Saturday, December 29, 2012
2012 was a banner year for real estate sales in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas. We won't have the final tally until the 2nd full week in January, but up to this point, our whole MLS has improved in sales volume by over 12%, with East Baton Rouge real estate sales volume up 15%! The number of homes for sale and the actual number of homes sold are up, the average sales price is a down a little, but this is a very healthy real estate market. If this trend continues, we could expect to start slipping into a 'sellers market'! The supply of homes for sale in East Baton Rouge is under 8 months but in Ascension is it under a 6 month supply. What does this mean? For sellers, the homes that are selling are not only priced competitively but are also in excellent condition - meaning the home is current on the colors, updates, etc. For the buyers, this means that the days of making low ball offers on homes is coming to an end. Personally, we had 7 homes last year with multiple offers on them where in 2011 we had none. Buyers, if you really like a house, make a good offer! To start your home search in the Greater Baton Rouge Area go to http://search.batonrougerealestate.com/idx/10545/advancedSearch.php and put in your criteria and see what you find! My team is ready to help you any time - whether buying or selling, give us a call!
Friday, May 25, 2012
Who would have thought that Baton Rouge, LA would be a destination for Memorial Day weekend! With Country Fest it has become just that - THE place to be this weekend. With top country acts such as Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, and Rascal Flatts there is something for everyone! The fun starts Saturday at 11:30 at LSU's Tiger Stadium with Keith Urban starting his show at 10 pm. And then Sunday kicks off again at 11:30 and Rascal Flatts closes down with their set starting at 10pm. If country music isn't your thing, check out the Baton Rouge Concert Band's annual Memorial day concert at 7 pm Monday at the steps of the State Capitol. It's FREE!! And, today don't miss the LIVE after FIVE from 5-8 on North Blvd Featuring Brandin Giles. FREE Need to entertain the little ones? Saturday is Safari night at the Baton Rouge zoo. From 6:30-9:30 you can experience waling tours, animal encounters, and hands-on activities. Designed for groups of 15 minimum. Call 225-775-3877. Have a happy and safe Memorial weekend in Baton Rouge as we remember our service men and women.
Monday, April 23, 2012
Save Money...Be Comfortable Automatic thermostats can lower your monthly utility costs while conveniently regulating your comfort by adjusting temperatures on your heating and cooling systems. These can be particularly effective in homes with zoned systems where you live in one area during the day but sleep in a different zone. There are programmable thermostats available at home improvement stores that can make the adjustments for specific times during the day and specific days of the week. They'll allow you to override the setting when needed without tampering with the programming. They'll even remind you to change your filter. An exciting development is the Wi-Fi enabled thermostat that allows adjustments from any Internet connection such as computer or Smartphone. Imagine how convenient it can be to change your temperature from the car before you get home. Reasonably priced under $100 for most models, it makes it easy to recapture the cost of the thermostat quickly. Most of the thermostats are designed for do-it-yourselfers; however, you can always have a heating and cooling professional install it for you.
Saturday, April 21, 2012
Have You Backed Up Your Home? Personal computers have been around long enough that everyone has experienced or knows someone who has lost their data due to a hard drive crash, accident or burglary. If they had a backup, the loss was inconvenient but not critical. Do you have a backup for your personal belongings? Not that you need duplicates of all the items but do you have a journal listing of all the items with a description and their approximate values? That record becomes the backup that supports the claim for your insurance. If a building sustains a total loss, the insurance company will usually pay the face amount of the policy. When it comes to personal property which might be 40% to 50% of the insured value of the dwelling, the insurance company is going to expect an accounting with receipts or at least, a relatively recent inventory. The better your inventory, the less likely you'll have difficulty with the claim. Almost everyone has a digital camera that can take stills and probably even videos. The combination of the images as well as a written description will help you replace the belongings and serve as proof to the insurance company. Once you've made the inventory, store it off site for safe keeping. Online storage in the "cloud" might be the best place to insure you'll always know where it is. Contact me for a free Home Inventory form; it's my way of helping you be a better homeowner.
Monday, April 09, 2012
MID Limited per Residence A recent U.S. Tax Court ruling clarified the IRS position that the $1.1 million limit for mortgage interest deduction applies per residence and not per taxpayer as some high-priced homeowners were hoping. A married homeowner filing jointly can have fully deductible interest on a mortgage of up to $1,000,000 of acquisition debt and up to an additional $100,000 of home equity debt. If the married couple files separately, each party is limited to deducting the interest on half of those maximum amounts. The court case came about when two unmarried individuals who owned a home together as joint tenants felt that they were entitled to deduct the interest on $1.1 million of debt each. IRS did not agree with their understanding and neither did the Tax Court. The Court ruled that the limits apply per residence, not per taxpayer even if a home is co-owned by unmarried taxpayers. The result for the taxpayers in this case was that their deduction was cut in half resulting in much more income tax due. While this situation only affects a few taxpayers, homeowners in this position should have a discussion with their tax professional.