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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!

Before You Head Out to Open Houses in Baton Rouge Sunday

by Pat Wattam

Thinking of things to do to stay cool?  A lot of people enjoy looking at houses and will drive around Baton Rouge looking at the open houses on Sunday.  Well, the first Sunday of each month the Louisiana Arts and Science Museum has their First Sunday prices - which means FREE admission as well as reduced admission to the planetarium shows!  You can explore interactive Children's galleries, tour the art galleries, and visit a 2,300 year old mummy.

Then, get back in your car and go see some open houses. We have lots of nice inventory of homes for sale in Baton Rouge and many are open on Sunday.  However, if you are serious about finding a house, the best way is to have a Realtor look for you.  We have access to the latest Listings (unlike Zillow which does not pull from our MLS system) and may know of a gem you would never find on your own.  

If you are a first time home buyer, we offer a free consult to educate you on the process.  if you are a current home owner and want to make a change, we will meet with you and guide you through that process - which is different than the frist time home buyer. 

Give us a call before you head out on Sunday and we'll help you find your way around the Baton Rouge Real Estate Market - and maybe give you some more tips on free things to do inside when it's hot.

Art Scene in Baton Rouge

by Pat Wattam

Instead of talking about homes for sale in the Baton Rouge Real Estate Market, let's talk ART!  The opening reception for the Associated Women in the Arts Summer Show will be held Thursday, July 23rd starting at 5:00 p.m.  The Show runs through the month of August.  Not only do I sell lots of homes, but I also sell lots of my art - so instead of looking at homes for sale, come check out my art for sale!  Hope to see you there! 

Why Won't the Seller Accept My Contingent Offer?

by Pat Wattam

I am always amazed when I receive an offer on one of my Listings, in our Baton Rouge Real Estate Market, where the buyer is asking the seller to hold their house off the market in hopes the buyer can sell their house timely.  I think when you are in a slow market, and home sales don't move fast, MAYBE that works.  The buyer says "Just give me 24 hour notice if you get another offer, that way you can still market the house".  My thought is, can you, the buyer, remove that contingency within 24 hours if we get another offer?  If so, you don't need to write a contingent offer.  The typical scenario is that a buyer has a house to sell, and can't find homes that fit their need.  One comes on the market and their thought is, if I can buy THIS particular house, then I'll put mine up for sale.   I totally understand that.  If you seriously want to move, and there aren't homes to meet your needs, and you can't afford two house notes so that you can make an NON contingent offer, then you have TWO options. One, SELL your house first, move to a rental, then start looking for the perfect home.  Two, get to know the market REALLY well, make your house the most attractive home any buyer could want and price it aggressively, find the house the want to buy, put yours up for sale and when you get an offer, make an offer on the house you like - CONTINGENT UPON CLOSING YOURS!  If the other house sells before yours, pull yours off the market!  

Many areas in our real estate market or price ranges of homes for sale are very strong and homes move quickly - other areas do not.  To have an idea of where you and your home fit in this market, this have a professional sit down with you and give you advice.  Let them help you decide if you are a good candidate for a fast sale on your house.  Many times we can see the situation better than you can and can give you advice on getting the house ready, qualifying for a loan, we know what homes are out there or maybe even some that may be coming on the market soon.  Let the Pat Wattam Team guide you.  Trust me, if a seller takes a contingent offer, you are not going to be able to negotiate the best deal.  You need a position of strength and we can guide you there!  Call us today at 225-298-6900

Going to Open Houses

by Pat Wattam

Why do so many people spend their Sunday afternoon going to open houses?  Some people just like to look at homes for a hobby, others like to get decorating ideas, and then there are the rest - people who are thinking about buying a house and are just trying to get the lay of the land or, honestly, don't know where to start!

When we bought out first house it was something we set out to do, but was something we really had thought about and figured we would check out some open houses in the areas we were interested in.  At our first open house we fell in love with the house and met a Realtor.  The house was sold but he assured me he could find one that would be right for us.  We made an appointment to meet with him later that week. And what do you know, the first house he showed us I knew would be our new home!!  Of course, we had to see the rest on his list to make sure!!!  He became a great friend of ours and we used him when we sold it later plus he sold homes for about 4 more friends.  That's what a GREAT REALTOR does.

At the Pat Wattam Team we hold open houses to showcase our listings and to meet new clients.  Our experise can save the buyer a lot of time driving around or surfing on the internet.   Tell us what you want and we will help you find the perfect home. 

So, before you just go driving around and looking at open houses, call us.  We'll make your day!  225-298-6900!

Market Stats for Greater Baton Rouge Area through 3rd quarter

by Pat Wattam

The news is good - and what I have been preaching all year - the Market in the Greater Baton Rouge area has turned around!  Prices are continuing to creep up, inventory continues to shrink, and the months supply of homes available has dwindled to under 5 months - and in Ascension it is under 3 months.  This is HUGE!  

The average sale price for homes have gone up every month for the last 7 months compared to last year!!

The total number of homes sold each month is up once more - August of 2012 634 homes were sold.  This year in August 914 homes were sold.  That's a 44% increase!!!

Homes are selling more quickly too!  The average time a house spends on the market is around 80 days!!!  That's 30 days less than the same period last year!!

What does that mean to sellers?  Well, if you house is priced right and in updated condition, it should sell quickly.  If the house has any issues, then it will take longer to sell.  If your house is on the market for longer than 90 days, you need to take a hard look at what the issue is.  The upper end and the lower end of the market tend to be the slowest to sell.  

For buyers, remember that the purchase process takes some time today.  You need to do your homework BEFORE looking at homes.  Get approved by a lender first.  Why?  The good houses are receiving multiple offers and the offer with the strongest lender letter many times is the one that gets the house.  If you haven't met with a lender and you get in a multiple offer situation, then you will not even be in the running!

The average sales price for the whole MLS is over $203,000 in August - up from $199,900 in May this year and up from $199300 last August!

The number of homes for sale has been decreasing since the beginning of 2013.  We are now solidly in a seller's market - 4.65 months supply of inventory as of August.

Ascension Parish inventory is very low - only a 2.73 months - AND the days on market is very low - only 64 days!! A very HOT market!!  The average sales price there as of August  was $209, 203

Livingston Parish homes are staying on the market an average of 94 days - down from 120 days just a year ago.  And their inventory is also low with only a 4.63 months supply of homes.  The affordability index in Livingston is also very good with an average sales price in August for $166,151.

For East Baton Rouge the numbers also look very good!  The average sales price this August was $214,865 and in 2012 it was only $205,527.  The months supply of inventory has dropped dramatically from 7.66 month supply of homes in August of 2012 to only 4.9 months August 2013!!!  

So, if you are on the fence to buy or sell, call the Pat Wattam Team today and put us to work for you!

 

 

Make Your House Stand Out!

by The Pat Wattam Team

It's time to think about selling the house.  Where do you start?  At the front, of course!!!  A house with excellent curb appeal will bring in the buyers AND, if you have really beautiful landscaping, it can help bring in a higher offer.  "Why?" you may ask.   Think about it, it's like the wrapping on a package.  If you have two packages with the exact same gift inside but one with pretty wrapping and one with no wrapping, which one do you PERCEIVE to be more valuable?  It's the same with houses. 

Neat flower beds with fresh mulch and some colorful plants can make a drab time of year - well, prettier!!!  Prune the trees, edge the walks and you are ready to go.  Oh, don't forget the backyard too.  It is pretty strange when you see a house with a beautifully landscaped front yard and then nothing in the back!!!

Now, if you have done your job well, and you have people wanting to view your home for sale, you better make sure the inside looks as good as the outside!!!  More about this later!

Displaying blog entries 1-7 of 7

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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