Prairieville, LA Real Estate News

By Sandy Ogburn Sandlin, Fine Baton RougeArea Homes
(RE/MAX Excellent Properties)
This is a proud October for the 21 schools of Ascension Parish.  As a whole the district was named the fourth best school system out of 70 in the state, while 17 of the 21 schools improved their individual performance.  The Ascension Parish district scored 105.09 in state performance scores.   This score was the district's highest score ever and represents a 6.1% increase over last year.  Superintendent Donald Songy praised the "exceptional commitment and expertise of ... teachers, administrators, and of staff" that resulted in this year's success and laid the groundwork for "a pattern of steady growth from year to year."   Further, he noted the "the level of growth this year.provides us with reassurance that the strategic initiatives set in place are producing results and fostering an ...
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by Darryl Brasseur REALTOR, Tiger Town Realty BATON ROUGE LOUISIANA There has always been a saying in Real Estate "Buyers set the market".  After all a home is only worth what someone will pay for it, right?  In a recent article put out by Bloomberg "Home-price Recovery May be Undermined by Appraisal (Update 1)" buyers are not the ones setting the market. Especially when they purchase using Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan packages.  According to Bloomberg there have been multiple deals that have crashed and burned due to appraisals coming in lower than the agreed upon sales price.  With the new laws set into place as of May 1, 2009 there are even tougher standers to be upheld.  A watch dog of sorts for the mortgage company and appraiser relationships.  "So what did the appraisal come in ...
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By Darryl Brasseur
(Brasseur Realty)
by Darryl Brasseur, REALTOR Tiger Town Realty Baton Rouge Louisiana  The American dream of home ownership in BATON ROUGE LOUISIANA is still attainable, only the rules have changed and buyers need to be made aware of them. Exactly one year after  the collapse of the housing market triggered the financial meltdown, most lenders are requiring more money up front along with higher credit scores and proof of income. I just recently had a buyer in BATON ROUGE LOUISIANA  that was turned down for a $215,000 mortgage. This young, hardworking couple was applying for a VA loan and had $47,000 in cash for the downpayment & closing costs along with a FICA score of 750. Problem was, he is a 4th generation store owner in BATON ROUGE LOUISIANA and their income was hard to prove. The lender said they c...
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By Sandy Ogburn Sandlin, Fine Baton RougeArea Homes
(RE/MAX Excellent Properties)
Summer, 2009 is passing, and as fall approaches, one of best the deals first time homebuyers have had it a long time is winding down.  As currently written, the $8,000 first time homebuyer credit is set to expire November 30, 2009.  That does not mean you have signed a sales contract that day; it means that by that date, you must have closed on the property.  The moving truck is on the way; you'll be having Christmas in your new house. Given that it takes a little longer to get a loan and have all the paperwork completed these days, your best bet is to have your contract signed by October 1, with October 15 being your "drop dead date."  Of course, if you come to the closing with a wheel barrow full of cash, your schedule might be a bit different! So why haven't you called me or a reputa...
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By Bill Cobb Appraiser, Greater Baton Rouge's Home Appraiser
(Accurate Valuations Group, LLC)
http://www.ascensionrealestateappraisers.com/ - Prairieville Louisiana 70769 Real Estate News, Housing Trends, Home Prices, Appraiser Market Studies... Manchac Commons Appraiser Housing Market Study Solds from 01/01/2008 to 12/31/2008 revealed: Average Sales Price: $232,247 Average Sold Price Per Sq. Ft.: $112.70 Median Sold Price: $239,900 Average # of Days On Market: 56# of Sales: 16 Average Sq. Ft.: 2,073sf Solds from 01/01/2009 to 07/31/2009 reveals: Average Sales Price: $227,538 Average Sold Price Per Sq. Ft.: $110.70 Median Sold Price: $227,000 Average # of Days On Market: 238# of Sales: 7 Average Sq. Ft.: 2,083sf Therefore, based on the median sale price barometer (the barometer used by the NAR National Association of Realtors) within Subdivision, the market direction appears to ...
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By Sandy Ogburn Sandlin, Fine Baton RougeArea Homes
(RE/MAX Excellent Properties)
It's the 4th of July and we hope that you are having a great holiday celebration wherever you are.  You may think that we citizens of Louisiana know how to celebrate Mardi Gras, but we do up any holiday right.  The homes here offer so much value and so many amenities that you could celebrate at home before attending nearby festivities. If you were a citizen of Prairieville, Gonsales, Baton Rouge or any of the fine communities in the three parishes we serve, here is what you could be doing today. Want a traditional 4th of July celebration complete with a parade, hot dog eating contest, games, and fireworks at Bouligny Plaze?  Spend the day at New Iberia City Park sponsored by the New Iberia Jaycees. For an event with a real local flavor, enjoy the Red, White and Blueberry Festival in Cli...
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By Sandy Ogburn Sandlin, Fine Baton RougeArea Homes
(RE/MAX Excellent Properties)
Sandy Ogburn-Sandlin with RE/MAX Excellent Properties was recognized among  the "Top 100" agents in the country in the Wall Street Journal published June 10th. The article states top performing sales professionals ignore market turndown & turn in record year. The Wall Street Journal announced the 2009 rankings of the top real estate professionals in the country based on calendar 2008 results. The Wall Street Journal list is based on a survey of over 7000 brokerage firms, association of Realtors, and hundreds of other sources to determine the top real estate professionals in the United States. The definition of what constitutes an individual sales professional and a team has been developed from the input from dozens of industry professionals, states the Journal. Sandlin has been listed a...
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By Sandy Ogburn Sandlin, Fine Baton RougeArea Homes
(RE/MAX Excellent Properties)
If you're thinking of buying a new Prairieville home this year, you may already be familiar with the $8,000 first time homebuyer's tax credit.  That's a great incentive!  It can now even be used toward the downpayment or closing costs, but if you wait to get with your tax return, it could pay for most of your new deck or buy a lot of drapes and appliances. Even before the current tax credit came into being, there are many tax advantages to owning a home.  Some might help you now and some later, but since buying a home is a long term investment over time, most of these credits will interest you. Yearly mortgage interest deduction:  You can deduct up to one million dollars in interest on you primary residence or second home.  These deductions are familiar to most people.  Recent discussio...
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By Sandy Ogburn Sandlin, Fine Baton RougeArea Homes
(RE/MAX Excellent Properties)
After the problems of the last few years, new home buyers are encouraged to buy "affordable homes," a very attainable goal in the Ascension - East Baton Rouge area. Five years ago, lenders encouraged home buyers to stretch the definition of what was affordable to a figure far in excess of the traditional formula: buy a home valued at three times your annual household income.  The emphasis was put on the monthly payment, which is one reason why people who should have bought $200,000 homes were buying $400,000 home because some crazy mortgage packages made their payment "affordable" until the interest rate adjusted or some other term of the loan kicked in.  Fortunately, lending in the Baton Rouge-Prairieville area was more conservative, which is why the foreclosure  rate in the area is mu...
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By Bill Cobb Appraiser, Greater Baton Rouge's Home Appraiser
(Accurate Valuations Group, LLC)
http://www.ascensionrealestateappraisers.com/ - Ascension Parish Real Estate News - $7.7 Million Lots Sale Indicates Trend Towards Smaller, More Affordable Homes To Be Built and Sold The Baton Rouge Business Report is reporting a $7.7 Million Lots Sale In Keystone Of Galvez Subdivision, purchased by the very active Vicknair Builders.  At a time when some local builders who built on the higher end of price range and still can't sell their inventory and now with Allstar Homes offering a free $15,000 with a home purchase, Vicknair Builders, who builds in the more affordable $130K to $180K market, is in a  building boom in several local developments.  Here's the link and snippet: http://www.businessreport.com/archives/daily-report/2009/may/27/1000/  "Developer Kevin Nguyen sold 199 lots in ...
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By Sandy Ogburn Sandlin, Fine Baton RougeArea Homes
(RE/MAX Excellent Properties)
When spring comes, some people think about moving and start preparing their home for sale.  Others think about how nice it will be to enjoy the yard and the other nice features of their homes and prepare them for summer enjoyment.  May is a great time to undertake the annual maintenance that will keep the place in tip-top shape and might even uncover some more major things that need attention. This year, homeowners can get tax credits for adding energy saving featured to their homes.  As you are doing your spring maintenance, consider replacing windows or doors, adding insulation, getting a new heating or cooling system, placing your thermostat, or adding solar panels or another "green" temperature control solution while the incentives are available.  Assessing the situation now will gi...
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By Sandy Ogburn Sandlin, Fine Baton RougeArea Homes
(RE/MAX Excellent Properties)
Have potentially high repair costs discouraged you from taking advantage of a great deal on foreclosed or bank owned homes?  Keep in mind that while the prices are tempting, the last owner was probably short on cash to do much upkeep or the home may have been vacant for while or been vandalized by the former owners or intruders.  Just because a home needs work does not mean you should pass on it if you like it.  As it happens, there is a great source of funds available to enable you to make repairs and wrap the costs to do into your mortgage.  The 203K loan is designed just for this.  Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the loan is designed to simplify financing on owner-occupied homes that need work at the time of purchase.  There are some restrictions on...
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By Sandy Ogburn Sandlin, Fine Baton RougeArea Homes
(RE/MAX Excellent Properties)
We all know that curb appeal brings buyers to your door.  If your home looks good from the street - your yard is neat with beautiful trees and plantings, the outside of the home appears to good condition, the sidewalk is intact - people will stop.  When they get to your door, will they see little indications that you have not kept up your home? Ripped screens are one example of a simple repair that if left undone can put potential buyer on alert. Even if you have no plans to move, repairing damaged screens and replacing worn rusted ones is quick and relatively inexpensive way to perk up your home.  Worn, ripped screens not only look unsightly, but are an open invitation to mosquitoes, flies, and other unwanted visitors to your home.  If you are planning to upgrade your windows so you ca...
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By Sandy Ogburn Sandlin, Fine Baton RougeArea Homes
(RE/MAX Excellent Properties)
Many people who pick up the paper or turn on cable news are wondering if now really is the time to be buying a home. Economic downturns and falling house prices have been the headlines for months. What is the average home buyer really supposed to do? Should you wait, just in case the market has not hit the bottom? What about financing? With all the problems banks are facing is there even money to borrow for a new home purchase? What is the answer? "Don't believe everything you read," says Neil Garfinkel, a real estate and banking attorney from a New York firm. There are some economists and analysts who continue to preach doom and gloom. However, even in just the last few weeks real estate agents have seen a big turn around.  Wonderful interest rates, first time home buyer stimulus and l...
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By Sandy Ogburn Sandlin, Fine Baton RougeArea Homes
(RE/MAX Excellent Properties)
Many distressed homeowners have been eagerly awaiting the President's loan modification program. Obama first announced the program on February 18. It took several weeks for the government to clarify the terms and for the financial institutions to update their systems and start accepting applications. Many people were becoming very frustrated but now the long awaited plan is underway!!  The Treasury Department announced Wednesday the first six participants to sign up for President Obama's plan were JPMorgan Chase which will get up to $3.6 billion in subsidy and incentive payments; Wells Fargo $2.9 billion; and Citigroup, $2 billion. Also included are GMAC Mortgage, $633 million; Saxon Mortgage Services, $407 million; and Select Portfolio Servicing, $376 million. JPMorgan Chase and Wells ...
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By Sandy Ogburn Sandlin, Fine Baton RougeArea Homes
(RE/MAX Excellent Properties)
  There is nothing like buying new construction! Everything is fresh and unused. It is a wonderful feeling to have a house with a clean slate. But just because everything is new doesn't mean you should not take some safeguards. No matter how wonderful your builders are, there is no such thing as a perfect house. Don't let that worry you though! With a few simple steps, you can take care of any potential problems before they ever even come up. The first thing to do is set up a clause in your contract that covers any issues that come up. There are some things that you cannot know before the home is lived in. Knowing whether the hot water heater can keep up with the demands your family put on it or making sure the home is adequately wired are examples of things you cannot know without livi...
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By Sandy Ogburn Sandlin, Fine Baton RougeArea Homes
(RE/MAX Excellent Properties)
Few homebuyers today would consider buying a home without first having a home inspection completed. A home inspection should cover the major systems crawl space to the roof and everything in between. While most states require a disclosure of any known issues with the home, there may be something the seller is unaware of. Though the buyer has some favor in disclosure disputes, buyers are wise to protect themselves by having a professional inspection of the home completed. One way to insure a thorough inspection is to find the best home inspector you can. A real estate agent can give you a few recommendations. You may ask recent buyers in your area who they used for a home inspection. Ask them if they were happy with the inspection or if there was anything that was not found in the inspec...
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By Sandy Ogburn Sandlin, Fine Baton RougeArea Homes
(RE/MAX Excellent Properties)
If you're looking to refinance your mortgage, you might want to think about a loan backed by good ol' Uncle Sam! The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is where some people are turning to for their refinancing needs. If you're a U.S. military veteran, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs may have a loan that fits your needs and budget. Loans backed by these two federal government agencies are attractive because not only have the loan amount limits have been raised, but some loan programs are open to homeowners who have little to no equity or credit that is not perfect. At the end of last year, government-backed loans accounted for 30 percent of the total loan applications received by lenders. Could this be of some help to you? It is a possibility. Not all lenders and mortgage broke...
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By Sandy Ogburn Sandlin, Fine Baton RougeArea Homes
(RE/MAX Excellent Properties)
It wasn’t that long ago that you could purchase a home with no down payment. It was the thing to do! Find your dream home, make an offer, and move in. It was almost as simple as that. Times have changed. After the recent economic crisis, lenders have strengthened their standards. Not only is a down payment expected, it is required. With this change come several questions for home borrowers. The first question maybe simply, “Why?” For a lender the down payment is a way to make sure the person borrowing the money is borrowing within their means. It is a way for them to tighten their standards. Part of the crisis we are facing came from home owners who borrowed more than they could handle and who have no equity in their home. Having someone bring a down payment to the table gives them a ca...
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By Ann Dail, Broker/Realtor,CRS, ePRO, SRS, B.A.Chem
(Baton Rouge Area Homes, Louisiana, USA, 225-761-0551)
For those moving to Prairieville, or Gonzales, or other areas of Ascension Parish, the school's website is a great source of information on public school district boundaries.  You can click on and view the attendance boundaries of various public elementary schools and feeder schools for the high schools. There are numerous sources such as  Standard and Poor's or paid webistes  to get a comparison of school performance, but be aware many of these ratings are based on past statistics so be careful as you evaluate various choices.  Last August ACT Scores Properlled Ascension into the Top 5 ranking in the state of Louisiana. "When compared to the 70 public school districts across the state, Ascension scored exceptionally well ranking fifth. St. Tammany led the state with a score of 21.7, fo...
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