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From Rental to Your New Home - The Move Out Checklist

by Glenda Daughety & Team

You finally did it! After all those years of renting and helping pay someone else's mortgage, you've purchased your own home at last. Now it's time to get ready to move out of your rental and into your own home. 

But if you've never moved from a rental before, or if it's been some years, you may have forgotten all the things needed to be done in order to properly leave your rental so that you get as much back from your deposit as you can. You'll certainly want that money for your new home, so it's a good idea to cover all of your bases when moving out of your rental.

Here's a checklist of the tasks to prioritize so that you can get back your deposit.

Two Months Before the Move: 

Examine Your Lease

As soon as you decide to move, you need to ask your landlord or leasing company about the move-out guidelines in your lease. Check your copy of the lease and go over specifics of how much notice is needed, your cleaning responsibilities, and other essential items.

Asses Damage 

Check the areas of your rental to see what needs repair before the final walk-through. Go over the list with your landlord to see what items they can or need to fix, and what you are responsible for.

 

One Month Before the Move:

Give written notice.

Write a letter to your landlord or leasing company with the exact date of your move. Make sure to give notice according to their rules or you may lose your deposit

Cancel or Change Your Renter’s Insurance.

Contact your insurance company to advise them of your move date.

Gather Supplies

Get together all the supplies you'll need, such as boxes, tape, and packing materials.

 

Three Weeks Before the Move:

Start Decluttering and Packing.

Start organizing and getting rid of things you won't need to take with you. Sell them, donate them, or give them to other tenants in your complex.

Tie Up Loose Ends

Make sure you get time off work, check into boarding pets, and changing utilities such as phone and internet, electricity, gas, and water to your new home. This will help ensure you're not moving in in the dark at your new home.

Want more tips on what you can do before your move? Check back on our blog later this week for part 2 of this article.

Join us on our blog every week for more great real estate advice, along with articles about the great reasons to buy a home in Baton Rouge. You can also search for your dream home now using our convenient home search tool. And make sure to follow us on Facebook for the latest real estate updates for Baton Rouge and the surrounding area.

Fall Is a Great Time to Buy a Home

by Glenda Daughety & Team

If you're thinking about buying a home soon in Baton Rouge, here's 4 reasons why you should think about buying now.

1. Rising Prices

Over the last 12 months, home prices have increased by 6.2%, according to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Insights report. Prices are expected to increase further over the next year by another 5.1%.

With prices expected to continue to rise, it makes sense to not wait.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Will Increase

According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, interest rates have already increased by 0.5% this year for a 30-year mortgage. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the National Association of Realtors agree that rates will continue to rise to around 5.1% by next year.

When interest rates rise, it affects your monthly payments. That means in a year, your mortgage payments could be higher, if these projections hold true.

3. You're Paying a Mortgage Either Way

Would you rather pay your landlord's mortgage or your own? If you rent, you're paying a mortgage, unless you live with your parents. Given the choice, of course you want to pay your own mortgage.

When you own a home, you're putting equity in it that you can use later in life.  It's a kind of forced savings account.  But when you rent, the equity goes to your landlord.

4. It’s Time to Move on with Your Life

Both home prices and mortgage rates are on the rise, and this together makes the overall 'cost' of a home.

Would you still wait to buy a home if this cost wan't rising?

Analyze what your actual reasons are for buying a home. Is it worth it to wait?

Join us on our blog every week for more great real estate advice, along with articles about the great reasons to buy a home in Baton Rouge. You can also search for your dream home now using our convenient home search tool. And make sure to follow us on Facebook for the latest real estate updates for Baton Rouge and the surrounding area.

Don't Be Fooled By This New Email Scam

by Glenda Daughety & Team

It's one of the worst ways to be scammed. You've been working so hard to buy your dream home. The day has arrived to close the deal. But at the last minute, you lose all the money for your down payment, along with the deal on the home. And worse yet, the ones who stole the money get away with it.

It's a new email scam that's getting more common. It's based on a common scam often called the "business email compromise" scam. But the target in this case is home buyers.

This scam is especially destructive. It makes you sick just thinking about it. Some who have been victims of this scam have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars, their dream home, and even their life savings.

These email compromise schemes are on the increase, according to the FBI.  A company known as Proofpoint has been tracking email cybercrimes, and they report that this type of crime has reached a level 14 times higher than last year. Don't count on this scam going away soon.

How does it work?

A version of this scam has been going on for some time. Malware is used to infiltrate the email account of a real estate professional. Once the scammer gains control of the email account, they can watch for upcoming transactions. And the owner of the email account has no idea they are being watched.

Then when it's time to close the deal on the home, the scammer will send an email from that hacked account to the buyer.  They claim that the plans have changed and that they need to wire money to a specified account. The email looks real, as it comes from the right address and is formatted in the same style.

Then the buyer wires the money. Now it's gone. There's no way to get it back, as the money is now out of the reach of U.S. law enforcement and banks.

Scammers are even following up with a phone call to the buyer to further convince them.  They claim that they represent the title company or seller's law office to further convince them the wire transfer is legitimate. And it pays off, as the payout is immediate and far higher than other types of scams.

Long Gone

Why can't a victim of this scheme do anything about it? Because money is wired to another bank, you are the one who authorized it, even if you were deceived into sending it. This is different than when someone takes money from your account directly without your knowledge. And since the funds are sent overseas, there's basically nothing U.S. law agencies can do about it.

How Can You Protect Yourself?

There's no need to panic. As with any type of threat, all you need to do is apply some basic common sense and caution.

Be vigilant: Make sure that you verify any suspicious emails regarding your transaction. Always feel free to call your real estate agent to verify emails.

Voice verify: You must follow up emails with a phone call to the sender, especially if the email asks you to sign a document, log into a new website, send money, or give them any financial information. 

Talk to your bank: Check with your bank to see if they will place restrictions on wire transfers from your account in the form of a voice verification or other checkpoint.

Don't immediately respond to email: If you get an email that requests some kind of action, regard it with suspicion and follow up with a phone call to the individual sending the email.

You can protect yourself from theft by applying some caution and common sense. It may take more time and effort, but it is certainly worth it.

Join us on our blog every week for more great real estate advice, along with articles about the great reasons to buy a home in Baton Rouge. You can also search for your dream home now using our convenient home search tool. And make sure to follow us on Facebook for the latest real estate updates for Baton Rouge and the surrounding area.

Don't Have Enough For Your Down Payment? Crowdfund It!

by Glenda Daughety & Team

Having trouble saving for your down payment to buy a home? There's a creative new way that first-time buyers are coming up with when it comes to saving enough for their down payment.

Instead of asking for traditional gifts for their wedding, many newlyweds are asking wedding guests to contribute to their “Down Payment Fund.” The fact is that many couples already live together, so that have what they need for a new home.  All they need now is the house.

The math works out in most cases. If you consider that the average wedding has 120 guests who give wedding gifts, and those gifts average $186, that would give the new couple over $22,000 to use for a down payment! This is just an average, so the figure could be even higher.

And of course there are already services to facilitate this new trend, such as HomeFundMe which lets just about anyone contribute toward the down payment. The contributors can even determine, at the time of their donation, if their gifts are ‘conditional’ or ‘non-conditional’ on the beneficiary buying a home.

A recent Wall Street Journal article reports, “about 400 borrowers have used HomeFundMe to help buy homes since the program launched in October and on average, they raise about $2,500.” According to the article, most borrowers use these funds along with personal savings to help reduce the time it takes to reach the down payment goal.

To help out, there are increasingly more programs coming into play that lets you put down as little as 3%, such as with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan programs. Also, FHA programs require as little as 3.5%, and VA Loans are often approved with 0% down!

The days of paying 20% down for a new home are a thing of the past. So it's time to get creative if you need help saving for your down payment.

We invite you to check back on our blog every week for more great real estate advice, along with articles about the great reasons to buy a home in Baton Rouge. You can also search for your dream home now using our convenient home search tool. And make sure to follow us on Facebook for the latest real estate updates for Baton Rouge and the surrounding area.

 

Top Real Estate Myths

by Glenda Daughety & Team

Many people think that since they once bought or sold a home that they know everything about real estate. True, you do learn a lot about the process when you buy or sell a home. But not everything. Plus, times change, and the rules of real estate change with them.  This can lead to inaccurate information being spread about how the real estate industry works.

What are some common real estate myths?

Real Estate Agents are Paid a Salary

Most real estate agents are well dressed, have nice vehicles, and do things that give the appearance that they have a steady stream of cash flowing in.  They don't. Most real estate agents are not paid a salary, unless they work for a brokerage that does so. Most or all of their income comes from actually selling a home and closing the deal.

Real estate agents usually pay for all of their marketing and materials out of their own pocket. The more money they spend, the more homes they are likely to sell, provided they spend it wisely on the right marketing. They also spend their time going through hundreds of messages and emails, doing research and giving advice, making many trips to the property for showings, and so on.

This isn't meant to make you feel sorry for real estate agents. It's all part of the job. The more time and effort an agent puts into helping clients, the more chance they have of selling a home.  But they only make that money IF the home sells.

A Home Can Pass or Fail Inspection

The purpose of a home inspection is to find any problems or potential future problems with a home. The home neither passes or fails an inspection. The inspection reveals if there are problems that need to be addressed when the home is purchased, along with a summary of the age of key systems.

Zillow and Trulia Know Everything

Zillow and Trulia are certainly powerful tools when looking to buy a home, and useful for getting a good idea of the lay of the home and neighborhood. But they do have their limits. That's why working with a local real estate agent is important.

It's Better to Overprice

Overpricing a home is never a good strategy. Some sellers think that if they price the home higher than the intended asking price, then they'll be more likely to get the price they want.

That's not the way it usually turns out. What really happens is that the home takes too long to sell and you end up chasing away prospective buyers.  In fact some may not even want to look at the house at all because you priced it out of their search range. Remember that many people look for homes using a maximum price range on the internet, so your home may not show up in their search at all if you price it too high.

We invite you to check back on our blog every week for more great real estate advice, along with articles about the great reasons to buy a home in Baton Rouge. You can also search for your dream home now using our convenient home search tool. And make sure to follow us on Facebook for the latest real estate updates for Baton Rouge and the surrounding area.

8 Steps to a Better Credit Score

by Glenda Daughety & Team

Are you planning to buy a home in Baton Rouge? If so, then having a good credit score is essential. Sure, you may not need as high as a score to buy a home as in times past. But keeping your score as high as you can will keep you from having to pay more. A higher score will mean you will have lower interest rates and will need less money down. If you need to improve your credit score, what are some ways that you can raise it quickly?

What are some ways you can make your score improve and maintain a good score?

1. Pay Bills on Time

This is important, as it makes up 35% of your score.  And if you have trouble remembering when payments are due, you can set up automatic payment or use an app to help you.

2. Correct Errors on the Credit Report 

Check credit reports and make sure there aren't any.  If you find any, call any creditor that's reporting the error and follow up with a letter with the same request. Then notify all of the credit bureaus of the changes and let the creditors know you've done so.  This will help motivate them to make the needed corrections.

3. Raise Your Available Credit

Check with an existing creditor to see if they can raise your limit.  This can also help your score.

4. Keep Old Credit Cards Open

10% of credit scores are based on history, so if you have an older credit card, keep it open.

5. Consolidate Cards

Having numerous cards with smaller balances doesn't help your score.  Try to consolidate smaller balances onto one card, or at least fewer cards.

6. Don't Rack Up Balances

Keeping a lower credit utilization ratio will also help your score. 30% of your limit is a good goal. That means, for example, if you have a $1000 limit, then you would keep your balance below $300.

7. Negotiate

If you have a defaulted card, it can wreak havoc on a score. You can work with the creditor to accept a partial payment for a debt in collections in exchange of reclassifying the debt as paid.

8. Don't Keep Applying for New Credit

10% of your score is affected by new credit applications. Don't apply for a new card unless you absolutely have to.

Of course there are other ways to maintain a great credit score. But if you start with these points, you will be on your way to a better score in no time.

We invite you to check back on our blog every week for more great real estate advice, along with articles about the great reasons to buy a home in Baton Rouge. You can also search for your dream home now using our convenient home search tool. And make sure to follow us on Facebook for the latest real estate updates for Baton Rouge and the surrounding area.

How to Find the Perfect Home

by Glenda Daughety & Team

It’s one of the biggest decisions you’ll probably ever make, one that you will likely be living with for years. Buying a home – the perfect home. It’s a goal most people have. What is the perfect home, and how can you find it?

What Is the "Perfect Home"

The perfect home is simply a home that fits your needs the best. So the definition is up to you. What matters the most to you in a home? Make a list of what’s important to you and separate what you want from what isn't important. If you have a partner buying with you, compare your lists and compare them to see what you can compromise on and what you can't.

Also think about the homes you lived in before and what you did and didn’t like. Keep those things in mind when searching for a home.

How Much Can You Afford?

Knowing how much you can afford is critical and the first thing you should do when deciding what home is “perfect”. Don't make the mistake of basing it on the maximum amount you can borrow. Make sure there’s a comfortable margin between your payments and other expenses such as taxes, repairs, appliances, furniture, and so forth. It would be a shame to find a beautiful home and then have to struggle financially to live there.

Get the Right Help

The right real estate professional will make the difference between triumph and failure. And don’t be tempted to go it alone either. Real estate agents have access to information that you don’t, and they have the experience to help you find the ideal home.  They can also negotiate the best price and recommend the best lenders.

Location, Location, Location

No one wants bad neighbors. Of course it’s not possible to completely rule it out, you can still do research on the area to find one that’s the most livable. Drive around the area at different times of the day and ask yourself how safe you would feel living there.  Also make sure to test your commute during rush hour to the neighborhood. A longer commute could make it a deal killer.

Do Your Homework

This takes some time and money, but is well worth it. Compare property values around the home and look at trends. What are homes selling for in the area? This information can help you negotiate a better price. Also make sure to hire your own home inspector to find potential issues.  Finding these up front can help you as well in negotiations with the seller.

Finding the perfect home is not impossible if you follow these basic steps.

We invite you to check back on our blog every week for more great real estate advice, along with articles about the great reasons to buy a home in Baton Rouge. You can also search for your dream home now using our convenient home search tool. And make sure to follow us on Facebook for the latest real estate updates for Baton Rouge and the surrounding area.

VA Loans Help Millions of Veterans Own a Home

by Glenda Daughety & Team

Do you know what government program has helped over 22 million veterans buy a home? It's known as the Veterans Affairs (VA) Home Loans Program. The thing is that even though it's helped so many Americans buy a home, many veterans still do not know the details of the program. Are you a veteran and interested in buying a home? If so, here's a breakdown of the benefits of a VA loan and how you can apply.

Top 5 Benefits of a VA Home Loan

  • You can buy a home no down payment. 82% of all veterans with a VA Loan in 2016 bought a home with 0% down!
  • You don't need Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). Usually PMI is required with other loans if the down payment is under 20%.
  • You can get a loan with a lower credit score. VA Home Loans don't require as high of a score as other loans. The average FICO® score of a borrower with a VA Loan is 620, as opposed to 676 for an FHA loan, or 753 for a conventional home loan.
  • Closing costs are limited. Sellers can pay all of a buyer’s loan-related closing costs and up to 4% in concessions in some cases.
  • VA Loans have the lowest interest rates of any home loan.

Who Qualifies for a VA Home Loan?

First you need to visit www.benefits.va.gov to obtain your Certificate of Eligibility (COE). You need this to "verify to the lender that you are eligible for a VA-backed loan.”

You Can Apply for a VA Loan if You:

  • Serve 90 consecutive days during wartime
  • Serve 181 consecutive days during peacetime
  • Have more than 6 years in the National Guard or Reserves
  • Are the spouse of a service member who has died in the line of duty or as the result of a service-related disability

With a VA Loan You Can:

  • Purchase a Home
  • Purchase a Condo
  • Build a Home
  • Refinance an existing home loan
  • Make improvements to a home by installing energy-related features or making energy-efficient improvements

If you've served this country and want to own a home of your own, why wait? Give us a call and we'll be happy to help you see if you qualify for a VA loan today.

Make sure to check back on our blog every week for more great real estate advice, along with articles about the great reasons to buy a home in Baton Rouge. You can also search for your dream home now using our convenient home search tool. And make sure to follow us on Facebook for the latest real estate updates for Baton Rouge and the surrounding area.

Are You Ready to Own a Second Home?

by Glenda Daughety & Team

Have you thought about buying a 2nd home or vacation home? Owning a 2nd home is certainly the dream of many Americans.  Not only does owning a second home provide a strong investment opportunity, but  it’s a great way to plan for your retirement years. Also, since finance rates are now at their lowest in years, now is an ideal time to buy a 2nd home.

Why should you think about buying a 2nd home or vacation home? Answering this question will help you see where your priorities are.

You Can Afford It

Most people who buy a 2nd home are middle aged, at least in their 40s and are making more money by that time in their life.  Many 2nd home buyers have children that have moved out, or perhaps they’re getting ready to find a home to have to vacation in or retire to.  These people don’t have as strong of a reason to stay in one place.  Also, by the time most people get to that age, they’re making a higher income and have more in savings.

A Good Investment

If you’re also thinking that a second home will be a good investment, you’re on the right track. Owning a 2nd home can be a good investment, but like any investment, there can be risks. The location of a home is important, as some areas grow differently and can affect property values for better or worse. Make sure you find a home in an area that shows growth.

Comfortable Retirement

Are you getting ready to retire? Since most people buy a 2nd home in the latter half of their lives, they are planning for retirement or at least thinking about retiring by that age. Owning a second home give you the opportunity to change where you live during the seasons.

Let’s say you want to retire to a community with a beautiful lake front and sunny skies. Why not search for a home in the area you want to retire? Even if you’re not ready to retire yet, you’ll have a second home when you do reach that point, and it will have increased in value.

Tax Benefits

Who doesn’t love a great tax break? When you own a 2nd home, you can write off your property taxes on your federal returns. And it doesn’t matter if it’s an investment, rental, or for your own use. You can also deduct interest, insurance, and depreciation against your home’s value.

Buying a second home may not be for everyone. But if it’s something you can do, take time to consider the advantages and disadvantages before you make the big move.

Make sure to check back on our blog every week for more great real estate advice, along with articles about the great reasons to buy a home in Baton Rouge. You can also search for your dream home now using our convenient home search tool. And make sure to follow us on Facebook for the latest real estate updates for Baton Rouge and the surrounding area.

Has the Luxury Home Market Been Affected by the Tax Reform?

by Glenda Daughety & Team

Some have worried that the new tax code would hurt the luxury home market. This fear was based on the fact that the new tax code limits the deduction of state and local property taxes, as well as income or sales taxes, to a total of $10,000. This created some concern that this would have a negative impact on luxury home sales.

According to Capital Economics:

“The impact on expensive homes could be detrimental, with a limit on the MID raising taxes for those that itemize.”

Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics brings out this important point:

“The impact on house prices is much greater for higher-priced homes, especially in parts of the country where incomes are higher and there are thus a disproportionate number of itemizers, and where homeowners have big mortgages and property tax bills.”

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) predicted price declines in “high cost, higher tax areas” because of the tax changes.

What has actually happened?

Let’s consider some metrics before we conclude that the luxury market is declining:

1. NAR’s latest Existing Home Sales Report shows the percent change in sales from last year:

  • Homes sales between $500,000 – $750,000 are up 11.9%
  • Homes sales between $750,000 – $1M are up 16.8%
  • Homes sales over $1,000,000 are up 26.7%

2. Trulia reported  that searches for “premium” homes increased from 38.4% in the fourth quarter of 2017 to 41.4% in the first quarter of 2018.

3. Bloomberg also had this to say in a recent article:

“Median home values nationally rose 8 percent in March compared with a year earlier, while neighborhoods of San Francisco and San Jose, California, have increased more than 25 percent.

Prices in affluent areas in Delaware and New York, such as the Hamptons, also surged more than 20 percent.”

Zillow’s Senior Economist, Aaron Terrazas, summed up real estate’s luxury market this way:

“We are seeing the opposite of what was expected. We have certainly not seen the doomsday predictions play out.”

Make sure to check back on our blog every week for more great real estate advice, along with articles about the great reasons to buy a home in Baton Rouge. You can also search for your dream home now using our convenient home search tool. And make sure to follow us on Facebook for the latest real estate updates for Baton Rouge and the surrounding area.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 22

Contact Information

Photo of Glenda Daughety Real Estate
Glenda Daughety
RE/MAX First
4750 Sherwood Common Blvd
Baton Rouge LA 70816
225-205-2672
225-291-1234
Fax: 225-612-6422

 

All information and pictures on this website are copyright protected.

Glenda Daughety & Team
RE/MAX First
Office: 225-291-1234
Cell: 225-205-2672
4750 Sherwood Common Blvd
Baton Rouge, LA 70816
Each Office Independently Owned and Operated
Licensed Realtor in the State of Louisiana by the Louisiana Real Estate Commission


Glenda Daughety, Team Leader

Michelle Copeland, Buyer Specialist

Ashley Daughety, Buyer Specialist / Stager Decorator

 

 

 

 

 

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