Baton Rouge home prices drop

Sellers pay attention!  While the market in Baton Rouge has done well compared with rest of the state…and the nation. WE are having our issues with pricing. The Business Report reports that the prices of homes fell by 1.3% in October when compared to the year before. That is better than the 7.8% drop nationally sure. We do have to look at is like this:

A home that would have been listed at 200,000 last year priced ACCURATELY would need to be in the region of 197000 to be competitive. Most likely that price would need to be around 195 depending on the neighborhood competition.

Good news for next year however. Baton Rouge real estate prices are expected to climb by 2.35% accoring to First American CoreLogics Home price index. Sellers, get your house in the BEST shape possible if you are considering selling.

Home service checklist

CHECKLIST FOR
MAINTAINING YOUR HOME
MONTHLY
Implement a regular inspection program of home
maintenance to help prevent major repairs and to
protect your home’s value. Remember to disconnect
the power source of any electrical or gas
system before inspecting, cleaning, or repairing
it.
Use the following checklist to help you during an
inspection.
 Drain 2 gallons of water from water heater to
remove sediment from the bottom of tank.
 Replace carbon cartridge of water filter
(point-of-service, activated carbon unit).
 Test smoke alarms with a smoke source
(lit cigarette or cotton cord) held 3 inches
from unit. To reduce alarm time during test,
blow into the unit to clear the smoke.
 Inspect fire extinguisher:
  • Check indicator on pressure gauge to
make certain extinguisher is charged.
  • Be sure lock pin is intact and firmly in
place.
  • Check discharge nozzle to be sure it is
not clogged.
  • Clean extinguisher and check for
dents, scratches, and corrosion.
 During heating season, inspect the chimney
for creosote buildup. Clean with chimney
brushes or scrapers to remove the creosote.
 Clean stovepipe between the stove and
the chimney. Check stovepipe for corrosion and
holes, and replace if necessary.
 Vacuum electric elements on baseboards.
 Inspect plates or pads in humidifier, and clean
with a strong laundry detergent.
Rinse, then scrape mineral deposits with a wire
brush or steel wool.
 Clean forced hot-air heating and/or cooling
system’s air filter to prevent airborne dirt from
circulating throughout house. (If metal, remove
and wash. If disposable, vacuum once, then
replace.)
 During summer use, clean room air-conditioner
filters:
  • Wash in mild detergent and water,
rinse, and dry thoroughly (if permanent).
  • Replace the filter if it is disposable.
 Check the circuit breakers and fuses. Call an
electrician if fuses blow or circuit breakers trip
frequently.
SPRING
 If you have an attic fan:
  • Remove leaves and clean debris from louvers
and louver pivots.
  • Clean fan blades.
  • Lubricate motor and pulley bearings with a
drop of oil on each pivot and oil port.
  • Check drive belt and replace if sides are glazed
smooth and slippery.
  • Check belt tension (should deflect 1/2 of an inch
when pressed in middle). Replace belt if
necessary.
 Gas Heater-Shut off, then check exhaust vent
and air-shutter openings for dirt and dust. Clean
the burner of lint and dirt and vacuum air passages
to burner.
 Inspect the heating system’s fan belt for frayed or
worn spots, and check tension (should give about
3/4 of an inch). Keep a spare belt on hand.
 Remove debris from gutters and downspouts.
(Use wire snake for elbows.)
 Check gutter and downspout alignment to be
sure rainwater is collected properly and drains
away from house. Be sure mountings are secure.
 Spot paint worn areas on gutters and downspouts.
Repair or caulk holes. Replace any sections that
have holes or excessive rust.
 Check latches and pivots on storm windows for
loose connections or signs of wear. Replace
loose or worn parts.
 Make sure “weep hole” at bottom of metal
windows is clear.
 Refill water softener (ionization type) with salts
(available from dealer).
 Manually open safety valve (temperaturepressure-
relief valve) at top of hot water tank to
test operation; wear gloves, and use a bucket to
catchwater as it comes out. Be sure the valve
returns to its original position.
 Inspect grading around house to be sure water
drains away from the house on all sides.
 Check inside and outside foundation walls and
piers for termite tubes and damaged wood.
 Examine inside of foundation walls for dampness
or water stain, which indicates seepage or a leak.
 Check bricks or blocks for cracked mortar or
loose joints.
 Clean out any debris or leaves that have filled or
blocked doorways, window wells, and storm
drains.
 Check painted surfaces for paint failure, water
damage, or mildew.
 Examine all trim for tightness of fit, damage, and
decay.
 Inspect condition of caulking where two different
materials meet, where wood siding joins the
foundation’s wall, at inside corners, and where
window trim and door trim join the siding.
 Check for broken or cracked glass and damaged
screens or storm windows.
 Examine all hardware on windows and doors.
Lubricate moving parts.
 Check weather stripping on windows and doors
for damage and tightness of fit.
 Inspect roof for damaged or loose shingles or
blisters.
 Examine flashing around chimneys, vent stalks,
and roof edges.
 Check vents and louvers for free air movement.
Clean screen.
 Check antenna guy wires and support straps.
Look for cracks where ceilings and walls join.
 Inspect the condition of wiring in exposed areas
such as the attic.
 Check faucets, hoses, bibs, commodes, and
shutoff valves for leaks.
FALL
 Cover room air-conditioning unit with insulated
dust- and moisture-proofed cover, inside and out,
or remove unit from wall and seal opening.
 Seal the attic fan opening with an airtight cover,
and insulate.
 If you have a humidifier connected to your
heating system:
  • Drain and clean water pan.
  • Work float arm back and forth to dislodge
obstructions.
  • Ream with a piece of wire or bent clothes
hanger to clean water inlet of mineral buildup.
  • Lubricate motor with a drop or two of 20-weight
oil.
  • Be sure there is water in the reserve tank.
 Check flame color on gas furnace (should be blue
with little or no yellow).
 Remove cover on thermostat, and dust components
carefully with a soft brush. To clean oil film
from metal contacts, slide a piece of white paper
several times between two closed switch contacts.
 Check fireplace damper to be sure it operates
properly. Clean iron grates.
 To clean a wood-burning heater:
  • Scrape interior (especially nooks and crannies)
with wire brush.
  • Check for cracks, and repair with stove cement
if necessary.
  • Clean exterior completely.
  • If heater has a blower, vacuum the blower or
replace any filters, and oil the motor.
 Inspect the outside of chimney for loose bricks or
stones and deteriorating joints. Repair if necessary.
 Check chimney for worn flue liner or joints and for
birds’ nests or other obstructions.
 Close shutoff valves to outside faucets and
waterlines; drain.
 Remove debris from gutters and downspouts.
 Check gutter and downspout alignment to be
sure rainwater collects properly and drains away
from the house.
 Refill water softener (ionization type) with salts.
 Manually open safety valve at top of hot water
tank to test operation; wear gloves and use a
bucket to catch water as it comes out. Be sure
the valve returns to its original position.
 Make sure waterlines and hose bibs are
protected from freezing.
 Clean leaves and debris from around the outside
condenser on heating and cooling systems.
 Check weather stripping on windows and doors
for damage and tightness of fit.
 Check vents and louvers for free air movement.
Clean screens.
 Inspect faucets, hose bibs, commodes, and
shutoff valves for leaks.
YEARLY
 Clean smoke alarms by pulling cover steadily
downward. Remove the power cell. Vacuum any
accumulated dust from the sensing-chamber
openings. Wash cover with soap and water, dry,
and replace. Press test switch.
 Electric water heater: Drain tank completely to
flush out scale, rust, and sediment. (Attach
garden hose from open drain cock to yard or
open drain.) Remove heating elements. Soak
them in vinegar solution (1 cup vinegar to each
gallon of water) and scrape off mineral deposits.
Be sure to cut off power to the heater at the
fuse box or circuit breaker before you begin.
 Check sludge level in septic tank. When sludge
reaches 1/3 of the tank’s depth, have a professional
pump out the tank to clean it. (Frequency
of service depends on the size of the tank and
household use. Tanks for houses in which there is
a garbage disposal need more frequent service.)
 Lubricate heater blower motor and fan with one
or two drops of 20-weight oil. (Do not use too
much oil.)
 Clean gas space heaters. Be sure lines are clear.
 Clean electric space heater. Be sure dust and dirt
are not on heating coils.
 Clean entire unit of room air conditioner:
  • Vacuum dust and lint from condenser and
evaporator.
  • Use soap and water to wipe dirt and grime from
compressor, tubing, motor, and blade.
  • Clean leaves and debris from outside.
  • Straighten any bent metal fins.
  • Scrape off any rust, then reprime and paint.
 Check driveways and walks for cracks, breaks,
or erosion that may cause damage.
 Check fences, gates, and retaining walls for
condition of structure and material.
 Inspect flashing around chimneys, vent stalks,
and roof edges.
 Check all joints, ceramic tiles, and laminated
plastics.
 Check caulking around sinks, bathtubs, and
showers.
EVERY THREE YEARS
 Inspect floors for wear and damage. Check
particularly where one type of flooring material
meets another, such as carpet joining wood or
tile.
 Gas Furnace:
  • Call for professional service.
  • Check burners and heat-exchange areas for
soot, debris, and corrosion. Clean where
needed.
  • Check air intakes to be sure they are
unobstructed.