Real Estate Information Archive


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Investing in Real Estate - Three Excellent Reasons

by Bill Arey

For those of you that are considering investing in real estate I will discuss three reasons that I know, based on my experience, make investing in real estate something that you should give serious consideration to. 

Reason 1 - Someone (your tenants) will be BUYING YOU A HOUSE! I bought my first rental house October 7, 2005 for $121,500. With closing and settlement costs my initial cash investment was probably around $30,000 - keep that number in mind.  Fast forward to the present............the fair Market value is now approx $140,000 and the mortgage balance has been reduced to $63,000.....and I haven't been paying the mortgage each month - my tenants have. If I were to sell the house now (after paying realtor professional fess and settlement costs) I would net approx $70,000. So the inital $30K will have grown to $70,000..........not bad, but that's not that exciting. Now if I stay the course for another 6.5 years when the mortgage balance will be paid off and assuming the house appreciates in value 1.5-2% a year......the inital $30K investment will have grown to $150,000. Now THAT is pretty exciting!

Reason 2 - FREE CASH FLOW. Free cash flow is what is left over after you collect the monthly rent (A), pay the monthly mortgage note (B), and retain the balance (C) other words  A - B = C.  In my real world example I collect $1,250 per month rent, the monthly note is approx $950, leaving $300 per month free cash flow. REAL WORLD CONFESSION - there will be additional costs that come up from time to time and sometime you may go a month or two without a tenant. So to be very conservative, let's say that 50% of the free cash flow will be put aside for maintainence and vacancy contingency and 50% put into another account. The other account might be a college tution fund. So again in my case, 50% of $300 ($150) per month is put in a contingency account and $150 is put in a college tuition account. $150 x 12 months = $1,800........that doesn't seem like much - but over 13.5 years it comes to $24,300. If I stay the course another 6.5 years the amount will be $36,000. So after a total of 20 years of someone else paying the mortgage AND providing a modest monthly free cash flow, the inital $30,000 has grown a value of over $180,000! I can't think of a better way to fund a child's future college tuition cost than investing in a quality rental property and finance it with a 15 - 20 year mortgage.

Reason 3 - TAX BENEFITS and DIVERSIFICATION of INVESTMENT ASSETS - ok......that's actually two reasons. I'm not going to go into detail on these factors. I would suggest you consult with your tax advisor and or financial advisor and discuss these additional reasons. The short answer is: there are tax benefits for property depreciation, insurance cost, maintenance cost, etc......additionally investing in real estate can provide stability and security in your overall investment portfolio. 

For professional advice on investing in residential real estate contact a real estate professional at The Pat Wattam Team at RE/MAX First.   

Bill Arey  REALTOR

The Pat Wattam Team

RE/MAX First


[email protected]



3 Great Listings Ready to Go

by Pat Wattam

Doesn't a home that's high and dry with a pool sound good right now? All three of these homes are ready to go - just waiting for a new owner - from White Oak Estates to Santa Maria to the Lakes at LSU. Call The Pat Wattam Team at RE/MAX First or your REALTOR for more information. Priced from $325K - $1.82 Mil. 225-298-6900

Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70817
For the person who wants something just a little different, this Mediterranean home is for you! This home and setting is perfect for the person who loves to entertain. The large backporch flows onto the large courtyard/patio surrounding the pool area. With the open floor plan inside, it is easy for your guests to flow from inside to outside! Read more here...

Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70809
NO FLOOD! Custom home w/GUNITE pool & lushly landscaped backyard. Refinished wood floors & stacked crown in the foyer, living & dining rooms. Amazing kitchen features a beamed ceiling, slab granite counters, tons of cypress cabinets, corner sink w/ window, 8ft. island with slab granite & prep sink, S/S appliances, ice maker, 6-burner Wolf gas stove, pot filler, large walk-in pantry. Read more here...

Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70808
Located on a cul-de-sac, with views of LSU lakes, this remodeled home with a POOL has space for everyone. The views are breath taking from the large, WRAP AROUND front porch or most rooms inside the house!! The home has high ceilings, WOOD FLOORING throughout, and slab granite counters. Read more here...


Updates from the City of Baton Rouge

by Pat Wattam

We have compiled the latest information from the City of Baton Rouge regarding debris removal, a list of disaster recovery centers, and Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) information.

Debris Collection

For a map detailing flood debris collection status by zip code, please click here. We have also included a link here to a helpful infographic on how to prepare debris for collection.

The following information courtesy of the City of Baton Rouge website

Disaster Recovery Sites

DRC Sites currently open in EBR - 8:00AM - 6:00PM

New Hope Outreach Center
5925 Greenwell Springs Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70806

Second Baptist Church
914 North Acadian Thruway West
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Zachary's Men Club
5746 Rollins Road
Zachary, LA 70791

St. Louis King of France Catholic Church
2121 N. Sherwood Forest Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70815

There is also one mobile disaster recovery center:

City of Central Parking Lot
13421 Hooper Road
Central, LA 70818

Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP):

Four Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) sites will begin operations Monday, August 29, 2016 through Saturday, September 3, 2016 from 8:00AM - 4:00PM.

Council on Aging Activity Center
6955 Florida Blvd.
Baton Rouge, LA 70806

F.G. Clark Activity Center
798 Harding Boulevard
Baton Rouge, LA 70807

Gloryland Baptist Church
6745 Greenwell Springs Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70805

Louisiana Leadership Institute
5763 Hooper Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70811

Baton Rouge Flood Information and Resources

by Pat Wattam

The Pat Wattam Team has compiled a wealth of resources to assist those affected by the flood. Our Baton Rouge Flooding page is now up and contains information on disaster relief, volunteering and donations, school information, contractors, debris removal and more. If you need home repair, we have people we can put you in touch with. If you need to make a home purchase or find a place to rent immediately, we can help

Our goal is to assist the community by continuously updating this page with current resources for those in need in Baton Rouge. If you are looking for resources to assist you or someone you know who has been affected by the flood, visit the page here and check our blog frequently as we will be updating it with useful information for our community.


New City Ordinances Help Those Impacted by Flooding

by Pat Wattam

Four ordinances were authorized by the Metro Council yesterday to help those impacted by the flood. The following information has been provided by the City of Baton Rouge...

"1) TEMPORARY HOUSING ORDINANCE AND UDC WAIVERS: Waiving and suspending enforcement of certain provisions of the City-Parish Code of Ordinances and the Unified Development Code regarding temporary housing, parking of motor homes on residential streets, parking in the grass, and single-family occupancy of dwellings for a limited period of time in response to the emergency created by the historic flooding in order to preserve the public peace, health and safety. More info:

2) TEMPORARY NOISE ORDINANCE WAIVERS: Waiving the provisions of the City-Parish noise ordinance so as to allow construction work in or adjacent to a residential area from 5:00 a.m. until sunset on weekdays and Saturdays for a period of 90 days. More info:

3) TEMPORARILY WAIVING PERMIT FEES FOR STRUCTURES DAMAGED BY THE FLOOD: Amending relevant ordinances so as to waive permit fees on property damaged during the 2016 flood. More info:

4) CITY-PARISH ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE POLICY CHANGES: Granting administrative leave with pay to employees who are unable to report to work due to the state of emergency, under certain circumstances and approved by the employee’s appointing authority. More info: "

If you are looking for resources to assist you or someone you know who has been affected by the 2016 Baton Rough Flood, please visit our blog as we will be updating it with useful information for our community. You can to click here to visit our blog.

Information courtesy of

Mold Testing Tips

by Pat Wattam

Take care of the following before you put sheetrock back up...

1. Do a moisture test on the studs and any wood

2. Do a mold test - takes several days to get results.

The level of drying needed before rebuilding according to FEMA is as follows:

> 20% = wet, no good
15-20% = partially dry, caution
< 15% = dry, ok

Putting up sheet rock too soon can result in mold growing behind the sheetrock, then coming through the sheet rock, and then you have a SERIOUS and EXPENSIVE repair to do. Kevin Dinkel of Advantage Services is continually putting up helpful videos on his Facebook page here. Visit the website: for more information or call (225) 753-8114. Advantage Services offers home inspections, moisture tests, mold tests, termite inspection and treatments. I believe we have lots of good inspectors in Baton Rouge to help everyone with this.

If you are looking for resources to assist you or someone you know who has been affected by the 2016 Baton Rough Flood, please visit our blog as we will be updating it with useful information for our community. You can to click here to visit our blog.

Displaying blog entries 1-6 of 6




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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