Louisiana Real Estate Market - Pros & Cons of Buying a Home in Louisiana
The State of Louisiana has so many nicknames, that one can get overwhelmed trying to memorize them all. For example, Louisiana is called "The Pelican State", "The Creole State", "The Sugar State" and so on. This variety of nicknames is a great reflection of different things that Louisiana has to offer.
The history of the State goes back to the famous Louisiana Purchase on October 20 th 1803 when the United States Senate ratified the Louisiana Treaty. Since that time, Louisiana was part of the United States and brought with itself a very unique and diverse culture and economy. Most of Louisiana's population is made up of French, Spanish, African American, and Creole descents. Many local people still speak French or Cajun languages.
Louisiana is mostly made up of uplands and alluvial parts. On the south border, the State has access to the Mexican Gulf and, therefore, is very reach in energy resources. The climate in Louisiana is humid subtropical with hot long summers and short mild winters. Precipitation is very high, which, in combination with high temperature, creates high humidity. This is another affect of being close to the Mexican Gulf. Another problem that the Gulf creates is hurricanes and tornadoes. On average, Louisiana experiences about 25 tornadoes every year and very often it experiences a major hurricane.
In 2005, the State was hit hard by the famous hurricane Katrina, which was labeled as a category 3 at landfall. Katrina devastated the whole southeast part of Louisiana and almost destroyed the city of New Orleans by flooding it and making most people in the city homeless. More than 1500 people died and more than 2 million people were displaced from their homes. Hurricane Katrina was followed by Hurricane Rita, which was also a category 3 hurricane at landfall and struck the same part of Louisiana a month after Katrina.
Nevertheless, Louisiana is still considered a good state to live in and to invest into. The economy is stable and diverse. Agriculture, tourism, chemical industry and the energy producing industry make up the core of the State's economy. The Port of South Louisiana is the 4th largest volume shipping port in the world. New Orleans has lately become a home to a growing film industry. It is also well known for its Mardi Gras parade.
After Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, as well as other parts of Louisiana, have experienced an outflow of population, which actually gives an opportunity for new home buyers to purchase a house at an affordable price in a good location, since the inventories of houses for sale have increased. If compared to other parts of the United States, it is safe to say that the Louisiana real estate market was not as hard hit by the economic turmoil. In 2008, houses were on the market for around 2-3 months, which is below the country's average. This shows that the interest in purchasing a home in Louisiana still exists there and many people do buy property in the State.
Some areas of Louisiana have experienced steeper price declines in housing than others. Number of houses sold in 2008 was lower than in 2007 on average by 15% statewide. The average price has declined around 20%. Nevertheless, in 2008 the real estate market in Louisiana still remained pretty active compared to the rest of the country. Many sellers were able to find buyers within a reasonable amount of time and sold their houses within 90% of their asking price.
Those of you who are looking to relocate to Louisiana or to invest in the real estate market should consider all the pros and cons before moving along. As we have already mentioned, hurricanes and extreme weather conditions could be devastating. So when buying a property, you should pay extra attention to home insurance and personal property insurance deals. Weather and natural disasters could be one of the major cons if you're not ready to take the risk. Also, you have to consider the fact that Louisiana's economy is only 24th in the U.S. and per capita income is not that high, only around $30,000. So be prepared to take home less cash than in other States.
At the same time, Louisiana's economy is very stable and has a great variety. Anyone who works in agriculture, seafood industry, tourism, oil extraction industry or even film production, will be able to find a stable job with potential to grow. The weather could be one of the pros as well, for those who enjoy living in summer almost whole year around. Wildlife in Louisiana can certainly attract those who are much into nature. Louisiana is a home of many protected national and state parks with very interesting flora and fauna. On top of that, Louisiana offers for those who want to raise their family here a great education with many solid public and private secondary schools, as well as universities and colleges.
As we can see, for those who are not afraid to take the risk and who know that they can plan everything well to cover possible problems, Louisiana can be considered a great real estate investment and a very nice State to raise your kids in.
If you have already weighed all the pros and cons of buying a home in Louisiana and have decided to start looking for the house of your dreams, we can help you in your search. We have comprehensive MLS listings of homes for sale in Louisiana. Moreover, we can connect you with a professional and reliable real estate agent in Louisiana that will help guide you through the whole process of finding and purchasing a property in Louisiana.