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Avoiding Damage During a Move

by Glenda Daughety & Team

Most people imagine moving day as insane with plenty of furniture moving disasters. They most likely imagine damage to a piece of furniture that is special.

Unpleasant as that sounds, the damage could be a lot worse! During a move, you can inflict damage, not only to your furniture, but to the walls,  doorways and carpets of your new home, if you or the movers aren’t careful. But don’t worry – we have some helpful suggestions! Read on for the best ways to avoid damage to both your furniture and your new home during your move.

Protecting Your Furniture

Wrap your furniture in moving blankets, which will prevent nicks and scratches to your furniture (and walls) during your move. Better yet, you can easily stack furniture (like chairs) that are wrapped in blankets on top of one another without worrying about the furniture getting scratched.

You can use sofa covers to protect your furniture, which are fitted exactly to the size of the piece of furniture. Sofa covers, however, do tend to be more expensive than moving blankets.

Dissemble whatever pieces of furniture that you can, and make sure to keep track of the pieces that are needed to put it back together. Smaller items will be easier to move and least likely to scratch walls or door frames.

Flooring

Carpet film protector – think of it like clear plastic sheeting – is one of your best bet if you want to protect your flooring during a move. Carpet film protector, however, is not cheap, so be sure to check out a few more budget-friendly tips below.

Keep it cheap, and place carpet runners, throw sheets, large pieces of flattened cardboard paper or flattened cardboard boxes along the higher traffic areas of your home. It’ll make protecting your flooring, and post moving clean up, so much easier!

Place felt pads on the bottom of chairs, sofas, and table legs. This way, you’ll still be able to move your furniture around without any extra heavy lifting.

Pro-tip: If it’s raining on moving day, make sure to not pack up your welcome mat! That way, your movers can wipe off their shoes before entering your home (and not dirty up the carpet in the process).

Walls

Certain corners in your home will most likely receive higher traffic than others, such as hallways and room doorways – install corner guards to prevent furniture from getting caught on the corners.

Cover the walls with drop cloths to prevent scratches, holes, or dings from other pieces of furniture. You can even stick flattened cardboard to the wall and attach the cardboard with painter’s tape (which won’t peel the paint off the walls).

Door Frames

Best rule to follow: Measure twice, move once! Measure the piece of furniture beforehand to make sure that the doorway is wide enough to fit the piece of furniture that's being moved. Believe us, you’ll prevent a lot of nicks, scrapes, and scratches in the process.

Banisters and Railings

Banisters and railings are commonly in high-traffic areas and are very likely to get bumped or dinged. To help avoid damage, wrap the entire banister in bubble wrap, or even attach flattened cardboard to the top of the banister.

So, there you have it! With a a little bit of extra effort, your move should go more smoothly – and with minimal damage to your furniture and your new home.

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.

What to Do and Not to Do on Property Tours

by Glenda Daughety & Team

Searching for homes and touring them can be an exiting time. Buying a new home is a new phase in your life and there's a great many things to consider.

Yet there's more to touring a home than just walking through it. There are factors to keep in mind to avoid making mistakes that could cost you. These are mistakes that could upset the seller and negatively affect the sale.  Here's a few ways you can stay on the seller's good side, while keeping focused on getting the most from your tour.

1. The fewer the better.

It's not a good idea to bring friends and relatives who are not involved in the actual purchase of the home to a showing. It will probably be more distracting than helpful to your decisions. They could also say or do things that will upset the seller. And you would also not want to bring small children, as they can also be distracting.

If you absolutely need to bring other people with you on a showing, ask your agent beforehand.

2. You're on candid camera.

You should always assume you're being watched during a showing, even when they've left the house. Many homes have surveillance cameras that can be easily monitored from a phone. You should expect that the seller wants to protect their home, as you would yours.

Sellers may also be able to hear what you say, so be careful about what you say, as it could affect your negotiations if you decide to buy the home. The seller may not even be using a camera to watch you.  Some will go next door and watch, or have neighbors watch for them.

3. No photography

It may be tempting to snap photos of a home you're looking at. But you need to remember that it's not your property. The listing agent has already taken photos that are approved by the seller. Those photos are carefully staged so as not to invade the seller's privacy. But as a buyer, you do not have that arrangement with the seller. Taking photos without permission on private property is not only bad form, but could be against state laws.

If the seller allows you to take photos, don't post on social media. You could hurt your negotiations and invade the seller's privacy. Wait until the house is yours and post all the photos your heart desires.

4. Use your imagination.

People have different tastes, so most homes you tour won't quite match your style.  That's why it's a good practice to imagine how things would look if you buy the home. Envision inexpensive ways to make the home yours.

Augmented reality (AR) apps on your phone are a great way to view walls in different colors, or view virtual furniture in a room. These tools are powerful ways to picture how the home would look if you buy it.

5. Don’t use the bathroom.

Would you want a bunch of strangers using your bathroom? It's fine to test fixtures and cabinets, but don't use the bathroom unless the seller says it's OK in advance.

Touring homes can be a fun and beneficial experience, as long as you mind your manners and show respect for the seller.

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.

Moving WIth Pets

by Glenda Daughety & Team

Moving With Pets

Moving is typically stressful, both for people and for their pets. Pets just have no way to understand why their environment has changed so completely. As such, moving with pets can add more challenge to your move. There may not be a way to completely remove all of that stress, but you can definitely make the experience less stressful.  How? Here’s a few tips that can help.

Moving With Dogs & Cats

Keep Them Out of the Action

Keeping your dogs and cats with a friend or in a kennel during the move is an ideal situation.  But that may not always be an option. So try to find a quiet space for them to adjust.  Try to find an empty room that you can keep clear.  Check on them regularly and try to stick with feeding and walking routines.

Keep Them Inside

Wait until you get top your new home to let your dogs and cats out, as they can get lost if they get away from you. And keep them inside for a few days to let them have time to adjust to their new neighborhood. Do this even if your dog is normally well behaved and trained.

Move the House Before You Move Your Pets

Try to move your pets last if you have that option.  The more of the house you have moved before they arrive, the better. You can set up one room first to move them into and keep them there to let them adjust.  Give them plenty of attention and toys to make them feel at home.

Moving With Fish

Fish are easily traumatized and can die easily from a move. To help, if you’re moving short distances, move them in plastic bags filled with their old tank water.  If you’re traveling a long distance, you may consider finding your fish a new home with a friend.

Moving With Birds

Just because your bird hasn’t flown off your shoulder before doesn’t mean it won’t after the stress of a move. It happens quite often. So make sure you keep your bird caged during the move and even a few days after.

Moving is never easy, but if you prepare, you can make it easier for your furry family. Check back on our blog twice a week for more great real estate tips and advice. Don't forget to follow us on Facebook!

Do You Know About Private Mortgage Insurance?

by Glenda Daughety & Team

What is Private Mortgage Insurance?Are you looking to get a low down payment loan to buy a home in Baton Rouge?  If so, are you familiar with a type of insurance called Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)? If not, you should familiarize yourself with this type of insurance.  If you plan on getting a low down payment loan, it’s a good idea to look into and educate yourself about Private Mortgage Insurance, as it plays an important part of the loan. How can Private Mortgage Insurance help you buy a home in the Baton Rouge area?

What is Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)? Here’s how Freddie Mac defines it:

“An insurance policy that protects the lender if you are unable to pay your mortgage. It’s a monthly fee, rolled into your mortgage payment, that is required for all conforming, conventional loans that have down payments less than 20%.

Once you’ve built equity of 20% in your home, you can cancel your PMI and remove that expense from your mortgage payment.”

Simply put, the buyer pays the monthly premiums for the PMI insurance policy, and the lender is the beneficiary. As Freddie Mac explains:

“The cost of PMI varies based on your loan-to-value ratio – the amount you owe on your mortgage compared to its value – and credit score, but you can expect to pay between $30 and $70 per month for every $100,000 borrowed.”

The average down payment last year for all home buyers across the nation was 10% and 5% for first time buyers, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). They also reported that the average down payment for repeat buyers was 14%. In other words, PMI didn’t stop these buyers from getting loans.

Here’s an example of the cost of a mortgage on a $200,000 home with a 5% down payment & PMI, compared to a 20% down payment without PMI:


The larger the down payment, the lower your monthly housing cost will be, but as Freddie Mac says:

“It’s no doubt an added cost, but it’s enabling you to buy now and begin building equity versus waiting 5 to 10 years to build enough savings for a 20% down payment.”

If you plan on buying a home in Baton Rouge and have questions about low down payment loans and PMI, please contact us today for more information. You can also search for your dream home now using our convenient home search tool. You can also get new listings by email as soon as they hit the market with our free listing alerts. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for the latest Baton Rouge real estate news and listings.

VA Home Loans on the Rise

by Glenda Daughety & Team

Are you a veteran of the armed services and want to buy a home in Baton Rouge? If so, you no doubt already know about the VA Home Loans Program. Some 22 million veterans have been able to buy a home since its creation in 1944.  As a matter of fact, just in 2017 veterans and their families were loaned $188 billion through this program. The VA Home Loans Program also guaranteed over 740 loans with an average loan amount of  $261,272. As shown in the graphic below, VA Purchase loans are on the rise in almost every state, including here in Baton Rouge.

Did you know that one of the fantastic benefits of the VA Loan is that you can buy a home with 0% down?  In 2016 alone some 82% of all VA loans put down 0%! That means that if you qualify, you could be in a home of your own before you know it. How do you know if you qualify for a VA Home Loan? If you served more than 90 consecutive days during wartime, 181 consecutive days during peacetime, more than 6 years in the National Guard or Reserves, or if your spouse died in the line of duty as a result of their service, you can qualify.

VA Home Loans aren’t just for buying a new home. You can also use these loans for buying a condo, building a new home, or making improvements to your existing home.

To learn more about this great program that's putting those who serve their country in homes of their own, visit the official website.

Whether or not you served in the military, we can help you find the home of your dreams in Baton Rouge.  If you need finding a VA Home Loan or any other kind of home financing, we’re happy to help.

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.

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What are Appraisal Contingencies?

by Glenda Daughety & Team

Let's say that you're buying a home. The seller has accepted your offer, contracts are signed and now you've paid the deposit.  But after having the home appraised, it turns out that the home is appraised for less than what you offered. Then the bank decides not to loan you the money.  This is certainly not a good situation.  What can you do to avoid this? Appraisal contingencies are the solution.

Many buyers may not know what an appraisal contingency is. They are conditions that have to be met on a real estate contract before it becomes legally binding.  Most real estate contract include these conditions:

  1. The appraisal contingency: This states that the home has to be appraised at the sale price or higher.  This will help keep the mortgage from falling through.
  2. The finance contingency: This mandates that the deal is based on the bank granting the loan.
  3. The inspection contingency: The home must pass inspection.

There is a time limit for these conditions to be met.  If not, you can back out of the deal legally and get your deposit back.

Here's how an appraisal contingency works. The bank will hire an appraiser to determine the fair market value of the home based on similar homes in the area. This is called comparative sales, or comps. The bank will usually only loan the amount that the home is appraised for.  So that means that if the appraisal is lower than what the seller is asking, you can walk away from the deal and get your money back if the seller refuses to lower the price.

But isn't this the same thing as a finance contingency?  Not quite. With a finance contingency, if the bank refuses to write a mortgage based on a lower appraisal, then you can leave the deal.  But what happens if the bank agrees to a smaller loan that meets the finance contingency? If that happens, then seller can demand that you make up the difference from your own pocket.  That's where the appraisal contingency protects you, otherwise you have to come up with that extra money, or be in breech of contract and possibly lose your deposit. That's why you should have both the appraisal and finance contingency in a contract.

If the home appraisal is too low and you still want the home, you can ask the bank for another assessment. You can also show evidence that represents what you believe makes the home worth more.

Does this mean you should always have contingencies in a real estate contract? Remember that sellers usually get offers from multiple buyers.  The easier the deal is for the seller (by not having contingencies), the better chance you have of getting the home.  But you run the risk that you won't get the loan you need. In the end, it's up to you, based on the market and what risks you want to take either way.

Rising Home Prices Show Now Is the Time to Move

by Glenda Daughety & Team

If you've been thinking about selling your home, maybe now is the time to pick up the pace.  Across the country, home prices are on the rise.  According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), in Louisiana, home prices are up by 4.4%.  This is right about in the middle of the rate of other states in the nation.  So if you plan on moving to another state, you may end up with an advantage. 

The map below shows the rate at which home prices are appreciating by state.  In general, if you wait to sell or buy, you could end up paying more.

Protect Your Credit From Equifax Breech

by Glenda Daughety & Team

It’s all over the news. The massive data theft of 143 million consumer’s personal data from national credit bureau Equifax has been a topic of much discussion lately.  This is a situation that will affect a lot of lives and could especially affect home buyers and mortgage applicants. Why?

Most Americans with a credit history could be affected. Addresses, Social Security numbers, driver’s license and credit card numbers could all be at risk.  These could be made available to the highest bidders on the Dark Web. 

Home buyers and mortgage applicants may be the most at risk, since there is a significant amount of information on file at the credit bureaus. This could cause serious problems down the road, especially during the buying process.

But don’t worry, as you can take steps to protect your identity and credit.  You can lock down your credit files with fraud alerts or credit file freezes, which will prevent people from opening accounts in your name and will prevent them from getting credit reports.

You can protect yourself using the following links:

consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0014-identity-theft.

uspirg.org/resources/usp/protect-yourself-against-new-account-id-theft

equifaxsecurity2017.com

annualcreditreport.com  

How Long Does it Take to Buy a Home?

by Glenda Daughety & Team

Many people thinking about buying a home for the first time in Baton Rouge don’t realize how long the process will take them.  What people expect can vary wildly.  The length of the process in reality can be shortened or take longer depending on a few factors. In the end you need to be able to devote however much time it take to find the right home.

One factor is called contract-to-close.  This refers to the time period after you ratify the contract on your home. There are two possible timelines for this part of the transaction.  One is if you purchase with cash, the other if there’s a mortgage involved. A cash purchase can take as little as 2 weeks, as long as the closing attorneys perform the title search and prepare all the needed documents. 

If the contract is contingent on a mortgage, the process can take around 30-60 days.  And is it’s a loan that needs additional underwriting, it can take longer.

Add to this the fact that people usually shop for a home for about 30-60 days, this gives you an idea of the range of time it can take.  So the bottom line is that it can take as little as 30 days for some people, but for others it may take months. It all depends on your situation.

Displaying blog entries 1-9 of 9

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

 

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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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