Some home values, property taxes expected to rise following flood

Some home values, property taxes expected to rise following flood

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Some homeowners in Baton Rouge are selling high, and one local realtor expects many more to start doing the same.

Linda Gaspard, a REMAX First realtor, said over 700 homes have sold in the greater Baton Rouge area since the August flooding. She doesn't expect it to slow down anytime soon as the value of houses that were not damaged during the flood is going to go up.

"When you have less homes available, more people wanting to buy - supply and demand - it's always going to go up a little bit," Gaspard said.

Although the undamaged homes will become more valuable, the property taxes are going to go up as well, according to Brian Wilson, the East Baton Rouge Parish tax assessor.

Wilson said it is hard to tell just how much property taxes will change for undamaged homes, but he said they will increase. Right now, his office is re-assessing the value of every home.

"The ones that are going up, it just depends on where you're living, what the market is doing in that particular area, what the sales are doing in that particular area, as far as the ones that are going up," Wilson said.

As for homeowners of flooded houses, Gaspard said they face a dilemma. The value of their homes is going down so they must decide whether to rebuild and then try to sell at a higher value, or just gut and clean their homes and sell sooner.

Gaspard said the best thing for them to do is wait until they learn more about their FEMA aid, insurance, and elevation requirements.

"It's really hard. They may owe more on their home than what it's worth now," Gaspard said. "So then they have to decide, are they gonna stay, are they gonna fix, are they gonna put more money into a home that's worth less. So that's the people that are just waiting and seeing. I don't see people making a real quick decision."

Wilson said property taxes on flood damaged homes will go down. Those properties are also being re-assessed. ?

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