Renovation Transformations – PHOTOS!

I wanted to share these photos from a client who I helped buy a home to update and rent out.  It is a great example of getting a great deal (money is made when you BUY) and then doing some renovations to enhance the curb appeal and desirability of the home to a tenant.   There were 5 main issues with the house:

  1. Roof
  2. No Covered parking
  3. Kitchen
  4. Bathroom
  5. No central Heat, AC

These clients did all 5 and they totally transformed this house.  Check out the results!











David R. Madaffari, Realtor
Keller Williams Realty – First Choice
Office: 225.744.0044
Cell: 225.772.3283 (DAVE)
37325 Market Place Dr. Ste D
Prairieville, LA 70769
www.DavidMadaffari.com
Each office independently owned and operated

Home Staging – Take Pride in Your Home

This weekend I held an Open House at one of my listings in Old Jefferson Subdivision.  The home is a 30+ year home that the seller has updated as much as possible on a budget.  We recently dropped the price from $160,000 to $150,000 which gave us the reason to hold it open.  It is a cozy, family-friendly and budget-friendly home, but by no means an architectural masterpiece like you’d find with brand new construction.  However, I was extremely impressed with the seller’s initiative to stage the home before I even arrived.

The house smelled terrific – fresh baked cookies, king cake and multiple candles lit in every room.   The furniture was spotless the countertops were cleared of everything unnecessary except for smart accent pieces.  But what floored me was that they even staged the master bathroom jetted tub by filling it with water, laying flower petals in it and lining the back wall with candles.  Talk about ambience!

When I walk through homes with clients I can tell which sellers, even when selling, take pride in their home.  Though not everyone will want to buy the home, they attempt to make anyone feel like a welcome guest.  And THAT is the first step to making prospective buyers feel like they could make it their own home.   To me, a show-ready home says, “Thank you for coming today, we hope you love our house as much as we have loved it.”

I’ll be the first to admit then when I started in real estate, I did not believe in staging a home to the extent that I do now.    It is a subtle piece of the puzzle that I have seen work too many times to ignore.   During the full two hours of the Open House, I took pride in showing my guests around the home because I did not want my seller’s effort to be wasted.   It was probably the most impressed I have felt with a seller’s home for an open house.

So with that, here is a link to some home staging articles from Realtor.com.  If you are looking to sell, these are great things to think about when preparing to show your hoem to the public.  Some of the ideas are pretty clever and effective.

Home Staging Tips

David R. Madaffari, Realtor
Keller Williams Realty – First Choice
Office: 225.744.0044
Cell: 225.772.3283 (DAVE)
37325 Market Place Dr. Ste D
Prairieville, LA 70769
www.DavidMadaffari.com
Each office independently owned and operated

100% RD Income Limits Raised for Baton Rouge Area

Recently, we learned that the income limit for the RD loan was raised, from $74,750 to $76,350.  Sure, it may seem like $1,600 increase is not that much of a difference, but for all of those folks who have been right on the edge of eligibility are now within the limits of a 100% loan!

RD Income Limits Chart

Just about everyone knows that Ascension and Livingston Parishes qualify for the RD loan, but there are areas of EBR that qualify, like Central and Zachary.  Amazingly, the far southeast corner of the parish is also eligible, including popular Azalea Lakes, Hoo Shoo Too lakes and Mallard Crossing.  To be quite honest I have no idea how they pulled it off, but for buyers it means they can get into one of those areas with little or no money down.  You can enter addresses and see if a home is eligible here, and then if your adjusted gross income (after deductions) is at or below $76,350, give me a call and let’s get started!

David R. Madaffari, Realtor
Keller Williams Realty – First Choice
Office: 225.744.0044
Cell: 225.772.3283 (DAVE)
37325 Market Place Dr. Ste D
Prairieville, LA 70769
www.DavidMadaffari.com
Each office independently owned and operated

Trulia and Zillow Stock Hammered by Bad Earnings Report

Friday was not a great day to be in the online real estate information business.  After Trulia’s horrendous earnings report of a $11.1 BILLION loss in the December quarter of 2013, the stock tanked almost 18%.   As a secondary effect of the report, rival Zillow also fell about 10%.  Click here to read the full story.

One thing to remember about sites like Trulia and Zillow are that while they spend a lot of effort marketing their site to sponsors, agents, brokers and end-users, it is ultimately your trusted Realtor who can give you the most ACCURATE information on any property.  I can’t tell you how many times I have fielded the response “Zillow says this house is for sale” when it was actually withdrawn or even sold two months ago.  Remember, third-party sites not linked directly to your Realtor will always have a lag time when it comes to updating information.

What Trulia and Zillow do is rather extraordinary – they gather MLS and public record data from all over the country and display it for the world to see.  But something so complicated does have it’s drawbacks, and increasingly Realtors have similar tools (like our new Realtor Property Resource tool or MLS Data Co-Op) that can find the most up-to-date information for you.

As an investment, I’d buy into Trulia right now only because an 18% dip only has one way to go and that is up.  It’d be an easy way to make a few bucks at least!

David R. Madaffari, Realtor
Keller Williams Realty – First Choice
Office: 225.744.0044
Cell: 225.772.3283 (DAVE)
37325 Market Place Dr. Ste D
Prairieville, LA 70769
www.DavidMadaffari.com
Each office independently owned and operated

Choosing Light Bulbs Based on Your Fixtures

I recently went to Lowe’s to replace some bulbs in my house – and I was floored by the amount of options there are now!  Since incandescents are being phased out for their inefficiency, CFLs and the new LED bulbs are the future and will help all of us save energy.  But which lights should you choose for each application?  This article on Houselogic.com breaks it down for you.

Choosing Light Bulbs Based on Your Fixtures.

I’m personally excited to see where the LED technology goes.  With such a long life span, we could get to a point where a light bulb is just as much of a home fixture as a door knob.  You may change the knob before the LED bulb!

David R. Madaffari, Realtor
Keller Williams Realty – First Choice
Office: 225.744.0044
Cell: 225.772.3283 (DAVE)
37325 Market Place Dr. Ste D
Prairieville, LA 70769
www.DavidMadaffari.com
Each office independently owned and operated

New Mortgage Rules Affecting Buyers

Below is a summary of the new mortgage rules that went into effect as of January 10th.  These rules, among other things tighten up lending rules and create some more standards across the board for lending.

Summary of New Qualified Mortgage (QM) Rule | realtor.org.

Under the guise of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, these rules are touted as protecting the consumer from predatory lending.  However, I can’t help to think that they actually do the opposite – they protect the lender from the consumer.  These rules do nothing to help buyers get a loan, and in fact makes it much harder.  What it does do is help lenders package and sell “safer” mortgages easier to investors.   Meanwhile, I have already seen two cases of my own hard-working clients being adversely affected by these rules – going from qualified to unqualified with the turn of a calendar day.

In the long run, I can see more buyers saving money for down payments and cutting their credit use in order to buy a home.   No one ever said living on cash was a bad thing and maybe should strive to be like our grandparents, then – save money for a down payment and don’t overextend credit unnecessarily.  It worked for them, why shouldn’t it work for us?

David R. Madaffari, Realtor 
Keller Williams Realty – First Choice
Office: 225.744.0044
Cell: 225.772.3283 (DAVE)
37325 Market Place Dr. Ste D
Prairieville, LA 70769
www.DavidMadaffari.com
Each office independently owned and operated

Rural Development Loan Extended Until 2020

Today, I received this email from the National Rural Housing Coalition confirming the passage of the Farm Bill.

After three years of contentious negotiations, the Senate voted this afternoon 68 to 32 in favor of the Farm Bill, which includes a Rural Definition provision (Section 6208). The legislation now goes to the President for his signature, and the White House has said that he will sign the bill into law.

As we mentioned before, the provision extends current law through the 2020 Census and will increase the population threshold from 25,000 to 35,000 once it becomes effective on October 1, 2014. This will help ensure that low-income families–particularly those living in metro counties–will have access to critical USDA resources and programs. In addition, it will provide much-needed certainty to rural housing developers and organizations.

This is a HUGE win for the Baton Rouge Area, as we have been direct beneficiaries of the Rural Development loan program.  Not only does it extend the definition for another 6 years, but it expands the population requirement meaning even MORE areas could be open for homeowners to take advantage of it.

Now that we know the Rural Development loan is safe, how do we know if an area is eligible for a 100% RD loan?  Simply click here and type in an address!  Once you have found an RD eligible area, give me a call and we’ll get you qualified for a new home!

Sincerely,

David R. Madaffari, Realtor
Keller Williams Realty – First Choice
Office: 225.744.0044
Cell: 225.772.3283 (DAVE)
37325 Market Place Dr. Ste D
Prairieville, LA 70769
www.DavidMadaffari.com
Each office independently owned and operated