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The Real Estate Market Post Flood in Baton Rouge Area

by Pat Wattam

Real Estate Update Report and the August 1016 Flood

Everyone wants to know how the Market is doing since the flood in August.  Here’s a little update on what we have seen. 

1. There are some homeowners, who have gutted their houses, own them outright, have flood insurance and want to sell.  Those homes are selling for just under half what they were worth before the flood.  Those numbers actually work pretty well for the person who wants to make a move to a new home.  Investors are buying these homes to fix and flip, or maybe even rent. 

2.  There are other homeowners with no flood insurance who are getting some FEMA money.  The FEMA money is not enough to fully repair a house, but it’s a start.  Some people, again, who own their homes and have no mortgage, are still opting to sell their house, especially if they have a place they want to go.  These homes are selling just like the example above.  FEMA $$ can only be used to repair the house and if audited, you will have to provide receipts, from what we have been told.   Consult your accountant or tax attorney if you’ve opted to apply for FEMA aid and are planning to sell.

3. Some people are taking the FEMA money and fixing the house as far as the money will go and then selling it at that point in hopes of recouping the FEMA money.  Again consult a tax professional for advice.

4.  And then, some homeowners are repairing the house to live-in condition (whether with insurance or FEMA dollars) and will either sell the house or move back in.  Just depends on each individual situation.  There are also special loans available through FHA and Conventional mortgages that work much like a new construction loan and can be used to repair a house.  Rates run about a half percent higher than regular rates

5.  And the last category we are watching are the homes that were for sale before the flood and the ones coming on the market now.  We have not seen a big price increase like we saw after hurricane Katrina.  The market is a little sluggish but has started to pick back up.  As lives slowly return to normal then the real estate market will follow. 

The Pat Wattam Team at RE/MAX First has been busy meeting homeowners in various situations to help them crunch the numbers and  see what will work best for them.  No one knows what the market will look like in 6 months as these homes start to be lived in fully again, either with the homeowner, new owners, or tenants.  My outlook is that we will have neighborhoods with practically brand new homes and if the people REALLY update them, then that should get past the stigma caused by the flooding.  My thought process is that if a buyer has a choice between a 30 year old home that has not been updated and the same home, same size, and price that has been beautifully updated, I think they will pick the updated one.  Now, if the buyer’s choice is between a house that flooded and one that didn’t and they are the same price and same condition, they will buy the one that did not flood.

I believe it is crucial to really upgrade flooded homes if the sellers plan to sell in the next couple of years.   Back in 1983, when we had that big flood and so much of Old Jefferson flooded, buyers didn’t want to buy those houses for the longest time.  But then, years went by with no flooding and it once more became a very popular subdivision.  I believe the Great Flood of 2016 is a different story because it was caused by an anomaly in the weather – and, in my opinion, also man made (which can be corrected). 

If you or any of your friends or family have questions on how to proceed, please don’t hesitate to have them contact us.  Our direct line is 225-298-6900.

 

Pat Wattam

Debbie Hanna

Bill Arey

Blake Hanna

Erin Simoneaux

Roger Wattam

All About FLOOD INSURANCE in Baton Rouge, LA

by Pat Wattam

I spoke with my insurance agent, Andy Redpath at Baton Rouge Insurance Agency, and asked him what were some of the misconceptions people have about flood insurance.  I LOVED his response - these are the actual statements people have made to him.  I do believe this will clear up some of the confusion on when to buy and who should buy flood insurance.  I am adding my two cents in RED to what Andy has provided.  This is from my experience as a REALTOR and an investor who's rental property flooded during the GREAT FLOOD of 2016.

10 Misconceptions About Flood Insurance

 

1)    Buy it today because it’s raining. (Other than a mortgage closing when coverage is mandated, there is 30 day waiting period on new policies).  SO BUY IT TODAY anyway in case it rains again next month (this is Louisiana after all!)

2)    Buy it today because there is a storm in the Gulf and the rates are going up. (Rates are rates until the NFIP changes them, which they do periodically)  And if there is a named storm in the gulf you can't buy regular homeowners insurance either until the storm has passed.

3)    All flood policies have contents coverage just like homeowners (Contents coverage is a separate coverage under a flood policy).  That's interesting because when I got my flood insurance, the company that Andy selected had a policy that had contents coverage attached.  I have lots of clients who did not have contents insurance since they were in a low hazard area and the area had never, ever flooded.  I'm glad Andy didn't give me that choice because I would have probably selected that too!

4)    I’m a renter so I can’t buy flood insurance or don’t need it. (Renters do need flood insurance and can purchase it to protect their belongings).  Ask my tenants who lost everything in the flood in our rental property.  And if I had had flood insurance, it would NOT have covered their belongings.

5)    I’m not in flood zone. (All properties are in a flood zone and can buy flood insurance. Some zones are designated a hazardous zone and a mortgage company can mandate a policy).  My husband said the same thing.  $45,000 later, he wishes we had purchased it.

6)    I’m not in hazardous zone, so I don’t need flood insurance. (In many floods it’s estimated 30% of the properties that flood had never flooded before and were not in a hazardous zone). IN the GREAT flood of 2016, home that were not in a hazardous area flooded.  2 of the homes in my subdivision flooded over 2'.  The rest of us were fine.

7)    It can’t happen again. (Just wait and see).  Yeah, my husband said that too.  But we now have flood insurance.  Can't be too safe.

8)    My homeowners policy has a rider that covers flood insurance. (Homeowners insurance does not cover flood. Never…ever…ever!)  NEVER EVER EVER EVER!!!

9)    My flood policy has coverages just like my homeowners policy. (Flood policies cover structure and contents and are very limited compared to a homeowners policy)  Ditto

    10) FEMA will take care of everything. (Maybe, but I wouldn’t bet on it.).  Ask anyone who have been through the GREAT FLOOD OF 2016.  FEMA gave one person $7500.  That won't ever cover the flooring.  Another got $22,000 on a $125,000, with a $105K mortgage balance and a cost of $40K to fix it up.  Where is this single lady going to get the extra money.  And another person was turned down for a SBA loan because they had good credit, and good income.  They were told to go get a regular loan from someone.

Updates from the City of Baton Rouge

by Pat Wattam

We have compiled the latest information from the City of Baton Rouge regarding debris removal, a list of disaster recovery centers, and Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) information.

Debris Collection

For a map detailing flood debris collection status by zip code, please click here. We have also included a link here to a helpful infographic on how to prepare debris for collection.

The following information courtesy of the City of Baton Rouge website

Disaster Recovery Sites

DRC Sites currently open in EBR - 8:00AM - 6:00PM

New Hope Outreach Center
5925 Greenwell Springs Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70806

Second Baptist Church
914 North Acadian Thruway West
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Zachary's Men Club
5746 Rollins Road
Zachary, LA 70791

St. Louis King of France Catholic Church
2121 N. Sherwood Forest Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70815

There is also one mobile disaster recovery center:

City of Central Parking Lot
13421 Hooper Road
Central, LA 70818

Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP):

Four Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) sites will begin operations Monday, August 29, 2016 through Saturday, September 3, 2016 from 8:00AM - 4:00PM.

Council on Aging Activity Center
6955 Florida Blvd.
Baton Rouge, LA 70806

F.G. Clark Activity Center
798 Harding Boulevard
Baton Rouge, LA 70807

Gloryland Baptist Church
6745 Greenwell Springs Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70805

Louisiana Leadership Institute
5763 Hooper Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70811

Baton Rouge Flood Information and Resources

by Pat Wattam

The Pat Wattam Team has compiled a wealth of resources to assist those affected by the flood. Our Baton Rouge Flooding page is now up and contains information on disaster relief, volunteering and donations, school information, contractors, debris removal and more. If you need home repair, we have people we can put you in touch with. If you need to make a home purchase or find a place to rent immediately, we can help

Our goal is to assist the community by continuously updating this page with current resources for those in need in Baton Rouge. If you are looking for resources to assist you or someone you know who has been affected by the flood, visit the page here and check our blog frequently as we will be updating it with useful information for our community.

 

New City Ordinances Help Those Impacted by Flooding

by Pat Wattam

Four ordinances were authorized by the Metro Council yesterday to help those impacted by the flood. The following information has been provided by the City of Baton Rouge...

"1) TEMPORARY HOUSING ORDINANCE AND UDC WAIVERS: Waiving and suspending enforcement of certain provisions of the City-Parish Code of Ordinances and the Unified Development Code regarding temporary housing, parking of motor homes on residential streets, parking in the grass, and single-family occupancy of dwellings for a limited period of time in response to the emergency created by the historic flooding in order to preserve the public peace, health and safety. More info: http://brgov.com/emergency/files/2016Flood/docfile-1.pdf

2) TEMPORARY NOISE ORDINANCE WAIVERS: Waiving the provisions of the City-Parish noise ordinance so as to allow construction work in or adjacent to a residential area from 5:00 a.m. until sunset on weekdays and Saturdays for a period of 90 days. More info: http://brgov.com/emergency/files/2016Flood/docfile-2.pdf

3) TEMPORARILY WAIVING PERMIT FEES FOR STRUCTURES DAMAGED BY THE FLOOD: Amending relevant ordinances so as to waive permit fees on property damaged during the 2016 flood. More info: http://brgov.com/emergency/files/2016Flood/docfile-3.pdf

4) CITY-PARISH ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE POLICY CHANGES: Granting administrative leave with pay to employees who are unable to report to work due to the state of emergency, under certain circumstances and approved by the employee’s appointing authority. More info: http://brgov.com/emergency/files/2016Flood/docfile-4.pdf "

If you are looking for resources to assist you or someone you know who has been affected by the 2016 Baton Rough Flood, please visit our blog as we will be updating it with useful information for our community. You can to click here to visit our blog.

Information courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/cityofbatonrouge/

Mold Testing Tips

by Pat Wattam

Take care of the following before you put sheetrock back up...

1. Do a moisture test on the studs and any wood

2. Do a mold test - takes several days to get results.

The level of drying needed before rebuilding according to FEMA is as follows:

> 20% = wet, no good
15-20% = partially dry, caution
< 15% = dry, ok
 

Putting up sheet rock too soon can result in mold growing behind the sheetrock, then coming through the sheet rock, and then you have a SERIOUS and EXPENSIVE repair to do. Kevin Dinkel of Advantage Services is continually putting up helpful videos on his Facebook page here. Visit the website: http://www.extramileteam.com/ for more information or call (225) 753-8114. Advantage Services offers home inspections, moisture tests, mold tests, termite inspection and treatments. I believe we have lots of good inspectors in Baton Rouge to help everyone with this.

If you are looking for resources to assist you or someone you know who has been affected by the 2016 Baton Rough Flood, please visit our blog as we will be updating it with useful information for our community. You can to click here to visit our blog.

FEMA and SBA INFO Louisiana Flood 2016 - Baton Rouge

by Pat Wattam

Many clients have called me to get informatoin on what to do next.  This is the information I have gathered so far with my personal experience with one of our rental houses that flooded.

If you are a home owner and your personal home flooded and you have flood insurance, your first call is to your insurance agent.  Your next call is to FEMA or to register on line.  The web site to register is http://www.disasterassistance.gov.  If you would prefer to have them take your application over the phone, the phone number for FEMA is 1-800-621-3362.  My wait time was between 20-30 minutes and it takes about 20 minutes for them to take the application.  You can then elect to do everything on line - nothing is emailed to you, you have to set up a password and an account to look at things they send you.  You can also elect to do everything via regular mail.

If you are a home owner and did not have to have flood insurance (not in a flood zone), your first call is to FEMA - same as above.  You will be elibigle for up to $33,000 in grant money assistance.  One of my clients said that when she did the FEMA application on line, it sent her to the SBA site.  Not sure why but just make sure you apply with FEMA and get a FEMA claim number.

IF if it your rental property that flooded and you do not have flood insurance, even though FEMA has nothing for you, during my application with SBA (Small Business Administration) to get a low interest loan, it asked for my FEMA number.  So, I suggest you go ahead an apply for FEMA - in fact, our governor told us to all be sure to register with FEMA so I did.  The phone number for the SBA is 1-800-659-2955.  FEMA person also told me to call IRS at 1-800=829-3676 and ask for publication #2194B.  I think that was to see how the cost to repair our rental would impact taxes.  Haven't checked that out yet.  

FEMA  1-800-621-3362 Helpline

SBA  1-800-659-2955

 


The Pat Wattam Team Stands Ready to Assist

by Blake Hanna

With the horrible time our state is facing, it's easy to think you are alone. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Our team has a wealth of resources available and we are here to help you. If you need home repair, we hae people we can put you in touch with. If you have questions about flood insurance, call us now and we'll make sure your questions are answered. If your home was flooded and you don't have flood insurance, call us now. There is relief available. If you need to make a home purchase or find a place to rent immediately, we can help. We stand ready to help however we can in these difficult times. 

The Pat Wattam Team is ready to assist you!

We have several vacant homes for sale right now that would make for an easy move. Call us now to find out more! (225)298-6900

These are priced between $130k-180k


Displaying blog entries 1-8 of 8

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Pat Wattam
RE/MAX First, Independently Owned and Operated
4750 Sherwood Common
Baton Rouge LA 70816
Office Direct: 225-298-6900
Office Main: 225-291-1234
Fax: 225-295-1234

RE/MAX First
Each Office Independently Owned and Operated
Main: 225-291-1234

Licensed by the Louisiana Real Estate Commission