It's not safe or healthy to live in a flood damaged home until repairs and remediation has been completed. That's a more than obvious statement to the more than 60-thousand Louisiana residents that are living this particular nightmare. The question becomes, "Where should we stay while our home is being repaired"?

There are many fortunate families that have relatives or friends who have graciously opened up their homes to the displaced. Many others might have a camper or camp that they can used for a temporary home. Then there are those that only need a place to stay while the repairs on their current homes are being completed.

Tiffany Palmer is a President of the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors, she told the Louisiana Radio Network that while it might seem to be a simple idea for displaced home owners to just rent an apartment. There are many obstacles that come into play in making that plan work.

People are hoping that their houses will be finished and ready to move back into in less than six months, and they’re still obligated to pay a mortgage if they have one.

That means paying monthly rent and a mortgage. Then comes the idea that most landlords require at least a six month lease too. In cities like Baton Rouge and Lafayette the rental properties available are not nearly as plentiful because of the return of  college students to campuses in those respective cities.

If buying a house is what they’re looking for, then they may have to settle. They may have to buy something and change things as they go, instead of just finding that perfect one.

The good news on the home purchase front is that there are many homes that are available for sale in many different price ranges in the flood affected areas. The problem, as Palmer suggests, is those homes available might not be exactly what a new buyer is looking for.

Despite the need to find a place to stay immediately prospective home buyers are urged to take the same precautions as they would if they were searching for a new home when not under the stress of the current situation.  Palmer suggests you don't bite off more than you can chew and be wary of purchasing a home in a location that might make resale difficult after the flood waters have receded.