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Real Estate Market Report through July 2017

by Pat Wattam

Our real estate Market reports are in for July and the first half of the year.

The East Baton Rouge Parish report concludes that although the days on market have gotten longer, the absorption rate is 2.8 months - which means we only have a supply of homes for that length of time.  Of course, that number is always moving and is shortest in our summer months.  For the full report click here:  https://www.realmarketreports.com/widgetcode/LA05005_HTMLCode.zip

For Ascension Parish, for the past 6 months, we see the same absorption rate, which is typical of that area most summers.  For the full report on Ascension click here:  

http://www.realmarketreports.com/reports/LA05005_Ascension_Parish.pdf
The one common thing we are seeing across the board is that whether a house flooded or not, the buyers want the updated homes so they don't have to spend their cash on updates or repairing items.  I have a lot of sellers who want to sell their house 'as is' with no repairs but they take a pretty big hit on the sales price as buyers always think it costs much more to do updates or repairs that it actually has to - plus, they want more off just because they have the hassel of dealing with it.
If you can't decide what you should do, give us a call and we'll be happy to look at your house and give you our best advice so that you can make an educated decision!!  225-298-6900!

Do ALL Sellers WIN in a Sellers Market?

by Pat Wattam

Much of the country is experiencing a shortage of available Listings in their real estate Market - a shortage of homes for the buyers to choose from - and each home may receive multiple offers!  I discussed in my last blog how a buyer can structure their offer to WIN in a multiple offer situation.  Remember. all real estate is local so I can only really give advice for my area in the Greater Baton Rouge and surrounding parishes.

So, to the answer to the question - Do All Sellers Win in a Sellers Market in the Baton Rouge Real Estate area - the short answer is NO!  

Don't be too surprised. As I stated earlier, real estate is hyper local.  There are price ranges where the inventory is very low and I am receiving offers on these homes in the first 2 days - multiple offers.  But all of these homes were  in Tip Top condition, staged well, no clutter.  I have seen homes in these same price ranges languish for weeks because they were really not ready for the market and the market responded with a 'NO" to that house.  

I have homes in higher price ranges where there are plenty of homes and the buyers can be very picky as they have ample inventory to select from.  These homes cannot afford to not be in PERFECT condition.  Yes, the buyer wants new carpet and NO, they do not want an allowance.  They want to see and smell that new carpet when they walk in the door.  They don't want WALL PAPER!  You can price your house lower to accomodate some updates but honestly, most buyers don't have the time, or extra cash, to do the updating the house has needed for years.  And due to the flood it is hard for them to even consider getting a contractor to help them.  Of course, there are always exceptions.  If you have dogs, then the buyer would rather you put in carpet after you have moved - and this is when an allowance would probably work!

When contemplating selling your home, talk with an expert first.  Someone who can guide you through the process.  Of course, I prefer if you call on us, the Pat Wattam Team at RE/MAX First!!  We'lre here to help!

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.

Market Comparison 2012-2013 First Half

by Pat Wattam

The first half of 2013 has come and gone with a BANG!!  Lower inventory, prices slightly raising, multiple offer on houses, and interest rates ticking up - all combined to create a banner real estate Market!  Some of the things I have noticed is that we are seeing more multiple offers on houses - typically the first week on the market, and, as always, the best dressed and best priced homes are selling quickly!!!

Looking at the historical data comparing June 2012 to June 2013 I noticed that the months supply of homes on the market have goes from 6.25 in June 2012 to 4.81 months supply in June 2013.  Another piece of data I like to keep my eyes on is the Days On Market (DOM).  In June 2012 the average days on market from list to close was 93 days, where as in 2013 it has dropped to only 81 days.  And the last significant piece for me is the number of homes for sale.  In June 2012 we had 4643 properties for sale and this June we only had 4158.  The Average Sales Price has also gone from $191,406 in June 2012 to $204,076 in June 2013.  Perhaps this chart will clear everything up:

In the above chart you will see the spike in the number of homes closed - that is due to hurricane Katrina.  If you draw a straight line at the peek sales from year to year you will see that the number of home sales have steadily increased since 2010 - a healthy, stable real estate market!

Buyers need to make serious offers on homes based, in part, on how long the house has been on the market or when the last price change was made.  Chances are, if you think it is a really great house, someone else will too.  Make your offer your highest and best when you are notified that there is more than one offer on the house you want to buy.

Sellers, have your home pre-inspected and updated as much as possible to get the highest price in the fastest time.  

The Pat Wattam Team at RE/MAX First is ready to help you interpret this market.  Call on us at any time - whether preparing your house to sell and don't know where to start - or trying to determine what area is best for you and what kind of offer to make.  We want to be your REALTORS for life!!

We know that 2012 was another banner year for the Greater Baton Rouge Real Estate Market.  Taking a look at the first quarter of this year, we see that trend continuing.  As I have mentioned in earlier posts, one of the main things to watch is the months supply of inventory.  We have been averaging around an 8 month supply for the past year, with that dipping in the summer months.  However, when we compare March of 2012 to March of 2011, we see that trend starting now.  In March last year we had a 6.9 month supply of homes for sale.  This March we dropped to only 5.31 month supply.  

What does this mean to our consumers?  When the months supply of inventory drops below 6 months, you start moving into what we call a 'sellers' Market - which means that homes are selling faster, there are fewer choices for buyers, and you can receive multiple offers on the really good homes- the ones priced right and in the best condition.  It also means, for buyers, that the days of making low ball offers on homes and expecting the seller to take it have disappeared.  For sellers, we are waiting to see if prices start ticking upward.  

The real estate market in our Greater Baton Rouge area typically will increase in price from 1-3% annually - a pretty flat market.  This has helped us stay out of the real estate bubble, for the most part, and hopefully that will continue and our market will remain healthy!!

What's Happening in the Baton Rouge Real Estate Market?

by The Pat Wattam Team

The article in today's paper might cause one to wonder what is really going on in the Greater Baton Rouge Real Estate Market.  Here is a video that has details and explains how our market compares to this same time period in 2009.

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