LAKE CHARLES, LA. (KPLC) - Those who've always wanted to buy some cheap land as an investment may get their chance this weekend.
During the height of the Road Home Program, while most homeowners were getting funds to repair or rebuild their homes, others opted to sell their property. What's called the Louisiana Land Trust became the custodian of those properties. Eighty such properties in Calcasieu Parish are being auctioned off this weekend.
Calcasieu Parish's Clair Thomson says it truly represents a one time opportunity for those who've always wanted to buy investment properties. "It's a once in a lifetime opportunity. The Road Home Corporation will more than likely never have this sort of opportunity available for residents again. As you know, for Gustav and Ike, there was no Road Home Corporation that provided housing. So this is an opportunity that may never come to Calcasieu Parish or the State of Louisiana again."
The properties are sold as is-- either a vacant lot or a house that needs to be rehabilitated. They'll close in thirty days if all conditions are met and Louisiana Land Trust pays closing costs. Says Thomson, "Seeing as the bidding will begin at a thousand dollars for these properties, the possibility that they're getting a really good deal is great."
Thomson says anyone interested should bring a $500 cashiers check made payable to themselves, in case they are not the winning bid, so that they can cash the check.
As required, about 25 per cent of the properties were allocated for low income people in need of housing and are being provided to agencies such as Habitat for Humanity, Project Build a Future and Lake Charles Housing Authority. But the rest are up for grabs to the highest bidder.
The Louisiana Land Trust Road Home property auction is at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Calcasieu Courthouse at 1000 Ryan Street in Lake Charles. For a complete list of properties or to register click on one of the two auction companies that will be conducting the auction: Gilmore Auction & Realty Co. or Pedersen & Pedersen.
Some properties are vacant land while others have homes that remain for rehabilitation.