BALDWIN COUNTY, Alabama (WALA) – First the economy collapsed, then there was the foreclosure crisis. After that, the final blow… the oil spill. Home sales in Baldwin County and elsewhere on the Gulf Coast have been devastated.
Bob Pitts, director of the Workforce Housing Alliance, said it’s similar to Louisiana after Katrina.
“The buyer was not confident in the fact that he could buy a home that would sustain value, that his job would be there tomorrow, that the state economy is going to hold up,” Pitts said.
75 Percent Have Credit Problems
Pitts told FOX10 the number of credit issues have gone up since the oil spill, affecting as many as 75 percent of potential home buyers. The mission of the Housing Alliance is to help folks fix their credit and get into a home.
“We provide free mortgage credit counseling, as well as free home buyer education, so these people go from where they are today to where they need to be tomorrow,” Pitts said
One Home, Sixty People
The sale of a home affects realtors, appraisers, title companies, inspectors, mortgage brokers, the builders themselves. As many as 60 people all together for just one home.
“All the industries that affect real estate are tremendous and every time that real estate stops it affects the economy more than anything,” Pitts added.
Pitts is also trying to set up a series of Expos to showcase the Alabama Gulf Coast and bring in new home buyers. He’s been in contact with BP for funding and so far has received no answer.
“I think that’s what we’ve got to do for the coming year is to go out and touch new people and let them know what we have down here, how wonderful it is, how the tourism is all the opportunities and what a great place to live,” Pitts said.
And when people come to live, they come to buy, something that isn’t happening enough right now.