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Lafayette Real Estate Blog

Paula Duncan


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Do's and Dont's of Buying Investment Properties

by Paula Duncan


Investing in real estate can be a great investment.  Not only can it grow in value over time, but it can also provide a continuing income source.  However, as with any investment, it is important to understand the risks.  Unlike the stock market, where you can invest in smaller increments, real estate requires a much more significant investment.  Here are few things to make sure that you do, and few to avoid before you buy your first investment property.

Do Make Sure an Investment Property is For You

Owning a second home means even more responsibility, especially when it comes to repairs and maintenance.  Handling these tasks yourself can save a lot of money.  It’s important to consider the extra time and cost of owning a second property before you commit.

Don’t Try and “Flip” a Property

While this may seem like a fun way to turn a profit, at least for your first investment home, this is not a good idea.  The cost of doing a major overhaul on a property can easily get out of hand, making it even more difficult to get your money back from a rental or even a sale.

Do Hire a REALTOR®

Just as you would with your primary residence, seek the knowledge and expertise of a REALTOR®.  Understanding market value is crucial when it comes to investing and knowing what areas are growing, and what areas aren’t can position you for a successful investment.  REALTORS® also have strong professional networks.  Mortgages for investment properties are different than for your primary home, so having access to mortgage brokers, banks, and other professionals can help you get the best deal.

Don’t Underestimate Your Margins

Obviously there will be costs associated with owning this second property and it’s vital to understand them all to ensure that you are earning a return on this investment.  HOA fees, insurance, and maintenance will all eat in to your bottom line.  It is also a good idea to budget, save, and plan for any major repairs and for vacancies when you won’t have a revenue stream, but will still have these obligations.

Investing in real estate can be fun, exciting, and lucrative.  Before you jump in feet first it is important to understand the ins and outs of owning an investment property in terms of everything from responsibilities, liabilities, costs, and management. 

Less Stressful place to live in Louisiana

by Paula Duncan

(KLFY)— According to ZIPPIA, the least stressful place to live in Louisiana, is right here in Acadiana, with Youngsville being at the top of the list.

The company recently analyzed 64 places to live in Louisiana both blossoming cities and those that have been here forever.

The team measured stress in the cities, but how did they get these conclusions?

According to ZIPPIA, six criteria which they say reflect the root cause of stressing out was measured in 64 places in Louisiana with a population of at least 5,000 people according to the 2010-2014 American Community Survey.

The six criteria is as follows:

  1. Percentage of population with a long commute (over 30 minutes)
  2. Unemployment Rate
  3. Hours worked
  4. Population density
  5. Percentage of income spent on rent
  6. Percentage of population without health insurance

They tell KLFY that the higher of any of these criteria leads to the more stressed out the people of that place are.

In Louisiana, the company is ranking these 10 places as the least stressful places to live.

  1. Youngsville
  2. Broussard
  3. Scott
  4. Oakdale
  5. Pineville
  6. Gabriel
  7. Plaquemine
  8. Zachary
  9. Central
  10. Bossier City

The Company ranks the 10 most stressful places to live in Louisiana as.

  1. Jeanerette
  2. Walker
  3. Kenner
  4. Gretna
  5. Bastrop
  6. Bogalusa
  7. Westwego
  8. Hammond
  9. New Orleans
  10. Baker

With Lafayette Louisiana coming in at #45 of 64 on the list of most stressful places.


Should I Buy a Home Now?

by Paula Duncan

I'm often asked if this is a good time to buy a home. Some clients are concerned that home prices may fall down the road, while others are convinced that home prices will go up.

Home prices are one factor in determining your cost of ownership, but so are interest rates and financing availability. Even though interest rates have fluctuated, they are still near historic lows. Since your monthly mortgage payment is a combination of paying down your principal and paying the interest owed, a one point rise in interest rates could cost tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage!

While a home is a major investment, it is also the center of your personal life. It's important to live in a home that reflects your taste and values, yet is within your financial "comfort zone." To that end, it may be more important to lock in today's relatively low interest rates while they are still available.

Please give me a call if I can be of any assistance in determining how much home you can afford in today's market.

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Contact Information

Paula Duncan, Broker/Owner
Duncan Realty Professionals, LLC
216 Rue Louis XIV
Lafayette LA 70508
Fax: 800-845-0492

Licensed By The State of Louisiana, USA