mistakes or delays and the realtor can prepare the best deal for you.

2. A Realtor can find the best property on the Market.  Sometimes property you may be looking for is available but it may not be actively advertised.  Your Realtor is willing to do some investigation to find all available properties.

3. A Realtor can help with determining your buying power.  By providing your Realtor with basic information about your available income, savings, current debt, they can refer you to the best lenders to suit your needs.

4. A Realtor can help with negotiating.  Financing, price, terms date of possession and sometimes repairs of equipment are among some of the negotating factors. 

5. A Realtor can help close the sale of the home.  Questions can (and usually) arise between the initial sales agreement and closing (or settlement).  Your Realtor is the best person to objectively help you resolve these issues and move the transaction to closing.

Mistakes First-Time Home Buyers Make

by Pat Wattam

Did you know there are five common mistakes that first-time home buyers make?  

1.  Not asking enough questions of their lender.  This causes the buyer to miss out on the best deal available to them.

2.  Taking too long to make a decision about buying the house.  This could cause the buyer to lose their dream home to someone else.

3.  Not finding a real estate representative willing to focus on the needs of the buyer and walking them through the process.

4.  Not making an offer appealing to the seller.

5.  On average, a first-time home buyer stays in the home for four years.  They don't consider the resale of the home before they buy.

There are many homes you can search when trying to find that right one!  


Fall Fridays in Baton Rouge

by Pat Wattam

For a great way to start your weekend in downtown Baton Rouge, check out Live After Five.

The concerts run from Sept. 25 to Oct. 24.  This series of free outdoor concerts will include music from Mark Broussard, Chris LeBlanc, Flotide, the LSU Jazz Assemble Horns, and more.  Don't miss these fun and free things to do in Baton Rouge.  

How to Search for a New Home

by Pat Wattam

As a Buyer Specialist for The Pat Wattam Team at Remax First, buying a home can be overwhelming.  Below are some tips that may help:

1.  Take time to do some research. What specific features are you looking for in a home, is there a particular area or neighborhood you want to be in, how much can you spend on a montly note.

2.  Be reasonable.  Don't be unreasonable about your expectations.  Make a list of priorities to use as a guide when looking at different properties.  Keep in mind, no home is perfect.

3.  Put all finances in order.  Get a copy of your credit report and make sure you have enough money for a downpayment and closing costs.  Once that's done, contact your lender to get preapproved for a mortgage loan.  This will let you know what price range you fall into and not be disappointed in seeing a property you cannot afford.

4.  Keep opinions of others at a minimum.  We all value the opinions of others, but keep it to one or two people - those you value the most.  Getting more than that, will only create uncertainty on your part.  You need to make the final decision on your own.

5.  What is your timeline for moving.  Are you currently renting?  When is the lease up and are you able to sublet?  How is the rental Market in your area?  These things will help determine when you should actually make that move.

6.  What is long term goal.  Is this a first home for you with the hopes of upgrading in a few years or are you looking to buy and stay there for a longer period?  Knowing this will let you know what type of home to look for and what type of mortgage would work best for you.

7.  Home inspections are very important.  Insist on getting a home inspection.  Get a warranty for one year if possible from the seller.

8.  Solicit the help from a REALTOR.  By enlisting the services of a real estate professional specializing in buyer representation, you are ensured that the representative is working only for you.  Commission payments for buyer's represtntatives are usually paid out of the seller's costs.


Baton Rouge has lots of homes for sale.  Please contact the Pat Wattam Team at RE/MAX First when you are ready to make that move!


Displaying blog entries 1-8 of 8




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Contact Information

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