Baton Rouge home markets seen as one of the strongest

From Yahoo:

America’s strongest economies have one thing in common — home prices that never got too hot or too cold.

Home prices in metros such as San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh, Rochester, Little Rock, Ark., and Baton Rouge, La., remained steady through boom and bust. Although no metropolitan area entirely avoided the economic downturn, the most resilient metros were protected by a potent mix of recession-resistant jobs.

The upstate New York areas of Syracuse, Rochester, Albany, and Buffalo suffered from declining jobs in manufacturing, but got significant boosts from sizable health-care, education, and government sectors. Construction is booming in Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s capital, as firms take advantage of financing for post-Katrina hurricane recovery work and service-related companies expand to meet the needs of a growing population. Omaha and the state of Iowa have relatively strong insurance sectors.

Texas, the last state to enter recession, has been bolstered by its oil and gas industries — which have also helped Oklahoma, North Dakota, and Louisiana. Texas also has many other things going for it, including affordable home prices and relatively low wages, which attract corporations.

BusinessWeek.com used data and analysis from the Brookings Institution’s new MetroMonitor to come up with the nation’s 40 strongest economies. The MetroMonitor, which measures the nation’s health on a quarterly basis, ranks the top 100 metros based on job growth, unemployment, gross metropolitan product, and home prices.

A relative boom in Baton Rouge

“No place has been untouched by this recession. This is a change from previous recessions,” said Alan Berube, a senior fellow and research director of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program. “But there’s a big difference in losing one-tenth of a percentage and losing 15% of jobs.”

Baton Rouge, which was ranked No. 6, “grew jobs every month until August 2009 and in August it only lost nine-tenths of a percent, compared to 5.1% nationally,” said Lauren C. Scott, professor emeritus of economics at Louisiana State University.

Scott said $5.1 billion of construction projects have been announced or are under construction in the Baton Rouge metro, including a new plant for French chemical company SNF and the expansion of an ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOMNews) chemical plant.

“One nice thing after another thing happened that has countered what’s happening in the rest of the country,” Scott said.

Ernie Goss, an economist at Creighton University in Omaha, who studies much of the nation’s energy and farm belts, said the strong dollar early this year hurt farm exports. “But the dollar has now weakened significantly and that will be good for the farm sector and energy commodities,” Goss said. “I think 2010 is going to be much better than 2009. But we are still not going to have a lot of job gains.

A 22-year unemployment high in Texas

Although the metros in the ranking are strong by relative standards, their unemployment rates in many cases are now peaking because they entered the recession late. Texas, which had 5 metros in our top 10, including No. 1 San Antonio, is a good example.

The unemployment rate in Texas hit 8.2% in September, rising above 8% for the first time in 22 years. But that’s a very low unemployment rate, compared to the national rate of 9.8% or to Nevada’s 13.3% rate.

Texas is unlikely to face a prolonged downturn, said Terry Clower, an economist at the University of North Texas. The state’s affordable cost of living make it attractive to new residents and corporations, the largest of which tend to be based near Houston and Dallas.

“It’s perceived as a low-cost place to do business,” Clower said. “Because housing is affordable, the wage rates reflect that.”

Marisa Di Natale, a director at Moody’s Economy.com, said late arrivals to the recession will generally face mild downturns.

These metros “haven’t had a big erosion in housing wealth, which has kept consumer spending stronger than it would otherwise be,” Di Natale said.”

20238 Hoo Shoo Too Rd, Baton Rouge, La 70817

Custom Custom!* Almost too many amenities to list! This gorgeous 4 bedroom home sits on over a 3/4 acre lot. 2 bedrooms upstairs, 2 bedrooms downstairs. 10 foot ceilings on the lower level, 9 foot on the upper level. Spacious kithcen with honed slab granite counters, custom glazed cabinets, and room to work like a true chef. Master bathroom has a 6 ft jacuzzi tub, custom dual vanities, walk in closets, wall mounted flat screen tv. Large laundry room downstairs has pedestals for front loaders. Home is wired with surround sound throughout. Unique custom crown molding, 8 ft custom wood doors, and trim that is reminiscent of the gorgeous old homes of past. One of a kind Tiger wood floors in the den and master bedroom. Exterior is brick and hardie plank and the roof is nail free insulated metal roof. Home has very low utilities. A large bonus home theater room that is wired for entertainmen and an extra playroom or office also upstairs.

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Baton Rouge home foreclosures on the rise

From the Baton Rouge Business Report:

“The number of local homeowners who are late on mortgage payments or face foreclosure continues to increase in Baton Rouge, but at a slower rate then the rest of the state or the nation. The percentage of homeowners who were 90 days or more late was 4.83% in August, according to figures from First American CoreLogic. That’s up from 3.25% in August 2008. The percentage of delinquent homeowners in Louisiana is 5.47%, up from 3.66% in August 2008. Nationally, the number of late payments was up by nearly three percentage points in the past year, from 4.18% in August 2008, to 7.1%. The foreclosure rate in Baton Rouge grew half as much as the state average, going from 1.26% in August 2008, to 1.52%. Statewide, 1.79% of homes faced foreclosure in August, compared with 1.24% in August 2008.”

If you want to search for Baton Rouge foreclosures use my site to find a deal TODAY!

1627 Munal, Baton Rouge, La 70816

Located in Avalon Subdivision, this home is a LOT For the money. Almost 2100 sq ft living.  4 bedrooms, 2 baths, corner lot. Located off of Millerville close to interstate 12, shopping, dining, and more!  Call me today to make this your home. View more pictures as my website timhouk.com

2100 sq ft of living for 185000!

2100 sq ft of living for 185000!

1089 Longwood Drive, Baton Rouge, La

By and far my favorite home that I have listed.  Personally I mean. Gorgeous cottage home featuring 2 Bedrooms, 2 bath home at the corner of Claycut and Longwood (which is the best looking street in Baton Rouge to me).  1886 sq ft living, HUGE lot.  It doesn’t get any better than this!

Front of the home

Front of the home

Side of the home

Side of the home

First time homebuyer tax credit – Time running out!

Ok, EVERYONE is aware of the homebuyer tax credit ending NOV 30th.  But, I want to stress the point that we essentially have 2-3 weeks to get a home under contract!  If you aren’t searching for homes, I highly suggest you start TODAY.  Everyone will be cramming in to get their loans complete before the deadline.  FHA loans are taking a little longer than usual so don’ t put yourself at risk. Go to my site, www.timhouk.com, start searching for homes. Contact me and then we will get out and preview some homes.  Unless you have a home picked out today, it will be about 6 weeks before we close.  1-2 weeks to find and negotiate a contract and then a typical 4 week closing period.  Hurry before its TOO LATE! Here are a few steps that could speed up the process:

1. Go ahead and contact your lender to get pre-approved.  If you don’t know a good lender, I have many.

2. Locate your past 2 years tax returns and last 2 months pay stubs as the lender will need them to get started.

3. Once your lender determines your price range, then think about the areas you want to live in.

4. Start searching for homes on my site

5. Lastly, CALL me!  225.301.7467

I look forward to hearing from you!