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Baton Rouge Real Estate Blog

Pat Wattam


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What Does It Take to Join the Pat Wattam Team?

by Pat Wattam

A lot of agents ask me about joining the Pat Wattam Team but once they find out what is involved, it is usually too much for them!  A new member has to embody the standards that have made us so successful - honest, hard working, ethical, and a burning desire to succeed and help our clients make their real estate dreams come true.  

We'd like to welcome our newest addition, Debbie Morvant, Realtor!  I have known Debbie for many years through our tennis club (most of my team members play tennis!!) and we have talked many times about One day.......  Well, her 'one day' is here ..... please welcome her to the team!  Her direct line is 225-298-6901.

4th of July In and Around Baton Rouge

by Pat Wattam

We have so many ways to celebrate the 4th here in Baton Rouge, LA - in fact, you can go to the surrounding towns and catch their celebration and be home for fireworks on the Mississippi!  A couple of my favs:

1.  Start your day in Clinton for their Red, White and Blueberry Festival in the downtown area on the grounds of the Clinton American Legion Hall.  Craft village and market, live music, softball tournament, art booths, gospel groups, patriotic music, fireworks.  (This event continues on Saturday)

2.  Plaquemine starts their July 4th Hometown Celebration today from 3 pm.- 9 p.m.  at the Bayou Plaquemine Waterfront Park on  Foundry Street.  A patriotic boat parade begins at 4:30.  food, crafts, rides, music and game booths too!  Music starts at 6 and a jitterbug contest at 7.  Fireworks at 9 p.m.

3.  Port Allen - a great place to watch fireworks over the Mississippi River (unless you are like me and try to time driving over the Mississippi Bridge just in time to catch fireworks - very cool from that high up!).  Activities start a 4 p.m. at the Old Ferry Land Park at Court Street and the Mississippi River levee.  Music starts at 7 and runs to 10:30.  There's face painting, magicians, clowns and a spacwak - plus, vendors selling food.  

4.  Baton Rouge Star Spangled Declaration of Independence starts at the USS Kidd from 11 - 4 p.m.  Patriotic music will run throughout the day, a flag ceremony is at noon, there's an inflatable obstacle course, a toddler bounce house, face painters, ballonist, patriotic arts and crafts, plate luch sale.  Not to be missed at 6 p.m. at the First Baptist Church on Convention will be the Festival of Freedom Musical event with combined choir and orchestras from several churches in town.  Then the Baton Rouge Concert Band presents it free July4th concert on the Capitol steps at 7:30.  The fireworks on the mississippi presented by WBR starts at 9 p.m.  Anywhere on the levy is good viewing - or spend $150 a person and watch it from the Shaw center - dinner included!

5. Then Saturday, take in the False River Boat Parade in New Roads.  Starts at 1 p.m. at the Morrison Parkway Boat Launch - this includes water balloon fights!!!! The parade conincides with the River Rhyths Fest so you will have fireworks Saturday as well!!!

Have a Safe and Happy 4th of July, Louisiana Style!!





 False River Boat Parade in New Roads (45 minutes from Baton Rouge).

Year to Date Market Stats!

by Pat Wattam

The general real estate market for the Greater Baton Rouge Area is moving along nicely!  With interest rates remaining low, the demand for housing continues.  Here is a quick snapshot, year to date, of our entire market as well as the 3 parishes we mainly serve.

Pay particular attention to the list to sales price ratio when making an offer on a house.

Call the Pat Wattam Team any time for a free consulation - whether you are selling or buying - let us guide you! 

Another Source for a Down Payment on Your Home

by Pat Wattam

Another Source for a Down Payment


IRA 250.jpg

Most taxpayers know that they will pay a 10% penalty if they withdraw funds from their IRA before they turn 59.5 years old.  There is an exception for first-time home buyers that allows a penalty-free withdrawal of up to $10,000 per person if they haven’t owned a home in the previous two years.


This would allow a married couple who each have an IRA to withdraw a lifetime maximum of $10,000 each, penalty-free for a home purchase.

In many cases, the money would be used for a down payment or closing costs.   However, some buyers might consider this source to increase their down payment so they could qualify for a loan without mortgage insurance.

If the taxpayer qualifies for the penalty-free withdrawal, there may still be taxes due.  Contributions to traditional IRAs are made with before-tax dollars and the tax is paid when the funds are withdrawn.  Since Roth IRAs are made with after-tax dollars, there is no tax due when the funds are withdrawn.

Another interesting fact about this provision is that the taxpayer making the withdrawal can help a qualified relative which includes children, grandchildren, parents and grandparents.

Homebuyers who are considering using IRA funds for a home purchase should get expert advice from their tax professional concerning their individual situation.

When calculating how much downpayment you will need we first need to determine what kind of loan is best for you.  FHA only requires 3.5% of the sales price as a downpayment.  Conventionl loans typically are 5% but in special cases, sometimes as low as 3%.  Rural Development loans are 100% financing.  Don't know which one is right for you?  Give us a call today at the Pat Wattam Team and we'll help you determine which loan works best for your situation.

Now that we have the downpayment options broadened, time to start shopping for a home in the greater Baton Rouge Area!!

Now that you have another way to fund your downpayment, let's talk about houses!  

Movie Theaters Aren't Just for Movies Anymore!

by Pat Wattam

Movie Theaters used to be a place where you went to see a first run movie - or, in a small town like where I grew up, probably only 2nd run movies!  Today you can see Opera, Broadway, and more - here in Baton Rouge at Perkins Rowe.  The Manship Theater downtown also runs movies that we love - haven't checked that out but wonder how big THAT screen would be!  This week, which made me think to post this, Perkins Rowe will run Raiders of the Lost Ark?  Remember the first time (or 2nd or 3rd) you saw it - all your friends were talking about it - the snakes, the reflection of the snake in the safety glass when it is in Harrison Ford's Face!  It was an AMAZING and totally entertaining movie - and the end was so scarey with the faces melting away (glad I watched the special where they showed how that was done - now I actually enjoy watching the chocolate melt off and the eyeballs pop out!), and then the burecratic ending!  What a movie!  

When we did an Moive tour of Kauai several years ago, one of the places we went to was where the opening scene from the movie was filmed - where Harrison Ford grabs the rope swing to land in the water and catch the plane as it taxies off the water.  They had a rope swing there and let people swing out over the water, but not drop into it.  Evidently some people came dressed in character sometime and jumped in - they don't allow that any more.  I was REALLY, REALLY chicken but finally did it - screamed the whole way! It was a blast and I highly recommend doing it the next time you are in Kauai!

So, Sunday, June 1st, at Perkins Rowe, 2 p.m. Sunday and then 2 and 7 p.m. this Wednesday, Raiders of the Lost Ark!!  Enjoy!

Happy Mother's Day

by Pat Wattam

The celebration of Mother's Day began in the United States in the early 1900s.  It is a celebration honoring Mothers, maternal bonds, the influence of mothers on society, etc.  Not everyone still has a mother - some have more than one - and others have special women who have influenced them much like a mom would.  I was lucky to not only have a great mom who made me do things I didn't want - like practice piano in the summer time! - and also an aunt who, like myself, did not have any children but for some reason, she was so special to me and I always treated her like my second mother - she always received Mother's Day gifts from me.  

Take some time this weekend to thank, spend time with, or just remember those women who have had a great influence in your life!  My aunt is no longer alive but she will be remembered once more this Mother's Day, even as I celebrate with my wonderful mom!

Superior Grill

by Pat Wattam

Superior Grill is an awesome place to enjoy great Mexican food, great happy hour and great music.

Famous for their Superior Margaritas and Sizzling Fajitas, Superior Grill is the place to be for happy hour, parties, and an overall great hang. 

Live music Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays(when LSU isn't playing). 

Superior also has great breakfast!

Located at 5435 Government St. 

Blake Hanna, Realtor


College Town

by Bill Arey

College Town was developed in 1923 and was created from the farmland of the Denis Daigre family. The price of an average lot in College Town in 1963 was $7,000*. Today a vacant lot is an extreme rarity.... a lot sold in April 2013 and the purchase price was $250,000!!

* Excerpted from "Historic Neighborhoods of Baton Rouge" by Annabelle M. Armstrong  Published by The History Press

    Bill Arey   The Pat Wattam Team  ReMax First

Landscaping Tips

by Pat Wattam

As people spend more and more time in their backyards with their backyard kitchens, pools, etc, not to mention front load garages, we are seeing more and more people spending less money on their front yard and more on their back.  While this makes some sense - you see your backyard typically for longer periods of time that the front - which you basically see when you drive in, but the front yard does make a statement about your house.  And when your house is for sale, this is particularly important.  

So, if your house is for sale, we need color in the front - color to attract people and get their attention. Red is always eye catching, as are other bright colors.  You need to pack the color together so that it makes a statement


Note how the yellow flowers are bunched together so they make a statement - the bright colored azaleas.  This draws a lot of attention to the front of the house with not a lot of expense.

Not what a statement the yellow flowers make when bunched up. 

So, when thinking about making a statement in the front yard, you don't have to spend a lot of money, but carefully choose color and pack it in tightly!

Capital Heights

by Bill Arey

When developed in 1918 by lumberman and real estate developer Charles Roseman, Capital Heights subdivision was considered “out in the country”. In one of the city’s oldest subdivisions, an influx of young families give life to old homes. Through a proactive, strong civic association formed in 1992, the turnabout has brought an increase in property values and decrease in crime.

Excerpted from “ Historic Neighborhoods of Baton Rouge” by Annabelle M.
Armstrong      Published by The History Press


   Bill Arey  The Pat Wattam Team  225-298-6900

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 191




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