Real Estate Information Archive

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-7 of 7

Tips on Remediating Flooded Homes and What To Do

by Pat Wattam

To all our friends who are experiencing the horrible flooding from hurricane Harvey I have some tips for you from those who have experienced this before.  Last August (2016) the Baton Rouge Area received 50 inches of rain in 2 days.  A huge area flooded.  We had a rental house flood and  one of the inspectors we use also had a property flooded.

Here's a video of the interview of Kevin Dinkel and Roger Wattam discussing what they did to their properties after the flood. https://www.facebook.com/wattam/videos/10154821602582344/

My good friend and fellow Realtor, Liz Jesse, got tips from her siblings who flooded during hurricane Katrina.  They had some good tips.

And here is my interview with Liz:  https://www.facebook.com/wattam/videos/10154821647502344/

 

If you have any questions on how to proceed don't hesitate to contact us:  pat@patwattam.com or kdinkel@extramileteam.com

 

Our Prayers go out to those affected by this flood.  

Taking Advantage of the 'Flooded' Market in Baton Rouge Area

by Pat Wattam

Since the August 2016 flood many investors have flocked to our Greater Baton Rouge Real Estate Market to take advantage of the many homes that flooded.  They have the crews to come in and do the work so some will flip these homes and pocket the profit, others will keep the homes as rentals, and a few may actually make some of these their own new homes.  These investors come to town with cash so that they don't have to deal with any lender regulations regarding who can be the contractor on the repairs.  Unfortunately, the average home buyer doesn't have the cash available to buy one of these properties outright and then put in the sweat equity to turn it into a home with lots of equity.  However, there are several loan types available to homebuyers that DO allow you to buy one of these flooded houses and finance the cost of the remodel.  The catch is typically that you have to already have a bid from a contractor - one  that can complete the work within 6 months.  This is not as hard as it would have been 4 months ago.  I find many contractors now have the time to make bids and to complete the work timely.  There are also banks that will do loans for you to purchase a flooded house and then when you have the work completed, you can get a regular loan for any lender.  This would allow you to do some of the work yourself.  You also might find a contractor who would also allow you to do some of the work.  I highly recommend using a contractor that someone you know has also used and is happy with.  

This is a great opportunity for the right buyer to get instant equity in a home.  Doing your homework on the front end for a contractor will allow you to take advante of our market. If this is something that interests you, give us a call and we can help you find a lender to help you finance your dream home! 

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

What is Happening in Baton Rouge After the Flood

by Pat Wattam

People are all wondering what is going to happen with our Baton Rouge Real Estate Market after the flood.  No one knows for sure but what I am seeing so far is some investors purchasing homes to flip, some people staying in their homes and doing the repairs, and others still undecided on what to do.  It all comes down to money for every person.  The FEMA money is usually not enough to rehab a house back to a living standard.  The people who had flood insurance actually will get enough to fix the house.  Those that did not have content insurance have really lost a lot, just like the people who had no insurance.  

What are the flooded neighborhoods going to look like?  Will the homes that are flipped really be nice or just cheaply done?  My suspicion is that the invesors will make the houses look really nice in order to get the highest possible price. If the investors are landlord types, then the houses will be done as inexpensively as possible - but all investors who have purchased my Listings are going to flip them.   I think most of these subdivisions will take more than 6 months to be complete.  I think the investors will get their homes up pretty fast as they have their own crews.  The people who are rehabbing their homes may take up to 9 months to finish - depending on the damage.  And for the subdivisions to totally be complete again could take over a year since a lot of areas that flooded were in our modest homes and those are the homeowners who will really struggle to fix their homes unless they had flood insurance.  The biggest thing that has to happen to move all of us back to normal is for all the debris to be picked up.  Once that is gone the subdivisions will start to take on their own look.  Of course, if it would quit raining every day it would definitely help!!

The city of Denham Springs has a lot farther to go with all the businesses that are damaged.  Some will never reopen.  Others will be open in time for the holiday season - I'll bet Juban Crossing is back in business by then!!  Again, money is the issue for most of Livingston Parish.  There just isn't enough money to help everyone.  Hopefully the government will pass out more money soon.  We have schools that need to be back up and running so that kids aren't doubled up in schools - but at least school is back in session so that gives the kids some normalcy.

Ascension Parish also was damaged and I haven't seen what is happening in the flooded subdivisions there yet.  People are still in shock and still gathering information so they know how to proceed.

This is a great time to pick up a nice property if you would like to be an landlord.  Unless you are an experienced investor with a crew to rehab a house - or if you are very handy - I would not jump into this market.  Another good piece of information is that we don't see a lot of price gouging happening with the homes that are did not flood and are up for sale.

If you need help weighing your decision on what to do with your flooded house, please don't hesitate to call 225-298-6900 and we will share information with you as watch our real estate market develop.

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.

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

 


Mold Testing for Flood Victims

by Pat Wattam

 

I received this information from Advantage Inspections Today.  Just pulling out the wet flooring and sheetrock isn't enough.
See Below from Kevin Dinkel.
Mold Testing for Flood Victims
Have Peace of Mind Knowing Your Home is Safe 
Mold and bacteria have ideal breeding grounds in the warm, damp flooding areas of Baton Rouge and surrounding parishes. Exposure to these harmful organisms may affect your and your family's health. The CDC warns that "molds can cause nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing or wheezing, eye irritation, or, in some cases, skin irritation." Contact with mold and harmful bacteria may cause severe reactions for those with weaker immune systems, children, and the elderly. 


We are ready to work to bring Baton Rouge residents back to safe homes. If your home or office was impacted by flooding in the past few days, please give us a call at Advantage Services (225) 753-8114 to inspect your home for harmful bodies that may have grown while you were away. 
If you know someone in need of an inspection, please pass this information along. We would like to wish you and your loved ones a safe and speedy recovery!

 

Displaying blog entries 1-7 of 7

Syndication

Categories

Archives

Share This Page

Contact Information

Photo of Pat Wattam Real Estate
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