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Baton Rouge Real Estate Lawyers Blog

Louisiana industrial real estate spending leads nation

According to a report released by the Commercial Real Estate Development Association on July 22, industrial construction spending in Louisiana led the nation in 2013. The NAIOP report also ranked Louisiana second in overall commercial real estate construction. Industrial construction in the state amounted to $4.9 billion during 2013. This was more than double the amount spent in Iowa, which was the second state on the list.

Overall commercial construction in Louisiana amounted to $5.5 billion in 2013, narrowly beaten by the $5.8 billion spent in Texas. New York came in third with $4.8 billion. Commercial construction figures include investment in warehouse, office and industrial projects as well as retail and entertainment ventures. The bulk of the Louisiana commercial real estate investment was in the industrial sector. Retail and entertainment ranked 12th in the nation, office construction ranked 23rd, and warehouse projects came in 26th.

Foreclosures in Louisiana

Although the real estate market is improving in Louisiana and around the country, many homeowners who purchased their properties before values started to plummet in 2007 have found themselves unable to keep up with their mortgage payments. As a result, some are facing the prospect of, or already find themselves in, foreclosure proceedings.

As is the case in most states, Louisiana provides for foreclosure by judicial sale, commonly known as "judicial foreclosure". This process, which is required in many states but not in Louisiana, provides for the sale of the mortgaged property to take place under the supervision of a court, with the proceeds applied first to the senior lien holder and then to any other secured creditors, if any. All parties must be notified.

Homebuyers can structure purchase agreement to their advantage

Louisiana homebuyers have several options when it comes to preparing an offer to purchase real estate. By carefully structuring the purchase agreement, buyers may be able to save a significant amount of money. Sellers sometimes set an unrealistically high asking price. When this is the case, a buyer may want to offer a lower purchase price and include information on comparables in order to justify the lower offer.

Another strategy would be to offer the full asking price but ask for concessions in other areas. For example, the buyer might ask the seller to pay a portion of the buyer's closing costs, provide partial financing or make certain improvements to the property. This could include a new coat of paint, replacing some of the appliances or refinishing a floor.

Questions swirl around state's handling of real estate

The state government of Louisiana is reportedly leasing a parking garage in an effort to equalize the state budget, but the $2 million lease is apparently a loss. The lease appears to be the latest in what many perceive to be shortsighted moves by the Jindal administration designed to rake in more funds upfront while leaving less revenue for future successors to the governor's post. While the Jindal administration claims that it has been selling some properties and renting out others in order to address budget deficits, many of these privatization deals yield sizable advance payments.

A representative with the Division of Administration reported that it no longer needs the parking space because the building that accommodated the employees who used it had been sold to a developer. She explained that the rent payments on the commercial real estate would help with financial responsibilities.

Low foreclosure rates benefit all homeowners

A CoreLogic National Foreclosure Report published in May of 2014 indicates that 1.4 percent of homes in Louisiana are in foreclosure. This is under the national average and is good news for home buyers. Additionally, 4.7 percent of mortgages are in serious delinquency, which is slightly higher than the national average but lower than other states that use the same judicial foreclosure proceedings.

How is a low rate of foreclosure good for homeowners who aren't experiencing any type of financial difficulty? The reason why a low foreclosure rate is important is because foreclosed homes may be sold for less than what they are worth. Homes may be sold for less than their market value because the bank that holds the title to a foreclosed home is looking to get back as much of its money as possible while getting a potentially toxic asset off of its balance sheet.

Experts believe that housing market in the U.S. is bouncing back

Louisiana residents interested in buying or selling a home may find an article discussing the return of the housing market to normal rates encouraging. Though there is no single metric for determining this, all signs seem to be pointing the same way.

Just a short time after hitting a high point in the summer of 2006, the U.S. housing market saw a serious crash as a precursor to the 2008 financial crisis. Since then, experts believe that the market is slowly returning to what they would call a normal level. This definition of normal is very different from the numbers in 2006, which many say was a high point that could not be sustained. Rather, a normal level is shown in a few ways, using different sets of statistics.

Staying ahead when buying a home

The real estate market is picking up in Louisiana and across the nation. However, a downside to the increase in people who are buying a home is the stiff competition for property.

A few tips will help people who plan to purchase a home in the near future. First, they should find a lender who will work with them and one who has a good reputation in the community. Because agents, loan officers and other real estate professionals operate in a tight-knit group, the loan officer's reputation can make or break a deal. Second, they will need to find the right agent to act on their behalf. They can find one through family, friends or online sites. They should have a trustworthy presence in the community, which will help move the deal toward closing.

Real estate development could boost downtown economy

A Louisiana real estate developer has begun renovating three buildings in downtown Shreveport with the goal of bringing more vibrancy to the city. Located along the 600 block of Texas Street, the buildings are expected to become office space, music venues and apartments. According to the developer, the commercial real estate will be finished before the residential real estate is ready for occupancy.

Although the downtown apartments have not yet been completed, future residents are already signing up to be added to the waiting list. With only 1,000 residential spaces in downtown Shreveport right now, there may be a high demand for more apartments. According to the director of the Downtown Development Authority, residential property is something that the downtown area needs more than anything else.

Tips for selling a house by short sale

Louisiana homeowners who are considering selling their home through the short sale method may be interested in finding out just what is involved. The process of selling a house by way of short sale is when a mortgage lender agrees to a price from the sale that is less than the mortgage balance. It involves a bit of legwork on the part of the seller. The seller must undergo an education regarding the various procedures and rules and communicate with real estate agents and bankers who need various sorts of paperwork.

In regards to selling a home through the short sale, the first thing that should be done is to list the home in hopes of receiving an offer. After a potential buyer makes an offer, the seller should hand over important documentation to the lender including proof of the prospective buyer's ability to pay for the home, the seller's monthly budget, pay stubs, tax returns and a "hardship letter" in which the seller lists the reasons for the short sale.

What to think about when buying a foreclosed home

Buying a foreclosed home in Louisiana can help a home buyer buy a property as a bargain price. However, there are some things that even an experienced buyer should consider prior to buying a home that is owned by a bank. The most important thing to understand is that the buyer is purchasing the home as-is. In some cases, a home may be stripped of anything valuable by the previous owner.

While this isn't always a deal breaker, the new owner may need to have DIY skills to keep the cost of any potential renovation as low as possible. Another issue that a buyer needs to consider is that a real estate agent may be showing dozens of foreclosures at once. This could result in a buyer not getting the individual attention that he or she may need while shopping for a home.

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