6011 Glenwood Drive – 3BR/2BA – $182,500

This immaculate conditioned home sits on a large lot in a highly desirable area. Inside the home boasts very open spaces. Original 9″ oak tile hardwood floors, custom kitchen cabinets, fresh paint, gas range in kitchen, new fixtures throughout, and LOTS of windows looking out into the lushly landscaped yard. Sit outside on the LARGE front porch (55×11) and view magnolia trees, japanese blueberry tree, crepe myrtles to name a few. New fencing and landscaping that is irrigated and looks magnificent year round. Seller has AHS warranty in place. This one will not be around long! Call Tim at 225-301-7467 or visit buyorsellbatonrougehomes.com for more information!

6011 Glenwood Drive

B.R. ranked in the middle for affordable housing

From the Baton Rouge Business Report, Real Estate Weekly:

Of the roughly 200 U.S. metropolitan areas surveyed for the new “Paycheck to Paycheck” report on first quarter housing affordability from the National Housing Conference and the Center for Housing Police, Baton Rouge ranks No. 83 on the list of most expensive metros to buy a home. On the same report for the first quarter of 2011, Baton Rouge was ranked No. 81. The report says  the average home sale price dropped to $157,900 in the first quarter, down from $160,600 in the opening three months of 2011. New Orleans is ranked No. 91 on the list, up from No. 95 last year, with an average sale price of $147,500 in the first quarter of 2012. The Capital Region appears to be more affordable for renters, according to the report, which ranks Baton Rouge No. 128 on the list of the most expensive metros for renters. The average rent for a two-bedroom unit in Baton Rouge is pegged at $752 in the report, much lower than the national average of $949 among the largest 200 metros. New Orleans is ranked at No. 58 on the rental list, with a $948 average. You can get more details and access the complete report here.

Tips for buying a house

From CNN Money

The top 10 things you need to know when buying a home.

1. Don’t buy if you can’t stay put.

If you can’t commit to remaining in one place for at least a few years, then  owning is probably not for you, at least not yet. With the transaction costs of  buying and selling a home, you may end up losing money if you sell any sooner -  even in a rising market. When prices are falling, it’s an even worse  proposition.

2. Start by shoring up your credit.

Since you most likely will need to get a mortgage to buy a house, you must  make sure your credit history is as clean as possible. A few months before you  start house hunting, get copies of your credit report. Make sure the facts are  correct, and fix any problems you discover.

3. Aim for a home you can really afford.

The rule of thumb is that you can buy housing that runs about  two-and-one-half times your annual salary. But you’ll do better to use one of  many calculators available online to get a better handle on how your income,  debts, and expenses affect what you can afford.

4. If you can’t put down the usual 20 percent, you may still qualify for a  loan.

There are a variety of public and private lenders who, if you qualify, offer  low-interest mortgages that require a down payment as small as 3 percent of the  purchase price.

5. Buy in a district with good schools.

In most areas, this advice applies even if you don’t have school-age  children. Reason: When it comes time to sell, you’ll learn that strong school  districts are a top priority for many home buyers, thus helping to boost  property values.

6. Get professional help.

Even though the Internet gives buyers unprecedented access to home listings,  most new buyers (and many more experienced ones) are better off using a  professional agent. Look for an exclusive buyer agent, if possible, who will  have your interests at heart and can help you with strategies during the bidding  process.

7. Choose carefully between points and rate.

When picking a mortgage, you usually have the option of paying additional  points — a portion of the interest that you pay at closing — in exchange for a  lower interest rate. If you stay in the house for a long time — say three to  five years or more — it’s usually a better deal to take the points. The lower  interest rate will save you more in the long run.

8. Before house hunting, get pre-approved.

Getting pre-approved will you save yourself the grief of looking at houses you can’t afford and put you in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house. Not to be confused with pre-qualification, which is based on a cursory review of your finances, pre-approval from a lender is based on your actual income, debt and credit history.

9. Do your homework before bidding.

Your opening bid should be based on the sales trend of similar homes in the  neighborhood. So before making it, consider sales of similar homes in the last  three months. If homes have recently sold at 5 percent less than the asking  price, you should make a bid that’s about eight to 10 percent lower than what  the seller is asking.

10. Hire a home inspector.

Sure, your lender will require a home appraisal anyway. But that’s just the  bank’s way of determining whether the house is worth the price you’ve agreed to  pay. Separately, you should hire your own home inspector, preferably an engineer  with experience in doing home surveys in the area where you are buying. His or  her job will be to point out potential problems that could require costly  repairs down the road.

Real Estate Recap: Zachary named among 10 best towns for families in America

From the Baton Rouge Business Report, Real Estate Weekly:

Plan on it: While recently breaking up and approving items within Mayor Kip Holden’s $11.1 million budget supplement, the Metro Council voted to approve $200,000 for the planning of Smiley Heights, marking some of the first dollars appropriated for implementing the FuturEBR master plan for land use and development. The city-parish envisions that Smiley Heights—a mixed-use development including education, retail, residential and commercial components in the Melrose East community, where Greenwell Springs Road and Ardenwood Drive intersect—will encompass 3,500 new households and create 20,000 new jobs by 2030. Read the full story from Daily Report here.

Certifiable: A 204-acre “development ready” site in Port Allen is slated for certification under LED’s Certified Sites Program. LED officials say the site—known simply as “All Star” for its ownership affiliated with the All Star Automotive Group—is located north of Interstate 10 on Court Street, about midway between La. 415 and La. 1. The site is one of three LED-certified sites in the Capital Region, including a 60-acre site at the Donaldsonville Industrial Park and a 44-acre site at the Pointe Coupee Port and Industrial Park. Daily Report has the full story here.

Like a good neighbor: Family Circle has included Zachary on its new list of the 10 best towns for families in the United States, noting the city’s relatively high median income ($65,749), low average home price ($180,000), low student/teacher ratio (21:1) and high overall schools rating (it gives it a 9 of 10). “The [school] district has been rated the best in Louisiana for the last seven years and was the only one to receive an ‘A’ rating from the state in 2011,” the magazine notes. Check out the complete list here.

2012 Parade of Homes scheduled for May 5-6, May 12-13

Tim Smith and Willie Martin with the Capital Region Builder’s Association shared about this year’s Parade of Homes 2012 , May 5-6 and May 12-13. Homes will be open on Saturday : 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday : 1 p.m. – 5p.m. The Parade will feature 55 Homes in 43 Subdivisions from 29 Builders. Prices range from $164,000 to $795,000. Builders will be on hand to discuss rennovations/remodeling, outdoor kitchens, ideas, building your dream home and more. For a guidebook and more information go to :

http://www.capitalregionba.com/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Parade_of_Homes&Template=/custom/poh/POHList.cfm

Real estate recap: DDD launches facade improvement grant program … B.R. foreclosure rates inch lower in February … Home builders, former NFL players partner on ‘Touchdown for Homes’

From the Baton Rouge Business Report

Discounted facelifts: The Downtown Development District has launched a grant program benefiting homeowners in the DDD boundaries who make improvements to the facades of their homes. The Downtown Residential Facade Grant Program provides up to $500 to eligible improvements that are visible from the public right of way. The grants require a 50% match and do not have to be repaid as long as property owners meet the general requirements of the program. Grant guidelines and a pre-application form are available here.

 

On the down low: A report from CoreLogic says 2.39% of homes in the Baton Rouge metro area were in some stage of foreclosure in February—a decrease of 0.41 percentage points from February 2011 and a smaller dip of 0.03 points from January. The U.S. foreclosure rate in February was 3.41%, a drop of 0.18 percentage points on the year, while the Louisiana rate was down 0.51 points from February last year, to 2.48%. Baton Rouge’s mortgage delinquency rate—the percentage of home loans more than three months past due—also dipped 0.22 points year-over-year to 5.75% in February. That’s also lower than the U.S. rate of 7.24% and the Louisiana rate, which dropped 0.31 points on the month to 6.3%. See a CoreLogic map of February foreclosure rates in the Baton Rouge area by ZIP code here.

 

Home field advantage: A coalition of homeownership industry professionals will gather on the steps of the Capitol at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday to promote homeownership and kick off a partnership program between the Louisiana Home Builders Association and the National Football League Players Association’s New Orleans Former Players Chapter. The groups’ efforts are part of a nationwide charitable outreach program called “Touchdown for Homes,” which brings together former NFL players and home builders to strengthen communities by constructing or renovating homes for local families in need, including U.S. military veterans. New Orleans was selected to be a participating city because it will play host to the 2013 Super Bowl. To learn more about the program and find out how you can contribute, visit the National Association of Home Builders website here.

U.S. Home Ownership Rate Slides to 15-Year Low

From Fox Business

The share of privately owned U.S. homes fell to a 15-year low in the first  quarter, government data showed on Monday, suggesting that falling house prices  are discouraging Americans from being homeowners.

The home ownership rate slipped to 65.4 percent, the lowest since the first  quarter of 1997, the Commerce Department said. The rate was at 66.0 percent in  the fourth quarter.

Homeownership was lowest in the West, while higher rates were reported in the  Midwest.

House prices have dropped about 32 percent from their peak at the end of  2005, leaving millions of Americans with houses worth far less than their  mortgages and pushing many into renting.

In the first quarter, the median asking sales price for vacant homes on the  market was $133,700, the lowest since the first quarter of 2005, the Commerce  Department said. That compared with $133,800 in the fourth quarter.

The data showed the residential rental vacancy rate dropped to 8.8 percent in  the first three months of this year from 9.4 percent in the fourth quarter.

Growing demand for rentals is boosting rents, with the median asking rent for an unoccupied property in the first quarter at $721, the highest since the first quarter of 2009. That compared with $712 in the fourth quarter.

Stronger demand for rental apartments is helping to stabilize the housing  market as builders break more ground on multifamily housing projects.  Residential construction in the first quarter grew at the fastest pace in nearly  two years and is expected to contribute to growth this year for the first time  since 2005.

The share of empty privately owned house dipped to 2.2 percent from 2.3  percent in the fourth quarter. The homeowner vacancy rate was higher in the  South, one of the regions hardest hit by foreclosures.

Read more: http://www.foxbusiness.com/industries/2012/04/30/us-home-ownership-rate-slides-to-15-year-low/#ixzz1tXkDzl45

Baton Rouge High renovation, addition on schedule for June finish

From the Baton Rouge Business Report

Baton Rouge High School is about 85% finished with its $58.2 million overhaul and addition, and is on schedule for a June 2 “substantial completion date.” That’s according to Earl Kern, project manager with CSRS/Garrard, which has been overseeing the two-year renovation. Though the work appears to the casual observer to be far from finished, Kern says most of it has been done. That includes tripling the size of the nearly 90-year-old building in Mid City, along Government Street, by adding more than 220,000 square feet onto the existing 111,700-square-foot structure. Among the specialty areas in the new building are a 6,800-square-foot student dining facility, two black-box theaters, a 12,000-square-foot gym and a 7,400-square-foot media center. Among the highlights in the old school building are a renovated auditorium, refurbished millwork, all new windows and all new classrooms. Kern led a media tour through parts of the buildings last week. To see a slideshow of the progress and some of the building’s features click here. —Stephanie Riegel

17542 Martin Lake Drive, Baton Rouge, La 70816 – Shadows Lake Subdivision

Beautiful 3 bedroom 3 bath home in the Shadows Lake subdivision. Wood floors throughout the home with large windows that allow tons of natural lighting. The best part about this home is that the master bedroom overlooks the lake with large french doors opening to the backyard. There is also an unfinished bonus room above the garage that would be great for a game room for kids or could be used as a fourth bedroom.

For more photos and full details :

http://www.buyorsellbatonrougehomes.com/listing/mlsid/393/propertyid/B1116310/

Baton Rouge home prices continue to fall

From the business report:
B.R. home price index drops for fifth month running

The CoreLogic index of Baton Rouge home prices was down 4.2% in December, when compared with the previous year’s figures. This is the fifth month in a row the local index was down. That’s worse than the CoreLogic Home Price Index for Louisiana, which was down 3.5% for the month when compared with December 2009. Similarly, the national index was down by 5.46%, its fifth year-to-year drop. Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic, says despite the bumpy end to the year, the average annual HPI was unchanged in 2010. That compares with a 12.7% decline from 2008 to 2009. “Excess supply continues to drive prices downward, but the silver lining is that the rate of decline is decelerating,” he says. The drop in the Baton Rouge index came after a 3.2% decline in October. CoreLogic bases its indexes on public sale records and databases.