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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.

Making Your Old Home Smarter Before You Sell

by Glenda Daughety & Team

How smart is your old home? That's a good question, especially if you plan to sell your home. Modern buyers want conveniences and to know they home they're buying is up-to-date. 

Smart devices aren't just cool toys. Smart devices add both convenience and security to your home. No matter if you're selling your home or plan to stay, upgrading to smart technology makes sense. And if you do plan on selling, it will add value. Just like cosmetic upgrades can raise the value of a home, technological upgrades can do the same, if done properly. And the good news is that these upgrades are easy and inexpensive.

Here are 3 upgrades that will make your old home smarter.

Smart Thermostats

Your thermostats say a lot about your home. They are easily visible, and easily dated. When you add a smart thermostat, it shows that you care about the functionality of your home and how much you care about it. Those old dated thermostats scream "old" and are usually an eyesore. Plus it's hard to maintain precise control over the environment with them.

A smart thermostat indicates that the HVAC is up to date as well, which can make a difference in the sale. Smart thermostats also include energy saving features that can save on energy bills, which is attractive to buyers. You can also control them with a smart phone, which is increasingly becoming a desired feature. And for those concerned about the environment, smart thermostats help HVAC efficiency.

Another great reason to add smart thermostats is that they are easily seen on the walls.  Potential buyers will notice that you've taught this old house a new trick and that it's not stuck in the past.

Smart Lighting

You don't have to be smart to screw in a light bulb, and that's all it takes to install smart lighting. Just adding a few smart light bulbs in select areas can make a huge difference to the feel of a room. They give you endless options for selecting colors and brightness, along with a variety of fixtures. Each room can have it's own unique atmosphere.

For showings, you can create smart programs for the lights to change scenes instantly with the push of a button.  And you can use mart lighting in porch lights that are set to turn on at specific times.  The possibilities are plentiful.

Security Systems

Home security systems have come a long way. Gone are the days of yearly contracts and tons of wiring. With WI-Fi cameras and batter powered products, adding security to a home is much easier and affordable.

If you don't feel like installing your own sensors or cameras, some cable companies such as Comcast offer smart security packages along with professional installation. These systems offer the option of multiple cameras and 24/7 recording, all controlled from your smart device or on their website. Adding cameras, either with a service or simply tied to your smart device, can add convenience as well as security, as you can monitor areas of your home, including the front door.

You don't have to break the bank to make your home a smart home. If you do plan to sell your home, it can be worth the investment.  If you don't plan to sell your home, it can make your life more convenient and safe.  Either way, smarter is better.

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.

 

Getting Your Garden Ready For Winter

by Glenda Daughety & Team

As summer comes to a close, it's time for those of us with a garden to get ready for winter. Even though it doesn't get too cold in Austin, it's still a good idea to get your garden prepared for the winter months. Here's a few items that help your garden thrive this winter.

Give Your Lawn Attention

Thicken up your lawn now to reduce weeds this coming spring.  You can do this by putting down a high potassium winter fertilizer now to help your lawn crowd out the weeds.

If you plant cool season grasses such as rye grass, make sure you plant them soon enough for the seed to sprout and take root before winter weather sets in.

Instead of raking leaves this fall, mow them instead.  This will feed to worms and they can then take the leaf matter down in the lawn and tree roots. After the leaves get thick, then you can rake them into a compost or leaf pile for use later.

Composting

Make sure that if you get grass clippings from neighbors that they don;t use weed killers. This could create issues with your compost pile.

A way to keep tree roots from growing into your compost pile is to lay a plastic sheet under it before you start the pile.

If you throw old compost on top of new, it will give the fresh leaves and grass the beneficial bacteria to speed up the process of composting.

Take Care of Tools and Equipment

Tools can corrode if you don't clean them before storing them. Cleaning your tools before you store them for the winter will help them last longer and give them a fresh start next spring.

Wash off the dirt and coat metal parts to prevent them from rusting. You can coat wood handles with linseed oil to keep them from drying and cracking.

Make sure power equipment is drained of gas to prevent them from getting gummed up. Add a drop of oil to the firing end of the spark plug.  Check air filters and replace if needed.

General Fall Tasks

Get your potted plants ready to be brought inside. Ants and other insects tend to like the moist soil of potted tropical plants, so flush the soil with several waterings a few minutes apart to get them out.

Clean up dead leaves and spray the undersides of the foliage with clean water to get rid of spider mites or other critters.Organize your garden shed and tidy it up before winter.

Safely discard and insecticides and fungicides that you used during the season that you aren't planning to use next year.

Make sure to visit local farmer's markets in Austin for late season bargains on all sorts of items, such as vegetables, herbs, fruits, jams, jellies and other farm products.

Join us every week on our blog for more real estate advice and great reasons to call Baton Rouge home.  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.

DIY Home Projects to Make Life Better For You and Your Dogs

by Glenda Daughety & Team

If you have a canine friend or friends, then no doubt you want to give them a safe and happy place to live. You probably also want to keep your home neat as well, which can be a challenge with dogs. How can you do both and not spend a fortune? Here's a few DIY projects that will make life more fun and comfortable for you and your loyal friends.

The Kitchen

1. Do your dogs love to eat with the whole family? Why not build them a custom eating station? You can make your own with these instructions.

Built-In-Dog-Bowls

2. Most dogs love their crates. But they can take up a lot of space.  With this DIY project, you can build you cabinets to hold their crates. It will save space and make fido happy. Click here to see how to make your own.

Custom-Cabinets

The Mudroom

3. Dogs usually enjoy a place that makes them feel secure. Why not build them their own private "dog cave" like this one by Titus Built.

Custom-Built-In-Dog-Bed

4. Custom feeding stations are an ideal way to make eating easier for your dogs, as well as store their food and keep the area tidy. You can build one like this one found on HGTV.com.

Pet-Feeding-Station

5. Do you have an old dresser? Convert it into this creative eating station for those who have both cats and dogs. The dogs can get to their food, but they can't reach the cat food at the top. The DIY project to make one is here.

DIY-Pet-Feeding-Station

The Laundry Room

6. What better place than the laundry room for a dog washing station? You can just throw the dirty towels straight int he wash. Here's a DIY by A Concord Carpenter on how you can build your own washing station.

Dog-Wash-Station

7. Ditch that ugly dog food bag and make a nice drawer container. Follow these steps to make your own pull out drawer storage bin.

Dog-Food-Cabinet-Storage

 

Join us every week for more ideas for the home, local real estate news, and Baton Rouge community articles.

Experience the Local Flavor With These Top Restaurants

by Glenda Daughety & Team

If there's one thing that Baton Rouge is known for, it's the amazing restaurants that showcase the tantalizing flavors of the South.  You'll find the best Creole and Cajun food, along with local seafood, to be found anywhere in the South. If you plan on buying a home in Baton Rouge and can't get enough Southern food, then welcome home! Here's some of the top places in Baton Rouge to find your favorite local dishes.

Louisiana Lagniappe Restaurant

Rated as one of the top restaurants in Baton Rouge, Louisiana Lagniappe Restaurant has been a staple in the Baton Rouge dining scene since 1998. You'll enjoy amazing Southern dishes and an inviting atmosphere.  Start out with tasty appetizers like Chipotle Shrimp, Fried Crab Fingers, or Blackened Shrimp, then follow up with Laguiappe favorites such as Fresh Fish en Papillote or Barbecue Shrimp.

Sammy's Grill

Sammy's offers a relaxing atmosphere to watch a game and catch some of the best gumbo in Baton Rouge. You know it has to be good, as it's a popular spot with local Baton Rouge residents. If you're in the mood for alligator, poboys, pepper jack chicken, or other Southern favorites, Sammy's is the place.

The Chimes Restaurant & Tap Room

A local favorite for over 25 years, The Chimes offers a relaxed, family friendly experience. Their local dishes include Louisiana Alligator, Crabmeat-Stuffed Mushrooms, Fried Pickles, and an outstanding selection of beer to wash down your tasty meal.

Cou-Yons Bar-B-Q

For the best BBQ in Cajun Country, Cou-Yons Bar-B-Q is the place to go in Baton Rouge. Their casual and friendly atmosphere goes perfectly with the amazing food. They offer Cajun-inspired BBQ, seafood, stuffed baked potatoes, and salads.  They call it “5-star dining in a casual setting.” It’s the perfect place for a business lunch or just getting amazing food without all the fuss.

There are many other reason to call Baton Rouge home. Join us every week on our blog for more great reasons to call Baton Rouge home.  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.

 

Build a DIY Patio Out of Pallets

by Glenda Daughety & Team

Want a new deck but don't quite have the money? Why not build a patio out of pallets? It's a new deck building idea that's growing in popularity on the web. You can build a great looking patio, even patio furniture, all on a dime. If you look hard enough, you can even find some items for free. All you need are some pallets, blocks, sand or gravel, and some paint. And you can build it all in just a weekend.

Just make sure to chose your pallets carefully. You need to use heavy-duty, industrial pallets that can hold up to 1000 lbs. Make sure you use pallets with boards that are in tact and have small gaps between the boards.

Sizing and Foundation

The patio needs to be sized so you don’t have to cut any pallets. For example, if you want a 16ft square patio, then use 4ft  square pallets.

You’ll need to build a stable foundation for your pallets. This is done by placing concrete blocks under the corners of each pallet.  You’ll need to sink the blocks into the ground by digging a hole as deep as the block, plus 2 inches for sand or gravel.

Next add the gravel or sand to each hole, tamping it down until you have a solid level surface for each block. Then make sure all the blocks are level with each other by adding or taking away the base material as needed. The blocks should extend above the ground, high enough for the pallets to rest on them.

It’s also a great idea to lay down landscaping fabric to keep weeds or grass from growing through your deck slats. This step will save you a lot of time in the future and keep your deck looking good.

Preparing the Pallets

Paint you pallets with a weather coating, sealant or weatherproof stain before laying them down. Or if you want, you can use an outdoor or porch paint. Try to use a paint sprayer if you can. Make sure that you paint the pallets before placing them on the blocks.

Wait until the paint dries on the pallets, then place them on the blocks.  You can put them all lined in the same direction, or turn every other one to create an interesting checkerboard effect. If you lay them out in a checkerboard, you might paint the alternating pallets different colors or stains for a unique design.

You can either attach the pallets together to make the platform more stable, or leave them “floating” so you can move them around and create different layouts later.

Now all you need to do is add the personal touches, such as rugs, planters, and furniture. You can even build benches and chairs with pallets.  There’s plenty of great ideas for pallet patio furniture on the internet and YouTube. You now have a great looking deck that you built yourself!

Join us every week for more ideas for the home, local real estate news, and Baton Rouge community articles.

Displaying blog entries 1-8 of 8

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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