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Congrats to REALTOR® Day Winners

These fine folks won prizes in the drawings at REALTOR® Day. Congratulations to them!

To be eligble for the drawing folks had to preregister for REALTOR® Day and complete the comment card received at registration. Winners were drawn at random.

$50 Cash – Debra Hanna
$50 Cash – Lisa Hodge
$50 Cash – Sharla May
$50 Cash – Yolonda Robinson
$50 Cash – Tamala Spears

GRAND PRIZE $500 Cash– Shirley Brackins-Dawson

Baton Rouge Is the Worst Predictor of Market Trends - and That’s a Good Thing

Baton Rouge Is the Worst Predictor of Market Trends - and That's a Great Thing

Trulia looked into their "crystal ball." The Business Report wrote their sensational headline. But we're glad Baton Rouge is not a good indicator of national housing trends. Just ask your local Realtor®, who has the best and most current information on the area market, and who can actually explain the forces driving it. The Baton Rouge area housing market didn't bottom out the way many other markets did across the nation. Even at the height of the recession. That's why our area isn't a good indicator of national trends. We've remained healthy even as other markets have faltered. And Realtors® have the tools to examine real time market data to help their buyers and sellers make the best decisions - based on where the sale is taking place, and not on some market across the country. We know what the market is doing and have a pretty good idea of where it's going.

To its credit, Trulia's article about its "crystal ball" market predictions admits upfront that any local market is a poor indicator of national trends and that market data is best examined on local level.

That's part of the reason why any way today's Business Report story is broken down, it's good news for housing in Baton Rouge. Like the Business Report article says, "Baton Rouge has seen its home prices remain remarkably steady throughout the recession and recovery." And, as Trulia points out in its article, "a negative correlation [to its market predictions] means that a better year for a metro's home prices is typically followed by a worse year for the nation's home prices." In other words, even though Baton Rouge has, and continues to, remain steady through national market booms and busts, Trulia is unable to "predict" what Baton Rouge area housing prices, inventory, and other key factors will be. This is exactly why home buyers and sellers need to consult local Realtors® who have access to, and thorough knowledge of, the best local market data.

Location, location, location

As a local Realtor® can explain, while the national market was bottoming out, the Baton Rouge area market experienced unprecedented growth following Hurricane Katrina. New construction starts and prices increased. Additionally, our backbone industries, petrochemical and oil industry plants, buoy our market in hard times. More recent additions of technology and manufacturing sectors have added new economic strongholds to our market. All of these stabilize housing, and put Baton Rouge in a very healthy position, especially compared to other volatile markets across the nation.

It's a great thing that Baton Rouge is a poor indicator of a third party's analysis of the nation's volatile housing market. That just means that Realtors® continue to have the most accurate and timely data, and that Baton Rouge continues to have a healthy housing market.

How To Easily Pay Your GBRAR Bills

First, open a web browser on your computer. Go to the GBRAR Association homepage by typing gbrar.com in the browser's address field. (Hey, look at that, it's the page you're on now! Yay!)


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Email Delivery Changes

Gmail recently changed some things.

And even if you don’t think you have Gmail, you still should read this.

What happened
Recently Gmail released an update that changed the way messages are filtered. In some cases, messages that previously went to in boxes are now going into spam/junk boxes. You may have noticed there are now category tabs (Social, Primary, & Promotions) into which your e-mail gets sorted as it is delivered.

Who cares
Even if you don’t use a Gmail account, this change may still affect you. Many custom email domains actually use a Gmail platform in the background. Custom domain examples would include john@johndoe .com and some of the brokerage emails in our market, john@xyzbrokerage .com.

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Flood Insurance Changes Effective May 1

NFIP160x160Effective May 1, 2014, all buyers of older properties ("pre-FIRM") will see a premium rate reduction under the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014.

Instead of jumping to "full cost" for flood insurance, buyers will assume the seller's Oct-2013 rate for a pre-FIRM property.

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