St. Charles Parish real estate market ‘heating up’

The big three: Priced right, good condition, good location

Spring is a time of year when the real estate market tends to heat up, and Gardner Realtors’ Regina Allemand says 2017 has proven to be no exception so far.

“The current market is pretty hot,” said Allemand, who specializes in listings within in the River Parishes. “Spring is traditionally a busier time of year, once holidays and Mardi Gras are over. You’re seeing more properties coming up for sale right now.”

The properties that garner the most attention and have the biggest markets tend to follow three strong guidelines, she said.

“It starts with the three big qualities: that it’s priced right, is in good condition and is in a good location,” Allemand said. “They aren’t staying on the market long, because inventory is very low. Once they come up for sale, they’re usually going under contract early.”

While the supply of such properties is low, Allemand noted there are a number of advantages to buying as well right now, most notably the presence of interest rates that start very low, one reason property sales are trending upward.

“You do have people who are being cautious right now, with a new President and some uncertainty as to what programs will take effect,” Allemand said. “It may not become better or worse, but some people are holding back. So you are seeing some low rates that may make buyers more inclined to make a move now.”

She said that over the past year, the average sale price of a home in St. Charles Parish is $216,800 and that the average time a property stays on the market is 62 days.

A realtor for the past 26 years, Allemand said she takes a cue from the founder of Gardner, Gertrude Gardner, in terms of how she views her relationship with clients.

“She started her business in 1943 and she built it around her family,” Allemand said. “And she had a saying she was often quoted with, that she was happy in her home and she wanted other people to be happy in their home. And that’s pretty much what I like to do and how I feel. That’s something that’s important to me.”

Speaking not long after wrapping up a house closing with one of her clients, she said those days bring more than just feelings of accomplishment.

“You know, their expressions to the seller of the property was that when they walked in, they felt like they were home and that it was a good feeling to them,” Allemand said. “That makes me feel whole, makes me feel warm … it’s why you do this, honestly.”

The process of buying a home can be cumbersome and daunting without guidance, particularly for those who haven’t experienced the process at all before.

“People have their jobs and their families they need to take care of,” she said. “There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work where we’re getting everything lined up, getting the proper paperwork that has to go through, scheduling things …  it goes for buying and selling, sometimes people have no idea what we’ve actually done, and that’s okay.

“As long as the end result is either they have a key or a check in their hand and they can move on, that’s what’s important.”

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