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Old 06-24-2015, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Southwest Louisiana
2,983 posts, read 2,655,179 times
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So far I haven't heard anything bad about the place. It's right over the I-10 bridge, and from what I've read online, the schools are academically sound.
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Old 06-24-2015, 11:30 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
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Westlake is right next to many petrochemical plants, it would be important to choose your area wisely. The older parts of town are lovely, kind of right north of the bridge.
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Old 06-28-2015, 10:46 AM
 
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Thanks for all of the insight! We are here now, looking for housing. Saw one place in Lake Charles yesterday, going to Sulphur to look at a place today. Why is the rent so high around here??
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Old 06-28-2015, 11:17 AM
 
Location: Lake Charles, Louisiana
182 posts, read 442,941 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepper320 View Post
Thanks for all of the insight! We are here now, looking for housing. Saw one place in Lake Charles yesterday, going to Sulphur to look at a place today. Why is the rent so high around here??
Great question! I hope someone can provide some insight.
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Old 06-29-2015, 01:11 PM
 
352 posts, read 295,627 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CTtcg View Post
Great question! I hope someone can provide some insight.
The rent issue in Calcasieu Parish (Sulphur, Lake Charles) is directly related to:
1) Massive area of abandoned property in North Lake Charles that's effectively shut off that real estate zone to all residents. The situation was here before Hurricane Rita in 2005, but obviously made worse after the storm and lack of FEMA aid ravaged the community.
2) Lake Charles City council not approving hotel projects along Nelson road to alleviate temporary housing problems.
3) Unpredictable cyclical industrial activity (plant turnarounds) brings in temporary workers for 6 months who then immediately leave at the end of the project. This leaves the rental housing owners with vacant property until the next wave of industrial migrant workers arrive. In fact, the town of Sulphur appeared as a temporary housing village for the mines in the early 1900's and was expanded to house the temporary workers building the first petrochemical plants.
4) 35% jump in home / lot prices over the past two years as a result of items above as new residents flood the area looking for property that is not there.
5) The final reason is cultural, the area beyond Sulphur and Lake Charles has been thought of a rice farming and cattle land since the 1920's when the residents clear cut the ancient Longleaf Pine forests in the Calcasieu Parish region. In this day, they marketed the land to cattle owners who bought the clear cut forest land hoping to profit from their farming operations. Today, generations later, the heirs of these estates are enjoying very low property taxes while either using the land for cattle or living out of state and letting the land go fallow. Either way, there is little that can be done to convince these land owners to sell for low prices in the middle of a real estate boom where many are becoming millionaires overnight for selling 40 acres.

Hope that helps, the economy in Lake Charles, Louisiana is booming but generational and geopolitical issues are surfacing that might stop this growth cycle before it can fully mature.
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Old 06-29-2015, 07:26 PM
 
Location: Lake Charles, Louisiana
182 posts, read 442,941 times
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Great answer. Thanks for the insights.

Quote:
2) Lake Charles City council not approving hotel projects along Nelson road to alleviate temporary housing problems.
I've only heard of one hotel being rejected due to its location near an elementary school. Many residents spoke up against it.
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Old 06-29-2015, 09:47 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
11,723 posts, read 10,425,047 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepper320 View Post
Thanks for all of the insight! We are here now, looking for housing. Saw one place in Lake Charles yesterday, going to Sulphur to look at a place today. Why is the rent so high around here??
There is a big industrial boom in Lake Charles right now. There are 5,000 workers alone coming for the Sasol plant construction. You are competing for housing with those workers and their families:

Lake Charles Economy and Industry | Lake Charles Real Estate and Homes for Sale
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Old 07-09-2015, 04:39 AM
 
Location: Florida
8 posts, read 7,379 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepper320 View Post
Thanks for all of the insight! We are here now, looking for housing. Saw one place in Lake Charles yesterday, going to Sulphur to look at a place today. Why is the rent so high around here??
Well pepper320, you have been there for a couple of weeks now. Let's hear what you have found and what you think about the area. I hope you have a good report for us. I have researched the area online and it seems to be a good place to move to for us. It would be interesting to get the opinions and advice of a newcomer.
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Old 07-09-2015, 10:50 AM
 
12 posts, read 10,777 times
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Hi DonnasMan!

So, our fact-finding mission last week was enlightening and a little frustrating. We did find a house, but the rent is SO high! $1800/month for a 3 br house near McNeese. It's in the better schools, which is why we decided on it. I'm frustrated by the lack of sidewalks for my kids to walk to and from places, but maybe that's something I just need to get used to.

Maybe it's my elitist side coming out, but I was very put off by some of the attitude of landlords we encountered. A few of them said that they charged so much for rent because they heard an economic boom was happening and "billion dollar corporation executives" were going to come down in droves for housing. I got the impression that many of the landlords jacked up the rent to "cash in" on that. Okay, fine, whatever, but don't look at me like I'm crazy when I tell you that it hasn't happened yet. One guy we encountered in Moss Bluff told us he and his family moved out of his house into something else so they could rent it out...and it needed SERIOUS work. I'm sorry...serious work for a house does NOT equate $2K in rent.@@

Sulphur seemed to be a nice enough town, but it's right on the interstate and that bothered me. Moss Bluff was very nice, but spaced out. I want my kids to be able to walk to the library, grocery store, etc. We settled on a place near McNeese because it was within walking distance of a lot of things for my kids...including me (will be going to school at McNeese).

I suppose time will tell what I think of the area once I get there. So far, it seems like a lot of money-hungry people in pick-up trucks. I know that's unfair of me to say, but that seems to be most of the people (landlords) we encountered. Oh, and as much online advertising as the Charlestonian does, they are SEVERELY in need of work. The pictures (and rent) don't match their on-line presence. I wish I would have taken a picture of the (empty) pool with the (rusted and beat up) chairs stacked near it. NOT what they are showing online!
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Old 07-09-2015, 06:38 PM
 
Location: Florida
8 posts, read 7,379 times
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Wow! Not what I expected to hear from you, pepper320. So, where were these crazy landlords in their pickups? Was that down near the university?
I have been looking at houses online (Zillow) up around Moss Bluff and some in Sulfur. We are not against looking farther north if need be.
Thank you for your insight.
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